thread: Is it ok to give a BF baby one formula bottle a nite?

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Aug 2007
    in a beautiful beachy community with few people

    Question Is it ok to give a BF baby one formula bottle a nite?


    I have been told my 5month lil boy is underweight. He weighs 5.4kg. He was born weighing 2.44kg and healthy, we were home the following day. He put weight on very well for the first 4months and since then his gain has slowed down alot. His feeding hasn't changed though. Anyway, one month ago we were advised to start feeding him solids, so we started with farex and he has had homemade pureed vege's which he loves. we were told because he is such an active baby he just may need some more, he is a cat napper during the day, sleeps perfect at night, at least 9hrs and he seems completely happy and content. BUT i have now been advised as he has not gained enough weight over the month to give him a bottle of formula at night before he goes to bed. He is breastfed now and I a dont want to stop breastfeeding yet. Is this going to interfere with my BF? or with him? my local nurse who I see every few weeks had given this advice to me.
    She also said prior to telling me to give him formula was to increase his solids to 3 times a day, then she said that the formula would be the way to go.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Feb 2006

    babies weight gain slows down around this age,its hard to say if formula will do anything, id say it wont, he may have a great metabolism and burn it off quicker, sounds like your doing a great job, i wouldnt stress, my dd is 12 months and is around the 8.6kg mark, so not big either

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    Bris Vegas

    I introduced a night feed via formula when DD was 6months age. It helped with her weight and most importantly her sleeping pattern improved. I would never hesitate doing it again. I would offer her BF first then follow up with a bottle. (just a top up really) Then just make sure you express before you go to bed. When she was finally in a routine and a bit chubbier I went back to 100% BF (about 2 weeks). I then BF til she was 12+ months.
    It sounds like your baby is fine to me too so don’t stress either way.
    Good luck and let us know what you try and how it goes.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Jul 2006
    Berwick, Melbourne

    Missbanana, in answer to your question, this won't be a problem your little boy's weight still within the weight chart in the blue book? A friend of mine was told her son was underweight too because he wasn't on average, even though he was just over 2kgs when he was born. If his weight is still within the chart then he isn't under weight, he is just under average. Obviously I do not know enough to really advise to do or not, but i don't think that one formula feed a day would really make that much difference. May I suggest that you get another opinion? I also don't know your maternal and child health nurse but i know unfortunately alot advise on their personal opinion as opposed to the documented research.Good luck with it all.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    May 2007
    Warrnambool Vic

    Hi, Missbanana,
    How did you feel about the advice you recieved?
    Your little guy is under the 3rd percentile on the current charts. This is a "red flag" for investigating what is happening, but it may still be perfectly normal for your baby. I'd think he might be on the 3rd percentile on the WHO charts which show the normal pattern of growth for babies. On the other hand, he has doubled his birthweight by 6 months, which is right on track.
    Did your health nurse talk to you about ways to increase your milk supply? Is that something you would be interested in? I wonder how many feeds he would have in 24 hours? Is there any scope for just increasing his feeds? It can be amazing how much difference a couple of extra breastfeeds can be.
    Are you and his dad big people? Or on the small side of things as well? Babies will grow to meet their genetic predisposition. Has your little one had any illnesses? Have you? Any allergies in your families? It sounds like the solids didn't help - I wouldn't have expected it to. It's a persistent myth that babies will gain weight if they are on solids, but it doesn't stand to reason - plain fruits and vegetables and rice are pretty low cal foods.
    I can't promise you that formula feeding won't have a negative effect on your breastfeeding. Statistics demonstrate that it will. I believe you can probably manage bottle feeding so that it doesn't. But you are doing the right thing to carefully consider the pros and cons.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Aug 2007
    in a beautiful beachy community with few people

    Thanks everyone! :)

    Thanks for everyones responses.

    Barb- his dad is 6'3 and i am about 5'7, so we are tall and Dane is 63cm at the moment, and he also is not quite five months old. We have had no problems whatsoever, no allergies etc. I had a great pregnancy & labor. Dane rarely feeds off both breasts, no matter if i interrupt him & change his nappy or get a wet cloth to freshen him, he just isn't that interested in having it. He had twelve feeds from 3am yesterday to 3am today. He also had lunch of solids and dinner of solids. Only 2 of his feeds were from both sides. He also only had 2hrs sleep from 10am to 7pm, then he went down for the night. We were home, but he just didnt want to sleep.
    My nurse didnt speak to me about ways to increase my milk supply and I def am interested in knowing how. I will do some research.

    I dont feel comfortable giving him formula just yet. I am going to see how we go by maybe wake him up before I go to bed and give him an extra feed then. I am just going to make sure he stays the same happy lil boy he is!

