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Bottle answer to sleep?

(16 Posts)
WLmum Thu 16-Dec-10 13:39:32

Hi all,
Any help would be greatly appreciated - dd is 7 months old and still gets me up at least 3 times a night to feed! She was exclusively breastfed until 6 months when hv suggested weaning asap to fill her up as night feeds were probably hunger and I didn't want to go down controlled crying route. Fast weaning resulted in system overload and prjectile vomiting for the poor wee mite, and of course even worse nights. Since starting again (slowly) with the weaning, nights are even worse with waking for feeds every 2 hours and sometimes not settling for 2 hours after! I now feel completely exhausted and am starting to feel quite resententful. Decided that only way forward is to bottle feed so I can see how much she has had and at least let someone else have a turn - dd refusing bottle so i now have a fed up hungry baby and am very stressed out myself.
Can anyone offer any light at the end of the tunnel (other than the bedside clock illuminating the way to dawn!)?

EauRudolph Thu 16-Dec-10 13:51:47

No, there's no evidence it will work. Sorry! I know it's tricky not getting a full night's sleep, my DD is not a 'sleeper'. There are things you can do to maximise your sleep like co-sleeping.

Here's some great advice from Kellymom about BF babies and sleep.

I know it's tough but you're not alone. Hang in there, it won't last long.

theboobmeister Thu 16-Dec-10 14:26:17

I second EauRudolph, there is no evidence sorry ... particularly at 6 months.

But if she is hungry (it sounds like she is!) then I wonder about the wisdom of your HV's advice about weaning.

In the past, weaning advice was to replace milk feeds with solids because it was thought that solids were more nutritious/filling than milk. However, we now know that this is wrong - in fact the opposite is true! Milk is more energy-dense than solid food, and babies digest it far more efficiently than solid food. At 7 months, solid food is still mainly going straight through them and not contributing much to their overall nutrition.

Solid food is bulky so it may fill a baby's tummy, but if it is replacing milk then the baby is getting less calories and ends up more hungry, not less hungry!

So ...

Could she be getting less milk during the day as a result of the weaning? If so, this would explain why she is so hungry and hacked off at night. Perhaps a change of approach is called for - a return to full breastfeeding during the day, only offering solids in between breastfeeds, and allowing her to decide when she's ready to start cutting down on breastmilk?

MerryElk Thu 16-Dec-10 14:43:53

absolutely second what is on here - including the sympathy smile
a teaspoon of breastmilk contains far more calories than either a teaspoon or puree carrot OR formula milk... so it might not necessarily be about "hunger"...hmm re your HVs advice, the whole waking in the night doesn't automatically equate with the need to wean.
Can you (or do you) co-sleep? Would that ease the feeds through the night?
Could you think about offering more milk in the day as theboobmeister suggests? I have to say from my own personal experience, if DD2 doesn't get enough milk in the day, regardless of solid food ingested, I pay for it in the night...I'm sure she is making up the calories.
7mo is still young, particularly in the scheme of it with regards weaning - "food is for fun until you are one" and all that!
It is very hard feeding so frequently and trying to wean and wondering when and if you are ever going to sleep again smile - you will. Try and narrow your horizons a little, get some rest, get some milk into her, and see if you can find an acceptable way of feeding her in the night without feeling like you are clock watching...
huge sympathies

beachavendrea Thu 16-Dec-10 19:13:28

I really feel for you, I was in this situation a few months ago and i was going mental. my ds was ebf and I was knackered so i was sure formula was the answer! it didn't work at all in fact he started waking more frequently. In the end we gave him a expressed bottle and my husband did the first feed, it took me about 4 nights to sleep through this feed but eventually I learnt and i got a good 6 hours stretch.

I found the whole 'giving more calories' during the day thing hard as I didn't really know how to do it as if he wasn't hungry he just wouldn't latch on. so we reduced the time on my breast/bottle by a minute per night and he began to take more calories during the day and now he goes all night with no feed, he still wakes for comfort though!

Squitten Thu 16-Dec-10 20:57:30

I really sympathise as DS1 was a rubbish sleeper but he was FF from day 2 and he never slept through the night until he turned 2yrs old

We found the only way to get any relief was to put him in our bed so that at least we could comfort him easily

WLmum Thu 16-Dec-10 21:09:39

Thanks so much for your responses, it's good to know I'm not the only one! Have tried co-sleeping but only works if dh sleeps on sofa which is tough on us but I def get more sleep and dd v happy about it! Dd1 jealous though and worry that dd2 will never want to leave my bed!
After much perserverance dh managed to give a bottle of expressed bm so will try this in the night and see what happens.
Thanks again

WLmum Fri 17-Dec-10 11:19:12

Well mixed results from last night, dd woke as usual 1st 2 times and we gave her bottles of expressed bm which she reluctantly accepted, took a little longer to settle with a few tears but then slept til morning and woke up a happy bunny.
Totally agree with beachavendrea re increasing daytime milk calories, she just doesn't seem that interested and is v distractible, hence making it up in quiet calm night. Plan to feed with expressed bottles to get a handle on how much she is taking when and to try to encourage meals rather than snacks.
Proof that motherhood makes you nuts-I actually missed the little blighter in the night!

