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Night feeds taking so long

(14 Posts)
Liskee Sun 11-Sep-16 02:51:30

What am I going wrong?!

DS2 is EBF. I FF DS1 so new to the whole experience. He's 10 weeks old. We do bath, jammies and feed at around 7.30 and following a short nap after that and another feed he normally settles down for the night somewhere between 10 & 11pm.

There's be 1-2 feeds then at around 1-2pm and 4-5pm depending on how long it takes him to settle. And this is the problem. I lift him from his cot when I hear him fussing. Latch him on and he'll take 10-20 mins on one side. A bit of a rest, over the shoulder, rarely burps sometimes gas from the other end! Then a quick nappy change to stop him and a swop to the other side. On a bad night he can linger for up to 30 mins here, falls fast asleep, I then cuddle him til he's floppy, but him back in the cot and normally nip to the loo.
Whole process takes about an hour. Which is AGES anyway, but nine times out of ten I come back to the bedroom and he's fussing again, stuffing his fists in his mouth and lifting and generally looking starving! I try to put him back over with a shush pat or a blast of the dream sheep, but almost always end up lifting him and feeding again adding at least another 20-30 minutes to the whole process.

It's 2.45ish now and we've been at this first night feed since 1.10am. He first settled down to sleep at around 10.20pm. There'll probably be another feed at around 5am and then DS1 normally gets up around 6.30/7 so I'll have had a total of about 4/5 hours very broken sleep.

I'm getting close to breaking point now.

My question is how on earth can I shorten these epic night feeds? If I only give him one side he's awake again within 2 hours but I only get 3 hours out of him after both anyway. He has loads of wet nappies and this last 2 weeks has pooed twice with around 5-6 days in between. Poos are huge and yellow. During the day feeds can be spaced out for anywhere from 30 mins to 4 hours, and normally take about 40 mins total with winding and a nappy change. So!!! What am I doing wrong?!? And how can I make the night feeds shorter and optimise my own chances for sleep?

Liskee Sun 11-Sep-16 02:53:44

Also, apologies for any is the dead of night and I'm doing this one handed on my iPhone!!

Evergreen17 Sun 11-Sep-16 03:01:35

Hi OP I am no breastfeeding expert as pregnant atm with my first but on the advice I read says not to swap after 10 mins but to empty one breast first (can take 40)
This is because the first part of the milk is rich in water for thirst and at "the bottom/ end" of the breast is the fatty milk with lots of energy and nutrients.
So maybe???? Which is why he is hungry as never gets to that??
Again. Only from my reading and never actually breast fed buy awake here smile and wanted to help

foxessocks Sun 11-Sep-16 04:11:15

Hi I'm just up breastfeeding my 5 day old but I also bf my dd .. I feel your pain!! I always let the baby totally finish one side until they unlatch themselves and then offer the other side if they are still awake and wait for them to unlatch again. I only change a nappy if there's a poo. Also I go to the loo before k start a feed so that when I'm done I can go straight back to sleep !

I'm certainly no expert but that's what I do. Having said that they do take their time when they are very tiny and you may find as the baby gets older he speeds up! My dd certainly did. It is very early days yet.

brew hope you get some rest I know it's very hard with another child too

Feelingthelove Sun 11-Sep-16 04:25:29


Not advice as such but in a very similar position. The absolute quickest I've managed to do our night feeds is 50mins. We also normally have 2 night feeds 1 at 1am and one at 4am ish. DS is 8 weeks.

I follow a very similar routine to you too. However I'm currently experimenting with putting baby down once he's finished feeding and been winded but not floppy and asleep /dead to the world, like I normally would. As patting and cuddling DS until he's fast asleep can take a good 40% of the time.
The idea being once he's full, clean and winded etc he will learn to drift of by himself peacefully.

When I put him down I tuck him
In tight, get back and wait for him to fall asleep. I'll generally give him 10/15minutes of gurgling/wriggling around and groaning before I look to resettle him. He's not crying and all but once he's managed to drift off within the 15mins.

