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3.5 week old baby - can i start using a dummy to lengthen time between feeds?

(36 Posts)
helpivegottogivebirth Fri 03-Jul-09 08:27:19

Never thought I'd need to use a dummy but have changed my mind.

Polly feeds roughly every 2 hours during the day - little and often. Basically if she creis, and has been changed or winded, then it means she's hungry. I thought of introducing a dummy to try and widen the gap, and hopefully increase her appetite for when she does feed. what do you think?

And can you use dummies at night? I'm not sure i want her addicted to it, but for my own sanity and the thought of a bit of sleep i would give it a try.

Do dummies increase wind problems? She doesn't wind well either - and infocol didn't seem to have that much effect on her.

Any dummy thoughts, hints, tips, advice would be welcome.


rubyslippers Fri 03-Jul-09 08:31:45

a dummy can be great but i would never try to stretch a 3 week old baby

they DO need to feed little and often - it is usual and it is knackering

this phase does pass

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 03-Jul-09 08:35:07

I agree with ruby - and I do sympathise because DS2 was just like this - but 3.5 weeks is too young to think about stretching her between feeds.

By all means try and dummy if it's about settling her if you know she's been fed, but don't use it to replace food.

lowrib Fri 03-Jul-09 08:41:50

This phase is tiring, but it doesn't last forever honest! She is so little, she needs to feed lots.

clemette Fri 03-Jul-09 08:42:06

She needs feeding on demand. Your body will get used to the broken sleep.

However, one way if testing to see if she is comfort sucking or wanting to feed is by offering your little finger knuckle for her to suck. If that settles her then it is a sucking thing. Not all babies will take a dummy even if you decide to introduce one.

Keep going at the feeding on demand. It will get easier but this is entirely NORMAL.

RoseOfTheOrient Fri 03-Jul-09 08:48:39

Her tummy is the size of a walnut, and if you are breastfeeding, the tiny amount of milk that she can hold in her tiny tummy will be digested very quickly. Please don't try to "stretch out" the time between her feeds - she is genuinely hungry, and it would be a bit cruel IMO.

Powdoc Fri 03-Jul-09 09:18:19

Hi Help,

Two hours is totally normal during the day. My DD still often feeds this often at 10 weeks. Just before it got hot she was sometimes (naturally) stretching to two and a half or three hours, but during the hot weather she has gone back to two or less. Think about how often you want to drink in this weather...

Also bear in mind that if your daughter is just thirsty, she'll take a small feed as she'll only want a 'drink'.

IME (and I realise that that's limited!) DD won't use a dummy to stretch out a feed, just to calm herself down if she's overtired or, as others have said, she wants the soothing sucking. I don't think that there's any point (or real benefit) to trying to stretch out feeds, particularly breast feeds.

How long is Polly going at night? If you are getting longer stretches then then bear in mind that she is cramming more feeds into the day to allow her to go longer at night.

I am sure that others have more expert advice, but thought I'd share my experience.

Powdoc Fri 03-Jul-09 09:21:28

p.s. Have you been to any of the local meet ups? You'll find a lot of us feeding that often, so it might help you feel less as if this pattern is something 'wrong' IYSWIM.

theyoungvisiter Fri 03-Jul-09 09:21:57

Agree with what others have posted - and also bear in mind that in this weather she will need very frequent fluids to avoid dehydration.

If you do decide to try to "stretch" her then please wait until cooler weather at least.

Two hourly is absolutely normal at this age (and older!) and has its advantages in that they are usually quick feeds as the baby gets older.

ruddynorah Fri 03-Jul-09 09:22:06

you don't need to stretch her time between feeds or try to control her appetite. follow her cues. she's not like an adult who has set meal times all spaced apart or whatever. she's a teeny baby who needs feeding little and often.

lou031205 Fri 03-Jul-09 14:21:57

DD3 is 12 weeks old, and still feeds 2-3 hourly. Especially in this weather, feeding on demand is so important.

helpivegottogivebirth Fri 03-Jul-09 17:01:29

thanks everyone for the advice. i've decided against the dummy and spacing. am now sitting on the sofa with her, watching the tennis, stuffing my face with pasta and pesto and letting her eat till her hearts content.

Powdoc Fri 03-Jul-09 17:05:01

Wonderful plan!

Am not anti-dummies (ours is a godsend for when DD gets herself into a screaming rage and doesn't seem to know how to shut off), but I think you've made the right decision.

Gemzooks Fri 03-Jul-09 23:28:21

I would say, wait till the very hot weather is over, then try to get her to go a bit longer. Also 3 weeks is a growth spurt... so not the best time now. I do think they can gradually be encouraged to go longer but not in the heat. My 14 week old who usually feeds every 3-4 hours is feeding every 2 hours in the day since the heat started, she is genuinely just thirsty! good luck, soon it will cool off and she will get a bit bigger and go longer anyway...

expo Fri 03-Jul-09 23:35:27

Feed her when she needs it. She is so so young. It is hard work but it is not so long in the big picture of things.

