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Reassurance needed

(15 Posts)
HandyTrinkett Tue 27-Feb-07 03:18:49

I'm currently sat on the sofa holding my beautiful sleeping daughter so my poor wife can get some sleep.

DD is only 4 days old and is being breast fed and whilst she was great in the hospital, since she's got home she'll latch on (increasingly well it seems) and can be put down after feeding to sleep after a bit of a cuddle. At night though she seems to want to be able to either feed forever or fall asleep on someones chest.

As she's our first we were slightly panicky at first about the erraticness of her feeding (2 sucks, stop, 3 sucks, stop, 2 sucks etc). We did panic enough to give her a bottle of formula to try settle her (it worked - slept for 4 hours) but would like to stick to just breast feeding. Since DWs milk has started to come in DD seems to be sucking harder, better and for longer.

Anyway, I'm rambling and feeling a bit stupid that I'm asking this when the little girl is only 4 days old. What I'm trying to ask is, is this perfectly normal behaviour and what can I do to help my wife and reassure her that this is perfectly normal? Is the wanting a long feed/something to sleep on just a comfort thing? Any advice very gratefully received even if it's just 'perfectly natural you silly man'.

MrsJohnCusack Tue 27-Feb-07 03:33:14

It's perfectly normal
(won't call you a silly man because we didn't know it was perfectly normal first time either)

I fully expect us to be in the same position in a few days when this baby decides to finally turn up.

As the days go on the supply/demand situation will settle down, and your daughter will most likely feed more efficiently and go for longer between feeds. And they're so tiny - lots of babies only want to sleep on you for a while, they've barely twigged that they've made the transition from being on the inside to being on the outside, if you see what I mean. Enjoy the cuddles if you can

mamama Tue 27-Feb-07 03:37:43

It does sound normal to me (although my DS had a hard time BF initially, so I may not be the best person to advise although it did all sort itself out & he's still BF now.

I think your DD is just hungry - they do feed A LOT in the first few days and it is very hard work. It does sound quite normal to me and you seem to all be doing wonderfully.


determination Tue 27-Feb-07 03:40:54

Breastfed babies do feed on demand, so what you are describing sounds to be perfectly normal. This is the babies way of telling mums breasts to produce enough milk for her. The more stimulation at the bresat the more milk is produced and this is how it works.

Another thing to remember is the frequent growth spurts that a baby has. Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less). Growth spurts usually last 2-3 days, but sometimes last a week or so. This is when the baby will feed more frequently and for longer, in a bit to stimulate the bresat to produce more milk.

You should encourage your wife to nurse you little one whilst lying in the bed. This way her body is physically resting.. you could stay awake to watch if you feel safer doing this..

Here is a very useful bresatfeeding site;

and these are the breastfeeding support lines, if you require further info;

The Breastfeeding Network (BFN) - Supporter Line 0870 900 8787 - The service operates from 9.30am to 9.30pm every day of the year.

La Leche League Great Britain - 0845 120 2918

National Childbirth Trust - 0870 444 8708 - 9am to 6pm, seven days a week.

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers' - 0870 401 7711 - Open every day from 9.30am to 10.30pm

The best thing to do is stick by your wife (as you are already clearly doing), encourage and support her. Take the baby out for a walk just after a feed and let your wife sleep. Breastfeeding in the first 6 weeks can be extremely tiring - beyond belief. Hang in there.. it does all sound normal.

fflibble Tue 27-Feb-07 03:41:40

Congratulations - try this site for lots of helpful articles (American so says 'nursing' rather than 'breastfeeding') - well worth a good read round. Long feeds are perfectly normal, as are frequent ones - you'll think you see a pattern for a couple of days and then it may go! So don't try too hard to identify patterns at this stage, just go with the flow .

Califrau Tue 27-Feb-07 03:41:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

genlay Tue 27-Feb-07 03:47:20

Agree. Your DW is doing a wonderful job (as are you letting her get some rest)
DD will settle down soon enough and you'll be able to adjust. My DS was great at the hospital but when we got him home would only fall asleep on me for the first few weeks and would cluster feed up until midnight. They eat what they need to at whatever time (usually in the middle of the night) I guess you just have to give yourself up to them for a little while.
Your not silly, you only learn these things by experiencing them and it's perfectly normal.
Good luck

HandyTrinkett Tue 27-Feb-07 04:03:00

Man you lot are great.. ...tiny hungry beasty has just slept for nearly 3 hours now and is starting to stir..

