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What is going on????

(48 Posts)
MichelleM Sun 21-Sep-03 08:38:47

Help! My DS (just coming 15wks) had until this week been a great night-time sleeper, just waking once in the night for a feed (3.30am). He has a good night-time routine,and goes to bed after 7.30pm breastfeed.

At the start of the week he had a 2 day growth spurt, where he fed every hour to hour&
half during the day. On the third day he slept loads all day (very unlike him!) and slept great that night (7.30pm - 5am).

It all went downhill rapidly after that......4th night woke up 3 times......5th night woke up every 1 1/2hr or so........ 6th night woke up nearly every hour. At each waking he is crying his head off until fed, and he does seem hungry as is feeding for 12-15 minutes each time.

What is going on?????? Surely its not still a growth spurt, as his daytime feeds are every 2hrs as normal. Or is my milk supply drying up? Or is this the sign that he needs solids....I was really hoping to leave weaning until much later?


willow2 Sun 21-Sep-03 09:01:15

I'd say it's a sign for solids - this is exactly what happened to me with ds. A few weeks after introducing them he was back to sleeping through.

sobernow Sun 21-Sep-03 09:11:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bobthebaby Sun 21-Sep-03 09:11:51

Same happened to me, except I didn't introduce solids and a couple of weeks later he was back to normal. A lactation consultant told me it can take a couple of weeks for things to return to normal at around this time.
As our family has heaps of allergies, solids were not an option for us so I rode it out. Daytime feeds did not increase for me either, maybe he prefered night-time milk or maybe too much was going on during the day that he didn't want to miss out on.

mears Sun 21-Sep-03 09:35:23

MichelleM - go with the flow breastfeeding. Your baby will settle again. You are right to try and wait longer before introducing solids - the recommendation is age 6 months. I didn't manage that till my last baby (no. 4) where is was determined I was not going to introduce solids until 6 months. We went through spells of 2 hourly feeds and night waking which then settled back to a good pattern. It proved to me that I started my others too soon, if I had waited I would have seen the pattern emerge. When a baby goes longer the assumption is made it is the solids that have done it - it probably would have happened anyway.
Stick with it - your milk supply is fine and is just being boosted by your ds as nature intends.

sobernow Sun 21-Sep-03 11:26:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherinferior Sun 21-Sep-03 11:31:23

Yes, sobernow, or at least it's new in the UK - it actually came out as a WHO recommendation a couple of years ago, shortly after I'd had dd1 (although I didn't stick to it!), and was taken up as a government recommendation just around the time when maternity provision changed. There's a thread about it somewhere. Although I doubt this time I'll manage it either, as am trying to keep dd2 on breastmilk and don't think I can face expressing that much milk for four days a week.

singingmum Sun 21-Sep-03 12:40:06

Have to say sounds def like cry for solids.I know there are guidelines but thats just what they are and they just don't work for some.My son was 6 weeks when he started solids my daughter only a few weeks older also my partner was put on solids at 4 weeks and I honestly believe that some babies need more earlier than others.As for worrying about wether it will harm them a I can only reiterate what I've said on other threads and that is that my children and my partner have extremely strong stomachs and rarely get ill.If it seems to you that he's hungry make up some runny baby rice just a small amount and keep him only on that if your worried he's to young.

tiktok Sun 21-Sep-03 13:05:24

There's no reason why solids would be harmful at this stage (except in the sense that they might mean less breastmilk) but they dont sound as if they are needed, nutritionally. There's no evidence that in general solids help a baby sleep all through the night - and the sort of amounts you'd be giving a baby of 15-16 weeks don't amount to much in calorific terms.

Of course the 6 month guideline can't apply rigidly to all babies - as if all bf babies wake up on the morning of their 6 mth 'birthday' desperate for solids! But it's a useful pointer to the fact that for most babies, 6 mths is about right, and that 10 weeks earlier than this (which is what 16 weeks is) is really very early indeed.

