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Help - 5wo feeding every hour or so overnight & I'm at breaking point

(26 Posts)

Please help. My 5wo ebf baby is waking every hour or so to feed (7 times between 11pm & 7am last night) and I'm at breaking point. I'm just sooo tired.

Each feed is only 8-10 mins so I'm wondering if I can lengthen the feeds to lengthen the gaps. Would this work? If so, any ideas how to lengthen the feeds? Any other suggestions for extending the gaps?

Tbh the feeds themselves aren't what bothers me most. We feed lying down & as its only 10 mins or so it's do-able. However, LO is v windy & I find sitting up to wind him EXHAUSTING, plus my back is now really sore. So, Q2, any suggestions for how to wind him without moving too much?

Thank you!

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 08:33:06

How often does he feed in the day? Has he always fed hourly at night or is this a new thing?

I'm not sure on winding - what happens if you don't wind him? When you say he's very windy do you mean burps or farts?

Thanks for the response Rita. You're fast becoming one of my favourite mumsnetters after also answering an earlier thread about routines. Sorry it took me a while to come back to answer your questions.

He grazes during the day (though I've started offering the breast at more convenient times to me - before we go shopping or before he gets in his car seat, which has reduced the problems I referred to last time I was stressing!) - usually a few big feeds and lots of short ones. Probably every 90 mins to two hours although there's no set pattern.

He was feeding every 90 minutes to two hours at night until the last few when he's been really unsettled and waking every hour.

The wind comes out of both ends! If I don't wind him (or don't wind him well enough) then he wriggles and grunts and sounds so uncomfortable that I get even less sleep. He feeds as if he fears he's never going to feed again (so desperately & loud that I call him 'piglet')

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 19:08:08

Hourly night feeds sounds really tough!

The only things I can think to suggest are feeding more frequently during the day (though sounds like you are feeding pretty frequently already), and maybe offering a dummy/finger to suck every second waking in the night - if the feeds are pretty short it might just be that he needs help to get back to sleep at the end of every sleep cycle. My ds started doing this every 45 minutes in the night at 4 months hmm He also only managed 45 minutes sleeps in the day for months.

I'm not sure about winding as I never did at night and luckily my ds didn't seem to need it - could you hand him to your partner to wind and resettle so you can go straight back to sleep? Not sure if that would be practical with your set up though.

RantyMcRantpants Sun 18-Sep-11 19:19:10

my first was like yours but would feed for an hour and then need winding for an hour. So for months I would feed him, in bed and then wake DH who would take him and wind him while I had a nap, then he gave him to me to feed and he had a nap and back and forth like that.

Maybe try the finger idea and see how that goes, he's a little young for a dummy yet. Also maybe spend the evenings before your bed trying to get him to feed as much as possible.

With each feed at night are you changinging breast or sticking with the same one for a couple of feeds?

BOMBAYANDMJONICE Sun 18-Sep-11 19:23:21

Message withdrawn

GrannysLittlePickle Sun 18-Sep-11 19:24:09

I had this with mine - yes it's tough! If it's any help she settled into 2 hourly feeds at 6 weeks - which she is still on at 11 weeks - with one 3 hour at the beginning of the night.

I burp by either lying her across my knees, or on the shoulder and rocking backwards and forwards. To be honest though I mostly don't bother - only if I've put her back down and she's obviously uncomfortable (she won't feed lying down so I have to sit up in bed with her). Maybe he doesn't actually need burping?

aStarInStrangeways Sun 18-Sep-11 19:25:39

sympathies OP; my 7wo DD is also very windy and grunts like a constipated rhino. as much as i enjoy it in the short term, i find that feeding lying down actually compounds the problem of frequent waking. she and i both fall asleep before she is finished, so she'll wake again for the other side within the hour, and because i haven't winded her after the last time she gets increasingly uncomfortable and spends all night fussing.

i try and make myself sit up and feed/wind her fully when she wakes the first time and it does help. most of the time grin

Thank you all!

