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is it usual to still feed 4 times at night at 5 months?

(6 Posts)
Alpinechildcare Wed 08-Jun-11 22:26:16

Hi. I could do with some advice about breastfeeding routines.

I have always breast fed my son on demand and let him set the routine. By 3 months he had put himself into a pattern of feeding at 7am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 4am which was absolutely perfect for me because it meant we could go out for dinner etc without worrying about being back in time to feed him. However for the last month or so he has developed a new routine which I initially thought was a growth spurt so went with it, but it has stuck. Now he feeds every two hours during the day and every 3 hours at night, so:
7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 10pm, 1am, 4am
Every feed is a full feed which empties both boobs and takes about 10 minutes.

I have tried distracting him to lengthen the gap between the day feeds and responding at night with other soothing methods (dummy, slow pat on back etc) but it is very clear that he is hungry and nothing placates him except a full feed.

I wonder if this is normal for a child of 5 months and a week, and if I am setting myself up for problems if I just let it continue. I know we'll be giving him solids soon so if I hear that it's fairly normal I'll just go with it, but I don't want to find that I have a toddler with sleep problems because I didn't address stopping him feeding at night when I should have done.

What say you all?

ps - when I say night I mean 7pm until 7am and he goes to sleep easily at 7pm and falls straight back to sleep after night feeds, and naturally wakes up at 7am. He is in his own room and I go in and feed him in a chair next to his cot. In case it's relevant he usually naps 3 or 4 times during the day for 45 mins each time.

RitaMorgan Wed 08-Jun-11 22:31:44

Yes I think it's quite usual - but if it's not working for you there's no reason not to change it.

At 4 months lots of babies' sleep goes haywire - my ds's certainly did! By 5 months I'd had enough though and decided to limit him to 2 night feeds, approximately 11pm and 3am. If he woke outside of those times DP went in and soothed him back to sleep - it took about a week to work, and for the first few nights if DS woke at 1am, DP would basically cuddle him til 3am when I'd feed.

So it's up to you really, and what works best for your family. I don't think allowing lots of night feeds at 5 months is going to mean you have a toddler with sleep problems though.

2 hourly day feeds also seems normal in my experience. Feeds space out more once there is food in between.

Graciescotland Wed 08-Jun-11 22:38:45

Sounds normal to me I BF on demand as well. My DS is now nearly ten months and he's dropped the ten pm and 1 am feed and over the last few weeks has started to sleep through till morning.

TBH you could try sleep training but it sounds as if he's hungry and not just sucking for comfort so I think you should hang in there. HTH

PenguinArmy Wed 08-Jun-11 22:45:17

More than normal. DD was a 2 hourly feeder day and night until about a year and I was not the only one by far.

lostinindia Wed 08-Jun-11 23:25:53

Normal stuff. My DD1 fed every 2 hours during the night till 21mnths (no fun) then finally slept through for 6hrs. She now sleeps through at 2 1/2. No toddler sleep probs but I never thought we'd get to this stage.

DS2 was sleeping great until he hit 4mnths. He's the same age as your DS. I tend to not count how many times he wakes and just go on whether or not I feel tired the next day. I find it less of a prob if I do it this way. We co-sleep so it makes it easier. I'd be shattered if I was getting out of bed all the time. Is co-sleeping (& then feeding lying down) something you'd consider?

Alpinechildcare Fri 10-Jun-11 12:59:00

Thanks for all the posts. I am pleased to hear that it's usual, and by going with it I am not going to be causing probs longer term.
Lostinindia We haven't considered co-sleeping because I have a friend whose baby died in her bed so I am far too paranoid to do that. I don't mind getting up to be honest because we just sit in the dark and luckily I am able to quickly fall back to sleep.
I agree with you Graciescotland that it's not comfort, but hunger because we did try to offer other methods of comfort which work perfectly at other times to no avail. So I guess we'll carry on as we are.
thanks so much everyone for the reassurance.

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