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Not sure about nanny's advice

(18 Posts)
redtammy Tue 15-Nov-16 14:01:01

I have a 6 month old DD who has fallen (been pushed by me?!) into all the classic sleep traps - bf to sleep, waking every sleep cycle (hourly) and therefore requiring feeding/nipple suckling back to sleep, only being willing to sleep with me. We have co-slept with a next-to-me alongside to stop her falling out (she won't even tolerate sleeping in it, she has to be able to touch me). This was working up until about 2 weeks ago when the cumulative effect of lack of sleep (both from the frequent, if short wakings and the discomfort of co-sleeping, or co-lying awake in hip/back/shoulder pain as I like to call it) really got to me and I felt like I was going to have a breakdown.
I spoke to my GP and HV who have referred me for PND therapy, but I think the main problem is really 'just' lack of sleep, and time to myself in the evening as she won't settle without me.
My MiL has got a night nanny in to help for a few weeks, for which I am exceptionally grateful, but after her first night last night I am having doubts.
She thinks the problems are down to me not producing enough milk and therefore DD being hungry at night still. DD does snack, feeding very frequently during the day also, and has previously dropped a percentile (to 9th) but is now following that line and HV has no concerns. I think it is to do with DD not being able to self settle yet, and this was what I was planning on working on.
The nanny wants me to move to only bottle feeding (ff or expressed) in order to space DD's feeds out more.
I know she is trying to help me get more sleep (her job) but to me this doesn't seem the right thing to do. I know everything is linked but I am perfectly happy to still feed her twice a night if required, I just want her to be able to settle in between feeds for longer. Any thoughts would be much appreciated, I am so tired I can't really think for myself at the moment and keep doubting my decision making abilities.

Orangedaisy Tue 15-Nov-16 14:03:52

Her way doesn't sound compatible with your way. I don't think either are bad as such, but you need to be on same page. I wouldn't like her way but it's very personal.

Luckystar1 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:07:31

I have no great advice I'm sorry, how long has it been going on??

My DD feeds frequently, I was concerned that she was never getting fatty milk and thus was never getting 'full' (plenty of nutritious milk but not the fatty satisfying stuff).

A lactation consultant advised me to block feed. So, from the first feed, feed from the right hand breast for 4 hours and then the next 4 hours from the left (and thereafter feed freely), to try and get the fatty milk.

I think it's working...! I'm not sure.

Good luck it's hard work.

Kiwi32 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:07:59

I agree her way wouldn't be my choice. I think you should follow your instincts and she should be able to work around you to still help you find a solution.

Cinnamon2013 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:09:02

Trust your gut feeling. If you follow her way and don't believe in it you may end up resentful. She should offer alternatives that fit with your wishes - or she's not the one for you. Good luck. I'm there too and it's bloody hard! Fwiw I would take the therapy route too, being just sleep doesn't mean it's not real. If emotional support would help you get through this period, then do it.

welshweasel Tue 15-Nov-16 14:14:02

I'll go against what others have said here and say I agree with the nanny that something has to change. If you were talking about a 6 week old baby I'd agree to carry on but 6 months of must be absolutely exhausted. It's not sustainable! At 6 months I'd be trying to wean asap and agree either try some formula or expressed milk. You need to get some sleep and that would seem the easiest way to achieve it.

havalina1 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:14:33

Grrr the nannys's solution irks me.

A bigger feed could well settle your child for longer, but it's not the only option and I don't see it as a 'solution' if it involves ending a healthy breastfeeding relationship. The previous poster suggested block feeding and this works in the same way. I never mastered it unfortunately so my broken sleep went on for 13 months while I bf. My son also slept (co-lying awake wink) with me for months and fed often.

How do you feel about adding formula into the picture? And will she take a bottle?

welshweasel Tue 15-Nov-16 14:18:09

Also you need to break the associating between waking up and feeding. Most 6 month babies are capable of going 12 hours overnight with no feeding (possibly with a dream feed) but whilst you're lying there smelling of lovely milk it's bonkers to think your baby is just going to roll over and go back to sleep.

havalina1 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:19:24

Just to add... she should definitely have more options for you that will work with your choice to breastfeed.

I found that getting my child to sleep in the cot (and still breastfeed) was a game changer. He settled for longer and sometimes would re-settle from his night stirrings himself whereas if he was in the bed it was all me me me.

Even if you try the bottle, you'd need to separate him into the cot or co-sleeper as when baby is drowsy she will look to you for that instant comfort. My son still goes rummaging if he wakes up and ends in my arms at night although he doesn't seem to know what he's rummaging for grin and he still sticks his hands down my bra for warmth! Old habits smile

havalina1 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:20:55

Yes welsheeasel's got it right. Definitely options without stopping to breastfeed.

havalina1 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:21:31

^ these are the posts you wish there was an edit button! Sorry for name muck up!!

redtammy Tue 15-Nov-16 15:08:35

Thank you for your prompt replies and helpful advice all.
I don't have any issue with supplementing with formula, she currently has the odd bottle when she is at Mil's as I've never been able to express much. She prefers the boob, but who wouldn't?! But she will take a bottle on most occasions, if she is actually hungry and not just wanting to snuggle to sleep.
I have spoken with DH about it, he is adamant something has to change as he can see the effect this is having on me, as you say welshweasel. The compromise I think we will try is block feeding and formula top ups, and move her into her own cot, as she definitely thinks the milk bar is always open for business. And this bartender needs a holiday.
Since she is quite long and will soon be out of the next-to-me anyway, I think we will go straight for the cot.
Do you have any advice for moving her out of our bed? How did you go about it with your DS havalina?
I have looked at The no cry sleep solution so am trying to remember to always do the 'pantley pull off' but she always knows and dives right back on again. She sleeps with her hand on me so she knows as soon as I try to (creakily) ninja out of bed,or even into some space. I am lying next to her right now trying to get her to have a decent nap.

