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Not sleeping at night, MiL wants to give a bottle

(28 Posts)
TheABC Sat 23-Nov-13 08:48:10

For the past two weeks my EBF DS has gone from five hours at night to two hourly feeds. It accumulated into every hour last night and DS unable to settle from 4am as he had grown too big for his cot and started to kick the back, when he stretched out to sleep. (Aaargh!). I ended up co sleeping in the spare room as DH has a cold and was too drugged up to be safe in bed with the baby.

MiL thinks I should stop breastfeeding and introduce a formula bottle or food. It's not the first time she has suggested this (when we went to stay three months, it was the same suggestion for night nursing). Apparently, he is too hungry now and my milk is not enough to sustain him. I am feeling very upset and annoyed by this and I am struggling to bite my tongue after another sleepless night.

Please advise! How can I regain a good sleep regime (we are buying a larger cot today) and am I being idealistic for wanting to exclusively breastfeed until 6 months?

Cavort Sun 24-Nov-13 05:04:59

My 20 week old EBF DD is doing exactly as you describe. Was sleeping 11 hours with only one feed and now she's up 3/4 times per night and I have sore nipples again from all the feeding! She is piling on the weight though so I am not worried. I would like a good nights sleep though! If you look on the forums of parents with babies the same age as ours you will see many others are experiencing the same, whether FF or BF.

Your MIL is talking out of her arse and clearly knows nothing about the nature and benefits of sticking with BFing. She just wants you to give in and then say a big I told you so when your DC sleeps better. Except she is wrong and it won't work. smile

tiredandtiredandtired Sun 24-Nov-13 04:22:25

Totally normal at this age. Growth spurt and developmental leap all occur around now. Stick in!

livingmydream612 Sat 23-Nov-13 11:29:46


Personally I remember this period well when bfeeding/growth spurts. It is very tiring however I think you should only introduce forumla if you want. Not because your mil wants. If you choose to alter or introduce bottle feeds/early weaning then try it. If you are happy feeding etc then maybe wait a week or two to see if it is just a growth spurt.

And well done you for bfeeding so long. I found it quite hard tbh. My baby was also a hungry girl.

TheABC Sat 23-Nov-13 11:21:37

Thanks all. I have just had two hours unbroken sleep whilst little one played downstairs and your comments have bolstered my resolve. More boob, new cot - this too shall pass!

fhdl34 Sat 23-Nov-13 10:51:02

You are his mum, she needs to butt out. EBF to 6 months is not unrealistic. My mil bought formula to keep at home when I had my dd and sil had her ds "just in case" even though I was EBF and sil was only considering mix feeding. Also when nephew went to exclusive bottle, she used to ask if our dd would like some too. Thankfully I was never there and dh was very firm with her saying no but we never trusted her to have dd on her own until she was established on solids

NoComet Sat 23-Nov-13 10:43:21

Don't discuss babies sleep with third parties, they are always full of good ideas and easily offended if you choose to ignore them.

Thegreatunslept Sat 23-Nov-13 10:24:52

I agree with pp my ff ds 6 months still doesn't sleep through and we have started weaning him it has made no difference at all! So I would advise you keep bf if that's what you want to do and try not to stress about it
Don't look at the clock every-time baby wakes and keep thinking this too shall pass!

schnockles Sat 23-Nov-13 10:17:52

FWIW my DS is another who is EFF and doesn't sleep through. At 20 weeks we went from 6-8 hours a night to waking up every hour. He had a growth spurt around then too.

He's now almost 8 months, eating food quite happily and has resumed his better sleeping habits. I'm waiting for another cold or something to derail him again!

Good luck with your MIL. Do not let her give your baby a bottle or sway you in your sleep deprived state.

TalkativeJim Sat 23-Nov-13 09:31:53

No, she's talking nonsense.

And seriously needs to butt out on the subject of how another woman who ISN'T HER chooses to feed her baby.

At 20 weeks, unless you WANT to, there's no way I'd introduce formula. It isn't a magic sleeping potion. My 10m old eats like a horse and is still bf. Some weeks she'll sleep through every night. And sometimes she'll spend a week waking three times a night. She's done the same since about 3months.

If MIL starts, I'd get RIGHT in there. 'Well! Actually I meant to bring that up MIL-after you suggested it last time I did some research, asked on a couple of forums AND talked to some friends at <mythical baby group/HV meeting?> Honestly you wouldn't believe how many people warned me NOT to go there now bf is established...apparently lots of people think the formula will help then sleep, but of course that's a bit of a myth, especially once you've established breastfeeding and they're used to person I spoke to says she really regrets it as it just made her DD windier and MORE unsettled, AND it affected the bf and also didn't change the sleeping pattern at all. To think of doing that, ending up with all the hassle of preparing bottles, giving them inferior food AND it making no difference! So glad I checked it out! Anyway thought you'd be interested, but I'm sure you're pleased as well that DS will continue to get the best!'

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Sat 23-Nov-13 09:25:39

It's funny how they forget what it's like bring sleep deprived, perhaps you could ask her how long she fed for

HalleLouja Sat 23-Nov-13 09:23:36

I would ignore. Smile sweetly and tell her that you have done research into it and FF doesn't seem to be the magic potion. Then eat more cake.

ZenNudist Sat 23-Nov-13 09:21:39

It's probably a growth spurt or developmental leap causing him to be unsettled at night. They don't just attain longer & longer sleep periods. Sometimes they go backwards.

