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7mo, how many bf's a day??

(22 Posts)
CardyMow Sat 03-Sep-11 22:58:53

I think, having counted the feeds today (which I haven't done until now), and today was a normal day, that my 7mo DS3 is having 10 bf's during the day, plus 4 at night. As well as 3 full meals and an afternoon snack. I am eating my own bodyweight daily a LOT every day, yet have lost a stone in just 2 weeks. I'm always exhausted, DS3 WON'T take a bottle (expressed OR formula) from me, and I'm an LP, no help available. I also have 3 older dc.

Is it time to think about swapping some BF's for formula? Ideally I want to let DS3 self-wean, but he is such a milk monster (and yes, he IS having a proper feed each time, when he wants comfort, he crawls to his dummy, and you can tell by the way he is sucking too).

I have an amazing supply of milk (wake up in milk-soaked bed every morning, despite 4+ feeds through the night), so it's NOT under-supply.Wondering if my milk is maybe 'missing' something? Is there anything I can do to make my milk more calorific to stop him from feeding quite so often. I have done ALL night wakings since DS3 was born. So I haven't had a full nights sleep for over 7 months. It calmed right down with my other 3 dc by 12-16 weeks, WHY hasn't he slowed down his milk intake? HELP!

RitaMorgan Sat 03-Sep-11 23:05:20

I think I would cut down the number of feeds rather than introduce formula - I doubt there is a problem with calories or anything missing, he just really likes your milk!

I cut down to 2 night feeds at 5 months after previously feeding on demand (still demand fed in the day) - so I was feeding him just before I went to bed and once in the night (11ish and 3ish). If he woke in between feed times he got cuddles/dummy/water - took a few days but he did start only waking for those feeds. Then eventually I could push the 3am feed towards the morning, and finally dropped the 11pm one too. I know night weaning isn't for everyone though.

CardyMow Sat 03-Sep-11 23:15:15

Thing is, if he doesn't get milk, he wakes right up, screams and burrows his head into my bra when I am trying to cuddle him / walk around with him, tries to unclip my bra, tries to latch on through my bra, nothing but nothing settles him, until his NEXT feed is due, then he feeds for twice as long (so obviously still needed the milk from the feed before!) before falling asleep again...DS3, in the evenings, has a feed at 10.30pm, a feed at 1.30am, a feed at 4.30am, and then he has a feed at 6am. <<YAWN>>.

RitaMorgan Sat 03-Sep-11 23:34:11

I think if you do want to cut out some night feeds, it will take a few days as he has to adjust to taking the calories in the day time instead. At first DP did end up just holding ds until his next feed was due.

CardyMow Sun 04-Sep-11 00:03:07

I don't have anyone else to hold DS3 though...And it's not as if he isn't taking lots of calories on in the day either. He has a bowl of banana porridge at 7.30am, bf at 8am, bf at 11am, sandwich at 12pm, bf at 12.30pm, bf at 2.30pm, banana or other fruit at 4.30pm, bf at 5.30pm, bf at 6.30pm, dinner at 7.30pm, bf at 8pm, bf at 10.30pm, bf at 1.30am, bf at 4.30am and bf at 6am. He is crawling ALL the time, pulling himself up on the furniture constantly, just generally moving all the time. He even fidgets in his sleep?! Not that he does much of that.

I can't possibly fit in MORE bf's in the day, as I have other dc that need me to not be tied to the sofa 24/7. I'm just TIRED. What I want to know is if my milk maybe doesn't have enough calories in and if there's anything maybe in MY diet that could help with this?

lilham Sun 04-Sep-11 06:39:05

I think the problem is the number of night feeds too. Your DS is 7mo so ideally should be dropping feeds both day and night from now on, by moving into solids not formula.

Im thinking he can't self settle at night. When you say 4 bf a night. What time is 'night' to you? Is it every 2 hours or some such? Maybe have a look at Elizabeth Pantley's no cry sleep solution to see if you can improve his sleeping?

RitaMorgan Sun 04-Sep-11 06:48:06

I don't think there is anything you can eat that will change the calorie content of your milk - it's unlikely there is anything missing from your milk unless your body is severely vitamin deficient. Any change in night waking is going to mean less sleep for you and first, though hopefully less eventually!

Breastfeeding is a relationship between two people, and if it's not working for one person then it's ok to change it. If the number of feeds he wants is more than you can manage then you would be perfectly reasonable to cut down and find a compromise.

Equally, you have done brilliantly to bf for 7 months, and if you would rather introduce formula then that is fine too - it might not be a magic solution though and he may want to feed little and often with bottles too.

CardyMow Sun 04-Sep-11 12:45:34

Thing is, I HAVE to pull 6 hours a night minimum or my seizures start (epilepsy), so getting less sleep than I currently am is not an option - I can't be having seizures when I have 4dc to look after. I'm barely scraping 6 hrs (very broken) at the moment.

