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To ask you for help with plan of action for high needs BF co sleeper?!

(25 Posts)
Absofrigginlootly Wed 05-Aug-15 02:20:25

I know this probably isn't the 'right' place to put this thread but it didn't seem to fit in feeding or sleep topics separately as its all tied into one situation...plus AIBU gets lots of traffic and experienced posters!

Sorry this will probably be looooong!! blush

Basically I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Have moved overseas so have no HV or family support (not that DM or MIL are particularly supportive/approving of my parenting methods anyway! And would just advise FF and CIO) hmm and have lots of muddled thoughts going around my head.... confused

Background info:
DD is 9 months. Suffers with silent reflux and cmpi and soy allergies. I'm on an exclusion diet as she is fully BF and was reacting to cmp/soy in my breastmilk until I cut it out of my diet. Although recently I've been able to eat things containing soy and small amounts of tofu with no reactions from her (havnt done a dairy re-trial yet). She's on omeprazole for her reflux.

Currently doing BLW (dairy and soy free) which she is taking to well, but it doesn't really seem to gave reduced her BM intake. Her weight gain is steady along her centile. She drinks water out of a little Tommy tippie beaker with spout (can't give cup as she just throws it!).

She breastfeeds every 2-3 hours in the day (usually 2 hourly) and anywhere between 2-3 times a night (she can go 11pm-5am but currently enjoying the 9 month sleep regression) or if she's teething she wants to sleep with the boob in her mouth all night! We cosleep because otherwise no one would ever sleep. Due to the reflux she used to need to sleep upright on my chest...or she would scream all night and not sleep (look up old threads!). Around 5 months I managed to get her to sleep next to me in bed.

She BF to sleep at night, won't accept anything else!!! And she will only be fed to sleep or rocked in sling or car seat for naps, so literally NEVER sleeps alone or in her cot! (it's actually not even assembled it's in the garage!) blush

She is a classic Dr Sears high needs character and ticks all the boxes. Her cry/scream is ear piercingly loud! She knows what she wants and if she doesn't get it boy does she let me know!!!!!! We've managed her needs with lots of sling use, BF'ing, co sleeping etc, which tbh is my natural tendencies towards patenting anyway.

My dilemma:
We would like to try for another baby at some point (next year ideally).... I will need fertility drugs so can't BF whilst taking them and also BF is too effective with me at suppressing ovulation alongside that (for various reasons). I also cannot see how we would actually be able to...ahem...dtd without DD being in her own room/bed as I literally do not spend a second away from her at present 24/7.

How do I go from BF on demand every 2 hours and at night and cosleeping to at some point before xmas(!) having stopped BF and getting her into her own cot/room?!

I was kind of assuming she would gradually reduce BF herself, but there is no sign of that happening. She's rather obsessed with BFing! Do I need to consciously distract/refuse feeds? And at what age? (With the whole food before 1is for fun advice)....Also, after 1 year what do I wean her onto as she is allergic to cows milk??

I'm guessing some form of sleep training will be needed. CC would not suit her temperament ATALL so something like gradual retreat where she was never left would be the only option. I appreciate that tears will be inevitable with her personality (we get tears most days even with cosleeping and giving her what she wants when she wants it!) and am moving towards the point where I feel I could cope with it. I currently feel torn because I love cosleeping but I have to go to bed with her at 7pm (!) so I miss DH a lot (we have no time alone ever).

