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Thread: Nightime Feeding Cues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Nightime Feeding Cues

    My five week old little boy makes noises at night and I need help knowing if they are feeding cues or not. He opens his eyes, makes relatively quiet but unhappy-sounding grunts, waves his arms around (if his swaddling has come loose), makes ugly faces like he's about to scream, then goes quickly back to sleep. He does this often all night and my husband thinks he's just doing it in his sleep and that it doesn't mean anything. I wonder if he's hungry and I need to feed him. I've been feeding him every hour and a half to two hours at night but a lot of times we have to keep him awake to feed long enough and honestly, it's driving us crazy. Two nights ago my husband convinced me to put the baby in his room and set the volume on our monitor to a setting that lets us sleep through the grunts but hear actual cries. We slept almost 5 hours straight both nights! I'm wondering if this is ignoring my son's subtle hunger signs or if I should thank my lucky stars that I can finally sleep that long. My parents say, "Don't worry - he'll make sure you know when he's hungry! If he's not waking you up crying, he's fine." Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    1,712

    Default Re: Nightime Feeding Cues

    I don't think you need to feed him with every grunt but at this stage, I wouldn 't go longer than 4 hours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Bryan, Texas
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    4,260

    Default Re: Nightime Feeding Cues

    we had the same exact problem when DS was that age!! and the same solution...we put him in his room and he started sleeping 6-7 hours. This is why we didn't end up co-sleeping...DH had to work at 4am and I just couldn't keep him awake when he had to work hard all day.

    It was hard the first few nights of having him in his bed, but we ALL slept so much better and I was able to be a better mommy during the day. I realized that I was actually waking shiloh up. He would grunt and make weird noises and I thought that he was hungry. So i'd get up and drag my butt to the couch and start to nurse him, he'd nurse for 30 seconds and be back asleep. That's when I realized that he was not hungry.

    Your baby will let you know when he's hungry. I can vouch for that!! If you aren't opposed to having your son sleep in his own room...try it for a few nights and see how it goes. You can always change your mind and put him back in the room with you guys.

    HTH,
    Leslie
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    **Leslie**

    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    1,349

    Default Re: Nightime Feeding Cues

    I also put Collin inhis own room with the monitor on. He stirs and makes noise once in a while, but I only get up when he actually cries. I dont leave him crying, or wait for him to cry robustly. I just wait for a little cry. You know the difference between a cry and a grunt. Mind you, we're still getting up twice in the night...the longest he's slept is 4 hours...but it must help them learn the difference between night and day if we let them sleep at night and get them up when they start making noise during the day. Does that make any sense?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    9,280

    Default Re: Nightime Feeding Cues

    Wow, bumping this up for further discussion. This is happening with my 5 week old DS too!! He grunts like crazy, but occasionally in the early AM, he wakes up crying from the gas. He also sometimes cries in his sleep, small whimpering cry. He has a history of reflux, and sometimes his breathing is kind of....not wheezy, but congested in the throat. Is this normal?
    I'm scared to put him in his own room. All of his grunting/crying/breathing issues make me paranoid. But last night I slept with my pillow over my head to mask the grunts, and I realized DS slept for 4 hours instead of the usual 2 1/2. I was associating those grunts with gas AND hunger. So when the grunts got stronger, and DS got restless, I'd pick him up. I will try to keep my pillow over my head to mask the grunts and see how that goes. I can still hear everything, but the grunts are quieter.

    Did your babies cry in their sleep? He also makes sad faces. I notice it all happens during his REM cycle.

    Lyn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,273

    Default Re: Nightime Feeding Cues

    My boy does this grunting thing, too! If I let him grunt it out, he almost always goes back to sleep. If he is giving you 5 or 6 hours, take it. Babies start sleeping longer when their digestive systems mature, some mature very early and start sleeping many hours very early. This is okay. Mine still wakes to nurse 2 or 3 times a night but I've met many moms that have babes that sleep 8 to 12 hours at just a few weeks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    882

    Default Re: Nightime Feeding Cues

    My son nurses less at night (he's 3 weeks) but for longer periods of time. More feedings during the day...shorter sleep periods.

    Studies show that babies come out of REM sleep about every 2 hours. If he's just making some noises, just let him be. You'll know he's hungry when he goes from making those little noises...and they become more insistent and frequent (he's waking up). Then, he's hungry...but if you nurse him every time he "surfaces" from REM, he'll associate nursing with going back to sleep. You do NOT want to go down that road. I made this mistake with my daughter and she was STILL nursing every single time she woke up (several times a night) until she was 18-19 months old. I was exhausted.

    My little one sleeps with us. This enabled me to be able to listen to his cues and find out which ones signaled his hunger and which ones were just him soothing himself back to sleep. Last night he slept for 5 hours, nursed for 1 hour and then slept for another 4 hours. Today, he nursed about every 2 hours...slept for about 2 hours (longer after periods of waking).

    Don't worry...you'll learn the cues soon enough. The good thing, though, is that if you have any more children, it gets easier and easier to pick out the cues.

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