I know its probably not making the process any quicker at the minute but my hope is he'll get quicker at drifting off on his own in the future and I can put him down sooner during the night feeds.

I'm hoping he'll also become a more efficient feeder as the weeks go on.
Hope this helps - I can sympathise xx

SmallBee Sun 11-Sep-16 04:27:38

Hi op

I'm no expert either, might be worth contacting la leche league? But two thoughts really.

Firstly, make sure he is on each breast long enough to get the creamy and more filling hind milk.
Secondly, if you know he's going to wake up again anyway don't bother cuddling until he is floppy, just put him down the moment he comes off, go to the loo and hopefully he'll be ready to eat again when you get back.

Also when you say fussing, is that full on crying for a feed or just making any noise? If it's the latter then I'd leave him until he's really shouting about it, I found sometimes DD would grunt or sniffle but if left alone go back to a proper sleep.

ICJump Sun 11-Sep-16 04:44:35

It sounds like normal night time behaviour to me. Exhausting but normal.
Are you in a position to try co sleeping? you might find that you get more sleep co sleeping than trying to put him back into the cot. HEre is a good guide to cosleeping

popthisoneout Sun 11-Sep-16 04:48:02

Does he need a nappy change each time? I would stop that if not.

I would do a few breast compressions when feeding to maximise the milk going in and keep him actively feeding at the breast. I would wind then put down and shh/pat to sleep if possible.

CatsCantFlyFast Sun 11-Sep-16 05:10:23

I don't think you're doing anything wrong with the feeding, although as mentioned, I'd only swap sides if he finishes the first side and is still hungry. I wouldn't change a nappy except poo and I would wind unless you're sure it's needed. Otherwise I'm afraid night feeds do take a while - it's not a quick flow like from a bottle, and it doesn't fill their tum in the same way as formula. It will all get faster and easier soon enough

If it helps, my three week old takes 30 -45 mins to feed, I then hold her for 30 odd mins otherwise she vomits. Then, if I haven't held her long enough, when I put her down she gets hiccups or is sick and I have to change her clothes and start the process again (bloody reflux). I've had 45 mins sleep since midnight brew

Liskee Sun 11-Sep-16 11:58:57

Thanks all. I do make sure day and night to let DS2 finish the feed on each breast himself and only really use the nappy change to waken him up a bit to move to the other breast. I don't actively wind him, but let him lie still at the breast for a few minutes, then lift him high up on y shoulder. If it gets wind up great.

I suppose it's like all other things baby's a phase and it'll either get better soon, or by the time he's weaned it won't matter anymore?!

Last night he was very snuffly and ended up being totally unsettled until after 5am, then only sleeping for 30 mins at a time into about 8.30am. Maybe last night was just a particularly bad one due to sniffles, maybe tonight will be easier. Maybe ;)

foxessocks Sun 11-Sep-16 12:25:00

Op it's just exhausting isn't it?! I actually celebrated this morning because I'd managed to get nearly 6 hours sleep (broken into 2 hours at a time maximum!)

AmateurExpert Sun 11-Sep-16 12:33:16

We sound like we have very similar babies! smile

No help with getting the feeds to be shorter, sorry, but I've managed to tweak timings a little and express to maximise on sleep. What we are currently doing is a BF at midnight - this takes till about 1.30am to finish and settle DD. I try and make it a huge feed, nappy change like you are doing in between, but ideally she'll empty both breasts. Then she'll usually sleep till 5.30 am, at which point DH gives expressed bottle before work and I stay in bed till 7am, when toddler wakes up. This means I get at least a 5 hour stretch of sleep and minimise night wakings.

Could you try something like that?

Hellochicken Fri 16-Sep-16 14:20:42

I changed to planned cosleeping because of this. Then as months went by it got less often feeds at night. Tried sitting on sofa and feeding as much as possible (watching TV!) when I had my first DCs. With DC4 didnt get a chance, evenings too hectic.

Hellochicken Fri 16-Sep-16 14:21:29

The feeding as much as possible I meant to say - between 8-9pm and going to bed.

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