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Thread: Night Feedings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Night Feedings

    Hi ladies. My DS has just started going long stretches at night without waking to eat. Last night it was about 6 hours. I hadn't needed to set an alarm previously, but now feel that I should probably wake up and dream feed him at least once. What are your thoughts? Is 6 hours without emptying long enough to affect supply?

    Supply has always been about average, at work I pump 2.75-3.25oz every 2 hours, but weight gain has always been a struggle. He's 6 months and just started solids. We also got his ULT and PTT revised less than a month ago. He poops at least once a day and has many wets.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: Night Feedings

    If you were staying home with him, I'd say "don't worry, just let him sleep, he'll make up for the missed night feedings by nursing more during the day." But since you're back at work, I think it probably makes sense to wake him for a dream-feed right before you go to bed. It will be good for his overall calorie intake, and good for your daytime supply... And I recognize that it's absolutely unfair that I'd tell a SAHM to "go ahead and sleep" while a WOtHM gets advised to be cautious and wake the baby! : duck

    One reason why it's good to be cautious when your LO starts to sleep through is that when a baby goes 6+ hours without nursing, your estrogen level often rises high enough that you'll see your period return, if it hasn't already. A lot of moms have supply dips right before they menstruate, which can be a challenge when you're pumping, and of course there's the chance of pregnancy which almost always destroys supply (so at this point you need to be using contraception in addition to breastfeeding, if you're not doing that already and you're not okay with closely spaced babies!).
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Night Feedings

    You think 4 hours is the magical number?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Night Feedings

    My daughter is 6 months and sleeps for two 6 hour stretches. She goes down at 6:30 pm, I dream feed her at 10:30 before I go to bed, and she wakes for one night feeding around 4:00am. She wakes for the day around 8:00am and then I go to work (most days). I find if I pump once in that middle stretch (around 8pm) my supply is fine with just the 4am feeding. I think some of it depends on when your babe wakes up and whether you can squeeze in a pumping. For me, at least, getting six hours of sleep in a row has made an enormous difference in my mood and productivity level, so I'm not willing to wake up more than once to feed her in the middle of the night.

    In your case, since he's had trouble with weight gain and the ties, it might make sense to add in a dream feed somewhere in there, but again it depends on when his long stretch is. Try to balance your need to sleep too though, since you need to take care of yourself too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: Night Feedings

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*alilwest View Post
    You think 4 hours is the magical number?
    I wish I knew. I'd experiment. As the PP said, you need to balance your need for milk against your need for sleep. If a long sleep stretch impacts your supply, just add some nighttime feedings back in.
    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!"

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