To think it shouldn't be this hard?(27 Posts)
Wanted to post here rather than the feeding sections as feel I may get a more balanced response and I've just been let down by a breastfeeding group.
Dd3 is 12 weeks old and exclusively breastfed. She was a nightmare for the 6 weeks, to the point of me trying to swap to bottles but she refused. Things got gradually better from about 6 weeks and for the last 2 weeks we had really cracked it. Pretty much 3 hourly feeds with a 6-8 hour chunk of sleep at night. I was soooooo glad I persevered!!! Until...for the last 4 days she has fed every hour (max 2 hours) day and night. I asked at a breastfeeding group about the 12 week growth spurt and all the advice I got was it's totally normal, you were lucky she was going so long between feeds before, it could last weeks and she may not settle back in to the old routine. I went for support and advice and instead I got made to feel like a bad mum for not wanting to carry on like this and left feeling 1000 times worse!
Why is feeding every hour accepted as totally normal?! When I tell my friends who have kids they are shocked and wonder how I'm coping! I have two other young dc and work fulltime (with baby). Aibu to think it shouldn't be this hard and my concerns/stress shouldn't be dismissed with "it's normal"?
Ok, going back a few years now as DS is 15 but I had this when he was a baby. It was a nightmare and I'm amazed my nipple didn't drop off where he had been chewing on it. My doctor said he may not neccessarily be hungry but just wanting the comfort and she suggested a dummy. I was horrified but desperate so gave it a try and it did work. Could this be something you would consider? I know some people are dead against dummies.
Its really hard and i feel for you.....but they are right, it CAN be normal. You are not a bad mum for finding it hard though.
It sounds tough and you're not a bad mum for being knackered. That said it can be totally normal and not something to be fixed.
The dummy suggestion is a good one.
It is normal though. I get it's hard and understand your frustration but if your baby is hungry then she's hungry. My cousins baby is bottlefed and there has been times where he hasn't gone more than 2 hours between feeds so it's not always only BF babies that do this.
Why was she doing so well before??? I can cope if I know it's just a blip but they made out like the 2 weeks of 3 hourly and a good sleep at night was a blip
It's not me who's against a dummy, it's dd!!!
smiley my 14mo will sometimes sleep through for a couple of weeks then be up again every 2 hours overnight for weeks. Growth spurts / illness / developmental leaps etc all play a part.
Sleeping through is not linear. Babies are annoying wee things
Sorry, I know this is my 3rd but I just don't remember it being this hard with the others... although dd1 probably was as difficult but I didn't have two other kids to look after and I had maternity leave!!
Why is feeding every hour accepted as totally normal?!
Because it is normal. Why are you complaining about people in your group telling the truth? It isn't supportive to lie to you.
Yes, its hard. Why do you think so many people stop?
Just wondering if you've expressed recently to check flow? How is her weight doing? And apologies if you're already aware, but do you switch breasts mid feed? I did to save my nipples before being told that it's the later milk that's more filling, the first flow tends to be more water.
My DS did this at about the same age. We had gone away on holiday at the time of the petrol strike of 2000 - that's how I know how old he was - and it was a nightmare : unfamiliar holiday home, crappy facilities plus the baby waking up all the time when he had been fine at home. I think it was just a growth spurt, eventually supply increased to meet his bigger demands and all returned to how it was.
Hang on in there!
Just she has recently jumped from the 25th to 50th centile so definitely no issues there. I have always had a very fast flow and plenty of milk. She has loads of wet and dirty nappies. I'm worried she's just getting in to a habit of snacking but it's hard to tell as feeds have never taken more than 10 mins, including when she was managing long stretches between.
It's normal because everything is normal at this age! The good sleep was normal too. But it's so hard isn't it?
I'd say that it's not necessarily that the good chunk was a blip, it was a decent amount of time that it lasted after all. More that the trouble is at this age they can build habits SO quickly, so a few nights of bad sleep and she's developed a new way of settling (boob) and a lovely frequent feeding/cuddling pattern to go with it.
