Night time

My LO is 9 weeks today & night times are still the worst part of my day. He is BF but we give him a 6oz bottle about 9pm which we are finding that he just downs then needs me to BF him to top him up. It usually takes a couple of hours to get him filled up with milk, burped, nappy changed then settled. He'll sleep then for about 2-3 hours (mostly just 2) then I BF him again. But after this he doesn't go down to sleep again. It's not that he's awake & wants to play or anything, he just takes forever to feed then when I think he's finished and I try to settle him he wants more & I could be feeding him for a few hours on and off. He gets fussy on the breast & he's on and off all the time. By this point I'm so tired that I can't be bothered trying to settle him after he's fed so I just let him sleep on me. He's always struggled with wind & that's possibly why he's fussy but he isn't like that during the day. And unless he's deeply asleep before I put him down, he'll just wake up & it starts all over again. I know I shouldn't be letting him sleep on me but I'm so tired. Does anyone have any advice? I feel like my baby is the only one who is up most of the night. I'm always reading about babies who sleep for hours :-(

11 Replies

  • Hi, my LO is nearly 5 months and I only BF for 1 week but it sounds to me as if he's not really needing to feed but using you as a comfort instead which may explain the fussing you've described?

    Is it possible for your OH to try and settle him instead? If LO can smell you/your milk he'll want to latch on.

    I have also heard other women on this sight talk about putting a vest or top in the Moses basket so that LO will be comforted by your smell once in his basket.

    I'm sure some if the other ladies who BF on this site will give you some great advice xxx

  • Just thought....does he have a dummy/would you give one? It is actually recommended now to help prevent SIDS xxx

  • Hi. I've tried him with a dummy but he just won't take it, I've tried 2 different types & I keep persisting but he doesn't like it, I wish he would coz it would make things a lot easier as I'm sure he does just sometimes need comfort. He does also seem to be drinking a lot of the time he's on me though, he's just really slow.

    My OH sleeps in the spare bed at the moment as he is working & he isn't good with little sleep. I'm fine with it as I don't have to try to be quiet when I'm up in the night but that obviously means I'm sorting this on my own.

    I've tried the vest / smell thing before but stopped doing it. I'll try it again in case it made any difference.

    I'm thinking of giving him a bottle in the night to try to fill him up quicker & see if that helps.

  • My son is 17 weeks and bf and I wud say over the last 2 months has established his own bed time routine. ..we go up at 9 and hes usually asleep by 9.30. Do u giv him a bath or anything b4..does he always meed changing after u hav fed him...tht maybe wakes him up a bit...hav u tried giving his last feed in a dark room or get ur oh too feed and settle. He might b using u as a comforter but its up to u if u use a dummy if u dont already but dont feel like you should. I hav let my son sleep on sleeping isnt a no no if its done safely. .I did it a month ago when my son was going through a growth spurt as I saw every hour. X

  • Hiya. We do give him a bath & get him into his pj's then give him his bottle in a dark quiet room. As I say, this helps him go down for the first couple of hours but it's after this that he wakes & then I can't get him back to sleep. I change him once a night because I know he will have a heavy wet nappy or if I know he has a dirty nappy.

    I saw every hour after 2am last night & he's still not had a proper sleep. He's so tired. I'm just making a bottle for him now to see if that will work to get him to sleep.

  • You poor thing, you must be shattered.

    Like Ceribean I too am BF exclusively. Our boys are the same age & they are 16-17 weeks now.

    My gut says he shouldn't need to feed every 2hrs at his age.

    You spoke about fussing...this sometimes suggests the breast is you always allow him to finish one breast before starting on the new one?

    Has your LO cluster fed in the past?

    Is he gaining weight nicely?

    What is he sleeping in? Does he have a sleeping bag? Blankets?

    How's the temperature in your bedroom? Could think be waking him?

    I have experienced many a night where he gets up to feed and I cannot resettle, last night he got up at 4..... Fed, nodded off, laid down, awake, cuddling comforter, gave him a few mins, wide awake, took him back to bed, fed more, laid down, asleep....done....took me ages to drop off though.

