Breastfeeding: Why I’m Thinking of Giving Up

stopping breastfeeding

I’m thinking of giving up breastfeeding. And I know that the phrase “giving up” sounds both defeatist and perhaps a little overly-dramatic, but I do feel defeated and it does feel quite dramatic. The truth is, I’m rather at the end of my tether with everything at the moment (hence my – hopefully notable! – absence here on The Uphill) and the issues I’m having with breastfeeding are simply the last straw.

Let me lay out for you the extent of the problem. Because – as you’ll see – it’s not really a physical problem, it’s more an emotional/mental/utter exhaustion. Which is physical, I suppose, isn’t it? So yes, it’s an all-round problem. Start that again, shall we?

Let me lay out for you the extent of the problem. Because – as you’ll see – it’s very much an all-round, hit-me-from-every-angle sort of problem. And I know that so many people will read this and roll their eyes and say giving up?Well THAT’s a no-brainer! but when you’ve been breastfeeding every few hours for the past seven-odd months, it does become a big part of your life. Stopping seems like such an abstract idea. (“But what would I do with my arms? What would I do with my sort-of-spare time?!”)

My major issue is tiredness. I’m absolutely exhausted. Breaking point. Ted wakes up every two hours through the night and screeches like a baby dinosaur and because I don’t want him to wake Angelica up, I just feed him to soothe him. I know, I know – rod for my own back, etc, but I just can’t deal with having everyone awake and crying in the middle of the night. My husband has been trying to get Ted back to sleep without a feed, but it doesn’t buy much time and I don’t know how much longer I can carry on with broken sleep, night after night. I don’t have the energy to even read up about solutions anymore! But equally, I don’t have the energy to prepare a bottle in the middle of the night either – obviously the tiredness problem would then be shared, because it wouldn’t be just me feeding him, but what a faff! It’s the one thing that puts me off – sticking a baby on your boob and lying down, half asleep, still seems like the easier option.

Then there’s the work thing. So far I’ve been taking Ted with me absolutely everywhere – he’s been on more photoshoots than I can count, now, but it hasn’t been ideal. I did a radio job a few weeks ago, before we moved to Bath, and I left him at home because it was only a few hours and we were trying to get him to take a bottle of expressed milk, but he didn’t really have it, just waited on a sort of starvation protest for me to get home. I don’t mind Ted coming along with me wherever I go – I actually treasure the little moments of time we have together – but it’s hard work. Train journeys, hefting the pram into the back of black cabs, breaking up long car journeys with leg-stretching sessions and breastfeeding with my knees jammed up against the steering wheel, breastfeeding during meetings, changing poo explosions in public toilets. None of it is ideal. None of it really allows me to concentrate properly. I don’t work away often, I’d say that 80% of my work can be done from home, but it would be good to be able to get out and about without poor Ted being parcelled about like a little awkward suitcase. It’s not particularly enjoyable for him, I’m sure. And I know that some people might be horrified that I take him everywhere, on the tube, on the train (GERMS GERMS GERMS! POLLUTION!) whereas others might think that’s brilliant – I’ve never really thought about it in too much detail, I’ve just always done what I needed to do at the time.

My next issue is biting. As in, “biting of the nipples”. Ted, we’re talking about here, not anyone else… He started doing it when his teeth came through a couple of months ago (he got them early) and then stopped for a while, but now he’s back like a mini vampire. nipping away and laughing when I cry out. Angelica did it a few times when she was a baby, but stopped pretty sharpish when I screamed loudly on one particularly clampy, painful bite. Ted seems to find it hilarious when I scream or make any sort of distraction noise, and he doesn’t really appear bothered if I completely take him off. It’s at the point where I’m often a bit scared to latch him on! #hannibal

I’ve actually found breastfeeding Ted a very different experience to the time I had with Angelica. In terms of latch and positioning, we’ve had a wonderful, pain-free time. But whereas Angelica would feed for ages and ages, sometimes an hour or more if she nodded off during a feed, Ted does tiny snatches of time, perhaps one or two minutes, and a stretch of ten minutes feels like a long time. I don’t think that this has ever been a problem because he has grown fine, plenty of wet and dirty nappies, but it hasn’t felt as though he’s been as satisfied as Angelica was.

I’ve definitely felt as though things have been harder, this time around, despite the lack of specific “nursing” problems – having a toddler to look after as well as a baby does not make for a relaxing breastfeeding experience! I don’t think that you can luxuriate so much, when it’s not the first baby – there’s always something to be done and never enough time. Perhaps that’s why Ted seems so distracted when he’s feeding – he probably is distracted! But then I do love the opportunity for long cuddles and that close time that you get with breastfeeding. Which I know you can also get when a baby is bottle-fed, obviously, but I can imagine that once a baby gets to the age when they can hold their own bottle, which Ted can now (I’ve been trying to get him to take expressed milk), it’s not likely that you’re going to sit there cuddling them each time they have a feed! Surely, the time when they take a bottle is like some gift from above – good God, you could have a cup of tea that was actually HOT if they were holding their own bottle!

Anyway, I’ve always been a believer that it doesn’t matter which way you feed your baby, so long as they are fed – my reluctance to stop breastfeeding is actually more of a silly personality flaw than anything else. Because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and (I’ll admit it, I’ve only just come to terms with this fact) a bit of a control freak, and once I set myself a task I get very upset if I can’t finish it. Whether it’s writing a chapter of a novel, or learning a new skill, or persevering with something that I find hard to do, or sticking to a deadline. Silly, really, because I’d probably drive myself into the ground before giving up on a challenge I’ve set myself, but recently I’ve decided that being mentally and physically healthy for your family is far more important than meeting all of your goals. I think I’ll always have too much on my plate, but for the moment I need to try and manage my various commitments, and if stopping breastfeeding means that I can get some sleep and function like a normal human being, then perhaps that’s the decision I’ll have to make.

But I feel sad. Really sad about it. Maybe I won’t stop just yet – keep on with the morning and evening feeds and then do a bottle for all of the five thousand other feeds that happen in a twenty-four hours period. I’ll let you know what I decide. I’ve stocked up on a few expressed bottles and tonight I will re-start my Mini Magnum habit in earnest (I’ve been trying not to eat them, since we moved to Bath!) just to get in those extra calories. Good quality milk, you know, if you eat Magnums. Scientifically proven.

My hormones are absolutely all over the place, for some reason, so I’ll leave it there before I burst into stupid, pointless tears! Just as a by-the-by: I didn’t unpack my breast pump until the other day, and so we’ve had a couple of attempts with formula. Ted wouldn’t take it – Aptimil or Cow & Gate. But then he won’t really take expressed milk either, so… To be quite honest, stopping breastfeeding but then filling my time expressing, stuck to a pump, is sort of pointless, but we shall see. At least it gives me an excuse to sit and watch telly for a bit. If I only end up dropping a couple of feeds then maybe I’ll express for a while, if I can stay awake long enough…

Thoughts in the comments please: did you feel sad when you stopped breastfeeding, if you breastfed? What made you stop, or did you just feel that it was the right time? And bottle-feeding experts: quickest way to prepare a bottle of formula? Any tips and tricks? How do you sterilise if you don’t have a microwave? Do you sterilise? Questions, questions!

I’ve just re-read my post about when I stopped breastfeeding Angelica – the actual reason I stopped was that I had found out I was pregnant with Ted and felt so, so tired and sick, I couldn’t handle feeding as well. But obviously I couldn’t write that, because the pregnancy was so new. So I sort of skirted about the issue. If you fancy reading that post, then it’s here: As Breastfeeding Comes To An End.

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161 Comments

  1. Jenny mccann
    September 26, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    You poor poor thing . I feel your pain. I did exactly the same with my 2nd and ended up a wreck. He would take a bottle and it brOke me. I wish I’d “given up ” sooner! Do what you thinks best . You’re not giving up – you’re making a choice to feel better, which in turn will make all your family happier. Any breast milk is good. Give him a bottle. Pour yourself a gin

    • Katerina
      September 27, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      HI Ruth,

      I say don’t give yourself a hard time at all. Yea Breastfeeding is rewarding and bladi bladi blada- but equally exhausting and can be difficult.

      I was in same boat – I caved three months in , quite frankly I was so sick of having my boobs out all the time, smelling of stale milk and feeding around the clock. I never really felt he was getting enough at all. So someone told me to drop a feed every three days, I slowly weaned him and found combination feeding worked for several more moths before fully transitioning to formula.

      You have done exceptionally well to do 7months. Go with the flow and it all works out in the end

      Love your posts x

  2. Claire
    September 26, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    Breastfeeding is a hugely emotional thing, that it’s not surprising it becomes such a big deal to stop doing it. I was really lucky – Alice dropped to morning and bedtime feeds by herself at 9.5m, then dropped the morning one, and then started rejecting the evening one too at 10m. Lots of people said “oh it’s just a nursing strike, you can encourage her to continue” but I was going back to work at 11m and it was convenient so, we just stopped. I think that was really lucky as I would have hated to have made the decision.

    Friends who have switched to formula tell me the guilt was huge and they wanted someone to say to them “it’s ok to stop”. So, it’s ok to stop! Really, it is.

    I also think the adage of stopping on a good day rather than a bad day is valuable, too. It all sounds totally crap. I remember it well. Nobody can make the decision for you, but I’m sending you a big hug, cos it’s hard!

  3. Yvonne Lumley
    September 26, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Ruth, what matters is the outcome, not the process. In no way have you failed, Ted is healthy but he has learnt to ‘push your buttons’ (pun slightly intended). Decide what is best for you and he will be fine.

  4. Vicki
    September 26, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Maybe you could still do a couple of breastfeeds whenever best suits, and do bottle at bedtime / nightfeed(s). You could have a sterilised bottle and a premade bottle of formula (so no “making up” a bottle in the middle of the night and Mr AMR can sometimes do it if he really needs a night feed, giving you a break)… You don’t need to completely stop if it would make you feel too sad – do both! Also, if you do give a bottle, still put him in your arms and replicate the breastfeeding closeness. I managed to get my son to have bottles cuddling me in a breastfeeding position until he was about 10 months old. Good luck and don’t be hard on yourself. Your mental health is important for being the best mum you can be and having the energy to play with them & give them your full attention xx

    • September 26, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      Thanks Vicki, I do reckon that’s what I’ll end up doing! x

      • Laura somers
        October 10, 2017 / 9:47 pm

        I agree with Vicky, I combination feed my daughter now as I didn’t want to give up bf but also wanted the freedom to leave her with other people and I’m back at work too, so she has formula in the day at nursery and breast fed when I’m off.
        The evenings are killer when all they will take are a boob, but I think as they eat more food and feed less, if your husband can do some of the night wake ups hopefully Ted will accept the bottle and once he knows he’s not going to get a boob he’ll wake up less often.
        It’s so hard and I totally agree exhausting, so whatever you decide youre doing a great job and you have a healthy baby! Xx laura

  5. Roisin
    September 26, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Hi Ruth! This all sounds really frustrating and tiring. I’m not a mom, but I was raised by a La Leche League leader and have been overhearing her counseling very tired, stressed out, and isolated moms on the phone for 27 years now and spent a lot of time hanging around at meetings as a child. If you’re looking for some mom to mom advice or local support, I bet there’s a meet up group in your town! You’re in Bath, right? Looks like there’s a FB- https://www.facebook.com/Bath-La-Leche-League-notices-page-618777418312618/

    Looks like they have a meeting tomorrow for mom’s with toddlers!

    And here’s their info on the LLL GB site- https://www.laleche.org.uk/supportgroup/la-leche-league-bath/

    I hope this helps. As always, it’s your body and your babies and you do what is right for you.

    • September 26, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      Thank you so much, that’s very very useful! x

  6. Vicki
    September 26, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Sterilising without a microwave: use Milton
    Quickest way to prep bottle if you do formula feed is to buy the Perfect Prep machine from Tommee Tippee – body temp bottle in 3 seconds flat.
    Yes, pumping is the worst of all worlds! Twice the work!

      • Vicki
        September 26, 2017 / 8:48 pm

        Sorry, “under 2 minutes” according to the website. Sleep deprivation! No cooling down and the powder is sterilised as it does a shot of boiling water first then tops up with tepid water

      • Lucie
        September 27, 2017 / 7:56 am

        I have the machine, it takes 3 minutes (not seconds!) but it is amazing. I used to give my LO a bottle of formula as a ‘dream’ feed, so before I went to bed at 10pm I would gently rouse her and feed her while she was still ‘asleep’, hold her upright on my shoulder rubbing her back for 5 mins to burp her and gently put her back in bed, she would then go through to around 5.30am. Maybe you could give dream feeding a try with a bottle of formula x

      • Karolina
        September 27, 2017 / 8:46 am

        I was also going to recommend the perfect prep machine. It dispenses a hot shot to sterilise the formula powder and then cool water to the required volume. I would recommend having a jug of cooked boiled water to use in it though for bubs under 1 year rather than just tap water even though the machine has a filter.

