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SLEEP??? What is that?? 8m old, still needing milk at night.

(12 Posts)
DrJen Fri 11-Sep-09 09:54:22

DS is 8 1/2 months old and still needs feeding 2+ times a night.
We've tried absolutely everything, except CC and I really want to avoid that as thats is the absolute last resort.

Our bedtime routine is:
-6pm BF
-6.30pm dinner
-7pm start bath
-7.30pm small top-up BF if he wants it
-7.45 asleep

He goes down awake, drops himself off and rolls onto his tummy to sleep. goes about 3hrs - then wakes wanting milk.
(thought it was just comfort off me - but can take 120ml expressed milk from bottle)

He's eating brilliantly - doing BLW and he eats so much. He's on 0.4th centile but has a huge appetite. got solid proper adult-like poo so know its all going in and digested.

Someone has suggested reverse cycling because im back at work now for last month -with 9+hrs days But he NEVER slept even when i was on mat leave!?

HV tells me "nutitionally he doesn't need milk at night - so stop it" Easy to say.

NobbyD Fri 11-Sep-09 11:26:01

Sympathise with you - I have a 14 month old who still needs feeding at night. Well, I guess the HV is right and he doesn't NEED milk but rather just wants it.

I did do CC at 8 months with my ds and after two nights he was sleeping through. However, he soon resorted back and have resigned myself to getting up at night for a while longer yet! So advice is that if you do end up doing CC its not a one time fix. You'll have to keep doing it again and again!

Have you thought about switching your routine slightly so he has dinner first, then a full breast feed after bath?

mamababa Fri 11-Sep-09 13:58:08

have you tried giving a drink of water from a bottle?
Or have you tried reducing the amount of milk gradually?
Does he wake up at exactly the same time (ie after 3 hours, then another 4 or whatever?) If so, its not likely to be hunger
Do you give snacks too or just 3 meals?

ches Sat 12-Sep-09 03:03:11

Nutritionally he needs all the milk he's currently getting in 24 hours. He doesn't physiologically need milk every 4 hours anymore. However, if you cut him off cold turkey, he will be hungry in the night. You need to let him adjust slowly. I would guess that 2 milk feeds for an 8.5 mth old is a large proportion of his daily calories. (Especially as the solids he's getting are not being properly digested yet.)

ches Sat 12-Sep-09 03:05:38

Oh I see he's doing adult poo, so yes, solids are getting digested. Still, night nursing is full of delicious calorific hind milk, which is v. good for brain myelination and getting the baby weight off your thighs.

DrJen Sat 12-Sep-09 20:50:12

We did try a bottle of water - and he was not impressed at all!

NobbyD - it was bath-feed-bed, but would come out of the bath desperate for milk - so we switched it round to BF-bath-BF topup-bed and he's not screaming for milk after a bath Also as a result now - he'll self-settle better without the need for milk to sleep- which has improved his day naps too!

Mamababa - he's constantly grazing on food. Nursery are great at meals & weaning snacks inbetween!

Odd nights he can go from 8pm-3am, BF at 3am, then again at 5.30 & 6.30.
Other nights its bang on every 3hrs (OR LESS!!!)

There's no particular pattern. I'm so confused as to what is going on.
I've certainly noticed a reduction in number & length of his BF's over a weekend. Its difficult during week days because its expressed milk at nursery and at the moment we send 3x120ml bottles.

stirlingstar Sat 12-Sep-09 21:16:14

My 8mo DS2 has recently (in last fortnight) dropped all day time milk but wants BF at bedtime (6.30/7), 10pm and 5am. Plus wakes for cuddles and general mother-disruption in between.

What is reverse cycling?

He'll sometimes have a few sips of water or milk with meals - have thought of trying to get him to drink more in day in order to reduce night feeding - could this work?? But he won't take bottle and much prefers open cup to beaker, so he has to be in v cooperative mood to actually get any volume down him. He's very bitey and anti the idea of day time bf when offered.

So, i have lots of sympathy but no answers to hand. And am knackered, as expect you are OP...

stirlingstar Sat 12-Sep-09 21:20:04

I'd even be up for trying CC, but there's quite a lot of crying going on at night anyway - he sounds quite hysterical for attention quite quickly (in the time it takes me to wake up), so not sure if CC would work. Is your DS the same, or sound a bit more whimpery/like he might be willing to self settle? (DS1 had more amenable sounding cry when we used CC with him, but was at different age)

DrJen Sat 12-Sep-09 23:12:50

The crying in the night starts as a whimper - but soon escalates to hysterics if he doesn't get any milk. This has happened on the odd occasion when I've been caught up with something & can't get to him in time. (or like last week, I was in bed ill & DH was slow in warming up the bottle)

I've also thought should I try & get more milk in in the day to help reduce at night - but there's no chance of getting him to have milk if he doesn't want any.

Stirlingstar - shattered ain't the word! im exhausted. with working 48hrs+ a week, its making it all worse. CC is our absolute last resort - but the fact that me & DH are actually saying the words 'controlled crying' means we can't be far off! I really want to avoid it at all costs.

reverse cycling

LackaDAISYcal Sat 12-Sep-09 23:31:10

If it's any consolation my DS has only recently started sleeping through at 10 months. One week he was up at 1am and 4am and then up for the day at 6am, the next he was sleeping from 8 till 6 and in three weeks has only woken a couple of times and has been able to be patted back to sleep.

Soooo, it can get better. I was where you are at the same age, really hopeless and sleep deprived and with no discernible pattern (although he had done the odd, tantalising almost a full night)

HV is forgetting that breast feeding is about so much more than nutrition and that although nutritionally it may not be necessary, he obviously needs the comfort of being close to you.

Do you co-sleep? It might help you get some more sleep.

there is some stuff on kellymom about it which helped me get my head round it, as well as some sage advice from a friend that "it's a stage, not an age" and that they all sleep through in their own time.

I'm glad in hindsight that I didn't do (or need to do) CC with him though.

ches Sun 13-Sep-09 02:55:53

To encourage daytime feeding, do it when he's sleepy. Before/after naps and even, if you are absolutely desperate, word is a sleeping baby put to breast will nurse. Use a darkened, quiet room to offer nursing and a toy of some sort in the hand to keep him amused. I introduced a soft toy satiny on one side and fluffy on the other. It is still DS's best friend. It also saved me from all those hair pulling/nipple tweaking antics that some get up to.

stirlingstar Mon 14-Sep-09 19:45:24

Sorry - has taken me ages to get back to this thread. That'll be the two babies, no sleep etc etc...

I've just been reading the kellymom stuff on reverse cycling and weaning and now feeling very sad that maybe I'm pushing him away and wishing independenceo him too early etc. sad

and that I'm damaging his brain etc as I'd say by now he's getting more calories from solids than milk, and also dehydrated all day as doesn't drink anything but breast milk from breast really. sad

so now knackered and guilt-ridden.

Co-slept last night ( usually only do this from early hrs) and Ds2 did sleep bit better but DS1 was then up for an hour at 3am telling me 'the animals are coming'. Aaagh.

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