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How can I make night feedings stop?

(32 Posts)
offmyrocker Sat 20-Nov-10 06:16:47

Age old question I know, but this is really getting out of hand.
My daughter is 11wks and refuses to have a proper bottle during the day feeds, so she hardly eats, then of course she's hungry at night and gulps the food down then.
Have tried to elongate the feeds by giving pacifier (during the night), but this just makes her hugely angry and then I just get a lot of crying first then her gulping the milk which takes twice as long and makes us both knackered by morning.
I do try to stick to a bedtime routine at around 7pm, but she's just not hungry and so ends up waking at around midnight or 1am, then again around 4 or 5am, so of course she's not hungry at 7 in the morning. However, I've also tried to follow her lead and see if by staying up later she will have a bigger feed but by 8pm she's so overtired that she cries and doesn't eat. I've tried dream feeding but she clamps her mouth closed and refuses to eat. And I'll admit the the terrible truth, out of sheer desperation I thought I'd give her water at the 4am feed to see if that would stretch her to at least 6am...never again, I've learned my lesson there.
I can't stand the thought that I'll never sleep more than 4 hours in a row ever again.
Please does anyone have some magic advice? so she might at least start eating during the day.

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 20-Nov-10 08:00:54

A couple of night feeds sounds quite normal for an 11 week old baby. Mine is 15 weeks and I don't have more than 4 hours sleep in a row!

Scootergrrrl Sat 20-Nov-10 08:12:14

Why won't she eat properly during the day? Is she too distracted?

jandmmum Sat 20-Nov-10 08:25:59

Those feeds sound perfectly normal for an 11 week old. You may get more sleep by just feeding her when she demands it rather than using the pacifier as she will be waking you twice. I think babies of this age wake out of hunger rather than habit so youvshould probably just feed her. It will get easier. I remember with DS I used to get so stressed about how much sleep I wasn't getting that it made it all seem worse. Once I accepted and expected a couple of night wakings it didn't feel so bad and any extra hours were a bonus. I keep telling myself the same thing with DD (15 weeks) when she has one of her bad nights. If you can get a nap in during the day when she's napping it will help.

newbielisa Sat 20-Nov-10 08:44:13

my DD is 5 months and your night schedule sounds like a dream to me(sorry) and thinking back at 11 weeks she was every two hours day and night.

Ineedsomesleep Sat 20-Nov-10 08:45:57

offmyrocker, I'm sorry but did you really expect an 11 week old baby to sleep through?

Waking twice in the night is normal. Try to do things that make it easier on you like going to bed when she does.

Is there someone who could share the night feeds sometimes?

narmada Sat 20-Nov-10 08:53:22

your nights sound like a dream to me! just feed her when she is hungry, i agree with the pp.

ceebs05 Sat 20-Nov-10 09:11:58

as others have said - sounds great to me. My daughter will only go 2 hours at the most, sometimes only an hour, between feeds. Four hours in a row would be luxury - not had that since before she was born!

SirBoobAlot Sat 20-Nov-10 09:23:39

I don't know exactly what you expect an eleven week old to be doing - but this sounds normal, and relatively easy.

Know the tiredness starts piling on at this point, but if your child is hungry you need to feed them, whether you are tired or not.

marzipananimal Sat 20-Nov-10 09:41:15

my ds is 11 weeks too and often wakes every 3 hours at night (though sometimes throws a 6-7 hour stretch into the mix to get our hopes up that he might start sleeping through!). It's knackering but normal, and like others have said it's easier to cope with if you expect it and just resign yourself to it.
Maybe you could get her to eat more in the day by doing feeds in a quiet, dimly lit room like at night? Sorry no other thoughts, my ds feeds loads day and night!

oh and it won't be forever (at least i hope not!)

MumNWLondon Sat 20-Nov-10 18:00:47

2 nights feeds at those times normal at that age. Try and settle her with a small as feed as possible at 4am....

scgd Sat 20-Nov-10 19:56:04

I too wish my ds (11wks) had the sleep pattern of OP bubba! The first bit of the evening is usually 7.30 (v loosely!) until approx 11 ish and then after that anything goes! I get anywhere between 1 hr if I'm extremely unlucky and 3 and a half hrs. A 4 hour stretch sounds like a dream!

narmada Sat 20-Nov-10 21:23:51

Oh, It's not good, I can't resist. I have to indulge in some competitive tiredness. We have about 4 hours of inconsolable screaming, ending at 11 pm. Then we may get a 3-4 hour stretch of sleep. And that is pretty much it. Up and down after that all night. And we have a toddler to care for too in the day.

offmyrocker Sun 21-Nov-10 10:54:35

Thank you for all your responses.
And you're all quite right to give me a kick in the arse. I do seem to concentrate a lot on those smug parents that tell me how their angels slept from 7 to 7, and then I've got my sister who also had a little angel (and I witnessed it for myself) who slept 8 hour stretches from 2 months (sibling rivalry to contend with, plus a critical mother) so that's why I get myself into such a mental mess and it is also sleep deprivation. However, yesterday I tried feeding her on demand instead of waiting out the expected 2 or 3 hours, but she still managed to pack in more food during her night wakings then during the day. So today I'm going to try the dimly lit room method and most importantly of all, remember that I'm not the only one dealing with a night-feeder.

