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Please help - I feel like I'm at the end of my tether.

(21 Posts)
Sheen4272 Sun 31-Aug-08 11:06:44

My DD is 4mths old and breastfed. She never sleeps through the night nor much during the day. She cries to go to bed about 7pm then wakes at around 11pm, 2am 4am and 7am. She feeds at all these times. Should I be picking her up to feed? I've left her cry for 10mins once but knew she wouldn't settle.She goes straight back to sleep after each feed but I am totally exhausted. Is it a growth spurt (but it's been 2months now) or this 4mth sleep regression??? Am starting to feel very low. sad

Becky77 Sun 31-Aug-08 11:11:21

Have you tried a dummy?

Sheen4272 Sun 31-Aug-08 11:14:16

it's funny you should ask that. A friend gave me one and I sterilised it last night. When she woke at 1am I put it in but she was sucking on it like mad almost like she was trying to feed. Have never used one - do you put them in when they first go to bed or when they wake up?

sausage1230 Sun 31-Aug-08 11:23:55

HI yes this is completely normal, who says a baby should sleep through the night, yes its what everyone wants but it is not the norm. Breastmilk digests quicker and is soo much better for your litle one and she wakes because she is hungry, you might find it easier to feed her in your room or take her into your bed then you can latch her on and feed her and drop off to sleep again as long as you do it safely, ie, have a bed rail up or have a bedside cot so you can slide her into it after feeding her then you can feed her however much she wants and not get tired yourself. When you breastfeed it releases relaxing hormones in you which will make it easy for you to drop off back to sleep. I have a 19 month old and i work full time from home, i find and have found that through talking to la leche (breastfeeding support) that thi s is all normal, its just that so many people put their little ones in seperatee room, leave them to cry and expect the baby to fit in with them, people forget that they are helpless and cry for a reason, you cant spoil a baby they need to feel reassurance that you will come to them when they cry, by doing what you are doing you are giving your little one the best grounding and confidence in you that you can, dont give up you are doing everything so well. They do have regular growth spurts ehen you feel that you are feeding them constantly so at these times eat more, rest whenever you can, even if you lay on sofa, or bed do skin to skin with your baby and rest this will help you and her enormously, think of the time you are putting in as an investment in your little ones health and social confidence for her later life, you will have a really chillled out, confident relaxed happy toddler as she will always know and feel reassured because you have done this, that you are there, she wont be a nervous unconfident fractious baby, honestly what you are doing is giving her the building blocks that will help her throughout her life emotionally and socially. Keep up you are doing everything right you can also look up attachment parenting and the benefits, also le leche they are a free fabulous support for breastfeeding mums who give brillliant help and free phone advice at anytime day or night also you could look up co - sleeping (safely) this will help you enormously, i do this still with my little boy and once he has gone to sleep i put cot side up and go downstairs i can say he still feeds through the night but goes on and off on his own now and it is lovely, if he is ill or gets sick he can just have breastmilk as it increases as he needs it ie more he goes on more comes less he feeds less is made so its brill when he is ill as he gets better soooo much quicker, especially when he had sickness and diahorrea bug!!! Good luck, well done x x x x

suey2 Sun 31-Aug-08 11:24:38

any way that works? Why not try and pop it in just after a bf so she gets the idea that it is comfort not food? Then it may work better at night

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 31-Aug-08 11:28:30

Message withdrawn

suey2 Sun 31-Aug-08 11:29:56

there are definitely different ways of going about it. I personally think that there is a middle way and that you can gently mould your lo to space out the feeds a bit so that you don't get too exhausted. A dummy or cooled boiled water from a bottle (assuming the weight gain is ok) can help to achieve this without traumatizing the child too much

3littlefrogs Sun 31-Aug-08 11:30:22

Mine all did this. I think it is normal. At 4 months, you need to feed on demand, and the more you feed, the better your supply will be. Can you rest/sleep every time she naps, and do you have anyone to help with shopping, cooking etc? It is exhausting, I remember it well, but it does get better - you are doing a great job.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 31-Aug-08 11:33:32

Message withdrawn

suey2 Sun 31-Aug-08 11:40:03

yes, it does sound normal. However, I found it was all so much easier when dd had one feed between 11 & 7. In your shoes I would try an gradually push back the 2 am feed, by 5 mins at a time

3littlefrogs Sun 31-Aug-08 11:53:05

The trouble is, I think, these days there is an expectation that day time housework, shopping,etc will go on as normal. In many cultures new mums are enabled to eat, sleep, feed the baby and not expected to do anything else. The tiredness and randomness of it all comes as a huge shock first time round. Second and subsequent babies are just as exhausting, but somehow you get through it because you sort of know what to expect.

I had no help of any kind when I had mine, as DH was never at home, and I had no family nearer than 300 miles away. I really feel for you, and I remember the tiredness. Please try and rest as and when dd sleeps, conserve your strength and just do the minimum in the house IYSWIM.

HonoriaGlossop Sun 31-Aug-08 12:15:08

Of course when it gets to having lived through four MONTHS of extreme sleep deprivation, you DO get desperate, of course you do. I'm not surprised you feel at the end of your tether.

I assume you have a DP/DH? Well I think now is the time to enlist loads of help. You do need to feel free to sleep when the baby does in the day so you need your partner to expect to come in, put the house back together, cook dinner, and put washing on, change beds, sort some food shopping out - whatever....

It's all too easy for you both to slip in to thinking you are doing this because you're at home anyway. But you ARE physically exhausted. You need some help with this.

Also suggest going to bed during the evening, as soon as your baby settles. I did this sometimes - it's hard because you feel you get no life but even if you only do it once or twice a week you are upping the hours of sleep you're getting.

