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7mth BF DD having 3 feeds a night - what can I do?

(34 Posts)
fleacircus Fri 08-Aug-08 17:04:11

I've tried settling her without feeding her but she's definitely hungry. I was back at work for nearly three weeks in July and she refused EBM from bottle, was making up after I got home and when I could get home during the day.

She's enjoying solids, she eats three meals happily, pretty much normal homecooked food but mashed or whizzed with some finger foods thrown in. I also BF on demand, but she seems to be taking significantly less milk during the day.

I have to go back to work in three weeks, I'm a teacher in the kind of school where the kids smell weakness a mile off and will chew me up and spit me out on a daily basis if I'm this tired. What can I possibly do? I'm desperate enough to be contemplating an evening top-up of formula (I BF through 3mths of undetected tongue-tie, cracked nipples, thrush, and five, yes, count them, five bouts of mastitis so this is not a decision I take lightly!), except she wont take a bottle so that probably wont work. What can I possibly do?

LynseyKCalvert Fri 08-Aug-08 17:33:41

Poor you sounds tricky. Is co-sleeping an option?

fleacircus Fri 08-Aug-08 18:08:55

Not really, I know I wont really roll on her but am completely paranoid about doing so. And she often rolls over in her sleep so I would be scared of her falling out of bed. She moved into her own room last week (or rather we moved out of her room), partly on the advice of another MNer (previous thread re sleeping) - at that point she wasn't always hungry when she was waking, but now it seems she is.

TanE Sun 10-Aug-08 15:07:00

Have you tried water in a bottle at night. My 7mths DS goes down at 7.30/8pm and then stirs around 11pm when I give water. He then sleeps till around 4/5am when I BF and BF again around 7/8 or give an early breaskfast, depending on what I'm doing. Sometimes it is just habit and not hunger, but when BF you need to believe in yourself - eaiser said than done sometimes.

Hope all goes well with your return to work, I'm busy job hunting myself.

beansprout Sun 10-Aug-08 15:20:35

I am in exactly the same situation at the moment after a fairly settled few weeks with usually only one night waking.

Perhaps it is a growth spurt? How long has this been going on?

MrsJamin Sun 10-Aug-08 16:30:48

Cor I'm in exactly the same position, night feeds are between 2-3 even after a dream feed, it's not a notorious growth spurt time (that would be 6 months) - perhaps they are learning a lot like crawling etc? DS used to just wake for a feed once a night at 5am - I'm so shattered with all the extra feeds and lack of sleep I have no advice, will track this thread to see if I can get any ideas for myself! It's a bit rubbish as people (normally competitive, FF mums) still ask "Is he sleeping through the night yet?"

onwardandupward Sun 10-Aug-08 17:00:44

At 7 months, I'd be expecting a baby to be feeding 3 times in the night.

At 7 months, you have absolutely no chance of rolling on and smothering your baby. She would kick you and wake you if your unconscious body even tried. But if you are anxious, there are hints on safe co-sleeping
here. Judicious use of a pillow between your knees, and lying on your side facing the baby, with the baby in the crook of your bottom arm means that, unless you are seriously double jointed, it is not physically possible to roll on to them. It also means that they are ideally placed to help themselves and you can just keep sleeping away.

As for rolling out of bed, either sleep on a mattress on the floor, where bed rolling doesn't matter, or else get a bedguard so that the baby can't fall out. From that page, there are links to the sort of bed guard which have webbing rather than being wooden. I think both are equally safe.

I have to say, if she's hungry in the night, then this is the best option for you to get enough sleep. Also, if you are apart from her for a lot of the day, then it's your time to reconnect and recharge, even if both of you are unconscious...

Caz10 Sun 10-Aug-08 21:23:40

Hi fleacircus!

I think you are me/I am you...going back to school next week (scotland) to a bunch of v tough yr6's

dd 8mths still feeding 3x per night at least

i know you don't fancy this but honestly I didn't either, I am going to be another one to say co-sleeping.

I had the flu a few weeks ago, knocked me for six and had so little energy that I took dd into bed with me out of sheer desperation...and she has never left

what i do now is, she settles in her cot until I go to bed, if I don't wake her up coming in then she normally wakes 11pmish for a feed, at that point I put her next to me on top of the covers (she's in a grobag)

her head is level with my boobs and miles away from the pillows (my main worry), in fact most of the time I don't even use a pillow as i'm so scared she'll end up underneath!

this may be a little extreme for you but i have kicked dh out blush as I am so paranoid about co-sleeping that I can only (partially) relax when we have the whole bed to ourselves - I lie with my back to an edge so she has the whole width of the bed bewteen her and the other edge iyswim. i'm going to order a guard rail soon though

anyway the main point of this ramble is that after a few weeks of doing this i'm starting to feel almost human again (almost!). i know it's not exactly great in terms of marital relations, but for this phase we have both just decided that sleep for everyone is a priority! dd also settles instantly after a feed when she's in bed with me.

I barely wake up when she wakes for a feed, she latches on, I doze off again.

and re going back to work, i am dreading it so much, will miss her so much, but i absolutely love sleeping next to her and i think it will really help me feel like i'm spending time with her if that doesn't sound too daft

i'm a bit worried she'll still be in there when she's 5 but i'll cross that bridge when we come to it!!

good luck with school, what stage are you?

Liz79 Sun 10-Aug-08 21:29:09

I'm another with a 7-8mo DD who wakes 2-3/night, previously having only woken once since birth, except for growth spurts etc. You see with co-sleeping, if we did this I would have to sit up in bed, arrange pillows etc, put light on and then feed her. Defeats the purpose? I can't feed lying down or in the dark, I think my norks are too large. I can't do it 1 handed either.

lilyloo Sun 10-Aug-08 21:33:04

fleacircus we still have 3 wakes ups too
bed at 7 up at 11/3/5 for bf
she is 7 mth in a week
tbh though she has never slept through
will be watching this thread for ideas but am not happy to co sleep for various reasons.

