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7mo DD too interested in the world to feed in the day, feeding every 3 hrs at night! Anyone else had/having this? Will I ever get proper sleep again?!

(20 Posts)
jeffily Tue 27-Oct-09 08:58:43

DD, 7 mo, was 6 wks prem. She is offered 3 meals a day, and takes some especially when finger foods, but not masses so she is not getting enough from solids alone yet. She was feeding every 2 hours, but the last couple of weeks has just got so interested in the world that she won't BF unless we are at home, in a quiet darkened bedroom, and even then it's not a foregone conclusion!
At the mo it looks like this:
6am BF
8am breakfast
8.30 BF (usually) then nap
11.45 lunch
12.15 BF then nap
5.00 BF then tea
6.30 BF then sleep

Then....
BF at 9.30, 12.30, 3.30, 6am. (YAWN)
And the 3 hour gaps are only because I will not feed her unless 3 hours have gone by, so eg last night she was actually awake at 2.15, wanting boob. I held out till 3.15 but gave in then cos was desperate for sleep. She comes in with me when she wakes too early for a feed and occasionally she will go back to sleep for a bit, but that is getting rarer.
She is hungry- I can hear her little tummy grumbling sometimes!

Ahhhhhhh! What can I do? I seriously will go insane if I have to stay in the house all day. I am coping ok with the night wakings at the moment, but I guess what I am looking for is reassurance that, like all the other things that I have fretted about in this crazy rollercoaster that is mothering, this will pass and if I carry on just going with it she will eventually sort herself out. And by eventually I mean within the next 6 months or so! grin

I'm going back to work in Jan. Not sure how I am going to cope with thirty 9yr olds on the nights we have at the moment wink!

Swaliswan Tue 27-Oct-09 10:07:01

<Puts hand up>

Me, me! I want to die. Last night I was up at 11:30, 02:30, 03:30, 04:15 and 06:15 hmm

I used to have a brilliant sleeper sad I don't think it helps that she is quite poor at eating her solids.

OmniDroid Tue 27-Oct-09 10:13:17

Oh lordy, that is us too. I will be keeping an eye on this thread! HV just said try to get more solids into DD, but that kind of sneeky force feeding really goes against the grain after BF on demand.

IslandIsla Tue 27-Oct-09 10:15:23

I have had the same problem. My 7 mo DD is very easily distractable. I find the best times to feed her are before and after naps. I take her to her room to feed, and like you say its not a foregone conclusion. I don't really have much advice other than what you are doing!! I try to offer frequently in the day, she won't always want it, but this definitely gets more milk into her in the day. Spacing feeds doesn't seem to work for us as she wants to come off the boob as quickly as possible so she can get back to watching the world!
For going out, I have found that she will feed in the car (I keep a pillow in there to make it comfy!). If I want to go out then we do - I always offer before we leave. If she is hungry enough then she will feed when out. But if she isn't hungry enough she won't, so she just waits until we get home. I have tried taking a beaker of expressed milk with us when going out. She will feed better from this (she would never take a bottle). However expressing is a faff and I find it does upset the days pattern and she can actually wake more in the night when I do this!
Your BF/nap pattern is v similar to ours, except I always offer when she wakes from her naps, and she will take a small drink then too.
However we are doing BLW so she does not eat a lot of solid food.
At 5.5-6 months my DD woke a lot in the night, similar to what you describe. She has settled down a bit now, generally 1-2 times in the night, and I put it down to a growth spurt. If she is hungry then you have to feed. I tried to hold out on my DD sometimes, offered water, but in the end had to concede she was hungry so I fed her. Actually even my HV said she may still be hungry in the night.

jeffily Tue 27-Oct-09 13:12:41

Thanks for your ideas IslandIsla. I've thought about the beaker idea too- though am too lazy to express so will offer her formula instead. Might give it a go. She just seems to dribble so much down herself then! Maybe the night wakings are just a growth spurt, but it is a 7.5 month long growth spurt so far! grin

Hi OmniDroid & Swaliswan. Good to know I am not alone!SS- your night sounds even worse than mine. I find that anything less than a 2 hr sleep stint just doesn't feel like sleep at all. My only coping strategy at the moment is to go to bed at 8.30. DH never too pleased about that tho (specially as I won't let him watch any episodes of Battlestar Galactica without me!) wink.

