Slow feeder baby with no routine!(10 Posts)
I am a new mum here in Mumsnet and a new mum to an 8 week old boy. I would love to get some help, before I go bonkers! I live in a country with my DH where I have no family (mum or even mum in law) to help.
The nights are OK, I feed my baby and put him to bed by 11pm , then he usually wakes at 2-3am for a feed, and then at 6-7am. But the time between this and his 10-11pm "night routine" is horrid! He sometimes needs to be BFed after 3 hours, 4 hours ...BUT he BFeds min. an hour at a time from both breasts...at least once a day, he feeds for over an hour, and then screams for more food, then I make him a bottle too and he would take 2-3 Oz. Any ideas how to get him into somekind of a routine to ensure that I have time to eat and to have a shower!?
I don't think he's necessarily crying for more food. Some babies just do cry an awful lot in teh evening - it's called colic and it is HORRID. But it is 'normal'. No routine, is sadly, very normal because 8 weeks is so young. This marathon feeding will reduce in time. I think you either need some help (ie your dh or even a kind neighbour) or you can just decide to put the baby down and have a shower. Some babies do cry a bit before they sleep and cry a lot more if they are constantly fed and not allowed to sleep. Taking five minutes for a shower or to grab a sandwich won't kill your baby but will make you feel more sane. Congratulations on the nights - you see all those marathon feeds are helping him stock up so that you can get a bit of sleep at night. Gina Ford recommends you never let a small baby stay awake longer than two hours and that a baby should be put down and encouraged to sleep within two hours of waking - ie 8-9am and then again at 12 and then again in the afternoon. It can be tricky to encourage them to settle - but look for the signs of tiredness at those times and you might find your baby is ready to go to sleep then.
I didnt breast feed for long - so I cnt help on that part. But from reading your message: Are you sure he is screaming for more food? could he have wind?
My son had a bottle every 3 hours - and I mean EVERY three hours! Then at about 3 months i think (it all becomes a bit on a blur!) it went to four hours and tailed off. So I cant see that this is going to carry on and on. So have faith as your son get older he will depend less on breast feeding and you will get into a more normal routine.
I remember how you are feeling - when my ds was young I was literally pulling my hair out thinking my life was going to be feeding and crying forever and that I would never have ME time again. I also skipped meals and felt like I couldnt even jump in the shower, but i promise, hand on heart it does get better, so dont get disheartened.
It must be hard for you with no help at all, what country are you in?
Just some tips - some might help - I brought a sling off the internet called an easy sling (if u want details I will give them to you) my ds loved it. So it allowed me to get meals for my self and do bits and peices. The sling would hold him close to my chest and he was really settled (I think because he could hear my heart beat). You can also use it whilst breastfeeding apparently.
Also if he has a settled minute - put him in a bouncer or something and take him in the bathroom with you - I know that its not ideal but at least you can have a wash.
You have to look after yourself - or you will be no good for him or yourself. I used the baby whisperer book by Tracey Hogg to get into a routine and I must admit this really worked for me.
I have just looked about breastfeeding for you - she says that as babies grow they become more efficient feeders and will take less time breastfeeding - that sounds hopeful for you!
She says they need 4-6 oz each feed which normally takes up to 30 minutes (although bearing in mind this is only a guideline).
Maybe you son is enjoying the closeness with you that breastfeeding gives him.
Anyway I am waffling now, I send you all the best and hope this helps x xps. sorry this was sooo long!!
