Is there any way to encourage more day feeding and less night feeding?

(10 Posts)
belindarose Sun 18-Nov-12 10:34:14

DS is 20 weeks. EBF. I fed him 7 times between 10pm and 6am last night and that's quite normal for us at the moment. I'm beginning to find it hard to cope in the day now. He doesn't want to feed much in the day, and when he does the feeds are really short (a couple of minutes).

I know he needs feeding at night, but I'm starting to need more than an hour at a time myself. I have a 3 yo so no chance of daytime naps!

Spiritedwolf Sun 18-Nov-12 11:09:34

My DS is my first and only 15 weeks so these are just a few ideas till someone more experienced comes along.

Feeding in the day. Its possible that at this age he's just distracted by all the exciting things he's noticing about the world. Finding a quiet place to feed him whenever you can in the day (even if its just once or twice) might help him to have a longer feed. Perhaps when your older child is doing a quiet activity.

Daytime Naps. Pick a toddler proof room, with a shut door or stair gate across it. Toddler's bedroom could be a good choice. Have baby take a nap, maybe by nursing to sleep and catch a nap yourself whilst toddler is playing with something fairly quiet on the floor. Soft toys/jigsaws/picture books/building blocks etc.

Sorry if I have unrealistic expectations of a quiet toddler - I don't have one yet! But hopefully you will know yourself quieter times. I don't even know if 3 years is too old for a playpen so didn't want to suggest it!

Loislane78 Sun 18-Nov-12 12:53:08

Only DC1 here too at 13 wks

As well as what spirited said re. avoiding feeding distractions, sounds like he might have day/night mixed up. Don't they also have 4 month sleep regression? I would be encouraging feeds every 2 hrs in the day and getting lots of daylight, good way to get toddlers some fresh air and burn off energy too. If day feeds are short, nappy change and then try again.

Is he feeding properly at night or waking for comfort and falling asleep? Can he settle himself? I would get into habit of putting down semi-asleep if not so of does wake up, might self-settle.

Sorry, all I can think of. Good luck, sounds totally exhausting brew

belindarose Sun 18-Nov-12 15:36:15

Thanks for your ideas. My 3 year old is lovely but particularly needy when I'm feeding. And yes, she'd have something to say if I tried a playpen now. I think DS just really likes the peace of nightimes!

I'm here with a 23 weeker doing 4 night feeds.
I am currently testing a guess that i have created a snacker by demand feeding for so long.

Have instgated a rigorous(ish) 4 hour feed cycle day and night.

Last couple of nights i decreed i would only feed once at 3am after 10.30 feed. She woke at 1am and i offered cooled boiled water and then i walked round for an hour before she went to sleep. She then woke up again at 3.30 and i fed her. Then morning at 6.30 so i fed her.

Proved to me she could go longer with fewer feeds, it's just a habit. No idea how long it will take to get her into a better habit but if it's a few nights og going to bed at 7 myself and walking round at 1 am for fixing her to a single night feed then it's worth toughing it out.

Will let you know if it works

belindarose Sun 18-Nov-12 18:46:20

Thanks, Think. I can't really risk that sort of routine as his weight gain has been so poor. Hopefully your nights will improve though.

We've had some better feeds today - and quite a few of them.

potas Mon 19-Nov-12 13:03:20

No expert advice - I only can say what I found works for me.
Keeping him awake and doing more during the day and offering food often. Means he will need to sleep more/feed less at night.
Try to aim for an improvement rather than a complete success i.e. maybe start by trying to get him to stretch the time between the early hours feeds -so you know he is relatively full having fed well in the early evening. Dont worry to much about weight gain as stretching time between two feeds at night will mean he feeds more at the next feed. I dont know if I am making myself clear but say he feeds every hour and a half between 7pm and 7 am then I would go with it till midnight or 1am and then if he wakes after that try to style it out even if it is just for an extra half hour each time to start with. You will be knackered initially but you are probably knackered anyway and hopefully he will start to go longer between feeds at night so then you will eventually get more sleep.

ZuleikaD Mon 19-Nov-12 15:30:29

When DD was feeding like this I found that trying to 'stretch' her feeds apart would work for maybe one or two nights - after that she went ballistic on the third night and any subsequent nights I tried it and it didn't work in the long term. Feeding on demand does not create a 'snacker'. (A term that has no real meaning with regard to a bf baby.)

I agree with finding the least distracting place possible to feed him during the day - you could try offering more as well, perhaps every two hours. (How often does he feed during the day at the moment?). Does he go for a longer stretch at the beginning of the night? Could your DH get up to him with a bottle of EBM so you can have a chunk of maybe five hours sleep in one go?

Sadly keeping him awake during the day will not mean he needs to sleep more at night - babies need to sleep when they need to sleep and forcing them to stay awake doesn't pile up a sleep debt that they then need to pay off. It just makes them thoroughly grumpy and overtired.

byhec Mon 19-Nov-12 20:20:55

I'm in a similar position, try waking your DS up to feed every 3-4 hours during the day, my very distractable DS feeds much better when dozy :-)

feekerry Mon 19-Nov-12 20:44:32

Hi op. When were in the house for a few hours i will offer probably every half an hour. My dd never feeds for long so it never takes up loads of time but it does make a massive difference to her sleep. She now nearly 8 months and sleeps all night. I often also mute the tv etc when i offer to keep distractions to a minimum. Might go lie on the bed and feed etc

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