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If you managed to ebf your (bigger than ave) baby for six months, did you find it hard going/exhausting?

(37 Posts)
sedgieloo Sun 14-Apr-13 12:21:37

Because I am/have!

I haven't posted in the feeding board because I know what the research says (large baby makes no difference/bm volume is the same between months 1-6) and it wouldn't be encouraging for new first time mums on there already struggling. But I've found it tough to keep going the last two months.

What was your experience please, am I a whimp/whiner or did you find (larger than ave) baby a hungry Horace as they got bigger and more active? Or is it because I have a two year old too? I just need to know from real mums!

It's academic really. He is 25 weeks tomorrow. He today weighs 18lb 9 and I've decided he's having bm mixed with gluten free porridge starting today. I'd be very interested that's all. I'd like to go one more week having come this far, but I just can't.

<totally exhausted>

Flisspaps Sun 14-Apr-13 12:23:43

DS was 11lb 7oz born, and BF until 9mo. We did BLW from about 23w. He fed often but it wasn't particularly knackering after about 8w.

We have no allergies so just went straight onto a full mixed diet, using cows milk in food.

Floweryhat Sun 14-Apr-13 12:26:54

I have ebf 3 babies who were all larger than average for 6 months each, and continued after weaning started. With 2 of them I was also bf a 2 year old at the same time, so making piles and piles of milk! None were more exhausting than my first who was a tiddler who I almost ebf for 24 weeks.

Having a baby under 6 months is exhausting no matter how big or small they are. Well done smile.

Flisspaps Sun 14-Apr-13 12:27:27

I'll add DD was 25mo when DS was born.

Don't feel guilty if you stop btw, you've done brilliantly to get as far as you have. Just take one feed or day at a time (a week at a time is too long) and see how it goes.

spottyparrot Sun 14-Apr-13 12:28:11

One of mine was a chunky baby and one a skinny baby. I ebf both for 6 months, utter exhaustion with the skinny one, manageable with the chubby one!! My chubby one had a very strong latch and fed like a gannet, but I seemed to be ok. I was heavier and ate more that time so this perhaps helped me.

thing1andthing2 Sun 14-Apr-13 12:37:49

Hiya! My ebf ds was so hungry day and night (still is) and was 20lb at 20 weeks so I decided to start weaning then. HV encouraged me to as well. He didn't take much till 23 or 24 weeks and I have to say it has been hit and miss with eating real food till the last month (he is now 9.5 months). We've been backwards and forwards between purée and spoon feeding vs finger foods only.
Now he is bfeeding 3-4 times in the day and 3-4 times a night. I've tried night weaning but gave up after 1 hr 10 mins of him standing in his cot shouting and screaming at 3am when I know a 5-10 min feed would have us all back asleep. At 20 weeks he was feeding 12-18 times in 24 hours so it has come down a lot and feels manageable now.
I have just accepted he is off the scale for hunger and needs longer to mature to managing on daytime only food. His sleep is still immature for his age so I think he just needs more time.
I'm going back to work in two months and wondering how I will manage when still getting up 3-4 times a night. Especially as you get no sympathy from anyone for getting up with an 11 month old, they all just say stop breastfeeding him at night, but if they knew how persistent he is, they would understand how I can't quite manage it yet!

McGilly Sun 14-Apr-13 12:43:24

Yes it's exhausting. I am still BFing a large 13 month old - often - and I'm drained. On the plus side, I eat an enormous amount of food, especially chocolate. But yes, it requires a lot of energy so take care of yourself.

McGilly Sun 14-Apr-13 12:45:59

Six months of BFing is great, don't worry about tapering it down now. You're his mum so you know what's best for you both. Enjoy the new phase of a solids-eater!

sedgieloo Sun 14-Apr-13 13:18:34

Oh my. Thanks for everyone's posts. The first few made me feel like I was a whimp or doing it wrong! Then I got to thing1andthing2, your response and I'm in awe!

Maybe I've let him snack and he's getting little and often. I don't know. It was two hourly feeds and sleeping through until 14 weeks. Since then it's been every 1-2 hrs night and day. He had started to go down the chart though at three months and the more frequent feeding saw him go back up to 75th for weight and jump a centile for height. Actually he's up two lines from his birth one so he's been doing some growing.

