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Thread: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    27

    Default Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    Hi all, I'm bracing for some "you're a terrible mother"-type replies but I would appreciate any advice you have to offer.

    I really want to stop feeding my baby at night, or at least get him down to one or two feedings. He is four months old and almost TWENTY pounds (19 lbs 12 oz at four-month check-up). He is exclusively breastfed--no solids or formula, and only very occasional bottles of EBM. He eats every 2-3 hours during the day and at night, with one six hour stretch from 7p-1a or so (but some nights he's up at 10 pm as well.)

    He is HUGE. He was 8.5 lbs at birth, which is on the bigger side, but he gained 20 oz/week for the first six weeks of his life and is now gaining about 10 oz/week. I have de Quervain's tenosynovitis in both wrists from lifting him. It hurts to nurse him, lift him, or hold him. I can't co-sleep or nurse lying down because he has some reflux issues and requires upright positioning during and after feeds. The night feedings alone seem to exacerbate the reflux -- he often spits up huge amounts of milk after some of the feedings, but when he wakes up, he won't settle down until he's nursed some. Even sending my husband in to attend to him hasn't done the trick.

    Has anyone else eliminated nighttime feeds at this age? Or dealt with an enormous baby who probably didn't need to eat but wanted to anyways?

    FWIW, I'm average weight and height and my husband is on the taller side (6' 2") but average weight. Not sure why we got a mega-baby.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    too bad you couldn't get him to take that longer strech of sleep 12pm-6...
    heres a link about ending all night nurser, but realy It sounds like hes doing very well...

    are you back to work?
    are you going back to work?
    what time does he get up in the am?
    do you sleep when hes sleeping that longer strech?

    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070800.asp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    My six month old was 23lbs 14oz at his six month checkup so I can feel your pain on carrying him around. I will add though that my ds has slowed way down now that he is crawling and pulling up on everything. He is just over 25lbs at 10 1/2 months. So hang in there mama!
    Mother to 3...Kaylen 15, Clint 12, and Carter 11 months!!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Maryland
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    2,552

    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    I know this is not necessarily answering your original question, because I don't have much to offer in the way of night weaning a child that young, but is he being treated for his reflux? DS2 has bad reflux and I coslept with him because he was never a good sleeper. I did get spit up on sometimes, but I usually slept with a couple towels under us. Is he on meds, or perhaps needs his meds upped or a new medication?

    As far as the weight, DS2 gained weight rapidly his first 6 months. I think he was probably around 20lbs then, and at 16 months is only about 24lbs. Sometimes reflux babies gain weight rapidly because they nurse more for comfort, which might be why he is still waking up a lot at night (in addition to that just being the norm for a 4 month old) so if he is on the proper medication and dosage that might help a bit with some of the waking (although I would doubt he would STTN entirely).
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,878

    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    Mama, what's your primary concern? Are you worried that night nursing is making your baby too big, or that the nighttime feeding is exacerbating his reflux, or is the issue your lack of sleep? Something else?

    The reason I ask is because if you can deal with the waking, there's little reason to night wean. I am sure it can be done, but I don't know that it can be done without some real distress on the part of the baby, and probably on your part as well. It's really hard listening to your baby cry- I bet you can't stand listening to it during the day so imagine trying to ignore it at night...!

    Have you read Elizabeth Pantley's book The No-Cry Sleep Solution? I found it really helpful as I tried to solve my kids' sleep issues. Even if it doesn't work, at least you feel like you have a plan.

    Regarding the de Quervain's, have you got braces for your wrists? That can really help. It's also helpful to make sure you keep your wrists STRAIGHT when you pick up your baby, instead of letting them flop downward from your arm.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    266

    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    Ahh - I don't have quite as large a baby...he is currently 15.5 pounds at 4 months...but I totally understand where you are coming from.

    My LO seems to go 2-3 hours during the day and with the exception of a stretch from 7-12/1, wakes every 2 hours at night. And sometimes he too wakes around 10pm. He went through a period of 2 weeks where he only woke at 1 and 4 and it was AMAZING.

