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ebf. very tired. still can't get regular showers and lunch after 14weeks...

(38 Posts)
geekette Sun 02-Dec-12 22:30:16

hi all... feeling a bit down. I knew breastfeeding wouldn't be easy but I didn't know i would still be struggling so far in.

my lo is now 14weeks old and gaining weight very well. we have always co-slept to make the night feeds easier but it doesn't seem to work. I am so tired all the time still...

problem 1: we never mastered feeding lying down. everything gets soo wet! and sleeping in the damp just isn't great. hence, I have to situp for night feeds. tiring.

problem 2:when she wakes me at 2am-ish I just can't get back to sleep.
problem 3: she goes down at 6/7 and stirs at 11 or 12 for her first feed of the night. after that it feels like she stirs a further 4 times before 7 am. what am I doing wrong? why is she feeding so often at night??? I have tried putting her to bed later but that just ended in over tiredness tears...

problem 4: she still seems to feed every two hours during the day! I can't get anything done. I just hate it sad

sorry it is long but help me. please.

chipmonkey Sun 02-Dec-12 23:02:41

geekette, you sound like me when I had ds1.
I used to still be in my dressing-gown at 3pm, unshowered and with nothing done. I remember dh being very hmm when he came home from work and saying to me, "Can you not do something?" Then one Saturday, he was watching us and he said "God, I see how it is, you really can't do anything else, can you?"
With ds2 it was much, much better. The reason was, that when ds2 came along, I said to myself at the very beginning that I wasn't going to run to him every time he cried or whimpered and that if I was eating lunch, that it made sense to finish what I was eating before I fed him and that a shower took five minutes and crying for five minutes never hurt a baby.
He was fine. In fact he had gained more weight at his 6 week check up than ds1 had done.
I had always resisted a dummy, but I did find that it helped to space the feeds out a little, especially if they were sucking for comfort rather than nourishment so I gave in!
But either way, if your dd is gaining weight, and healthy, then you are doing the most important thing right and it will pass, eventually!

wonderstuff Sun 02-Dec-12 23:07:23

I initially fed sleeping down with a towel under me - that could be removed - also always had a muslin under dd as she was sick so often. Feeding lying down is so useful - you can just doze off - bliss.
Problem 2 I can't help with - I still find myself asleep randomly in the middle of the night - my eldest is 5 and my youngest 2...

3. Mine was like that - I got some really early nights. I did eventually - prob at about 14 weeks? try to stretch it out - doing shush pat instead of automatically offering the boob - and it did eventually get better.

4. Have you tried a sling - it might be that being near you is what she is after and you can get stuff done carrying her. Does she have a nap routine - encouraging a couple of decent naps in the day might help her be more settled

Hang on in there - you are doing great and while it feels like forever now these days are gone so quickly. The days drag but the years fly. Regular showers - pop her in a bouncy chair - she might cry, but you won't be leaving her long - I used to play peepo through the shower curtain. Lunch - ditto - let her grizzle - you know she is fed and well - she can see you - you need to make sure you are looking after yourself.

I also found, on days when I was just so tired and she wouldn't sleep if I brought her in to bed with me and lie down with her we could both doze off and have a 3 o'clock nap.

Enelya Mon 03-Dec-12 07:09:36

Have you considered a dream feed? My 12wo goes down at 830ish, I express while dh does the settling, and she gets a bottle in her sleep when we go to bed. 2am is her first feed not her second, which might help you go back to sleep?

aamia Mon 03-Dec-12 18:30:12

Sympathy from me - I'm so relieved I'm not the only one that feels like this!!! My only difference is that I can feed lying down - put a towel under the two of you! I've concluded it's not the lack of sleep, it's the feeding that makes me so tired. DS is 11 weeks old and fed every hour this morning! I've got horses and a dog to walk and a messy DH. I feel like I stumble from one chore to the other, never quite achieving anything because I have to sit down to feed so often!

Loislane78 Mon 03-Dec-12 20:47:58

Hi geek I remember you from the August thread smile

First off, you are not doing anything wrong! Quite the opposite, well done for feeding for this long and LO getting nice and chubby smile

Agree with the others re. a towel or something for feeding lying down, practice during the day perhaps.

Does LO sleep in basket/cot at all at night?