Babies wake up for all sorts of reasons. Maybe your baby was thirsty (it's been hot recently), or teething, or lonely, or hungry - whatever the reason, breastfeeding continues to meet his needs very well.

It's up to you what to do - you're not likely to harm your baby if you give solids now. But if you want to stick with bf, then that's just fine, too.

tiktok Sun 21-Sep-03 13:08:01

Just to add: sometimes mothers find that solids and sleeping through co-incide - willow2's baby started sleeping through 'a few weeks later'.

But none of that is proof of cause and effect!

Babies' sleeping patterns change naturally.

MichelleM Sun 21-Sep-03 18:45:54

Thanks all. Will try and stick it out .....will keep you posted about what the little munchkin does in the next few days

pidge Mon 22-Sep-03 09:20:25

MichelleM - others have said this too, but just to boost the numbers ... my baby too regressed in her sleeping at exactly the same age as your baby. She'd been waking once a night and then went back to waking twice, three times or more and I was at my wits end. I was determined not to introduce solids till 6 months and sure enough a few weeks after the problems started she went back to waking just once a night and then at about 5 months suddenly went through 12 hours without waking and has done so ever since. And all without introducing solids.

I think the whole thing took 3-5 weeks to sort itself out, and it was a miserable time! I hope the sleep sorts itself out for you too.

bobsmum Mon 22-Sep-03 09:36:29

MichelleM - I'd stick it out too. At 5 months, I was still waking ds for a last feed at 10pm, after he'd been sleeping since 7pm. (He stopped waking up in the night at 9 weeks) That way I think he was getting enough milk during the day to see him through the night.

I expressed fully at about 9pm ish and dh gave him that in a bottle. By the time he was about 5.5 months, he was just not interested in that feed anymore and would take about 1 oz. That week we introduced solids.

I really wanted to wait until 6 months, but felt pressured by other mums asking why I was "starving" my son. He was on the 98th centile, bf and sleeping through - so hardly starving.

As other posters have said, there could be many other reasons for waking. Is he in a baby sleeping bag? They can make a big difference to sleep IMO.

Also does he go down in his cot awake? It can make a real difference if their eyes are open when they're popped in bed - then if they do wake up they recognise where they are instead of suddenly thinking mum's "abandoned" them. (pseudo-sprog psychology )

Is there a new noise in his room, like a clock or noisy road or neighbour? Teething is also a possibility as someone said - my friend's ds had his first 2 teeth just before 4 mths. Hope things were better last night.

willow2 Mon 22-Sep-03 10:31:54

tik tok - my ds had been sleeping soundly through the night for ages, then started to wake up again, absolutely starving. The minute he was getting a decent amount of solids during the day he reverted to sleeping through - so I do think the two are linked.

MichelleM Mon 22-Sep-03 10:45:19

The munchkin must have been reading Mumsnet as he slept so much better last night, only waking twice (1.30am, 5am). I gave him a top-up bottle of formula at the 1.30am feed (3 oz), as i was really desperate to get a bit of sleep (need to be in good form during day as my dad is not well, and need to help lift spirits). Dont know whether the bottle helped, or whether he would have slept better anyway. Will just do bf tonight & see.

Bobsmum - thanks for all the suggestions....He is in Grobag, which is fab. He goes in to cot awake, and settles very quickly, thankfully. Teething may well be possibility as he is a dribbling machine .

