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Thread: 9 mth old feeding all night help!

  1. #1

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    Default 9 mth old feeding all night help!

    Hi Everyone,



    I really need some help and advice with my wee man as I really don't know if I am doing the right things.Hes just gone 9 months and hes a reflux baby from early on.Hes breastfed mainly with one bottle of formula at night when his dad puts him to bed and one in the morning from his dad also.At night his routine is hes asleep at about 6.30 and wakes normally 11/11.30 when I feed him that hes awake again usually 2am and then about 5.30am and I feed him both times.Is this the right thing to be doing??Also throughout the day he feeds approxiamtely every 3 hours but hes also having some solids 3 times a day.My question is at this age should he be breastfeeding every 3 hours and with the solids should he be having them before of after hes breastfed and should I be cutting out one of them in exchange for the solids??I just feed like I don't know what I should be doing and keep getting different information.Do most babies just cut out nightfeeds themselves or do I need to do it for him?

  2. #2

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    Hugs to you...

    My DD is 9 months old also and I decided to cut her night feed out a few weeks ago, I knew she wasn't hungry and was just sucking for comfort to get back to sleep. When she woke at night I would give her a drink of water and pat, rock, walk etc her back to sleep instead of feeding her. It was quicker if DH did it because she knew he doesn't have any milk!

    Perhaps you could try not feeding him at 2am and just settle him with patting/rocking, then when he wakes again at 5.30am you could give him a feed. Does he feed much at these times or do you think it's comfort?

    This is DD's feeding routine:

    7am: BF and up
    8am: Breakfast
    11am: BF
    12pm: Lunch
    3pm:BF
    5pm: Dinner
    7pm: BF and bed
    10pm: Dream BF

    She eats cereal for breakfast, fruit and yoghurt for lunch and vegies for dinner.

    In relation to daytime feeding, do you think he would stretch to four hourly feeds? Does he eat much at his meals times? HTH

  3. #3

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    Hi Kristin,


    Thanks so much for your reply.I have thought about trying to give him water at one of the feeds but just know hes going to scream the house down so have chickened out.He does eat a lot at the nigthtime feeds and does seem hungry.I kind of feel hes behind other 9 month olds with his solids etc because of the reflux.Its just recently we are trying some foods as before this everything except pear made him scream in pain at night.So far we have tried avocado,banana.toast and marmite,rusks,peach and they all seem ok.We are doing to try some vegatable soon but in the past these had the worst reaction.What quantity do you give for each meal thats another thing I am not certain about.He has about 8 to 12 teaspoons at each meal.At the moment he has pear some oats and peach for bfast either mashed banana avocado with pear for lunch and just pear for dinner.He does see a specialist for his reflux and he said to only give new foods in the morning.I think he might be able to go 4 hourly during the day I just haven't tried it.

  4. #4

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    Your little one does not sound behind at all, it sounds to me as if he is doing exactly as he should! If he is screaming when you give him some foods, it is definitely a sign he is not ready for it.

    My DD never suffered reflux but she did not start eating any solids until 8 months and then it was only really playing with it. She didn't really get into eating until more like 10 months so in effect she was behind other babies in my mother's group. However, by 11-12 months she was off and racing! She eats really well, really enthusiastically and proper meals. I really think babies know what is best for them so if your DS is not into solids but is still taking milk (BF or formula) go with it. Remember the ABA say "food is for fun till they are one". Just think of solids as play for the time being.

    FWIW I think it always sounds as if other babies are having much more than they really are. Sometimes when a mum says that their baby has 3-4 meals it means they sit down for 3-4 meals. It doesn't mean they eat the full meal put in front of them. Always keep that in mind when comparing .

    BTW have you looked into Baby led Solids(BLS)?? It may work really well for you guys as your baby is obviously letting you know what he wants with eating?!? With BLS your DS will decide how much he wants to eat so there is no issue about how much you should give him. It is a really nice entry into the world of solids as it matches breastfeeding in having the child in control of what they ingest and it heavily involves the senses and sensory play - excellent for babies development. There is a great thread about it on this site I will try to link to it in a min.

    The last thing I wanted to mention is about the night feeding. In my experience, I found that my DD at 9 months was still feeding through the night and seemed to be getting most of her breastfeeding done in the wee hours. The problem was that she was hungry then because I kept feeding her then! I was sure she should be able to sleep through but was nervous about cutting down as I didn't want to deprive her. I was soooo sleep deprived and really at my wits end. I got some advice that she is was absolutely developmentally ready to cut out night feeding and it could help her day feeds/eating to get into a more realistic routine. I was advised to simply drop all night feeds bar the 11ish rollover feed and simply offer water or other sleep settling techniques. Would you believe, it worked. There was a little bit of protestation and I was committed to working through that, we had a few long nights where I was up comforting DD when she woke up but within a week she was sleeping much better and feeding better during the day. Over the next few weeks we rolled back the 11pm feed by 15 min each night until it was gone completely. Now DD sleeps from 7-7.

