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Thread: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Default Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestions?

    Okay so I know that people will probably say that I have nothing to worry about and that I'm over thinking things, but I was hoping to get a few suggestions from some veteran mama's who may have gone through the same thing as me.

    My daughter is 6 months old. She weighed 8 lbs 1 oz at birth, and then dropped to 7 lbs 1/2 oz 2 days later. It took her a month to get back to her birth weight. I went through all sorts of emotional awfulness, worrying about my supply which of course perpetuated the problem. Things finally started working around 8 weeks and I was finally content about the whole BFing thing. I wanted to give up so many time, but I didn't and I am thankful that I was persistent, as it's the best thing for my daughter.

    Ever since her 2 month check up, Keira has slid down the weight charts. At her 2 month, she was 30%, at her 4 month check up, she was 18% for weight. We have not weighed her exclusively in a while, but my husband took her on the scale with him a week ago and she was a little less than 14 lbs. My husband and I are relatively tall at 5' 7" and 5' 10" and Keira mimics us at 90% for height. I was not terribly worried, as many breastfed babies are banana babies. She is also doing fine milestone wise. She has been able to sit up and babble 2 syllable phrases for about a month now. She has been rolling both ways for about 3 months. I am definitely not concerned about her development.

    The thing that I can't grasp is that she still eats every 2 hours from morning until 4 pm, almost every hour/ 1/2 hour until 7 and then every 3-4 hours at night. She eats for no more than 10 minutes, and needs to switch breasts about 5 times because she is impatient. You would think that with all of the eating she does, she would be putting on more weight. We are experimenting with solids, usually about 4 oz a day broken up into 2 feedings. She LOVES eating them, but she tends to get plugged up a little which can affect her sleep if we give them to her too late.

    Another thing to know is that when I need to pump to save up for a time I am away, she never takes more than 4 oz at a time. Only once did my mother in law say she would have taken more. I used to think she was having "growth spurts" but at this point she would be growth spurting all the time and while she is long, all the food doesn't seem to make much of a difference for her weight.

    I guess my question is 1) Since she is still eating 8-10 times a day, there's a good chance shes taking less than 4 oz every time she eats. Does anyone have suggestions for her to eat more at once? I know we're not supposed to compare babies, but it seems like many of the mom's I read about have 6 month old babies that take 6 oz every 3-4 hours and though it probably ends up the same amount, it would make things a little easier for me. 2) I don't expect her to be STTN at this age, but getting up 3 times a night to eat seems excessive at her age. I've read to "feed her more during the day so she doesn't need it at night" but at that point I'd be feeding her every hour. How can I drop a feeding at night when she is eating almost constantly during the day?

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be great! Sorry for the long post, but I know people on here like to have a lot of information )

    Karen

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    My son nursed every 1.5-2 hours until well after his first birthday. He took 3 ounce bottles/cups until well after his first birthday. Breastmilk changes in composition as your baby grows so that you never need to increase intake, unlike formula. So...

    1, Don't increase the amount of milk your daughter drinks. Over-stuffing babies with milk is unfortunately common due to the prevalence of bottle feeding, but is not healthy at all and could be linked to increasing obesity rates among children.

    2, Waking 3x at night at 6 months is in no way excessive. My son woke every two hours at night at that age. Are you cosleeping? That makes things much, much easier.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    Right now, we have her in a pack n play in our room, so when she fusses I just get up, grab her and feed her in bed. My husband is too afraid that he will roll over on to her at night, so the only time she has ever been in our bed is in the mornings sometimes, and even then we worry a little bit about squashing her lol I'm glad to hear that DS was similar to my DD.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    Can you put the bed against the wall so that the sleeping arrangement is wall, DD, you, DH?

    Also, if you suspect teething might be causing some night waking, you can try a dose of ibuprofen before bed. However, as much as I hate to say it, 6 month olds are often really busy during the day and truly need to nurse at night because that is when they get their best feedings in.

    Try getting some naps whenever you can. Every little bit helps.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    We could, but honestly I think we are trying to move in the opposite direction. We are thinking about putting her back into her own room once the nights are cooler and we don't need to have A/C on at night. I really don't mind getting up, it's not that I am feeling super exhausted. Like I said, I don't expect her to STTN or anything, especially since she eats so often during the day, and they are quick feedings at night too, so we're only up for about 15 minutes. I just noticed that she used to sleep from 8-1 and now shes only going 7-10:30 on the dot which means an extra feeding every night. I know that the longer she sleeps, the more sleep cycles she goes through and the more her body can rest, repair and grow.

