Should I give up on breastfeeding for a better routine? feeling like everyone is doing things right apart from me :(

(76 Posts)
MYA2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 14:10:16

So my baby boy is 8 weeks old. We have a huge issue with him sleeping alone. We have a snuzpod which he's slept in twice in total and the moses basket has never been slept in. He sleeps on me every night and during the day too if I can get him to actually sleep in the day.
We've tried and tried to get him down on his own but nothing works. I've beat myself up over it and heard the 'rod for your own back' shit more times than I care to remember.
I never intended to bed share but it's all that works and we get 8 hrs sleep a night (he only wakes up once for a feed)
however on meeting the other 8 ladies from antenatal classes, I've realised I'm the only one still breastfeeding. They are now all formula or combination feeding and seem to be getting on fine! Their babies sleep alone happily. They're telling me that breast milk is watery and probably not filling him up which is why he doesn't settle on his own for long as he's not really filling up or getting tired. Does this sound correct? He doesn't really sleep in the day unless he's In the car.
I feel like I'm doing everything wrong as their babies go to bed at 8pm and sleep well on their own. Mine comes to bed with us at 10.30 and sleeps with us.
I know you shouldn't compare but would formula feeding make him less clingy? I don't usually feel down about this but it's really got to me this weekend sad

Allhallowseve Sun 13-Mar-16 14:13:31

Sorry your feeling down. My ds was ff from birth and still struggles to go down at 18 months. I really don't think changing to ff will be a magic cure tbh I don't think it will make any difference. Do what's right for you .

FreeButtonBee Sun 13-Mar-16 14:14:03

He's a baby! They are clingy!

If you don't mind the co sleeping and get enough rest then ignore them. At about 12 weeks they start to be a bit easier to put down.

And waking once is amazing ! Wish my 7mo only woke once!
Watery breast milk!! Really!? 😒🙄🙄

It sounds like you are doing a great job. Maybe get a sling which means you can hold the baby and do something with your hands. My ds had 95% of his naps in the sling until he was 4 months. Now he has two good naps a day in his cot or buggy. They change so fast so please don't worry about the rod for your own back comments. How rude

MammyHester9116 Sun 13-Mar-16 14:18:50

Hi
My son is 9 weeks old. I exclusively breast feed (as do the other 9 mums from my antenatal).
I find my ds will sleep longer if he sleeps on me through the night. I find if I give him an expressed bottle through the night he drinks it quickly and goes back down quicker so I can get back to sleep. It might be worth a try.
The other mums are partial right about breast milk. The first bit is watery to quench their thirst then he gets thicker creamy milk to fill him up. Make sure he gets a good feed to get the thicker milk. The bf consultant suggested swapping sides so he gets lots of thinner milk to quench his thirst then putting him back to the first breast to get the thicker milk. I guess they have to work harder to get the thick stuff and it tires them out. Keep waking him up!
This is just advice and what works for us. You need to do what is right for you and your son and try formula of you need to.

Plateofcrumbs Sun 13-Mar-16 14:22:37

Ignore them! If you are getting enough sleep and happy BFing then keep going. All babies are different, impossible to say it's because of this or because of that. If he is only waking once for a feed then it suggests he is not hungry, he is just a normal baby who like snuggling close to his mum!

My DS would only sleep on me for the first few months, that's just the way he was. They change! By 6 months he was sleeping in a cot in his own room and by 12 months he slept better on his own. Now at 18 months I can't make him co-sleep at all, won't have any of it, and I miss those sleepy snuggles.

Every baby is unique and they are only tiny for such a short time though it feels like a lifetime in the middle of the night when they won't sleep Do what works for you and ignore anyone else.

srslylikeomg Sun 13-Mar-16 14:26:35

You're doing a great job!! Everyone feels they are fucking it up. I vote: keep feeding and co sleep, ignore "rod back guff" it's bullshit. But do whatever's right for your mental health! This is a short time in your life but feels bloody epic. I promise: you'll get through it and one day you'll read posts like yours today and think 'I remember feeling like that...and now it's over'

MYA2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 14:38:48

Thanks for the reassurance. I tried him on his own again in the snuzpod last night (as I do at least once a week) and he woke up instantly and cried and cried. It seems to upset him so much. He hardly ever cries normally he's a very content baby.
I have a sling which I use a lot in the day but he's so nosey he won't sleep in it! He's too concerned with what I'm doing hmm
Also he's put on an average of 9oz a week since birth so I don't think he's hungry!?
I love snuggling him but can't see him growing out of it, although I know he will eventually. But we can't even get 5 mins of him sleeping alone let alone an hour.
Everyone comments on what a happy baby he is and I feel it's because we go with what he wants. If he cries we pick him up. I feed him as soon as I see the cues. He sleeps with us. Now I feel that were spoiling him?
And my health visitor has gone on at me so much about the dangers of sids and cosleeping (I know the risks and we don't drink / smoke / take meds etc) that I now lie to her and tell her he's a fantastic sleeper on his own!

unimaginative13 Sun 13-Mar-16 15:41:35

Do what you feel is best, if you want to try a bottle of formula at night for your own sanity then bloody do it!

