Dread each night and feel like a walking udder. Please help.

(27 Posts)
workingtitle Mon 11-Nov-13 06:12:35

DS is six weeks old and I am struggling with the amount he feeds and sleeps. He nurses between 12 and 16 times a day, won't sleep for longer than a couple of hours in a stretch and is up much of the night.

We had a breakthrough getting him to sleep between 11pm and 2am ish, but tonight like most nights he has been awake and grizzly since then until just now. He's generally awake from 2am til 5 or 6am and then will sleep on and off til 9ish.

I'm exhausted and haven't had more than two consecutive hours sleep since he was born and tonight like other nights he was almost impossible to console. If he would go down between the 2am and 4/5am feeds that would make the world of difference.

He has awful trapped wind and refl ux and I think nursing helps ease his discomfort. He seems to be in worse pain at night . He was also prem/low birth weight so probably still needs to feed more than other babies his age. We had real struggles to establish breastfeeding and I don't want to stop but I dread night times and am really resenting breast feeding.

Has anyone got any advice? I've tried a dummy without success and he has one bottle a day but not in the evenings/ nights as we found he would continue to cry until he got on the breast. With the sleep, he 'll sometimes go down in the early hours if he's on one of our chests but that's not sustainable. We've been advised not to cosleep because he was prem but I have a couple of times. Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't.

Sorry for the epic post sad

Lovelybitofsquirrel Mon 11-Nov-13 06:27:08

No advice but I feel your pain, have been up since 3am with ds. Everyone says "this too will pass", so I'm just holding out for it to get better as he gets older!

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Mon 11-Nov-13 06:33:27

Congratulations on your new ds flowers

Could he sleep in a cot wedged against your bed? There are ways of making it safe, so it's like co-sleeping without him actually being in your bed?

Have you tried propping up his mattress by putting a thin pillow/folded towel underneath it? I found that helped when mine were snotty or sicky at night.

Keep going with the breastfeeding, it does get easier and is so much less faff than formula once you hit your stride.

It sounds silly, but when I've felt resentful of feeding my ds in the night I think about his tiny feet inside his pyjamas. He's 15 months now and it still works for me.

(((Hugs)))

Aquariusgirl86 Mon 11-Nov-13 06:38:31

Have you looked at co sleeper cots?
I feel your pain but it does get better, you are doing an amazing job

Boosiehs Mon 11-Nov-13 06:50:08

Oh I feel your pain! DS is 9 weeks now and has just started sleeping a bit better (5 hours tonight!).

It will pass. I found that if I just let him feed as long as he wanted at night, about an hour, then he sleeps better.

Fingers crossed for you.

LovesBeingHereAgain Mon 11-Nov-13 06:52:58

Have you checked he's not got a lip or Tongue tie? After 8 months of he'll I found out ds had an upper lip tie and that's why he fed so often

Rollermum Mon 11-Nov-13 06:53:18

My DD is 7 weeks, though was 2 weeks late, so eats less than your LO but she has a lot less digestive distress and seems to sleep more if I don't eat dairy. I tried adding it back this weekend to check it wasn't coincidence and symptoms returned. Might be worth a try.

I have constructed my own co sleeper by taking the side of the cot. I agree that this can help. Though it can be hard to get her across into it and easier not to sometimes.

Can you express and get someone else to take on a feed so you at least get two chunks joined together?

Rollermum Mon 11-Nov-13 06:53:49

That's eats less often.

cindyrella Mon 11-Nov-13 07:40:50

I dont have any advice cause I am in a similar situation. Other than getting someone else to take on a feed. I get a 'sleep in' if u can call it that on a Sat morn when oh feeds her so i can stay in bed an extra 2 hrs.

Hang in there hon & you're not alone. It'll get better...it hs to eventually!

Lovesbeinghereagain...what is a lip tie?

workingtitle Mon 11-Nov-13 08:44:44

Thanks so much for the replies, it's perversely comforting to know I'm not alone. he's just had a couple of hours asleep on DHs chest. Thinking it will pass is the only positive about it. I just had six weeks in my mind as a time when it might begin to get easier.

