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Breast feeding too much?
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Breast feeding too much?

Hi. I keep getting told that I'm bf my 8 month old too much. He usually feeds about 3/4am, a quick one at 7am, another about 9am (before sleep), then about 1pm (before arvo nap),Very occasionally at 4pm then at 6.30 (before bed), then a dream feed at 10.30.

He turns 1 at the beginning of October and I go back to work towards the end of October at which time I'd like to just do 7am and Bec time feeds...

I don't know how to get from 6 feeds to 2 and if I can do that in a way to avoid formula? Can i Have him on cows milk at exactly 12 months for the other feeds?

His sleep issues are alao being blamed on being bf too often??

Any advice appreciated!
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12 Comments Post a Comment
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171768_tn?1324233699
Let me guess... people who formula fed are the ones that are telling you that you bf too often.

Honestly, I wouldn't worry quite yet about timing and cutting out feeds because a LOT can happen in the next few months. He may decide he loves to eat solids and naturally cut back on nursing sessions.
Does he take a sippy cup? If you've avoided bottles until now, you can probably skip them and work on the sippy (one less thing to wean off of). I wouldn't give cows milk yet, but you can have him practice with water. If he becomes proficient, you can even start to put some expressed breast milk in to it. As his birthday approaches, you can start giving him a little milk.

As he gets older and starts to slowly eat more solids, he may start sleeping longer stretches which will hopefully naturally cut out a feed. This also comes with maturity, so if he's not on solids it can still happen. You may also want to try and see if you can get him back to sleep at the 3/4 am feed. See if you can rock him back to sleep, or soothe him with a pacifier. Of course, if he is starving you can feed him, but it can't hurt to try and see if he's ready to cut out that feed. Another option would be to see what happens if you cut out the dream feed. He may surprise you and not wake until the next feed. Can't hurt to try once or twice, right? That may set him up to take slightly bigger feeds at the next one, which may eventually spread things out a little more.

As for sleep issues, it seems that for many the issue with sleeping comes from the baby getting used to falling asleep while nursing, and therefore relying on that. They haven't developed any self-soothing techniques, so when they wake in the night, they look for what they know to be soothing. One possibility to help with this would be to nurse a little earlier and put the baby in the bed while he is still awake. Or, if that is not possible at night because he is sleepy, start with naps. You can also give possible comfort items (try different blankets, a small stuffed animal, etc). You can try a pacifier, but that is something else to wean off of later. Or other routines and things that will start to serve as cues to fall asleep like a lullaby CD.

I only make these suggestions if you want to try to space them more or cut some out. Your schedule is tiring, but there's nothing wrong with it. At this point, you've given him a great start and you don't have to feel guilty about doing what is good for both you and your baby, whether it is continuing your current routines or trying to modify it.
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Avatar_f_tn
theres no such thing as breastfeeding to I breastfed my son until 18mos old my daughter until 13mos and my daughter who is 13mos now is still being breastfed. my mother in law didn't breastfeed any of her kids and everytime something is wrong with her she trys to blame it on breastfeeding and i just ignore her. If baby wants to nurse then theres no reason to deny them. And like the previous post suggested try introducing a sippy and solids and then the breastfeeding will be cut down a bit. There are times my daughter still wants it every two hours but usually every 4 or 5 hours. And once baby is a year old then milk can be givin. And you can try to pump as much as you like.
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615752_tn?1361871586
Don't listen to what any1 else tells you. You're doing such a great job. When my daughter was 8 months old , She was breastfeeding on demand. Now she just turned 2 and I've weaned her recently. You're Baby is under the age of 1, their main source of feeding comes from breast milk or formula. I had many comments as well particularly from women who predominantly formula fed. I just ignored them. You're doing the Best for the both of you :-)

As for sleeping, 8 months is young, you can't blame breastfeeding on it. Although as my daughter got older, I stopped night feeds at around 15 - 16 months as my daughter was waking up just to use me as a pacifier but I didn't think she was ready before.

