Re: My 6 week old wants to sleep though the night?
"Watch the baby, not the clock" means that a mom should feed her baby when the baby appears hungry, and for as long as the baby wants, rather than feeding at predetermined intervals for predetermined lengths of time. Often new moms will be advised to feed their babies only every 3 hours for only 10 minutes per breast, or something idiotic like that, and that sort of scheduling often leads to lowered milk supply, a miserable, hungry baby, and a miserable mom. Even newborn babies are very individual in their feeding frequency and duration, and not all babies are able to get adequate nutrition when fed according to a schedule.
Originally Posted by @llli*happykaramom
The only exception to this rule is when a mom has a baby who is not demanding enough, often because the baby is too laid-back or too sleepy. When a new baby feeds less frequently than every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 at night, it may be necessary for the mom to clock-watch, encouraging baby to nurse more frequently than she would if left to her own devices.
Since you are using a SNS, and still having difficulty getting your baby to stay awake and transition to a no-SNS lifestyle, I suggest continuing to wake baby at night. I think you can probably allow her a 5 hour stretch, but I wouldn't let her go longer than that without waking her to nurse. Once you have her off the SNS, then I think you can allow her to sleep for as long as she wants.
Because of the sleepiness and the SNS, I think it makes sense to continue to clock-watch during the day as well. The more feeding opportunities you give your baby, the more likely it is that she will wake up more, become a better nurser, and ditch the SNS. I don't think you need to be religious about waking your baby, but if she goes more than 2-3 hours during the day without nursing, wake her up and have her try.
You don't. "Snacking" gets a bad rap from a lot of people who are accustomed to the feeding patterns of formula-fed, scheduled infants, who tend to eat large amounts very infrequently. But small, frequent meals (a.k.a. snacks) are healthier for the babies (and toddlers, children, and even adults) than large, infrequent ones, and should not be discouraged. Small snacks throughout the day help maintain a nice, constant blood sugar level, and encourage a baby to read her own satiation cues because she never gets so strivingly hungry that she eats much more than she needs. "Snacking" may actually be part of the reason why breastfed babies tend to grow into leaner adults!
Originally Posted by [I
ETA: I know that long, extremely frequent feeding sessions are very frustrating for new moms. Sometimes you just want to go to the bathroom by yourself for 5 minutes, or eat a meal that hasn't been sitting on the table getting cold for half an hour... But if your baby's current feeding pattern is getting you down, please take heart. It's temporary. As your baby gets older, bigger, and stronger, and becomes a more capable breastfeeder, feedings will not take as long (most breastfed babies are ultimately capable of getting a full feed in 5-10 minutes), and may space out quite a bit without you having to do anything about it.
Last edited by @llli*mommal; June 9th, 2012 at 12:32 PM.
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