I am so totally confused...help?

(13 Posts)

7 mo DS is the most hideously awful sleeper known to babykind. He's awake every 1.5 to 2 hours (or more) throughout the night and a feed is the only way to get him back to sleep. He will suck strongly for a good 5-10 minutes every time. It's not just a couple of sucks then drops off. He feeds 1.5-2 hourly throughout the day as well. He's generally a spoon refuser at home and will mainly play with finger foods, swallowing the odd little bit, but certainly not a sustaining amount yet. He's also a hell of a gagger still so he physically can't take in food with a lot of texture yet. In my desperation for more sleep, especially as I return to work full-time in six weeks, I consulted the health visiting team. I'm not sure this was wise as this is the advice I was given:
- He's waking frequently throughout the night because he's obviously hungry. I think there's a hefty amount of habit/comfort going on there which I did pitch in but HV says it's mainly hunger. I also pointed out that when he does a full day of nursery once a week, he will take food off a spoon there, and in vast quantities, but his sleep is no better on that night than any other. HV said he'd have to be taking in solids in that quantity every day for it to make a difference to his sleep.
- At seven months, the majority of his intake should be from solids. I should only be giving him two breastfeeds a day - one morning and one evening. I told her my understanding was that the majority of nutrition should be from milk for the first year. She said guidelines say mainly from solids from seven months.
- She said I should withhold breastfeeds to only morning and evening feeds to make him hungry enough to take more solids the rest of the day.
- I can get rid of all night feeds, using CC if need be, to also help make him hungry enough to eat more solids during the day.

shock

Help? What? Is there any reliable RL source I can contact to get a second opinion as this is all so completely against everything I've understood up until this point...I am desperate for more sleep but I'm really not keen to starve him to get it!

Iggly Fri 21-Dec-12 19:20:57

I wonder if your baby has silent reflux or tongue tie. It would fit with bad sleeping, constant feeding (little and often suits these babies) and gagging.

That means you need to change your approach and go slowly. Was he an unsettled baby? Windy?

Definitely no silent reflux and tongue and lip ties got zapped several weeks ago.

sipper Fri 21-Dec-12 19:42:22

You could try some cranial chiropractic treatment. The mention of his gagging makes me think there could be something that could be helped cranially. See if there is a cranial chiro near you who is experienced in paediatrics?

He's had cranial osteopathy in conjunction with the tongue tie revision but also with a focus on improving his sleep. It didn't have any effect whatsoever.

I'm all over the MN sleep board like a rash and I feel like I have explored every conceivable avenue with his sleep. I'm mainly wondering if this advice/approach with regards to weaning and solids sounds right and/or if there's someone else I could ask e.g. would La Leche League be able to advise?

Iggly Fri 21-Dec-12 20:15:10

The TT can be linked to high palate which can mean harder to eat. Have they come back? Has his feeding noticeably improved since the snip? As he had it done when older, he might have had the habit of feeding frequently which you'd have to tackle.

To cut night feeds, Ferber (of CC game) suggests timing feeds then you reduce them by one minute at a time every night. Keep one around 10pm. Keep reducing all the other ones and this will slowly swap his appetite around.

As for day feeds - I don't know any babies that were on two feeds a day at 6/7 months. Unless they were stuffed full of formula or dairy too.

Try offering meals with you. Stick to finger foods. Let him self feed as he will know his gag. Both of mine didn't get onto three meals until 9 months old. Dd was a bit faster (my second) and I think it was because she say with us for meals from the off and I gave her loaded spoons. We didn't drop feeds until 8/9 months.

As for frequent waking at night - check for wind. My TT DD took down a lot of air and would need proper winding (despite having a tie snipped and despite it not being obvious). She's 12 months and still needs winding otherwise she's up every 1.5/2 hours.

sleeplessinderbyshire Fri 21-Dec-12 20:29:12

my DD1 barely ate solids and woke 2hrly for feeds til she was about 10 months. she fed regularly but less often overnight til 18 months or so. I once tried a bottle at night and she drank 8oz so I knew she really was hungry. she remains a totally crap eater but now has bedtime milk only and sometimes a small cup with breakfast. Some babies are just like this. I really don't think there is a cure. the solution is to realise they grow out of it eventually (DD1 is 3 now and a good 730pm to 7am sleeper). Big unmumsnetty hugs. Can you book and extra half day of childcare once/twice a week so you can have a 4hr nap. I used to do that loads and it really made a huge difference (i went back to work 4 days a week when DD1 was 6 months old)

JoinTheDots Fri 21-Dec-12 20:39:07

My dd woke about the same as yours at that age. Everything I have read has said milk is more important than solids until they are 1. I personally think some babies are good sleepers and others are not. If you have one that struggles then you can either ride it out (it will end) or force the issue with controlled crying or similar. It depends on your parenting style and ability to function on fuck all sleep.

