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Breastfeeding and solids (and sleep!)

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by jodidi, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. CC is not the only answer!! I would heartily recommend getting hold of a copy of the no cry sleep solution. There are loads of really good practical suggestions in there to help everyone, no matter what your method of feeding or sleeping arrangement. I have to say that after doing cc with my eldest 12 years ago I vowed never to do it to another baby, and I haven't.
    7 months is very young, there are all sorts of sleep regressions he will be going through, and you've already said he has a tooth coming through.Although you hear people saying their lo sleeps through, actually at this age there are more babies with 'sleep problems' than not. Hang on in there and it will get better, and get that book.
  2. Have not read other replies so I apologise now if I repeat.
    We had a similar thing - My LO didn't sleep through until 10 1/2 months and I classed that from 10-6. Nothing is worse than sleep deprivation for a shattered/worn out mum.
    All I can tell you is what we did and what eventually worked. I also breast fed and initially had to feed him every 3 hours due to him being a prem. 'Big mistake' as I am sure he got used to waking up. The hardest thing for me was to stop feeding him at night. - It took a week and I am not going to lie, it was a horrible experience because the fastest way to get him back to sleep was to feed him so not doing this meant hours of screaming. I also couldn't do CC. Used to go in, give him a drink of water, a cuddle and put him back down with mobile on (initially this had to be repeated loads and loads of times) but eventually he stopped screaming when he woke and would take himself back off to sleep - when he realised he wasn't going to get any milk until the morning. I also think you have to be mentally ready to do this - it took me ages of knowing what I needed to do but didn't have the energy to do it.
    Sorry if this is a rambling on
    Good luck
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  4. Quite, bunique!! My 24 week old is feeding a lot at night, and these are the reasons: not taking enough milk in the day as preferring to watch his sister is distracting him; just beginning to wean as he's hungry (seems to have clicked in the last couple of days, fingers crossed!), teething, a cold... The list goes on. I will feed him when he wakes in the night, until the day I stop breastfeeding- did this with his sister and she's a fabulous sleeper.
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  6. I never claimed to have 'the answer'!!? I am just a first time mum struggling with similar issues to Lohman. This is a very dismissive statement.
  7. Thank you for writing this clematis. My 14.5 month old feeds at night and I feel that I'm 'doing something wrong' - but knowing that there are other toddlers older than mine still feeding at night makes me feel more relaxed about it and that it isn't so unusual.
    As to the OP, I'm afraid I have no advice really. My LO has always woken at night and at the moment we are going through a really frustrating phase whereby she's standing up and throwing things (particularly a milk bottle) out the cot then cries because she's not got it. This can go on for hours and hours at night. If we leave her, she too gets so loud and then is sick. It drives me insane! I think it might be a developmental phase as she's cruising and I wonder if she's working out how to walk. I know we're not helping her by still giving her a bottle at night as ammunition, but like bradley says, we're not mentally ready I don't think to go through that battle!
  8. Keep Smiling!

    Keep Smiling! New commenter

    Hi, my LO is 8 months old and hasn't had a feed in the night since she was about 4 months. She just didn't wake up one night for it so it was nothing we did. However she has only just started sleeping through (and who knows how long that will last!) Sometimes she would wake for her dummy a few times and other times she would wake up wanting to chat which could go on for hours - it probably would have been easier and quicker if she did want a feed! So I just wanted to say that even if you're LO does stop feeding in the night, they may still keep you up! You have my sympathy though, the way I cope (because even though she sleeps through, she does like to get up early!) is by going to bed early each night but I'm sure you do this anyway! I hope you get some sleep soon x
  9. Sorry Ladymarm it wasn't my intention to be dismissive or to offend. I know this is hard - It's just that I really do know how to do this - and when people are asking for help, I believe that if you do have an answer you should share it. Babies are naturally going to want to feed anytime anywhere, they have no sense of time or even the difference between day and night. They have to be taught, just as they need teaching everything else. From the time mine were born I made day and night different, I never spoke to them or turned on the light, I simply met their needs, nappy feed etc and put them back to bed. They gradually realised that at night they will not get attention and I stopped feeding at night between 8 and 12 weeks with each one. It is simply not true that a baby of 12 weeks and average weight cannot go from the hours of 10pm to about 6 am without a feed. If mums choose to use the breast to comfort their baby back to sleep, why are they so surprised that every time the baby wakes they scream for the breast? If you have a baby that has developed this habit you have two choices - carry on or stop, both of which are tough options and have their own pros and cons. The first means it may go on for a long time and you will feel utterly exhausted. The second will be hard for about a week. My advice to anyone who has a newborn is do not allow this habit to develop, then you won't have to worry about controlled crying technique. Feed your baby all evening if necessary and try and extend the sleeping time between 10pm and 6 am - and if they wake find some way of soothing that doesn't involve feeding - you could try stroking or a dummy. it isn't luck, it's about a measured approach to teach your baby about sleep. I did this with all four of mine and I know many others who have done it too, all successful!! Advice was asked for and hence given.
