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Thinking about introducing ff at night time...

(25 Posts)
Happymum1985 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:02:35

Hi all, my little boy is 15 weeks old and I have ebf without any problems so far. However, when I breastfeed he takes about an hour each time (he has never sped up like people told me he would!!) Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful he is such a little feeder- he was a month prem so had some catching up to do, but he feeds every 3-3 1/2 hours so it is quite full on!

I do express alot as this speeds things up considerably, and he takes milk fine from the bottle. I am trying to get him to sleep for a longer stretch at night, and am considering giving him a ff as a nightfeed. Was thinking this would help him sleep a little longer AND give me a bit more sleep!!

I am doing a dreamfeed at 11pm and then he usually wakes crying at 2.30am and I do spaced soothing to get him to wait until 3.30/4am for his nightfeed that takes him through til 7am no problems. I find the stretch from 2.30 to 4am is always tough going as I don't manage to sleep between 'soothes' ... I don't know whether a ff at say, 2am would then get him through to 7am no problems??

Just wondering if anyone had any experience of doing this? Theres a part of me that feels a bit bad like I'm being selfish thinking about it, as he loves his feeds!! Would be really grateful of some input as my health visitor said it would affect my milk supply (which I'm not sure I believe, as many people that breastfeed manage to get there baby sleeping through, surely?)

themummyonthebus Tue 11-Mar-14 12:07:22

Hi, why don't you just feed him at 2.30 am when he wakes? He's possibly just hungry - my DC2 was still waking twice a night to feed at 4mo but now he's a few weeks further on he's down to one wake a night.

And isn't ff going to be more faff than a bf (even if it takes an hour? At least you can stay in bed!) smile

Happymum1985 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:11:54

Maybe your right, I should try him at 2.30 and see..he's clearly not ready to wait til 4am on his own as from 2.30 he wakes crying about every 15/20mins until the feed at 4am. I just have a feeling he would wake at 5.30 then. But maybe thats not such a bad thing. There is just so much pressure to get your baby sleeping through isnt there??!! Most mums I know seem to have got their babies doing a dreamfeed at 11pm and then down until 6am... Maybe my little boy is just a fatty!!

tiktok Tue 11-Mar-14 12:22:59

Not many babies at 15 weeks sleep through the night without a feed.

Sounds like the pressure is coming from inside yourself - your OP reads like you think there has to be some cunning 'fix' (to this normal behaviour) which you have to work out, and yet you feel bad thinking about it smile

Here's an answer: don't bother trying to fix it. Then you won't feel bad smile

Instead, think of the easiest way to cope with it - spaced soothing sounds a right faff sad The vast majority of mothers would find it easier just to accept their babies needed feeding at this time, honestly smile

Happymum1985 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:28:46

Thanks, thats really reassuring. It is my first baby (can you tell LOL?!) and I've been following a book that tells you to push the night feed back by 15mins every week.. Turns out my baby doesnt want to follow the book (!) I will stick with the breastfeeding for now then, and just feed tonight at the time he wakes up rather than making him wait, and just see what happens...

SweepTheHalls Tue 11-Mar-14 12:30:24

I made the dream feed the formula one that my DH did, so I could get a stretch of sleep in before the 2.30 feed.

Midori1999 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:51:53

Perhaps all the expressing/bottle feeding and 'spaced soothing' (what IS that anyway?! ) is prolonging the actual breast feeds? Since BF is about comfort and closeness as much as actual feeding?

Have you ever just breastfed on demand? What stops you from doing this now?

tiktok Tue 11-Mar-14 12:56:38

Grrrrr. A book sad angry

Which book is this?

How does the author know exactly what your individual baby needs in your individual circumstances? Enough to be precise about the actual minutes you need to push back the (perfectly normal) night time feeding?


Would love to know which author this is....

tiktok Tue 11-Mar-14 13:00:02

Got it.

It's Jo Tantum.

Happymum1985 Tue 11-Mar-14 13:05:15

Hahah @tiktok its a book called 'Baby Secrets' by Jo Tantum. I always swore I wouldnt follow a book, but was feeding on demand before and found it all a bit too chaotic (and DS was seeming almost frustrated). I had this book recommended and have found the day routine works really well. It has given me some structure, and DS is much happier and more contented.. maybe because I AM.. but the night routine just doesnt seem to be working for me.

Midori1999 I do just breastfeed too, but have found he feeds for such a long time that its a bit impractical sometimes which is why I started expressing some feeds. Sometimes I express one side whilst he feeds on the other too.

I will tear up the night time rule book then I think and try feeding on demand at night and see where this gets us...

Happymum1985 Wed 12-Mar-14 07:32:57

Hi all, thought I'd let you know how my feeding on demand night went... so I did bedtime as usual and he went down after his feed at 7.30pm. He then didnt wakeup crying until 2.15 and I fed him straight away. He went back down again easily and woke up again at 5.15. I tried only giving him a little feed that time and it was hard to settle him so ended up taking him in with me at 6 and im feeding him now (7.30am). In general much better night as none of this spaced soothing malarchy for hours on end. Plus much less crying from DS so a better night for him too. Not sure what to at 5.30 though... should I just give him a normal size feed so he goes down til 7? Im just worried if I do that might put our day out of sync... Would really appreciate feedback as u all helped me probably more than u realise yesterday!

