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at 7pm he turns into a monster!!

(14 Posts)
vmcd28 Tue 11-Jan-11 09:43:26

I'm really struggling with bfeeding and evenings. Every few nights, ds2 (7w 4d) needs/wants fed constantly from around 7pm til midnight. Yesterday was horrendous, but I'm hoping it was a one-off. Usually he is just wanting to suck, so I've been managing to take him off the breast regularly, rather than letting him suck all evening. However, yesterday looked like this -

530am fed for 15 mins, straight back to sleep
0800 up and dressed
830 went to hosp appointment (left early, intending on feeding him in the waiting room or cafe)
After 30 mins getting parked and 10 mins walking to the hosp, didn't have time to feed him (and he was asleep anyway)
1020 fed him, came home
1130 changed nappy, put him in swing
1140-1340 napped in swing
1350 fed
1430 had 6wk check up
1530 fed
1600 play gym
1615 seemed to want fed again
1620 short fed, 10 min nap in my arms
Woke up agitated
Cried for 40 mins while I walked around with him
1700 fed briefly again
Tried to nod off but failed
1800 giving feeding cues again
1800-2240 wanted fed constantly. Seemed to be feeding rather than just comforting
Started to settle do took him up to bed
2240-2320 kept feeding. Not even close to sleeping.
I was exhausted and felt empty, so gave some formula, not believing he could be hungry, BUT he drank 4oz!!
He also did a horrendous nappy at this point and had a lot of man-sized farts. Poor soul.

Took til 1220 to settle him to sleep. He then slept almost 5 hrs, but that's unusual, usually he's up everu three hrs at night. At 5 am he had a short feed, fell asleep but woke when I put him down, so I had to lift him and rock him to sleep.

So...what on earth caused him to still be hungry after feeding all evening?! I can't go on like this. My nearly 6yo son needs me too. I need me!!

Yesterday was out of the ordinary in that he'd never have been left for 5hrs in the morning without being fed, and he was clearly overtired after barely sleeping from 2pm til midnight. But Ds2 just seems to have a constant growth spurt!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 11-Jan-11 12:37:47

vmcd so sorry that you have had such a bad night.

He seemed to have a long gap between some feeds during the day, would it help to feed him more often during the day? Say every 3 hours, plus more if he wants it?

Also, please take a look at Kellymom on Cluster Feeding. Does this sound like your DS?

Really think you need some RL help though. Is there a Bfing Counsellor close to you or a Bfing Support Group you could go to?

vmcd28 Tue 11-Jan-11 13:19:03

Hi, thanks for reply
He usually feeds anything from 2.5-4 hourly during the day. The long gap yesterday morning was not planned, just happened because of being at the hospital.
The thing is, he was asleep anyway, and I've been led to believe I shouldn't wake him, as he'll wake himself when he's hungry. Is that wrong - should I be waking him...? The problem is, when he does sleep he's usually out for the count, so waking him is nigh on impossible.
Today I'm in the house all day, so will try for regular naps today.

But what's with the ridiculous hunger? I've read about cluster feedings, and I'd be happy if he slept longer afterwards, but he still usually wakes after 3 hrs to be fed again.

The pattern seems to be that he's happy and settled in the morning, has a nap at midday, is happy again, has another nap late pm, then goes crazy for feeding, despite the fact I've fed him as much/little as he wants during the day. In most cases, in the evenings, it seems to be that he's comforting rather than feeding, but last night was definitely a feeding frenzy!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 11-Jan-11 19:33:03

It does sound pretty normal to me but really think you would benefit from speaking to a Bfing Counsellor, have you got the number of one or the numbers of the Helplines?

Hope someone comes along soon who can be of more help.

pinkyp Tue 11-Jan-11 19:37:18

my baby cluster feeds all night too i feel your misery. Starts around 6pm thro til 1-2am off and on all night :s

NotQuiteCockney Tue 11-Jan-11 19:38:11

The gaps between feeds look normal to me.

