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14mo waking up at least 3 or 4 times each night still - anyone else BFing going through this??

(9 Posts)
lovechoc Sun 02-Oct-11 11:01:09

We have started doing the 'gradual retreat' sleep technique with DS (3 nights so far), and he'll go in the cot wide awake after his feed, but tired, will take roughly 5-15 mins to eventually settle down with gentle rubbing of his back or tummy, and then shushing sounds, and then he'll just fall asleep (over past three nights it's been roughly 7.30pm). So far, so good. We're doing great with this technique, but....come 10.30pm,then 12.30-1am, then 3am, etc., he's waking up and I'm feeding him to sleep (I know, I know, it just defeats the whole purpose!) just because it keeps him quiet and I don't want him to wake his older sibling (DS won't take a dummy). I've cut out the two day time breastfeeds and he is now only on first morning and evening feed (plus those ones throughout the night!). He eats a varied diet throughout the day, sometimes with porridge (with full fat cow's milk) for supper on top of his three meals a day (two snacks inbetween). Wondering where I'm going wrong??

I'm looking for advice on this please. Does he really need these feeds throughout the night? I just feel enough is enough now. I need sleep!!!!

missrose Sun 02-Oct-11 18:59:39

I'm currently going through something fairly similar - I've been cutting out day feeds in preparation for returning to work and now 11mo DD is waking 3 or 4 times a night and will only sleep when fed.

Advice I had from the LLL was that babies will make up their quota of milk when they can so if you have stopped feeding in the day they will feed more at night. I found that my DD couldn't really cope with having just the morning and evening feeds (and all the night ones!) so we've reinstated a feed in the middle of the day for now. It's been suggested to me that it may be easier to try and drop one of the night feeds first and then tackle the day feeds, rather than the other way round.

As to whether they are hungry and need the feeds, I don't think my DD is hungry every time but she obviously needs the comfort and sleep aid which I think are as important to a baby as the nutritional aspect of feeding.

I did post on dropping night feeds on here a while ago and got some good advice; I can track it down for you if you think it will help? Unfortunately DD was teething and now has a cold so we haven't started yet (plus I'm scared!).

lovechoc Sun 02-Oct-11 20:05:04

thank you missrose - all the advice and other opinions are definately welcomed smile My gut instinct is to pick DS up and feed him at these silly hours through the night because it feels the right thing to do, but I just don't know how much longer my sanity will hold out. It isn't so bad when DH is off work and is able to help but not so easy when I have things to do on my own during the day.
Is your DD still in your room with you at nights? DS is still in with us, more for the convenience of the breastfeeding through the night. Want to move him into his own room in a few weeks' time, so this will be very interesting....I feel now is a good time.

Oh, he is teething, the molars are coming through at the moment. Perhaps this would explain his extra demands through the night? And yes, I see what you mean with the advice the LLL gave you - it does make perfect sense and now explains why he's been waking more since I have dropped the two day time feeds. I thought I was doing him and also myself a favour.
If you are able to locate the post on dropping night feeds that would be wonderful, thank you! Any advice at the minute is gratefully received! I wish you luck with your DD's dropping of night feeds when she is feeling in better health. If it's not one issues with babies/toddlers, it's another!! lol

Albrecht Sun 02-Oct-11 20:19:00

Ds is 15 months in a couple of days and still feeds a lot at night. And during the day. Sorry I don't have any good advice or else I'd be applying it myself. Buts its good to know its not just us.

I go with it and feed him and co-sleep after 1st waking as otherwise I don't think I'd cope. He's also getting his molars so I think needs it for comfort and maybe hunger as he's eating very little solids (has never really eaten much tho).

missrose Sun 02-Oct-11 21:55:38

Just found this which may be of interest reverse cycling feeding. I didn't realise this behaviour actually had a name!

Do you have to drop the day feeds? If I wasn't going back to work I would carry on breastfeeding. Also, I'm replacing the daytime bfs with formula as I don't express enough and, my God, is it a faff! I'm trying to keep her milk intake in the day up but she hasn't shown much interest at all.

At the moment I put DD into her cot in her room at 7.30 and then take her into bed with me at the first wake-up around 11ish. We will probably have another two feeds before 6am. Her feeds are generally 2-3 hours apart. To say I'm exhausted doesn't really cover it... DD isn't a massive baby so I feel any milk she takes is great, just wish it wasn't all bloody night!

It is really difficult in the day but if you can nap as well it does help, even if you feel as if you only put them down a minute ago and they are already awake!

Everything I've read about sleep training and weaning says don't do anything if they are teething or unwell. I do agree with Albrecht about trying to go with it. I have remind myself about a 100 times a night that it's not forever (so they say... wink)

previous link here

lovechoc Tue 04-Oct-11 11:41:42

HV phoned this morning to check the progress (I had asked her to phone to give her the low down on how I'm getting on with this sleep technique, dropping feeds, etc). She has suggested I still keep with first morning feed and evening feed for a while yet just until he gets used to self-settling at night. She said best not to overwhelm myself with trying to achieve everything all at once. One or two small steps at a time. Also been suggested to accept the wakings during the night and to keep feeding him at these silly times for now, as he may just drop the feeds himself after the bout of teething anyway.
Last night was much better 1am and 5am feeds (self settled at 7.30pm). Much much better, feel like I've actually had a decent amount of sleep inbetween each feed. I'm just going to have to roll with it missrose and Albrecht.

Thanks for the link too missrose. smile

lovechoc Tue 04-Oct-11 11:43:58

Thanks for the link also on the reverse cycling feeding. Seems this is exactly what DS has been doing this past wee while.

lovechoc Tue 04-Oct-11 11:45:42

Ah, I want to drop the daytime feeds though. I feel this is the right time to do it. Hoping to have BFing all wrapped up and finished by end of this year (when DS is around 18mo). I feel I want my life back now, to be free to go out with friends, or have a drink without worrying about having to do BFs. DS never did take a bottle, he's taking the odd sips here and there of cow's milk from the sippy cup and will now drink water which is great.

choceyes Tue 04-Oct-11 11:53:09

Nice to know that I'm not alone! My nearly 14 month old DD still wakes up a few times at night for feeds. I am back at work 3 days a week, and she goes without milk during the day for those days as she doesn't take a bottle. However she eats more solids at nursery than she does at home.

She goes to bed at about 7, and then wakes up a couple of times in the evening, around 8.30, 10 ish. Sometimes DH can pat her back to sleep, but most of the time I feed her back to sleep. She goes till about 6am without a feed most days (from about 11pm), so thats OK with me at the moment, although being woken up at 6am , and not being able to get back to sleep is not fun.

Another thing is I'm finding it a bit painful to feed laying down now she has teeth (she was a late teether), so I used to able to latch her on and drift back to sleep, but now I am awake throughout the feed due to the discomfort and find it a struggle to get back to sleep.

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