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Big baby wakes every hour

(22 Posts)
Saveitforarainyday Sun 05-Jul-15 21:05:51

Hello mumsnet - looking for some advice. I have a lovely little chunk of a baby (10.6 lbs at birth - my first child) who is now 17.7 lbs at 16 weeks. Happy, smiley and contented she is exclusively breastfeeding very well, and up until a few weeks ago was sleeping in nice 4 hour stretches. However, she has now been waking every hour or hour and a half for the last three weeks, and always for a feed. She still os very active in the day, with two reasonable size naps. I'm happy to keep breastfeeding until I go back to work (when she will be nearly 7 months), but she seems very ravinous. I know that early weaning is not recommended by the WHO, so I'm looking for tips and advice to try to get her to sleep just a little bit longer during the night. Thanking you!

TheBookofRuth Sun 05-Jul-15 21:07:31

It's probably the four month sleep regression. It does pass, but I can't say I've ever found anything to speed up the process!

nottheOP Sun 05-Jul-15 21:10:10

To hazard a guess, is she fed to sleep? It sounds like a classic 4 month sleep regression, waking up after each sleep cycle and needing to be put back to sleep the only way they know how.

If it is that you can encourage self settling by breaking any habits, if it is that.

There are support groups for the regression on the sleep boards

TheBookofRuth Sun 05-Jul-15 21:10:31

Oh, and my DD was a devil for waking frequently to feed. Eventually DH went through several nights of hell where he got up with her everytime. Eventually she got the message and started sleeping a bit better

She was over one at the time though. I think at four months if they need feeding you feed them.

HeiressesGiltnor Sun 05-Jul-15 21:12:53

Yes, the 4 month sleep regression :-) it was hard work for us but my son was a better sleeper after.

You are right about the weaning - it probably wouldn't help.

We did some v gentle sleep training, Google baby whisperer shush pat. It took patience but did help I think. Difficult to be sure though because it could have just been that he was ready to sleep better, not the sleep 'training' that helped!

Saveitforarainyday Sun 05-Jul-15 21:15:19

Thanks! I actually just started reading a thread on here about this four month sleep regression (hadn't heard of that)... all sounding very familiar. Mayme it has nothing to do with her being a big baby then? I was worried that I somehow wasn't satisfying her with my milk, but I agree - at four months you feed when they want feeding, and I'm clearly producing a strong brew because she's so lovely and chubby. I tend to nurse her until she is drowsy then put her down, trying to move away from feeding to sleep. I also express milk so my partner can feed her, and she will sleep after having a bottle as well. Trying to encourage self-settling, but those hands - she is a menace to herself with them. I try gently holding her hands steady so she can't fuss at her face and ears, that seems to settle her well. Not ideal I know!

Saveitforarainyday Sun 05-Jul-15 21:15:42

So many typos sorry... sleep deprived...

Saveitforarainyday Sun 05-Jul-15 21:18:13

It's just so hard to know you're right to keep breastfeeding when lots and lots and lots of people have told me I can't possibly sustain it with such a big baby and will need to wean early!

TheBookofRuth Sun 05-Jul-15 21:18:56

Well done for keeping up with your lovely chubby baby's demands - it's hard work, I know. My DD was 9lb 8oz and a total boob monster. Her little brother is not much better - was on the small side at birth but managed to get himself from the 25th to 91st percentile on breast milk alone!

TheBookofRuth Sun 05-Jul-15 21:21:31

Please ignore those people! Breast milk is all they need and it's the best thing for them.

You can't win, anyway. DD was big, so I was told I'd never satisfy her and to wean early. DS was small - so I was told my breast milk wasn't enough for him and to wean early!

HeiressesGiltnor Sun 05-Jul-15 21:23:08

Sure you can :-) I stopped BF my boy for other reasons, but he's a chubby milk monster and I am tiny! Never had any problems. If you are concerned, just watch her weight, it'll drop if there are issues.

Even when I sleep trained I still fed every 2-3 hrs, just not every 60 mins when he woke!

Saveitforarainyday Sun 05-Jul-15 21:28:17

Ha! boob monster! Love it! Thanks for the support, very nice of you - I love breastfeeding her, but it is a challenge to deal with such little sleep. It is amazing what people will say - I've been told shes 'chancing it', and 'got me wrapped around her little finger' and I should let her cry - somehow like I'm doing the wrong thing by feeding on demand. It's all meant as friendly advice from friends and relatives, but it can be quite disheartening, particularly when you don't have the energy to argue back! But I think you're right Ruth - you can't win either way!

