Breastfed Baby STILL Won't Sleep Through the Night....:(

Updated on April 29, 2009
R. asks from Morrisville, PA
118 answers

My son is 2 months old, breastfed and keeps me up every 1.5 to 2 hours STILL. I don't want to use formula for the nightime feedings in fear that when I go back to work - this week - my milk supply will dry up if I don't nurse him during those night hours since basically, that's all we'll have left together - other then the weekends. Any other ideas? I do pump 4 oz and give that to him at about 11pm which buys me about 3 hours of sleep but I just don't like the idea of giving him more then one pumped bottle vrs my breast.

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So What Happened?

Well, this is what happened, I now let him sleep with us and I am a much happier new mommy for it especially since I miss him all day. However, my Pediatrician says that this is being selfish and I am only thinking of me. I asked mamasource in another question today regarding this specific issue as I really only want to do what is best for my son. It's very hard when some people tell you 'yes' and others tell you 'no'. I ask a different person, I get another answer. :(

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M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Try putting a little ceral in the bottle. That usually fills them up and stretches out their sleep cycles

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E.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

I don't have any great advice to give you accept to say that it is normal what you are going through. I am 37, have 2 boys (1 and 3.) My first born didn't sleep through the night until he was 9 months and my second was about one when he did. That being said as they get older they will eat less frequently. Try to give him as much as possible at each feeding, perhaps by feeding longer. Or perhaps supplement 1-2 oz of formula at the end of each feeding to top him off so to speak. I remember doing that with my second and it worked.

Good luck and it gets easier.

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M.C.

answers from Daytona Beach on

I have breastfed both my children and both of them were sleeping through the night by three months. What I would do when my kids were getting to the point where they had slept for a long time and were still waking up out of habit was to get up, give them the pacifier and rub their backs. Sometimes it would get them back to sleep and sometimes it wouldn't but eventually it got them out of the habit of eating at night. That being said, by babies grew fast and because of that were probably able to hold more food at a feeding than an average baby. Hope you have success and get some sleep!

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T.

answers from New York on

Hi R.,
In my experience, two months is still pretty young to expect a breastfed baby to sleep through the night. My older two, who were good sleepers, started sleeping through at about 3 months, and my youngest didn't for a year!!! I would think though if your baby is gaining weight well, that you could start trying to delay the nighttime feedings just a little. Do you use a pacifier? You could try giving him a pacifier and rocking him back to sleep, or at least getting him to wait 10 or 20 minutes, so his stomach gets used to going a little longer without being full. My best advice is just patience, give it another month or two, and things will definitely be better!
T.

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B.

answers from New York on

Hi R.

I have had the same problem with Jade who is now 8 weeks. I found that I was responding too early, so when she made little "eh eh" noises I was picking her up immediately in the night. I've found that if I don't pick her up straight away, and doze back off again, she actually goes back to sleep often and will gently stir for about one hour before she really makes a noise that is loud enough to mean "OK I am really hungry now". Since I've been more patient she has gone to 3 and even 4 hours. I still am only sleeping very lightly but it means that if I time the last feeding to midnight, I only have to get up at 3am and 6 or 6.30am. I am much less exhausted. I also tried giving the expressed milk at the 3am feeding, as it is so much quicker, and again means I am less tired.

I hope this is helfpul - good luck!

B.

42, first time Mum, blessed to have Jade after many miscarriages.

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M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.,

The first few months are hard. The most important thing is to try not to expect what the books tell you. My baby is 9 months old today and she still wakes up at least once. When she was 6 weeks old she started to wake up every hour!!! I don't mean to scare you - just try really to go with the flow. The baby wakes up because it is hungry and needs to feed. There is really nothing you can do about it except love it and feed it. It will get better, but in its own time.

Best of luck
Mythri

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R.

answers from Providence on

Hi R. -
One thing I started doing, which worked well for me was giving my son one bottle that was 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 formula at bedtime (when I wanted him to sleep the longest duration through the night). My husband would give him this bottle and I would pump. He did start sleeping more and it allowed me to get a better stock pile of breast milk going. The other benefit was that he took to formula early on so that he was willing to take it when older, if necessary. I have some friends that tried adding formula to their babies' diets too late and the babies wouldn't take it. My son is almost 8 months old now and I'm still breastfeeding and he still gets his 1/2 and 1/2 bottle every night.
Hope that helps.
Sincerely,
R.

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C.

answers from Hartford on

Hi R.,
Congratulations on breastfeeding for 2 months! I breastfed both of my babies, and I can assure you that it does get easier. The 2 month mark seemed to be a point with both of my children where I felt very tired because they seemed to be nursing non-stop. It is probably a growth spurt and you will notice a few of those. It does get better. I used to keep my babies in bed with me during the night so that it was easier for both of us to get some sleep. Just be careful so to prevent suffocation or rolling over on the baby.

Pumping at work will allow you to keep up your milk supply and keep giving your baby breast milk even though you can't be together.

Good luck to you and keep up the good work! It's a blessing and a gift that only you can give your son.

Best,
C.
Mom of Tristan (3) and Peyton (2)

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S.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

R.,
If it makes you feel better, it will get easier when your son is 19. LOL

I breastfed both my children (now 19 and 15). I did it for a VERY long time (more than a year). I, too, was awake every 2 hrs. but only until they got older then the feedings were basically in the evening. Your son is still young but it will get better and I would say to just enjoy the time with him while you can now and enjoy just holding him, stroking his hair, and taking in every inch of him while you are bonding. Talk to him, sing to him and just tell yourself it's only for a little while longer. (I know it feels like forever). I also worked while breastfeeding and pumped and stored it for the daycare center. I'm not saying it was easy, but I just kept thinking positively and not trying to 'get it over with'......it may sound crazy, but I almost couldn't wait to wake up and breastfeed them just to hold them and watch them nurse. My daughter used to reach up and play with my hair, now at 15, she loves to 'do my hair'.....sometimes when I felt sleep deprived, I would breastfeed on the sofa laying on my side and we'd fall asleep until the next feeding. As my children got older, they loved to sleep next to me on the sofa and watch TV....my daughter would sleep next to me and my son would lay on my butt.LOL.I hopes this helps, even a little. And remember once you have children, you are always deprived of sleep.....wait until your son starts driving!!!!! You will wish that he was 2 months old and breastfeeding!! (LOL)

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L.Z.

answers from Boston on

Hi R. - I have a 1-year old so those nights spent feeding her and praying she'd sleep longer are still fresh in my mind! What everyone said about hitting the 4-month mark is true. People told me that, and my daughter started sleeping through the night around 4-4.5 months (she was doing great but had the occasional 4 a.m. bottle, which is a horrible hour if you work because you get up shortly after!!). I suggest pumping also - it saved my life. Your milk won't dry up, you just have to "re-train" your body to produce it at certain times more than others. If you could pump a couple of times at work, you could use those bottles, as could your partner, in the middle of the night. If all else fails, and you do have to be up breastfeeding, know that it does get better very soon. Working and parenting a newborn are tough together, but it can be done if you hang in there.

Also, if you do supplement with formula, it is NOT the worst thing. If someone had told me how tough breastfeeding is, how taxing and time-consuming, etc., I would not have felt so guilty when I supplemented with formula. Any breast milk is terrific for them, even if they are getting both that and formula. Don't let anyone make you feel like a "bad mother" if you have to supplement to preserve your sanity and your OWN health! My daughter was fed both for 4 months then just formula until 1 year, and she was a lot healthier than I was over this past year! :)

Good luck and remember that is is so worth it!! It is the most amazing gift to have a child. It gets a lot better as they get older!

L.

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K.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Unfortunately, I didn't breastfeed my baby, but we have all suffered through those first three months. I went back to work after 7 weeks & my son was still up twice a night.

The reason that I responded is to just let you know that we've all felt what you are feeling. It's scary & you just want to get through it. What you need to keep saying to yourself is that the sleepless nights and feeling like you're on another planet are only temporary. You'll get through this!

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G.

answers from Allentown on

R.,
Something else must be going on with your baby. See if you can talk to your ped. to rule things out. I'm no expert, but here are my thoughts:None of them may be the case, but......
1. Baby is not getting enough to eat.
2. Baby is overtired and needs a regular sleep schedule during the day in order to sleep well at night
3. Baby may have acid reflux: is he fussy after most feedings, spitting up with apparent pain, eating every 1.5/2 hours still during the day?
4. If you regularly feel like your milk supply is not enough, try drinking half a bottle of beer each day (after a feeding).
5. Try baby on his belly or on his left side or with his head elevated (buy a wedge at babiesrus) just to see if he sleeps better that way. I know it's a cardinal sin, but my baby only slept on her belly.
6. Try swaddling baby really securely in a blanket and putting him down to sleep like that. Maybe he'll sleep better. I doubt he's truly hungry, but has gotten into the habit of eating and getting security at that hour. Try a pacifier.

Like I said, I'm no expert but these are some of the challenges I had. So maybe it will help to consider them.
By the way, each stage of mothering has its challenges. They don't really get easier, but you get better at dealing with them, especially when you have sleep on your side!!

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K.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hang in there-it's not forever and you should be very proud of yourself. Does he nap during the day? I started pumping with baby Chrissie now 3 & froze my breastmilk and mixed with formula at 6 mos. Check w/ your pediatrition for ear infection.
Don't be scared potty training is right around the corner. Sorry that you're sleep deprived. Try to enjoy this special bonding time babies sense stress and this too shall pass. You can pump at work it's a common practice and illegal for them not to let you do so. It gets harder believe me but you'll do just fine the less stressed you get. The 1st time you hear I LOVE YOU MOMMY makes it all worthwhile.
Best Wishes& Good Luck!!!

K. (Mother of 2 Chrissie 3 & Sarah 10)

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R.

answers from Providence on

Hi R.
I am 35 and breastfed both my babies...I think your situation seems completely normal to me...neither one of my babies slept for very long in the first several months. However, I have one thought as I had a friend who tried this and it really worked...after your 11p.m. feeding you should have a bottle(breastmilk) ready for the first time he wakes and let your husband give it to him for the 2 a.m. feeding...that will allow you to get that much more sleep.. maybe you could give the breast instead of the bottle at 11 if you dont want to give 2 bottles at night?
Just a thought.. Good luck

It DOES get easier and eventually he WILL be sleeping all night. I promise.

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K.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I breastfed two kids who I thought would never sleep through the night. My pediatrician said, "if she sleeps for a 5-6 hour stretch then she's sleeping through the night". I also worked and was very tired for what seemed to be a long time. The one thing I learned is that there is no right answer.

Trust your instincts and make decisions that are best for you and your baby. Then find a parenting book that agrees with you. That way, you can't go wrong.

I can write this because my kids are still asleep:)

K. (also from Yardley)

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N.

answers from Lancaster on

Girlfriend, I am still scared to death of parenting my 16 month old. I am also a full time working mom who breast fed. My son ate and ate and ate ... and ate. We were up every 1.5 to 2 hours for the first 3 months, then every 3 hours until he was 8 months old!!! He had severe acid reflux so I was terrified to make him cry it out. What if he spit up, what if he was uncomfortable..... Finally, one night when he was fed, changed and burped and it was 3am and he still wanted to get up, I just put him down. He cried for almost 45 minutes. I wanted to die, but it was one of the best parenting decisions I've made so far. We went through this 3 times a night for a week, until he realized Mom's not joking. It's bed time. He was just used to the pattern of eating every few hours, just like we get used to eating patterns. I let it go on WAY too long, out of working mom guilt, and ended up a walking zombie. Don't forget, crying never killed a baby, but a sleep deprived mother makes mistakes. Mistakes like leaving a gate open etc can be serious. Don't forget to take care of yourself.

