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Thread: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    I thought I was doing great with the breastfeeding - day after we brought him home he was back up to his birth weight -1 oz albeit jaundiced. His two week ped appt he was up 1lb 3oz from birthweight. He would be fussy during the night but at around 4-5am he would go down for about 3-4 hours which was how I survived those early weeks.

    Now he is nursing CONSTANTLY - and he isnt falling asleep for more then 15 minutes - usually waking up when I move to get more comfortable or to cover a chilly breast with a small blanket. Longest sleep he has had since Saturday was 2 hours this morning - he just takes these tiny cat naps and then cant be appeased until he is back on the breast. unfortunatly these tiny catnaps make it impossible for me to get any sleep. And I am a large breasted woman and cant cosleep/nurse comfortably (i feel like I could suffocate him by accident or he cant latch on correctly unless I flatten the areola so he can get a painfree latch)

    My husband is getting frustrated with my short temper right now and I am getting frustrated that it feels like I cant satisfy him enough to sleep even for an hour. I am at my wits end and seriously eyeing the formula samples we got at the hospital. I know my husband has been sneaking him formula to try and let me get some sleep - but I am at my wits end about him not sleeping and just wanting to nurse constantly. I have been pumping as often as I can - but due to my son lately screaming if I move him away from the nipple even if he appears to be asleep I cant pump.

    he usually has a wet diaper every 45 minutes or so and 2-4 LARGE BMs a day so I know he is getting enough - I just dont know how much longer I can go without any sleep

  2. #2
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    YOU CAN DO IT MAMA!!! You're going through the wonderful 3 week growth spurt!!!! It will last a few days and it should even out again only to hit the 6 week growth spurt. I thought I was going to lose my mind too but somehow we all make it through HTH

  3. #3
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    Hang in there mama! Its a growth spurt more than likely. They have an enormous growth spurt at or around these ages: 3, 6,, 9, 12 and 16 weeks. Believe that all that nursing is important. Can you pump for a few minutes during each feed to build up a small stash to have husband do a feeding for you? If you get some help you can probably do it, and you will get more if you pump during a let down of milk. It may feel really awkward, but if you can't pump afterwards its worth a shot. It worked for me, I know its hard with no sleep. Also, the other really important thing that is happening is that your baby is increasing the amount of milk you produce. Its all supply and demand. The more milk that is removed from the breast, the more is made!
    A growth spurt doesn't last too long. You'll be back to a regular amount of sleep in no time at all. The longest one I went through was a week, but I have read that other women say around 3-4 days.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    I'm sorry to hear that your not getting any sleep. My understanding is that babies frequently go through a growth spurt at 3 weeks and that he's nursing more to bring your supply up. So hopefully he'll return soon to that longer stretch of sleep in the early morning hours. I wasn't comfortable co-sleeping with my first right away but as his latch got better (or I got more sleep deprived) I was able to accomplish this (and my boobs were huge after my first) . Co-sleeping does make life a lot easier - while I waited till my first was 2 months, by my 3rd I was cosleeping in the hospital. I don't know your history so I'm not sure why your pumping - I've never done that, but as long as your nursing on cue I'm not sure why that would be necessary.

    When you lo falls asleep for these cat naps is he still hungry? Could you wake him up and finish the nursing session?

    Also I'm not sure if this is useful, but whenever my first lo was upset I assumed that he needed to nurse. With later babies, as my arsenal of baby soothing techniques increased, I realized that sometimes rocking, or being walked, or being worn in a sling was an alternative way to soothe the baby.

    Laura
    Laura, proud vbacing, ecological breastfeeding mommy to four ages 8, 6, 5, and 2. That's Kate nursing her doll, Adam.

