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Did you BF for longer with 1st baby than for 2nd or subsequent?

(15 Posts)
bethdivine Tue 11-Aug-09 13:14:30

DD is 17wks and not particularly an easy baby to feed. I was wondering if other people have found it difficult to feed for as long 2nd time around - as I think DS wasn't particularly an easy feeder either, but I just went with the flow with him gave up my whole time and sat around for hours on the sofa then in a darkened room when he wouldn't feed unless very sleepy and quiet. I just assumed foolishly that BF would be easier 2nd time around, having done it for a year with DS, but it's not. I thought DD would slot into our life and I'd still have time to play with DS and maybe do some minimal housework (and I just mean get a wash on and out, cook some food - the essentials...).

Instead I'm still sat on sofa for hours, whilst DS watches more and more TV, the washing is piling up and I'm wondering how much longer I can last. I think I've lost sight of why I'm doing this and what's best for our family - I feel guilty at the thought of not feeding DD for as long as I did DS, but can't see how this can carry on much longer, it still feels like newborn stage. Anybody else experience this or have some wise words to share?

muddleduck Tue 11-Aug-09 13:32:00

I was lucky in that bf-ing ds2 coincided with ds1's jigsaw puzzle obsession grin.

I'd say turn off the tv and look at feeding time as a time when you can focus on both dc and not be distracted by household nonsense. Try and set things up so that your dd gets used to you chatting to your ds at the same time. Try and set up something for your ds to do right next to you and interact with him as much as possible.

How often is dd feeding?

bethdivine Tue 11-Aug-09 13:44:37

well, I don't watch the clock to be honest, so couldn't tell you exactly how often DD feeds, but she cluster feeds in the morning, so when she wakes up, again 8.30ish and again an hour or so later - so getting a shower, dressed etc is a rush (DH helps getting DS and DD ready before going to work - I know I'm lucky!) then when we get downstairs it's hit and miss if I get breakfast, I sort DS out and then feed. Then she tends to feed anything between 90mins - 2.5hours i suppose. Growth spurt right now, so gone from one night waking to about 5 sad - I always get a stack of books ready the night before and try and change them, get a couple of jigsaws and flash card packs out, but eventually DS wants the TV. It doesn't help that DD really doesn't nap well, her naps are wrapped up in feeds and I know it sounds ridiculous, but I'm not getting a chance to sort it out. DH is off for a week soon and we just want a few days out as a family to have a break, rather than sitting at home obsessing about this.

iwantitnow Tue 11-Aug-09 13:53:02

I am finding it more difficult the second time round, I fed DD until she self weaned at 23 months, DS is now nearly 5 months old and I don't plan to feed beyond a year this time. DS much easier to feed very quick (DD fed constantly and very slow feeder) but I am knackered by sleep deprivation he wakes at least twice a night and then looking after a 2.5 year old too all day. I rely on TV for putting DS down for naps not feeding but still she watches too much.

I resent that my DH gets to take DD out for the day so I can have a break when I would love to take DD out and have a break from the baby. I have almost a pathological hatred of expressing and never give bottles - but maybe thats an option for you as a break.

At 17 weeks your DD is probably going through a growth spurt, DS woke every 1.5 hours through the night for a week at 17 weeks. So it might all get better.

I don't think you should feel like you have failed if you BF for different lengths of time, its great you have fed so long. My MIL keeps going on about how she made sure she fed her two children the same length of time - but if you set yourself such a target of six weeks its much easier to achieve, one day I will snap and tell her that!

muddleduck Tue 11-Aug-09 13:57:25

I know this isn't right for everyone, but I found that with 2 young dc to manage it made a huge difference to have a bit more structure in the day. This helped to avoid having lots of little feeds and lots of little naps and gave me bigger cheucks of time to spend with ds1. Obv you have to do this a way that suits you, but I found that the semi-structured routine suggested in the baby whisperer books worked for us.

Also would it help to go out more? Sorry if I'm contradicting myself here but I also found that when we were out and about ds2 would doze off in the pushchair when he was tired rather than automatically wanting a feed to settle himself.

good luck. smile

holdingittogether Tue 11-Aug-09 13:59:48

I fed ds1 for 9 months, ds2 4 months and ds3 7 weeks. So in my case I definatley found it more difficult to continue feeding subsequent dcs. For me I found that with ds1 I spent most of my time feeding him. With the others I simply couldn't spend hours and hours glued to the sofa feeding and feeding. When I did swap to bottles life got alot easier and for us at the time it was the right decsion.

bethdivine Tue 11-Aug-09 14:22:37

yes, getting out helps DD sleep, the problem with that one is DS is at the age of not wanting to go in the pram, but too little to walk too far - and still possessive about HIS pram, so DD ends up in the baby bjorn mostly - which I love, but would like her to get used to the pram more as that would give me more options for sleep in the house too. Ah, I don't know, it just all feels such a mess. I keep posting on here, and I think they're just variations on the same theme. I don't recognise each cry for what it is - I think they all sound the same to me, so I honestly don't know if DD really wants to feed every time I offer the breast and think that's why she ends up snacking more often. Then I obviously miss her sleepy signs, but she naps during a feed too, so she often doesn't go down after a feed and wakes herself, not quite rested enough.

