special formula for preemies - how long did your kids use

Discussion in 'General' started by kemilie, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. kemilie

    kemilie Member


    this is my first post here although I've been reading for about a month. I had my twins 2 weeks ago at 34w2d, a boy and a girl 5 lbs 4 oz and 5 lbs 8 oz. They just came home from the NICU yesterday, it is so overwhelming. I have been trying to pump, feed them (they still forget the whole suck/swallow/breath every now and again!) and take care of my 17 month old. I have been trying to get sleep, but it's obviously hard! I want to quit pumping, I'm hating it. I feel guilty about that because I know how good breast milk is for babies - but I have no time for sleep or my 18 month old, and despite increasing sessions/mothers milk herbs my supply is horrid!

    my question is - my twins are on 22 calorie special enfamil formula that's for babies that are born premature. for those of you with olders NICU grads, how long did your twins have to stay on that? if they start to grow well is there a chance the Dr. will let them switch over to a regular formula when they reach a certain age/weight? The cost of this formula is really stressing me out... I know it's a minor concern when it comes to their health, but I am curious if anyone has any experience on this one.

  2. summerfun

    summerfun Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Hi. Congrats on your twins. My preemies were also on Enfamil Enfacare and we actually used it until they were 12 months old. I was hoping to start regular formula for a little break in the cost, but any extra calories they were able to get we gave them. Well I guess I should say they had EBM until they were 4 months old and 2 times/day we did fortify it with the Enfacare. When I stopped pumping at 4 months that is when we started the Enfacare full time.

    Mine were born at 1 lb. 10 oz. and 2 lbs. 7 oz. and at a year were 16 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 lbs. 9 oz.

    My DD is still on the small side, but has a small frame, and my oldest DD is on the small side as well, but she eats more than her brother.

    It doesn't hurt them to be on it a year until you change to milk. But consult your ped about it, you will see that everyone on here stopped it at different times.

    Again, congrats!!
  3. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    you can also use regular formula and mix it to 22 or 24 cal depending on your situation...PM me and I can give you the calculations...we used 24 cal formula for the first month and the hospital (no NICU time but were very low birthweight at 36 weeks) gave us a sheet telling us how to mix 22 and 24 cal formula (they actually don't sell 24 cal)
  4. indy2all

    indy2all Well-Known Member

    Congrats on your little ones! :banana: My DD (5.6 at birth) and DS (4.14 at birth) were both on the Enfacare while I breastfed and pumped for them. My DS was taken off of the Enfacare at 6wks due to Reflux issues but we continued to mix the Nutramegen formula that we put him on in a 22 calorie per oz. formula (instead of using 60ml of water , we would measure out 56ml of water making it 22 cal.) We did that until he reached 15lbs at about 3 months. My DD stayed on the Enfacare until she was 4 months and began having trouble with constipation. We switched her to Gentleease but didn't continue with the 22 calorie mixing either. She still hasn't reached 15lbs but is flourishing. She is just a much smaller framed baby than her brother. So, I guess the length of time just varies per child. Also, I had such a hard time getting any sleep with the pumping and breastfeeding and these are my only two children. I can not imagine having had the time if I had an 18 month old as well. I applaud you for trying to do it all! My DD never really took to Bf'ing and I stopped pumping for her at about a month. My DS weaned himself when he hit a growth spurt at about 3 months because I just couldn't produce enough to keep up with him and he found the bottle much easier. In a perfect world, I would have BF them for a year, but it didn't work out for us. They are still amazing and thriving!
  5. summerfun

    summerfun Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    One thing I wanted to add is call Enfamil and sign up for their formula checks, that always helped. Have your relatives sign up too, they will have to say they've had a baby, but that is okay.

    Also, talk to your ped. We were able to get a free case for each of our twins, so 2 free cases of the Enfacare from the Enfamil rep through the peds office.

    Also, every time I went to the ped I asked if they had any cans of it and usually they did and would give me 4 cans or so.]

    Also, every once in awhile someone will post that they are giving away Enfamil checks on the First year board, so check there too.

