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Crappy unhelpful advice from HV AND bf counsellor...

(14 Posts)
CardyMow Thu 15-Sep-11 00:44:00

I am an LP, with 4 dc. The older 3 are school age, I have to get up at 6.30am to get them ready for school. DS3 is 7.5mo. And still having 3-5 feeds through the night. I am flipping exhausted.

I asked the HV if there was anything I could do, as I am worried that he really doesn't eat much food, preferring 'mik mik' (bf) instead of food, and would it be because he isn't eating enough in the day that he is waking so much at night for milk. She advised me to controlled crying with him because he doesn't need milk at night. When I asked the bf lady at bf group, she said the same thing (but she thinks anyone that bf's a baby over 1yo is weird).

So even though I said I couldn't do CC (tried with an older child, just couldn't bear him being so upset), no other advice was forthcoming.

So, crap advice, need help, any suggestions. He usually has toast for breakfast - eats about 1/4 of a slice (given whole slice), sandwich for lunch, eats about half a slice, and whatever we have for dinner. Which he mostly squishes about, doesn't eat much of it. I've given up on mashed food, as he HATES being fed.

Need to get DS3 to eat more so he sleeps more and feeds less at night, for my own sanity. He won't take bottles. At all. Or beakers. Or drink from a cup. So that's out. I can't do CC, too sad at their crying. HELP. I've never fed this long, fed DD till 6mo, DS1 to 4mo, DS2 to 3mo. First two were ebf, DS2 was mix fed from 1mo.

blackcurrants Thu 15-Sep-11 00:53:30

Oh you poor thing!~
I don't have any useful advice, I'm afraid, but I didn't want this to go unanswered. My DS was a crap sleeper until about 9 months when he really got the hang of solids and started tucking in properly.... and even now (13 months) he's a bit shit and prone to the occasional 3 wakes a night. BUT! not consistently.

Keep on offering the sippy cup. Let him carry it around, play with it, bite in, whatever. Just make it something always around and always by the high chair at meal times. He'll get a sippy or doidy eventually, I mean, do you know any adults who don't use cups? (Sorry, not an immediate solution).

I couldn't do CC either. . . since you're so knackered and need sleep NOW, would you fancy going the other way and co-sleeping or bringing his cot into your room so you didn't have to wake up that much? When DS is sick/teething/waking endlessly I sleep on a mattress in his room. I find staggering to the cot, feeding him on amattress on the floor, and nodding off together or plopping the sleepy lad back into his cot and collapsing onto the floor means I get back to sleep faster, and therefore get more sleep overall.

how shit for you. I hope someone with brighter ideas comes along!

blackcurrants Thu 15-Sep-11 00:56:53

oh also: does he have anything he particularly likes? (plain yog and reddybrek for DS) - even when he squished or chucked most stuff, he always ate that, so at least I felt like he was getting something, IYSWIM. If he has something that you're happy with nutritionally, and that he'll consistently eat, maybe offer it every teatime? DS will pick up lumps of scrambled egg and shove that in pretty consistently, too...

If I remember right, it was between 8-9 months that DS started making a connection between his feelings of hunger and solids making that feel better. That's also the start of when he really ate properly. So ..if it's any consolation, you're not far off things improving!

idlevice Thu 15-Sep-11 01:37:03

Theoretically he shouldn't be wanting feeds overnight for pure hunger reasons as there is a hormone secreted at night that dampens hunger to allow longer sleep periods to occur & this should be well in place by that age. It could be that the feeds are more likely for the comfort & to get him easily back to sleep, but something around 3 feeds a night is still considered normal for a previously EBF baby - unless it is becoming a problem for you, which it clearly is.

He is still quite young for taking a lot of solid foods, altho some do just love it as soon as they get it, so not sure if you can do much on that front. Are you co-sleeping as that can make night feeds easier? Or keep trying offering a cup at night instead of boob straight away? Can an older child or relative help, maybe in a holiday period where you go virtually cold turkey from night feeds & someone else comforts him to sleep? This is what I did with DS at about 18mths but with DP, only going in & resorted to boob if it was going on too long or DS too distressed or ill, but obviously much easier with a DP around. Sorry no magic advice.

tiktok Thu 15-Sep-11 07:29:54

The 'bf lady' is not a breastfeeding counsellor - no one properly trained would advocate the stuff you have heard sad sad

If she is calling herself one, I wish she would stop.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 15-Sep-11 09:46:25

Really feel for you as sleep deprivation is awful isn't it.

We couldn't do cc either for exactly the same reason as you. Agree with the others that co-sleeping might help. My DD had about 3 feeds a night at that age but used to latch on, feed, latch off, turn over, burp and go back to sleep all while I more or less still slept. Could this be an option for you?

Night Weaning might be an option alternatively. The article also suggestion feeding more during the day, say every 2 hours, would that be possible?

As for the food, could you try him with some different things? Just easy stuff like a banana for breakfast. DD used to like "bits" for lunch, bit of cooked meat, bit of bread and butter or pasta, bit of veg or salad, maybe a bit of fruit. I found if I gave her little bits of different thing from the fridge she would eat more.

There is some good advice on asksears, its called 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep, it may help your get some more sleep.