Yes, I suppose a bit of structure is what I'm after, but I've been worried about not wanting to force DD into anything and was hoping she'd settle into her own pattern - if so I've missed it and we're 4 months down the line! However, today she napped for 1.5 hours in her chair which is a breakthrough, whilst DS and I played upstairs, and now DS is happy outside on the patio with his sandpit, whilst DD kicks on her playmat prior to her next feed - at times like this I think oh well, i'm getting there slowly, then it all goes to pot again and I just feel like giving it all up.

thanks for your replies, much appreciated. sorry if I'm not making much sense!

HoppityBunny Tue 11-Aug-09 14:39:23

I just think some babies are more 'sucky' than others. Sucky babies are clinger, less condfidence and they need more assurance. And they show this by wanting your breast.

My 1st baby DD1 was very very sucky need to suckle my breast for hours at a time and as well as throughout the night. My 2nd baby DD2 wasn't like this at all, she was happy to have her feed then drop off to sleep, and felt happy with her lot and didn't feel the need to be near me. My 3rd baby DDS (current one) is the middle of my last 2 babies for having a desire to suck my breast all the time. I think it wrong to label it breast 'feeding' cos really breastfeeding is a combination of three things; bonding, suckling and feeding.

The way I had gotten around it, is as soon as I pack my other children off to bed at 7pm. I settle into my bed or sofa with the telly on and just let my DDS suckle me to his heart's content sometimes till 11pm! I don't mind, cos I am too busy watching my telly (I don't watch it during the day). I have always done it like this with my other babies too. Then I find they are not so demanding and sucky in the next day during day time, cos they know they get me to themselves all evening! It's like an agreement!

DollyPS Tue 11-Aug-09 14:50:32

See I had 5 kids and the more babies I had the longer I breastfed them.

1st and 2nd a year 3rd for 1 and a bit last 2 for 3 years, but I did the cluster feeding at pm times as the HB did and at the time ex was so understanding of the babies needs then as for the first few months he was there at night to take the others of my hands.

With the last 2 it was nursery that ended the feeding of them.

Dont beat yourself up over it as its what is best for you and the baby and a happy mummy and a happy baby is the best kind in the world dont you think.

muddleduck Tue 11-Aug-09 14:51:58

Hi again.
How old is your ds? It would be great if you can get him out the pushchair. Is he old enough for a scooter or balance bike? My dss have been on these since 2.5 which was very helpful.

IME the stuff about knowing their different cries is nonsense and the only way I knew if he was hungry or tired was by knowing how long it was since I last fed him.

Can I mention the word "dummy" without getting flamed?

I can post you one of the baby whisperer books if you think it might help. I won't need it again grin

VoodooBetterGetPacking Tue 11-Aug-09 14:55:32

I bf my dd first, for a full year.

When my ds came, he took to it better, but weaned himself at 7mths. I was a bit sad, tbh as I had wanted him to have the same start as his sister, but what can you do? you can put the baby to boob, but you can't make him suck grin.
then I went out and got drunk and I didnt feel half so sad!

bethdivine Tue 11-Aug-09 15:01:24

thanks all and muddleduck, DS is 2.6 and DD 17wks. Tried the dummy with DD but she has resolutely rejected it time and again, so having got this far don't think it's an option now. thanks so much for the offer of the baby whisperer book, - I actually read this 1st time round with DS (along with all the 50million other books...) so maybe I should revisit it (it's in our local library, so can pick it up on thurs when I go with DS - I do at least try and get there once a week as he has a great time and DD has usually dropped off by the time we get there, DS thinks it's his own library as it's v. quiet, so is quite disgruntled if any other children are there in HIS library grin)
thanks so much for all the suggestions and experience.

HoppityBunny Tue 11-Aug-09 15:02:25

I never used a dummy on my 3 babies, don't know why (probably cos my MIL hated them didn't want to disappear into her bad books completely!). No dummies worked for me, cos my babies had me all evenings to suckle non stop.

I BF for 2-3yrs like this with each one! I think this does them good, cos my childen never found any comfort toys, blankets to have and nor have they ever sucked their thumbs.

bethdivine Tue 11-Aug-09 15:33:48

hoppitybunny, I did this for the first couple of months with DD, but she just started settling for the night and not wanting to feed, so I start bedtime with her around 6.45 now, - she will take her time mind you, and does enjoy the suckling, some nights I'm not down till 8.30, but I don't mind if I just get some time in the eve. - She was previously only then waking the once until this growth spurt, i could cope better with the days when her sleep was ok, but now that's all over the place too, it's all getting harder.

HoppityBunny Tue 11-Aug-09 17:51:31

All babies are just so different mine went down when I go down (to bed). It depends on whether you don't mind giving up your entire evening to your baby. It didn't bother me, cos I would be just watching telly anyway and my DH got me drinks.

I hardly didn't noticed the growth spurts in my babies this was probably because I co-slept with them as well! This helps too. I think you are doing very well, I just muddle along blindly, most people think I am mad giving up so much of my free time!

The free time gradually crept in for me when came when solids 3 times a day and walking starts. It will get easier promise! Give yourself a pad on the back.

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