    I know the money does add up.
  6. marieta

    marieta Well-Known Member

    We were on the 22 cal until they were about 4mos. I also pumped until they were 7mos. but had to supplement. Mine have always been on the small side but they didn't really care for the 22cal.
  7. angie7

    angie7 Well-Known Member

    We came home on the enfacare but they both got very colicky very shortly afterwards (I was also pumping bm at the time as well) We tried 4 different formulas (advice from dr) before we stuck to Nestle Good Start at around 3.5-4 months old.
  8. kemilie

    kemilie Member

    thank you so much to everyone who had the input and feedback, it is good to hear! we're just trying to "swim" above water right now, I appreciate the feed back :)
  9. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    Congratulations! My girls were on EBM and Neosure (22 cal Similac formula) until 6 months actual. After 6 months, I switched them to regular Costco/Kirkland brand formula, still mixed to 22 cal/ounce.
  10. twinzmom2b

    twinzmom2b Well-Known Member

    Hi there and congrats on your twins and bringing them home!!! Mine were born at 34 weeks (no medical problems) and stayed on the 22-cal formula until they were 6 months old. It is very expensive. Also, pleae don't stress about the pumping. I pumped for 4 months, but I also did not have any other kids to take care of. I couldn't imagine trying to pump, feed newborns and take care of a toddler. I had low supply too and it's very frustrating. My girls NEVER had a period of full EBM, it was always mixed with formula b/c I never had enough. Even in the NICU, I only had enough for one of htem to have it exclusively (one had some trouble at first with the formula and kept spitting it up, so they gave her all my EBM - she gerw out of that before coming home). You need to do what you need to do for your sanity!

    Ask your peds for samples of formula. I know everytime I went in there, they sent me home with 8 cans of Enfacare or Neosure.

    Also, again ask your ped, there is a way to take regular formula and mix it differently (adding more scoops) to make it 22 cal. I didn't find this all out until AFTER my girls were off 22-cal. So, that's something to think about too. Yes, you would go through regular formula quicker, but it's still way cheaper than the actual 22 cal stuff.
  11. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    My girls(born at 34w1d) were on it for 3 months. We probably should have left Jessy on it longer but she grew well with out it and it was way more affordable. I pumped for 2 months and quit when I went back to work. When we switched we switched to goodstart and it really helped Jessy's reflux.
  12. ErickaK

    ErickaK Well-Known Member

    My son (was born at 35w 6d and weighed 5lbs 6oz) was in NICU for 9 days, came home on day 10 due to feeding issues. He was on NeoSure in the hospital (the NICU nurses were great and sent me home with 6 cases of the 4oz bottles of formula and also 2 bottles of the ready to feed. When all that was gone and I bought the first 2 bottles in the store, I asked my ped at his 1 month if I could switch him to normal as I had 2 sample cans and the other is expensive. She said I could change him over to regular formula since he was gaining weight well. He was discharged weighing his birth weight of 5lbs 6oz (in NICU he dropped to 5lbs) and at the one month visit he was up to 8lbs 4.5oz

    We switched to the Enfamil Lipil, but he was spitting that up quite a bit and had an upset tummy from it so we moved to the Target version of Enfamil Gentlease and he was on that one until he was 8 1/2 months and then I switched him to the Target version of Enfamil Lipil and we are on that now until he is at least 12 months.
  13. SilvrHeart

    SilvrHeart Well-Known Member

    congrats on your babies!

    my boys were born at 34w 1d weighing 4 lbs and 3-9 lbs. They spent 6 days in the nicu just for observation (no probs) but were never on any special formula, just similac advance. They weighed 10 lbs and 9 lbs at 7 weeks, which is apparently very good, so I guess it was ok not to put them on anything special!

    btw - i too HATED pumping and quit at about 4 weeks. I was exhausted and somethng had to give. For me, it was the pumping. Some women get all huffy about bf and pumping and will act like we're doing something wrong for not giving the babies breastmilk but neither my DH nor I were breastfed and we literally are the 2 healthiest people I know (knock on wood). Do what's best for YOU and your family and don't feel bad about it.
  14. BreezyDays