        Obviously ready to drink formula is the quickest but it winds up being quite expensive even if you factor in the cost of the prep machine itself. I suppose it depends how much you will bf him and how much formula you will give and whether you plan to continue formula after 1 year.

        With my 16 month daughter, Willow, I switched gradually to cows milk in a cup when she was 12 months. My youngest is coming up to 6 weeks and I use the prep machine for dreamfeed and morning feed so that my husband and I can share the night feeds.

        I feel for you as I felt utterly bereft when Willow started preferring bottle to breast a about 3/4 months and totally stopped bf at 5 months. It is ok, you do need to do what’s best for your baby but also for you, your family and your mental & physical health and sanity. Please remember the hormones make you feel crazy when you are dstopping or reducing bf – you are not going mad.

        Sending so much love xxx

      • Ana
        October 11, 2017 / 6:09 pm

        That’s what we did when I stopped breastfeeding. Milton cold water steriliser, far better than a microwave steriliser. Change it once every 24 hours and you can remove and replace bottles during that time. Also had the tommee tippee prep machine, a god send for super quick bottle making! I went through a really tough time bf my little boy, absolute exhaustion as he fed every 1-2 hours, I had to stop at 11 weeks, was going into a slippery slope of depression. Amazing what sleep deprevation can do to a person. Don’t give yourself a hard time, you have a beautiful healthy baby and he will not starve! You’re doing a fantastic job. xx

    • Claire
      September 26, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      I second that – the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep is pricey but worth it. And it makes night-time bottles that little bit easier.
      The side of the carton should tell you if you need to sterilise or not. I’d be more comfortable sterilising up to 12 months.
      Good luck, Ruth. There’s no right or wrong! 🙂

  7. Nicole
    September 26, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I just stopped breastfeeding a month ago after 15 months. I started tapering down at 11 months ish in preparation for my return to work at a year. Despite breastfeeding for longer than a lot of people…I still felt sad and guilty for a bit. Even though it was time and she was biting me and I was tired of breast pads and all that, still sad. My daughter refused bottles after 4 months so I was used to being her food source. I think it’s totally normal to have mixed feelings. But you know what? My daughter barely noticed when I stopped. I moved on. Life goes on. She’s fed. We’re all good :). I did gain 5 pounds after I stopped though! So that part sucks, haha.

  8. Emma
    September 26, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Oh, Ruth. As emotional as it can be, if you’re feeling like the age of 100% breastfeeding is done, by all means, be done! You certainly don’t have to fully cut it out though, if you’re still wanting to do morning and evening feeds. I work out of the home and when my pumping output decreased at around 8 months, I decided to stop pumping completely and only nurse my daughter morning and evening. She received three bottles of formula in between, and it worked out great. We did this until she was just a week under 1 year. She seemed to lose interest in nursing and I knew it would be a good time to stop. So, this is all to say, do what it right for you – and it doesn’t have to be completely one way or the other. You can nurse when it works for you, and bottle feed when it doesn’t. Also, does Angelica use a noise machine in her room? That might help you feel more OK with letting Ted cry during the night.

  9. Annie
    September 26, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    My kiddo was not a boob kid. We went to numerous lactation consultant sessions and she just preferred bottles. I also had low output despite prescription medication to try and boost my supply. So she was on bottles almost from the beginning. We did formula and breast milk (from my pumping and a donor bank at the very beginning as she was premie).

    I finally quit pumping at 7 months. I was waking up at least twice a night (even if she miraculously slept) to pump and getting tiny amounts. I finally accepted that it just wasn’t working for us. It took months for me to get there. I had planned on breast feeding for at least a year and avoiding formula, but babies have their own agenda.

    I didn’t sanitize my bottles. I filled the sink with really hot water and soap and scrubbed. If you have a dishwasher, you can use that

    Good luck. Whatever you decide, Ted is going to be happy and healthy and well-fed.

    • Annie
      September 26, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Also, for quick formula: we would make up a batch for the day in a clean jar and leave it in the fridge. We tried and learned the baby didn’t mind cold bottles. That was a huge time saver.

  10. Jennifer FP
    September 26, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Oh I think you know what you want to do already. I was a little sad when #1 stopped BF around 12-13 months, but I was ready. I was tired of pumping at work, and really, she only did it because she liked it, but didn’t really need it. I was a little bit sad to not have that cuddle time either, but to be honest she was only nursing about 10-15 minutes at a time, not like the early days where she would want to nurse for hours. It’s also nice to have your boobs back to yourself and wear cute tops that are not BF friendly. Also, having them back to myself helped me feel a bit more like “my old self,” instead of the lady who has to whip them out every few hours. That’s probably how we got pregnant with #2 (due in Dec.)

    As for bottle feeding, I don’t think we ever sterilized bottles. We washed them with bottle soap, or in the dishwasher if we were running a load. I know moms who used formula would pre-measure the formula into bottles, and add water when it was time to feed. If you want to continue with expressed milk, I know that some moms have had luck with the baby taking the bottle after a 1-2 weeks of very strong resistance. Like sleep training, it takes some fortitude.

  11. Andrea Cunningham
    September 26, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    We fed for 4 months, started combi-feeding a bit earlier so taking the bottle (mam) was a bit easier!

    We have the perfect prep machine for making up bottles, and I have formula (hipp organic-only one she likes) in wee tubs ready to go! Bottle ready in under 2 mins!

    We also have an electric steamer, works fab for us, bottles steralised super fast!

    • September 26, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      Does the prep machine sterilise too? x

      • Andrea Cunningham
        September 26, 2017 / 10:29 pm

        The bottles? No, but the water that comes out is filtered so safe for baby! It’s a total game changer! Amazon seems to have the best price!

        We have the time tippee electric steriliser! Fast, simple and easy!

      • Karen
        September 27, 2017 / 12:05 am

        Yes, it gives a shot of hot water first.
        It doesn’t sterilise the bottles though.
        I have a nuk steam steriliser for that

      • Jennifer Sutherland
        September 27, 2017 / 8:10 am

        It doesn’t sterilise it just makes the bottles up and quickly! It’s a brilliant thing highly recommend

      • Jenny
        September 27, 2017 / 8:26 am

        Past 6 months you don’t need to sterilise, just wash in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher.

        We also have a perfect prep and bloomin love it! Such a time saver.

      • Ellie
        September 28, 2017 / 2:51 am

        No, just makes bottles. X

  12. Sharon
    September 26, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    I was never able to properly breastfeed. I just couldn’t get mine to latch. Hes almost 5 months now. So hes been on formula since the beginning with as much expressed bottles as I could create the first two months. In the beginning I was making each formula bottle one-by-one but then you waste so much that way, not knowing how many ounces/ml he will drink in a sitting. So I found this formula pitcher on amazon. You just make a big batch of it daily and keep it refridgerated. I warm up a bottle as I need it. And add a little more to his warm bottle if he needs more. https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Browns-Formula-Mixing-Pitcher/dp/B001I481LM/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506457150&sr=8-1&keywords=dr.+browns+formula+mixing+pitcher
    Hope this helps!

  13. Caroline
    September 26, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    Mate. Get that boy off the tit and stick a bottle in his gob. I stopped feeding Ben when he was 5 months because he was using me as a teething ring and it was as painful as the birth. Dan was two weeks and I couldn’t keep up. He was 10lbs and I had no help with Ben and couldn’t function. Ava and Max I can’t even remember how long I fed them for because I was walking to and from the school with the big ones. I remember exhaustion and relief when I stopped. I missed the boob/baby interaction but made up for it in other ways. You are an absolute hero to me. Nothing is as tiring as breastfeeding. NOTHING. And boys are biting little sods. Ava didn’t bite me once. They all ended up on formula at some point and they’re all huge and healthy now, as Ted will be. Do what you need to do for you. Mum comes first, not baby. Love you. Ted: stop biting Mummy IMMEDIATELY. Love from Auntie Caroline. X

    • September 26, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Thank you CH. Now I am having a little cry and I have to work tomorrow, so, yeah, thanks. : )
      xxxxxxxx

    • Sk
      September 27, 2017 / 4:29 pm

      Yasss to the Hirons
      You are the business!
      Every woman needs CH in her corner!!!
      Brilliant

    • Charlotte
      October 5, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      This had me in floods too. Struggling so much with breastfeeding and desperate for it to work but it’s so painful as my little girl has a shallow latch even after her tongue tie was snipped. We’ve tried everything- bf group (less than useless),bf support advisor, private lactation consultant, la leche advisor, you tube, nipple shields, pillows/no pillows, in bed/in chair… all painful. And the ideology surrounding it all is crazy too. I’m persevering for a while as it gets a bit better at times and I think we might be turning a corner but the whole issue is so challenging! Ruth, I really feel for you and hope you find a solution soon.

  14. Chantal
    September 26, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    I also felt very sad when breastfeeding stopped. It was because my son was feeding increasingly restless and he didn’t seem to enjoy it so much anymore. I think maybe because the milk flow was not so constant and he was really impatient (I wonder from whom he got that attractive trait……). So I introduced the bottle slowly but steadily. Only thing was that I wanted to do the late evening feed by breast (the cuddling!) and he really wouldn’t have it anymore. Next Christmas it’s 2 years ago and I still remember the sadness, also because of what you say, not being able to finish it and not being in control. But the good news was that he would drink sleepily, sweetly and very cuddlesome from the bottle so in the end it was all right. I had by the way the good luck that after that last bottle, he would sleep through the night. So I didn’t have that total tiredness you have. Do what feels right for you and little Ted. Any which way you do an awesome job. X

    • September 26, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Yeah that’s how he seems – impatient! x

      • Chantal
        September 27, 2017 / 7:14 am

        And by the way… Mine bit down and then turned round to look behind him.
        Think I’ll forgive him for that when he’s 18 or so… No, make that 30. x_x

  15. Hannah
    September 26, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    You’ve done amazingly. And brought all the emotions of stopping back for me. We got to 10 months, until I was told I HAD to stop (crazy post partum not healing complications due to breastfeeding induced low oestrogen!). Emotionally very hard to do, but physically turned into a total relief. I wish it wasn’t the case – I am a perfectionist, non quitter, like you – but with formula (HIPP Organic, as it happens) I started healing, my baby’s health improved and all our sleep improved. I’m still not sure I would have stopped without being told to (I was so emotionally attached, despite finding it physically so hard), but probably would have otherwise broken myself in the process. A blessing in disguise… Much love x

    • September 26, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you Hannah. This gives me hope! x

  16. Penny
    September 26, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Oh Ruth, I really feel for you. Definitely finish up or scale back if that’s what you need to do. Since I became a mum I really see how much guilt we can put ourselves through for every little thing! You do amazingly and your babies are beautiful and look so happy! In terms of Ted’s multiple night time wakenings, I was in the same boat with my four month old until a couple of weeks ago when I embarked on some sleep training. He was waking sometimes up to every hour at night to comfort nurse to sleep and I was knackered. I moved him from the Snuzpod to his own cot in his own room, and in combo with the sleep training it has made a huge difference – within a week he was only up twice a night and goes back to sleep by himself. Maybe with some white noise to keep Angelica asleep it could help you? I found this site had good tips. http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2012/12/sleep-by-age-index.html

    By the way, since my baby was born the Uphill has been a lifeline of good humour about the trials and wonder of motherhood. Thank you so much for sharing! x

  17. Alison
    September 26, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Oh Ruth. I really feel for you. I felt terribly guilty when I stopped breastfeeding. I heard breastfeeding was hard but as my friends were able to do it, I just assumed I would be the same.

    When I decided to start giving my baby formula milk, I didn’t have a clue on how to sterilise or make the bottles up! I felt really guilty at first and questioned my decision – was I doing the right thing???

    My baby is now 6 months old and is happy. My husband has been able to help with the feeds which has helped me get some sleep.

    The things I have found helpful with sterilising and making up bottles are:-

    1) Milton cold steriliser (if not using a microwave) -you can buy the big container. Put one tablet and fill it with cold water and bobs your uncle. It keeps the bottles etc sterilised for up to 24 hours.

    2) ready made up aptamil bottles. It is more expensive than powder but it makes life easy and the small bottles are great to take when you are out and about.