People may disagree with me here but I think 14 WK olds can manage 2-3 hrs min. between feeds at night so I sympathise that 4 wake ups between 2-7 sounds like a lot. Is she feeding or comfort sucking? How often does she feed during the day and is she getting lots of daylight? I would offer every 2-3 hrs in the day min in this situation. I assume lights out, no talking etc. at night? Let us know more about what's doing.

Hang in there smile

geekette Mon 03-Dec-12 22:29:16

I can finally update! sorry on phone so can't pub a response to a particular poster but thanks for all replies.

first up, I do use a sling! actually she got her first push chair last week. we also do lots of skin to skin. I still find that some mornings she is waking me up not for a feed but for a cuddle as she won't even bother sucking. she'll nod off to sleep as I am picking her up. I thought co-sleeping would mean she didn't need to do this?

and I find it easy to differentiate her comfort sucking from feeding. she plays with the tip of the nipple for comfort. she is definitely feeding at night ...

I feel I have the world's best fed unhappy baby as I usually leave her in her bouncy chair to get stuff done or let her cry in the sling because she usually wants to go out if I wear her...

she stirs for a feed. I think this is her dream feed?

I'll put her more often to breast tomorrow during the day and see if I get any changes. I will do anything now..

geekette Mon 03-Dec-12 22:31:15

silly phone:
put not pub
she stirs for a feed at 11

applecrumple Tue 04-Dec-12 10:34:55

I've given up showering in the morning as dd just screams so I shower in the evening while DH holds dd. get yourself a sling (I use Babasling) so you can put DC in it during the day - that way you can do stuff (ironing, cleaning, going to the loo etc) if you want to. Try & get at least one nap in during the day (I sleep with dd on my chest). I haven't mastered feeding lying down either so have to sit up for night feeds. Yes I sympathise with how exhausting it all is!

peeriebear Tue 04-Dec-12 10:39:01

We sleep on a folded towel as DS falls asleep feeding and so do I... Waking up with wet baby and wet mattress was no fun but the towel (and a bib or muslin under his chin/cheek) stops everything. It took me weeks to get the hang of laying down to feed... WEEKS!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 04-Dec-12 10:44:34

Will she sit in a bouncer in the bathroom while you get showered and dressed? That is the key, because once you are sorted yourself, then you can get little jobs done in between feeds and cuddles.

I really sympathise though, DS1 was just like this. The hours I spent on the sofa feeding him or him sleeping on me after a feed!

Hang in there, it does get better.

HarderToKidnap Tue 04-Dec-12 10:56:55

What saved me was DH taking DS for a bit in the morning. obviously depends when he has to leave for work, but DH would get up 6.30, take DS downstairs and bring him back to me at 8.30. In that time he would nappy change DS, shower, get breakfast, get dressed, and take DS and the dog out to the park for twenty minutes, rain or shine. Then DS would come back to me and have a feed and I would get up (or fall back to sleep with DS). Often the fresh air would mean he would have a nap at 8.30 (he'd fall asleep in my arms after a feed in bed, I'd just leave him there) which would allow me to get breakfast and shower. Whilst DH had DS, I would have earplugs firmly in, door shut and DH would not come and get me for anything unless something life threatening happened.

This system meant I always had 2 hours sleep before getting up, and always had a shower. DS also liked be in the boucy chair or on a big cushion on the bathroom floor whilst I showered. Get DH to make your lunch the evening before and put it in the fridge for you.

DS fed 2-2.5 hourly until he was about six months I think, but a slight attitude adjustment does help with this. Instead of thinking about giving baby a feed to be a "big thing", it helps to think of it as a "small thing". You don't plan your day around how often you'll need a glass of water or need to blow your nose, you just do these things as they come up. Get on with your day, do what you had planned (pop to shop, meet friends etc) and breastfeed as the need arises, rather than think "oh G-d, I can't go out now cos she fed an hour ago so she'll need feeding as soon as I get there and I won't know where to sit" or "I can't start the hoovering cos she'll need feeding in ten minutes" etc etc. It really helps to think of breastfeeding as something you'll just do when you have to rather than something that needs planning and other stuff structured around it.

