My 3 month old baby only wants to be breastfed when falling asleep, any advice?

Lisa - posted on 03/03/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I'm desperate for advice or at least someone giving me a light at the end of the tunnel sort of thing. My almost 3.5 mo baby wants only to be breastfed, especially when going to sleep. I have been trying to get him to take the bottle for quite some time now. I've had various Wondersitters give him the bottle too. I've tried every bottle and nipple out there. He also won't take a binky to calm himself and have tried every one of those too.



He'll take the bottle if he's calm, but usually only really plays with it and might eat maybe an oz. or so at most. He's not getting drowsy taking it at all. My problem is that I can't go anywhere for longer then 2-3 hours because I need to be there to breastfeed him when it's time for a nap. NOTHING calms him (at least for long) except the breast. He gets tired, he needs the breast to sleep, I'm not there or trying to get someone else to get him down equals non-stop crying that ONLY escalates. He gets more tired, more hungry, more gassy as he cries his poor heart out until I have to relent and offer the boob or all my sitters leave me.



My oh so wonderful Wondersitter today said, "Wow, he really sounds like a squealing pig." I won't be using her anymore. It's true, but only I can say that about him.



My first was easy peasy compared to this one so I'm at my wits end. I'm not only older or very patient, but have a 2.5 yr. old who I adore that wants me and who I WANT to spend time with, but can't because of the little one. It's really making me resentful of the youngest and I feel trapped like some kind of prisoner. I am NOT into attachment parenting. I do not have the temperament for that. I'm also not a whole hearted CIO/extinction kind of person for a child this young. I'm somewhere in between. I will usually always go to him and pick him up when he's crying and I don't know what's wrong. After knowing and completing the task at hand (changing diaper, etc.) I will allow him to cry the Ferber method of 5, 10, 15, 20. After the second 20 minute cycle I can not take it and will comply to him because by that time I feel he either must be hungry or have a dirty diaper from all the screaming. As soon as he's in my arms he's happy as a clam. He's so darn cute, but this seems to infuriate me more because I know it's not pain he's in or anything else.



As for naps, they're horrible, especially in the mornings because I have so many appointments to run at different times with my older one. He usually naps on the go if he can stop crying long enough. Somewhere around 2-3 he will go down for a long nap, but I either have to take him into my bed and sleep there with him for a while or sometimes I can nurse in the rocker. BUT, he only sleeps long if he's in my bed. I put the heating pad on to warm it up beforehand, the room is dark and I have white noise playing.



For the night he's usually pretty good. We usually take a bath around 6 and try to swaddle/rock/breastfeed him down with both breasts (10-13 minutes each) by 7 where he then goes into his own bassinet beside the bed with heated area from pad, white noise, darkness. He can awake to certain sounds throughout the night so I've banned my husband from our room because he's always snoring and have almost kicked out the dog for making noise! He will then sleep to about 12-2, wake, I'll feed both breasts and he's down pretty easy. Depending on when he wakes he'll then get up again about 3-5. This one's harder to get him down, but doable. I usually have to change him after the first breast. This is tricky because on the second breast is where he usually likes to have a bowel movement at minute 10. This means another diaper change and then he's too awake and mostly fed to go down soon which keeps me up for another 20-45 minutes until he wants to go back to sleep. When he wakes at 4, I get even luckier. He then usually proceeds to wake up every hour to hour and a half until I "like" to get up at 7. That's why I tried the CIO until 20 minutes thing the other morning because I was so desperately tired. So he cried for 1.5 hours pretty much straight through with him calming a little now and then, but then back up to pig squeal again. I got up and breastfed him then and he went to bed for another hour or so.



Using my husband to help feed him won't work which is a whole other story. He's more impatient then me, thinks I've "spoiled" the kid and the baby doesn't take the bottle. If I left the LO with him during the day the child would be crying the entire time & he wouldn't care. He's horrible with newborns, but is MUCH better with our toddler.