    Remember that this is only my experience, but I recommend that you consider that your DS is most likely developmentally ok to sleep without feeds at night and you can help him wean off that habit. I really think it can help get everything more settled as he moves from a baby sleep pattern into more of a toddler one. But only try it if you feel it is going to work for you. YOU have to feel comfortable about it as you have to help him work it out.
    Last edited by jackrose; March 13th, 2009 at 10:45 AM.

  5. #5

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    Back again with my links!!

    Baby led solids thread here

    or you can try googling Baby led solids or baby led weaning for some more information.

    All the best

  6. #6

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    Hi Jackrose,

    Thanks for all your advice.Yes I think you are right about the solids and I will just go with the flow and not worry so much about it.I think sometimes we put ourselves under pressure as we are told by people that by 9 months he should be eating this etc.The one thing I wondered is that I am a bit nervous when he is eating and bites off a big bit( he has 2 teeth) that he will choke.Does he just know himself what to do or should I take the big piece out of his mouth?I don't want to give him a complex with a neurotic mother!I tried giving him some bread with marmite and he loved it but I was worried about him swallowing big pieces.
    About the night feeding I think what you suggest is definantly worth a go.I don't know why I am so nervous about doing it.I think I have kind of got into some kind of routine with him but its not ideal by any means and most night I only get about 5 hours sleep.Its just been so hard with him and his relfux he used to scream for hours most nights so waking 2/3 times to me is really good!I have a habit at night of when he wakes just feeding him without even trying anything else as I know he will drop back to sleep and sometimes I am hardly awake myself!I think also I have just been trying to get by and get through the night as there is so much else going on with my husband going through chemo but I really would be amazed if he slept for more than 4/5 hours at a time.
    But I think I will try what you suggest.Just wondering do you offer the water in a bottle?
    Thanks again

  7. #7

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    I am in much the same boat! DS, who is 9 months, was sleeping GREAT- 7pm to 5am for a small bottle, then until 7.30am ish. This went on for ages, like 3 months, until recently when its all gone crazy. He is up often 2-3 times a night for a feed now and we are getting really tired.

    When he eats at night, he eats really well and it seems like he's starving....but not so great during the day. Now that I read this thread and think about it, the more he eats at night, the worse his feeds during the day have been. It might be time for me to bite the bullet too and try to cut out those night feeds.

    I am not looking forward to the inevitable protesting too.... IrishConn maybe we can support each other!!

  8. #8

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    Hi amberj,

    Its hard to do and tonight I was going to try it but hes just woken up twice crying since we put him down and I think its probably cause we gave him oats for the first time this morning so will have to wait for another night.Let me know how you get on and good luck!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishConn View Post
    I don't know why I am so nervous about doing it.I think I have kind of got into some kind of routine with him but its not ideal by any means and most night I only get about 5 hours sleep.Its just been so hard with him and his relfux he used to scream for hours most nights so waking 2/3 times to me is really good!
    I am not surprised you are nervous about the night time!! When you get them into any sort of routine it is hard to introduce anything new as you don't want to make it worse. I was really nervous also as it was a really bad situation for us at the time and I was sooooo sleep deprived, I just knew I could not cope if what I did made it worse! And that was for me with a baby who never got to the screaming due to reflux. As I said earlier, you really do have to be comfortable about what you decide to do, especially when you have got enough stress on your plate with your husband and a baby who has not had an easy start with his digestive system Still 5 hours sleep is no where near enough for you to cope I imagine... you must be beside yourself. What really helped for me at that stage (sleep deprivation was making me question everything about myself as a mother and about everything I thought I knew) was to chat to a professional and get realistic advice that made sense to me. I ended up calling the 24hr maternal health line at 2am in desperation one morning and the nurse on the other end made it all ok for me! She just told me in a really calm voice, it was ok. I was doing the right thing to drop the feeds and it will get better. I think she actually said that "tonight is going to be bad, tomorrow will most likely be bad as may the next night, but after that it will start to improve". And it did. I did spend a lot more time up comforting DD in the first few nights but it didn't last forever and I clung to that.



    Quote Originally Posted by IrishConn View Post
    I have a habit at night of when he wakes just feeding him without even trying anything else as I know he will drop back to sleep and sometimes I am hardly awake myself!I think also I have just been trying to get by and get through the night as there is so much else going on with my husband going through chemo but I really would be amazed if he slept for more than 4/5 hours at a time.
    But I think I will try what you suggest.Just wondering do you offer the water in a bottle?
    Thanks again
    That is exactly what I was doing. When I did try to drop feeds I tried to drop one at a time. This was a nightmare as DD got confused, sometimes I would offer a feed, sometimes not, so in her mind she didn't know what was going on. In the end, when I called for help I was told to just drop all feeds (bar the 11pm rollover) at once. It never worked for me to give water as DD completely refused (but I have heard it has worked for others) I ended up patting, singing and sleeping in DD's room on the floor for the few bad days while we worked it out.

