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Does anyone else wish they weren't BF?

(63 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 09:25:50

DS is just over 5 months and EBF.

I'm absolutely shattered from night after night after night of broken sleep with last night being the shittest one I have ever had.

I know giving formula wouldn't mean he'd slept better but at least it would mean I could send him away for the night so I could get some sleep. I can't remember the lady time I got more than a 3 hour stretch of sleep.

I look back on when he was born and ask myself why did I have to be so bloody martyr-ish, so stubborn, so determined to be the 'perfect mother' and EBF and never give a bottle??! God I wish I'd done things differently.

Instead I'm darling with a baby who will only be soothed by me, will usually only stop screaming if I put him to the breast and refuses to take bottles.

I'm in a really crap place and things are getting worse, not better.

Does anyone else feel like this? I can't tell if I'm just having a bad day because of exhausted I am or whether I really have reached the end of my tether with it all.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 09:27:04

Sorry for all the typos - my tired brain doesn't work properly anymore.

worldgonecrazy Tue 26-Aug-14 09:35:00

You're tired - it's allowed not to be the "perfect" mother, whatever that is.

I EBF and, to be honest, I didn't like breastfeeding, but I did like the convenience.

Can you express some milk so that you an get a break? Your milk supply should be able to cope with one night of sleep. Also your baby is nearly big enough to start helping himself at night, if you can manage to cosleep in a safe way?

Other than that, have some chocolate cake and a glass of wine - it does wonders for personal morale.

LovingSummer Tue 26-Aug-14 09:35:53

Some people find babies refuse the bottle if it's formula but not if it's expressed milk, have you tried that?

Also by 5 months you're age to introduce a dummy if your baby just needs to suck - not suggesting you neglect his feeding needs obviously, just saying that some babies need to suck a lot and if you're ebf then you're never allowed a break if you want some peace and quiet!

The other thing worth pointing out is that things can start to change around the 6 month mark. By that time I was combined feeding my second child and he was feeding every 2 hours day and night, getting 28 oz formula and 4 full breastfeeds off me every day. My health visitor said by 6 months they only need 21 oz formula and that's without bf on top! This have me the courage to send DH in at night to pop a dummy in, and it worked like a dream. Baby acted like he'd just been given a feed and settled immediately, and by day 3 he didn't wake anymore overnight.

Hang in there, I remember the cruelty of sleep deprivation and having to place my life on hold just so I could sleep in snatches when my baby did. I missed the whole summer living like a vampire! Sometimes it's the darkest hour before the dawn and just as you're really getting sick of it, it changes for you.

leedy Tue 26-Aug-14 09:37:55

Argh, sympathies. Sleep deprivation is a killer. If it's any help, you're probably at one of the toughest bits from my recollection - baby still feeding loads, probably going through a growth/developmental spurt so super clingy/feedy, and not on solids yet so you can't feed them anything else. I found the second half of the first year about a zillion times easier both times round - a lot less feeding, could leave baby with someone else with a snack if they weren't interested in milk from another source, sleep got less mental (of course there was teething but you'd get that if you FF).

Hope today is a better day.

LovingSummer Tue 26-Aug-14 09:39:13

Sorry for my typos too - and I don't have sleep deprivation as an excuse like you do! You're probably doing a whole lot better than you FEEL you are, because tiredness messes with your head a bit wink

mindalina Tue 26-Aug-14 09:40:36

yeah like worldgonecrazy says co-sleeping is a good way to get some sleep when your bf baby's appetite goes crazy. you've done really well to get this far smile and he will start having solid food soon which will relieve the bf burden a bit as well. i found the almost six months point to be a bit of a killer as well, all the books seemed to think babys appetite would have calmed down a bit by then and i'd have a bit more time to do stuff - but baby hadn't read those books and she did not give a fuck! the other thing that helped my dd was starting to get a bit more mobile, because the world is much more interesting than my boobs.

BookTart Tue 26-Aug-14 09:41:25

I felt exactly like this with DD until we started weaning and she dropped a couple of feeds in the day. She refused bottles and dummies,leaving me the only person that could feed her and settle her (as we feed to sleep). She still feeds throughout the night, which co-sleeping makes more manageable, and I am frequently grumpy, stressed and knackered.

Honestly, if I knew how hard this would be I'd have tried for mixed feeding. All that said though, you're doing the very best by your baby and you should be proud of yourself for persevering.It will all get much easier soon smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 09:48:06

I've been co-sleeping with him for about a month (about 75% of those nights) in desperation for some sleep and although he does wake up less I get a crap nights sleep still because of all his shuffling and noises.

He used to take a dummy which was a life saver during his colicky days but he had refused one since he was 10 weeks old. We re-introduce it every few weeks to see if he will take to it again but he's just not interested. We have tried various designs but he reacts the same to all of them.

I have only ever offered EBM via a bottle and both me and DH have tried to give it to him but he's not interested. He took 20mls from a sippy cup yesterday but it took about 10 minutes and he soon lost interest in that too. The only method we have of getting milk into him I'd by using a syringe.

The problem I also have is that I really struggle to express now. I used to find it so easy, I'd get about 8oz in 15 minutes but now I'm lucky if I can even get one ounce.

