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Am I lazy or just normal? (BF)

(23 Posts)
NotAnotherNewNappy Fri 21-Oct-11 10:16:27

I have 2 DDs (3yo and 6mo), both of them have been quite hard work as babies (reflux, clingy, hard to put down, difficult to get to nap etc). With DD2 my parenting philosophy has definitely been to do whatever works to keep her happy and, hopefully, stop me from stressing out too much.

At the moment she wakes up to three times in the night. I am trying to wean her but she's not that interested so I still BF on demand and, when she wakes in the night, I just shove a boob in her mouth and try to doze while she goes back to sleep then transfer her back to her cot (next to my bed) or let her stay in our bed if it's reached the early hours. I also feed her to sleep when she goes down in the evening.

I have been struggling lately (PND) and so everybody has been offering well meaning advice as to how I can make things easier for myself. My mum says I should give her a bottle but she won't take it (I tried) or a dummy (my God, how I tried). Doctor says I should give her water if she wakes in the night and let DH settle her (surely this would be more faff and give her time to wake up completely and get into a strop?). Friend says I should do CC (but this would really upset DD1).

So am I normal in just persuing the path of least resistance with her? Or should I be going all out to whip her into shape?

MotherPanda Fri 21-Oct-11 10:19:07

god no - if the boob works use it! I do this with my dd, feed her lying down, i always end up falling asleep, so does she - but sometimes i do wake up a few hours later lying on a pool of milk...

pud1 Fri 21-Oct-11 10:21:48

You are doing exactly what I did. My dd was the same and tbh she still used to hop in our bed at 3. She does not do it now. I think you are any thing but lazy coping with 2 so young. I know how hard it is I have a 3.5 yo and a 2 yo. Don't beat yourself up about what other people tell you and don what feels right for you and your child.

BartletForAmerica Fri 21-Oct-11 10:28:32

After about 6 months, I decided I wanted to start to nightwean. We started by saying that DS would only be fed every 3 hours maximum overnight and if he woke before that, DH would get up to settle him. We intended to gradually extend this to 3.5h, 4h etc until I was only doing one night feed, but it turned out that DH was able to settle him fine and, after only a few days, DS only woke once or not at all overnight!

Decide what you want to do. If you are happy, carry on with what you are doing, but I needed the sleep and rest and it worked for us.

JiltedJohnsGhoulie Fri 21-Oct-11 12:30:14

Think you are just normal and are doing what works well for you and DD. If the boob works then go for it.

Giving her a bottle may help but it may not, there are plenty of threads on here about ff babies only going 1 to 2 hours at night or not wanting to be settle by anyone else but Mum, there is some information here on formula and sleep.

Also think she is much, much too young for CC, you'd have to be made of much stronger stuff than I am to let a 6 month old cry.

If you think that tiredness may be aggravating your PND there are some things you can do. Your GP seems concerned about your lack of sleep but seems to have little idea how to help you on that, ask the GP for a course of CBT as that often helps. Phone the APNI helpline and talk to another Mum about how you are feeling too.

As for DD do you think nightweaning might help? There is some information here and here.

Hope you start to feel better soon.

ChunkyPickle Fri 21-Oct-11 12:53:07

I think normal, because that's just what I've done (with a stage more lazy - we co-slept from 2 months)

At just over a year he's become too wriggly/big to share the bed, and too much of a monkey to be trusted in a cot, so he's now on a mattress on the floor by the bed. Just doing that has reduced him from 3 or 4 feeds overnight to 1 or 2 feeds, and we recently had a whole 7 hour stretch with no fuss, no sleepless nights for me or DP and absolutely no CC.

I thought of trying water, but for a start, I can BF in the dark, but I'm blowed if I can find his mouth with a water bottle, plus I drop it and get cold water everywhere which just wakes us up more.. nope.. path of least resistance works very well for us.