    I think you are doing a GREAT job under the circumstances and it sounds as if what you have been doing was perfect for your little one when he was younger. It just seems he is growing up and maybe needs a new system and you are just sooo tired. Not a good or easy mix to work with. But keep up the good work, he has a good mum in you caring enough to get it right. + Bear in mind, some people on this forum have had luck continuing on with the night time feedings for a longer time than 9 months, hopefully one of them will pop in to offer some advice from their perspective.

    Yes I think you are right about the solids and I will just go with the flow and not worry so much about it.I think sometimes we put ourselves under pressure as we are told by people that by 9 months he should be eating this etc.
    Right on!! He is a smart cookie and if he is still bf, still healthy and putting on weight overall, he is eating exactly what he should be in my opinion!

    The one thing I wondered is that I am a bit nervous when he is eating and bites off a big bit( he has 2 teeth) that he will choke.Does he just know himself what to do or should I take the big piece out of his mouth?I don't want to give him a complex with a neurotic mother!
    There is a huge difference between choking and gagging in eating. Choking is definitely dangerous and is a real problem but gagging is a common and completely natural part of a baby learning to eat, to use their mouth, tongue, teeth and throat properly. There is a heap of info on the difference between gagging and chocking in the literature on BLS which is really worth reading so you feel comfortable as again, if you feel nervous or uncomfortable about it, it is not worth doing. Whenever my DD gagged, I cheered her on as she brought back the offending bit of food and she proudly re-attempted the food successfully. It was a really beautiful thing . But you are right to make sure you don't make your DS nervous by worrying too much so make sure you are completely comfy about it. The ladies on the BLS thread are a great support (I'm on there too) so jump in and ask questions - we would love to have you on board!

    I tried giving him some bread with marmite and he loved it but I was worried about him swallowing big pieces.
    He really wont swallow more than he can manage, just follow the guidelines about the types of food to offer a child of his age and capabilities.

    Hope this helps IrishConn, I promise it will all feel better when you can manage to catch up on sleep! I really hope you can manage that soon. AND, BIG to you and your husband. Chemo is not a nice experience to have to go through. I send you lots of love and positive vibes as your DH works at getting his health back.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrose View Post

    When I did try to drop feeds I tried to drop one at a time. This was a nightmare as DD got confused, sometimes I would offer a feed, sometimes not, so in her mind she didn't know what was going on. In the end, when I called for help I was told to just drop all feeds (bar the 11pm rollover) at once.
    I agree, I dropped all feeds overnight because doing it once and not another time just frustrated and confused DD.

    If you want to try offering the water at night (I just do it in case she's thirsty, I know I always need a drink in the night ) you could give it in a sippy cup or a bottle, whatever he drinks from at meal time. I use a sippy cup.

    Do you think the pear could be giving him tummy pains and causing him to be un-settled? I've heard too much apple/pear can give bubs the runs and sore tummies? Just a though...

    Good luck tonight and so sorry to hear DH is so sick, chemo is just awful, you're doing such a wonderful job.

  11. #11

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    Hi Kristin and Jackrose,

    Thank you so so much for all your brillant advice and kind supportive comments it really made my day!
    Kristin I don't think the pear is the problem for him as hes had pear since about 6 months old with no real issues.I think anytime we introduce something new it causes a problem.His doctor said hes got a really sensitive gut.I think I will try the water in a bottle as hes not really got the hang of the sippy cup yet.
    Jackrose thats exactly how I felt about introuducing something new I am terrified it will get worse but you are right 5 hours is just not enough and it shows!The only way I catch up is that my husband most mornings looks after him and I get another 2 hours but thats only cause he works part time which won't be forever.I have actually gone to see a psychologist and she told me I had clinical depression which really suprised me but was good to hear as she gave me some things to do which are helping a bit.I will have a look at the info on choking and gagging thanks for that.
    I did actually try last night to drop the feed but was not successful.He went down at 6.30 and woke 11.30 and I gave him a big feed then,Then he woke again at 2.30 but was wet so had to change him which is a pain as he wakes up.Then I sat on the rocking chair determined to get him back to sleep.He was so sleep and I nearly cracked it but when I put him the cot he kept waking up and he seemed so hungry so I caved in!!Hes just had croup in the last week so I thought maybe he needed it as hes coughing a lot.He went back to sleep at 3.40 and woke again about 6 when I fed him again.Do ye think it would just be this 2am feed I would need to cut out??
    thanks again for all the help yes chemo is not nice but hes not doing too bad and has some bad days but we get through.