He did have a tongue tie which was snipped at 3 weeks, he still can't latch so we use nipple shields. I'm hoping to wean him off these when he's a bit bigger. I express enough for one bottle a day but he will only take it in the day.

The cosleeper cot isn't a bad idea--I have his bassinet right next to me in bed and it has mesh sides and I can put my arm into it to touch him, but it is a pain getting him in and out in the night.

Thanks for understanding, I feel wretched about hating it all

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Nov-13 09:21:45

You can rent an NCT bednest for £100 for six months which made a huge difference to my night sleep as instead of lifting the baby down which can trigger the startle reflex you only have to scoot them across after a feed.

Have you been given medication for the reflux? What about the wind - Infacol or colief could help there.

I also found what helped was that when my baby was regularly up for hours in the middle of the night to just accept it as an awake period instead of spending the entire time trying to get him back to sleep. I'd go downstairs, put a DVD on etc. It made the time go faster and it was so less frustrating. He did grow out of it!

Rollermum Mon 11-Nov-13 13:53:14

Yes Noble that is so true about going with the awake period. If LO is all smiling and awake at 3am after waking fir a feed I just go to the living room, read or watch DVDs and then try agian to sleep later - often after the next feed.

DD has a habit of dropping off, but then pooing awake so then I have to get up, change her and then she's up! Hoping the difference between night and day will kick in soon.

SparklyFucker Mon 11-Nov-13 13:59:26

What meds are you on for the reflux? You need to be badgering your doctor for improved solutions - neither you nor your baby should be expected to continue like this. Some of the fussiness is normal newborn behaviour, but with reflux in the mix, there are medications that will help enormously.

workingtitle Mon 11-Nov-13 18:32:53

Thank you. I think you're probably right about accepting the awake time--it will probably be better for my mental health than sitting in a dark bedroom. I was trying to teach him night from day but if he's wide awake it's just too much right now to keep at it.

We decided with the Dr not to give him gaviscon as it could effect his bowels/wind and that causes him more discomfort than the vomiting (though it's a pain for us with multiple clothes/muslin changes). I'm not sure if there are alternatives?

workingtitle Mon 11-Nov-13 19:05:10

I've resolved to rediscover my patience tonight and try to remember that DS is still so little and is nursing not just for nutrition. Actually getting out the bedroom will help and jighf even pop him in the sling - always gets him to sleep.

Thanks for posting, and I'm sorry for those who are also going through it. X

SparklyFucker Mon 11-Nov-13 19:11:20

There are loads - omeprazole and ranitidine are the two most common, but speak to your doctor again and outline just how severe the symptoms and effects are - neither of you are getting more than 2 hrs sleep in a go - that needs treating. Gaviscon may well not be the most appropriate but you'll need to chat with your doctor about it again to find out. Ds2 had gaviscon for months, and yes it affected his bowels, but it meant he could at least keep some food down and therefore gain weight. His longest gap between poos was 14 days. Yes you read it right, 14 days! You could cut the smell in the air with a knife when he finally went!

Havinganose Mon 11-Nov-13 19:14:17

Re the shields. I managed to get ds off them at three months. Was about same timing for others on bf group.

Congrats on getting this far

stargirl1701 Mon 11-Nov-13 19:15:14

I would give Ranitidine a go, OP. it could change your life. Start at the lowest dose but remember there are higher dosing levels you could try.

AgathaPinchBottom Mon 11-Nov-13 20:02:18

I may be offering you totally hopeless advice as not apply to you at all, but my DS at that age was only sleeping a few hours at a time and I was constantly giving him infacol and getting no sleep at all and got very depressed. After 12 weeks a marvellous health visitor showed me that I was breast feeding at a slightly wrong angle therefore letting lots of air in. DS got so much better immediately - I felt terrible I'd got it wrong for so long. Up to this point I had poo pooed the idea it might be a latch issue as he was guzzling it down so happily. Just thought I'd share in case it helps. Best of luck with getting more sleep. You WILL sleep again. It does get better.

Have you tried a cranial osteopath. Doesn't work for all but helped my ds4 improve a lot at night with colic and generally being unsettled.
It's such a hard time and it feels like it will last forever but I promise it will get better. You are doing brilliantly.

workingtitle Mon 11-Nov-13 21:03:55

Thank you all, SparklyFucker I am very amused at your description of the smell smile

I'll head back to the GP I think to discuss options like ranitidine/omeprazole. Thanks for suggesting.

