Where do we go from here? 12 week old DS2(18 Posts)
This is part rant, part advice seeking.
DS2 is 12 weeks and EBF. And we need to do something about his feeding or there is not the least danger of us making it anywhere near 6 months, never mind the 10 months I fed DS1 or the year I would quite like to get to.
Basically, DS2 feeds like a newborn. I hesitate to use the word routine, but this is kind of how our day looks at the moment:
7am - DS1 wakes, so we all get up (DP already left for work). DS2 feeds until around 7:30 while we have breakfast
7:30-8:30 I scramble round trying to get everyone washed/dressed/nappy changed/showered etc before next feed is required
8:30am (sometimes earlier) - DS2 wails for next feed
9am I attempt to put DS2 in sling for a nap, as he has nodded off feeding
9:20am I give up in the face of non-stop-screaming DS, and feed again. DS2 falls asleep feeding. As he is now knackered he falls asleep every time he feeds, but wakes literally the microsecond I shift my weight/unlatch him. He is (and has been since birth) an insanely light sleeper.
9:30am-3pm Repeat sling/scream/feed/sling/scream feed on and off. At least once before 3pm DS2 eventually goes in the sling and sleeps for around an hour. Basically the rest of the time he is feeding.
3pm-5pm - feed, doze, feed doze
5pm - DP comes home and takes DS1 & 2 for an hour or so, during which time we prepare and eat dinner. DS2 is usually screaming for a feed after about 35-40 mins, sometimes I feed, sometimes I need the break badly enough to leave him with DP.
6pm-8pm - DS cluster feeds. This used to go on till about 9:30, but he is now nodding off earlier. Feeding later made no difference to nights, so I don't try to keep him up feeding
8:30pm-10pm - DS sleeps in the sling on DP
10pm-11pm - feed for about an hour
12:30am - feed
3am - feed
5am-7am - cluster feed
7am - DS1 wakes.
I should add that as long as he can stay latched on permanently, DS2 is totally chilled, happy and relaxed - no crying, no real discomfort apart from very occasional wind (he can bring up wind while feeding horizontally. I feel this is impressive), lots of wet nappies, big dirty nappy every 36-48 hours.
I, on the other hand, am not chilled, happy and relaxed. I am bloody knackered, getting poorer (self employed. DS1 is at nursery 3 half days a week and I need to work instead of feed for at least a small fraction of this time - we are currently spending about £300 a month more than we have coming in, which cannot continue) and getting increasingly sick of having sit around with my boobs out all day. I really want to begin to instill some sort of 'routine', or at least a loose schedule that allows me the odd half hour between feeds. At the moment I couldn't even say how many times a day he feeds, as it is so constant there is no real differentiation.
I have started expressing, and am hoping that being able to offer DS2 the odd top up will mean he is a bit more 'knocked out' for naps when I need him to be.
Oh, and I can't put him down, at all. He is an incredibly light sleeper, so if he falls asleep feeding he is awake as soon as I shift my weight, never mind shift him into the cot. He has been like this since birth. I think I need to crack getting him to sleep in a cot (or even a sling) so that he is a little bit more able to get himself to sleep and then hopefully sleep a little longer.
Also, we're getting married in 4 weeks. I would quite like to not spend my entire wedding day with my boobs out.
I have tried to be relaxed and baby led, hoping it would improve at 6 weeks, then maybe at 8 weeks, then 10, then 12. So far, no real change.
I am not looking to deprive DS2, or put him in a ridiculous 4 hour routine, but I don't think hoping for perhaps 90-minutely feeding day and night is unreasonable - even if he fed for an hour a time and only had 30 minutes off it would be an improvement on current situation.
If things don't improve with expressed milk top ups, he will have to have some formula simply so I can pull in some family help to look after him for a decent chunk of time while DS1 is at nursery and I can get some work done. I am about this, but our financial situation is beginning get fairly stressful, quite apart from my own desire for five minutes' break.
Advice/support/slaps round the chops all very welcome.
Sorry for essay
No advice sorry but I feel your pain. Could it be the three month growth spurt? I believe the early weeks can be constant growth spurts, one merging into the next. , feeling like it could last forever. Perhaps a breastfeeding expert (rather than a HV) could give some advice, have you tried the helplines or a local BF clinic / lactation consultant? I think your HV or hospital can give you details of local support.
Do you think there could be latch isasues e.g. tongue-tie?
I'm sure others with more experience will be along soon. In the meantime, if there's any friends or family who can help I'd get them in sharpish.
Thanks orchidee. I don't think there are latch issues - feeding is pain free, and DS1 had tongue tie, so I am well versed in bad latches!
Got a half hour break between feeds while picking DS1 up from nursery just now. It was my first non-screaming break since 8:30am
You poor thing, I don't have much to offer but have you tried a dummy? Or rocking in buggy/car seat on floor/bouncy chair immediately after a feed with singing/humming/White noise/musical mobile.
Can DH walk/drive baby around for bit in evening to give you some work time..?
I had similar issues with DS, although not quite so bad...it will get better eventually.
Chin up you're doing great
Can you feed him in the sling?
I'd give him a dummy too - with my ds I feed him til he's asleep then slide the dummy into one corner of his mouth whilst sliding my nipple out the other side
Had forgotten about dummy - DS1 wouldn't take one. Maybe we can give that a try. Really didn't want to go down dummy route, but it's looking like the lesser of two evils!
Ohhelp DP has him in evening between feeds anyway, but as he feeds till about 8pm and I'm in bed at about 9 to get in enough sleep before 5am start, there just aren't many hours to work with! I suppose if night time sleep improved I could work more in evening...
