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bedtime and breastfeeding - need advice!

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:32 PM
  • 9 Replies

My DD is 4.5 months old.  She goes to bed at 8:30, and usually will nurse on me right before going to sleep.  I do not have the best milk supply, so throughout the day, I have to supplement her, even after breastfeeding from both sides. 

She usually wakes up at about 1, then again at 3, then again at 4, 5:30, and 7.  She just wants to nurse, and I am sure it is because she is hungry, because when she nurses, she does not get that much.

Last night we did the regular bed routine, but I told my husband that when she wakes up for the first time, I will breastfeed her, and then give her a bottle as well.  Oddly enough, she did not wake up until 4:30 last night.  We gave her the bottle, but that caused her to have a dirty diaper, so we had to change her, which woke her up more, so I breastfed her again, and got her to sleep, and she did not wake up until 8:00 PM.

So, for you experienced mothers, what would you advise?  Do a bottle, even if it wakes her up in the middle of the night, let her nurse repeatedly, even though it is about 5 times a night, but puts her right to sleep, or, should I let her cry it out when she wakes up over and over again through the night, and make her realize she is not dying and will be okay?  I want to establish good habits, and I am clueless!

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:32 PM
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by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM
I'd nurse her when she awakes. It will up your supply and you should slowly be able to wean off supplements.
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by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM
Maybe give her bottle at bedtime, then nurse when she wakes up the first time. That way you have more milk. Also, have you tried supplements to boost your milk supply? Fenugreek will help. Walmart might have it in the vitamin supplement section. Or a vitamin or healthfood
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by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Oatmeal and dark beer also help supply, I would nurse as often as possible to keep up supply. Always nurse, then supplement. And if diaper count is good, slowly cut back supplementing.

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I have tried fenugreek before, but I guess I can try it again.  Oatmeal?  Have not tried that.... I like oatmeal, so I will just try to eat it daily I guess?


It's hard for me to "up" my supply because I work full-time, so I pump during the day, and I literally get half an ounce TOTAL each time I pump.  :(

by Gold Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM

I would nurse her every time rather than supplementing.  If you start to supplement, your supply will diminish.  Especially since she can't nurse during the day, she needs to nurse at night.  

The more you nurse, the more milk you'll produce.  The more you supplement, the more you'll need to supplement because you'll make less milk.

Good luck!

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Any of those options is really up to you, but here's what I do with my dd (who is almost 4 months):

We co-sleep, where I wrap the boppy around my side and she lays on it. She nurses to sleep and I just fall asleep with the boob out, so when she gets hungry in the middle of the night she latches, eats, and pops off when she's done - all while sleeping. I get better sleep this way too because I don't have to get up. Sometimes she eats 2 times a night, sometimes she eats 5.

I know you mentioned your milk supply was low - how are you determining this? (no judgement, just wondering). My daughter use to nurse for up to an hour, but now she nurses for about 5 minutes during the day and 10-15 at night and is totally full. As they get older they are able to drain you a lot faster. So she might be getting just what she needs and was just cluster feeding - which is what it sounds like based on what happened last night.

There are also herbal supplements and teas you can try to increase milk supply if you are low, or you can pump in between feedings to increase supply that way.

Again, it's ultimately what you feel is best for you and your baby - trust your instincts. I can never emphasize that enough. I personally nurse on demand - that way I know it's because my dd is actually hungry (not because of a "schedule") and she will stop when she's full. And that's exactly what she does. If I offer her a boob and she's not hungry, she'll turn her head and not take it.

My dd likes to pacify on my boob too (won't take a paci), so when she wakes up often, it might not be because she's hungry but just that she needs to pacify back to sleep. The best way to learn is try a few different things until you figure out what's best. Good luck!

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 7:17 PM

 It takes a lot of energy to nurse. Why do you think your not producing enough? Is she loosing weight? Is she having wet diapers? If you nurse on demand as much as she wants and as long as she wants, then she has enough wet diapers and isn't loosing weight, she will be fine.
My dr pushed formula on me telling me my supply was low because she wasn't gaining as quickly as a formula fed baby. Wish I would have asked a LLL before hand.

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 7:18 PM

 I forgot to add, that might be why she is falling asleep right away, because it takes a lot of energy to nurse.

by on Aug. 24, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Signs that my supply is low: my daughter will nurse from both sides, draining me, and still drink a 4 ounce bottle immediately after.  (she nurses for about 15 minutes on each side)

if I pump throughout the day, when she is in daycare, I get a total, yes, a total, of .5 ounce - it takes me an entire week of pumping and freezing the milk to make one 3 ounce bottle.  


I never feel engorged.


I know I am not getting as much out pumping as she gets eating, but, truly, if I did not supplement, she would starve to death.


That being said, I am taking Fenugreek again, and I can tell I am producing more milk.  Now, she will still drain both sides, but she doesn't always need a bottle afterward.  

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