  10. It's simply not true that a 12 week old won't need a feed in the night. Their stomachs are tiny and empty quickly. And if a baby wants comfort at the breast - why is that so bad? They are tiny. They still think they are part of the mother (they have no concept of themselves as a separate person until they are much older). I think the problem is our society's unrealistic expectation that babies should "sleep through" from an early age. It's not natural or necessarily beneficial for them to do so. If we accept that somehow the sleeplessness is easier to bear. Regarding CC, it's certainly not the best way and studies show it does potentially damage babies' brains. It certainly shouldn't be done with a baby less than 6 months old.
  11. Well...I'm having varied success really. Friday night wasn't so good but then last night I was only up twice again - LO was fidgety again though which wakes me up. I have noticed over the last week that he is getting into a better daytime routine now as he is waking at roughly the same time each day and is having a 2 hour nap in the morning. And this has gone from struggling to keep him asleep for more than 40mins. Some days he's had 3 shorter naps and others, 2 slightly longer. Anyway, I'm hoping that if he settles in this daytime routine, then slowly the night times will start to become less difficult? The extra food in the evening is a bit hit and miss as sometimes it helps him sleep longer and other times it doesn't. Anyway, thanks for all the advice xx
  12. Please provide references for this assertion.
  13. I'm afraid I disagree. I can only speak from my (one) experience but no matter what I did and tried, my LO would not sleep unless fed. She was 5 weeks premature and should still have been in me! Of course she'd want feeding, cuddling etc because she was so so tiny and in a big-bad-moses-basket world where it was frightening & pitch black at night (born in winter) I'm not surprised she couldn't go back to sleep without a bit of comfort! Do I admit that we often co-slept too?
    seagirl - I'm pleased that you've had such success with your children and part of me is envious too but believe me, it's not like I haven't tried! Sleep deprivation is awful and you do what you can to get through the night (in my own case I had literally just finished the long winter term, then a couple of days rest before baby was unexpectedly born - I hadn't had chance to recover from the long term before being with a newborn and the exhaustion that comes with that).
    I know you mean well and perhaps I'm feeling sensitive about this but your post sometimes came across as making people like me a bit of a failure (as in failed to teach them to sleep all night). I'm sure it's not intentional like I said but I do feel quite strongly about it! Sorry!
  14. I totaly agree with your Lilypot. I have a 10 month old who is a lousy sleeper and reading seagirls post i too felt very disheartened.
    Every child is different, my 32 month is a brilliant sleeper but a lousy eater and my baby doesnt sleep but eats me out of house and home. I honestly dont think i can fill him but i'm doing the best i can, yes im up during the night with him and i do end up breastfeeding him sometimes. If that makes me a failure then so be it, but its comforting to know other people are in the same situation as me and just by sharing that knowledge helps me a hell of a lot.
  15. Us too- we co-slept for 13 months and still have a regular visitor into our bed (she's just turned 2 now). She slept through for various times in her little life, generally when she was settled and well. So when she was teething, ill, having a growth spurt, getting used to me going back to work, etc, she would be unsettled at night. It's NORMAL!!!
