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Frozen peas don't wake dd. How do I get her to take a feed?!

(19 Posts)
mouffloncake Sun 26-Jun-11 01:25:15

dd is coming up for 6wks.
She was 3wks early & slightly jaundiced at birth which cleared. Summer is gaining weight & following 2nd centile.
I bf feed her every 4hrs - 8,12 & 4. She is a lazy feeder & falls asleep several times during a feed. Its very difficult to wake her. Tried tickling, blowing, damp cotton pads, nappy changes.
Most of the time my 4am alarm wakes me but she is out for the count. I try to wake her & she just about manages a feed.
Is it too early to see if she will drop the 4am feed?
Sometimes she is so disinterested, nothing wakes her. Dh has even got a bag of frozen peas out to try & rouse her :/

I have to admit, if I'm being 100% honest, from a selfish point if view I'm hoping I can drop the 4am feed as the interrupted nights are really getting to me now. I get no help from dh at nights, not even a nappy change. Ive expressed in hope dh would lighten the load.
He says this is my job now & he has his day job & needs sleep.

I feel like I'm starting to loose the will to live! I'm also wondering why I'm putting myself & dd thru interrupted nights if maybe she will go longer but been afraid to leave her as at birth, the midwives kept insisting on forcing her to feed frequently (lazy feeding due to jaundice). As I've said, she's gaining & hv are happy with her progress.

Thanking you in advance xx

feckwit Sun 26-Jun-11 01:29:23

Yes I would drop it. My daughter was early, she slept through the night from 2 weeks!

mouffloncake Sun 26-Jun-11 01:35:35

Thank you, thank you!

She has plenty of wet & dirty nappies & feeds (with faffing) for 40-60 mins during the day.

PenguinArmy Sun 26-Jun-11 03:37:52

If she's gaining weight and is feeding lots in the day (I assume 4hourly is only at night) then I wouldn't wake her.

Your H on othe hand hmm DH was the SAHD in our house and I never took that attitude, I hope he at least helps out when he is awake and at home and not just clock off once he's left work.

EDD24may Sun 26-Jun-11 05:41:20

Drop the LO was jaundice and lazy at the start with me having to wake him but now put on weight and feeds loads in the day. He just managed from 9pm to 4:30 and I wouldn't have woken him for a feed...he's 5 weeks. My niece slept from 10 to 6 from 5 weeks.they're all different.make the most of it and just make sure gets plenty in the day...more in this hot weather as they'll get more thirsty even if they don't need the food. Only worry if refusing feeds in day too.x

RitaMorgan Sun 26-Jun-11 09:02:01

Mine was very jaundiced at first and I had to wake him every two hours day and night grin But I stopped at about 2 weeks once he was back to birthweight and waking himself for feeds in the day. So long as she is getting 8 feeds all in all I would let her sleep at night.

shuckleberryfinn Sun 26-Jun-11 09:03:30

It's your job? like 24 hours a day? haha, ask him where your payslip is cos 24x7x min wage is still a fair sum.

Seriously though I agree with PP. If she's well leave her be. Just keep an eye on nappies.

tiktok Sun 26-Jun-11 09:16:27

I'm going to buck the trend here - we dont have enough info, OP, to guage whether you should ignore HCP advice to feed more often or not. All may be well, and your dd may be small and thriving, and may be showing you by her night time sleeping that she does not need to feed in the night.


This is a baby who was jaundiced, and who has a history of being difficult to feed because of being sleepy. She is small and gaining well, but the risk with small babies at this age who are not feeding frequently (and four hourly feeding in the night is not frequent) is that they are conserving energy by staying asleep.

If she really does not feed well at 4 am, then perhaps discuss with your HCPs before just dropping the attempts to feed? It may be your dd would do better with a different sort of feeding timing; you don't say where she sleeps -if she was closer to you would she wake up more readily?; could she feed more often in the day (assuming the four hourly feeds are only at night, anyway)?

