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help guidabce and support needed to keep bf

(7 Posts)
mummychubb Sun 02-Aug-09 21:52:01

my ds is 13wks (6wks prem) and was sleeping through the night until the 12 week growth spurt hit - he went from a normal feeding pattern to feeding every 2 hrs, including through the night :-(

i'm now at my wits end, having gone from a cool 6-7hrs through the night, despite cluster feeding in the evening, he just wont settle and is still cluster feeding in the evening with a middle of the night feed as well. should the 12 wk growth spurt last this long? its been well over a week now and there's no sign of getting back to any pattern.

he also refuses to sleep until he's absolutely exhausted, his day seems to go from 11pm to 11am and i really don't know what to do for the best, to date i've been feeding on demand - should a try and get him into a routine and let him cry himself to sleep or just carry on as we have been and let him decide?

pls help as i really don't know what to do forthe best and the tears have been flowing for both of us - my hubby says we should let him cry when he's tired, but he just seems hungry all the time so the only way to get him to sleep is onthe breast and even then he wakes up the minute he's put down

any advice much appreciated as i found myself considering formula today just to get him to sleep and its all been going so well up til now

mummychubb Sun 02-Aug-09 21:54:43

forgot to add he's constantly sucking on his hands when awake so i'm missing the hungry signs is this normal?

motherlovebone Sun 02-Aug-09 22:15:20

i think its normal.
my boy was always wanting to suck.
have you thought about trying a dummy for a little respite?
formula wont help!
keep going, it gets easier!

makedoandmend Sun 02-Aug-09 22:23:25

mummychubb - I'm no expert so I hope someone else comes along soon - but if it helps my dd - now 8 months- goes through phases of completely changing her pattern. It usually lasts a week then reverts back or changes. So you might find that this is a temporary blip.

She also used to have a weird day/night reverse thing which lasted a while. It did eventually sort itself out but for the time being I just stopped trying to think of night and day and started to think of a day as 24 hours - which is doable with one child - tricky with any more.

This meant I just adjusted my day round hers and if I ate breakfast at midday or 6pm or whatever, or if I slept for some of the day and was up at night then so be it. It sounds extreme but it saved my sanity and it only lasted a little while.

I personally think 13 weeks is early for a routine - I'd just go with his needs. I fed dd to sleep for months as it was the only way to get her down (otherwise she'd just scream) and it had no lasting effects (she quite happily goes off to sleep on her own now) despite what the books say!

I really hope it sorts itself out soon - it really is temporary but I know it doesn't feel that way. If you don't get the help you need on here (which you probably will) - call one of the bf helplines - I found them really helpful.

makedoandmend Sun 02-Aug-09 22:24:08

Oh forgot to say - my dd found her thumb at three months and that helped enormously!

Mummy369 Sun 02-Aug-09 23:45:59

I think makedoandmend has given you some really good tips and reassurance. Please do continue to breastfeed on-demand. Lots of babies go through very tricky growth spurts, and providing you always feed your baby when he tells you he's hungry then you should find he will soon start to settle for you again.

Of course, we can't see how much milk he is having at each feed - it may be that he's falling asleep too soon at some of his feeds and would benefit from a bit more prompting to have a good-length feed (at least 15-20 minutes on one breast, though some babies will do 15-20 mins on each).

Have you tried BF laying down? You might find it easier to settle him for the night if you don't have to move him again once he finishes his feed. Also, if you bed-share with him for a few nights you will get more sleep for yourself.

Good luck smile

maygirl Sun 02-Aug-09 23:48:39

Hi, I hope you have a better night tonight.

Does he have a feed from both sides every 2 hours? Only my baby seemed to feed constantly & I'd heard should only offer one side per feed. Once I started offering both sides (or even 3 or four sides during a growth spurt) per feed, perhaps with just a short break between sides, he started to spread out his feeds.
I always fed to sleep in the early days. I found having him lying on something I could safely transfer him lying on into his cot, or having him swaddled during a feed used to work, so there wasn't the sudden temperature difference to wake him up. Sleeping bags once big enough are good for this too.

My son was very unhappy while cluster feeding during the evenings, sleeping for a few minutes, crying, feeding for a few mins, sleeping and repeat. I decided to try a bedtime routine, despite not really having much of a daytime one going yet. Gave a big early evening feed, relaxing bath, then fed both breasts again in a darkened room, he'd zonk after this for 3-4 hours or so. He'd still wake for several night feeds, but getting this good chunk of sleep in between 7-10/11, before he was completely overtired seemed to put him in a better more relaxed mood for the rest of the night. I think he might have fed more at night after not cluster feeding throughout the evening iykwim, but we were both alot happier this way.

You will muddle through and find something that works for your family soon.

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