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Thread: sleeping and feeding help

  1. #1
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    Feb 2014
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    Default sleeping and feeding help

    I have read so much about not waking your baby during the night to feed them if they are fast asleep but recently my pediatrician told me not to let my little one go more than 4 to 5 hours without eating at night. I will set my alarm after 5 hours of her last feeding and she is usually fast asleep and I have to work at getting her to eat. I'm confused as to which to do, set an alarm and feed her after 4 or 5 hours like my pediatrician said or wait for her to wake and cry and wake me up to eat. What is best for my baby?

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    How old is your baby? And how has her weight gain been? Why does the pediatrician think she needs to be woken?
    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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  3. #3
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    She will be 3 months in 5 days. Her weight gain was excellent, she was in the 90th percentile but then dropped to the normal range percentile. I can't remember what number that is. Her next check up is in may. My pediatrician says to wake her and nurse so she doesn't get dehydrated.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    All percentiles from 1 to 100 are normal. The charts measure the variety of normal growth in healthy children. That said, dropping substantially in percentiles MIGHT indicate an issue. But a slowing of gain rate after 3 months is expected, and might happen even earlier if baby gained very rapidly at first. Was this advice given at babies 2 or 3 month apt, or some other time?

    I would suggest that you provide us with a complete weight history. That may give us a better picture of where the peds concerns are coming from. And what about length and head circ?

    Has your child ever appeared dehydrated to you? How often does your baby nurse the rest of the day (how many times total each day?) How long a sleep stretch at night are we talking, normally?

    I am kind of thrilled to hear there is a pediatrician who is prescribing MORE frequent nursing when he is concerned about gain, rather than telling you to give your child formula or something. but of course if it is unneeded, it's still not helpful to you or your baby.

    The concern about 'never' waking a sleeping baby to nurse is way overstated. It is based on the unfortunate practice of dream feeding an infant a BOTTLE when there is an UNFOUNDED concern baby is not getting enough to eat, based on a faulty understanding of normal infant gain/intake. This leads to a child who is essentially force-fed while sleeping and then consequently shows little interest in food when awake, perpetuating the vicious cycle of being forcefed while asleep. As you have discovered, it is pretty hard to get a baby to nurse if baby prefers to sleep, so it is unlikely you could overfeed your child this way.

    Some babies will sleep "through feedings" or 'too long' and consequently not get enough when:

    1) They are sucking on a pacifier
    2) they are swaddled
    3) They sleep in another room from mom for the whole night
    4) They have been "sleep trained"/put on a "feeding schedule'

  5. #5
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    -I've never seen a dehydrated baby so I would have to say that my baby to my knowledge hasn't seemed dehydrated.
    -She nurses very well and very often during the day. Often she nurses herself into her naps. She will nurse about 10-12 times before her bedtime feeding.
    -She will usually go to bed around 9 and 10. She usually sleeps until 3 or 4 and wakes up on her own for a diaper change and feeding and again 4 or 5 hours later. But there are times when it's time to feed her but she is dead asleep. So I change her if necessary, which she will sleep through unlike when she isn't dead asleep, and try to get her to eat which tends to be impossible at best.
    -The advice was given at her 2 month check up
    -Her weights are as follows: born 8 lbs 15.5oz and 21 in long, 1-7-14 > 9 lb 4 oz and 21 1/2 in long, 1-29-14> 10 lb 2 oz 21 7/8 in long, 3-3-14> 11 lb 5 oz and 22 1/2 in long.
    -I only got her head circumference at the last app and it was 15.12
    -She doesn't take a pacifier, I've swaddled her only once Cuz she doesn't quite like it, she sleeps in her crib in her nursery only because she won't sleep in the bassinet and I've gotten punched nerves in my neck and back so severely I couldn't move my neck and couldn't move my back or breath well from her sleeping in bed with me, and she's on her own feeding and sleeping schedule; I follow her direction.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    What is birthdate? about 1/1?
    Between birth and the 1/7 weight check, was there a weight check done? I am wondering what the lowest weight was, most babies lose several ounces the first few days. Also I want to make sure it was the same scale every time with baby naked.

    Going by birthweight, these weights do indicate slow gain. Baby seems to have gained 1 pound 2.5 ounces in the first month, and basically the same in the second month. Typical average gain for this period is more like 2 lbs a month. And since weight gain typically gets off to a slow start in week one or two, it would also be pretty typical for baby to gain a little more in month two than in month one, if looking at each month as individual wholes. So while there is no way to be sure without more weight checks, it looks like weight gain may have even slowed down in the second month.

