Help! 19 week old has turned into a monster!(5 Posts)
I don't know where to start with 'fixing' our son, nor do I know what the key issue is, I think we've hit a perfect storm of Wonder Week/teething/4 month sleep regression and I'm at my wits' end, I've been in tears from sheer exhausted frustration twice already today.
Our boy is 19 weeks, 4 days, born naturally 6 days late at 7lb 12oz. He has been EBF since birth & feeds at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7.30pm after his bath/before bed. He has 2-3 naps per day, at night he sleeps beside me in a traditional crib, I'm also trying to get him to nap here too, rather than on me, as the moses basket we used to use downstairs is now too small. He'd been taking a single night feed at around 3am for aaaaaaages, then dropped it all by himself at exactly 16 weeks, then at 17-18 weeks everything began to fall apart!
Firstly, we had a stroppy period accompanied by red cheeks and dribbling which is when his nights began to get disrupted, Bonjela and cooled teething rings got us through, but the bump I can feel on his lower gum (near the BACK! WTF?) is still beneath the gum, not through it. However, the dribbling has dropped right off and his cheeks look normal again.
A few days later he started fussing at the breast, but only in the daytime! He gets to three minutes and cries/thrashes, he will 'suck suck, cry, suck suck, cry..' endlessly - so ends up not getting a full feed and my nipples become SO sore from all the faffing about. For the past few days this has happened at every single day feed, as a result hes been waking to feed every couple of hours at night to make it up. His bedtime feed and any night feeds work perfectly though - he just latches on and feeds normally, like his old self.
Yesterday I'd had enough and decided to see if he'd take expressed milk in the day - he does, so I did this all day, because I didn't want my day supply to dry up and thinking he'd sleep better if he had fed in the day. WRONG! He woke every single hour (I refused to feed him more than twice as he'd fed well on the bottle in the day, I comforted him back to sleep by stroking his head instead), I'm an emotional wreck today and he STILL won't feed at the breast, I've tried bringing him into a darkened, quiet bedroom for his 11am, but here I sit, having only fed him for three minutes, unable to convince him to continue.
Can anyone suggest what might be going on and how I can break this cycle of madness? Are the feeding and sleep issues connected, or is it coinsidence? Hubby has resorted to picking him up at night and getting him to sleep on him, but I really want to stop that before it becomes a habit, in case it makes little one's ability to sleep in his crib even worse.
Please help, I don't know what to do and my sleep-deprived brain can't come up with a rational solution!
(Supply-wise, I can express 60-70ml total across both sides per session in the day, but when I wake up in the morning I can manage a whopping 100-140ml from just one boob. He used to get sprayed by forceful letdown, but that hasn't happened for a while)
Okay, I am one-finger typing, so bear with me. My LO is also 19 weeks and EBF. Right, the problem I think you may have here - as you already identified - is the 4-month growth spurt/sleep regression. We are having the same - for two weeks now he has slept like a newborn all day and woke every 30-45 minutes to feed at night. Then out of nowhere, last night, he went back to "normal" - feeding every 2-3 hours. I am told that night feeds are the most important in 24 hours for increasing milk supply. So, if he is having a growth spurt, he will need more milk, so to stimulate your breasts to produce more he needs to feed more often - and especially more often at night.
I would suggest relaxing into the pain for now and hoping this is what is going on. Also, don't have your husband comfort him at night - feed him every time he whimpers. Do this during the day as well - just keep offering it. Hopefully this will give your system the message it needs to make more milk, your production will increase, he will be less hungry and fussy and a new rhythm for the two of you will emerge.
Ps, I wouldn't bother expressing to feed him. No breast pump can match a baby's suck. If our experience is anything to go by, if you just let him massacre your nipples for a few more days (I know, I know... I do occasionally have to de-latch him as I can take it no more) the madness should be over soon. I wouldn't bother trying to institute a napping-in-the-Moses-Basket routine at this time, either, as he's already unsettled. Just let him sleep on you and watch a film...
As pp has said, he is absolutely tiny still and things will change, change again and again and again. Sometimes for the better, often not. Please don't worry about habits at this stage. He is too tiny to be manipulative and just wants his needs met. My DS dropped feeds and added them back in all the way up to 9mo when he really got the hang of eating normal food. I would feed when he cries, as pp said, milk production is at its peak at night and he is probably feeding more to request more milk be produced, especially if it's a growth spurt. This should hopefully help fussiness. Other than that, just roll with it and do what you need to get through. It will be over as quickly as it started.
My ds did this around that age. I would suggest throwing your routine in the bin. Leave him to it instead of trying to feed at normal times and just offer breast when he's REALLY hungry. My ds started feeding a lot less frequently in the daytime at this age (I think a combination of becoming a lot more efficient at the breast and being amused/distracted by other things) and was making up for it at night but this soon settled down. We also moved him into his own room around this age (I know, not recommended) but we just needed a total reset of the routine we'd worked so hard to establish over the past couple of months. He's worked out a new one now and is settled again. I also found he needed a lot more entertaining around this age and cues I was picking up as hunger were actually boredom.
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