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  1. #1
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    Default I need some help please with bf'ing and settling

    This might be a bit all over the place, I'm pretty tired but need some advice please.

    DS is almost 4 months old and exclusively breastfed. He's my 3rd child, DD1 and DD2 were formula fed.

    He still *what I think* cluster feeds at night. Last night for example he started to feed at 7pm. Finished at 10pm. Awake again at 11, fed for another hour. Then he fed twice more through the night but I've been co-sleeping so I can get as much rest as possible and drifting in and out of sleep so don't know how long he feeds for.

    It's like this every night.

    This is causing problems with DH who doesn't feel comfortable sleeping in our bed with him. I have his cot set up next to our bed but we both seem to get more rest with him sleeping next to me. He only falls asleep on boob or if he is being bounced/ rocked. Will not take a dummy and stays asleep for longer in our bed than the cot.

    During the day he is too busy to feed for very long watching his sisters (2 and 4) and he also doesn't nap for very long or have set nap times. He wakes up really easily and my other kids are really noisy.

    I feel like I'm all over the place. Part of me feels like a first time mum. I have no one irl to ask about bf so have just been winging it and feel like I've done it all wrong because he just seems to want to feed at night? In the beginning I fed him whenever he wanted it thinking the 'cluster feeds' would stop as he got older. Instead it's like his day feeds have dropped off and now it's just night time.

    Its so hard, I put my older children to bed and then I seem to be with bub all night. Then during the day it's really hard to settle him and I feel like I'm neglecting my other kids. Always bouncing or rocking bub who only naps for 20 mins at a time. I really want to get him into some kind of routine.

    DH thinks we should put him on formula because he knows it will be quicker to feed him and thinks it will keep him fuller for longer but I regretted not breastfeeding my DD's and don't want to regret putting him on formula. Also, chn has always been really happy with his weights and growth. Last check at 3 months old he weighed 7kg.

    So my questions are..

    Should I I express? Will it affect my supply? I don't even know how to express?? But i thought if I do atleast then DH can maybe do a couple of night feeds and DS can get used to someone else.

    Do you think I should start solids, maybe that will keep him fuller for longer?

    Is there a way to get him to feed more during the day and less at night? I keep offering but he'd rather just look around and giggle and then I'm busy with my other kids, time just seems to fly by..

    I'm finding it really hard, my DDs were in some kind of routine earlier than this and with 3 to look after I'm feeling frustrated now that everyday is just a bit of a mess.

    Hope this makes sense. Thanks for reading if you got this far. Hope someone can help?

  2. #2
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    I feel your pain, although I only have 2 kids rather than 3. DS is 5mo and we've just come out of the catnapping.

    Our situation is a bit different, DS wasn't gaining enough weight while breastfed and I recently weaned him onto a formula for babies with cows milk protein intolerance & allergies. He had a number of symptoms and DD had the same thing.

    While I was BFing, DS would cluster feed quite a lot in the evening. He'd also do lots of 'snacking & napping'. It's so hard to get anything done. I suggest calling the ABA, their phone counselling is fantastic.

    When you put bub down, can you put him in a darkened room with white noise playing to drown out the noise from the other kids? I was told that at the end of the 4th month of life baby's sleep changes and they are able to sleep deeper and longer, so you might see some improvement soon.

    With expressing, it shouldn't impact your supply as the milk is still coming from you. Sometimes I found that giving a bottle of EBM would fill up the tummy and help re-set the snack/nap cycle.

    It's so tough, I don't know how you're doing it with 3 kids - you're amazing!

  3. #3
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    I have one other child not two so I can only imagine how hard it must be for you. But you have hit on a good point. The articles I've read that have helped me with our 2nd bub say to make sure that bub is well fed during the day so that they don't need so much at night. One is: https://childsleepscience.wordpress....done-about-it/
    and the same blog offers advice on how to reduce night feedings: http://childsleepscience.wordpress.c...ight-feedings/

    Our bub is 5 months and sleeps through from 7pm-ish to 5am when she wakes for a feed. She's breastfed and sort-of co-sleeps in a side-car cot. I did use a dummy at night during the first few months, and I made sure she was well fed during the day. But I only have one other child to handle when breastfeeding. Can you try breastfeeding not on demand, but only at set times, like when bub wakes up or 20 minutes before he goes down for a nap? And then would one of those feeding necklaces help bub focus on his feed instead of his siblings?

