Am I setting myself up to fail?

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Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644
Am I setting myself up to fail?

So my goal is to bf for 30 days and if we make that we will continue but I am already making excuses. I am scared I won't have time to bf with the other kids running around life is nuts right now and I can only imagine when she comes! I think I will bf a few times a day and bottle feed in between but bf all night. I am just so nervous it won't work out and I really REALLY want it too!

What do you think?

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

One thing that I have realized is that it takes less time to nurse a baby than to make a bottle and feed it. I understand your issue on the "forced to sit on my butt" thing, but it's also great for recovering. It forces you to rest. In the first few days you want the baby to be pretty much on your nipple as often as she likes so that your supply can be built up properly.

I would recommend attempting to make it to 6 weeks with NO formula to start. After 6 weeks your supply is pretty well established and can handle one less feed. That's a little more than 30 days (42 days), so I'd push for that as a goal, just in case.

Since you have older children, I'd suggest allowing them to help you with the younger kids as much as they can without them taking over parenting completely, at least until Carolina is big enough that you can pop her off the boob for a couple of minutes and interrupt her session to deal with one of her siblings. I am having to do that now with Daniel while Jacob is in school. Evie doesn't like it, but she'll live. Wink

That's just my two cents. Smile

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

Feeding baby straight from the tap is SO much faster than bottle feeding! I have never done formula but I did exclusively pump for my oldest daughter and exclusively breastfeeding is WAY easier. With time you can even feed baby while doing other things. I can get my older kids a snack or do anything I can do one handed while I am nursing the baby. Once baby is good at latching you can walk around and move around while nursing. I have no bottles to wash, no formula to mix and go buy if we're running low and it's always on hand Smile Breastfeeding is very 'mama of many' friendly

irishgirl's picture
Joined: 04/10/07
Posts: 1043

I totally agree with everything said above. Especially waiting it out until 6 weeks. That's usually when the roughest of times is over too so you can really see how it will be. Plus if you can make it through the first 6 weeks, everything else is good. Smile

I agree that BFing is SO easy. You can sit and read or do puzzles or color or other crafts. Usually I just let mine play and if they need something I can get up and put the baby down for a minute (or walk around with them latched depending if it's something I can do with just one hand)

I know you said you would BF at night too and I swear it's so great. I've never done formula either, but I can't imagine having to get up in the middle of the night to fix a bottle (or grab one or anything) I just move the baby to my bed, feed him, then put him back. You can get so much more sleep/rest.

Good luck and POSITIVE THOUGHTS! Smile It's really the most important part in the early days. Determination, positive thoughts, and a good support system.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

I was at a playgroup with other babies of similar age last winter. My son and another boy started fussing at pretty much the same time due to hunger. In the time that I put a cover on, latched DS on, fed him a whole session, and had him back on the floor the other mom had only mixed up a bottle and gotten her son halfway through it. Then she went on the complain about how much she hated washing the bottles and had already given up on sterilizing it! That moment REALLY convinced me to keep on BFing due to laziness on my part. Seriously, it's the lazy solution because of how much less work it takes. Lol
Also once you get a handle on BFing, you can very easily BF a baby in a baby carrier! I think ring slings are the easiest to learn how to BF in. And then you'd be completely hands free. Biggrin If you ever have more questions about baby wearing let me know.

I really encourage you if you really do want to BF to exclusively BF for at least the first 6 weeks. It establishes your supply (first to bring it in and then to regulate it) and gives you a fighting chance to keep BFing beyond that. As soon as you introduce formula, you're signaling to your body to produce less milk. The more bottles, the less milk your body will want to make leading to supply issues. It's a whole downward spiral.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

I totally agree with the PPs. I cannot imagine the extra time it must take to make and clean bottles. I especially cannot imagine getting up out of bed to fix a bottle. I also completely agree with holding off on formula for at least 6 weeks. It will make your life sooo much easier in the long run if you plan to continue BFing. There's a hormonal switch that goes off around 6 weeks that helps to establish your supply level for many months to come. The first five weeks were not easy for me but its pretty much been smooth sailing since then.

I also encourage you to invest in a good carrier. There are carriers, like a ring sling, that allow you to nurse and do stuff at the same time. When DD was tiny, I could do my grocery shopping while she nursed and no one was the wiser!

lily0624's picture
Joined: 03/21/07
Posts: 591

i think you need to do whatever is best for you. if you really want to bf, you'll make it work. there's absolutely nothing wrong with giving the baby a bottle of formula if it will make things easier for you. you have a bunch of kids to take care of as well!

my little guy is only a week old so i don't have a tried and true answer or suggestion but when my toddler is around and the baby needs to eat i've been getting the toddler a fun snack and saying things like, "oh feeding baby matthew is so boring, he only gets to eat one thing. but you're a big boy and can have so many fun things to eat! let's have a snack of goldfish and watch some tv together!" he has bought it a few times, but only when the snack is really bad for him! haha.

with my son i refused to give a bottle. i felt alot of pressure. and i was miserable. this baby has had one bottle per night (we got the ready to drink kind so it's super easy for hubby to feed him) and it has really helped me. being able to have one stretch of 3 hours of sleep has been a life saver for me. and i'm sure my supply will be fine. so, basically you have to do what will make you happy. feeding the baby doesn't have to be a religious experience! my pediatrician told me that the other day and i almost hugged him for that! Smile

VCoates's picture
Joined: 05/22/07
Posts: 1055

I agree, you have to do what is best for you and baby. For me bfing has been fairly easy outside of some supply issues. That being said, I think if you go in to it with the mentality you have then you are setting yourself up for failure. I know that may sound harsh but that has been my experience.

With ds1 I had to start supplementing with formula as my supply dwindled once going back to work. Once I got it in my head that I was going to give him formula and I worked less on getting my supply back up, I ended up quitting all together. Its been totally different this time around. I don't find it difficult with an older child and I know many woman who have successfully bfed with multiple children.

I have nothing against formula and know many many healthy babies who were formula fed, myself included. I just think if you go in to it with that mentality than you may not be as successful as you want to be.

Best of luck!

Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644

Thank you ladies very much. It does take a lot of time to make a bottle, wash them, dry them and all the fun stuff. I will not be using formula for the first part of my goal which I am going to make 6 weeks since that is how long everyone here and my dr says it might take and we will go from there.

I talked to our Dr and hope to get the baby to feed when I am not taking kids to and from school etc. I pray that its so easy once I get the hang of it and I can nurse wherever whenever!

It's almost time to have the baby and I just want everything to go smooth and when it's almost time you start to question things!! Smile

Thank you again!

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Once the baby is here, don't forget to update us! Also I strongly encourage you to post when you're having a rough day with BFing. It's NOT easy at first, but I promise it does get LOADS better! Knowing that others went through it and having suggestions to help me along the way helped so much. Smile

Clarkton's picture
Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 1972

I think 6 weeks with no formula is a great goal. I agree that making it past that time frame is the hardest part. Best of luck to you but really it isn't luck you need...just setting your mind to it and determination/stubborness to not quit when it gets tough. Wink

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I would say that it's all up to you. You have to choose whether or not you're going to make it work! I could give all of the excuses in the world, too... I have four kids and am back to working full time... but I'm making it a point to do whatever it takes to BF Trystan until he's one year old. I bought a manual pump, but it's not working so I'm going to rent an electric one (even though I can't really afford it). He'll be one month old on Tuesday and I can proudly say he hasn't had one drop of formula! Good luck with your decision!