PS It does get easier. One day your little boy will hold his arms up to you and say Mama, and from then on.... they're running maniacs, but much easier to handle with 6 or 7 hours of sleep!! :) Good luck!

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E.

answers from Providence on

Hi R.
I nursed my second son until about 21 months and I am sorry to say I was VERY tired up until then. At two months I think you can expect that they may wake for a feeding especially since breast milk is digested at a faster rate than formula. At 21 months however, my son was looking for comfort. I have been told that cereal in the bottle is not a good idea for fear of choking. Every baby is different that is for sure. You could also talk to your peditrician or a lactation consultant at your local hospital. maybe your pediatrician could recommend one. We have so many things to worry about as parents don't we? It is okay to ask for help. Good luck and dont worry your head will eventually stay on the pillow for the night!!

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S.E.

answers from Washington DC on

My son didn't sleep through the night until he was 6 months old. I fed him breast milk at first and then formula. He woke me up every 2 hours consistentaly through the day and night. Then all of a sudden at about 6 months, I could put him to bed and not get woken up until the next morning.
I think at 2 months they need fed frequently. Don't worry, either he will start sleeping through the night in a few months, or he won't but he will sleep longer. It will end.
Good luck.

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H.

answers from Albany on

Have you tried giving him a pacifier or something at one of the times he wakes up? If you can find a way to pacify him with out giving him food at one of those you can gradually work up to him sleeping longer most likely. We had one who was getting up at nights til he was 9 months but that is what we started doing when he was about 2 months old was not feed him one of the times --he would go back to sleep and wake up about an hour later but then he would start sleeping 3 hours before getting up to eat and gradually gets longer and longer. It IS difficult but SO worth it once they get scheduled to do that.
It is just that they get into such a habit that you have to retrain them. It may take up to a week of it but he will get use to the change and learn to not wake up if he isn't getting food.
It is normal to be a little scared of the whole parenting thing but it is just finding what works for you and being able to implement it. Take it one day at a time and you will become a pro. Your son won't die if he cries a little in this change. Don't give up hope that you can breastfeed through this part. It just takes time and I know thinking that you have to wake up to get him to go to sleep just knowing he MAY wake up an hour later is rough but it is SO worth it in the end and is the only way you can really retrain him to get use to that schedule.
Good luck--:)
H.
I am 24--have 2 boys and an angel in heaven. I live in Bennington as of 7 months ago, and don't remember what life with out kids is like, lol.

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S.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I am a full time working mother with a challenging job -- have two small children ages 15 mos. and 38 mos. My best advice is to stay patient and to learn how to balance give and take with a child. My second set of advice is to stop being scared of being a parent. I did not become a parent until I was 34. I had been all over the country working and it was tough at first to get out of my "me syndrome" to focus upon a little person. Once I relaxed and understood that I needed to be realistic about how to balance motherhood and being a career person -- everything fell into place.

All babies are different. As parents we read books, fret over things, worry, ask questions, etc. My first child never slept through the night until he hit 2 and a half. Like magic -- he sleeps through everything - lightning, thunder, wind storms, his sister screaming, etc. Now he only awakes when he is sick. This wasn't the case when he was first born. He awoke a lot until he turned 2 and a half. Once I embraced patience and came to peace with having to get up frequently to feed him -- I also discovered something else -- a once in a lifetime bonding experience with my son. Something I can never replace or get back. Now he doesn't need me so much -- that's supposed to happen. But I will never regret getting up to feed and console him in the middle of the night. You will get through this -- once you get over your panic.

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K.D.

answers from Providence on

Hey R.!

Have you read "The Happiest Baby on the Block?" When I started to swaddle Emmie she started to sleep 5-8 hour blocks at night! She usually sleeps from 10-4 or 5am! She is also two months old. I found that the reason she was waking up was because she had flailing legs or arms that would startle her...the book recommends 5s's....swaddle, side-laying, swaying, SHHHHHing and suckling to get them to sleep...and it works! She gets to sleep and stays asleep! In the day she will nap for a couple hours NOT swaddled, but we rely on the swaddle at night. Also....she would kick out of a regular blanket so I got a special Kidopotamus blanket from Babies R Us that has velcro so she can't kick out! Good luck, let me know if that helps!

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C.B.

answers from Boston on

A two month old baby will never sleep thru the night so don't get discouraged there. I heard a breast fed baby digests food a lot faster then a bottlefed one so they need the breast regularly. Now you might not like what I'm about to tell you but I am a breastfeeding mother of a now 9 almost 10 month old and he STILL wakes up about twice or more times a night (though he wants it more for comfort I think than milk since I'm not breastfeeding much during the day so my milk supply is nill). I'm not one of those crazy breastfeeding martyr moms I'm just a 19 year old who appreciates her sleep still so after about 2 weeks out of the hospital and not sleeping for more than 30 min (atleast thats what it feels like, right?!?) I decided on this routein, which worked for me. My kid is like a vaccummmmm! He breastfeeds so fast that I guess I'm one of the luckier ones but he would have me up all night long just cuz he likes to hang out there. I skipped the crib and he slept in bed with me and my boyfriend (and still won't get out of our bed, on the negative side) but I got to sleep and that was ALLLL that mattered to me. I would nurse him right before bed, put a bottle of milk I pumped the night before or during the day in the warmer by my bed, then get some shut eye. When he would wake up a few hours later I would kindly tap my boyfriend on the sholder and point to the bottle which was conviniently placed on his side of the bed. Then I would either get up and pump in the living room if I wanted some space or do it right there in bed. Pumping for me atleast was 10 times faster and the baby wouldn't hang around down there using it as a binky. WHen I was done I would roll over and go back to sleep while they finished the feeding or cuddle up next to him and we'd all fall asleep. Doing this gave me the closeness and nurture time sleeping with him and gave him the benifits of only having breast milk and I slept atleast a little! It kept up my milk supply and he never tasted formula before 6 months old when he started daycare and I became even more of a slacker on the pumping. Even then I continued to breastfeed after my college classes were out ( I think the doctors try to scare you into thinking that a few hours without breast feeding will diminish your supply I would go from atleast 7am-4pm without breastfeeding and still breastfed him up until now) and I never pumped in school since I never had more then a 10 min break you can only imagine the throbing! SO anyways good luck try to get some sleep and just know your not the only one out there awake at 3am! Keep it up it's such a great beggining for your child!

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H.

answers from Providence on

Hello. My son is 2.5 months old and does not sleep through the night....as far as my experience goes (I have a 2 year old daughter as well) this is normal. Very few lucky parents have a baby that sleep through the night at this point. My first did not sleep through the night until 4 months.
Is he up every 1.5-2 hours to nurse or is he up for 1.5-2 hours after his nursing sessions at night? What are his daytime sleeping habits like, daytime nursing habits? Does he have reflux? Gas? My son was doing something similiar until I figured out what I was eating that was giving him gas as well as that he has a little bit of reflux that was waking him. I have eliminated what foods I think may be passing through the breastmilk and causing problems as well as elevated the head of his bed in hopes to keep the reflux in control. If the issue is that he is up every 1.5-2 hours to nurse perhaps he does not need to nurse and he is just waking up and need a little sucking or holding. My son too was waking up every 2 hours...and now just started every 3-4. Try just cuddling or giving a pacifier during a middle of the night feed...he may not be needing to nurse so frequently. I tried this...my son refuses a pacifier...so that hasn't worked, but the cuddling has, and he went right back down and slept another hour or so.
Some books I have found very helpful are:
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

The New Bestfeeding Getting Breastfeeding Right for You by Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher and Suzanne Arms

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg

Hang in there. It does get easier. As the baby gets older and his systems continure to mature more he will settle into a schedule more friendly with yours.

Good luck, from one sleep deprived mother to another,
H.

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S.K.

answers from New London on

Hi R.- I don't know who told you that a 2 month old is supposed to sleep through the night- but it's not true!!! One of my daughters was 7 1/2 months and the other was almost 9 months before they did what I considered sleeping through the night!
Do you know that when doctors say "sleeping throught the night" they actually mean a 5 hour stretch of sleep? That's not what I considered sleeping all night! I wanted 8 hours!
Breastfed babies need to eat more often. Breastmilk is more easily digested and therefore baby wakes up to an empty stomach sooner. Formula fed babies may sleep for longer stretches, which sounds nice, but they are sleeping longer because formula is an unnatural substance and takes babies longer to digest. This is also why formula fed babies have yuckier poop- there is so much extra in formula that their bodies don't need.
My advice for you is to just wait it out! Your baby is only going to be tiny for a short time. Enjoy those night feedings because someday you will wish you had that time back. I would love to go back in time and cuddle my little baby to my breast one last time! You'll miss it!
I hope this helps your patience a bit! I've been there too and it's not easy.
-S.

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A.

answers from Portland on

You may want to try your little one on some baby cereal. I had to do that with my second child because he was a big baby and I thought that he needed more than what my body was able to supply. Children typically go through growth spurts at two weeks and three months... (for infants) and then again at six months. As soon as I started feeding my son cereal, he started sleeping at least 6-7 hours. Just continue breast feeding as long as you can. It is such a great benefit for your little baby boy. happy breast feeding and congratulations!

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I read the other advice and there's a lot of good information here. You should consult a lactation specialist to find out if your son is getting enough milk when he is nursing. In the early months my son would fall asleep mid-nursing and would be hungry again in a couple of hours. We had to use wet washcloths to keep him awake for a full feeing. I was putting him to bed at 10 or 11, thinking that if I could just fit one more feeding in he would sleep longer. I found that putting him to sleep earlier, around 7:30, actually helped him sleep through the night. Good luck.

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C.L.

answers from Scranton on

R.,

I commend you for taking the time to seek out alternative answers to the those that are not sitting right in your heart. You baby only knows what is instinctually created within him and knows not that he lives in a modern world. His instincts tell him to seek out his mother at all costs, for nourishment, warmth, and a balanced mental/emotional/physical development, of which all are accomplished by you nursing him! Isn't it a wonderful design!?!

I have children ranging in age from 21 down to 4. I have nursed and co-slept with each and every one of them, but none of them are currently nursing or co-sleeping with me now. <wink> Not that I would deny them that sense of security, but they grew independent, as all ?-"good" babies should (ugh!), and have no further need to continue in that season of our lives.

Follow your true instincts, they will never guide you wrong! Push away the nay-sayers and do what you know is right.

If you go to the LLL International website, you will see that cereal is not the first food a baby should eat. This is due to the enzymes to properly digest cereal being missing from the digestive tract. This develops closer to 1 year and if pressed too early, can lead to food allergies. After 6 months, avocados and bananas are good choices for your son's first foods.

I wish you both the very best!