If you want to start expressing so someone else can do a feed - go sit in the bath.

I don't know why women beat themselves up at exclusive breastfeeding. Do you want to look back at being miserable or that you did best by you and your baby?

There's no losers in this game and no breastfeeding badges.

deathb4decaf Sun 13-Mar-16 15:51:57

You aren't spoiling him, just meeting his needs. Have you thought about a sleepyhead? (the deluxe sleepyhead fits perfectly in the snuzpod). It makes things a bit cosier in there! I winced at the price but I reasoned it could be used for any subsequent babies then flogged on eBay! I don't blame you for lying to the hv!

outputgap Sun 13-Mar-16 16:01:47

Oh bless you. Sounds like you're doing a brilliant job.

Those antenatal class groups can drive a sane person mental. I remember everyone moving their babies into 'proper' pushchairs and sit up seats and starting weaning at 4 and 5 months while I carried on with my pram and my exclusive bfing, slightly puzzled. A year or so later I read on here about competitive weaning, and the scales fell from my eyes! I was so last at everything!

I heard all the same stuff about bf and sleeping from my group. I could not be arsed learning to do formula, getting up to do bottles la la la, so I just kept bf. It does make your life much easier later on.

cocochanel21 Sun 13-Mar-16 16:13:25

My dd has being ff since birth. She wouldn't sleep in the Moses basket day or night. Best thing we bought was a sleepyhead also have a Chicco next2me crib. She still wakes in the night she's 15weeks.

Sounds as if your doing a great job.

MigGril Sun 13-Mar-16 16:41:31

Women breatfeed because they want to.

Bottle feeding and formula is no magic answer to sleep I'm afraid. And while I Breastfed, I had one good sleeper who was happy to be put down and one wasn't and needing holding to go to sleep. I don't think giving formula would have helped my clingy baby that was just how she was and I've since meet many mums with babies just the same who have been formula fed.

Breastmilk isn't watery that's a load of rubbish.

Feeding actually sounds like it's going really well for you. Well done is surviving with a new baby that's the hard part.

WhingyNinja Sun 13-Mar-16 16:42:33

You're doing a great job OP, the other mums you know are talking absolute shit, breast milk is not watery, it consists of thinner fore milk and thicker hind milk just like a PP said, and the fact your LO is putting healthy amounts of weight on means you're obviously doing the right thing!

I also cannot stress enough that you cannot spoil an 8 week old baby, all they want is to be warm, full and close to their parents, I really wouldn't stress too much about the co-sleeping right now, as PP have said this is such a short time in both your lives, how many adults do you know who can't sleep without being in bed with mummy!? He will become more independent in time.

Enjoy your little bundle, as I said before You're doing a great job! smile

TreeSparrow Sun 13-Mar-16 16:55:31

I could have written your first post OP. You're doing nothing wrong. You're doing a brilliant job and have a lovely, happy baby because of what you're doing. Keep going with your instincts and ignore the books and the comparisons with other mums and babies. My little one is 12 weeks and we're still stuck co-sleeping. Introduction of one evening bottle of formula hasn't improved sleep or increased independence in my experience so don't think that. Just keep doing what you're doing and your baby's independence and confidence sleeping alone will appear in time.

MYA2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 16:58:16

Thanks so much for the advice and you are right. I need to get it in my head that everything is a phase but I find that I'm just constantly doubting myself at the moment.
With regards to the sleepyhead, we bought that 6 weeks ago and he also detests it! For me, getting him to sleep for an hour on his own will be a massive achievement but others I know are starting to move their babies upstairs for naps now and talking about moving them to a cot in their own room at 3 months etc.
Like you say, these antenatal classes can be so competitive. It was nice Initially to have support but now I find myself meeting up and feeling more and more stressed by the day!
I'm just going to carry on doing what I'm doing for now. I find breastfeeding so easy In the way that I don't have to think about sterilising bottles / making up bottles etc but I know that the others are feeding their babies 4 hourly and have a good routine and I don't

FurryGiraffe Sun 13-Mar-16 17:04:04

Bloody hell, I've heard it all now: they're telling you your baby can't sleep alone because breast milk is watery and doesn't fill him up?confused How the heck do the think the human race made it this far?