Rocking/jiggling/walking just seems to wake him up more, except for the odd time when I put him in the sling, bounce around a bit and he sleeps! This is what usually happens once a day when he has an hour's sleep. I have no idea why it works that once - maybe he's finally so bloody tired that anything would make him drop off!
I thought you'd know about tongue-tie, just a thought. Kellymom has some info about fussiness and growth spurts, you've probably read that, but it does say that fussiness often subsides at 3-4 months so hopefully before your wedding (congratulations, btw.) Link here
I know you are very busy just now but if you can't realistically lower your expectations (i.e. you can't just have a babymoon and sod everything else) then I hope you can get friends and family involved to help out. They probably don't know they're needed. I bet you make it look very easy.
(Without wanting to hijack) My baby's maybe today coming out of the 6 week growth spurt. It's hard to make plans and anything but essential appointments are abandoned. Still, my ever-helpful mother gave some good advice when I saw her yesterday. Apparently "He can't be hungry again, he just needs a dummy. Anyway crying is good for his lungs." Hmm. Thanks, but, err, that's not really how it works when BF. He's putting in an order for more milk. Also, DP's mum thinks holding a baby for no reason (i.e. other than when he's being fed) will spoil him. FFS! We are talking about a newborn. Err, that'll be why your own babies were "awful". Until they learned not to expect any cuddles anyway. (That was meant to raise a smile with you but reading it... can I say I am not following in their footsteps!)
And here's a link from LLL on constant feeding LLL
Took your advice Orchidee and got my sister over to help me actually leave the house. We only made it into town, but even feeding in a different location improves things slightly. On the subject of helpful relatives, was told on the weekend by a distant relative that it's high time he was on some baby rice, and what did I expect if I insisted on BFing?
Am feeling a shade less furious about the whole thing (was sure I was 'due' an easy BFing experience after the hell of undiagnosed tongue tie last time!) after getting out, but still so anxious about finances/sleep/the wedding/having 30 seconds to myself ever again.
You've got to laugh at this stuff, although I wonder how many people end up giving up BF because of this sort of "advice". Anyway it's good to hear that you got out and made it to the nursery to pick up DS1. How have things been this afternoon? And how are the wedding plans?
I'm going to copy some text from the Kellymom website in case it triggers an idea. Also, the site suggests that any technique usually works for only a few days then it's time to try something else, so maybe something that didn't work in the past may be worth trying again.
Comfort measures for fussy babies (many fit into several different categories)
Change his diaper
Undress baby completely to make sure no clothing is "sticking" him
Carry baby in a sling
Give baby a back rub
Carry baby in the "colic hold" (lying across your forearm, tummy down, with your hand supporting his chest)
Lay baby across your lap & gently rub his back while slowly lifting & lowering your heels
Lay baby tummy-down on the bed or floor and gently pat his back
Massage your baby
Dim lights and reduce noise
Play some music (try different styles and types of voices to see which baby prefers)
Sing to baby
Turn on some "white noise" (fan, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher)
Rhythmic motion / change of pace
Nurse baby in motion (while walking around or rocking)
Give baby a bath
Hold baby and gently bounce, sway back and forth or dance
Put baby in a sling or baby carrier and walk around inside or outside
Put baby in a baby swing (if he's old enough)
Take baby outside to look at the trees
Take baby for a walk in the stroller
Go for a car ride
Set baby in a baby carrier (or car seat) on the dryer with the dryer turned on (stand by him, as the vibration can bounce the seat right off the dryer onto the floor)
Add message | Report | Message poster YogaMummy2B Tue 21-Jun-11 19:42:32
Could he have silent reflux? This sounds totally identical to my DD, who I'm sadly no longer BFing, due to the reflux making the feeding/comfort eating all roll into one & her only happy when latched on. I couldn't cope and was tired and crying constantly! FF doesn't make it any easier, I just wish I'd had help sooner and I could still be BFing.
It is worth talking to your GP about, if it is that it is very easily controlled and you would have a different baby after.
Ask the GP for ranitidine to see if it makes a difference, will take a few days to work.
Let me know.
Thanks for the advice everyone!
Hadn't thought of anything like silent reflux - he seems really pretty relaxed on the odd time he stops feeding, so I'd be surprised if it's that. Will check with GP though.
Am feeling totally just now, as have finally been to get him weighed and he's fallen to below the 0.4th centile, having been born on the 50th. Really feels like all this bloody feeding is completely in vain and actually I may as well just give him a bottle. Have been referred to the GP to discuss lack of weight gain.
Has tongue tie been ruled out? Maybe he's feeding lots because he isn't transferring milk very efficiently.
not ruled out, but would be v surprised as he can poke his tongue way out and latch is not painful. Will check with BFC at BFing cafe tomorrow though.
Around 12 weeks is when they start going into deep sleep first when they fall asleep, so he could be just about to start getting better at sleeping. And therefore be hungrier when he wakes up, so better at feeding. This is how it worked with my daughter, anyway, took her a couple of weeks (12-14) to transition to the new sleep cycle order.
DD used to be a really light sleeper, so we bought the tiny love cot mobile for her. She went in a few times to start off with and watched it go round but now when she's fallen asleep we put her in and turn it on without the music, and the motor noise acts as White noise and sends her to sleep if she's stirs. Also clicks off after 30 mins by which time she is well asleep! Works every time! And at 3am when she decides she wants to play we put everything on and she wathches it and then falls asleep
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