JiltedJohnsGhoulie Fri 21-Oct-11 13:05:49

Chunky I could never get my head around the water thing either. I've got friends who tried it and the whole house would be awake for hours, and some still don't sleep now at 4. Meanwhile we offered the boob and co-slept for the first 15 months and DD is fine, is now 4, sleeps all night and regularly asks to go to bed in the evenings.

<just don't ask me about DS.....>

OliviaTwist Fri 21-Oct-11 13:29:16

There is a reason what you're doing is easy ... that's how you are designed to work!

rockboobs Fri 21-Oct-11 13:30:05

Sounds fine to me. Thats what bf-ing is all about IMO.

OliviaTwist Fri 21-Oct-11 13:30:10

I meant the easiest way, rather than easy per se... smile

AngelDog Fri 21-Oct-11 14:25:06

Only change things if your current situation isn't working for you. Ignore what everyone else says. What you're doing sounds pretty normal to me - and is what we still do with DS at 21 m.o.

If you're finding things tiring, you could try full-time 'proper' co-sleeping to see if you get a bit more rest - at least you don't have to do the cot transfer then.

IME nightweaning from the breast is most likely to be successful in helping LOs to sleep if they're waking at the end of every sleep cycle ie every 1.5-2 hours, so probably 6 or 7 times a night. If they're waking less often, stopping bf'ing at night may not help.

I tried reducing night feeds when DS was waking 6 or 7 times a night at 7 months. It worked and he cut down to just one. At 8/9 months it was back up to 3-5 feeds a night. I tried reducing feeds again and he carried on waking just as often, but took so much longer to go back to sleep that I went back to feeding every time he woke.

He started sleeping for longer / waking less frequently of his own accord.

TruthSweet Fri 21-Oct-11 16:13:48

The thing is that bfing (when going well) is protective against PND due to it's anti-inflammatory properties plus bfing mothers get better sleep (different type of sleep to non-bfing mothers/non-mothers that is healing/restorative).

If you feel in danger of developing PND continuing to bf as long as you want to should help (it's not a guarantee of not developing PND or even halting the effects of PND though). A lot of PND treatment is compatible with bfing too.

Also, bfing ameliorates the effects of PND on the baby as by it's very nature bfing forces you to interact with your baby. Even if you don't coo over your baby whilst doing it but sit ruminating instead wink

If you, or anyone else, would like some more detailed info please PM me.

GreenMonkies Fri 21-Oct-11 16:16:38

Not lazy. Sensible. Normal.

I fail to see how any of those stressful interventions would make life easier! Sounds to me like you're doing a fantastic job.

TOWISalford Fri 21-Oct-11 16:30:27

My DS is 5months, my DD is 3yrs. I'm doing exactly what you're doing, don't know if its lazy but it ensures everyone, including myself, gets a decent nights sleep.

All hell would break loose if I handed the baby to DH in the night as he's a complete mummy's boy... and my DH works long hours so the idea of him settling the baby at night would go down like a lead balloon.

I feel ok too, not too sleep deprived. I bottle fed my DD and was verging on insanity with sleep deprivation.

SarahScot Fri 21-Oct-11 20:04:17

NORMAL! I do almost exactly the same as you, my DD is 7 months. Other people make me feel like I am doing somethig wrong by feeding her when she wants it. A quick chat on MN always puts things back into perspective though. smile

DrCoconut Fri 21-Oct-11 22:09:00

Another night feeder here! DS2 is 6 months and if he wants booby in the night he gets it. We keep him in with us if he's unsettled to. We both work and can't do with the lack of sleep involved with any other way of doing things. People mean well and tell you all sorts but ignore them do what works for you.

CountBapula Fri 21-Oct-11 22:32:47

We do the same at 13 months, except for the bit about bringing him in with us - DS, for some reason, has always hated sleeping in our bed hmm

We tried to nightwean at six months on the advice of a sleep consultant. I think we managed two or three weeks without night feeds (DH would settle him) until he hit the next sleep regression/bout of teething and only the boob would do. Bit of a waste of time and energy, really.

