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Thread: Bed Time Feeding Troubles

  1. #1

    Unhappy Bed Time Feeding Troubles

    My son is 10 weeks old and about a week ago I started having the hardest time getting him to bed. I've been breast feeding exclusively, I had started out feeding him from a bottle at night for the sake of time, also because he was having trouble latching (long story). After he got better at latching I started breast feeding him through the night as well, and night time feedings go great the issue is the meal right before he goes to bed. This is how every night has gone:

    somewhere between 7 and 730 I put him in one of those halo sleep sack things, without swaddling his arms, hes been fine with that. Hes usually hungry then or shortly after but he'll only eat for a few minutes then start fussing really bad. Sometimes its just a little gas other times I have no idea what the issue is and hell have to be rocked for 30+ minutes before he'll continue to eat. Other times he'll fall asleep after eating for about 15 minutes I get him into his bed sleeping, leave the room and hes sleeping but 5 minutes later hes awake. I try to let him put himself back to sleep but after 10 minutes he'll be screaming to eat.

    So I get him and he'll do the same thing eat for a few minutes fall asleep but wont sleep long after putting him to bed. I try to keep him awake while eating, messing with his feet squeezing his legs all the tricks I know. He's just dead to the world asleep. After a week of this rather frustrating process I thought I'd try going back to what worked before, bottle feeding him at night. Sadly no luck it was the same pattern just with the bottle instead of the boob.

    I'm starting to get really stressed and more tired then before because I don't get to enjoy the time that my husband is home, I barely have the energy to shower by the time he finally goes to sleep. My husband has tried to help but for some reason my son just wont take the bottle my husband is offering anymore.

    Any and all advice would be welcome, I'm far from all my family and am the only mom among my friends. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Bed Time Feeding Troubles

    To me, it sounds like the problem is that your baby is doing a totally normal baby thing, which is to hate being alone when he sleeps. Babies are instinctively driven to stay close to mom. They don't know that we live in nice warm houses. As far as babies know, we are all still living live back in the caveman days, and being put down is a good way to get eaten by a passing sabretooth tiger. Not only that, but babies are warmer, their heart rates steadier, and their breathing is better when they are in contact with another human body. So there are some really good health reasons for babies to not sleep alone.

    What typically happens is that mom nurses baby until he's out, and then tries to slip away- and baby, instinctively driven to seek the safety of mom's arms, wakes up and starts screaming his head off. Mom comes back and nurses baby back down, slips away, and wham! Baby is up again!

    Since you can't change the baby's needs, it's often best to adjust your nighttime set-up. Instead of putting baby down in a crib and slipping away, find a way that you can share sleep. You can either share a bed- check out the checklists for safe co-sleeping if you decide to do this- or you can put the baby next to your bed in a sidecar crib. Your presence is what he needs, so find a way to give it to him, right?

    I totally get how frustrating this is. My kids were both up a gazillion times a night and wouldn't sleep if I wasn't right next to them. It wasn't how I envisioned my sleep set-up before they were born. But once I accepted that the crib was basically a very expensive laundry hamper, things got better for everyone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Bed Time Feeding Troubles

    I agree with mommal. I think the problem is that there is this fiction out there that there is anything like a 'bedtime" when it comes to young babies. Bedtimes is a social construct, and is a meaningless term to babies, who are entirely instinctual beings and thus sleep when/as long as they need to, day and night, and eat when they need to, day and night, who prefer to be in the safe arms of or next to mom all the time, especially in the evening/night.

    Can you enjoy time with your husband while holding your sleeping/nursing baby? Maybe in a sling, wrap? I would suggest getting one for your husband as well, so you can do a hand off after a tiring day alone with baby. Typically, bottles are not the answer- there is no evidence bottle feedings assist in creating a longer sleep stretch if a baby is betting enough milk at the breast, and they can be very problematic for breastfeeding, plus make extra work for mom who then has to pump. Assuming baby is gaining normally, your baby is most likely seeking comfort, not more food. Babies instinctually nurse for comfort and to sleep, this is normal and healthy. But there are many other ways to comfort a baby if someone aside mom needs to do the comforting.

    If by enjoying time with husband, you mean being intimate, that may be a matter of "outsmarting" the baby. Many babies will allow themselves to be laid down after they are nursed to sleep and have been held long enough to get into a deeper sleep. Not that this will necessarily last all that long, so it helps if you can quickly take advantage of any 'down time." Naps etc. (when husband is home of course.) Bed sharing actually increases opportunities for intimacy, in my experience, because both parents are more rested and if they stay in the bed, baby is unlikely to wake. But not everyone is comfortable with that scenario.

    Some sleep sack designs/materials are really hot. It may be baby is overly warm in the sack?

    Here are some ideas for your husband when he takes baby so you can get a break:http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

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