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14 week old baby feeding all the time at night

(20 Posts)
Feeheneghan Tue 30-Dec-14 10:14:22

Hi! I am new here. My little boy is 14 weeks old and has never slept very well. He went through a phase for 4 days when he was sleeping 7 hours a month ago but is now back to feeding every 2-3 hours at night. He is Breast fed. I tried giving him formula at night but that made no difference. He was putting on weight really well but last time he only put on 3oz. Makes no sense because he feeds constantly! Any hints or tips? He sleeps in a crib beside me.. Thanks in advance from a very sleepy first time mummy!

duchesse Tue 30-Dec-14 10:24:28

Hi, It's horrible not to get much sleep, but this pattern does sound fairly normal to me.

What weight was your baby at birth? If they are trying to get back to a higher weight from a pretty low birthweight, waking this often is very good. Have you tried waking him more often in the daytime to feed him? There really is a limit to the amount of food they want or need so if you can squeeze more in in the daytime, if might space out the night feeds.

Hang in there though- this shall pass. He will start naturally spacing out his own feeds. In the meantime, sleep when he does!

Feeheneghan Tue 30-Dec-14 10:35:16

He was 7lbs 14oz at birth and 10 days overdue. He never ever lost weight, only gained! He doesn't sleep much during the day, and feeds every hour at least throughout the day. It's very draining :-( x

duchesse Tue 30-Dec-14 10:42:14

As they get bigger, they get more efficient at feeding and can then get more milk in less time. You've only a few more weeks of this really intense stage left- hang in there!

Incidentally, this topic isn't necessarily the best for getting a lot of answers, so I've asked MN HQ if they can move it to a better topic for you- hopefully you'll get lots of (reassuring) answers soon!

duchesse Tue 30-Dec-14 10:42:47

BTW, if he never lost any weight and has only gained, you sound as though you're doing a brilliant job!

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 30-Dec-14 10:43:23

Hi OP,

We have moved this thread to our sleep section now.

Best of luck to you for a good nights sleep.

Feeheneghan Tue 30-Dec-14 10:53:29

Oh thank you! I havnt got the hang of this white yet.
I hope so! It makes it difficult to do much when he feeds all day and and most of the night. Fingers crossed he stretches them out soon.
Thank you

Artistic Tue 30-Dec-14 10:54:22

I think this is a difficult situation for you. To get your baby to sleep at night he needs a routine. Without daytime naps he is probably overtired at night & unable to sleep well, and so soothing himself by feeding. Try to get him to sleep for about an hour 3-4 times in the day. I know this sounds difficult but make a routine of feeding from both sides every 3 hours & ensuring he sleeps between feeds. You may need to change all your planned activities until he falls into the routine (after which you can continue your activities). If he gets this quantity of rest & milk in the day - he will be ready to sleep well at night & not need any milk at night.

My DD is 12.5 weeks & sleeps 12 hours at night with one small feed after 8 hours. It's not impossible but needs a bit of work to get there.

duchesse Tue 30-Dec-14 10:58:50

Artistic, with respect, what works for your child will not necessarily work for others. Every child is different. I'm glad for you that you getting longer nights than the OP but it is not helpful to tell that all she needs to is introduce a routine. Some babies are ready for a "routine" (which usually boils down to merely matching their own natural routine anyway) much earlier than other babies.

I've had 4 children (oldest is 21 yo and sleeps perfectly well) and they've all been different in this respect. Youngest is 5 years 3 months and has only started having entire nights' sleep in the last month. Every child is different.

Feeheneghan Tue 30-Dec-14 11:11:06

It's hard to get him to sleep during the day. He snoozes for maybe 10mins after a feed, occasionally longer. If I have him in his buggy or the car he will sleep but that's only for 20-30mins tops a day. We have a bedtime routine of bath and pjs at 7ish and after 1-2 hours he usually falls asleep after lots of feeds. I just wondered if There was something I was doing wrong :-(

duchesse Tue 30-Dec-14 14:53:26

I don't think you're doing anything wrong at all, OP. You're doing brilliantly in fact. This phase is not for ever, and it seems he's just not ready to sleep any longer at night yet. Hang in there!

Feeheneghan Tue 30-Dec-14 21:30:16

I thought about maybe putting him in his own room.. But I've decided against that. I might try a travel cot a little further away from me.. I've heard that if they are right beside u that can make them wakeful if they smell the milk?! As you say hopefully he can stretch out the feeds a bit. He always goes down between 9&10 so at least there's some regularity there. I spend some time at my own house, some at my mums and some at my partners house. I wonder if that's confusing him?

AuntieMaggie Tue 30-Dec-14 22:00:52

My ds is/was exactly like that. He now (at 26 weeks) sleeps 8 hours a night waking for one feed which takes 10 mins then goes back to sleep. Formula made no difference to his sleeping either and I just think some babies have higher metabolism where they still need to feed and in fact if he's not putting on much weight he definitely still needs to feed during the night imo.