...thanks again for the reassurance - however much you think something should be right if you've never experienced it, it becomes quite worrying - especially under sleep deprivation conditions!!

I'll get DW to keep checking this thread.. ...right, off to wake the one with the milk supplies.. ...I just don't seem to have the right gear..

*thank you*

sandy06 Tue 27-Feb-07 12:04:34

hi, when my baby was tiny, I used to feed up to two hours at night, but I didn't realise he wasn't really feeding, he was just sucking for comfort, which was helping him get to sleep. No one really pointed that out to me at the time, so it may be worth considering, is the baby hungry or jsut comforting itself? Is the baby really drinking and swallowing? Maybe put the baby back in the cot and soothe by stroking?? At some point to soothe our babe we used a dummy but then it is tricky to get rid of a dummy once introduced (we managed to take it away about 5 months with quite a bit of fuss!!).

But all babies are different so what works for one may not for another... it is tough in the first few weeks, but it DOES settle down and get better!!

Mumpbump Tue 27-Feb-07 12:12:54

Impressed that you're dealing with the baby in the wee hours of the morning two nights in a row!!

We cuddled ds to sleep every night for the first 2 months or so. It did mean it was then quite difficult to get him to go to sleep by himself, but I would do the same again.

I guess the first few days are hardest for the baby because they only get small amounts of colostrum. Once your dw's milk comes in (takes a while to get established mind you), it'll gradually settle down into a more predictable pattern over a few months. Congratulations on the new addition and good luck!

tiktok Tue 27-Feb-07 13:57:55

sandy - I am sure you mean to help, but this baby is under a week old. I would hate anyone to think that waking in the night and feeding is 'just' for comfort or that it is a good idea to try to resist the need to feed and to sopthe by is dangerous to resist a baby's need for feeding, because some placid babies do give up and go back to sleep. Then they risk being underfed, and the milk supply risks dwindling to nothing.

HT - new babies need human contact and human milk And a lot of both

sandy06 Tue 27-Feb-07 16:19:59

of course tiktok, feed when the baby needs it and give copious love - I'd be some kind of terrible mother if I didn't agree with that!! BUT all I meant to say was, I wish someone had told me when my baby was "feeding" for two hours at a time, and i was feeling absolutely awful that I was doing something wrong, that my baby wans't feeding right etc. etc., that there may be other things going on... But for this family at this time I guess my previous comments aren't relevant, so please ignore my comments guys!! - I am sure you will have found lots of other great advice here that is more suited, and good luck!!

shonaspurtle Tue 27-Feb-07 16:28:29

Re: the sleeping on you thing. Ds would only fall asleep this way at night at first. We were told by a few people that this would lead to bad habits and exhausted ourselves (and him) trying to get him to sleep in his crib until we just decided to go with the flow.

After about 4 weeks he was much happier at bein in his crib and by 6 weeks always went to sleep on his own. Just go with it - everything your dd does now will change so enjoy the cuddles! I actually miss ds falling asleep on my chest now...

tinkerbellhadpiles Tue 27-Feb-07 16:44:43

PLEASE can I borrow you to hold onto my DD while I get some sleep too?

Seriously, you are both doing absolutely fine. BFing is hard to start with because neither you, nor your baby know what they are doing, but it DOES get easier with time.

NB for bonus points, when your partner is getting ready to nurse, place a drink, the phone and the remote control where she can reach them and offer her a choice of magazines.


genlay Tue 27-Feb-07 21:49:21

Agree shona. makes me when I think of all the people who panicked us by saying that we were 'ruining' DS by giving him a cuddle to sleep and letting him tell me when he was hungry in those first few weeks. Led to me desperately trying to make him sleep on his own I was so upset before I decided to just go with the flow. FIL was the worst especially considering that from all accounts he had nothing to do with raising his own... don't get me started! It had no effect on DS's ability to settle himself later (now almost 7months) sleeping through the night is another matter mind you

Tinkerbell lol at your bonus points, so true though it's a universal list

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