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D.S.

answers from New York on

I just finished my breastfeeding class yesterday. Do not give up or give in to the bottle if that's not what you want to do. Have you tried feeding him more during the day so he's satiated at night? Try changing feeding positions so maybe he can get a better feeding. Try bringing him to bed during those feedings so you can doze while he eats. I'm also gicing you a number of the instructor who is a lactation specialist and she will work with you to help until you're able to overcome this problem: Her name is Sarah ###-###-#### 00 ###-###-####. Please call her before giving up.

Good luck!!! Keep us posted....D.

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P.P.

answers from Erie on

My son first made it through the night ( 8 hours ) at 7 months. He stopped staying awake in the middle of the night at around 3-4 months. I am still nursing him, he is 13 months now and still wakes once a night for a feeding, but fortunately falls right back to sleep now, so be prepared for that if you continue to nurse, but I think it is SO worth it to nurse and lose a little sleep. I would not have done it any differntly. Hang in there!

Where is Yardley???

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A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.,
I am no expert on Breastfeeding. However, I do have 9 kidlets. Here are a few things I have learned along the way either from my experience or from what I have heard from others.
*My guys didn't sleep through the night until they hit 14 pounds. That was the majic number for my guys.
*Babies usually hit a growth spirt about 2 weeks, 2,4 and 6 months then again about 9 and 12. Of cource that is a general time frame. Sometimes right before a growth spirt the child will kinda go backwards before he goes forward. Kinda like a bow and arrow, you have to pull it back before it can go forward. For example: they are sleeping through the night for a couple of months, then they start waking up in the middle of the night hungry. Or maybe they have been potty trained then all of a sudden start have accedents again, this could be due to a growth spirt. I have seen this in some of my kids. It us doesn't last more then a week or so.
*Loosing the night feeding will often times bring back your fertility. That night feeding usually keeps that at bay. Please notice that I said USUALLY.
*When you are pumping and not breastfeeding you need at least 100 minutes on the pump to maintain your milk supply.
*Some pumps will CAUSE your milk to dry up.
*B-complex, Barley, ginger,stress reduction and rest will help your milk supply. Barley is very good. It can be in the form of a beer, adding barley to some soup or simply adding barley flour to everything you eat can help.
* something else you could try is to make sure the bby is getting all of the "hind" milk before bedtime. The "hind" milk is the creamy/rich stuff.
*you could also putting a cloth diaper that you have rubbed all over your skin so it has your scent and the baby can smell you. He may be more willing to stay in his crib or bassenet if he is not with you in your bed if he smells you.

Well, this may be way more info then you were asking. I hope it will be of some help. Talking to a good lactation consultant is your best bet. They are worth their weight in gold. Let me know how things turn out.
A. B.

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N.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi R.,

Actually, that is still perfectly normal for a 2-month old! I know it's exhausting. My 13-month old would still nurse at night if I let him -- I finally stopped at 12 months. Maybe you could have your husband give formula every other night feeding? Or you could (gasp) co-sleep for a while... I slept on a mattress on my son's floor with him for a couple weeks when he was that age.

There are lots of message boards that might also be helpful for day-to-day questions -- my favorites are www.thenest.com Parenting board, and www.babycenter.com community boards (there are TONS). Good luck!

N.

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K.

answers from Philadelphia on

A 2 month old is not suppossed to be able to sleep all night without eating - that's crazy. I bet he can go four hours, though - see if he will fall back asleep without nursing a couple of times or try a binki. My daughter was the same way ate every 2 hours for a long time - but that time passes. Don't feel to rushed to live up to an unreasonable standard.

Are you going to pump at work?

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K.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

La Leche League of Yardley-Newtown, Pennsylvania

All breastfeeding mothers and mothers-to-be interested in breastfeeding are welcome to come to our meetings or call one of our Leaders for breastfeeding help or information. Babies are always welcome at our meetings.

Meeting Information

LLL of Yardley-Newtown meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Riverside Chiropractic and Vitality Center, 300 W. Trenton Ave. Morrisville, PA 19067.

Leader Information

La Leche League Leaders are experienced mothers who have breastfed their own babies and who have been trained and accredited by La Leche League International to help mothers and mothers-to-be with all aspects of breastfeeding. They are available by phone whenever you have breastfeeding questions or concerns.

Kami ###-###-#### [email protected]____.com
Katie ###-###-#### [email protected]____.com
If you are unable to reach one of the Yardley-Newtown Leaders, please try the Philadelphia Helpline at ###-###-####.

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B.T.

answers from York on

Well, in case you haven't talked to your ped. about this it is very normal for breastfed babies to need to be fed more often. Speaking from experience, I think my son (who's almost 8mths now) was about 5 1/2 months before he would sleep through the whole night. It did reduce before that to one nighttime feeding. He finally slept through the night after I introduced cereal.

Do you plan on pumping when you are at work? This will help you store up more milk so if you are really tired you can just give a bottle or if you have a partner they can feed the baby. Another idea is that when my son was done eating I would pump what was left and freeze that for later. You would be surprised how much you can still pump!

My advice is to be patient and make sure your baby has enough time to eat in a relaxed environment. If you feel rushed or wish your baby would hurry up the baby can tell and it will slow down your milk flow.

Also, I don't know if you have tried breatfeeding in a laying position. This way you can go back to sleep and your baby can fall asleep too and wake up to eat without disturbing you. If this makes you uncomfortable you should talk to a Lactation Counsultant about the best ways to do this. It will definately give you some more rest and sleep.

Good luck and remember that this stage will be over soon!!

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N.

answers from Boston on

It will get easier! I know what you mean about wanting to spend time with the baby since you'll be returning to work but you do need your sleep too. Is there anyone else who could give the baby the 11 pm bottle? I used to do that---go to bed at 8 or so, my husband would give our daughter the bottle of breastmilk around 11 and then I would get up with her around 1 or 2, then again between 4-6. As awful as it is, it won't last forever, although it feels like it will sometimes. If you can get 5 hours of sleep in a row, you will feel a lot better. Good luck!

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K.E.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi R.,

I know that every baby is different, but I successfully switched between bottle & breast during the 1st 5 months with my son.

Also, I don't think it's strange that a 2 month old does not sleep through the night. I would, however, expect one longer sleep period of maybe 4-5 hours at night around this age. Have you talked to your Dr?

Hang in there, I know it's tough.

Katy

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S.M.

answers from Providence on

Hi R.,
Don't worry! It will get easier. I have a 3 month old daughter (my first baby too) and one of the things I found that works really well with her is I feed her every hour leading up to her bedtime. So for example, if she goes to bed at 11, I nurse her at 9 and 10 and then at 11. After I nurse, I also play with her a bit because I don't want her to associate nursing with sleeping. This has worked really well for us.
Also, babies can really sense anxiety and your son is probably picking up on your frustration and not nursing as efficiently. Try to relax and follow your instincts- you and your baby will probably be rewarded!
Best of luck,
S.

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J.

answers from Portland on

I am sure everyone is different, but when I went back to work my son was three months old and I tried to pump at work for a while and eventually I had to feed him formula during the days and breastmilk at night. When he woke up I just put him in bed and we felll alseep together (while he nursed).

For me at least, my body adjusted to his needs. It took about a week, but I would only produce enough milk to feed him at night and then i would almost "refill" slowly during the day and then he would have feedings at night.

I hope that helps.

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L.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

HI I am a single first time mom and I have tried the breastfeeding route. I was shocked to find that "bessy" was not coming in strong enough for my sons appetite so i was forced to use a special formula until he was put on milk. Anyways while i was being bombarded by the leleche league nurses in the hospital and at home I learned that if you train your body to produce more at certain times night,day it doesnt matter really then you could be working and still use pumped fluids without it affecting your timing. If you try to pump before and after your work shift and close to his feeding times your body will learn and you shouldnt lose the ability to nurse that quickly. There is no switch its a gradual loss that you would have to stop for months to cease the flow. If you start maybe a week or two before the change in shift of work or whatever changes there are then the shock might be less on your body and your baby. As for your child not sleeping...make sure it isnt something else preventing sleep then if it his the appetite I was told to use breast milk first then formula supplement or mix them if you can. Also talk with your pediatrician because they can also send you to specific nutrionists and such if it something else.Good Luck!
L.

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

At 2 months old it's perfectly normal for a breastfed baby to wake as often as every 1.5-2 hours. If pumping milk works in stretching him to 3 hours, that's fine too. But because breastmilk is more efficiently digested than formula, it's not sitting in the belly as long as formula and his belly is very small so he needs those night-time feedings. A pumped bottle is, IMHO, just as good as nursing from you because it's still breastmilk. I didn't have pumping as an option, so when I supplemented it HAD to be with formula.

As long as the baby is exclusively breastfed, you can expect regular night wakings. For some really helpful tips, you can try BabyCenter's Breastfeeding Your Baby board: http://boards.babycenter.com/bcus3402 and http://www.kellymom.com.

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N.

answers from York on

Hi, R.! I went through what you are going through, and breastfeeding is extremely exhausting! However, I slept a lot better when I put my baby in bed with me, and slept topless, or in a comfortable sleeping bra, so that when he got hungry, I could just hold him in one arm and bring him to my breast, then fall asleep once he latched on successfully. You may want to switch sides in the middle of the night so that one breast is not engorged and leaking when you wake up. Don't think that you're baby will get used to sleeping with you. Mine is now a year old, and prefers to sleep in his own bed! Now, I can't get him to sleep in mine!

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R.G.

answers from York on

R.,

Congratulations on your newborn. Babies are such a precious gift. Cherish your time with him. It goes by sooo fast.

My youngest is also a boy, 8 months now. He started sleeping through the night only a few weeks ago. I have two daughters as well, 4 and almost 3. My first slept through from 1 1/2 months until about 6 months, then for 3 months she would wake every 2-3 hours at night. THAT was tough!! My second didn't start sleeping through until about 5 months.

You are doing all the right things. Pumping will keep up your supply, and the advice to let your partner feed the baby a bottle in the middle of the night is a great one. I didn't do that, but mine would get up when he heard the baby and bring them to me in bed so I could nurse them without having to wake up too much. Of course they slept right next to me bedside in a bassinet, but it was nice not to have to roll over and pick up the baby.

I highly recommend co-sleeping as a way to help keep baby quiet and minimize your need to get out of bed to nurse. Keep a full glass of water bedside for your night time feedings. I think the suggestion of the swaddling blanket is an excellent one. We did that with my first (who slept through early on) and I know that had a huge impact, if you're not already swaddling. And barley is a wonderful suggestion. If you take it in the form of a beer, the darker the better.

Breastfeeding is the best for your baby, and you know that because you've made the choice to breastfeed. Keep up the good work and know that it will get easier. Try clustering his feeding in the evening between dinner and bed time to fill up that belly of his. And remember that he will tell you when he's done on one side. My rule of thumb is if they pull of three times from the same time, they're finished there and can move to the next side, but only if they want to. Not every feeding will be two sided and you're guaranteeing that he will be getting all the milk available from that one breast. Most important is the hind milk which should give the baby that full feeling. Some babies will feed constantly. It doesn't mean your milk is lacking. My oldest fed for literally 3 hours straight every night and about every 1 1/2 - 2 hours during the day, and so she personally slept through very early on. Hence the suggestion to cluster his feedings. It may not work, but it's of course worth a try.

There's so much more to say, but some of the other members have already given you some great advice before me, and the La Leche League is a wonderful resource. Breastfeeding is what they know. Of course you're welcome to contact me as well.