Sorry this is so long and jumbled but it's just my thoughts spilling out!!! Any advice from anyone who has been through the same/similar would be so helpful (and by that I do not mean posters who were blessed with chilled out, easy, good sleepers.....I have not made a rod for own back/created a high needs baby blah blah blah...sorry but you just dont get it!!... I'm looking at you DM!) angry hmm

EatShitDerek Wed 05-Aug-15 02:29:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Absofrigginlootly Wed 05-Aug-15 02:38:54

Aww yes I still want another....although at the moment I can't see how it would actually be possible?! confused

BazilGin Wed 05-Aug-15 02:39:33

Hi, it does get easier! My DD was exactly like that and it started getting much easier after 14 months, between 18-24 months the she wasn't high need anymore. Also suffered from reflux and was on omeprazole. With no sleep training, just gentle night weaning at 2 she started sleeping through. (And I fell pregnant againsmile). If you are happy to wait it out a bit longer, it will be much easier to deal with I reckon.
No rod for your back etc! My DD fall asleep with no problems now and sleeps through with no sleep training etc.
There is a book called no cry sleep solution with some gentle techniques (that I was too lazy to implement) so worth checking it out.
Btw, I was on fertility drugs to conceive my 1st due to pcos and didn't need any drugs to fall pregnant 2nd time round even though I was nursing. Hope it's easier for you too!

TerrorAustralis Wed 05-Aug-15 02:42:25

Not sure if anything I say will be helpful, as I don't think my DC was high needs, but definitely loved to BF. By the age your DD is now I was moving more to routine feeds rather than on demand. Either BF on waking, or before sleep, but not both. YY to distracting and deflecting if she's trying to go for it outside those times.

I'm not sure how to manage the night situation, but I would definitely get that cot out and assembled. Once she is in a deep sleep try transferring her. I know that my DC was (and is still) a more restless sleeper when in bed with us. So you may find she wakes less if you can get her into the cot. Despite the fact that he'd love to sleep with us still, he sleeps much more soundly alone. You might find that she is the same.

If you DH is supportive, you need to get his help to night-wean. Preferably with you not in the room, he should attend to her and offer a bottle of water. The first time she will protest, but she'll catch on pretty quickly. It only took 2-3 nights for us, and each waking was progressively shorter with less protesting. We had to do it a few times though, because during a couple of bouts of illness I gave night feeds - maybe not wise, but hey ho.

Also, have you read The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? She is definitely pro-AP and covers how to night-wean while co-sleeping.

BazilGin Wed 05-Aug-15 02:52:43

Btw I would wait until she is at least 12 months, she should probably be eating more at that stage too. Don't worry in advance, it does get easier the older they get in my experience ( now nursing my second baby, who is not high need but still loves milk bar to be open 24/7! He is 13 months and nights suddenly got much better. He would wake up so much in the evening but with no training or change from me he is doing much longer stretches (in his cot!) x

orangefive Wed 05-Aug-15 08:30:28

My ds fed every 2hrs until about 9mo. Gradually reduced in the daytime by distraction etc until he was only feeding evening, morning and once or twice in the night by age 1. Finally stopped all bf by 14mo. We had to just hold him while he cried and whinged for 2nights and then he got the message and now falls asleep easily. Bedtime routine helps. Still hasnt slept through more than a handful of times. sad I'm now pg with dc2 but only started ovulating when completely stopped bf.

ineedausername Wed 05-Aug-15 08:41:36

I don't know if you would consider it but how about trying a dummy? I know many people are against them, but I had a high needs, reflux baby too. He wanted to BF constantly, but I also had a 1 year old and I was exhausted hence FF. obviously I couldn't let him feed constantly for comfort (as he would throw it all up) but we fooled the little bugger with a dummy smile he also spent a lot of time in our bed, then a cot in our room. Once he hit a year, he was finally in his room, we tackled night feeds with surprising ease by offering water.... Clearly this wasn't want he wanted and went back to sleep when he saw it wasn't milk....
Good luck smile

Purplepoodle Wed 05-Aug-15 11:34:49

I'd try distraction during the day instead of feeding - may not be happy but give it a few days and they get the idea.

