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5mo nursing strikes in daytime, starting some pretty annoying habits, wanting massive feed at 4:00am. Anyone else experienced this?

(11 Posts)
zoobaby Wed 27-Feb-13 16:36:21

Hi everyone. Sorry this has grown to be quite long. Would really appreciate the thoughts/ideas/experiences of others...

DS and I have been really enjoying our BFing during the last 5 months. However, he's now decided that it's way more fun to look around during the day and basically refuse EVERY SINGLE time the breast is offered. He relents if he's very, very, very hungry and even then you can see the internal struggle/arguing that's going on inside his little head. Ooh the dilemma!

He's also resorted to clamping down and biting. Ouch! Possibly teething? Possibly boredom? Possibly my nipple just got in the way when he whipped his head around to investigate the noise of thin air? These are all distinct possibilities.

Then, inevitably, he wakes at 4:00am for a good ol' banquet. He has always been a very good sleeper since a young age, and this 4:00am mallarky is really starting to hurt me even though he's really quite efficient and sucks strong and constantly for 10 mins each side to get his fill, returning to sleep quite nicely afterwards. Sometimes he'll be stirring for a while before properly waking, so the extended broken sleep prevents me from dozing off straight away.

I never refuse or try to put him off as he is genuinely hungry at this time. Is this a wise thing to do? Or am I encouraging him to wake in the middle of the night? I did attempt to soothe him back to sleep the other night, but he was indeed hungry. He's not a complainer, nor is he clingy, so if he does grizzle then there is always a reason. Should I maybe give him the breast, but allow him less feeding time so that he's actually hungry in the morning? Or maybe offer it up earlier, while he's stirring rather than waiting for him to wake?

4:00am waking makes 7:00am waking really difficult, which has a knock-on effect for the rest of the day as I often go ostrich-like until 9:00am. Thank goodness I don't have an older child or back to work yet!

Anyone had experience of this and can shed some light? How long did it last? Is there anything I can do to facilitate his feeding returning to proper times? If I try to fiddle around with it, will this wreck other aspects, like sleep?

minipie Wed 27-Feb-13 17:11:38

I don't have any experience of this, but wondered if you could make him less distracted at day feeds by putting a muslin over him so he can only see boob? or turning down the lights perhaps (as a short term thing, obv not something you want to do forever!)

Optimism Wed 27-Feb-13 21:58:45

I know this sounds silly and it's unlikely to be the case every time but I don't suppose it ever has anything to do with wind does it? I only say this because the looking around, refusing to go near and the shaking his head with my nipple clamped (painfully!) between his little gums is what my little one does when he has a big burp to do. As soon as I manage to get it out of him he will feed again but not before.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 27-Feb-13 22:26:55

This happened with both of mine, and the good news is that it does pass!

They are basically too interested in everything during the day, so they do what's called reverse cycling and feed loads at night to compensate.

Have a look on the website for some good info on it - and anything else BF related!

Sometimes I found that feeding in a quiet place helped, other times not so much grin

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Wed 27-Feb-13 23:53:23

could a dream feed work?

Sleepybunny Thu 28-Feb-13 09:10:30

Oh this sounds exactly like something that has been discussed before, and someone posted a really helpful link to a page on kellymom. Basically it mentions that they are indeed too distracted during the day to take in all the calories required, so when things are calm, dark and boring in the wee small hours they make up for it! The solution was to bf in a dark room with nothing to look at. How possible this is if you need to actually leave the house I don't know!!
Sorry I don't know the thread or link to kellymom.

Would he take a bottle of expressed milk during the day, when he's very hungry? Maybe then he could watch what was going on and still get some milk.

Hope there is a solution soon

zoobaby Fri 01-Mar-13 12:45:18

Many thanks for the replies. Over the last 2 days DS has almost sort of kind of started to feed again during the day - but only if the sun is at the right height in the sky and the wind is coming from the correct direction. Hehehe. Fussy little rascal! Of course I imagine it will all be a different story tomorrow or even this afternoon.

