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Thread: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    have a question. My DD will be 3 months old on 11/6. I don't know how much she weighs right now but if I had to guess i'd say close to 12 1/2 lbs at least. she was 11 1/2 lbs at 8 weeks.

    She has been STTN consistently since 6 weeks, and since about 8-10 weeks has been sleeping 10-12 hrs overnight.

    this past week she's been sleeping 12 hrs straight without a feeding.

    The past few days, she has only had about 4-5 feedings per day.

    I guess this could be ok since she has been taking the 2nd breast when i offer it more often than before. [esp in afternoons and evenings].

    but past 2 days has been going 3-4 hrs during day between feedings.

    for ex: yesterday she didnt even wake up for a her first morning feeding until almost 11AM! Her last feeding before that was 9pm the night BEFORE! Then she nursed again around 1pm[only cause i offered it cause we were out and about], and took both breasts that time, then I fed her again at 4pm, [both sides again] and then at bedtime, 8pm[ and she fed off both breasts for a good 30-40 mins total, didnt come off boob until almost 9pm]. THAT IS ONLY 4 feedings!!

    she is still sleeping now at 920am.

    I try to follow motto never wake a sleeping baby, so i let her sleep.

    could she just need more sleep right now? is it a growth spurt? i thought they eat MORE when they were growing?

    I just dont ever remember my son only feeding 4-5 times per day this young. he was way older.

    she doesnt seem starving in the least bit, and i know if she truly NEEDED to eat more often she would wake up or let me know, so im trying to TRUST that and follow her lead....

    ...but....how would you feel about this? Im sure its just a thing and isnt going to last but I was just wondering.

    thanks alot!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    Ordinarily I'd say "follow her lead", but in this case the baby's lead is to demand so very little that I think you want to proactively offer the breast a lot more frequently. In general, it takes a minimum of 8 feedings to provide enough milk for such a young baby, and it's not until babies are closer to a year that they spontaneously dip below that number. Very rarely we have a mom come through the forum whose baby is doing well on 5-6 feedings a day, and maybe you're one of those moms! But since there is absolutely no harm in trying to get the baby to eat more often, and alot of potential good to be had, I'd offer more. Wake her for a dream-feed before you go to bed. Don't let her sleep until 11 am- wake her at 9. Offer every 2 hours during the day, ad don't stress if she doesn't want to feed.

    This may be overcautious advice, but I'd also observe baby carefully for signs of illness. Sometimes sick babies don't nurse enough.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    i agree with mommal. it never hurts to offer to nurse more often even if it means waking a baby. i take issue with the never wake a sleeping baby motto we have all heard, i have no idea on what it is based. If this was a very temporary pattern it might not mean much, but over time, with such infrequent nursing and such long overnight stetches, i would be very concerned not only about baby weight gain but your milk production.

    are you using sleep extender 'tools' such as a pacifier, swaddling, having baby sleep remotely fom you (not in the same room) or anything else that has the purpose of encouraging longer sleep patterns? these can cause issues.

    I have a fantastic sleeping 3 month old baby and even she would never be able to go 12 hours without nursing. that is half a day! She nurses a few times each night, and goes straight back to sleep. in fact, she barely wakes. but she nurses.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Ordinarily I'd say "follow her lead", but in this case the baby's lead is to demand so very little that I think you want to proactively offer the breast a lot more frequently. In general, it takes a minimum of 8 feedings to provide enough milk for such a young baby, and it's not until babies are closer to a year that they spontaneously dip below that number. Very rarely we have a mom come through the forum whose baby is doing well on 5-6 feedings a day, and maybe you're one of those moms! But since there is absolutely no harm in trying to get the baby to eat more often, and alot of potential good to be had, I'd offer more. Wake her for a dream-feed before you go to bed. Don't let her sleep until 11 am- wake her at 9. Offer every 2 hours during the day, ad don't stress if she doesn't want to feed.

    This may be overcautious advice, but I'd also observe baby carefully for signs of illness. Sometimes sick babies don't nurse enough.
    this is not her norm just so you know. this has only been the past 2 days. and both friday night and yesterday were very busy days for us, late nights, fall festivals for my son, etc. and thurs night into friday i was sick with a tummy bug [diarrhea, low grade temp]. i thought maybe she was getting sick but she doesnt have a fever and is acting normal. she is active and alert when awake, happy for an hr or two before wanting to go down for her nap.

    i hear babies sleep more often during a growth spurt so maybe that its.

    she hasnt fed 8 times in a 24 hr period since she was like 6-8 weeks old.

    her average number of feedings per day [before the past 2 days] was between 6-7. and that was during the hours of 7am-8pm. she has been STTN for 12 hrs overnight since 8-10 weeks now.

    I do offer the breast to her during the day, when she is awake. but when she wakes for her nap she nurses, we change diaper, have some play time, and then within an hr she goes back to sleep. so she doesnt get fed again. if i offer the breast too much, she will just spit up half her feeding, [ive tried it believe me]

    i am hoping that since today is a more chill out kinda day for us, she will be in bed by 8pm which is her normal time and therefore will be up earlier tomorrow at a normal time.

    honestly i figure if she isnt getting enough milk intake throughout the day then surely she would wake up at night to let me know? i mean if she was truly hungry i figure she will tell me?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    i agree with mommal. it never hurts to offer to nurse more often even if it means waking a baby. i take issue with the never wake a sleeping baby motto we have all heard, i have no idea on what it is based. If this was a very temporary pattern it might not mean much, but over time, with such infrequent nursing and such long overnight stetches, i would be very concerned not only about baby weight gain but your milk production.

    are you using sleep extender 'tools' such as a pacifier, swaddling, having baby sleep remotely fom you (not in the same room) or anything else that has the purpose of encouraging longer sleep patterns? these can cause issues.

