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Almost 7-week old, BF and sleep...

(8 Posts)
gogoNagano Thu 01-Sep-11 06:55:05

Hello all,

I recently got some great advice and support on here when I was struggling to breastfeed my son. At almost 7 weeks we're still going, things are much easier feeding-wise compared to when I last posted, and he's gone from a birth weight of 4lb 13oz to 9lb 11oz as of last Thursday. We still have a tough time latching sometimes (mostly at night) but fingers crossed it continues improving.

I just wondered if anyone could give me a little light at the end of the tunnel regarding feeding frequency and sleep - DS currently goes no longer than 2 hours between feeds, both during the day and at night, and the sleep deprivation is starting to make me go a bit strange! Especially as I struggle to sleep during the day. We've got his cot pushed up against our bed with a side down to make feeding easier, but for some reason he only seems to be able to latch on to my nipple in the laying down position...

At this age, is this normal? Is there a rough age when he will feed a bit less frequently/sleep just a little bit longer at night? And do I need to put anything in place to help this along, or does it happen naturally?

Any advice would be very gratefully received.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 01-Sep-11 06:59:17

4lb 13 to 9lb 11! You superstar!

IME, seven weeks was the absolute nadir of the infant time. Sleep was at its worst, and DD was the most unsettled. Everything got better from 7-8 weeks onwards.

It happens naturally, frustrating as that is. You can start introducing sleep cues - dim light, changing from daytime to nighttime clothes, a bath, that sort of thing. But he's still so tiny it'll really be a matter of time. It's so much harder when they're prem/tiny to start with, I do sympathise. But all I can offer is - this is the hardest bit, and you're doing brilliantly.

Booboostoo Thu 01-Sep-11 07:03:48

Well done on persevering with the bf, sounds like your little boy is thriving!

I can only tell you my very recent experience (DD 12wks now) but I am sure some more knowledgeable people will come along shortly. I had latch problems as well, very painful until about week 6, much better until about week 9 and no pain at all from then on. I was given loads of advice (most of it on here) on how to correct the latch which helped a lot, but I also think DD grew more and as her mouth became bigger the whole thing became easier for her, so hang in there, it will only get easier from now on.

Regarding the sleep, the two hourly feeds seems to be normal unfortunately, but that will also get better. At 12 weeks DD now seems to have a cycle: she starts with a really good night when can do an initial sleep of up to 5 hours and then a couple of feeds through to the morning, then she has a poorer night i.e. 4 hours and 3 more feeds and then a third night when she is troubled by gases where she needs 2 hourly feeds (this cycle seems to coincide with her pooping, as she now only poops once every three days, but the poop day she is unsettled with more gases, wiggling, needing more cuddles etc.).

DD also sleeps with me so I can dose as she feeds, does that not help you a little bit?

Hang in there, it does get better!

lilham Thu 01-Sep-11 07:53:40

Every baby is different. Mine was a nightmare needing to feed every 2-3 hours all day and night. But she's always been really good in that I can put her down awake in the cot. Suddenly at 11-12 weeks, she started to sleep through. I didn't do anything special. She just found her hands and started sucking at that. But be warned that this sleeping through isn't a linear progression thing. There's a lot of regression in the sleep, and then back to sleeping through. Don't be alarmed if your previously sleeping angel suddenly wakes up 2-3 times a night again. It might be growth spurts, or teething or anything.

So yes, it'll pass. It's just when it'll happen.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 01-Sep-11 08:25:17

You must be giving him some really good stuff for that kind of weight gain.

Agree with the others that it will get better by itself and you are probably at the worst stage now.

There are some things you can do though. As for the feeding, have you tried breast compression? I'm not trained but it may help him go a little longer between feeds.

Sleeping in the day can be difficult but do try. Go to bed with him and feed him lying down, it may help you to drift off. The most important thing right now isn't the housework or what's for tea, its him and you. If DH is around try to get him to take him out sometimes too. There is no reason why he can't take him out for a walk once DS has been fed to give you some time for yourself.

Try to introduce some cues too. Get up and change DS and put him in day clothes and try to get him outside as apparently the sunlit can affect the hormone production that affects sleep. Even if its just putting on your dressing gown and going into the garden for a cuppa first thing.

There are some good tips on sleep here too.

Also, can you express or if you leak can you collect any milk? Some mums use this milk for a top-up in the evening and it helps with sleep for some.

Think you are doing a fantastic job and it will get better. Some babies are just like that whatever you do, ff or bf, sleep training or not. You might not think it but you are coping brilliantly.

gogoNagano Thu 01-Sep-11 12:41:32

Thank you all very much for your words and experiences, good to know that we're hopefully going to come out the other side at some point soon (until the teething, etc!)... Not expecting or hoping to sleep through the night, but longer than 2 hours at a time would be nice.

Just got back from the clinic, and DS now weighs 10lb 10oz... he's becoming quite the chunker. Now just have to try and sort our latch issues out once and for all. We struggle to get a deep enough latch and he 'clicks' a bit sometimes while drinking. I think I also might have too strong a let down/flow, as he often comes off the breast with a little coughing fit sad Any ideas on how I could address these issues? Am going to find my local LLL group once I move house later this month...

Many thanks again!

lilham Thu 01-Sep-11 13:26:44

I have a fast let down too and my DD chokes and comes off sometimes. Does it bother your DS? Coz it doesn't bother my DD. She comes off coughing. I quickly put a muslin in front of boob, then put her back on after a bit. Kellymom.com has a page on fast let down iirc.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 01-Sep-11 18:13:23

Is this the page you were thinking of lilham?

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