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On the verge of giving up breast feeding at 7 weeks - Help!

(43 Posts)
spikeycat Mon 17-May-04 07:08:06

I am being driven mad by a constantly hungry baby, how ever much I feed him he still wants more - he is packing on the weight so I don't think its a problem with the quality of the milk. Last night he woke at 12.45 and still has not gone back to sleep. My other half WILL NOT get up in the night as he has started a new job and needs to be wide awake (wish I had the choice!).
My health visitor has advised me to feed him and then put him back to bed and leave him to cry himself to sleep - How ever long it takes. I don't think she has any idea of his determination! He won't have a dummy.
Should he be in a routine by this age? Any suggestions would be appreciated, even though I already have a ds I feel like I've never done this before, I gave up breast feeding the first time round because of all this crap and really didnt want to give up this time but I feel like a dead man walking, I can't even trust myself to drive as I am sooooooooooooo tired
Thanks if you even read this far - I know I sound self indulgent and misserable

coddycodcod Mon 17-May-04 07:43:31

Poor you spikey - it is so tough isnt it - the lack of sleep makes a hard job eben harder. I persevered through all this and was onthe verge of giving up. Try and ignore previous experiences if you can and focus on THIS time.

DOnt asssociate all the sleep probblems just wiht feeding, babies are pesky blighters.

Lot s of love

codstero

coddycodcod Mon 17-May-04 07:44:14

oh btw routines are never as rigid with number 2 as you remember form before

SoupDragon Mon 17-May-04 07:45:58

At what point do you stop a feed? Do you offer one or both breasts? If he falls off after one, wake him up and offer him the other - if he falls asleep after 2, try waking him and offering him the first again. This might make him go longer between feeds. I used to have to wake DSs up mid feed when they were little. As you say, if he's piling on weight, he's getting enough but it would probably be nice if he'd do it in less feeds!

Could he have reached the stage where he's more alert anyway? I can't remember! Maybe he's napping too much in the day..? I'm not suggesting GF or anything but I nudged DSs towards a 3 hourly eat-play-sleep routine. During the day, I didn't let them go longer than 4 hours or less than 1.5 between feeds (unless they were clearly upset) but at night they slept for as long as they wanted and were fed on demand. I'd try to "play" with them as they got to the stage of not falling asleep all the time.

If you wanted to go down the mixed feeding route, you could introduce a bottle as his bedtime feed and breastfeed him for all the others.

Kind of thinking out loud here I hope you find the solution that's right for you & your DS.

spikeycat Mon 17-May-04 07:48:22

thanks, I really will try and carry on, but think I am already made up my mind without knowing it, else why did I buy formula and bottles at the supermarket
Do you think i should just put him to bed and leave him if i know
A: He's fed enough
B: He's clean
C: He's winded

I'm only talking about doing that at night, as I know he'll need a bit more interaction during the day now!

ta again x

spikeycat Mon 17-May-04 07:52:40

I feed him pretty much constantly! (rod for my own back I don't need to hear!).

In fairness to me during th day I feed about 3 hourly, and do my best to keep to this, but nighttime is a different matter as I don't want him to wake up P and ds1, I feed on demand.

I do offer him both breasts, but he normally only wants one. I try to wake him up for the other, but he only wakes up when you put him down in his basket, and then he is happy to have the other, and then we follow that routine for hours!

Ghosty Mon 17-May-04 08:19:13

Spikey ... poor you ....
Have you tried swaddling him? Maybe he has a strong startle reflex which wakes him up after he has dozed off ... I discovered swaddling at 9 weeks with DS and it made a big difference ... and with DD I swaddled her from day 1 ...
In the last week I have stopped swaddling DD as she is now 3 months and fights it so she doesn't need it anymore ...
Could you persevere with the dummy? I tried for a couple of days to get DD to take a dummy before she was happy with it ... I preferred her to have a dummy rather than be permanently attached to me IYKWIM?

Pook Mon 17-May-04 08:35:10

Spikeycat
I well remember how you're feeling. I can't really add that much to the other posts, apart from dittoing definitely the swaddling. Maybe monitor the amount of daytime sleep? Cluster-feed in the evening to tank him up? In terms of routine, we introduced nighttime bath boob and bed routine at that age. Breast-fed on demand during the day and night, though.