OP, we (collectively) have a ridiculous cultural attitude towards babies and sleep. We expect them to sleep on their own from the word go. No other mammal is expected to do that! In evolutionary terms it's bonkers: a human infant is completely helpless and dependent (more so than most other mammals): sleeping alone is a disaster in survival terms. Babies are biologically programmed to want to be close to their mothers. It's completely and utterly normal. Yes some babies are fine in Moses baskets/cots from day one, but lots aren't and that's completely to be expected. Co-sleeping is completely natural. I wish healthcare professionals could be more nuanced about it: the 'bed-sharing is BAD' attitude means people can't talk to HV about how to do it safely (and given the correlation between bed-sharing and successful BF, it cna't be helping the BF rates either). Have you seen the Institute for the Study of Infant Sleep website (www.isisonline.org.uk): their name is unfortunate these days(!) but lots of good info about normal infant sleep on there.

In short, you're doing a fantastic job. No need to change anything unless it isn't working for you and your baby.

badg3r Sun 13-Mar-16 17:06:50

Sod the rest of them op, you sound like you are doing a terrific job. The exact same thing happened with me and my (now) 15 month old. He has slept in his cot at home for a total of 3h in his whole life. It has now become a running joke when we stay over with family wink

As long as you are happy with your decision and doing it as safely as possible, I think co-sleeping is a brilliant solution. I don't know what your circumstances are, but once I went back to work I was so glad we went down the co-sleeping route since it is lovely to have cuddles at night and has meant I was able to continue breastfeeding.

TreeSparrow Sun 13-Mar-16 17:07:10

Ignore scheduled routines - if they work for some people that's super but some babies just do their own thing. You'll know if it feels wrong.

Breastfeeding is best so you're already giving your baby the best start. Chin up! Be proud!

outputgap Sun 13-Mar-16 17:08:03

Honestly, sod their bloody routines. Half the time people are lying through their teeth about sleeping through and what not.

Mine were sleeping nightmares, but what harm? Am about to have number 3 and I'm not planning on getting a decent night's sleep for a year and a half! Only just got the 2 year old out of our room as well. Whatever shambles you think you are, I'm sure I can top you. But we're not actually, we're just taking our cues from the tiny wee small people who were only just curled up inside us. There's plenty of time to get them in their own rooms, eating puree, sitting up, yada yada.

AnnaMarlowe Sun 13-Mar-16 17:10:14

He's 8 weeks old he's meant to be clingy.

Continuing to breastfeed is far more important than 'a good routine'. Breastfeeding will have long lasting impact on his health.

i get so pissed off at this idea that babies are meant to sleep for 8 hours. They aren't.

some do of course and that's fine but you aren't doing anything wrong.

MoreGilmoreGirls Sun 13-Mar-16 17:11:15

Just to agree you are doing a fantastic job and there's nothing wrong with your breast milk confused

My DS slept on me for several months. He will now only sleep in his cot.

Formula is not a magic sleep potion!

Enjoy your baby and ignore what others are saying.

MYA2016 Sun 13-Mar-16 17:13:03

Furygiraffe you're so right. I have been justifying my reasons to people with what you have said but I think I've forgotten how important these reasons are in recent weeks. You just said exactly what I needed to hear.
It is working for us, and we're not sleep deprived which is massively important!
I'm going to just start taking it in my stride again and enjoy it before the next phase starts.
Thank you smile

TheOddity Sun 13-Mar-16 17:13:35

Aldi I call bullshit on them saying there's all sleep alone. A when you are breastfeeding avoid sleep topics! If anyone asked me how mine slept, I always replied 'like a baby!' With a big smile wink

xxjessxx Sun 13-Mar-16 17:14:14

Hiya.

You have exactly described my baby! Sleeps in with us (never really intended it) naps on me in the day and exclusively breastfed. She is also 8 weeks and very very content.

I, like you was beginning to worry about it all, but then I made a decision that has made my life so much easier. I started lying to people if they asked about where she slept. It means I no longer get the 'rod for your own back' comments. Bottom line is it doesn't impact on any body else so just do what you feel is best!

Just remember to trust your instinct.

Xx

TheOddity Sun 13-Mar-16 17:14:18

So many typos and sp errors...sorry breastfeeding and one handed mumsnetting!

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