My HV suggested trying to get more solids into her as well, but I soooo don't want food to ever be a battle. I'm totally sure that is not going to be a good thing, so once she clamps her lips shut, I stop trying. She's not great with her solids either, the only thing she will consistently eat is ricecake. Not huge amounts of calories there then! HV then suggested that I stay at home all day for a week offering boob every 2.5 hours. I.would.go.mad.

Repeat after me- this too shall pass. This too shall pass... smile

zombieBOO Tue 27-Oct-09 14:14:02

We're struggling a bit with the night feeds... she was sleeping through the night after a couple months, but I find that we still have times where we're up every 2 hours and feeding. It's so tiring isn't it? I would say just keep at it. She'll be taking solids by Jan surely and so your HV idea of get more solids into her will be occurring.
here's our (very tentative schedule)
up 6.30/7 BF
9/10 porridge with smoothie or smashed fruit, bf drink after depending on how much watered smoothie she takes
12/1 peanut butter or soft cheese spread bread, yogurt, smoothie
1/2 BF to sleep
4/5 bf
6/7 bread, porridge with mashed veg, stalks of veg (don't really get eaten) and a slice of whatever meat we're having (also doesn't really get eaten), water
8/9/10 BF to sleep for the night

If we don't sleep we're usually up 1/2 and 4/5 or every 2 hours after being put down when things are really bad.

And yes. This too shall pass!

Feierabend Tue 27-Oct-09 17:05:43

It sucks, doesn't it, having to get up several times a night! If you're sure your babies are hungry, I'd either wait it out and feed them in the hope that it's a growth spurt and will pass very soon, or try to get more food into them during the day. My dd2 is not a good eater but the one thing she does like is milky baby porridge, with a bit of banana in it, or just on its own. I make it up with formula (otherwise she's bf) and she has it around 4.30pm. It seems to have made a bit of a difference with her sleep. Good luck to all and this time next year sleepless nights will just be a distant memory!

Divvy Tue 27-Oct-09 17:11:44

This went on for me till he was 15 months, the only thing that has worked is putting him in his own room. January till 2 weeks ago, has been a livng nightmare for me!

no advice but try and get some sleep in the day when you can xx

cara2244 Tue 27-Oct-09 21:26:29

I had a similar situation at 6-7 months. In the end, I co-slept from about 2am and fed him lying on my side so I could sleep.

It does get better!

I went back to work in September when BB was 8.5 months and was seriously worried about being knackered, but around the same time he stopped night feeds (except 5am) - all by himself and without me doing anything differently. I think when you go back to work, they suddenly have a lot more excitement in their lives and are more tired. maybe!

Around 9.5 months he became interested in the boob again and will now feed anywhere and everywhere...and generally prefers milk to food. But he still sleeps all night, regardless of how little solid food he's eaten in the day.

Good luck

cara2244 Tue 27-Oct-09 21:28:18

Oh and ignore all those annoying people who say the baby 'should' be sleeping all night now, or delight in telling you that their 5 month old sleeps for 12 hours....

hairymelons Tue 27-Oct-09 22:21:31

Yes, it will get better! Barring illness or teething pain, 16mo DS's sleep has gradually improved as he's got older.

Have you considered that she may be teething? Always made DS's already shite sleep much worse!

Seems to me some babies figure out sleeping through at a couple of weeks old, some at a couple of years. And some like to feed lots at night time. If you are so inclined, you can do something about it- there are plenty of sleep training type methods to try (No Cry Sleep Solution was good)- but even if you do nothing, her sleep will improve anyway as she gets older.

You say she's definately hungry, I always felt DS was too so never wanted to refuse a feed. I did night wean him at 14mo but he still gets a bottle of milk from DH if he wants it (and STILL will ask for a feed if I go near him when he wakes,despite night weaning him 2 months ago!). Anyway, I often get hungry or thirsty in the night so I think, if he's asking for it, why not? But then he only started sleeping through at past a year so maybe you don't want to take my advice!

