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Can someone please chat to me about night feeds with a 9 month old please?

(21 Posts)
Judyandherdreamofhorses Sun 07-Apr-13 18:25:06

DS's sleep has always been poor and he feeds a lot at night. He was 'failing to thrive' at around 4-5 months so I was keen to feed him as much as possible.

He's just has a period of illness - a month of infections, 3 courses of antibiotics, poor appetite and gastrointestinal problems associated with the medication.

We're now at a point where he wakes multiple times a night. He sleeps only 30-90 minutes before waking up. Mostly, only a feed will settle him. I try a cuddle and rick first, but feed if that's what he's asking for. Sometimes he stays awake for a few hours.

I don't intend to night wean, but just wondered if anyone could advise on night feeds. Should I allow him to feed as long as he wants, or should I be trying to cut the feed short so we both get back to bed? Sorry if it's a stupid question. The many months of poor sleep and now practically no sleep, have addled my brain.

We don't and can't co-sleep, sadly. This week, as we're away, he's in a cot next to me, but is usually in his own room.

woopsidaisy Sun 07-Apr-13 20:09:18

Hi Judy.
My DS3 is nearly 8 mo. EBF. Like you he was never a great sleeper, and now wakes every 45/90 mins.
Speaking to an experienced midwife friend she said at this stage he should be doing longer spells at night, with just a couple of feeds.
She suggested expressing for a sippy cup- which he uses. And DH doing the feeds.
But I caved at the first attempt as he was so upset. IMO he is still small and needs his mummy and her boob! grin
A friend of mine has been through this 4 times. She says at 13 mo with each she just said no more booby, and that they were all fine! No dramas. I'm Hopi g he will improve/ get better at sleeping between now Andrew then though!!

Judyandherdreamofhorses Sun 07-Apr-13 20:52:56

I think I love you! Everyone has said this to me too, but he's so little. He wouldn't understand if I didn't respond to him in the daytime, so how could he understand at night?

DD stopped night feeds at 15 months, so I know it happens. I'd just like to SLEEP!!

WeAreSix Sun 07-Apr-13 20:57:26

I'm still feeding DD4 through the night. I've no idea how often she wakes / feeds in denial but it gets us through.

All of my DDs have been the same. DD1 was the worst; she didn't sleep through until she was 3yo but is now 9yo and is a dream. DD3 went into her own bed and slept through while I was pregnant with DD4.

It's all over so quickly that I'm not worrying about DD4 and just enjoying the baby days as much as I can despite being exhausted.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Sun 07-Apr-13 21:04:20

He sleeps only 30-90 minutes before waking up.

I'm sure I read somewhere that all babies do this! It's just what you do, or rather what they do, when they wake.

I personally ignored, unless the crying went on and on longer than 6 mins (that was my cut off) in which case I went in - gave a cuddle, changed nappy and put back to bed.

At 8 months they don't need milk at night do they? Quite a few HV's told me this..

I did used to give some water if she was insistent. She's a super sleeper now - pretty sure she does still wake up every 90 mins, but she self settles.

Sorry. Not much help. I went through all this at the 8 week mark. Now at 5 months we all have a great night's sleep. Was worth the 'efficient' dealing with rather than extended feeding to me.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Sun 07-Apr-13 21:07:35

A different view point, thanks. Glad it worked out well for you. Six minutes of crying would be unbearable for me.

woopsidaisy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:09:55

I know Judy!! He wouldn't understand at all. They don't know that they are keeping us up all night, they just know they love being next to us and bfing.
I do co-sleep from about 2-3 am. But he is the same in bed, I don't have to get up though.
My others DC are older, and in school. So the days go by quick for me- but I could fall asleep standing up if I got the chance. DS3 and I have started going back to bed late morning, and doing a sleep for 1-2 hrs ( with bf too obvs). That helps, and I'm going to continue that tomorrow when others back in school.
Rambling!
I think he just has associated bfing with falling asleep, so as he flits in and out of sleep he needs booby. But I m sure this will pass as he starts to get more mobile and tired. ( Deluded?)
At least we're not alone. And one day they will sleep. I've yet to see a teenager bfing!! grin

woopsidaisy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:14:13

Wish at 5 weeks!!!! Wow.
I am a well know softie though. And the way he sticks his wee bottom out when feeding makes me forgive and forget each time.
My other 2 sleep great now. Never a peep,and go to bed well too. And I thought DS1 would never sleep. He didn't wake like this though.

woopsidaisy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:15:26

Sorry , 8 weeks.
Still very young though IMO. So glad it all worked out though, Wish.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Wed 10-Apr-13 13:39:54

What I don't understand is why as a mother you wouldn't put up with 6 mins of crying?! confused After all, it's far more upsetting for you, than for them.

As it is, you now have a baby which isn't sleeping at all - bad for both of you (especially the baby) because you won't suck it up for 6 mins?!

Someone else wrote on another similar thread, 'Have you tried ignoring them?'...It is ok to ignore them occasionally you know!