Stick with the bf. as long as dc is gaining weight they are getting enough. Trust in yourself to be able to sustain him for the first 6 months of his life.

Getting up in night to bf much easier than ff. don't listen to smug ff patents telling you how well their dc sleep. Ime a child "sleeping through" at 20 weeks may not be doing so at 9 months.

Ignore MIL or firmly say you'll parent in your own way and what worked for her won't suit you.

Badgerwife Sat 23-Nov-13 09:18:06

20 weeks is the growth spurt! I'm in the same boat with DD who is the same age. She is a great sleeper usually so it's a bit of a shock!
Give it a week or so and your baby will sleep again.

Ignore MIL at all costs and think about the fact that in another month you can start solids and things will start to change anyway.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Sat 23-Nov-13 09:17:43

Tell your MIL my DD was eff and never slept through until she was ten months old. It's not a fucking magic potion, plus as others have said, it's a pain in the arse to do

TheABC Sat 23-Nov-13 09:14:20

Ragwort, she is staying over this weekend for a visit. Usually I would lie/avoid subject, but it's hard to do so with matchsticks propping up the eyes.

KatAndKit Sat 23-Nov-13 09:12:51

Four month sleep regression has hit. It is common at that age for previously good sleepers to relapse a bit, plus he may be having a growth spurt. Be patient, it will get better in time.

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Sat 23-Nov-13 09:06:00

Ignore her, mine only wanted me to introduce formula then she could "have a go", babies at that age do feed through the night regardless of how they fed. I constantly felt like I didn't have enough milk, but I can tell you now you do, it's rare for supply to disappear, and I fed for 2 years, of which 1 and a half of those I was back at work and there was still plenty of milk... Remember she probably never breastfed so likely doesn't have a clue

Ragwort Sat 23-Nov-13 09:05:43

Do whatever works for you and your baby. Personally I mixed fed (ie: breast and bottle) which worked well for us as a family - DS was a brilliant sleeper - but I was also very strict and followed a GF routine. grin

And learn NOT to discuss this with your MIL - does she live with you? Otherwise just tell a white lie and tell her he is sleeping fine - your feeding habits are nothing to do with anyone else; if you get into the habit of discussing these sort of things with other people you will always end up getting loads of 'advice' and opinions. I made it my rule never to discuss parenting issues with anyone (except on Mumsnet wink) and it has worked well for me. smile

SmallBee Sat 23-Nov-13 09:04:33

I have a five week old & for various reasons she has a bottle before bed. She doesn't sleep for more than 2/3 hours at a time over night so no, a bottle before bed won't guarantee a baby sleeping through!

Last night I kept her asleep longer by whipping her out of her Moses basket when she started to stir & feeding her before she woke up. She's slept from four & she's still asleep now.

Do what feels right for you as a parent, if anyone things you should do it differently that's fine, they can do it differently with their kid. All babies are different so of course parenting techniques for those babies should be too.

Oh and good luck smile

soupmaker Sat 23-Nov-13 09:04:10

My own mother gave me similar chat. Ignore, ignore, ignore. I listened to this type of thing first time round and ended up giving up BF at around 4 months. If I'd hung on in there I'd have not needed to do all that middle of the night bottle preparation, which entailed getting out of bed, and listening to DD getting more and more upset as she was having to wait. Bottle feeding made not a bit of difference to how long she slept for.

With DD2 I am EBF, she is 16 weeks. They do go through grow spurts and development phases where they will feed more. I try and fill her up as much as possible during the day and evening and co-sleep with her cot next to our bed so I can literally just roll both of us over for a feed. I can doze through feeds.

Do what is best for you and your baby and ignore MIL.

Figgygal Sat 23-Nov-13 09:02:32

Formula is not as magic bullet that people seem to think it is. It is most likely a combination of things from as you said not being comfortable in bed a growth spurt and development spurt if he doesn't seem hungry and isn't losing weight then why do it.

However if you wanted to try a bottle see if it helps or to rule it out it really wouldn't be the end of the world either.

JoinTheDots Sat 23-Nov-13 08:59:32

You are doing really well! Your milk is enough for him, and he is probably just having a little growth spurt where he needs LOADS of calories.

He might sleep just as badly on formula, and possibly even be more unsettled as he was not used to the change in his diet. Some people report formula helping babies sleep longer, others find it makes them more unsettled. There is no magic cure sadly.

Stick with your instincts, and if you have to co-sleep for a few nights to get through this short bad patch, do so.

Hope he settles into a good routine again soon!

TheABC Sat 23-Nov-13 08:59:27

Figgygal, he is 20 weeks.

sonlypuppyfat Sat 23-Nov-13 08:59:26

If you give a bottle you will be so full of your own milk you won't be able to sleep! I was like this sometimes I used to be desperate for them to wake up I thought I was going to pop. Tell your MIL to mind her own business.

LittleRedDinosaur Sat 23-Nov-13 08:54:41

You do whatever you feel you want to do. I've got a 13 month old who was EBF and who slept dreadfully. It gets better. SIL was full of opinions and I wanted to punch her but just turned it into a little ball of poison inside me instead. I think I would have felt better if I'd politely pointed out that it was my decision and the opinions weren't helping but I'm not great at that sort of thing!

People kept saying a bottle before bed would cure everything but I really don't think it would have done. I think you carry on with EBF until you get to the point where you say fuck this and try a bottle but it must be at YOUR breaking point, not anyone else's. It is totally shit and exhausting but does get better and then all of a sudden it's all better.

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