    3) Tommy tippee prep machine is good if you are making up bottles with powder milk. Quick and easy.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself – whatever you decide to do just remember that you are doing an amazing job 🙂

  18. Mette from Denmark
    September 26, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    I have very simular issues and thoughts as you describe. Speedy and frequent feedings. NOT interested in eating in the day, so wakes up every two hours in the night. I am SO tired. But I am also very conflicted bevares I actually love to breastfeed him… well just not every Night all the time I like to know that I give him the Best nutrition But I also Think that breastfeeding is more than that. I also Think it as a way for me to Bond with my baby and give him security. On the other hand – I reaktion reaktion need my Sleep soon (which isnt guranteed no matter what) I have tried to give him a bottle of my milk but he reject it immedeatly. Same if my boyfriend try. So for now breast is best.. But please update on what you do and how!

  19. Goga
    September 26, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Started feeding ( Nestle or Hipp or other brand) good night cereals at night and cereals with fruit during the day or mashed banana. He devoured it. I started that from 6 months on and just increased those meals as his hunger grew. Good luck…and listen to your needs. I was mentally preparing 1 month to wean him and he just stopped all by himself. As if by magic! You are doing amazing….you have 2 little ones and a job. I applaud you!

  20. Mette from Denmark
    September 26, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    BTW I only have a baby AND I’m on maternty leave. I dont know have you do it with the wake ups plus a toddler and work to do. You’re doing amazing!

  21. Lucy
    September 26, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    I hope getting all that off your chest helped a bit. Parenting is hard, hard work, every decision seems to be so important. A happy mummy is a happy baby. That homily used to get on my wick but it’s true. I weaned my youngest onto formula at about 8 months as the lack of sleep was killing me. We had the two hourly wake ups and the “boob was just the easiest way for everyone to be asleep” situation. Dom protested strongly but a few days of fighting the bottle he took one and it was done. He was eating well so only needed 3 or 4 bottles a day. Moving to formula did absolutely nothing to help the sleep situation, he’s just never slept well. Even now, at 6, he is not the greatest sleeper. It’s just how he is. Bottles were a pain in the butt versus breast feeding but because it’s a more structured method of feeding I could plan it. I did the boil the kettle, add the powder then cool the bottle palaver. Put the bottles in the steriliser at night all ready to go again the next day. I also got friendly with the ready made cartons for out and about, expensive way of doing but needs must.

    You’ve had, and still have a lot on your plate. I imagine loosing your nanny has been a nightmare for being able to work and take the pressure off. Do what you need to do to get through. Kids adapt and Ted will be fine and of switching helps you get more sleep, the whole family will benefit. I wish you the best of luck. I’m expecting no. 3 and now, with just 5 weeks to go, some of the memories we shut away (or we’d never have more than 1 child) are resurfacing. It may be me wiring something like this very soon.

  22. Kim Finley
    September 26, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Breastfeeding can be tough on mum – it was on me. I stayed the course with my first for 5 months and when we switched my colicky daughter was actually much better. My son breastfed for 3 weeks until I couldn’t take having him 22/7 on my boob. Formula from a bottle seemed to be a good thing to supplement breast with and bother mother and child thrived. Or he thrived, I was slightly less haggard and much less crabby. So my feeling is, despite the (nonsense) pressure to nurse a baby until they leave for uni, do what is best for you.

  23. Jo
    September 26, 2017 / 9:59 pm

    Breastfeeding is the most insanely emotional thing, I had my first baby in January and initially loathed every minute of it to the point where I dreaded each two hourly feed. Once I got the hang of it I loved it and didn’t want it to end. I ended up weaning him at 7 months because I needed to go to a funeral without him and after (many, many) experiments found that he wouldn’t take breastmilk out of a bottle only formula. Once he’d had a few bottles of the good stuff he lost interest in the boobs! I found Hipp milk worked instantly with him, although it is harder to find. Also, the Tomee Tipee Perfect Prep machine is excellent and so much less of a faff, especially first thing when he won’t wait for his first bottle xx

  24. Camille
    September 26, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    Breastfeeding mama here as well, and also plodding through 2hourly feeds at the moment. Had baby number 3 6 weeks ago via emergency c section. Had problems early on with latching, nipples were so sore and cracked and bleeding (sorry tmi). Then had a bout of mastitis 2 weeks ago complete with fever and chills, the works and has just finished a course of antibiotics yesterday. Now dreading the biting and clamping down on the boob once he gets his teeth. But I am too emotionally attached to quit breastfeeding. This is our last baby, and I’m feeling too guilty not breastfeeding him as I breastfed my other two kids (both breastfed til they were 3yo, while working full time as a nurse). Thinking of starting to give him expressed breastmilk for him to get used to the bottle, but I just don’t have the heart to do it yet, and also dreading all the work involved with bottlefeeding.
    But yeah, do whatever you think is best for you and family. You’re doing extremely well, with a toddler and a baby after having a c section, then moving house and all. I can only imagine how tired you are. Sorry getting a bit rambly, i am blaming lack of sleep. Good luck and hugs to you. Xx

  25. Molly
    September 26, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    Wow this spoke to me. I am still breastfeeding my second (11m) but I am counting down the days until we finish. It has been so different from my first. He has always been distracted and hard to get a full feeding in unless it’s silent and dark and he also nursed around the clock. And then started biting. The biting was so bad I would wake up and see blood all over the sheets and both of our pajamas. And he wouldn’t take a bottle. So I was pumping and nursing and bottle feeding and crying all the time. And I was going to give up. And went and bought formula and he wouldn’t take it. So i felt trapped. And spent a full month crying and fearful every time he latched knowing that he would bite about half the time. And my nipples just couldn’t heal. And then it got better. Not sure when or what changed but he stopped biting so much. It still happens but not often.

    And I was reminded by a friend that I needed to encourage him to get on. Nursing schedule. Only before naps and bed and in the am (I didn’t worry and jsut fed him at night) and o think that helped. He started eating more food. And it seemed like he fed for longer and was more satisfied when he knew there was a routine and. Schedule. and night have also started to improve. Thank goodness.

  26. September 26, 2017 / 11:04 pm

    I breastfed until 16 months and naturally tapered off. I returned to work at 3 months (I am in America, the land of minimal maternity benefits) so my son drank expressed milk during work hours until 12 months and then we transitioned to cows milk. It made me nervous that my supply would not last until 12 and I was always exhausted from working 9+ hours a day and then going home to be a mom for the evening and night. To get sleep and keep my supply up I let my son join my husband and I in bed when he woke up in the middle of the night. From that point until we all woke up, it was a free for all buffet for him. I know it is frowned upon to bed share, but all of us slept much better and that was worth everything! He started in his crib first, so my husband and I still had our evenings together. Whatever you decide have faith it will be what is best for all!

  27. Karen
    September 27, 2017 / 12:02 am

    I have 11 month old twins and my
    Milk has just slowly reduced. I breastfeed them in the morning, as I think I would get screaming if I didn’t, it’s been our routine from the get go and it is a lovely way to start the day.
    I also will lfeed at night because as you say, it’s easier than having everyone awake and crying. If the second twin wakes and wants feeding…it’s a lot more difficult to tandem feed now they are bigger.
    They generally have couple of formula bottles in the day. They have had that since they were a few weeks old as I was exhausted trying to keep up with every feed exclusively breastfeeding. Luckily they took to a bottle with no problems. They have Holle formula
    I think you are right to do what is best for you and your family.
    I have felt sad at the reduction of breastfeeding, but it’s lovely to be able to go out and not be tied to what my boobs are doing! (Double milk supply meant VERY full boobs after a short time!)

  28. Meg
    September 27, 2017 / 1:07 am

    If you do decide to move to a bottle then the perfect prep machine will become your best friend – it makes the perfect bottle in no time at all and has been a real life saver for us! We combo feed due to supply issues but luckily my little boy will happily take both bottle and breast with no problems. I have heard good things about about the Minbie bottles for babies that refuse a bottle as the sucking action is meant to be the same as if they were on the breast. As for sterilising without a microwave you could go for a cold water one which would work with Milton or an electric plug in one?

  29. Jo
    September 27, 2017 / 3:32 am

    You’ve done so well, and I think whatever you end up deciding to do will be the best decision for you and Ted. I fed my first baby for 16 months and my second for 9 months. I did feel a bit guilty at the time that the second one didn’t get the same amount of time as the first – but to put things in perspective they are now 13 and 10 years old and the length of time I breastfed each of them hasn’t entered my thoughts in years. There are many different challenges and stages ahead, so go easy on yourself and please don’t ever feel like making your physical and emotional health shouldn’t be a priority.

  30. September 27, 2017 / 6:08 am

    I had difficulties feeding both my kids, not enough milk and they wouldn´t grow properly, so both got additional formula early on (my daughter with eleven weeks, my son with seven weeks). I always felt like a failure for not being able to feed them properly (seriously, I thought about: What if WW3 starts and there will be no more formula, are they going to starve? and it freaked me out… Hormones!) Taking the bottle was never a Problem.
    But both started solids early, at around 4 months and soon after refused to be breastfed. They´d take the bottle, but no longer my boob, and I was, in a way relieved to stop at around six months. Both are perfectly fine, happy and healthy right now.
    I did beat myself up about when to stop, but after I made the decision, I felt like a heavy weight was lifted from my shoulders and honestly I should probably have stopped even earlier for everyones sake.

  31. Ali
    September 27, 2017 / 6:11 am

    You have done SO well to feed for so long and you must not feel guilty. Your children need you in a fit and healthy state and no one can cope with eight months of infrequent sleep. My baby has been fed from a bottle since two months and I promise she still loves a cuddle. It won’t make him love you any less I promise. I was so upset when I realised that I couldn’t fulfill her from just breastmilk abd fried about it afterwards for weeks. But looking back now I 100% know it was the right thing to do. The only thing I do wonder for Ted….does he need his milk in a bottle at all or could he just have it in a beaker now? I know that a friend who stopped at 8 months had the same difficulty…sob just point blank refused a bottle so she moved on to a free flow tippee cup. I think it helped with some of the ‘parting guilt’ too as she didn’t have to look at a rejected bottle knowing that he wished it was her boob instead. Good luck and try not to feel guilty (although naturally you will). Xx

    • Ali
      September 27, 2017 / 6:14 am

      Ps sorry about typos! Also HIPP organic is a such a lovely formula. We got on with it a lot better than aptamil.

  32. Sue
    September 27, 2017 / 7:19 am

    Well done on feeding Ted for 7 months Ruth! Is there La Leche League Group in your area, maybe give them a call or go to a meeting so see if they can offer any helpful advice. They usually have lots of nice cakes and things too! If you do decide weaning is best they can guide you through that process to help avoid mastitis etc. Best of luck with whatever you decide x

  33. Esme
    September 27, 2017 / 7:20 am

    Ah yes, the bf guilt. I still have it – fed my son for 5 months (constant pain and feeds for hours) and my daughter for 6. After a night of absolutely no sleep my mum had to sit me down and say continuing was a bad idea because he would be absolutely fine but I wasn’t functioning. And I still feel like I failed. Can you see how ridiculous us overachievers make it for ourselves?
    Is bf best? Probably (although in the UK with clean water and sterilisation I’m still not convinced). But at Ted’s age he’s had so much goodness from you and formula will be absolutely fine. In fact, it will give him more iron!
    Sterilising-wise – Tommy tippee electric steriliser. Takes 10 minutes. When they’re done put the formula in and boiling water. (My husband used electric scales because he’s a chemist but it does help.) Cool on the side and put in the fridge. What you’re aiming for is a sterile bottle and to kill anything in the formula powder. Done. Good luck x

  34. Kirsty
    September 27, 2017 / 7:23 am

    We have sterilising tablets that we put in a bowl of measured water to sterilise. You can knock up bottles of hot water and have them premade for the day and individual pots of formula ready to tip into them, heat in the microwave or a bowl of hot water (the latter is slower). Have you tried gently syringing in you milk? You can get the bags for breastfeeding and have them in 4-6oz pouches if your able to ready to warm up and go. This can help breastfed babies adjust to the feel of plastic if they don’t like it, we did this for a few weeks and now the little money takes bottles no problem. I cant say what you can do with your own sadness, but your not ‘failing, giving up or being defeated’, you’ve breastfed for an amazing amount of time and if you think now it’s just massively impacting your and your families lives in a negative way then it may be time to stop for you. It may be lovely for your husband to do some feeds as well as other family members. Just do what’s right for you guys, if you’d just like to do that morning feed where he’s all cuddly and comforting then do it. Follow the rhythm of your own family and don’t buy into the breastfeeding and guilt associated with it xxx

  35. September 27, 2017 / 7:36 am

    Hi,
    Sending you a big BIG virtual hug. Motherhood is so tough at times. Moving as well!!!! No wonder you are feeling a bit low. Be kind to yourself, you are far too hard on yourself. (Lower your expectations- I’ve got 2 about the same age as yours, girl born June 15 (whatever age that makes her!) and boy 7 months and most days I’m just happy if we are all happy and fed)
    Ps my daughter loves ice cream especially mini magnums and I have to tell her they aren’t a meal!!

