how to encourage my DD to feed longer at night?

(16 Posts)
Tumtitum Thu 21-Apr-16 04:28:12

My DD is 10 weeks, EBF with slow weight gain (currently 2-9th percentile, down from 25 at birth). She is generally a quick feeder although I have been trying to encourage her to feed for longer in recent weeks, with variable success! At nights she usually has an initial long stretch of 5 hours, waking around this time. She will then feed for a short while, sometimes only 5 mins, before falling asleep again. I try lots of things to gently waken her and encourage her to continue but she remains asleep. I then put her back down (she sleeps between my husband and I in a Sleepyhead) whereupon she usually remains asleep for a couple of minutes (normally when I have just settled myself back to sleep!) and begins rooting as she is still hungry. This happens 3 or 4 times before she is satisfied.
I'm reluctant to change her nappy as this really wakes her and she thinks it is morning! I've tried side lying nursing but she tends to have even shorter feeds and she struggles to latch herself on (she had TT cut at two weeks but we still have to constantly work on latch) plus I don't feel comfortable co-sleeping when she's not in her sleepyhead.
Any tips for encouraging her to nurse for longer without starting our days at 4am?!
Thanks in advance smile

OneBiscuitAtATime Thu 21-Apr-16 04:54:38

I do a nappy change so that he's properly awake and that stretches things out a bit. We hover around the 9th/25th from the 50th. He's 23 weeks now and the HV thinks he's just found his natural line.

Tumtitum Thu 21-Apr-16 05:34:39

Hmmmm, maybe I'll just have to do a nappy change and weather the storm for a few nights until she realises it doesn't mean it's morning! My mum is here over the weekend so maybe I'll try then grin I wish I could find a HV like yours, they all scare me and tell me it's not normal for her to drop centiles sad we had an awful time establishing breastfeeding so it's not at all helpful to hear!!! Thanks for your response smile

Strawclutching Thu 21-Apr-16 05:40:56

We have the same problem. I just keep tickling her face and hair. But sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Tonight we've only had 3 feeds which is the best night so far.

Tumtitum Thu 21-Apr-16 05:41:10

Just a thought... Anyone had any experience of giving a bottle of expressed milk at night? I wonder would she take more as it's easier? We give her the odd bottle, normally before bed or occasionally out and about. I just wouldn't want to waste precious breast milk if she doesn't drink it! grin

Tumtitum Thu 21-Apr-16 05:43:21

Straw - I guess I've been spoilt as she's generally always been a 2 feeds per night baby! In glad you've had an easier night with yours smile I think it's worse because it's always getting nearer to morning when she does this frequent waking so you end up thinking you may as well stay awake at this point!! confused

Tumtitum Thu 21-Apr-16 05:47:57

Currently tickling her face and neck which is doing nothing to wake her but she's smiling away and clearly loving it! She's lucky she's so adorable! wink

Janecc Thu 21-Apr-16 06:52:46

I wasn't coping with my DD and multiple night waking. Not sure how old she was but I got myself into a routine of rousing her very late - maybe midnight at your dds age and giving her a bottle of expressed milk. You do work out how much to give quite quickly so not much wastage. I didn't make tons of milk. I expressed before the first morning feed, stopping half an hour before for my boobs to recover before feeding her. I got loads of milk that way but not much if I did it later in the day.

Tumtitum Thu 21-Apr-16 09:07:57

Thanks for the tip Janecc! My plan had been to get up at 7 to express before she woke but she finally fell into a decent chunk of sleep! :/

Janecc Thu 21-Apr-16 11:32:24

She will get there and so will you she's still really little smile. My DD and needed this night feed for a very long time. I did Gina Ford btw <she whispers very very quietly> not from birth. But from around your dds age. Please no one slate me.... It worked for us and without it I would have been a wreck because dds sleep was so erratic and I needed the help to get her into a routine. She thrived on it but it's very restrictive. My midwife told me Gina doesn't let the mothers feed babies enough to establish milk long term and the reason it probably worked on the bfing front was because I left it til my milk was established. I fed her til 2.5 years btw. I'm not trying to advise you the best thing would be to do Gina but looking at books on feeding and routines may give you some tips.

Tumtitum Thu 21-Apr-16 14:37:15

Thanks. I'm a bit reluctant to try anything too restrictive as I know I'd find it hard to drink to and because of her slow weight gain I really want to feed on demand - she can be a fussy little madam and it's hard enough to get a full feed in her even when she is hungry! confused my brother did a very strict routine with both his son and daughter and it's really worked for them but they were also both FF and he and is wife are much more disciplined than my husband and I!!

Janecc Thu 21-Apr-16 20:08:10

I totally agree and am against restrictive feeding, that's a relic from mid last century and beyond. I more used it as a nap/sleep timeline because I didn't have a clue about routines and DD was unhappy and struggling to settle into any kind of pattern. I was surprised when DD was largely satisfied with the feeding schedule but I did feed her for more time than advised if DD wanted to and cluster fed in the afternoon. As for her weight, as long as your DD is growing and not permanently grouchy, I am sure you are doing fine. If you are at all worried, there are a lot of weekly weigh in clinics around to discuss your concerns.

Tumtitum Fri 22-Apr-16 04:08:23

Yeah she's a very happy baby generally and is otherwise strong and healthy so on the one hand on not too concerned, but obviously as s first time mum you worry and we had such a difficult start to breastfeeding it's hard not to feel that something else is bound to go wrong!!! Out go surgery actually has twice weekly baby clinics but I'm reluctant to weigh her weekly when the HVs don't seem to have much useful advice to ease my anxieties! I'm going fort nightly at the moment and will go on Tues, then have an appointment on Weds with the lactation consultant who divided her tongue tie who hopefully will reassure me that she is getting the milk she needs!!smile
Just did the dreaded night time nappy change... It was barely wet! confused oh well, DD has fed for a little longer, now if I can only get her to go back to sleep, hopefully she'll sleep for a bit longer!! smile

Tumtitum Fri 22-Apr-16 05:24:09

Nope... Awake and feeding again just an hour after I put her down! confused

Janecc Fri 22-Apr-16 13:30:50

Has she learnt to feed properly after her tongue op? That could make a difference as she may be struggling a bit to feed fully and falling asleep before she has finished because of ongoing muscular constraints or because she isn't used to feeding with a freed up tongue. Cranial sacral therapy apparently can help with that. My DD fell asleep before she was finished anyway - did not have tongue tie - I gave her the bottle of expressed milk to get her through to 7 am (maybe not at 10 weeks, I can't remember). The night time milk is the most nutritious as well and will have a bearing on multiple feeding. Please bear in mind if the health visitors were concerned they would raise any issues very quickly with you. I commented on a thread recently you may be interested in and there was a comment from a mum with a baby who'd had a tongue tie. Have a look at, it started on 16th April. "Combination Feeding - Clueless Please Help"

Tumtitum Fri 22-Apr-16 18:36:00

Thanks, I'll have a look at the thread smile she had cranial osteopathy after her TT was cut, is that the same thing? It did seem to loosen things up a bit, I think her latch is ok now... We're going to see the lactation consultant who cut her TT next week so we'll see then how much she's taking in at a feed...
I'm considering trialling topping her up with expressed milk to see if that helps her weight gain at all, any advice on that? Thanks for all the useful replies smile

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