Author Topic: "Sleep problem that is really a food problem"  (Read 1844 times)

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Offline ladymugg

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"Sleep problem that is really a food problem"
« on: July 10, 2016, 08:39:05 am »
OK so to put things in context, what I am talking about relates mostly to the section of BW Solves All Your Problems book... specifically from pages 195-200 - Variable #4 - Hunger.

I have posted previously across this forum before I rediscovered the above section in the book.  I am ABSOLUTELY convinced my 13 week old LO is waking in the night from HABIT (edited).  Why am I convinced?  The problem is that my 13 week old was previously only waking in the night for one feed, now wakes for three (sometimes four if you count an early breakfast waking).  This started around 4-6 weeks ago.  I have asked about this here and on a Facebook group I belong to, to be told that it sounds normal for his age and its a phase that will pass.  People keep suggesting growth spurts.  This is the longest growth spurt of all time!  Anyway once I rediscovered the pages in my book that I had somehow missed, the questions covered off (and answered by me below), really spoke to me. 

The questions asked by Tracy:

How often is he feeding during the day?  Every 3 hours

What time does he wake up after his last evening feed?  Usually around 11 pm (now)... it was around 3 am when he was like 7 weeks old.  We have curbed this 11 pm wake up for a 10 pm dream feed so we are in control, but he is often awake for this :(

What does he sound and look like when he's crying?  Sometimes a hunger sound, but mostly just an annoyed sound

Does he wake at different times every night?  No... he is now in a pattern of say 1.30/2am and then again st 5/5.30 am.  So including the dream feed is now waking every 3-4 hours in the night, when previously (and was much younger) had his first wake-up, without a dream feed, at 3 am.

Is he steadily gaining weight?  Like a hulking out hulk thing.

Growth spurt - I am convinced he went through a growth spurt at around 7-8 weeks and then after the spurt was finished, these wakings became habit wakes/feeds. 

Has he ever slept a 5-6 hour stretch at night?  YES!!!  This was the key question asked in the book that I can emphatically say yes to, and Tracy's response was that is a sleep problem that is actually a food problem.

So the plan in the book is to try to get more into him during the day.  (And I'm getting to my question now):

BUT HOW?  He has a large bottle 180ml/6oz, which he mostly drinks til about 20ml left.  Sometimes he completely finishes, other times he may leave more.  I've tried as the book suggests, to make up larger bottles and offer them, to no avail.  I have also tried offering less in the night in the hope that we will get to a point where somehow (magically, I'm guessing, haha) he will twig onto the fact that he isn't going to get much and it isn't worth waking up for.  Not sure how a 3 month old baby will figure that one out yet, but it was something google offered me ;)

Using a pacifier was the other option.  He just isn't keen.  I've tried different brands/shapes, he just doesn't seem to be a pacifier baby.  He wasn't at birth, he isn't now.  I've tried Tracy's methods to get him into it.  And he is frankly getting to the age where she suggests weaning it anyway (!)  What I have done is started swaddling one arm out as he definitely sucks his hand for comfort, but that hasn't prevented night waking.

So....

any ideas? :D  I have time this week as my husband and 2 year old are both away so I feel like if I try resettling him with PU/PD or similar then it isn't going to wake up the whole house, and I will have some time to nap etc during the day without a toddler to look after if I need to catch up on sleep.

For completeness, EASY is looking something like this:

6.30am WU
7.15 am E
7.45 am S
9.30 am WU
10 am E
11.15 am S
1 pm E
2.15/30 pm S
4 pm E
5 pm catnap
6.30 pm final bottle, bath, bedtime etc
10 pm dreamfeed
1/1.30 am E
4.30/5.30 am E

Edit: Sorry for the novel.  Hubby was like "what are you writing in there?!?!  A book?!"
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 09:30:38 am by ladymugg »
Mum to DD born April 2014 and DS born April 2016.

