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Breastfeeding unchartered territory - I need someone to tell me what to do!

(10 Posts)
af2000 Mon 17-Apr-17 11:10:27

Myself and my husband are on our knees with sleeping, or lack of. I could really do with some objective advice.

My 6.5 month old little girl is breastfed and is doing really well with weaning, having 3 decent meals a day now and breastfeeds whenever she likes. We have a good bedtime routine and she is normally in her bed and asleep by 6.30 - 7pm. I put her down sleepy but awake and she goes off to sleep no problem.

The fun starts at about midnight when she will wake. We have been trying to settle her without a feed, sometimes it works but takes upto an hour, but she is then awake again an hour later. It is easier for me to just feed her, which I usually end up doing, and she then comes into the sidesleeper crib in our room. Then she will be awake every 1 to 2 hours, I feed her each time, until she wakes for the day at about 5.30-6.

I am fairly sure she is not hungry. She can't be! She eats and feeds so well in the day. She is on the 91st centile so I'm confident she won't waste away if I don't feed her. I wasn't still breastfeeding my son at this stage so it felt easier to know what to do. (FWIW my daughter went through a stage of sleeping through at about 3 months old, so I know she can do it)

Should I still be feeding her at night?! I don't know what to do! I am usually an intelligent, levelheaded woman but I have lost my mind and can't see the wood for the trees 😨 I need someone to tell me what to do to try and get some better sleep! Please!

Starfish28 Mon 17-Apr-17 11:14:43

I think at this age even with food she probably still needs milk. I know it is really really tough and maybe other people will disagree. It does get easier but the first year is tough.

MinnowAndTheBear Mon 17-Apr-17 11:16:00

I would say she's hungry. They are still only tiny at this age.

SlB09 Mon 17-Apr-17 11:20:21

Maybe she just likes to suck? Have you tried a dummy or toy she can suck instead to see if this is what settles her?
Also if your willing, formula from a bottle if she is hungry so you can take it in turns with her so you can both have a break. Dont bring her into your room, if possible put a single bed in her room for either of you to sleep in so she gets used to settling in her own room and break your current routine. Good luck xxx

af2000 Mon 17-Apr-17 11:27:07

I guess this is where I'm finding still breastfeeding her makes it tricky to know what to do. With my DS he was on formula so I could say fairly confidently he didn't need to feeds at night.

She has a dummy, so when we try to settle her without a feed it just involves us getting out of bed a million times to put her dummy back in. I take on board what you say about putting her back in her room. It is a very small room, no space for a bed or a chair but I have wondered whether when she is next to me In our room she knows I'm there (can she smell me?!) and that is almost encouraging her to feed.

I am really enjoying breastfeeding her and have no plans to stop. However I am slightly fearful of it still being like this when she is 18 months old 😕

af2000 Mon 17-Apr-17 11:27:22

Also thank you for your replies! 😊

clarinsgirl Mon 17-Apr-17 11:29:56

I would say she's hungry too. Although she is feeding well on solid food she still needs milk and will probably wake for it. I'm no expert but I found the following helpful:

1. Make sure she eats well at tea time and that she takes a good bedtime feed.

2. I used to pop in and feed my DS's as I was going to bed.

3. Don't wait for them to be fully awake and screaming before feeding - I found feeding straight away meant they would feed well and then go straight to sleep.

Breastfeeding at night is totally normal and natural. DS1 stop waking very early and just took a 7pm and a 7am feed from about 7 months. DS2 was breastfed several times a night until he was about 2.5. It wasn't really a problem though - I was only awake for a few minutes each time.

Good luck!

af2000 Mon 17-Apr-17 12:05:43

Thank you! I think we are just in that phase of it all being so relentless and needing to see some light at the end of the tunnel and there not really being any! It doesn't help that a couple of my friend's babies are sleeping through and I can't help but compare, even though I know it is utterly ridiculous to do so, and as this is my second child I know even better how silly it is. I am starting to feel subliminal judgement from various family members about the fact that I'm 'still breastfeeding' and this being the cause of her sleeplessness.. comments like 'ah but of course you're still breastfeeding so...'.

I will revert to my winebrewcakegin habit and hope for the best. Thank you!

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 17-Apr-17 12:17:35

From my experience they can go through periods of this where they feed frequently, and then it settles down. My 10 month old usually doesn't wake for a feed, or sometimes wakes once and goes back to sleep very quickly.

Sometimes teething can make then unsettled like this as well.

Orangepear Mon 17-Apr-17 12:33:57

I'd just feed her. My 12 month old goes to bed at 6.30 and first wakes at 8.30 and then wakes throughout the night, sometimes more frequently than others. I don't think it's about being hungry necessarily (or maybe she is - 99th centile!), but there is obviously some kind of need that is fulfilled by feeding. During the current period of frequent waking could you go to bed at the same time as your baby, then you'd get a 5 hour stretch? My DD1 was the same, eventually I night weaned by telling her the milk was asleep - she was probably 18m then as she's been sleeping through in her own bed since she was 2.

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