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6 Month Old Waking Every 3-4hrs for a feed

(12 Posts)
NKffffffffe749edcfX11d6d7397af Tue 19-Jul-11 07:30:37

My DD is ebf (takes 4-5 full feeds a day) and also on 3 meals a day (just vegetables, fruit and baby rice-based). But she is still waking in the night for feeds. She normally goes down around 7/8pm to sleep and will feed once by midnight and again around 3/4am. She does seem to want the milk and takes a full feed each time. She goes straight down after her feeds and sleeps well until 7/8am.

How can I tell if her waking for feeds is habit or hunger? I just can't believe that she's still hungry when she eats so much in the day.

Any ideas how I can encourage her off these feeds? Would a bedtime formula feed push her through? Thinking of giving her a bottle of expressed milk as her last feed tonight to see how much she's taking. Don't get it as last night she fed for 45mins just before bedtime and woke up 3 hours later. Tried giving her water but she would not settle.

Any other suggestions? Just want a full night's sleep already!! I ebf my DS (now 2.5 yrs) and he slept through by 10 weeks so did not anticipate this....

Thanks!

tiktok Tue 19-Jul-11 09:39:35

Hmm.....that pattern of waking is very, very normal, not just in babies of this age but older, too. Whether it's hunger, habit, thirst, comfort or lonliness doesn't matter - it's a genuine, normal and very common need.

I often say on these threads it's easier to change your expectations than the normal needs of a baby - a pre-verbal baby, too, who you can't 'negotiate' with smile

Can you think of a way to make night feeds quick and easy for you, so you barely wake up? Co-sleeping, cot next to bed, for instance?

downpipe Tue 19-Jul-11 09:47:40

Sounds v similar to DS1, he was EBF until weaned at 6 m.Then despite food he would wake up every 3 hours..v tiring.I'd BF him in the night then 1hour later he'd wake up.Switched night feeds to formula , not much difference.But by 8 months he was sleeping through.All my friends were doing something different, including EBF and some EFF and all were sleeping through by about 10 months.Think it is a behavioural thing as well as a feeding thing..v tiring though!

EauRouge Tue 19-Jul-11 10:19:01

I have 2 DDs and they are the opposite way around- the eldest is 2.9yo and wakes every 2 hours, the youngest is 4 mo and wakes up once or sometimes twice a night. I've tried night weaning and getting her to eat a banana before bed but I think it's just something she will have to figure out on her own. Some babies are sleepers, some aren't. In the meantime we co-sleep so that I don't end up going on a killing spree.

EauRouge Tue 19-Jul-11 10:19:44

I mean I tried night weaning and giving a banana to DD1, not DD2!

EPPP Tue 19-Jul-11 10:34:37

DC3 was like that, 3 houly bf day and night til about 10m. She is now 12m and sleeps like log 7pm to 6.30am. The best advice I got was (from MN bf of course) to go with it, feed her and not to try to change her.

Yesmynameis Tue 19-Jul-11 14:12:15

Well I don't think waking 2 times a night is too bad... My dd (9mo) still wakes for one night feed.

Having had a panic myself at 7mo and looked into night weaning, I realised that there are many babies who are still feeding off and on all night. So having thanked my lucky stars I decided to let dd drop that feed in her own time.

As it is, it looks like she's going to drop her day feeds before she lets the nighttime one go [sigh!]

MrsGubbins Wed 20-Jul-11 06:37:18

Your DS set the benchmark by sleeping through at 10 weeks so now your DD is breaking the mould and confusing you!!! But as others have already posted it is normal behaviour and it could be less upsetting to accept it instead of trying to find the magic thing that will make her sleep through. Any evidence that giving formula or introducing 'special' solids (like high fat content at dinner) is purely ancedotal.

DD is 8 months and is down for 12 hours but wakes twice for feeding at different times each night.

SleepySuzy Wed 20-Jul-11 06:45:04

Mine is a bit like that. She's 8 mths and wakes between 2 and 4 times a night for a feed. I've stopped letting it bother me, as we both get back to sleep, and reading threads on here, it does seem to be "normal"

Grumpygils Wed 20-Jul-11 08:33:52

This. Too. Will. Pass. smile

No matter what you do or don't change, things will change again.

3 meals a day sounds like an awful lot for 6 months. Also are you offering meat and other more substantial foods? The main driver for solids in an EBF baby this age is to get additional iron and zinc. Early foods for babies and toddlers should really be the 'best bits' not diet food (I don't mean cake wink). Other motivators include allowing her to explore new things and textures and get her used to the social occasion of meals. Breastmilk should remain the main source of nutrients up to 12 months. Could you focus on breastfeeding her during the day before offering solids?

Having said all that, I'm not sure there's much evidence that night waking in a child this young is necessarily anything to do with calorie intake by day (or at all?). Asothers have said, it's just a normal pattern for a child so very young. It is really tiring though. Do you have a bf support group in RL? You might find other people are experiencing similar.

HarrietJones Wed 20-Jul-11 09:22:03

Dd3 is 9 months & feeding once /twice/continuously at night

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 20-Jul-11 13:11:21

what grumpygils said. It's not related to eating ime. Ds would eat loads in the day, bf all night and sometimes need solids in the night. shock He grew out of it himself at 15m. Baby rice and veg are less calorific than milk.
It's hard work but normal and very hard to alter.

I second the suggestion of cosleeping.

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