Choccyhobnob Tue 15-Nov-16 15:49:12

I'm afraid I don't really have any advice just wanted to let you know you are not alone and reading that nanny's advice made me mad! I'm in exactly the same situation except my DS is 14 months! All I can say is that you eventually get used to the lack of sleep, I don't feel that tired anymore even though he often wakes 4 or 5 times a night and has to have a hand down my top... Tried the cot for a couple of months and nobody got any sleep at all as it was just horrendous so we went back to co sleeping.

It's getting better though and he doesn't wake quite so often.

Please don't feel pressured to night wean though unless you really want to.

StarCrossdSkys Tue 15-Nov-16 16:03:48

Decide if you want the nanny to sleep train your dd or just give you some respite. It sounds to me as if you really do need her sleep to improve. It's ok to accept this. So I would go with the nanny's advice in this case and I'm sure it will work wonders.

Bearberry Wed 16-Nov-16 13:15:48

My DD was following a very similar pattern during the evenings and nights up till recently. She is 7 months on the 20th and things have improved dramatically since we started solids. Up until then she was ebf and we did and still do co-sleep. I would put her down for the night around 6:30, at which point she was definitely ready for sleep but she would wake every 20-45 mins and require feeding back to sleep (which took about 30 bloody mins) until I would cave and come to bed around 9. Then she would sleep slightly more soundly but still awake for a feed every 2 hours and up for the day by 7. I was feeling as you described, basically at the end of my tether and the lack of evening or anytime to myself was becoming excruciating. My DD has never accepted a bottle either (despite numerous attempts) so there was never an option for anyone else, such as my DH to pick up any slack.

Once she started weaning on to solids things have improved. I had no expectation of this so its come as a pleasant surprise. She now has regular porridge in the morning and a mix of purée/ yoghurt (to fill her up) and finger food in the eve before bed. She will now sleep from 7 till 10:30 when I come to bed and then has a dream feed. Her next feed is now 3:30! This has been a progressive transition over the last month. At first she would still wake once or twice over the eve and would squeeze a 12:30 feed in too but bit by bit things have improved. She has not dropped any daytime feeds (feeds on average every 2-2.5 hours).

Of course this could be a coincidence with her age or sleep development but if I were you I would be focusing on solids as a way to supplement the boob. I always provide finger food but also a home made purree or yoghurt as that can be successfully wolfed down!

Sorry for such a long rambling post, I really feel for you and have everything crossed things improve soon flowers

Newmanwannabe Wed 16-Nov-16 13:32:10

I don't want to add to your problems but I really don't think you should block feed. It's quite an outdated practice now, and will actually decrease your supply. If you think your supply is low what about some expressing or trying some supplements to boost your supply... oats, fenugreek, brewers yeast, or domperidone (motilium).

Tfoot75 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:44:59

My dd2 was similar at 6 months and ebf, as neither of mine would drink more than 3-4oz from a bottle I have come to the conclusion that that is how much milk I produce for a feed, and obviously a 6 month old baby probably does need up to 10 feeds a day to get enough if that's all there is!

I did a couple of things to try and fix, firstly started giving 2 bottles, one during the day and one at bedtime in between normal feeds so fed her perhaps every 2 hours during the day, and secondly for 2 or 3 nights instead of feeding to sleep I gave her the bottle before bed then put her down, picked up and cuddled if needed. After a few days she slept all night out of the blue, and since then has woken for one or two feeds only, so massive improvement. She was already sleeping in her cot in the evenings though, but coming into next2me after first feed. Now she's staying in her room as she seems to sleep better.

havalina1 Wed 16-Nov-16 15:17:02

I do feel for you. My son is 14months almost and now I'm getting sleep. Weirdly, I am still tired and can't cope at all now when my sleep is interrupted! I was better humoured on virtually no continual sleep! Anyway - that's by the by.

As another poster said the solid foods should see a bit of a change in the frequency of feeding. Is the nanny there at night, or how does it all work? You asked how I did the cot transition.. well, I would feed him on the bed and once he was sleeping soundly, or him in the cot ninja style. This took a while to work - sometimes he would wake back up 35 mins later and scream the house down. I'd pick him up,,refeed to settle and do it again. It actually worked quite quickly. But my downfall was I was so so tired, and like the previous poster said, he stated stretching out til 1am ish, but I was so tired I'd feed him and keep him in the bed. That was my mistake but I didn't have the energy to remain fully awake and resettle him. So we would co-sleep from the wee hours. If you have a nanny or dp who can help you with that bit you'll do fine.

If she takes a bottle you are in luck - you could try the bottle at her middle of the night wake up, or her first big wake up, and see if that gets you another good run of sleep.

Hang in there I know it feels like it goes in forever - but all of a sudden it resolves. I really didn't get my shit together until going back to work was looming and then I really had to sort it all out. He sleeps through the night now in the cot beside me so there is hope!

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