Tired breastfeeding mum needs help!

Can any one help me!  I am trying so hard to feed my 7 week old boy, I am finally getting over the sore nipple stage only now I have a new problem.  He won't sleep during the day.  He is so tired, I'll feed him and he will crash and sleep for about 15 minutes before waking and crying for more.  So I feed him again and the process is repeated.  He just wakes up every 15 minutes or so until the other day I finally topped him up with formula and he then slept for 3 hours straight.  I had to wake him for a fed!  At night he isn't so bad and he will sleep for about 2 and a half hours.  He is on each breast for 10 minutes only, and simply refuses to stay on for any longer.  I have tried nappy changes in between, burping etc.  I have a fast let down and I don't think feeding is an overly pleasent experience for him.    I is often gasy.  I wonder is he getting enough.  Am really close to just givng up, he seems happier on formula.

olivias mummy

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Don't give up just yet!  My daughter is 8 weeks old.  We have been having similar problems, to the point where bub was waking screaming in pain after 15 minutes sleep, and then continuing to feed and scream for the next 5-6 hours.  With no deep sleep she was shattered and so was I.  She was falling asleep feeding and had got into the habit of snack feeding.  She then got used to falling asleep in my arms and refused to sleep anywhere else.  In desperation I rang Plunketline.  The advice was excellent - keep bub awake during feeds anyway you can - take off clothing, unlatch and wind if baby falls asleep, change nappies.  Some babies do need a 10 minute power nap during a feed - they are not finished but need a nap.  Plunket nurse told me to wind baby and put in bouncer until bub wakes, then offer breast again.  Bub needs a full feed to stop the snack feeding cycle.  My daughter is very gassy too, which results in waking screaming in pain - have discovered various foods that I eat, affect her; so far chilli, curry and kiwifruit.  When the pain begins she thinks she'shungry and asks for food repeatedly, which makes things worse.  Have just discovered gripe water helps, and if nothing else works, a little Pamol helps her to sleep longer. There is lots on the net about foods that could be affecting bub through your breast milk.  Also sleep advice if you're interested; we had to break the habit of bub sleeping in our arms.  We were advised to put bub in a darkened room, wrap her well, put her down awake, and let her cry for one minute for each week of her age (thus we let her cry 8 minutes as she is 8 weeks old), if she has not settled after this time we go in, don't touch, look at or speak to her, but rock the bassinet for a further 8-10 minutes where she can't see us.  If she doesn't settle after this we try a dummy, tapping lightly and rythmically on it to fool her into thinking she's taking the breast and can feel the heartbeat.  If all these things don't work then something is wrong - she's in pain, hungry, hot or has a dirty nappy.  We are getting there slowly - she will now sleep in her bed, is no longer snack feeding, and I'm gradually eliminating foods from my diet that I have discovered affect her.  I hope this helps.  Best of luck!


hi ya - can only agree with the girls - stretch out feeds as much as you can - try having a bath togther - and if you can  express off for a minute or so  before feeding and then give that to baby at the end of their feed. it will take a few days to get baby out of the snacking routine but then should seep better - if you have a good cranial osteopath close by try them - i can reccomend one in timaru !!


I went through a similar thing with DS.  I could not get him to settle during the day and if I did it was for 30-45 mins max and then he would wake and be so unsettled that I would feed him again.  I was told to try the feed-play-sleep routine but I really struggled to strecth out his feeds to 3-4 hourly as he would only sleep for such a short time.  I agree with the ladies who have said to try and stretch out his feeds by distracting him but I know how tiring this can be and it feels like a constant battle!  The front pack or a walk in the pram is also good but again all I wanted to do was to get him to sleep in his cot so I could have a rest rather than pacing the streets or the house with him!

For me I seemed to struggle with supply and I don't think he was getting enough.  Combine this with the stress of feeling like your baby is starving and I'm sure this had an even more negative effect on my supply.  Like you everytime I tried the odd bottle of formula he would sleep for 2-3 hours which seemed to confirm my suspisions.  Again I agree to make sure he is on each breast long enough to get the hindmilk.  I have no idea how you know this for sure but perhaps ask your plunket nurse or contact la leche for some advice???

I ended up putting DS on a bottle for his 7pm feed at about 2 months old and if I was totally exhausted I would sometimes give him a bottle mid afternoon to get him to have a decent sleep.  I continued to BF for the rest of the time until about 5 months.  Honestly it saved my sanity and once I stopped beating myself up about it I could see the benefits for DS and for me.

