Total lack of sleep and frequent feeding - anyone else in the same boat?

Natalie - posted on 01/29/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Alex is 11 weeks and is feeding every couple of hours day and night, except in the evenings when he feeds pretty much non-stop.

Last night he finally went down at 11.30pm and fed at 2am, 4am, 6am, 7am and 8am.

He doesn't sleep much during the day either, catching little snoozes here and there, and sometimes has about 2 hours on an afternoon but that's it. He is such a light sleeper and even laying him down wakes him up, and he rarely self settles. He doesn't seem bothered by this lack of sleep though and is mostly awake, alert and content.

We have tried routines and topping up with expressed milk in the evening but nothing has worked. I keep hearing mums telling me about how their baby of the same age sleeps through the night and feel like I'm doing something wrong (although I know I'm not as my first son fed the same during the day and evening but slept through from 10 weeks).

Just after some solidarity I think, and sympathy LOL! x

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Natalie - posted on 01/30/2009

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Ann, I take my hat off to you, well done, sounds like you are doing fab.



Hopefully things will improve in the next few weeks for us both.



I just saw a growth spurt timeline and it seems right now is a particularly stormy phase which should pass soon - fingers crossed.

[deleted account]

I totally sympathize!  I have 12 week old twins that I'm exclusively breastfeeding and mine are still up at least three times a night.  We have established a good nighttime routine (nurse, bath, quite play, and rocking to sleep), but they don't like to go much more than 3 or 4 hours, though one has slept as long as 6.  I don't attribute it to really being hungry, but just used to the rhythm.  An interesting book is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (can't remember the author); it makes a good argument that sleep has more to do with biological rhythms than hunger by the 3-4 month mark.  I don't necessarily agree with everything in the book (Do we ever?), but he makes some really good points based on scientific research.  We're hopeful that things will really start to change in the next 4 weeks.  Good luck!

Sara - posted on 01/30/2009

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Although my 11 week old has been sleeping through the night since about 6 weeks old, during the day he eats every couple of hours, usually 4-6 ounces, and only takes little cat naps. Do you give him a bottle immediately before bed? You should also ask your pediatrician about adding cereal to babys bottle before bed. I put about about 1 tbs into 5 ounces and that seems to help him sleep better. But Gaviin is the same way in the day, he wont sleep very long and he is a light sleeper. At night, he does pretty well.   good luck!

Natalie - posted on 01/30/2009

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Thanks all.



Alex is putting on weight fantastic, and has gone from 6lb 3oz at birth to probably over 12 or 13lb now (was 11lb 8oz 3 weeks ago) so I know he's getting enough.



Formula and baby rice aren't an option, our family history of allergies means I want to do all I can to breastfeed exclusively until six months before introducing any other drinks or solids, as per the Department of Health guidelines here. If that means a few sleepless nights then never mind, I know it will be worth it in the long run.



I think it's just the way he is. I have swaddling him, playing his slumber bear and giving a dummy when he goes to bed and it has helped him settle for the last 3 nights, but he only sleeps for 2-3 hours in that first stretch and then won't settle after feeding unless he is next to me - co-sleeping. I wanted to stop doing this but I guess he's not ready so we'll continue for now and try again soon.

[deleted account]

hey i got a 11 week old son and he does exactly what you said... i just sleep when i can ive spoken with my doctor and child health nurse and they said he is healthy and growing well and he just needs time to settle down... they didnt give me much advice and how to stop it... but it is also extremely hot here at the moment which isnt helping./....

Sue - posted on 01/29/2009

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I was up as well it seemed all night ,my son is almost 12weeks...I was breastfeeding,and like sum have said was going mental..I tried pumping to get to fill bottles so he got it all in one blam,when i found out my milk never really came in.I was so sad.But since he has been on formula it was like night and day...he didnt scream anymore like i was pricking him with a needle.he eats every 3 hrs but as of the last 2 nights will sleep 5 for the first and then up again in 3.

Nelly - posted on 01/29/2009

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Hi Natalie



I am in the same boat regarding day time sleep. My Michaela wakes up four times at night: 9:30 / 12:30 / 2:30 / 5:30.She did for a few nights what Alex is doing. I had read "the secrets of the baby whisperer" (corny title, but good book) and she talks about distinguishing between the desire to suck and hunger. Her solution, which worked for Michaela, is to give a pacifier (can be your pinkie, nail trimmed and on the tongue, if you don't like pacifiers) for ten minutes. If he settles down, it was desire to suck. Then for a few nights, if he is consistent with the times, repeat, taking the pacifier one minute earlier. That should consolidate the feedings.



Every kid is different, that's all I can say. I hear you - when people say "oh, my baby's six weeks and sleeps through the night, has three naps of two hours" I want to die I feel so jealous!



Hope this helps

Diana - posted on 01/29/2009

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My 9 week old is the same way. The evenings he eats non stop and is up at night every two hours. It takes him an hour to fall asleep after eating and I would maybe get about 20 min in between. I burp him on my shoulder and he crashes, but as soon as I try to lay him down he wakes. I had friends suggest putting rice cereal in his bottle. And amazingly it worked wonders. I started out with 1/2 a teaspoon and have moved up slowly since. I try to give him one around 7-8 and he will sleep until 1 or 2, and I give him another  which he will only eat about half and be out....fast. It holds him over until morning time and we both get plenty of rest. Make sure you have a nipple that has a faster flow. I just stuck a needle through a slow one I had to make it just a tad bigger. Good luck, it will get better soon:)

Claire - posted on 01/29/2009

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hi natalie, couldnt help feeling for u when i read ur post my son ryan is 12 weeks now an was the same up until a week ago he was breast fed from birth but never went longer than an hour between feeds day or night and i felt like i was going insane i felt like i was drunk sometimes because i was so tired when i spoke to my health visitor she sugessted bottle feeding him at night with hungry baby milk i use aptimal now and he sleeps from 10pm till 7am and its the best thing i have ever done. i hope this was of some help or comfort 2 u i know it feels like its never ending but u know it will get easier jus keep that at the back of ur mind when he wakes u up for the third time in as many hours hope i could b of some help or comfort xxx

alex is adorable the lack of sleep doesnt seem 2 b affectin him as much as it is u xxx

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