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Thread: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    779

    Default Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    My friend who had her baby almost 2 weeks ago is exhausted and is supplementing with forumla duing the night since she's too tired to breastfeed. So her hubby takes care of these feedings.

    What would your suggestions be? Should she bring the baby to the bed? I guess she'd be afraid of falling asleep on the baby.

    Your advice would be helpful! Thanks!
    Mom to Colin Robert - Born on January 28, 2007

    Check out my website:
    www.nycbreastfeeding.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    929

    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    Those first couple of months are exhausting and there is no way around it. Not only has your friend just gone through the trauma of childbirth but she is expected to care for this completely dependent being around the clock. We have all been there.

    IMO, it's too early to introduce a bottle and feeding formula will only reduce your friend's supply b/c her body isn't getting the cue to produce what her LO needs. It's a slippery slope and stats say that once you start supplementing with formula it is the beginning of the end of BF. In the early weeks my DH was a life saver. I had had a C-section so it was very painful to move around at first. DS slept in our room in a bassinet and DH would help me lift him to me and get him latched and then change his diaper at night.

    My advice is for your friend to power through......Sleep when the baby sleeps. Ask for help in all else but keep the feedings as her sole responsibility for the time being.

    It gets better

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  3. #3

    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    I agree with the PP. Supplementing with formula at this early age can cause problems, like reduced supply and nipple preference/confusion.

    Many mothers find that they are able to get more rest by taking the baby to bed with them. There are safe ways for mother and baby to co-sleep. An article for you to pass along to your friend:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/cosleep.html

    HTH
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    I did supplement on DS 5th night on this earth d/t in-laws accusing me of starving my baby and my milk not being good enough. It did hurt my supply in the beginning and caused issues for about the first 6 weeks. Thankfully my Dr. is pro-BF and told me to stop supplementing. Nursing every 2 hours does wear you out. We put AJ in a Bassinet beside the bed so I could wake up, nurse him and put him right back down. I don't co-sleep for a number of reasons but did keep him by the bed until 4 months and then transitioned him to his crib. If she doesn't want to co-sleep I would strongly recommend a bassinet of sorts so she doesn't have to get "all the way" up to feed the LO. Hope that helped some. Keep us posted.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2006
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    60

    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    Actually, you'd be surprised how alert you are when you lo is in the bed with you. I've been co-sleeping since dd was born 4 months ago. Before then, I couldn't get woken up by a vacuum running right by my head. Now, I stay sleeping very still and light.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    1,020

    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    All I can say....SLEEP WHEN YOUR BABY SLEEPS!! Honestly. Its a hard lesson to learn, but even a couple of 45 minute naps throughout the day in those first weeks make night feeding so much easier. The first week we had DS in a bassinet next to the bed...I hadn't mastered lying down nursing, so everytime I had to get him, turn on a light, get my boppy pillow, usually needed DH to help me...it was a little harrowing...but we made it. Moving DS into our bed was the BEST thing we did. I had no idea about co-sleeping prior to this...I was one of those people that thought there is no way I will ever let a kid sleep in our bed! Look into it, there are totally safe ways to co-sleep and it will save your sanity (IMHO). Man I sound a little riled up, honestly I am not...its just early

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    I did the same thing as your friend is doing with the first baby, only it was usually pumped milk, based on some advice given to me before I really knew anything about breastfeeding . . . HUGE mistake. Giving bottles just prolonged the difficulties nursing, as the baby much preferred the bottle versus the breast. We also were trying to follow the standard advice of putting the baby to sleep in the crib, and I was exhausted until I gave up and took him to bed with me.

    This time around, we started cosleeping at day one, as soon as we got home from the birth center, and I don't feel nearly as tired as I did with baby #1. I nurse the baby to sleep, and I usually drift off myself. I normally am a restless sleeper who's woken up by anything when I am not sleeping with a baby, but when I am sleeping with a baby, I lay still and am woken up only by the baby. Go figure.

    Moms have a built-in radar to know where the baby is, and the only incidences I've heard of where mom laid on the baby were ones where the mom was intoxicated, high or otherwise impaired.
    Susan
    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!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    The Thing about "Sleep when your baby sleeps" is so true. And so hard to believe when your a new mother. Your chemistry changes. Before I had a baby if I couldn't get at least 4hours TOGETHER, it sucked worse than not sleeping. The idea of 'naps and Catnaps" were a JOKE(IMO). Now, I find if I get 8hours in a 24hours period NO Matter how broken I can function. It's a hard concept to wrap your mind around but it's true.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    140

    Default Re: Night feedings and how to deal with lack of sleep?

    I agree with the OPs on so many points. Sleeping when the babe is asleep is key whenever possible. I far too often stayed awake trying to clean or just have "me" time when I should have been napping and it took quite a toll.

    I am a HUGE fan of cosleeping, we have coslept pretty much from the start and I can tell you that it makes my nights a lot easier. Heck, I still wake when he wakes, and I still am not totally rested most nights but it's a whole lot better than me having to wake, walk down the hall, sit up and feed him somewhere and then go back to bed only to repeat the process soon again. Plus, to be honest on the few nights that he doesn't sleep in our bed, I miss him so much that I can hardly fall asleep

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