Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    My three-month-old had her well visit this afternoon. The doctor expressed concern that she has dropped from the 20th percentile in weight to the 13th. Here's her weight history:

    Birth: 5 lbs 14 ozs (full-term; low weight due to velamentous cord insertion)
    1 month: 7 lbs 14 ozs
    2 months: 9 lbs 12 ozs
    Now (3 months): 10 lbs 12 ozs

    When the doctor found out she nurses every 1-1/2 to 2 hours during the day, she said my daughter was snacking, which might explain the drop in weight gain, and that I needed to space out the feedings so she'll eat more at each feeding. I'll pay more attention, but I really think I've been feeding her whenever she seems hungry and letting her nurse until she decides to stop. And now that I've read some of the articles on this web site, I'm not convinced that decreasing the frequency of feedings will help (it seems it might actually hurt).

    What should I do? Is this decline in weight gain really a problem? I don't want to go against doctor's orders, but trying to manipulate the timings of her feedings just doesn't feel right.

    For what it's worth, her height percentile went up from 40th to 68th. So, she is growing.

    There is one situation, though, in which I might not be feeding on demand, and that's at night. From time to time, she'll wake up around 2 or 3 in the morning and I'll hear her sucking vigorously on her hand. She often goes back to sleep, so I usually wait to see if she starts crying before going to feed her. I now see, though, (again from the articles on this site) that sucking can be an early sign of hunger (I had thought she was sucking for security).

    If she does that again, should I nurse her immediately without waiting to see if she goes back to sleep? Is sucking on her hand definitely a sign of hunger? I don't want to do anything that will interfere with her natural inclination to sleep through the night, but if this is causing the drop in weight gain, then I'll definitely feed her.

    Any thoughts or advice?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    My two cents? Your daughter's weight is fine. My son was born average size, and has dropped weight percentiles along the way (see my signature). My pediatrician has declared him a very healthy, strong baby (with two fairly thin parents). I don't think a baby must stay on the same curve throughout infancy, and 20th to 13th doesn't seem very dramatic a drop....Does your daughter seem healthy to you? Does she have a lot of wet diapers?

    I don't think spacing feedings will get her more milk - if anything, she would eat less milk overall. She is very young yet - if she's hungry every 1.5-2 hours, that seems normal.

    In regards to sleeping through the night, I would let her sleep if she's not waking. If she's really hungry, she'll let you know. And her sleeping through the night is likely not permanent. That said, if you are worried about her weight gain, I bet if you feed her in the night she will eat. I was very worried about my son's weight gain around 4-5 months, so every time he would move or smack his lips in his sleep, I would feed him. It seemed like every hour. It was awful - I do not recommend it. So really, if she's not going to wake, I would not feed/wake her.
    DS October 2010
    0 days: 7lbs6oz, 20"
    4 days: 6lbs8oz
    2 months: 11lbs4oz, 22.75"
    4 months: 13lbs5oz, 25"
    6 months: 14lbs14oz, 26.5"
    9 months: 16lbs13oz, 27.75"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    Thank you for the reassurance. She does seem healthy to me, and there are plenty of wet diapers, so I'm going to try not to get too bent out of shape over this. I'll pay more attention to her cues and see what happens at our next visit.

    With regard to the middle-of-the-night sucking, I think my daughter might actually be awake when she does that. It's just that sometimes she falls back asleep on her own and sometimes it escalates to crying. I have been only responding to the crying, but maybe I'll use wakefulness as the litmus test.

    Thank you again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    Your doctor is crazy.

    Let your baby sleep. Some babies sleep louder than others. My son would give me about 6 seconds of stirring until WWIII broke out if I didn't have a boob in his mouth; my daughter has been talking (screeching, really) in her sleep since she was about a week old. Grunting, screeching, you name it - but when you look at her, her eyes are closed and she's perfectly fine.

    BTW, looking back at the weights you report, your baby has ALREADY almost doubled her birth weight, and she's only 3 mos old. I repeat, she's nuts. Your instincts are dead on.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    Thank you!!

    I do get the sense this doctor looks for problems. I try to see the other doctors in the practice but that wasn't possible this month.

    By the way, I love the graphics in your signature.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,879

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    The doc is bonkers.

    "Snacking" is an entirely normal eating pattern for a young baby. Breastfed babies often prefer small, frequent meals to large, infrequent ones. Their tummies are tiny and breastmilk digests fast!

    It sounds like you have a baby who is a good sleeper, and I would hate for you to try to change that pettern because a mama needs her sleep! But that being said, it certainly would not hurt to feed her at night. Does she sleep in your room, or near you? If there's any question in your mind, night-feeding can offer a baby a lot of calories.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    I agree with the other replies. Your baby seems to be doing well - doctors want to see a baby's birth weight doubled by 6 months, and your daughter should be doubled by 4 months at this rate. My son has been a "slow gainer" since birth - he was 6lbs,15oz at birth and has since gained about 1 pound/month - so I know the stress you can feel about the weight gain. He is almost 7 months old and still in the bottom 5% for weight, but he's in the top 75% for length and has been very advanced in acheiving his milestones. His pediatrician just told me to stop worrying - some babies are long and skinny, and no matter how much I feed him he'll never be a fat baby. It sounds like your daughter is the same! Not every baby can be in the top 50% for weight...

    As for the night feedings, what time does she go to bed? My son is an excellent sleeper, he goes to bed at 9 but he still wakes up to eat at around 4-4:30am (7 hour stretch), then goes back to sleep till about 7-7:30. You said your daughter wakes up around 2-3, but how many hours has she been sleeping at that point? If she goes to bed early and it's been 6-7 hours since her last feeding, you may want to consider feeding her. I think it's really up to you as the mom to decide, though. One night feeding is not going to make a huge difference in her weight gain, so just go with what feels right to you. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    Thank you, Mommal and Rydersmom!

    She does sleep in our room, so I hear everything. I'm relieved to hear it won't hurt to feed her.

    She goes to bed around 6 or 6:30, so by 2 or 3 she's been asleep for at least 8 hours. Looking at it this way, it does seem to make sense to feed her if she's already awake.

    I feel so much better now. Thank you everyone!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    regarding weight gain, which seems fine. If you're ever unsure if your LO is getting enough milk, you can count her wets and poops. I can never keep track of how many of each to look for, but it's easy enough to find if you are concerned.

    Personally, I would probably go ahead and feed her at that night "waking, " even if she's not really waking all the way. If you can get her fast enough, she likely won't wake completely and should settle back into sleep pretty quickly with a nice top-off to see her through to morning. (BTW, I'm totally jealous of your 8-hour stretch of sleep. Enjoy that while it lasts. Many babies who STTN early on will change when teething starts or they reach other developmental milestones. Not that yours will necessarily regress, but many do.)
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Weight gain / sleeping through the night

    Snacking is actually BETTER for weight gain because if you start with the breast you ended on, your baby gets more hind milk. Hind milk has more fat in it. Fat is more calories

    And if she woke up, I'd feed her I tend to be a mom who feeds if a baby stirs though, because with baby right there next to me, then I don't even have to get out of bed to soothe the baby. I tend to shove a breast in baby's mouth and go back to sleep Having a cleft baby was a rude awakening
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •