Posted in Babies, Breastfeeding, Sleep

Stopping night feedings

Anonymous

So I have a 3 month old and I nurse her during the night when she wakes up to get her back to sleep. The problem is I’m losing my milk supply. I’ve seen a lactation consultant and I’ve had to start supplementing with formula because my baby wasn’t gaining enough weight. I’m able to pump about 2 oz or less every two hours out of one side and about 1/2 oz out of the other. I’m taking sooo many supplements just to maintain what little supply I have, mainly out of fear of how nights will be if I can’t nurse her back to sleep. I try to give her a pacifier when she wakes up and usually it doesn’t work. And the thing is if I take the time to get up and make a bottle she’s up for 2 hours before I can get her back down. Nursing is the only thing that gets her back to sleep. So I’m just wondering if anyone else has gone through something similar and what worked for you?

  • Andrea
    Apr 25

    First off... your doing a good job momma! Nursing is hard work! Second, the more you nurse, the more milk your body will make. Your baby is likely trying to build up your supply and is thus nursing a lot at night (it is super normal for nursing to pick up at night for this reason). So i recommend to keep nursing as much as you are able. (When you nurse a lot it feels like they are so empty... but that is GOOD!. If they always feel empty that means she is nursing enough to tell your body to make more!) Third, if you need to supplement, make the bottles before you go to bed. My 2nd son was supplemented the first couple months. I would make three/four bottles filled with water (measured to the right amount) and put on a table by my bed. I kept the powder (already measured out) in a formula dispenser there as well. When baby wakes, dispense one serving into a bottle, shake, feed. Its pretty fast. Baby should go back to sleep well after at this age. When I did this i would always try to nurse first. If he got fussy at the breast that is when i would switch to the bottle. As long as you have a smooth transition she should hopefully go back to sleep for you. Keep in mind when you formula feed, it will decrease your supply unless you use an sns (instead of a bottle) or pump a couple times a night. If you want to strictly breast feed i recommend pumping twice a night for 7 days. Its super hard, but its what i was told to do and it worked! Just stay focused on being consistent for 7 days and you can get there! Lastly, A fed baby is always best... your doing a great job making sure she is fed! My first son was formula fed cause i couldn’t figure out how to build my supply up and he is now a healthy, bouncy 3 year old! Keep it up momma! You got this!!!

  • Andrea
    Apr 25

    Oh! One last thing... don’t let pumping discourage you! I breast fed my 2nd som exclusively after two months and still only pumped 2oz out of each side! The pump can be deceiving and make you feel like your not making anything! No machine will get that milk out like your baby!

  • Anonymous
    Apr 26

    I should clarify, I have seen a lactation consultant and she was able to determine by weighing the baby before and after a feeding that she’s only getting 2 oz a feeding. She said she should be getting at least 4 to be gaining weight properly (she wasn’t gaining nearly enough weight. So she had me start giving her a 2 oz bottle after each feeding which started to confuse her so she started rejecting the breast during the day. Plus when I nurse her during the day she gets really frustrated because she isn’t getting enough milk. So I started mainly pumping and bottle feeding and doing a couple formula bottles a day. That’s a great idea about measuring the water ahead of time and having it ready next to my bed. I’m not to the point where I need to do that yet but that makes me feel better in case I do lose my supply completely. At first I was really upset about the whole thing and I’ve been pretty desperate to keep my supply up. But I’m just glad she’s getting enough to eat now. For the first couple months she just cried constantly after feedings because she wasn’t getting enough and I didn’t realize. It’s still really exhausting though trying to keep my supply up by pumping constantly and taking all these supplements. Honestly a part of me will be relieved when I’m done nursing because it’s just been so hard this time. I nursed my first daughter until 14 months and she never had any formula, I wish I could do that again but it’s just not happening this time.

