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4 month old wants to feed all night

(12 Posts)
Bugsymum Mon 15-Mar-10 22:03:01

I am a first time mum and completely new to this discussion forum, so please bear with me!

My little boy is four months old and seems to want to feed or comfort on my breast a lot during the night. He has never slept for longer than a couple of hours at a time and has always fed quite often so I don't think this is due to a growth spurt.

His best sleep is when he goes down to bed between 7 - 8 and he will sleep for about 3 hours though often wakes in between that time and my husband or I need to go and settle hime. I feed him when he wakes around 11 and he will then go to sleep for another one and a half or two hours. From about 1.30, his sleeping seems light and he tends to end up in our bed as he wants to feed at least every hour and sometimes he is just soothing on me and not sleeping and would stay latched on for hours! If I don't let him, he will scream. We recently tried my husband trying to get him to sleep when he woke in the middle of the night and we knew he wasn't hungry but after he screamed for almost two hours, I gave in and once he was at my breast for a few minutes, he fell asleep!

This can mean me holding him for 4 - 5 hours at night while he feeds and soothes on me and I don't know how to break this.

He has only ever been breastfed and refuses to take a bottle or soother.

Has anyone else expereinced this? Should I let him have this comfort?

We also rock him to sleep or sometimes he falls asleep when feeding because he will not sleep in his cot on his own and I think he is still too young to try any sleep training methods - do you agree?

Also, during the day, he will only sleep in my arms, in the car or his pram. When he is laid in his cot asleep during the day, he wakes up after about five minutes.

I'd really appreciate any advice that anyone may have as four months of sleep deprivation is starting to take its toll!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Filmbuffmum Mon 15-Mar-10 22:14:03

Can't offer much advice, as DS2 (now 6 months) has been exactly the same (a shock for me, as DS1 slept from 7-7 from about 3 months onwards). Things have improved a little since I started him on solids about a week ago, and also if DH sleeps alone in our room with him and tries to do most of the settling until the first night-time feed (if he smells me, that seems to wake him up and serve as a reminder of the joys of the milk bar!). At the moment he is going through until about 3am (with one or two wake-ups, but no feeding), then feeding for about an hour or longer, sleeping for another hour or so, then coming into bed with me and grazing for the rest of the night. This is a huge improvement on a couple of months ago (when he would sometimes be awake all night- dozing for not longer than 30 minutes at a time). Just wanted you to know that it probably will get better soon... Also in the past couple of weeks he has been more willing to take a soother, so worth persevering with this. I do sympathise- the nights seem really long!

WoTmania Tue 16-Mar-10 09:33:35

Bugsymum - DD (12 months, DC3) feeds all night grin
Would you consider cosleeping? I found it invaluable. It means I get a good nights sleep and DD gets all the cuddles/comfort/milk she wants. She self latches I just have to swap sides occasionally.

$ months is really a little early to start sleep training IMO

KernowMother Tue 16-Mar-10 10:33:37

Yep, both my DS's were similar. Co-sleeping was the saviour of my sanity.

lal123 Tue 16-Mar-10 10:35:36

DD (5 months) is pretty similar, wanting to feed/cuddle from 3am constantly. We co-sleep which helps

Bugsymum Thu 18-Mar-10 20:39:13

Thank you everyone for your replies and advice. Its reassuring to know that I'm not alone. As he is my first, I was wondering what I had done wrong!

For those who have experienced this and come out the other side, when did things start changing? At the minute it feels like this will be how it is forever!!

snugglejunkie Thu 18-Mar-10 22:23:19

I also am a new mum with a 4mo DS with a similarish sitch to you! Or at least I reckon it would be if I hadn't invested in a bedside cot (one that has variable height and one side completely folds away so cot mattress flush with bed mattress). Would have co-slept 'properly' except DH v tall and I'm nervous about DS getting squished in the middle.

DS has just gone through a mega growth spurt where he was exactly like you describe, but even when not in grips of gs, he can be a hungry little bugger at night. However the bedside cot makes it manageable.

I don't have to get out of bed at any point, just reach out and schooch him across, unclip and plug him in. If you can master bf lying down, then it is a godsend!

Basically it all just means that I don't wake up to much, get to him quickly so no escalations of grizzling, and get back to sleep much quicker. In fact I often wake in the night to find him next to me and no memory of having schooched.

SOmetimes me just moving nearer his mattress and holding his hand/arm is enough to settle - frequently fall alseep like this!

I also think in terms of how many sleep cycles I manage to get in, rather than how much solid sleep iyswim.


DitaVonCheese Sat 20-Mar-10 20:06:59

Yet another recommendation for co-sleeping here! Plus I've just read Three in the Bed by Deborah Jackson, which has reassured me that my DD (18 months and still a frequent night-feeder) is completely normal, and it sounds as though your DC is too!

Things definitely got hellish for us at around 4 months - I remember it very clearly, DD seemed to wake up every 45 minutes for weeks. The only thing that seemed to help was time - think things started to improve at around 5 1/2 months for us, though starting solids at 6 months made no difference at all.

snugglejunkie Sat 20-Mar-10 21:31:23

Ooo I've read Three in a Bed too! Loved it - in a 'finding books that say what I was gonna do anyway' way wink Maybe a little outdated in reporting general advice/support given for breastfeeding, but history stuff was fab & basic co-sleeping premise well presented & justified.

I pretty quickly came to the conclusion that part of becoming a mum requires an entire paradigm-shift to night-times/sleeping. Not one that I was partic prepared for shock!

DitaVonCheese Sun 21-Mar-10 22:44:56

Books which back up what I was going to do anyway are my very favourite kind wink

RozzieM Sun 17-Apr-16 15:01:06

Hi, I'm new to this forum so sorry if I'm doing the wrong thing, but the OP describes exactly what is happening with my 5 month old, so I wondered, bugsymum are you still out there?! 6 years down the line can you offer me some hope that things will be OK eventually?! I need some sleep, please help! We are co-sleeping and I've tried feeding lying down but just can't get comfy that way sad

Coconut0il Sun 17-Apr-16 21:24:28

This is a very old thread, if you start a new one you will probably get more advice but yes it does get easier. My DS2 sleeps much better now at 8 months than at 4/5 months when he wanted to be latched on all night. Just sleep whenever you can. If I'd had a bad night DP would wake early and take DS so I could get a few hours in or he would take him as soon as he came in from work so I could sleep. More often than not I would go to bed at 7 so I could sleep during the best part of DS sleep. It does get better.

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