    BreezyDays Well-Known Member

    My twins have been on Enfacare since the beginning. They are 5 months today. Ive had to supplement on account of availability but they did not adjust well. Enfamil seems to be more greedy with their coupons than Similac though. Ive gotten a bunch from Similac and a free sample.
    Since Enfacare and Neosure are considered prescribed formulas Im pretty sure you can write them off on your taxes. Its something we are looking into.
    What I like about the Enfacare is it doesnt stain their clothes like the regular formulas. Makes for a happy mom lol.
  15. Brooksboys

    Brooksboys Member

    One of my twins stayed on the 22 cal formula for 12 months, because he did not gain weight quickly. The other twin really thrived on the 22 cal, and was gaining too much weight too fast, so the dr took him off after 4-5 months. I guess it depends on your child's individual needs. I understand the hardship that the cost of special formulas can cause. My dr told me it is recommended for preemies to take it for at least 9 months. Good luck!
  16. First of all, don't feel guilty for the choices you make. If you gave it a good go and it didnt work, then switch over to formula. The kiddos will be just fine and you will have your sanity back.
    As for the formula, my Dr had me keep the preemies on 22 cal until their actual 40 week due date. Then I was able to switch them to regular formula. The great thing about the premixed preemie bottles is you dont have to think about it when you are preparing in the middle of the night! (there is always some silver lining right? heh heh)
  17. Rachel&Emily

    Rachel&Emily Well-Known Member

    To echo someone else's post - talk to your pedi. Ours went so far as to contact all of their "formula guys" to tell them about us (both military, twins, no family in the area...etc) and each of the companies sent cases to them for us. Similac was the most generous because Rachel was on the real expensive one of theirs (purple lid...name escapes me) and I would get a call about once a month from the ped office saying there was a case there for me to pick up.

    Also, sign up for everything on line. We still get stuff in the mail from Enfamil every once and a while and the $11 cupons are awesome. They sort of fall off after a while so if you have one near you, join a Sam's or Costco - they carry Similac and Enfamil as well as their own brands and a 36 ounce can of the Similac (regualr, not the soy) was $25...it's still a lot of money, but cheaper in the long run.

    Good luck!

  18. natmarie

    natmarie Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on your twins! :hug99: Many hugs to you!! I know what it is like having such a young toddler and twins; although your little boy is younger then mine was. My twins came at 34 weeks as well and I also did the whole pumping thing. I know how hard and how frustrating it can be. I know you are trying to increase your supply, but maybe evaluate and see if you can drop a pumping somewhere so you aren't so tired and find more time to spend with your little boy. Anything to decrease the stress in your life to make life easier.

    My babies still are on the 22 cal formula. The doctors only mention of when they would be able to come off it is when they reach a year old. We have a 9 mo. appointment coming up so maybe he might let them come off of it then.

    Many hugs to you! It does get better.
  19. pink and blue mom

    pink and blue mom Well-Known Member

    Mine were born at 34 weeks 5 days and were on neosure 22 cal until about 2 weeks ago for thier 6 month check up. I also did everything I could to increase my supply (pumping every hour, mothers milk, putting them on the breast constantly) and nothing ever worked. So I can understand your frustration. I hope you enjoy every minute of those babies because time flies by so fast... before you know it they will already be 6 months old like mine. Congratulations!!!!
  20. happybearsfan

    happybearsfan Well-Known Member

    My boys were born at 34w3d and had 17 and 34 days in NICU. Matthew (my 34-day guy) was 5 lbs., 5 oz. at birth, and Ryan (my 17-day guy) was 4 lbs., 12 oz.

    After discharge, they were on breast milk (when I could pump/get them to latch) and Similac NeoSure. Our pedi released them to regular formula at 2 months.
  21. lemongrrl53

    lemongrrl53 Well-Known Member

    Can someone tell me/pm me how you mix regular formula to make it 22 cal? Thank you!
  22. momotwinsmom

    momotwinsmom Well-Known Member

    My girls were 31 weekers and came home on Neosure. They were only on it for 2 months until they made it on the regular chart. It is different for each child and they all gain differently, so ask your pedi. They will know when they are ready to switch.
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