Best of luck with your son, and wishing you peace and rest while you prepare to return to work.

Many Blessings,
Rolinda

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J.R.

answers from New York on

my son is 2yrs old and still doesn't sleep ...lol... but you can try mixing some cereal into his 11pm bottle. i did it with my daughter and she would sleep about 6 1/2 hours. Good luck.

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T.P.

answers from New York on

Hi R. - It seems like only yesterday I was nursing my firtborn boy. Next month he'll be 9! I have two boys - the youngest is 7 1/2, I struggled the same way when my oldest was nursing. It was exactly the same: up every 1.5 - 2 hours and I didn't pummp as much as you so I felt I had to supplement with formula (much to the chagrin of my lactation consultant.) I also understand how precious nursing is to you right now. But sleep is very important too. I don't think I would have been so unhappy if I had had more sleep. I know you are trying not to supplement with formula but the old timers suggested putting a little cereal in the formula. I started my children on Earth's Best - an organic line of baby products that I really liked. Of course drinking lots of water will increase your milkflow and maybe he'll nurse more during the feedings. The decision to go back to work vs the rhythm of breastfeeding is challenging for all mothers. I was able to nurse my first son for 4 and 1/2 months until he started biting me and I couldn't take it anymore :-) My husband had emergency surgery one month after my 2nd son was born so that interuppted the nursing. Do your best and cherish the nursing time you do have with him and if your job is sympathetic to you pumping at work that's a plus too. You also may want to search the net for lactation consultants which of course can give you more ideas and encouragement. No matter what happens you must keep telling yourself that you are a great mom and you are doing your best! We don't hear that enough.
Hugs,
T.

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R.T.

answers from Philadelphia on

From what I've been told, babies often continue to wake up frequently because they are used to it and not necessarily because they need to eat that often anymore. I found that once I didn't hop out of bed everytime my 6 week old peeped, she would settle herself back down and sleep a little longer. Now, she either doesn't peep as often or I just don't hear it until she really means it. That said, every baby is different and some sleep through the night much earlier than others. Also, you may want to try increasing feedings during the day (if possible). If you still need help, try contacting a lactation consultant (Breastfeeding Alliance is wonderful and they have a lactation consultant in Morrisville). Their website is breastfeedingalliance.com. Good luck and hang in there... :)

By the way, the parenting thing doesn't really get easier, but it does get less stressful and you eventually feel like you have some idea of what you're doing (at least most of the time).

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M.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

First thing is first. Relax. No one can do a better job than you, because no one knows your baby like you. As far as breastfeeding, I went through the same thing with both of mine. Two months may be a bit premature to expect him to sleep through the night, breastfed babies tend to get hungry sooner than formula fed babies because the milk is so compatible, it breaks down much quicker leaving baby hungry sooner. But that doesn't mean it's hopeless. You can try getting him up to feed him before you go to bed. If you are gentle, they really don't wake up all the way, but topping off the tank buys you an extra hour or two. Also, as long as your baby is a healthy, normal weight, you should be able to start allowing him to cry between feedings, strething it out to 4 hours or so gradually. Although this is heartbreaking, if he is in the habit of getting up to eat, he will-even if he isn't hungry. If he becomes used to sleeping for longer durations, he will begin eating more at these feedings, in turn lengthening time between feedings. As long as he eats more when he does eat, even if the feedings are farther apart, everything should even out. Best of Luck. There is nothing like the sweet moments spent nursing your baby.

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M.H.

answers from Barnstable on

Being kept awake all night is hard. It's TERRIBLE, actually! My son is 15 months old and he is still up every two hours--at best!! But (and you probably don't want to hear this) it's simply the way that it goes for some babies. My first son (now 4) slept through the night a few times on his own starting at around 2 months. At five months old we sleep-trained him (stopped nursing him at night) and he has slept through the night ever since. Despite our success with sleep-training, I still regret it. My first, now 4, has always seemed a little insecure, timid of new situations, has transition difficulties to new environments and activities and in general needs extra warning of what's to come, and reassurance with his every step. It's exhausting and sad at times to see his anxiety. I can't help but think that if I had just put up with the sleepless nights and let him nurse to his heart's content that he might be a different person today. So, with my second son (now 15 months) we did just that. Unfortunately, he has never slept more than two hours at a time, and going out on a date with my husband is impossible, but....he's so well-adjusted, confident, independent during the day, adventurous, and happy-go-lucky. He should be. His needs are being met completely. So, while this stage is VERY HARD(!!!aghhhhh!!!), I know that I won't have any regrets once we are through it and on the other side. And there IS another side, eventually.

Obviously, you need to do what's best for YOU and your baby. I understand. The first time around I couldn't take it and I HAD to sleep train (no nursing at night) or I thought I was going to lose it. But, the flip side is that now I have regrets and wish that I would've just tapped into that last bit of patience that was buried somewhere deep inside and just let him nurse when he wanted (needed) to nurse.

You're supported by us mothers either way!! We're all in the same boat and struggling to make the "right" decisions for our families. It's so hard.

Reflections from a mother of two.

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S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi R.,
I breastfed my daughter exclusively until 5mo. At 5mo I introduced 1 bottle of organic formula before bed. The bottle didn't really help... until much later (when I could give her larger amounts then I would have been able to had it been from me).
My daughter continued to wake every 3-4 hours until 9mo. Your body will get used to the sleep rhythms - I did break down a few times around 7 or 8mo and asked my husband to give her another bottle of formula in the middle of the night so that I could sleep. Doing this just a few times helped me manage my sanity.
Don't believe what you read in books - more women I've talked to tell me similar stories then the stories I've read. Your baby will start to sleep for longer periods in time. I don't have any sound answers - all I know is that eventually my daughter started to take more formula at night, first 6oz, and eventually 8oz. and when she was ready she started to sleep through. Just remember that your little guy has just been pulled from this ideal, perfect warm and gentle environment and put in our world - which takes a lot of getting used to. As he becomes more confident, trusting and able to intake larger amounts of food he will sleep longer. Can't you nurse before and after work? My daughter is now almost 11mo and the morning feed is the best. When she wakes I bring her into our bed and feed her on my side as we cuddle! As for drying up - I've found the nursing tea I bought at wholefoods really seems to work...
good luck - hang in there and yes - it gets much easier. You won't know how you get it all done - but you do. I remember feeling overwhelmed too!
Also - at about 7mo we moved her swing into her nursery and used it from time to time. It helped us get a schedule, some much needed sleep - and she never grew dependent on it. I think it really helped her work out her patterns...

S.

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H.V.

answers from Jamestown on

Take your baby and let him sleep with you. You both will get so much more sleep. what I used to do, was take the crib and push it up against your bed, so it's level and I put cement blocks to make it stay, near the legs and took the rollers off. Then also took off the one side of the crib so the baby had extra space to wiggle. then I could roll over and nurse and have my own wiggle space then husband and I weren't crowded.

I totally breastfed my son, and when he sleeps with you, then you both get the sleep that you both need. Keep listening to him and to your heart. Don't put stuff in his bottle, I would even say, to not do the bottle at all. It only takes away from what he would get from you. The much needed breastmilk. I think the bottle interupts that rythum. Thier bodies can only digest so much at a time. I was afraid to do the bottle thing, that my son would wean earlier than he should.

Holly

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D.

answers from New York on

This is what I did. It worked great and I got more sleep. When my son would wake up during the night to feed, I breast feed him till he was 9 mos and he didn't sleep through the night till he was 7 mos, I would bring him into bed with me. I had a difficult time staying awake when he would wake up. I don't know how many times I would fall asleep with him "hooked up" while I sat up in his rocking chair. I was afraid that I'd drop him. So I would bring him in bed with me. I would lay on my side with him, belly to belly, and get him latched on and then I would go back to sleep. I know that this is suppose to be a great bonding time for mother and child, but let's be real here. You can't bond with baby if your half asleep and you can't work either. I went back to work when Aidan was 12 weeks old. This was a life saver, BIG TIME!!! Another thing to do is slowly wean him back. Your body will continue to make milk as long as the demand is there. Pump while at work. Most employers are more then willing to provide a place for you to pump in private that isn't a bathroom. I would pump on my lunch break and supplement with formula, because I couldn't pump enough to give him just breast milk during the day. I would continue to breast feed him while I was with him, after work and weekends, and I had no problems. Even after I stopped, I continued to make milk on one side for about a year. I never got engorged or had leakage problems. Another thing to look out for. My nursing consultant at the hospital told me that my milk production may drop some after I went back to work. Here is the trick, drink an O'Duals non-alcoholic beer. There is something in it that will increase milk production, the barley I think. It's the hops that makes the alcohol, if not then it's the other way around.

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D.B.

answers from Richmond on

Hi R.,
It's not at all uncommon for a 2 month old baby, on breast or bottle to still need middle of the night feedings. I don't have any ideas for how to get the baby not to need them, but I do have an idea that may help in general. Do you co-sleep? I know there's many who think that co-sleeping is dangerous, or 'spoils' the baby. My children are 17,13, and 4; after fighting for a year or two to get my eldest sleeping in his own bed I saw a great talk show on co-sleeping and realized that was what he needed. When he was little we set up a toddler bed in our room, and allowed him to choose if he would sleep in our bed or his bed in our room. More often he slept in his bed, and around 4 he was happy & excited to move into his own room. With our other 2 children we co-slept right from the beginning. Among other things, it made nursing so much easier. When the baby rooted around looking to nurse, I would roll over half asleep, help them find the nipple & be back to sleep myself within minutes. There's not much you can do with a 2 month old that will magically get them to sleep through the night, but maybe you can get a better night's sleep with co-sleeping.
Good Luck
D.

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R.C.

answers from New York on

You are on the right track. I would pump another 4oz and give it to him after those 3 hours. As long as you are pumping and nursing at the same time you will not go dry. During the day...does he eat every 1.5 to 2 hours, if so that is his schedule. My son was the same way. I promise it does get easier. Some babies eat every 3 to 4 hours. I guess mine and yours don't unfortunately. But if you have enough pumped milk give it to him. Or you can nurse him at 11 pm and hopefully he'll sleep for 2 or so hours and then when he wakes up give him the 4 oz bottle so you can wake up a little more refreshed.
Good luck!

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L.

answers from New York on

Hello R.,

My sons, whom I breastfed, each, for almsot 11 months, never slept through the night until when they were over 12 months old.

2 months old babies, majority, don't sleep through the night. It's just too soon.

About supplementing, I did that. My husband would give them a bottle of formula at night so I could get 6 straight hours of sleep. Resting is important to produce more breast milk, if you can afford to.

Some say breast milk is lighter than formula, so giving your baby formula at night might help him sleep longer, maybe even through the night.
Formula didn't work that way with my boys. They were like a good clockwork - they would wake up every 3 hours, until when they were about 7 - 8 months old: they woke up once per night.

And to keep your breast milk supply, pump it when you are away.

Also try giving him a little bit more milk, say 4.5 - 5 oz, and see if he can finish the feeding and how long he sleeps afterwards. 1.5 hours is a short time. Probably he doesn't get enough.

