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Thread: Baby wants to eat every hour...

  1. #1

    Question Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Hello everyone. I'm new here, so I apologize if my question has been answered or seems silly.

    My daughter Noella is 1 week old and it seems like she is hungry a LOT. In the hospital, she was eating for about 20 minutes every two hours or so, which the nurses said was great. Now that I have her home, she will sleep for about 3-4 hours, then wake up and want to eat every hour for about 4 hours. Last night was pure torture... She was up from 9-3am and wanted to eat every hour. That's 7 hours in a row! I felt totally used and exhausted by 3 am. She did sleep a lot during the day though, so I don't know if that's just her body's way of catching up or if there's something else I should be doing...

    I honestly don't know what to do. When she cries after an hour, we try to soothe her in other ways, but she'll do the "baby bird" thing, searching everywhere for a nipple. She will not settle for anything less, and I'd hate to be starving her.

    I wanted to add, currently she's eating about 8-10 min on one breast, then if she doesn't fall asleep, she will eat for about 8-10 min on the other breast. Sometimes she's just so sleepy that she will either be barely eating or fall asleep right in the middle of eating and will absolutely NOT wake up.

    Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks a bunch.

    -Shawna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Northern BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Sounds like everything is normal. Your LO will get a pattern soon and it will probably be more manageable. Right now instincts are making your LO ensure you have a good milk supply.
    July 30, 2010-6lbs 2oz- 41w 4d (emergency c-section.) Known dairy, eggs, dogs and cats allergies, eczema, and asthma
    Bonus June 22, 2006 (is 50/50 Custody ) (born 32w) Sensitive to changing temps.
    We BF, BW, Co-sleep and use cloth diapers/pull-ups!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Totally normal. Her Job at this point is just to get you to make enough milk. There should be no trying to schedule or clock watching with a new born. Just let her have at it. As you said even if it's every hour it's just for 10-20 minutes. And she is getting fed and your body is getting the right number of signals to make milk.
    Wrap your mind around the fact that for the first 6-12 weeks all they do is eat, sleep and poop. And as a result all you will do is feed and change diapers. Plan for that. Wake up in the morning with the goal of feeding the baby. It takes time and practice for a new dyad to find their rhythm and get to know each other. And Nature sets it up so that you are always together. Because that is what you BOTH NEED to make this work. So Set up a nursing station. With remotes, phones and Book or movies or whatever you can do on the couch. Let go of the idea of getting anything else accomplished right now. In fact even if you DO get a 3-4hour nap during the day, you should still be RESTING during that time since she is cluster feeding at night. It is totally normal for newborns to eat every hour while awake. Just give her access and let her nurse on demand.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Nursing in bed is a good way to get some sleep. The reason i started co sleeping with me first son was because he needed to eat all the time at night and I needed some sleep. I practiced nursing laying down during the day so at night it was easy to pop him on and he would eat and i could go back to sleep. It took a little getting used to but it worked for me.

    As soon as I had my second son, he came right to bed on the first night so i could get some sleep.

    PP is right, my rocking chair has everything around it, laptop, ipod player, cups, snacks, books everything within arms reach

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    11

    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Shawna

    Hi there! We are about a week apart. I totally know exactly what you are going through. I actually laughed out loud when you said that your LO was doing the " bird thing".
    I hate to tell you this but we are still working through our partnership, my LO and I. It does get a little better once they begin to figure it out but I am struggling with the same thing you are. I just feed her whenever she wants. I look for the " bird thing" and listen to her cries and try to learn what they mean.

    We have our nights and days mixed up. She thinks that night time is the time to have tummy time and play time. I work hard to use the time that she is awake during the day to keep her awake. I am hoping this helps with our alert time during the overnight hours.

    Are you struggling at all with gas or reflux with your daughter? We just starting that a few days ago. This causes awful overnight hours. Up screaming after 1 am theough 5 am. I am sooooo exhausted. My problem is that I don't nap during the day. This soon will past. Just enjoying everyday that we have together.

    Hang in there. If you want to message back and firth let me know.

