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Breastfeeding and Sleeping - Is anyone lucky?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi!  My 8 and a half month old DS and I are still going strong with breastfeeding.  He eats solids as well (rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas, apple sauce, the usual).  As many posts on these forums suggest is common, DS wakes up every 2-3 hours through the night. In fact, that's probably his average for breastfeeding throughout the day.  If I get at least one three hour stretch of sleep per night I feel well and reasonably energetic the next day.  If it's less, I...don't.  Frustrations are more frustrating, sad situations are terribly sad, I'm tired!  :)

 

My question...is anyone lucky enough to have an LO that wakes up once or even sleeps a 7ish hour stretch?  My best girlfriend has a babe that's slept from 7pm until about 5am since forever, and she simply pumps a couple times to keep her supply high and healthy.  I know that's an unlikely experience for most people, but is it a bit of a little secret that babes wake up 3 times to sleep in a night and that's totally normal?

 

Just wondering...

 

Thanks!

 

Edited for spelling corrections...apparently I'm a little ocd in this area...

post #2 of 10

As a La Leche League Leader, I can tell you that the #1 complaint at any meeting is sleep! Babies aren't meant to sleep long stretches without milk. That said, some babies do and some babies don't. I think that many moms don't talk about it because they are tired (pun, LOL) of hearing all of the worthless advice. Your baby will sleep through the night when they are ready, and breastfeeding has NOTHING to do with it.

 

My 3 year old still wakes up 1-2 times each night. She has been night weaned over a year. My brother (that was never breastfed) woke up 3-6 times a night until he was 4, when he finally slept through. My new baby (8 months) gives me at least one 4-5 hour stretch each night. Unfortunately, I waste it by staying up late reading books, but that's my fault.

 

Rest when you can mama and try not to think about it too much! Many moms find that removing the clocks from the bedroom (or at least turning them so they can't see them) makes it easier to care for their baby at night. Think of it this way... regardless of whether it was 10 minutes or 3 hours since your baby last woke, you are still going to get up and care for them. So, why look at the clock?

 

Also, your sleep situation may (or may not) be exacerbating the problem. Do you co-sleep? Do you at least spend some of the night feedings nursing laying down? Do you have to get up to change a wet diaper? Do you get out of bed at night to get a glass of water or snack? Anything that requires you to sit up or get out of bed is going to make you feel more tired. Do what you can to minimize your time "awake" and learn to appreciate that even if you are not asleep, you can still be resting!

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the sweet reply!

 

Yes, we cosleep - there's no way we would've made it this far without doing so...how moms breastfeed and sleep in different rooms...I just physically (and mentally! haha) couldn't.  We do nurse sleeping down, almost exclusively.  At times DS can't settle down (he'll push up off my legs) and then I'll cradle hold him, but that's it.  He stays in one dipe through the night (cloth with two hemp inserts, I highly recommend!) so it's not that.  When we're nursing and I'm tired and it seems like it's taking for.ev.er, I remind myself that this is the most important thing I can be doing in my life.  (I really believe that.)

 

But I will admit, I always go to bed thinking, maybe tonight will be the night we make four  hours, and so on.  biggrinbounce.gif

 

Thanks again,

T

post #4 of 10

Teraze, I am in an almost identical situation, but my baby is 7.5 months. We co-sleep, she eats solids, I nurse her while laying down, she stays in the same dipe all night, and I am only getting sleep in 3 hour increments max (okay, I have had two 5-hour stretches in the past 7.5 months). Last night it was 10:45, 12:45, 2:45, 4:45, up at 6:30 for the day. I work outside the home, and am amazed that I can still function at a relatively high capacity given the chronic sleep deprivation. I am like you, I think that the sleep thing isn't really talked about. The only time I hear about it from other moms is when their babies DO sleep for extended periods. I think the rest of us "suffer" (not in the real sense of the word) in silence. For me, since I am not with her during the day, I consider it my parenting time and that helps. The other thing that helped me was when I let go of the idea that she would EVER sleep for a long period of time. For so long, I would think "when she is 3 months" or "when she starts solids" or "when ________" based on things other people would say. I would be constantly frustrated and disappointed. But now I just assume that this is how my life will always be. smile.gif

post #5 of 10

Humph, yeah, my DD has slept a lot, but I'm certainly not "lucky."

 

DD, 100% BF, started sleeping 8 or so hours at night around 8 weeks - gradually increasing until she once slept 12 hours at 12 weeks old & I got paranoid & took her to the doc.

 

Doc said, "She's fine! Weight gain is fine! Yeah, she's small, but she is staying on that 5th percentile curve. Stop worrying! Let her sleep! No need to wake her."

 

OK, so that's what I did. She'd sleep 6-10 hours in a stretch at night. From 9 PM to 9 or 10 AM, she'd wake up once.

 

So then 6 weeks later her weight gain has slowed too much, I think the long sleep made my supply drop & now I'm screwed & a quivering mass of anxiety over it. (She showed NO SIGNS of being hungry - came out of nowhere.)

 

So it seems the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence... actually everything related to BFing in my eyes at the moment is far from green grass - more like a desolate pasture of death. (Per my post, I'm feeling extremely angry & bitter at the moment.)

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassaba View Post

For so long, I would think "when she is 3 months" or "when she starts solids" or "when ________" based on things other people would say. I would be constantly frustrated and disappointed. But now I just assume that this is how my life will always be. smile.gif

 

yeahthat.gif

 

You and other working moms are amazing to me - just, I don't know how you do it.  WELL DONE!  biggrinbounce.gif

 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 


I'm sorry you're going through this - not lucky, indeed.  hug2.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post

Humph, yeah, my DD has slept a lot, but I'm certainly not "lucky."

 

DD, 100% BF, started sleeping 8 or so hours at night around 8 weeks - gradually increasing until she once slept 12 hours at 12 weeks old & I got paranoid & took her to the doc.

 

Doc said, "She's fine! Weight gain is fine! Yeah, she's small, but she is staying on that 5th percentile curve. Stop worrying! Let her sleep! No need to wake her."

 

OK, so that's what I did. She'd sleep 6-10 hours in a stretch at night. From 9 PM to 9 or 10 AM, she'd wake up once.

 

So then 6 weeks later her weight gain has slowed too much, I think the long sleep made my supply drop & now I'm screwed & a quivering mass of anxiety over it. (She showed NO SIGNS of being hungry - came out of nowhere.)

 

So it seems the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence... actually everything related to BFing in my eyes at the moment is far from green grass - more like a desolate pasture of death. (Per my post, I'm feeling extremely angry & bitter at the moment.)



 

post #8 of 10

DD slept over 4 hours straight 3 times before she was 15 months, DS is 4 months and pretty frequently does a 6 hour stretch. the other night he did an 8 hour stretch and I got really horrid plugged ducts because of it. every kid is different, but I think the longest stretch being 3-4 hours is pretty average.

post #9 of 10
I am so lucky with my second (currently 3 months, goes down early and often sleeps a 5 hour stretch) but I paid my dues with my first, believe me. He's 3 and still wakes at least once a night.
post #10 of 10

I removed the clock from our bedroom and I sleep much better now! I think seeing the time and knowing how often DS was nursing was actually worse than the nursing alone. He still nurses at night - several times a night usually. I mostly sleep through, or wake enough to switch sides.

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