breast-fed and not sleeping through the night? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-27-2003, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Help please, I need some support. My dd is almost 6 mos. and is still exclusively breast-milk fed. I work part time (28 hrs. wk.) but pump at work. Here's the thing... I get all kinds of pressure and unwanted advice about how she should or should not be sleeping. My step mother is always suggesting that I call her pediatrican friend ("the expert") to talk about dd. She seems to think that its a problem that dd doesn't sleep through the night yet. I'd like someone to confirm for me that this is normal... so I can go back to my stepmom and tell her to butt out. dd nurses approx. every 3 hours still. I have even heard that sometime when a mom is working the baby will nurse MORE frequently at night to make up for missed cuddle-time. Has anyone experienced this? We did try a little cereal a couple of weeks ago but she got diarrhea so we're taking a break again. Cereal has been the suggested solution to night waking. Anyway... I feel like as long as its not a problem for me why should it be a problem for anyone else? Step mom isn't the one getting up at night! :
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:47 PM
 
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Sounds normal to me!

My oldest slept through the night at 3. He was weaned from the breast at 14 months, so I don't think there was any relationship there!

My younger son is 2 and a 1/2 and still waking 2-6 times a night. He is nightweaned.

As far as I know, this is just the way it goes!

I admire you for having such a great attitude about it.
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:50 PM
 
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What mamaduck said.

Ds#2 is 13 months and still nurses about 2-6 times a night. Keep up the good work, artgirl.
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:52 PM
 
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TOTALLY normal. My son is almost 6 months, I'm working 32 hours a week, and although I haven't kept a log he's still nursing as much as, if not more, at night.

Also, studies have shown that cereal does not help babies sleep longer. Why would it - it's only carbs, and often simple carbs at that (white rice cereal = Wonder bread in nutrition, as I think DaryLLL pointed out). Whereas breastmilk is carbs, protein, and fat. Evening milk is higher in fat to help keep babies fuller longer.

It's so frustrating when relatives/friends who know little or nothing about breastfeeding and co-sleeping offer unsolicited advice! My answer to questions re: sleeping through the night is to tell them things are going great, without elaboration.

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Old 01-27-2003, 03:53 PM
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This is completely normal!

Every baby's metabolism is different (just as every adult's metabolism is different). And only your baby knows what is best for them.

I agree that babies with mothers who work can try to make up for time with extra nursings. They will sometimes need extra nursings during periods of teething and developmental spurts.

Keep doing what you are doing. If you need additional ammunition tell her that your pediatrician thinks you're doing everything perfectly!
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!! I didn't realize how much this was upsetting me until I started reading the responses and felt like I was going to cry. It's so nice to have a little support instead of the constant questioning. Obviously I will not let dd cry herself to sleep which is the other suggested alternative. How awful! She'd be sad, alone AND hungry and my heart would break. I think I may print these responses out and show them to step mom. I don't feel like she respects me as a mother so maybe she'll respect a multitude of mothers.
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:02 PM
 
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Normal!

My dd was still waking about once or twice per night to nurse at 6 months. I think if we had co-slept she probably would have nursed even more frequently - you didn't mention if you co-slept or not. I know that a lot of co-sleeping babies nurse in little bits on and off all night, which isn't much trouble for mama because she barely has to wake up!

Don't cave in to all the pressure. Keep in mind that most people define a "good baby" by how little attention he/she needs, so waking at night, wanting to be held a lot, etc., are all looked upon as problems rather than normal behavior by the general population!

Read Meredith Small's "Our Babies, Our Selves" for a great perspective on "normal"!
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we are co-sleeping but if you think I tell that to anyone in my family (besides my wonderful mother) you're nuts!
We will continue to co-sleep at least until dd sleeps through the night because its soooo much easier. I don't have to get up, she never fully wakes up and everyone sleeps peacefully. I was worried about how dh was taking it but he said "Ella is like my morning cup of coffe" She wakes up in such a good mood and is able to get dh out of bed earlier and happier than I ever could.
But I guess that's the thing... is she not sleeping BECAUSE we're co-sleeping or are we co-sleeping because she's not sleeping? The chicken or the egg? And does it even matter???
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:42 PM
 
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artgirl: I pm'd you to recommend Dr. Jay Gordon's book "Good Nights"...it's exactly what you need to show your step-mom!!

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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Old 01-27-2003, 05:32 PM
 
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Why not simply reply "She's sleeping wonderfully!", to all of your well-intentioned relatives? Then quickly change the subject. It's your business, not theirs!

Every baby is different, and this is just one of many phases in her young life. My DD slept through the night at just under three months - only on BM! Then she didn't for a while, then she did again, . . then didn't . . . .so, she's a baby and still needs me. Is that so wrong? I don't think so!

Andrea
mommy to Greta 3/14/02
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Old 01-27-2003, 05:33 PM
 
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My dd is 9 months and doesn't sleep through the night either. I don't talk about sleep with my family because they don't understand the issues and they're all into the Ezzo/Ferber sleep CIO/feeding schedule thing.