Take care,

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S.

answers from Providence on

Hi R.. I breast fed both my babies who are now 3.5 and 5. My 5 year old slept through the night at 7 weeks and my 3.5 year old slept through the night at 9 weeks. My concern at this point would be the fact that he is still only lasting two hours. Is your baby falling asleep at the breast? Is he emptying your breast and then you are moving him over to the other? If I remember correctly he needs to feed for 10 minutes on one side the burped and moved to the other. You should really discuss this with a lactating nurse at your pediatricians office.
I hope this helped and try not to give up.My two are so healthy I give credit to the breast milk for their first year!

S.

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J.C.

answers from Providence on

Hey R., I breastfed two of my four children and I didn't get any sleep! :( I had them sleep next to our bed at night and just brought them in the bed with me and breastfed at night. I laid on my side and just had them feed that way! I hope that it helps but still to this day our 7 yr old doesn't sleep through the night most nights!

J.

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S.F.

answers from Atlanta on

I am sorry to say that with both my children ( 3yrs and 3 months) that was the case ;(. It is hard, but it does get better. I was the same way about bottle feeding too. That seems to be more the case w/ breastfed infants. My 3 mo. old started going 3-4 hours a stretch around 2.5 month..and is still nursing that frequently. Parenting does get easier...but as soon as you think you have it down #2 comes along and everything changes again ;). Good luck!!

S.

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T.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi R.,

Hang in there. My little girl is now 4 years old but when she was a baby, there were times where I thought I was going to die. I started back to work full time after two months like you and I nursed her until she was one year old.

The only way I could get any sleep (and I know a lot of moms are going to freak out when I tell you this) was to bring her in my bed while she nursed. Everyone told me not to do it because she would never leave but I just could not bear the thought of another sleepless night and then get up to go to work. She nursed herself to sleep in my bed, I slept, she slept and she is 4 years old now and sleeps in her own bed with no problem at all. Of course, absolutely no alcohol or drugs by you or your husband and limit your pillows to only those on your head.

This may not be the way you want to go but my point is sometimes, you have to do what you have to do so you can get some sleep.

Good luck!

T.

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A.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi R.,

I breastfed both my daughters, so I can sympathize with the sleep deprivation! My youngest is 11 weeks old and is now sleeping through the night. We had a rough start with her waking every 1.5 to 2 hours as well for weeks. What helped us was the Miracle Blanket (www.miracleblanket.com). It is a swaddling blanket. The first night we used it, she slept for seven hours. She has been sleeping through the night for a few weeks now (11 pm until I wake her around 8 am). It did the trick for us!

Good luck,
Laury

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R.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi R.!

You are in the same situation as all of us nursing mom's. I think it's a lot to expect a 2 month old to go longer than every two hours, however you can gadually increase the time to 3 hours during the day, which will in turn lengthen the night. I nursed my now 18 month old until he was 13 months old (not by my choice...by his)! Call this number to talk to a counselor about what you are experiencing. It's free! Ambler Area Nursing Mother's Group ###-###-#### Traci Clapham is a counselor and very nice!!! Good Luck! R.

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D.

answers from New York on

R.,
Why don't you try putting just a little bit of baby cereal in the bottle of milk that you pump for your son's 11:00 feeding. He is probably still hungry so he wakes up for more. The cereal will fill him up & he should sleep longer. Good Luck. D. (mom of a 12 yr. old)

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E.D.

answers from York on

Your baby is still very young and probably NEEDS to nurse so often. As he continues to grow older he will sleep longer. Are you co-sleeping? If not, you might want to try it as it will allow you to fall back alseep sooner between feedings.

Both my 4 year old and my 23 month old (still nursing by the way) do not "sleep through the night". Meaning when I put them to bed at 7:30pm they will wake at at least once (more for my nursling) before they are up for the day at 7am. According to Dr. Sears (I think) he says if your child sleeps at least 5 hours at a stretch then that is medically considered sleeping through the night. Other Dr.s will say different things as will parenting books/advice.

You kind of have to wade through the tough times with the knowladge that this too will fade. When I'm having a bad night with one of mine, I tell myself something I once read somewhere: "You can't make your child eat, sleep or poop." Some nights it becomes a mantra I repeat over and over again in my head until they fall asleep or eat a meal or have a movment.

As far as breastfeeding and going back to work I have this piece of advice. I am lucky enough to stay home with my children so I didn't have to worry about that but I have a friend who is my breastfeeding-working-mom-hero. She worked 40 hours a week and maintained a nursing relationship with her daughter for over 3 years. In the begining she pumped while at work and gave that to her daycare. And then when ever she was with her daughter she nursed. But eventually the pumping stopped working out so well and she resorted to formula while at daycare. When she was with her duaghter she nursed. And that is a key to maintaining breastfeeding: when you are with your child you nurse when ever they need it.

Your baby is still so little and you should hold on to that while it lasts because it'll never be like this again. For better or worse it will never be like this again.

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L.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi R.,
Congratulations and welcome to motherhood. I did not breast feed my daughter, who is now almost 6 months old. But she was only sleeping in about 2-3 hours shifts with formula when she was 2 months old. As time went on, she did begin giving me one long shift of 5 hours at night, and at 4 months she was sleeping through the night. It does eventually get easier, just tell yourself that when feeding at 2am and hang in there!

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C.

answers from State College on

I'm sorry, I had to laugh when I read your question. I'm not sure who told you that a 2 month old should be sleeping through the night. Just keep doing what you are doing. It will get better in a few months but don't be surprised if your baby doesn't sleep through the night until he is about 6 or 7 months (and you still may need to let him cry it out). Relax and try to enjoy it.

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A.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hello there R.!
I feel your pain!! I breastfed my now 3 yr old until he was almost 5 months old, and he did not sleep thru the night until he was 6 months old. One thing i know for sure, is keep the routine!! it was crucial for my son to have a routine, and it worked. another thing i tried was changing his room around and see how he would adjust to it, i made sure that i'll let him try it out for a week or so before i would change it again... sometimes there is one little thing that needs to be changed for it to work out.
i started giving my son more to eat before i would put him down at night, and i would continue to pump during the day (as if he would be eating every 1 1/2 hours) even while at work, and i am a single mommy working full-time!! i did that to make my milk flow keep going...
i would also try not to feed him as often during the day (and that was not easy since he was greedy :-) so then at night time he would eat much more and sleep better...
i really hope it works!!
e-mail me at any time if there is anything else
[email protected]____.com

A.

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S.L.

answers from New York on

Hi R.!

First I want to congratulate you for being committed to breastfeeding! It is a difficult thing to do.

My son is now 7 months, and believe me when I tell you IT WILL get much easier! The begining is the hardest and it really does make it tempting to resort to formula feeding instead. But you will see over time, if you already haven't realized it, that in the long run breastfeeding is much easier than bottle feeding. Every week gets better than the last.

Every baby, and every family is different, but I can tell you the steps I took with my son, and what I believe helped. Hopefully you'll find some of what I tell you helpful.

In the beginning my son was up every 2 hours at night, and I noticed that during the day, he would sleep well. So what I did was, during the day I commited myself to gently waking him up to eat every 3 hours (that's 3 hrs from the beginning of his last feeding) and at night if he happened to sleep through the 3rd hour I would let him. I also worked out a schedule that worked best for us in my house. Now, granted, things changed, but at least it gave me a guide.

If one feeding, we got off schedule, I would work towards geeting us closer to that schedule with each upcoming feeding. This helped us develop a predictable routine, and over time he started to sleep 3 hours straight at night, then 4 , then 5, and so on. I even found myself waking up at night wondering why he wasn't up.

When he did wake up in the night or started fussing, even before he opened his eyes, I also gave him the pacifier and didn't pick him up to feed him right away. Sometimes his sleep was just interrupted, and so I did not make a lot of noise or pick him up right away. I just let him try to get back to sleep.

The other thing that helped us establish our routine was our bedtime rituals. Everynight at around 9pm, right before his last feeding, my husband and I gave him a bath. We always gave him his bath before he ate so that it wouldn't upset his stomach, and also, he could just fall asleep as he nursed afterwards (but I made sure he didn't fall asleep right away so that he got a good last meal). This became a ritual that we could not skip over, and we still do it to this day.

The other thing that you should know is that even though you're going back to work, your milk supply will not dry out as long as you are still pumping throughout the day. That's what I did. I made sure that during the day I pumped at 9,12, and 3 just as if I was feeding him. You may want to talk to your boss about allowing you to have 3 twenty minute breaks to do this at these times. I found that that was enough for me. Now I got the opportunity to be home with my son again, and my milk supply is still strong.

I also read somewhere that if you are weening or bottle feeding your child in addition to the breast, you should make sure that the night time feedings, especially the last one, is not a bottle. Because breastfeeding at night helps to calm the baby and put them into a relaxed state of mind, and taking the breast away at night time can make things more stressful for you and the baby.

I know that what I've told you is a lot, but like I said, I'm only telling you what I did with my son that I believe worked. Hopefully this will help you. Feel free to email me directly at [email protected]____.com or call me if you need more support. I'd be glad to help.

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B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I breast fed my daughter till she weaned at just after 18 months. I currently have twin 10-month-old boys that are nursing. I recently attended a La Leche conference and got to hear part of the night nursing lecture. It was really interesting. Main point was that babies do NOT sleep more than 2-3 hours. It is a survival mechanism. It is a GOOD thing. It means they are much, much less likely to die from SIDS. So, reframe the waking thing, remember that it is a good thing. Next thing. Do you co-sleep with your child? With my daughter, I had to go back to work when she was 3 days old. She could come to work with me which made it easier, but it was hellish. We figured out after a few weeks of no sleep that co-sleep was the way to go. With co-sleeping, you will find that more often than not when baby stirs, you stir, she latches on to you and you both drift right back off to sleep. You get into a very natural and much more restful rhythm. I strongly believe in co-sleeping as the best way for a nursing mother to survive, sleep and function. Having the close overnight contact with your child will also help keep your milk production up even for pumping! It will get easier. You've only been at it two months. Take it day-by-day and by the time your baby reaches six months or so you'll be amazed at how much easier it is and how much better you are beginning to feel. Good luck! Keep at it. It is the best thing you can do for your baby. You may also want to try subscribing to Mothering magazine. They often have great tips/support for breastfeeding moms.

Take care,
Zoelda

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E.K.

answers from Allentown on

Hang in there, R.! You are doing all the right things.

I agree with everything Liz P said. Be patient with your precious little boy because this phase won't be forever. It varies with every child. 2 months is a bit young for a baby sleeping through the night. I have 5 children. The oldest is 7 and my Littlest One is 2 1/2 months. I nursed them all and none of the slept through the night for quite some time. Then there are the far and few between cases like my sister whose first baby nursed and slept 5 solid hours by the time she was a week old!

Do you believe in co-sleeping? I found that my babies enjoyed the closeness and slept longer. They would fall asleep right at the breast. When the night starts out she is in her basinette and when she is ready for her first feeding I bring her into bed with me, put her to nurse and I fall right back to sleep when i know she's properly latched. It's an artform that takes time to perfect. I love it. I would not recommend to anyone who is extremely overweight or is a hard sleeper as those are recipes for disaster. I'm only saying this because I've heard rare nightmare stories where an extremely obese mom rolled over on her child... you can figure out the rest. Co-sleeping is a controversial topic and it's something you have to give a lot of thought to. I had to take my husband into consideration also, and he's been nothing but supportive and loving all these years.