Oh Kika, you really have my sympathy - my son is nearly 8 weeks too and is just the same with the feeding, and if you find some of my threads, I was in tears over him screaming and feeding, some times he screamed for 5 or 6 hours and nothing but the breast would shut him up, I was so unhappy (check out "Miserable please help" under breast and bottle feeding)
I have read some of the books, then the messages on here, and what I do now is this:
when he wakes in the morning I feed him, from both breasts and it does take about an hour - sometimes a bit longer. From the time he started feeding, he has to go 3 hours at least before he can be fed again. I try and keep him awake at least 2 hours from the time I started feeding him and then get him to sleep for that last hour - sometimes that last hour is him just grizzling or screaming but he doesn't get fed until the three hours is up. (If he does, he feeds for a shorter time, then starts screaming again sooner than 3 hours and its a vicious circle)
For his last feed, I give him a formula of about 8 oz (tho he doesn't always take it all) and he will then sleep anywhere from 4 - 6 hours.
Believe me, I know its horrible b/f for an hour every 3 hours but if you can do that, then spend an hour doing stuff with him, then get an hour for yourself before you feed again, at least it IS a routine.
If he screams when you take him off the breast, put him back on until he comes off himself - bloody frustrating I know, I loathe breastfeeding to be honest - cos as I understand it, if he's not getting enuf milk from the breast, he needs to keep suckling to produce it; giving him that bit extra from a bottle won't help you produce more.
When I did this, it was tough for a week but its all coming together now, honestly. Please email me if you want to talk off net, I know how it is believe me
PS Bad mother or not, sometimes I just leave him to cry whilst I have a shower or make some lunch or whatever
Kika, I agree, it won't do him any harm to leave him to cry for a few minutes while you have a shower or grab something to eat. I know it's easy enough for me to say but it does get better, I remember the evening feeding marathons well, I think the easiest way to deal with them is to resign yourself to them and eat, drink, watch TV, read, chat on the phone whatever you like to do, when they are gone you might even find you miss them. All the best and enjoy him.
Kika, this WILL stop. Reassure yourself of that, and that at some point you'll look back with vague fondness for that hour of feeding when you at least got to sit down! I wonder though like the other responses you've had here that he needs to be fed for quite as long so frequently. My daughter used to suckle a lot when she had wind and I realised that feeding her just made it worse. By around 10-12 weeks she was feeding every 3-4 hours for around 20 minutes and wasn't grumbly any more at all. It's hard what you're going through. One's very raw emotionally and exhausted with a new baby. I was alone too, I mean away from family in a different country for the 1st 3 months of my daughter's life and I thought I'd go nuts. I do feel for you.
My baby has just fed for 50 minutes and come off one breast, only to start grizzling for the other, where he stayed for 40 minutes... Longest ever
He's now drowsing in front of the football with daddy and big brother
Thanks for all your answers. He was colocky at 2-4 weeks, but the Infacol have definitely helped a lot, so I really don't think it is colic. My husband does tell me that it is ME who should be most important for myself in the sense that I need to look after myself, eat etc. as it is only then that I'll be a 'consistent little mummy' to be able to look after and enjoy our baby. (sorry for the Gina Fordism)....at the moment, we are spending Christmas with my parents, so as I have lots of help, I attempted to try the Gina Ford 'military' routine...OK, we have made some changes to suit us and of course our son did not always follow the book by the minute, yet I must say that the routine seem to have worked!!!!!!!!!! He was not sleeping on my breast as much, and eventually fell asleap on his own after putting him to bed. I wish my son could tell me why he is crying sometimes, but it seems todaz that whenever he cried, he onlx cried to be held not because he was hungry. His crying was different for the hunger cries..if you see what I mean...It was killing me listening to him crying though, and at one stage, my DS was sleeping over and hour on my DH instead of the cot...but he at least sleapt. I have a week here at home to try and get him into a routine and then back into the deep end!
Lisa, your routine sound a bit like GF's, did it work for you and your baby? Does he settle now after feed/playtime?
Aren't those moments when they are smiling at you after a marathon feed or when they are "drowsing in front of the football with daddy and big brother" worth every other misery?
Kika, your baby sounds on the normal spectrum...if he feeds for an hour plus every 3-4 hours, that is not at all unusual for a baby of his age...it will change as he gets older. Of course this is time consuming, and yes, you need help and support, but that's all part of being a parent
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