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How to get through the 4 month growth spurt?

(14 Posts)
jasperc163 Thu 30-Jul-09 11:17:16

Hi there - i know this has been done to death but i am really struggling. I assume that DD2's sudden waking 3x a night is due to the above (previously woke once around 4-5am)?

The problem i have is that the only way i have managed since 4 weeks is by expressing a bottle around 1am when DD asleep for the following evening - when she cluster feeds all evening (still does) and wont settle til she gets the bottle.

I have to introduce mix feeding mid september anyway as going back to work, so I just wanted to make it through another 6 weeks exclusively bf. However the frequent night waking is meaning i can't express at night (and cant get any out during day anyway as she is pretty frequent then). I have 4 bags left in the freezer and am starting to panic :-(

I know everyone will say that if i just feed all evening then my supply will up but it never has (i have one lazy boob and am on domperidone already) - i feed all evening and only give the bottle last thing at around 10pm.

Any ideas how i can get round this inability to express while the night waking is going on? If I dont give her a bottle last thing then i dread to think how many times she will wake - and we get to a point where she is never satisfied by a feed. I cant be alone with this evening problem?

help?
thanks

fruitstick Thu 30-Jul-09 11:21:59

Feel free to ignore me, but have you tried co-sleeping and breastfeeding lying down?

With DS1 I was never a fan of co-sleeping (thought it was a hippyish thinkg to do and they would still be in my bed at 17) but with DS2 it has been a lifesaver.

He is now 5 months but goes to bed in his own bed but if he wakes in the night I bring him into my bed and feed him, then we both fall asleep. As long as you follow the guidelines about duvets, pillows and alcohol it is perfectly safe.

Otherwise ...... are you waking her to feed at 10pm. I was doing this and DS was waking once or twice in the night. 2 weeks ago I had a couple of glasses of wine and figured I would be better off not feeding him blush. Little tinker slept right through from 7:30 until 7:30 grin.

I gave up the 10pm feed and he has been sleeping through about 60/70% of the time since then.

NellyNoKnicks Thu 30-Jul-09 11:22:15

I've just come back from the health visitor, who has informed me that the guidelines for weaning a baby at 6 months have now been rubbished and that you should start thinking about weaning between 17 weeks and 6 months... obviously I'm no expert, but do you think maybe your baby could benefit from this?

NellyNoKnicks Thu 30-Jul-09 11:42:12

Sorry, it looks like I've killed your thread, so I'm bumping it blush

dinny Thu 30-Jul-09 11:44:43

er, recommendations from WHO and DOH are 6 months for weaning still

NellyNoKnicks Thu 30-Jul-09 11:53:24

Wonder what hv was going on about then? Anyway, hope someone else can advise you further blush

weasle Thu 30-Jul-09 12:39:20

we had a terrible, terrible time at 4 months with ds2. i feel your pain! Cluster feeding all evening, as he had since birth, then hourly feeding at night. And 2yr old to look after in the day.

I was saved by co-sleeping too. i was terrified to do it, but actually now i have looked into all the evidence i realised it is not dangerous if done safely.

i also have a asymmetric supply and low supply so understand your concerns. But it is true that more feeding will increase your supply, so even if you have a tough couple of days without the bottle your breasts should 'catch-up' and provide more milk at the time she wants it. You could try a baby moon?

when returning to work i managed to keep ds2 going with breast feeding and a bit of formula. we used a bottle with a low flow teat (like newborn or 3 months) so he didn't refuse the breast because of slower flow (as happened with my ds1) and after a week changed over to a tommee tippee cup instead. Still bf at 19 months now!

Nelly, that is terrible advice from your HV. There is good evidence that supplementary foods (i presume you mean this when you say weaning) are not necessary until at least 6 months. And evidence that introduction earlier might be harmful; certainly it reduces the chance of continued bf. Who does she think has rubbished this? And i have never understood why anyone would think that a couple of spoons of carrot puree or baby rice at 11am (how most people start, IME) would help a baby sleep overnight.

OP - it does get easier, you will get through it, but i understand how hard every day is for you right now! Good luck.

aoifesmama Thu 30-Jul-09 12:45:50

Just to say at baby clinic on Tues my HV said the same -after being on a course on Mon new advice would now be between 17 weeks and 6 months and that this information would begin being advertised?!

aoifesmama Thu 30-Jul-09 12:46:52

Also, sorry for the lack of relationship to OP jasperc163, my DD is 4 months and also going through a hungry, unsettled and clingy (I think cuddly, but anyway!) stage

Ealingkate Thu 30-Jul-09 13:23:07

Hi
Have you considered how much fluid you are taking in? And whether you are able to find time to eat well - are you at all constipated (sorry for the personal question!) that's a sure sign that you need more fluids yourself which could impact on breastfeeding.

As far as weaning early goes I would hold fire, I would recommend reading Baby Lead Weaning by Gill Rapley (I think). Talks about the four month growth spurt and how a couple of spoons of baby rice is not going to fill up a baby more than a good breastfeed.

smile

jasperc163 Thu 30-Jul-09 13:23:55

thanks everyone. Sorry rather rushed reply as getting lunch for DD1 but in a nutshell...

Does noone find that they just cant get through evenings with breastmilk alone (ie without expressed either)? I dont know how i would have managed for last 3 months, hence my worry now. I imagine without a bottle at 10pm (my breasts will be as empty as the can get by then) she will be up every hour! Just worried she is going to end up really hungry?

Unfortunately cant do a babymoon - have a 3.5 DD1 and animals!

I occasionally bring her into bed in small hours when she is still hungry and i feel like i have no milk- however we struggle with it and i dont think it would solve my main problem ie evenings. I have no plans to wean yet -DD1 has intolerances so I am wary - the issue is just if i can hold out without formula til 5.5 months. Am very surprised at new HV advise!!!

Glad to hear you all got through it at

jasperc163 Thu 30-Jul-09 13:26:46

hi Ealingkate - just seen your post. I am somehwat rushed generally but fraid that wont change. Trying to drink (no not constipated but then i am on domperidone which probably makes a difference).
Am planning to do blw yes.

jimbobsmummy Thu 30-Jul-09 14:30:59

I'm not surprised at all by the 'new advice' - which actually isn't new at all but merely going back to how things have historically always been done. Very few babies in my experience actually make it to 6 months without supplementing somehow, in the UK at least. The milk only till 6 months advice has only been around for a few years anyway and never made much sense to me really (including from an allergy point of view - in fact it might make it worse). But routinely weaning at 4 months regardless if the baby was ready or not made not much sense either.

You can usually tell when a baby is ready for weaning, it is more than just seeming hungry and waking in the night, they also start showing interest in food and so on too.

Having an approach where sometime between those ages you try it sounds sensible to me.

Rainbow73 Mon 17-Aug-09 09:15:08

I think this is our problem too
Our baby happily woke me up only once from very early on - I regularly breastfed her 5 times during the day and for months this worked well.
For the last 3 or so weeks the night waking/settling/feeds have been all over the place.
Will there be an end? This is truly exhausting.

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