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Thread: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Default Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    My son is 9 months old. He weighs 22.14 LBS and is 31 inches long. I am still getting up with him between 4-6 times a night (11 hour period) to nurse. He nurses for 30 minutes total- both sides at each feeding. I work fours day a week. He goes to daycare during that time. He nurses once in the a.m. before we leave for daycare, he has a 5 oz EBM bottle mid morning, I nurse him during my lunch break (12:30- 1:30) and again when I pick him up at 4:30 p.m. He nurses at bed time 6:30 p.m. Between that time and 5:30 am he is waking 4-6 times to eat. He eats three solid food meals a day, and more then an infant his age is recommended - between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food. I follow his feeding cues. I am completely exhausted and my body is just feeling tired and weak. Are other Mothers getting up this often to nurse their 9 month infants?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    291

    Default Re: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    I would be exhausted nursing this many times overnight too. My 8 month old has gone through short phases where she's done this but they have so far been pretty temporary--she is sick, teething, or having a growth spurt. It feels like ALL NIGHT LONG, I know, and it's draining. Is it possible that this is relatively new and might be fleeting? Or has he been nursing overnight this often for a while now?

    When you say you're getting up to feed him, do you mean getting out of bed? I started co-sleeping with my daughter when I went back to work because I like the extra cuddling time and it felt right for us, but also because I couldn't imagine getting out of bed ONE time to nurse and going to work the next day, forget 4-6 times! If bringing your baby to bed with you is something that you would be comfortable trying, it might help you feel more rested even if you're still feeding him as often. When we nurse in bed overnight, neither my daughter nor I really fully wake up, she just latches on in her sleep, I kind of help get her situated and make sure that she is comfortable and can breathe and then we both drift back to sleep after about 30 seconds. Much easier than being awake and up for 30 minutes at a time!

    Otherwise, if there is a way you can fit in more feedings during the day, even just one, I wonder if that might help him to go longer at night. Can you bring him back to bed with you at 5:30 am and get him to nurse while you doze for a few minutes, then get up, get ready, and nurse again on your way out the door or at daycare right before you leave? Or can you do another pump/bottle around 3 and then nurse when you arrive home and then again at bedtime? Going from wake-up time to mid-morning and from 12:30 to 4:30 pm both seem like a long time for me in between feeds, so I wonder if he's compensating by nursing more at night. Some moms would welcome this because it's less milk they have to pump, but if you can try to swing it in the other direction, you might be able to get more sleep.


    ETA: Thinking about this some more, I wonder if the solids could be interfering with his breast milk intake during the day and making him more hungry for breast milk at night. Do you think it would be possible to try to cut back on the solids and offer breastmilk a little more often and see if that helps? Maybe by offering solids after nursing/bottle so that he's had his fill of milk already. That way, he'll drink more milk during the day instead of filling up on solids and maybe that would translate into not be so interested in milk in the middle of the night.
    Last edited by @llli*sprocket; February 13th, 2013 at 12:49 PM.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    He has been nursing like this since birth. In 9 mo, twice he has only woken 2 times. We co-slept until he was about 5 mo old. For the last month or so of co-sleeping, he started to become very fussy all night long. We weren't really getting any sleep at all. So I tried him in his crib and he stopped being fussy and started sleeping 2 hour chunks. I thought that where I was beside him all night he could smell me and wanted to be latched on all the time. I have periodically brought him to bed with me because I miss snuggling him, but he is just fussy all night. He seems to sleep better in his crib, which makes me sad! I never considered cutting back his solids and nursing first. At daycare, that probably won't work, for they eat lunch before I get there to nurse him and he gets quite hungry before that and he wants to be up at the table with all the other kids. My daycare provider was offering him an afternoon bottle and he was only drinking 1-2 oz of it and then wouldn't nurse for me when I got there at 4:30. So we thought it would be better to cut out that feeding?? And he wasn't really asking for the afternoon milk anymore. At my lunch break he nurses for about 45 minutes. What I will try to do is nurse him before we eat dinner at night and then on my three days off I will try nursing him before his meals. That was a great idea...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    I wonder if they could offer him a (small) afternoon bottle and while he might not nurse when you get there at 4:30, maybe he would nurse when you get home and then again before bed. I might have lost track but it sounds like that might get an extra feeding in. Of course you might have to pump an extra time then, too, which I know can be hard. I only suggest this because my daughter started refusing to nurse at daycare at around 8 months when I tried to top her off in the morning before I left because she was too distracted. But she'll almost always nurse 30 minutes prior to that (when she should be less hungry, not more) if I offer a top-up right before we leave the house. She will still nurse at daycare, but only if she's really hungry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Austin, TX
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    Just to offer a little sympathy, and normalize your experience ... I too have a 9 month old who wakes to nurse 4-6x/night. He has had this pattern since birth. And it gets even worse (like hourly waking) when there's teething or illness. But he has no interest in solids so I just assume he needs the calories and have come to accept that breastfeeding is a 24 hour cycle. We cosleep to make it livable for me. I'm not thrilled with the arrangement anymore, but I can't imagine any alternatives that are any better (mine sleeps even worse in the crib). So you are not alone, it sucks, I am really tired all the time, and my wildest fantasy is now 8 hours alone in a dark, silent bedroom with soft pillows and a fluffy blanket (oh how things change). Sometimes when he is waking up more than usual I have to work hard to reframe it in my head -- tell myself that everything is temporary; it won't be like this forever; one day his problems won't be so easy for me to fix; etc. etc. I figure if I can't change it then I can try to change the way I see it. OK, it doesn't always work, but I am trying ;-)

