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Frequent night waking...I'm shattered!

(28 Posts)
Missy8c Thu 03-Sep-09 09:14:04

My DD is 12 weeks and I am concerned that her feeding/sleeping pattern is very different to other babies her age. In fact she still wakes as often as she did as a newborn and it's beginning to get me down. She is BF. Her night pattern is kind of : bed 8-9pm, first sleep 3 1/2 to 4 hours which is the best we get. Then after that she will wake at least every two and a half hours, sometimes it might be only an hour. Usually by the third or fourth wake up I will bring her into our bed. The thing is, she doesn't seem to feed much on each occasion although I encourage her in the hope of extending the time between feeds. It's almost like she wakes for some other reason than because she is hungry and last night, after third wake up, she wouldn't go back to sleep until I put her in my bed. I really don't want to give her formula as some people have suggested. Has anyone else experienced this? Am I the only one who is still feeding a 3 mnth old 4 times a night? Help!!!
By the way, she isn't sleeping too much during the day. Usually a 2 hour nap in the morning and I struggle to get her down for an hour in the afternoon.

Jackstini Thu 03-Sep-09 09:18:39

Sounds very very normal indeed!
Compares similarly to my two - I was still at every 2 hours at that stage, ds is nearly 9 mo and waking one or twice a night now.
Starting to do controlled crying with him but would say your dd is too young for that yet.
You are doing brilliantly, it isn't easy but will get better.

borriebear Thu 03-Sep-09 09:54:03

I came on here this morning to post the same thing! My DS is also 12 weeks and doing the same thing. We get 4 hours at best to start then every 2ish hours...normally. Although not last night, last night he decided sleep was not needed at all! He wasnt crying just eyes wide open 20 mins after being put down, from 1-7 when we gave up and got up!!!! I too am shattered.

I have considered bottle feeding too but I know a few people who bottle feed who still get the same problem. Dont want to risk that happening after all the perserverance at BF (and generally I find it easier going out etc.) So for now its just sleep when I can and keep reminding myself it cant last for ever- I hope!

Masalamama Thu 03-Sep-09 12:17:32

My baby is bottle fed and has been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks. The only advice I could give, apart from to go to formula, is that if she is drinking enough during the day she is waking up for comfort rather than of hunger. So try a dummy or even pat or cradle her back to sleep. She needs to learn that night time is for sleeping and if you keep offering her your breast, she will expect it for comfort as a habit. Hope this helps, good luck and hope you get some sleep soon.

charliebeast Thu 03-Sep-09 13:03:37

3 1/2 to 4 hours sleep in one go?!... consider yourself well rested! My boy was feeding every 1 1/2 to 2hrs for months. At 5months he was feeding every hour through the night and at 10months he was still being fed 4-6 times a night. In fact he only stopped when i stopped bf for good at 10months (though even now at just over a year he still wakes for a cuddle between once and 10 times every night). Though I've made that sound like a bit of a competition (my baby sleeps worse than yours nah nah wink) I don't mean to, what I mean to say is that frequent feeding is very normal (most of my bf friends had similar experiences until about 6months), and it does get better... eventually!!

WowOoo Thu 03-Sep-09 13:21:40

Another one who is shattered!

I was ill two weeks ago and ds was fed some formula at night and it made no difference whatsoever.

This made me feel a bit better as friends have asked why don't I just formula feed as it's far easier. Well, in our case he still woke up every two hours, sometimes less. Also, he got bad wind which he doesn't really get anymore now he's fully breast fed again.

I'm thinking....this is not going to last for a long time. (and I'm thinking I'm gonna turn into a basket case if this does go on much longer!!!)

Can you arrange some time for you to have a lie in and catch up?

MegBusset Thu 03-Sep-09 13:29:44

It's v v normal. DS2 is 4mo and still feeds 3 times a night. Compared to DS1 who was up about 20 times a night it seems pretty reasonable to me.

Co-sleeping is a great idea to get more rest, and sleep when she does in the day. If she struggles to sleep in the afternoon then she might be overtired -- try putting her down earlier (DS2 only stays awake for 1.5 hours max before needing another nap).

