What to do? Do I let him go hungry at night?

(19 Posts)
Tallulahoola Mon 04-Jul-16 15:20:06

DS is 8 months. He still wakes 5 or 6 times a night. Usually one of these times I can pat him back to sleep quite easily, but the others (particularly from about 3am onwards) he howls until I bf him. He drinks quite a lot, and consequently he hardly drinks any milk during the day.

Our day is currently:

8am Cereal with about 50ml of formula
Tiny bf mid-morning
Lunch
Bf for about 5 minutes mid-afternoon
Tea
7pm Reasonably big bf before sleep

Then he will wake up to feed at 10.30pm, 1am, 3am, 4.30am, 5.30am and 6.30am.

I know he should still be getting 500-600ml of milk during the day on top of his meals, and I'd say he's getting barely half that and making it up at night. But how do I turn it round? Do I just have to let him go hungry one night by cutting out some/all of the night feeds? That sounds awful but otherwise this situation will go on indefinitely and I'm on my knees with tiredness. All suggestions welcome. I've tried cuddling him to sleep for some of these feeds and there's a lot of crying, sometimes he does go to sleep but the next night it's just the same.

Oh and he eats quite well - eg half or a whole Weetabix for breakfast, cheese on toast and veg/fruit purée for lunch, pasta bolognaise then yoghurt for tea.

Coconut0il Tue 05-Jul-16 12:51:06

My DS2 is 10 months, if he wakes at night I always feed him back to sleep. I find it the quickest way. Sometimes he wakes often other times only once or twice. I still feed him on demand, he probably has a few more feeds than your DS during the day as he feeds to sleep for naps too.
I'm not sure how to swap it round..maybe just keep offering as often as possible through the day, see if it makes a difference? smile

TeaBelle Tue 05-Jul-16 12:54:07

Did did this until 16 months. I was really struggling so we decided to go cold turkey (she only fed overnight). We gave her milk in asippy cup before bath time and then dh pit her to bed and dealt with night wakings. Little madam slept straight through that first night!! I think it was more comfort than milk she was enjoying

mouldycheesefan Tue 05-Jul-16 13:02:52

Could you just give water at night? But do a dream feed of milk at 10.30pm for a temporary period. May take some getting used to so may get worse till gets better. You could transition to the water by doing milk and water mix and gradually reducing the volume of milk in the mix at night.
This sleep pattern sounds a killer I too would have been on my knees. 💐

PotteringAlong Tue 05-Jul-16 13:04:16

He's 8 months old. You just need to feed him. It won't last forever.

Nottalotta Tue 05-Jul-16 15:21:29

Ds is nearly 1 and does the same, sometimes waking once or twice, other times I like count. I really want to stop as pregnant with second and need a break.

Tallulahoola Tue 05-Jul-16 16:33:39

Thank you everyone. Pottering I know it won't last forever but I'm sure he is just doing this out of habit because he's always woken up this often and I've always fed him, so it could go on indefinitely if I don't change something. And I feel like I'm not doing him any favours - I'm sure it would be better for him to get proper rest and sleep long stretches. If he just woke up twice a night it would be a massive improvement.

SleepForTheWeak Tue 05-Jul-16 17:32:15

Do have help from a partner? We night weaned DD at 11 months and my DH would go in instead - we didn't go cold turkey but tackled one feed at a time. It was difficult, but worked fairly quickly.

She then started teething again, however, and she went back to waking and I went back to feeding.

However, when she feeling well and not teething she sleeps through, won't think the early work paid off.

At 8 months it's difficult as they may very well be hungry during the night, could you hang on in there a couple more months, or maybe put a limit on it so say maybe 2 times a night?

MrsAukerman Tue 05-Jul-16 19:49:35

We night cold turkey'd DS at 10 m as he was waking more and more often for comfort boob rather than hunger. The impact on his sleep was noticeable but not amazing. That first night he screamed for 2 hours with DH there offering water and hugs. With the benefit of hindsight I'd do it at the yr mark rather than so soon.

Tallulahoola Tue 05-Jul-16 19:49:37

I night weaned DD at 10 months so maybe I should just wait it out til then, though that seems a long way away... She was easier though because I did the Ferber method of reducing each night feed by a few minutes each night and it worked. Have tried that here and it makes him very annoyed.