Rita - We've tried a dummy but he won't take it (will persevere) and DP helps a lot during the night (does all the changes - did I mention that LO will not tolerate being wet at all? Aargh!) Thank you again for your support.

Ranty (excellent name btw) - The evening feed is usually around an hour. This is by far the longest of the day and does mean it's his longest period of sleep (up to three hours from 8ish to 11ish; I try to sleep then, but can't switch off) I change breast each feed, but don't offer both (as he's usually asleep anyway!)

Bombay - I hadn't considered checking the latch as he's piling on weight, but yes, it could of course be causing the wind (why didn't I think of that). I did NCT classes so I'll call the local NCT counsellor tomorrow to see if it could be causing the wind (or the short feeds/breaks)

Pickle - I haven't deliberately tried not winding, but I have occasionally fallen asleep while feeding lying down and, when he's curled up next to me on his side, he doesn't seem to need it, but as soon as I put him back in his cot on his back he starts grunting and wriggling (erm, do I have my answer there? I'm just a little worried about co-sleeping as I'm soooooo tired I'm scared I'd roll onto him)

Star - Thank you for making me laugh. I've never heard a constipated rhino but I imagine it sounds exactly like LO does. I'll give sitting up a try tonight (ugh, will I? Really? Can I? I'll try to!)

coastgirl Sun 18-Sep-11 21:21:19

Do you feed from both sides? Try feeding from one side, draping him over your side to wind him, then offering the other breast, maybe after a couple of minutes' break. I know sometimes I've offered the other side and been refused but got DS (4 wks) to take it after a little while. Eating more might help lengthen the gap.

I do offer the other side after winding, but he's always fast asleep by that point! The long evening feed (7pm-ish) is the only time I get him to feed from both. I really paid attention as I did it tonight to see what was different and I realised that I talk to him and stroke his back as I do that feed and probably don't overnight, so I will try that tonight (lucky old DP - being woken for winding, changes and to hear me chatting away to LO all night!) I'm also considering keeping a cold flannel handy to try to wake him a little - is that really mean?

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 21:36:30

If he grunts and wriggles when you place him away from you, I wonder if it is more complaining about not being cuddled up with mum rather than wind bothering him?

lisadmyrtle Sun 18-Sep-11 21:39:13

hi, i'm new to posting, but how about leaving him in bed with you on his side rather than putting him back in his cot. co-sleeping has really worked for us with our 2 boys.

RantyMcRantpants Sun 18-Sep-11 22:06:51

Thanks smile I rather like my name to smile

As I said earlier he is a little young to be given a dummy. It is not recommended until they are older.

In the night when you he wakes for his second feed try feeding him from the side you gave his first feed on as he may not have emptied that side in the first feed and is getting to much fore milk. If on the second feed he still seems to want more then offer the other breast.

I co-slept with all three of mine and what I did was slept on my side, head on pillow, with my shoulder out square and the elbow bent down square. Sounds weird but if you stand up and put your arms out horizontal and let you fore arm dangle, a bit lit the actions for the dingle dangle scarecrow. It makes it very difficult to roll over. It is uncomfortable at first but you soon get used to it. To feed from the other side and if you have largish breasts ( I was 36DD) then you sort of pull your shoulder under you a bit and twist your body forwards so that the upper breast is lower and the lower is under you. It is a bit difficult to describe but you soon get the hang of it.

Please do get your latch checked, as that will help as well.

Ugh... last night passed in a complete blur so I've no idea which ideas worked and which didn't! LO did a lot of screaming (not his usual night-time method of communication & we still haven't worked out what was wrong), spent most of the night in our bed (either curled up next to me or in his favourite place on DP's chest), we did some lying down feeds and some sitting up ones, but a lot less winding. I think I fed less often than the night before, but as I said it was all a blur (because being in our bed worked? because I was so tired anyway that I just can't remember it all?)