As for night times I would hand over bedtime settling to dh for a while. Do your usually bedtime routine ie pj, story, feed until nice and sleepy then gently let dh settle. Again she won't like it but if u stick with it for a couple of weeks it will get easier plus better now than older as thy get way more stubborn

RumbleMum Wed 05-Aug-15 11:42:52

Not masses of useful advice but just wanted to add my sympathy and reassurance you're doing a great job! As others have said, things tend to get easier around a year when they are eating enough solid food for you to be confident they really can do with less milk. Also second the dummy suggestion - my first had silent reflux and it was a lifesaver. He wasn't keen on the idea but I kept dipping it in gripe water and it encouraged him to keep sucking until he got used to the idea.

Acorncat Wed 05-Aug-15 16:23:26

Sounds very similar to mine. We're hitting 11 months soon and he's improved a lot recently with little or no input from me. I've been more careful about what he eats, not sure if it's just coincidence but he's much more settled if he doesn't have much fruit, and also things related to soya like peas, beans etc. He hadn't shown any reactions other than disturbed sleep. Omeprazole can cause insomnia too. I've stopped feeding to sleep for naps, just rock instead then feed after which he's not so interested in. I can sneak away when he's sleeping so at least get some time to myself.

Though his sleep, reflux and allergies do make me question whether I'd want to go through this all again!

littlejohnnydory Wed 05-Aug-15 17:17:00

She sounds like every nine month old baby I've ever known (I have four). She will mature in her own time and you'll find that in six months she will have much more understanding which will make it easier to night wean - once she can understand "you can have a cuddle but no milk til morning" it is much easier in my experience.

Cosleeping...I coslept with dc3 and still managed to conceive DC4! There are other places to DTD apart from in bed at night.
If you need to wean completely to ttc (check that out - I have friends who have done ivf and avoided breastfeeding at certain times - bf a toddler is different from a baby - they can go without for a couple of days then straight back to it - not sure if that would work in your case?) - I'd advise weaning slowly. But I'd definitely give it six months and things will be very different.

Babieseverywhere Wed 05-Aug-15 17:30:08

My first was a high needs baby and it does get easier over time but very hard work at the time.

Just a few thoughts...depending on which fertility drugs are needed....could you cut down or time feeds to fit around the drugs needed ?
Link for info [[ http://www.llli.org/nb/nbsepoct07p214.html]]

If you rang the UK Breastfeeding Drugline run by an pharmacist who could give detailed advice as to fertility drugs offered and alternatives. She was so helpful when I was in hospital with a new born baby to feed.

Breastfeeding Drugline 0844 412 4665.

You can cosleep with more than one child..so don't feel you have to get your first child in a bed before number two arrives. But ensure new born baby is next to you and have the toddler on the other side of you.

If you need more space in the bed and/or want to have sex without waking your little one. A cot with a side removed or a bedside bed nest will give you space to slide a baby into, when needed.

We used a normal cot and bungee roped the frame to our bed frame and added a piece of foam to fill gap between mattresses...worked well for us.

Lastly breastfeeding only stops fertility totally in the first 6 months only,if specific rules are followed..like feeding on demand day and night etc. But you are beyond this point already.

All the best smile

Trufflethewuffle Wed 05-Aug-15 18:09:01

Can you give yourself a bit more time before ttc? Trying to work to a deadline always adds more stress into a situation. If you were to, in your mind, assign an extra year before the next baby surely that would take a lot of pressure off.

Booboostwo Wed 05-Aug-15 19:08:38

My DD was high needs. She breast fed constantly and I co-slept as a survival technique. The beast feeding didn't reduce until 18 months where I made a big effort to replace some of the feeds with more solids (she had been eating solids since 6mo but also a lot of bf, so I started refusing the breast at 18mo). At 2yo I stopped the night time bf using the Dr J Gordon method which worked well for us.

To be honest I would not have coped with DD if I were pregnant when she was so young or with a demanding DD plus a newborn. It's not just the bf, that is just a symptom of the need, even if you cut down on bf she will still need a lot of your time and attention. On the plus side she is a very easy young child and has been amazing with DS who was born when she was 3yo. Any chance you could delay ttc?