Dummies - oh yes, yes, yes. I used them with both of mine. Was shit scared about taking them off them. My first born came off in about 2 nights. My second born is still on them. Use them only at night and only in their cots. Good for stopping them sucking their thumbs/fingers. Funny because I am married to an Italian - I feel like a social outcast if I use one in the UK but in Italy EVERYONE uses them. Why oh why do we make life more difficult for ourselves over here? It is like a big "I can cope better than you can game - don't need a dummy etc etc"

lowrib Sat 04-Jul-09 01:22:17

By the way the best way to make sure your little one is getting enough hydration in this heat is to drink a lot of water yourself.

I guess if your dehydrated this might mean they have to feed more to get the hydration they need? Does anyone know?

(BTW actually giving a young baby water is bad though because it'll fill their stomach up with something which has no nutrition, they need milk!).

lowrib Sat 04-Jul-09 01:23:27

I mean you're blush

I've offended my inner pedant!

theyoungvisiter Sat 04-Jul-09 16:01:52

By lowrib on Sat 04-Jul-09 01:22:17
By the way the best way to make sure your little one is getting enough hydration in this heat is to drink a lot of water yourself.
I guess if your dehydrated this might mean they have to feed more to get the hydration they need?

lowrib - I'm not an expert but I believe that's incorrect.

The body cleverly makes sure the breast milk is right for the environment, no matter how much or how little you drink (well, within reason of course - not if you're dead from dehydration wink). You should, of course, drink enough for your own sake, so as to avoid getting dehydrated yourself, but the baby won't suffer just because the mother is a bit dehydrated, and it won't affect the milk.

In fact, I believe there has been some research to show that mild dehydration in the mother can actual boost milk production, because the body recognises that the baby is more likely to suffer dehydration in the intense conditions. I don't know the references for this study though.

amberflower Sat 04-Jul-09 21:29:05

I am not sure about official studies on milk production being boosted by dehydration, but all I can say is that I breastfed a newborn around this time of year (DS is a July baby) and I had to drink a good 8-10 pints of water per day to stave off dehydration and ensure a good milk supply. I could always tell if I hadn't drunk enough because he was far more unsettled, as if the milk was less plentiful.

BUT having said that I would agree with other posters here. If she is feeding 2 hourly at this age it is because she needs it. Bear in mind that even if you do ultimately aim towards 3-hourly feeds they should be timed from the start of one feed to the start of the next. So say baby initiates a feed around 2pm, she will need to feed again within 3 hours of that 2pm start time. So if she feeds for about an hour until 3pm, she will only 'go' another 2 hours from the end of that feed before needing another one.

If you want to try and stretch her out (and avoid windy colicky problems) the best thing you can do is encourage her to take a good feed and not get into the snacking habit. If she starts bobbing on and off for 2 minutes here and 5 minutes there and only ever does this, then she will be filling her tummy full of foremilk, not getting any of the fattier hindmilk and you will have the double whammy of her being hungry sooner and being windier. Obviously continue with the demand stuff but try gently to encourage her to take a good long feed and empty a breast. At her age DS would feed for a good 45 minutes - it would usually take 30 minutes to empty one breast, then I'd offer the other. But he too was going about 2 hours from the end of one feed to the beginning of another.

You will probably find she will start to go longer of her own accord when she is ready, and as she becomes a more 'expert' feeder then the feeds will get quicker. By 3 months DS was only taking 15 minutes to feed rather than up to an hour!

So persevere with is so normal to feel that all you do is feed at this stage. But KEEP DRINKING. Never mind baby YOU will feel awful if you are dehydrated. My DS was exactly the same as your little one at this age, it was feed feed feed, but by 9 weeks he was much more settled and sleeping through the night till 7am from a late feed around 11 pm. And not a dummy did we need. So have does get easier smile

MrsMichaelSchofield Sat 04-Jul-09 21:35:07

just to add to what others have said about frequent feeding - my experience was that my bf baby needed fed every 2 hours for the first 6 months. Exhausting yes, but I think as soon as you get used to the fact that this is normal, it's easier to accept

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 21:37:07

You asked what we thought

I think you are wrong to try and get a 3 week old to have any kind of feeding other than on demand.

I had to feed all mine 2 hourly for nearly 6 months so I understand that it is all consuming but your DC is tiny and needs a feed when they need one. Their tummies are so tiny.

PrincessToadstool Sat 04-Jul-09 21:39:13

FBG read her last post

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 04-Jul-09 21:41:50

Yes, I know

I replied before reading the whole thread.

I like to do that so I can say what I think without being influenced by anyone elses opinion.

elliepants Sat 04-Jul-09 22:11:40

My baby is 8 weeks and he started at hourly then progressed to 2 hourly and is now still at 2 hourly but we sometimes get a 3 or 4 hour gap between feeds.

My midwife and health visitor said to check he wasn't snacking - but he was draining a full boob each time and was feeding very hungrily, so he just needed that much.

It is tough but best of luck with it.

Also the health visitor said that there was evidence that dummies helped prevent SIDS, so I don't feel bad about using one.

Babieseverywhere Sat 04-Jul-09 22:16:57

Deciding to go with the flow, sounds much easier...hope you are enjoying sitting on the sofa with the tennis

Just to add, there is no need to force yourself to drink any amount of water. Drinking to thirst (i.e. as normal) is all your body needs to make milk.

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