You're doing GREAT
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Old 01-27-2003, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gretasmommy
Why not simply reply "She's sleeping wonderfully!", to all of your well-intentioned relatives? Then quickly change the subject. It's your business, not theirs!
This sounds like excellent advice!
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Old 01-27-2003, 11:14 PM
 
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That is so normal! People bug me about my 8 week old not sleeping thru the night!! people are dumb, don't let them get to you. I usually take the time to make a good case for co sleeping. I explain how nice it is to just nurse and fall asleep, and say, being in a wet diaper would sure wake me up and I don't sleep thru the night, i would be worried if my baby did. etc etc etc and they a re the ones who feel bad/stupid when it's over. And they should. Especially for making you feel so bad. I know a 16 mo old who nurses 4x each night!! More than my baby does right now, though I'm sure things will pick up again.
Lauren
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Old 01-27-2003, 11:30 PM
 
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Artgirl,

Hang in there and hold your ground! Indeed, it would seem by this thread (and many others like it), that you have MUCHO support on this.

My DS is two and still nightwakes. We have not night weaned but have VERY recently worked with him on putting himself to sleep, which to our surprise and delight, he is doing quite happily. This has improved his nightwaking as well but he still does wake once or twice per night. I find this to be rather manageable.

It's all in how you look at it and what you feel is normal for your baby, yourself, your family. Nightwaking is much more common than anyone wants to admit. If you are not bothered by it, than no one else should be. I found that by avoiding this subject altogether around others was the only way to go. No matter what I had to say about, it was always construed as complaining hence, the unwanted advice came on.

We are very comfortable and proud that he is two and now starting to sleep better on his own terms. We were not comfortable in rushing this and frankly, I wouldn't trade all of our precious nights together for anything... not even for two years made up sleep.

Best to you.

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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Old 01-28-2003, 08:46 PM
 
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Ugh...I've been trying to reply to this post for awhile...keep getting the "max_user" message!

Anyway!
Quote:
Originally posted by Jane
TOTALLY normal....It's so frustrating when relatives/friends who know little or nothing about breastfeeding and co-sleeping offer unsolicited advice!

AMEN!

Get this: One night when DS was about 9 months old and his grandparents were visiting - I'll stop here and qualify that I adore my MIL - my DH crawls into bed with DS and I. We're lying there talking about co-sleeping and such, and DH says "Well, it's time that he slept through the night now. Babies his age don't need to nurse at night." Said with such authority for a man who has never had a baby before or even been around them much.

"Who told you that?" I ask, knowing full well it was my MIL who was reading in the next room.

"No one." (sheepish)

"Well, whoever it was probably hasn't had a baby in, oh, 40 years, and I'm going to guess she didn't breastfeed."

That was the end of that conversation.

Other than DH, I don't mention co-sleeping, nursing, pumping, discipline, food choices, or anything that might seem controversial to my very mainstream family......

Night-nursing: check
When you work, baby nurses more at night: check
Cereal fills up baby: right

I have a 13-month old who was nursing once a night at 10 weeks until I returned to work and - BAM! - back to several times a night. Anywhere from 2 to a zillion times (I stop counting at 5!) a night.

You are absolutely, positively normal. And you're doing great!
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Old 01-29-2003, 05:59 PM
 
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For some bizarre reason, our society is fixated with sleeping for babies, but not for themselves...

Anyway, you have plenty of support here that it is normal. Cereal has not been proven to help a child sleep. They will sleep through when they are ready. Some kids are earlier than others, some are later. It's what is right for you.

Sigh...I get asked that all of the time. DD does sleep most nights, but when she's sick, she'll get up once or twice for a nip and that's ok...That's what she needs...
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a little update... talked to stepmom today because its her baby watching day. She's home with dd right now. I explained that I got the sense that she wasn't necessarily in agreement with all of my parenting choices and so when I left dd with her I felt anxiety that my wishes were not going to be honored. ie... not letting dd CIO for naptime. She was reassuring and said that although I was correct, she did not necessarily agree with some of the things I was doing that she honored me as the mother and would not do something that went against my wishes. I feel much better. I think she does too. She said that she felt like maybe I thought she was a bad grandma. Not the case, she loves my baby... just has a different style. I reassured her that I am constantly reading and gathering information so that I can make good choices for dd and our family... and that right now, what we were doing was working well for us. Someone said in another thread "go with the flow of your babe" and I think that's the key. Don't get stuck in a rut if it's not working for you and baby anymore. Stepmom also mentioned that she tried some of the comforting techniques I mentioned and that they worked for her this morning. Ahhhhhh. Happier day for baby, stepmom and me... stuck here at work.
Thanks for all the support here. I really needed it.
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Old 02-08-2003, 02:15 AM
 
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Hi Artgirl.

My son is 11 moths and is just now beginning to sleep the night, but some nigths he is not.
Yes, I have also heard, that some babies want to make up, for lost time with mama. Nothing better than mama.

Tell your MIL that it is just fine with you and that you injoy your little nursing time at night.

Take care,
Silving
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