Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Formula question

As anyone who reads me knows, I am very pro-breastfeeding. But I am not anti-formula. Ella ~never~ got formula, but I eased up with Allison, giving a supplemental bottle every now and again when needed.

Well, the other night I was exhausted and was heading to bed and Karl had been "snack nursing" and was hungry. I was too tired to feed him yet again, which wouldn't fill him up since it had only been maybe 45 minutes to an hour later, so I just went in kitchen, opened a can of formula I received in that gift bag thing from hospital, and made him a 4 oz bottle, which Tom later said, he finished.

My baby slept for 4 hours in a row! The most he slept continuously so far in his life had been 3 hours.

I had read that it's a fallacy babies will sleep for longer periods regardless of if they drink breast milk, formula or if someone actually puts cereal in a bottle at such a young age. It's true these different meals will digest differently, but sleep time had been proven not to change.

Now, it makes sense to me that if you are not as hungry, you will sleep longer, but the point of the study showed there was no difference. But I definitely saw a difference, but it was just one time, which a scientific conclusion it does not make. (I'm speaking Yoda.)

What about you? Do you see differences in your baby between feeding breastmilk and formula?

20 comments:

Jason and Samantha said...

Charleigh slept the same with formula or breastmilk.. BUT if she was awake, she wanted to eat more often with breastmilk.

Jenera said...

I only breastfed Aidan for a few weeks before going to formula but I will say that from the first bottle of formula he got, his sleeping was much better. Granted it could be because i had very little milk all along. with Sam I didn't breastfeed at all.

On the cereal topic, we put it in Aidan's bottles and it didn't change his sleeping at all. We have started cereal with Sam and he's still eating every three hours on the dot.

Amanda said...

Given my crap experience with breastfeeding I can't actually say for sure. I was told by a nutritionist that the boys would wake up every 1/2 hours if I exclusivly breastfed, though. She said that since breast milk digests easier they get hungrier faster.

Meredith said...

Well I didn't breastfeed for very long, but I do think sleeping improved a lot once they were on formula. I remember one night Tyler was up screaming for 2 hours and wouldn't latch on and when he did he didn't get enough, we broke down and gave him formula which he drank right up and slept for 4 or 5 hours.

We did put cereal in Carter's milk (for reflux by docs orders) and it didn't change his sleeping at all. Of course he was already giving us pretty good stretches at that point.

Kaci said...

I don't have personal experience with it, but my sister gave my nephew formula one night when he was maybe a month old & he slept like 6 hours so she tried again the next night & he woke up in 2. She said it backfired! I think their sleep patterns are so wonky it would be pretty difficult to be scientific about it.

Lisa said...

I have not seen a difference at all between formula and breastmilk. My boys get a bottle of formula before bed. They are up usually about 4 hours later to be nursed and then they will sleep until morning (usually sleeping another 6 hours or so). So, it seems like the nursing session lasts longer than the formula feed. That is just how my boys have reacted to it all...

Cate said...

I never noticed a difference. Lex was up every 3 hours for food (but that happens with a big 9lb baby I hear)

Denise said...

It is difficult to tell because you never know how much breast milk they are getting when they nurse. Since our babies get breast milk from a bottle in the evening and formula overnight most nights, I think I can compare that way, although I can't account for the difference between sleeping in their swings surrounded by activity in the evenings and in a quiet crib at night. I don't think I have noticed a difference. Their sleep is inconsistent with either and it seems to do more with how full they are. I have trouble getting them to nurse long enough to get really full as they just fall asleep at the breast. I'm not really sure I buy the idea that they sleep longer when formula fed, but who knows. Seems they there have to be many factors.

areyoukiddingme said...

I think babies get worn out from those snack nursing sessions, so when you follow it up with formula, they're really tired, happily full, and sleep longer.

Sarah R said...

Never used formula, but from what I've gathered, it takes longer to digest formula, so it would make sense that he would sleep longer on it. Breastmilk is digested so quickly and efficiently.

nancy said...

Maybe that snack nursing he did that day (usually do ~not~ do that) was the key factor there.

The Captain's Wife said...

I am formula feeding...basically the way Kira works is if she eats 1oz, she sleeps 1 hour. 2oz she sleeps 2 hours, 3 oz-3 hours, etc....the most she has ever drunk was 4oz (only twice) and both times she slept 4-5 hours.

Jennie said...

My first child was formula fed because I think at that time I was too selfish and iggnorant to share my body. And, he never slept in the first two years of his life. lol

I breast fed my second and third. I became pregnant with the third when the second was only 5 months old. This made my milk drastically decrease, but lucky me....one of my best friends was nursing at the same time and she was like bessy the freakin milk cow. So, she pumped enough for me to supplement so that I wouldn't have to switch to formula at such a young age.

Yeah yeah...I know some of you may find that absolutely appauling. But they actually do it ritually in other countries so that they baby can benefit from all of the different antiboties and vitamins.

I did notice that when I gave him his supplemental milk bottle, usually 6-8 ounces, he would sleep significantly longer than when I just nursed him.

My third wouldn't drink formula or juice or anything that didn't come out of my body. So, he was nursed until he was 1.

Good luck...nothing wrong with getting a little sleep!

Larissa said...

I gave Lilian formula once because I had some wine. She slept for four hours straight, and at the time she was only sleeping three hours tops. So yeah I saw a difference between BM and formula. I haven't tried cereal yet, so I don't know.

Motel Manager said...

We have a night nurse working with us right now (yes, super-indulgent), and her opinion is that formula-fed and BFed babies sleep through the night at the same time but that for a while a FFed baby will seem to be getting there faster. In other words, the FFed babies get longer stretches earlier on, even though this doesn't translate into a full 10-12 hours any sooner.

Amanda said...

I don't see why people would find using someone else's milk appauling at all. If I'd had the opportunity, I would have done it in a heartbeat! My Mom did it back in the day.

Luke said...

I know that formula takes longer to digest than breast milk, so that may be why babies sleep longer ... they aren't hungry as fast. My little one snacks from about 3:00 until 7:00 am and he wakes up just about every hour looking for his lost boob. If I can sneek a bottle in (breast milk or formula), he will sleep much later than 7 am. that's been my experience

Heather said...

All I know is that I formula fed both my girls and my oldest started sleeping through the night ( and I am talking 6-7 hours) at 8 weeks!!! She was on Similac. My little one as well at 3 months. No waking for feedings... nothing. Unless they were sick. Maybe I was just lucky.
Heather

MrsSpock said...

I saw no difference between when I nursed my son and then switched to formula.I had an abundant supply though. My son was such a piglet he would still try to cluster feed on formula.

sacredandscarred said...

TBB was FF'd, TTG is BF'd. TTG sleeps way more than TBB ever did (but is still a regular baby not one of those mega sleepers I've heard of).