Night is between 10pm and 7am to me. It is difficult - DD is 13.5yo, and goes to bed at 10pm holidays and weekends, 9.30pm on a school night. DS2 is 9.4yo, goes to bed at 9.30pm hols & w/ends, 9pm school nights. DS2 is 7.10, goes to bed 9pm hols & w/ends, 8.30pm school night. So up until 9.30pm - 10pm, I'm still dealing with wrangling the older 3 dc into bed.

TBH, I'm finding it very hard going, being on my own. I wouldn't have HAD a 4th dc if I had thought I would be on my own from when he was 4mo - especially bearing in mind my epilepsy and that two of my older dc have SN. Just bloody shattered and don't know how to fix it!

Deep down, I know he will sleep through eventually, they all do, but he is so much like DS1, who didn't sleep through until he went to full time school. THAT nigh on killed me, and I was nearly 10 years younger then...

Yesmynameis Sun 04-Sep-11 12:49:12

Rita has given some great advice, I particularly like her 'Breastfeeding is a relationship between 2 people...' comment, which has given me some food for thought about my own situation. So thankyou.

However, I did just want to add that 7m was a real difficult patch for me in my bf journey as well. What with 3 established meals a day taking up to an hour each (BLW), all of the BFs still going on and 3 good day time naps, I just couldn't find enough hours in the day to fit everything in for her. I thought everything was going wrong; she was sat in her high chair when she was too sleepy to eat, or trying to eat when she wanted bm or vice versa. It's particularly demoralising when there seems to be no improvement at night as well.

I really struggled for a few weeks, but then things improved, DD dropped a day time nap which helped routine-wise and settled into around 4 BF p/day and 1 at night. It helped me to write everything down and try to come up with some sort of order to do everything in. There's an awful lot going on at 7mo, but I found it improved pretty quickly.

organiccarrotcake Sun 04-Sep-11 17:03:32

Unfortunately the idea that your milk might be missing something which you can replace and all will be well is just not going to work, because breastmilk doesn't work like that.

The night feeds are completely normal - "technically" he's "only" feeding twice a night (the 10.30 and 6am don't "count" as night feeds) but of course in actual fact he's cutting into your sleep 4 times so bugger the "technically". The thing is, though, that it's normal, there's nothing wrong, as such. The day feeds are also "normal" at his age. In theory, ideally, milk should be nearly 100% of his diet at 7 months while he's exploring solids, and still around 50% of his diet at a year old.

But that doesn't mean that you can't do things differently. Many people give more solids than this between now and 12 months. Will he accept more food? Maybe a snack mid morning as well as mid afternoon? I personally find that trying to drop night feeds can just be even harder than going with them as you then have a screaming baby to content with rather than just feeding and going back to sleep, but if you need to maybe you can reduce day feeds/introduce some formula/give more solids? If he will take a bottle can an older sibling give him a bottle while you take a rest? Either EBM or formula, whatever works for you? I understand that expressing may be tricky given your time constraints.

Can you POSSIBLY get a nap during the day? On a weekend, can the older kids possibly push the little one around the garden, if you have one, while you grab 20 minutes? Is there anything like this you can fit in? Sleep seems to be the biggest issue so can you focus on that in an attempt to work out ways to get a little more sleep in other ways and at other times? Is there anyone at all who can help you? Maybe when school starts again things will be a little easier during the day?

It's so tough getting through this stage. Keep posting.

beatofthedrum Sun 04-Sep-11 18:51:43

That sounds horrendously tough, I really sympathise.
My ds is 8 months and he has quite a lot more solid food than you describe - could that possibly help? He's gone the opposite way, not interested in milk unless asleep (am having to dreamfeed him twice to get a couple of decent feeds into him!) so I am feeding him quite a lot - for brek he has bowl of cereal, a yoghurt and a mashed banana, for lunch he has sandwich, fruit and loaded ricecakes, for dinner he has main course then more yoghurt and more fruit. Feeding him up might fill him up for longer?
You sound like you're doing amazingly to keep going. Total exhaustion is horrible, I hope it passes soon. All the best.

CardyMow Sun 04-Sep-11 20:36:47

He won't actually TAKE more solids - I DID give him a morning snack too today, but he won't take more at each time.