As I type, LO is gurgling in his bouncer, DP is catching up on sleep and I'm sterilising a breast pump for my first attempt at expressing, the NCT breast counsellor number is lying on the side waiting to be used at a more decent hour. We're getting there...

RantyMcRantpants Fri 23-Sep-11 22:19:50

How's everything going now?

Well, it's 5am and I've just had to get up to express because I've managed to get him to go longer between feeds but my breasts haven't realised yet!

The HV came on Thursday and was very pleased with how much weight LO is putting on (98th percentile for weight) but worried by how tired I was. She reassured me that there's no medical reason he can't go four hours between feeds (thought some of you would be shocked by that!) and that I could try missing out every other feed. We thought this would be a nightmare, but actually last night I managed to get him to go back to sleep simply by putting my hand on his chest and whispering to him and I managed to space out feeds to around 3 hours. Whoooop! (Unfortunately I was so shocked I lay awake watching him, expecting him to wake up any minute!) DP was amazed when he woke up at 5am and realised he'd had his first 6 hour sleep for 6 weeks!

Tonight has been trickier. LO naturally slept for 2h 50m from 7pm and 10pm, but then he woke after 1h 30m for the next feed and wouldn't calm down for me. DP took him to his side of the bed and let him sleep on his chest. We managed to wait another 1h 20m before feeding him. (Double whooop!)

Now though, he's wide awake being sick so DP is sorting him out. I'm wide awake with a raging temperature and breast engorgement (hoping the two are linked and it's the engorgement causing the temperature, but worried that LO and I both have a bug as he's throwing up all over his dad as I type!)

So, we've successfully spaced out the feeds for two nights, the feeds are longer (though he still won't take both breasts) and I'm feeling more positive. I'm in touch with a BF counsellor and planning to go to the support group next week.

For my next challenge... getting LO to take a bottle so I can have a longer sleep!

Ah bless, just got upstairs & found DP & LO curled up together. Both snoring away so I assume the sickness was normal & not a bug smile

crikeybadger Sat 24-Sep-11 07:57:33

If you've got a temperature and engorgement, just be careful it doesn't turn into mastitis. See kellymom for more info just in case.

Did your HV mean four hours between feeds at night only of in the day as well?

worldgonecrazy Sat 24-Sep-11 08:22:08

I'd google safe cosleeping, which unfortunately isn't on your partner's chest, lovely though that may be for both of them. DD wasn't allowed to sleep next to DH until she was just under a year and big enough to wriggle away from him should he roll onto her during his sleep.

I know it's hard, but as a friend of mine told me when my DD was young "This too shall pass". You will get through this, cosleeping will become easier - you need to be between your husband and baby at all times. Tuck the duvet into the bottom of the bed so there is no danger of it going over baby. Cosleeping is natural and when you get the hang of it you'll probably wonder why everyone doesn't do it. There is nothing more magical than waking up to see your beautiful baby smiling at you.

lilham Sat 24-Sep-11 09:16:42

There is a UNICEF guide to safe cosleeping on the web. Google and have a look at it. It pays to be careful.

RitaMorgan Sat 24-Sep-11 10:31:13

Here is the Unicef/FSID leaflet lilham mentioned -

Don't worry. We were both awake when LO was asleep on DP's chest. He won't sleep with him there because he knows i'll tell him off but at the moment the aim is to get DS to go longer between feeds & being close to his dad calms him back to sleep. Once asleep we'll put him back in his bedside cot or next to me.

I was cross (but touched, as they looked so cosy!) when I found them together this morning, but I put LO straight back in his cot & told DP off when he woke up. Thanks for the link though; DP thinks I'm being OTT/PFB when I say he can't cosleep like that so I'll show him the 'official' advice.

Oh, and the HV meant at night for four hourly feeds. I'm still feeding as much as possible during the day (so I know he won't starve at night!)

RantyMcRantpants Sat 24-Sep-11 15:03:41

So pleased you are finding your way through the maze, things are definatly looking more positive.

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