Can't settle 4day old at night ...

(27 Posts)
BraveLilBear Sat 27-Jul-13 04:12:52

I'm a first time mum, who's enjoyed BF so far but am seriously struggling these last two nights.

DS was born early hours Tuesday after needing forceps ashe got sstuck. He latched on great first time within hours and slept on me in between (no cot and couldn't feellegs due to spinal block).

Next night he fed well in chunky blocks, snd was settled in a cot once by a midwife for a much-needed couple of hours.

Night 3 at home. Woke for feeding three times, feeds were 30-60 mins in length. Settled easily between times.

Night 4 the chaos ensued. Wouldn't stop crying unless on breast, slept maybe 20 mins between when lucky. Gave in to DP and allowed dummy in desperation as DS was 'just after comforting'. Threw up lots of milk. Spoke to midwife in am who said this was normal and spitting up due to overfeeding.

Night 5 and I'm going mad. He fed in fits and starts during the day and rarely enough to sleep easily after. Tonight he cries for a feed, but then will fight the breast - literally - and once on he never seem to get enough to fall asleep no matter how many times I offer other breast. Latch also appears to be worse. Partly due to dummy and partly due to increasing soreness, but mainly he worries and headbutts the nipple rather than tries to latch on.

As a result he isn't sleeping deeply enough to be put down after - he wakes nearly instantly and demands more but won't take it. Have now given up putting him down and I'm letting him sleep on me in nursing chair between snacks.

DP says we should give up breastfeeding altogether as he's just using me for confort and none of us are sleeping (well, he is but obviously not enough to be supportive).

Anyone else been through the I'm hungry but won't latch wilderness? Will iy improve? Anything I can try? Or do I go with DP and give up?

Please excuse long poorly typed post- am knackered and on phone!

Night 5 and I'm going

pudtat Sat 27-Jul-13 04:26:12

Sure there will be more expert bods than I along soon, but I would say that he's still very very little. Don't give up based on the first few days, he doesn't know what's hit him yet!

It maybe possible that he's not always crying for food if he isn't taking the breast when offered and/or is being sick straight after. He may just want cuddles and reassurance about being in the world. He is unlikely to get day and night sorted for a while, and this often ends up upside down for a bit. Afraid that's normal for a newborn. If he will settle on one of you, then take shifts - get dh to have him for an hour or two downstairs while you sleep and then bring him to you for feeds when he is giving cues - rooting, lip smacking, fist sucking, etc.

Some cluster feeding is also normal, often evening or night, as is a fussy time. First few days they are in shock and sleep a lot, then they start to get over it and it is tough for a bit. But it will get better. Bf is a journey, you'll get there, expect it to take a few weeks before you both have it weighed off.

Congratulations on the birth of your DS!

cupcake78 Sat 27-Jul-13 05:20:46

Your situation sounds very similar to mine.

Ds I ebf for 1 month but after nights of screaming, long feeds (hr and a half) and refusing to latch on I began to mix feed him and eventually on bottles. He settled on bottles straight away.

Dd now 4weeks was feeding none stop for 9-10 hrs a night. Not calm feeding just screaming frantic feeding. After sore boobs, blood in milk and extreme tiredness whiles trying to look after ds we resorted to bottles on day 5. She has never looked back and now we get 4 hrs at night between one feed and 2 hrs between the rest.

What your describing is normal breastfeeding behaviour for such a young baby. Personally it wasn't sustainable and was making me and my children miserable.

It comes down to how much you want to breastfeed v's quality of life. Lots of people will say don't give up keep going but if its making you miserable there are other options!

Cavort Sat 27-Jul-13 05:42:55

Hi Brave, long time no see. smile

Sorry to hear you're having a tough time of things.

I am obviously still a novice, but my first few days BF don't sound dissimilar to yours. DD fed constantly round the clock until my colostrum turned to proper milk, which for me was on the evening of the 4th day. Things got better after that but I am still up a lot during the night. I think it's just normal for a newborn. I have only managed 1 hour 40 mins sleep so far tonight but other nights are better at random.

Does your DS have a lot of wind? I tried Infacol after a few nights of no sleep and it did make a difference, along with keeping her upright as much as possible.

My DD has been diagnosed with a posterior/submucosal tongue tie which means she currently takes in too much air while feeding and is posseting/sick a lot (among other things). Has anyone checked your DS to rule something similar out? We are currently waiting for the appointment to get it sorted.