Agree with TikTok too about the lady at your clinic. Give one of the helplines a call and speak to a fully trained Breastfeeding Counsellor. The NCT Helpline number is 0300 330 0771. Breastfeeding past a year isn't weird either, its natural. Perhaps you should print this factsheet off and give it to her grin

Hope you find a solution that works for you soon.

CardyMow Thu 15-Sep-11 17:53:40

I AM cosleeping, in my bed, have been all along, the cot is also in my room (when he goes in it which is very rare), but I cannot sleep when he is feeding now like I used to, because he is very fidgetty and pinchy, and trying to sit up with my nipple in his mouth / crawl off / pull my hair (comfort thing but bloody hurts).

Oldest dc (13yo) has asd, can't help. Middle dc often at his dad's (and only 9yo), other dc also has asd, can't help,only 7yo. No relatives willing to help (or that I would be willing to HAVE help from)

Can't feed more during the day - he is refusing expressed milk from the bottle when at nursery (I went back to work this week). He WON'T take a bottle.

MacMomo Thu 15-Sep-11 18:34:33

No advice (same problem here) but big, big hug. 4 dcs to care for - and back at work, you are walking miracle, lady. Hope it improves soon.

bridgingtheabyss Thu 15-Sep-11 18:57:43

Hmmm, I think the important thing is getting him to drink from a bottle or cup coz then you can give him a big drink of formula at bedtime (mine started sleeping much better at night once I started doing this). Unfortunately I have no suggestions on how to do this coz mine liked using bottles/sippy cups but I bet there are ideas on here or other parenting websites. Keep on offering them like blackcurrants suggested for a start.

Good luck.

CardyMow Fri 16-Sep-11 00:06:07

Why would I give him formula? I would be expressing bm for him?

CharCharGabor Fri 16-Sep-11 00:25:35

Ah I feel for you so much, sounds like hard hard work sad It is so frustrating when you reach out for help and get the advice of controlled crying or nothing, been there! Agree that bf woman is unlikely to be a bf counsellor, so irritating when people take a title and then are so uncreative with their suggestions sad

Lots of babies do take a while to get the hang of solids and unfortunately you just have to follow their lead on that. Would agree to play around and try and find something that really appeals so him, with my children they have had particular foods they will eat a lot more of (although it didn't always translate to more sleep!)

I feel a bit crap posting really as I can't think of much to suggest sad Do you have any friends who could give you a bit of a hand? I know if any of my friends had so much on their plate I would love to try and help ease the load a bit. Also, have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution? That has a lot of ideas about gentle ways to help them to sleep.

Does he have any teeth yet or could be teething? Might be an idea to try with some teething remedies just in case? Probably teaching grandma to suck eggs here but just think of as many suggestions as I can!

Anyway, lots of sympathy, you have so much on and are fantastic for being able to do it all! smile

browneyesblue Fri 16-Sep-11 00:40:02

As he is still only 7.5 months, he is relying on milk as his main source of nutrition. He sounds like he is eating enough for his age. At the moment, he won't have made the connection between food and hunger so he will just play around with it lots, but pretty soon it will all start to click into place and he should start eating with a bit more purpose.

As for drinking from a cup, just keep offering it. He might be a bit young, but DS really enjoyed drinking from a straw (with help) - I think it was because it was a novelty. I just kept trying lots of different cups / beakers etc, and let him mess around with them (with water rather than ebm) until he started to get the hang of it.

As for the night feeding - I remember your pain! I co-slept / had a cot in the room until DS was about 9 months. He used to feed on and off all night, and once he was crawling I couldn't really sleep anymore when he was feeding.

I finally bit the bullet and moved him into his nursery. I also couldn't do CC, so would get up to settle and/or feed him instead, but he quite quickly stopped snacking all night and dropped to one or two feeds. I think he could smell my milk when he was with me, but once he was away from me he settled a bit better.

He settled into a routine of one feed at night by about 10-11 months, and by 13 months he had dropped the night feed entirely (although he didn't start sleeping through for another few months!)

He is now 18 months, and I am still bf. We are down to one feed in the morning and one before bed, but even they are starting to get shorter.

It sounds like you are doing really well. I know I haven't been able to give much advice, but I just wanted to let you know that it will get a bit easier where the bf and weaning are concerned.

blackcurrants Fri 16-Sep-11 14:46:38

Just checking in, HC, to say that I hope things pick up and your DS starts wolfing down solids and sleeping 8 hours straight soon. Like, next week.

You are amazing to be doing all this. I know that you'd rather be rested than told you're amazing - but you ARE so nyer. . .

I like the No Cry Sleep Solution for things like 'get 'em off the boob while almost asleep, push chin shut.." stuff. You still do what you're doing but it makes things easier. and I remember that wriggling stage SO well, it was a bloody nightmare (and felt like a bit of a sleep regression) when DS started crawling. You have my sympathies!

CardyMow Sun 18-Sep-11 01:19:51

If it was 'just' crawling, it wouldn't be so bad - but he is climbing, standing and cruising now. I also have NOWHERE else in the house to move the cot to (it is literally hammered into the gap between my bed and the wall). I am in a HA house that is 1.5 beds SMALLER than I need. Even having my two older boys sharing, I need 4 beds. I am waiting on a council house, I am 15th on the list - but there hasn't even been anything to bid on for the last 9 weeks.

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