Just out of interest (honest - completely non-judgementallly), how would bottle feeding help? It'd be a shame if you gave up b/feeding only to find that the problem persists on the bottle.
I really hope you start to get a bit more sleep very soon. Can your dh give you a break at weekends? I know it's easy to say given that this is your second baby, but if you can sleep or nap during the day. I bet you've heard that one before!
GOOD LUCK!

gothicmama Mon 17-May-04 08:48:43

It workd best for me to feed and doze dd sometimes feed and sometimes nust wanted the comfort ubtil she was about 4 months I slept when she slept luckliy I was SAHM and DH helped out with householsd chores - be kind too yourself and do not try to take on everything I got up in the night and not DH but he did majority of housework in return. I hope you can keep going is it possible to co sleep with baby

busybee123 Mon 17-May-04 09:13:24

I know what you mean...I had the same trouble with dd and ds2. I offered a bottle of formula before bed and they were both more settled for it. Ok I know they say breast is best, but I was on the verge of suicidal I was SOOOOO tired, so I thought it would be better to offer a bottle than end up locked up somewhere. 7 weeks is a great achievement. I managed 8 weeks with my first, but for the other 2 (ds2 especially) i just couldnt manage B/F for long (3 weeks for both) AND run and house AND look after two toddlers at the same time. My ds2 is now 13 weeks old and completely bottlefed now....I FEEL HUMAN AGAIN!!! Maybe if you could express milk and ask you other half to give him the last feed before he goes to bed, you could get your head down for a while or relax in a bath then? You will feel much better. Hope it all gets better for you soon. hugs x

elliott Mon 17-May-04 10:29:34

I think you've got a number of options that would still let you breastfeed:
1. lie down and sleep with him in the night - if he's spending all night attached to your boob anyway, he might as well do it when you're asleep....
2. Try the old 'one formula bottle at 11pm' idea - you might at least get a decent stretch (especially if you ask dp to do that one and go to bed early) - before you start the feedfest!
3. Try a dummy once he has had a good feed in the night.
I also wonder how you think the bottle feeding will help - do you think it will help you stop feeding so often in the night, because it will be more of a hassle to do so?
What time does he go to bed? Does he have any reasonably long (4 hour-ish) stretches of sleep after he goes to bed - if so you should try to sleep then.
In answer to your question about whether you should leave him, you have to do what you are comfortable with. Personally at this stage I'd be comfortable with leaving him for up to 20 minutes or so - but I doubt this would be long enough if he is used to dozing on the boob all night. If he's sleeping in your room it will be hard to leave him anyway.

spikeycat Mon 17-May-04 10:47:50

well, the reason I am reluctant to give up on the breast feeding is that I am not sure it will help (the bottle feeding), then I'll have the added bonus of having to get up, heat a bottle up, all that steralising as well, and making up millions of bottles, i remember thinking I was mad with DS1 to have given up breast feeding as bottle feeding was such hard work - Not to mention expensive
Daft question I know, but how do you swaddle? Do put put a little sheet (moses basket one) around them and are their arms folded inside? It doesn't help that he won't really burp, he will only fart (like mummy ) but gets him self in a terrible state to try and get them out!

I am letting him co-sleep with me, but I am sleeping on the sofa bed in the living room so as not to wake P, and I find that I can't really sleep with him there as I just drift and have bad dreams, I think as I am aware that I shouldn't fall to a deep sleep.

Now I have finally got ds1 & 2 in bed, and was looking forward to going back myself and next door have decided today would be a good day to get a small digger round to smash their drive to pieces before block paving it - They obviously don't realise the mortal danger they are in if they wake the boys up!

