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still feeding 3 hourly at night, am KNACKERED!! please suggest something. ....

(27 Posts)
Tipex Thu 09-Jun-05 21:03:12

Hi all, ANY suggestions greatfully received. DS is 16 weeks and for 4 weeks slept thru till 4am but the last 5 weeks is back to feeding alot at night. He typically settles well at 6pm, after a feed altho not falling asleep on the boob, but then wakes 11pm ish then always 3 hours after on the dot, always wakes at 4:10am then up for the day at 5:30am. I'm battered! I've been trying dreamfeeding and altho he once went from 10pm dreamfeed till 4am its now back to waking 3 hours after the dreamfeed as if hed woken himself. He does seem to wake just for the feed as he feeds well, not comfort sucking and its usually straight back to sleep. He wont take a bottle so cant offer water or get a break from it. Any ideas or is this it for a while?

ps, hes not showing any signs hes ready for solids ie not interested and not sitting unaided etc so I'm not keen to wean him early.
pps he feeds ok in the day, every 3 hours or so and I cant get him to take anymore to try and top him up (presumably as he has a full belly from the night before!!)

compo Thu 09-Jun-05 21:04:49

You won't want to hear this but he'll grow out of it, you just have to be patinet. Weaning won't help I don't think. Can you leave him to babble to himself maybe for a bit at 5.30am until a more human hour to get up?!!

starlover Thu 09-Jun-05 21:07:31

tipex, i have actually given in and started weaning Linus because he was doing the same thing.
Used to go from 8.30pm to 5am fine.
then started waking about 3/4 times in the night.

Tried him on baby rice and he is now back to normal!

Tipex Thu 09-Jun-05 21:08:03

oh blimey hes just woken demanding a feed now at 9pm so thats 3 hours after he first went down. not even doing one decent stretch now! Yikes!
How come he could do it before but wont do it now?
No babbling at 5:30 I'm afraid its out and out crying until hes rescued!!

Magscat Thu 09-Jun-05 21:09:26

Just to say I sympathise Tipex. My dd is 5 months 1 wk and we have very similar pattern to you.
She once had a week of sleeping from 7pm till about 4am or from 11pm till 7am but then she got a cold, then we went on hoiliday and both those weeks she fed every 2 hours through the night.

She seems (touch wood) to be getting back into feeding once between 11pm & 7am but it might be because I've gone back to work this week and she has been in nursery 2.5 days - I think she's just more knackered.

It'll come good sooner or later. Sorry that's not much comfort. Know how you feel

shrub Thu 09-Jun-05 21:20:10

have you tried feeding him as much as possible until midnight - from 6 pm onwards give him a feed at every opportunity, i found staying up till midnight to do this my ds's began to adjust their appetites and having a good sleep from 12 till 4/5am. have you tried bathtime later and/or taking his clothes off so he may want another feed?

Tipex Fri 10-Jun-05 20:23:40

sigh, so essentially, there is no magic answer? and I have to be chronically sleep deprived until goondness knows when? cant bear the thought of going back to work I'll be like a zombie! Gotta love him but hes going to break me!!

LeahE Fri 10-Jun-05 21:02:59

We had a similar problem and eventually started cosleeping from the point at which he first woke up at night. I wish I'd done it sooner, I feel so much more rested. I know it's not for everyone, though.

If it's any help, when ds was 16 weeks he was only doing 2-3 hours at his first stretch (having previously been able to do 6 hours at a stretch when he was 2 months) but it's now (he's 20 weeks) starting to creep back up again -- we've had a couple of 5-hour stretches out of him this week.

abacus Fri 10-Jun-05 21:26:57

No advice just sympathy - my ds2 breastfed every 2hrs until he was 8mnths old, even through the night. He wouldn't take a bottle or a dummy or any baby rice, he was 11lbs+6oz though (and yes I am a smug mum! as I pushed him out all by myself, my only claim to fame!
It will get better and they do grow out of it.

popsycal Fri 10-Jun-05 21:27:52

ds2 is 14 weeks and feeds every 2.5 hours day and night./..will watch this with interest

merglemergle Fri 10-Jun-05 21:31:22

Second LeahE. We co-slept pretty much from the start because ds NEVER slept. I went several days without sleep on several occasions. At least if they are in with you you can sometimes doze a bit.

I think ds got the hang of night v day at around 6 1/2 months, which co-incidentally? was when we introduced mixed feeding with formula.

