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Not Sleeping - Zer Netmouse — LiveJournal
December 19th, 2010
11:22 am


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Not Sleeping

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Date:December 19th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Anne--it sounds like Rose is going through a growth spurt. If you hang in there, she will probably settle down in a couple of weeks as your milk supply catches up. If you succumb to the temptation to offer formula or cereal, each of those calories will come out of your breast milk budget in the future, so there's no going back. That may be okay with you, but keep it in mind. At this age, it's very normal for Rose to want to eat around the clock. Our culture has certain defined expectations for babies that would be considered strange in other cultures, such as sleeping X hours without waking in the night, etc. It is good to keep in mind that many of these cultural expectations of baby behavior were developed and based on formula-fed babies in the 50's and 60's, when formula was considered to be the optimal food for babies. Mother's milk is easier to digest, which means in a rapidly growing baby, the stomach can be empty every two hours! Babies fed on formula do tend to be full longer, but they also show less growth and weight gain in the first six months.

At 13 pounds, you probably can get Rose to sleep a little longer. Try picking out her current best stretch of night sleep, or the time that she previously slept longest, and have Brian only tend her during that time. If she sees, hears, or smells you, she is going to want to nurse. It is like putting a pepperoni pizza in front of an adult at 3 AM and then expecting them not to have a slice.

Or you could go the other way and take her to bed with you. Even though you still have to be awake for the feeding, it is more relaxing and I found that having my son right there in bed with me helped me get more sleep because there wasn't the disruption of getting up and getting the baby, etc. Daytimes naps for Mom are great, too. Hang in there, and rest assured Rose's needs are completely 100% normal and you are far from the only mother with this experience. My son was a constant and obsessive nurser, and he has turned out great, hit all his milestones on or ahead of schedule and is very confident and independent as a tweener. He has shown some susceptibility to asthma and allergies, which run in our family, but is much less affected than the other kids. It makes me very glad that I stuck with breastsfeeding when I see his cousins suffering from severe asthma, with all of the medications, breathing treatments, and other problems they have had (they were all formula fed or breastfed only for a short time).

Going to sleep alone works for some babies, and doesn't work for others. If it's going to work, it will work within a few days and you will not have to listen to more than 10-20 minutes fussing. If she's screaming her head off for an hour, she may not be a good candidate for that method. If so, there are some other schools of thought on baby sleep that you can experiment with.
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Date:December 22nd, 2010 06:57 am (UTC)
I second all of cathshaffer's comments and wanted to add: What has helped me save my sanity with a baby that still eats about four times a night is to perfect the side-lying breastfeeding position. I can pull him out of the bassinet, get him latched on, and fall back asleep. Eventually he wakes me up again and I burp him and switch sides. He starts out the night in his crib and ends up co-sleeping with us. It's still not ideal because he feeds a bit more frequently when he smells mama, and I know many people are not keen on co-sleeping. However, maybe you could give it a shot. I don't do this all night or every night, but when I'm really, REALLY tired it's a lifesaver.

P.S. You should consider joining the LJ breastfeeding community. It is a fantastic resource with many knowledgeable women.
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Date:December 22nd, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
Agree with previous two poster that cosleeping makes breastfeeding much more manageable with a baby that likes to eat around the clock.
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