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5 week old feeding every 1-2 hours

(12 Posts)
firsttimemum0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:43:01

My 5 week old dd usually feeds for 10 minutes (exclusively bf) and wants to eat every 1-2 hours maximum, day AND night. Obviously this is exhausting and combined with her recent penchant for crying inconsolably for roughly 2 hours every night has me at my wit's end. I was wondering if this is normal and what, if anything, I can do about it.

She was quite small at birth (5lb50z) but has put weight on really well, she's up to a little over 7lb now, so I'm not worried about her not getting enough or anything like that. She's a happy little bunny and has been very active and alert recently. I'm just worried about my sanity! I only got around 4 hours of broken sleep last night and haven't slept for more than 2 hours at a go since she was born. I'm pretty much at the end of my tether now.

At my friend's suggestion, as often as I cba, I strip her to her nappy to try and get her to feed for longer. This has had limited success however and often it's not that she has fallen asleep on the boob, though she does do this most times, she just doesn't want to feed for more than 10 minutes.

At the suggestion of my bf counsellor, I have started expressing a bit before a feed as it seems I have very fast let down so she'd be getting more hind milk and hopefully filling up more on the good stuff. I have only done this a few times but each time it hasn't made any difference in that she still wanted to feed 1 hour later. This was particularly frustrating the times when she fed for 25 minutes so I went to bed hoping for a nice long sleep!

Having broken sleep at night isn't so bad when I can catch up a bit in the evenings when dp is home. So I go to bed but he brings her up after an hour, 2 if I'm lucky, because she's hungry and it feels like I've been asleep for 30 seconds!

She feeds 18 times a day on average for around 10 minutes. I am totally and utterly exhausted now.

So a few questions;

Presumably she will grow out of this eventually, when?! What can I do to get her to go longer between feeds and/or eat more with each feed?

If expressing the fore milk off first is the way to go, should I be doing this for every feed? Will it take a while to make any difference?

Do I just need to be tougher about keeping her awake during feeds? Sometimes even stripping her off and using a cold wet cloth on her won't keep her awake. And in the night I'm obviously delighted when she goes back to sleep cos it means I can too!

Is it too soon to start expressing so dp can do some feeds?

Any help will be much appreciated.

soupmaker Wed 22-Jan-14 21:00:19

Hello Firsttime, congratulations. You might want to get this moved over to the section in Feed the World on Bottle and Breastfeeding. Lots of lovely people over there.

I'm no expert, but yes, sounds quite normal.

6 weeks, or there abouts, is a classic time for a massive growth spurt where you can end up feeding all day and all night!

You're doing an amazing job. And yes, it will get easier.

I wouldn't be bothering to express unless you are keen to give your little one a bottle of expressed milk. It's hard enough without having all the extra washing, sterilising and expressing.

Can you co-sleep at night? I found this so helpful as I could snooze while DD2 fed.

Hang in there.

Minime85 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:01:36

I would suggest trying to stretch her out in the day a little by going for a walk maybe. just by 15 mins at a time and gradually spread that out. have you looked at the baby whisperer book? I found that really good. are you getting a good diet too as that's important to produce good milk. hearty meals like stews and jacket potatoes with beans and cheese etc. hope you get some rest soon. it is all worth it.

meringuesnowflakes33 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:10:49

Hello dear friend smile

Echo all the advice above, including reposting on the B&BF topic, you should receive good advice there.

I'm sorry I have none to add. Sending you big love and hope you get some sleep tonight xx

callamia Wed 22-Jan-14 21:13:48

I have a speedy feeder and a fast let down, and I worried about it. At five weeks, I think I was in a similar position to you, but by about 8/9 weeks, he was starting to go longer between feeds. I've never managed to extend his feeds (although he tended to have one or two long feeds per day, the rest about 8mins) - he just went to sleep, but it doesn't seem to have had much impact - his growth etc has been fine.