Its really really awful so am just sending sympathy really. Its just so debilitating being tired ALL the time.

Off the subject but I found it so HARD get people to take seriously that I was tired. I remember FIL telling dp to make sure he got plenty of rest, by sleeping in the spare room, as "merglemergle can always have a little sleep during the day, its not like she's got a proper job or anything."

Maisiemog Sat 11-Jun-05 13:36:19

Tipex, I totally sympathise, but it's not for a lot longer I'm sure. I don't recommend weaning early as it's not recommended by health authorities. I would recommend reading up on it thoroughly before you make a decision like that. Don't listen to 'oldies' as they would have you giving the baby a pork chop for supper as soon as it is two weeks old. (It didn't do me any harm when I worked down the pit ) It's hard for them to acknowledge they did anything that is now considered dodgy (my mum).
I co-sleep with my baby and it really is the easiest way to put him down after a feed without waking him - save a lot of bother.
He was a an early, sleepy problem feeder so we had two months of feeding and expressing every three hours and I can really relate to your pain.
However, since he turned 6 months he has started to sleep for much longer periods and I feel sooo much better and have almost forgotten the misery of being so tired.
It seems like hell, but I'm sure it will stop soon. You can do it!!!
I do recommend having a few early nights and trying to go to bed whenever your baby does, just leave all the housework and do the absolute essentials.
Get takeaway or readymeals/pizza whatever, but try to eat healthily and fill up a big bottle with water and make sure you keep it near so you don't get dehydrated (that's too easy and it makes you feel worse)
Good luck and hugs

Tipex Sat 11-Jun-05 14:43:20

so I just need to grit my teeth and hang in there. Thanks for the posts. We both (DH and I ) feel shattered today as he was up half the night. Normaly its just for feeds but it seems the more he feeds the more restless he becomes, I assume because he has tummy rumbles, wind etc. I do bring him into my bed from about 4am but I find it harder to sleep then as am so anxious about the duvet going over him etc that I just lie awake and watch him! The only time I genuinely sleep well is when DH has him for a couple of hourse in the morning and I go to bed alone. Just cant bear the thought of going back to work as dont know how on earth I'll function. Maybe by then he'll be better but cant see it TBH as hes just getting worse and worse.
leahE, its funny how your LO also used to sleep better and then it went to pot? wonder why?

starlover Sat 11-Jun-05 14:48:02

hi tipex... sorry to hear you're still sleep deprived!
i can't remember (because i am an idiot)... whether or not you use a dummy or anything?

DS wakes in the night and I think it is more out of habit than anything else.. so the last few nights, rather than feed him I have tried to settle him back down with dummy etc.

It has taken some doing, and involves swaddling him so he doesn't kick his legs around, and sitting with my hand on his cheek til he goes back to sleep.

Am hoping that eventually he will learn not to wake at all...

Anyway, this may not work for you. and i'm not suggesting that your DS doesn't need a feed int he night... but just that it MIGHT be a case of training him to only wake once or twice....

Pagan Sat 11-Jun-05 15:53:34

Sympathies in abundance. Notice how it is mainly boys on this thread??? I've been told countless times that they are just hungrier.

I was in a similar situation to you but I started DS on solids at 16 weeks. He still cannot sit unaided (now 20 weeks) but he guzzles his nosh like his dad. And I'm not talking baby rice here. DS gets what we have whizzed in a blender. Mainly, potatoes, carrots, fish, chicken, banana, apples pears ... I prefer home made stuff.

Everyone is different so make your own judgement but I was sooooo tired with the constant feeding I had to wean him. He still gets loads of breastmilk throughout the day too but usually goes down between 9-10pm and wakes between 4-5 am for a quick bf then goes back to sleep for another couple of hours.

Good luck

Magscat Sat 11-Jun-05 16:43:54

Hi Tipex. How long till you go back to work? They can change their habits quite quickly si if it's a few weeks yet I'd try not to worry.

I could never get comfortable co-sleeping either.Apart from the fact dh was never keen, I always worried too much & felt more relaxed when ds & now dd were/are in the cot.

Does he have trouble getting back to sleep once he's had his feed or is the problem 'only' that he wakes too often?

For what it's worth, the advice I've been given (NCT, La Leche League) is that weaning early won't help. I'm told breast milk is more calorific than early weaning foods so it won't sort out a hunger problem.