  36. Vicky Kelly
    September 27, 2017 / 7:36 am

    You definitely need a Perfect Prep machine, life changing! I only discovered it with child number 3. Also when we go away I buy a milton tablet and just put half in a bowl of water and put the bottles in there after washing until they were needed. “Giving up” is emotionally really hard, but once you have done it you will feel a huge weight lift and ultimately your time with Angelica and Ted will be better as you won’t be so tired x

  37. Cora Baugh
    September 27, 2017 / 7:51 am

    Gosh I know exactly how you feel, we’re 8 months in and still on #bottlegate which is where we’ve been since Arabella was 10weeks old…basically she’s never ever taken a bottle of expressed milk, which has meant we’ve been glued to eachother for months. Like you, it all seems fine when here 8weeks old & you couldn’t even dream of leaving your little love but when they get to 8 months & you can’t even nip to Tesco without it being a preplanned military operation it does start to wear abit thin. Basically I have no advice as to getting Ted to take a bottle, just emphathy BUT Arabella has always been an awful sleeper, (waking every hour during the night & no naps day) we have had some dramatic changes there in the last month (thank god because if not I would be dead by now from exhaustion)
    1. Food, once she started having 3 proper meals a day she was obviously a lot more full therefore didn’t seem to need the endless amounts of bf
    2. Routine, I always fed on demand, as you do a bf baby but when she started having 3 meals I was able to get in to a strict bf routine, morning feed then food, mid morning feed, lunch, mid afternoon feed, dinner & finally bedtime feed. I’ve stuck to that pattern so when she whinging for a feed at 3:50pm but dinner is in 10mins I just refuse, distract her & make sure she fills up on some proper food instead
    3. Moving her to her own room & her own cot. Gosh that made the world of difference, I hadn’t realised how much I was disturbing her, every movement or whimper from her she was straight on the boob- she didn’t need that even though at the time I was convinced that she down& would scream the house down should I not instantly feed her.

    I know this doesn’t solve all your problems but it will help with the sleep, we’ve gone from waking 8 times a night to once or twice a bad night & I feel like a different women because of it. It is IMPOSSIBLE to function when you’re that sleep deprived. But the long and short is you’re right, fed is best, bf is hard work & to make it to 7 months is pretty amazing, only 1% of women in the uk exclusively bf for 6 months! If you’re not completely ready to give up just slow down, perhaps just do the morning & the bedtime feed & the rest be a bottle, we all put way too much pressure on ourselves & really it’s just ridiculous, sometimes I look at my little girl & think you’re never really gona appreciate all of this until you bf your own child so I’m not sure why I’m even bothering putting in all this effort and Teds a boy, he’ll never fully appreciate it! Haha.

    Hope you’re feeling abit better soon & get a decent nights sleep! Much love x

  38. September 27, 2017 / 7:54 am

    Ruth you’ve breastfed for 7 months, you have totally completed the task! I fed for 9, but the last couple were more for my benefit (easy settling in the night and because I loved it) than hers I think. The real problem is the night waking. Stopping feeding will force you to sort it out. I did controlled crying in the end and wish I’d done it sooner. One week of pain for a lifetime of peace. (Sort of. Until they forget and you have to do it again.) The difference a decent night’s sleep makes. The bursting into tears will stop. Don’t be sad, you are amazing, just knackered. Xx

  39. Jennifer Sutherland
    September 27, 2017 / 8:06 am

    I echo the recommendations for Hipp formula. We stopped feeding at 4 months but that was 4 months of agony tears and stress. We started with tongue tie that wasn’t fixed until 6 weeks old. By then the bad habit (both of us were formed). Add in my period returning 3 months PP and it was a losing game. In hindsight I wish I had stopped sooner but it doesn’t work like that does it. I regret the days and night of tears and arguments because I was doing everything I could to keep going but everything else was trying to tell me our time was up. Hardest thing I have ever done. The most beautiful I have ever done. Took me a while to get over it and even now I reflect on what I could have done better (she’s nearly 2). You will get their and you will do it in your own time but as someone else said I think you already know what to do STOP now for your own sake xxxxxx

  40. Annika
    September 27, 2017 / 8:22 am

    Someone said it right already here..you make a choice, you do not give up. You are such a wonderful person and quite a strong one I think! When I was pregnant I was pretty sure I can’t breastdeed, I won’t have enough milk etc..So I decided to buy this Philips Avent machine you can warm up the milk easily (programmed to easily warm up room temperature milk or cold as well), I’m quite sure you can also disinfect the bottles in that very same device. Well, I didn’t end up buying it because my milk production is up there…My boy is now ten months and I would love to stop breastfeeding but he won’t take the bottle, he never has..So I just keep going even though I’m going back to work in two weeks and my baby is going to day care. We’ve actually made him porridge, am and pm, with substitute milk and he loves it! That way I can feed him with extra 2dl a day without breastfeeding..Yay! And good luck, whatever you end up doing! Hugs from Finland!

  41. Sarah
    September 27, 2017 / 8:51 am

    My baby boy (first child) was exactly the same. Only very short feeds and lots of night waking. It got much better when he started having more solid foods and wasn’t so hungry at night I think. We tried giving a bit bottle of formula before bed but that didn’t seem to work and made my production decrease I think. I decided that waking up to do formula in the night was more hassle than breast feeding. Night waking stopped at about 10-11 months for us.

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      I think that the whole “formula to sleep through” must be partly a myth! It only seems to work in a few cases. x

  42. D
    September 27, 2017 / 8:57 am

    Oh Ruth, I think lots of mums feel the way you do, me included. Breastfeeding is so emotional!

    My story is waaay to long to write down here. But what made an huge diffence for us was having a Routine and not to breastfeed my Baby to Sleep. Create a Sleep Routine that works for you and try to put your Baby down awake. At first I just held him while he cryed in Frustration, after a short while he fell asleep and I put him down. It took a week. Then i put him down awake and held his hand while singing a lullaby. Few days later just a lullaby and now just a hug and a kiss. 6 weeks ago he woke up every hour. Now he sleeps 12 hours and wakes once to breastfeed (he is 6month old).

    Every Baby is different and there are sooo many (right) ways. This worked for us, maybe it workes for little Ted to.

    Anyway, You are doing a great job as a mum, woman and wife! Sooo much respect for chasing your dream to find your dream house. You are one of a kind!!!

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Yes we SO need a routine – at the moment, the only routine is bed at 7!! xx

      • Hayley
        September 28, 2017 / 2:02 pm

        I have a little girl 19 months and a 3 yr old boy similar age gap as yours (20 months) – SO hard, what on earth were we thinking?! 🙂
        I fed my oldest to 3 months, he preferred the bottle after I mistakenly combi fed and unknowingly reduced my supply, first baby, we learn.
        second baby fed to 6 months, did feel relieved to have stopped, she probably would have carried on, but ate solids well and took to a bottle with perseverance during the early months.
        One was bottle fed at night and one breast fed, didn’t make any difference to their sleep, but staying strong and instilling a routine did help them sleep through, not giving in to their cries, and (dare I mention the words) controlled crying, I’m sure my friends think im a mean mum, and I had all the mum guilt doing it…. but they sleep! and I get asked, “How do yours sleep though?”
        And don’t fret about waking Angelica, I bet she wont wake, my two share a room now and rarely wake each other, and we have moved onto bed wetting and night terrors.
        Give yourself (and your boobs) a break. Make a bottle, leave Mr AMR with it – and go out, no chance to for you to give in then! x x x

  43. Lucy
    September 27, 2017 / 8:57 am

    I had a similar experience with my little girl. I was so keen to breastfeed and had to overcome various difficulties in the beginning so when it started working well (around 8 weeks) I was ecstatic. Until baby decided she wouldn’t take a bottle under any circumstances (EBM or formula) meaning that I could never leave her or more than an hour or so! She was also a ‘little and often’ feeder and, like Ted, from abut 4 months would get so distracted that feeding in public became almost impossible. It also made her really clingy to me and she would often want to feed for comfort at bedtime and during the night.

    By about 5.5 months I was getting really frustrated with the whole thing as I couldn’t get her into a consistent routine, and I could tell that was affecting her sleep. So I gradually started to wean onto a bottle, starting with one per day. I did a mid afternoon bottle feed and, crucially, if she wouldn’t take it I didn’t give her a breastfeed (I should say she was on some solids by then so she wasn’t ever ravenous). After a week or so she got used to the bottle and after a few more weeks I switched the mid morning feed for a bottle. She then dropped her lunchtime breastfeed so we were just breastfeeding first thing in the morning and at bedtime, with an occasional night time feed too if she woke up in the night and wouldn’t settle without it (but that became less frequent as we increased her solids.

    Although I knew this was all for the best (for her and me), I was still really sad about dropping the breastfeeds. I think it’s always going to be emotional as you see your little one becoming more independent from you. We were all done by 7.5 months and honestly can say it was for the best! Now, at 10 months, she’s happy and healthy and holding her own bottles!

    Good luck xx

    PS definitely get the perfect prep machine, it’s a life saver. We also have a tommee tippee electric steriliser which can hold about 6 bottles.

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      So many votes for the prep machine! Think I’m going to have to review it.. x

      • Bea
        October 1, 2017 / 10:14 pm

        Hi Ruth

        I am 25 weeks pregnant with my first but have been spending plenty of time with my sister-in-law and her 7 month old boy recently. If you don’t want to have to buy another machine/gadget, you could try her method of taking a flask of hot boiled water and a flask of cooled boiled water upstairs with you at night, alongside a bottle ready with powder formula in it. Mix when needed – seems fairly straightforward, although maybe in a year’s time I won’t think so!
        Good luck with this. Love both of your blogs!

        Bea x

      • Flo
        October 2, 2017 / 11:55 pm

        Ysis Lorenna Has a blog (I think she YouTube’s more now as there’s aren’t many recent posts) but she has some old posts on the machine she has two babies under two as well.

        It would be cool if like a Nespresso you could just put a non plastic pod in and get some perfect temp mixed baby milk. Or even if there was no pod but there was a section that you could pour the whole tin of formula in and it dispensed the correct powder as well as water into the bottle.

        Avent bottle steamer is good for sterilisation – no faff with chemicals.

  44. Julie
    September 27, 2017 / 9:03 am

    I stopped breastfeeding last month-baby was 6 months
    It got to the night before and I had been up every two hours and I thought I am done! I had a 6 month goal in mind-like you I have a toddler and was shattered -baby has had the best part and was starting to use me to comfort/south which I didn’t want to become a habit -there is no right or wrong and don’t feel guilty about your decision, do what works for you and your baby -Happy Mummy, Happy Baby x

  45. Adela
    September 27, 2017 / 9:06 am

    From a bottle mama: you do not need to sterilize bottles all the time, only once a day (or every other day as my midwife suggested) (I put everything in a pot and boil them in water) and you can use up milk that was left in the bottle! On the packaging it is said that you have to pour it away but it is only for babies that are in hospital (according to my midwife). I put the bottle in the refrigerator and that was it. Best luck!

  46. Charlotte
    September 27, 2017 / 10:02 am

    I think 6-9 months is an exhausting age, regardless of how you’re feeding. The emergence of teeth and awareness of the world, combined with babies’ limited mobility at this age is frustrating for them. In a short time he’ll probably be consuming solid food and his reliance on milk will seem less intense. And when he’s crawling/walking he may tire himself out more. Have you come across the Wonder Weeks book? Useful insight into what’s going on at each stage (sometimes developmental leaps explain poor sleep). This too shall pass! And in the meantime be kind to yourself x

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      I have the app, but it’s quite limited! Maybe I’ll get the book! x

    • Claire L
      September 28, 2017 / 8:28 pm

      I second the book, really helped me understand what my baby was doing at each leap and why and how to help my baby through each leap. I had the app too but yes the book is deffo worth reading!

  47. Grace Pass
    September 27, 2017 / 10:11 am

    I stopped breastfeeding my first for the same reason as you, because I was pregnant with my second and too tired! Now I’m breastfeeding the second and starting to have very similar thoughts (our kids are quite similar in age actually, my daughter will be two in November and my son will be 6 months this Saturday. Secretly I copied you).