    The Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding: (1) exclusive breasfeeding for the first 6 months (2) pacify baby at your breast (3) don't use bottles and pacifiers (4) co-sleep for night feedings (5) take a nursing nap (6) nurse frequently day and night; avoiding schedules (7) avoid practices that restrict nursing or separates you from your baby. The average return of menstruation for ecological breastfeeding mothers is between 14 and 15 months.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    222

    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    I am planning to go back to work - so i am trying to build up a supply - also - it is really hard to visit with family when my son is demanding to nurse constantly so it is nice to bring one feeding so my family can get a chance to feed him. He never appears to be satisfied and he gets frustrated as well and then starts shaking his head while attached (which really really hurts) and reduces me to tears. We use a lot of soothing techniques - but right now all he wants is to nurse. Hubby and I have hickeys on our arms as testament. and i havent found a sling i am comfortable with yet - one my mom bought me just doesnt seem to be supportive enough when he starts squirrming from fussiness.

    this is my first child

  6. #6
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    May 2007
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    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    Well last night was sooo much better - had my husband pull the sofabed out and I coslept with Gabe. He woke twice for feedings/changings and then I was able to pump another oz after he was back asleep from each feeding. Sooooo much better then the past few nights. When he started to wake up I could reach out and rub his tummy and he'd drift back off - now we will see if he spends all day latched onto me again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    Quote Originally Posted by gabeysmom View Post
    Well last night was sooo much better - had my husband pull the sofabed out and I coslept with Gabe.
    That's awesome!! Sleep is so great, isn't it?

    Laura
    Laura, proud vbacing, ecological breastfeeding mommy to four ages 8, 6, 5, and 2. That's Kate nursing her doll, Adam.

    The Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding: (1) exclusive breasfeeding for the first 6 months (2) pacify baby at your breast (3) don't use bottles and pacifiers (4) co-sleep for night feedings (5) take a nursing nap (6) nurse frequently day and night; avoiding schedules (7) avoid practices that restrict nursing or separates you from your baby. The average return of menstruation for ecological breastfeeding mothers is between 14 and 15 months.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    779

    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    Reading your message reminded me of me just a few months ago. My LO is now 3 months and sleeping from 8pm - 6am (when I wake him up) just on breastmilk. He was just like your baby, feeding all the time. It's what they do at that age. I know...God I know it's rough, but you will get through it. It will get better, just take it one day at time. The few times that I had to do forumula in the beginning to get him to gain weight didn't change how much he slept. Now that he's 3 months, I feel babies ending up sleeping longer in time more because of the routine you show them rather if it's breastmilk or formula.

    Good luck..hang in there and come back for more feedback from the wonderful ladies on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabeysmom View Post
    I thought I was doing great with the breastfeeding - day after we brought him home he was back up to his birth weight -1 oz albeit jaundiced. His two week ped appt he was up 1lb 3oz from birthweight. He would be fussy during the night but at around 4-5am he would go down for about 3-4 hours which was how I survived those early weeks.

    Now he is nursing CONSTANTLY - and he isnt falling asleep for more then 15 minutes - usually waking up when I move to get more comfortable or to cover a chilly breast with a small blanket. Longest sleep he has had since Saturday was 2 hours this morning - he just takes these tiny cat naps and then cant be appeased until he is back on the breast. unfortunatly these tiny catnaps make it impossible for me to get any sleep. And I am a large breasted woman and cant cosleep/nurse comfortably (i feel like I could suffocate him by accident or he cant latch on correctly unless I flatten the areola so he can get a painfree latch)

    My husband is getting frustrated with my short temper right now and I am getting frustrated that it feels like I cant satisfy him enough to sleep even for an hour. I am at my wits end and seriously eyeing the formula samples we got at the hospital. I know my husband has been sneaking him formula to try and let me get some sleep - but I am at my wits end about him not sleeping and just wanting to nurse constantly. I have been pumping as often as I can - but due to my son lately screaming if I move him away from the nipple even if he appears to be asleep I cant pump.

    he usually has a wet diaper every 45 minutes or so and 2-4 LARGE BMs a day so I know he is getting enough - I just dont know how much longer I can go without any sleep
    Mom to Colin Robert - Born on January 28, 2007

    Check out my website:
    www.nycbreastfeeding.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: 3week old nursing constantly and not sleeping

    Hang in there! It happens to all of us and we wonder how we will make it through...but it passes! Right around the time my DS was the same age I was at my wits end and ready to start supplementing just so I could have a break. I even spoke with the pediatrician about it and she said that supplementing most likely would not make him sleep any longer and he was doing so well on the breastmilk so she encouraged me to keep with it as well. Growth spurts can be frustrating. Just make sure to concentrate on the baby and do not worry about housework, cooking, etc. Before you know it, it will be over.
    Loving mama to S - 11/06, and F - 1/09

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