What does look a bit unusual is the sleep pattern - he's not sleeping much at all in the daytime - could he be frantic with exhaustion at the end of the day?

I think cluster feeding, and witching hour, are all perfectly normal ... but maybe working on finding ways he can sleep well in the daytime, might improve his day, and yours!

Does he have formula often? Just because he will drain a bottle, doesn't mean he was hungry - I would bet he was exhausted instead.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 11-Jan-11 19:53:21

Sorry vmcd had missed the bit about the bottle of formula. Please have a read of this on Kellymom particularly the bit about half way down that starts "Your baby guzzles down a bottle of formula or expressed milk after nursing."

How are you getting on now?

Keep posting smile

marzipananimal Tue 11-Jan-11 20:07:54

you poor thing, sounds exhausting. I found evening cluster feeding settled down at about 8 weeks when I twigged that he wasn't getting enough sleep in the day and so wanted to feed all evening cos he was tired and grumpy. Better naps helped (although that can be easier said than done). Hope things settle down soon

TheVisitor Tue 11-Jan-11 20:11:05

There's also the possibility of colic, and babies can think that they are hungry with the pain and feed to try and feel better, but the overfeeding can exacerbate it. Might be worth trying colief or infacol. Do get some advice from a BF expert though, which I'm not! grin

Porcelain Tue 11-Jan-11 20:26:41

To be honest that seems normal to me, It's certainly what mine did, it passes. A good book or film in the evening is a nice distraction. I also went to bed at the usual time and fed lying down in the dark. At the very least I got a rest and I hoped he would start to learn about bedtime, he knows now so maybe it worked - he still likes a last feed in bed in the dark, doesn't always nurse to sleep but I think he sees it as a necessary part of the bedtime ritual.

Sucking and not apparently feeding could be comfort, but they also do it to increase your supply prior to a growth spurt. Pacifiers and formula top ups interfere with this so its best not to use them except as a last resort.

vmcd28 Tue 11-Jan-11 20:36:04

Thanks, everyone!
I'll try to get to the Breastfeeding support group on Thursday morning for a bit of advice.

NotQuiteCockney, just to confirm that the schedule that I posted was for yesterday only - he does normally sleep more during the day. I posted yesterday's schedule to illustrate why I felt so hellish by midnight! Also, I read today that he should really only be awake for 2hrs at a time. I hadn't realised this, and he is often awake longer than this, so I'll focus on trying for more shorter naps.

The good news is he's slept better today, and has been less frantic this far.

Re the formula, he's only had a bottle three times. It's not something I rely on. Thinking about trying one bottle a day soon to give me a break, but I haven't decided on that yet.

One question, if he sleeps for ages during the day, should I leave him or try to gently wake him for a feed? I'm just anxious that if I leave him he'll be starving again, rather than stocking up during the day.

TheVisitor Tue 11-Jan-11 20:38:02

If you leave him to sleep, surely when he does wake he'll just feed and feed until he has a nice full tummy?

My kids are ooooooolder btw, so feel free to discount me. grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 11-Jan-11 20:41:05

Just wanted to say that I'm glad you've had a better day and a less frantic night. Hope it continues smile

The group on Thursday sounds like a good idea, but then a chat and a cuppa always sounds like a good idea to me grin

organiccarrotcake Tue 11-Jan-11 20:47:30

Just something to bear in mind with the formula is that even a bottle a day will strip off the protective coating of breastmilk in the gut and reduce (but not remove) the protection bfing gives. There are still very many other benefits such as the antibodies bm gives your baby but this is something to think about as part of your decision.

My children are the same age apart as yours (DS1 was 6 when DS2 was 3 months) and my DH was fab at helping and doing all the older boy's care until we passed this stage. It is hard but it will only last a few more weeks. Have you got someone to help? Although I felt guilty about it, lots of telly for DS2 was needed, but hey ho. Also lego was good - a few new boxes weren't too expensive and were great as something he could do alone and feel like he'd really done something positive.

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