Day naps I would get him to try and sleep longer any way you can - ds sleeps longer on me but still only about 30 mins and just recently has started napping on my bed as he falls asleep with me but then I can slowly remove myself and get on with something else while keeping an eye on him. I've also been making sure I try and put him down for a nap just before I've noticed he's ready for one for example he's always ready for a nap 1.5 hours after getting up in the morning so I start to get him to go to sleep an hour after. I would also start the bath routine earlier to see if that helps. oh and I just discovered really loud classical music sends him to sleep - weird I know but he seems to sleep better the noisier it is as long as it's not me making the noise... He slept for hours during the day when we had builders in!

Spending time at different places may be confusing if you're doing different things to get him to sleep.

Keep doing what you're doing - you're doing really well and it doesn't last forever.

Artistic Wed 31-Dec-14 00:08:45

Duchese - I get your point too, but OP is looking for some possible solutions here, not reassurance that she should continue what she's doing & suffer sleepless nights until her DC decides to change his pattern.

OP - I can tell you this that few weeks ago my DD was among the 'poor daytime sleepers'. But now she sleeps 45 mins to 1.5 hours (anywhere between these) 4 times a day. But I've had to try so many things to get this going...
- always put her to sleep in her own bed. (Sometimes for a change in the bouncer but not more than 1 nap) so yes consistency makes a difference!
- keeping the room dark
- keeping the house quiet & avoiding sharp sounds (utensils) &TV but general low household chatter is ok
- swaddling (all naps)
- ensuring DD is put down to nap between 1.5 hour to maximum 2 hours from the last time she woke up
- making sure each feed is filling & NOT feeding on demand, rather at regular intervals (this could be whatever works for you/your DC)
- basically from an 'on demand feed' & 'random sleep' situation I have slowly moved to a 'organised' situation which has resulted in more sleep, better daytime feeds & less waking at night. I can assure you none of this has happened 'automatically' due to my DD's growth. Rather it has been meticulously put in place by my effort as I cannot live on low sleep & my chaotic daytime pattern was making life very difficult.

Hope you are able to make some positive changes. I would suggest getting one thing in order at a time & giving yourself a couple of weeks for a full routine to work.

PM if you want some pointers of where I learnt this from.

Feeheneghan Wed 31-Dec-14 07:59:19

Thanks for that. He is used to being fed on demand and cries a lot if he doesn't get fed when he wants, is it just a case of trying to keep them distracted for 3 hours?
Also he was up for 5 feeds again last night, but when I changed him this morning his nappy was dry which doesn't make sense. It looks like maybe he isn't feeding well and that's why he is up so much.. But he falls asleep feeding so not sure what I can do. I am really beginning to struggle with the lack of sleep now. Even one 4 hour stretch would make a difference! Would giving formula during the night help? Thanks in advance!

duchesse Wed 31-Dec-14 09:19:06

Feen, I absolutely couldn't advise not feeding on demand at this age. There is a train of thought promoted by a particular childcare expert that advocates precisely what Artistic has suggested, but it is highly controversial and pretty much outdated. If it has worked for Artistic's child, then in my view that is because her child was ready to fold into a "routine", rather than because her child has been "trained" into it.

I would suggest reading up more and taking more advice before adopting the approach she suggests. Every child and every family is different though, and ultimately only you can know what suits you and your family. Babies unfortunately don't come with an instruction manual! You have to feel your way through this phase, like every other parent.

In the meantime, please be reassured that although sleep deprivation is not fun, waking every few hours at 3 months is perfectly normal. Many babies sleep better when they co-sleep as it's more the biological norm.

duchesse Wed 31-Dec-14 09:20:29

Feen, I just re-read your last message. A dry nappy after a night is unusual. Do you feel that he is feeding properly? Are you in pain when he feeds? Is he turned towards you tummy to tummy and properly latched?

Feeheneghan Wed 31-Dec-14 09:42:17

Yes he is so used to being fed whenever he wants I don't think that he would tolerate only being fed at certain times. He is tummy to tummy and I am fairly sure he is properly latched on. I phoned my health visitor this morning and she suggested I do nothing for a few days and just feed him, perhaps I am doing too much and there's not enough calories in my milk to fill him up. To me it's like he's not getting enough in his tummy at night to fill him up so maybe I need to change how I feed him. I don't think I could sleep, my partner sleeps very heavily and I would worry something would happen to him. Thanks for all your help so far!

byhec Wed 31-Dec-14 10:34:16

Try googling breast compressions to help keep him going and make the most of each feed xx

Feeheneghan Thu 01-Jan-15 10:49:56

I have decided to do combination feeding using hipp organic formula. Read lots of good stuff about it. Have him 3 bottles of formula, one after each feed I gave him myself and he took 5oz each time so I obviously don't enough milk. He has been feeding so often so my supply should be good, but for whatever reason it isn't.. So I am happy to do combi. He slept 6 hours, then when I fed himself the rest of the night he was up every hour. tried expressing this morning but couldn't get any. I'm upset I can't continue just feeding him myself but I just want him to be satisfied so if that means doing this then I'm ok with that it.

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