Any breastfeeding guru out there who might be able to help me??(16 Posts)
Hi, have a 16do baby boy who's been EBF. He cluster feeds for a few hours every day at different times but usually in the night. During the day he feeds well every 2-3 hours. When I go up to bed at 10.30 ish he wakes and I give him his 'last feed'. This feed then results in a 3-4 hour period of wind, crying, feeding, pooing in a constant cycle. I'm absolutely exhausted by this now after 2 weeks. Last night we discussed the idea of Formula for this 10pm feed and it upsets me that the first time I've ever managed to BF successfully I'm possibly going to admit defeat due to sheer exhaustion. After the 3-4 hours, he then sleeps soundly, (this morning from 4-9 and I've had to wake him at 9!)
So, my questions are: what's the likelihood of it being something i've eaten during the day causing this windy/griping in the evening? I'm prepared to cut out dairy or caffeine if necessary???
How can I help him get this wind up during the day? I burp him after e every feed but he's not a big burper.
Would a formula feed at 10.00 be a terrible idea, or might it be the solution?
I'm desperate now as I'm utterly exhausted, plus have a toddler who makes it difficult to catch up on sleep.
Any suggestions very welcome
I know there will be different advice but I gave both my DSs formula at around 10 pm, and still managed to BF them first DS for 9 months and DS2 for 14 months. You need a rest.
Does he wake up naturally when you ffeed him at 10? Does he wake up because of the noise of you going to bed or do you wake him up on purpose to give him a last night feed - which seems to be a trend at the moment.
I really sympathise. At this early stage, if you wanted to keep bf then I'd have thought you'd have to pump whilst you give him formula, in order to keep your supply up, so you might find it's just as much of a faff. My supply was very flexible by about 6 months but at that early stage I think giving formula at 10pm would have scuppered my supply. That's not to say it'll be the same for you though.
Personally I'd have thought it unlikely that your boy's intolerant of something in yor diet if this only seems to happen at night, but am most definitely not an expert. Have you got a La Leche League mtg near you? Google for their locations - you c an also ring their helpline, or the National BF helpline, for advice.
Good luck! Bf is a bit of a thankless task but personally I found that the pain and difficulties of the first few of months (my boy had a tongue tie that wasn't cut until 8wks and we had a LOT of problems) were outweighed by the sheer convenience and economics of bf in the long run, and we didn't stop til he was 19 months.
He's very little so maybe nothing to do with what you are eating etc and just needs to be close to you. Both my children did similar but earlier in the evening. Are you trying to put him back down in cot or whatever? You may find he settles better lying on you or next to you if safe to do so. Also night feeds do unfortunately for us mums help with milk supply!
Fussing, feeding and wind in the evening are all totally normal (formula may even make the wind and fussing worse as it is much harder to digest than breast milk). Feeding a lot at this time is him building up your supply for tomorrow. Cutting that feed at this age may cause problems with supply, but I know a lot of people do introduce a formula feed at some point with no issues.
Unfortunately the first few weeks are hard, but he will come through the other side. A newborns digestive system is totally new, so it's no wonder they can have such problems digesting and with wind etc. Can you try researching different holding positions to combat wind?
averagebear, your little one sounds normal, healthy and absolutely typical of a baby of this age.....it's highly unlikely to be anything you have eaten, and far more likely to be the fact he is a newborn and needs to be close to you and objects when he is not by crying. This is much more likely to happen at night, and is nothing to do with feeding at all.
Formula may or may not appear to help - sometimes, because formula takes longer to digest and because you can control the volume more and the baby gets larger quantities than he actually needs nutritionally, a baby who has a bottle of formula at night may sleep for a longer period. But it may not happen like that! As it is early days, you do risk reducing your supply by leaving a long gap between breastfeeds, too, especially as your ds is not feeding super-frequently in the day, so you'd need to express to avoid that risk.
Sometimes, it's easier to work out ways of making things easier for you, than to change the very normal behaviour of a new baby. So giving up on the idea of settling him at 10.30 is a start - read up on safe co-sleeping, and just snuggle in together. It doesn't mean you will be doing this forever, and you will def get the sleep you both need
A call to any of the bf helplines would be a good idea, to discuss all your options.
One of mine had an almost identical pattern. It's just life with a newborn, unfortunately. Remember that it's not for ever! And actually, 4-9 (or later) sounds a good long sleep for him during the first month.
