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Thread: Hungry Baby or just Dreaming???

  1. #1

    Default Hungry Baby or just Dreaming???

    Hi everyone,
    My 6 week old son, who sleeps in a crib in our bedroom, will typically sleep for at least a 5 hour stretch at night, but occassionally he has gone longer. Last night I heard him stirring and making soft grunting type noises. When I got out of bed to look assuming it was time for a diaper change and feeding, he was wiggling around a bit but his eyes were shut. I watched for a few minutes to make sure, but he never opened his eyes and eventually stopped wiggling. So i got back in bed expecting him to wake up in a few minutes, but instead he stayed asleep. About 2 hours later, same thing. This time my husband checked too. He ended up sleeping all night long.
    Should I have gotten him up when he was stirring around? or was he just dreaming? I hate to wake him if he's sleeping, especially at night. My husband works long hours and I'll be starting back to work soon, so a decent night's sleep for everyone is well received!

    Also- during the day, do you wake your babies to nurse if they have been napping for several hours?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Hungry Baby or just Dreaming???

    How are his wet and dirty diapers? Has he regained his birth weight? If he's doing fine and gaining, I wouldn't wake him at night. However, I would wake him up to nurse every two hours during the day if he slept all night without nursing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,883

    Default Re: Hungry Baby or just Dreaming???

    At 6 weeks, I would let him sleep through the night as long as diaper output and weight gain were good. During the day, I'd allow a 3 hour nap, but after that I'd wake the baby, if only because the more calories a baby takes in during the day, the fewer they need at night.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Hungry Baby or just Dreaming???

    I agree with pps, but I do have a 'but.' Whether these long stretches at this age are an issue (or likely to develop into an issue) or not, is very individual. Some moms have greater than average milk supplies, some babies are very efficient nursers, and you put that together with a better than average sleeper, that is usually fine. (and lucky for mom!) However, if baby is not gaining normally, that would indicate either low supply and/or that baby is not nursing frequently enough, and of course in that case you would want to start nursing more often right away.

    Now here is where it gets tricky-these regular long stretches at night are pretty likely to cause a milk supply reduction. This may be perfectly ok, it depends, again, on whether you have more than baby needs to start with. BUT, I do often get 'low supply concerns' calls from moms whose babies are great nighttime sleepers early on- and I would call 6 weeks early for regular stretches of more than 5 hours. Very often, these low supply calls are false alarms, but sometimes a mom does decide she needs to step up night nursing and/or increase daytime feedings to get her supply going again. If you are going back to work soon, you really want milk supply in as great a shape as possible during that transition, as the switch to pumping for part of the day may also be detrimental to milk supply. Also, many times when a mom goes back to work, baby begins to want to nurse more overnight. So what is happening now may very well change anyway.

    So I would only add that I don't think there is generally any reason NOT to wake a 6 week old baby who has not nursed for several hours. As long as nursing is fairly easy for you at this point, it can't hurt. (And if breastfeeding is difficult, that is a separate issue that you will want to address.) There is no need to really wake baby up and change his diaper and all that. Just gently lift sleeping baby and put him to the breast & see what happens. He may nurse, he may not, he may fully wake and he may not. If you have mastered a side lying position (you can work on this during the day if you have not) and feel safe doing that at night, (you might want to look into bedsharing safety tips) so much the better. You can still rest and no need for your husband to even wake up.

    Again, this may be totally unnecessary, in which case, sweet dreams to you and your baby. But I do like to mention it because it is easier to maintain a good milk supply than try to increase your milk once it has been affected.

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