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advice needed breastfeeding to sleep

(30 Posts)
claggles02 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:41:24

Hi all, I need some advice please as am really confused and dont know what to do next. My son is 12 weeks and have got into the habit of feeding him to sleep to the point where he now relies on it for naps and bedtime, it was not intentional as was just going with the flow with him and didnt follow a routine :/

The problem is now he is unable to sleep without it unless in the car or out for walks. He is also quite a gassy baby so by not getting properly burped his sleep is affected. I have a problem with oversupply and am still dealing with it which doesnt help his gas situation, I have also been off dairy for a while as he gets green poo sometimes with flecks of blood, he also still has bowel movements after every feed. Am wondering if because he relies on being fed to sleep he is being overfed (big baby) and is causing the green poo etc... but didnt think that could cause blood?

Also for the last 2 weeks he has been crying hysterically in the evenings even after having great naps all day- generally he is awake for max 1 hr 15 mins during day. We have a bedtime routine and aim for bed by 7pm each night. It can take hours to calm him and usually only a bath to make him stop crying then he fights my boob until falling asleep around 10 then its another hour or so until I can get him to sleep in his cot- he needs to be in a very deep sleep before I can transfer him, this is something which I didnt have to do before as could lay him down when in a light sleep. Also now he is waking every 1.5-2 hours and again having to be in a deep sleep before going into his cot, he used to sleep around 7 hours from 10pm a few weeks ago.

Please if you have any advice I would be grateful, I know there is a lot there ps my doctor says he is healthy (ears checked etc) and am to continue dairy free. We are both so tired and am really struggling to find out whats wrong with him. thanks

JacqueslePeacock Sun 07-Oct-12 13:19:17

Have you thought about cutting out soy too? It's hidden in lots of things so can be tricky, but it's common to have an intolerance to soy if you've got one to dairy. Worked wonders for my DS!

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 07-Oct-12 13:25:15

Blood? Get him to the doctors.

Wrt everything else what is wrong with falling asleep comforted and cuddled up warm with a drink of warm sweet milk?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 07-Oct-12 13:27:08

Oh, and aim for bed at 10pm and avoid all the heartache. Poor you.

Solo Sun 07-Oct-12 13:35:15

I seriously doubt you are overfeeding him as they only take what they need. My own Dc's, most especially Dd always 'fed' to sleep, but if she wasn't hungry, just tired, it was a comforting suckle rather than a feeding suckle. Feeding to sleep is fine IMO/E as long as you are both happy with it. I recall lifting a 30 month old Dd up to bed after she'd fallen asleep at the breast; hard work lifting her, but it worked for us.

GailTheGoldfish Sun 07-Oct-12 18:59:12

Good advice above, I have an 11 week old and there is no way a 7pm bedtime would work yet, 10pm is about when I feed her before putting her into her basket and she then only usually wakes once a night. In time she will need an earlier bedtime of course, but right now she still cluster feeds in the evenings. Could it be that your LO cried in the evening out of hunger? Pretty much all the other babies I know still cluster feed in the evenings. Is there a reason you felt you had to start a routine? I understand there is some pressure to do that but it sounds like what you were doing before was working well. I felt for the first few weeks that I really should start a routine but looking back I am glad I didn't and DD has fallen into her own little patter of night sleep and days we just go with the flow. Se also sleeps better in the day in the car or pram so I just make a point of going out every day, if only to the shops. I also feed to sleep at night and sometimes in the day. Don't feel that what you are doing is wrong and don't feel you should start a routine/ not feed to sleep if it's not what works for you and your baby.

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 07-Oct-12 19:03:26

My DS has exactly the same issue with regards to feeding to sleep then needing to be held for ages before I can get him into his cot, so I suspect that issue is unrelated to the gassiness. He started doing it around the same age as yours as well. Developmental milestones are hurtling past on an almost daily basis from 12 weeks which is what accounts for the change in sleeping pattern I understand.

No advice, really, just deep empathy and solidarity. The feeding to sleep is less of an issue for me than the holding. It's all well and good in the evening, but you spend the entire day getting, and keeping, baby asleep, then at 1am (then 3am...then 4:30am...) it's absolute bloody torture.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 07-Oct-12 19:58:55

Agree with the others, there is no problem with feeding to sleep as long as you are both happy to do it and it does have many advantages as well as the few minuses.

