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Struggling to cope with night-time feeding frenzy - any advice

(4 Posts)
writeaboutlove Tue 27-Sep-11 10:24:31

Can anyone help please? Sorry this is a bit long.

DS2 is 16 weeks and a big healthy baby - 91st centile for length at birth and tracking 50th for weight, so now about 15 pounds. I've been mix feeding since about two weeks so he now has 2-3 bottles of formula in the day (about 5 oz) and bf in between and at night.

He's fine in the day, starting to stretch out between feeds to around 2.5 hours, naps ok - I try not to feed him to sleep and he goes off ok being walked around or increasingly just wants to be put down and rocked a little in his pram.

Night time is a whole different story. Due to emcs and various other factors we've been mainly co-sleeping. I've been managing to get him in his cot from about 8 and he'll sleep til around 10.30. He then has a bf but is quite sleepy at this point which is maybe part of the problem - he seems quite firmly latched on and will resist being pulled off but only does little sucks every few seconds. He never seems to wake up properly.

I then manage to get him back in his cot around 11.30 and he'll sleep for another 1/1.5 hours, at which point I bring him into bed with me and feed him lying down. After this he seems to go into a complete feeding frenzy, has to be attached to me all the time and even when he doesn't seem to be hungry is latching on and pulling off over and over. It's a bit like being in a bed with a small animal! He won't settle without a boob in his mouth.

I am not getting much sleep and I think we are in a bit of a vicious circle. I am too tired to keep putting him back in his cot and settling him when he wakes up every hour or so, but I think co-sleeping is making his sleep more unsettled - maybe the smell of the milk distracts him? - and we don't get any decent periods of sleep after about 1am.

I don't know whether it would be worth trying to commit to a week of doing proper sitting up feeds at night and putting him back in his cot every time, and see if that breaks the cycle? Or try waking him up more for his 10.30 feed and maybe giving formula so at least I know how much he's had? Any ideas?

I am reluctant to ask DH to help too much with settling at night as he's working and he's really hands on with DS1 plus managing a house renovation so he has enough on his plate really. I'm getting really tired and grumpy especially with DS1 which isn't fair on him. I'd really appreciate any advice.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Tue 27-Sep-11 10:41:53

Well the sleep deprivation sounds familiar!

Are you happy mixing the feeds or could you do one completely? That might help him to settle easier because he'll know what to expect every time. It sounds like he may be making the most of the breast feeding and cuddles at night because babies generally prefer breast to bottle.

As he is still only a young baby he is bound to want cuddles, snuffles and suckles and I do understand how frustrating it can be at the time but he does need that comfort atm.

Could you take cat naps in the day for the time being until things settle down?

And although I agree your bb is a good weight, 2-3 bottles of 5oz during the day isn't much really so he maybe filling up little and often at night to satisfy his hunger as he prefers BF? I think if I was you I would try BF completely.

My DS2 is 12 weeks and has 5-6oz bottles every 3-4 hours through from 6am til about 7pm, then cluster feeds until about 10, then sleeps til 4am, feeds, then awake at 6 ish. Averaging 35-45 oz a day. Every bb is different but 10 - 15 oz doesn't sound like a lot. My baby is big too - 17lb at 10 weeks, so he is a hungry pudding.

I've BF and FF but never mixed so I'm limited with knowledge of how easy it is to do. And bb could be having a growth spurt?

Let us know how you get on.

writeaboutlove Tue 27-Sep-11 11:01:17

thanks for your thoughts. Sorry should have been clearer, he doesn't just have those bottles in the day, he bfs in between. Up til now he's been mostly bf, I'm just upping the bottles in preparation for cutting out bf completely. After a bad experience with DS1 I wasn't really intending to bf at all, but DS2 just took to it and once you start it's difficult to stop! I don't really enjoy it and tbh would be much happier fully ff, but I feel bad now taking it away from him. He won't take a dummy either. Can't really nap in the day - when DS1 is at preschool I use DS2's nap times to do washing and ironing etc, and the rest of the time have a full-on nearly 4 yr old to look after!

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Tue 27-Sep-11 11:15:29

If you feel happier FF and you think it would make you less tired I would do that. Maybe just FF to begin with during the day? Then introduce FF in to the pm's?

I do think he would settle better if it was one type completely. Whatever is best for your family and home life and what works best for you - that's what I say.

I know it's easy to say 'Nap while baby naps', I said it to myself this morning. Baby now napping after his jabs and I'm cleaning and on MN in between.

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