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Thread: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LONG)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    94

    Default Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LONG)

    I honestly am out of idea and have no clue what to do here. We started our DS in his crib almost 2 weeks ago. He "sleeps" in there, but is still waking at least 5 times a night. FIVE times!! Its just nuts! We have tried CIO (not my first choice...just out of desperation..please, no flaming!) and sometimes it works, but he still wakes up as much as ever. He's been waking up very frequently for months. We did cosleep for a while and it was good at first, but that is when he started waking more frequently than ever. Once we were cosleeing for a bit, he started the pattern of wanting a boob every hour and 15 minutes. I began to realize it was because he was so close to me...(24 hour all you can eat diner!) so I made the switch to the crib. But he's set now in the pattern of waking so frequently, whether I am there or not.

    I can only blame the situation...I am giving him mixed signals by picking him up to feed him some of the times that he cries. He reverse cycled a little over 4 months ago when I went back to work and thus gets a large part of his milk from me at night (only takes a single bottle through the day and refuses pacis), so I cannot in good conscious ignore him every time he cries. I know he is hungry, but certainly not every hour to hour and a half. I am only trying to get 2.5-3 hour stretches...not asking for sleeping through the night. When he cries short of 2.5 hours, we have resorted to try to let him CIO. But this happens several times a night and its torture. He's a tough cookie. Just one of his crying spells lasted 45 min last night. BTW, he's never alone and crying...

    So what can I do, if anything? I hate to think of going through this every night until he starts needing less from me. I just feel really lost on how to get us all some more sleep. And I am just completey at my wits end. He doesn't know what he might get if he keeps crying so he, well..keeps crying! Sometimes he will go back to sleep after CIO, but it doesn't last long. And it's not just about food. He's using me as his pacifier...Now if I didn't have to get up and go to work and produce legible intelligent crap for my company, I would just deal with it and try to take naps through the day. But my goodness, how much sleep deprivation can a person take?? And now on top of it, my DH is not getting sleep because he is up trying to calm him every time he cries too. Or...just listening to him cry.

    It looks like I have to make a very hard decision. Just deal with him waking so much through the night for the forseeable future and get more and more sleep deprived (and more and more edgy, cranky, etc)...or wean him to bottles completely (and miss out the bonding of EBF). Neither is particularly appealing. I don't pump enough BM to feed him through the night, so I'd have to supplement with formula. He's never been fond of bottles at all, which is part of why he reverse cycled. I paid a small fortune for every bottle and nipple combo out there. He hated them all. He can use a sippy, but he just holds out for mommy to come home. If I could just get him to eat more through the day, he might sleep longer stretches at night.

    WHY WHY WHY does this have to be so hard?????

    I am very sad about all of this. I really wanted to EBF till he was 1 (at least part of the time).

    And wow..I never thought I would be faced with supplementing with formula! My guy does so well on BM (plus its free!)...and I wonder, what am I exchanging lack of sleep for? Maybe him having a hard time getting used to the formula? (gassy and what not)...I dunno....

    I am so sorry this is so long...I just needed to vent I guess. I WANT to continue to BF him, but we are all in great need of good sleep. Baby included!

    Any advice at all on how to get him to eat more through the day is GREATLY appreciated. I really need support so that I don't stop BFing...(that is the "advice" I am getting from people around me...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,421

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    Oh Amanda first of all


    Ok, here goes. At 6 months my almost good sleeper turned into a terrible sleeper. now, 7 months later we are getting back on track. just so you dont beat yourself up, for you to have been CIO that means baby is alone, so thats not what you were doing. you may want to pick up Dr Sears baby sleep book i loved it.

    Ihave a few questions for you, are you feeding solids yet? if so when and how much and what? I will be leaving work soon so i probably wont be able to help more until monday, but these women know what they are talking about.

    If you are on some solids try feeding it right before bed and once in a while have DH try to get baby back to sleep....he may want to nurse solely because you are there kwim? good luck i will check in on monday
    Danielle

    Mom to Gage 12/28/06

    Wife to Trinity 6/21/03 my best friend

    ed for year, finally done!!!!
    for more than a year now!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    180

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    I'm sorry you're going through a hard time with this.

    Firstly, I can say that you are never doing anything wrong by picking him up and attending to his needs when he cries. If he's hungry, he's hungry. There's nothing you can do about it other than to feed him.
    Second, (on the subject of wanting him to not eat as often) you're a mom. You don't get anything you want. LOL I know it sucks really bad sometimes. But that's it. You can't make him hungry or not hungry. Co-sleeping doesn't make him want to eat more or less. He's just a hungry little guy! And he's growing fast! Babies need to eat often, some more than others.
    Again, I'm really sorry for the fact that you are probably exhausted, but this is all part of helping your child grow up healthy.
    Let me tell you that bottles and pumping take up SOOOO much more time than BFing. You'll get even less sleep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    200

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    i'm in the same boat. personally i gave into the fact that sleep will be a distant memory until this phase ends. tonite we tried some cereal right before our nite nite nurse i'm hoping this will help. to you and i would go back to cosleeping cause you're losing sleep trying to get him in his crib. all the moms who are complaining of this have los of 5-7 mths i'm hoping this is a phase. how old is yours?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    200