Also agree that a 7pm bedtime would have been impossible for me with both of mine. It was much easier to stay on the settee feeding until around 9 or 10. If you LO is unsettled in the evening, have you read this on cluster feeding?

Don't worry too much about bedtimes and feeding to sleep at this stage. Both of mine were bf and are now older, both have asked to go to bed tonight and I know that unless they are ill, both will sleep through.

Just one last thought, oversupply can have similar symptoms to tongue tie. Might be worth getting LO checked for this at a Bfing Support group this week.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 07-Oct-12 20:00:28

Oh and as for not wanting to go into the cot, have you tried putting one of DHs used tshirts in there. If its one of yours it will smell of milk and won't work.

LO probably just wants to be close to you though, have you tried sticking him in bed with you?

Solo Sun 07-Oct-12 23:42:30

Yes, co sleeping could help. I did that quite a lot with mine.

Impatientwino Mon 08-Oct-12 04:30:12

I have a 10 week old DS who is also a big baby who 2 weeks ago was very gassy, pooing frequently, was having a lot of green poo and crying hysterically in the evenings. It would take ages to calm him. Hours and hours.

I agree with taking him to the docs to get checked out as I too thought my baby's green poo was big baby/oversupply/over feeding.

It turned out he had a mobile hernia (moving in and out of his scrotum) so was in a horrific amount of pain when it moved but it wasnt always visible so we couldnt see it. The green poo/gas was his gut showing that it was clearly not happy and he had an op to repair it a couple of weeks ago - he's a different baby now.

Get your gp to check him thoroughly for hernia and mention mobile hernias and symptoms...

Impatientwino Mon 08-Oct-12 04:44:44

Sorry that sounded a bit gloomy!

In reference to your thread title we also bf to sleep generally. We have started a little bedtime routine but largely so we know what we're doing!

Bath time at 7.30, feed at 8 in our darkened bedroom and then winding/fall asleep on me until around 9 when he goes down happily.

As the clocks go back in a few weeks I'm hoping that this will all then be an hour earlier so he will be down around 8

MikeOxard Mon 08-Oct-12 09:11:19

Nothing wrong with bf to sleep, and a 10pm bedtime is very reasonable for a 12week old. I have a 12 week old too! Maybe the crying in the evening is colic? So nothing actually wrong, my dd (now nearly 3) had that, and it just stopped by itself after a few months.

Have you tried infacol for the wind? He'll burp much easier with it as it draws all the tiny bubbles in the tummy together to make one big burp! Take him off and burp him when he's nearly finished, then stick him back on for a few more minutes to get him to sleep.

Sounds like you have some quite high expectations of yourself and your baby, maybe just try to step back a bit and remind yourself that actually you are both doing really well. X

claggles02 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:35:05

Thanks for all your advice, saw the doctor today and he has a clean bill of health though has referred me to an allergy specialist so I can work through eliminating foods. Yes will go back to later bedtime, I made the mistake of reading certain books then feeling crap about our non routine which in hindsight was working well! He actually has a tongue tie bur was sorted at 8 days. Will take all suggestions on board and hopefully get the wee man happy again.

Solo Mon 08-Oct-12 14:10:42

Good luck OP smile and don't forget, it doesn't last forever! soon, you'll be grounding him because he wont do his GCSE study!! they grow up so fast...

MainlyMaynie Mon 08-Oct-12 14:31:02

Green poo is probably just your oversupply, nothing to worry about in an otherwise healthy baby. I'd just let him cluster feed all evening while you watch tv!

claggles02 Tue 09-Oct-12 06:38:16

Saw the doctor and she wants to put DS on nutrimagen for a few weeks to see if his poo improves, if it shows no trace of blood then she says I am to stop breast feeding altogether!! Is this daft advice? Apart from the fact I want to keep breast feeding DS he also refuses to take a bottle and the nutrimagen smells awful so god knows how I will get him to drink it. I really don't want to put him through hell if it can be avoided. Advice please?