Lastly (sorry for essay) it really really helps if almost every day you shower, sort your hair out, put some half decent clothes on and leave the house and see people. Just make it happen, even if DD cries whilst you are getting ready, if she can see you and you are chatting/singing to her whilst you do it she'll be fine. I hope you have plenty of friends and family to see but if not then just go to Costa, or to a playgroup at your SureStart Centre, or RhymeTime, and just be out and about looking halfway decent. It will do absolute wondes for your self esteem, you will feel endless amounts of achievement, you'll feel much better for being out of those four walls. One of the joys of early maternity leave for me was lingering in a coffee shop with some NCT friends, eating cake and talking about how hard it all was! (Now its chasing them round in grim softplays, I didn't know how good I had it!)

geekette Wed 05-Dec-12 20:25:11

reporting back.

offering more feeds during the day doesn't seem to be effective. she only takes the usual amount.

changing my attitude to feeds does make the day so much better. I do have to make sure tasks have stages in which they can be left for a feed.

still struggling a lot at night. no idea what to do. she slept from 6pm to 11 last night. then till 1am then till 3am and woke up every hour after that till 6 and stayed up till 7.

I am shattered...

geekette Wed 05-Dec-12 20:28:26

still trying lying down to feed. seems to work without spills for one side. she can't latch on properly for the other...

geekette Wed 05-Dec-12 20:31:27

I do go to all the baby groups in my area! that is what keeps me sane.

HarderToKidnap Thu 06-Dec-12 08:59:40

Does she nap during the day? Do you have a DP and what's his schedule? Do you go to bed at 6.30 when she does (rubbish I know, but its only temporary). I don't think there is anything you can DO about nights, there isn't anything she's doing that's wrong or weird, she's just doing what all of them do at 3 months. It is so tough though. It's less about managing her normal (but intensely demanding) behaviour and more about managing your reactions to it. You need to grab sleep whenever you can, get DP to take over a bit in the morning/evening/weekends when he can, beg borow and steal help for a couple of hours so you can sleep. Only feed from the lying down side at night, this will be fine after a couple of days and you can can still practise with the other one during the day!

THIS PASSES. I have a lovely 12mo who naps twice a day, goes to bed at 7 and sleeps for 12 hours. A few months ago I had a two hourly feeding cosleeping feed four times a night kid - they just gradually change and this time in retrospect, will seem sooo short. I would really try and work out something with DP so you can get at least one more burst of sleep at some point, maybe you could feed her at 11ish when she wakes and he has her til 2am? Good luck x

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Thu 06-Dec-12 09:15:57

"Instead of thinking about giving baby a feed to be a "big thing", it helps to think of it as a "small thing". You don't plan your day around how often you'll need a glass of water or need to blow your nose, you just do these things as they come up."

That is brilliant advice! smile

I was on my second baby before I started doing this, but I never thought of it in those terms before.

A* - go to the top of the class grin

OP - how committed are you to co-sleeping?

You seem to be having all if the disadvantages, none of the advantages.

geekette Thu 06-Dec-12 21:40:29

she woke up and stayed awake for an hour last night. in addition to all the feeds. she has never done that before... oh dear, it got worse...


fed her loads today and she had 5 naps. all about 45 mins long. fresh air: about two hours worth. she also had baby yoga. was in sling for most of the day so i got some house work done. youpee! minimal crying during the day with only one prolonged angry cry... that was because i showered whilst she was in her swing. will see what happens tonight. can anyone relate to those figures?

I know she is normal and it is more my perception which has to change but I just feel like I am failing her. I am so afraid of night times now.

dp has been a star since the birth. he took over all the housework and cooking whilst on leave.
now that he works, he takes care of bins and if i don't get round to them : emptying and refilling the washing machine and dishwasher as well as dinner.
since I started getting really fed up, he has started taking her before her first nap in the morning. that gives me 60-90 mins zzzz time.
I really feel like I am not pulling my weight every time I ask him to take the little one in the morning sad
regarding my commitment to co sleeping: well my mantra during pregnancy was not to get stuck on an ideal and do what works for the family. co-sleeping has its good moments... I would hate to miss the morning smiles. but if I am not sleeping, it isn't fit for purpose. i and dp have agreed to give it another week. if she doesn't settle then we need to try other sleeping arrangements...

goodness that is long... sorry and thanks for all the tips!!!

geekette Mon 17-Dec-12 00:27:19

not sure what triggered it but she ended up with lots of green pops last week.
forgot about the tiredness and concentrated on getting her hind milk.
this had the double whammy effect of making her sleep till 1 for her first feed! shock
after that she only gets foremilk as my boobs oversupply and I haven't figured out how to get her hind milk at night.... adding expressing to night time chores or extra expressing during the day feels a bit out of reach at the moment

I still think we disturb her when we get into bed... but our cosleeping days will continue... for now.