DS started sleeping better of his own accord. At six months he was waking every two hours; now he usually wakes once, or even sleeps through on occasion.

I had PND aggravated by sleep deprivation. I had a course of CBT which really helped. I was convinced I was a shit mum because DS didn't sleep, and ended up isolating myself in the house because I was too tired to take DS anywhere sad It's really tough, I know. Hope you feel better soon.

NotAnotherNewNappy Mon 24-Oct-11 19:50:49

Thanks everyone. I started CBT today and am really hoping that will help me deal with the PND. I am also on ADs which are definitely making me calmer.

For those of you that co-sleep, what precautions do you take to make it safer? I have DD's cot pushed up against the side of the bed so she can't roll out. I sleep between her and the cot but I still use a pillow and have a duvet pulled up to my waist. This is a no no, isn't it? She sleeps in a bed bag and sometimes a light blanket when it is very cold. I can never relax when she's in my bed but it seems she can't relax when she's out of it, grrr...

twinklespeciallyforlittlegirls Mon 24-Oct-11 20:46:48

Totally normal!
I coslept til my DD was night weaned, but I was also really lucky that she did it herself by about 7m. Cosleeping made life so much easier. I used a tiny square pillow for my head and wore a cardi to bed and dp tucked the duvet in at his side so that it couldn't ride up above my waist. We can't get the bed against the wall so I have a cot side thing from Mothercare though when she was tiny I just slept with a handful of grobag in my fist! It felt weird at first and I was totally against cosleeping as the idea scared me, but once I got going and she was more robust it was great and meant we all got more sleep. I would persevere with the bottles too, maybe one day the penny will drop that it's the same stuff in there and if you could give ebf or ff it'd mean you could have a night off. Could you go out for the whole day and leave her with Daddy and a supply of ebf? It's a tough thing but this is what my friend had to do as she was going in hospital and her baby wouldn't take a bottle. By lunchtime he'd realised that the same stuff came out and was okay after that.

Please don't be thinking you're lazy, I found BF knackering and I didn't have PND or a toddler, and I also had a baby who would take a dummy and a bottle of any milk at any temperature from anybody!

brilaunt Mon 24-Oct-11 22:01:52

Hi this is a lovely thread... My LO is 4 months... I CAN NOT get her to sleep any other way (except car and pram) she needs my boob to settle even if shes not hungry... I was so shattered at one point, that the prospect of her waking up when putting her in crib once asleep on breasts for afternoon nap, that i hung my boob over her face for her to suckle to settle her!!!! Who knows if this is the right way, or if she will get worse? its hard work and i envy my bottle feeding friends who just put their babies down for a sleep and have no hassles trying to settle them. But the fact i is that many BF babes are like yours... Youre not alone. Mine wont even go to anyone except DH or me at moment, which is so hard... Everyone asks whats the matter with her and I worry that they think its me thats made her insecure and clingy. I dont think it is?
Good luck.

HipHopOpotomus Mon 24-Oct-11 22:12:47

Sleep with the baby, get the boob out when needed - I'm in a similar situation and this is not only path of least resistance, I just love sleeping with dd2. Works well for me.

LadyMontdore Mon 24-Oct-11 22:19:49

I highly, highly recomend a bed-side cot. All the benefits of co-sleeping but without actually having th ebaby in bed.

Did as you are doing with DD2, but with bedside cot till she was 10 months, then three nights of cc to night wean her - DH had to do the comforting though! (for both of us!). I do think CC works but you all have to be ready for it, as in night feeding has become to hard to maintain.

I do what you do in terms of the co-sleeping. Duvet is tucked in at the bottom of the bed so that it comes to my waist and LO stays in his gro bag. I use a pillow (but it's higher up the bed than LO will get) I'm a little worried about how I'll manage it in colder weather though as I already have to put a fleece on some nights.

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