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Reverse Cycling Question

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello.  I just returned to work full-time as a high school teacher.  6 month old DD is home with DH during the day. I am gone from 7 am - 3:30 pm.  I pump 2x at work and leave DH with about 10 - 12 ozs.  Anyway, while DD will tolerate the bottle, she is just not that interested in drinking while I am gone.  DH has been able to get her to take anywhere from 5 - 7 ozs over an 8-9 hr. period.  DD is happy, smiley, napping well and is 80th % for weight and off the charts for height.  We CD and DH says he thinks she's been having about 5-6 wet diapers during the day. 


I am totally dismayed, though, by her nighttime sleep situation and my lackthereof.  She had been doing a 6 hr stretch then a 4 then a 2 until around 3 months when it got a bit more frequent.  Now it feels like I am lucky to get a 3 hr stretch.  I suspect that she is reverse cycling and taking in most of her milk at night since I don't think she's getting enough during the day.  She's in a crib in my room b.c she is extremely active and has begun scooting and keeps DH and I both up when we cosleep.


Anyone have any experience dealing with reverse cycling?  Do you think she's getting enough during the day? Is it possible to "fix" it?  Does it go away?  I am more sleep deprived now than I was when she was a newborn only  now I am working 40 hrs/week, trying to be a good mom to my 4 year old, and trying to function. 



post #2 of 3

Babies like to nurse at night and sleep with their mothers. Human babies have always done it and that's how humans have survived. Its hard to change a natural behavior. Since you are gone during the day she may nurse more at night, eat less during the day and sleep more during the day - reverse cycling. Some moms see it as a good thing, some moms become zombies.


I wouldn't worry about how much breastmilk she is getting while you are gone since she is so big. She could eat solids while you are away along with the milk you leave. At her age she should be able to feed herself mashed banana or avacado.


Sometimes we feel sleep deprived because we focus on it. If we accept it and try to flow with it then it may not seem so bad. Try to rest or meditate whenever possible. Sometimes a 10 minute rest can really help. Focus on work when you are at work and home when you are at home. Use a sling or carrier when you are at home so you can have contact with your baby and do things with your other child or get things done around the house. Insist that your husband take care of things around the house if he isn't working. Don't let him get away with saying all he should have to do is take care of the baby.


Can babies be fixed? I don't think you should try to fix babies. The methods used may cause psychological harm. This won't last forever. Your baby is already old enough for solids and that is a big milestone.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response!  I have decided to just let go and flow with it for a while.  Somehow I managed to be functional as a teacher this week despite the lack of sleep and planning time lost to my pump.  I did decide to just get myself to bed as early as possible since that's the one thing I can control that will have a direct bearing on my sleep.  I guess I was mostly just worried about her milk intake.  Thanks again!  I think I just need to remember how fleeting this stage is and how sweet it is to be able to rock her in my arms - even at 3 am! 

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