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More than 4hrs between feeds at what age?

(18 Posts)
stegasaurus Wed 08-Jun-11 16:27:35

When DD was born breastfeeding got off to a bad start for several reasons. In hospital she went 5hrs+ without waking for a feed at one point on day 2 and the MW had to cupfeed her some formula as she seemed too sleepy to think about latching on. When we left hospital on day 3 I was told I must wake her at least every 4hrs and feed her, so I demand feed her but set alarms at night to make sure doesn't go more than 4hrs. She is now 6.5 weeks old, and I am wondering at what age we can go to truly feeding on demand and she can sometimes be left slightly longer, especially as she is cluster feeding usually from 7ish to 12ish and does sometimes want feeding more than 4hrly at other times too.

MigGril Wed 08-Jun-11 16:37:04

If she's now to the point of putting on weight and having lot's of wet/dirty nappies. Plus she's feeding lots during the day then I'd be tempted to let her be and not wake her.

If there is still a weight gain issue then you still need to be waking her during the night I'm afraid.

howabout Wed 08-Jun-11 16:45:03

You are the only other person I have heard of apart from me who has had to set the alarm clock to do night feeds with a newborn, so if nothing else you have cheered me up greatly.

On a more practical note I agree with MigGril. Is she properly awake for feeds during the day and are they generally 3 hours apart or less? You could probably seek reassurance from your HV or MW on this before going ahead.

RitaMorgan Wed 08-Jun-11 17:03:44

I had a sleepy, jaundiced baby who didn't demand feeds at first - but once he was back to his birthweight and gaining weight I let him sleep at night. Midwife said it was fine as long as he was having at least 8ish feeds a day in total. I still woke him 3 hourly in the day if he hadn't asked sooner.

bessie26 Wed 08-Jun-11 17:14:02

As long as she's feeding well during the day, I would leave her to sleep during the night.

Deliaskis Wed 08-Jun-11 17:38:57

howabout I also had to do this in the early weeks, DD never really demanded to be fed in the early weeks (which is why I am a bit hmm about the very strong emphasis on demand feeding on the whole as I think it's a bit confusing for new Mums sometimes) and has never woken to feed in the night.

We stopped waking her for night feeds at about 7 weeks and she went straight to sleeping a big long stretch of about 8 hours. Her weight gain continued fine and still is (16 weeks now).

OP, I would let her sleep at night now, we still do a late dream feed at 10.30 ish but apart from that she sleeps through and has done since we stopped waking her to feed.


japhrimel Wed 08-Jun-11 18:45:13

I had to do this too (was on 3 hourly feeds) but stopped by the time DD was a month old. I would definitely let LO go for longer at night, assuming weight gain is fine. I wouldn't suggest letting LO go for longer in the day in case they get day and night confused.

Librashavinganotherbiscuit Wed 08-Jun-11 19:05:48

sighs my DD is seven MONTHS and still likes her milk every 4 hours, however as everyone else is saying as long as she is feeding well during the day and gaining weight then don't wake her at night and enjoy as much sleep as you canm you might find she starts to wake up during the night demanding feeds anyway at some point, there is no set pattern babies follow (unfortunatly)

WalkTheDog Wed 08-Jun-11 21:21:02

MW in hospital said only to wake DD for a feed if she slept more than 6 hours while she was still a newborn. She did that for the first few days and hasn't done since, is almost 5 months.

howabout Thu 09-Jun-11 07:56:57

Deliaskis I also share the same concerns as you re emphasis on demand feeding. I found the Contented Little Baby book quite helpful in this regard in as much as it points out that not all crying in babies is to do with hunger. It also seems to seek to strike a balance between demand feeding and feeding to routine, although it does give a false sense of reassurance in assuming you will be able to interpret all the other reasons for crying baby.

howabout Thu 09-Jun-11 08:22:29

Oop! Sorry seem to be suffering from a mixture of pregnancy brain and freaking out that I won't know what to do with no3 when they arrive. I meant the Baby Whisperer Book (I haven't even read the other one to have a view on it!!)

bessie26 Thu 09-Jun-11 09:23:02

In case you were interested this is what how is talking about (I love the BW!) I can tell a hungry cry from the little cough that goes with it, and pain, but not so good on the others...
She also says that babies shouldn't go onto 4hr feeds until they are around 4 months old (but obviously some will be able to do it before others)

narmada Thu 09-Jun-11 10:29:08

bessie got to disagree, BW advice on breastfeeding is rubbish although some of her other stuff is ok. For example, she recommends doing a 'yeild' with a pump to see if you're producing enough milk - complete rubbish, expressing is no indication of anything. Her routines of feeding for babies in the early days would scupper breastfeeding for many new mums and babies because what she recommends is nowhere near frequent enough. And she's obsessed with introducing a bottle for reasons unknown IIRC.

RitaMorgan Thu 09-Jun-11 10:40:53

I think the thing with demand feeding is that lots of babies don't demand in the first couple of weeks, so you do need to ensure they get 8-12 feeds. Once they are gaining weight and asking for feeds it's better to fedd them when they ask rather than to a schedule.

narmada Thu 09-Jun-11 10:47:22

rita true, true. DS didn't demand to be fed, neither did DD.

bessie26 Thu 09-Jun-11 11:05:09

narmana I don't think I agree 100% with what any baby "expert" says, I just pick & choose the bits I think are sensible. grin I've never done a yield, but then I've never had any doubts that I'm producing enough milk! I think the bottle thing is so that DH can do the "dream feed"? i've never done that bit, but my SIL said it was great as she got a (relatively) long stretch of sleep every day. Me? I can cope on only 3hrs <gibber>

In the early says she says to feed on demand or every 3hrs (during the day) but obviously if your baby isn't demanding or thriving you would need to increase that.

Sorry to go off at a tangent OP - DD2 is napping now, so I'm going to get some sleep too smile

RitaMorgan Thu 09-Jun-11 11:15:40

I assume Baby Whisperer has never breastfed as she knows nothing about breastfeeding! I did find some of her sleep stuff useful.

In general routines aren't really appropriate for breastfed babies imo.

sc2987 Thu 09-Jun-11 18:33:26

I set alarms until my daughter was about 6 weeks, when she was reliably waking me up herself before they went off.

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