My baby is 10 weeks old.For the first 3-4 weeks, my baby ate every 2-3 hours with usually one 4-5 hour stretch at night. From 4 weeks on, he has been eating every 1-2 hours round the clock.
The problem is that at night he is also doing these 1 1/2 or 2 hour increments. I go to bed by 8:30, but even so I'm only getting a few hours of sleep in 1-hour increments every night. I work (from home), and I have an older child, so I can't nap during the day, I can't get to bed earlier, and I can't stay in bed past 6:30.
It's reached the point that both my physical and mental health are deteriorating badly. The sleep deprivation is affecting my job, my body, and both my kids. It's simply not sustainable for me to keep having 6 one-hour naps during the night and then attempt function at any reasonable level during the day. It was OK for a few weeks, but it's been 6 and counting.
I desperately want to keep him on breast milk only, but I do know that formula would help him sleep longer. And it's not healthy for me OR for him for me to continue to have so little sleep.
-He nurses for 5-10 minutes. For the shorter ones, he's clearly not all that hungry. For the 10 minute ones, I know he can easily take in 3-4 ounces. (He has a strong suck, and we've had him weighed before/after on occasion.)
-His growth has been excellent, 8-15oz. per week with commensurate gains in length and head circumference. He's over 13lbs now.
-He is very gassy, spits up often, and used to have reflux pain. He is on Zantac, and I gave up dairy/caffeine/chocolate/citrus/broccoli, which have helped eliminate the reflux pain, but not the gas or the spitting up. We pedal his legs, use gripe water, us Mylicon, burp him frequently, etc.
-I have a very good supply. I feed one side only each time, but even then he's not always getting all the hind milk. I block feed if it's less than 2 hours.
-He poops only once or twice a day now, and it is explosive and huge--usually wrecks whatever he is wearing. But it more or less matches the "healthy" poop pictures at babycenter, sometimes it is slightly greener from the foremilk.
-I put him to sleep swaddled, keep the lights dim, he has white noise, etc.--everything possible to promote lengthier sleep.
Is there anything, anything at all, that I'm missing that would allow me to get to even a 3-hour stretch during the night? I think I could manage if he did one 4-hour stretch between feedings, or a couple of 3-hour stretches...that would buy me 2 or 3 hours of concurrent sleep...but if I can't get to that level, formula is going to be the only way to survive.
(By the way, I've never understood the theory that "breast milk digests in 1 1/2 hours." 1oz. of breast milk does not digest in the same amount of time as 4oz., the body doesn't work that way. It's like saying I'll be hungry just as quickly after I eat 4 sandwiches as I will after I eat 1 sandwich!)