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Thread: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

  1. #1
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    Default Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    So my son is 5 1/2 months old. He's EBF and he weighs 19lbs. I was all for waiting to introduce solids. Because EVERYONE keeps saying "you can't over feed a breast fed baby" but I'm afraid as soon as I introduce solid food that's what he will become-overfed! ANd because he's so big, my Ped hasn't said a word to me about introducing solids. (Because at 19lbs what's she gonna say?) I was overjoyed to hear that babies could be sustained for over a year on breast milk alone and was sure we were going to do it! In the last two weeks things have begun to change. THe 1st thing that changed (and this is really the most difficult one to deal with) is the frequency of his night feedings. He's been sleeping thru the night since he was 5 wks old. And by that I mean I got one strectch that was usually 4.5 to 5hrs straight and then he needs to be fed every 1.5 to 2 hrs but we co-sleep so it's not like we really wake up. He feeds on demand thru the day every 1.5 to 3hrs usually. Now his long stretch at night is only 2.5 hours and then he wants to nurse every 45min to 1.5 hours the rest of the night! The 2nd thing that has happened is he's become distracted while eating. I knew this day would come but I didn't realize it would be so problematic. During the day feedings he rips away from my breast constantly to look at stuff and uses my breasts to play peek-a-boo with whoever happens to be around. Even at the night feeding he will suckle than ripp away to suck his own fingers than come back and eat. So my questions are: 1st: Is there a growth spurt that is common at this age that is causing the need for more frequent food? If so how long should I expect it to last? I'm having a REALLY HARD TIME with 6 to 7 feedings a night!
    2nd: Everyone I've talked to who introduced solids early did it for this reason. Baby stopped sleeping thru the night. So if it's a phase I don't want to jump the gun. BUT if that's where we are, I'm inclined to introduce some cereal just to get him to sleep thru the night. Now what's the protocol on putting cereal in breastmilk? Can I do that or would I also have to introduce a bottle of PM formula?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    Hey, I know what you're going through! My 10-month old went through the same thing around the same time.

    After a while, it does stop. I know it's hard to get sleep when they're waking up so often (wo co-sleep as well) but try some different things and see what works for you.
    Some things I tried:
    Having her sleep between my boyfriend and the wall instead of between us - I got the feeling that she was just waking up a little bit, realizing there were boobs available, and then going for it.
    How it worked: she DID start eating less frequently, but when she did wake up Chris had to put her in the middle again and we would both be too tired to put her back.
    Moving a nest-like blanket filled playpin upstairs for her to sleep in at naps/at night when she fell asleep before us - This became necessary because she was rolling off the bed. however, because she wasn't distracted by my boobs or our movement at night, she stopped waking up as frequently and began sleeping most of the night again.

    I've read that before 6 months they don't need solids, and we were able to make it to seven and a half before it was time for us, but every baby is different so don't feel bad. =)

    I would recommend that instead of starting your baby off on cereals, you start him on some fruit with wheat germ in it. Cereal tastes awful to kids across the board, and starting them on something sweet and all natural will help them enjoy their eating-time more, and adjust to it faster.

    Good luck!

    PS - About the Peekaboo thing, you might want to get used to it =) It doesn't seem to go away.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    Oh and one more thing!

    If he's still taking a lot of naps throughout the day, try to keep him active longer, he'll sleep better if he's not taking 5 or 6 naps a day(and by the way, this is tough because it impedes on your alone-time, but it's a trade-off! Being able to sleep at night is worth it!).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    Ok, first off cereal or other solids do NOT make a baby sleep longer at night. That is just a myth that has been proven falce by actual studdies. In fact, giving solids too early could upset the baby's tummy and make him even more wakeful at night.

    Secondly, putting cereal in a bottle of formula or breastmilk is a big no-no since it is a choking hazzard. Babies can asperate the cereal into thier lungs, and this is very unhealthy for them. If/when you introduce cereal, feed it with a spoon or off your finger; do not put it in a bottle.