    Where is your baby's crib - in your room or a separate room? If he's in your room, you could try bringing him in bed to nurse side-lying, then putting him back into the crib when done. Even though you're still waking up, at least you are resting while he's feeding. If he's in another room, can you put a mattress or pallet on the floor and nurse him there side-lying? Same concept ... less time upright and more time lying down means you aren't quite as fully awakened and disrupted from your rest. Another idea that was suggested to me, on these boards (but I haven't tried yet, mostly out of laziness) is to put baby's crib mattress on the floor, and another mattress or sleeping space next to it for you -- nurse him side-lying, when he drifts off you scoot away and put a little distance between you so you each have your own sleeping space, but when he wakes again you can scoot back and nurse again.

    Another thing that helps me is that on weekends, when the baby wakes up at his normal early hour, my husband wakes up with him * takes him into the other room so I can sleep another 1-2 hours. It's not an everyday solution, but it does help me to recharge a little on the weekends.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    18

    Default Re: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    Yes, my son started becoming to distracted to nurse at daycare in the morning, so we stopped leaving the house early to go there. Now we nurse at home just before we leave. I am going to talk with his daycare provider about an afternoon snack bottle and see what she thinks. She has been doing daycare for over 30 years and is VERY bfing friendly as she has nursed 6 children and provider care for a lot of nursing babies. We are so fortunate to have her.
    At Mercystreet- that sounds exactly like my son- the teething, illness as well. And we have the same fantasy LOL. My husband is great and wakes on the weekends to get up with our son. This is great for me and for their bonding- our experience normalize mine a little and puts things into perspective. I have highly considered buying a recliner to out in his room so I could rest better/sleep while nursing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    It is much safer to nurse baby in a bed with you than to fall asleep nursing him in a recliner or on a sofa. If you were going to buy something to put something in his room, I'd suggest you go ahead and get a bed.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
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    Aug 2012
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding ALL NIGHT Long

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mp.crockett View Post
    My son is 9 months old. He weighs 22.14 LBS and is 31 inches long. I am still getting up with him between 4-6 times a night (11 hour period) to nurse. He nurses for 30 minutes total- both sides at each feeding. I work fours day a week. He goes to daycare during that time. He nurses once in the a.m. before we leave for daycare, he has a 5 oz EBM bottle mid morning, I nurse him during my lunch break (12:30- 1:30) and again when I pick him up at 4:30 p.m. He nurses at bed time 6:30 p.m. Between that time and 5:30 am he is waking 4-6 times to eat. He eats three solid food meals a day, and more then an infant his age is recommended - between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food. I follow his feeding cues. I am completely exhausted and my body is just feeling tired and weak. Are other Mothers getting up this often to nurse their 9 month infants?
    I can answer that yes I wake this much to nurse mine - she's 7 months and has no interest in solids yet - but we co sleep so she dreamfeeds a lot and I just fall back asleep. I'm still tired at work, but I can't say I know many (any!) moms who aren't exhausted!
    Last edited by @llli*debbers; February 16th, 2013 at 10:33 AM.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

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