Saveitforarainyday Sun 05-Jul-15 21:33:20

Oohh HeiressesGiltnor, shush pat looks interesting! Thanks!

cruikshank Sun 05-Jul-15 21:36:21

Breast milk is very clever - it's uniquely designed for your own baby, with each feed tailored to what she needs. Please don't doubt yourself on that score. Fwiw it sounds very much like the sleep regression - right time, right behaviour. It's just what their little bodies are programmed to do, the wee darlings. When my son hit it I thought he must need solids and actually tried to feed him (do not do this) - he just puked it all back up. So that was a lesson learned. If she needs feeding, feed her. There's not much else you can do, after all. It really doesn't last forever, even though it might feel like it does at the time. Box sets, kindle, etc etc and you'll get through it.

Also, I wouldn't worry about feeding to sleep. I had so many nay-sayers when I did it - making a rod for your own back, bad habits etc. Night-time breastmilk has extra measures of sleep-inducing hormones. That's what it's designed to do. It's mother nature's own little gift to you, so don't knock it. Again, I tried putting my son down awake, patting etc and he just used to get really pissed off, whereas if I kept him on the tit he'd drop off like, well, a baby. So I went with the flow. It just seemed mad to take him off the boob when he was all nice and cosy and ready to go to sleep. I would have been pissed off if I was him too. When he eventually weaned himself off, I was all in the horrors - would all these happy months of lazily getting into bad habits come home to roost? But no. I put him in his cot, he snuggled down and went to sleep. And that was really it.

Flisspaps Sun 05-Jul-15 21:38:34

Just keep going. Sleep regressions are really crap grin No need to wean early for a big baby - anyone telling you that is talking bollocks!

nottheOP Sun 05-Jul-15 21:39:11

Shush pat worked a treat for ds. He self settled from 12 weeks old after doing it for a couple of weeks

<baby whisperer fan girl>

cruikshank Sun 05-Jul-15 21:41:33

I've been told shes 'chancing it', and 'got me wrapped around her little finger' and I should let her cry - somehow like I'm doing the wrong thing by feeding on demand.

I got all of that too. Ignore it. Babies have needs, not demands. By that I mean that if they want something, it's because it's necessary for them. They don't lie there thinking up plots about how to make your life difficult or piss you off - it's about survival. And meeting their needs, and ensuring their survival, is what you have to do as a parent.

nottheOP Sun 05-Jul-15 21:43:00

You'll know when you wean, it takes forever to get a good meal into them. Milk is more calorific than a little baby porridge.

Now when she's 9 months old you can't beat a nice bowl of banana porridge to get them to the morning...

Saveitforarainyday Sun 05-Jul-15 21:43:45

Thanks all, and cruikshank for the reassurance on feeding to sleep. going to try to get some shut-eye now, will check thread later! Really appreciate the support.

Postchildrenpregranny Sun 05-Jul-15 21:50:32

I fed a 9lbs 8 oz at birth boob monster til she was 26 months (latterly only to settle at night) . she dropped it of her own accord .Go with your instinct .As someone up thread said .They demand what they need .

SaulGood Sun 05-Jul-15 21:54:07

Well done. smile You're doing marvellously. My baby shot up from an average 7lbs at birth to off the charts by 12 weeks. She was a voracious feeder.

Not only is your milk obviously doing a fabulous job (baby is thriving), it makes no sense at all to offer mushed up veg or baby rice. There won't be anywhere near the calories or nutrients that are available in your milk. You'd fill up your little girl with hard to digest food which doesn't have the same number of calories. It makes no logical sense.

How big the baby is means nothing in terms of weaning. Weaning isn't about calories or sleep or size. It's about the gut being mature enough for solids. This happens around 26 weeks. You will find that she will start to be able to sit up (with support), lose her tongue thrust reflex and be able to pick up things accurately, put them in her mouth, chew and swallow. That's when she'll be ready.

Don't listen to people who tell you she's manipulative. She's a baby. She has one method of communicating with you and it probably feels against all your instincts to ignore that communication. I wouldn't worry about it for a second. I bet it seems like only yesterday that she was born. Well blink again and she'll be talking, walking and off to school Seriously, nobody looks back and thinks 'gosh I wish I'd comforted that baby less or not bothered hugging it so much'. Enjoy your girl. Do whatever it takes to get through this regression. It's tough but it will pass. It's okay to nap during the day, ask for help, leave the housework and to concentrate on getting through this bit.

You're doing so well.

Saveitforarainyday Mon 06-Jul-15 12:09:03

Thank you all for your lovely support. Another night of multiple waking, a very cranky partner this morning and on me tod in the house now with baby. It means a lot to read such nice messages. x

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