I mainly express once on the side with the most forceful let down first thing. It seems to help a little. Otherwise, I would keep an eye on nappies and growth and use these as your cues about milk. I've found that worrying about fore and hind milk has been a bit if a red herring. Your milk becomes more fat-laden as the feed goes on because of the way fat particles accumulate in your milk ducts (I'll look for the link I read about this on - it was really interesting). Does she cluster feed at all? This really got longer nights going for us, an exhausting early evening, but a decent block of sleep at night.

I don't have any good advice on expressing for a bottle feed. I've only just started providing an expressed bottle for when he's looked after by a friend while I work for a couple of hours. At 14 weeks this works fine, bit it's not a daily thing - so not comparable.

ExBrightonBell Wed 22-Jan-14 21:18:57

I disagree with Minime - diet doesn't make any difference really to the quality of your milk - unless you are virtually eating nothing over a long period of time, so don't worry about that. (See this article for more explanation)

I also wouldn't advise trying to make your dd wait for 15 minutes before feeding her! This kind of frequent feeding is the hardest thing to deal with when you are exhausted and still recovering from giving birth, but this phase doesn't last long. (Sorry, not helpful right now I know)

If you aren't already, then I would also recommend co-sleeping, or getting a sidecar cot so she is right next to you on your bed.

The foremilk/hindmilk thing doesn't quite work in the way your bf counsellor has implied. You really don't need to express off the "foremilk" in order for your dd to get the supposedly better "hindmilk". Kellymom has a good explanation of it.

I would think you'd be ok to express at 5 weeks for your partner to give a bottle of ebm as it sounds like you have a good supply. That might help give you a decent block of sleep.

Congratulations btw!

Minime85 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:31:05

I was only offering advice my midwife gave me which helped me breast feed. everyone is different and my advice was only given in best intentions. I did get some good advice from my health visitor too so it might be worth chatting with them or other mums if you can make it to a baby group. wishing you all best OP and it will get easier. smile

firsttimemum0000 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:33:06

Thanks for the replies, I'll repost there. I did look for a bf section, dur!

CheeseandGherkins Wed 22-Jan-14 21:34:00

It's normal smile. She won't necessarily need to be eating for longer to sleep longer, it doesn't usually follow that way. With a bf baby I find that when they feed longer the end part of the feed tends to be the comfort feeding where they don't really take much milk.

My dd4 is 13 weeks on Friday and (I've been using an app to keep track!) averaged 7 mins per feed over the last 7 days, 1hr 32mins between feeds and 16 feeds a day. Now at first, she went the same overnight (hence me using the app so I could see) but now she will go 5-6 hours some nights which is bloody amazing! This has only happened over the past couple of weeks though and she does feed more close together during the day to make those average out but only short feeds.

I try to keep in mind that they drink for thirst and hunger so those few minutes of feeds can make the difference for them. I also have a fast let down which sprays everywhere so I know that feeling! I don't think it's too early for expressing, you sound established with feeding so it should be fine.

Hang in there, it does get easier and even if the feeding is close together it's needed. Oh and I had a c section this time which was really rough on me, first one and she was stuck inside me and they had to use forceps to get her out so it wasn't an easy delivery. 3 weeks after that I was diagnosed with 3 dvts and some other blood clots too so it's been a struggle, she's my 6th dc as well! Sadly dd2 was stillborn so we have 5 with us, 2 boys as well so no sleeping in the day as dd3 is 23 months old now.

One thing I find is that she sleeps a lot better after getting out and about, so the fresh air is really good for her sleeping smile

MultipleMama Thu 23-Jan-14 04:39:21

My 16 month olds still bf/bottle feed every 2-4 hours! So it's completely normal smile you're doing amazingly well.

I agree with other posters. Try asking your HV for advice smile

ZingSweetApple Thu 23-Jan-14 06:34:59

get her checked for Tongue Tie

ExpatAl Sat 25-Jan-14 20:46:50

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