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Thread: 6 week old "snacking" in the middle of the night

  1. #1

    Default 6 week old "snacking" in the middle of the night

    Hi there,

    My 6 week old son normally eats every 3hrs and nurses for about 10-15minutes on each breast. We had somewhat of a schedule going where he would nurse every 3 hours at night, sometimes if I'm lucky I'll get a 4hr stretch. The past week I've noticed he only eats a small amount in the middle of the night (around the 2-3am feeding), he might suckle for 5-10 mins max on one breast and falls right back to sleep. I've tried everything to wake him back up to finish nursing (diaper changing, cold cloth, tickling feet, talking, turning on lights, etc...) basically nothing works so I put him back in his crib, he then wakes up again 1-2hrs after to nurse again because I'm assuming he didn't eat enough.

    Last night he did a 4hr stretch between feedings from 930-130am (hooray). He didn't eat much at the 1:30 feeding and woke up again around 2:45ish to nurse again, suckled for about 5 mins then woke up again around 4, then 5, this cycle continued until about 6am. He definitely doesn't have his day's and nights mixed up because he refuses to be put down during the day and can't fall asleep for a nap without being rocked to sleep or held, but at night when I put him in his crib he falls asleep on his own. Any suggestions on how to try and correct this behavior? I've tried giving a pacifier, rocking and white noise at the 2-3am feeding to see if he really just needs to suckle instead of nurse but that doesnt seem to work! Maybe this is just a phase he will grow out of soon, I just feel like we've regressed in the sleep department!

    Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: 6 week old "snacking" in the middle of the night

    6 weeks is a big growth spurt, and I think beyond needing to eat more frequently (which they do need at growth spurts) growing babies need pretty frequent reassurance and comfort, which they seek through nursing. I would encourage you not to think in terms of progress or regression in sleep "habits" of your baby. It's not a linear progression towards a goal. There isn't much (if anything) you can do to train them this little. There really is only meeting their needs as their needs occur.

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 6 week old "snacking" in the middle of the night

    Especially with the suggestion not to think about "progress" and "regression"- it puts value judgments on erratic but normal baby sleep habits, judgments that don't really belong and don't help. Like if your baby is "progressing" and sleeping "better" then you must be doing something right and you must have a "good" baby, and if he's "regressing" then you must be doing something wrong and you must have a "bad" baby... It can be really crazy-making!

    I wonder if maybe your LO is starting to think about giving you a 4-5 hour stretch at night (a.k.a. Sleeping through the night). When my kids started doing that, they often woke more frequently during the rest of the night, as if to make up for that 4-5 hour block of not nursing and not being near mama.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: 6 week old "snacking" in the middle of the night

    I know it isn't what you want to hear, but there is really nothing to be done but go with the flow. Mommal is right, trying to figure out a baby's sleep schedule and patterns is just going to drive you crazy and in a couple of weeks everything is likely to change again.

    My 15mo had to be woken up at 7:30am yesterday and 8am today. Just last week he was waking up on his own by 5:30am. Same bedtime, very different wake up times. What will happen tomorrow?
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 6 week old "snacking" in the middle of the night

    Thanks for the support! I'll try to view this change in night time nursing habits as a different routine to get used to for now and not a form of regression! Mommal, I was thinking that he may be ready to go for a longer stretch at night since he only snacks quick, but who knows .

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