StealthToddler, we've had 3 cranial sessions on the advice of the midwife who cut DSs tongue tie. I think they've helped with other things but not this... Have one more this Friday.

I think once getting off the shields eventually will help, that just feels too much right now. He's definitely taking in lots of air with them. Thanks for saying you got off them eventually, Havinganose--I worry that weaning off them will be tough.

SparklyFucker Mon 11-Nov-13 21:33:56

Oh, it was grim grin. And (stop reading now if TMI!) it took a substantial amount of time for it all to come out, it just went on and on and on and on. And on. For amusement's sake I weighed him afterwards and he was well over a pound lighter than his previous week's weight. Now I know there could be any number of reasons for that, but honestly, all that faecal matter backed up inside him could not have helped.

workingtitle Mon 11-Nov-13 21:48:18

That is amazing grin DS is backed up (I'm convinced) and we've had some epic poos, but nothing like that! His wind is LOUD and very smelly though.

Swanhilda Tue 12-Nov-13 14:32:17

Dd who was a twin and about 6Ibs at six weeks (so very little) due to losing a lot of birth weight in early days used to scream blue murder in the night and it took me a while to work out that she was terribly terribly tired and just longing to go back to sleep after a feed. She fed very often...say about ten times a day at that age, mixture of bottle and breast and was latched on properly, had reflux that settled by about 16 weeks (although she continued to be sicky) She was one of those babies you could not put down after a feed (and this continued until she was about 16-18weeks) upright for at least 3/4 hour! I had her in a sling most of the day, and help in the day or else I wouldn't have coped with three kids under two.

But at night, she was just TIRED. She needed a feed, but she was desperate to sleep, and needed different treatment. We stopped cuddling her and just put her back in her cot, and she would scream for 10 minutes and then go back to sleep (for another two hours) I don't think we might have realised it was tiredness unless she was a twin, because we literally could not have dealt with two babies that needed to be up all night grizzling. Just a thought?

Swanhilda Tue 12-Nov-13 14:38:39

Oh yes, and she was also a bit premature 38 weeks c/section.

The other thing is to try and get quality sleep in the day, you I mean. If you can get someone to take her out for a pram ride, just so you know you can rest for two hours without listening out for her. Also from baby's point of view, sleep is very important, feeding all the time tires them out too, and makes them more and more frazzled, unless it is interspersed with some sleep, and that could be sleep on you, in a sling, in a pram, in a car, anything really that lets the baby sleep and not waste her energy crying.

workingtitle Tue 12-Nov-13 17:33:55

Thank you, Swanhilda. I think you've hit on something about being overtired. I think DS is absolutely pooped. I've been noting when he sleeps and I don't think pud enough--15 hrs in the past 24 for eg. And that was a good night as we coslept, which I shouldn't really do.

I think I might pop him in the sling this evening if he's not napping.

Thanks again

HoneyandRum Thu 14-Nov-13 05:19:55

Workingtitle have you tried heavy hints to help DS set his body clock closer to the rest of the nation? When it's evening, turn all the lights down, cut out extra noise, talk quietly, play quiet soothing music, give him a warm bath, close all the curtains to block out any street light etc. Don't keep all the interior house lights blaring and the TV at full blast and expect him to understand it's time to sleep.

In the morning do the opposite, make sure he's in as a bright a natural light as possible, you can also wrap him up warm and either sit outside together or do as the Germans do and have him lie in his pram outside the backdoor for a while. He needs lots of natural light to help reset his clock.

Try and keep a daily rythym, not necessarily a set routine but by having a regular pattern to your day you start to introduce a vague concept of time to him. Ie Mum has breakfast, than baby feed, change, nap etc. trip out of the house in the morning (even a walk round the block), etc. etc. a rythym will help him start to anticipate the next stage in the day. It takes time but a darkened, quiter house in the evening seemed to help my three. Also a baby rocker, the rhythmic rocking was a big hit with my second and would put her straight to sleep, or also just keep her very happy while I did wild and crazy stuff - like shower.

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