Hang in there -- it won't be forever though it feels like it

minnietheminx007 Thu 03-Sep-09 17:36:56

i have just come on to start up a thread looking for advice/support on the same matter!! dd is 13 weeks old and even though has slept through twice, so i know she can do it, is going through a stage of waking up 5ish times a night but i dont think its for feeding, we all co sleep and she seems to stir then need the boob to go back to sleep,i have tried patting and shushing and it just doesnt work, i have finally relented and bought a dummy today to try to see if that helps. she is worse for waking up in the night now that when she was a newborn. i dont know if i should persue trying to get her in her own cot, 8 attempts today until she stayed there for about 45 minutes but im worried about doing her more harm than good, she obviously still needs her sleep. I have relented this afternoon and we have both gone for a sleep in the big bed, she is still asleep now after 3 and a half hours.
sorry to hijack and making it "all about me"!
just hope someone can offer some advice to bloomin knackered.

madusa Thu 03-Sep-09 18:50:50

my 3rd was still having up to 12 feeds in a 24 hr period at 12 weeks so you're not alone.

I was exhausted as I also had a school and nursery run to do!

NellyTheElephant Thu 03-Sep-09 20:17:01

I think that this is completely normal. The only advice I can give you is: (i) when she wakes leave her for 5 minutes to see what happens - she might resettle? and (ii) if she doesn't settle, then spend another 5 mins trying to resettle her before you give in and feed her. I know that in the awful early hours it seems crazy to prelong the agony of being awake and it's easier just to shove them onto your breast immediately, but this approach really worked with all 3 of mine, all of whom were bf and all of whom slept through quite quickly. All of mine had dummies at this age (stopped at about 4 months), so I would offer that and see if they dropped off back to sleep, it was about 50:50 on whether it worked, and it definitely seemed to help them adjust to sleeping longer periods without a feed.

My youngest is now 5 months and has been sleeping through for a while now - but it happened very suddenly. At 11 weeks he was waking 3 times between 7pm and 7am and then just over a week later he was sleeping through 12 hrs. In the 10 days or so between the 3x per night and sleeping through I suddenly found that my resetting attempts were much more successful than previously and, after a couple more days, that if I left him for a few minutes he'd settle himself without me going to him, and then low and behold he went through. However, if I hadn't constantly been trying to get him to settle without a feed I'd never have known he was 'ready' and effectively just needed help to learn to get himself back to sleep and I might have just continued to feed him whenever he woke.

ches Fri 04-Sep-09 01:39:50

I was still feeding a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 18 month 4 times a night. HTH.

girlynut Fri 04-Sep-09 03:47:50

I was just about to post a similar thread! DS2 is 12 weeks and is following the same pattern as your little one. He goes down well at 7pm, sleeps for 4 or 5 hours then wakes every two hours for the rest of the night. I'm mixed feeding so i don't think that switching to formula makes any difference.

I think he's not getting enough milk during the day so is probably hungry. But I struggle to get 4oz of formula down him in an hour and he loses interest in the breast just as quickly. Shouldn't he be taking 6oz feeds at this age?

I start a new job full time on Tuesday and I'm dreading the thought of trying to impress my new boss when I'm so shattered.

Just want to let you know you're not alone. Hopefully somebody might have some helpful tips for us!

Harimosmummy Fri 04-Sep-09 03:58:11


i have a 5week old and a 15month old... am permanently shattered and spend half the night feeding.

Both of my kids are / were mixed and the elder one still doesn't sleep through regularly so don'tthink that makes a massive difference.

Just try to rest when the baby does.

Missy8c Fri 04-Sep-09 08:34:30

Thanks all. I think I need to just chill, nap when I can and arrange the odd lie in. Loads of good advice here anyway and good to know that I'm not alone. I do get fed up with hearing 'oh dear, isn't she sleeping through yet?' lol

Milsy Fri 04-Sep-09 21:20:30

Hi Missy I don't know too much about this but I am on the Sleepytot mailing list and saw a blog post which sort of talks about this the other day. I thought of it when I read your post and it might help.

hackedoffandcross Fri 04-Sep-09 21:28:12

My DD was like this even after she went onto FF. Ds is still BF at 8 months, he was similar at this stage but now only has 1 or 2 feeds in the night (with occasional exceptions!)

If I had known my DD would be no better I would have persevered with the BFsad It's hard when you feel so bloody tired that you are on the verge of tears all the time, unless that's just megrin

It will get better in time. I found it helped to just take each day as it comes, not count how much sleep I had 'missed' and especially not count how many hours kip my DH was getting, as it made me feel very resentful and envy

jccf2003 Sat 05-Sep-09 17:25:50

I'm so relieved to see this thread - on the other forums I've seen, most babies are sleeping from at least 9pm-3 or 4am, and I'm feeling jealous envy. My lo is 11wks old and breastfed. He sleeps (quietly) from 9-11pm, and then has a feed. After that, he's usually up again at 1-2 (even if he's had a formula feed instead of breastmilk at 11pm) and from then on, he can be up every 1-2 hrs till morning. He grunts for most of the night. I sleep with him most nights after his 9-11pm sleep, but I'm beginning to feel like it's making him wake more often for a snack. DH has been sleeping in the spare room for weeks because he can't take the grunting!!