  12. #12

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    Just wondering - is there any chance he is getting too much caffeine from you? Some babies are really sensitive to it, and a bit passes in to breastmilk - and then you get a situation where a feed wakes them up rather than helping them sleep.
    With my DS if I have more than one tea a day I get several wake-ups overnight rather than our usual just one...And it's a nasty cycle because if you are up 4 times a night with your bub then you may well feel like you need coffee to cope with the day!

  13. #13

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    I am so pleased to read your post, glad to hear your day was made brighter (), glad your husband is able to give you a few hours sleep in the morning, glad you have been able to get real help from a psychologist and have had your experiences and feelings recognised, glad you were able to give things a go last night and really glad to hear that you are getting through the chemo. You can't ask for more than that!

    What a time you are going through! I bet you are pleased to have your little man to focus on when all the other realities pile up to face you. What a blessing.

    FWIW I think you did the right thing last night. You gave it a go but had to reassess based on the situation and if he has been sick and didn't like the idea of no boob last night, I agree that now is not the time to push it. Although my DD now sleeps through and has been since I worked at dropping the night feeds, when she is slightly sick or is teething, we are straight back to breast at night . I don't really mind as she obviously needs it and as soon as she is better she is ok without those night feeds again.

    Just go with it at the moment and work on dropping those feeds when you feel really ready. I think your DS will sense your resolve when you are ready and know it is right and go with it.
    And yes, it sounds as if you only need to drop the 2-2.30 feed, but if you do, you may find he wakes a few more times from then on for a feed when you first drop it as he may be a bit more unsettled. Just keep doing the usual settle routine and he should get the gist.

    One other little hint... when I did this, i found it easy to approach it with a system. I realised that it may take a few days and reasoned that it would be short term sleeplessness for me for a long term gain. What I did was get up when she woke in the night, put on a dressing gown and slippers, put the kettle on, and some music or tv for company. Once I had made a cup of tea and was committed to being up I felt much stronger about approaching the resettling and could do it much more calmly. If I simply got out of bed and tried to resettle, I ended up feeling so annoyed and was counting down the moments until I could get back into bed. I was soooo frustrated so it was really counterproductive.

    BTW I still joyously appreciate how well she is sleeping now and never take it for granted! You are reminding me once again of how bad it was and how glad I am it is better now! Thanks!

    I also thought - why don't you try searching on You Tube for some "Baby led solids" and "Baby led weaning" videos? I found some good ones and thought it might be helpful to see what gagging is all about and see how well babies can actually feed themselves.

  14. #14

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    Hi Kmn,

    Thanks for your message,I don't drink coffee anyway and with tea I only have 1 cup in the morning,just before bed I have this breastfeeding tea which is meant to help with digestive problems.I do wonder about certain foods I think that anytime I eat red peppers we have a bad night but its so hard to know as he has so many other issues.
    Hi Jackrose,thanks for that information.Yep its been really tough thats for sure but you are right every morning when I get up and get a smile I forget the whole night!Hes such a little character never stops!anyone who meets him says the same thing"hes so alert!"
    I had a look at u tube at baby led solids was great to see other babies eating and how they do it but made me a bit sad as my little man is not really doing any of it.The only thing he feeds himself with is toast and marmite and rusks I keep putting other fruit and veg in front of him but no go.But I know he will get it and I just have to be patient.Hes still so bad at night and I really sometimes am clueless why.I write a diary with all the foods hes eaten to see if there is a pattern.Last night he woke after nearly 6 hours which was great.I fed him at 12 and then he was awake again at 2 then 2.30 then 3.30.He seemed to have a pain I thought so gave him some colic drops he woke again at 5.30 but each time he woke crying.I then rack my brains wondering if hes cold,wet,had reflux is it the toast?I think it seems to be thats hes fine after the bottle but when I feed him hes very unsettled.Its so disheartening but I will solider on and wait for the day like your wee one that he sleeps though,I will throw a party that day!!!

  15. #15

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    Hi IC!

    How are things going in your little world these days? I have been thinking of you and hope that things have improved.

  16. #16

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    Hi Jackrose,

    Thanks for your message.Things have improved a wee bit with his eating anyway.I gave him some brocolli yesterday for the first time and he ate some when I gave it to him but today I tried again and after a few goes he picked it up himself and started eating it!in the end I had to take it off him as we had to go somewhere but he loved it!!His sleeping is still so random,he goes 1 good night then 1 bad night,he seems to be teething again so had to give him panadol for a few nights.He was going good at night going nearly 6 hours but the last few nights hes been waking after 4 and I feed him then.A few mornings I have been so tired hes been in bed just sucking not even feeding and I have fallen asleep it might be the teeth.But at least hes eating better.

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