Bottle feeding

(12 Posts)
Kafri Mon 31-Dec-12 01:33:16

Hi, please help.

I've also posted in sleep section but don't know how to link on my phone.

Bubs is 1wk +3 and is completely nocturnal. He refuses to sleep at night to the point where I didn't even go to bed last night. He's just woke after just less than an hour and wants a feed. What do I do? He had a full feed 120ml (he's a good eater) before going down and I'm not sure i want to go down the road of feeding every hour given the quantity he eats at every feed.
I'm currently sat trying to pacify with everything other than a bottle of milk - rocking, changing, boiled water, dummy, rocking in pram, wrapping in blanket etc

What do you think? Should I feed on demand regardless or stick to my guns given how much he eats at 'normal' feeds. This isn't just a one off, it's been every night since we came home.

If its necessary to know, in Hosp he sownt a couple of days on neo as he developed an infection after birth and they were adamant it should be 4 hourly feeds regardless!! Also he doesn't feed hourly during the day, he's pretty good at sleeping then waking after a decent time. It just appears he's nocturnal.

He's so tiny though - you can't expect any routine or even consistency day to day at this point. His stomach is tiny as well so it's quite normal to feed so often. And I don't think my DS started to understand day/night until 6 weeks or so.

Bf didn't work for us so I bottle fed but chose to do it on demand. It's a faff in terms of making up feeds but I felt it was right for him. I didn't want to think of him going hungry. My theory on routines anyway is that babies fall into them by themselves, at their own pace, and it's very difficult if not impossible to force a baby onto a routine if they're not ready for it.

Kafri Mon 31-Dec-12 02:39:55

Thanks for the reply. It's not that I'm trying to be horrible or trying to get out of the inevitable as a new mum. It's genuinely because I don't know what the rules are and if I'm honest I'm finding it all more difficult than I ever imagined. (Which I'm really beating myself up over)!!

confuddledDOTcom Mon 31-Dec-12 03:05:27

Four hourly feeds works best for NNU so that's what they do generally. At home you really need to follow what they want, he's still very young, it won't last forever. If he's asking for food he really is hungry and nothing else will work.

I agree with Gozer, babies will make their own routine if you go with the flow, but you probably won't find one that will stick for quite some while. You'll think you have it cracked then they'll decide to do something different.

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 31-Dec-12 05:35:36

Four hourly is the minimum for newborns, meaning you should wake a vulnerable/sleepy new baby if it has been that long. At just one week old, your baby is probably crying for food and cuddles. Sadly he won't know day from night for weeks and weeks yet! Don't worry about routine, follow your instinct and feed him - think about what a breastfeeding mum would do, they'd just get a crying baby to latch on, even if it had only been an hour! There isn't a rule book - ask your health visitor for advice if you want to talk it over. Good luck!

geekette Mon 31-Dec-12 07:43:03

I don't have experience with bottle feeding but is it possible he is catching up on feeds because of the 4 hour schedule he had to "endure"?
maybe give it a week on demand and see what happens?

babies are a lot of trial and error...

geekette Mon 31-Dec-12 07:43:42

oh and congrats grin

I always did three hourly 7am-7pm and then four hourly from 7pm-7am.

Dd was on three hourly daytime bottles til 6m but little to nothing in the night by then.

Offer milk every three hours day and night, make the daytime.ones bright and interesting and the night times.ones dark and hushed.

EMS23 Mon 31-Dec-12 07:47:05

In

EMS23 Mon 31-Dec-12 07:59:16

Sorry! I would try 3hrly during day and 4hrly at night.
But if he seems hungry at night, at this early stage, I would just offer an extra feed. You won't ruin the chance of getting into a good routine later on so don't worry about that.

As for finding it harder than you'd anticipated... I think most new mums find that. I certainly did. I describe becoming a mum as 'hitting me like a ton of bricks'. It was not what I expected and I hated myself for how crap at it I thought I was.
Talk to your partner, your mum, your midwife, your friends. Anyone you can confide in. Share this, don't shoulder those feelings on your own. And I'd put money on other mums telling you they felt the same, at this stage.

EMS23 Mon 31-Dec-12 08:05:21

Oh, also IME, NICU babies can be more nocturnal for longer. NICU/ SCBU is a very noisy environment with machines bleeping, people moving around and other babies crying at all hours. Day vs night doesn't really exist for them in there so it might just take that bit longer for him to adjust.
Perhaps try a radio on low at night.

Fairylea Mon 31-Dec-12 08:07:10

Feed on demand even when bottle feeding... that's what I have done with my 2 and both have settled fairly quickly and slept through early.. I might just be lucky.

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