Finding night feeds depressing

(37 Posts)
sweetpea1112 Sat 12-Jan-13 00:33:33

Anyone else find it unbearable being awake in the night? My baby is 6 weeks old so I know this is only the start of my night waking 'career' but I find waking up in the night to feed/wind/change soul destroying. He never goes more than 3hours between feeds day or night, and we rarely get more than 1-2 hours sleep at a time.

I really dread the night times and can't enjoy it or see it as 'special'time with the baby as others do. I feel like an awful mother for feeling so burdened by this. As I type, he has given me a big gummy smile, but I was completely unmoved by it as I am finding it so hard being up at night. My partner is very good and does the night shift twice a week but that just seems to serve as a reminder of what I am missing. sad

Oops, didn't mean this to be Such a self indulgent moan - hard to find perspective at this time of night.

monsterchild Sat 12-Jan-13 00:37:11

I hear you on the night stuff. the feeding is ok, I am slowly learning to feed while reclining. It's the winding, changing that is terrible. it doesn't help that our house is generally a cold place right now. But on the bright side, ds is no longer peeing all over everything at every change! Or peeing out of his nappy. We've figured that much out at least.

And the worst bit is Dh snoozes through all of it, the fussing, the prodding to get him to change the kidlet. He'll get up, but not without a lot of prodding. Sometimes it's just not worth my effort.

On the flip side, many of the night nappies are pee only, so not so bad.

monsterchild Sat 12-Jan-13 00:37:50

I do think that the less light you can get by with, the easier it is for both of you to go back to sleep.

princessnumber2 Sat 12-Jan-13 00:39:53

You are normal. It's a bloody nightmare. But it passes. I used to record crap tv to watch but then found it woke me up too much so switched to radio. Nice gentle podcasts?

It does get easier but I still remember that feeling that the nightshirt was about to start and I dreaded it.

You are not alone!smile

princessnumber2 Sat 12-Jan-13 00:41:16

Nightshift not shirt! grin

princessnumber2 Sat 12-Jan-13 00:43:27

Also if anyone is telling you that they enjoy the night feeds as 'special time' with their baby, I would give them a very wide berth hmm

sweetpea1112 Sat 12-Jan-13 00:50:05

Nightshirt grin

I think it is in several bollocksparenting books that I have read about enjoying the night times. DS is ff which means extra time out of bed getting the feeds. I do manage by the light of my phone though so hope that helps him not to wake up too much.

Nice to know tis normal and not that I'm not cut out for motherhood.

monsterchild Sat 12-Jan-13 00:54:48

Oh no, I'm sure you're cut out for motherhood just not for unreasonable wakings! I'm not cut out for those either. And the other night, at about 3 am, Ds was super fussy and demanding food, so I kept feeding him and winding him. Finally, with a sound like a fog horn, he spit up an entire feeding all over me. Delightful.

i used to dread the nights - dh would snore through all the sobbing and screaming (mine and ds), lights on (in the early days of loooong bfs - would read on my kindle) IN THE SAME BED angry Somewhere between 6-8 weeks ds stopped pooping in the night so i relied on pampers 12 hour dryness and we cracked breastfeeding so no more lights and slightly more sleep grin
i loved but did not particularly like ds at night time shock

Startail Sat 12-Jan-13 01:59:26

I always night FF DD1 in bed with the TV on watching the OU or C4 schools with subtitles.
DH just dozed next to me (he had to drive long distances somedays so I did nights).

DD2 would BF lying down and co- sleep bits of the night so she was easy.

No great strain, I'm a scientist there's usually something on.

teacher123 Sat 12-Jan-13 07:12:38

I hate night wakings so much it's put me off wanting another baby! DS remains a very inconsistent sleeper, and I hate not knowing what's coming!

IcouldstillbeJoseph Sat 12-Jan-13 07:29:55

I am 36 weeks preg with no 2 so it definitely gets better (she says with a strained, hopeful voice) but I can completely relate to your post OP. I remember in all seriousness asking my HV "is it normal to feel so fucking bleak in the middle of the night you wish you'd never had a baby?"
I did end up with awful PND but I get it all the same. I used to dread the nights unbelieveably.
If you are FF then is there someone who could do a night for you and you put some ear plugs in?!
Good luck, it will improve, soon!

Night wakings are not special time with baby. I only 'enjoyed' (as in, didn't dread) the night feeds when they dropped to one per night.

That said, I found them much harder with my first than my second. Here is what helped with my second baby:

1. I discovered the kindle and other ereader apps on my phone and downloaded loads of trashy but addictive books. My night waking routine was then, change nappy, get DD latched on then sit back and read. If it was a particularly filthy gripping book I would even get a little excited upon waking that I got to read the next bit.

2. I made sure I was comfortable and never cold. My first (DS) was bottle fed from 3 weeks and I used to have to go downstairs in the cold in my filmsy dressing gown then sit in an equally cold room and give him his bottle. I hated it. With DD I was lucky that the breastfeeding worked so no getting out of bed, but if it had failed I think I would have considered using the small cartons of formula poured into pre-steralised bottles or even stretching the budget to something like this to cut out having to go downstairs in the night. I also kept a few extra pillows and a very warm, fluffy dressing gown to hand.

I think with your first you spend so long planning what the baby needs that you forget to plan what you need. Take some time to think about what would make feeds more bearable for you. If you have to get out of bed perhaps think about one of those rocking nursing chairs. DMIL had one at her house and I use to love staying there and using it. Something for you. It will get easier as the feeds drop and you are less sleep deprived!

Fairylea Sat 12-Jan-13 07:42:25

No you're normal.