Thanks everyone for your advice, I will probably keep moaning on this thread for a while!

aloha Mon 17-May-04 10:47:53

Spikeycat, total sympathy on the exhaustion front. I'm feeling v cross with your dp/h though. He has to help - it's his baby too. Even if that just means you express and he feeds the baby while you go to bed at 8pm and take over again at 1am. Or he must help you so you can get a nap when he comes home from work or at the weekend. You need some sleep. Try again with the dummy - one trick is to pop it in and then gentle pull it out, the baby will often start to suck to stop it being pulled out. It takes about ten weeks for a baby to even begin to have a sleep wake cycle that takes any notice of day and night, so what is happening to you isn't that unusual but is HORRIBLE.

dinosaur Mon 17-May-04 10:52:57

Spikeycat, agree with Elliott's suggestion that sleeping with baby latched on is at least a way of getting some precious sleep yourself. If undisturbed sleep is so important to your other half, could he sleep on the sofa bed, so that you can have your bed for you and baby to sleep in?

You have all my sympathy, DS2 just wanted to feed feed feed and I had to resort to co-sleeping with him latched on - it was a life-saver.

elliott Mon 17-May-04 10:53:06

I think dp should sleep in the living room.

elliott Mon 17-May-04 10:55:04

You could point out to him that co-sleeping on a sofa is not recommended. But honestly I am pretty gobsmacked when I think of you huddling on the sofa while he has an undisturbed night on his own in a nice comfy bed. grrrrr.

toddlerbob Mon 17-May-04 11:02:09

Your dp/dh does not spend 24 hours at his job and neither should you. Point out that you have a new job too (being a new mum) and that you need to be reasonably awake for that. Maybe you and baby need that nice warm bed and he can have the sofa. It's not the breastfeeding that's wearing you out it's having to do everything.

spikeycat Mon 17-May-04 11:02:52

To be fair to him (I can't call him dp at the moment, he has pissed me off beyond belief, and not just about the helping with ds2) he did offer to sleep in the living room, but I said no, as I am cutting my nose off to spite my face.

Basically, since ds2 was born 7 weeks ago the following has happened. DS2 born on a friday, I came out of hospital saturday, he invited my mum, dad and both my sd's (10 &8) to sunday lunch to meet the baby - He went down the pub and left me to cook!
Then his ex asked if I would pick them up from school on weds and have them an extra weekend (shes not too selfish eh!) and he said yes! That weekend I ended up so run down I came down with a uterine infection and ended up back in hospital for a week on IV antibiotics, and since then the pattern has pretty much continued with him expecting me to look after both ds's, run round after sd's(and lets be fair, I do love them but they are his children, and he should consult with me before agreeing with his ex, as ussually I wouldn't mind at all, but give me a break when I have got a new born!) plus keep the house clean. And, this will really enrage you - I haven't had ONE meal (not even a sandwich) made for me.
Surprised I not a raving lunatic by now - there again, after re-reading this post maybe I am!

dinosaur Mon 17-May-04 11:20:07

spikeycat, that's really thoughtless of him

Please please please belatedly accept his offer to sleep on the sofa bed, try a few nights' sleeping in your own bed with DS2 latched on, I remember at that stage that even a few uninterrupted hours sleep makes you feel like a new woman. Then when you get some sleep in the sleep bank you MUST sit him down and tell him that it's not on and that, at the very least, you just can't do stuff for the SDs for a few weeks.

aloha Mon 17-May-04 11:22:18

This needs taking in hand Spikeycat. He may be afraid that his children (your stepkids) might feel pushed out by the new baby and so is extra keen to have them at home BUT you do need to talk to him and explain how ill and exhausted you are and that you need a break. FFS, you've been in hospital! Say that it isn't good for your relationship and your health when he says yes to the kids without consulting you. Ask him if he is worried about their feeling pushed out or if he wants them to bond - let him have his say, but the bottom line is, you need rest, not more work and it is not on. He must also take more responsibility for them when they are there. I think you need a cleaner right now. Just £6 an hour, two to four hours a week or so will make a huge difference to your life. You need the bed. He gets the sofa bed PLUS you give him the baby at 6am or 5.30 am and GO BACK TO SLEEP. He must help you or you will be ill again. Even a couple of hours sleep will help you cope.
You need to talk, and tbh, I think the breastfeeding is the least of your problems atm.

tamum Mon 17-May-04 11:28:51

One thing that might help you to get a bit more rest of you're going to do the co-sleeping/permanent latch thing (which I highly recommend) is to get one of those toddler bed-rails. You can put it on your bed and then rest a bit more knowing that your baby is not going to fall right out of bed. They actually used them at the maternity hospital when I had dd, and are much cheaper than getting a bedside cot.