I am 35 weeks pregnant now with number 2 and again I want to EBF.  I am really going to try to establish my supply by feeding as often as possible in the first few weeks.  However if it doesn't work out again I think I will be more accepting of supplemental feeding this time around :)


I had the same problem, he was coming off because he wasn't getting enough milk, I don't produce very much.  Some people just don't.  And for some of us, breast-feeding is hell!  It was hell for me, the only success I had was using nipple shields, with pillows all over the place, cloth nappies wedged here and there, it was just awful.  I wanted to exclusively breast-feed, but more than that I didn't want my baby to be hungry so I added the bottle, and am now glad I did for many reasons.

I had to express my breastmilk (instead of directly breast feeding him), which made up about 65% of his daily needs.  I gave the rest to him in formula.  I can just hear the lactavists now saying "if you breastfeed more then your milk will increase".  To that I say BOLLIX!  It probably works for many women, but not for me.  I got up every two hours to express during the night for weeks in an effort to make more milk, and my absolute maximum I ever made was 500ml in one day.  To which I hear "expressing doesn't make as much milk as baby can".  Yes that's true, but expressing was my only option, feeding from the breast just wasn't working for me.  The lactation consultants told me to do it because stimualation was important, but it didn't work for me.

So anyway, my point is that perhaps you aren't making enough milk, and that's why your baby is coming off.  I suggest breast feeding as much as you can, then topping up with formula.  Of course you might face the problem of the baby preferring the bottle.  My baby stopped accepting my breast/nipple shield because my let-down is so slow he got frustrated when he knew he could have instant results from the bottle.  You could try a supplemental breastfeeding system (little hose that is attached to a bottle around your neck, the hose is taped near your nipple so they are getting both formula and breast-milk at the same time).  http://www.medela.com/ISBD/breastfeeding/products/nursing.php

Anyway, best of luck, HTH

Kate's Family

I had the exact same problem with DS, too fast letdown and he would gulp heaps of wind, feel full and want to sleep - for 5 mins! By about 9pm at night all the little annoying bubbles of wind would attack with a venegence and he would scream. It was horrible. In the end we tried Infacol from the chemist. I think he was about 2months old by then. Two days of using it and he was a totally different baby, it is brilliant stuff. It just helped to wind him so he would take a full feed, burp then settle. Frontpacks are also great for windy tummies. Hope things start to come right for you, it is incredibly hard but sounds like your doing a great job. There is also nothing wrong with switching to formula, you do what is right for your family. Good luck


I agree with Me.  Sounds like he has got into the habit of snack feeding.  My 3rd baby did this and I did what Me said.  Chucked him in the front pack and walked around to distract him for several hours and then fed him.  He was really hungry and took a huge feed and finally slept for a while.  It might take a few goes, but if you consistently do it, then he'll start taking a decent feed at each feed time and filling his tummy right up.
You are doing really, really well and like the others have said, it will start to get heaps easier.  You truly are over the worst of learning and latching etc.  Keep up the good work.


 You're doing a terrific job. Try not to get in the cycle of feeding at short intervals - you're much better to try to distract him some other way (maybe putting him in the frontpack for a while and letting him grizzle for a while if need be (grizzle not scream!). Just try to draw the intervals betweeen feeds out as much as you can because that will help with the grumpiness caused by wind etc. With regards to the fast letdown, latch him on while you're sitting up as normal, then slide down in the chair/bed so he's feeding uphill. That can help a lot. 


You are doing a great job feeding you son.  It's just soo hard at this stage but it does get a lot better.  Sounds like you're getting through the worst stages.  I'd go see a lactation consultant and check that you are latching and give you some tips on managing a fast flow.  Switch feeding and feeding up hill are two that I can think of.  He may only be getting the fore milk and not sticking around long enough for the hind milk which has all the fat in it to keep him full.   My DS didn't sleep much during they at that age, loads of catnaps.  Drove me nutty.  It did change as he got older (4-5mths).  He learnt to self settle and had less sleeps but longer ones.  For now I'd try going for a few buggy walks or car rides to make sure he has a good sleep (about any hour or more) and then when he wakes he'll be more inclined to have a full feed. Hang in there..it will get better.


Hi my now 20month old DS was like that in the first month or 2 I felt like I was feeding him non -stop. Have you tried letting him cry himself to sleep - some people don't like doing that but we did it with DS and it helped so much. obviously we wouldn't let him scream histerically but most of the time it was just little whines that he was doing. also if you are in an area that has plunket handy give them a call and see what they suggest, I know some centres have people on board there that can help with sleep issues so could be worth a try. Good Luck and remember even though it may not seem like it at the moment it does get better!

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