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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Casey says:

    Unfortunately it’s not so simple. I’ve just chosen to stop breastfeeding my almost 4th month old son, although this completely breaks my heart (and I want to try to restart someday), because he never slept well. We eventually had to do all his naps in the carrier, but this was unlivable. He wouldn’t sleep in the car; he screamed his head off. It turns out that the stress hormones (cortisol) in my milk were hurting his ability to calm down and sleep. I know many moms live on little sleep. Be aware that one night of bad sleep causes cortisol to be high the next day, because that’s what keeps you going. I am however a long time insomniac so my case is more extreme.

    Anyway, I think it’s something of which women should be aware. Stress hormones pass into the milk. Reduce your stress. That means not too much exercise, not fasting or skipping meals or letting yourself go hungry at any point, getting enough sleep, not abusing lacto-fermented foods if you have sleep or blood sugar issues, not overstimulating your system with bad films/television or social media, not arguing with your husband, etc…

    Do a cortisol saliva test if you want to make sure that this is not something affecting your baby.

    • Neosha says:

      @Casey – Thank you for sharing with us. Please continue to take good care of yourself and your little guy!

  2. Em says:

    Thank you so much for an article promoting breastfeeding with honesty and intelligence. You make some excellent points here.

    To any mothers struggling with night-waking and worrying that formula might be ‘needed’, my paed told me that the night-waking breastfed babies do is normal and actually helps protect them from cot death. Waking every hour or two for breastfeeds is normal for very young babies, so something to be thankful for not to agonise over. Babies do wake up and yes it can be very tiring, but formula isn’t the answer. Soon you’ll look back and realise how fast those first baby months went. Enjoy every moment and congratulate yourself for all you do.

    Please don’t ever think you’re ‘not good enough’ to breastfeed or that you’re not doing right by your baby. You most definitely ARE. Keep going!

    Be proud : )

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says:

      Hi @Em – Thank you for writing and for encouraging other parents! We are so happy to hear that you found this article helpful!

  3. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Ayse — I can sympathize with this, too! I switched my youngest to formula right around 3 months, simply because she wasn’t gaining wait and didn’t seem to be satisfied when I nursed. It proved to be a good decision, but it was so hard. I still feel guilty sometimes 🙁

    @ Leola — You know you’re exhausted when 5 straight hours of sleep is the dream!! Hope your little guy starts sleeping through the night soon (for your sake!) And remember — if you feel like you need to solicit some help in teaching him to sleep, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  4. Leola says:

    From birth my lil angel baby boy use to wake up e-v-e-r-y 2 hours to feed. Tried expressing with the thought behind it that maybe he doesn’t get enough although he was a chubby baby. That did not work. To say the least after 5 months I was so extremely tired! So tired to the extend I started to forget thing, thing like standing in the shower wondering if I still need to shower or did I just finish…and then showering again just to be sure, I kid you not. I decided that I was going to switch to formula. He still woke up every 2 hours. It gradually got less frequent and now he is 14 months and still wakes up every 4 hours! Noooo, hushing him back to sleep doesn’t help, water doesn’t help, and the letting him cry thing just doesn’t work for me I’m sorry. So I’m kinda at the point of just excepting it and hoping and praying for it to change. It’s not a case of he needs a bottle to sleep, he falls asleep just fine on his own in the day. And after his bottle, he just turns his cute lil but on me and that’s the sign for put me in my cot please. My mom said something interesting, that I was a thirsty child. I would even wake her up in the night for a drink of water. Later on she allowed me to take a class to bed. And today I take a bottle of water to bed. I will go crazy at night if I can’t have a drink of water when I want. That said, maybe it’s the case with my son, but I can hear his tummy rumble sometimes, and that after he had his dinner at 6, a bottle 7:30 and into bed. And still he wakes up 11:30 – 12. I’m dreaming of 5 full hours of sleep…mmmmmm….dreeeeaming….