OwlinaTree Wed 05-Aug-15 19:21:05

Sounds tough. I would tackle the nights first. At 9 months she should not need to feed at night. My son only stopped night waking at 7 months when I stopped breast feeding him at night. Could you try dropping these feeds first? Then when sleep is better, wean into her own sleeping space if you no longer wish to co sleep? I wouldn't change anything about the day feeds until you've got the nights sorted tbh.

blueteapot Wed 05-Aug-15 19:27:56

We are FF rather than BF but I agree with the above Re night weaning being a good start x

blueteapot Wed 05-Aug-15 19:28:04

We are FF rather than BF but I agree with the above Re night weaning being a good start x

BookTart Wed 05-Aug-15 19:44:55

I could have written this 9 months ago, right down to the Omeprazole and silent reflux! At 9 months I got a nasty bout of norovirus and it wasn't safe for me to co-sleep with DD, so DH had to stay with her (he usually slept in another room) and bring her through to me for feeds. By the third night she stopped bothering and was night weaned, it was fantastically quick. From then on we worked with a sleep consultant, with DH settling her on the bed at night and gradually moving her into the cot. By 11 months she was sleeping through, in her own cot, in her own room, with no gradual retreat/CC or anything. The key for us was DH taking the lead, because DD clearly knew that I was a soft touch. At 14 months she self-weaned totally, and now at 18 months she is must less hard work in general, and totally off the reflux medication (although still CMPA sadly). Good luck!

trilbydoll Wed 05-Aug-15 19:56:03

We started putting DD to bed in her room but letting her come in with us when she woke up. Re the feeding, we offered water initially and only boob if she clearly wanted more - she had a dummy though so it was really obvious when she wanted milk.

The 6w we tried to get her to stay in her own bed all night were a disaster, she woke up hourly. We gave up and now she's doing really well by herself, sleeps through in her bed 75% of the nights.

mostlymindblown Wed 05-Aug-15 20:58:52

Wow this thread could not be more timely for current nocturnal trials with 10mo.

So relieved to hear more gentle options are available for trying (as soon as these 4 teeth are through / seperation anxiety calms down)

youareallbonkers Wed 05-Aug-15 21:32:43

You are making a rod for your own back. Feed her and put her to sleep in her own bed, yes it will be tough for a few days but she'll get used to it

Absofrigginlootly Thu 06-Aug-15 01:20:25

Thank you everyone for your replies. BasilGin when you say "gentle night weaning" what do you mean by that? What did you actually do.

This thread has been very helpful in helping me to order all the thoughts swirling round in my head. Have decided that my mini panic has just been triggered by the 9 month sleep regression (although last night DD slept 10-5 next to me without the boob at all! grin ) and that there's no point/I'm not prepared to change things whilst she's going through so much developmentally (clapping, waving, crawling, pulling to stand, cruising, separation anxiety -big time!). So I feel happy to give it a few more months then reassess. Whether that creates rods or not hmm

Thank you to those who've reassured me things change with time anyway. Which I know anyway when I think how much she's changed in the last 3 months, but it's nice to see it written down as it helps you put things in perspective smile

Booboostwo Thu 06-Aug-15 05:59:38

The No Cry Sleep Solutions book has gentle sleep ideas as does Dr J Gordon.

BazilGin Thu 06-Aug-15 19:26:47

Hi, My Dd was big enough to understand that we were going to stop having mummy milk at night(I still fed to sleep though). I used a book called Nursies When the sun shines and gro clock, so that she knew she can have milk when the sun is on the clock. We were reading book for a few days and then on the night, my DH got up to her. She grumbled for 2 nights but there were no tears. She was almost 2 though. Hope it helps! I also heard of Jay Gordon method being quite gentle. i knew that if Dd was really distressed, I would have put it off for later. She was obviously ready to drop night feeds by that point.

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