    I had to feed him every hour last night which is bad even for him. Every time he wakes I hear this little murmur from my daughters room so it’s quick shove a boob in his face! Although I probably would anyway…

    My hesitation to stop breastfeeding though are 1. He’ll probably wake up just as often. 2. Even if I share the night feeds with my other half I’ll probably be awake for them all anyway out of habit/he’ll need kicking in the shins to actually get up anyway. 3. If I share night feeds with my other half I’ll have to listen to him moan about how tired he is all the time which might be more annoying than just being extra tired. 4. I resent my baby a bit for waking up so bloody much and making me tired, that if I stopped feeding him and lost that bond I’m worried I might not like him very much anymore? I mean I’ll love him, but I won’t like him. Probably one of those things you aren’t meant to say but fuck it.

    Oh and we have a perfect prep machine which is great, but my son has drunk a grand total of 3 ounces of milk from a bottle in his 6 months of life so it’s pretty obsolete at the moment.

    Sorry I’ve offered literally no advice but just moaned a lot.

    • Grace Pass
      September 27, 2017 / 10:15 am

      Oh I have advice! For the carting babies about, get a sling. Get buckles because they’re easy, my personal fave is a Tula. Then you can pretty much forget they’re even there when you’re wandering around.

      Only problem is taking cabs because you wouldn’t have a car seat. I think legally you wouldn’t need one in a black cab? But I mean safety wise it’s probably not ideal. But trains and tubes it’s like travelling without a baby.

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      Hahaha!!!!! I love that so many of us have the same problems! x

  48. Alicka
    September 27, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Hello, I hope you get to read this. I am not able to write as soon as others as my time is driven by my own set of rascals. As you know (i think you remember me) I am in a very similar situation. With 19months old toddler and 3 months old breastfed baby, in a “new” house we moved into when I was 7 months pregant and it needs serious works done. I dont feel properly settled in this house as we live out of boxes partly.
    Having two so closely together is hard at the best of time. Some days just suck from morning to night. There are always nice moments but…. Older one needs a lot of TLC and its own routine (or hell breaks loose) younger needing mum almost 24/7. Unless you clone yourself it is hard to give everything to both.
    I stopped breastfeeding Eliot when I was about 8 weeks pregnant and he was about 9 months old. I felt sad but it was the right choice and I observed that he actually enjoyed the independence it gave him. I was also able to let him stay with gran which was so helpful at the time.

    I am hoping to breastfeed Bertie for a year, not because breast is best but out of convenience. But I also find it somewhat harder this time around. I have not had any issues or problems but it is more business like than bonding time. Also having to run around with baby attached to boob while E tries to take on the bookshelves or falls of the sofa is not fun.

    The biting is easy to stop really. He can only bite when he has stopped feeding or has taken a break. His tong would be in the way if he was actually feeding and sucking milk. If you break the latch as soon as his latch changes he cannot bite… I find it feels ticklish when the latch changes.

    No one can really help you decide when it is the best time. I felt bad stopping at 9 months but E loved going to the bottle.
    I know personally I could not express long term, the odd bottle yes but that is it. For some reason I pumped every morning with E and built up supply of 20!!!! Pints of milk in my freezer. It took up one entire drawer. We never used it and I never want to see a medela ever again 🙂
    Sometimes it is hard to get them to take a bottle if they have not been used to it from the start. At his “age” you can try beaker instead. I would think he hates the silicone in his mouth.
    I expect you are having very similar down week/month like me. You have just moved, have two babies – dont bee to hard on yourself. You always are and you work way too hard too. I dont plan on going to full time work until 2020 I have done zero work and I am still sooooo tired.

    I hope you will be able to soak up some Autumn and preChristmas spirit Bath has on offer.

    My only advise would be to get out once a day or twice if you can.
    I was going to mention sleep training but that is something for you to want and not for it to be offered or suggested. I am seriously considering it as I feel like death half the time and if baby slept tiny bit better I could be a better mum.

    Remember that you are an inspiration to me and many women and I would honestly choose you out of the world to share magnum&coke with and have a little chat. And perhaps let the rascals play

    Apologies for any typos, I am writing this on the landing while both are taking a nap(miracle I know) and I can barely keep my eyes open. I might fall a sleep here myself as there is nowhere for me to go as they are taking up both of the bedrooms and the staircase would wake up at least one of them if I tried…
    I dont have enough will in me to proofread either
    Alicka x

    P.s. by one of those Nespresso baby milk machines if you switch to bottle

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Thank you, I loved reading this! That’s great advice about breaking the latch, I didn’t think of that. I am chuckling away at the 20 pints of milk scenario, you are a constant bright light in my online world,I always think we seem to be in the same crazy situations at the same time!
      xx

  49. Marie
    September 27, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Ruth you have done great, seven months, that’s amazing. I beat myself up when I stopped with my first. Second time around, I decided not to put such heavy expectations on myself and when I stopped, I was a bit sad but I knew that the most important thing is that mum needs to be healthy and happy and her needs need to be put first too.
    Use ready made formula at night if you want the convenience. Don’t spend a fortune on a prep machine. Boil some water and cool it, put it in fridge. When you want to make a bottle, boil the kettle, put half hot boiled water in the bottle, add the formula and add the remaining half of cool water and the temperature will be just right.
    You can get steam sterilisers and they double up as a humidifier if your baby is full of a cold, bargain!

  50. Helen
    September 27, 2017 / 10:50 am

    If tiredness is a big part of the issue here, would you consider bed-sharing with Ted? I never figured out breastfeeding lying down with my first, but now my second often sleeps with me so when he wakes in the night all I have to do is whip a boob out – I don’t even have to sit up, never mind get out of bed, so I barely wake up! I find this way I get so much more sleep than if I had to get up and go into another room and find another way to soothe him (and then end up wide awake and taking a while to get back to sleep myself once baby settled).
    I also try not to look at the clock or count how many times he wakes up as that always makes me feel far worse.

    Another thing to remember is that even if Ted struggles with a bottle now, he’s going to be gradually having more and more solids, so hopefully before long that will help him last longer without you in the day, and you could try milk in sippy cups too.

    Oh, and if you do decide to stop, make sure you do it gradually to give your boobs time to adjust so you’re less likely to get mastitis.

    Good luck with whatever you decide xxx

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:48 pm

      Thanks Helen. I have been bed-sharing with him a little bit and we do get more sleep that way! x

  51. Michelle
    September 27, 2017 / 11:48 am

    Aww Ruth, you are doing so well. The exhaustion is an absolute killer and if you need to stop you should. I could have written a very similar post a few months back. I was so exhausted feeding my second every hour or two throughout the night but kept telling myself it would hopefully sort itself out. But it didn’t and at 11 months the lack of sleep had really taken its toll on my mental and physical health. I think I persisted so long as I fed my first until 13months and wanted to do the same again. But I couldn’t take the lack of sleep anymore. As my son had refused a bottle time and time again I had to stop feeding to sleep, and the night feeds, cold turkey. We had a few difficult nights but things really improved after that and then I gradually dropped the day feeds, stopping just after he turned 1. I do think I should have done something sooner as I was so exhausted and although I felt sad when I finally stopped, it is great now I have my body back and have more freedom. Don’t feel bad whatever you decide, it’s so important to be a happy and healthy mum.

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:47 pm

      Yeah that’s what I worry about – no light at the end of the tunnel! If I knew it was just for a finite amount of time I think I could just about do it… x

  52. September 27, 2017 / 11:50 am

    I stopped around 10 months I think with my first and 11.5 months with my second. I had low supply from the start, never made more than 15oz a day so I had to do formula from the get go. As they got older, they were so distracted and I think honestly fed up with my measly flow/quantity so they nursed less and not well so my supply just slowly fell off until I was trying to still get them to take my 2oz a day and realized it was time to give up. I was a little sad and it did take my a while to give up completely, especially with the first because then I really thought I could make it a year (before I even knew you could potentially not make enough milk for your baby). I don’t think I ever properly sterilized bottles for my second but we washed them in the dishwasher. Which makes life so much easier if you have the option! Very much worth getting the little bottle basket contraptions for the bottle nipples that’s also handy for sippy cup/straw cup bits and pieces. I also had a biter that laughed with my second and quietly taking him off (easier said than done) was the only way to curb it. But we’d have to relearn that lesson many times. Not fun in the slightest. That said, I wasn’t working or traveling through any of this and it sounds like you have more than enough reasons to scale back/stop. Your health and sanity is a high priority too, so I hope you can find a solution that works for everyone!

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:46 pm

      Oh do think that maybe my supply isn’t great, actually. Thanks for commenting Nicole. x

  53. Charlotte
    September 27, 2017 / 11:54 am

    It’s hard to know what is best to do, but you must do what feels right & having an exhausted mother is not good for Ted or Angelica. I gave up breastfeeding at 6 months with my first because honestly I felt trapped by having to always be around to feed despite loving him to bits! With my second it was because I didn’t have the luxury of being able to sit around & feed all the time as you said yourself with a second there is so much less time!

    Whatever you do, you have 2 very happy & healthy children & more you cannot ask for. Don’t stress & do what is right for you all!
    x

  54. Mary
    September 27, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    Hi Ruth, I feel your pain! I breastfed my daughter until she was 7 months because I was returning to work and she
    had to go to a child minder (part-time), I was soo sad, emotional and hormonal, I kept up the night feed for me really, she wasnt bothered, she was happy to take a bottle because we had given the odd one before to get her used to it. I used Aptamil as it has long chain fatty acidssimilar to breast milk. I could not express, I would spend hours and get very little in return, just sore nips! Weirdly, this was the only time in my life I was so low that I rang the samaritans!! As soon as I gave up feeding full time my hormones got back to normal and I slept properly, thats just my experience, but please take care of yourself, baby will be fine whatever you do! . love to you all xxx

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:46 pm

      Thanks Mary – I used Aptimil with Angelica too, it seemed pretty good. So funny (strange not haha) about the lowness, sort of feeling the same way. Must be hormones as you say. x

  55. Lisa M
    September 27, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    You are an absolute LEGEND for making it this far with breastfeeding!! Truly. A bloody superstar! My two have the same age gap as yours, little one is 6 months and has been on nothing but formula since he was 4 months (eldest was bf for over 9 months). I just. could. not. Loved it first time around, but with a tornado toddler around it was just not enjoyable to anyone. The whole two-under-two business drained me of all energy and the breastfeeding was just wearing me into the ground. You need to look after yourself to keep everyone else happy. I’m a firm believer in the power of the boob, but felt completely liberated when we switched to formula. The prepping and washing are a detail. Do what you need to do for you and NO GUILT- you are an awesome mum and you have done so well coming this far. Good luck x

  56. Elaine
    September 27, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    I would agree with not stopping on a bad day. I think combination feeding sounds like a good plan for you. I am nursing my almost two year old and can fully relate. There have been times I had enough and wanted to stop and then there are the amazing moments when I am glad I didn’t. He’s my one and only though and I do wonder how people manage with a baby and toddler or more! It’s obviously a lot easier when there’s only one.
    I have heard loads about the TT Perfect Prep machine. Friends have used it and said it’s one of their hero products. There was some bad press about mould in them but I think that’s down to individual usage and cleaning of the machine.
    Ted will be filling up on solids over the next months and so hopefully he goes longer between feeds. You could try porridge before bed too or something filling and he might go longer stretches.
    Sending hugs. Sleep deprivation is a b**ch!

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      Thank you, I shall try the porridge! x

      • Hayley
        September 28, 2017 / 2:13 pm

        or a banana before bed is meant to be good too x x

  57. Stephanie Sneider
    September 27, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    I found breastfeeding hard work, not in a practical or physical way, but emotionally feeling at the behest of boobs and milk flow and feeding and like I had lost my identity otherwise. I tried for as long as I could bear it with both of mine (boys aged 3 years and 5 months now). There were moments each feed that I enjoyed, the snuggles and cuddles, tiny touches from tiny pudgy hands, those moments were bliss and I wanted to do it, to put the needs of my gorgeous boys first. Also I realised how lucky I was to be able to breast feed without any physical problems with latching etc.
    However the overwhelming feeling of dependency and loss grew and with both of mine I swapped on to formula from 4/5 months.
    I did also find that formula helped with the fated ‘sleeping through’. At least the first born eventually sleep for 4 hours straight (didn’t get much better than this till 1 year I’m afraid), but the baby has slept 7-12 hours a night (with one feed early hours) since 2 months, when I started introducing one bottle, the ‘sleep feed’ before I went to bed. Of course this is fairly regularly turned upside down with sleeping away from home, sniffles or colds in the household or just developmental shifts (who knows?!), but after one or two more disrupted nights, they are back again to their ‘normal’.
    It is such a personal choice and I do believe what feels right right and works is different for everyone.
    I did feel bad/guilty/selfish for swapping over, but so much happier in myself after doing it, and of course the relief after more than 4 hours is amazing, like you’ve only had half a brain and then it’s all switched on again!
    Good luck whatever you decide is right for you x

    • September 27, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      Yeah I’ve never been sure about the formula/sleeping through thing – they are all different, aren’t they? I’m just hoping for 4 hours soon – or even three! : )
      x

  58. Emma
    September 27, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    When we moved onto bottles, we bought a plug in steriliser. Not ideal as they’re a bit big but I liked it more than faffing about in the microwave. Once all the bottles were sterilised filled with them with boiling water and then left them to cool to room temperature. At night we’d bring up the room temperature bottle(s) with sterile water and one of those little pots with measured formula up to bed. Tipped that in, shook it up and ta da bottle. No faffing and everyone got to go to sleep quickly after. I used the tommee tippee ones that could hold enough formula for up to 8 oz.