    Thirdly, I agree that cereal is totally unnessacary. You can start with a nice, natural fruit or veggie such as banana, avacado, squash, pear, or sweet potato. While some babies do really like the taste of baby cereal (mine certainly did), it is just not as healthy for them since it's so highly processed.

    I also wanted to add a word of caution on intorducing wheat. We did at 6 mo (we didn't realize that Cheerios have wheat in them) and ds was totally fine, but it is generally recomended to wait until the baby is at least 9-12 mo to avoid increased risk of alergies. Less alergenic grains include rice, bareley, and oats.

    While it is defnately true that healthy, full term infants can thrive for 12 mo or longer on mother's milk alone, that does not mean you should whithold food from a baby who is clearly ready for solids. Signs of readiness for solids include being able to sit up unassited, interest in your food, being able to pick up small objects, and loss of toung-thrust reflex.

    For now, what i would suggest to help your baby sleep longer at night is to nurse him more often during the day, especally in the evening before bedtime. This is sometimes refered to "tanking the baby up". Your baby does not need cereal or formula. Keep up the great work breastfeeding, and watch your baby; he'll let you know when he's ready for solid foods.

    Here is a link to LLL's FAQ on starting solids:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/solids.html

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    Solids did not help my DS sleep better or through the night . .. AT ALL.

    We started solids at 7 + months, after resisting many peoples' comments and attempts to influence us earlier, some as soon as 2 months (!). He took to it great and loved eating solids, but sleeping through the night, and I mean sleeping through the night as described by doctors as being 12AM to 5AM, did not happen until he was well past one year old! We did not start with cereal but with real fruits and stuff like that that he could feed to himself. Spoonfeeding, imho, is for the birds -- I can't stand doing it!! And when you get around to starting solids, find a list of foods to start with and those to avoid and how to introduce foods appropriately. DS has some allergies, and thank goodness we followed the rules so we know what exactly he's allergic to.

    I remember a few weeks of frequent night feedings, like every hour or not unlatching at all, around 4-5 months and then again around 7-9 months. I would say ride it out. We coslept, and I learned to simply sleep through them.

    The activity during nursing is just part of nursing when they start to become more aware of their surroundings. My midwife, who nursed all her babies, said her oldest wouldn't nurse anywhere other than somewhere dark. She had to take him to one particular room for a while, and she said she had to make him focus on nursing by removing his fingers from his mouth and saying "nurse" over and over. But some babies are super-active nursers and easily distracted.

    Hang in there!
    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!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    OK.
    SOunds like cereal isn't the answer. But is it a growth spurt? I'm not talking about a baby who never slept through then night and then did it a few times. We're talking about a child who has ALWAYS done it. And that's we would go down at midnight and sleep intil 5:30 or 6:00. Then feed again around 7:30 I usually get up then. Return to nurse him at 9:00am and then he usually rises around 10:30 (or noon). Now he is napping less during the day. I'm not encouraging that because I believe sleep begets sleep but you can't make a baby take a nap. If I'm lucky he gets 3. Not because it cuts into my alone time but because he gets SO cranky when he doesn't get enough sleep! With the distracted feeding has come a era where he seems to "forget" that we layed down to nurse to nap. One result of this is he's "naturally" moved his bedtime from midnight to 11:00pm. But now the length of that feeding time has doubled. At midnight he usually fed for 15 to 20 min. Now he feeds for AT least 40min it can be an hour.
    As far as cues...we're in the middle. He's been able to sit up on his own since about 4 months. He IS interested in what we eat. He grabs but he wants to touch it not taste it. And whenever I put stuff in his mouth to taste the look on his face is perplexed. He never seeks more.
    You guys don't think it says anything about how well he's being sustained by my breast that he needs MORE and MORE OFTEN?
    I can't imagine how a Mother who wasn't co-sleeping could even cope. But I think both of us are suffering from less sleep. He can't manuever my breasts with out my help and neither of us can do it in the dark or while I'm sleeping. Case in point: this morning he tried to actually wake up(eyes opened) at 7:50am. I offered my breast and went back to sleep. When I woke up at 9am he was still awake and SOAKED in milk That of course meant we had to get up to change him and the sleep battle is lost when you have to get up and change them.
    So if I'm going to ride it out, how long?
    ANd if I want to try something like fruit or sweet potatoes, when? Middle of the day or right before bed? Keeping in mind I have no real desire to rush table food. Only a desire to make sure my little one is getting enough to eat and stays well rested.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ's Mom
    ANd if I want to try something like fruit or sweet potatoes, when? Middle of the day or right before bed? Keeping in mind I have no real desire to rush table food. Only a desire to make sure my little one is getting enough to eat and stays well rested.
    From what I've read it's best to introduce new foods early in the day (breakfast or lunch maybe) so that you can watch for any signs of aleric reaction. If you gave a new food in the evening, you would have a harder time seeing any rashes, plus if it disagreed with his tummy, I guess no one would get much sleep.