I'm going to try the darkened and boring room for a bit longer. Also, I'm trying to get him to eat as soon as he wakes and hopefully still a little drowsy. The other option seems to be just before bed, but I'm loathe to start making him reliant on milk for sleep as he's actually just starting to be a good napper at the moment. I guess it's one step forward in one area and one step backwards in another area.

Mini, a muslin would be a good solution, except he's just learnt how to pull face coverings down when playing the peekaboo game. He'd just be a little bit confused

Optimism (I'm gonna have to adopt your name as my mantra), wind is always a possibility with my boy as he's a very windy little chap at both ends. Been taking extra care with burping him over the last couple of days but no joy. He doesn't tend to burp much at the breast and only really complains if you put him flat on his back when needing to do a burp.

Alibaba I've had a look at Kellymom and followed the various links on there. Seems like it's something I have to ride out. Best stock up on matchsticks to hold my eyelids open then! Reverse cycling is an interesting idea. It seems to be playing with his sleep now too... he's been uber tired during the day for the past 3 days. Possibly not a bad thing, but don't want to encourage him to totally reverse cycle absolutely everything.

ShouldI, I've heard of the wonders of the dream feed. For multiple reasons, DS usually goes off to sleep at around 10ish anyway. He's always been a late sleeper since birth and I've never really enforced the 7:00pm thing. Maybe that's something I should look at... 7pm bed and dream feed about 11pm. He used to always show signs of hunger and tiredness at about 9pm and we'd trundle off to the bedroom for the evening but I've noticed that he's now getting a little more tired at about 8pm-ish.

And finally Sleepybunny, expressing might have to be the option, alas. He took the bottle from his dad a while back but DP wasn't overly fussed to feed him, so we stopped and I didn't see the point in faffing about with bottles and sterilisers and storing etc if I'd be the one giving it to him anyway. Also I don't particularly like doing it as I find my boobs and milk get all kinds of weird when I mess with them. Might have to resort to that if this continues for much longer.

Once again, many thanks for your ideas!

Angelico Fri 01-Mar-13 20:58:35

zoobaby I could have written your post! Going through the exact same thing at the minute with DD who is just over 5 months so watching with interest. Tried the muslin and DD pulls it down hmm She does take a bottle of expressed milk. As someone up thread said she seems windy this week and is also chomping on my nipples as her teeth are really close to surface.

I actually think she will like being weaned and sitting up to eat as she is the nosiest baby alive! smile

Anyway, DH is taking her tonight and will give her dummy so I can have a rest. Hopefully she will wake hungry in the morning!!! Most annoying thing this week has been her having 2-3 night feeds then barely feeding till after lunch so she's obviously not hungry!

Angelico Sat 02-Mar-13 14:15:48

Well DD made it from midnight till 09:30 this morning without a feed, only waking once for her dummy and has taken 2 good boob feeds and 2oz of expressed milk so far today... so clearly she won't starve overnight. Maybe when I'm in the room she really can smell the milk bar lying inches away from her...

Angelico Sat 02-Mar-13 14:17:17

Oh and one more thing- she had her 2 usual bedtime feeds last night but I also gave her a dream feed at midnight so that was 3 feeds in 2.5 hrs. She didn't even stir for dummy till 05:30 so maybe it helped.

paperclips Sat 02-Mar-13 18:56:50

Oh I have this problem, my baby is the same age. I struggle to feed out and about now, he is just too distracted. He feeds ok if I am sitting on the bed at home in the quiet. But I can't even browse MN on my phone anymore as he wants to grab it. I tried the muslin but he pulls it off then wants to play with it.

And the nipple thing, yes he clamps down then turns his head OUCH! Little monkey!

Since he got to four months he's wanted to feed quite a lot at night now despite having a good stock up in the evening before he goes down. Oh well.

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