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Dr says stop BF - can this be right?

(12 Posts)
ready2pop Wed 13-Aug-08 14:28:44

This may be long, sorry.

My 6 month old DS started sleeping through from 7pm to 7am about 5 weeks ago. He did this for 3 weeks so, when he did finally wake up one night, I held off from feeding him - thinking he obviously didn't need it.

Since then, his sleep has been getting worse and he is now a nightmare to get to sleep and then wakes up every hour or so. It is so bad that the only way we can get him to sleep at all is to feed him to sleep. Against, my better judgment we tried controlled crying but he just made himself sick.

Anyway, I saw my Dr today just to check he didn't have an ear infection or similar and as I suspect it may be down to teething but he told me it is because DS is suffering separation anxiety from the breast hmm!

He says that by refusing to night feed him (which I really only did for 2 days) he thinks he is being weaned. He has always had a bottle first thing in the morning and is on 3 solid meals a day but does still BF at least 6 times a day. Doc says that with introduction of solids and cutting down night feeds, DS is taking opportunity to breastfeed when he can - ie. in middle of the night.

He advised me to stop BF'ing and wean DS to bottle cold turkey. Can this be right?

ready2pop Wed 13-Aug-08 14:33:32

PS - I had planned to stop BF'ing fairly soon anyway so that isn't my worry. More that doing it so suddenly seems a bit extreme - and likely to be pretty painful all around shock

fishie Wed 13-Aug-08 14:34:06

6m is pretty young to be going all night without a feed. if you can easily feed him to sleep then do it, whatever it takes. ages yet to sort out proper bedtime routine.

oh and of cousre doc is wrong. breast separation anxiety?! what cod-psychology has he been reading??

edam Wed 13-Aug-08 14:41:38

How on earth would a baby think he is being weaned? Do babies read Gina Ford? Have long chats with HVs and discuss baby-led weaning at the sing and sign class?

VERY daft GP.

No idea what you should do but stopping b/f entirely doesn't sound like a magic bullet.

edam Wed 13-Aug-08 14:43:15

And I wouldn't have said six months is too young to go all night without a feed - many (most?) babies do. Clearly your baby's not happy about it, though.

Romy7 Wed 13-Aug-08 14:49:28

i had to stop bf at 10 months because ds1 fed every 2 hours. at that point i knew he didn't need feeding at night, but 6 months is so wee! none of mine ever slept through at that point!
i should point out that ds1 is the devil's own child, and had for 8 months demonstrated his dissatisfaction (screaming hissy fit whirling angry dervish) if presented with anything resembling plastic to sup out of, so it wasn't an easy decision! He is just the most stubborn child. Sack the doc and find some sensible baby expertise.
Have you tried just giving him water in the night if you want to discourage him, rather than cc?
i think your real problem is him waking, rahter than being told to stop bf though?

i did cold turkey with all 3. cabbage leaves and all well. can't be doing with all this dropping feeds stuff - with ds1 it was all or nothing anyway lol.

traditionally you can drop feeds and cut down gradually - there are slightly higher risks of mastitis etc with cold turkey, and it is uncomfortable, but actually it sounds as though you have been cutting down a bit anyway.

alardi Wed 13-Aug-08 19:12:02

I think physiologically (hormones) your supply is more responsive at night and early morning, so efectively, yes, doctor is right, the baby is responding to the times bottle is offered by feeding at night for the comfort sucking/milk production that he is biologically programmed to need to provide. So I suppose doctor is right, in a round about way.

(Will probalby get slated for bothering to reply, but it's my tuppence, anyway!)

Doc is talking crap. If feeding works, feed him. It will pass.

Bottlefed babies get separation anxiety too.

It's totally outwith your GP's remit to even advise you on this stuff. It's like my dentist giving me legal advice or something.

FWIW DS needs to feed a lot if he's teething or windy or something. Nowt to do with separation anxiety, or hunger or anything, just pure and simple comfort. Nothing wrong with that.

weasle Wed 13-Aug-08 19:33:36

Sounds like bad advice to me. babies have phases of sleeping/not sleeping, and it is often v difficult to find a reason why. people put difficult periods down to teething, growth spurts, beginning crawling, mum going back to work but there is actually no scientific evidence for any of this.

i think it is very common for babies to wake in the night at only 6 months, usually for feeding/comfort. bf is more than just supplying milk after all, it also provides baby with comfort, love and the presence of mummy.

offer him breast in the day a bit more perhaps? in a quiet room?

my 8mo ds is also keener on feeding at night than day - too much going on in the day to want to feed i think. but i don't think the answer is to stop bf!

GPs get NO training about bf by the way, and their advice will depend on what their personal experience is of feeding babies. take it with a pinch of salt.

cockles Wed 13-Aug-08 19:39:00

Bizarre. And even if he was getting 'separation anxiety' the way to cure it would be to feed him more not less surely!

ChukkyPig Wed 13-Aug-08 19:55:24

Aside from the doctor's bizarre ideas, I had a friend who had this. When she went back to work obviously she wasn't feeding during the day any more, so the baby did seem to make up for it at night. Went from waking a couple of times to waking every hour. She was knackered.

If you are able I would maybe suggest upping his breast feeds during the day. Certainly if you're going to "drop" breast feeds then the ones at night are probably the ones to go for!

Poohbah Wed 13-Aug-08 20:38:15

No, no, no, no, NO! What a cock!!! Just carry on feeding him as you were. Babies have episodes of sleeping through and not sleeping through, most babies I know seem to need feeding in the night bottle or boob.

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