I hate it with a passion. I actually feel really angry inside and resent getting up at all.

This is why from 6 weeks both of mine have been in their own rooms with monitors and a strict bedtime routine. I have found it helps although against sids advice and both have slept through from 12 weeks more or less (dd 9 weeks).

I needed to sleep through for my own sanity. I could never co sleep either, I need my space in bed !

Fairylea Sat 12-Jan-13 07:44:09

Also, I put a chair next to the cot and when they woke I'd feed them in that, no light no changing no talking and they soon learned night time was for sleeping ... or maybe I was just lucky but I did this from about 6 weeks.

Some luck there I think Fairylea! DS had his own room from 3 weeks and was lucky to get a grunt from me during the night - let alone eye contact! I broke all the rules with DD (cosleeper cot, bfing in bed, etc) and she was always one feed per night less DS was at the same age.

They are now 2 and 4 and both good sleepers (aside from waking at 6:30 - but DH does too so I think I have to accept this is now morning in our house!!) DS is a very sensitive child though so I think this probably contributed to his awkward temperament as a baby!

TheFallenNinja Sat 12-Jan-13 08:39:57

Nope, there's nothing natural or normal about being ripped from your sleep to unreasonable demands from an unappreciative audience with no idea when you may be released from this captivity smile

It does get better though grin

HelloBear Sun 13-Jan-13 01:06:23

As I sit here feeding DS who will NOT go down (been trying since 11 it is now 1) I can safely say I feel it is anything but special. Feeling pretty pissed off actually, my DH is asleep next to me and iccan hear my DD coughing so she is probably going to wake up soon and require resettling. All I want to do is sleep, oh and have some space!!!!

I love them big for the love of god go to sleep!!!!

See it is normal?????

HelloBear Sun 13-Jan-13 01:07:05

And breath.

sweetpea1112 Sun 13-Jan-13 01:57:12

Thank you so much for replies smile. Am glad my feelings are normal but also sad. that lots of others are feeling this way. I would happily go through pregnancy and labour again, but this lack of sleep is certainly making me dread having a second baby.

DangerMousey Sun 13-Jan-13 10:14:49

Hey sweetpea i am so glad you started this thread. I have been feeling like I was the only woman on earth feeling exactly as you describe.

My 5wo DS is formula fed, so he goes longer between feeds than a BF baby of his age I guess, but I am STILL finding the nights incredibly hard. I put him in his own room with a monitor this week (i know, i know), because his snuffling and snorting all night meant that I wasnt sleeping even when he was - so i was getting about 1.5 hours sleep per night and I thought I was going insane. I literally thought I was going to vomit with tiredness by the time dh got home from work last wednesday :-(

I am now getting a couple of 2.5 hour blocks per night, which I know sounds great compared to what lot of people have at 5wo....but i still hate it.

Fairylea - when you put your DCs into their own room at 6 weeks, what did your 'strict bedtime routine' look like? I am finding it hard to set one up cos DS is not really on a routine as such yet during the day, so evenings are a bit all over the place. i.e. cos he is pretty much still feeding on demand throughout the day, sometimes at 3 hour intervals, sometimes 4, and occasionally 2-and-a-half, we end up having his nighttime drink at a different time each night. Any tips on how to manage this?

CheungFun Sun 13-Jan-13 10:20:11

I can't say I ever enjoyed night time feeds....it was just a case of do the necessary then get back to bed and sleep ASAP! It does get easier as they get bigger they can have more milk and stay fuller for longer!

Fairylea Sun 13-Jan-13 10:51:08

The way we did it (and we formula fed on demand as well) was whatever the last feed of the day was (anytime after 4.30 at first) we would make that the start of the bedtime routine.... so for example if you fed at 2.30 and that was followed by a nap or a period of playtime then from about 4.30 I'd start a bath and try to settle ds upstairs with a bottle and then put down to bed.

Gradually this becomes later as they are able to stay up for longer periods so now at 7 months ds goes to bed about 6ish. But at 6-8 weeks he was sometimes going to bed at 4.45 when he was most tired.

I think the key is to nabbing them upstairs when they seem really tired and feeding them there and then putting down half awake so they start to associate it with bedtime. I would then pop a dummy in as he was getting sleepy and leave the room after stroking his head.

If he didn't settle I'd leave for a few mins (not talking crying here - if he cried I'd go back and cuddle and then put down when settled etc and again) and if didn't settle after a few mins I'd replace dummy if fallen out and stroke head and go again. I'd keep going (sometimes took a while!)

Unless ds was crying I would never pick him up and I'd never bring him out of the bedroom or turn the lights on at all. I don't make any noise at all when I see to them.

I have done the same with both dc and they have both slept very well... but I'm no expert !!!

Fairylea Sun 13-Jan-13 10:54:12

Also I'd try to make sure they didn't start to nap downstairs after 4.30 ... if they looked sleepy at 4.30 I'd put them to bed and accept they'd be up at 5ish. I think babies of this age do tend to wake early for the day and it gets better as they get older.

I would also assume that at that age anytime around 2 hours after waking they are due for a nap or proper sleep depending on what time of the day it is.

opalescent Mon 14-Jan-13 08:00:23

God I'm feeling this too... Have a 5 week old, and I literally find the night feeds sickening- no exaggeration! I start to dread bedtime from about 6pm, as I have no idea how the night will go. I am elated in the morning if I've had more than 5-6 hours sleep altogether, and feel total despair if I've had less.
I seem to be really unable to cope with lack of sleep- feeling really depressed & odd on bad days, while friends with babies just seem to shrug it off?!

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