    Can't help you with your expressing questions because I haven't ever expressed except by hand for medicinal purposes. But it would be a good way of giving yourself a break at night.

    ETA - Our 1st was breastfed on demand and fed to sleep every night & nap-time and fed multiple times during the night too. It was lovely but for various reasons I couldn't do the same with our 2nd so had to go against my feed-on-demand beliefs and feed by schedule and (shock-horror!) use a dummy. You do what works for both you and bub.
    Last edited by debsch; 30-12-2014 at 21:40.

  4. #4
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    Subbing to comment later

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  5. #5
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    What you're experiencing sounds like reverse cycling. Kellymom.com has great articles about all things breastfeeding so is a good starting point for info on that. Dr Jack Newman and Dr Sears also have wonderful bf advice.

    Firstly, this is all quite normal.

    Secondly, formula is not a quick fix, neither is solids. Babies don't breastfeed only for food/nutrition. It is also very much about comfort, connection and security. So expressing and bottle feeding or switching yo formula will simply be removing that comfort for bub. Many parents find formula does nothing to change sleep patterns. Solids won't help because your breast milk will have much more calories in it than anything you'd feed a bub- wait until bub is showing signs of food readiness for that or you run the risk of upset tummy etc. formula can cause upset tummies too in a bub that has never had it- why risk it if there is no need?

    Can your husband sleep elsewhere for a little while? Or perhaps you can work on getting bub used to the sidecar?

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  7. #6
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    Also- get a baby carrier. A good one- not a bjorn or other crappy one- an ergo, a tula, a wrap or ring sling. Then you can wear bub (and even breastfeed with some practice) while you tend your other kids

  8. #7
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    And re formula and fuller for longer- this is important to understand.

    Breastmilk is digested within an hour or two because it's the perfect food for babies- it is easy for their bodies to break down. Formula is a man made product made from cows milk. Ff bubs have feeds less often because it takes their bodies so much longer to digest- it's foreign to the gut and harder to process.

  9. #8
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    What you are describing sounds just like what I did with my first 2 children - it is exhausting!
    My DS2 is only 3 months, so it still could all go wrong for me, but what is working for me this time around is feeding to a schedule. He has 4 feeds during the day and usually 1, sometimes 2 overnight.
    I would recommend the articles posted by the PP.
    Is it possible to feed in a darkened room away from your other children? I don't know how I will do this when my DS2 becomes more easily distracted, my kids love to talk to me when I'm feeding, I'm like a captive audience!
    Congratulations on bf'ing for this long, I think the main difference between bf'ing and formula and sleep is that formula feeding is more often associated with a routine and when bub doesn't settle you don't automatically think to feed them as you do with bf'ing.

  10. #9
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    My DS is 5 an half months old and only breastfeeding with solids, I'm not sure if this will help you but it helped me allot DS won't take a dummy learning to take a bottle at the moment (though very hard) I have an app on my iPhone that plays white noise it's called 'relax melodies' and for me it honestly works it puts him to sleep I had DS in a bassinet in our room for the first 3 weeks he would wake every 2 hours to feed most the time he wasn't asleep he didn't like it I think he could smell the milk i moved him into his own room in a cot and that worked out perfect for me he slept through the the night only waking once maybe twice I have a video monitor which also helps and put the music on and he stays asleep. I breastfeed DS to sleep then put him in his cot for the night now he sleeps 6pm to 6am without waking during the night. Hope this helps you!

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyon View Post
    My DS is 5 an half months old and only breastfeeding with solids, I'm not sure if this will help you but it helped me allot DS won't take a dummy learning to take a bottle at the moment (though very hard) I have an app on my iPhone that plays white noise it's called 'relax melodies' and for me it honestly works it puts him to sleep I had DS in a bassinet in our room for the first 3 weeks he would wake every 2 hours to feed most the time he wasn't asleep he didn't like it I think he could smell the milk i moved him into his own room in a cot and that worked out perfect for me he slept through the the night only waking once maybe twice I have a video monitor which also helps and put the music on and he stays asleep. I breastfeed DS to sleep then put him in his cot for the night now he sleeps 6pm to 6am without waking during the night. Hope this helps you!
    While it's great it's worked out well for you, I feel I should point out that this goes against SIDS safe sleeping guidelines that recommends room sharing for at least the first year.
    Also, young babies waking frequently to nurse is a protective factor against SIDS and is one of the reasons SIDS and Kids recommends breastfeeding.

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