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Thread: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    I think I just need some reassurance that this is normal and will get better at some point.

    All the literature and books say that my three month old (or he will be next week, rather) should be going about three hours between feedings and at night waking up only once to eat and otherwise sleeping for several hours at a stretch.

    My DS instead still goes about two hours between feedings, and sometimes doesn't even wait that long, and he wakes up three times a night to eat: about 1am, 3am, and 5am (we put him to bed after feeding him around 9pm, and he wakes up around 6:30 for the day). A few weeks ago he was also waking up around 11pm but he,s thankfully dropped at least one feeding.

    Also, he does NOT nap. :P When he does it's micronaps of fifteen minutes or so. Doesn't matter how much I pay attention to his sleep cues, he fights my attempts to get him to nap and prefers to catch cat naps at the breast during feeding.

    He sleeps in a co-sleeper next to my side of the bed (bedsharing is not something we want to do). Is this kind of schedule something other people have experienced? The sleep book I'm reading says I should be trying to help him drop a feeding (or two, in our case) at night with various methods. I'm wondering if I'm too quick to pick him up at night and assume he's hungry (I wait until he actually starts fussing loudly) and I'm starting to question my ability to read his hunger cues accurately during the day, especially since he's recently discovered that putting his fist in his mouth is fun and not just when hungry.
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    normal. i think get rid of the sleep book so you can stop worrying about it. honestly, if you hadn't of read about what the book says to be doing, would you have thought there was a problem? I think normal at 3 months too is on demand, whatever baby wants to eat/sleep. PLUS things are going to be changing with the routine every couple of weeks anyways. I found things didn't really normalize with eating and sleeping until 6 months in.

    in my opinion, way way too young to think about eliminating night feedings for him. its different if he sleeps through them on his own, but if he's still waking to nurse i would nurse him.

    i hate sleep books. really, really please think about getting rid of it.
    Last edited by @llli*oakdryad5; November 8th, 2011 at 01:50 PM. Reason: typos!
    Christine
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    I was actually going to post my own thread today with the exact same concerns!
    So while I don't have any advice to offer you, I can tell you that I'm in the very same situation.

    My LO is 2.5 months (born one week after yours) and doesn't usually last a full 3 hours without feeding - not during the day, and certainly not at night. We are up at almost the exact same times you mentioned, although as it gets closer to dawn, it seems he is waking almost every hour. I was asking myself the same question - am I too quick to grab him when he starts fussing? Should I wait till it turns into a real cry, or even let him cry it out those times when it's almost been an hour since the last feed? Is it necessarily hunger? He's never really been one to gnaw at his fist when he's hungry, although yesterday he did it right after eating - so apparently not hunger, but like you said, just because he realized he can.

    Mine also doesn't nap much during the day; it seems when he does go down and I decide to grab some shut-eye myself, he's up within a half hour. The only times he's gone for a good stretch during the day is when I've had him out in the car / running errands, and of course I'm not getting a nap during those times.

    Susan, thanks for the word about sleep books. I was just getting to the point where I was going to start looking into this to see whether I should start some sort of routine or regimen with him. I didn't know if it was time to look into night weaning or not, even if to drop one feeding. Of course my instinct is always to grab him and put him to the boob and he seems to be content with that!

    Good to know I'm not the only one, although I'm sorry you're not getting more sleep, Markus' mom!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    P.S. I don't know about you, but it was puzzling for me to hear about people whose 8-week-old babies sleep through the night because we are nowhere near that yet. And of course one of the first things that neighbors, people in grocery stores, etc. want to know are "Is he sleeping through the night yet?" NOPE not even close!! But the fact that they're asking makes you wonder if he's supposed to be, right??

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    STTN means sleeping 5 hours--check Elizabeth Pantley's website
    Nope, it doesn't mean that healthy, normal kids should be doing so: this cracks me up http://www.drjen4kids.com/soap%20box/sleep%20stuff.htm

    The so-called parenting books that are marketed to worried new parents pretty much disgust me. Scheduling feedings is an extraordinarily bad idea for a breastfed baby. It can easily cause bfing to backfire. It's great news, however, for artificial milk companies. I read 'The Baby Whisperer' and thought I was raising a spoiled kid until my DD was 3 days old and lost 12% of her body weight due to scheduling (yes, scheduling at 3 days!) Do yourself and your baby a favour: ditch those books. Look at your baby and respond sensitively and quickly.

    Ever ask those eager STTN parents at the checkout counter what they know about SIDS, and how nightwaking is a good prevention for cot death? (read that Dr Jen article!) I don't mean to come off as flip. I just get irritated by others who want to 'show off' their deeply sleeping babies. I knew a baby who died of cot death and the whole topic is a nightmare for me.