You don't sound self-indulgent at all (unlike some we could mention <cough> your dh), it's just misery. I honestly think that you already know that bottles aren't necessarily going to solve anything much and may make things worse in terms of hassle. If you can just get through another few weeks things will almost certainly get easier. Chin up

moominmama86 Mon 17-May-04 11:36:34

Spikeycat - I am gobsmacked. I thought my dh had been pretty unsupportive but at least I got the odd sandwich made for me!!! Sorry, that probably doesn't make you feel much better, does it?

I would take him up on his offer of him sleeping on the sofa. Dh did do this for a while and it was sooo much easier on me. You should definitely not be the one trying to sleep on the sofabed. Also do try swaddling - it worked wonders for ds - or a sleeping bag as soon as he is big enough.

TBH I am pretty disgusted at your dh's attitude, but most men simply don't have a clue how utterly exhausting a new baby is. You have all my sympathy! Is there anyone else you can rope in to give you a bit of a break during the day? Even just a couple of hours kip in the afternoon can make all the difference on the feeling-like-a-member-of-the-human-race scale

spikeycat Mon 17-May-04 15:01:16

Aloha - I have told him, and it falls on deaf ears - I have said I am going to leave unless I get some more support, that he is treating us (his 2nd family) like second class citizens but it still falls on deaf ears! I am going to my mums (they have moved up north) at the end of the week to get a bit of a break, have to drive myself though as he won't alter the sd's coming round to take me. That will be nice, a 4/5 hour drive with a new born and a toddler!

I resent doing it too as it means he just gets away with more. Am beginning to see why the ex booted him out about 8 months after the birth of second sd!!!

Just had a horrific time trying to do the weekly tesco run as well, they had no trollys for baby and toddler and some git nicked my space when they didn't have children. I gave up and went to a much more civalized JS!! I'll get moaned at I expect as its about 2p more expensive than normal

twogorgeousboys Mon 17-May-04 15:33:48

Spikeycat, have just read all this - you poor thing, I wish we could all come round and give you an enormous hug, make you a proper meal, clean the house, look after ds1 while you get the time you need to rest and decide how to sort out the breastfeeding issues.

I completely agree with everything Aloha has said - and it is so not on that your p is putting you through all this.

Also, there is NO WAY that you are being self indulgent about posting your troubles on mumsnet. And as for being miserable - no bl**dy wonder!

From everything you have said, going to your Mum's for a bit is a very good idea.

You need time and space to concentrate on yourself, your new baby whilst still giving ds1 the attention you'd like to. How long can you stay there?

I can understand your frustration at your p "getting away with it" if you do go away, but honestly, your health and wellbeing are paramount and this sounds like the quickest way to restore some equilibrium for yourself.

californiagirl Mon 17-May-04 16:27:13

First, to swaddle baby: Take a receiving blanket and lay it out flat. Turn one corner down (towards you) and put the baby down on a diagonal so that the turned-down edge is at the back of its head. Now comes the tricky part: pin down the baby's arms in front of its body with one hand, and with the other hand, pick up one of the corners next to an arm, and wrap it around the baby as tightly as humanly possible. This requires somehow cunningly removing the hand that's pinning the arms without letting them wiggle free. Feel free to roll the baby over to assist in this process, just put it back on its back when the corner is wrapped. Then bring the bottom corner up and over the baby's shoulder (either one). If possible, scrunch up the baby's legs while doing this. Finally, wrap the remaining corner around, again, as tightly as you possibly can. The aim is to have a little baby cocoon. Note that some babies scream like banshees and flail while you are trying to do this, but then really do find it soothing after a little bit.

Next, I'd try feeding him more often during the day, and keeping him awake. I know, what a horrible proposition when you're barely awake yourself, but it sounds like he's got days and nights backwards still. If he's going to feed constantly at some time, day would be better than night, so why try a daytime routine?

And yes, stop sleeping on the sofabed! If your partner wants to sleep in the bed, he can do it baby and all.

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