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Thread: Night feedings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    38

    Default Night feedings

    My baby just turned 3 months June 5 and everything was going great with breastfeeding up until a few weeks ago. He was sleeping 5-7 hour stretches at night before needing a quick feed, then sleeping another 2. He started daycare Monday June 2 and is on bottles now while away. Our night situation the past few weeks has changed to sleeping for. 3-4 hour stretch, feeding for maybe 5 minutes on one side, then passing out. He will then wake every 2 hours and do the same-one side for 5 minutes or so. I can't get him to feed longer! My thinking is if he will eat more he will sleep longer and not need to wake every few hours. Last night he went to bed at 9, woke at 1, 3, 5, 630! He doesn't use pacifiers and only receives breast milk. I'm exhausted...more so than when he was a newborn. I'm pumping at night when I get too full (need this milk for daycare or freezer). Any advice on getting him to eat/sleep more? I'm not worried about his weight or getting enough (he's over 16 pounds!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,860

    Default Re: Night feedings

    It's totally normal for a breastfed baby to start waking more often in the 3-4 month age range. The beginning of teething, the baby working on some major developmental milestones, and some big growth spurts all combine to produce more need for food and comfort at night. When mom is back at work, the baby is also likely to use the nighttime to reconnect with her. So even if you do get your baby to feed for >5 minutes at a time or on both breasts, there's still no guarantee that you'll get longer sleep stretches out of him.

    If this were my baby, I'd do the following:
    - Read Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" for a look at what is normal, when it comes to infant sleep, and for some suggestions for gentle ways to get your baby to sleep longer and more independently
    - Nurse as much as possible in the evenings, when you come back from work- it might fill your baby's needs for food/closeness for long enough that you get single longer sleep stretch
    - Go to bed with the baby- which I know is lame because I am sure you could use some "me" time in the evenings, but sometimes it pays to make sleep your priority
    - Sleep in close proximity to the baby so that night wakings are less disruptive
    - Turn your clock to the wall- it sounds silly, but night wakings are more disruptive when you know exactly how short your sleep intervals are
    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
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Night feedings

    - Nurse as much as possible in the evenings, when you come back from work- it might fill your baby's needs for food/closeness for long enough that you get single longer sleep stretch funny you mention this because that's all he wants to do as soon as we walk in the door! Even he just finished a 3 oz bottle before I picked him up!
    - Go to bed with the baby- which I know is lame because I am sure you could use some "me" time in the evenings, but sometimes it pays to make sleep your priority yep, I do this already. I love my sleep too
    - Sleep in close proximity to the baby so that night wakings are less disruptive i plan on having him in my bedroom until 6 months minimum

    I will find that book! Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    569

    Default Re: Night feedings



    Actually, my child never gave me 5-7 hour stretches without nursing, and during the first year of her life I think it was more like 10-15 night feeds, and sometimes she just stayed latched on all night long! I'm not even sure what our sleep stretches are these days at 19 months--the "no clocks" and "no strict counting of night feeds" rule is still in full effect in my house, because it did such wonders for my sleep sanity. And yeah, this was with a baby who was consistently above the 99th percentile for both height and weight throughout her first year, so even the big babies like and need to do this!

    I have to imagine that pumping overnight must be the biggest drain on your sleep, though. Are you coming up short during the day when you pump at work? Maybe we can come up with some tweaks for your pumping routine so that the only thing you have to do is worry about nursing the baby at night? If baby is feeding lots overnight, that also helps take the pressure off for supplying tons and tons of milk during your separations.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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