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Old 10-10-2011, 06:27 PM   #1
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5 month old sleeping issues bf related?

I have three kiddos but 5 month old DS is my first EBF baby and I feel like I am clueless all over again. It has been a bumpy road for us, but we are finally in a pretty decent BF relationship. The problem I am having is that DS doesn't love to eat at all. He only eats when he is completely starving and then he won't linger on for ONE more second after he's done. No comfort nursing or suckling for us :-(

Here is the problem/question... he is still not even remotely sleeping through the night yet. He is pretty small - born at 8lbs and is now just slightly over 14lbs. He is also going down the %tile charts. I am not completely worried about this and my ped isn't either since he is still gaining. He's just gaining very very slowly.

I have tried cereal. I have tried some fruits. I have tried formula. He refuses all of those very much.

He just doesn't seem to be taking in enough milk during the day to make it through the night at all. He still wakes up at night like he did as a newborn....feeding every 3 (maybe 4 on a rare occasion) hours around the clock. And then he is frequently awake in between those times to be rocked or to take his paci again. Sometimes I feel like I am up with him 5-6 times in an 8 hour window.

Is this still completely normal for a 5 1/2 month old? My other babies were both on formula by this age and were both sleeping 12 hours straight at night. I am desperate for some sleep! Should I be doing something different? Or is this pretty typical for an EBF baby? Thank you!!

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: 5 month old sleeping issues bf related?

My DH SWEARS that the ONLY way a baby will sleep is by formula and that's what got our first 2 STTN early on. I pointed out to him friends we have whose babies were FF and NOT STTN and slept horribly! I have 3 kids also and this 3rd LO is my first EBF baby as well. This LO slept better the first 2 months than he has the last 4. I've been told about the "4 month sleep regression", but my other 2 never went through that, even though I've heard it can affect FF babies, too.

I think a great deal of it is personality and who they are. I've known plenty of BF babies to STTN early on, plenty of FF babies that didn't sleep, so I think it's a big guessing game! It stinks b/c I really want sleep, too! I've let him fuss/cry some and within a few nights he went down to crying just a few minutes, but then he went back to really getting worked up, so I didn't leave him for too long. He's had a stuffy nose the past few days so I haven't let him fuss any.

This LO also won't nap unless I'm wearing him, and even then the naps can be brief. I'm not sure what to tell you, but you certainly aren't alone. But, no, I don't think BF makes babies bad sleepers, even though many people do because they have the "formula sticks to their bellies longer than breastmilk" statement (like my DH). DS has slept 8-10 hours before but it's only been a few times and it hasn't been in the last couple weeks.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:17 PM   #3
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I have a 5 month old who never sleep through the night. He's huge too (97% for height, 87% for weight), and eats well during the day. He's EBF, and I recently started cosleeping out of sheer exhaustion. I just can't deal with the middle of the night struggle to get him back in the crib.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: 5 month old sleeping issues bf related?

I have an almost four month old who is up and nurses at least four times every night. She is gaining well (she is a small baby, but she was a preemie, so she is growing) and is now 11 pounds. She is my third EBF baby and ALL of mine continued to wake through the night for nearly a year (although much of this became a comfort thing). I cosleep so that at least I can get some sleep. I just nurse her laying next to me and we both go back to sleep. So yes...this can be totally normal for you LO. :-) I figure I can sleep when they are grown.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
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My 9 month old is BF and wakes up 3-4 times a night. Breastmilk is digested more easily, so they eat more often than FF babies. As long as he's growing well and mostly happy, sleeping through the night just may be a ways off....
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: 5 month old sleeping issues bf related?

It's totally normal for a 5.5 month old to wake that often. Many will have a longer stretch in the early part of the night--maybe 5 hours (that's considered STTN). But certainly not all will.

My DD didn't sleep that long until well after a year--perhaps after 18 months--i don't remember since my memory of those days is quite foggy. My DS has been sleeping 5 to 7 hour stretches for a few months now. Both are/were breastfed.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:36 PM   #7
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Re: 5 month old sleeping issues bf related?

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for telling me I'm not alone :-) Its does make me feel good that even bigger babies that eat better than my LO still are waking up to eat.

My other babies just slept so well and always have that I don't even know what to do with this little man. I thought there must be SOMETHING I can do for him...but maybe, there isn't. Maybe its just him :-)

Thanks for the support, mamas! I'm off to bed....for a nice interrupted night's sleep :-)
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
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Re: 5 month old sleeping issues bf related?

My little guy is 8 months old and he wakes probably as often as your 5 month old...ok well it feels often! After going down at night, he wakes once or twice just to fuss, then again to eat twice. That's about 4 times a night! Sometimes I just want to rip my hair out, I'm so tired all the time! Going to bed early isn't going to help anything either as I'll get to sleep such a short period of time...

My first is the only one who slept through the night and fell asleep easily. He was BFed and FF. My middle baby and my now youngest baby have had horrible sleep issues. My middle child didn't truly sleep through the night until 2 years old!
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:03 PM   #9
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Re: 5 month old sleeping issues bf related?

Oh and our kids are almost the exact same ages! My first was born in March '06, second was Nov '08 and third was Feb '11
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:28 PM   #10
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My DD is almost 5 months and has STTN (9pm-4am, so more than the technical 5 hrs) a handful of times. Lately she's been up more and sleeping restlessly, so I'm thinking she is going through a sleep regression- which is normal. My friends son is 14 months and has never STTN, formula fed and a big eater. I think it truly depends on the child, and not how they're fed. It's a developmental milestone just like anything else! You are not alone, mama!
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