I rode it out. We co-slept and I was a zombie for a long time. It was not solids that helped her sleep improve but just time and age. My story is not a scientific study though, it is just my personal experience.

sipper Fri 21-Dec-12 20:57:16

Sorry to read the cranial osteopathy didn't work. Cranial osteo is quite different to cranial treatment with chiropractic though and I don't believe CO would have dealt with the particular issue that commonly presents in a gagging symptom. (I've never got on with osteopathy - I know it does work for some people though so please note I am not saying osteopathy isn't fab for some people. But I have had fabulous results from cranial chiropractic).

I'd still recommend finding a cranial chiropractor - one that does SOT (a specific method of treatment). If they know their onions they should be more than happy to talk to you beforehand and discuss whether they think they could help. Please feel free to PM if you want any suggestions on who to try in your part of the country. I can't recommend it highly enough. My three DD's have had various things sorted - inc. over sensitive gag reflux (due to a particluar jaw/skull pattern in babies who have commonly had tongue ties/snips).

sipper Fri 21-Dec-12 21:00:58

Sorry typo in my previous post - final sentence should have read 'gag reflex' not 'gag reflux' !! Blame it on the vino.... wink

babySophieRose Fri 21-Dec-12 21:02:56

Just a suggestion to spoon feeding, give sweet frut pure as Apple pure and if successful you could mix it with other food or with baby rice or cereal at the beginning. As far as I know, all babies like apple pure. Next try mush potatoes and carrots and when that's accepted carry on with other foods. My DD used to feed every 2-3 hours, but not for long. I always give water after feeding as some times is just turst, not hunger.

milkjetmum Fri 21-Dec-12 21:12:47

Is it like this all the time or on and off? Dd (2.2 now) is not a good sleeper and we went through phases (long ones!) Like this on and off until she was 1. She's still a light sleeper and its the first thing to go if she's unwell, growing, teething etc. But now we usually get a good 7pm-5.30am (6.30 if I'm lucky!) Sorry if that's depressing! I think like others have said some babies are just not good sleepers...but if its any consolation my dd is a ruddy genius! We can't have it all ;-)

I do remember the 6/7 month time as a major growth/development spurt so this might be affecting things.

We eventually cracked and did cc at 10months. Nightweaned around 9 months iirc (back to work then, so had reduced to just am and pm feeds + beaker of formula in the afternoon). I think 6 months might be a bit too young for nightweaning though.

Might be silly question but do you feed every 1-2hrs throughout the day as well? If not might be worth offering frequently during day to fill up, then make night feeds very boring (dark room, minimal interaction).

Good luck! Do you have a dh? We started a shift system, dh did the 9-2.30 shift (offered a bottle at 11 if necessary) and I did 2.30 - 7.30, so we both had at least 5hr sleep...earplugs required for that technique. We still keep to that arrangement to this day! Though much less often needed now.

milkjetmum Fri 21-Dec-12 21:12:47

Is it like this all the time or on and off? Dd (2.2 now) is not a good sleeper and we went through phases (long ones!) Like this on and off until she was 1. She's still a light sleeper and its the first thing to go if she's unwell, growing, teething etc. But now we usually get a good 7pm-5.30am (6.30 if I'm lucky!) Sorry if that's depressing! I think like others have said some babies are just not good sleepers...but if its any consolation my dd is a ruddy genius! We can't have it all ;-)

I do remember the 6/7 month time as a major growth/development spurt so this might be affecting things.

We eventually cracked and did cc at 10months. Nightweaned around 9 months iirc (back to work then, so had reduced to just am and pm feeds + beaker of formula in the afternoon). I think 6 months might be a bit too young for nightweaning though.

Might be silly question but do you feed every 1-2hrs throughout the day as well? If not might be worth offering frequently during day to fill up, then make night feeds very boring (dark room, minimal interaction).

Good luck! Do you have a dh? We started a shift system, dh did the 9-2.30 shift (offered a bottle at 11 if necessary) and I did 2.30 - 7.30, so we both had at least 5hr sleep...earplugs required for that technique. We still keep to that arrangement to this day! Though much less often needed now.

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