MoonUnitAlpha Sun 21-Nov-10 11:14:23

Have you tried doing a dreamfeed when you go to bed? I started doing this a few days ago, feeding ds without waking him - for the first few nights he was still waking at 3am as usual, but twice now he's slept til 5am. Last night I fed him when I went to bed at 10pm and he went through til 5am, then back to sleep til 7.30am. 6.5 hours sleep in a row!!

crikeybadger Sun 21-Nov-10 11:27:22

Yes, offmyrocker- the 'sleeping through the night' thing is held up to be a bit of a badge of honour isn't it.

In the middle of the night feeds, I try to remind myself that I'm meeting my baby's needs. I also imagine all the other sleep deprived Mums out there doing exactly the same thing as me.

This article gave me some encouragment too.

mousesma Sun 21-Nov-10 12:07:42

My DDs doing keeping exactly the same times as your DD. Shes 19 weeks now and no amount of stuffing her with food during the day has changed this despite my best efforts.

I think it's misleading when books talk about sleeping through the night as what is normally meant is a block of 5-6 hours sleep.

It can sometimes feel like everyones baby is sleeping except yours. All of my NCT group seem to have babies that sleep from 10-7 or more. Just try to remember that your not on your own and other babies behave like this too!

ElleAndBump Sun 21-Nov-10 17:42:07

my dd is 4mth next week and she tends to go sleep about 8pm and sleeps really good, i wake her when we go to sleep around 10.30pm/ 11pm, try get her to have 6oz, then we tried swaddling her so she was nice and warm and feels like shes been held, and she stirs around 3 or 4pm for her dummy and has her next feed at 6 or 7pm, maybe try that, i know shes abit older so like other post it is normal for her to wake in the night for feed at 11weeks, but try move that 1pm feed to 11pm then you should only have to wake once in night then,i have to wake dd up properly so she has the whole bottle but i dont talk to her and keep her in a dim room so she knows its still bedtime, hope that helps also note she has good nights and bad nights so dont expect if you establish a rountine that thats going to happen all the time, grin

offmyrocker Wed 01-Dec-10 12:56:22

NIGHTTIME PARENTING LESSON #4:
An important fact for you to remember is that your baby's sleep habits are more a reflection of your baby's temperament rather than your style of nighttime parenting. And keep in mind that other parents usually exaggerate how long their baby sleeps, as if this were a badge of good parenting, which it isn't. It's not your fault baby wakes up.
8. Babies still wake up. When babies mature into these adult-like sleep patterns varies among babies. Yet, even though babies achieve this sleep maturity some time during the last half of the first year, many still wake up. The reason? Painful stimuli, such as colds and teething pain, become more frequent. Major developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling, and walking, drive babies to "practice" their new developmental skills in their sleep. Then between one and two years of age, when baby begins to sleep through the above-mentioned wake-up stimuli, other causes of nightwaking occur, such as separation anxiety and nightmares.

Even though you understand why babies are prone to nightwaking, you realize it's still important for parents and babies to get a restful night's sleep, otherwise, baby, the parents, and their relationship won't thrive.

offmyrocker Wed 01-Dec-10 12:58:42

Something for me to re-read whenever I'm up in the wee hours feeding DD grin

porcamiseria Wed 01-Dec-10 13:11:22

my 11 week is old doing exactly the same. I think stopping night feeds at 11 weeks is a tad optimistic to be honest! in fact 2 wakinfs is not bad, DS1 woke every 2 bloody hours UGH! I think when baby is 6 months I will cut them out, but until then, all part and parcel!!!!

crikeybadger Wed 01-Dec-10 13:22:44

like it offmyrocker. grin

The developmental milestones do have a big impact on babies' sleep. Well, that's what I keep telling myself anyway, we're in the 13 mo regression at the moment. I just keep telling myself that he will sleep at some point in his life!!

Hope you're getting on OK.

offmyrocker Sat 04-Dec-10 17:37:30

Good days, bad days - so pretty normal really.
Thanks for asking Crikey, what about you?
I have to say that even though night feeds are the norm for the majority of us mums I STILL keep happening upon these lucky mums envy that proudly/smugly inform me of their little ones sleeping through. I can't believe they are all telling porkies...hmm
Anyway I know I shouldn't keep dwelling on this point (obsessing more like) it is what it is.

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 04-Dec-10 18:16:45

When people say "sleeping through" though, they often mean 12-5, some of the time grin

ClimberChick Sun 05-Dec-10 04:19:55

I don't get why people would brag about it. Personally I'm more smug that DD wakes so often and I still function grin. Now that's something to be proud of.

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