    Sometimes he wakes and will resettle without a feed, sometimes he'll sleep 9-10hrs straight, much depends on what's going on in his day & other influences like growth spurt, teething, vaccinations.

    I am expecting a rough ride at the end of the week as he has 16wk jabs and teething so it'll be Calpol at the ready. X

  • Hi cheekymonkey thanks for your reply. There's always going to a "phase" that we struggle with isn't there...I'll probably only just have sorted out a routine at night and then he'll start teething!

    I also thought he would have stretched his feeds out by now. Sometimes he can go longer but it's never really more than 3 hours. Iv also been wondering about whether I'm producing enough milk, iv wondered that for a whole now. I have fenugreek tablets to increase supply but haven't taken them yet as I was worried of side effects if my supply wasn't actually low. I do allow him to finish one breast before the other & sometimes he really does seem full after only one breast but other times I do feel a bit empty. I know I'm not eating & drinking as much as I should as I can't find the time so that doesn't help. He's a windy baby even though he's BF and needs holding/comforting a lot. I really want to get to at least 16 weeks BF though if I can before we switch to bottle.

    He is gaining weight very nicely. I do think he has cluster fed (or what I thought was cluster feeding) but he still hasn't gone for longer than a few hours. He sleeps in a sleeping bag but mostly he's swaddled in a blanket as he loves to feel snug. Room temp is about 17-18 degrees so I think he's probably a bit cool in a sleeping bag but ok when swaddled.

    I long for him to just go a few more hours because I don't really sleep when he sleeps during the day either!

    I'm going to look into the fenugreek tablets again, try to at least drink more water, and try another bottle in the night to see if any if that helps him go longer.

  • I know that feeling of the tanks being empty, its not nice and I do eat and drink well.

    You do need to drink water when you feed, I have a flip top water bottle with me as a glass in a pain in butt. Eating too in important, you said yourself you don't have enough and we need 500 more kcal's a day for feeding and energy. Breast feeding sends me into the kitchen to raid the fridge and cupboards! ;-) frequently and I am starting to drop a little baby weight now.

    I have always fed him on demand but not so much as he's getting older, but again he will want a feed about 3hourly, I will also encourage him in the evening to stock up and get the fat rich hind milk in order for him to feel satisfied to sleep through (that being 6hrs or more)

    We use a sleeping bag 2.5-3 Tog and the rooms about 19'C but has dropped to 17'C so I been using a vest and a sleep suit.

    I think we are fighting with teething at the moment, just been out to chemist as was effecting his feeding :-(

    Have you spoken to health visitor about how to get him to drop a feed?

  • Does your LO sleep much in the day my boy is bottle fed not by choice but he only sleeps 2hrs after 1am but last night slept. 9hours in one go and only think different was he was put to bed at 6.30 slept till 7.30 downed a 5oz bottle then slept 8-3.45 then 5-7.45 he normally goes down at 9 but was over tired so didn't sleep well

  • I think it might be the formula milk that is causing this, as it is harder to digest and could be upsetting him, or creating wind. Or even lactose intolerance? If he is fine during the day on breast milk and unsettled at night after a bottle, then it seems obvious. You can make enough breastmilk to feed a baby without topups if you nourish yourself properly, and topping up with formula actually decreases your supply! Perhaps try dropping the night bottle for a week and seeing if that works.

    I also agree with the person who suggested a dummy, as it could just be sucking comfort he wants, or if he is starting to teethe then he can chew on the dummy for relief. Try another shape, brand or size?

    There is sleep training that you can implement to get him to settle himself when he wakes in the night, which involves letting him cry for a bit. Really hard to do, but it does work. The swaddling should help with this, unless of course that is making it worse, so you could try not swaddling for a while?

    He could just be putting on a growth spurt and need you to feed him more at the moment, so bf as much as you can to both feed him and increase your supply.

    Just trying to think of options and suggestions! Best of luck.

  • Just looked at your photo, he's a cutie X

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