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Thread: Growth Spurt and Sleep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    41

    Default Growth Spurt and Sleep

    I can't believe I'm back with more questions. It's just that with my son, he didn't sleep through the night until 4 months, but then he never looked back. No night wakings again unless he was sick. So, this whole reversion thing has me flummoxed.

    As I've mentioned before, my 3-month-old daughter (10 lbs 12 ozs as of last week) has been sleeping for 8- to 11-hour stretches since about 7 weeks. Suddenly, within the last week, though, she's cut those stretches down to about 5 hours long. She's also nursing a lot longer at each feeding, so I'm guessing it's a growth spurt.

    When she wakes up during the night, she's definitely hungry (sucking madly and roots when I touch her cheek), so I feel comfortable that I'm doing the right thing by nursing her. But my biggest fear is that by feeding her in the middle of the night, I'm somehow training her to wake up at night.

    For those of you who have dealt with growth spurts, did your baby go back to sleeping through the night once the growth spurt passed? This whole night-waking thing would be much easier to take, if I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel and everything will sort itself out eventually.

    Also, these longer nursing episodes are throwing a wrench in our routine. I've figured out that she can really only last about 1 to 1-1/2 hours before she needs another nap. So, it used to be that she would nurse for 15 minutes whenever she woke up, play for about 45 minutes to an hour, and then nurse for another 15 minutes before going down for the next nap. Well, now that she's nursing about 45 minutes each time, it ends up being 2 to 3 hours before she goes down for her next nap at which point she's so overtired, she can't sleep, which makes it even worse for the next nap and so on.

    The only solution I can think of is preserving the 1 to 1-1/2 hour wakeful time and cut out the play time (literally nurse, nap, nurse, nap, etc.). Is that how it's supposed to be during a growth spurt? How have others handled the longer nursing episodes and naps?

    Lastly, I've found she now falls asleep at the breast (probably due to being overtired), which then only compounds the problem with getting her to nap. She'll nurse for a while, and then her eyes will close, her body will go all limp, the sucking will become softer, and the time between each suck will get longer. When she gets to this sleepy stage, can I assume she's had enough milk, or should I let her continue until she falls off the nipple, which could add another 20 to 30 minutes to the nursing? I've been doing the latter, but I'm finding that the little cat nap she has at the breast is enough to revive her and prevent her from taking a proper nap.

    Apologies for the extremely long post. If you've made it this far, though, I'd love to hear any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions you may have.

    Thank you!
    Mom to 4/19/2011, 5/14/2009, and 12/14/2002

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    321

    Default Re: Growth Spurt and Sleep

    You could have described my son, who just turned 3 months, perfectly! I will watch any answers to your thread with interest!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    41

    Default Re: Growth Spurt and Sleep

    Thank you so much for letting me know I'm not alone. Now, let's hope someone has a magic answer for us.
    Mom to 4/19/2011, 5/14/2009, and 12/14/2002

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Texas
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    818

    Default Re: Growth Spurt and Sleep

    First off ! I wish I had a magic answer, don't we all, here's the best I can do...
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*smileyface View Post
    so I feel comfortable that I'm doing the right thing by nursing her. But my biggest fear is that by feeding her in the middle of the night, I'm somehow training her to wake up at night.
    I think you should go with your instincts. She's so little I don't think she could be trained even if you wanted to do so, plus since its a growth spurt, she IS hungry, so just go with the flow, mama

    For those of you who have dealt with growth spurts, did your baby go back to sleeping through the night once the growth spurt passed? This whole night-waking thing would be much easier to take, if I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel and everything will sort itself out eventually.
    Well...I wish I could say yes it did for us, but it didn't...the reason being that once the growth spurt passed, then it was an ear infection, and then it was teething, and then it was some milestone having her wake up (sitting up for example), or gas, or what not. There were some rare nights, but I just have a "bad" sleeper. Eventually yes though, things will sort themselves out, just hang in there! If you are getting really exhausted due to the night waking, you can try going to bed earlier, sleeping when baby naps, or even co-sleeping.

    Also, these longer nursing episodes are throwing a wrench in our routine.
    Sucks doesn't it? The routine probably will change a million more times for a million different reasons after this point...What has worked for me is to let baby be the guide but gently nudge towards the routine. Especially during a growth spurt, she is just trying to increase your milk and meet her needs so you don't want to impose limits on that, especially at her young age. We did not see a consistent routine until 6 months of age but all babies are different.

    The only solution I can think of is preserving the 1 to 1-1/2 hour wakeful time and cut out the play time (literally nurse, nap, nurse, nap, etc.). Is that how it's supposed to be during a growth spurt?
    Yes

    can I assume she's had enough milk, or should I let her continue until she falls off the nipple, which could add another 20 to 30 minutes to the nursing? I've been doing the latter, but I'm finding that the little cat nap she has at the breast is enough to revive her and prevent her from taking a proper nap.
    It's up to you..depends on what you need to do. If she's not satisfied, she'll probably wake up again pretty soon...but if mama has to take a shower, well pop a pinky in her mouth gently pry her off. I did this and would burp my LO and the patting put her back to sleep. She may not take proper naps until this passes and that's ok, things will normalize again. You can also try baby-wearing if you want to move around and she keeps waking when you put her down.
    HTH
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Growth Spurt and Sleep

    Thank you, Christine. This is incredibly helpful.
    Mom to 4/19/2011, 5/14/2009, and 12/14/2002

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    818

    Default Re: Growth Spurt and Sleep

    You're very welcome! and also
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

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