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Thread: My 6 week old wants to sleep though the night?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    48

    Default My 6 week old wants to sleep though the night?

    Hi,

    I keep seeing "watch your baby and not the clock". Can anyone elaborate?

    I am still waking up my 6 week old for feedings most of time day and night for every three hour feedings except for the evening where she cluster feeds. I also struggle to keep her awake most of the time for feedings, and watch the clock. I have told her PCP about her sleepiness and she is not concerned since she has good weight gain.

    It seems to help to stimulate her to eat and stay awake when I use the SNS (1/2 oz) but I want to wean her from it.

    When can I let her sleep though the night?
    She easily sleeps 5 hours (we co sleep and sleep nurse. ) But I get up at least once or twice for a stimulating full feeding.

    How do you prevent snacking all day when you don't have them on a schedule?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,343

    Default Re: My 6 week old wants to sleep though the night?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*happykaramom View Post
    I keep seeing "watch your baby and not the clock". Can anyone elaborate?
    "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.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by [I
    How do you prevent snacking all day when you don't have them on a schedule[/I]?
    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!

    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.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,895

    Default Re: My 6 week old wants to sleep though the night?

    If your baby is easily sleeping 5 hours, she is already sleeping through the night-WAY ahead of schedule. Yes, that is right-the accepted definition of "through the night" for a baby is a single 5 hour stretch. And this usually happens more around 3 months of age, if then. Lots of people think very young infants can safely sleep 8 or more hours per night-but this is incorrect. A baby sleeping that long is in grave danger of not getting enough to eat, never mind how it would adversely affect milk supply. Sleep research on newborns shows frequent waking all night long at this age is NORMAL.

    A normal feeding "pattern" at 6 weeks is for baby to nurse a MINIMUM of 10 times a 24 hour day. More often than that is fine, and may even be needed, it depends on the baby and the mom. So it makes sense that the newborn HAS to take some meals over night, to keep up with the tremendous growth that is happening right now. But as mommal explains, this nursing frequency will usually not be every such and such hours, it is normally more erratic especially at this age.

    Why are you using an sns if the weight gain is good? Are you pumping to provide her with the milk in the sns or are you giving formula? If you are pumping that is a ton of extra work.

    This is very early days. Your baby will not always need to nurse so frequently or so long, sleep stretches will naturally get longer. But for now, long and/or frequent feedings are totally normal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    48

    Default Re: My 6 week old wants to sleep though the night?

    @llli*lllmeg;1271575]If your baby is easily sleeping 5 hours, she is already

    Why are you using an sns if the weight gain is good? Are you pumping to provide her with the milk in the sns or are you giving formula? If you are pumping that is a ton of extra work.


    I had a rough start and despite my efforts to EBF, my lactation consultant and pediatrician both told me to supplement with BOTTLES due to lack of BM's, slightly low supply, and jaundice. Hence came quick downward spiral to low milk supply. My gut instinct told me this wasn't right.

    I contacted my local LLL leader, switched pediatricians, and saw my LC. I got with a tube and syringe.

    Turns out my breast feed babies just don't poop. My #1 was EBF and pooped every 2 weeks with good weight gain.

    At my last visit with my LC I was told I was making almost enough milk but to continue to supplement. ( I use formula and Breast milk when available) I was pumping 4-6x day to boost my supply in the early weeks.

    2 weeks later when I saw the Ped Dr. She OK'd to try get off SNS but my LO has been too sleepy.

    BUT HA! It clicked when I got the response about the snacking
    !!! I read snacking was bad and was told long feedings are bad. She is soo much more awake now I let her nurse/snack on demand!

    I'll continue with extra weight checks. She was at 1 oz per day weight gain with 3-4 oz of supplement a day.

    Thanks for your replies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,895

    Default Re: My 6 week old wants to sleep though the night?

    Oh WHY do people tell moms to not let their babies nurse enough? that just makes me crazy. It sounds to me like you are doing really well after a rough start. Yes let baby go to town, I will be interested to see what happens.

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