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Newborn middle of night restless time - am I a terrible mum?

(37 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 08:33:39

DD is 15 days old. She is a very placid busby and a good sleeper generally.

However, she goes through a restless time every night between about midnight and 3am where she will not settle.

The obvious answer is bf, but by that time, she has fed fussily for so long that there is nothing left. Also due to her slow growth the MW is having us do EBM top ups after every feed, so after her midnight feed there really is nothing left. The MW has also said I shouldn't let her "use me as a dummy" ie not just play suck if not feeding. Also due to growth issues we are doing formula top ups too so when she is put down at this time, she has everything in my breasts and formula.

So I don't think (??) it is hunger.

Right now, I don't know what else to do so am just settling her next to me, talking to her, stroking her, and getting little 20min driblets of sleep when she goes off for a bit.

This goes on for a couple of hours till I feel there is milk again.

Is that the right thing to do or am I somehow not meeting her needs? sad

Hakluyt Sat 07-Feb-15 08:37:13

The best thing to do to make more milk is to feed. Your breasts don't "empty"- there is always milk there if they suckle because thwt is the trigger to produce more. But sometimes giving top ups and expressing can confuse the process a bit- did she lose a lot of weight? Why were you advised to give top ups?

Lagoonablue Sat 07-Feb-15 08:39:57

Feed her. Honestly the MW saying don't let her use you like a dummy..... That is wrong. What is wrong with giving your baby comfort, she is only 15 days old! Silly Mw.

In terms of milk the more you feed the more there will be. Plus it may not feel there is milk there but there will be.

If a baby is fussing at 15 days old she is probably hungry. If she only wants comfort sucking, well do what.

If you keep feeding her you will not need top ups soon.

Keep going! Gets easier!

gallicgirl Sat 07-Feb-15 08:41:15

It is totally normal for babies not to sleep!
I think the best advice to ensure milk supply is breastfeed first then top up.
Perhaps you could go to a breastfeeding group for advice and support?

Katie2489 Sat 07-Feb-15 08:53:53

Newborn babies don't sleep like older babies (3months ish) toddlers children or adults. They have their own way I surpose. You would do yourself an injustice to blame this on yourself. This seems so so so normal. Re sleep I would recommend doing what you feel is best for now but whatever you do try not to worry about any 'rod for your own back' habits forming for a good 12 weeks at least. If not much more. Re feeding, I believe that the more the baby sucks the more it stimulates you to make. Bottles are always an option, but if your baby falls asleep using you as a dummy, well, that could be win win (more milk more sleep). All the best, it's a very challenging time for anyone. But if I can get through it ( I have! - much to my surprise) so can you.

NerrSnerr Sat 07-Feb-15 08:58:53

Even though your boobs feel empty there will be milk in them, and the more the baby feeds the more milk will be produced.

The advice from the midwife about using the nipple as a dummy is rubbish. At 15 days your baby just wants and needs the comfort.

FATEdestiny Sat 07-Feb-15 15:37:33

If you choose not to breastfeed, an actual dummy would be a useful way to settle her in the night.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 17:40:08

Thanks all smile

I want to bf but she lost 12.2% of body weight after birth and then only gained back just about 2.5% since then. So the MW said she needed more calories and EBM top ups followed by formula would provide the calories and my supply would also be stimulated by the pumping so would increase, and long term I could cut the top ups out.

That was the logic, anyhow!

I think the not using me as a dummy thing was because after a bit age stops latching properly - I think she gets tired and can't be bothered but just wants to suck something - which is theoretically fine but it can really hurt and the MW said not to encourage a bad latch. So I just delatch her when she persists in doing this.

Is that wrong? Should I give her more formula or let her suck "badly" even if it messes up my nipples?

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 17:41:14

Sorry, I should be clear, I am bfing, I just do top ups after each feed to make sure she gets enough calories.

Cherrypi Sat 07-Feb-15 17:45:12

Have you had her checked for tongue tie by someone who knows about breastfeeding i.e. not this midwife.

RedKites Sat 07-Feb-15 17:46:32

If she's latching badly, can you take her off and latch her on again better?

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 17:49:44

Yes a different MW checked for TT and I don't think she has it as her latch is good normally. It's just after an hour or so of feeding she starts to slip off and suckle only the nipple, and won't open her mouth wide enough for a proper latch. I think because she is over tired by then.

