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5 week old gaps between night feeds decreasing not increasing. Am I doing something wrong or expecting too much?

(18 Posts)
peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 08:03:12

My DS turned 5 weeks old on Saturday. When only 2 weeks old he went 6 hours through night after cluster feeding in evening. He then settled into pattern of going to bed 7pm and sleeping through in 3.5-4 hour bursts till 7am. We started giving a bottle expressed milk for 11pm feed so I could catch up on sleep and DH could take a turn. But over past few nights he's started waking after 2.5hours max - sometimes less. If over 2 hours I tend to feed him or if less than 1 hour (I offer him 2nd side as usually out cold after first). Last night ne was wide awake at 3am so I let him play for 40mins but that's a first as previously he always went straight down between feeds (he is in nice dark quiet room with us) so I hadn't been worried about him turning day into night. He can manage 4 hours between feeds during day. Am I doing something wrong? Or expecting too much??

TanteRose Mon 27-Jun-11 08:07:46

YOu're doing nothing wrong - but yes, expecting too much wink

He will have his 6 week growth spurt coming up, and will be feeding round the clock - prepare yourself! (i.e take him to bed and feed, feed, feed...get someone else to do everything else...)

Also, you shouldn't be aiming to lengthen gaps, because your body is still trying to produce milk to keep up with his growth. You need to feed as much as you can, whenever he wants, for a few more weeks, so your supply can be properly established.

I promise, it gets easier - hang in there smile

peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 08:14:30

Thanks. I should mention he was a big baby and is growing fast! Growth spurt sounds worrying! Husband about to go off on cycling trip so will be without help..and still recovering from emergency section!

TanteRose Mon 27-Jun-11 08:23:36

Sorry -didn't mean to worry you! Make sure you have lots of food/drink in the house, that you can eat with one hand...

must say, you are very reasonable to be letting your DH go off on a trip when you have a 5 week old and a c-section to recover from...hope he is making up for it before and after....

nannyl Mon 27-Jun-11 08:23:51

If it was last night do you think its possible that he could have been a little bit hot?

Our bedroom was roasting last night, despite having the wondow open, and having the blackout blind down when sun was beaming through the window yesturday

I didnt sleep as well as normal last night either!

nannyl Mon 27-Jun-11 08:25:50

also if he was hotter than normal he may have been thirsty, and that would explain increased feeding too smile

peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 09:28:22

Last two mornings have struggled to express half/third what normally do. Hoping is just cos he's been feeding more overnight and not problem with my supply..

RitaMorgan Mon 27-Jun-11 09:32:12

4 hours is very long between feeds in the day - if he's having few feeds in the day time maybe he has to make up for it at night? I'd try offering more often in the day time, don't let him go more than 3 hours.

Yesmynameis Mon 27-Jun-11 10:55:12

I agree with RitaMorgan, I would try feeding more regularly during the day. When my dd was that age she would easily go 4 hourly during the day and rarely demand to be fed during day light hours, however that would lead to very hungry unsettled nights. In the end, I used to offer more regular feeds in the day e.g. 3 hourly, which she would take and then tended to be more settled at night.
Also in this weather I wouldn't look to restrict any night feeds as it could be thirst equally to hunger. My 8 month old was up twice for BF last night which is unusual for her, so I've put this down to thirst and let her do what she wanted

peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 12:24:07

Hi all & thanks - so would you wake baby to feed? problem I have us he can be impossible to settle in afternoons! Often I'll feed him after he's been up playing and though he's clearly exhausted he resists sleep. After a few failed attempts at settling him in the house I'll resort to taking him in the car but that can mean he falls asleep 1 hour after feeding so although he's only been asleep 2 hours it's 3-4 hours since his last feed (have discovered anything under 4 hours worth of daytime sleep and he's a nightmare!). Our local BFN person says in afternoons I should do "skin to skin" but that's hard to sustain!

RitaMorgan Mon 27-Jun-11 12:30:38

Will he not feed to sleep anymore? Can imagine that's a bit of a nightmare so young!

