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Thread: Night feedings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    10

    Default Night feedings

    After 2 weeks of waking up every 2 hours, my 9 month old seems to be back on the same track he has been on since he was a newborn: up 2x a night to eat. I just took him to his 9 month well baby and the pediatrician told me because he eats 3 solid meals per day and *was* nursing every 3 hours to bump daytime feedings to 4 per day and cut out the night nursing as he was getting more than enough. She came to this conclusion when I told her he nurses for 2-3 minutes at every single nursing session (I only offer one side per session) day or night.

    I am wondering if he is just nursing for comfort or if he really is getting a fair amount of nutrients from BF. I don't plan on BF any longer than a year (plain exhausted from it and he HATES co-sleeping). Since none of the sessions are 5+ minutes, I can't even judge if he is truly hungry at night.

    Does anyone else's 9 month old (or around that age as he has been doing this for 2 month or so) nurse this quickly? FYI I do not plan to cut back on solids as it has been an up and down road for us for several months and just now he is really enjoying them.

    Thanks for the input ladies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Night feedings

    I'm not really sure how to say this without it possibly sounding rude but, does it matter? If your baby is nursing for hunger or comfort, at this age both of those functions are equally important to him. 9 months is such a short time to be in this world and it can be really scary. They don't understand that when you walk out of the room you will be coming back. So that comfort is just as important, if not more so to him, than eating. But to answer your question it is totally possible for a seasoned nurser to consume all he needs in a few minutes. My son is an extremely fast eater and always has been. Although he would hang out on the breast half the day or just take the nipple with him everywhere if I let him. Keep in mind as well that breastmilk is an analgesia which is key to a teething baby. So sometimes all they need is a quick sip to dull the pain and off they go.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: Night feedings

    My son never nursed more than a few minutes at a time (and he was a super-fat little baby) until after his first birthday, and I'm pretty sure that the longer nursing sessions started because he was more interested in comfort nursing (he didn't comfort nurse much when he was younger because I have really severe OALD). I agree with kst.7399, that comfort is a valid need during infancy and even during toddlerhood. There is frequently a lot of separation anxiety at nine months; so even if it is comfort nursing, I honestly think a baby truly needs it. Mine always nurses more at night when teeth are about to break through too, and I think that he would likely be waking up anyway because of that even if we weren't nursing. I gladly nurse him because it's an easy way to get him to go back to sleep.

    Have you tried to put his crib next to your bed? That way he is close which makes it easier to nurse during the night, but not actually in your bed if that is a problem for him. I did this after a surgery while I was recovering and couldn't have my then seven month old in bed with me. It was still tiring to get up every two hours to nurse him, but way better than having to get up, go to another room, nurse him, get him back to sleep, go back to my room. I never would have survived something like that!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Night feedings

    All of mine did that, even the one I feed via bottle. there are many night time reasons to wake, and food is just one. What if he is developing some separation anxiety? What if he is teething? These little wakes are just ways to reassure him you are there and ready to help him.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Night feedings

    My 11mo LO's nighttime nursing sessions have been similarly brief lately. I was also told to cut out the nighttime nursings... but have not done so b/c I figure... we are nursing on demand...and if he wants to nurse (for whatever reason) he should be able to do so. It's the same concept as us getting a drink of water or snack in the middle of the night if we are hungry, kwim? If he is indeed hungry, I don't want to deny him that.

    fwiw, we are still nursing more than 4x per 24hrs at 11mos. I think we are doing 4x from bedtime through first waking... and then probably another 4x (at least) during the day. Same as you -- nursing on one side only. I figure it's better to go off what LO wants and needs rather than trying to hold him up to the standard "benchmark".
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Night feedings

    For once, he is not teething since 4 month old. The reason I am even considering this is that I just don't know if I can physically do this anymore. Not only do I think my milk supply is dwindling (this was a though of mine even as I was feeding every 2 hours so it's not like I was going long between sessions). I am a single parent (husband is deployed), I just moved to a new area before he left (don't know a soul, completely on my own), have a toddler to take care of who is suffering for attention as I constantly tend to my 9 month old, and sometimes so tired that I feel I could be a danger being the only one to care for my children.

    As far as the separation anxiety, I believe he did have it but seems much better through the day and I continue to cuddle/hold him as much as possible so he feels that contact. The crib in the room is a major problem as he just wants to be held and walked around all night which I obviously can't do. He does better when he can't see me.

    Maybe I will take him to the doc in another week or so and see if he is still gaining weight appropriately and make some decisions.

    Thanks

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