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Thread: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

  1. #1
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    Default Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    Hi - I am trying to figure out how often I should be feeding my 5 month old. I usually feed him before a nap and after, and then before bed, and he typically eats 4-6 times at night. His naps used to be 2-3 hours, but now are 45 minutes (we got rid of the swing). I am trying to take the advice of "tanking him up during the day" to cut down on some of these nighttime feedings. He never really asks to be fed more than before or after naps, but I've tried feeding him more the past couple of days. Coincidentally, he's had some runny poops with seedy-looking stuff in them. Just wondering if that is from me increasing the feedings? Am I feeding him too much? Is it better to feed him at least every 2 hours or just stick with before/after naps. He generally only eats one side and for 4-7 minutes.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    What about when he wakes in the morning? And to bed at night? How many naps a day is he taking. Your post like you are only feeding your child twice during the day and 4-6times at night. But is that right? Or is it when he wakes up and then 4 other times during the day because he naps twice and you nurse up and down both times? Because it's 4 or 5times a day and then 4-6times at night, I think you are right on track.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    Sorry - he naps 3-4 times a day, so usually nurse upon waking, then nurse up/down for each nap (8 times total) and then before bed and then 4-6 times at night. So like 14-16 times a day. And then before/after nap ones are only about 45 minutes apart and then he is up for about 1.5-2 hours before I nurse again before the next nap.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    Tanking up during the day might buy you more uninterrupted sleep at night... Or it might not. Sometimes night nursing is all about the calories, and sometimes it's about babies having naturally shorter sleep cycles and more phases of lighter sleep, and needing mom's help to get back to sleep when they wake up. So while I think it's wonderful to try the tanking up thing, you can only hope, and not expect, that it's going to work.

    Getting rid of the swing seems to have made your daytimes more difficult by reducing the time baby spends napping. Is there a reason you got rid of it? Fear that baby would grow dependent on it, perhaps?

    Don't worry about the runny poops or about overfeeding. Runny poops are very normal in exclusively breastfed babies. And you can't overfeed a breastfed baby because the baby is in charge of the feeding. If he doesn't want to eat, he won't, or he'll take a quick sip and then stop.
    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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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Tanking up during the day might buy you more uninterrupted sleep at night... Or it might not. Sometimes night nursing is all about the calories, and sometimes it's about babies having naturally shorter sleep cycles and more phases of lighter sleep, and needing mom's help to get back to sleep when they wake up. So while I think it's wonderful to try the tanking up thing, you can only hope, and not expect, that it's going to work.

    Getting rid of the swing seems to have made your daytimes more difficult by reducing the time baby spends napping. Is there a reason you got rid of it? Fear that baby would grow dependent on it, perhaps?

    Don't worry about the runny poops or about overfeeding. Runny poops are very normal in exclusively breastfed babies. And you can't overfeed a breastfed baby because the baby is in charge of the feeding. If he doesn't want to eat, he won't, or he'll take a quick sip and then stop.
    Thanks! We got rid of the swing because my baby decided that he just didn't want to go in there anymore and threw a fit whenever I tried to put him in there. We got such good naps for the first 4 months with the swing but I guess he just had enough. I thought that would mean he wanted to nap in the crib, but really I think it just means he hates napping

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*alliecat123 View Post
    Thanks! We got rid of the swing because my baby decided that he just didn't want to go in there anymore and threw a fit whenever I tried to put him in there. We got such good naps for the first 4 months with the swing but I guess he just had enough. I thought that would mean he wanted to nap in the crib, but really I think it just means he hates napping
    It is a really hard switch to go from swing napping to lay down in your crib napping! It took us a while - a little modified CIO and patience - but now DD just goes down for a nap with her paci.

    I had a really similar post a couple months ago about trying to increase intake during the day to maybe drop a feeding at night. DD too was feeding A LOT, for a short time like your LO, usually before or after a nap and then again in between. No matter how much I try to get her to drink or eat during the day, she STILL wakes for 2-4 feedings every night. I agree with PP that he might just need the extra calories, or he might just need you in the middle of the night. I gave up trying to figure out a way to get longer chunks of sleep, but I am still hopeful that she will do it naturally soon! Hopefully your DS will as well Also agree with PP that if he doesn't want to drink more, he won't - he'll just pop off. He may have a little belly like my baby - she doesn't drink too much at a time either!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    Have you tried laying him on his stomach to sleep? He might sleep a little longer that way...

    Also, teething might be causing him to wake more often, and need to nurse for comfort; I know my lo stopped sleeping longer stretches now that he's heavy into teething.
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Feed on demand, but what if baby does not demand?

    I think you are nursing enough. I wouldn't trip if I was you. I'd let go of trying to control how often he night nurses. Because no matter what you do you really can't control it. But based on these number I wouldn't go out of my way to try to get the baby to eat more. The baby is eating enough over the course of 24hours.

    Way too lazy for formula

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