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Thread: Question About Sleep & Supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    13

    Default Question About Sleep & Supply

    Hello Ladies!

    I have found these forums so helpful -- thank you!! This is my first post and I look forward to your great input!

    We have a 10 1/2 week old baby girl who weighed 8 lbs 11 oz at her last doctor's appoinment (January 26th). She had gained .85 oz per day since her previous appointment and her doctor is (finally!) happy with her weight gain. Baby started out at 6 lbs 3 oz, dropped to 5 lbs 6 oz, then started gaining slowly, then started gaining at a better pace.

    I think (at 8 weeks!) we finally turned a corner. Latch doesn't hurt (that was a struggle) and she's more awake and active during feeding. She still takes her (truly) sweet time. Reading this forum helped us during those challenging 8 weeks!

    Background: Baby takes lots of good naps during the day (usually 1-2 hours long and then I need to wake her to feed her, although once awake she knows she's hungry.). At night, she is now lengthening how long she'll sleep. Over the course of a a month or so, she's gone from sleeping about 3 hours at a stretch at night to 7 hours 20 minutes last night. She will make little noises, but we let her settle back down and she quiets herself and sleeps again (in a co-sleeper bassinet that fits between us in bed).

    Question: Is this 7 hour stretch too long for her to sleep for her or for my supply?

    My breasts are not as engorged as they were even a week ago ... She nurses on each side for approximately 20 minutes each. I follow her lead and switch sides when it seems like she's ready / done. My breasts do feel softer when I'm done. She seems satiated, but she does get pretty rambunctious at the breast toward the end of 20 minutes on each side (sometime it's a burp, sometimes it's pooping, sometimes who knows -- I start to wonder if she wants more but can't get it!). What a mindgame supply turns into (for newbies)! At times I pump after we've nursed and I usually get 2.5 to 3 oz or so in 30 minutes (2/3 of it from my left breast and 1/3 of it from my right breast).

    Another Question: I'm still waking baby during the day to feed her. I've just started to let her sleep up to 3 hours after the end of her last feed, but usually I wake her closer to 2 hours after the end of her last feed. Is this OK? With how long she nurses and this "schedule" (although I'm not scheduling her per say), we can only get 6 feeds in per day. What do you think about this for supply?

    Thank you so much for your help! I cannot tell you all how invaluable this forum has been!
    Last edited by @llli*kmhp; February 5th, 2012 at 01:33 PM.
    *Sweet baby girl born November 2011*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Question About Sleep & Supply

    Your supply will totally regulate. Me...I don't wake a sleeping baby

    Soon enough, she will change this up on you, so enjoy the sleep while you can!
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Question About Sleep & Supply

    I'm in the exact same situation with a 8 week old, we only manage to ger 6 feedings a day. My LC told me not to wake the baby and that supply will meet the baby's demand. But I still pump in the middle of the night, to relieve my own stress about loosing supply...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,894

    Default Re: Question About Sleep & Supply

    After 6 weeks, you can feel free to let your baby sleep long stretches at night, provided that she is gaining weight well. And she is, so enjoy the sleep! Your body has a great internal clock which allows it to make the right amount of milk for a given time of day, more during the waking hours, less while baby sleeps.

    Don't worry about not feeling engorged or full. After you've been nursing for a while, supply decreases to meet demand very precisely, without a lot of extra milk being produced to make you feel full. Most moms eventually feel full only when baby skips a feeding. Once supply is pretty well-matched to demand, you may also notice that your pump output decreases and that you leak less or not at all.

    There's no harm in waking a baby during the day to nurse her. It may even help her sleep longer at night, since some babies will really tank up on calories during the day and then not want to eat at night.
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question About Sleep & Supply

    I generally agree with aprilsmagic and mommal and but I will add this-

    When a mom calls me and is concerned that perhaps her baby is sleeping too much or nursing too little, I ask her about the family sleep habits and arrangements. Cue feeding (aka feeding on demand aka feeding on request) usually works great if mom recognizes or is present to experience baby’s cues. So if baby is sleeping in mom’s room at night, and is with mom/close to mom most of the time during the day, then whatever pattern is happening is likely just fine assuming weight gain and/or output is normal.

    But in our culture today, sleep arrangements could be very different. Baby may be sleeping in a separate room at night, sometimes quite remote from mom. A busy mom with work at home, older kids, etc, may get into the habit during the day of nursing baby and putting baby down to sleep, again remote from the hustle and bustle of the household. Monitors pick up sounds, and of course a mom will respond to a baby who has begun to whimper or cry, but these are late signs of hunger and some "good babies" will never rouse themselves enough to give such obvious cues. If mom was there, holding baby or beside baby, she would pick up on the squirming and facial movements and quiet sounds that would cue her to nurse. But these can be subtle and if mom is not right there, can be missed. Particularly if a baby is swaddled or given a pacifier, they may go right through a feeding without making their hunger/need to nurse obvious to mom. After several weeks of this, mom may find she has a reduction in supply or baby is not gaining as well as may be desired.
    So if a mom is not sleeping in close proximity or staying in close proximity most of the day, I DO suggest she go ahead and wake baby if she is concerned baby is not nursing enough. Or she could encourage dream nursing, or she can change habits and arrangements so baby is in closer proximity more of the time.

    I'm in the exact same situation with a 8 week old, we only manage to ger 6 feedings a day
    IMO 6 times per day seems low for any age baby who is exclusively breastfeeding. After one month, babies need what-26 ounces a day about? (someone let me know if I have that wrong!) It seems to me that would be difficult to achieve nursing 6 times a day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Question About Sleep & Supply

    Thanks for all of the helpful input! LLLMeg -- my concerns have been exactly as you outlined. I'm going to aim to fit in a few additional "snacks" per day for Baby to increase the frequency and give her a few more ounces here and there. Appreciate it!!
    *Sweet baby girl born November 2011*

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