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Is it too early to try a little bit of rice milk or something to fill my baby up at night?

(49 Posts)
flapjackaddict Tue 30-Oct-12 20:56:59


My DS is 15 weeks and EBF. However for the past 7 nights he has been waking up hourly from 2.30am - 4/5am. I can often settle the first few wake ups with a dummy albeit it takes a while to get him to sleep. No sooner do I get him to sleep then he wakes up 20-30 mins later. By 4/5am I end up feeding him and he is hungry he guzzles it down. At the same time this happened I had started to introduce a dream feed - I am not sure if it was the dream feed at 10.30pm that broke his sleep cycle to make him wake up all the time or if this was going to happen anyway.

The last 2 nights he has woken up himself now at 10.30pm for a feed and then woken up at 3.30am for a feed. No inbetween hourly wake ups.

As I introduced the 10.30pm feed this was already an extra feed during the day so if he is having this feed AND still waking up for food at 3.30am then am I right in saying my milk or his daytime feeds just arent enough? My routine is at the moment 7am / 11am / 2.30pm / 6pm / 10.30pm / 3.30am.

So should I try something extra at the 10.30pm like some rice milk I think it is called? Or top up with formula? He does take in a good feed at 10.30pm.

If it makes any difference my 15 week old baby weighs almost 16lbs so I wasn't sure if his size meant he just needed more than my breastmilk can give him?

What do you think?

Thank you for your advice.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Tue 30-Oct-12 20:58:43

In short, no.

Those waking times are entirely appropriate for a baby of that age.

Sulfur Tue 30-Oct-12 20:59:18

If you felt sure about wanting to give her rice you wouldn't be posting here.

More breastmilk is what your DD needs, as inconvenient as this might be.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Tue 30-Oct-12 20:59:23

What is rice milk?

IWroteToTheZoo Tue 30-Oct-12 21:09:13

Hi flapjackaddict - I think baby rice actually contains fewer calories than breast milk, so it won't actually be filling your baby up any more than milk - less, in fact. Your milk is enough nutrition for him, even if he's big. (My son was huge and breastfed!) He may just want to feed more often. You could try posting on the breast and bottle feeding board, there are lots of very knowledgable people there.

chillikat Tue 30-Oct-12 21:11:19

That doesn't seem to be many feeds a day - if you think of them as 7am breakfast, 11 am lunch, 6pm dinner, and 10.30 supper there are only 2 extra snacks at 2.30pm and 3.30am. Breastmilk is both a drink and food so I'd try to add another feed or two if you can.
I'd also consider only one wake up at 3.30am to feed as brilliant at that age, I'm sure I was doing 2 or more.

milkysmum Tue 30-Oct-12 21:13:26

Another not sure what rice milk is? but in short yes it is much too early at 15 weeks to be introducing anything other than breast or formula milk- hop over to breast and bottle feeding for support X

poocatcherchampion Tue 30-Oct-12 21:17:04

Too early.

dietcokeandwine Tue 30-Oct-12 21:19:50

No, I wouldn't give rice, or try to resettle with the dummy; I suspect he is going into the 4 month growth spurt and will just need a few more breastfeeds until the growth spurt passes. It's completely normal for this age for them to start being a bit more unsettled at night even if they have previously slept through - both mine went through the night at about 8 weeks old but had an unsettled spell at the 16 week stage and needed a few extra night feeds for a week or so. It soon passed and settled down again.

Re his daytime feeding - is he happy going the 3/4 hours between feeds in the day? It might be worth trying to feed him closer to 3 hourly so you can fit more milk in during the day. For example I did a split feed (5pm and 6:30pm) at this age so they could take a bigger milk feed before bed, rather than just doing one 6:30pm feed...

Other than that, though, I would

(a) keep the 10:30pm feed going until he's 6 months and weaning onto proper solids i.e. protein stuff

(b) offer a full feed at his 2:30/3am waking if necessary in the hope this will resettle him back for the rest of the night (it does sound from your post as if he's genuinely hungry), rather than spending ages trying to resettle with the dummy

(c) if you haven't already, move him to his own room at night. We found that it was at the 4mth stage that their sleep cycles seemed to switch a gear and they were far more likely to be disturbed by us during the night; once moved to their own rooms they seemed far more settled.

Personally I'd avoid giving baby rice (I am assuming this is what you mean by rice milk) until your baby is nearer 20 for formula it might be worth trying this if he wasn't seeming satisfied after the 10:30pm feed, but you say he is taking a good feed from you at this time so it's unlikely that formula will help him go any longer in the night than he currently is, until the growth spurt passes.

catkind Tue 30-Oct-12 21:33:59

It's rare that my 8 month old feeds that few times in a day/night, and she has lots of solid foods too. So yes, as others say, think you could easily up the number of feeds by quite a bit. Much too early for anything else, it might keep his tummy full longer because it's harder to digest but he'd be getting less calories which wouldn't be good.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 30-Oct-12 21:40:45

Agree with the others, I'm not sure what rice milk for a baby is and that is very few bfs for an ebf baby.

I'd be trying to feed more in the day. Don't think at all that your milk isn't enough, after all its you and your milk ghat has done the brilliant job of getting him to that size, but if you think he is hungry, just feed him more often[hsmie]

There is also a growth spurt at around 16 weeks, so it could be that, but the best way to deal with a growth spurt is to feed, feed and then feed a bit more.

