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Sleep advise / evening feeds - Am I doing something wrong?

(4 Posts)
clarechick Fri 19-Nov-10 09:20:15

I wonder if you can give me some advise - my 4 week old DD wants to breast feed all evening from 7 until 12-1am and as the night goes on she gets more and more upset to the point I don't think she is getting enough milk - either that or she is tired - we try to settle her, put her down to sleep and she wakes up in five minutes again, cries and the cycle continues. Her sleep pattern for the last few nights has been sleep 12-1am to 5-6am, feed, then sleep 6am ish to 10am and then one big sleep in the afternoon for 3-4 hours. She will then stay awake from 4pm ish right up until 12-1am - is this normal. Just not sure if this is a sleep or feeding problem - should I be waking her during the day to feed more? Help - the cluster feeding seems normal enough but the staying awake for such an extended period ( 9 ish hours!!!) and her being so upset at night is making me think I should be introducing formula at night or should I be waking her during the day trying to help into a routine? not sure if this will make any difference??

nonanny Fri 19-Nov-10 21:43:44

I think that maybe your baby just isn't on a cycle yet which matches yours. She's still nocturnal. My second one was like this: 'tits about' we used to call it grin. I would try to stimulate her a bit - is she able to show any interest in hanging toys or mobiles to get her a bit more tired. You could try to break the big sleep but I bet this is giving you a rest/chance to do stuff so maybe you might need to rethink your own routine for a few weeks. Personally i would not turn to formula unless you want to, but some health visitors say do it so that someone else can feed her for a bit in the long evening feed. She may actually be virtually asleep in the long feed session; have you tried co-sleeping or are you not in favour. Can she go right next to your body in a moses basket right bang up close to your bed so she can smell you?

clarechick Thu 25-Nov-10 09:20:19

Nonanny thanks for the advice.I am co sleeping with her to try and get her to sleep at night - she wants to suckle at the breast for quite a while which isn't very nice for me, I tend to fall asleep though and hopefully wake her up and pop her in the moses basket but it doesn't always work. I also think she has wind which is waking her up after she feeds and falls asleep. How long did your dd2 continue to be nocturnal?

eastendmummy Thu 25-Nov-10 09:28:22

I think at this age cluster feeding in the evening is really normal and it's good for your milk supply. I know how frustrating it is as my ds2 did it for about 2 months and I thought I'd go mad, but it did stop and he soon started to sleep more and for longer periods at a time. Your milk will not run out but the flow is slower in the evenings which may explain her frustration. The milk that you produce at night is also really fatty which is a good thing for her. How often does she feed in the day? I was feeding every 2 hours in the day at least until 5 months which sounds crazy, but it meant that ds2 was always (well nearly always) content, and although his daytime naps are still a bit hit and miss, making sure he got lots of milk in the day helped to stop the craziness in the evenings. He is only now at 7 months starting to go for 3 hours in the day and he is eating quite a lot of solids, but he's lovely and chubby so I'm trying to just let him do what he wants.

You are doing a great job! Hang in there, it will improve. I wouldn't worry too much about a routine as things often go awry with growth spurts, so if you can, just go with the flow, carry on co-sleeping and it will get better.

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