Co-sleeping worked for me, and seemed to settle baby. But 16 days is very young, so it might be just a bit too soon for routine.
It is exhausting. Try sleeping when he does. Do you have someone to help with your older dc?
Thankyou everyone, I appreciate your feedback. It's not the feeding through the night that I'm struggling with it's the knockon chain reaction that seems to take several hours, and it always occurs when I'm exhausted from the day. kitchen we don't wake him deliberately at 10.00 but he's often waking at the time as he's had a few hours asleep and is ready for a feed. I've never got on board with the 'dream feed'
In the mornings I feel better about it all and can be objective and see positive improvements. It's in the middle of the night when I feel hopeless and desperate! Thanks again for your advice
Probably not relevant, but how come you had to wake him at nine? I'm thinking if you both get a chance to have a long stretch of sleep then you should take it if you can.
Hello! My now 5 mth old was v similar at that age although the awake period didn't last as long.
I wonder to get a little rest if you can go to bed a little earlier yourself, feed him at 10 and then have dp do skin to skin for a couple of hours (even in a dark room but whilst watching tv for sanity?) and then swap until he's ready to settle?
Good luck OP, it is tough x
roganjosh I woke him to feed as he'd been asleep 5 hours. I have 2 other kids so had been up doing their breakfasts etc but once they went off to school thought I should really wake him to feed
plus was leaking milk everywhere after going 5 hours . I know in theory I should just sleep when he does, but in real life it's just not possible, and I'd prefer him not to do his only longer sleep in the day if at all possible.
During the day today he's fed every 2 hours and sometimes more frequently, so hasn't had long periods of deep sleep - perhaps he'll be too tired to party tonight!
Thanks everyone for your advice
V v v unlikely to be related to anything you are doing or eating. Most likely normal behaviour, I tried formula for the same thing and actually made things worse!! Have you tried a bit of gripe water or infacol or anything like that? An extra ten minutes of winding, try sitting him upright and bouncing him on your knee slightly? This will pass, honest, his tiny baby tummy is just adjusting!
It's so exhausting! I have an EBF 4 week old and a toddler. He never had these tummy troubles so I have been struggling to work out solutions to soothe my DD.
I agree I think it's unlikely to be what you're eating.
Your baby is so little and this is likely just a phase.
First of all I personally wouldn't go more than 2 hrs during the day without feeding in the first 6-8 weeks. That's just from experience and what I've read. But maybe more during the day would mean less at night.
But it is impt you feed at least every 4hrs at night. Some people have a decent supply without but for many with supply issues not feeding enough at night in the first couple of months is thought to be the cause.
Can you rouse him a bit more in the evening so he can do feeding and pooping a bit earlier?
Are you feeding him in a particular position for that 10pm feed that is any different? I wanted to feed DD side lying but she's not ready so I have to do laid back feeding positions and then give her a good burp and keep her upright on my chest while I read before laying her down.
Also, my DD does these feeding fussing marathons at night too. She gets gas and tries to feed for her sore tummy which makes it worse and then she is tired so can't feed properly and swallows more air!
I've found I have to put her in stretchy wrap and jig her around til the burps are out and she is sleeping. Then hop in bed with her on my chest til I know she's really settled before putting her down.
I think we have to hang in there til supply is established and there digestive system has matured. I know it's hard when you're exhausted. We all have a miserable cold too!
I find Dr Sears a great source of info for feeding, burping, fussy babies etc
I would say formula and bottle feeding is likes to make the wind worse.
DS2 is 3 weeks and is breastfed during the day but has formula at 10pm ish and also the next feed too. He tends to feed about every 3 hours heyher its breast or bottle. He is also v fussy to settle but only after the 2am ish feed. I think this is partly wind and infacol has helped a bit but also I think the grunty strainy noises are just more noticeable at night and harder to tune out compared to day time when there is stuff going on. He's not crying just fussing.
I'm new to breastfeeding but having formula in the night doesn't seem to have had an impact on my supoly. I'm a bit full in the mornings but not uncomfortably so but I might just be lucky and my boobs have cottoned on to our "system". We started giving a bottle in the night as I had a c section with complications and simply couldn't physically manage breastfeeding during the night and also needed rest to recover properly.
You could give it a try and see if it helps and then reassess if it doesn't or your supply seems to suffer?
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