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Thread: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    The Armpit of the Universe

    Default Re: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

    When my DS was 4 months, our "schedule" (when I say schedule, I mean somewhat regular/sometimes irregular routine initiated and maintained by him) was along these lines:

    6-7am: awake for the day (he's a morning person) until he shows signs of fussiness
    9 am: nurse to nap which lasts around 1 hour, tops, and the nursing is pretty much the entire nap, maybe there are 2-3 separate times where letdown happens, so this might be 2-3 feeds?
    10ish: we get up, while away the day, change a lot of diapers
    noonish: another nurse/nap. This nap would last anywhere from 1.5-3.5 hours depending on how worn out he was and previous nap length, and I am sometimes able to break away to eat lunch or whatever, then he normally nurses a few times within the nap (I just let him sleep on the floor and stay for the most part nearby, and come back to side-lying nursing every time he stirs/roots) and upon waking.
    afternoon: nursing and naps are highly variable, and there are probably 3-4 quick snacks in there, and perhaps a quick catnap (20 minutes or less) around 4ish
    6 pm: go for a walk, at which point he sometimes falls asleep, and I nurse him once we get home
    7 or 8 pm: he goes down for the night
    10-12pm another nursing
    2am almost on the dot, another nursing
    4am his sleep becomes restless, so he's getting well-rested, but is waking me up, and sometimes I can sneak another nursing in there to try to keep him calm until a more reasonable wake-up time.
    6am: the last nursing of the night.

    This is the rough pattern we were experiencing from somewhere around 3 months until about 4.5 months. Lately our routine has changed. That is to say, even once you think you have a routine going, your baby will change it up on you just to keep you on your toes. But I'm able to accommodate his changes and growth spurts/teething/distractability because I don't try to remain in a rigid schedule, but nurse/offer naps on demand. So all this in 24 hours roughly equals probably 10 nursings at a minimum (he's very fat) and maybe 3 naps which average 1.5 hours each during a 13-hour "day" and he sleeps pretty solidly at night (or if he's awake, he's being very quiet about it) since we cosleep, so he doesn't have time to wake up once he starts wiggling/rooting before he gets fed again. I must say, the days where he is overtired due to insufficient napping make for very long evenings and nights, so I'm a firm believer in naps.

    Now, at 5 months, our pattern is leaning a little towards 2 longish naps or else 3 very small catnaps, depending on what external factors there are. He still eats about the same number of times a day, though, just now he doesn't always fall asleep during a nursing.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

    If you read the Ferber book, which I don't recommend, you will see that even he, the cry it out doctor, does not recommend sleep training babies before 6 months.

    I find it so weird that all my friends that did cry it out with their babies at three, four, five months are just fine when their six year olds wake up at night and need them. Why is that? Is it because the 6 year old has the words to tell you what they need and they feel like the baby is "manipulating" them with their crying?

    Babies cry out of need mama. Especially at your little one's tender age.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #13

    Default Re: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    The reason infant feeding habits are so variable is that every baby has different needs and every mom has a different capacity to produce and store milk. A mom with a large storage capacity will be able to hold a lot of milk in her breasts without her body interpreting that as a sign of low demand. A mom with a normal or low storage capacity will not be able to do that. Her body will interpret a lot of milk just sitting in the breast as a sign that the baby doesn't need that milk, and her supply will decrease. This is why it is so important to trust the baby and to feed on demand: it is demand which creates and maintains supply. When you tinker with that system, imposing a schedule on it, you can easily end up with low supply and a baby who isn't gaining weight.
    This is really important! The number of times you need to nurse each day to maintain a good milk supply isn't going to be the same as another mom's.

    There's more information about it in this article from the Clinical Lactation journal:

    The Magic Number and Long Term Milk Production

    Nobody can tell you what your magic number is except your baby, as long as you follow her cues.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

    Looking at the schedule that was given to you for your baby, all I can think (besides wondering how baby will get enough to eat nursing so infrequently) is how tied down such a schedule would make a mom. I don't see how mom could ever have time for on outing of any type with such a rigid schedule.

    Recently a mom who had her baby on a rigid nursing schedule like this called me because she was going back to work very part time. She had arranged to work a very abbreviated shift so would only be separated from baby about 3 hours a day, but because her hours would cause her to miss one of her scheduled nursing sessions, it meant she would not be nursing baby for over 7 hours, which she knew would leave her engorged. The only thing she could think to do was to bring a pump to her job, and try to find time in her 3 hour, no-break shift to go pump! I suggested she instead nurse baby before she left for work and then when she got back, which she agreed would be so much easier and simpler but it would "wreck the schedule!"

    This is ironic, since so many folks think (erroneously imo) that cue feeding ties moms down. On the contrary, a mom who is cue feeding can go anywhere with her baby at any time. She nurses baby when baby wants, where ever she is. Most babies sleep quite nicely held in a sling or wrap as mom walks around. Babies are used to sleeping in mom’s womb so the movement is soothing. Or if mom is home, she can lie down with baby and nurse baby to sleep and both mom and baby can get a much needed nap!

    This organization takes an evidence-based approach to explaining what is normal when it comes to infant sleep. It has several pages on sleep training. http://www.isisonline.org.uk/

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

    You have gotten some good advice. I know you're tired, mama! Trust me, I KNOW!!!! DS will be 8 months old next week and has only had a period from about 6 weeks to 10-12 weeks where he slept a good amount of time at night. After that, he wakes up constantly! He's had many issues that cause this and I'd hate to think that I let him cry for 15 minutes and still wouldn't pick him up, love on him just because I wanted him on a schedule! It breaks my heart for your little one!!!!

    I'm not a mom with a baby who sleeps a lot.....or at all! LOL So I'm not someone who hasn't been there/done that trying to give you advice! Take these lady's advice and feed your baby more often. You may find you get more sleep if you lay down with him and nurse him to sleep. Then you both win, everyone's getting sleep! As one pointed out, even the cry-it-out so-called experts don't believe in doing that before 6 months.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

    Every kid is different. When my son was 4 months, he woke at 8am, nursed, played for an hour, napped for 45 minutes, woke up, nursed, played for an hour, napped for 45 minutes, woke up, nursed, etc.... all day long. This was his schedule that he naturally fell into (ie I didn't do anything but nurse on demand and put him to sleep when he was tired). He would be awake for almost 2 hours before bedtime and would nurse at least twice during his last awake cycle. He would therefore eat about every 2 hours. He would sleep 12 hours at night with two awakenings to nurse.

    By 6 months he could be awake for 2-2.5 hours at a time and had settled into 3 naps. He was eating every 3 hours or so. By 7 months he had dropped his third nap but lengthened his two remaining ones to an hour and a half.

    Now, at 9 months, he is awake 3 to 3.5 hours at a time, takes two 1.5 hour naps, eats every 2.5-4 hours, and wakes once at night to nurse. He sleeps about 11 hours at night.
    Mom to Son B born 7/13/11

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Age appropriate feeding and sleeping

    [QUOTE=@llli*goldentoes;1256917]So I think maybe it's better just to respond to baby's needs as best you can, and unless there's a problem not try too hard to mess with his rhythms. QUOTE]

    This exactly. If I ever tried to fight my son's rythyms, it caused nothing but problems. Just nurse on demand and help him to sleep when he is tired. It will all fall into place eventually.
    Mom to Son B born 7/13/11

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