Do you thin he's really hungry or is it a 'habit' ?

starlover Sat 11-Jun-05 16:45:29

breast milk IS more calorific... but I think solids may fill him up a bit... physically. iyswim.

this is certainly the case with my DS.

before I get flamed, i just want to say i am NOT encouraging early weaning etc... just giving my own experience!

Magscat Sat 11-Jun-05 16:53:28

I've been wondering about this Starlover (sorry if it felt like I was 'having a go' - didn't mean to) because I'm debating when to start solids myself.
I think maybe solids/formula are harder/take longer to digest and that means the stomach doesn't 'feel' hungry as quickly.

starlover Sat 11-Jun-05 16:55:12

oh no, didn't feel like you were having a go at all!

just wanted to make sure that no-one felt i was encouraging early weaning etc, as it can be a somewhat volatile issue i have found!!!

i was all for waiting until 6 months, and would have done.. but ds started waking up 3/4 times int he night, crying after feeds etc... he is much happier on solids!

think you might be right about them taking longer to digest too...

Tipex Sat 11-Jun-05 20:20:43

ooh, another weaning debate!! he tends to wake and has his feed then goes straight back off which isnt too bad but more often of late hes waking in between his traditional 3 hourly feed time and seems unsettled. We always try to get him back to sleep without a feed at these times. maybe hes just a bit out of sorts at present as he was a right grumpy monkey in the day today also. Starlover, as with the bottle, he is not interested in a dummy sadly. Hes a boobie man and thats it! I suppose I'll keep plodding on. Its so hard to do anything in the day when you're tired tho isnt it? seems a shame as hes been alot better in the days last 2 weeks and I was keen to start venturing out the house a bit. Just cannot be arsed after 2 hours sleep tho!
I guess I was hoping some magic person would say, "do this and he'll sleep like a top!"!!!

Satine Sat 11-Jun-05 20:31:25

I'm with starlover on the spoonful of baby rice or fruit puree - it got things right back on track for my dd who was (and still is!) v hungry. But 16 weeks is earlier than the guidelines say, so it's a hard call. You really have my sympathy, the lack of sleep is absolutely awful.

Eaney Sat 11-Jun-05 20:44:05

I have similiar problems. I have been reading 'The Baby Whiperer' and she does have a lot of advise but i'm too tired to take it all in. She has various methods - A shush-pat and a pick up put down method. A friend of mine swears by her so I will try it and let you know.

Maisiemog Sun 12-Jun-05 15:42:07

Tipex, I totally sympathise with you about being tired, it's hell. But you can do it!!! If you managed 9 months of feeling rough and the pain of birth you can manage a couple of months more!! You are a strong woman and you can do it!!
Lots of support for you here
As an aside, I was wondering if you had tried expressing milk at all, I used to manage to express a little feed sometimes, and dp would feed ds whilst I had slightly more sleep. We used a feeding cup made by medela, it's supposed to be more similar to the breast. It was very messy, but at least it allowed dp to feed him. If you want one I could post you one if you CAT me?
Another thing, I know it's hard, but could you keep him up later, to kind of shift his 'up for the day' to a later time? Like go out or something, so he can't sleep until 9 or 10?
My DS never goes to bed before 12, but he sleeps until about 11 or 12 the next day, waking for a feed about 6 or 7 then straight back to sleep.
Just a thought.
Just throwing ideas at you, poor old tired thing.
Do you want me to have a word with you ds and tell him how tired mummy is?

SofiaAmes Sun 12-Jun-05 21:48:05

My ds bfed every 2hours (!!) until he was 6 months old. At that point I said enough was enough and started solids, put him in his own bed (we were co-sleeping until then) and did controlled crying all in one week. (I kept up the bfing until 15 months, by the way) He has pretty much slept through the night without any problems (few small hiccups with colds and jetlag) since then and he is now 4.5 years old. My dd (2nd child) was much better and only fed every 4 or 5 hours, but at 2.5 she still often wakes up in the night.

hana Sun 12-Jun-05 21:57:55

oh tipex, this could be me! dd2 for the past few weeks has been going to bed at 7 or 730 ( with her older sister so the timing thing works for us, don't want to push her bedtime back) and then from 11 when she wakes, she is waking up every 2 or 2.5 hours to the minute it seems. Am so v v tired too. She is up for the day at 6. Wide awake. I have no answers sorry, just sympathies. I hope it does get better v soon
dd2 is really small for her age, so i want to feed her and she isn' yet on solids - I have been told this will make a difference ( she is almost 6 months old)

just hink how lovely that sleep will be when we get it!

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