I agree with previous poster that it's good for your OH to take DS to a different room for a while so you can get some rest. DD will constantly root for milk on me but DH can take her for a few hours and brings her back when she starts sucking her fists.

I'm sure there is an underlying reason for your DS's behaviour and hopefully someone with loads of experience will be along with some good advice.

Good luck and I hope you get some sleep soon thanks

BraveLilBear Sat 27-Jul-13 05:53:41

Hey all (especially Cavort - will be back to the berries soon )

Thanks for the advice and support so far I have just braved putting him down and got an hour so there is hope. Yesterday DP tooj him downstairs for a bit and I got two hours kip which was lush smile

He is a bit calmer now so hoping this particular frenzy might be nearly done. Also thinking about expressing abottle later rto see if that helps- tho I do worry about confusing him.

Will ask about possible tongue problems when midwife comes next on Monday. Thanks again

tiktok Sat 27-Jul-13 08:44:12

OP, sorry you are having a difficult time sad

Head butting is not fighting the breast, but the baby trying to get on to the breast. You might be helped by choosing biological nurturing positions (google biological nurturing) which allow the baby to self-attach.

It is 100 per cent normal for a baby to 'use' his mother for comfort - it a very important part of breastfeeding. Once he is able to attach and feed well, the comfort aspect is what he enjoys and you can enjoy it too smile

It is very early days - perhaps your midwife can come and see you again and talk through ways of enabling your baby to feed effectively and comfortably. You can also call any of the breastfeeding helplines.

wheredoistartmrs Sat 27-Jul-13 08:49:02

sounds perfectly normal in such early days, the only thing i could suggest is really wind properly as sometimes that makes them twitchy.

Figgygal Sat 27-Jul-13 08:53:27

It is very early days and they are hard your dh needs to support you a bit more if you are committed to bf then you need his support especially when things are difficult.

When is he due to be weighed to check weight loss?

pudtat Sat 27-Jul-13 08:54:22

It's very early days for bottles IF you intend to try and ebf. You may find that trying a syringe or cup would be better in preventing confusion if you are keen for others to be able to feed him. If you intend to mix feed be aware that at such an early stage (I'm guessing your milk is only just coming in) this could impact on your supply and make it a lot of work to rebuild later (speaking from experience). Of course, if you want to ff, then no problem.

By all means get him checked for tongue/li tie, but to be honest everything your have described sounds like totally normal newborn behaviour.

Feeding will prob take over an hour every 2-3 hours for a couple of weeks once your milk is in and he gets the hang of it. But he will get quicker and it doesn't last forever. In a couple of months he'll take 5 mins a side to feed. In the meantime get your DVD box sets out, create a space for you on the sofa with everything in reach. Make your dh bring you food and drinks and enjoy your LO. thanks

Maria33 Sat 27-Jul-13 08:59:19

This sounds like ds2. I bf him for over a year in the end but could well have thrown in the towel immediately if he had been my first. He was also a forceps delivery and behaved exactly as you have described. I took him to see a cranial osteopath who specialized in newborns and the results were spectacular.

The theory is that children are squashed by the process of bring born and this can cause discomfort and pain. Ds2 never burped but after the treatment could bring up wind normally. This made him more settled. We did take him every few weeks for the first few months. It wasn't cheap but it was worth it.

I know it doesn't work for everyone but for us it was miraculous!

Goldmandra Sat 27-Jul-13 09:00:28

There is an expectation that newborns will feed for a short time, fill themselves up then sleep deeply for a few hours. TBH I think that's quite unusual and what you are describing is far more normal.

Give yourself and your baby some time to get used to each other and your new life. I know the tiredness hits you like a sledgehammer but it does pass and he will get better at settling.

gamerchick Sat 27-Jul-13 09:02:55

Has your milk just come in? It can take a couple of days for them to get used to milk after just having the colostrum for the first few days. I remember day 5 was me crying all over this tin of formula because I was sick of the sore nipples and constant nursing/screaming.

What you're describing is perfectly normal in these early days.. you are both still learning how to breastfeed.

The putting down thing, you can't blame him really. For 9 months, he's had every need met.. he's never felt hungry, cold, warm, uncomfortable in the shorts area, all these bright lights and noise and more importantly he's had constant mummys heartbeat and voice. You can't blame the little guy for not wanting to be put down.