    However, whether this indicates that baby is not getting enough to eat, is unclear. Baby IS gaining apparently steadily and growing in height as well.

    Baby nurses 10-12 times or more each day, normal nursing frequency.

    So I think there are a few possibilities
    1) Baby is indeed not getting enough to eat. To investigate that possibility, I would suggest seeing a lactation consultant to make sure baby is nursing effectively and you have no milk production issues.
    2) Baby is getting enough to eat but has some underlying illness or condition that causes baby to gain slowly.
    3)Baby is getting enough to eat and this is simply who baby is. Some healthy babies do grow much more slowly than is typical.

    In my opinion, the intervention your doctor has suggested is to nurse more often. And that is an intervention that is certainly not going to hurt anything and may help. Perhaps you can discuss with your doctor if it would be possible to instead add more nursing sessions at OTHER times of day, if the middle of the night feedings are not working for you and baby.

    You got this advice three weeks ago about? What have you been doing since then? Does it seem to you that baby is nursing more, gaining any faster? Or not? Did the doctor suggest another weight check prior to your next checkup, which I presume will be at 4 months?

    Because here is the thing. Typically weight gain rate SLOWS after about 3 months. So if there is already slow gain, and then weight gain slows more, things could possibly look much more alarming to the doctor at the 4 month weight check. I assume you don't want this to get to the point you are told to supplement. So it may help to get a clearer picture of what is happening now to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the 4 month check.

    I am not trying to alarm you. To me your baby sounds healthy and growing. I am just comparing your baby to the typical numbers and my cautions are about what I have seen happen sometimes in similar situations.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    I'm sorry I forgot to add in the first pediatrician app we had which was on Dec 31st. I want to say she lost some oz but I can be sure with out looking at her paper work. She was born Dec 28th. Here's the thing, the first week of having her my nipples were so wrecked and engorged we were supplementing with formula while I pumped until I could get my nipples back in shape. But that lasted at the longest 2 weeks. I have since then been only breastmilk. I have no problems with middle of the night feedings of she needs it I will not deny her. I would set my alarm for 4 or 5 hours after the start of her last feeding and go feed her. She usually would already be awake, just waking up, or crying to let me know earlier than that. But there are times when she is fast asleep when my alarm goes off and although I could get her to take the nipple about 5 out of ten times she wouldst feed from it long. She was nursing quite well up until recently. The last couple of days she has either been sleeping more than she's breastfeeding or reading her hands more than breastfeeding. She will even pop off the boob just to sick her hand, she even tried to sick on her hand and my nipple at the same time yesterday. My husband weighed her the other day and she had gained another lb. At the Dr's she was weighed on the same type of scale but in different rooms in the office, if that makes a difference. No other wrought check was scheduled and her 4 month check up is in may. She is now 3 months old.

    Also she is taking my nipple like a bottle. Even if I get her to open up wide and I get it in her mouth well she will pop off it and then suck it in her mouth add of she's getting a bottle. She only gets bottled breastmilk if we are out and she is home with grandma or one of her aunts, which is not often. When she Sucks my nipple in she seems to get a lot of the areola and had a good latch. My nipples don't hurt after. Is that something I should be concerned with?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    27

    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    Wouldst = wouldn't
    reading her hands= sucking her hands
    Sick on her hand= suck on her hand
    Wrought = weight
    Add of = as if
    *stupid smartphone keyboard

  9. #9
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: sleeping and feeding help

    Different scales even in the same office can make a difference. My children's pediatrician has the policy that one scale is used for the whole office even among the different doctors precisely due to this concern. Whether it is making any difference in your situation or not could be tested by going to the doctors office and weighing your baby on all the scales.

    When you say your husband weighed the baby and the baby gained another pound, what time period? From when to when was this gain of a pound?

    How do you feel about seeing a lactation consultant? Due to your early issues and needing to supplement, it is possible that your milk production did not get off to the best start possible. It is also possible that whatever latch issues were going on then continue to cause issues with baby being able to transfer milk effectively.
    I'm sorry I'm not sure what you mean when you say that baby takes your breast like a bottle. Put it this way a latch can look fine and even in some cases feel fine and still baby is not transferring milk well. This is what a lactation consultant could hopefully help you figure out.
    If baby will not nurse more often even when offered more often, then I am not sure what that means. It could mean your baby is getting plenty of milk and that this weight gain is normal for your baby. But that would be a medical conclusion which I cannot make. my concerns about what may happen at the next weight check continue.

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