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Thread: sleeping longer at night

  1. #1
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    Question sleeping longer at night

    Hi!

    I'm new to the forum - just found it today (yay!) - so forgive me if I don't know all the jargon yet!

    Short story: Eli was born on June 13th and was in the NICU for 10 days. I pumped from day 1. I tried to get him directly to the breast full-time, but it didn't work out for us. (I've learned a lot about a lot since then!) Anyway, pumping exclusively is working out great for us right now.

    I pump about 40+ oz per day (6 pumps). He is eating between 24 and 28 ounces, so I freeze the rest.

    We went to the doctors today for our first round of shots, and the pediatrician seems to think that Eli should be sleeping through the night ("8 hours for an 8 week old baby") at this point. I have never heard anything like this before. He is starting to sleep a little more - last feeding at 11 and feeds again around 3 or 3:30 on a good night.

    My question is this: how should I organize feedings to try to get him to sleep longer at night (in terms of quantity and length of time between)? I was thinking 4 oz - seven times a day - 3 1/2 hrs apart or so. But I don't know how to adjust to wean him away from that middle of the night feeding. More at last feeding? What if he still wants the middle of the night feeding - give less at that one?

    I love pumping, but it's hard to figure out how much to give and when!

    Thanks for any input/advice/suggestions/comments!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    IMO, don't worry about him sleeping thru the night yet. I don't take a lot of things the pedi says seriously, sometimes ours says some crazy stuff.

  3. #3

    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    My lo is 11 weeks old and she doesn't sleep through the night. I bf at around 9 to 10 p.m. and she always wakes up around 3 or 4 a.m. to feed again. Most bf babies won't sleep through the night for a long time. BF babies are to be fed on demand whether it's 2 hrs, 3 hrs or 4 hrs since the last feeding.

    Are you exclusively pumping? If not, I would say to learn how to bf lying down on your side so that you can sleep while your lo is feeding. BF lying down for me has been heaven sent! I latch her on while on my side and I just fall right back to sleep.
    Married my love on 7/3/2004
    Blessed with Isabella Grace on 5/20/2008
    Back to work on 7/22/2008


    & since 5/20/2008
    No formula!

    Goals:

    1 month 2 months 3 months 4 months 5 months 6 months 7 months 8 months 9 months 10 months 11 months 12 months

  4. #4
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    8 weeks seems really early to be sleeping through the night. I'd stick with on demand feeding for your LO. They do eventually sleep longer all on their own, and our experience is that it doesn't matter if our LO eats a little or a lot before going to bed - she still gets up once per night to eat. We just let her take whatever amount she wants when she wakes up at 2am. Sometimes it's a couple ounces, sometimes it's six.

    By the way, when my LO was 12 pounds (3mo) the pedi said "at this weight she should be able to sleep for five hours." And, oddly enough, that's exactly what she did. We don't expect her to sleep through the night for a few months yet.
    Fran
    Mom to Anna, March 28, 2008

  5. #5
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    5 hours is considered sleeping through the night. And yes some kids do that at 12 lbs. Mine did. Then at 4 months he woke up twice a night again. They change and grow so much and so fast that its only natural for their schedules to change too. Dont worry about what the pedi says. Feed when he's hungry and let him drink til hes full. As he continues to grow he will want more per feeding and eventually they will probably spread out a bit. I wouldnt try to force more on him before bed because it will prob just end up as spit up on your shirt or his sheets! If what you are doing right now is working (enough wets and dirties and good weight) then just keep doing it until he tells you he wants more. You will know. And btw way to go with the pumping! Its awesome that you are giving your babe the best nutrition, even though its a little more work for you. Keep it up mama. You are doing great!

  6. #6
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    Smile Re: sleeping longer at night

    Whew. LO is fussing and dad is holding him. We have a normal routine: eat, awake (except at night), sleep. I sometimes can't figure out if he wakes early if he's truly hungry or just wanting to eat because he always eats after he wakes up?? The pediatrician said to wake him up a few minutes early, play with him and let him cry before feeding him (to let him burn calories). I don't like to do this as I think it puts added stress on all of us (nipples go crazy when baby cries!). But then again, I can see where we wouldn't want to encourage eating right after he wakes up if he associates one with the other. Wish LO came with a handbook!

    Thank you for all the replies! I think we will be hitting 12 lbs soon.