    Do what’s best for you. Happy Mama, happy baby

  59. susan
    September 27, 2017 / 3:25 pm

    I haven’t read all the posts, so if this has already been suggested I apologize. Here’s my suggestion: wrap the bottle in t-shirt that you’ve worn so that it smells like you. See if that fools him.

  60. Barbara
    September 27, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    I have two daughters. I breastfed the first one ten months and stopped because she started to bite and my nipples were killing me but she slept through the night. My other daughter was breastfed for 15 months refused to take any bottles. I tried every nipple possible. I was exhausted and stopped. I felt sad, emotional, a little of a failure for not imposing a bottle sooner…be proud of yourself for all you have done. This a chapter of your life that is ending but you will have so many more rewarding, and fun-filled moments you will cherish with your children. The breast feeding will always be a pleasant memory you will keep for the rest of your life. Be proud of yourself, you have done so much!

  61. Maja
    September 27, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Sadly I have no advice for you but just wanted to commiserate. I am still breastfeeding my almost 2 year old. Didn’t plan on it all,in fact I thought I probably wouldn’t breastfeed at all because my mom didn’t but here we are. My boy wouldn’t take anything but the breast and because,like you,I found it very convenient I just kept going. I’ve been through it all,the biting,the constant sleepless nights,the utter exhaustion. In my case it did get slightly better as he became older but not significantly so (except for the biting,which has stopped completely). He still wakes up a lot&I haven’t slept throught the night since he was born. I have been reluctant to stop for emotional reasons (it IS great bonding and I felt like he still needed the comfort since he didn’t have anything else,like a pacifier) and now I have reached the point where I am simply too tired to stop. I’ve tried a couple of times but I just cannot deal with the (very persistant) crying. So perhaps I do have a piece of advice after all and it’s quit while Ted’s still a baby and not a very determined toddler,especially if you have someone to help you soothe him at night (I didn’t). Whatever you decide I wish you the best of luck! P.s. I love your blog,have been following it for a long time.

  62. Sk
    September 27, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    Oh My goodness, this is so me at the moment. We are trying to get her into a routine at six months. I say us but it’s just me, sat in a room in the dark from half six until ten, praying that when I put her down from her 50th feed she might actually go TO SLEEP!! Please please please go to sleep little one, especially when the bake off is on ha!!! Then I bang my head on the cot mobile “ding de ding” gahhhhhh!!!!
    My husband is supportive but his line is “you’re the only one that can feed her.” ARGHH. Especially at all hours of the night, especially now she’s in her own room.

    I’m on anti anxiety meds which is taking the edge off. Maybe also the doctor could help (GP not Dr Who har har)
    I think also anyone is your support network should get their arses over if they can. Very isolating being in a new place.
    You are an incredible mummy in a very tough situation doing an outstanding job.

    Every time I hit the rock bottom, you seem to have an article just for me.

    PS I blame you for wanting that deep relax oil, all of your fault!!! Bring on the Christmas presents!!!

    Whatever you do is the right thing
    Love
    Sarah and Rose

    Ps hope you get to read this

  63. Tarynkay
    September 27, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    Our first was completely bottle-fed with formula. Our second was completely breastfed. Here are my own non-scientific observations about all of that:

    1) My husband bonded much more quickly and easily with our bottle-fed son, since he was doing all of the feeds he was home for

    2) however, I did NOT feel more intensely or quickly bonded with our breastfed son

    3) We held our bottle-fed son for every single feeding. We actually got glass bottles so that we wouldn’t be tempted to just hand him the bottle. That might be crazy, I don’t know. We stopped giving him bottles at one year.

    4) They are both very bright and healthy and well attached. Neither has ever had an ear infection. Our bottle-fed son is nearly 6 now and is very verbal. Our breastfed son is nearly 2 and still nursing (3x/day) and is just starting to talk. I think he is pretty behind talking wise and we are looking into that.

    5) Interestingly to me, our bottle-fed son will eat most anything. Our breastfed son is much pickier.

    6) For night time bottle feeds, I would fill the bottles with water, then have the formula powder in a portioner next to the bed on the bedside table. When the baby needed fed, we would just dump the pre-measured formula into the bottle, put the cap back on, and shake it up. We never warmed a single bottle, just used room temperature tap water.

  64. Michelle Molyneux
    September 27, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    I have a 21 month little girl. I breastfed her till 14 months, I wished I stopped earlier, but I was stubborn. I times her in the first few months and she was feeding 18+ hours a day. She had terrible reflux, so would feed, puke, feed, puke all day. I was getting so down and ended up with post natal depression. My husband saved me by taking over the nights from about 7 months and gradually food replaced some of the milk sessions. By the end I was only feeding before bed. She never did take a bottle though, despite us buying 8 kinds. She would only take milk from one of the those cups with a straw. She is still using it now! Take care of yourself Ruth and that’s all Ted needs to be healthy and happy. My paediatric did say if they bite, you cuddle their nose against boob so they open their mouth for air!

  65. Hannah Heerey
    September 27, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Oh Ruth, I feel like I could have written this post! Except we are only 5 months in. I am fed up of waking every 1.5hrs all night long, fed up of being used as a human dummy, fed up of breastfeeding, but at the same time I don’t want to stop! It’s killing me though, am so so tired. I always thought to myself that you seemed so positive and upbeat about breastfeeding and the many many night wakings, so I felt encouraged to carry on. I’m gutted to know that you are finding it so hard too but at the same time it’s reassuring that I’m not just being weak and unable to cope. I have no idea what to do though, my little one completely refuses to take a bottle despite months of trying.

  66. Danielle
    September 27, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    You may think this is personal but Ruth have you been to a doctor or spoken to the HV about your mood? I’m not judging at all, I’m resonating. I think you need to talk to someone as for a while now I’ve suspected you may need some help, possibly anxiety but possibly Post natal depression.
    You absolutely need to help yourself first and if that means Ted goes on the bottle then go for it, seriously, you did so much with what you have achieved so far, if anyone judges you for giving up now they are a very sad uncaring creature.
    But please, talking as someone getting treatment for pregnancy and birth related PTSD, talk to someone, if only to rule it out. And it’s not a weakness to have this, it’s chemical. Good luck and sorry if I sound rude or harsh.

  67. Lynda
    September 27, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Hi Ruth! My baby is 10 months. We didn’t actually breastfeed for very long- 6 weeks. We never could get a latch. I was upset and almost embarrassed when I quit. It took me a while to get over that. Now I think- what was I embarrassed about? What some random on the internet would think? Who cares? My baby is flourishing and happy and fed. And sleeping the night a while. There’s good and bad with everything. When she’s hungry I have to prepare for it rather than have her food built into me. But my husband helps just as much and is a godsend to have those breaks. You do you. You know what’s best for you and your family and there is no shame. Continue if it’s what you want! If it’s not then that’s ok! Ted will be happy and healthy either way!

  68. Rebecca Wild
    September 27, 2017 / 6:49 pm

    Ruth, stop being so hard on yourself! I can feel your emotion and angst while reading this. You need to sleep, end of! You have done amazing breastfeeding for 7 months, especially after a section which is no easy thing! You’ve provided both your babies with the best possible start in life and you will be able to look back proudly in years to come. Wean him off slowly to get him used to it, try mixing formula and EBM together if it helps. Also look at ‘Minbie’ bottles available online. They are designed specifically to help babies make to breast to bottle transition. You’ve inspired many new mummies, myself included with your tips and recommendations, now it’s time to take some from your readers and make the change. Breastfeeding ‘pressure’ is horrid and as mums we are so hard on ourselves. You’ll be able to look after both babas better and enjoy them more when you are less exhausted. Rebecca xx

  69. Mo
    September 27, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    Ruth don’t be so hard on yourself. I hate all this talk of “failure”. You breastfed for 7 months! This is great! You need to look after yourself and a more rested, healthier mum is what’s best for EVERYONE, not just yourself.
    You are bloody fantastic. I have so much admiration for you as a mum and for your work.
    My daughter is the same age as Angelica and I can’t wean her. It’s ridiculous. I’m pregnant and I really want to stop but she cries and cries and she only wants it in the morning. The midwife asked me if I wanted to attend breastfeeding classes and I replied: “do you have any breastfeeding cessation classes?” And trust me, once they get beyond two everyone thinks you’re insane. You can’t win.
    So look after yourself.x

  70. Lindsey
    September 27, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    Ruth you are amazing. I am still breastfeeding my daughter at 8.5 months but not exclusively. I was pumping until she was 7 months old, but I decided to stop with all that and just breastfeed in the mornings and evenings. Obviously she eats solid food now too, but she’s moved onto formula when she needs milk feeds at daycare instead of expressed milk. I think we need to break this all or nothing mentality when it comes to these things. Breast is best, sure, but not at the cost of your own health and sanity. And don’t feel guilty (easier said than done I know), but perhaps cut back slowly so that you don’t get too engorged and you start getting used to the idea of giving it up on YOUR terms.

    Remember you are a wonderful mother, and what you do is above and beyond the call. Don’t feel guilty. Just don’t!

  71. Ginny Burley
    September 27, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    I stopped breastfeeding with my second at about 7 months. She was waking up screaming every hour and a half or so. Every single night. I thought she might be allergic to breast milk–a stupid belief from a stressed out, exhausted brain. Turns out that she had a breathing disorder that wasn’t diagnosed until she was nearly 3 years old. After surgery, she slept perfectly. I don’t think I’ve recovered from being sleep deprived for 3 years, sadly. My advice is to make sure Ted has no physical problems first, and then do what you need to do to preserve your health and sanity. You are a terrific mother, and you have two children and a husband, not just Ted to love and care for. Be kind and understanding of yourself please!

  72. Emily
    September 28, 2017 / 2:15 am

    Whatever you decide to do, it will be fine. The baby will be fine. You will be fine. You are a good mother.

    I’m with you on the convenience of putting baby on the breast vs. cleaning bottles, mixing up formula, and remembering to buy formula. I hate housework, so the less cleaning the better. But, as wonderful and rewarding as breastfeeding can be (there’s nothing quite like it), it puts a huge amount of pressure on you and it’s the most taxing/stressful when the baby needs you the most: growth spurts, teething, periods of emotional distress, etc. I used to wish I could just take a week off and hand them over to my husband or my mom. Of course, once you work so hard in the beginning to establish your supply, you hate to risk skipping feeds and losing your milk. And nursing a toddler 2-3 times a day is easier than a baby. But once you do finish for good, and your milk dries up, you feel so sad AND liberated…giddy, even. The joys of parenting.

    As for taking a bottle, have you tried giving him milk in a cup? Some babies skip bottles altogether, you know, just to keep things interesting. Also, have you tried dairy-free or goat milk based formula? Sometimes an aversion to formula can be caused by food sensitivities.

  73. Ellie
    September 28, 2017 / 2:48 am

    For quick bottles I use the tommy tippy perfect prep machine. Perfect temperature bottles in 2mins! It’s brilliant & the best baby gadget I have brought. You can get cold water sterilisers. Milton do one & you add the sterilising liquid or tablets. X

  74. Rebecca
    September 28, 2017 / 3:40 am

    Oh Ruth! I feel you 100%. I got the same point with the biting and I decided to introduce formula. I felt like I was giving up and cried the first few bottles. But, you know what, after a few days I felt so much weight off my shoulders and everyone slept better and was happier with the change. You have to take care of yourself first! You know you are doing the best for your kids no matter what! Hang in there

  75. Miss Kitty
    September 28, 2017 / 5:58 am

    I don’t have any kids of my own, so I’m not really in a position to offer any advice! But one thing I would ask about Ted’s night time waking – does Angelina actually wake up, or are you only worried she will? My mum had my youngest brother when us kids were a bit older, and she always went to him at the slightest squawk, scared that he would wake us up. As a result, he was waking up about 10 times a night. She eventually had to leave him to cry it out, and us kids never heard a thing 🙂 We were either sound sleepers or had gotten used to the noise, can’t say which for sure.

