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Thread: Night Feeding--Ups and Downs am I doing the right thing?

  1. #11

    Default Re: Night Feeding--Ups and Downs am I doing the right thing?

    My 8.5 month old daughter also started waking at age 6 mos to nurse once in the middle of the night (after 4 hours) after sleeping for 7 hours from month 2-6. It's hard because I thought of it as a regression. I nurse her for the same exact reason. She's back to sleep in 10 mins max. It doesn't make sense to me that the AA of Pediatric book says to not nurse them at night. I know my daughter, and she will NOT go back to sleep without nursing. Why? Because she is starving! Who knows if it's a growth spurt, or she's more thirsty with the heater on (it dries out the air), or she's eating less during the day b/c she's so distractible now. The fact is she's starving or thirsty, and I am going to meet that need no matter what hour it is! Even if she does fall asleep without nursing, it would take forever to get her back to sleep and she would most likely just wake up a half hour later demanding milk! I just try my best to feed her as much as possible during the day and that helps her not wake as much.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Austin, TX

    Default Re: Night Feeding--Ups and Downs am I doing the right thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*stonesmom View Post
    Am I doing the right thing by feeding him each time he wakes? Doctor says NOT to feed him each waking time and to let him fuss a bit until he goes back to sleep...my problem with this is that it is MUCH easier and quicker to get him back to sleep by nursing (10min tops!) then to let him fuss and cry and either way we get no sleep! But he is concerned i'm creating the habit of him NEEDING to be nursed back to sleep.
    My pedi told me the same thing. I decided that if she is that concerned about my baby's frequent night waking and so convinced that nursing is the wrong answer, then SHE can come to my house at 12am, and 2am, and 4am, and calm my crying baby back to sleep!

    To some degree I think the whole "is he waking because he wants to nurse, or do you nurse him because he is awake" is a chicken-and-egg argument, and not that instructive. Bottom line, he's awake at a time when you'd rather he (and you) be asleep. If nursing is the easiest and quickest way to get there, then use it. If you're happy with that arrangement, then it's really not your doctor's concern (after all, no one is asking HIM to nurse the baby to sleep, so why should he care?). It's not a medical issue, it's just about your preferences as a night time parent.

    In all fairness to him, there is a possibility that if your baby is always nursed to sleep (for naps, bedtime, and night wakings), and never parented to sleep in any other way, then he might develop such a strong association between nursing and sleeping that he requires nursing in order to fall asleep. (Full disclosure, I'm a first time mom and flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to sleep, so I'm no expert on this -- I've just burned through a lot of sleep literature trying to solve my own hot mess of a situation.) However, I think whether or not you see that as a problem is just a matter of perspective. If you're happy and baby's happy, then don't change anything. Personally, I was getting burnt out on being an all-night human pacifier and getting "touched out" by nursing 4, 5, 6 or more times in a night. So I started experimenting with offering other forms of comfort (snuggles, rocking, humming, shushing) from both me and hubby, so that baby could learn to accept other forms of calming. Now about once or twice a night, I can get him back down without nursing, which makes a difference for me in my mental health around our nursing relationship and our sleep. But everyone is different, so don't sweat your doc's one-size-fits all advice
    Last edited by @llli*mercystreet; January 7th, 2013 at 09:28 PM. Reason: typo

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