jeffily Wed 28-Oct-09 08:39:43

Argh. Last night was dreadful. When I was awake at 4.30 with her shouting in her cot next to me, having been up at 8pm, 11pm, 1am, 2.30am, 3.56am I was determined to start sleep training today- move her into her own room (well, DH's studio that he is unwilling to give up!), then at least the little noises won't wake me up, leave her to cry, send DH into her...
In the end I decamped to the sofa at 5.30, leaving DH in charge (not that he knew it as he was pretending to be asleep angry). She then started crying properly and I gave in at 6 and went and fed her again. Of course, she had done a poo and DH 'had not noticed'.hmm So I changed her and put her under her mobile, that she watched happily for 20 mins. We were up at 6.30. But the clocks did go back the other day, so for her that is 7.30, so not too bad.
DH is driving me nuts, shirking all responsibility for doing anything at night (or in the day for that matter, but that's another thread wink) and not even engaging with me in a discussion about what we could do about it. AHHHHHHHHHH!

So thanks for all your messages. I just put her down for a nap and came and read them, and it has reminded me that she is only a little baby, she will only be a little baby for such a short amount of time in the scheme of things, and that it is highly unlikely that anything I do will make any difference anyway. So I might as well just carry on loving her and caring for her as she wants through the night as I do in the day, at least while I can before I go back to work. And I'll deal with the sleeping when I really have to in Jan, if it has not sorted itself out before then.

grin @ cara- all the mums round here seem to have babies who slept through before 2 months, take bottles without complaint, never cry in the day and are happy to play by themselves for hours on their playmats!!

Thanks all, for being there!

IslandIsla Wed 28-Oct-09 09:10:56

Hi jeffily, sorry you had such a bad night! I would agree that moving her into her own room is something you need to do for your sanity! My DD is in her room which is next to ours, she hasn't really adjusted to the clocks change yet and keeps waking at 5.30-5.45, but it is much easier to ignore her when she's in another room. I found when DD was in the same room I would automatically attend to her if she made even a little squeak, it was a particularly bad night that prompted me to move her. Also it is possible you are disturbing her as much as she disturbs you.

I think one thing to remember is that 'sleeping through' is almost a status symbol with babies, seen by so many as how 'good' your baby is. But actually what is most important is that you are both getting enough sleep (which you aren't at the moment, but will improve!)

I have my mum and MIL telling me all their babies slept through by 6 weeks, and my SIL who has her 2 month old sleeping 11 hours through!

Feierabend Wed 28-Oct-09 09:19:03

Yes allegedly my db and I also slept through by 6 weeks hmm and my mum also insists that labour didn't hurt hmm and of course we were happy to entertain ourselves, oh, and we never cried!

Feierabend Wed 28-Oct-09 09:19:51

It's all bollocks grin

jeffily Wed 28-Oct-09 09:25:03

Succinct, but appropriate Feierabend grin

Morning IslandIsla- so maybe I will move DD into another room, but still carry on feeding/comforting as needed. I think i'll get that started today. To be totally honest, I think I am going to find it more of a wrench than she will. I never thought I would be such an attached parent blush!

OmniDroid Wed 28-Oct-09 14:24:26

Jeffily, my sympathies for the bad night. DD did relatively well last night - only woke at 4 and 6ish, but my flipping alarm clock went off at 12.05am - why, why, why???

We're starting to move DD into her own room too - sorting out the 'spare room' (junk hole) for DS to move into, and getting the cot out again.

I'm a very attached parent too, plus she's my last, and I know I'm going to miss sleeping (or nothmm) next to her so much.

Best of luck with the preparationssmile

OmniDroid Wed 28-Oct-09 14:26:53

PS my mum also insists labour didn't hurt, but makes no bones about my infant sleeping.

I asked her when it got better and she said 'ummm, you got a bit better once you learned to read. At least, you stopped bothering us then'.

My DS is following in my footsteps (just about sleeping through at 3.7 YEARS), but I have hope for DD!

Feierabend Wed 28-Oct-09 14:29:25

LOL at your mum's comment! Better teach my baby how to read then grin

neenz Wed 28-Oct-09 15:45:27

My DTs went through a stage of terrible sleeping at this age too - I think it is trying to get the mix of food and milk right.

With my two I just found a couple of stodgy foods that they loved eg sweet potato with parsnips, and they loved Oatibix for supper (nice and filling!) that I could always fall back on cos I knew they would eat lots of it.

How much protein is she eating? Protein will fill her up more than fruit/veg. So any meats, lentils, beans. Just mix everything with sweet potato. wink

Yes it does get better!

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