What is the MW saying that is wrong? I always thought allowing a poor latch was about the only "bad habit" a newborn baby could form and was a strict no no. Is this wrong?

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 17:51:22

Red I always try relatching several times but after a while she just isn't up for it. I wonder if she needs more food but is too tired to suck? Would that make sense? In which case should I give a bigger formula top up?

Pico2 Sat 07-Feb-15 17:51:25

Our DD is also 15 days old, but formula fed. She is essentially nocturnal still and even though she is FF, she falls asleep feeding and hasn't regained her birth weight. For our DD, I think that this is because she was pretty big at birth and probably carrying a lot of fluid. She looks ok and does the required nappies.

You can get het up on how much she is feeding and when, but that may just be an active time for her.

If anyone has magic tricks to deal with nocturnal newborns, please let me know.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 17:55:55

Pico I think she is healthy but because she lost so much weight they are saying she will have to go into hospital if she doesn't gain so much every few days. That would terrify her, poor little mite sad

So am trying to feed and make her sleep as much as possible so she will grow!

So the consensus is, this is normal, bf through it as far as poss, and ride it out?

dragonfly007 Sat 07-Feb-15 17:56:23

Congratulations on your new baby flowers

A bad latch = ineffective milk transfer = slow weight gain. Your milk supply is best between 1am and 5am, as such babies often feed more regularly at night, the benefit of which is a fab milk supply. Hold baby tight and only unlatch if baby is nipple feeding (it hurts), the softer your breasts and letting her come off the breast herself ensures she receives the richest most calorie milk possible. You are doing fab, but it sounds like your midwife is not the best.

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 17:58:19

Yes dragon that is when I do delatch smile my question is, what then if she is still fussing? And won't relatch nicely? Do I do more formula, or soothe her as best I can or cave and give a dummy, or what?

RevoltingPeasant Sat 07-Feb-15 17:58:53

And thank you for all the kind words flowers

Hakluyt Sat 07-Feb-15 18:04:02

Obviously you must listen to your midwife- but I would say that as long as she is gaining weight, however slowly, and is having lots of wet and dirty nappies I would try not to worry too much.

I don't know if you have any other children, but if you haven't, a good thing to do is just spend a day in bed together, having lots of skin to skin, dozing and feeding. That can do wonders for weight gain and supply-and you get lots of rest too. I would try not to let her chomp on your nipple, but if she's just falling asleep with it in her mouth, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Obviously detach her (using a damp finger to break the suction) if she gets interested in eating again.

FATEdestiny Sat 07-Feb-15 18:08:47

cave and give a dummy

What?! Giving a dummy is by no means caving in.

My four children have all had a dummy from birth. Three breastfed and one formula fed.

I consider a dummy absolutely essential to allow for a contented baby.

There is absolutely nothing evil about a dummy and it is cruel and unfair to suggest this.

dragonfly007 Sat 07-Feb-15 18:14:29

Fab advice on the duvet day, if you are not doing this already wake your baby to offer milk every 3hrs from the beginning of a feed and offer both breasts every time you feed, usually a nappy change after the first breastfeed helpssmile Always offer milk when baby is calm, so take her away and put her on your shoulder if she starts fussing and is fractious.

Whilst the top ups will help your baby increase weight rapidly, it is also damaging your milk supply as your body provides the milk requested. Good luck x

dragonfly007 Sat 07-Feb-15 18:17:44

I would not be offering a dummy until feeding is established, I have no issues with them but newbies can miss an entire feed and with her weight issues, not sure a dummy will help you at this stage x

Hakluyt Sat 07-Feb-15 18:20:51

Nothing wrong with a dummy, but with a baby who needs to pile the weight on, anything that distracts from feeding should be avoided if at all possible.

Hakluyt Sat 07-Feb-15 18:28:47

Bed, all day, except perhaps for a couple of baths together, lots of delicious drinks and food including a box of chocolates, a million pillows and the complete Downton. Practically guaranteed baby weight gain! (And mother weight gain too, probably, but deal with thwt later)

LuluJakey1 Sat 07-Feb-15 18:30:27

My DS is 5 weeks 5 days. He is formula fed but from birth until this week has had times during the night where he is just awake and not wanting to be fed but likes to be cuddled. DH or I have sat for up to a couple of hours cuddling him at 2 am. He doesn't cry much when he is awake but he just doesn't settle.

Just recently he has become much more settled.

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