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Thread: Baby sleeping 4-5 hours

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Western PA
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    295

    Default Baby sleeping 4-5 hours

    My 3 week, 4 day-old baby has started sleeping 4-5 hours at a time, about twice a day. When he's awake during the middle of the day, he eats every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but even so he sometimes only has 6-7 feedings in 24 hours. From everything I've read, at this age I thought he should still be eating every 2-3 hours, so I'm worried that this means he's not eating often enough.

    Is it okay to let the baby determine how often he feeds, or should I should be waking him to eat? (His weight gain at his 10 day appointment was great, but he was feeding more often back then!)

    I did call my pediatrician and she said that as long as he's stooling and urinating often enough I should use the time either to pump, or just to sleep! But I'm so worried that when he sleeps for longer than 3 hours I can't get to sleep anyway

    Please let me know what you think! Thanks!!
    Erin - Hayden James is my beautiful boy - we've been nursing happily for two years, with no end in sight!


    Change the language, change the reality.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Bryan, Texas
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    4,260

    Default Re: Baby sleeping 4-5 hours

    Quote Originally Posted by ekaptian
    My 3 week, 4 day-old baby has started sleeping 4-5 hours at a time, about twice a day. When he's awake during the middle of the day, he eats every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but even so he sometimes only has 6-7 feedings in 24 hours. From everything I've read, at this age I thought he should still be eating every 2-3 hours, so I'm worried that this means he's not eating often enough.

    Is it okay to let the baby determine how often he feeds, or should I should be waking him to eat? (His weight gain at his 10 day appointment was great, but he was feeding more often back then!)

    I did call my pediatrician and she said that as long as he's stooling and urinating often enough I should use the time either to pump, or just to sleep! But I'm so worried that when he sleeps for longer than 3 hours I can't get to sleep anyway

    Please let me know what you think! Thanks!!
    My son slept the same amount of time that your son does when he was that age. From day 1 he only woke twice in the night. He's 3 months old and is now sleeping 12 hours at night.

    What I did was wake him and make him eat every 2-3 hours during the day, and then i NEVER EVER woke him at night! esp. if he is healthy and not having weight issues, i wouldn't wake him at night. the ONLY reason i woke him during the day is because if not, then he'd wake up several times a night. me waking him during the day helped him to get his days and nights straight.

    a word of caution about pumping...i went crazy pumping at the beginning. if he slept longer than a few hours, i'd pump. if he didn't nurse that long, i'd pump. if i was BORED, i'd pump well, now my ds is having a heck of a time trying to keep up with my supply. i placed so much demand on my body that he just couldn't keep up. he'd cry and fuss because i was stuffing this poor child with so much milk.

    i've since learned that my body WILL adjust to his sleeping patterns. i make a ton of milk for him during the day, but by 10pm, i'm tapped out. this is what we did...but its only 1 of many options. HTH, and let us know how things are going and what worked for you guys.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    561

    Default Re: Baby sleeping 4-5 hours

    Sleeping for 4-5 hours at a time isn't a bad thing. As long as he's producing the diapers, of course.
    My son started sleeping for that long at around 4-5 weeks old. One thing is that you didn't say whether these 4-5 hour stretches were at night. My ped told us from the beginning to not let the baby sleep for more than 3 hours during the day- otherwise he's have a hard time getting his days and nights straight. If he can do those two 4-5 hour stretches at night, he'll only be getting up once. Wouldn't that be great?! And while it does take longer for you to sleep for that long without worrying, or having trouble, you'll adjust.
    Just keep feeding your little guy whenever he gives you the cue and you'll both start sleeping better!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Baby sleeping 4-5 hours

    My ds did the same. The pediatrician had us wake her every three hours at night in the first 3 weeks because her weight gain was a little low. Once he was sure her weight was good (abt 4 weeks) he said to let her sleep as much as she wanted at night and just make sure she was feeding well during the day. She would occationally sleep 4 hours during the day and would then pin me to the couch for what seemed like hours on end feeding. Like the others said, if she is producing enough wet and soiled diapers and her weight gain is OK, I wouldn't worry about it.

    I did have trouble sleeping at night worrying that she wasn't getting enough or that something was wrong. To ease my fears, I kept a feeding log for a couple of weeks. I noted the start time and end time of each feeding and whether she took one or both breasts (a bit obsessive, I know). This eased my fears and at least made me feel like I had some control - even though in reality ds was leading the show. I gave up the log after about two weeks as it had served its purpose (calming me) and ds was still gaining well so I felt more confident that she knew what she was doing with her sleeping and feeding demands.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western PA
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    Default Re: Baby sleeping 4-5 hours

    Thank you all for your quick replies. I feel much better now

    The longer sleeping times are in the evening (usually one from about about 10-3, and one from 4-8), so once I get over my worrying it will be nice to only have to get up once during the night. I will continue to make sure he eats frequently enough during the day, and try to take advantage of the longer sleeping stretches at night!!
    Erin - Hayden James is my beautiful boy - we've been nursing happily for two years, with no end in sight!


    Change the language, change the reality.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Baby sleeping 4-5 hours

    and as soon as he hits a growth spurt I bet he will want to eat more often..
    good luck!

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