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Thread: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    I have an amazing 12 week old son. He has fantastic weight and height growth and I know I have a plentiful milk supply (I can pump 5oz of milk after he feeds). My problem is that for the past 12 weeks I nurse him at least every two hours on a good night. Only twice has he slept for a four hour stretch. Needless to say I'm exhausted! I certainly don't want to change his behavior since I strongly believe he know exactly what he needs so I should always follow his cues. I'm looking for advice or recommendations for how I can better tolerate the interrupted sleep or if anyone has had a similar situation and how they handled it and when this stage ended for them.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    Do you cosleep? Nurse side-lying? I've learned to fall asleep while DD nurses that way.

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    21,266

    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    Co-sleeping and side-lying nursing are the only way I got through the frequent wake-ups. Also, try to nap when the baby naps- even if you're just closing your eyes for 5 minutes it should help- and if you have a clock in your bedroom, turn it to the wall. Night wakings are more upsetting when the clock is there to tell you exactly how long it has been since you were last up and how many times you have been up.
    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
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    Yes, we cosleep (we don't own a crib) and I do nurse side-lying. I've been really thankful that this past week my DS has started latching by himself so I just have to point the nipple in his direction (I'm sure this helps with sleeping...maybe I just need to catch up on sleep before I feel less tired).

  5. #5
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    The other thing I do is play white noise all night. It helps both of us fall back asleep quickly after each position change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    Does he need to nurse, or just need to touch you. Sometimes with DS if he was waking up frequently I could reach out my hand and rub his stomach for a few seconds and he would fall right back to sleep. Sometimes he would actually wiggle his way over to me and press his body right up against mine and sleep longer that way.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    We will try the white noise again. I used it for a while but it bothered my husband. At this point I think my sleep is a bit more important than him being bothered. Thank you for the suggestion.

    DS only sleeps if he is in constant contact with me or SO. Usually DS and I sleep on our sides, facing each other. He nurses about every hour during the day so I assume he is actually hungry when he starts fussing at night. Thankfully nursing puts him right to sleep so I don't have to put in any extra effort beside nursing and burping.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    I wonder if he really needs to be burped or if you could skip that step? Is he showing signs of discomfort after nursing?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    If the white noise machine bothers your husband, what about a more natural source of white noise such as a fan? They come in many sizes and can be pointed away from you if you don't need or want air circulation.
    Sometimes discomfort causes 'constant' or very frequent nursing. Makes sense as nursing is so soothing! So you might want to rule out allergy or reflux? baby too hot? Scratchy pjs? diaper rash? Of course you are right, this could just be who your baby is and have no 'cause.'

    In my experience, napping during the day is vital for mama functioning during this stage. It does not have to be every day. A refreshing nap with baby can help so much after long nights.

    Unless there is some underlying cause for the frequent waking/nursing, sleep stretches tend to get longer somewhere between 3 and 6 months, and longer still later. But this does not happen in a linear fashion (you might see a few months of less waking and then more waking) and many children wake at night with some frequency well into toddlerhood. Sleep patterns in babies and toddlers are very different than older children and adults, so frequent waking is NORMAL sleep. Clearly you know this, but if others are questioning you there are some resources with more info. http://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleepstudies/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: My son nurses 6-10 times at night

    Thank you all for the suggestions.

    @Avesnovuelan: No, I don't burp him every time, just when he squirms and seems uncomfortable.

    @LllMeg: I'm fairly certain this is just who my baby is. He seems to be following the growth patterns of his uncle and cousins who were all around 20lbs at 4 months (all were breastfed). DS was 15lbs, 13oz at his two month appointment. But I've been reexamining the points you brought up. Tonight I'll try less covers but he already sleeps in just a long-sleeve onesie with a sheet pulled up to his waist. I did realize the bathroom fan may be loud enough to help out; I'll try that tonight too.
    Thank you also for the link. DS's pediatrician gave me parenting advice at his last appointment that I should be putting him to bed awake but drowsy so he can learn to fall asleep on his own. I promptly ignored this advice and am attempting to find wording for if he brings it up again at the four month appointment (I was directly asked last time if DS still nurses every two hours. I don't want to lie but I very annoyed that he offered parenting advice no matter how many times I kept saying DS's sleep habits are fine).

    My husband worked from home today so I was able to sleep in. This has greatly helped.

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