Or maybe it's because I'm old (started late)

McGilly Sun 14-Apr-13 13:59:17

Please be kind to yourself - babies are exhausting, bf or not! And you couldn't be older than me ....

sedgieloo Sun 14-Apr-13 14:37:04

Thanks mcgilly!! Ok. Will do! smile

Hey congratulations ! thanks
Enjoy the first day of gently introducing solids, the beginning of an amazing new journey into all the delicious tastes of a lifetime of gastronomy smile
Be happy - the advice on weaning date changes all the time anyhow !
I BF DD and DS BTW - began introducing solids with DD at about 4 mths, with DS following new advice not until after 5 mths IIRC. With DS I remember he wasn't too keen on the experience to begin with (though enjoyed first few spoonfuls on first day, but then not so keen) so then I just waited a little while longer before trying again.
Anyway BFing continued for a long time after began introducing solids - with mine it was a very gradual transition.

QTPie Sun 14-Apr-13 16:43:04

TBH I think it is the edition of the two year old rather than the "Hungry Horrace"...

I only have one DC at the moment, but he was a hungry Horrace: great from the weight loss point of view (honestly he was a liposuction machine), but otherwise I was completely fine.

Are you eating ok? Good meals and enough nutrition? That makes a huge difference I think (and is much harder with both a baby and a toddler to look after). Are you sleeping ok too?

Am sure that things will prove as Horace starts to wean, but look after yourself: two DCs is always going to wear you out (heck, one wears me out! wink )

QTPie Sun 14-Apr-13 16:46:40

Of you are feeding every 1 to 2 hours day and night, then no wonder you are knachered... My Hungry Horace was a big feeder, but I used to tank him up during the day and he would sleep through (from 12 weeks to about 13 months): that made a huge difference to me and how I felt.

TallGiraffe Sun 14-Apr-13 16:58:32

I have a hungry Horace here too, 20+lb at 26 weeks when we started weaning. I'm exhausted, but I think that's the lack of sleep more than anything else! I also don't have anything to compare it to, I think babies are tiring however you do it grin . If anyone could get mine to sleep f

TallGiraffe Sun 14-Apr-13 16:59:37

Ahem, that would be said Horace hitting the iPhone...

If anyone could get him to sleep for more than a few hours overnight I would declare them my hero forever!

lonesomeBiscuit Sun 14-Apr-13 17:01:51

I second the above - that you are feeling shattered due to being up all night plus looking after an active two year old, rather than the feeding per se.

My experience of feeding a large baby (my first and so far only one) was that it was a doddle. By 6 months my EBF DS weighed a whopping 26lb, and BF continued to make up about 95% of his intake until 11 months, as he showed no interest in proper food. He didn't put on any further weight for another 12 months, so clearly he'd tanked up and just wasn't hungry.

However he was an easy baby to feed. He fed for 5-10 minutes each time, about 8 times in a 24 hour period, and between 3-6 months he'd sleep for 7-9 hour stretches at night.

By contrast I suffered from utter exhaustion during the second year of his life when I'd gone back to work, on top of which he'd started waking every two hours and was fully awake from 5am. Sleep deprivation is the pits.

Now things are much better again, I am trying for number two, but have huge respect for all mums of babes and toddlers as I just don't know how you find the energy to deal with toddler when you've been up all night and shudder to think how I'll cope. So give yourself a pat on the back for doing so well and do whatever you want with the weaning.

RedKites Sun 14-Apr-13 17:18:28

DS2 is bigger than average (was also 18lb9 when he was weighed on Friday, but is 6mo tomorrow, so a little lower down the charts than yours, but probably not much). I have found things a lot more tiring this time, but I think it's because (a) DS2 is just not as good a sleeper as DS1 was - DS1 slept 5+ hours a night from around 7wo until 5/6mo then it all went horribly wrong. I am trying not to think about DS2's sleep getting worse - DS2 once did a seven hour stretch, and sometimes will do four hours, but it's generally less, and he can be wide awake for 45 minutes or more in the middle of the night and (b) having a toddler as well means I have to get up with DS1 in the mornings, and can't just sit around on the sofa all day.

