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Skipping night feedings

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Skipping night feedings

Postby amandab » Fri Jun 18, 2004 07:47 am

by amandab (166 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 07:47 am

Maija is one month old now (today!), and for the past week, she has been skipping a night feeding most nights. It is partly my fault. [:(] For example, I fed her at 10:30 pm last night. Tim then gave her a bottle of EBM to top her off. Pediatrician recommended this b/c my supply drops off in the evening, and she wasn't getting enough. We put her down to sleep at about 11:15 pm. She slept until 1 am. I changed her diaper and brought her to bed. She didn't seem to interested in eating yet so I thought I would play with her for a bit and try again. But we both fell asleep! She didn't wake up again until 4:30 am, and I fed her then.

This has been happening most nights for a week. Tim says we should be thrilled that she is sleeping through the night, and he thinks it is b/c she is finally getting enough to eat at night with the EBM bottle. I'm worried that she is too young to be going 5.5 or 6 hours without a feeding. If she isn't, then great, and I'll be happy! I'm also kicking myself for letting her sleep with us so many nights! I can't believe I keep letting that happen. I'm not anti family bed per se. I just don't think it is safe.

So should I force the night feeding especially if she does wake up like she did last night? Or should I accept that she doesn't really want a night feeding and just try to comfort her back to sleep when she wakes up? I'd love to hear thoughts on this!!

Amanda (28)
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Maija Grace - 5/18/04 (36.5 wks), HELLP
~i~ Aidan Timothy - 4/14/03 (29 wks), pre-e and abruption
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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby catherine » Fri Jun 18, 2004 08:22 am

by catherine (2832 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 08:22 am

Hi Amanda, so good to hear that things are going so well.

I'd play it by ear, she is probably too small now to go through the night regularly without a night feeding but every once in a while little babies may just be giving you a break. Bear in mind that she's probably coming up to a growth spurt fairly soon and she'll likely be on you like a leech [:0].

One of the things about BF, it's a more dynamic relationship than with FF. This just makes sense, the formula recipe is static, while the content of BM changes over time. The upshot of this is that I think it takes BF babies longer to get into a very established routine and then they break out of it more easily. It's very handy when you are out and about, if they get hungry when you don't expect it... well you're all ready to go. On the other hand, with growth spurts for example, you have to deal with maybe hourly nursing for a couple of days rather than being able to just give more at a feeding.

I'm curious as to why your ped would recommend the top up bottle. I don't know of anybody whose supply didn't drop off in the evening..... and then pick right up overnight. The biology of that explains the night sweats and all those uglies. However, volume issue aside, the evenings BM is just as nutritionally statisfying. Some babies are what are called cluster feeders. Lucy and Chloe both were. They would go a long time during the day between feeds 3-4 hours but in the evening from say 7-9 pm, they'd be on and off the breast like yo-yos. Then they'd settle down and sleep until 1 am, wake, nurse and then sleep until around 4. It wasn't purely hunger that would keep them feeding.... it was the contact and interaction component too. Finn, on the other hand.... every two hours non-negotiable. I used to say in the ugly blur of the first three months that I could remember distinctly the last time I'd had more than two hours of consecutive sleep..... the night before my water broke!!! He kept that up for his first nine weeks, then one day... he went to every 4 hours. Literally overnight and I was so engorged and pumped so much that there wasn't room in the freezer to deal with it all!! I tend to go by size rather than age when trying to figure out when they're old enough to go through the night by themselves.... because they have a big enough stomach to hold enough. 13-15 llbs is my personal rule of thumb. Sadly, mine are such skinny minis that means 6-8 months of night feeding.


As for the co-sleeping.... pace yourself. I think that for exclusively BF, some form of the practice is what evolves..... you're too tired to deal otherwise. There are things you can do that can make it as safe as possible but if you never get comfortable with it, that's fine too. This is one area where your expectations and what ultimately turns out to meet your needs sort of have to be worked through.

Hugs

Catherine
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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby laura » Fri Jun 18, 2004 08:44 am

by laura (5139 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 08:44 am

Amanda, we just resigned ourselves to the fact that our kids end up in bed with us, and got both the Snugglenest co-sleeper- a little box-like thing to place between us in bed until the critter is substantial enough not to get squished and used a Arms reach co-sleeper attached to the bed until she could push up in a crawling position-- If I can't see my (little) baby where I lie, I wake up all night and get up and check otherwise

(now, after all that, this kid is the one who cries to sleep in her crib-- go figure [:p])

Arms reach cosleeper:
http://www.babybungalow.com/arreaccosvar.html


Snuggle nest:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001Y9VN2/qid=1087573382/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/104-3565845-4459911?v=glance&s=baby&n=507846

Good luck, hth!

Laura
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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby catherine » Fri Jun 18, 2004 09:15 am

by catherine (2832 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 09:15 am

I'm not surprised Laura, all of my kids have been co-sleepers until they reached the roll-over/sleep through the night stage and they all transitioned to the crib painlessly and slept there the night through quite happily. I think it's karmic payback which we are owed BIG TIME!!!!

Catherine
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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby deerhart » Fri Jun 18, 2004 09:41 am

by deerhart (3282 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 09:41 am

We co-slept with both kids while I was BFing, simply because I would be too exhausted at night to get up nurse then put them back in the bassinet.