It's no guarantee that your son would sleep through the night if you switched to night time formula any way. It's not always hunger that gets babies up. Maybe a pacifier? Since you are still home rest in the day when he does. I learned that into 3 children in when it was to late! The housework and other chores can wait. Your sanity is more important! In any event it is wonderful that you've come this far! Your son benefits everytime he receives your breastmilk so keep it up until you can't any more.

It sounds like a cliche and I'm sure other moms will tell you the same but I'm going to say it anyway. Enjoy those precious little moments with your son. This is the best stage and it lasts the least amount of time! As a mom of so many children, it's much easier said than done sometimes. I found that my tolerance and patience were better with each child that I had because you realize that when babies are that small, there isn't much you can do to change their routine. They change when they are ready. I'm not a big fan of "Farberizing" babies. They all cry for a reason, whether it's for hunger, wet diapers, or attention.

I wish you and your brand new son all the blessings and happiness in the world. Congrats on the new role as "Mommy"!
;)

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N.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi R.,
My daughter is 4 mos old and just started sleeping through the night. She is formula fed but according to what I have read they usually dont sleep through the night until they are about 12 lbs--regardless of formula or breastmilk. Their nervous systems are just too immature. Also, breastmilk isn't as filling as the formula so that could be why he is waking up.
One option you can discuss with your ped. is to put a small amount of rice in his 11pm bottle. It usually isn't recommended as much as it used to be but I know it does help buy some more hours of sleep. Sorry I couldn't be more help!!
N.

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K.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

My suggestion would be to give him a "filler" with his last feeding of the day. I have five sons & always had to get back to work earlier than I wanted. The following usually did the trick for me: Put a little more time than usual between his last 2 bottles of the night(so he's good & hungry) give him a nice warm bath (temp. changes always make them sleepier)& then mix a very small amount of baby rice cereal (1/2 tsp) with about 3 oz of breastmilk (preferably warm) into a bowl. It should be very watery, and the cereal is hardly noticable. Put him in his swing/chair or wherever he's most comfortable, and let him suckle it right off a baby spoon. He may be a little fussy at first, but believe me, he'll be hungry enough to give it a try.
Then, follow that with a 2-3 oz bottle. I can guarantee you that this will hold him over through more hours of the night. Good luck & let me know how things turn out.

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Y.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

Most babies aren't supposed to sleep through the night so your baby is actually very normal. My child did the same thing. Babies have to eat every two hours or so because milk is digested pretty quickly and full of proteins. It was easier for me to go back to sleep because I co-slept. So I'm half asleep when I feed her at night and I fall asleep nursing her. If you are not co-sleeping or uncomfortable with co-sleeping, you might try using a side bed so you don't have to get up to get your son.

I wouldn't put cereal in his milk because it can cause severe digestive problems that can be long-lasting in a child.

Hope it helps. Good luck!

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K.

answers from New York on

R., the one thing I can tell you is you don't have to worry about losing your milk supply, your body will adjust to any new schedule that you are required to follow. I too am in the same situation and will be going back to work full time in 2 weeks. My daughter nurses during the night a couple of times and the fact that she co-sleeps with us helps us make sure that she gets the milk and I get the sleep (plus for me it is easy to check on her; I just pick up my head and put my ear next to her face.) The pumping at work will also help you keep the milk going, so make sure you do that 3 times during the day at least. When you get home at night breastfeed exclusively. Doing both will keep your milk going for as long as you continue; you just have to have faith in yourself and the perseverance to keep doing it all after you return to work -- that is the approach that I am taking. Best of luck to you!
K.

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K.

answers from Hartford on

R. -

Most babies breastfed or formula fed do not sleep through the night. I had a baby almost eight months ago and I also am a child development specialist ... and I have to say that it isn't till your little one weighs between 13-15 pounds he can start sleeping much longer stretches. For different babies that is at different times. My daughter just weighed in at 15 1/2 pounds at her 6 months check up and I have to admit she started sleeping throught the night about 3 weeks ago.

Also about supplementing w/ formula. Well I went back to work and only nursed at night and on the weekends. I did still give mu daugter a formula mixed with breastmilk bottle (half and half) before bed each night. That gave me approx. 4 good hours of sleep. I am not sure if you are open to just one bottle at night. Also, maybe have your "partner" give him the bottle so it isn't coming from you and you can possibly get 6 hours of sleep from last feeding till he wakes up after the bottle.

No matter what you do, it will be right for you and your son. Sounds like you are doing an awesome job. Breastfeeding and working is hard, but worth it.

K.

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M.R.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Because he's sleeping longer w/the 4oz. you're pumping I am thinking that he's just not getting enough food during the day. How long is he breast feeding? Is he emptying each breast? Most infants have one long stretch of sleep sometime during each 24hr period. If he's doing that in the afternoon, wake him up and try to move that long stretch to later in the day.
My son is also breast fed and I too was terrified of being a parent. He slept about 5-6 hrs. a night which meant only 1 night time feeding at about 4 weeks. He started to sleep through the night completely about 3 weeks ago. So there still might be light at the end of the tunnel if you can stick with it.
good luck

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L.P.

answers from New York on

It will get easier, just try to stick with it. You are doing great!! I admire you greatly for breastfeeding knowing that you are going back to work.

You are right to put him to your breast more often than bottle feeding him expressed milk, as that is what will keep your supply up and your son satisfied. Wish I could tell you he will start sleeping through the night soon, but that would be unrealistic. My daughter nursed on demand every 2 to 2.5 hours, 24 hours a day till i weanded her at 15 months old.

Just know, that if you unable to continue your breastfeeding due to your work demands, you still did a great job! Please do not feel guilty, but know that your son has benefited so very much already from your breastmilk and you are both a lot better for it.

I hope this helps some. I know i have not solved your problem, but when you are enjoying that closeness during your breastfeeding sessions, especially in the wee hours of the morning, that this is such a short phase in the whole scheme of things ... and one day you will miss being up, so close to him, just you and him. I know i do.

Warm regards to you and your beautiful son,
L.

My one and only daughter is 20 months old - and the best thing to have ever happend to my husband and I !

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A.M.

answers from Providence on

R.,

Sleeping through the night takes time, my son is 3 months old and is just starting to sleep longer hours. I did stop breastfeeding him at around two months because he was feeding so much and when I pumped I wasn't getting much. I find bottle feeding is nicer then breastfeeding for bonding because he looks into my eyes, so don't be afraid to bottle feed.

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J.M.

answers from Allentown on

Two months is very young to be expecting a baby to sleep through the night. Every baby is different and will sleep through the night at different ages regardless of being breastfed or formula fed.
Breastmilk actually metabolizes quicker than formula, but won't necessarly help a baby sleep through the night.
I breast feed my son and he slept through the night once around three months and then not consistently until 5-6 months.
You will have to be patient on that end, I know it is hard, but it will come!!
As far as your supply drying up, that will not happen if you are still pumping in the day. I pumped and stored the milk in the frigde or freezer & it worked out well.
A suggestion I have is possibly trying to cut down the night time feedings either take one away completely or shorten each feeding.
Hope this helps!!
Good luck!

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H.

answers from Philadelphia on

R., I breastfeed both of my children and neither baby slept through the night until about 4 months. I know it sucks , but what you are explaining sounds totally normal. Listen do not feel bad if you do decide to switch to formula, breastfeeding one day is better than none, two better than one, and so on... so you have done a great job so far. I was told by my ped that you really should not let the baby cry it out until either 4 months or 15 lbs, which ever comes first. At that point they are eating out of habit rather than necesity. Babies do not auto maticaly know how to sleep all night and some have to be taught. With both my kids at 4 months I began letting them cry it out... It is heart breaking but it took just 4 days with one baby and 3 days with the other and both have slept wonderfully ever since. Good Luck

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E.

answers from Philadelphia on

Are you going to pump when you're back at work? If you pump then and breastfeed him when you get home from work at night (I used to do 2-3 feedings before dd went to bed) your milk won't dry up. once you do go to work you need ot get sleep - if that means a bottle here and there that is not a big deal. A great resource I used was the Breastfeeding Resource Center in Glenside, PA. (they have a website or just call them. They helped me come up with a plan for going back to work that allowed me to continue to breastefeed exclusively until 4 months, and then continue breastfeeding until dd was 1 yr. Good luck and try to relax - I am sure you're doing great!

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J.H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I have a four month old girl. I have been taking her to bed with me since she was born and I breastfeed. I don't think it's selfish at all to take your son to bed! In fact, I think my baby is all the better for it. I've observed that she's more secure in her development and I attribute this to the fact that I'm not forcing her to do something that she's not really old enough to do. I really struggled with it at first because it's such a counter cultural thing to do and the nay sayers are so vocal. You need to do what brings you and your son peace. If you want to share sleep with your son and your pediatrician can't support you in that then you may want to consider finding another doctor. Happy sleeping!

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M.H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I breastfed my daughter for 4 months and had her sleeping through the night at 2 weeks old. It's great you are giving the option of drinking your breastmilk from a bottle, but you need to try to keep him awake for a longer period of time (4-5 hours) right before his last night time feeding. That way he will be more tired and won't wake up after such short periods of time.

- M.

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A.

answers from New York on

i tell every new mom - the first 3 months are CRAZY!!!! LOL
biut dont despair at the 3 month mark you wll see changes...I slept wth my daughter for a few months - it allowed me to sleep and I loved snuggling with her. when she was about 4 or 5 months - she was put inthe crib so thatI wouldnt have to work hard to get her to sleep by herself as she got older.

DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR YOU TO GET REST!!! ESP IN THESE EARLY MONTHS. As the baby gets older you have to make harder choices about balance and discipline - until then - ENJOY your baby and get rest.

Good luck

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K.O.

answers from Syracuse on

R.,

You're right that you'll need to continue nursing through the night to keep your milk supply up. Unfortunately, that means that you're going to have to keep waking up. Bear in mind, though, that your baby may be getting ready for a growth spurt--there's often one around 3 months--and if that's the case, then he's nursing a lot to boost your supply so that you can continue to meet his growing needs. So, this might well be temporary.

If you don't already, have you considered bringing baby to bed with you? (OOps, I just read your update that you do! GOod for you!) If the baby's right there, all you need to do is roll over and offer a breast--neither of you needs to wake all the way up. Your sleep is still interrupted, but much less than if you have to go grab the baby, nurse, and then make it back to bed. Don't worry about the pediatrician--you know your baby better than he does, and what's most important is that you and baby are happy, not that you're following some doctor's vision of what the world should be.

The bad news is your baby just might not be a sleeper. Mine's not (16 months old), but even so, it's temporary. Try to keep as positive an attitude as you can through the tiredness (believe me I can relate!), and remember how precious these mommy and baby moments are.

Good luck!
K.

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C.A.

answers from Syracuse on

The child could simply need more than you are producing.To increase this I would suggest pumping to up your supply.And also I dont expect children that young to start sleeping through the night as nice as that would be.My third child is six months old and we have just started work on getting him to sleep through the night.

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J.C.

answers from New York on

Hi R...my son is the same age, and my situation is identical to yours...as long as you pump ur milk suppply will not dry up....my son just started to sleep longer through the night. during the day he still does every two to three hours...what you have to remember is that every baby develops differently...this may be how he is for now...a question though..are you offering both breasts at fedding time or only one? it may be that he's still a little hungry, which means his sleep cycles are shorter because he wants to eat...offer him both and see what happens.