Have you been signed off yet? I agree on asking your midwife for some help.. get your latch checked and even a bit of reassurance.

Personally if it's possible.. just hand the reigns over to your man and go have a babymoon in bed. Concentrate solely on sleeping and getting the hang of breastfeeding for a couple of days.

Maria33 Sat 27-Jul-13 09:03:12

Here's a link
Good luck!

iwillsleepagainsomeday Sat 27-Jul-13 09:40:40

cosleeping saved my sanity with dc3. I didnt even TRY to put him down in a cot. He's now 7 months and still bf. Will transfer him to the cot after the holidays but I do not look forward to his reaction to this change of routine hmm

BraveLilBear Sat 27-Jul-13 12:11:33

Appreciate the advice. Currently sat in constant tears so some sensible thoughts are welcome!

Co sleeping is not an option- DP simply won't allow it and I'm too tired at the moment to risk the spare bedroom alone.

The advice from the midwife on the phone yesterday has only exacerbated things- she said the constant feeding was for my benefit to avoid mastitis and is made worse because DS can smell me and therefore wants more.

DP has interpreted this as 'if he is in a different room he won't want feeding at night ss much' and has offered an ultimatum of buy formula, keep DS in separate room or express a bottle - but give it to him while he's in bed so he doesn't wake up.

pudtat Sat 27-Jul-13 12:28:15

Oh dear OP. Your DP isn't being very supportive is he? I suspect he's tired, and worried about you and trying to 'fix' the problem. The trouble is the 'problem' isn't really a problem, it's just a newborn!

Cuddles from someone who doesn't smell of milk may well comfort without triggering rooting reflexes, and he can therefore help. It isn't recommended that you put one so little in their own room, and I'm afraid my advice would be that whoever isn't on duty goes in the spare room to get some sleep. There's no point both of you being exhausted! My dh said he'd never abandon us and sleep separately....he lasted a week! You will find it much easier to have DS to hand for night feeds, getting up and going into another room is a pita the number of times you will have to do it at this stage.

And don't worry about the tears. The baby blues are very real and leave you feeling very strange indeed. They will prob clear in a few days but with the tiredness will leave you a bit tearful for a while no doubt, panic not its totally normal!

iwillsleepagainsomeday Sat 27-Jul-13 12:37:35

gosh that's a nice DPhmm

please remind your DP that the baby is a newborn and just doing his job as such. It has not read any manuals or follows sets of rules. Nor is he a thing that is broke and can be fixed. My husband had the same line of thought with our dc1. Luckily we are now at dc3 and he has no more high expectations of baby's being nice and quiet.grin

maybe he could read a bit about newborns? kellymum and dr sears have useful websites.

good luck

tiktok Sat 27-Jul-13 12:38:37

It's horrible to be so distressed....but not unusual in these v early days.

Your midwife has not been helpful. I hear a lot about 'baby smells the milk' ... the baby does not need to smell milk to want to feed. A new baby will root and look to feed on anything and anyone - this is instinctive behaviour, and the mum holding and cuddling the baby does not make it 'worse' - did she really say 'worse' as if this is a bad thing?? sad sad

Your DP can certainly hold and cuddle the baby and hold him skin to skin which babies love - your baby will not want feeding literally every moment, and this will be comforting for him and give you a break.

One thing that can make things easier for you is to go with the flow for a few days. Don't worry about how often or how long your baby feeds. His pattern sounds 100 per cent normal for a newborn, anyway. Hold him and soothe him and feed him according to his needs. Less than a week ago he was inside you - he needs your loving, gentle, tender responses to his requests for the breast and your arms.

You need loving care and support as well. You and DP can work out what that entails but as a minimum it means ensuring you are comfortable and well-fed and untroubled about anything to do with house, family, chores etc smile

Separate rooms for new babies is not safe - the midwife will explain that to your DP.

mrscog Sat 27-Jul-13 12:45:54

Your DP is being an absolute arse, was he a wanker before you had children?

Your DS is completely normal, and the issues you report might not magically go away if you use formula (using bottles makes them more prone to wind), and almost certainly won't reassure your DS that you're still there if you move him into another room, as well as increasing the SIDS risk.

Your midwife's advice is also dubious - it is normal and natural for a newborn baby to feed for many many many hours of the day and to want to be on you. How many newborn animals do you see sleeping away from their parents on the other side of a cave/burrow? None - because they sleep next to them suckling.