  8. #8
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    Smile Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    My little guy will be 8 mos on Mon. He eats solids twice a day, if he feels like it, but he still nurses every 2 hours day and night. Solids did nothing to help him sleep longer at night. They've proven that it doesn't help a child sleep longer, so if that is the only reason to introduce foods, I'd hold off.

    When you do start, they recommend that you do it in the morning/lunch so that if your little is going to have an upset belly it is during the day and not at night.

    Keep up the good work.

    Deb

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    One more thing, this definitely might be a growth spurt. Generally they happen at 3 wks, 6 wks, 3 mos. and 6 mos. so at 5 1/2 mos. this could be that growth spurt for sure. Hopefully it will just work itself out. Oh, you also asked the best time of day to introduce foods. I did at the early evening feeding when my milk supply was lowest because he would nurse and I would give him a few tablespoons of oatmeal mixed with applesauce. I started solids at about 6 1/2 mos.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cereal/Solids to get thru the night?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ's Mom
    OK.
    We're talking about a child who has ALWAYS done it. And that's we would go down at midnight and sleep intil 5:30 or 6:00.
    He IS interested in what we eat.
    You guys don't think it says anything about how well he's being sustained by my breast that he needs MORE and MORE OFTEN?
    So if I'm going to ride it out, how long?
    ANd if I want to try something like fruit or sweet potatoes, when? Middle of the day .
    I really think this is a stage. I babysit an 8 month old who has slept through the night since 3 weeks for 12+ hours a night, and his mom is complaining that he's suddenly now not going to bed until 9-10 PM and waking up very early, like 6AM. His nap pattern has changed too, to my frustration. It was nice knowing he would take two really long naps a day where I could play alone with my son or get something done instead of watching two kids. This kid is fed 3 jars or more of baby food a day plus at least 32 oz of formula per his mom and is outright overweight. They switch things up on us, just to keep us on our toes!

    Your breast is sustaining him just fine -- seriously, if you wanted to, you could do nothing but nurse for the first year and he would grow just fine. It's a total myth that if they have to nurse all the time, they must need solids. Could be a growth spurt, and once everything has evened out, the sleep patterns will go back to normal. Increased nursing increases your supply to meet his needs, so I wouldn't worry about it. I remember several weeks to maybe a month of constant night nursing around this age. And it went away and we went back to getting a few hours between nursings. But I couldn't figure out what else I could do about it. I'm not for letting my baby cry. I figured if he didn't need to nurse for whatever reason (growth, teething, security, whatever) he wouldn't be and hung in there. It does go away, even though it seems like it never will!

    All babies are interested in whatever we have, food or not. It doesn't mean a baby is ready to eat. I spent a lot of time trying to convince a lot of people with that when my DS was about 5 months old. He could sit up and was crawling around and grabbing everything in sight and putting it in his mouth and totally looked like he was ready, but I knew he wasn't. He took to it great, but there was a week where I didn't give any solids after he threw up the first few times; seemed like waiting that extra week made the difference.

    I ususally start early in the day when offering something new so if there's a problem, I can reach my ped. And I have more time to clean up the mess before DH gets home!
    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!

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