Alex didn't start skipping night feedings until 5 months old. BUT he ate every hour on the hour for the first 3 1/2 months. He would start nursing on the hour and nurse for 30-45 mins, break and start up again on the hour for the first 8-10 weeks. The next few weeks he would only nurse for 15 mins then break for 45 mins. I have a feeling most nights he nursed straight through while I slept.

Mason weaned himself off the breast by 8weeks (he would simply just refuse it) and was only having 1 night feeding by 6 weeks. He would eat at 10:30-11 and then would have a 3 or 4 am feeding.

I would suspect she might lsow down for 2 weeks and skip the feeding, and then pick it back up around 6 weeks old with her growth spurt, then possibly drop it again until 12 weeks when they typically have another spurt.

If she's hungry she will cry, and as long as she is gaining wait, feeding on demand is usually fine. Enjoy the extra sleep =)

Erin

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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby amandab » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:44 am

by amandab (166 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:44 am

Thanks so much for the advice so far! This stuff is pretty confusing!! There are soooo many different expert opinions floating around these days.

We started the top off bottle b/c my supply drops off so much in the evening Maija could never get satisfied enough to fall asleep. After a whole week of happy daytime baby and very upset nighttime baby, the pediatrician recommended the top off bottle. It worked great the very first night. The lactation consultant also gave the go ahead for the top off bottle as long as I gave her the breast first. Maija makes it easy to know when it is time for the bottle... she will be feeding just fine, then she obviously gets very angry, pops off, latches back on, pops off, cries and cries. Give her the bottle, she's a happy camper. And we only give her the bottle if she seems to need it.

Really I am worried about her skipping the night feeding b/c I am not feeding on demand. I am feeding on an approximated three hour schedule. The hospital nursery, the pediatrician and the lactation consultant recommended this for numerous reasons. Which is actually fine for me since Maija has to start daycare full-time in four weeks, and the daycare insists that she be on a feeding, activity, sleeping schedule. I never have to force her to eat. If she sleeps longer than the 3 hours, I just change her diaper, and she's ready to eat. So really as far as she is concerned, she is feeding on demand. I am so thankful for that b/c I hope the transition to daycare will be easier for her.

Amanda (28)
Hubby (29)
Maija Grace - 5/18/04 (36.5 wks), HELLP
~i~ Aidan Timothy - 4/14/03 (29 wks), pre-e and abruption
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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby arj » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:23 am

by arj (1251 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:23 am

Amanda,
It sounds like you are doing great! You are right-there are so many different opinions on "what you should do." My mom's motto (she didn't breastfeed) was "never wake a sleeping baby." On the other hand, a friend of mine who is a lactation consultant said that she would never let her babies sleep through the night for fear that her supply would drop off. So who is right??
I think that as long as Maija is gaining weight and seems content then you should just stick with what works. For the first 2 months I weighed Evan every week to make sure he was gaining. It was totally reassuring to see the scale continue to creep up. Feeding on demand just wasn't my bag-not that I would deny him the breast to conform to a schedule, but if he wasn't fussy, then every 3 hours worked for me. I think that it's great that you are trying to get her on a schedule. It will make her transition to daycare easier since she will know what to expect each day. Good luck with everything and definitely enjoy that sleep because before you know it, she'll be doing something different and keeping you guessing yet again!

Allison (28)
DS-Evan, 7/19/2003. PE at 40 weeks
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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby deerhart » Fri Jun 18, 2004 02:52 pm

by deerhart (3282 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 02:52 pm

ohh well then if your not demand feeding thats different, you would need to wake and feed her then.

We did demand feeding and the daycare did whatever we told them too so we didn't have to worry about that.

Erin

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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby catherine » Fri Jun 18, 2004 03:10 pm

by catherine (2832 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 03:10 pm

Amanda, that sounds just fine to me... I think that babies nearly always fall into that kind of routine anyway if you provide any level of structure at all. One of the amazing things about daycare is that at a good nursery the babies all seem to nap as one. In fact, if you try and copy the daycare routine on the weekends it pays dividends big time!!!!!! The thing not to be afraid of is that if sometimes Maya seems to want more or less that it will break the routine too much. My old ped (and a bit of a weirdo) used to chant at me... "you can never overfeed a breastfed baby". Three kids later I take his point. The biological dynamic of it keeps everything appropriately proportional. Obviously when they start little, you do have to be watchful, but assumingly everything is going pretty smoothly, and it sure sounds like it is, then don't be afraid to adjust and be a bit free-form about it. I know the line never wake a sleeping baby.... the next bit goes....... lie down beside him/her and nap until they wake!!!!! Don't feel guilty if you get a bit of extra sleep, there'll just be more milk in there for next time.

Catherine
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Re : Skipping night feedings

Postby amandab » Fri Jun 18, 2004 06:36 pm

by amandab (166 Posts), Fri Jun 18, 2004 06:36 pm

You have all helped so much! I am definitely going to make a bigger effort to successfully complete the night feeding when she wakes up for it. I'm so glad changing her diaper during the day gets her riled up for her feedings. I would be a ball of stress if I had to worry about her skipping feedings all the time. [:)]

Erin, you are so lucky to have found a flexible daycare that strives to meet your needs! All the parents rave about the one we have picked so hopefully it will work well for us in the long run.

Thanks again girls!! The advice really helped so much!

Amanda (28)
Hubby (29)
Maija Grace - 5/18/04 (36.5 wks), HELLP
~i~ Aidan Timothy - 4/14/03 (29 wks), pre-e and abruption
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