With a young baby, it's never good to dismiss HCP advice - sometimes they are a bit strange in their bf advice and we hear all the time on mumsnet from mothers who have been misinformed and misled, but in this case, it's at least worth a discussion before you stop doing what they have suggested.

Hope this helps smile

VeronicaCake Sun 26-Jun-11 10:13:48

It does seem quite early for an 8hr block at night but I speak as someone whose baby only started sleeping for more than 2hrs at a time at 7m and didn't manage an 8hr block regularly till nearer 10m. So I may just be mad with jealousy.

But you do really need to kick your DH into touch now. Raising a baby and going out to work are not equivalent in the demands they place on you. The first few months are typically very very very labour intensive, there are no scheduled breaks and no guaranteed sleep and you are still recovering from childbirth. My DH took over full time childcare for 3m when I went back to work when DD was 8m old. I made the effort to always get back in time to eat dinner with DD and then put her to bed so DH could have some time to himself because I knew how full-on days with an 8m old can be. And 8m olds are much much easier to look after than newborns. If I could pull my weight so can your DH.

Zimm Sun 26-Jun-11 13:47:56

My DD was lazy feeder and a bit jaundiced, so we were on a similar wake-to-feed system. However, she was term and a very good weight. We stopped setting the alarm around 3-4 weeks I think, when midwife said it was ok. I would consult with a midwife and make a decision - not a HV. For one night feed (I would not count 12am as a night feed really) I personally would let your DH off the hook on work days but make sure he does loads at the weekends - that way you both get a chance to rest rather than both being tired.

mouffloncake Sun 26-Jun-11 16:31:32

Thanks tiktok & everybody for your input.
Summer has her 6wk hv check on tues, I will talk to them before I change anything.
She sleeps in a Moses basket pushed up close to my side of the bed so I can keep an eye on her.
As for dh? I really don't know what to do sad

SarahScot Sun 26-Jun-11 18:15:17

Mouffloncake, I suggest you explain to DH how hard it is looking after DD all day. However, he'll most likely not believe you, the only way to get them to really understand is to go out for the day and let him do your job. Get enough expressed milk in the freezer and leave him to it. When my first DC was only 8 weeks old I went into work for 3 days so DH had to take time off to look after him. At the end of the first day he apologised to me for not appreciating just how hard I had it! I do think it's impossible to understand just how much work it is if you've never done it.

tiktok Sun 26-Jun-11 18:38:15

Sorry - going out for the day has its downsides sad

A day without bf is likely to result in v.v.v. uncomfortable breasts unless there are several expressing opportunities.

Also babies of this young age need to be close to their mothers. A baby unused to all-day care with dad may well be unhappy and disorientated...and mothers of new babies generally want to avoid being apart for a whole day.

There are better ways of involving dads than that one.

howabout Sun 26-Jun-11 20:18:52

Sounds like you have a good plan for discussing night feed at 6 week check and hopefully this will result in more sleep / less worry for you.
Re getting your DH to give you a break what about you going for a nap / me time in the evening when he comes in from work. That way you get a bit of a rest and he still gets a full night of sleep for work. Would also make sure he does his share during the day at the weekend. Make sure you leave him to get on with it when he is "in charge", although I do agree with tiktok that babies are best with their Mums at this age. My compromise was I was around to do feeds in my "off duty time" but DH was doing everything else to do with baby and running the house.

VeronicaCake Mon 27-Jun-11 11:19:12

I suspect your DH is slightly in denial about how much life will have to change. I told a colleague that having a baby is like putting your whole identity (relationships, work, hobbies) into a blanket and tossing this into the air. Things will all fall to earth again but everything will look different and be in a different place to before. Over time all these new arrangements become familiar and you forget what the old ones were like.

Being out of the house at work, demanding a full nights sleep and treating parenting as 'your job' are all hallmarks of someone who is pretending you haven't chucked everything up in a blanket yet.