I always worked on the basis of offering feeds frequently during the day time - basically every time ds was waking up or looking tired, and I never let him go more than 3 hours between feeds (even if that meant waking him up). But as he fed to sleep that usually meant he'd have been asleep for three hours.

How long is he staying awake for at a time?

peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 13:24:46

He'll feed to sleep during night or in the morning (pre-11am). He could easily go from 11am till 5.30pm without sleep. His eyes will close after rocking or attempting to settle him (not so much if I'm the one doing it though as he smells the milk) but they ping open again after 5-10 minutes in the Moses basket (generally 20/30 mins max). Some days are fine and he settles okay, mostly I have to resort to the car. So, to be honest rather than take the chance I had just been taking him out most days from 2-4ish. That way I have a lovely boy for most of the day and not a devil child constantly crying one. Have decided to spend today in the house on the advice of the BFN wumman and offer a feed every time he gets upset (usually I reckon if he's just fed and is tired that it's just that - tiredness and take him out rather than have him use me as a 9 stone dummy)... Am so confused!! confused

peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 13:27:11

PS - I live in Scotland and haven't had to "worry" about nice weather since April envy

TruthSweet Mon 27-Jun-11 13:41:08

peedieworky - one of the best bits about bfing (for me at least) was that it's a magic way to sort all ills!

If they are tired, nurse them, they go to sleep,
if they are cold, nurse them (and stick a cardi on them!), they warm up,
if they are ill, nurse them, they get comfort,
if they are lonely, nurse them, they get the interaction with mummy they need....

Breastfeeding isn't just about food. Humans are the only mammal that has any idea that suckling their young transfers nutrients to the baby. Other animals do it because a) it is instinctive to nurse/suckle, b) it feels good (hormonally speaking) for both mother and baby.

Generally, babies need nursing well before they start to cry, early feeding cues are 'looking and licking', shuffling about, sucking hands/lips, lots more here. 5 weeks is still very young and normally you would expect a 5 weeker to be feeding at least every 2 hours, possibly even 1 or 1 1/2 hourly (though not exactly as babies can read the clock wink). I'm sure I nursed my 3 more than 4 hourly when they were 6-12m (DD1 & DD2 it might have even been 6-18m) and on solids but then every baby is different and what works for one family might not work for another.

RitaMorgan Mon 27-Jun-11 13:47:20

He can't use you as a dummy - a dummy is just a substitute for a breast!

How about going to bed with him in the afternoon and feeding him lying down? That way you'll both get a nap. Lots of babies aren't that keen on sleeping alone in a basket but I found my ds slept much longer in bed with me.

peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 13:51:11

Am feeding and feeding today. Either his 6 week growth spurt is wee bit early or taking him out in afternoons has meant i've been missing LOADSA feeding cues (bad Mummy blush)

Yesmynameis Mon 27-Jun-11 13:52:49

My dd wouldn't sleep for longer than about 15 mins in her moses basket in the day either, although she was always a reasonable sleeper at night. Your comment about their eyes 'pinging open' really struck a chord! The only way my dd would have a decent sleep in the day was to sleep tummy down on my front, which led to many jeremy kyle-a-thons on the sofa for me!
She eventually grew out of it but it did take a long time. I don't think it was until she was about 3.5 months and started taking her day time sleeps in her cot that day time sleeping improved.
I just reread your posts and saw that your ds sometimes goes into a deep sleep after the first side. Do you think it would be worth changing his nappy to wake him up so he would take the other side before falling asleep? That way at least he would have had a really good feed and you might get a couple of hours kip. just a thought xx

peedieworky Mon 27-Jun-11 14:14:35

Haha - yes am starting to think there is some sort of force field around basket that stops him from getting in it asleep past 11am!! Might be option re nappy. TBH is only an issue at night and I don't change him as often then as generally doesnt need it and was keen not to wake him more than necessary (when it comes to nappy changes, he's a screamer!!)

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