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Thread: Eating & Sleeping Problems

  1. #1

    Default Eating & Sleeping Problems

    My LO is five weeks old. She is EBF. Since the beginning, she has eaten about every hour during the day. I have not scheduled her, rather she will scream like she is being tortured when she is hungry. During the night she wakes up every two hours to eat. She is gaining enough weight. She was born at 7lb 1oz and today was 10lb 8oz. She goes to the bathroom enough, about twelve wet diapers and 8 or 9 poops. I was told that in the beginning baby eats on demand, but should show improvement in time. I spoke with the Dr. to see what I could do to help her sleep a little longer at night time. (You can imagine how sleeping such short intervals for the last five weeks is slowly killing me) the Dr told me to feed her more during the day to "stuff" her, which might keep her sleeping during the night. My problem is, how could i possibly feed her more during the day? She eats every hour already! I am concerned bc I have two weeks before I return to work, and I will not be able to function with the lack of sleep. Any suggestions/advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Eating & Sleeping Problems

    5 weeks is still the newborn period, so it is within the range of normal that your baby is still nursing like a newborn. Yes, SOME babies will sleep longer stretches by five weeks, but many do not at this point. In other words, the nursing pattern alone is not all that unusual, but that does not mean there may not be something else going on that may be causing this or that this cannot be improved upon. I don't think it is unreasonable for you to try for at least ONE longer stretch each night, meaning, 4 to 5 hours. So let’s see if there is some way to help you help baby get to that.

    Do you know what your babies 2 week weight was, or do you have any other weight check number between birth and 5 weeks?

    Where does baby sleep?

    Does baby have any symptoms of forceful letdown or oversupply? (explosive poops, green poop, choking or gagging when nursing?

    When you say baby cries when hungry-is this EVERY time? Does baby ever have more subtle cues of hunger?

    Does baby show signs of pain or great discomfort other times, particularly when laid flat on her back? painful burps or painful spitup?

    Does baby have any signs of allergy-rash, blood in stools, anything?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Eating & Sleeping Problems

    This sounds entirely normal for such a young baby.

    Where is your baby sleeping? In bed with you, in your room but not in your bed, or in another room entirely?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eating & Sleeping Problems

    She gained her weight back by her two day doctor visit. By two weeks she was 8lb 6oz. We have been weighing her at home just to make sure she is gaining weight, but I didn't keep track of those. I have spoken to a LC about her early eating habits, and she believes that I have a forceful letdown. I do my best to position baby more on top when eating, like laid back nursing. All signs point to this most likely. She does choke a little, and has some seriously loud pooping. After eating she will spit up a little sometimes, and refuses to sleep flat on her back.She will make some nursing cues if she is awake inbetween nursing. She will roll her tongue or move her head from side to side. If I see that I will feed her. But, if she is sleeping, then she will wake up screaming. At night time she is sleeping in our room in a curved napper. She refused the bassinet. She prefers to be slightly elevated . She will always start the night in her napper, but usually by her feeding around two or three a.m. I am so tired, that I keep her in our bed and feed her while we are both laying down. I think she does a lot of comfort nursing as well, especially close to bedtime. The dr. recommended that we use a pacifier when I notice this, to give my breasts a break.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Eating & Sleeping Problems

    Ok, so you knew where I was going-possible forceful letdown and (maybe) overproduction. Forceful letdown can sometimes cause digestive discomfort in baby, possibly leading to (even more) frequent wakings. The thing about forceful letdown is, nursing very frequently actually helps it. The longer milk stays in the breasts, the more the so called "foremilk" (that possibly will cause digestive issues in large amounts) builds up. So generally speaking, pacifier use (if it leads to more time betwen feedings) may make that situation worse. I am not saying don't use a pacifier, just be aware of what happens at the next nursing session.

    If there IS an issue with forceful letdown, that should start improving soon as your milk production naturally "regulates" (calms down) I assume you are not pumping, "switching sides" each nursing session, or taking galactagogues-things that would increase production?

    When my daughter got a gas bubble as a newborn she would scream like that if asleep, particularly if she was laying flat. So usually she needed to burp, which I helped her do by bringing her upright. Sometimes she would also want to nurse but sometimes just getting the burp up did the trick.

    Bedsharing can be a great way to maximise sleep and is done safely by breastfeeding mothers all over the world. There are some safety precautions that are reccomended. It may be safer to prepare your sleep space for bedsharing with baby while you are awake and aware rather than in the middle of the night when exhausted. Please Let us know if you would like more info on bedsharing.

    Most babies are very comfortable sleeping on mom or dad's chest, head above tummy, while that adult leans back in a slightly reclined position. Many moms and dads have found they can get some "extra" (ha ha) sleep this way. Have you tried this for getting more sleep overall?

    Are you having nipple pain? Also, why are you concerned baby is not getting enough milk?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: Eating & Sleeping Problems

    Sounds like reflux possibly? This is how my daughter was and she had horrible reflux. My son is 4 weeks and showing a lot of the same signs. I know how rough it is to not sleep because baby eats around the clock. You're doing an awesome job, and yet it just exhausts you. I'm sure some of the above suggestions will help.

    I'd personally love some info on safe bedsharing. My son's ped has terrified me about it and yet it feels like the best thing in the world for little one. Especially when he's big enough to nurse laying down.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Eating & Sleeping Problems

    I personally think she has reflux. Dr. has me eliminating dairy, in hopes of helping her eating habits. As of right now I would be happy if she showed some improvement in her sleeping habits. Just to have her get up to three hours at a time during the night would be great.

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