If you want some more information try googling kellymom 4 month sleep regression and kellymom reverse cycling. Try askdrsears 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and if you want a book that explains what's going on and helps you deal with it try Babycalming by Caroline Deacon.

gwenniebee Tue 30-Oct-12 21:47:21

I agree that it's probably too early, but from my experience (which is, admittedly, limited) I would not be as worried as some pps are about the number of feeds per day. My dd is 16 weeks tomorrow, ebf, and feeds five times a day. I was worried about this as when she started sleeping through she dropped from six feeds to five and I didn't think it would be enough. However, she is content and gaining weight with decent nappies.

It does mean, though, that if she wakes in the night I do assume she is hungry and she generally has a good feed. She also had eight feeds yesterday which is unusual for her these days but I assume she is having a growth spurt, as it sounds like your ds might be.

I also would recommend the kellymom site.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 30-Oct-12 21:50:52

Just reread the whole thread and just wanted to add a few more things. There is no need to offer baby rice at all, at any age and the NHS don't recommend any solids until 6 months, not 20 weeks.

If you move Lo to his own room, please be aware that the risk of SIDS will be slightly increased.

Formula and/or solids might make your baby sleep less not more. Have a look on kellymom at will giving solids formula help my baby sleep.

BabydollsMum Wed 31-Oct-12 08:29:17

Agree with the others but please also bear in mind that this whole 'filling them up for the night' thing is a bit of a myth amongst new mums - my NCT group and I all fell for it and were desperate to wean thinking that baby would just magically sleep through. Even at six months and on solids, guess what? They didn't.

He's waking up because he's 15 weeks! It's so tough, believe me, I know. Just keep going. It gets easier. Promise.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Wed 31-Oct-12 08:44:30

There is no need for you to lose confidence in your breastmilk. Babies of this age wake up. I would offer more feeds in the day and feed him as soon as he wakes first at night and see if he's then more settled. Hang in there. This phase will pass.

ZuleikaD Wed 31-Oct-12 08:56:00

Solids will make your baby hungrier, a) because there are fewer calories in baby rice (in fact it's about as nutritious as cardboard - I have never understood why it's popular) and b) because he can't digest it properly. Babies of this age are nearly always waking for feeds at night (and carry on until 10m easily) so I would just go with it. There's a huge growth spurt at 16 weeks so he's probably tanking up for that.

ScarletLady02 Wed 31-Oct-12 10:21:27

Echoing what everyone else has said...if your baby is hungry, they need more milk. It has more calories in it, so by giving them solids to "fill them up", all you're doing is depriving them of what they really need.

There IS a massive growth spurt at around 4 DD's nearly killed me. She had an 8oz bottle EVERY HOUR for two and night...I think I went a bit insane with it...but it does pass. I know it's hard when you're tired x

aaaghHumbug Wed 31-Oct-12 10:25:11

it's too early.

Northumberlandlass Wed 31-Oct-12 10:43:03

Agree with the others, sounds like a growth spurt. At 15 weeks I was still feeding DS every 2.5/3 hours day & night.

worldgonecrazy Wed 31-Oct-12 11:01:37

Rice milk "fills them up" because it is indigestible cardboard with no nutritional value. It's the same system that is used in 'hungry baby' milk which just contains more indigestible stuff to keep them fuller for longer. The reason baby rice is popular as a first food is because there is hardly anyone in the world who is allergic to it.

Breastmilk has more calories than any other food, unless you're going to give avocado. Breastmilk also has more calories than formula milk.

It is normal for babies to feed more around this age because you've got a huge growth spurt just around the corner. Not only is there a big physical spurt coming up as your baby's body starts making all the changes necessary to begin thinking about solids around the 6 month mark, there is also a very big mental/brain growth spurt too as baby starts to realise that he is "other" from you - so you get a double-whammy feeding requirement. Up until now baby has thought that you and him are one unit, he has no idea that you are two people, and suddenly the world is about to get a little bit scarier for him, so it's entirely understandable that he needs more snuggling and booby for a few weeks.

nickeldaisical Wed 31-Oct-12 11:03:07

don't do it.

solids are more likely to make your child uncomfortable because he will be digesting something he shouldn't be.

babies go through growth spurts and will wake up more often for a few days each time they get one. it's normal and it will pass.

nickeldaisical Wed 31-Oct-12 11:03:54

instead of trying to settle him with a dummy when he wakes - feed him!
then you'll get an hour rather than 20 minutes.
he needs that extra milk.

nickeldaisical Wed 31-Oct-12 11:07:19

dietcoke - it is recommended that babies sleep in the same room until 6 months old. SIDS guidelines, so please don't recommend earlier than that.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 31-Oct-12 14:21:01

How are you today flapjack?

broodylicious Wed 31-Oct-12 14:46:12

I wouldn't give anything other than breast milk at such an early age. Breast feeding should be on demand so if dc isn't settling with rocking or cuddling etc, chances are its hunger related. Breast milk has everything a baby needs all the way up to 9 months so no need for anything else. Also, be aware of the dreaded four month sleep regression as it could be the onset of that.

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