    I have a fantastic sleeping 3 month old baby and even she would never be able to go 12 hours without nursing. that is half a day! She nurses a few times each night, and goes straight back to sleep. in fact, she barely wakes. but she nurses.
    I dont think this will be her norm. i agree that over time, i would get concerned with this pattern. if you read my above reply you may see why she has been more tired the past few days.

    i dont do anything to help her sleep. but shes been in her own room since she was 4 weeks old and she learned to suck her thumb by 6 weeks. [my son was a thumb sucker also and still is at 4 1/2], so i am sure that is why she is able to self soothe herself back to sleep. my son did the same thing from 3 months on and he was a chunky baby and still gained weight well.

    just so you know, i do pump my breast in the morning when she didnt feed off them. and ive been pumping the opposite breast if she doesnt nurse off both sides each time. i also double pump around 10pm every night. [to store the milk for my return to work soon]

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    Hi jhowell. Your baby certainly doesn't sound typical but that doesn't mean that she's not normal. According to my mom I was much like your baby, sleeping constantly and for long stretches at a time (and I was a breastfed baby). That said, given that your baby's behavior is quite different from that of a typical 3 month-old (as you've noticed yourself, compared to your son!), you do want to be sure that everything is okay before just chalking it up to normal variation. Sounds like there may have been some things going on in the past couple days that may explain why she's been behaving a little differently, but if she continues to have few feedings in a day, you might want to consider dropping by the pediatrician's office for a weight check and to make sure everything is on track. And if so, then you can be happy you have a laid-back baby!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jhowell View Post
    honestly i figure if she isnt getting enough milk intake throughout the day then surely she would wake up at night to let me know? i mean if she was truly hungry i figure she will tell me?
    Unfortunately, with some extremely non-demanding babies, you can't make this assumption. There are babies out there who will choose to sleep rather than eat.

    I really like the PP's suggestion of stopping by the pediatrician's office for a weight check. If everything is normal, then you may be able to move forward with confidance that you have that one baby in a multitude who can do well with relatively few feedings.
    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!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    i am sorry if i misunderstood-you said your baby has been sleeping 12 hour stretches for 'this past week' which could mean as long as 7 days. and that stretches between feedings have been increasing. that sounded to me like it might be a growing problem, illness or no. i am sorry if i misunderstood.

    In general a mom should not need to pump except when separated from baby, for example, due to work. (or of course to build up a stash if you choose) if you are needing to pump, that suggests your baby is sleeping through feedings.

    I would suggest considering moving your baby back into your room. this is the recommendation now anyway for sids prevention. http://www.sidsandkids.org/wp-conten...om_Sharing.pdf but i suggest it because if baby is sucking her thumb at night that is possibly actually a feeding cue. i think if baby was within sight, sound and smell of you at night she might request to nurse, and you would feel it, even if that request is subtle and quiet. breastfeeding moms and babies 'sync up' better when they are together.

    You asked how responders would feel about this situation and I will tell you-I would be concerned even if it was only temporary, and I would nurse my baby more often even if it meant waking her up. In fact I did have to do just that in my baby’s first month because she slept ‘too well’ and it was causing breastfeeding problems even though she was gaining fine.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Minimum number of feedings for an almost 3month old?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    i am sorry if i misunderstood-you said your baby has been sleeping 12 hour stretches for 'this past week' which could mean as long as 7 days. and that stretches between feedings have been increasing. that sounded to me like it might be a growing problem, illness or no. i am sorry if i misunderstood.

    In general a mom should not need to pump except when separated from baby, for example, due to work. (or of course to build up a stash if you choose) if you are needing to pump, that suggests your baby is sleeping through feedings.

    I would suggest considering moving your baby back into your room. this is the recommendation now anyway for sids prevention. http://www.sidsandkids.org/wp-conten...om_Sharing.pdf but i suggest it because if baby is sucking her thumb at night that is possibly actually a feeding cue. i think if baby was within sight, sound and smell of you at night she might request to nurse, and you would feel it, even if that request is subtle and quiet. breastfeeding moms and babies 'sync up' better when they are together.

    You asked how responders would feel about this situation and I will tell you-I would be concerned even if it was only temporary, and I would nurse my baby more often even if it meant waking her up. In fact I did have to do just that in my baby’s first month because she slept ‘too well’ and it was causing breastfeeding problems even though she was gaining fine.
    no shes been STTN for 6-8 hr stretches since 6 weeks of age. around 8 weeks started sleeping 8-10 hrs, and the past 2-3 weeks has been sleeping 10-12 hrs consistently.

    turned out to just be a fluke i guess b/c the past 2 days shes been back to her normal feedings and we have gotten 5-6 feedings in during the day. and at least 3 of those she ate off both breasts. so i feel better now!

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