    I do 100% of night parenting b/c DH has an intense work schedule and is gone about half the year...so I am quick to run to his room as soon as I hear a noise, and before he's made another squeak I've picked him up to nurse him because I'm afraid he'll wake up fully and not go back to sleep. So what I am trying to do this week is make sure he's really hungry before I nurse him...and even if I stretch it out an extra half hour - his body will hopefully get used to sleeping that half hour longer.

    I had some success two nights ago...and last night he only woke 3 times...so I don't know if it's coincidence or not....but I'm trying really hard to not just throw him a boob right away.

    Although I don't think it's necessary to night wean to fewer feedings, I do think the better sleep LO is getting can only be good....and if he is clearly getting enough nutrition I think sleep is very important for all involved parties.

    Good Luck - I'll be following this post.

    I'll be staying tuned to this post! Good Luck!
    Proud mama to Matthew Rory, born naturally 10/29/10, and mama to Callie Elisabeth, born naturally 5/15/12.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    27

    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    Thanks all for not judging and for your good ideas. It sounds like there's not much that can be done other than jennygal's idea to wait longer to nurse, or possibly trying the no-cry sleep solution.

    To answer the questions and give a clearer picture of our situation, I am not working or going back to work anytime soon. My son will sleep until 5:30-7 am (but usually 6-6:30). He is not on any reflux meds. His reflux is a little different -- it isn't the acid that bothers him; the spit-up aggravates his mild case of laryngomalacia and he makes a dreadful gasping noise and then has trouble breathing normally for a few minutes. I don't think any of the meds can help that so he isn't taking anything.

    My issue is that he seems overtired during the day and is eating when I am pretty sure he doesn't really need to at night. This leads to more diaper changes (we do cloth; I have mega-hemp inserts but he still needs at least one at night) which wake him up fully, thus causing poorer sleep. It also mean my wrists aren't resting as much as they could be. I do have both soft and hard splints for my wrists, and I have received cortisone shots in each wrist.

    I don't have too much of a problem with the night waking, and I am happy to cuddle, rock, sing, soothe etc. as much as he needs. I just don't want to feed him when he doesn't need food.

    I'm heartened to know that other mamas' enormous babies leveled out as soon as they were mobile! I've been wondering how I will feed a 400-lb 14-year-old.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,878

    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    I don't have too much of a problem with the night waking, and I am happy to cuddle, rock, sing, soothe etc. as much as he needs. I just don't want to feed him when he doesn't need food.
    I understand. It's really hard to nurse a ginormous baby who is clearly getting enough without thinking "Fer crying out loud kid, you ate enough for a truckload of babies during the day, you don't need to be eating now, too!" But babies nurse for so many reasons. I am sure your LO needs your comfort as much as, if not more than, he needs your milk. Especially if his reflux and his laryngomalacia are upsetting him...

    I'm heartened to know that other mamas' enormous babies leveled out as soon as they were mobile! I've been wondering how I will feed a 400-lb 14-year-old.
    Yeah, don't worry! Your LO's rate of weight gain will almost assuredly taper off as he gets more and more mobile. He'll probably end up a skinny minny like my IRL friend's kids: they all hit 25 lbs by 4 months and now can't find pants that don't require a belt to stay on their narrow behinds.
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
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    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    Just weighing in on the weight issue I had a fairly large baby, 24 lbs at 5 months and once mobil he thinned out big time! I still fed on demand, he was a 30 LB one year old but the issue stll is that he won't be overfed.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Maine
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    Default Re: Night weaning for 20-lb four-month-old

    you're not likely to get any "you're a terrible mother" from anyonehere. But just so you know... my LO was about 20 lbs (maybe 19) at 4 months and is only 26 or so at 14 months. I'm 5 feet tall and not big and i somehow manage to get that little nugget around. i do get the wrist pain (and back pain) and go to my osteopath regularly for treatments. It helps enormously.

    As far as night weaning - i've let my little guy take the lead on that. He still wakes up normally once a night, sometimes twice, sometimes not at all. I personally feel good about him taking the lead with that. Even though he's a big boy, i feel pretty sure that his night wakings are reasonalble and he probably does need to nurse.

    His nighttime feedings are not making him fat. I promise you that. If you're feeding him processed food and junk? maybe. But your breastmilk is not making an overweight baby, swear.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

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