Also, is it possible to express/mix feed so that your partner could at least do one of the feeds at night? Obviously I'm committing the MN crime of the century in mentioning a bottle of formula but I don't know you so don't know if you are idealogically committed to breat only etc; plenty of people I know in RL have included a bottle of formula for this reason (though I know it has impact on supply and also not all babies will take a bottle - just thought I'd suggest it as an idea)
Good luck.

Sheen4272 Sun 31-Aug-08 16:43:32

It feels worse as I suffer from vertigo and have had a couple of episodes when I have been incapacitated. This has been brought on by tiredness and stress. I have thought about the formula answer but am worried about the supply and demand. its just great to hear some supportive comments - thank you, it also helps to know this is normal.

LackaDAISYcal Sun 31-Aug-08 17:07:23

sheen, no wonder you are knackered, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things in feeding on demand smile. I don't know if anyone's told you that babies feed at night as this is better for stimulating your supply (and I suppose it's a throwback to caveman culture when most predators would be out of the way, so safer) so your baby is doing all the right things as well.

I agree on the getting some sleep whenever the baby does as well, and if possible, can you try and sneak an extra couple of feeds in during the day in the hope that this will help your DD go a bit longer at night (it might not work though). And enlisting the help of DH would be good. Normally it's easier to express first thing in the morning, so if you could get enough then, or by topping it up through the day, for a 5 or 6 oz feed, then DH could do one of the night feeds for you, say the 11 o'clock one, and allowing you to get a decent chunk of sleep before having to get up again. And, if introducing a bottle of formula is what you want to do, by four months your supply should be well enough established that it shouldn't interfere too much. Some women give a bottle before bed, then express what the baby would've had and that can be used by hubby to feed later in the night.

If it's any comfort, 16 weeks tends to be a bit of a turning point when supply/demand gets really settled and the baby starts to fall into their own routine so fingers crossed you should be getting a bit more sleep soon. smile

sausage....I'm sure you made some very good points in your post, but it is very difficult to read as a single paragraph of only three sentences! I'm afraid I glazed over after the first few lines blush

Sheen4272 Sun 31-Aug-08 18:01:57

I'm trying to feed as much as I can during the day, unfortunately she doesn't sleep much so unless I go to bed at 7pm when she does I don't get a chance. I have been trying to have some early nights but as we all know this is easier said than done. When she feeds in the day she has developed a habit of pulling off to look at me or if she hears something, this hurts but also stops her feeding. Also, she groans and pulls when feeding sometimes - is this lack of milk? My boobs don't leak or feel full during the day, infact they have never leaked. Does this mean there is a short supply.

Redbush Sun 31-Aug-08 18:16:46

Hi Sheen4272 - just popped on and had a read through this. My DD2 is now 6 months old but I clearly remember with DD1 being worried about supply. Because you can't see what they're getting you simply don't know what's there but beleive me you will have enough for her. She wouldn't be settling or sleeping at all if you didn't. Even with food I can have a night where DD2 will feed at 11pm 2am and 4am but at least now I have some nights when it's only once.

Hang in there - it really does get better - it's much easier 2nd time round because you know there is an end. You've done really well for 16 weeks. Time will go really quickly and things will keep changing - for better and for worse!! Just keep coming on here and asking for support and try to get as much as you can from friends and family. I wasn't very good at asking but babies are demanding little things and anybody who's had one will know that!

Good luck for tonight xx

Sheen4272 Sun 31-Aug-08 18:21:14

Thank you Redbush, it's great logging on here everybody is so kind. xx

tiktok Sun 31-Aug-08 18:30:32

Sheen, lack of leaking is not a sign of low supply. It is normal for softer, emptier-feeling breasts to appear with established breastfeeding ...sounds as if you are lacking in confidence, unnecessarily as all seems to be fine and normal

monthlymayhem Sun 31-Aug-08 20:12:55

Sheen, my LO is 23 weeks and was feeding frequently through the night (sometimes every 1-2 hours shock ). However over the last couple of nights he has fed at 11pm, 2am ish and then around 7am. The only thing we changed was the side of the bed we slept on (my DH sleeping nearest to LO's cot rather than me) after someone suggested it on mnet - so that LO doesn't smell your milk. No idea if it's a coincidence or changng sides actually worked but might be worth a go :-)

Tryharder Sun 31-Aug-08 22:17:32

I would also recommend co sleeping. Both my DSs fed/feed constantly through the night. I found co-sleeping to be the only way in which I was able to get some sleep. I have woken up at 3am before, latched DS2 on and then gone back to sleep, then woken up again at 5am to find the little buggar still sucking away in his sleep.

I honestly dont know how mothers who dont co-sleep cope with bf at night because i really wouldnt have it in me to get out of bed, walk over to a cot or another room, get baby out... and then settle baby back into cot afterwards.

But I also appreciate that co sleeping isnt for everyone particularly those who place value on or even have a sex life....

littlemisss Mon 01-Sep-08 09:23:37

My dd is 4 months and is bf. She feeds once through the night (sometime between 4 and 6) after going down at 7. If she wakes earlier I usually put her dummy in (she has one for sleeping only)and put her mobile or light show on. She usually goes straight back to sleep. If she continues to scream then I think she must be going through a growth spurt so i will give her an extra feed (although I rarely have to do this to be honest). I spent ages constantly shoving my boob in her mouth for tiny 5 min feeds which i now realise were more for comfort. Her 7pm feed is for about half an hour and her early morning one for 20 mins (which probably works out in total about the same as all of the snacking she was doing before).

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