17wo had brief viral illness this week - saw GP and he had temp and sore throat which seem to cause him to go off feeding. Treated with paracetomol and a bit of ibuprofen. He is on the mend now.
He is EBF. Last night (and for the previous four nights) he has fed five times at night, each feed lasting 5-10 mins. During the days he has fed about five times (which is normal pre illiness) but for barely a minute each. He cries when I try to get him to feed longer.
I know you can't tell how much they are having when bf, and I also know that at night it could be more comfort than feeding, but I am unable to look after him and my 3yo properly because I am so so tired.
I would really appreciate advice on how to reduce feeds in the night and increase feeds in the day, and generally encourage better sleep.
Could this be an ear infection? They often follow viral bugs. I remember a night that lives on in infamy in which DS once woke at 10, 12, 2, 4, 5 and 6 and only fed for minutes before dozing off again but being really difficult to put back in his cot without him waking up and it was an ear infection. If you try paracetamol or ibuprofen tonight and DS only wakes up every 4-6 hours (ie when the drugs wear off) that could be a big hint that it is something like that bothering him. Otherwise it could be a coincidence with his illness and just due to him being more alert and distractable generally. With my DS we went through a phase where he only fed for a couple of minutes during the day, then insisted on having his 35 minute feedathons at night. I found feeding him in a dark room at daytime helped, and letting him guzzle unlimited before naps did too, but mainly it was waiting it out. Really hope this passes for you - the sleep deprivation is just awful. Good luck.
I would probably try some real skin to skin positions in the day. Obviously you can't do them out and about, but maybe when you are at home lay on the sofa and put ds on top of your chest and let him root for the nipple. Google biological nurturing for more info. Also lay on your side and feed, then when he's relaxed and getting into the feed, slowly sit up and hopefully he'll eventually learn that it's ok to have long feeds in the day. I wonder if he's holding out for the nice, warm, quiet night feeds, rather than the snatched, rushed, noisy day time feeds? You'll both get there, but in the meantime have a