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Is it possible to breastfeed and sleep? 8mo old baby constantly waking up and up for the day at 4am

(6 Posts)
Newcastle2013 Tue 11-Feb-14 05:58:24

Hi

My little one is breastfed and has never taken formula or expressed milk. He is only just now starting to take water from a cup. Weaninng has been a slow process and he will take it or leave it. He is at an age now when he is very distracted and he also has 5 teeth so day feeds involve lots of wrestling, pulling off and looking around and occasional painful biting. For this reason I take the opportunity to feed him to sleep when I can as these are the only decent feeds I can get him to take.
At night he is exhausted very early, from about 4pm he is grumpy. If he doesnt go down for his afternoon nap before 2.30pm he will try to go to sleep for the night. This makes it difficult as any feeds after 4pm will send him off to sleep.
He wakes every 1.5 - 2hrs overnight. Even when I co-sleep he does this and wakes up screaming. He won't settle if I am there so my choices are to feed him back to sleep or leave him crying in his room.
I would be happy to feed him twice over night and there have been times when he has slept 6pm - 6am with feeds at 1am and 4am but it doesn't seem to last for long.
His wakings get more and more frequent towards the morning and there have been morning where he is up for the day at 3.30am but more often he is up for the day at 4-5am.

Any advice or shared experience would be very welcome.
Thanks!

AnnieLobeseder Tue 11-Feb-14 06:15:39

With DD1 I used to get up all hours to feed her, and sat up in her room to do so. It was relentless and exhausting.

I kept DD2 in a sideless cot next to our bed. When she wanted feeding, I rolled her into bed, gave her a breast and went back to sleep. When she was done with one side, I rolled over to give her the other side. When she was done, whenever I was awake enough I rolled her back into her cot. Lots of lovely sleep for me and feed-on-demand for her. Job done!

Newcastle2013 Tue 11-Feb-14 07:10:10

I would be more than happy to co-sleep and feed on demand but for us it is unproductive. He still wakes up crying all night and after about 3.30am go won't go back to sleep which means frayed nerves and not enough sleep for either of us. I wish it were that simple sad

nervy555 Tue 11-Feb-14 15:50:43

Im in the midst of something similar-we too had a period of only 2 night waking s, 11 and 2 up for dayvat six or seven. But he got a cold then teething then weaning and now a cough. We co sleep from dream feed when possible-sometimes earlier if he won't settle properly in the cot.

I'm hoping this is another phase- so marking my place in the hope that help comes. Also, you're not alone op.

Newcastle2013 Sat 15-Feb-14 07:59:41

Nervy555 I have had some success with waking him for a feed at 11pm and 3am. Knowing he is definitely not hungry has given me the confidence to find out if he genuinely needs me or is just a bit unsettled and will fall back to sleep in 5 mins or so. But the result in the last 3/4 days had been fewer wakings and later mornings... So this is working for now until the next teeth/cold etc

Scrumptiousboy Sat 15-Feb-14 20:27:54

You may have to consider some form of sleep training or accept that your nights may stay like this for a while. Many babies become better at sleep once they start walking as they get that much more tired.

You could try the Millpond night weaning method - by reducing each night feed by either 1/2min or 1min with every feed. Decide how long the longest feed is going to last to start with if they are not regular now. So, night one, feed for 7min, night two, feed for 6 1/2 min and so on. That way your LO may drop night feeds all together - which would be the aim with this method or you might be able to reduce them. It's gentle, you can do it whilst co-sleeping and you can always slow down the reduction some nights if you sense your LO is getting distressed. Some of those feeds may turn into cuddles, but then your DH/DP can start to step in to give you some rest. Hope that makes sense.

Where you can, try and make sure you get decent naps though as sleep promotes sleep. At 8 months, DS still had 3 naps each day.

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