    The other thing I wanted to show you was this article I read a year ago. I never thought about the hormones raging around the end of breastfeeding, but I guess it makes sense! This is the link: http://www.elementsofstyleblog.com/2016/08/the-motherhood-thing-no-one-warned-me-about.html

  76. Sarah Amir
    September 28, 2017 / 8:37 am

    Hi Ruth,

    I haven’t read all the comments so don’t know if you’ve already had these suggestions (probably!). We do cold water sterilising with Milton tablets – you need to change the water/new tablet every 24 hours, and in the meantime clean bottles can sit in the fluid until you need them, and no rinsing or drying needed. We also use the Tommee tippee perfect prep machine for formula as it just takes 2 minutes to prepare a bottle of milk that way.

    I had to bottle feed for lots of reasons, and at a time when the thought of anything more faffy than the above was too much. Worked really well for us.

    Good luck!

    Sarah x

    • Sarah Amir
      September 28, 2017 / 8:43 am

      Haha. Just read that Ellie above suggested exactly the same things. I didn’t look too hard at the comments 🙂 x

  77. Sherry
    September 28, 2017 / 8:43 am

    Ruth – absolutely love your blog. Long time fan and first time poster. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You have done an amazing job. I have a baby girl who is a almost 9 months. I stopped breastfeeding a few weeks ago because 1) I was returning back to work and I have long unpredictable hours 2) the baby had two teeth and would bite 3) baby was loosing interest in breastfeeding. I breastfed exclusively for the first two months and then we added a bottle of formula or expressed milk in the evening. Around the end of July I gradually stopped breastfeeding as the baby had more meals and started settling in at nursery. I second what a lot of comments have already said and suggest reducing bf to a morning and evening feed. On the topic of bottles and formula we sterilise the old fashioned way (boiling). It works for us and we use a nice bamboo bottle drying rack that I got from Houzz. We use the ready made Aptamil formulas which I know can add up but I know my husband will never make formula via boiling water and powder and it’s easy (plus most of the time the little one is at nursery and they provide formula for the day feeds). The ready made formula is so easy. The baby normally does sleep through but in the off chance she is sick and wakes up it takes no time at all to prepare a bottle. This post really made me miss breastfeeding and all the cuddles and having the baby fall asleep at the boob. But I know all good things must come to an end and it was not the same relationship anymore (especially with the biting and wiggling).

  78. Aoife
    September 28, 2017 / 9:10 am

    Hi Ruth,

    I’m a first time mum to my 6 month old baby boy. I have been exclusively breast feeding and thoughts of ‘giving it up’ are also creeping in. I recently moved Country, to the Uk, and have been an emotional mess. Yes, this is partly due to moving house and Country but also down to my little fella waking every two hours. This takes it toll….I feel I’m constantly chasing my tail during the day and am easily irratated and over sensitive! I’ve recently dropped the before bedtime feed and my boyfriend gives our little guy a 7 oz bottle. We didnt see a massive difference the first few nights but things have started to settle. He wakes st 11 and around 4 and then 6.30/ 7. I’m also giving 3 2.5 oz ‘meals’ per day. I feel much more like me and have waaay more energy and motivation! Am now contemplating weaning him off the boob…..all good things must come to an end and think Mamas need some time too. However, as I’m writing this…..I’m welling up …..it’s such a rollercoaster!! Also thinking of buying Tomee Tipee bottle prep….looks great!

  79. Maggie Fan
    September 28, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Ok. I don’t normally comment but feel I needed to pitch in my support as well. It is absolutely completely unnecessary to feel guilty about doing what you need to do to stay as happy and relaxed as possible. Feeding your babe (especially by breast) is an emotionally exhausting endeavor. I live in Hong Kong where most moms have to go back to work after 2-3 months and few are able to express at work so onto the bottle they go so the fact that you’ve done 7 months is amazing to me. I’m a first time mom with a 3 month old and have sooo enjoyed and admired your blog so thanks for all you do already. But seriously, you will look back on this entry in 5 months time and wonder what all the fuss was about. Baby brain be a bitch. Don’t fall for those hidden mommy booby traps (ha! Booby trap! See what I did there!) designed to make you feel bad for trying to stay sane.

    Have you heard about one of those nespresso like milk machines? Babybrezza and babynes most popular ones I’ve seen here. They are pricey but might take the edge off those late night feeds if you can just press a button and voila, bottle ready. None of that water mixology and dubious wrist testing to deal with because at 3am you could give me 2nd degree burns and I wouldn’t notice im so tired. We had to supplement in the beginning with ours due to low milk supply and kept some sterilized bottles on hand as well. It’s a chore once a day but doesn’t take long and sits on counter waiting till you’re ready. However, yours are older now and probably fine with a swish in boiled water before adding formula. Also comotomo bottles are good. Have this lovely wide nipple base that makes it easier to latch on to. Has made it easier for me to give her expressed milk so I can get out of house every now and then without running into nipple confusion (although she ain’t no fool, she never gonna believe that silicone thing is moms boob. There’s no confusion there).

  80. Julia
    September 28, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Been there. Whatever you decide will best. If you’re still ambivalent, talk things through with an IBCLC certified lactation consultant – that helped my decision to continue breastfeeding and to eventually stop soooo much. Their training is extensive and they will support stopping as well as continuing.

  81. Jonns
    September 28, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    What about trying a sleep consultant? Sounds like your babe is waking after a sleep cycle (as we all do) and is using nursing to get back to sleep rather than waking due to hunger. If you address it now it could mean more rest and sanity for the whole family. If you can get him to drop those night feeds then maybe you don’t have to stop bf entirely if that’s what you really want… that being said I felt immeasurably better after stopping. I felt enormously guilty for stopping at 4.5 mo, yes, but I came to realize that bf was affecting my emotional health. I felt like myself again after stopping and I was able to focus on the joys of having a baby rather than the frustrations regarding my body. Best wishes!

  82. Aoife
    September 28, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    I’m a first time mum to my 6 month old baby boy. I have been exclusively breast feeding and thoughts of ‘giving it up’ are also creeping in. I recently moved Country, to the Uk, and have been an emotional mess. Yes, this is partly due to moving house and Country but also down to my little fella waking every two hours. This takes it toll….I feel I’m constantly chasing my tail during the day and am easily irratated and over sensitive! I’ve recently dropped the before bedtime feed and my boyfriend gives our little guy a 7 oz bottle. We didnt see a massive difference the first few nights but things have started to settle. He wakes st 11 and around 4 and then 6.30/ 7. I’m also giving 3 2.5 oz ‘meals’ per day. I feel much more like me and have waaay more energy and motivation! Am now contemplating weaning him off the boob…..all good things must come to an end and think Mamas need some time too. However, as I’m writing this…..I’m welling up …..it’s such a rollercoaster!! Also thinking of buying Tomee Tipee bottle prep….looks great

  83. Amelia B
    September 28, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    Hello Ruth,

    Thank you for your honesty, I’ll try and do the same. I stopped feeding abruptly at 4 months, unbeknown to me I had post natal depression, I’d struggled for months to maintain my weight but my son was a hungry lad and I couldn’t eat enough, I also had severe insomnia. However some kind, reassuring and firm words from a doctor assured me that my mental health and recovering physically was more important than continuing breastfeeding (plus I had a better choice of anti depressants).
    The abrupt stopping did lead to hilariously huge boobs for a few weeks but my son took really well to formula (Hipp Organic) and we’ve never looked back!

    All is well now and although I did feel quite sad about stopping it feels like a long time ago even though he is only just one!

    I cannot say enough how restorative getting some uninterrupted sleep is, moving to the bottle will help a little bit with this.

    AK

  84. Rhonda
    September 28, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Hi Ruth, my now 11 month old son hasn’t taken a bottle since he was 3 months…a real joy as you know/can imagine. I’m still breastfeeding him but he will take formula from a sippy cup (the nuby flip n flow) if I need to go out. Re formula, the only one he likes is the Hipp Organic milk. And I have to say, it’s pretty good! (I made sure to taste test all the formulas I gave to him ). I use the single, ready made cartons so it’s super easy, no mixing.

    Hope this helps a bit?! X

      • Rhonda
        September 30, 2017 / 5:24 pm

        Hope it works for Ted. It would be nice to be able to ‘give back’ to you – your blog has saved my sanity many a time! X

  85. JJ
    September 28, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Whatever you decide your doing an AMAZING job just remember that

  86. Vicky
    September 28, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    My breastfeeding was a failure but formula feeding was lovely. I always cuddled /held him whilst he had his bottle. Even now (he’s just turned 2) and he was a bottle of milk at bed (cows milk about 2 ounces) and he sits on my knee to have it rather than being cradled now.

    We used the tommee tippee perfect prep machine from the get go and measured the powder out into a dispenser pot in advance so all you did was add water, powder and mix!

    We cold water sterilised with Milton tablets when we were staying away. But if a faff but if you’ve not got a microwave then it’s a good option.

    Have you tried the ready mixed milk? Might be worth using in the night if speed is crucial!

    Chin up lovely you’ve a lot going on at the minute x

  87. Jo.C
    September 28, 2017 / 11:41 pm

    Oh Ruth, please see a doc if you’re feeling low. I was in the same position with both of my kids, feeding every two hours (albeit bottle fed) and hardly any sleep. I once fell asleep hanging off the bed with my head on the moses basket lol. I had PND and got help then I was soon back to my old self. Maybe do less feeds but more oz’s if you do decide to go bottle. Keep your chin up, it doesn’t last forever. X

  88. Sarah
    September 29, 2017 / 3:25 am

    Hello!

    Keep in mind that formula takes longer to digest than breastmilk, so there is a chance Ted won’t feed as often during the night, making it overall less trouble and more sleep for you.

    Other than that: I’ve had a rough time breastfeeding my now 3-month old (insufficient milk production, had to supplement from the beginning after a horrible couple of days with a hungry baby, still have guilt-ridden nightmares about it…) and the decisions I am most proud of are those I made to preserve my health both physical and mental. Maybe I would have been able to breastfeed more had I spent a week connected to an electric pump and breastfeeding with catherers of formula in my baby’s mouth, but I chose sanity and simplicity. I’m convinced my baby feels better when I do. And she’s not hungry. That’s all I can ask for.

    All the best to you while you figure out what works for you! Be kind to yourself. 🙂

  89. Pamela McNeill
    September 29, 2017 / 5:05 am

    Hi Ruth!
    You are so refreshingly honest! I am 4 months into my breast feeding journey and have thought many times of packing it in after a disrupted sleep. It is currently 0530 and we are on our 4th overnight feed! I think you have done amazingly well to keep going this long, I think after 6 months I am going to start reducing how much I feed Sam in favour of hopefully some extra zzzzs! I had the nurse out today to give me the weaning talk and she said it is normal to get quite tearful around the time you stop b/feeding as your hormones try and “guilt you” into keeping going so I’m not much looking forward to that! I agree that as long as baby is getting fed and growing it doesn’t matter how they are fed but I am also quite chuffed with myself for sticking out the b/feeding as it hasn’t been easy and I feel that doing it for 6 months is good going so I’m not going to feel guilty about when I stop. At the same time, it makes me sad to think that Sam will no longer get all his nutrition from me and is starting to grow up. Although it’s tough, it has been lovely bonding with him and I know it’s a time I should treasure.
    Only you know what is best for you and baby Ted, and either way, it doesn’t make you any less of a mum.
    Love and hugs to all the mamas
    xxx

  90. Nicola
    September 29, 2017 / 10:10 am

    I think the problem could be he’s not feeding enough during the day – it’s known as reverse cycling. See here on Kelly Mom in how to fix https://kellymom.com/bf/normal/reverse-cycling/
    The added problem is the biting, which I would tackle by pulling him off and saying firmly no – every time! No happy eyes, no smiling, nothing that could be interpreted as encouragement.
    If it wasn’t for the reverse cycling I would suggest finish feeding too but that won’t help the other problem so you’ll just have to put him back on. Hope this helps with some ideas, which may be easier to try if he doesn’t take a bottle.