Offline Shiv52

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Re: "Sleep problem that is really a food problem"
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 11:51:02 am »
My LO is 13 weeks and still needs 2 NFs. We're on a similar schedule to you. DF about ten then NW to feed about 1.30 then 5. I have tried putting her off with her dummy and she will go back over but then wake 15 mins later so I know it's hunger. We were getting big stretches at night a month ago but not now but I do think she is hungry.

Sorry maybe not the answer you were looking!  I think you may not have much luck weaning them until he's a bit bigger or at least over that 4 month GS in a few weeks!





Offline ladymugg

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Re: "Sleep problem that is really a food problem"
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 14:35:31 pm »
Thanks Shiv52

I understand what you're saying (and I know you've answered my other post on this before, and have been very helpful, so sorry I am bringing this up again - I suspect you are rightly thinking "oh no, not this again" ;) ).  I'm pretty convinced it is habit.  I accepted it wasn't, and we had talked about this on a previous post, but then after reading this chapter we can answer yes to pretty much everything that describes habit waking, and I've been observing it after reading this for a good week or so.  Especially given how it is getting worse and not better. 

So, despite all that, should I just roll with it until after 4 months do you think?  I know life isn't all about "we must follow this book all the time" but I dunno, it is pretty convincing and there have been few times that Tracy's advice has done me wrong.  But I am also of course interested in hearing what other people are doing right now and how they have found a similar situation. 

The night waking doesn't bother me in that they're quick feeds and they're over before you know it, and husband helps out... so I am not coming at this from an "exhausted, will try anything" perspective; it just makes sense to me to try to shift the calorie intake percentage into the day a lot more.  Even so I could wait before changing this too much, but I thought I would at least try now.

Thanks so much. :)


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Offline Shiv52

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Re: "Sleep problem that is really a food problem"
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2016, 16:23:09 pm »
Sorry id not reAlised Id answered a different post before 😀

You can definitely try and get more calories in the day but if LO is already taking 6oz every three hours and not totally draining I'm not really sure how good do that?





Offline Lolly

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Re: "Sleep problem that is really a food problem"
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2016, 16:28:37 pm »
To get hm to take bugger bottles you could start moving towards a 4 hour EASY by shifting to 3.5 hour feeds for a couple of weeks. Formula fed babies tend to be able to make the 4 hour transition before breastfed babies.

I'd hold off on changing night feeds until after the 4 month growth spurt too - see where you are after that. You also have to remember that Tracey's advice may have changed in recent years if she had still been with us as our understanding of sleep and feeding changes. I honestly think that eating 3 hourly at night for some babies is normal, especially the bigger babies who need more calories to sustain their weight and grow.

Laura


Offline ladymugg

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Re: "Sleep problem that is really a food problem"
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 19:18:46 pm »
Thanks to you both.

Seriously no need to say sorry Shiv52.  I was more coming from the angle that you're probably thinking "here we go again"  ;D

Lolly - interesting.  The bottles are already fairly big, but you're right he IS a big boy (17-18lb) and with around 7-8 feeds a day, starting to condense them does make sense.  He is definitely ready for a feed most feeds at the 3 hour mark, but I think maybe I could spend some energy stretching him out by 10 minutes a feed per day until we get to 3.5 might be really worthwhile. 

I assume the logic and flow-on impact of a 3.5 hour (and then 4 hour feed) would be to get bigger bottles, fewer feeds and then potentially a longer spacing at night.

I never had this issue with my first born - she slept 6 hours at night and then kept going on that track for a while, but she was definitely smaller (still an above average size, but ate pretty average amounts).  She easily transitioned to a 3.5 and then 4 hour EASY during the day, but that seemed pretty straight forward given she had the longer stretches at night. 

Thanks so much to you both. 

PS:  I find your comment Lolly on the on-going research had Tracy not passed to be pretty logical too.  I love that book and obviously a lot of it is still current, but I guess I never considered that maybe some of the concepts may have dated as research continued past her death.  Still, what a wonderful lady with so much practical and sensible knowledge - she has saved my bacon on more than one occasion with both children.
Mum to DD born April 2014 and DS born April 2016.