Time will do some of the work for you. As your daughter becomes more responsive to people other than her mother it will be easier for your DH to relate to her. And have clear expectations on your part and don't waver from them. Since you are doing all the feeding what do you need your DH to do in order to make that possible? I functioned much better if I got some sleep after 6am so DH used to get up with DD at 6 and take her out for an early morning jog in the pushchair whilst I snoozed on a bit. A friend insisted on taking herself off to bed at 7pm with her baby and having dinner brought to her so she could get some sleep in the evening which helped her through the night. Ask for specific help rather than hoping DH will just chip in.

Oh and don't change nappies at night (unless this is part of the routine for rousing her obviously).

EauRouge Mon 27-Jun-11 11:59:50

Sorry to hear your DH is not being as supportive as he could be. The arrival of DD1 was a huge shock for both me and my DH and it took him a while I think to realise how bloody hard it was for me. BF can burn a lot of calories so just that on its own can be tiring even if you're not doing housework, cooking etc. I don't know how much you're doing at the moment but do the bare minimum and make a to do list for your DH for the weekend. You don't get a day off so he shouldn't expect 2 whole days of doing nothing, that's just not fair.

There are lots of things your DH could do to help with your DD during the early days like bathtime, taking her for a walk in a sling or buggy for half an hour so you can soak in the bath, holding her while you eat a hot meal.

There are lots of good links here, do you think you'll be able to get him to read any?

mouffloncake Tue 28-Jun-11 05:14:18

Hi all,

Last night dh & I spoke about the sleep/feed situation. He said he had no idea I was struggling as much as I am & said I should have spoken up sooner. There's me assuming he can mind read. So. I've just learnt the importance of good communication.
Dh took dd off me after 8-9pm feed & I got my head down until the 4am feed.
He fed her with the expressed bm we have in the freezer.

Off to the clinic in a few hrs to discuss things with hv & get stinkweed weighed. I need to discuss dd's feeding habits. Feed times are hard work what with her falling asleep during them.

Dh works from home & has been taking df between feeds for me to catnap so that's very appreciated. I just had to explain that this isnt enough & I needed a stretch of a few hours sleep.
Feel much better already.

It's good to talk.....

howabout Tue 28-Jun-11 11:52:47

Thanks for keeping us posted. I'm glad you are getting things sorted and hope you have a good meeting with the hv today.
Now if only I could sort out my insomnia issues - do you think I could persuade DH to take my overactive brain off me for a few hours in the middle of the night?

VeronicaCake Tue 28-Jun-11 12:16:20

aaargh insomnia is the absolute pits. I found no miracle cure but the following may be worth a try:
Paul McKenna's I can help you sleep. It is about £5 on amazon. The tape with it helped me drop off for about a week or so, then it stopped working so well. The book contains some useful advice though I was often too knackered to implement it.
Boots sleepeze tablets whcih are available over the counter. They contain an antihistamine and can get into breastmilk (have a look on the lactmed database and see if you feel comfortable with the risks). Once DD was over 6m and DH was feeding her formula in the night every other night I felt comfortable taking one before bed to maximise my chances of getting some sleep on my night 'off'.
Co-sleeping (obviously not if you have taken sleeping tablets) - it was marginally easier to drop off knowing I wouldn't need to get up when DD woke.
Winding down early in the evening. Don't put your baby to bed and motor round doing everything you couldn't get done during the day. Promise yourself that at 9 o clock you'll make a cup of chamomile tea (or any soothing non-caffeinated beverage) and take yourself off to bed with a relaxing novel. Or snuggle up with your DP. Just chill and lie down but don't worry about going to sleep just yet.
Remember when you had morning sickness and every second person told you to eat ginger fucking biscuits (I used to tell them I never ate anything I didn't want coming out of my nose 20 minutes later). I found that poxy sodding lavender oil is the insomnia equivalent. Eventually I resolved to buy myself a very nice bar of chocolate every time I had to politely nod when someone recommended the stuff. It didn't help me sleep but it stopped me getting cross.

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