xp 3-6: Stopped nursing at night- baby gone wild! — The Bump
May 2011 Moms

xp 3-6: Stopped nursing at night- baby gone wild!

Hi- wondering if anyone else has gone through this and what your experience was. . . .

my lo is 4.5 months and I have been breastfeeding at night only since going back to work a month ago. Well my supply tanked and he was not getting enough to eat at night.  We had just made it through the 4month WF it seemed, and he was back to waking twice a night to eat. But after my supply tanked, he was not satisfied and started waking shortly after being placed back in his crib.  So, I decided to stop breastfeeding and switch to all formula (still have a pretty good freezer stash im using during the day). So the past few nights, he has been a terrible sleeper and hungry all the time! he goes to bed at 8 and wakes at 10,12,3 and 5:30!  and he acts like he is starving! sucking on me and screaming if he doesn?t get a bottle.  Before bottle feeding he was prob getting a total of four oz over night from the breast, and now he is getting almost 8-10.  He is seriously acting hungry and I have been feeding him, but starting at two oz and if he isn?t satisfied offering more.

He also had an issue breastfeeding to sleep, so I know he is missing the boob. But even on the bottle he will drift off, and when I take the bottle away, he will flip out and scream like he is starving!   He has also been a little hungrier than normal during the day, so Im wondering if teething/little growth spurt is making the issue worse?

I?m not interested in eliminating the night feedings altogether with sleep training, since he has reflux and has a hard time getting all the oz he needs during the day and he needs the feedings.  I used ferber during the 4mw to get him back to two feedings a night and try to break the nurse to sleep association, but this is so different.  He is SO ANGRY, if I don?t feed him!

Sorry for the novel, is there light at the end of the tunnel? His behavior just did such a 180!

Re: xp 3-6: Stopped nursing at night- baby gone wild!

  • It sounds like he may be wanting the comfort of your breasts. I would just try to get as much milk/formula into him during the day as possible to make sure he's getting enough, and then try giving him snuggles when he wakes up - if you're sure he's not hungry.
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  • Yes, this is what I have been doing so far.  I try to comfort him before offering food, but he screams and starts sucking any skin he can find!  Its so hard because I have two conflicting thoughts in my head- "Feed him! He is hungry and just a baby" but then the other thought is "Please dont get used to eating so much at night and make this a habit and condition yourself to eating more at night and not as much during the day!"
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  • Have you tried offering a bottle then transfering to the breast?  Since you just stopped breastfeeding at night your supply probably isn't completely gone yet.  This way your son gets nourishent from the bottle and then some residual milk through breastfeeding plus the comfort of nursing.  You can even try a lactation aide with formula to help feed with the breast.
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  • imageamyt51181:
    Yes, this is what I have been doing so far.  I try to comfort him before offering food, but he screams and starts sucking any skin he can find!  Its so hard because I have two conflicting thoughts in my head- "Feed him! He is hungry and just a baby" but then the other thought is "Please dont get used to eating so much at night and make this a habit and condition yourself to eating more at night and not as much during the day!"

    I'm not saying that this is the right thing for you to do, but it worked for us:

    When I put DS to bed after nursing him, I wouldn't feed him if he woke up before a certain time interval passed (since the last feeding). I started with 2 hours and gradually worked up from there. Now he wakes up 1-2x per night, and I'm ok with that. Rarely he sleeps straight through.

    It didn't take very long and that way he's not going cold turkey and starving. It encouraged him to eat more during the day. Since I started doing this, I never limit his feedings during the day.

  • Sweetgirl: thats a good idea, offer bottle then breast and try to wean him off rather than going cold turkey . . .

    imageMcAllie5:

    I'm not saying that this is the right thing for you to do, but it worked for us:

    When I put DS to bed after nursing him, I wouldn't feed him if he woke up before a certain time interval passed (since the last feeding). I started with 2 hours and gradually worked up from there. Now he wakes up 1-2x per night, and I'm ok with that. Rarely he sleeps straight through.

    It didn't take very long and that way he's not going cold turkey and starving. It encouraged him to eat more during the day. Since I started doing this, I never limit his feedings during the day.

    I used ferber a few weeks ago when his sleeping went all terrible (4mw?) and was successfully able to space out the feedings.  I would use it again, but he is just having a FIT this time around, where before he would fuss and cry some, but not frantically try and suck on me, lol.   If this keeps up though, I think Ill try it again.

  • Do you think he is reverse cycling? If so, this might help

     https://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/reverse-cycling.html

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  • He could be! Who knows?  Ill try those tips though! anything to get a happy baby and some more sleep :)
  • i personally would focus on him getting more calories during the day and wait this out. I bet this is a temporary transition to formula and goes away within a week and his nights improve.
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  • imageamyt51181:
    Yes, this is what I have been doing so far.  I try to comfort him before offering food, but he screams and starts sucking any skin he can find!  Its so hard because I have two conflicting thoughts in my head- "Feed him! He is hungry and just a baby" but then the other thought is "Please dont get used to eating so much at night and make this a habit and condition yourself to eating more at night and not as much during the day!"

    Violet started waking 2-5 times between 8 and 8 a couple of weeks ago.  I was so exhausted and just as conflicted as you are!  But I continued to feed her when she woke at night (only until she fell back asleep and I could put her down) and she is now back to only waking once in the middle of the night to eat.  It seems like it was just a phase or growth spurt and only lasted maybe a week.

    Married to my best friend 6/5/10
    BFP #1 9/7/10, EDD 5/14/11, Violet born 5/27/11.
    BFP #2 4/9/12, EDD 12/16/12, M/C Rory 4/24/12.
    BFP #3 10/6/12, EDD 6/16/12., Matilda born 6/17/13.
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