Try to slowly introduce more solids and I agree, a sippy cup. I would give my daughter One with water and let her play with it so she would get used to it. At around 9-10 months we converted to using a straw cup, she loved it much much better.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much for your reassurance!

It's actually both my local health nurse and a sleep nurse who said I was bf too much! A bit upsetting really...

He definitely prefers to feed to sleep but I've been trying to put him to bed either awake or drowsy. He can self settle at times, but at 1-3 am he seems to either want to play or scream til I feed... And of course he'd prefer to sleep in my bed!

I've tried a muslin wrap and a teddy blanket, but he doesn't seem too interested... Even if I stuff them up my top for a while first to give them my scent. He does have a dummy just for bed which helps at bed time but not 3am and we have rain sounds playing in his room for every sleep.

He sorta uses a sippy cup and is on 3 solid meals a day plus occasional finger food snacks (carrots etc).

I wish I knew what else to try re sleep... I feel like it's ok to bf as much as we are... But get worried about our sleep issues, particularly when the so called experts say he should be lasting from the dream feed til 7am?

Thanks again for your advice!
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1346146_tn?1299364097
Both my boys didn't sleep a full night till they were 3 or 4!  Some kids just are that way. Breastfeeding has nothing to do with it.  I breastfed my oldest till 10 1/2 months and my second till 14 months.  As far as resleep i did a sippy cup for both of mine and it worked great because neither would take a pacifier ever.  I think everything is fine and ur doing a great job.
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231441_tn?1333896366
Hi,

you are bf on demand which is exactly what you are supposed to do at 8 months old.  Shame on the nurse for making you feel bad about it.

When I was working (after I stopped pumping at 15 months) I would BF my daughter before and after work, and at night.  She just had regular solids when I was at work.  

She is now 2 1/2 and we are still BF when I am home.  Now she usually has a good drink in the morning. 1 when I come home from work, and then 1 before sleeping (she sometimes still BF to sleep - but we cosleep, so this works for us both).
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all! You have made me feel much more normal!

Between the two health nurses and my mothers group (8 mums on quite strict routines, some using " save our sleep") I was feeling like I was doing it all wrong! So I really appreciate your re assurance and tips.

Xxx
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Avatar_f_tn
i cant believe the nurses would tell you that how frustrating. Its because of nurses like that less and less moms even give breastfeeding a try. i have 4 children 3 that were breastfed and 1 that wasnt. My first born wasn't breastfed. And he didn't sleep through the night for a long time either. Out of all my kids he was the hardest and still remains the hardest at 12 yrs old.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks! Good on you for 3 of 4 thou! That's many years of bf!

It's hard when there's so much conflicting advice out there (and so easily made to feel guilty!).

I really appreciate the support I've found here.
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1330108_tn?1333680904
I think you have to listen to your own instinct. If you feel six feeds is what your baby needs than go for it!  Mommy knows best what their baby needs!  I've been told my five month old should sleep through the night and i was told by others we need to give her formula so she will sleep better. I said no to both. She doesn't sleep through the night that's ok she wants to breastfed in the night that's ok and no I'm not going to give her formula, breastmilk is all she needs and is perfect for her so healthy so why would I pay money for something that isn't as good?
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been told the same. I can't believe how many women get talked into formula for night feeds... Surely if you're not careful that could lead to early weaning?
I'd like my son to sleep a lot better than he does, maybe 1-2 night feeds,  but I'm not introducing formula.
Perhaps I'm eating too much sugar and that's effecting his sleep?
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615752_tn?1361871586
I ate alot of kitkat and cakes, drank hot chocolate while BF, didn't effect my daughter's sleeping patterns. Formula nights does not mean baby will sleep longer, I always got told that too in breastfeeding unfriendly Germany. Some kids sleep well, some don't. My daughter just turned 2 and just a short time ago started to sleep more regularly through the night or sometimes wakes up to drink water.  Don't feel guilty, do what you think is best for your baby :-)))))
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