Caz10 Sun 10-Aug-08 21:33:56

it has taken us a while to get used to it Liz, and there have been a couple of mornings where I've had sore nipples, and on one memorable occasion a GIANT lovebite on my boob blush due to bad latch, but overall it's worth it...i couldn't feed lying down for ages I have to say but can;t think exactly how we mastered it....could you try with daytime feeds so you're lying down with the light on?

Liz79 Sun 10-Aug-08 21:55:46

do you sleep naked? I wear a sleeping bra to hold pads in and a nighty with poppers down the front. Or do you just sleepily hoick it out and flop it on the bed?

Have also had giant love bites (twice),can't remember what time of day), and didn't realise she wasn't feeding blush

Caz10 Sun 10-Aug-08 22:02:07

thankfully i've pretty much stopped leaking, so I just wear a pj top with buttons half open and nothing underneath, or a vest top type thing sort of like this (in fact that IS me ha ha ha!) and just sleepily hoick it out lol! too cold in my house to sleep naked!

Caz10 Sun 10-Aug-08 22:02:53

lilyloo these are almost exactly our feed times too, exhausting isn't it?

MrsJamin Mon 11-Aug-08 06:51:49

Last night was 11.30pm (I went to bed at 10.30), 1.30am, 4am and up for the morning at 6. I can't bloody do this no more! A few of us are on that other thread about teething - let's hope it's all to do with that eh?

I just can't contemplate co-sleeping, we only have a double bed and nowhere else for DH to sleep.

Liz79 Mon 11-Aug-08 08:58:18

I'm so happy this morning After a dream feed, she woke at 3am and 7.45am. These days thats a good nights sleep Sorry Mrsjamin!

MrsJamin Mon 11-Aug-08 09:13:52

I'm happy for you! Hopefully this is all down to teeth - he got another one this morning - that's from 2 to 8 teeth in 2 weeks! Hopefully it's got it all out of the way and we can have a while before the next lot of teething starts.

lilyloo Mon 11-Aug-08 09:24:56

smile LIZS

We had same old feeds but didn't get up until 7.30 from 5 feed so that wasn't too bad i guess.

I think i am sort of use to it now but don't want to be !

Caz10 Mon 11-Aug-08 09:45:01

Ooh can someone point me to the teething thread??

I was woken every bloody hour on the hour last night, after my saying how fab co-sleeping was...grrrr...although I suppose I didn't need to get out of bed to see to her!

Anyway I now see 1/2 a tooth starting to poke through...

Caz10 Mon 11-Aug-08 09:46:13

OK, I'm thick, I'm ON the teething thread...blush

MrsJamin Mon 11-Aug-08 09:48:50

lol I thought you were. Congrats on the tooth - that'll be the reason then - we all hope!

zuzkah Mon 11-Aug-08 12:07:00

Hi, my 8 and a half months old baby boy has been waking up 3-4 times a night, too. I ususally fed him and he fell straight back to sleep. I was hoping from his 6 months that he will stop his night feeds on his own accord. Well, he still hasn't and we have decided enough is enough. He can't be hungry as he eats 3 meals with snacks in between and also bf during the day so I suppose it is a habit which we need to help him to break. As much as I love to bf him at night, the younger the baby, the easier it is to change his habits, so we have started a new routine 2days/nights ago. I think the hardest is for the MUM to decide and be ready for a change. I wasn't until now.
Our plan:
1. Let him fall asleep on his own. After a lovely routine, feed, cuddle and night night kiss I leave the room and he falls asleep on his own. (It wasn;t as easy as it sounds )
2. Don't go to his room as soon as I hear him but wait about 3-5min. (Unless he cries madly obviously, then we go in.) It worked yesterday! He cried for about 3 min. and then stopped and went back to sleep all by himself! We are so proud!
3. When crying and awake (usually after midnight) not to feed him but try to settle him by patting, holding hand, singing etc. Not to take him out of the cot either.
4. If he doens't settle lets say after 10-15 min. I gave him a bf but dettached him approx.after 3 min. He wasn't very happy about it but after a bit of patting he fell asleep.
5. On day 2 I deluted my expressed breast milk with some water and offered him a bottle when I couldn't settle him without it.
6. Breastfeed after 5am - I count it as a morning feed.

lilyloo Mon 11-Aug-08 15:28:51

We have tooth too!

Some good tips there Z i think i may try bottle of water to at least cut out 1/2 feeds as i too think it becoming habit. Also she not had hardly any milk today so think she may well be scoffing too much in the night!

fleacircus Mon 11-Aug-08 18:48:57

Hmm... she started sleeping right through from 7wks (10.30pm-8am) and then at 16wks it just ended. So I suppose that left me with false expectations! Now at least I feel normal as well as knackered. And last night she only woke at 1am and then 7am so much better and that was without a dream feed. So I'm going to start doing a dream feed, hope that she carries on improving and try to stop complaining!

Caz10, yes, I noticed before the summer that we were doing the same 'back to work for three weeks, off again for the summer'. I hated being back in July though, missed her horribly and was so sad feeling that part of our life together had come to an end. I'm dreading September but am going down to four days which should be better at least. I teach secondary - 11-16yr olds. And I do love it, really, except I'm also dreading it!

fleacircus Mon 11-Aug-08 18:51:53

Ridiculous thing is, when she was sleeping right through people kept congratulating me as if I'd done something clever, I always said 'oh no, it's just luck'. But when she stopped I started feeling that it was my fault somehow - so apparently when things go well, it's in no way related to me, but as soon as they don't I'm wholly to blame. Ludicrous.

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