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Thread: 9 month old still waking up several times at night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default 9 month old still waking up several times at night

    A little background for you....

    I nursed exclusively while on 8 week maternity leave. Went back to work (didn't want to but had to due to financial reasons) I pump every day while at work and breastfeed exclusively at home. He never has a bottle at while I am with him.

    As of late I do not express nearly enough milk to send with him. The last couple of months I have been able to only send 5 ounces of expressed milk for the day at the sitters, the other bottles he has there are formula.

    The last couple of weeks I have only been able to send expressed milk every other day. When I get a full serving I will send it. This is really depressing to me since I was dead set against formula and only wanted to be "that mom that exclusively breastfed my baby for the first year" I wanted to be a champion breast feeder, as none of my other friends and family have been able to breast feed past 3 months or less due to frustration or what-have-you. So needless to say I am getting frustrated with myself.

    BUT that is not what my post was supposed to be about (oops) Okay, here it is:

    My husband, who has a job that keeps him away most of the week, REALLY loves to co sleep. He misses him throughout the week and wants to spend as much time as possible with him. I have ALWAYS said I was against co sleeping because I was afraid I wouldn't get them out of my bed when they are 10. Anyways, when hubby is not there I have a routine, I breastfeed him to sleep in the rocker when he starts rubbing his eyes. I lay him in his crib and he sleeps for a couple or few hours. Then wakes up and I try to put him back to sleep the same way but whenever I lay him in his crib in the middle of the night he always rolls over and sits up and reaches for me. And I mean, he can be OUT, completely asleep. So then I need to go to sleep because I have to get up for work in 6 hours so I put him in my bed and he wrestles for a little bit but ultimately falls asleep.

    I have always had the goal of breastfeeding for the first year. Until now, I am contemplating weaning now rather than at a year. Reasons:
    -I am not pumping enough to send to the sitter
    -I am thinking he is waking up because he is used to getting a "snack" in the middle of the night and maybe if I wean him he will be easier to sleep train
    -He is getting teeth--he bites me if I try to feed him and he doesn't want it (but that is the only time he bites)

    Reasons not to wean:
    -He is at least getting my nutritious milk at night and on the weekends
    -He seems to be getting enough when I breastfeed him--he eats until he stops and doesn't act like he is still hungry
    -If we go somewhere I don't have to worry if I brought the milk
    -We save that much more money with me breastfeeding while I am home with him (although that is the least of my concerns, even if we had all the money in the world I feel like I would not be giving up easily)
    -I feel like what are a few more months of these restless, sleepless nights if it means he is getting the nutrients he needs.

    I just need some advice from someone on what they went through and if anyone went through a similar situation. Am I being selfish in wanting this? My mom says she is so proud of me for doing this as long as I have. She said she was never able to breastfeed long (she's a nurse and worked a lot) She says she wishes I was getting the sleep I need at night because it isn't good for me but if I am willing to wake up without complaining and being grumpy to my little boy then she supports me.

    My husband is very PRO breastfeeding (I never dreamed he would be this supportive--as his mother is the one that doesn't get it)

    SOO SORRY for the novel! But thanks for letting ramble on and thanks for any replies.

    Julie from Oklahoma

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: 9 month old still waking up several times at night

    Dear mama,

    first of all you are doing great!

    Could it be that he misses you during the day and wants to nurse during the night? It could also be his way of increasing your supply.
    My little guy is 10m old and we've had a few good days when he can sleep through the night and then starts eating during the night again. I notice that happens when he drinks less milk during the day.
    He could also be starting to feel a little anxious because he is separated from you. Babies at this age also start having more dreams (and they are aware of it!) so they do tend to wake up more (just learned that today from a lactational consultant actually). Could he also be teething?
    Maybe read about 'reverse cycling'.

    How much solids are you giving him? Do you offer any other liquids to drink besides milk?

    I think as far as biting goes, he is sending a very clear message. I've talked to another mom about it just yesterday. If they don't want it, then no need to force then. Luckily my little guy just shakes his head and makes it very clear that way.
    At the end of the day it really is your decision if you want to wean him or not but from what I can see, your list for keep on going is longer than the other one.
    My advice would be to keep on going because your little man sounds like a content and normal baby!