    I just hate the thought of my baby not crying at night if she needs me because I have 'trained' her to know the difference between day and night, so she realises nobody will come and help if it's dark. I really do know that isn't the intention of people who do use sleep training methods, but it's what the image conjurs up for me and I can't/won't do it.
    I will be co-sleeping again when my new baby arrives in October, and will do so for about a year again. I actually felt less tired when co-sleeping and feeding 4+ times every night than I did once we'd moved her into her own bed and she woke up feeling ill etc.
  16. Again, I can only apologise if I've upset or offended anyone. The thread was asking for advice about sleep, so that's what I gave. I don't make any judgements about what's right and wrong, you are free to do what you think is best, clearly there are people posting on here, who are not too worried about getting a good nights sleep and are prepared to put up with sleepness nights for a long time - that's fine. I wasn't prepared to wait months on end I knew I wouldn't cope with that. The idea that my babies were lying silent in their cots, knowing no one will come to them is simply ridiculous - they were asleep!! And if they weren't asleep I was gently soothing them and helping them to settle, which they all did. I may be good at getting babies to sleep, but I doubt I could train them not to cry if they were upset! I also never criticised co sleeping, again its a matter of choice and thats fine. All I know is I was able to really enjoy my babies as I was able to get a good nights sleep after between 8 -12 weeks with each one, unless as you point out Odidi they were unwell. Please don't criticise me for answering the original question.
  17. Seagirl- I don't think anyone intended to offend you any more than you intended to offend anyone else. We are simply saying that the advice you gave may have worked well for your family but it wouldn't work in our families. It seems I have very different views on getting babies to sleep through than you do, but i make no claims that I have all the answers.
    I am strongly against any form of sleep training that involves leaving a child to cry themselves to sleep. I really really do not like it, and I always make sure that people realise that it isn't the only way to get a baby to sleep through. It is usually what is suggested first by many people, including health professionals, but I don't think it should be the first thing people turn to when they are ready for baby to sleep through. I would always recommend other things first, whether that is helping them eat more in the day so they aren't as hungry at night, gentler soothing methods, recommending books, etc.
    The op specifically said that she thought her hv would tell her to do CC, which seemed to me as if she didn't want to do that, so plenty of us have offered other suggestions. It is up to her to choose which methods she wants to use.
  18. You are of course right jodidi it is a matter of personal choice, as I hope comes across clearly in my post. I am not offended, so no worries there. My point was and still is that it is usually possible to avoid having to do CC if you work at promoting sleep at night from the start. But if you make your baby dependent on you at night through comforting with the breast, then it may take a long time to break the habit, and you will probably have to put up with sleepness nights for a long time. All of that is a matter of choice, and you will inevitable be tired and so in fact may your baby. I never had to leave my babies to cry themselves to sleep and it was precisely for this reason that I worked hard to encourage sleep, using all of the things you suggest. I used to feed my babies almost on and off all evening, and settle them in the cot about 10pm - and then keep night time contact to a minimum. It really was only a few weeks before they each slept until about 6 am. I think people use CC when they have reached the end of their tether and just can't face going on without sleep, it is at this point very effective. Far better though to do everything in your power to prevent that dependency building in the first place, it works!. Just my opinion so please (everyone) don't condemn me as a neglectful or uncaring mother that traumatised her children by abandoning them in the night!
  19. hi everyone,
    Thanks for all the posts (and the lively debate!). ....Dare I say.... we didn't have a good night again. I am going to keep trying with the solid food to fill him up more in the daytime. I still think my timings are out with BF and solid feed as sometimes he won't have a lot of milk (maybe full from solid) and other times he won't have a lot of solid (full from breast milk?)
    Anyway I will have to keep adapting my times and see what works. Sorry to have caused conflict on here xx
  20. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    Not necessarily the case. My little one goes to bed at about 6.30 and wakes up generally at about 6am, then an hour later has another hour's sleep. During 6.30pm-6am she wakes up, but is capable of getting herself back to sleep mostly - but sometimes needs comforting. And sometimes just holding her will get her back to sleep, but sometimes she needs to be boobed back to sleep. Which is absolutely fine. If it were a habit, it would be every night and at similar times - but it's not.
    And then last night she was wide awake at 4am - she's never done that before!!

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