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I am a human dummy between 3am and 6am! Advice?

(36 Posts)
josiejay Sat 24-Aug-13 05:51:23

My 18 week old DD is EBF, she is on the small side (9th centile) but generally feeds well and is thriving.

She wakes at 3am for a feed but then just won't come off the boob until she is finally knocked out at around 6. She falls asleep several times during this time but then will wake up when I put her down. No amount of shushing, rocking or pacing will help, she just wants the breast. I'm inclined to think she's not hungry as she isn't exactly gulping milk down, she just wants comfort. She won't take a dummy, just spits it out.

How do I break this cycle? I'm exhausted - once she's asleep my toddler is usually about to wake up!

RememberingMyPFEs Sat 24-Aug-13 06:20:51

Josie, I have a (nearly) 4 week old so is a feeding machine and she sometimes does the fussing for the breast but falling asleep on it trick for a while. Have you tried pushing up gently on her chin or stroking her cheek by her ear as soon as she stops suckling? If that doesn't work and you think the milk maybe has gone past the initial let down apparently (gently) compressing the boob to get milk flowing slightly faster again can also help.
Good luck and fx you get some sleep before 3 and after 6 thanks

poocatcherchampion Sat 24-Aug-13 07:35:34

co sleep for that bit? might help you get some rest...

SunnyIntervals Sat 24-Aug-13 07:38:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sunnysummer Sat 24-Aug-13 07:51:58

Definitely second the cosleeping + lying down bfing, it's the only way I get any rest with our 4 month sleep resister. We are slowly trialling the 'Pantley Pull Off' from the No Cry Sleep Solution, as soon as DS closes his eyes and the sucking slows to a flutter I gently unlatch him while putting a finger on his chin under his lip (and if he struggles I put him on and try again once calm, until it works). It is a bit of a pain as you have to make sure that you don't drift off too, but he has been getting better and better at detaching himself and going to sleep.

This does seem to take a week or two at least, though, so I imagine that there'll be someone along with a more rigorous solution if you are already at the end of your tether!

jaggythistle Sat 24-Aug-13 07:56:32

I actually started co sleeping for part of the night when DS2 was about 4 months old. I fed him lying down and if I stayed awake till he settled, I lifted him over into the cot, if not, I got a bit of sleep! grin

I think it was generally in the early hours that he was harder to settle.

I still just take him in beside me for a few hours sleep most some nights at 16 months. . .

josiejay Sat 24-Aug-13 09:47:44

Thanks everyone - cosleeping does help and i do it sometimes - but I've been scared to do it since that report came out about SIDS risk, while I was postnatal and I feel kind of guilty when I do it.

Sunnysummer Sat 24-Aug-13 12:44:39

If you do decide to do it, you can find good guidelines on improving cosleeping safety at

CityDweller Sat 24-Aug-13 14:59:05

As far as I understand it, that SIDs co-sleeping report was misleading as it included people who weren't following the guidelines and were doing things like falling asleep on sofa with baby (very dangerous) and/or co-sleeping after drinking alcohol. So long as you follow guidelines co-sleeping is safe. But you have to do whatever you're comfortable with, obviously...

Phineyj Sat 24-Aug-13 17:47:02

You could try a sleepytot just in case LO will accept a dummy that way? You could stick it in the laundry basket to make it smell of you. DD also likes sucking on the foot of a Lamaze cat when desperate!

LAF77 Sun 25-Aug-13 11:09:05

A dummy is a breast substitute, so she is not using you as a dummy!

If she is in a growth spurt, she is doing this to encourage your supply to keep up with her growing needs. Night time is when your milk supply is strongest.

Here is something for you to read.

midori1999 Sun 25-Aug-13 11:56:24

I would also cosleep to get through it. It's true that no studies seperate safe cosleeping from not, so sre flawed, but even in those studies there is no increased risk shown after 4 months anyway.

