Should I give my baby a bottle?

October 14, 2011 § 10 Comments

Breastfeeding has been going really well. Rather than seeing it as a bind, this time around I’ve actually rather enjoyed it. The closeness we share and the way she stares up at me with those beautiful blue eyes. But this last month has been tough. She’s stopped sleeping well at night. In fact these past three days she’s had me awake from 2am, and she just wants to feed, feed, feed. And sleep on my shoulder. Every time I try and settle her back in her moses basket she cries.

Probably part of the problem is that I can’t let her cry. The boys get up before six most mornings and it doesn’t take much to disturb them. I can’t have them strung out all day because they’ve been disturbed by their sister. Problem is I’m the one who’s strung out. OH leaves for work at eight and doesn’t get back until way after bedtime. I actually sobbed at baby clinic this week when the nice lady asked me how I was doing. She said she’s going to get in touch with the health visitor. I tried to explain to her that I’m not depressed, just knackered. What’s the health visitor going to do? Come and babysit my children so I can get some sleep?

So I’m thinking that at four months, I could start giving the baby a bottle feed before bed, and see if it’ll get her through the night. But there’s a big part of me saying no. It’s hard to escape reading about all the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. I find myself drawn to this stuff all the time. Breastfed babies apparently do better at school, are less sick, can recite their ABCs before they can walk and play Beethoven blindfold at the age of six. Or something.

I want to do the best for my baby. But I need to be able to see straight and walk the school run without falling over. And I have a two year old and a four year old who might benefit from a mum who can give them some attention, not just collapse on the sofa and stick CBeebies on. Any advice gratefully received.


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§ 10 Responses to Should I give my baby a bottle?

  • mobe0623 says:

    While breastfeeding is wonderful what is the harm of giving a bottle with breastmilk or even with formula.. a bottle a day if it gives you some sanity I would think it would be worthit…

  • Would have to be formula as I don’t have time to express. Thanks, I’m thinking sanity would be good!

  • Nel says:

    I think you also need to look after your sanity. The pressure to solely breastfeed and the guilt attached to it makes me so cross.
    A bottle of formula is nor going to do any harm. Both of my boys had formula after 8 weeks or so as I couldnt produce enough milk and they are both strapping lads, bright and full of beans.

    Give your self a break and hopefully a little more sleep.

    You are doing brilliantly by the way!

  • Thank you much appreciated!

  • You do what’s right for you all, at the end of the day. I would say, though, four months is a classic time to feel like that. There is a *huge* growth spurt then and babies go through about a week of multiple (and often lengthy) night feeds, which has the purpose of increasing the milk supply to satisfy their bigger appetite. It is a very common time to change over to formula – or to start giving solids.

    I, personally got through those growth spurts, by bringing the baby into bed and feeding lying down and while dozing/fully sleeping. I could not have coped otherwise.

    Anyway, as I said, you do whatever is right for you and your family. I’m just offering up my experience, in case it could help you keep going a bit longer… as long as you want to and that’s what’s right for you.

  • Michelle says:

    for the same reasons as you, pure exhaustion, I relented and gave my 2nd a bottle of formula as a “dreamfeed” most nights. Actually hubby did this feed so I could get to bed. I tried to express for it as I had done with my first but the exhaustion wasn’t helping!
    I think I started him on one bottle at around 3-4 months and carried on like that till 7 months,just one bottle a day, when I gradually switched each feed over to formula and hung up the feeding bra.
    Breastfeeding is wonderful, I loved it, but a happy and rested mum is the best thing we can give our babies!

  • You’re quite right. I’ve had a slightly better couple of nights so sticking with the bfeeding for now, but will endeavour not to beat myself up about it when I decide to give her formula!

  • Mummy H says:

    My husband was bottle fed whilst I was breast fed…and I’m not sure anyone could tell the difference now!
    I gave baby number 2 a bottle at 5pm when it became clear that I couldn’t conjure up dinner for a grumpy two year old and breast feed at the same time, and to help retain my sanity. Which worked, sometimes!

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