Thank you all for the encouragement to hold out on solids - as getting pressure from parents & in-laws to start on solids.

tiktok Mon 22-Sep-03 11:05:11

Willow, your first post said it was a 'few weeks' after solids he began to sleep through once more. Not the minute he had them!! Even so, minute or weeks, there is no way of knowing if the two (solids and sleep) are linked. And again even so, breastfeeding when the baby wakes is a valid choice to make if a mother prefers not to give solids, and to allow bf to satisfy the night time needs of her's up to her. But it's unlikely, given what we know, that the majority of bf babies actually need solids (nutritionally speaking only ) before about 6 mths.

willow2 Mon 22-Sep-03 12:53:47

Wasn't trying to change what I said - point I was making is that it took a couple of weeks for ds to take a decent amount of solids (I don't consider two mouthfuls of baby rice an adequate meal) - and as soon as we reached that point he stopped waking at night for a feed, although bf happily in the day for another year.

bobthebaby Mon 22-Sep-03 20:38:10

Hi Michelle, glad you got some sleep. Only thing about the formula feed is that the purpose of all this night waking is to boost your supply. It could draw things out for longer maybe? Good idea to try the breastfeeding tonight now you are a bit more rested.

MichelleM Tue 23-Sep-03 12:02:50

DS woke 3 times in night for feed last night, but was unsatisfied with normal one sided feed (of around 20mins) and also needed fed from other boob each time. DH has very bad cold and was in bad humour. We had big row which kept being rekindled at each waking. Basically DH cant understand why I want to hold out for another while on giving DS solids. He is of the mind that "well, it didnt do any of us any harm did it?". I tried to stand my ground but am so tired am finding it hard to be coherent. Also dont have much fight left in me, as getting same pressure from parents and in-laws. I'm not trying to deprive DS of anything...... I am happy to get up as often as he needs me for a feed in the night, but I really cant do it much longer without the support of my DH.
Thanks for listening to my moan.

pidge Tue 23-Sep-03 12:36:30

MichelleM - really sorry to hear about your bad night and these things are tough enough even when you have your partner's full support. My dp and I have all our best arguments in the middle of the night - last night I got ticked off for waking him up by going and fetching a tissue

Anyway .... does your dh know that the department of health recommend not introducing solids until 6 months? They make this recommendation following the World Health Organisation's extensive research into baby nutrition. There will always be exceptions, I guess, but most babies do not need solid food for the first 6 months. And there is little evidence to suggest solids will help with sleeping ... some mothers swear blind that the solids were the crucial factor in improving sleep, but then many babies start sleeping more at some stage between 4-6 months so it's hard to tell if they would have done the same without the solids.

I found it pretty hard to resist the pressure to give my dd food earlier, but am really glad I held out till 6 months. I have eczema, asthma, rhinitis, nut allergies and so far (fingers crossed) my dd is clear (now 14 months). I'm sure I did the best for her by keeping her on just breastmilk for 6 months. As I said further down this thread, she sorted out her sleep without solids (having regressed terribly).

Having said all of this ... don't let anyone make you feel bad if you do go the solids route. Just make sure you're happy with your decision and remember Mums know their babies best and every baby is different!

sobernow Tue 23-Sep-03 13:05:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pidge Tue 23-Sep-03 13:14:16

sobernow - that didn't sound argumentative at all! I think the rationale behind postponing the solids is that once they're introduced the baby may start taking less breastmilk. And the evidence suggests that breastmilk is all the baby needs during this time.

I know this is such an emotive topic, and I really think that mums should get support for whatever they choose. But given my atopic history I wanted to give my dd the best start I could based on good scientific research. So personally I was glad to follow the WHO recommendation (at that stage the UK Department of Health were still lagging behind) and I would have done whatever it took to see her through to 6 months without solids. Totally understand other people choosing not to do this though!

elliott Tue 23-Sep-03 13:38:48

this thread might be useful if you want to hear some experiences of people aiming to exclusively bf for 6 months.
No time now to enter into further debate, much though I am itching to!!

sobernow Tue 23-Sep-03 14:01:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherinferior Tue 23-Sep-03 15:45:16

And personally I think I may introduce solids precisely because of breastfeeding, or more accurately expressing; if, that is, pidge's excellent advice doesn't work for me (thank you again. Still panicking as dd2 doesn't like the bottle...)

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