Breast feeding at night(21 Posts)
Ds is 16 weeks and for about the last 3 weeks nights have been hell. He's falling asleep very quickly on my breast, unrousable to feed more, but then when I put him in his cot he cries and shoves his hands in his mouth so I start feeding again. When he finally does go down, usually after an hour or more of this, he only sleeps for 90 mins max. Tonight since 10 pm and now I've had about 90 mins sleep.
I can't sustain this - I have a 2 year old dd to look after in the day.
I've been to bf support and had help with my latch - I thought this would help.
Tried to cosleep so he can bf when I'm lying down, but I have very small breasts and couldn't get my nipple to reach to his mouth in that position. Co sleeping not really a practical option for us anyway.
Am I doing something wrong? I really need to get more sleep than this, it's becoming so hard.
Do you feed him to sleep on every waking? We had this problem with DS (now 8 months) and used the No Cry Sleep Solution approach first to help withdraw from always feeding to sleep, and then to start settling in the cot rather than feeding every time (not quite 'No Cry', but minimal!). The first few weeks were actually fairly easy then once we started settling in the cot it was tiring for a few weeks, then really improved. We're still up twice a night, but it is miles and miles better
In the meantime, I am also not busty but am able to feed lying down if I prop him up on my arm - appreciate that it doesn't sound like an answer for the long term, but maybe a few nights of rest would help!
I don't get how to do that as he falls asleep on my breast so quickly I don't have time to put him down awake iyswim. He's so cross when he wakes I try and soothe him as he's lying in his cot but he's sucking his hands and crying. I can't let him cry for long because he'll wake dd and I can't sort both of them out.
He's feeding for only a couple of minutes before he falls back to sleep.
I'm about to crack up. Downstairs now with a cup of tea I've given up trying to put him back in the cot.
Hello, same issue here although mine is a bit older, 6 months. I had to resort to a formula feed at 11ish, which gets her through until 1 or 2 ish so at least I get one 2-3hr chunk of sleep. Without it I'm really cranky with the lively two-yr-old in the mornings. Do you have anyone to do the dawn patrol with both kids 6-8am while you stay in bed?
Darn, Posted too soon. Fat thumb. I had to strip her down for each feed, the cold helped keep her awake. Also a lot of prodding, then delatching her and allowing her to fall asleep in the cot- took about three weeks to get her in. Although she still ends up in with me from about 3/4 in the morning, firmly attached at the nipple. It's hard but if we can hang in there, eventually they will grow out of it.
Sometimes dh can at weekends but dd often calls out to me a lot and then I can't sleep.
I feel at the end of my tether. Dd's just woken up because she heard ds crying
Once you've stripped them down to feed, do you then get them all dressed again afterwards? Doesn't that just wake them up again?
I've tried formula as a desperate measure but it didn't make much difference so I've decided to just stick with the bf and hang in there.
Dh is now up with ds, I've told him that if this carries on he's going to have to take over for an hour or so on the night and just rock/cuddle ds to let me get a little bit of sleep. I'm in dd's room now until she goes back to sleep.
Everything was fine until about 3 weeks ago we went on holiday and he got a really bad cold, was up a lot in the night and it's never changed now he's got better.
Hi Beano not much advice but definitely some solidarity - am also dealing with multiple night wakings with my DS who had previously slept well. Also have a 2.5 year old DD who I desperately try not to wake in the night.
What did give me a little success was to not feed at every wake up - I sort of clock watch and aim to just resettle him if its only been 1-2 hours since last wake.
I know that might not work though if he is upset and used to feeding to sleep.
I too am trying the NCSS - am on a thread in Sleep topic - but to be honest progress is slow to say the least. The book is very useful though at helping you see what you can do to break the cycle - even though I am currently going against all of that and feeding my DS to sleep.
Hang in there I know how intense nights like yours feel. Hope you get some rest.
Thank you. I got about 10 mins sleep then dd woke up, she slept in our bed for a bit but kept rubbing her legs up my back so I couldn't sleep. Then she got upset and that's woken ds again, so I'm up again. Will try again tomorrow night.