    Jillian

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    It's hard at first to learn to sleep when your baby sleeps. I know. I remember. But you to at least REST and PRACTICE napping. You aren't going to outlast your LO or teach them to STTN any time this year. In fact all you can count on in terms of sleep is that it's all going to change every 6 weeks. But if you PLAN to just feed and rest then you won't be so ruined. Part of the issue with New Motherhood is this idea that you will somehow fit the baby into life before. Like you are HOME in your PJ's you SHOULD be getting all this stuff done. But it doesn't really work like that. If you spend your days while your child is sleeping trying to get stuff done, then at night when you don't get any sleep, you will be a Zombie by day 10. And it happens. But you can prevent the burn out. By simply accepting the fact that new babies DO wake at all hours of the night and they DO need to eat as often as every 60 minutes. And Preparing for that both mentally and physically. Rest when your child is sleeping. Lay down. In your bed. Put your feet up while in your rocker or on your couch. I learned to nap with my child by month 4. But it took practice.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    19

    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mtmama View Post
    Nursing in bed is a good way to get some sleep. The reason i started co sleeping with me first son was because he needed to eat all the time at night and I needed some sleep. I practiced nursing laying down during the day so at night it was easy to pop him on and he would eat and i could go back to sleep. It took a little getting used to but it worked for me.
    This was the best thing I ever did for my night time nursing!! My LO one sleeps with me and when she starts fussing, I don't even have to get up!!! Since I'm already laying next to her, I simply guide my breast to her mouth. It took some practicing, but it's definitely worth it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Nashvegas-ish
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    324

    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Rough, exhausting time for you, Mama! But totally normal!

    My best advice is for you to make yourself as comfortable as possible, set up a nursing station around you (get a big glass of water, diapers, changing pad, wipes, book, remote control, snacks) and camp out.

    Hang in there!

    Everything DJ's Mom said!
    Last edited by @llli*three-wishes; April 20th, 2011 at 11:10 AM. Reason: ETA: WSS!
    Wife to DH February 17, 2004.
    First time mom to my precious baby girl, welcomed to this world August 3, 2009!
    Birth: 6 lbs. 6 oz. and 18.5"
    6 months: 14 lbs. 14.5 oz. and 26"
    1 year: 20 lbs. and 30"

    Woohoo! We made it one year!


    Learn more about us at my blog.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Brussels, Belgium
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    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    It's perfectly normal. Babies bf for a variety of reasons, and your LO is ramping up your supply too at this point. My DD bf twice an hour until 9 months, then she began cutting back.

    Mother Nature is protecting you too from a host of troubles by keeping you and baby united all the time--you very unlikely to deal with undersupply, mastitis, clogged ducts AND since your LO is with you all the time he feels secure and is learning a lot.

    If you found yourself on an alien planet, helpless, unable to talk, move, toilet yourself, etc. with only one person you know and trust, you'd probably want to stick to that person like glue. Believe it or not, pretty soon after LO feels more secure he'll begin exploring the world more so than he would have if you push him to 'be independent' too soon.

    I highly recommend babywearing to coping with a very tactile baby, especially one who wants to bf often! Our baby scarf and baby carrier are two of the best parenting investments we ever made. HTH
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Baby wants to eat every hour...

    Thanks for all the advice and support everyone! That makes me feel A LOT better. I love the idea of just ignoring the clock and listening to my LO to tell me when she's hungry, because the clock watching was driving me mad! Now I feel much more at ease to feed her when she's hungry and know that she's getting just what she needs.

    When I brought her to the pedi for her checkup, they told me that nursing every hour was too often and that I needed to stretch it to every two hours. The Dr. also said to try to give her a pacifier to soothe her crying in the meantime. (To a 1 wk old breastfeeding baby?) So that kind of made me feel like I was doing something wrong. So I came home that night and sure enough, after an hour, LO was hungry, so I thought ok, I need to get her to wait another hour. I tried everything, rocking, bouncing, walking, "shhhhing", etc. Nothing helped! My little girl just wanted to eat and it was breaking my heart to hear her cry. That's when I thought, this isn't right...and I signed up to this forum to get some better advice.

    Also, I tried co-sleeping with her last night, but I didn't get ANY sleep. I was so worried that I would squish her or a pillow would get placed on top of her. I might look into one of those little baby beds that go in the bed though, because it was really nice to have her so close and be able to feed her so easily.

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