Sid77 Wed 12-Mar-14 07:44:05

My almost 5 month old has a dreamfeed at 11 then wakes about 4 hours after for a feed. If he wakes at 5-6ish I just feed him and then feed him again at 730ish so he starts the day on a full tummy. Sometimes that feed is only small, but he still keeps going until 1030ish when he wants another feed. My friend told me with DS1 that the books are all very well, but not many babies can read... Good luck OP, trust yourself smile

Sid77 Wed 12-Mar-14 07:46:09

Also, IME, quite a lot of mums are liberal with the truth as to how much their babies sleep... Yours sounds very normal to me!

NickyEds Wed 12-Mar-14 08:55:53

Hello Happymum! Never heard of spaced soothing but it sounds like a load of rubbish!!I suppose if the baby is waking for comfort that's one thing but if they need feeding then they need feeding!! I'd just feed your DS at 2.30 then again at 5.30-you might find he decides to reduce it to one feed himself.
I'm not sure that ff would help really-not convinced that you can replace 2 bf with 1 ff. My DS is mixed fed, I normally top up with f if he needs it but on occasions when he has had just a ff it makes little difference to feed gaps or sleep. Also, it could well take as long by the time you've done bottle warming etc.
Good Luck!! Don't put too much store by the books- they aren't in your bedroom at 3am!!!!

themummyonthebus Wed 12-Mar-14 13:08:37

Hi glad to hear your night went better. I would (and have) just feed back down at 5-whatever am he wakes and then up at 7 or whatever suits you.

I think the trick is to take what works and ignore the rest. And take what your fellow mummies say about sleeping with a big bucket of salt. I don't know why people get so competitive about how well their babies are sleeping but if anyone asks just say, "Well enough," and smile enigmatically wink

elliebe13 Wed 12-Mar-14 13:15:31

If he was prem this might be his 12 week growth spurt. My 16 week old still feeds in the night btw

BrianButterfield Wed 12-Mar-14 17:03:28

I have never bothered with 'big' or 'little' feeds (unless for my convenience I.e. limited time before we go out, but that's rare). Breastfed babies eat what they want and don't need you to decide how much they need - let babys appetite be your guide.

Cakeismymaster Wed 12-Mar-14 18:59:00

Just to say my 6 month old still feeds around 11, 2.30 and 6ish and she is ebf (just started solids). She definetly still wants/needs those feeds.

brianbutterfield I love your username! grin
Pork cylinders, bonbonbonbons

Scotinoz Wed 12-Mar-14 20:14:14

I just fed my 14 week old when she wants it. She fed around half 8 before she went to bed, half 1ish, half 4ish and 7 when she woke.

Perhaps it makes me lazy, but I reckon anything for an easy life!

Scotinoz Wed 12-Mar-14 20:30:25

Terrible grammar, sorry. Should be "I just feed...", and "Last night she fed..."

Happymum1985 Fri 14-Mar-14 10:38:44

Thanks all for this.. Soooooo glad I took all your advice and abandoned said book! DS seems to be waking at 10.30 and 2.30 and then 7am for feed!!! And no more crying!!! Brilliant. Ive also stopped expressing and just breastfeeding mostly, and the more he breastfeeds the more the feeds seem to be speeding up a bit! RESULT!

Corabell Fri 14-Mar-14 10:44:17

That's great! The problem with books is they make you feel like you should be doing something when your instincts probably tell you something else, which IMO perpetuates the lack of confidence which made you turn to the book in the first place. It sounds like a good night routine given your

ElBombero Fri 14-Mar-14 10:53:14

Nothing wrong with introducing a FF I did around 15 weeks for his 7pm feed just so I could have a break and DH could take over.

It didn't make a difference to his sleep stretch, I have always fed on demand whether night or day, he's now 28 weeks, he sometimes sleeps through, sometimes up once, sometimes up 5-6 times. I feed him each time he wakes. My thinking is that a) it's comfort which is obviously what he's asking for and b) there are so many little growth spurts in the first year it really is impossible to know if he's going to be hungry or not.

Just go with the flow, the first 6 months are so so hard for sleep deprivation but try and relax and know it will fall into place eventually.

AnythingNotEverything Sun 16-Mar-14 20:23:24

The ISIS sleep study has really interesting data on newborn sleep

Compared to most, I think you've got a good deal!

Madcat22 Mon 17-Mar-14 04:15:25

Bloody books about babies' sleep!!!! When my DC1 was tiny I read loads of them in a fruitless effort to try to solve problems with his sleeping.... they achieved nothing other than to make me feel inadequate and more desperate. My lovely HV told me they had one very important use.... To prop up his cot (he had reflux)!!!! With DC2 I've not even opened one. Absolute nonsense - people making thousands out of the misery of exhausted first time parents.

My view is do what you think is best, and do what you need to survive the difficult first few months. You are his mum and know what is right for him and you! It WILL get better. If you decide you want to do a FF, then go for it and don't let anyone make you feel guilty about that xx

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