Does she feed to sleep each time? I mostly ended up letting each of mine do it because it was easier in that moment, but it really is a killer if you're trying to encourage long sleep cycles. Keep waking her so that she gets as much milk as possible and then put her down to actually fall sleep would be my advice. It'll be tough going though. I really feel for you having to go out to work after those awful nights .
It's all normal because they change it up all the time! It will settle down again. You're through the worst, keep going. And yes, I'm really jealous of your chunks of sleep!
I'm sorry that's the impression you got but they are correct on both points.
Good news is 12 week growth spurt is often a quick one as it's a physical growtg spurt. What you need to be mentally prepared for is the 4 month developmental leap, the 4 month physical growth spurt and the 5 month developmental leap that mostly blends into one hell of hourly feeds and baby waking to play in the night for hours.
I have had bottle and dummy refusers (and breast refusers too-had to trick baby into feeding whist asleep). It's often higher needs kids who do this and while it's incredible tough it's often harder when sitting nursing for hours doesn't fix the problem any more : ( best advice for these kinds of kids is looking up safe bed sharing to feed &sleep at same time, sling for feeding while out, drop all expectations of tidy house/get a cleaner and get dh onboard with understanding how intense it is so he can give you lots of little breaks to keep your sanity.
After the 4-6 mth stretch tge worst is 9mths &18mths developmental leaps. Get it all in the calender now and it wont knock you off your feet when it comes.
If bf a demending baby isn't for you i would plan switching to a bottle sooner imo (definately not what you will hear at bf group). I'd start expressing as much as possible to create a stash then switch before you hit 4 mths, if you refuse to nurse they do eventually take a bottle and will take bm easier than formula. You can express to avoid matitis then follow the drop an expressing session every 3-4 days advice and add in formula once baby takes bottles. We did this as i needed surgery and while it's tough it's not impossible. Personally i wouldn't have chpsen it though as while i struggled nursing on demand for other dc who were equally high needs it was worth it for us and dc who had to have bottles was much harder to settle as quickly as dc who nursed until well into toddlerhood (if that makes sence) but you must do what works best for you. Sometimes just being prepared for growth spurts can make it easier to cope with.
Glad to hear she's thriving. Hoping she grows past it quickly then. You do have my sympathy though
Thank you so much for some really helpful replies. Luckily she will go down awake as long as she's just had a feed. But at the mo the longest she will sleep in the day is 45 mins and 1.5 hours at night. From a few of these replies I'm hopeful it's just a blip so I will battle on for another week before giving up. If she'll let me!!
Hoping it is a blip! 12 week growth spurt can drag on. But feeds can be normally between every hour to every 3 hours. There's a lot of variety. As she gets older it won't all be just hunger and you might find a rhythm to play/sleep/feed kicks in (then disappears again etc). I hope it gets easier.
Mine did this every time he had a growth spurt, and it generally lasted between a few days to a couple of weeks. It's awful but I just slogged through it. On the plus side his sleep was fantastic in between the growth spurts, so you may find if you can tough it out for a few more days that it might revert to being much easier again soon!
If she's trying to increase your supply, eating galactagogues might help or at least make you feel a bit more hopeful when it gets tough. Fenugreek helped a bit with my supply.
I'm sorry this is such a tough time ... sounds hellish.
I have no particular advice as to whether it's a growth spurt or she's comfort sucking, but if it's the latter then my top tip if you want to introduce a dummy is to keep dipping it in gripe water. My two dummy refuses would suck it to get the gripe water off, and then eventually accepted it.
Yes it's normal & has already been said relates to growth spurts-isn't it called cluster feeding or something?
My child is over 6 months and has never gone longer than 2 hours between feeds. It is frustrating when people say it's normal, because you want a solution, but unfortunately it is what it is. Growth spurts can be brutal and seem to drag on forever, but fingers crossed your child starts going longer between feeds again.
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