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Thread: Questions re. 15 week old

  1. #1

    Default Questions re. 15 week old

    Hi All,

    Ive got a 15 week old boy. He was sleeping an 8-9 hrs stretch in the nightat 12 weeks for a few days but then reduced right down to 5 hrs again.
    He weighs 6,4kgs, hes putting out more than enough wet nappies per day & dirty nappies at least 4 times a day. He's exclusively breastfed.
    Day intervals were a good 3-3,5hrs but Im now battling to get him past the 2,5hr mark on average.
    Im beginning to wonder if my milk is sustaining him like it was before & if I should start with a bottle as a last feed at night.
    Ive adjusted to getting up in the night to feed, Im just more concerned that he's so hungry.
    Any help would be appreciated for this FTM.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Questions re. 15 week old

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    As long as the baby is gaining weight normally and you are nursing on demand- that is, you are responding to the baby's hunger cues- there's absolutely no need for a bottle and no need to worry about your milk "sustaining" your baby. Changes in nursing frequency are absolutely normal and very common, and most babies who sleep through the night early on eventually go back to waking and eating at night. Remember, your baby is growing faster right now than he ever will again in his entire life, and that takes a lot of calories, which can bet obtained by more frequent nursing, including overnight.

    When my firstborn started sleeping 11 hours at night when she was 4 months old, I thought I had won the lottery! But it turned out to be a completely false alarm, because she went right back to frequent night-waking and nursing after about a week. Oh well!

    Are you getting pressure from family/friends/neighbors/doctors who claim that your baby "should" be eating at a certain frequency, or sleeping through the night?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Questions re. 15 week old

    Day intervals were a good 3-3,5hrs but Im now battling to get him past the 2,5hr mark on average
    So many people think that the length of time between nursing sessions, day or night, means something important about how much baby is getting to eat, and this is simply false. There is nothing inherently "good" or "better" about a baby who is nursing every 3-4 hours and one who is nursing every one hour! Nor is it better for a baby to sleep longer stretches than the next baby. These ideas are so incorrect I wonder where they came from, but there is no stopping them being perpetuated, causing mothers no end of needless worry. As mommal says, you know a baby is getting enough to eat by how well they are gaining, not how often they nurse or how long they sleep!

    My suggestion? Stop battling your baby about when to nurse. Nurse as often as your baby wishes and also whenever you feel like it. I promise this is easier than fighting your child's natural need to nurse frequently. It is impossible to "over nurse" a baby!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Questions re. 15 week old

    thanks to you both.
    as a FTM its hard to know what is right, when to do things, how etc & bf is such a critical part of being a mom we just want to get it right.
    its nice to know there is support out there.
    thanks again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Questions re. 15 week old

    Thanks Mommal,
    Yes in a way there is pressure to have baby "sleep through the night"... partly because we need the rest too. But what constitutes sleeping through, 5 hrs, 8 hrs, 10 hrs...everyone has a different opinion of what this means!
    My concern is that I know my baby can sleep 8-9 hrs because he's done it before so to be going backwards more & more (last night he slept from 8pm-00h40) doesnt seem to make sense to me. If anything he should be sleeping longer & longer the older he gets right?!?
    Also Im unsure of when baby goes through growth spurts people aways refer too...whenever baby is doing something out of the ordinary its a 'growth spurt'. My baby was born at 38weeks....do I need to correct this age & work on 2 weeks later for all these milestones?
    In all honesty, Ive not noticed that baby needed to be fed more in the past ie. over the assumed 6 week growth spurt, 12 weeks etc but I have noticed periods of extra fussiness even though they never occur over the time that we would expect ie. growth periods.
    Its all rather a 'fumble in the dark' for me being FTM...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Questions re. 15 week old

    It does seem logical that babies should sleep longer and longer stretches as they get older, doesn't it! Older kids and adults get better and more effective at everything they do as time goes on, so why shouldn't babies get better at sleeping as time goes on?

    Unfortunately for us tired parents, babies don't operate according to the logical premise. The biological norm is for babies to change their sleep patterns frequently throughout the first year. Sleep isn't a one-way street leading from frequent waking to sleeping through every night. Babies go through cycles of increased night-waking and night feeding when they are sick, when they are hungrier, when they are teething (and they are teething pretty much constantly), when they are mastering new developmental milestones like rolling over or standing up, and when they are hitting psychological milestones like separation anxiety.

    The best way to deal with these periods of increased night waking is to find ways to maximize your own sleep as you meet your baby's increased need for comfort and/or food. Sleep in close proximity to your baby, because when they are waking up a lot you don't want to be dragging yourself down the hall to the baby's room, and then back again when he's finally asleep. Nurse as often as you can during the day; more calories taken in during the day may result in less need for them at night. Turn your clock to the wall; it sounds silly but it does help to not know how many times you have been up and how short your sleep stretches have been. Grab a nap during the day. Even 5 minutes of closing your eyes can make a difference to your energy levels.

    In the first year, babies are really in a constant growth spurt, growing and developing faster than they ever will again. Sometimes a mom will notice that her baby will seem even more needy and more hungry than average, and that's what we call a growth spurt. We often say that they tend to hit at 3 weeks and 6 weeks and 3 months, but the truth is that they can happen any time.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Questions re. 15 week old

    What is becoming more & more clear to me is that every baby is unique & what might be the norm for one, may be so far outside the norm for another.
    I appreciate you taking the time to respond. While it may not seem logical in one sense, its completely logical in another.
    I keep telling myself that 'this wont last forever'....& then when you think you've got your head around it, something else crops up :-)
    thanks again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Questions re. 15 week old

    Exactly!!! And the crazy thing is that our culture encourages us to apply one-size-fits-all solutions to these individual babies. You'll see the "experts" say things like "all babies need x minutes of tummy time every day" or "all babies should sleep through the night by x number of months old" or "all babies should be eating x amount of solid food by x months of age". It's rare to see anyone suggest that you follow your instincts or watch your baby for signs that he's ready for something. I'm not saying that all the advice is wrong- there are plenty of suggestions that are based on good science, like the "back to sleep" recommendation, or the advice to start introducing solids at 6 months but not before except in special circumstances. It's just that the vast majority of baby advice is based on what people are accustomed to doing and what authors find will sell, rather than on anything that really applies to your individual baby.

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