After reading this thread, I'm going to try Nellytheelephants suggestion We'll see what happens tonight. DD (7yo) was SOOOO much easier! She was sleeping 7pm-7am starting at 11wks, and before that she slept well between her night-feeds. She was formulafed though, and I don't expect LO to sleep that long - but a 5-6hr stretch would be nice wink

Thanks a million for the original post, Missy8c

ches Sat 05-Sep-09 22:55:50

jccf does he grunt during daytime naps? Are you sure it's not wind maybe from the FF? (Mild lactose intolerance.)

LargeGlassofRed Sat 05-Sep-09 23:04:36

Another one in the same boat

Twins are 10 weeks,

dt1 sleeps from 9ish to 12/1ish then awake 3,5,6 8
dt2 has colic so cries on and off till 10/11pm wakes 1, 4,7

I am beyond tired!

minnietheminx007 Sun 06-Sep-09 11:10:26

hi jccf, i was in the same boat as you with regards to sleeping with lo and it got to a stage where i was disturbing her as i was moving and she would wake up wanting to go on the boob. ive been persevering over the last 3 nights with putting her in her own cot and i do think she is sleeping better that way.

pippa251 Sun 06-Sep-09 14:13:31

my dd is 7 weeks old now and used to be a nightmare from 2am onwards. However, i think we've cracked the frequent waking thing- our suggestions are:

elevated one side of the cot so it's slightly inclined- this helps with wind/ grunting/ digestion

bath before bed- tires my dd out and its become routine now

Co sleeping - well our version letting her fall asleep (after she has woke for the first time) on our chest on top of the duvet was a life saver for nights when she was not wanting to resettle. I used to be a bit hmm about co sleeping until t saved me!

I exclusivley bfeed and started to express the last feed of the night- so i was sure she had drunk enough and would sleep longer- this had extended her initial sleep to 6 hours. hurray!!!!!!

I am a control freak usually at work and having a baby i could not predict threw me loads, so i started to keep a time table of her behaviour- sleep, feed, nappy activity, crying. I then checked this over and realised she would nap for certain times in the day and showed me why she cried. E.g just before a poo, over tired as she napped less than usual etc. If you're a freak like me this may save your sanity! grin

Also understanding baby sleep patterns helped i looked them up on the internet- aparently they have light sleep for the first 10 min then deep sleep for 45 min. They may seem awake for active sleep - which is when I would pick her up as she would be flailing her arms about, cooing etc etc- which in turn woke her up! I started to leave her and watch and make sure she was awake- often she would stil be asleep and then resettle her self.

hope this helps, x

SecretSlattern Sun 06-Sep-09 14:19:46

My DS is 15 months and still does this...

jccf2003 Sun 06-Sep-09 21:53:24

Hi everyone,

I'm pretty sure the grunting isn't from the formula, because he also does it on the nights that he's had breastmilk... he does have wind problems, some nights worse than others, and the grunting does seem to be worse on the "bad" wind nights. I thought they weren't supposed to take in much air if they were breastfed, but he definitely does. I don't usually wind him if he feeds lying down (cos I'm usually asleep!) - maybe that's one of my problems?

Last night was a nightmare, but it was because something was bothering him mmore than usual. poor guy had really awful wind. He wasn't himself all day today either. (He fed almost hourly from mid afternoon onwards - could his 3mth growth spurt have started early?). Tonight it took me an hour to settle him (its only the 3rd night of our "routine" though). Fingers crossed that tonight is better...

elliepants Mon 07-Sep-09 14:05:18

Hi all,

My 17week is exactly the same!!

My top tip is if you are BFing then to express and ask your partner to feed the 10/11 o clock feed, and you can sleep from 8ish.

Also naps for mummy in the day. I was watching some sleep documentary when I was pregnant (apologies I can't remember what it was called/ which channel) and it recommended that naps taken between 2-4pm were the most refreshing, and that has been working for me.

ches Tue 08-Sep-09 17:23:25

You can give infant gas drops with simethicone (don't know the brand name in the UK) that will help with the gas. Give them before the feed and then you should be better off.

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