  5. Ayse says:

    @ Mimi, I totally understand…my first son was like that. Actually with my first the doctors convinced me that I didn’t have enough milk because he was crying a lot during the day, so at 5 weeks old I switched him to formula…he continued to wake up every 2 hrs to feed until he was 2.5 months, than he went right through the night. Switching to formula completely was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do…I felt like I wasn’t providing for my baby the way God intended and I actually felt like a bad mom so I cried for days…3years later he is a very happy, healthy, and very smart little boy. When I had my daughter…3months ago, I was very lucky that she took to my breast with no problems and my milk supply was good. Her pediatrician told me to formula feeding her because she only gained 11 oz in a month…but I ignored his request

  6. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Mimi — thanks so much for sharing your story! You bring balance to this conversation, which is great. Breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone (it wasn’t for me), and for some moms, formula is the best option. Thanks for graciously sharing your opinion!

    Glad to hear that formula proved to be such a great solution to your son’s sleeping problems. You’re one of the lucky ones! 😉

  7. Mimi says:

    My son Ethan is now almost 7 months old. I brestfed him until he was about 2 months old and these 2 months were the toughest in my life so far! He only slept 2 hours at a time at night and 40 min for his naps. I never had a chance to get a good rest all that time! I decided to give a try to formula. He was and still is easy with food, no nipple/teat confusion ever. The formula I give him since, is a formula for hungry baby that keeps tummy full for longer. From day one with formula, he slept for longer stretches, he went from 2 hours to 5 hours straight. After a week, he slept 7 hours at night and at 2 1/2 months old, he started to sleep through the whole night for 11 to 12 hours without night feedings! I know breastmilk is the best for a baby but all formula-fed babies are as healthy as breast-fed babies. I made a choice, I don’t regret it a second and it’s saved my sanity and gave us all a lot of sleep, yeah!! Ethan is now a very happy and healthy baby. In my case, formula did help my little one to sleep better and much longer. I admit that I have an easy baby though.

    • T says:

      THANK YOU for sharing! Though I like many of their articles, this one just rubs me the wrong way. I tried breastfeeding, and it just wasn’t working out. Instead of forcing it, which would have made things tougher and harder on both me and my baby, I pumped and supplemented with formula, then went to all formula. FORMULA. IS. NOT. BAD. There are so many amazing, organic formulas out there and women shouldn’t feel like they should keep forcing something just because “breast is best.” Breast is not always best. And while ignoring a doctor’s request and suggestion may work for some, it shouldn’t be something that is promoted.

  8. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Jasmin — I agree; regardless of whether a mom chooses to breastfeed or to formula feed, there’s no denying that breastmilk is best. You’d imagine that a doctor would at least present those facts to moms. Whatever a mom chooses, she should at least have all the information.

    Thanks for following up! I’m learning that breastfeeding and formula feeding can be sensitive topics, and that it’s important for me as I write to be as respectful as I can of both choices 🙂

  9. Jasmin says:

    @ Emily. Thanks. I do understand that formula is needed sometimes. My sister used it after about 6 months with all 3 of her kids (twice because she was pregnant with another and lost her milk). Many woman have reasons for using it. I am just amazed that a doctor would recommend it even if a woman is willing and able and the baby is doing fine.

    We also nurse a lot! He likes to breastfeed and it works because I am a stay-at-home mom. I know he would be wanting more if I had to pump – there is no way I would be able to pump enough for him for a day.

  10. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Jasmin — thanks for sharing your experience! Glad to hear breastfeeding has been such a good option for you. It doesn’t work for everyone, of course, and we need to make sure we don’t cast any criticism on formula-feeding mom (especially since I happen to be one myself, at the moment!) But you’re right — breastfeeding is the healthiest option, and it’s definitely “enough” for the vast majority of babies 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing your story, Jasmin! Glad to hear your little guy is growing and thriving so well.

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