ChicaT Sun 25-Aug-13 19:20:13

I express and bottle feed EBM at night...for the 10pm feed I give him a big feed from the bottle, and then when he wakes in the night I give him less, with a view to weaning him off the night feed. Bottle feeding is quicker - DS is done in around 15/20mins and currently takes 210ml for the 10pm feed (he's 10 weeks). Works a treat - he's stuffed so goes straight off to sleep! If you want to carry on with BF at night, I also recommend compression where you squeeze your breasts but with FLAT fingers - the idea is to reduce the volume of the breast so the milk flows easier. Don't squeeze so hard that it hurts, and release the squeeze when your baby's not drinking. She'll soon figure out that sucking = food, not comfort suckling, and will detach herself when full otherwise she'll get a mouthful of milk when she suckles. This has worked brilliantly for my day feeds - my baby would feed for 2 hours and still seem hungry. I've got it down to 20mins max per side, and sometimes he takes a full feed in 15 mins. Good luck!

josiejay Sun 25-Aug-13 21:35:28

Ah Chica would love to do the expressed bottle but she is an absolute bottle refuser - I've tried everything! Will try the compression though, thanks.

poocatcherchampion Mon 26-Aug-13 09:46:46

ha laf I was lying awake in the night ranting in my head that there is no such thing as a human dummy as a dummy is an artificial nipple.grin it was in that slightly delirious sleep time when you don't know why you have got thoughts in your head. but it was this thread!

hey ho. I get the sentiment of course and hope things improve for op!

midori1999 Mon 26-Aug-13 14:49:43

grin @ LAFs comment.

I made the same comment at a meeting for peer supporters to only have one cry out incredulously 'so you'd let your baby comfort suck even if they weren't getting any milk would you?'. Ummm... Yes. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Although obviously OP, comfort nursing/sucking is only ok if you're ok with it too.

SunnyIntervals Mon 26-Aug-13 18:51:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Booboostoo Mon 26-Aug-13 19:37:23

I only survived this by co-sleeping and feeding lying down. I don't want to upset you but DD kept the night feeds up for months on end bu she sleeps through very settled now (27mo). I had to wait for her to be ready to cope without the breast at night though.

josiejay Mon 26-Aug-13 19:41:54

Of course I don't mind comfort nursing and I will do whatever it takes to help my baby feel secure and happy, I just would like to get more than 4 hours sleep a night so I can function better as a mother during the day. I want to persevere with bf but it's hard when almost everyone you know is ff and telling you how their baby is sleeping through. I didn't mean to suggest that there is anything wrong with comfort nursing, I just feel like I'm running on empty at the moment - I actually feel ill through lack of sleep a lot of yhe time. I wrote my post at 6am and I was genuinely exhausted and frustrated. I am only human. Thank you to those who have passed on advice I appreciate it. I intend to try cosleeping from the night feed until morning until it passes. Which I'm sure it will!

SunnyIntervals Mon 26-Aug-13 19:51:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunnyIntervals Mon 26-Aug-13 19:51:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

midori1999 Mon 26-Aug-13 20:43:21

Sorry Josie, I wasn't intending to make you feel bad. blush I wasn't suggesting that everyone should like the concept of comfort nursing, just pointing out that its not bad or odd I suppose.

Night wakings are a literal nightmare once your baby is a few months old because the euphoria a newborn brings has worn off and it can just seem like really, really hard work by then. Hopefully once this has passed your baby will sleep through for longer periods for a whole or permenantly. Just do what's right for you and what you need to to get most sleep for now.

highlandbird Mon 26-Aug-13 20:48:36

You have my sympathies, my DS2 is the same age and does this from 4am to 7am, I co sleep for this time as well but its not ideal as i don't get much sleep and am exhausted as he wakes every hour or two the rest of the night as well.
Don't have much advice to offer but some thanks and you are not alone (and his too shall pass etc), hope you get some more sleep soon.

josiejay Mon 26-Aug-13 21:00:42

Thanks, I'm sure we will be fine. I think bf, although wonderful in many many ways, can feel very lonely at times. It's lovely in some ways that I'm the only one she wants but it can be overwhelming too. My ds was settled in a lovely routine at this point but dd just has a different personality and needs more from me. We will get there though smile

josiejay Mon 26-Aug-13 21:03:01

Hope it gets better for you too highlandbird!

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