    More than anything else, I just wonder if eating more during the day would help her gain some more weight. I know that she is who she is and she'll take what she wants, but I'm getting nervous for the 6 month check up...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    You can try doing breast compressions while she nurses to get a little more milk into her, but it sounds like she's doing great so I'm not sure that it will make a difference or that it even matters much if it makes difference.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    what does waking up in the middle of the night mean to you? Like crying or just fussing in her sleep? My daughter is 4 months old (next week) and is a big thumb sucker. When she was little she would suck her thumb in her sleep and I took that as a hunger cue so I would wake up to feed her. My pedi recommended putting her in her room in her crib to get better sleep...she said as long as baby wasn't waking up fully to eat, to just let her sleep and suck away. She claimed it was a comfort thing. Now she sleeps in her crib and I don't know or hear if she is sucking her thumb through out the night. The monitor is on low and I can only hear her when she actually starts to fuss or cry loud enough. Since doing this she has slept through the night from around 9-7 in the morning. If your baby is fussing in the middle of the night but is still sleeping and has her eyes shut I would try putting her in another room to see if it helps you sleep better. If she wakes up with eyes open and is obviously wanting to eat then you have to do what you have to do. Just something to think about. Others may disagree on me with the whole leaving your baby to fuss in their sleep but that is what my pedi told me to do..and for me, not knowing gives me a much better nights sleep because I can't hear if she is sucking her thumb anymore.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    1) Since she is still eating 8-10 times a day, there's a good chance shes taking less than 4 oz every time she eats. Does anyone have suggestions for her to eat more at once? I know we're not supposed to compare babies, but it seems like many of the mom's I read about have 6 month old babies that take 6 oz every 3-4 hours and though it probably ends up the same amount, it would make things a little easier for me.
    2-4 oz per feeding is a very normal amount for a breastfed baby to eat at a feeding. I know it seems like nothing, when you see formula-fed babies the same age scarfing down 6-8 oz bottles... But remember that breastfeeding is the biological norm- breastmilk digests perfectly, and breastfed babies self-regulate their intake and don't overeat the way bottle fed ones do. (Which may explain why breastfed babies are less likely to turn into obese kids/adults.)

    I know that frequent feedings can be very draining for a mom, but believe: you're doing the right thing! And the frequency you're experiencing will not last forever, I promise. You've already made it to 6 months, and the breastfed babies typically nurse less frequently as time goes on and as solids enter the picture.

    2) I don't expect her to be STTN at this age, but getting up 3 times a night to eat seems excessive at her age. I've read to "feed her more during the day so she doesn't need it at night" but at that point I'd be feeding her every hour. How can I drop a feeding at night when she is eating almost constantly during the day?
    Being up just 3 times a night isn't excessive for a 6 month old. At that age my first was up 6-8 times a night, and my second was up 5-6 times a night. I'm not trying to brag (is there such a thing as reverse bragging?)- just to say that what you're experiencing is in the normal realm. And it will pass. Both my kids (6 and 2) sleep through the night now.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    @ phi - Thank you for your suggestions, I really do appreciate your ideas )

    @ myeisley - My DD has a pacifier (I know, dun dun dun!!) that she takes when she goes to sleep. What I have been doing is this: if she wakes up fussing, I try to put the pacifier back. Sometimes she fights it, but after a few tries will take it and go back to sleep. If she completely refuses, I pick her up and feed her. I'm not sure if this is the case with all moms, as this is my first child and am completely clueless, but any time my DD makes a sound, my body goes into instinct mode - I cannot go back to sleep. Even if she is not crying or fussing, just making little noises or moving around in her bed, I wake up instantly and won't fall asleep until she is silent. The other morning, she woke up at 5:30 and moved around for 15 minutes - not crying or fussing, just awake and moving. So I picked her up and nursed her hoping she would get drowsy and go back to sleep. No - she just sucked on her paci and made noises so I HAD to move her into her crib (with the monitor and noisemaker) so that I could get a little more sleep. She slept until 7:45! I couldn't believe it... I think that maybe I am too quick to pick her up and nurse her because I can't go to sleep if she is awake. The only time that she really wakes up and really cries with eyes kind of open is at 10:30 pm, but sometimes I can get her to take the paci again for another hour. In the wee morning hours, she usually just moves around and makes a little noise. She is also a belly sleeper, so when she wakes up, she automatically pushes up which wakes her even more and she feels like she needs to eat to go back to sleep. Like I mentioned, we would like to move her into her crib when the weather is cooler, which might help my sleep a little bit. Sometimes I think the paci is the problem, but part of me just wants to ride it out because she really likes it when she goes to sleep and she won't want it forever! I probably should wait a little longer to see if she can put herself back to sleep. I guess I have to blame the husband here, because he can't stand it when she cries in the middle of the night for more than a few minutes, as he has a full time (daytime) job haha.

    @ mommal - I'm very happy to hear about the 2-4 oz. From what I had been seeing and hearing from other moms I know, they were doing 6 oz at a time at 6 months, and I just couldn't figure out how. One mom fed her baby 3 oz of EBM in a bottle and then nursed and she ate a lot more. I thought maybe since Keira is smaller she has a smaller tummy, but I obviously want her to grow more and get a bigger tummy because her weight gain is so slow haha

    It's such a hard thing not to compare babies, especially with the pedi plotting on the charts every time we go. It's also kind of a downer because we always seem to be 2 weeks "late", so when we go Keira is 2.5 or 4.5 or 6.5 months. So when they chart her, they say she "50%" but I know shes not because I can plug in her stats to any WHO calc and come up with much lower. One thing I can say is that my 3 month old nephew is formula fed with rice cereal added (I guess because he has bad reflux?) and he weighs more than my baby. I think I would rather be in my position and have a smaller baby than on the other side. Thanks for all the help )

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Still eating every 2 hours at 6 months... any suggestion

    Everything you are experiencing is normal. And to be honest, if you are actually wanting her to gain more weight - then you should feed her when she grunts around at night instead of trying the pacifier.

    Also, a lot of new moms get wound around a pole that babies "shouldn't" have pacifiers or eat every two hours or wake up every 4 hours (which I would take with my 19 month old, let me tell you!!) and you should really just take the pressure off of yourself.

    If your baby is actually crying in the middle of the night - that's a cue that you need to feed her. So I don't blame your husband for not wanting her to cry for "more than a few minutes."
    Tracie

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

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