mummyinthevalley Fri 17-Dec-10 12:37:43

found this topic really interesting as was going to post same question myself today. DS is now 4 months and exclusively bf, he was waking up just once around 4am but recently is waking much more frequently. Tempted to offer formula but these messagesseem to advise it makes no difference, not sure what to do, with my older 2 children I was starting to wean them now, why do the goal posts change?

beachavendrea Fri 17-Dec-10 13:43:41

WLmum i forgot with the bottle we reduced the amount by 10 mls each night. he did then go from three feeds to two feeds to one feed in a week! i was pretty amazed.

WLmum Sat 18-Dec-10 14:11:04

Hi mummyinthevalley,
We really don't have anything positive to report yet! At the mo just extra hassle with washing, sterilising and expressing. I do think I'm seeing confirmation that dd is snack feeder rather than one big drink (wasn't so when she was littler) but our main problem now is getting her to settle back to sleep after a bottle - after 3 hours last night took her back into my bed for feed/suckle as used to which worked but is what am trying to get awway from. Really hoping we don't end up going down the controlled crying route.
Weaning goals have changed I believe cos it's now thought that babies digestive systems are too immature to cope with food before 6m and earlier weaning is believed to have links with the increase in exzema, asthma and allergies.

porcamiseria Sat 18-Dec-10 17:04:31

WLmum, same here! have gone from 2 night feeds to 3-4, I was also thinking @hunger@, now maybe think its something else, fxxk knows

interesting what you say about early waning, in fact the EAT survey (a survey where people are weaning early) was introduced becuase they are seeing MORE allergies etc since the trend of weaning later!

mine is 4 months as I am tired, and frankly confused as to what the solution is, to go from 2 wakings to 4 is disoriting to say the least

i may well try 1 bottle of formula at bedtime, no harm is trying

EdgarAleNPie Sat 18-Dec-10 17:17:31

to be honest, i did find introucing solids helped - though no, there isn't any research evidence, tis just anecdote...

formula actually contains about 2 fewer calories per ounce.

here is why i think it is better to wean to solids than introduce a bottle -

bottle feeding is more likely to cause problems with BF
babyrice &BM is nearly twice as calorific by ounce as BM alone.
formula is less calorific than BM to the tune of 2 calories per ounce.

In Sweden however BF mum did not find solids interefered with BF, whereas bottles did/do. There is no reason to believesolids more likely to cause gastric disease - in fact i rather think teats etc are harder to sterilise properly than bowl & spoon.

there is no evidence to support that it is better to introduce a bottle AFAIAA.

aside from which one tin of formula casts £10 odd and a pack of baby rice costs £1.30.

MumNWLondon Sat 18-Dec-10 19:00:13

What worked for us (at 6 months) was the hipp nighttime milk with added cereals (its a follow on milk so can't use until 6 months). Much thicker than normal so less likely to projectile vomit it. Gave it at 10.30pm.

FWIW for us offering normal formula at 10.30pm (from a bit before then, maybe 22-23 weeks) cut out one night feed - so he'd only wake at 4am rather than 1am and 4am. IMO it helped as my milk supply was lower in the evening and he wasn't prepared to feed for ages for slow milk (used to fast milk in morning)

During the day solids only offered after a milk feed to make sure they are full of milk before solids offered (as solids lower in calories), initially limit solids to twice a day small quantities.

porcamiseria Sat 18-Dec-10 19:13:56

just re read my post, i am post operative and sleep deprioved today, can usually spell!

rice or formula? who knows

WLmum Tue 21-Dec-10 17:00:42

Thanks all, some really interesting info here - I particularly like EdgarAleNPie's info re calorific content and porcamiseria's info re the EAT survery - who knows, maybe the WHO/NHS will revise their advice and weaning times will come full circle.

Our amazing news is that 3 nights ago dd2 slept 7.30 til 5.45!! (Was too scared to post in case jinxed it!) Nights since have not been quite so good, but still only getting up for a couple of dummy pops (only been able to introduce dummy since introducing bottles) which of course dh can also do, so more time in bed for me - yay!

Not sure what made the difference in the end - have been bottle feeding (approx 80% expressed bm), and after first dreadful night when dd wouldn't settle after bottle, offered dummy which did the trick in settling (although fell out shortly after she was asleep and stayed out til 5.45 when I popped it back in and she stayed asleep until 6.30 when dd1 gets up) - was I just a human dummy after all?! Also restricted naps a bit that day so she was probably more tired than usual.
Maybe with bottles I am able to encourage more intake during the day, although she very rarely finishes a bottle and is clear when she's had enough!
Anyway, what has become clear is that she is not hungry in the night - not interested in bottle at all. Perhaps she has realised that boob snuggle is no longer on offer so doesn't bother to wake up!
grin

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