  • Alexis
    Apr 27

    We had to switch to formula really early and ended up having to do increased calorie formula for our baby with GERD bc he wasnt gaining enough weight. Bc of having to mix the formula in weird amounts, we ended up purchasing a couple formula pitchers from munchkin. We would mix the formula every morning and then we just had to pour a bottle when we were ready. For overnights we would have a couple bottles already poured and ready to go so we just had to pull it out of the fridge and give it to him. Now, of course, he was perfectly ok with cold bottles. We really didnt have much trouble getting him to take them cold at all. Our younger son refused to take a cold bottle so we always had to warm it up which could take awhile when they are fridge cold and I would only warm them in hot water. After he started solids I finally broke down and used the microwave bc I just got too impatient... If you can get your little to take a cold bottle, it would be super quick to have them mixed up ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Mixed formula is good for 24 hours as long as they havent drank from the bottle. If she wont take cold formula, you could try premade formula in single serve bottles. It can be stored at room temp and would be pretty quick to pour in a bottle. It's .ore expensive, but if you only use it overnight, hopefully it wouldn't add up to much more.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 27

    Thank you for the advice! I’ll try to give her cold formula when I can get her used to formula. She’s been drinking it for over a month and I still struggle to get her to drink it. She definitely prefers breast milk still. When do most people get their babies to sleep through the night without waking up for bottles? My first I nursed until 14 months and she woke up to nurse until I stopped doing it.

  • Alexis
    Apr 27

    If you're struggling to get her used to formula but feel that's the direction you're headed, you may find it helpful to start mixing the breastmilk and formula. We had to do that with my second. I ended up in the hospital with two abscesses when he was only a few weeks old and I wasnt able to nurse him for almost a full week due to the meds, and then I wasnt producing nearly as much. (Thankfully I had had an oversupply previously which allowed me to stash away a good bit of breastmilk, but I still ended up running low). I ended up bfing till he was almost 3 months, but ended up stopping bc it was just too much after the abscesses. He had mixed milk from the time I was in the hospital till I quit. As for your other question, I think both my boys quit needing a bottle overnight maybe around 9 or so months (cant remember for sure), but they both kept waking for one longer than that just out of habit. I do think formula fed babies, on average, tend to stop needing overnight feedings sooner just bc formula is more filling. But I think 8-9 months is about average for them to stop. I could be totally off on that though...I just think that's what I remember! Lol

  • Anonymous
    Apr 27

    I totally understand just needing being done with breastfeeding. It’s been really hard for me this time around. I get clogged ducts all the time and a few weeks ago got a milk blister from a clogged duct and it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. I’m still having problems because of it. I’m producing almost nothing at this point and it’s discouraging and upsetting every time I pump. Honestly, the only reason I haven’t given up is because I’m afraid of getting less sleep at night because of having to make bottles.

  • Molina
    Apr 30

    Hello. I’m a first time mom. My baby started to breastfeed right away, but on the discharge day, practically hours prior discharge, noticed baby wasn’t eating as before. Asked for a lactation consultant since, I didn’t get any before. Was speed up for an emergency breast pump, and shown how to use a breast shield to help baby to latch on. Make sure you are using the right cup size on your breast pump, months after I realized was using the wrong size. Also you need to drink plenty of fluids and water is a must to keep yourself hydrated and keeping up with your supply. As well as eating between feedings. I come from hispanic culture, to help on milk supply we drink plenty of organic milled or blended corn drinks, Oatmeal blended or cooked with milk for a consistency of your helps as well. Is customary in our culture to drink hot chocolate from fresh made tablets, brought or sent from our country and not the ones you can find in the store. But I didn’t drinks chocolate from the fresh tablets either, due to all the grease you get once chocolate cools off, from the organic cocoa. I did get frustrated too when I thought my baby was not getting enough milk, but remember you need to be stress free in order to maintain a healthy breast feeding. Asking for help and, do what is necessary for the baby and you, as you are doing, is the best you can do. Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying what works for you. Best of all, enjoy these moments. Time flies and our little ones won’t be needing breast feeding or formula feeding anymore. One suggestion. I used a thermo with hot water, to help me warm the breastmilk faster for a couple of minutes, making sure that breastmilk won’t be too hot when feeding baby with the bottle. You will get practice on how long and how fast you can warm up the breast milk. My daughter wouldn’t take cold breast milk either, ☺️. You are not alone, and this will pass sooner than you think. Keep up the great job you are doing as a mom. Blessings.

  • Aditza
    May 08

    Old momma: Just remember, the more you nurse, the more milk you'll have. Nursing at night is fine in the first 6 months, easier than heating up formula:)). Try nursing your baby between 9pm and 10pm, while you watch your favorite show. I did this for 9 months, my baby didn't wake wake up for the last six, she was so full. I did have 1 beer with every dinner:)). Good luck!