I can't trust my DD around him alone due to her asd, therefore I have to be in the room with him at all times, so getting one of the dc to look after him wouldn't work. He won't take a bottle (EBM OR Formula) from anyone. I've tried. I DO take a nap during the day when the older dc are at school - maybe it's just because they've been at home for 7 weeks, so I haven't been able to, and I'm not getting THAT that I'm so exhausted? In which case, maybe I'll feel better by the end of next week? <<Lightbulb moment!>>

Aaaarrggghh - can't believe I didn't connect the dots that I'm feeling so exhausted because I'm missing my midday nap! Probably didn't think about it because I'm too tired!! <<facepalm>>

When it's only a week or two of half term, it's not so bad, but obviously after 7 weeks, I'm bowloxxed.

organiccarrotcake Sun 04-Sep-11 21:36:48

Must admit I'm feeling pretty worn out and I've only got two!! Yes, good, maybe having that chance to get your head down will just keep your head above water, as it were. smile

Red2011 Sun 04-Sep-11 22:07:33

That sounds exhausting! My DD is 7 months and I started weaning at 5.5 months as she had 2 teeth by then. She is still bf though - she gets a morning feed (around 7.30/8am), then has cereal followed by fruit (and a bottle of formula) about 2 hours later. Lunch is pureed veg with a carb in it (rice or pasta or potato) and either calcium in it (cheese) or a yogurt/fromage fraise after, and more fruit. Then another bottle of formula. Early afternoon at the moment she gets a bf. Tea is similar to lunch, and then she gets 2 or 3 more bf in the evening.
I need to work out how to drop the daytime bf as I'll be back at college soon and am there all day two days a week. I can express milk but really would be more practical to get more formula in her.
On 'thirsty' days she also gets some dilute (1/10) fruit juice, or just plain water from her cup...which usually ends up everywhere!
Not really sure I can offer any advice other than you could try expressing milk (if you have time) and giving a bottle for one or two feeds...then gradually make those feeds formula?

SoftSheen Sun 04-Sep-11 22:39:33

My DD (6 months) also has about 8-10 feeds a day, though she has only just started solids (BLW) and is eating very little as yet. However, I have found that I can usually limit the number of night feeds to one if I eat plenty of protein myself at lunch time, and also avoid alcohol, coffee/other caffeinated drinks and chocolate, especially in the afternoon and evening. If I don't eat protein at lunch, or eat chocolate biscuits in the evening, I usually pay for it with several night feeds! So in my (admittedly limited) experience what you eat can have an impact on the content of your milk.

For what it's worth I think you are doing an amazing job. smile

CardyMow Sun 04-Sep-11 22:53:11

When I try to give him a bottle, he grabs it off me, throws it while screaming, then tries to get my boob out. Sometimes he manages...he really IS a booby milk monster!! I think I'm going to give it till next weekend and see if getting a nap in the day makes me feel any better.

Red2011 Sun 04-Sep-11 23:06:10

God help his girlfriend when he's of age! grin

trouble2plus2 Sun 04-Sep-11 23:20:30

I have 7mo twins and I agree that it doesn't sound like he is getting enough solids. My twins were breastfed exclusively to 6mo, then I introduced solids.
Now they are 7mo, they have a morning BF in bed with me, then we get up and have a bowl of porridge and some (minimal) toast for brekkie, then an early lunch of jar food or puree, followed by a jar pudding or a fromage frais each. They have some finger foods when available but, at this stage, not much gets into their tummies, and it's about practice more than anything. Then they have some bready snacks and a BF to settle them for their afternoon nap. That sees them to tea-time where they will have another jar of food, and mushed-up whatever we're having or some solid bits most of which ends up on the floor. Then they have another BF at bedtime. Sometimes one of the twins will wake in the middle of the night for a quick top up, but otherwise thats us through til morning.

I agree with the philosophy of baby-led weaning but I always find it leaves the babies hungry so I do a bit of everything until they are satisfied. I would seriously think about feeding him a lot more solid food, or mushy food if you like until he's a bit older and can get enough solids into his tummy to make him happy.

CardyMow Sun 04-Sep-11 23:21:02

grin

CardyMow Sun 04-Sep-11 23:26:37

I don't have time for BLW, with all the other dc! He tends to have some of what we're eating to fiddle with while I spoon a mushed up version into him! Tonight as we had homemade lasagne (that couldn't really be mushed), he had a slice of toast to gum, and a full pot of baby food - it was a plum baby 7mo pot - sweet potato and lamb, I think?

Unfortunately, with 3 older dc, 2 with SN, I don't get the time I used to with the others to faff about mushing everything, so he does have more jars than even I would like - but I make sure they don't have anything in like no added sugar etc, he only seems to like the plum baby or the ella's kitchen ones. I'm not saying he gets jars for every meal, he has banana porridge for breakfast, and a sandwich of some sort for lunch, but dinner is a difficult one.

CardyMow Sun 04-Sep-11 23:29:32

Once he has had a full pot of dinner, there's no way I can even get him to eat a small fromage frais. Unless I waited 1 1/2 hrs...he does seem to be a 'grazer' with his proper food, rather than eating a lot all in one go. He hides bits of his toast in his toybox and goes back to it an hour later. <<Boak at cold rubbery toast>>

organiccarrotcake Mon 05-Sep-11 08:43:06

"He hides bits of his toast in his toybox and goes back to it an hour later. " grin

Mine hides them in his nappies...

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