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Introducing Formula: Concerns and lots of questions...


Forum: Formula Feeding

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  #1  
March 25th, 2011, 08:11 AM
Newbie
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Hello,
First, I know this site is called "Just Mommies" but hopefully, you all won't mind terribly if a dad intrudes on your territory to ask a few questions...

My beautiful daughter is 9 weeks, 5 days old today. My wife tried and tried breastfeeding and it turned out to be a painful and frustrating process for everyone involved. We truly contacted every resource we could find and nothing helped. Thankfully, our pediatrician has a very relaxed, whatever-works-best-for-you kind of attitude and so my wife has been pumping and we have been feeding our daughter breastmilk from a bottle.

We are trying to introduce formula to her for many reasons and we are having some problems for which I'm hoping some of you experienced mommies will have some advice.

We started almost a month ago introducing one or two bottles of formula a day to her and things seemed to be going OK. Then, she had a huge spit up one night, us being first-time parents freaked out a little and decided to go back to breastmilk until we could talk to our doctor. We started again about 2 weeks ago with one bottle of formula in the afternoon. He threw up the entire thing (at Walmart, of course...) and when we got home, we fed her a bottle of breastmilk which she also threw up.

Our doctor ruled out allergies and apparently there was a bug going around where babies showed no signs of fever, but were puking a lot. Well, after getting her settled for a few days back on breastmilk, we tried again this morning to give her a bottle of formula. She threw up most of the bottle. I changed sheets, clothes and cleaned her up and she threw up again.

I feel just awful knowing that she's uncomfortable and I also feel awful that my amazing wife barely sleeps with feeding, pumping and keeping up with her career. We would very much like to have her switch over to formula soon, but it's killing me inside when she throws up so much.

After reading a lot of posts and articles here and elsewhere I have a few questions...
Would it be better to give her just a little formula mixed in with breastmilk at first rather than giving her an entire bottle of formula?
From reading, I know spitting up and sometimes throwing up is normal, but how long is this going to last? Can we expect spitting up the entire time she's eating formula?
Does the nipple on the bottles make a huge difference in whether or not she spits up? We are using Advent bottles and we are just trying the #2 nipples. It seems her feeding takes about the same time, but should we be using the #1 or something else?

I apologize for the huge post for my first time on this forum! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
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  #2  
March 25th, 2011, 09:19 AM
kimmiejo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 24,239
Congrats on your new baby girl! My first thought is that maybe the formula you are using isn't agreeing with her, I know with my first we went thru every formula out there until we found the one that worked. So maybe try a different type, a sensitive/gentle version maybe? Is she cranky when she spits up? if so it could be reflux maybe, my first had reflux and once she got put on meds she was a much happier baby! That being said some babies do spit up a lot, if she is happy and growing and peeing and pooping then chances are she is just fine and she will slowly grow out of it. As for the bottles I would try a slow flow nipple and maybe a different type of bottle too but I think my first change would be to try a different brand/type of formula and see if that makes a difference. They do make thickened formula for babies who spit up a lot too maybe check with your dr and see what they suggest? Good luck I hope you find something that helps! KUP!
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  #3  
March 25th, 2011, 10:29 AM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loo-uh-vull, KY
Posts: 5,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmiejo View Post
Congrats on your new baby girl! My first thought is that maybe the formula you are using isn't agreeing with her, I know with my first we went thru every formula out there until we found the one that worked. So maybe try a different type, a sensitive/gentle version maybe? Is she cranky when she spits up? if so it could be reflux maybe, my first had reflux and once she got put on meds she was a much happier baby! That being said some babies do spit up a lot, if she is happy and growing and peeing and pooping then chances are she is just fine and she will slowly grow out of it. As for the bottles I would try a slow flow nipple and maybe a different type of bottle too but I think my first change would be to try a different brand/type of formula and see if that makes a difference. They do make thickened formula for babies who spit up a lot too maybe check with your dr and see what they suggest? Good luck I hope you find something that helps! KUP!

This is great advice. My son had reflux but not in the usual spitting up manner. When we first started introducing a bottle he would have formula or breastmilk shoot out his nose and would choke really badly. I don't think we noticed anything prior to that because he just wasn't getting enough when nursing to cause it to come back up. At our pediatrician's recommendation we switched to Enfamil AR formula and it immediately got much better, and a few weeks later he wasn't choking at all.

A slower nipple might make a difference, I suppose. It is a lot of trial and error, though. But If you want to try a thicker formula like Enfamil AR (I think Similac makes one labeled for Spit Up) you might want to stick with the stage 2 Avent or possibly use a stage 3 if that seems too slow. These formulas have just the rice starch in them and they expand once it gets in the stomach to help it stay down. You could also try thickening the formula you already have with rice cereal. I think a lot of people have luck with that but in my mind I don't think it would be as effective as the AR formula. I would definitely ask the pediatrician first, though.

We were fortunate to not have to use reflux meds, but that is also an option to help with the discomfort.
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  #4  
March 25th, 2011, 12:40 PM
Newbie
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I should have been a little clearer, but this sleep deprivation thing....

We started using Enfamil Newborn formula with her. That was going OK and we bought a new can which really gave her gas. Our pediatrician told us that they had recently changed formulas - perhaps between the sample he gave us and the new one we bought. He thought that might be the culprit so we then tried the Gerber Gentle formula, but she threw that up. Now, we're back to Enfamil but the sensitive formula (as per the pediatrician recommendation).

The good news is, after I spoke with my pediatrician's office today, we fed her again with a small amount of formula mixed in with breastmilk. She threw up the first ounce right away, but after she rested for awhile, I managed to feed her the rest of the bottle little by little and, so far, a few hours later, no puke!

The pediatrician recommended that we start mixing in formula with breastmilk slowly and gradually over the next few weeks, increase the amount of formula and decrease the amount of breastmilk. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Hopefully this works - it's been a stressful time trying to make our beautiful daughter happy. Luckily she is very healthy and as plump as a bouncing baby should be.

Thanks again for the replies so far.
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  #5  
March 25th, 2011, 04:13 PM
MaggieLizer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loo-uh-vull, KY
Posts: 5,656
I hope that does the trick! It does sound like it was just a matter of the formula not agreeing with her, so hopefully gradually getting her used to it will help. Hopefully things will get a little better soon and you can get some more sleep!
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Michele - wife to Jason and mommy to Vincent (7/12/10) and Maggie (4/16/14)



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  #6  
March 25th, 2011, 11:07 PM
Gaby&Emmy'sMama's Avatar aka NZ-Emma
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Christchurch, NZ
Posts: 56,619
I think mixing formula & breast milk, slowly getting more of a ratio of formula, is a great idea & probably the most gentle way to go about it! Keep us posted!
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  #7  
March 26th, 2011, 01:55 PM
ZeliaMarie
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Posts: n/a
I agree with everything the other ladies have said. I also want to add that some babies just spit up a lot. She should grow out of it in a few months if that's the case. Also, my son would projectile vomit everytime we gave him formula that came premixed yet he does fine on the powder. Good luck. Let us know how things are going.
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