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 09-Oct-12 07:51:38

Sounds daft to me, especially if there isn't any blood. My DS had green poo for a few weeks without any blood and I was told that as long as he's feeding, not vomiting and still weeing plenty, green poo is nothing to worry about - sure enough, it resolved itself eventually. And no way are you going to get a bottle-refusing baby who has only ever had breast milk to take nutrimagen. I'd get a second opinion and/or ask to see an infant feeding specialist.

MainlyMaynie Tue 09-Oct-12 08:25:30

That is ridiculous advice. My DS had green poo for months, was extremely healthy and always at the top of the weight charts. He had very occasional blood and the Drs here just said that was normal for a baby pooing as much as he did. He has no food intolerances and his poo improved once we started weaning. The Dr advised introducing banana early on as it slows things down a bit and thickens the poo. (After 6 months though). I think you should talk to a qualified breast feeding expert. Try posting on breast and bottle feeding? GPs often know very little about breastfeeding.

Solo Tue 09-Oct-12 11:08:36

Did the GP ask you to get a stool sample to send off for checking?

My Dd was a very screamy bf baby; drove me crazy actually.
I discovered by accident that her green poo was actually the consistency of sand and worked out that that must've been the reason for the screaming ~ she was in pain. It was like she had been fed sand and spinach!
I had a sample sent off after showing a HV Dd's nappy one day, but it came back as an insufficient or unreadable sample, so I never did get to the bottom of it, because at that point after waiting for test results, I started weaning her (25 weeks) and the screaming and crying stopped! like the solids were cushioning whatever was causing the sand like gut contents. Worth having a feel of your Ds's nappy contents?
I'd had advice from other HV's up until I found the gritty poo to feed her more hmm (I fed on demand) as she must be hungry (green poo) and that they'd have to review it all the following week if she lost weight again (it was about half an oz)...Dd is a fine specimen of a 5yo Human child, so it doesn't seem to have done any harm, but it was a really dark time for me.

Solo Tue 09-Oct-12 11:12:38

Meant to say also that although I'm no expert; I would not stop bfing to feed my Dc something else. I would continue with the bfing. As long as he is not losing considerable weight or actually ill because of your milk, I wouldn't give up. But that's me.

surfingbabies Tue 09-Oct-12 11:32:41

Congrats on ur babysmile
Have you tried a dummy as it sounds like shes using ur nipple as one? I don't like them but at night I used to give my DD one just to get her to sleep then I'd take it out as soon as she went into a deep sleep as she was making my nipples sore and like you I would feed for about 40 mins then spend on average an hour trying to put her down sad I only needed to use it for about a month until she'd got out of the habit, I never used it during the day and I wouldn't let her use me as dummy during the day either as they don't know the difference between day & night!
Good luck smile

cloudhands Tue 09-Oct-12 12:55:25

Hi Claggles,
I know it's confusing isn't it, but it's great that your daughter is only 12 weeks, and you are already starting to question how you are doing stuff and wondering if there is a better way,
I would recommend checking out this article, about helping children sleep. Helping young children sleep
stopped feeding my daughter to sleep, when I realised that it was not helping her relax, and causing her to wake in the night. It took me about 7 months till I realised that though!

This article (and a book called The Aware Baby) helped me to understand that crying is a natural process, that allows babies and children to release emotional tension, and if they are held by their parents while they cry, feel safe and loved, then crying is actually a GOOD thing!! (as opposed to crying it out which is horrible for babies). it takes a big paradigm shift for us to understand, that actually driving around, or rocking or feeding to sleep, actually does not help them relax, it just stops the natural process of crying. Next time your dd needs a nap, try just holding her in her arms, until she falls asleep, instead of trying to 'do,' just let her 'be'.

cloudhands Tue 09-Oct-12 12:56:28

oh I should add a little disclaimer -- that you should always obviously check that your child's needs are met, before simply holding a crying baby, ie that they are not hungry, in pain, ill, need a nappy change etc.

surfingbabies Wed 10-Oct-12 14:04:46

Cloudhands, I'd like to read that link too but when I click on it I'm taken to an empty page......could you please let me have the email address? I'm expecting so any advice now will be great as every baby is different so I know this one will probably be nothing like my other three smile

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