    My son was born 3/15/2013. He is my little wiggle worm

    -ICP (intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy) mom, would love to talk if you are going or went through the same experience.
    Also: &

    -most of the time busy chasing my little man as he rolls his way through the house

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 9 month old still waking up several times at night

    Breastfeeding is probably the most selfless thing a mom can do- and that is true no matter how often she nurses her baby, or how much or how little milk the baby gets from nursing. So please free yourself of the fear that whatever choice you make is "selfish".

    Would it help to know that night-waking is normal throughout the first year and into the second, and even beyond? Babies and young children naturally have shorter sleep cycles than adults, and transition more easily into light, wakeful sleep. Most babies also need to eat at night- which I know might seem surprising if you're one of the many, many women who have been subjected to the myths about infant sleep.(e.g. "the baby will sleep through when he doubles his birth weight" or "all babies need to sleep through the night by x weeks/months of age" or "if you don't train your baby to sleep, he'll never get to sleep on his own," etc.).

    For a lot of nursing moms, having just a couple night wake-ups would be heaven. Ask the moms whose babies are up 5-8 times a night, and they'll tell you! But the sort of interrupted sleep you're getting can be torture for an adult, particularly for a mom who needs to go to work and function. But interrupted sleep is- get this- healthy for the baby. Waking to eat at night maintains better milk supply in the mom, which is especially important when mom is working and relying on the pump a lot of the time, and it means that the baby is frequently getting checked on during the night. Mom's making sure he's not too hot, cold, wet, dirty, or tangled in bedding. This is probably one of the reasons why breastfed babies are less likely to die of SIDS.

    If I were in your shoes, I would immediately start co-sleeping, at least after that first wake-up. Your baby is making it clear that he doesn't want to be alone in his crib, trying to keep him there is making you miserable, and because you're not co-sleeping, you have to get up and go sit in the rocker instead of simply latching the baby on and drifting back to sleep. Also, having baby in your bed now does NOT mean that he'll be in your bed when he's 10! My kids were both out of my bed by 12-18 months.

    I also think that your reasons not to wean are excellent ones. I just want to add two more:
    - If you wean your child to formula, there is no guarantee that he will wake less, or want to co-sleep less. Formula-fed babies wake up at night and need their mommies/daddies just like breastfed ones do, particularly during spates of teething and illness. Give up breastfeeding and you're throwing out your most valuable parenting tool for dealing with night waking.
    - Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. You're not pumping enough to cover your child's daycare bottles- so what? It is far better for the baby to be combination fed (i.e. breastmilk and formula) than to be exclusively formula-fed. And continuing to produce breastmilk is healthy for you- it reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, etc.

    Someday someone is going to come to you and say "Gosh, you were so lucky to be able to breastfeed!" and you're going to look back at them and say "Nope, luck had nothing to do with it. Hard work, that's what made it possible."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: 9 month old still waking up several times at night

    I vote for not weaning! Agree with PPs comments. I don't think he'll sleep any "better" or differently if you wean, and nursing really helps teething babies. Also, just wanted to see if we could help you trouble-shoot your workday pumping problems. I agree with mommal, if you have to give some formula to help cover daytime needs, that is not a reason to give up breastfeeding altogether. But it may be worth thinking about why your pump output is low. Keep in mind that a pump is a machine and machines can malfunction. What kind of pump are you using? Is it new or used? Are the flanges properly fitted? How often do you pump and for how long? Do you do breast compressions while pumping?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: 9 month old still waking up several times at night

    I also agree with PPs. I'm a full-time working mom who really had to work to pump what my baby needed during her first year, so I know what it is like to struggle in this department. Let us know what's going on with pumping right now, and I bet we can figure something out to troubleshoot this.

    I'm also one of those moms with a very, very, very frequent night nurser. The 5-8 times a night mommal mentioned for some moms? I would have killed for THAT, because it was more like 8-12 for us when my daughter was the same age as yours! I promise you, this will pass. My 14 month old still nurses frequently at night, but it's probably down to half of that frequency now, sometimes maybe less. I know you said you were initially anti-co-sleeping, but I would also consider just going with it for now! They won't stay in your bed forever, and bedsharing will get you more sleep. And as hard as those night feeds can sometimes be, they help so much in keeping your supply up for pumping during the day. I truly don't think I would have made it through my first year if not for the frequent night nursing. It really helped me to think of those wakings in a positive manner, i.e., they are keeping our breastfeeding relationship going!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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