Luckily I can work mostly from home, but if I had the opportunity to take work outside the house I can't right now. I can't even get my hair done (and it needs it) because it's usually a 3-4 hr ordeal.



Other things that might be a problem with just general mood would be growth spurts which i think he already had and he's most likely teething now too. My first and myself had teeth before the age of 4 months. And pretty sure he doesn't have reflux. He's not a huge spitter upper. Other then that can't think of anything. Except maybe blowouts, he has at least one if not 4 per day. I noticed that he sleeps better if he doesn't poo during the night and gets to bed earlier, which both are rare. While writing this I have now changed him 3 times in the last 15 minutes. Yea, my life!



What do I need to do? Did I cause this? Do I get a part-time nanny who will take on the stress of a crying child, breastfeed him the rest of my life or CIO & don't stop? I'm going nuts! I have very supportive friends here, no family, but need some others perspective now. Also, on a side note, I need to have him share a room soon and am wondering how that works with his wakefulness & early bedtime, whereas his sis is more 8-8:30?



Thanks. Felt good to vent. Sorry so long, but wanted to give you all the details.

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Kelina - posted on 03/03/2012

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I really don't recommend CIO or the ferber method this young. He's simply too little he's crying because he needs the nourishment. These methods should not be used until he's AT LEAST 6 months old and even then, they're questionable. Have you tried to get him to take a bottle of breastmilk when he's calm? Have you tried to involve your daughter in the life of your little one, having her help you by getting diapers or putting them in the garbage? What about when he's not eating what are you doing? where does he play? Babies need love and attention. To answer your question, no, you didn't cause this. He's a baby. He's hungry, tired, poopy, lather, rinse, repeat lol. I really recommend responding to his cries for the boob as long as he wants it, I know how frustrating it is. My son was exactly like that. Had two naos throughout the day, woke every two hours to feed at night until almost 8 months. It was exhausting. But unfortunately that's life in the day of a baby. My son also refused every type of bottle known to man no matter what was in them. And just like yours, during the night he'd wake up, eat, poop, get changed and then need to nurse to sleep again which sucked if he was already too full. Have you tried sticking him back on even if he's emptied your breasts already? Sometimes dry nursing will help. Also, trying to sleep during the day while he's sleeping if you can would probably be really helpful. HAve your sitter watch your daughter while you take an afternoon nap with him. That'll really help with the early mornings and constant waking. As for sleeping, you're not going to like my answer lol. When you move baby into the room with your daughter for the first little while they'll both wake up while they get used to the noises that eachother make. It's going to be at least a week and probably more of lots of waking up. i've never yet met a toddler who didn't move while they slept, and if your daughter is not used to the white noise that baby is used to then you've got a few days with a tired cranky toddler ahead of you. One thing I found helped with my son was to stick him in the bassinet and duck. If he opened his eyes at all and saw me we'd start eh whole cycle all over again, but if he didn't then he usually went to sleep no problem. Then I'd have to sneak my hand up to turn off the lamp and pray my hubby didn't choose that moment to roll over and snore lol. As for calming himself, I'd love to say there's a magic wand out there for that but if there is we never found it. Not at that age. When he hit 8 months he started sucking on his blankie but there wasn't a soother out there I didn't try and he wouldn't take a single one. Some kids are just like that. They want mommy. My son also wouldn't fall asleep in the car which kind of sucked as it meant I was pretty much tethered to my house for the first 6 months. It does get better. It's difficult at first for a baby who needs mommy so much, but they don't breastfeed forever. They don't wake up all night forever. Have you talked to your doctor at all about post natal depression? do you go to any moms groups? How often do you get one on one time with either child? Also responding to his cries immediately and wearing him will probably make it easier for you to bond with him. Hearing your baby cry is really difficult, perhaps if you tried wearing him he wouldn't cry so much. Because at this age he's not crying for no reason. Wanting to be held or play with mommy or snuggle are all reasons too they're just a little harder to identify.

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