My head hurts so much from lack of sleep and I just wish I had done things differently from the start sad

mindalina Tue 26-Aug-14 10:39:14

have you tried giving formula? i know it seems a bit counter productive but my dd would never drink expressed breast milk. she'd have formula or cow/goat milk in a sippy cup or bottle or just a mug, but never drank ebm, never. it was like she couldnt see the point of it if it wasnt coming from a snuggly boob. if he'll take a bit of formula in a bottle from dad, you'd get a chance to rest a bit. it sounds like you're having a really shit time of it, sleep deprivation is miserable, you have my utmost sympathy thanks

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 11:04:46

That's an interesting point Mindaliba and although back in my 'perfect mother' phase I was determined not to give formula I definitely think I'm heading in that direction now. Maybe I could try giving one before bedtime or something...

He's in his cot now as he's clearly shattered and I'm desperately wanting him to have a nap by instead he's just crying and crying. I don't want to resort to feeding him to sleep but I know that's what's going to happen, it's what always happens because nothing else works sad

ColdTeaAgain Tue 26-Aug-14 11:21:24

Hang in there, my DD was also a bottle refuser but one day she just suddenly changed her mind about it for no apparent reason! Just keep offering the bottle on the off chance one day he will take to it eventually. It is so frustrating but if it works then you will be more able to have a break sometimes.

You've got to over 5 months EBF, that's not something to be sniffed at, really don't be hard on yourself if you start giving the odd bottle of forlmula at this stage.

I know people who had success with the ready made bottles with babies that would not take EBM or normal formula, it's worth a go smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 11:25:52

We have got a stash of ready made formula in the cupboard downstairs - it's been there since he was born in case we needed it but we never have until now?

Does it taste nicer than the powdered formula then??

mindalina Tue 26-Aug-14 11:26:21

well, if you know you're going to do it, go and do it now and save both of you the stress of his crying smile have you got the no-cry sleep solutions book? it's got some helpful suggestions and the important point that sometimes you just need to do whatever it takes to get a baby to sleep so you can have a rest too. he's almost six months old, so i think a bit of formula once a day is not going to negate the health benefits of your hard work so far. i'm not normally one to trot out the 'happy mum, happy bubs' line but this is making you very tired and fed up, and everything is so much harder when you're even a bit tired, let alone full blown sleep deprived. if a bottle of formula does the trick of an evening then everyones going to be a winner arent they smile if it doesnt work you can shout at me if it makes you feel a bit better wink but it might be worth a bash.

don't forget your baby is about to get much more rewarding as he starts to get mobile and interested in everything, and that will make the hard stuff feel so much more worthwhile <hugs>

mindalina Tue 26-Aug-14 11:28:41

i haven't tasted the ready made formula - the taste of ordinary milk makes me gag, let alone that! - but the texture of ready made formula looks much nicer and it smells better too, than powdered stuff, imo

Imeg Tue 26-Aug-14 11:29:02

I can definitely empathise - I also have a 5 month old who won't take bottles or dummies, and who doesn't sleep through the night when all my ff friends have babies who've slept through the night for months now. I have also not been well so it would have been really useful if I could have given him some formula feeds, but it just wasn't happening. He did have formula from time to time in the early weeks and a regular bottle of expressed milk since then, he's just decided he's not having it any more... So if you had done things differently earlier you might still be in the same situation now.
We've started a bit of puree so I'm hoping that soon he'll be able to up his solids intake and drop some milk feeds. Fingers firmly crossed that it gets easier soon for us both.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 11:33:08

I did give in and feed him to sleep - it was much quicker and quieter. He's now asleep next to me on the bed.

I will have a look got that book - thank you for the tip.

I'm going to try the ready made formula - I've decided!!

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 11:34:29

But at the same time I kind of feel bad as I'm pretty sure he is teething and in discomfort with that, hence the reason why he's been so unsettled over the last week.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 11:37:40

Spoke too soon - he's awake.

Back to the breast he goes...

mindalina Tue 26-Aug-14 11:44:19

he sounds so much like my dd! even now she's a pain for naps, averages three quarters of an hour a day. just a thought - one of my old school friends posted a pic of her baby in his cot with a dog teddy over his legs - she said it kept from him jerking himself awake in his sleep, maybe something like that might help? if he's teething dose him up with calpol or try some of those homopathic teething sugars - dd loved them so spent an embarassing amount of time looking like a tiny coke addict blush

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 11:48:41

Love the idea of the teddy!! smile

I've been giving him Calpol and Nurofen for days (calpol maybe once a day and Nurofen once or twice) and I'm worried I'm overdoing it or drugging him up just to make him sleep....

ColdTeaAgain Tue 26-Aug-14 11:50:49

Really know how you feel OP, I found once they start having solids it starts getting a lot easier but got to get the timing right.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-Aug-14 11:58:05

In a 24 hour period he feeds between 10-11 times which is a lot?? Am I just not producing enough to satisfy his hunger hence the poor sleeping at night??

SaggyAndLucy Tue 26-Aug-14 12:05:50

Feed him to sleep. The world won't end. smile I really wouldn't worry about future consequences, get now sorted. you can cope with an awful lot when you're getting enough sleep!
Try anything and everything that might work. EBM, formula, bottle, cup, spoon, have a look at finger feeding.

SaggyAndLucy Tue 26-Aug-14 12:06:47

although saying that, I wouldn't give calpol/nurofen regularly if it's not needed.

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