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When do babies drop a daytime feed?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Bumblybee, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Hi all.
    I realise that all babies are different but I was just wondering when yours went longer between feeds - even dropping their daytime feed altogether.
    I'm going back to work in June when DD will be 7.5 months. She is exclusively bf and feeds every 3 hours (start to start) day and night. I struggle to express milk, and the couple of occasions I have managed to express more than a few drops - she has refused to take the bottle (I've read the current thread started by allthingsnice and will try some of the suggestions re bottles).
    I just hoped that maybe it won't be an issue by the time I go back to work. I intend to start weaning her at 6 months (mid April), which means she will have had 6 weeks of weaning before I go back to work.
    Is it too optimistic to hope that she might make it through the day without a milk feed? I intend to feed her at 7am and request that I be allowed to leave work at 3.30pm so I can be home and feed her again at 4pm.
    Part of me wonders whether I should just put her on formula exclusively from 6 months - maybe she'll take a bottle easier if there are no breastfeeds on offer? Although I'd be pretty gutted as I love feeding her myself.
    Any advice would be gratefully received!
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Mine seemed to drop her daytime milk earlier than my friends' babies but she still had it until 9/10 months or so.
    Of course everyone has to go with their own emotions and circumstances, but I was glad I weaned mine completely off the breast before I went back to work. She was nearly 7 months and inconsistent about feeds (including in the night) and for me it would have been a lot of pressure trying to juggle feed times or expressing once at work. We missed it but I think I would have been pretty stressed trying to keep it on. Also night feeds (which she had to some degree until much older, little so and so!) could be shared with OH as once i was working too he had to do some night shifts.
    There are loads of people on here who carried on BF when they went back and made it work for them - I'm sure some of them will be along soon to give their ideas, too :eek:)
  3. Hi Bumbly
    My experience was a little different to yours as I wasn't going back to work but at 6 months I started to regularly introduce a formula feed to LO's routine, usually his bedtime one. Up untill then I expressed for when I wanted a break, maybe twice a week of if someone was looking after him for me but I found it such a faff. What I would do though was to express first thing in the morning. I would skip a feed on one breast so it was nice and full and I could usually get a decent amount. Have your LO near or a photo and visualise yourself feeding, this may help. Even hearing them cry may do it.
    I found that my LO would not take a bottle if I was around, hence me using the bedtime one so his dad could give it him in his room while I made dinner or whatever I was doing. If she knows that this feed is a bottle and her morning one is breast, there is no reason for you to stop if you're both still enjoying it. Even if you just keep one a day she'll still get all that good stuff :) Don't feel bad though if you do decide to introduce some formula. There is nothing bad in it! It's perfectly nutritious and your baby will still thrive. I beat myself up about the first bottle of formula I gave him until someone gave me a stern talking to and made me realise I was being an *** and once I realised that I was much happier and it meant I could have a break and let dad take over.
    By 7.5 months your LO will probably be having at least 2 meals a day I'd have thought. You choose which meals you want her to have. For example breakfast and lunch. You will find she will probably drop her afternoon feed first, followed by her mid morning one. You can replace these with a snack.
    She may well still want milk in the day when you are at work, in which case she will have to have a bottle. Start now and encourage other people to feed her with it. Is her father around to help? If she realy won't, encourage her care provider to give her yogurts, porridge and cheesy things in the day then she can have her milk in the evening. I know some people have used a doidy cup to get LO's to have milk rather than a bottle too.
    What I would say is try not to stress about it. Our LO's have a way of falling into thier own patterns and showing us the way. I used to get really stressed about weaning and how much milk he was having but he kept growing and slowly weaned himself off the breast at about 10 months. I was pleased as I had had enough by then. He was only having a morning one and the occasional evening one so one day I tried him with a bottle and he drunk the lot. Before that he would not have touched one if I was feeding it to him but he decided when the time was right.
    I hope this helps, enjoy your LO they soon turn into little devils [​IMG]
    LO is 18 months x
  4. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    You can give formula during the day and breastfeed at night and early in the morning if your baby tolerates this. I can't help with breastfeeding as I was rubbish at it and gave up early on, but some mums I know have continued with some BF feeds whilst their LO is given bottles of formula while they are in childcare. Good luck with your return to work x
  5. I went back to work when LO was 8 months old. She had been exclusively breast fed and refused to take a bottle. I was lucky in that I negotiated part time hours so I could be back home at 3pm to feed her. So she had a morning feed, a 3pm feed and a bedtime feed at that age. However, she was eating LOADS of solids and really filling up that way.
    I would suggest maybe starting weaning sooner so that she will have hopefully built up to 3 good meals a day plus yoghurt or something in between meals if she isn't taking a feed at those times. Part of the reason I started weaning early - 4 and a half months - was that I had a v hungry baby and I wanted a break!! Food worked for us from the beginning so I hope you are lucky too x
  6. My little man dropped his day time feed when I went back to work at 8 months. He also would not take a bottle. I started weaning when he was 20 weeks - (didn't want to - he had always fed for 10-15 minutes every hour - but this one day he fed 6 times in 2 hours for 10 minutes each time and then when we got home he fed for an hour - I took him off and he screamed - walked into the kitchen in desparation and grabbed a banana - he had the whole thing)
    He stopped wanting milk when I offered it to him at snack times so I gave him a solid snack instead.Spoke to the HV who said thas as long as he was getting plenty of dairy in other areas not to worry that he was only having 3 milk feeds a day (one at 7ish one at 4.30 and one before bed) by September when he was 10 months he was down to 2 feeds. The only feed I stopped was the last one when he bit me and drew blood at 14 months - reached my limit.
    I think what I am trying to say is it is possible but may not go according to plan.
  7. My LO began nursery at 8.5 months, we'd been Baby-led weaning since 6 months. I started out trying to express 2x5oz bottles for her full days (8.15-5pm) but she never drank them all, so I dropped one on the full days and eventually dropped them completely on the half days. From about 10 months I think i sent about 3oz on full days and by 11 months we'd dropped bottles altogether. She's never needed formula and dropped the bottles no problem - we're still breastfeeding happily at 14 months :)

    What pump have you got? Expressing gets easier and more efficient over time so if you wanted to build up a freezer stash you could try pumping every morning, or another time that's convenient for you every day. You could freeze it an oz at a time even. But as others said, if expressing isn't working for you, you could mix feed and breastfeed exclusively at weekends - your supply should be well established by then :)
  8. Thank you so much everybody for taking the time to offer advice. I really appreciate it and it has made me feel a lot more in control seeing that there are different ways of negotiating her feeds. I think going back to work is stressful enough without panicking that DD is going to starve in the process!
    Thanks again!
    Bumbly [​IMG]

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