    I was born with a similar birth weight to Dane and was always a skinny minny til after I had him!! So i think he just has a high metabolism maybe.

    Thanks again for everyones advise it is good to get a different sides.


  7. #7
    Registered User

    Jul 2007

    I would say that the FF will probably affect your BF. When I started comp feeding at 6 weeks my supply went down even more and I ended up ful time FF at 12 weeks. Also don't believe people when they tell you that a FF baby sleeps better - it's a myth! My DS has only started sleeping through the night in the last 3 months and he's almost 20 months old now!

    I'm certainly no BF expert but I think try extra BF and see if this makes any difference.

  8. #8
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    I don't feel comfortable giving him formula just yet
    There's your answer babe!

    If you don't feel comfy, don't give him any formula.

    You sound like you are doing a fantastic job...he is getting stacks of BF and solids......and he sounds like a happy little button.

    My youngest (Lexie) is a tiny titch and is in the 5th percentile for height and weight. She has just started crawling and has dropped off the charts. BUT she is thriving and happy and placid and giggly and peachy in every other way, so I have stubbornly refused to see this slightness as a red flag.

    Easier said than done, I know, but follow your gut. If you think he is doing well, then chances are he is.

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Aug 2007
    in a beautiful beachy community with few people

    Thanks for the support and encouragement

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to say thanks to you all cos u have made me feel better about myself and me as a mum! My nurse made me feel like i was doing something wrong, but I look at my lil boys happy face and it nearly takes it away! but the nice words of encouragement help so much, so thanks to u lovely ladies.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Aug 2007
    in a beautiful beachy community with few people

    Thumbs up Update


    Just a a lil update, I am happy to say that my DS has managed to get over 6kg. He put on 500gm in two weeks, which I am happy with. Most of all I am happy with following my gut instincts (with a lil help from everyone here! ) He has not had to have formula just yet cos there is plenty of time for that!

    By chance, I was able to see a dif CHN and was much happier with her.

    Dane is nearly crawling, he gets on his knees and maybe slides on knee forward, then flops to the ground,but he can get across the floor pretty quickly, he rolls over well front and back, and is always smiling.

    We are doing good and will keep on keeping on!

    Thanks everyone!

  11. #11
    Registered User

    May 2007
    Warrnambool Vic

    Wow! That's brilliant! Good on you! Whatever it is you are doing, sounds like you are doing a great job at it.


  12. #12
    Registered User

    Jan 2006


    If it makes you feel better, DS is struggling with weight gain. He is fairly tall and very, very active. We have done the odd formula bottle and no difference to sleep patterns. He's formula-free atm and can sleep 8 hours at a go. DS went from 50th centile to 25th at about 5m, then at 8m down to the 9th and at 9m just under the 9th. It's worth adding that both DH and I are beanpoles.

    My HV says that he's fine, just very active, try giving him more fats. Neither of us are too worried about him as he's developmentally fine - he's walking (yes, on his own), talking and generally happy. A lot happier now his teeth are through!

    On the other hand, stupid people who don't know DS too well and aren't trained have told me I'm doing everything wrong, I'm starving him, I should feed him differently, I should give him different food, I should... yeah, shut up. He's fine.

  13. #13
    mummycate Guest

    I think, if he's still hungry, then give him the odd bottle, or even one once a day. I don't think it would affect your breastfeeding if the bottle is extra to what you already do. Have you tried expressing a bit after each feed? Perhaps a little on each side and collect it up and give him that as an extra feed each night? Hopefully there are lots of people to help you darl, its not your fault bubby is underweight. You can only do what you have to do. Good luck sweetheart!

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    Bris Vegas

    Providing you allow baby to BF before FF you shouldn’t have any BF problems. I now have given my NB 3 FF bottles since her birth. I found myself low on Bmilk when I got the flu. Its a god send to have a backup especially when you not 100% yourself. Also prevented a starving crying baby...

    If and when you need to FF, don’t beat yourself up over it.

    The tip I would pass on is use HA Formula as it digests the same pace as breast milk.


  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    An alternative to giving FF would be to express inbetween feeds & get your self a good freezer stash of BM happening. This will help increase your BM & also provide that back up if you need to.

    BF babies put on a stack of weight in the first few months then slow right down from about 5 months on. But it sounds like things are back on track for you. Thats great!

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Add Starfish on Facebook

    Apr 2007

    Hi Missbanana

    I think you're doing well to trust your instincts. My DD is just over 5 months and weighed 6kg about 2 weeks ago. I was told that she is smaller than average, but doing fine, so it sounds like your DS may be the same.

    If you feel that your milk supply is low, I would express between feeds, rather than giving formula, only doing FF as a last resort. JMO.

  17. #17
    Registered User

    Dec 2005
    Bris Vegas

    Some women cant express for them this is a wonderful solution.

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