    My only question is this: logistically, how do I give him as much as he wants? After I pump, I refrigerate. Then make bottles. Feed one and take the next one out for the next feeding (about 3 hrs - to come to room temperature). It only has a certain amount in it (3.5 or 4 oz) - do people put a lot in and let the baby stop where he/she wants to? (We don't do this because the hospital said we couldn't use any leftover at a later time because of the bacteria from his mouth that gets in to the bottle and I wasn't in the position to waste any milk for a long time.) Or do you put some in, if they look like they want more, put more in (bring it to room temp first?)?

    Thank you for the encouragement too! We appreciate it!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    I would say just feed him on demand. I think your doctor's suggestion might make more sense for a formula-fed infant, but breastmilk digests a lot faster. My LO is 10 months, and he is fed expressed BM, since I pump exclusively. He still doesn't ALWAYS sleep through the night. 4 ounces is probably about right for each bottle though. We used to do about 6, and he would eat that much, but I didn't realize that it was a lot at the time, and he spit up a good bit after every feeding. I think at that age when they are bottle-fed, they don't necessarily know when they are full. We found that we needed to have a pacifier handy so that he could get some sucking in after the feeding, because usually that's all he needed.

    ETA: In my experience, in order my son to sleep through the night, he needs to eat more often during the day, every 2 hours or so.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    Pedi is crazy. Child is waking up hungry so feed him. That was my sons routine for months. He would eat when waking, not to fall asleep. Either way is fine - he is newborn and has to eat!

    What I did was use bags. I filled up the bag to like 6 oz. Then I would fill a bottle with the approx amount I thought he would drink. Then if he was still hungry - sucking like crazy on the empty bottle or crying after it was gone, I could put another ounce in the bottle from the bag. I also read here that you can reuse the bottle once if baby doesn't finish (bottom of article). HTH!
    Last edited by @llli*buttrfli; August 10th, 2008 at 07:40 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    Did your doctor actually say to let him cry before feeding so he can burn calories?!? That, coupled with the 8 hrs at 8 weeks guideline for sleep, I would be looking for a new doctor. You really need to find one that is supportive of your parenting. He is not the parent of your child, you are. There are dozens of different pedi's that you can shop around for to help you with your lo. I wouldn't stick with the first one we went to if we were getting unfounded, ridiculous medical advice. What would happen if your lo was actually sick and needed good sound medical advice? Does this guy sound like he knows what he is doing? I don't always agree with everything my kids pedi says, and am not shy about telling him that, but in general, he is not a moron and is able to give knowledgeable medical advice when needed. If he doesn't know the answer, he will refer us to a specialist. And he keeps his parenting advice to a minimum.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: sleeping longer at night

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*buttrfli View Post
    Pedi is crazy. Child is waking up hungry so feed him. That was my sons routine for months. He would eat when waking, not to fall asleep. Either way is fine - he is newborn and has to eat!

    What I did was use bags. I filled up the bag to like 6 oz. Then I would fill a bottle with the approx amount I thought he would drink. Then if he was still hungry - sucking like crazy on the empty bottle or crying after it was gone, I could put another ounce in the bottle from the bag. I also read here that you can reuse the bottle once if baby doesn't finish (bottom of article). HTH!
    Oooh, good idea! I would not have thought of that. He seems pretty satisfied with 4 oz each feeding (just requests the next feeding sooner if he's hungry!) but I will keep this in mind as he gets older and will need more.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*shannon75 View Post
    Did your doctor actually say to let him cry before feeding so he can burn calories?!? That, coupled with the 8 hrs at 8 weeks guideline for sleep, I would be looking for a new doctor. You really need to find one that is supportive of your parenting. He is not the parent of your child, you are. There are dozens of different pedi's that you can shop around for to help you with your lo. I wouldn't stick with the first one we went to if we were getting unfounded, ridiculous medical advice. What would happen if your lo was actually sick and needed good sound medical advice? Does this guy sound like he knows what he is doing? I don't always agree with everything my kids pedi says, and am not shy about telling him that, but in general, he is not a moron and is able to give knowledgeable medical advice when needed. If he doesn't know the answer, he will refer us to a specialist. And he keeps his parenting advice to a minimum.
    The pediatrician was the one who checked him out after he was born. He came highly recommended and took excellent care of LO while he was in the Level 2 nursery (before NICU). However, his bedside manner isn't the best. I requested another doctor in the practice, whom we also met before and is very nice, next time. We'll see how that one goes.

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