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Thread: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    Hi. I have an almost 8 month old baby. I feed her on demand all day or about every 3 hours. At night she usually goes 8 hours without eating and if she hasn't waken up, I wake her. Last night I let her sleep and I went 10 hours without breastfeeding. My breasts were sooo engorged, so I got up and expressed some milk with my hand (this was about an hour before she woke up). My question is should I let my lo sleep through the night without waking her? Will my milk supply decrease? I ebf and want to continue to bf for a long time!!!! If she wakes up after a few hours and wants to eat (which she does sometimes), will I have enough milk to feed her? I just don't want to start letting her sleep for more than 8 hours and have my milk supply decrease alot. Is it okay to go 10-11 hours without breastfeeding??? Will I be fine if I keep breastfeeding during the day and right when she wakes up? I'm happy with my milk supply right now and don't want to mess anything up. Sorry I have so many questions!!

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    At this age it can be normal for a baby to sleep that long and be fine. Your supply will adjust to meet her needs.

    An option for you that I did was to wake your baby up before you go to bed and "dream feed". Mine wouldn't even truly wake up, but he would get that feeding in. So he'd go to bed on his own around 7 or so; then I'd feed him around 9:30 or 10; then he'd sleep until 6 or 6:30.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  3. #3
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    Thanks Jeno for the reply! I wonder what time I should be getting my little one ready for bed... I've been getting her ready about 8-8:30 and then she is usually asleep around 9 after I feed her... Do you think this is too late?? Maybe she should go to bed earlier... I like your suggestion about your "dream feeding". Was your lo around 8 months when you did this??

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    Oh lord, more like 5 mos . Actually, he slept through the night for the first time around 8 weeks, then just as soon as everything adjusted and I went back to work at 11 weeks, he started waking up again . He went through phases of sleeping/not sleeping through until about 5 mos.

    Does she sleep after her early evening feed, the one around 6-7? My son always did, so I'd either lay him in his bed or cuddle on the couch . Then I'd wake him up like I described above. If your baby is going to bed later, does her 10 hrs then take her until 7? B/c that's about what mine would do in the end. The only reason I'd wake him up sooner would be if I needed to get ready for work and he wasn't up yet.

    If you are uncomfortable when you wake up and don't want to wake her, only hand express or pump enough to relieve discomfort - two minutes on the pump, max. You don't want to tell your breasts to keep making milk if they don't need to.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    70

    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*LUV2EBF View Post
    My question is should I let my lo sleep through the night without waking her?
    I certainly would.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*LUV2EBF View Post
    Will my milk supply decrease?
    Nope, your body will just figure out that baby doesn't need to eat till later in the morning, and it will adjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*LUV2EBF View Post
    If she wakes up after a few hours and wants to eat (which she does sometimes), will I have enough milk to feed her?
    Yes. My daughter started sleeping 10+ hour stretches around 6 weeks. But every now and then (esp. when teething) she'll wake up once and need a little slurp. There's always some there.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*LUV2EBF View Post
    Is it okay to go 10-11 hours without breastfeeding??? Will I be fine if I keep breastfeeding during the day and right when she wakes up?
    Yes and yes. I have two kids who slept through early on and continue to do so. If you are still nursing 4+ times during the day (that's me right now) you will be just fine. Trust your body!
    Amy
    Mom to Lewis John 6-26-08, Irene Grace 3-22-10, and Malcolm Thomas 2-6-12

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    64

    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    My daughter has been going 9-11 hours at night since about 8 weeks old and I have not noticed any issue with supply. I never even considered waking her up, I was just happy to get that much sleep1 Sometimes she will wake up about 8 hours in for a feeding and she always seems satisfied. It did take a week or so for the engorgement in the morning to subside.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    My son sleeps about 9 or 10 hours straight sometimes. I have an excellent supply. Just nurse on demand, trust your body. He went 12 hours the other day and my husband was laughing at my giant boobs (I used to be an A cup). He even told my son when he finally woke up - "Dude, you gotta help your mom out!" LOL
    Proud mama to Ryan born 6-19-10


    We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
    - Anais Nin

  8. #8
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    My daughter is almost 8 months old and she still wakes up every 3-4 hours at night to nurse.......the longest stretch she's ever had was 5 hours. Oh how I long for the 6-8 hour stretches!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I know it's all in due time but if you ask me it's longer OVERDUE.! hehe

  9. #9
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    Thank you everyone for all your replies. Last night my lo slept for 10 1/2 hours and I finally woke her cause it had been almost 11 hours since she ate... My breasts felt like they were going to burst!!! haha... anyways do you guys recommend me waking up and expressing some milk myself or just leaving it alone? I don't want to develop mastitis or anything like that... Also I've been told that it's good to have your baby on a "nursing schedule" like feed her every 3-4 hours... Is this considered nursing on demand or is nursing on demand whenever I think she wants a swig? haha.. Cause the past 2 days I've just been feeding her all the time cause now I'm paranoid that she is hungry since she is sleeping so long at night... **Sigh** I just don't know what I should be doing... I think I'm making this all too complicated... I was on such a good schedule when I woke her up every 8 hours and now I'm not sure what I should be doing since she sleeps so long.. But I've gotta admit it is soooo nice sleeping this long.. I haven't slept this much since before my lo was born. Thanks again everyone for your posts!! I love reading everyones comments!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    70

    Default Re: Sleeping through the night and milk supply

    Hi, my question is the same so I thought I would just post it on this thread, I hope that is okay-- it is my first post! I have a 3-month old who is starting to sleep long stretches at night. I can't go more than about 5 and 1/2 or 6 hours without nursing or pumping. So I really don't need to wake her up at this age? I work full-time and pump during the day for her, so I'm a little sad that we are giving up a night-time nursing so soon :-( But I don't want to train her to wake up in the middle of the night either :-) Otherwise, I nurse her once in the morning before we leave for work/daycare at 6:30 a.m., then when I get home, then a couple hours later when I put her to bed (around 8:30 p.m.) I guess if she is not getting enough calories from 3 bottles plus 3 nursings she will probably start to wake up again at night, right?

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