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Old 01-01-2016, 09:24 PM
Location: Ocotillo, Chandler, AZ
524 posts, read 465,123 times
Reputation: 835


Tempted to start a poll to get a better picture of the data, but we'll just talk about it first. We have one kid who just turned 2 a little over a month ago and our second one will be 8 months in a couple of days. For 22 of the last 25 months (that long since #1 was born) we have been up every 2 hours through the night and had one or the other feed every 2 hours through the day. This is breast feeding.

The first one was feeding every 2 hours through the night with breastfeeding until 10 months old when he weaned himself, then he was still feeding every 2-3 hours with formula for the next 4 months. Then, literally overnight, he went through the night (with a couple of ~3 week regressions since then).

3 months later, #2 was born (17.5 months apart). He is 8 months old, exclusively breastfed, and is every 2 hours night and day like the first one. So for almost the last entire 2 years we have been up every 2 hours at night and it's driving us insane. It doesn't help that #2 is needy and fussy to an absolutely insane degree. Just came across something by a Dr Sears about High Need babies and #2 sure hits all the bullet points.

We thought maybe #1 just needed a lot because he's always been big (we are average sized); he's been a chart topper at doctor visits the last year (36 inches and 32 pounds at his 2 year visit). Yet #2 is actually measuring really small but has the same feed pattern as #1, so I guess it wasn't the size.

We've tried everything we've read, thought of on our own, and been told by the pediatrician. Try soothing them first, give them progressively less, try to let them work it out, don't co-sleep, blah blah blah. Nothing.

So after 2 years of this up-every-2-hours stuff, imagine how much we want to scream when everyone we've talked to always says "Oh yeah, mine were sleeping through the night at 3-4 months old and it progressed quickly up to then; they feed for 15-20 minutes and are good for 3-4+ hours during the day." Essentially by the book. Ours were/are 5 minutes and done, no matter how much we try to encourage longer feeds; and then it's feeding every 2 hours like above.


Nothing works; we've just given up and accepted it at this point.

Is there anyone else out there in the same boat?
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:36 PM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,092 posts, read 37,733,259 times
Reputation: 73770
I had twins who started out like this.

No matter what the La Leche ladies and doctors told me, the babies were NOT being satisfied with nursing, and we soon found ourselves waking every 90 minutes to 2 hours. We were NOT going to be able to live with a schedule like you described (my husband helped me with every nighttime feeding.)

At 8 months we switched to formula and began to see a schedule that stretched out. With my third, I relied on bottle feeding for a MUCH shorter period and got him on cups and more solid food at an early age.

Good luck to you. I don't know how you've made it this long.
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:03 PM
Location: Texas
3,698 posts, read 2,843,807 times
Reputation: 6092
I did not have the experience you are having, so I can't offer any advice, but, I also wanted to say good luck. I know you and your spouse are tired and frustrated. Hope things improve for you all soon.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:01 AM
Location: Arizona
1,599 posts, read 1,271,118 times
Reputation: 4860
Oh my lol! Well, honestly what you are experiencing is perfectly normal. It is normal for babies to wake up that often even into toddlerhood. My son is almost four and still wakes up a couple times a week because he needs to sleep next to my husband. Our American society seems to think that this is weird and wrong and that babies should be sleeping on their own, in their own room, all night by six months of age, when in reality frequent night waking through the toddler years is perfectly normal. And they can go for longer stretches during the day, because they are distracted by play and interaction. Sleep requires comfort and soothing. What is more soothing to a baby than suckling at the breast?

I started breastfeeding when my first was born in 2010, she self weaned at 22 months, then two months later my son was born. He self weaned at 24 months, then three months later my second son was born. He is 20 months old, still nurses throughout the day and several times during the night, so I understand how you feel. My youngest is nursing much more at this age than my other two did. Not sure why!!

Here is the thing... When you are in it, it's hard, it's tolling, it drives you mad, but when it's over you won't remember or care about how terrible it was because this is such a short time in their lives and the sleepless nights will be over sooner than you think. I think instead of fighting it and trying to resist your babies' needs, you just need to accept that this is the stage you are in right now. I think you will deal with it better if you change your perspective . Your children will eventually sleep all night and they won't go to kindergarten breastfeeding.

You might find the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page helpful, it's very positive and encouraging, as well as the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution." There is a version for babies and one for toddlers and preschoolers. I read the second one and felt much relief from learning about their sleep patterns. It's normal, I promise.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:36 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,864 posts, read 18,910,587 times
Reputation: 25118
My sister's having pretty much the same experience that you're having. Her son is sleeping longer now but she has to get up one time without him to pump so that he'll have milk at daycare. She's already talking about trying for baby #2 and I'm wondering when she's planning to get some rest.

I wasn't able to breastfeed and I think formula fills them up for longer. My kids were both sleeping through the night by 3 or 4 months. One thing that helped in the early months was that my husband and I would alternate night feedings, at least some of the time. You can't really do that as well with the breastfeeding, but maybe sometimes mom could stay in bed and dad could bring baby and do the diaper change and the burping...maybe mom could doze through the actual feeding that way.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:57 AM
Location: Texas
598 posts, read 476,256 times
Reputation: 1815
Holy memories! Seriously, this is how I ended up cosleeping with kid #2 & #3. If I didn't I would get any sleep.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:43 AM
Location: Finland
6,319 posts, read 5,229,248 times
Reputation: 10153
My kid was up every 2 hours well into toddlerhood, as were the babies of many of my friends, so I think it is quite normal, sucky, but normal. This was even after I switched to milk at 14 months. Even after I stopped all bottles at 18 months. I think it got easier around 2.5 and she started sleeping through the night most of the time at about 3.5.
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Old 01-02-2016, 02:08 AM
9,289 posts, read 5,790,770 times
Reputation: 7547
If I understand correctly: at ten months, your first born started formula and began to sleep longer at night. Your second baby is now eight months, breastfed and not sleeping through the night. My advice, switch that second baby over to formula whenever you want to. Your choice, no one else's. I think you have done a splendid job.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:18 AM
Location: Austin
7,080 posts, read 16,903,265 times
Reputation: 9494
Get the kid some "real" food. By 8 months old, he should have some finger foods that will help fill him up. Think about if you were strictly on a liquid diet. You would be hungry too, right? My son didn't sleep through the night until he was over a year, and he ate plenty of food, but at least it got past the 2 hour mark. (My daughter slept through the night starting at about 4-5 months old, so it was extremely frustrating to have my second born not allowing me to sleep).

There is breastfeeding exclusively out of principle and breastfeeding exclusively out of stupidity. Sounds like your kid needs food and you need to drop the principle part. Doesn't mean you need to stop breastfeeding, but the exclusivity part needs to go away.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:24 AM
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,750,429 times
Reputation: 31051
Wow! Obviously every baby is different, but I don't think it is "normal" for them to need to get up every 2 hours for that length of time. As they start eating cereal and baby food, they shouldn't need as much nourishment over night, and stretches of sleep should get longer. They start eating food at 6 months right? Seems like they should be sleeping at least 4 hours at a time after that.

One of my kids woke up and came to our room a lot at around 2 years old. We didn't feed him, though,. He was long past needing to eat at night.

I'd ask your doctor.
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