I don't know a single person with a baby like this. Everyone I meet says "What?!?!" when I tell them how often he wakes up envy

Tallulahoola Tue 05-Jul-16 19:53:39

SleepfortheWeak this is what I'd like to do, just pick eg. 1am and 4am and only feed then. Tried this about a month ago, just cuddling him to sleep the other times. But it made no difference IYSWIM - he still woke just as many times, I was hoping he'd stop waking up at the ones where I didn't feed him but that didn't happen unfortunately

Nottalotta Tue 05-Jul-16 19:58:31

How long did you give it op? As that is what I w as thinking of for ds, but as he's nearly a year was going to pick one time, maybe 2am, and not feed before then. Or after til 6.

poocatcherchampion Tue 05-Jul-16 19:59:21

My 8 mo has recently dropped the amount of night feeds he has and has started settling much better in the last few weeks. He also really puts his food away and doesn't feed much in the day.

You could
- take this to mean it is about to improve on its own accord
- try what you tried a few weeks ago given he might be more ready
- try to shovel more food in and more milk in the day (formula?? )

Or buy ear plugs and breatpads and get your dh involved grin

LivininaBox Tue 05-Jul-16 20:00:55

I don't agree with other posters above, I don't see how you can cope waking that often. He shouldn't need to feed anything like that often. I started pushing my DD to go longer at night at about 6 months. I'm lucky that he takes a dummy so when he woke I would give him the dummy and string him out for an extra half hour. It quite quickly got him feeding less at night.

Also I wonder if yout DS is having too much solid food and not enough milk, as milk is still v important at that age? Could you try giving him a bf before some of his meals to get more into him during the day? You must be exhausted I hope it improves.

LivininaBox Tue 05-Jul-16 20:02:38

* meant to say I don't agree with those posters saying just put up with it

Huishnish Tue 05-Jul-16 21:25:14

I had a similarly tough time with DS1 and night feeding until a friend recommended delaying feeding each time. So DH would go to him when he wakened and cuddle him for 20 minutes (or as long as you can bear) no matter how much he screamed. I would then feed him if he hadn't settled (he never did!) But we saw improvements straight away, I think by the third night he slept 7pm-5am. It's painful to listen to the crying but at least you know he's not lying there on his own. Hope it gets better for you soon, I feel your pain flowers

Tallulahoola Tue 05-Jul-16 21:36:17

Nottalotta I tried it for about 10 days. Might try again though. When I put him down for naps during the day he sometimes cries but I'm confident that he needs a sleep so I let him cry and within 5 minutes he's asleep. But there's something about hearing a baby cry at 3 in the morning that I find really hard (plus I'm worried about the neighbours).

I've only just got him drinking from a bottle but he really doesn't like it. Never drunk more than about 90ml and usually it's more like 50ml. The bf is partly a comfort thing I think.

mynameisntLinda Wed 06-Jul-16 22:32:37

Tallulah I've always bf to sleep and through the night and until about 11 months old he was still often waking every couple of hours. Then of his own accord, with no coercion or input from me he gradually slept longer. for the last few weeks (he's now 14 months old) he's only been waking once, and has even slept right through a few times. I truly belive that they all do it in their own time.
Co-sleeping has been our saviour! I also had Daddy do bedtimes with a bottle, it started by accident but maybe that played a part in not having boob to sleep so it broke the habbit.
I always boobed for naps, but the childminder gives him a bottle and he goes to sleep himself when he's drank it. He won't do that for me but I think he just prefers boob over bottle. (although I can't remember when last bf during the day as he usually falls asleep in the car or pram on my days off coz were out)

mynameisntLinda Wed 06-Jul-16 22:36:38

Seems i've gone against the grain here.
I don't have an issue with bf for comfort, that's what it;s there for, it's not just a food source imo.
I totally get what you mean about people being shocked by the number of night wakings. I'm so fed up of people saying "does he sleep through yet" and when the answer isn't a strong yes i'm then told it's my fault for bf and i should have give him bottles. all kids are different, i just pray i get a sleeper next time haha
good luck xxx

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