Before anyone kicks off, we're not talking about leaving them for hours and hours screaming...it's 6mins at a time until you've settled them. Yes, it's horrible as a mum hearing them scream. But surely you're doing him no favours at all rushing to his every whim.

If you were genuinely that sleep deprived, you'd give it a go!

Wishwehadgoneabroad Wed 10-Apr-13 13:44:16

I don't think 8 weeks is young! I have a lot of older relatives who all had babies who slept through 12 hrs at that age, which my DD certainly wasn't doing.

But I have listened to all advice, and honestly believe sometimes, as new generation mothers, we're far too nice and far too eager to rush to baby's every whim.

A little bit of neglect does them the world of good, as we have found!!! We have an extremely happy and well rested little 5 month old!

oh the other thing we were advised to do, is the old 'ignore' totally in the night - just deal with whatever needs dealing with, and then go completely over the top excited/happy in the morning (we decided this was any time 6am or later!) when she woke up for real.

As a result, she loves her bed. Will happily stay in her cot for 10 mins in the morning after I've gone to her, whilst I sort her milk out etc.

I have a friend whose baby doesn't sleep. It's not pretty!! For her, or the baby. You owe it to your baby to try everything - even something which might upset you I think. Just my opinion! smile

woopsidaisy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:17:00

Eh, ok. Well each to their own Wish. In glad it worked out for you. I'm happy with my choice too.

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 10-Apr-13 20:05:17

Wish I have nothing against controlled crying but leaving an eight week old to cry? And giving water instead of a feed?

sad

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 10-Apr-13 20:06:49

Water instead of a feed at eight weeks, I mean. That's fine when they're well over six months. At eight weeks it's just dangerous.

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 10-Apr-13 20:14:01

And OP - my DS feeds every 1-2 hours throughout the night at 10mo. I also work full time. He's perfectly happy during the day and I can function. It's amazing how much you toughen up to sleep deprivation!

I did 'suck it up' and tried gradual withdrawal (when he was four months) and controlled crying (when he was over six months). Neither worked, so I firmly believe that it's nature, not nurture, that determines whether a baby sleeps. They'll do it eventually smile

ValarMorGoolis Wed 10-Apr-13 20:28:45

I think id go for limiting the time you feed for. Are you letting him feed to sleep ATM? Then he may well choose to take his sweet time. If you can't co sleep then I'd try taking him off after 5 mins and see how that pans out. You can only try.

At this point I think running out of plans is the worst feeling. thanks

nancerama Wed 10-Apr-13 20:49:25

Every child and every parent is different. Some children respond well to sleep training, others fight it all the way, and some are just not ready to go through the night.

It sounds like you've had a rough time health wise with your little one. In your shoes I would probably make sure we had 2 or 3 weeks of good health before trying anything new. My DS is finally becoming a better sleeper, but bouts of illness can unsettle him and it doesn't take much to turn him off his food - if he doesn't eat well he doesn't sleep well.

I'm soft though.

rowrowrowtheboat Wed 10-Apr-13 21:14:13

My DD1 feed in the night until about 10 months. She was and is a small baby, and the HV liked me going every fortnight to get her weighed so I didn't like to not feed. It turns out, she is just petite (no surprise as DH and I are too) but it was stressful and I continued to BF at night until 10 months. Personally, I would let baby finish feeding itself, so you think that DS is full, and then try and see if a shush and a cuddle works when he next wakes. If it doesn't you can choose to feed again. My decider came when she consistently wasn't eating breakfast as she had had so much over the night so then I made an efort not to feed her after 5am.

The time will come when nights are yours again.

DeathMetalMum Wed 10-Apr-13 21:42:56

Do you feed to sleep? My dd stopped waking in the night a few weeks after I stopped feeding her to sleep (granted she was only waking 1-4 times a night).

The reason I decided to stop feeding to sleep was it was no longer working I was spending at least an hour trying to feed her to sleep each night, I could see she was getting overtired etc and I was getting fustrated, she was regularly awake until 10 when her normal bedtime was 8ish. We used a gradual withdrawal method it was difficult but dd was much happier all around after she was well rested. I did this at 13 months, though wished I had tried a little earlier. Breaking the feed-to-sleep cycle worked for us.

You could also google night weaning by Dr Jay Gordon though I think this may be reccomended for over 1 year.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 10-Apr-13 22:15:58

Thanks for all the additional thoughts. I do feed to sleep although it's beginning not to work at the beginning of the night. I night weaned DD at 15 months and remember at the time thinking that if we were ever crazy enough to have DC2, we'd night wean on their first birthday! I'm sure I didn't quite mean it... I will begin cutting his feeds short and see what happens though. He can't need a full feed every hour or so!?

I agree with him needing a few weeks of good health to see where we are really. He didn't eat properly for a few weeks so his digestive system I'd still adjusting. We're away from home. His naps are appalling.

I'm happier with what I'm doing than anything else I think.

ValarMorGoolis Wed 10-Apr-13 23:19:15

Oh and can you try feeding for longer/ more often in the day to try and fill him up a bit in the daytime? pack him full of weetabix before bed smile

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