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Thread: Too many feeds per day?

  1. #1

    Default Too many feeds per day?

    My DD just turned 3 mos, and she nurses like clockwork, every two hours. She usually only nurses from one side, although I always offer both and she is a fast eater, usually only nursing about 5mins. When I offer the other side she often acts as though she is hungry and attempts to latch, but not really seriously and often gets distracted or just repeated puts her mouth on the breast without sucking.

    i never thought it was an issue until talking to some other Moms about her chronic short (30 min) naps, they suggested perhaps she wakes bc she constantly needs to eat. It was suggested to me that at this age she should be able to go longer between feedings and perhaps she is not getting enough to eat, or that I should pump a little to give her more hind milk to stay full. If she stayed fuller longer, she might sleep more and thus be happier...

    My biggest concern here is that she is getting what she needs in food, and sleep. In regards to food, she seems fine, gaining weight nicely but for sleep she is a constant tired mess, rubbing her red eyes, crying and overtired. Thoughts on the amount of nursing for this age, the connection with naps, etc?

    She usually gives me a 4 hr chunk of night sleep, followed by a second 3 hr stint before returning to a two hour schedule. Any suggestions on things to change? Or is this all just normal?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Too many feeds per day?

    I am so sorry the other moms put a bug in your ear about your baby's sleep. Your baby is totally normal for just 3 months old! There's no "should" when it comes to sleeping and eating patterns, provided a baby is getting enough sleep overall and enough to eat, and is growing and developing normally.

    Some babies take just a few long naps every day. Others prefer frequent, short cat-naps. Both types of nappers are normal, but sometimes you can encourage longer naps. Some things to try:
    - If your baby is napping in a crib, try having her nap in a swing, sling, or stroller instead. Motion can be incredibly soothing.
    - Draw the shades. Some babies are very sensitive to light. A very dark sleeping environment may help extend your baby's nap.
    - Nap with your baby, on the same sleep surface. Being snuggled up right next to mom is very reassuring.

    Note that there is nothing you need to do WRT nursing! Going longer between nursing sessions is not something all babies do. Pumping out some milk isn't going to make a baby "stay full". Breastmilk digests fast whether it's 1 oz or 5 oz, so offering a supplement via bottle or whatever will just overfill your baby's tummy, not keep it full.

    Relax! You're doing great and your baby is fine.
    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
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    Default Re: Too many feeds per day?



    particularly if, as it sounds, YOU are not worried about your baby's pattern (ie nursing every 2 hours is ok with you - and fyi, that is TOTALLY NORMAL for many babies until a year or longer). if you think she's overtired, then it makes sense to try to get her more sleep, but that is pretty much unrelated to her nursing schedule.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Too many feeds per day?

    Everything sounds entirely normal. Besides, LESS nursing would not be the answer for sleep issues, if there were any, as most babies love to nurse to sleep and sleeping near mom and popping awake for a nip here and there before drifting back to dreamland is how many babies sleep best. If my baby is tired but fighting sleep in any way, or wakes up and I think baby could sleep longer, it's right to nursing I go. Instant healthy sleep aid for baby.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Too many feeds per day?

    I definitely agree with the PP about MORE nursing being helpful for more sleep! My 7.5 month old has been a catnapper from the getgo, and even now her "long" naps of about 45 minutes or so only ever happen when she's taking a nap with access to the breast. Otherwise, 20-30 minute naps have been her game. I have just respected her pattern, and she winds up taking 4 or 5 little naps a day. It is hard not to fall into the trap of comparing babies to each other, but honestly there are differences for feeding and sleeping frequencies from baby to baby.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Too many feeds per day?

    This is totally normal! I've come to believe that schedules are very personality-based. Fortunately, I've had the benefit of being able to compare two babies. My older twin is just like your baby. She sleeps in short stints, which means her happy playtime is short and she needs to sleep more often. She sleeps 4-5 hours at a time at night. My younger twin takes longer naps and is happier longer during the day, sometimes happily playing for an hour or more, which I don't think is really common at 3 months. She sleeps 7-8 hours at night. Honestly, I think that the older twin is more typical for 3 months. From the very first day, I've been feeding them both on-demand. I've never done any scheduling or sleep training, so these are just the schedules they've chosen on their own. They appear to eat the same amount, are about the same size, and gain weight at the same rate. We all sleep together at night, and they rarely wake each other up. So, I remind myself often that this is just how people are. My older twin is like my husband, who loves to sleep in many small chunks. My younger twin is like me, preferring to sleep in longer stretches.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Too many feeds per day?

    Normal and dream like! You sound like you are essentially getting 7 hours at night with only one wake up? That's dream sleep in these here parts!

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Too many feeds per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Normal and dream like! You sound like you are essentially getting 7 hours at night with only one wake up? That's dream sleep in these here parts!
    Indeed. I would kill or maim for that! Well, maybe not kill. But definitely maim.

    For what it's worth, mine nursed every 2-ish hours (around the clock!) for at least the first 6 months, ate from only one side per feeding until about 8 months, was a chronic cat napper until he started consolidating his daytime sleep maybe around 9-10 months. I'm not saying your baby will take that long to outgrow any of those phases -- just saying your baby sounds really normal to me!

    Some moms say that intentional daytime cluster feeding when baby is awake, to "tank baby up" during the day, can help them sleep better. So you could even try offering nursing more frequently during the day to promote better sleep.

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