Because I did a bit of mixed feeding last week maybe I need to build my supply back up? One of my breasts feels really small and empty, although milk is coming out of it so I'm trying to get ds to feed on that side a lot.
I don't want anymore kids so really want to enjoy this baby time but it's fucking rubbish at the moment.
Bean, sending you hugs - I know it's exhausting! it is probably the 4 month sleep regression right now, with illness and possibly a growth spurt making it worse.
How long did you mix feed for? If just a day or so and if you only gave one or two ff it's unlikely to have seriously damaged your supply.
One thing that can sometimes help night waking is to offer feed as often as possible in the day and also encourage loads of cluster feeding in the evening, so they can tank up.
Should all go back to something much more manageable soon.
I had the same problem with DD, my HV explained to me the in her light phase of sleeping (the first 15 mins) where I had fed her to sleep she was expecting to have to use the sucking motion to go back when I put her in her cot IYSWIM. I know its not for everyone but we have introduced a dummy just for this reason and take it out as soon as shes in a deeper sleep. It has meant at least 4 hours straight sleep every night in her cot since.
If he's 16 weeks it could be the 4 month sleep regression. Google it. There are also loads of threads on here too.
Id really try to build up upir supply by feedingloads in the day and really tankking him before bed. Personally if you can get him to take formula Id give a bottle before bed. I am bitterly regretting not doing this with ds who is now 7mths and a terrible sleeper
Have you had a check for tongue tie?
Hence why I am posting on mn at 5.30am. Haven't had proper sleep (4+ hours in a row) for months!
Struggle through today and make sure you go to bed when the kids go to bed tonight. If your dh does the first night waking then you may actually get a few hours if you start sleeping at 7
Sorry to hear your having a hard time. Just about you saying you can't feed lying down because you have small boobs- have you tried lying on your back and draping your LO across your chest? I do this, and it turned out it's actually a thing. I'll find you a link:
My DD used to fall asleep whilst eating constantly, and then we found a posterior tongue tie and got it cut yesterday, she already seems to be eating for longer before she drifts off. Maybe eating is hard work for you LO.
Had a posterior tongue tie snipped at 8 weeks. Feeding dd was a dream, this time it feels so much like hard work. Determined to keep it up.
Mixed fed for a whole week, I really hope I haven't damaged my supply, but things were bad like this before I gave a bottle, and most feeds I was mixing breast and bottle. If I keep getting him to feed will I make enough milk? He's not crying or anything when he's feeding so I presume he's getting milk out. I've got a hand pump, should I try to pump the breast too?
I think if you supply dips it'll come back up again. That's what I've been told anyway, DD has been mixed fed for the past 7 weeks and I'm hopign to get to EBF now she's had her tongue fixed.
Pumping is meant to help to boost supply.You do an extra 5-10 minutes after baby finishes eating to tell you body 'woops, I should have made more milk here, this baby is still eating'. You don't have to go mad with hours and hours of pumping. After 6 feeds for 10mins would be better than say an hour long pump.
Remember how much you pump has nothing to do with how much milk you have. Don't panic if you only get 10ml and assume you don't have enough for the baby!
Also, I just found out somethign I never knew about the handpump. You don't have to go fopfopfopfopfopfopfopfopfop and squueze teh handle super fast. You start like that till milk comes out then you switch to squeezing the handle slowly, to create suction until the milk that's coming out stops, and then you realease the handle and do it again. So it's more like fopfopfopfopfop foooop fooooooop foooooop. WIsh i'd known that sooner, would have saved me so much hand cramp!
This is a really useful link about eliminating ff:
I would read it through and then chat it over with someone on one of the helplines eg the LLL one - they will be v happy to discuss. Basically, you need to just make sure there is enough milk by keeping an eye on weight/nappy output and not reducing the ff abruptly.
I think you have the right idea to aim to go back to ebf. The independent studies of sleep on the Isis website (done with Durham Uni) showed that ebf mothers have the best quality of sleep compared to ff and mixed feeding. There is no evidence that introducing a ff at night gets mothers more sleep over all.
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