  91. Georgina Meyer
    September 29, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Hey Ruth, this is exactly what I went through 6 weeks ago- snap with all the emotions! (Coincidently our boys were born on the same day, 3rd Feb, so you’ve got 6 weeks further then I did!) I was just so so tired and really exhausted by the feeds at 2-3 hourly intervals and also wanted some independence knowing he wouldn’t be hungry or distressed in my absence). I’m not going to lie, within days of switching to formula (3-4 large bottles during the day and a small one at night, he would sleep a 7-8 hour stretch from 7pm to 2-3am. So just one wake up and that can be done by husband too so joy-of-joys potentially a full nights sleep for you!) I had only given myself the goal of feeding to 6 months as I did with my first, so I felt proud of myself for getting that far and ready to move on but it is still sad and momentous for sure. A bit late to this chat so it might have already been mentioned above but for the night feed I just have a clean bottle and a ready made bottle of aptimil ready to go in the nursery to open and decant when the tiny dictator declares he is ready! Not the cheapest way of doing it but convenient and it’s only (hopefully!) for a short period of time. Don’t beat yourself up- you’ve done incredibly well and what your children need most of all is a happy and not totally frazzled mum!

    P.s. I haven’t checked in on your blog for a while and hadn’t realised you had moved to Bath- bizarrely when staying with the parents in law there a few weeks ago I was with the kids in the (amazing) playground in Victoria Park thought I saw a little girl who looked like Angelica so guess it must have been her!

    Good luck with it all,
    Georgina

  92. September 29, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    I stopped breastfeeding when I went back to work at 6 months. That wasn’t the plan – I was going to carry on doing a morning and evening feed but to be honest I was so flustered at trying to get back into the swing of work and leaving the baby with my partner and just the whole thing that I never quite managed to get the feeding on track too. My milk supply got messed up and I found it all way too stressful. Plus breastfeeding completely drained me. I loved it but I lost a ton of weight. I don’t think I ate enough calories. So it was prob for the best that I stopped. Plus, the moment she started taking bottles from her dad in the night her sleep turned a huge corner. I couldn’t believe it. I think we would hold out longer to see if she settled before getting up to make a bottle and she would often drift back off to sleep.

    Anyway, for bottle making we use a tommee tippee machine. I know there’s been some controversy about these but we checked it throughly and I honestly don’t know what we would have done without it. It’s a life saver. Really.

  93. Kathryn Anderson
    September 30, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    Feeding is so bloody emotional isn’t it!! Ive always bottle fed my daughter (she was prem and couldn’t latch on to my ginormous boosies), and I find that making a bottle before bedtime to have ready in the fridge during the night is a lifesaver. I also use a microwave steriliser for bottles and it’s very quick and easy.

    Choose what is best for your sanity and don’t beat yourself up. You’re doing an amazing job xxx

  94. September 30, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    Good read. I’ve learnt so much

  95. Sharon
    October 1, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    My baby boy #2 just arrived on 9/21. And he was and still is a solid 5 min breastfeeder and then knock out and was eating like 30x a day. Thank GOD it has decreased, I can’t imagine doing that many feeds for that long. I was very close to pumping and having my husband give him the milk to get a few hrs nap time, but I couldn’t bring myself to having him give a bottle so soon after birth. I only have 8 weeks maternity leave (cheers to the $hitty maternity leave over in the US!) so I will probably will be ditching breastfeeding soon after going back to work or do feeds morning and night and bottles the rest of the time. I did that with baby #1 for a month and than that was it, it was too much with hr commutes and 8hr work day stretching longer with pumps. Plus, I just hated pumping at work. So baby #1 lasted 4 months on breastfeeding. It was sad, but the freedom you get from bottles (if they take them from someone that’s NOT you) is amazing since I never felt comfortable feeding in public. My sister had the same problem as you. My neice would not take a bottle from anyone but her which really sucks, but at least it would cut out the biting! For sterilization I throw everything into boiling water for 10 minutes and to be honest I rarely sterilized. To stop breastfeeding is sooo hard and it’s amazing how hard it is to “give up”. good luck on your decision!!

  96. Emma Alzubaidy
    October 2, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I too was feeling extremely guilty for wanting to give up breastfeeding my almost 2 year old. We had co-slept since birth and she had never slept for more than 3 hours straight – and even that was rare. Then a friend said to me, “breastfeeding is like a relationship- if it’s not working for one of you then it has to change”. This statement really hit home with me and I decided to stop for the sake of my sanity. Fast forward a week of screaming, vomiting and going on a hunger strike and we had a very different little girl who suddenly slept all night! Hallelujah!!
    Bottom line is, do whats right for both of you and sod everything else. Hope you get to read this x

  97. Laura
    October 2, 2017 / 8:35 am

    I could breastfeed…well…o found it way too hard with my first and gave up after two days. I was gutted and completely devastated. It really ruined the early days for me because all I could think about was how I wasn’t strong enough to even bloody feed him properly. But I got over it.

    Second baby, I didn’t even attempt to breastfeed her. My first had just been diagnosed with autism and they was no way o could be feeding for hours with an autistic toddler on the loose.

    Stop overthinking it…sounds harsh but it’s what I had to tell myself every day. If you want to stop, stop. You’ve done so well to feed him the way you have with a small toddler to look after too.

    Formulas not such a faff once you get I to a routine. You can premise bottled the ‘old fashioned way or use flasks with hot water or simply use ready made.

    A few people recommended losing expressed milk with formula and slowly upping the amount of formula.
    Hipp organic milk is good tastes nicer apparently…

    My daughter is now 15 months and we still cuddle with a bottle at night (cows milk)

    Good luck with whatever you decide and don’t beat yourself up over it.

    • Laura
      October 2, 2017 / 8:36 am

      Autocorrect!!!!!!!

  98. Joanne Mills
    October 2, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    My situation is slightly different to yours but I believe I went through the same emotions. I developed mastitis and an abscess when my daughter was 4wks old. I had pushed through the sore, cracked, bleeding nipples and crying every time that she latched on as I was so desperate to breastfeed. That was until the abscess appeared. I was referred to the breast clinic at the hospital and was told that I had to dry up as otherwise the abscess wouldn’t heal. I felt incredibly guilty at the time but it’s the best thing I did for me. My daughter has slept through the night from 8wks old and from 6wks would only wake for a bottle at about 2am and then again at 6am. I know that all babies are different and sleeping through is dependent upon the baby but I think that formula does help. It’s only with sleep that I’ve felt like a human again. Formula also makes it very easy to plan feeds and so you can structure your day and life better. My daughter is now 5months old and is a very happy baby. She’s had her first slightly snotty nose this week but it’s the first time that she’s been ‘ill’. I think that she likes the structured feeding too as she knows it’s coming. Don’t beat yourself up. Breastfeeding is great but so is a happy mummy who feels like herself again!

  99. Emily
    October 2, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    My baby is 8 months next week and I only breastfed for 3 weeks becasue I found it painful and just personally wasn’t comfortable doing it out and about. The quickest way to make a bottle is definitely a perfect prep machine or you can mimic it.. say if making a 7oz bottle do 2oz of boiling water add the powder and the add 5oz of cooled boiled water and it makes it the perfect temperature. I do sterilise and just have 5l of cold water in a washing up bowl add a Milton tablet and the add the bottles after they’ve been washed for 15 mins and they’re done! Don’t feel bad if now is the right time to stop you’ve done it for a long time and should feel proud!

  100. Ruta
    October 3, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    I have not sterilised bottles,ever. 3 kids. Breastfed, then bottle with formula, first two girls breastfed till about 8 months, son only one month, because i could not handle the pain. Always felt such freedom, when i finished the breastfeeding. I breastfed for last time, said goodbuy to this process in my mind and then went away for couple of days, leaving kid with grandma. Enjoyed these couple of days, went out, went shopping,did,what i wanted. Son – a bit different story, but bottle feeding gave me more time to handle the older kids.

  101. Gabbi
    October 4, 2017 / 7:42 am

    I breastfed my son who is now 3 for 2 years and 2 months and I felt exactly like you’re feeling for the entire 2nd year. Looking back I should’ve stopped when my mind and body first asked me to. I fell pregnant again and even though I felt terrible guilt and everyone tried to pressure me into breastfeeding I realised I couldn’t go through the whole emotional process once again and decided not to breastfeed at all the second time around! Not even at the hospital. He’s now 6 months and doing really well. He’s a healthy, happy baby who loves his bottle. I’ve stopped sterilising last month as well as I did some research and some other countries sterilise for a much shorter period if at all. With a toddler and a baby it makes a big difference, one less chore to worry about!

  102. Vee
    October 4, 2017 / 8:26 am

    Hello Ruth, there are some lovely and loving comments here. What a community! Mums are the best.
    Without having much to share of my own, I just wanted to point you to a great post on A Cup of Jo about weaning and depression. I had lots of feelings about weaning, perhaps not depression (more exhaustion), but this piece was super honest and a bit of a lightening bolt for me in linking all the hormones of weaning Witt feelings. It helped me be kind to myself and to look at the whole picture. I hope it will help. There’s a beautiful poem at the end, so have tissues!

  103. Sarah
    October 4, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    I remember feeling exactly the same as you. I breastfed my daughter for 8 months but from 5 months it was combination formula and breast. I never seemed to produce enough milk but I was desperate to carry on. I remember feeling so upset and the thought of stopping breastfeeding, I cried buckets and buckets. If I am honest with myself I carried on for me not my baby because she was perfectly happy with formula! I found my hormones easier to manage by stopping slowly each week swapping a feed over. I used Milton cold water sterlising, the perfect prep machine and the insulating bottle cover which all made bottle feeding so much easier. Good luck, just remember you are an amazing mumma and happy Mum happy baby x

  104. Someina
    October 5, 2017 / 7:45 am

    Hi Ruth,

    My kids are of similar age to yours. My son, now 7 months old is combination feeding. I thought if I tell you my story maybe you will feel a bit better?

    I had every intention of exclusively breastfeeding, but from 5 months old Aoki has been doing the “pit stop” feeds – 1-2 mins and done. Because of that, he snacks throughout the day (and night), much to my dismay. I wanted him to drink more at one go, thinking that it’s easier to gulp down milk from a bottle so I started mixing expressed milk with formula, starting with just 1 oz of formula and the rest EBM.
    You mentioned Ted won’t take a bottle. What I did was feed him from the boob then swiftly change to the bottle halfway. I also make the bottle with him in my arms and that seems to get him interested in the bottle.

    I’ve had to do combination feeding also because Aoki has been waking up 1.5 – 2 hrs at night, and naps only for 20 mins during the day. I would breastfeed and cry at the same time. I felt I was losing it, so decided to do as few feeds as I can with the bottle. I started with only 1 bottle a day. Now that Aoki is 7 months, he gets 3 bottles a day. I think you will know when you’re ready to stop breastfeeding. Just like a relationship, you know when it’s time for it to come to an end.

    With the sleep situation, he is still waking up every 2 hrs. He just sleeps next to me on the bed and when he moans I cuddle him like I’m hugging a pillow, sideways. That is the only only way I can survive sleep deprivation.

    I don’t think I’ve offered you any solutions, but maybe just knowing that there is a fellow mama out there who’s also struggling will make you feel a bit less lonely?

  105. Leanne
    October 9, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    I have been breastfeeding my baby boy for eight months now. He’s eating solids but won’t take a bottle! I do some part time work and when I’m working he goes to nursery or our family friend minds him. During these hours he eats and takes little sips of water but he waits for me for a feed!!

    I feel bad that he’s not having milk during these hours but glad to still breastfeed him in the evening, all night (lol) and on days off and weekends.

    Maybe a mixture is good.

    But do what works for you and you’re already doing amazing!!!!

    Xx

  106. Leanne
    October 9, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    PS it is really full on breastfeeding all the time and while it’s really rewarding I think some people don’t get how demanding and exhausting it can be. So, well done xx

  107. Millie
    October 12, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    Hi Ruth, your honesty is refreshing so big thanks!! I have a 6 month old who won’t take a bottle so I completely understand your situation!! My baby also wakes numerous times in the night for feeds!! I would give anything for a day/night by myself or 8 hours of solid sleep!! Yes I love my baby but she is with me 25/7. The longest I’ve been away from her was one 4 hour experiment at the hair salon. It is so very tiring. I made the decision recently that I will not express again, I was expressing to try and get her to take a bottle. So when she does take a bottle (fingers crossed) it will be formula. I go back to work when she is 11 months so I am really hoping I have a solution by then. I think you are doing a wonderful job, you are a fantastic mother and please don’t ever think the opposite!

    • Millie
      October 12, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      *24/7 not 25/7, sleep deprivation!

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