Formula did not make my baby sleep through the night

I will never, ever, ever-ever, forget my first few weeks of being a mom. Mind blowing, life changing and just craziness all round. I mean, I was super in love, I was overwhelmed by the amount of love I felt for this little human that I had just birthed, but, I was not getting any sleep and I could not keep up with everything. I felt tired all. the. time. All I wanted to do was sleep. I would have done anything to just have one night of sleep. And I was so disappointed when I realized that formula did not make my baby sleep through the night.

I knew nothing about breastfeeding

First of all, I had absolutely no clue about breastfeeding. Yes I had seen a mom breastfeed her baby, but I had never spent enough time with a mom who breastfeeds. So I had no idea of what it all entails. I wasn’t into google that much back then either (This is my excuse for everything I don’t know). Furthermore, and in my defense, just about everyone tells you “As soon as baby is born, it all kicks in and you just know what to do!”. I lived on that hope. For a long, long time.


Formula did not make my baby sleep through the night - South African mommy blogger
My sons, Liam (9) and Cole (19 months old)


Dear first-time mom, what is latching anyway

My baby wanted to feed every half an hour and worse, he didn’t latch properly. I clearly remember not understanding why he wanted to feed all the time, “don’t they feed like three times a day?”. This is how ignorant I was as a first-time mother. Go ahead, judge me, I’ll take it. This is why it was so important for me to write the series “Dear first-time mom“. I wanted to create a platform that new and expecting moms could go to, to prepare themselves for their journey ahead and just for an overall place of support. You need that as a new mom. You really do.

Anyway, back to the breastfeeding. He didn’t latch. I didn’t understand why it was so painful. I lived in the hope that the pain will eventually go away. But I didn’t know that there was pain because he wasn’t latching correctly so my hope was in vain. I mean, who ever knew there was such a thing as not latching correctly. Don’t you just put baby to your breast and he drinks?



I gave up breastfeeding

So to cut a long story short, the pain just worsened. It was excruciating. I was bleeding from the pain. It was so sore, that I cried from the pain. I tried nipple shields, gave some formula in between to give my breasts a break. But nothing worked. Even the best creams on the market at the time did absolutely nothing for my painfully bruised and cracked open nipples. Nothing healed them and nothing took the pain away. So I gave up. We turned to formula. And we were judged and frowned upon, by many. But that is a story for another day.

He used to wake up every 2 hours at night to feed, in his first six weeks. It eventually got better. He started waking up every 3 hours, then 4 then 5 (from about 6 months old), until eventually at about 18 months old he started sleeping through the night. I was tired all the time. It took such a long time for me to get used to missing out on sleep. I am a sleeping person. I love my sleep. Sorry, I’m talking about the old me. I used to be a sleeping person. And I used to love sleeping. I could sleep until 1pm on weekends. Then get up and eat, and go back to sleep again. That was just me. So this was a huge adjustment for me.


Formula did not make my baby sleep through the night - South African mommy blogger
Liam was so excited for civvies day at school today

Formula did not make my baby sleep through the night, but it does get better

Because we are bombarded with articles on how to get your baby to sleep through the night, and mothers that say to you “Oh my baby sleeps right through the night”, it is possible that you could be doing all that you can to get your baby to sleep through. I often hear moms asking if formula will help their baby sleep through the night. When Liam was born, the nurses at the hospital gave him formula milk because he was “still hungry”. He still cried and didn’t sleep. Formula did not make my baby sleep through the night.

Research shows that babies were designed to wake up often at night to feed and cuddle. Breastfed or formula fed. Although it is common for breastfed babies to wake up more often during the night, it is not the case for all breastfed babies. I’m in no way saying it is impossible for a baby to sleep through. Yes some do sleep through alot earlier than others. And as many moms have already told me, “My baby sleeps right through”, I believe this is in fact possible. But for those of you whose babies do not sleep through the night, don’t panic. Know that, they will eventually sleep through. He will not already have started primary school and still be waking up at night for a feed. This stage does pass. And no it doesn’t take until primary school to stop, ha! You do eventually get your sleep back and they do grow older. 


So no, formula did not make my baby sleep through the night, but he eventually grew up and I eventually got my sleep back. So forget about getting your baby to sleep, and just enjoy every minute (wherever possible).


Lots of love

Tracy xx



1 thought on “Formula did not make my baby sleep through the night”

  • I am so glad you shared this. Babies don’t sleep! I found co sleeping the only way to survive, then you just roll over, feed, go back to sleep. I nearly gave up with breastfeeding but I had a lot of help and support so I kept at it and as he grew we got better with the latch.

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