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Thread: More about sleep- not enough milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default More about sleep- not enough milk?

    Okay, hopefully you are not tired of hearing from me about this crazy sleep problem, but I am just really not sure what to do. I am falling apart- getting depressed, don't get out of my PJ's, can't clean the house, can't do ANYTHING because I am so tired... The last three nights we have tried to comfort my little guy back to sleep without nursing two of the four times that he wakes at night- it has worked without much of a fight- he has gone back to sleep rather quickly, and then the other two times, I feed him. Last night my husband was watching him while I was at work, and he gave him a bottle around 5:30pm. He went to sleep at 6:30pm and slept for five hours for the first time in two months. He then woke every two hours for the rest of the night. Could he not be getting enough milk when nursing? He slept that long after a bottle, which makes me wonder. He is seven months old and still nurses every two hours, sometimes 1 1/2 during the day. I am not sure if he is comfort nursing or is genuinely hungry. When I am at work, he takes a bottle every 3-4 hours. When I am home, he nurses every 2 at a minimum. Could his night waking be because he isn't getting enough milk? How do I know? Should we try a bottle of expressed milk to see if he sleeps longer?

    Again, sorry I keep posting about the same thing, but I am seriously falling apart. I need to sleep more than 1.5 to 2 hours in a row. What are your thoughts about too little supply, trying a bottle, etc? Thank you.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: More about sleep- not enough milk?

    I'm sure someone with more knowledge will comment soon... but I often think the same thing. My guy is 7 mo and still nurses that often. I figure he might not get a ton at each nursing and needs to eat that often, but I don't really know. I think giving a bottle with a larger amount might help in the short term, but unless you can pump large amounts (which I can't) it will hurt you in the long term. I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that we might be getting little sleep for a bit, but I am determined to nurse a year and beyond, so I won't do anything to mess up my supply. I wouldn't say you have too little supply, unless your LO isn't gaining. I just figure my capacity isn't large, so he has to nurse more often to get enough. Or maybe he just likes to comfort nurse. Either way, hang in there!!! I know it's rough- I am in the midst of it, so I have no advice. But you are not alone!! I just tell myself when I start to get depressed and consider things like formula, that this time will pass and it will just be a memory. We will sleep again!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Miami, Fl

    Default Re: More about sleep- not enough milk?

    I know how hard it is to function when you are sleep deprived... I had the same thing with my son; he ate all the time and woke up every 2 hours to nurse at night. The only thing that saved me was co-sleeping. I hardly had to "wake up" during the feedings, he just latched on and we both would continue sleeping. At 16 months, I moved him out of my bed into his and he did great, except that he would still wake up every 2 hours, at that point, I went to his bed, nursed and then came back to my bed. It took another month or so for him to sleep through the night. I would also nap with him on my days off to catch more ZZZ. I never bottle fed at night (had major issues pumping, and whatever milk i pumped was to leave for the days i worked) so i really had no spare milk. anyway this is what worked for us. good luck mommy...at the end do what works best for YOU and ur LO.
    Working mommy to Cat, Nikki, Brandon and baby Lucas
    exclusively for the second time!
    we made it 21 months with previous son and 9 months and counting with Lucas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: More about sleep- not enough milk?

    I seriously doubt the issue is baby does not get enough when nursing. Are there any other signs of this? Lack of weight gain, anything? Much more likley the issue is that when you are there, baby nurses because you are there, and when you are not there, he can't nurse so he shuts down. Also possible baby is being OVERFED with the bottle (very common) and that is putting baby into a little food coma.

    I agree you should do what works for you. If a bottle at night helps you get a stretch of sleep, great. But remember the cost is that you will have to pump that much more.

    I was just talking to a mom at a meeting who has put baby into a sidecare arrangement, with babies crib against the adult bed with the side lowered or removed, so baby is co-sleeping rihgt next to mom but not actually in moms bed. I thnk you said you could not co-sleep due to bed being to small so this idea made me think of you.

    I know you are back at work but its not every day, is it? Are you able to nap at all?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: More about sleep- not enough milk?

    I'm sorry you're still struggling. During our rough sleep patches, which come and go, my dh and I take turns sleeping and having LO. we set up two sleep stations, and now that LO is almost walking, the "on" station is in a babyproofed, babygated room. We might start as early as 7 pm. Adults typically sleep in 2 hr sleep cycles, so our shifts respect that. We can each get six hours that way, and its often more like 8. Best of all, it always made me feel loved, like my sleep was so important we could do crazy things to protect it. Oh, and yes the four hour shifts involve pumped milk via dh (2oz every 2hrs, approx) and though it may mean more pumping, sometimes the sleep is worth it. Stay strong and remember that soon, regardless of what you do, this will be different.

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: More about sleep- not enough milk?

    I had to EP for 4 months for my DS2. He was a wonderful sleeper, going 6-7 hours at night. I was giving him 4 ounces in his bottle at bedtime and then 4 ounces in the middle of the night.

    Then he refused the bottle and I started nursing full time. He started waking up every 2-3 hours all night long. I rented a scale to make sure he was getting enough, due to his former milk transfer issues. I found that although he was getting up more, he was actually taking in more from me during the night. At one feeding he took in 5.5 ounces.

    I've decided that it's either teething issues waking him up, or he just wants mommy in the middle of the night. It could also be the same with your LO. You can always rent a scale if you are worried about your supply. It was only $5 a day for the scale I rented.
    Stay at home mom to my 2 boys:
    R - born 4/20/08, nursed for 20 months
    G - born 8/6/11, EPd for 4 months, until he refused the bottle!
    Loving CDing this time around!

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