As far as time is concerned, do you have time to nurse him in the mornings before work? I go bac to work the day after new years...i have to have him to the sitter's by 7am to be to work by 8:30am...i figured if i can nurse my son in the mornings before work..i can still have that us time in addition to the time we'll have after work and the weekends...you have to do what works for the both of you....

Also, during the day, he'll have more than one bottle since you've been giving him the bottle and the breast, he should be used to both..the only thing you can do is wait and see what happens...it gets better! Congratulations on your new bundle!

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D.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi R.,
I am a breastfeeding educator and La Leche League accredited leader and would love to give you a little advice. Your baby's sleeping habits at 2 months are very normal. They will typically have a little longer stretch in the beginning (you say 3hrs) then be up every couple. Each baby is so different. Continue to nurse as frequently as possible during the day. Expect when you return to work your baby will be up at night getting the "good" milk...your milk at night is very rich and high in fat so it will be very healthy to continue nuring through the night. You may even find this delays menstruation longer!!
It changes so quickly, after 3 children none of them "slept" through the night until they were 2 and a half. I cherished that quiet time and they have always been in our bed so I could sleep better and not "wake up" to nurse. Trust me they do leave your bed!! My 6 year old tell me when tuck in time is over and it's time for me to leave :( If you have any questions about returning to work and pumping etc., feel free to email me!
D.

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L.S.

answers from Washington DC on

It's not selfish at all. The breastmilk is good for the baby, and the more sleep you get, the better off you both are. If you get uncomfortable having the baby in your bed, your son is still young enough to go into a bassinet right next to your bed. You may try giving your son more frequent feedings during the day -- my infants used to eat every 1.5-2 hours except for one 5 hour sleep. Getting the five hour sleep to occur at night felt like a priority sometimes! Every baby is different, but I bet this won't be an issue soon. Also, if you have allergies in your family, DON'T start any solids early.

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L.W.

answers from Boston on

I am not a doctor and your doctor may or may not agree, but you could try adding a bit of baby oatmeal (1 teaspoon at a time to see what works best for your baby).

Don't worry, just like the pregnancy and labor, this too shall pass. My son is almost four now and while I was visiting my friend Katie who just had her second baby, I actually thought about how much I miss that bonding time of breastfeeding my son.

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A.V.

answers from Burlington on

Hey R.. I am a huge book reader and before my baby came I read many books regarding sleep issues. I finally found one that was great and I rec. it to all my friends. The book is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth. Buy it and stick with it and you and your family will be happy! All I can say is that the advice works and he gives advice for all types of parenting. PLEASE READ!!!! All my best...A.

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A.C.

answers from Lewiston on

Keep breastfeeding please it is one of the best things your can ever give your child. My daughter is now nine months old and in the begining i thought that she wasn't geeting enough and that i wouldn't have enough milk for when i was at work. There came a time where what i pumped the day before she had that day at daycare. And yes every 1.5-2 hr she was up and ready to eat. But at four months old i asked my doctor if i could try giving her some cereal during the day. She said as long as she eats it with no problems and dosen't just spit it out then i could. She did great and now eats just about everything including breast milk. Which my supply went up and i now have alot frozen. So what ever you do don't give up if i can do it i know you can.

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M.S.

answers from Scranton on

R.:
Have you tried rice cereal? My son was very sick up until about three months, and he would wake up constantly and cry a lot. I checked with his peditrician and she told me to give him 2 tsp. of rice cereal in a bottle. Since you are breastfeeding, you can mix it right in with your milk. I would ask your doc first, but this worked wonders for us. My son slept (and still does) 12 hrs. through the night. The key is to fill their little tummies, change them right before bed (so they don't wake up from a wet diaper), and this should work. I wish you lots of luck!

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C.M.

answers from New York on

Maybe 4oz is the issue. See if he'll stuff his little belly on 5 or 6oz. I had a big boy so I started on 3 oz every 3 hours then worked up to almost 6 oz every 4 hours, his little belly was stuffed for bed.

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K.C.

answers from Boston on

If co-sleeping works for your family, then it sounds like you may want to find a different pediatrician that supports your parenting style. Different things work for different families. It is not being selfish to want to keep your baby close to you and to want to nurse him. Babies want to be close to their mommies.

My son also nursed every hour or two, up until now (he's four months). Now, he spaces his feedings out to 3-5 hours. As far as night goes, make sure to follow the same evening routine every night to help your son delelop a sense of night and to encourage longer stretches of sleep. We start our bedtime routine by reading a book, taking a bath, then nursing to sleep. The process takes about a half hour.

Hang in there. You're doing a great job, Mom!

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H.M.

answers from Lewiston on

This is in response to your doc saying you are selfish. I disagree. In order for you to me a responsive mom during the day, you must have rest at night. It's in your baby's best interest to accomplish that in a way that works for you and your family. Also, most adults prefer to sleep with another person in the bed- a spouse, partner, etc. Why would we ask a tiny helpless infant, who has been warm and secure next to your heart for 9 months, to sleep alone and be happy about it? It's rediculous that your doc would say that, and it makes me sad. It's a cultural thing in the US that babies must be independent of us at birth. Many other cultures co-sleep and wear their babies and they are well adjusted and happier for it. Check out www.askdrsears.com for more info on co-sleeping and babywearing, and make the decision based on what feels best for you and your family.

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J.F.

answers from Lancaster on

Hi R.,
The only way your baby may sleep for a longer period is if you were to offer him formula, as it is more filling and takes longer to suggest. However, for obvious reasons (decrease in supply) I don't recommend this.
I'm sorry - I know this isn't the answer you wanted to hear, but really, there is no other option, unless you have a partner who could get up with him for the night feedings.

By the way, I have an eight week old, and he's not sleeping through the night, either. For the first few weeks he was up and down around the clock. Then he would sleep from about 2am - 9am, waking every three hours to eat. Now he's sleeping from 2am - 8am, and then until about 11ish.

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T.P.

answers from Boston on

Hi,

The "wonderful thing" (lol) is right after the newborn phase of no sleeping, there comes the teething phase, leaving you sleep deprived again.

As far as breastfeeding. Even a handheld pump(during short breaks) would help a little. And for longer breaks a small electric pump would do the trick. There are pumps out there that have car adapters if you park your car at work.

You will laugh, but for my first child, I worked a few days a week and pumped in the car. So, I roasted in the summer and froze in the winter, but it was so worth it for my daughter.

I used a discreet breastmilk storage kit for the refrigerator. Actually, it looks like a small lunch box and it allows you to put icepacks on all four sides to keep the milk cold when traveling.

"Kangarooing", having your baby nude (with a diaper on, of course, on your bare chest) Even if your baby does not fully nurse, but suckles a bit, it helps. Not sure why, but it does seem to help. Plus, during the cold winter evenings, it is nice to snuggle under a cozy blanket together. Both of you will be warm and enjoy bonding.

Best of luck!

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S.B.

answers from Greensboro on

Well, not to burst your bubble but I have a soon to be 5 month old and he still feeds every 2 hours around the clock. I have given up on thinking that it is going to change anytime soon. You can try to give him a little bit of rice cereal at night. That gives me sometimes 4 hours of sleep when I give it to him. But the good thing about babies is that they know what they are doing. If he is waking up then he needs to eat. He doesn't understand that he is supposed to sleep through the night yet. He will get the hang of it. And many people will balk at giving him a little cereal, but back when we were babies we were given cereal at a week old. I don't really recommend that for a bf baby, but my munckin is ebf and I give him a little cereal at night sometimes since he was about 2.5 months old. Just use your best judgement. This mom stuff is not as nerve racking as people make it out to be. You are doing a great job just by bf'ing him!! Good luck!!

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C.J.

answers from Harrisburg on

This is prob a little late, but i just joined and was curious on what is going on with you and the whole breastfeeding. Ok...some woman would give ANYTHING to breastfeed there babies for the first year, especially me. It didnt work out and I dried out at 3 months. My daughter is one, and even with eating solids, she is still not sleeping through the night. She still gets up once a night for a feeding, she goes to bed at 8pm, and then she wakes up usually around 2 am for a bottle. I dont mind it honestly. Dont be scared to be a mom. It is not a taught process it is a learned one.I really hop that you found something to help u. I would recommend pumping at work.. They have to let you. I would pump every 2 hrs, so that you can freeze leftovers...That worked for me esp when the baby got sick, and needed antibodies from a healthy one. let me know.

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K.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

You have to do what feels best for you and your baby. If you are practicing safe co-sleeping, it is fine and not selfish. You will find some doctors that say not to do it, and others that say it is fine. Just find the one that agrees with you, and use them! There are plenty of places in the world where co-sleeping is the norm! Again, do what is right for YOU and YOUR family, not someone else's. Also, 2 months old is still young to expect them to sleep through the night. AND sleeping through the night in anyone under 1 is considered to be 5 hours so keep that in mind. My son was older when that started happening (and now that he is teething he is up every 2 hours again). The best thing I found, was to sleep with him, so I barely have to wake up to breastfeed! You are doing fine. It also helps to not look at the clock, then you don't even remember how many times or how often he wakes up!

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A.G.

answers from Washington DC on

i would say it isnt out of the ordinary. by the time my son was about that age is when he started taking about 6 oz. i breastfed until 10 months. Its better thought to give the baby a pumped bottle rather than none at all. perhaps he will start taking the pumped bottles in the day and breastfeeding at night. Even at 4 months he wasntgoing more than 6 hours most of the time without feeding

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A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My son used to do the same thing! He was up every 2 to 3 hours! It didn't really get better until he was 3 or 4 months old. Then he could go 3 or 4 hours. But I'm not going to lie to you, he didn't sleep through the night consistently until he was weaned a few weeks ago at 11 months.

I was terrified that something would happen to my milk supply too, but after a while I said forget it and tried formula at night. What I found was that it made no difference whatsoever. I would give him formula at 10 and his little baby butt would still be crying at 1 or 2, just like always. I found it to be a lot more work to go prepare the bottle and if it wasn't going to get me more sleep, I wasn't about to do it. So that lasted about a week, and I didn't have any trouble relactating.

My advice...hmmm, not sure if I have any other than to save that pumped bottle for the 2 pm feeding and ask your hubby to give it. If you can sleep from 11-4, you will feel better. I know that doesn't sound promising, but it will make a big difference. Also, it made a huge difference when my baby could roll over and sleep on his belly. He never slept well on his back. I always put him on it, though, because I, like you, was a first time mom and would rather get up every hour than something happen to my little angel. Swaddling him tightly did help him also, but he started sleeping much better once he could lie on his stomach. Finally, are you using any sort of lactation aid, like a nipple shield. If so, I'll tell you my story about that.

I hope you figure it out, because I found breastfeeding my son the most rewarding experience I ever had. Once you make it through that initial 3 or 4 months, you will love it, I promise. I hope that you can stick it out. A lot of times babies have sleep issues that have nothing to do with food. Like my son... He weaned at 11 months because he had an injured tooth and couldn't nurse. He woke up 3 nights and I just held him and didn't feed him, because he couldn't nurse. It was heartbreaking to me, but the 4th night and ever since he has slept through. So I believe he just enjoyed the milk and didn't really "need" it. That's not to say your 2 month old doesn't, I'm just telling you my experience and I hope it helps!