You've had some good advice on this thread, and I do sympathise as it's a tough stage, whatever you choose to do you'll be a great Mum, but set some boundaries with your DP now about his arsishness.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Sat 27-Jul-13 13:03:41

You've been given great advice so I'll just echo what everyone has said about normal newborn behaviour, and add my sympathies - it must be very tough to establish breastfeeding without a supportive partner. It does get a whole lot easier once established, but you need help to get through the first difficult phase.

My DH was keen to support me breastfeeding as he (DH) has/had a number of health problems that are more common with formula feeding (allergies, childhood ear infections etc). He took over all the housework, brought me food and drink, did the shopping, fed me chocolate... all I did was sit and feed, day and night, and grabbed a bit of sleep in between when I could. Feeding a newborn is a full-time job, not to mention recovering from childbirth, and unless your DP starts to unerstand this (or you have another source of support eg family member or friend), it's going to be even more of a struggle. So I think that's what needs to be tackled first.

Would it help for him to read up on the benefits of breastfeeding so he can understand why you're going to the trouble of it all? I can give you a good link if you need one.

Good luck OP and congratulations on your baby smile

Goldmandra Sat 27-Jul-13 16:20:23

Presenting you with an ultimatum like that is very unhelpful. You need to just devote yourself to the baby and nothing else for a while and he needs to support you.

I think it all probably feels worse at the moment because your hormones are going haywire and making your really tearful. This is also probably making him feel like he needs to manage the situation somehow.

When you have a newborn, expectations need to go out of the window. Go with the flow and try to achieve nothing but being there for your baby.

It really does get easier once your milk supply is established and the baby settles a bit.

LookMaw Sat 27-Jul-13 20:21:49

I don't mean to sound blunt but your DP is the problem here, not your baby.

Sounds exactly like my first week with DD. Painful boobs, wouldn't sleep anywhere but on me, constantly rooting (she tried to latch on to my friends chin!).

However, DP did whatever he could to help and not once put his short term desire for sleep above the long term health of his child. I would've told him exactly where to sleep if he did and it wouldn't have been in our house.

DD had one bottle of EBM a day from 5 days old and we used dummies to soothe her to sleep. Still breastfeeding now at 4 months and have never struggled with nipple confusion etc. Purely anecdotal but it worked for our family and having that bit of 'me time' every day kept me sane(ish).

A very unmunsnetty hug to you OP. I remember those dark newborn days. It gets easier, promise smile

sparklekitty Sun 28-Jul-13 08:52:28

I'm pretty sure day 4/5 was when my milk came in DD fed almost constantly for 2 days.

Once my supply settled she settled a bit too. She still fed very regularly.

If he is 'frantic' and being sick it might be worth asking the doc to check for reflux. Our DD had it and it made her very uncomfortable. We got gaviscon and she improved.

She is 10mo now and fine.

Good luck, it does get easier.

BraveLilBear Mon 29-Jul-13 00:09:54

Thanks again everyone, means the world knowing we're not the only ones experiencing this.

Quick update. Last night DS was fight feeding for ovet sn hour ie latched for 5 mins, off and amgry head thrashing for ten and repeat. Occasionally he'd nod off? , but was too lightly asleep and woke up instantly snd wailed etc

DP stepped in with an expressed bottle and it seemed to top him up enough to make him sleep. After that, whenever he needed a feed, he'd have one and settle todsleep straight away.

The combo og better teamwork and the expressed bottle made a huge difference.

Tonight we've got one and a half expressed feeds on standby. .. DS hss been at the breast on and off for over2 hhours so far, so may yet go for first bottle sooner rather than later.

Am also looking into cranial osteopathy and will get other issues checked too.

Thanks all snd happy feeding!

evelynj Mon 29-Jul-13 00:53:19

Glad it's a bit better-Theres no easy solution-expressing is. A pita after not long also.

I'm not keen on co sleeping but we're currently doing it with my 2 week old colicky daughter. I had bought a 'snuggle nest' & it feels quite secure between us in the bed-we're in super king but fit ok in king size also & I take up a lot of room.

I find it's one good day followed by a bad at the mo & parents & babies have a lot to learn. On the plus side, 2 weeks tomorrow & my nipples aren't hellishly sore anymore!

Good luck-you're doing great!

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