My daughter will be 7 weeks old on Wednesday, and the only two problems I have are that she will not go to sleep on her own, and she still seems to be constantly attatched to my breast.
She is still eating every 2 hours, at the least. She can eat up to 4 ounces in one feeding (sometimes my husband gives her bottle of expressed milk), and then she'll be hungry again 2 hours later, if not sooner. I would like her to go longer between feedings (mainly for sleeping purposes), but at the same time, I also don't want to deprive her of food. My sister's son is having growth problems because she lets him go for a while without eating (he sleeps through the night). He's healthy, but extremely small. I don't want her to have the same problems, especially when she seems to be growing so well.
The second problem is that we can't get her to sleep without being on someone, nor to stay asleep once someone lets her go. The best I can get is that she will sleep with me, but only if she's right next to or on top of me (because I know the risks of rolling over on your baby, I generally sleep in a recliner). I have tried getting her to go to sleep on her own, but she cries, and cries, and cires, until I can't take it.....it just breaks my heart when she cries..... So, I suppose what I am asking here is, how the heck do I get her to not only stay asleep sleep without having to have contact with one of us, but to fall asleep without our help? Generally, she falls asleep eating.
This sounds exactly like the situation I found myself in with both my girls. And you sound just like me...I hated being so tied down, it's also hard to do house work or ANYTHING, but at the same time i just can't let them cry it out because crying it out takes a very very long time and I feel that there is no way that the baby is going to benefit from that, they must just feel abandoned. However, crying it out was the only advice anyone seemed able to give me. So while I don't cater to their every little desire, I get up everytime they cry at night. My oldest is 3 years now and i cannot remember her sleeping through the night more than 3 times before she hit around 2 and a half and my new baby is nine months and still waking up 3-5 times a night, I think she has also slept through the night 3 times at this point.
So basically the conclusion I have come to is kids are individuals, sometimes they are just going to do what they are going to do and there is just nothing we can do about it.
I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear, lol. I get unbelievably frustrated with it too, sometimes I just want to sell them once nitetime rolls around...but they will grow out of it, it just takes time. My three year old now goes to bed all by herself and it is just awesome. I suppose it must build character on our part!
Eating every two hours is normal for a breastfed baby. I know it is hard at this stage, especially when you see your sister getting her rest. If her baby is sleeping through the night, he might be getting enough calories during the day to make it through for his system. His size probably has nothing to do with it. Some babies are genetically small or have unrelated problems.
Since your baby is able to take a bottle, you could consider breastfeeding and formula feeding too. It's not something that I've liked to do, but giving a bottle of formula can help a lot. If your baby is growing well and gaining weight, formula isn't necessary, but it gives you a break from all the time you spend with your baby and you won't start to resent time spent with her.
You can try using white noise, swaddling her, putting her to bed with a blanket that you have held close to yourself for a couple nights so it smells like you. I have put many of my children to bed every night in a swing. They can be real life-savers. Who cares how many batteries you go through?