I do wonder, will she become confused with all the extra feeds in the day? I can't imagine her going more than an hour without food if she isn't sleeping... but theoretically she can go 2-3. am I teaching her to snack or graze?

MrsHoarder Mon 17-Dec-12 00:44:41

Have you tried not cosleeping? DS is lovely and snuggly, but when he has waking phases he will always try to graze if he's right next to the all you can eat buffet. We quite often cosleep for a few hours if I drop off, but he goes into his cot at the first opportunity (and I pull the muslin off the bed to give me nice dry sheets).

Still get morning smiles too: he's only 2 feet away in his cot. If you are both sleeping badly it might be worth trying her in a cot for a few days to see if it improves things.

And have you seen a HCP about the green poos? Because they can be a stomach bug and nothing to do with fore/hind milk.

fishcalledwonder Mon 17-Dec-12 01:01:29

I feel your pain! Wrote an almost identical post last year. I tried all the brilliant advice I was given by lovely MNers, but nothing worked. DD fed and fed and fed. I didn't sleep. 5 months in she went in her cot in her own room, found her thumb and slept for about 8 hours. She hadn't slept longer than 3 hours before this.

Loislane78 Mon 17-Dec-12 07:51:35

Hey geek glad you got at least one good stretch smile

Re. green poop - can be nothing, can be low level bug, can be not enough fatty milk. If the latter, there will be other symptoms - lots of short feeds (and therefore night wakings), wind (bum end), more watery poop and possetting.

My LO started with this a couple of weeks ago after sleeping 8+ hrs at night has now regressed to 2-3 shock. Turns out she is tongue tied. No pain feeding and weight again good until now. Guess it can rear its head later so we're having to get it corrected at 17 wks.

Worth getting checked?

ThoughtsPlease Mon 17-Dec-12 10:22:25

She won't want any more milk in the day unless you stop feeding her so much at night. It will only take a few nights to change the pattern of feeding so much in the night.

It is entirely possible for EBF babies to sleep well at night at this age. I 'd suggest this thinking about guiding towards a good daytime routine of sleeping and feeding.

ThoughtsPlease Mon 17-Dec-12 10:30:06

I think your daytime sleeping is not helping, babies have roughly a 45 minute sleep cycle, and 5 x45 mins naps is not helping her learn to go back to sleep when she comes in to a light sleep. I think you need to aim for 2 naps a day, one main one of about 2 hours in the afternoon, and maybe just one other of about 45mins in the morning. If she is sleeping for 4 hours a day and not sleeping at night, I would suggest reducing the day time sleep.

geekette Sun 23-Dec-12 23:39:28

Still struggling to extend her daytime naps past 45 mins. Only get an occasional nap ranging 1-2 hours...

How do I get her to sleep longer for a nap?

How do I not feed her so much at night? I do find out if she just wants comfort or food before I feed her. If she just wants to be held, she tends to fall asleep as I pick her up. If I do not let her suck, she screams blue murder or just wakes up.. which is worse... No amount of patting or rocking seems to help.

Waves at Lois. Finally awake enough to get to my laptop smile How are you ladies doing?

The green poo seems to have passed finally. Wasn't just foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I had attempted to diet go back to MY normal portions of food. Stopping that nonsense got her back on track.

She still has a cut-off time after which she wakes every hour... usually 3am... Still haven't sussed this one out but I am functioning. Positive attitude towards feeds is going a long way. Thanks to everyone for all the help and advice.

I have ordered a cot for her. Will see if she sleeps better if she is on her own when it arrives... She already has her thumb and most other finger combinations. And uses it if she isn't hungry/almost asleep. It does seem like she sucks mostly for food... Although I have had her suck out of fright.

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