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Any tips on achieving longer between breastfeeds at night?!

(14 Posts)
VictoriaMc77 Thu 02-Jun-11 15:57:12

I have an 8 week old son and am exclusively breastfeeding and he is still not going longer than 3 hours between feeds during the night. I mentioned today to the nurse who was giving him his first jabs and she said how about trying formula feeding a night ... I really don't want to do this and just wondered if anyone had any tips for getting him to go longer between feeds - or is this just normal and I should persevere?!!! Thanks!

Cosmosis Thu 02-Jun-11 16:13:04

I think this is pretty normal still at that age, sorry – my DS was still doing that often at that age. You could try offering more feeds in the day to see if that tanks him up for the night, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

MigGril Thu 02-Jun-11 16:13:47

farily normal at 8 week's to be honist. Some baby's will go a bit longer with formula as it's harder to digest then BM, but this to seems to be a bit randum and I know older formula fed babies who's sleep is no different.

Sleep in general tends to be a personality/developmental thing and varries from baby to baby no matter how they are fed.

I think 3hours isn't bad for 8 weeks by the way.

VictoriaMc77 Thu 02-Jun-11 16:22:08

Thanks for that - really appreciate your advice!! I came back for having coffee with a friend yesterday whose breastfed baby is sleeping about 6 hours at night ... as you can imagine I felt a little hard done by with my little babe!!!

moomin156 Thu 02-Jun-11 16:35:46

victoria my LO is 10 weeks (although was a preemie) and only goes 90 min - 2hrs overnight. Will do 3-4hrs in the day but not at night. 6hrs........what is her trick, tell me please

lilham Thu 02-Jun-11 17:01:58

Mine does go 6-7 hours at night at 9wo, but annoyingly it's the one from 7pm! It's something to do with her cluster feeding during the late afternoon, not sleeping, and then collapsing by 7-8pm. I've been told it's about cramming as much milk as you can before they go to bed. But I don't think my DD will feed if she doesn't want to. Or I'd be able to get her stomach all filled up with milk at the midnight feed.

It'll definitely get better when they grow bigger and have bigger stomachs.

HappyAsASandboy Thu 02-Jun-11 17:03:30

I agree that it is fairly normal. Fr

HappyAsASandboy Thu 02-Jun-11 17:10:41

I agree that it is fairly normal. From about 3 months or so my twins started to manage a 5 hour stint, though annoyingly it was (and still is) from 7pm ish to midnight ish. They're 7.5 months now, and go down at about 7pm, then wake at 12.30 ish, 3 ish, 5 ish and then up for the day at 7am (though I can sometimes fool them into thinking 7am is still night and eek them on til 9am ish).

I have no idea whether formula would help. To be honest, I'd rather do many [easy] breastfeeds than fewer [more faff] bottle feeds. I hope they'll sleep through eventually grin

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 02-Jun-11 18:56:47

victoria, re your friend with the sleeping through baby--it probably won't last! There are lots of developmental changes that affect sleep, famously (on here) the four month sleep regression. The babies i know who slept through early on (and there were only a few of them any way) all went tits up at four months. I think their mums found that harder than those of us who had just learnt to cope on little sleep!

I can confirm it does get better. Ds is now 15m and now sleeps through (touch wood wink ). We've never done any sleep training, and always bf'd get him to sleep/back to sleep. Path of least resistance has suited us fine. grin ps i know 15m sounds ages away, but it will fly. smile

Goodluckbear Thu 02-Jun-11 20:06:43

Ah, as everyone else has said, that sounds normal!! I think 3hrs in the night is pretty good for 8wks, my boy was the same. A bit after 12wks I think he started going for longer periods, but like lilham and HappyAsASandboy said, the long period is 7pm - 11pm, and then he wakes at 3hr intervals until morning - not too hungry, just a bit of a feed and then back to bed. He's 5mths now, and to be honest I just got used to it. I did get fed up once and tried a bottle of formula, but it made no difference to him, he woke up just the same. Some babies are just good sleepers - my mate is bfing and her DD has slept through from about 6wks envy

my 9mth old was feeding every 90mins-2hrs for an hr at a time until he was about 8wks old then went 3hrly and then from about 11wks we had 8/12/4 and then every 45mins until we got up at 7am and then from 13wks he dropped the 12 feed and fed at 7pm and then 3/4am and slowly eeked that out to 6am by 15wks and then we put him in his own room at 15wks and by 16wks we had 5 out of 7 nights sleeping from 8pm (an hr feed at 7pm) til 7am and from 18wks he was totally sleeping through and still does - bat the odd night here and there.

Formula feeding doesnt always make them sleep longer some babies it will as stays in the gut longer but for other breast fed babies can give the tummy ache due to being a totally different make up to breast milk.

From a personal experience breast feeding is sooooo much easier at night than faffing making up bottles etc

and even as a night nanny if a parents choice is to breast feed through the night then I will support them in that and if they choose to express and me to give a bottle i will again to do that and the same with formula.

I think it was wrong of the nurse to suggest formula rather than encourage you with the breast feeding and all the positives of doing that (unless you were crying and appeared really tired and stressed out by it which doesnt sound like you were) - health professionals should promote breast feeding where possible.

well done you for carrying on and keep it up as long as you feel able and want to.

Since I have had my baby I have the greatest admiration for mothers who breastfeed and especially those that breast feed twins - I always admired them but see it in a completly new light having exclusively breast fed myself.

RedHotPokers Thu 02-Jun-11 20:20:03

I wouldn't bother trying formula, it often doesn't make any difference.
3 hours is not abnormal for 8w, but you could try:

- ensuring where possible that LO is having a proper feed. My DD used to wake up loads in the night for feeds. She'd feed for 5 minutes and then fall asleep, then an hour or two later wake again. I started getting up and changing her nappy or switching the light on for the feed to wake her up enough to feed properly. She eventually started having proper feeds and the times between lengthened. She was exclusively bf and slept through from 15w.

- not getting baby up for a feed just because he has made the odd tiny peep or rustle. Its easy to respond to every little shuffle when they're right next to you.

naturalbaby Thu 02-Jun-11 22:35:46

formula for an 8week old to sleep through?!? what planet is your hv from? unless you want/need to combine feed that will mess up your supply.
my baby is 4months and had just started going 4-5hrs but has now dropped back for a growth spurt. i was settling him with a dummy/comforter and only picking him up if he carried on grizzling.
you can try spending all evening feeding to get as much milk in as possible, but when i try with my baby he stuffs himself too full and is then sick! worked for a friend of mine though.

naturalbaby Thu 02-Jun-11 22:38:36

sorry, nurse not hv.

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