    I think the most relevant question is if the parents are well-rested. If you feel well-rested, it doesn't matter how often your LO wakes up at night. I night nursed 3-5x nightly for over a year and always felt well-rested because we did safe co-sleeping. As a bfing mother, I really like night nursing because the more calories LO takes in at night, the more I can get up and out of the nursing chair in the daytime. Also any night waking I have my nursling helps me get over: lactation triggers calm, restful, sleepy feelings in both mum and baby. Love that! Night nursing mothers who need to pump during the day won't need to pump as much because of those extra calories taken in too, and finally night nursing is linked with longer-term bfing success. STTN: not that great. Being well-rested and having bfing success: a-ok! OK sorry I'm blathering. It's late at night here
    Katharine
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  6. #6
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    My lo was born 8/24/11 so he's almost the same age and I'm experiencing the same exact thing. A lot of things I read talk about how much babies sleep during the day and my little guy doesn't nap at all unless he's on me or his dad. He also doesn't sleep through the night. He has had some nights where he sleeps for 4, 5, or 6 hours straight but that doesn't always happen. He's also more fussy in the early morning and it's hard for me to know when to pick him up. Sometimes he is a little fussy but he's still sleeping when I look at him and I never know whether I should wake him or not. He also still eats at least every 2 hours during the day. Anyways, it seems like almost any eating/sleeping pattern is normal at this age.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lolaminis View Post
    "Is he sleeping through the night yet?" NOPE not even close!! But the fact that they're asking makes you wonder if he's supposed to be, right??
    I hate when people ask this question. Don't take that as a sign that he should be..take it as a sign that they're nosey!
    I am Lea (middle name)
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*momtodom09 View Post
    I hate when people ask this question. Don't take that as a sign that he should be..take it as a sign that they're nosey!
    Amen!

    I have to wonder what sleep book you're reading, OP. There is a huge range of advice out there on infant feeding and sleeping patterns, and frankly, a lot of it is just awful. IMO, any book that implies that you are doing something wrong by being a responsive parent, or nursing on demand, or that your baby should conform to some sleep/eat pattern the author thinks is normal despite never having met your individual baby, is a book that belongs in the recycle bin. I know that it can be hard to realize that when it comes to your baby, the only expert whose opinion actually matters is YOU. Even though you've never written a book about babies or sleep or nursing or whatever. YOU know your baby best!
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    Thanks, everyone! These responses have put me more at ease.

    Mommal, the book I'm reading, at the recommendation of a smart friend of mine, is The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight book. It's not one of those books that recommends crying it out or not responding to your baby -- it's quite the opposite and is very pro nursing on demand, responding to baby, etc. The sense I got from the segment on three months old is not that you should not feed your baby if he's hungry, but that you may be mistaking a simple bout of interrupted sleep for hunger.

    Now, that said, I definitely didn't want to blindly follow what it said, which is why I started this thread.

    Yes, it's people constantly asking me if he's STTN and then being shocked that he's not, and then regaling me with stories about how their own babies STTN at [insert your favorite too-early timeframe here], that have made me wonder if he at least should just be eating LESS frequently. Being a new mom I'm just not sure if I've been too quick to jump up to feed him when he just might be fussing because he got woken up for some other reason. However, he seems to be on a very regular waking routine, making me think it's hunger (or it would be more random, I would think).

    As for being rested, yeah, I actually feel really good. On most nights he wakes at three pretty predictable times, and I go to bed with him at 9-9:30pm. I DO selfishly wish he'd drop just ONE of those late morning feedings so I can get a bit more rest, but I assumed that would probably happen over the next couple of months or so.

    So I suppose I'll just keep on keepin' on. Our schedule seems fine for us right now. I was worried I was setting up potential sleep issues later but sounds like maybe I'm over-worrying. And I like those benefits listed for night time nursing!
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Time between feedings at 3 mos.

    I just want to jump in and add really quickly that I don't personally believe in setting up potential sleep issues. I mean, I suppose that something extreme could potentially change the sort of sleeper a child is, but with the normal range of parenting responses, I think a baby/child sleeps the way they do. Period. With my first, I responded the way the books said to: she was in her crib, I waited until she was really crying to be sure she meant it and was not fussing for some other reason (it breaks my heart now to even remember that), we did CIO. With my second, I parented responsively: he co-slept with us, I nursed him every time he woke (which was a LOT - every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, typically), never made him CIO. And they slept the same way. And they started sleeping through the night at the same age.

    What you're describing sounds perfectly, absolutely, normal. But even if it weren't, short of something pretty drastic, I'm not sure there is much to do to change it. Like everyone has said before - keep doing what you're doing. It sounds like it's really working well. And throw away the books. Really. Your baby and your heart will tell you what to do.
    Teal

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