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Thread: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

    Ladies, I am exhausted. I don't even have the energy to night-wean although I suspect that is what I need to do.

    I work 4 days a week (up at 6am and back home at 6pm those days). Sometimes I am so sleep deprived I don't function so well at work, sometimes I even fear passing out in the middle of work.

    My son, who is 9 months (nearing 10 months) old, seems to be interested in playing all day and eating all night. Whether I am at work & he has bottles OR on the days I am with him all day, he barely eats during the day time and has to be coaxed into staying still and nursing because he just wants to explore the world.

    But at night...
    he wants to have a solid nursing every 1-2 hours. All Night Long. There is NO long stretch of sleep... well, I take that back. When I get up for work at 6am, my son magically stays asleep until 10am after that! (jealous! ha).

    Is there anything I can do to help shift things around? I don't mind nursing during the night in general... it can be a sweet quiet moment with my baby... but now that's its 6 times a night it's really getting in the way of me being functional!

    I suspect I need to night-wean but I feel too exhausted to start such a project.
    (We cosleep at this point)

    With my first son I co-slept and night-nursed until he was 17 months old because he was a teeny little 5th-%ile baby.

    But my baby now is 99th %-ile for weight so there is no reason for me to panic about refusing a feeding or two... I just dont want him crying either obviously....

    ... any ideas?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Southern NM

    Default Re: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

    I found, at that age, that it got a little better when I moved him from our bed to his crib, which is also in our room. Since he knew I was right there when we were together he seemed to want to nurse more.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

    He is possibly doing this because he is so busy. He is reconnecting with you -- and getting calories -- during the night. My third did this, and he nursed and woke an average of 9 times a night at that age. Teeth are also coming in, and that can mess with their sleep.

    If you can, maybe have DH take the kid for the first part of the night or something, just so you ca get a little sleep.

    We cosleep so it's not quite as tiring as getting up to schlepp down the hall.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    In Peace

    Default Re: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*scienceteachermommy View Post
    I found, at that age, that it got a little better when I moved him from our bed to his crib, which is also in our room. Since he knew I was right there when we were together he seemed to want to nurse more.
    You could try that. It seemed to work for us too.
    It sounds like he has reverse cycled.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

    oh i had the same thing going on...and despite what other moms say i dont think its all that healthy. Sure, its normal for a baby to want to reconnect and spend hours of bonding/cuddle time with mommy but I dont think its healthy to spend ALL night doing so. When I began school again I had to try some gentle weaning methods at night (my son was waking 6-8 times despite being in his own crib and then eventually his own room) and i was FALLING APART. I believe that if nursing at night that frequently impairs your ability to mother, something proactive needs to be done. try looking into Elizabeth pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution...its WONDERFUL. I will admit that after we finally got down to 4 nursings i still felt i needed more uninterrupted rest so i did a couple nights of controlled crying. My husband wouldn't let him cry for more than 5 minutes...it was just to send the message that mommy was only coming 2 times but daddy was there to soothe him back and it really worked. We are finally down to 1 if any night nursings...things do get better but i think that as parents we need to gently guide our children...anyway good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

    Also, he could be teething - I think a lot of babies get uncomfy at night (even though they seem find during the day) and nursing helps them soothe their hurting gums. Maybe try some ibuprofen/tylenol one night and see if it helps?

    I coslept with Joe, and this is why. He was up generally 6-10 times a night. The less I had to do to settle him down, the better I slept overall, and the better I functioned at work.

    You may also need to do whatever is necessary to help YOU feel better in the mornings. For me, this meant going to bed earlier. Sometimes, a LOT earlier. I know it's hard to give up your quiet evening time (believe me, it's probably my favorite time of day) but babies tend to sleep best at the beginning of the night when you first put them down. Sometimes, you just have to go to bed with your baby.

    I survived more than a year of this level of night nursing using these coping mechanisms. Some babies respond really well to sleeping in their own cribs, etc., but mine was not one. I would have been okay with him fussing a bit to sleep, but that wasn't his personality - for him, it was happy nursing, or panicked, miserable screaming - no in between. So in the end, I had to just make some changes to MY routine to get more rest, rather than fruitlessly trying to change my child.

    (But also, it does get better. He sleeps great now that he's a preschooler. No problemo. So hang in there.)

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Too many feedings... too LITTLE sleep!! (help!)

    I would definately try the suggestions in No Cry Sleep Solution...make it less fun to be awake (keep the nursing session short, try putting him down still a little awake, take your nipple from his mouth when he's almost asleep) and encourage self-soothing.

    Best wishes for a solid 8 hrs of sleep!

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