At my wits end! Lack of sleep & BF(12 Posts)
Hi all, sleep-deprived FTM in desperate need of advice here.
DS is nearly 4 weeks old. During the day he is happy, alert, feeds every 3hrs & sleeps fine between in his rocker/pram/car seat or on parents or grandparents chests.
Nighttime is a different story. Take last night - he cluster fed from about 6pm til 10pm. From then until 6am
The usual advice, sleep when the baby sleeps and fuck the housework.
At four weeks that sounds normal. Babies don't have night and day the right way around by then. It's hard but it doesn't last forever.
Remember, this too shall pass.
See - so sleep deprived I pressed the wrong button!
So DS was awake all night until I lost my mind & gave him to DH at 6am. He wanted to feed all night, so I fed him, then he'd nap in my arms but wouldn't be put down in his basket, so I can't sleep.
The only thing that will calm him is boob - mostly he's feeding but there is some comfort sucking.
I have a health issue which apparently can lead to lower milk production so I wonder whether he is getting enough milk from me. He will sleep if we give him a bottle of formula. Is it his Moses basket that's putting him off sleep or is it hunger!?
HV is no help, won't entertain formula feeding & we have no issue with latch or anything. DS was 9lb at birth & is gaining weight, but pretty slowly.
Any advice? I feel like a bad mum for considering giving up breast feeding but I can't carry on not sleeping & watching my lovely little boy cry all night.
First thing first. If you did decide to stop BF you are not a bad mum.
But, if you want to continue the following helped me with my first who wouldn't sleep and fed all night.
1) I slept when baby slept in the day. Some days if only get up to go to the loo and eat/shower
2) I co slept and learned to feed lying down.
Remember 4 weeks is teeny tiny. Baby HAS to feed regularly. My DD didn't start feeding less at night until about 7/8 weeks when she started getting much more alert and interested.
If you can find ways to cope for a bit longer it will get easier. Sod the housework, but cake, put your feet up and have a few days trying to help baby start feeding more through the day. It might not work, but you'll feel like you're doing something and you'll be rested.
I would also suggest you read this:
It covers some issues around babies and nighttime.
Also, Re the supply concern. If your baby is gaining weight, has wet and dirty nappies, and otherwise seems well I would suggest that they are getting enough. Babies feed regularly for a myriad reasons, it's unlikely to be insufficient milk, although you mention a health condition, but speak to your HV if you're concerned and check weight etc
Perhaps try a co sleeping cot if you can get one second hand? I feed my 5 week lying town, keep cuddling for about 20 minutes after the feed and then slide her over. It's not fool proof, but is definitely more effective then lifting and placing in a Moses basket IME!
- You could try a swaddle
Rip a cot sheet in half along the short side to make two long, thin rectangles as easy swaddle sheets
- You could try a dummy
But if you are concerned BF is not yet established perhaps wait a while for his
- You could try a 3-sided full sized cot
Just remove one side off a normal cot and butt it up to your bed
- You could limit awake time in the day
A newborn should be awake for only 20-40 minutes between naps in the daytime. This might just be a feed, nappy check, re-swaddle and straight back to sleep. Poor sleep promotes worse sleep and is self-perpetuating. More sleep promotes even better sleep.
- The mantra for a newborn: More milk than you would expect. More sleep than you would expect.
Thanks everyone for your advice, really helpful.
Our night was a little better thanks LadyLuck - yesterday I sat, ate cake & fed little man more regularly than he was asking for it, about every 2hrs. He was a little less fussy in the evening and we did get some sleep last night - he woke every few hours but did sleep after each feed so I felt a little more human this morning!
Don't want to give up BF so hopefully we can continue in a similar way (realise now I've totally jinxed it & he'll be wide eyed all night again now..)
It does get better but could you maybe hand him over to someone for a few hours during the day and catch up on sleep? If you can express a bit, he'll probably take it from someone who's not you (they can smell the milk on you, they're not fooled clever little things). With a few hours sleep you could be a new woman! If expressing's not an option, formula will bridge the gap-my brother was exclusively formula fed and he's got a PhD.
Just wanted to say hang on in there! New babies are really hard work - especially if they are of the unsettled at night variety! Even more so if you are trying to breast feed. Remember it's important to look after your baby but also to look after yourself too. Take care x
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