How do I turn around a Reverse cycle feeder?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

Oh my god! I just read the words: "Reverse cycle feeding" in another post. I have never heard this named - but it's exactly what my little one does. I just thought I was not being creative enough to find a way to get him to take most feeds during the day like (it appears) all the other bubs are doing.

Lauchie is 13 months old and we bed-share & breastfeed. All of the other mothers in my Mums group have stopped breastfeeding and their bubs all sleep through the night. I want to keep breastfeeding till Lauchie self weans, but to be honest I also need a decent nights sleep.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to turn this around without forcing Lauchie to wean or sleep independantly?

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[deleted account]

He probably nurses around 3 to 4 times a day, but he also has three meals a day - cereal for breakfast, a sandwich or pasta for lunch plus an evening dinner, usually a meat and veggies, sometimes pasta and veggies, plus fruit and dairy snacks throughout the day. That seems like so much, but he is an average weight so he must be burning it up.
The higher protein snack is a good idea, I'll give that a try.
I have tried to just give snuggles, but he gets upset and I guess I try to quiet him as soon as possible so he doesn't wake his father (as he needs a decent sleep before work).
Thanks for your advice!

Amanda - posted on 03/31/2010

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How much does your baby nurse during the day? I have an almost 13 month old myself and she still nurses in the night a few times...but it is becoming less and less VERY gradually, and we usually get at least four uninterrupted hours at the start of the night. I'd suggest to offer daytime nursing as often as you can...and to try to "tank up" in the evening by offering even more. Also maybe add a higher protein bedtime snack--not right before sleep, but like and hour or so before--things like hummus and whole wheat pita, or cheese and fruit, or yogurt and toast. The protein will stay with your baby longer than just carbs and may help with the dip in blood sugar that could be triggering the desire for nighttime feeding. Some babies nurse in the night more for comfort than from hunger or thrist. Try offering just a snuggle without the breast for a few moments each time your baby indicates a desire to nurse in the night. This may or may not go over well, but it's worth a shot.

Good luck!

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[deleted account]

Oh April, one of the things that makes me hesitate about leaving posts on this forum is that so many women seem to put mothers down instead of supporting them. I've found that really disheartening. I'm sorry you went through that.

April - posted on 04/03/2010

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mhairi...i was accused of CIO when i mentioned that i often wait to see if my son is really truely awake before picking him up for a nursing session. i mentioned that if he just whimpered or gave a little sigh or noise, i left him alone.

someone told me that was still CIO and bashed on me. it is good to know that babies really do make noise and can still be sleeping (i'm deaf, ironically)

Anne - posted on 04/02/2010

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Glad that worked for you. We have that book also but it didn't work for us but we have a different underlying problem I guess. Hope he continues to sleep better.

[deleted account]

Thank you for all your advice everyone. The last few nights are still pretty bad, but I've had a quick look at 'The no cry sleep solution' which has a section for co-sleepers and mentions that babies will often make noises - even whimper or cry out - but still be asleep, and if we move too quickly to comfort them it will often actually wake them. So I've tried to stay still and make certain that he is awake before I offer the breast and it's worked wonders! Granted, I still wake up, but I can fall back asleep much faster. Following this technique he's only 'really' woken a couple of times.

Anne - posted on 04/01/2010

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Interesting to find people with the same problem. My 14 month old little one is also too busy of a bee April. I don't know the answer, if I did I wouldn't be in the same boat but one thing that very slightly helps is if I take her somewhere her attention is completely taken up. Like a shopping centre with fish and people to watch. She will then drink milk without noticing and has a bit better sleep at night. I know this will be more difficult if you are nursing (I express and bottle feed) because it's more difficult to look at things at the same time. I was considering watering down her last night time feed to see if being hungrier in the day will prompt her to drink more but I daren't do it yet because I'm almost certain she will just go hungry. We did briefly get out of the reverse-cycling phase when she was ill but as soon as she had recovered she got straight back into it. I'm hoping for the time when we can communicate enough to coax her to drink her milk in the day but I'm not sure if that will come before she weans. I know it works for some people but I actually found that giving her solids close to bedtime made her sleeping worse. She wasn't hungry enough to drink a big milk feed straight before sleep and she woke more frequently through the night. We had to move her evening meal to an earlier time. It's still not great though - she wakes every hour. This evening though her grandpa came for a visit and she didn't remember him and got quite frightened and upset. I gave her a small piece of chocolate and a big drink of milk to calm her down and tonight she slept for 3 1/2 hours straight! I know if she would just drink more milk in the day she would sleep soundly.

April - posted on 04/01/2010

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my 15 month old has been a reverse cycle feeder since he was 5 months old (when i introduced solids).

try offering the breast first and then solids. but this did not help my son. he just is too busy during the day to nurse. he likes to nurse first thing in the morning and nighttime.

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