I don't think it's a feeding issue in our case as I have an excess of milk, and could happily feed him more during the day, but he's just not interested. And while DS1 was smaller, he actually had a big growth spurt between four and six months and crossed up two centile lines, so he probably actually put more weight on in that time than DS2 has <am not sure, but you've made me wonder now so might have a look in their red books later>.

You're certainly not a wimp or a whiner to be exhausted (or if you are, I am too!). I have to say in our case I'm not holding out much hope that solids are going to make any difference, but will be very happy to be proven wrong, and if it works for you, that's fantastic, and if not, at least you've given it a try. Enjoy introducing solids, and I hope we are both getting some more sleep soon! smile

QTPie Sun 14-Apr-13 17:57:27

Of you are feeding every 1 to 2 hours day and night, then no wonder you are knachered... My Hungry Horace was a big feeder, but I used to tank him up during the day and he would sleep through (from 12 weeks to about 13 months): that made a huge difference to me and how I felt.

waterrat Sun 14-Apr-13 18:50:58

Ebf is exhausting! I did it for 7 months I was broken! Don't regret it but so so tiring please pleas don't feel guilty if you stop or reduce feeds. Being at your baby's beck and call - waking at night, falling asleep on edge knowing you could be woken any minute - it's beyond tiring.

Well done and do whatever you need to now

sedgieloo Sun 14-Apr-13 19:55:51

Hi thanks to each and all for the replies. I'm quite bolstered by the stories, suggestions and encouragement. I wish I had posted before now and met you a few weeks ago as I think it would have helped. I'm dead impressed by tall giraffes 26lb -er. That's amazing!!

Yes it's the night feeds and the two yr old pushing me to my limit. I am finding this the hardest stage so far with two and its the lack of sleep. For 3-4 months he went 6-9 hours at night. Although baby feeds quite enthusiastically at night now I wonder if feeding at each waking has been a mistake. Perhaps a growth spurt that has become a habit. Until I wean onto solids I can't bear to think it may be hunger and I'm also too tired to question now and take the easy option! As it happened no porridge today, he's off colour and it seemed the wrong time.

As someone suggested I will take one feed at a time, one day at a time and try not to be negative. I am so happy to have ebf this long, boring story but I mix fed dc1 due to feeding problems and I was more than upset about it. I wouldn't have things any other way - I'm just super tired that's all!

waterrat Sun 14-Apr-13 20:21:39

I think the question of whether to feed everytime they feed at night is such a hard one. I feel I got myself into a total sleep mess by just feeding on demand - it never occurred to me to try to get Ds back to sleep any other way, but then suddenly at 5 months onwards he was waking so frequently - like a newborn - and I had no other way to get him back to sleep.

IN the end, I couldn't face it anymore and did bring in some sleep training type stuff, I read the no cry sleep solution and read the Millpond Sleep Clinic book - have you read those? It does sound as though you may have a sleep problem rather than a feeding problem - I chose to try and cut night feeds - its really tiring because you have to commit to sitting and patting/ cuddling whatever - or lying next to their cot which I did for a couple of weeks while we got him in his own room - wheras of course feeding is the immediate solution. But it did really pay off - he learnt to settle back to sleep without the boob and it immediately had an impact, he woke less and less - now at 11 months sleeps through...you will get there, its bloody exhausting x

Pitmountainpony Sun 14-Apr-13 21:22:20

Same boat here with 12 month and 3 year old. Still breastfeeding the 1 year old who has only just stopped waking 3 to 4 times a night since she got into solids not long ago.
Maybe one waking now and again a at 5 am when I b feed her back to sleep.
Totally exhausted and to be honest when I can face night weaning I will.
I also co sleep which I think by this stage may be more tiring.
Totally feel for you. Getting 6 months in is great and when most of the benefits are provided according to my doc. When I stopped breastfeeding my son just before I had my dd I got an amazing feeling of energy back.
I think it is draining. Do what you need to survive. If that means stopping breast feeding you have done a great job already.

TheYoniOfYawn Sun 14-Apr-13 21:30:13

DD wasn't born big at all, but she grew and grew, putting on 1lb on a normal week and 2lb during a growth spurt week. She was pretty hard work, and she did feed all the time, but I don't think she was much harder work than her less pudgy little brother.

TheYoniOfYawn Sun 14-Apr-13 21:55:10

I just wanted to add that starting solids made no real difference to DD in terms of frequency of feeding and night waking.

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