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C.S.

answers from Portland on

I found with my second child the only way I could get any sleep was to have him in bed with me too. You have to be really careful though because of the possibility of smothering the baby. I would a lot of the time sleep in the middle of the bed, didn't make my husband happy, with the baby on my chest. Since I don't move around a lot in my sleep I felt that was the safest way. My maternal instinct always seemed to be on though. My first born I slept in the recliner with him a lot.
They have bassinets that attach to the bed, you could try that or the one you can put in the middle of your bed which will give the baby protection.
As for breast feeding, he may not be getting enough from you but at two months old it is typical that he won't always sleep completely through the night. Each baby is different and it can be very stressful, especially when you go back to work. Another thing to try is swaddling him if you don't already. It is trial and error at this age I am afraid, so do what works for you and him and don't worry about being selfish, he loves the closeness just as much as you.

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A.L.

answers from Washington DC on

my kid nursed frequently through the night until she was past one year old. after that, it went down to maybe a couple night-nursings of shorter duration. the thing that makes it easier is co-sleeping. that helps with the being away during the day part too. if there is a daddy or partner in the picture, have 'em get up and give the pumped bottle to buy you some rest. you are right to be pro-active about protecting your milk supply; those night nursings do help keep the supply up. again, sleeping with baby is easiest and least disruptive. feel free to message me with specific questions or for further elaboration. i am more than happy to help in any way.

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L.V.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi R., I know people are for or against it...but with all three of my guys I added a tablespoon or so of cereal. Bland, like oatmeal...not bananas or it makes them gassy. This helped me not feel like a milking cow, sore nipples, etc...while still being able to have that connection and get some sleep. Makes the baby sleep anywhere from 4-6 hours.

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B.P.

answers from New York on

I see you got A LOT of responses so far so I will make it short. Do whatever works. Make yourself and the baby happy. Don't worry and if the current arrangement is working then continue doing it.

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A.K.

answers from Rochester on

Hi R., my oldest was the exact same way. I know you probably don't want to hear this, but get used to it. Breast milk is not as filling as formula, so it digests faster which means your little one is going to keep you up. Fear not though. Within a couple of months the feedings will stretch out. Also, if you aren't doing it now, try swaddling him. That might just give you another hour or two between feedings.

Good luck. I know it's trying on your patience, but it's what is best for your baby.

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L.L.

answers from Scranton on

It gets easier. By the 3rd month you won't even remember how hard it was in the beginning. I thought I knew what I was doing, until I saw a Lactation Consultant. My baby's latch was all wrong. This was my 2nd baby, so naturally I was doing fine. Until we were having problems sleeping more than 1.5-2hrs. I found out to nurse on the breast you left off on last, then the next, then back to the first for the formilk. It's like dessert and fills the baby more. You'll see that nursing will extend to 3 hours. The advice I got helped me a lot. However I went back to work and it was very difficult to pump in my work environment. We switched to formula. If have the capability to pump and bottlefeed, do it. Your son is still getting your breastmilk. Hope this helps.

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J.H.

answers from Burlington on

I remember those days....my son just turned 1 and I nursed for the first seven months. I went back to work when he was about 3 1/2 weeks and was a complete ZOMBIE. I don't have any advice but I feel your pain. Devon didn't start sleeping long stretches until he was on formula but I'm so glad that I nursed him. There is nothing like those special moments when it's just the two of you....the whole world almost stops. It is worth the sleepless nights and it will get better. Hang in there

-Jenn
N. Ferrisburg

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E.T.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, R..

I think it is great that you are co-sleeping right now.... I think that it goes hand-in-hand with breastfeeding at this early stage. My son co-slept with us until he was about 6 months old... then we transitioned to his crib in his own room. At that point, I felt comfortable implementing the Ferber/Weissbluth approach for sleeping through the night... basically the cry-it-out. It was extremely difficult to do that, but I am very happy that I did it, as my son has fabulous sleep habits now.

One thing that I have learned is to be open to different parenting approaches/philosophies at different stages. For example, I felt very comfortable with the attachment parenting philosophies/approach in early infancy... but as my baby got older and as I saw what some other friends were dealing with their babies... I knew that I wanted to modify my approach a bit.

It is great that you are soliciting advice, but you are right that everyone has different perspectives and experiences.... trust your gut.

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P.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I have to agree with your pediatrician. Never let your child sleep with you. I know it's easier but believe me, once you get it started, it won't stop. I suggest that you try feeding the baby cereal before you put him to bed. It will help him feel full longer. Another option is to give him bottles of water between breastfeeding. It starts a great habit while he's young and will also help him feel full.

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K.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

The best thing you can do for your baby is to start feeding him baby cereal. Oatmeal to be exact. Rice and barely are only fillers but oatmeal is nutritious. My son is 7 weeks old and we started him at 4 weeks. Breast feed your baby, and also make your baby oatmeal mixed with one to two ounces of pumped breast milk. It must not be too thick or two runny. Feed your baby some milk, then a few baby spoonfulls of oatmeal. His mouth will get dry so alternate untill he's full. It will take a few times for him to catch on but it's worth it!! He is going to try to suckle it but be patient and quick. My son has slept through the night ever since. Good luck!
-K.

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E.R.

answers from Rochester on

i know this is an old post...but i was desperate too...i read BABYWISE and my daughter was sleeping throught the night within 3 days!

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C.W.

answers from Providence on

Hi R.,
Hope this doesn't depress you but my son nursed every 2 hours for the first 5 1/2 months. He would not take formula. To ease my severe lack of sleep I pumped every chance I could so my husband could give 2 bottles each night (11 & 3) I would nurse at 1 to relieve me. I think the key was getting a hospital grade pump. I was able to pump a meal at work ( in a friend's lockes office) in 7 minutes. Hopefully your son won't be as hearty of an eater as mine & will settle into a better routine for you. I believe employers are required to provide you with a place to pump if you choose to. Don't be afraid of parenting. Every stage brings new challenges & you will fumble many times but children are resiliant & love their mom ALOT. So relax, enjoy all you can, and keep the good memories. C.

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T.B.

answers from Albany on

I think you did the right thing by bringing him into bed with you. You barely have to wake up to latch him on and you both can drift back to sleep. Your milk supply stays up, your babe feels safe and secure and you're both getting plenty of sleep.

The other thing is this... not all babies sleep through the night that early on. People who lead you to believe this don't have your son or mine! Honestly, my son doesn't sleep through the night and I don't have a problem with it. Other people do and give me unsolicited advice that is inappropriate for our family. I bring him into bed with me after he wakes and we have a nice rest of the night and wake up feeling refreshed.

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S.N.

answers from Syracuse on

I have four children and have breast feed them all. My oldest is 12 and then 11 9 and my youngest is 9 months old. I have co slept with them all as well. It is the best way 100%. I see the outcome in my older children. They are secure they are confident healthy children. I know I had a part to do with that. Sleeping with your child not only helps you get rest so you can be a more alert and happy mommy, it helps you to be aware of your baby's breathing among other things. You can protect him from smothering and such and if he gets on his belly flip him over etcetc. I think it is much healthier to co sleep. You connect to your baby and that is so important. Especially if you are working then it makes up for the time you are not spending with him while you are away. There will always be nay sayers in light of co sleeping and breast feeding. My experience is to each his own and to each situation dictates a different action. You know what is best for your son no one else does. Period. Hooraa to you!! (I do not reccoment co sleeping to heavy sleepers) God bless good luck!

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C.P.

answers from New York on

R.,

You are definately not being selfish! Finding what works best for you and your child is anything but selfish. If you think about it, everyone is different and different things work for different folks. I, myself, breastfed my daughter until she was one and found it to be a very rewarding experience. She, like your baby, at a few months old, would often wake in the night and I found it much eaiser on both of us if I let her sleep with me. Taking care of mommy is as important as taking care of baby. Whatever makes you feel more rested and capable, and connected to your baby is the right thing to do regardless of what your pediatrician thinks. Doctors have been disagreeing with each other over co-sleeping for decades and this isn't going to end anytime soon. If it was me, unless I really loved the pediatrician I would find another one whop was more focused on finding what works for me and my child than one focused on their client conforming to their opinion.

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E.D.

answers from New York on

When I went back to work ny daughter was about 4 months old. I unfortunately did not wean her to the bottle and had a VERY difficult time getting her used to the bottle. It was scary as I thought that she would never eat unless it was from my breast and I even had to come home from work to feed her as she was giving my husband a hard time feeding. It stinks haveing to return to work, but you can bond while bottlefeeding as well as breast feeding. it is different but the baby does get to spend time with you and feel you next to him. my daughter is now 2 1/2 years old and still sometimes gets up in the middle of the night and wants the bottle. As long as you pump at night as well you wont dry up. You can push it a little longer toget him to eat with more time in between. You may have to express some milk in the beginning but you will adjust. This is my first as well and I was scared as well, it does get better as your instincts will kick in regardless of the advice you get. Plus if you have help, you can catch a little more sleep....and we all know the more rest you get the more milk you produce. good luck keep me posted

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Q.F.

answers from New York on

everyone will always give you different views on situations...all depends on how THEY feel. as long as your careful, and it works for BOTH of you...then it's YOUR decision!!! i wouldn't suggest keeping him in bed with you too long for 1 reason and 1 reason ONLY...it may hinder you in the long run!!! i kept my daughter with me in bed from birth until 6 months old, and yes, it was all ME...i was so paranoid of sids that i couldn't put her in the crib. she had 1/2 a queen size bed to herself, and i was so aware that she was there while i was sleeping that if i started to roll over in my sleep i would completely wake up and roll over making sure not to roll over on her. they have something that i'll put a link for at the end to prevent rolling onto your baby if you keep him with you in bed (which is the biggest reason ppl say not to). my problem was that when she was 6 months and i decided to stop being such a big baby about it, and put her in her crib she WOULDN'T stay there! it took me nearly 2 months of crying (both me and her) and freak-outs because she just did not want to be in there. she wasn't used to it, and wasn't having it! she would sleep on ANYONE'S bed, on the couch, even on the floor if we put something soft under her, just refused the crib. and once she did start sleeping in her crib, she would wake up at least 3 times throughout the night until over 1 yr (just a couple months ago). so be careful to not get yourself stuck in that situation because you have him in bed with you. i will never do that again, unless it's because of sickness, or nightmares, but it will NEVER be more then 1 night every once in awhile because of that problem. but if you're not worried about that, then keep with what your doing. it's all about what makes YOU feel better and what makes your child feel better! everyone has their own decision on what's right. as long as your being safe, that's all that should matter, nothing else.
here is the link for the baby sleeper...this is the best way to keep him safe if you're going to keep him in bed with you. keeps them from rolling under you or you onto them. GOOD LUCK and remember, as long as you're being safe, don't worry what others think, do what works best for you and your child!
http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/sr=1-2/qid=118702603...

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A.R.

answers from Scranton on

I had my son next to our bed until he was 6 months old. He was waking up a lot during the night and it was just much easier to take care of him that way. I feel that we both benefited from it, and he now sleeps all through the night.. so there was no spoiling! I would do whatever is best for you and your baby. Everyone has an idea of what you should do, but you really should do what works best for you.

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