My DS is 6 weeks old. He is exclusively BF and has had great weight gains (7lbs 1oz at birth, 11lbs 2oz and 6 weeks).
I have tons of milk and he often has trouble with the letdown (choking, needing to burp etc).
My question is, the last few nights he has been having a long stretch through the night where he doesn't nurse. Often the last feed before bed will be a short one (due to getting so much at once), and then he won't want to nurse again for several hours. The last 2 nights his last feed has been around 11PM and not again until almost 6AM!! Too bad he wasn't sleeping for that entire time.. almost though! During the day I don't let him go longer than 3 - 3.5hrs between feeds.
I have been SUPER engorged to the point of pain and I have pumped 3 times today, just about 2 mins worth (about 2oz) before 2 feeds. Now that I've done some reading I realise that pumping probably isn't the answer
Should I be waking him in the night?
If I don't, I realise my body will adjust in a few days, but what happens if/when he starts waking up in the night again due to teething, illness, etc - will I still be able to feed him?
Also, not sure where to add this question:
DS has been wanting to comfort nurse, but is upset when he gets too much milk. Since birth he has been able to put himself to sleep without a soother or anything. A few days ago we decided to try giving him a soother since he has been attempting to suck on his hand but just gets frustrated. It seems to calm him right down (only given when we are sure he has eaten well, and only a few times a day/night). Problem is I think it's affecting how deeply he is sleeping. He is still learning how to keep it in and we have to put it back for him, often just as he's fallen asleep and wakes up upset from it dropping.
Should we forget the soother since he was able to sleep so well on his own initially? I just feel bad for the poor guy because it seems he wants to suck but cant
Thanks so much!
PS - I should add that this is my third baby - goes to show you that there's always something new to learn! ;)
First, pumping a little to relieve pain due to engorgement is fine. A couple of minutes sounds perfect. If you're concerned about it, you can cut back to the point where you just find relief.
Him sleeping for a long stretch now doesn't mean your body won't ever make milk between 11 and 6 for instance. When the demand is there, the milk will be available so don't worry! My 20 month old started adding an extra feed at night recently and the milk is there when she needs it. I would not wake him to feed for sure. From what I've been told, the only time a healthy baby needs to be woken for feeding is as a newborn before regaining birth weight.
I'd keep the paci but let it fall out as he relaxes. He may root around for it but there are a couple of options at that point. One is to replace the paci and let him suck until he passes out again and it falls. We did this with DD and basically meant she used it to fall asleep but not stay asleep. Once it fell out and she was still sleeping, we knew she was out for sure. The other method I read about is to gently close baby's mouth and put a tiny amount of gentle pressure on his chin. If he fusses, replace binky and try again. It's basically aimed at breaking the sleep-paci connection a bit to again help baby sleep better. My biggest point is not to automatically replace the binky because there is a good chance he will get used to sleeping with something in his mouth. Whether it's the paci you can't find at 3 am or the breast, it's still disruptive. We started out EPing (hence the paci right away) but once DD took to nursing I also unlatched her from the breast once she was asleep. She still nurses to sleep the vast majority of the time but isn't used to having something in her mouth so I can leave her once she is sleeping.
I tried to cover the major points but I gotta run - bathtime!!
Thank you so much for the reply :)
Those are some great tips about the soother. My oldest took a soother until 6 months and then started to suck his fingers (and still does now at 5.5 yrs!). My daughter will be 3 in March and she is still addicted to her soother. Not sure which is the lesser evil! ;)
I think we might be dealing with the dreaded 6 week growth spurt here.. he is definately fussier than normal and wants to be held all the time. He did a decent stretch again last night but it took hours of trying to get him settled!
We'll see how he does tonight :)