From Breast to Bottle

Moving from breast to bottle . . . It’s been a tricky time for Amy, well more for Dave & I really.  I’ve written before that there was no real pressure for us to wean Amy off the breast as I will only be working a couple of days a week in September.

The only really concern was that I was to be spending two nights away at the end of July.  As the hen weekend approached my anxiety about leaving Amy grew steadily.  I was sure she just wouldn’t drink anything all weekend and whilst I knew she’d survive I worried about how she would sleep and how Dave would cope.  Don’t get me wrong, Dave is more than capable of looking after Amy but he finds the broken nights hard and I didn’t want him to have a miserable weekend!

Mummy enjoying a much needed night out drinking cocktails with her bessie x

As it turned out Amy (and Dave) coped really well.  I fed her and settled her to bed before I left on the Friday night and she only woke a couple of times, managing about 4oz of formula the second time.  The night was a roaring success.  During the day on the Saturday she wasn’t impressed with the formula at all but managed to drink plenty at bedtime and settled easily only waking once during the night for a quick drink and back down!  So after all my worries she actually slept better than usual which got me to wondering whether being able to smell me wasn’t helping?  Dave and I talked about swapping the bedtime feed to formula but in the end I decided I would prefer that to be the last one to drop as she was getting quite hard to breastfeed during the day (she’s too flipping nosy).  My other concern prior to my weekend away was maintaining my supply of breastmilk – I expressed as much as I could but I wasn’t massively successful to be honest and was quite uncomfortable for a lot of the weekend (not helped of course but the fact that I chose to wear a wired bra).  Needless to say I was immensely relieved to get home and feed my little girl!

After the success of my weekend away we decided it was time to make a move over the formula.  As I have said the day time feeds were getting tricky.  Amy was far too easily distracted and no longer fed efficiently.  This was time consuming and also meant I was often left frustrated and exposed!!  So the following day I made a start on cutting out the day time breastfeeds – initially going with a morning bottle and after a few days adding in the afternoon bottle too.  By the end of the week we were successfully doing two bottles a day with no breastfeeding – another week later and she was actually draining her bottles completely.  The bar was now only open for “Happy Hour” from bedtime to breakfast.

little girl learning to drink from her bottle - breast to bottle

She was doing so well with her bottles that I started to think perhaps I would drop the bedtime and night feeds too.  (Previously I had anticipated not doing this till she was in her own room as I figure it will be quite hard to do when she can smell me there with her!)

Last weekend we made the move from pre-made formula cartons which, whilst convenient, were costing us a pure fortune.  Now whether this was just that Amy really didn’t like the change in flavour or texture or if it was poorly timed with her not being very well last weekend; she just refused point blank to drink it.  Feed after feed we made up 6oz of formula and feed after feed she would refuse it.  After a few days she wouldn’t even let the bottle near her lips and I started to worry.  Should we go back to pre-made formula?  Would she even drink it now that she seemed to have been put off the bottle completely?  It was all but too late to go back to breastfeeding her during the day, how was I going to make sure she was getting everything she needed?  Guilt and worry abound.  I questioned my decision to wean her off the breast.  Had I been selfish?

Amy is a good eater so I have spent the week making sure she is getting plenty of dairy in her meals through cheese, yogurt and even offering her a drink of full fat cows milk (I know the recommendation is that cows milk is not to be given as a drink till 12 months but I was working on the basis that if she wasn’t going to drink her formula the cows milk had to be better than nothing right?)

I continued to offer her formula twice a day – trying different ways of getting it into her, allowing her to feed herself, holding her in different positions, getting different people to try and feed her etc etc.  Nothing was working.  On Friday she refused her morning feed as usual but rather than give it to Thomas I just popped it on the side for a bit.  After she had finished her lunch, whilst still sitting in her high chair, I gave her the bottle just to see what she would do with it. Mich and I just ignored her, letting her get on with it and slowly but surely she drank two thirds of the bottle.  A breakthrough.  Since then she has started to drink more – she has refused one bottle each day but she has also had a good go at one bottle each day.  She’s by no means draining them but I think we’ll get there.

7 Comments

  1. August 25, 2014 / 9:22 am

    It's such a dilemma, when, how, how will they (and us) manage – I went through the same with my second but had more urgency as I was returning to work several days per week. Sounds like you've cracked it though! X

  2. katefever
    August 25, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    I think she has done really well (as have you and Dave), and it seems she might be back on track to taking bottles again now. I wonder if it was the difference in pre made and powder? You would think they would taste the same!

    • August 25, 2014 / 2:56 pm

      It was like starting all over again! It must taste different. She's done really well again today 😀

  3. August 25, 2014 / 6:18 pm

    You have to remember formula is a food, so each brand has their own taste and it does fill them quicker and fuller than breast milk.Their needs fluctuate on a daily basis so one day she may finish all her bottles and another she may not.As long as she is getting other means of dairy (cheese and yoghurt) I wouldn't worry too much.I hope it all works out for you soon.

  4. August 27, 2014 / 6:15 pm

    It sounds as I you are all coping really well with it all and I'm glad she is settling back down again after the hiccup with the milk change!
    I am going through the same thing although O is almost 14 months old. I have to wean him due to me needing to start taking my statins again(should have started them months ago!). He is far from impressed when I tell him 'no booby' when he tugs my top up during the day but will settle with a bottle. Although he is used to feeding in all manner of positions, as they do, and can't quite grasp that bottles won't work when his head is on the bed and his backside is up in the air!

  5. August 28, 2014 / 9:29 am

    Aww sounds like you are managing this really well. I've never experienced moving them from breast to bottle but I can imagine it is difficult – for mother and baby. I love the idea of 'happy hour' though ha ha. Amy is growing up so fast she is such a cutie 🙂 x

  6. August 28, 2014 / 3:00 pm

    Well done! I am not sure what I will do when I get to that stage. I am just reading up on breast feeding at the moment but will have to work out how weaning will work when I near end of my maternity. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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