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    oh and formula does not make them sleep longer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    1,134

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    for the record...my dear dh figured formula or cereal would magically bring sleep and it DID NOT! i was frustrated at first when i went back to work and he was wanting me all night. but it didn't take long for me to realize that it helps me get through the day without him when i've been holding him all night. i have come to love the snuggle time. there was one night he slept and while i did enjoy a few extra zzz i was sad all day the next day! i second the idea of going back to cosleeping. evan has his crib in my room and will sleep from like 8:30/9 to about 1 or 2 am and then will sleep with me for the rest of the night in my bed. so i do get some sleep! not much, but from 1 or 2 am if i had to get up to nurse him every time..i'd be way more tired than just bringing him to bed with me. believe me, they grow so fast, you'll soon miss it when they are too old and too cool to be hugged by mom!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    6

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    My daughter will be 8 months and I have the same issue. She will not go to sleep without BF. I try to put her down for naps without feeding first and it is a battle. She gets so worked up I end up giving in and feeding her and she will fall fast asleep at the breast. Same problem at night - she will not sleep much longer than 2 hours before waking and rooting for the breast. We are co sleeping which makes things easier but I am worried that she will never learn to fall asleep on her own. I try giving her a pacifier but she is getting too smart for that! She locks her little lips closed tight and there is no way I can get that thing in her mouth. Is this something they will eventually grow out of??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    1

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    My son is nearly 9 months, and has been doing pretty much the same since around 7 months old. Now he wakes around every two hours five or so nights of the week, which is doing neither of us much good, though slightly better than it was after Xmas! And by the looks of this thread we're all in the same boat!

    I'm not sure what caused it all, whether he's just going through lots of little developmental leaps, whether teething fills in gaps in these poor sleep periods to make it seem constant, or if his sleep pattern has just changed dramatically for the worse. Distraction during the day has definitely contributed - he doesn't feed like he used to; food has also cut down on his daytime milk intake.

    Couple of things I have tried that seem to have worked somewhat (he used to do the hour and a half waking seven nights a week at the start, so we have had a little success) incase either are useful to help anyone else:

    1. His bedtime is around half seven - we feed him at around quarter past six till around quarter to seven each night and jam a bath in before he gets tired and asks for his evening feed. Feeding him late seems to help, as with luck, he sleeps for around three to four hours which allows me to get a block of sleep in if I Really need it at the expense of the evening admittedly... We also ensure that he has something he will eat a lot of, and something that will give him no wind whatsoever. This isn't always a guarantee, but has seemed to help (exceptions notwithstanding).

    2. He's always been a "one boob baby", and never likes feeding on both sides unless he is either really hungry or is trying to increase supply in growth spurts; at night he had been doing his one sided usual but I worked out that he hadn't been completely finishing off (to his usual standard as it were) the breast due to falling asleep early on it quite often. If this happened, I found that feeding from that same side when he woke an hour and a half after that, rather than the new one, often resulted in a three hour sleep for the next segment. Which was nice.

    It's all still driving me loopy though, strangely I had come to this site to register and ask about the same problem - how to get him to where he was (if it was even possible), with only the four wakings per night rather than up to eight. Spose it is comforting in a way that there are a lot of us in the same boat! Just wish the boat had cookies, chocolate and more sleep!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    200

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    Quote Originally Posted by Dakiara View Post
    Just wish the boat had cookies, chocolate and more sleep!!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    589

    Default Re: Can I stop him from reverse cycling? Will I have to quit BFing??!!! Help!! (LON

    Oh, poor mama! I totally feel u on needing more sleep! A couple of things I noticed from you post.

    1-- if you are letting lo cio and then he is falling asleep only to continue to wake constantly--he IS hungry and you should feed him. Try to resist letting him fall right to sleep on the breast when he does wake/ Switch sides, wake him, whatever, but try to stay awake yourself to ensure he is getting a full feed when he wakes up.

    2-- if he is reverse cycling adn only take one bottle during the day, expecting him to go 3 hours at night just does not seem reasonable. because ultimately, he is going his long "nighttime stretch" during the day and only eating once, So you are stuck with trying to get him to drink more during the day. That is the only way forhim to be able to go longer at night. But there is hope! Bc if you can get him to eat more during the day, he sounds like he can go a long time without eating! So once he eats more in the day, he should be able to sleep like a champ!

    3--BTW, formula doesnt appear to be an obvious answer, bc he won't take a bottle. Refusing you completely when that is all your lo wants, I'm not sure that would really help?

    4-- how many months is he? How long of a stetch is going during the day w/out eating? You said he takes a sippy, will he drink bm from it? Does the person who offer it, offer consistently or just once and then give up? (I had this problem with a caregiver with my lo! So frustrating to waste all of that milk!)

    hope we can help more! But, keep with it mama . . . it WILL get better. Meet his physical need for food and if you are consistent when he iS READY, you will be able to get him to sleep more!

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