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Is this another growth spurt or just a hungry baby

(6 Posts)
Marabou Fri 22-Jul-11 12:45:15

My DS is now 10.5 weeks old and he is generally a very happy baby despite some occasional trouble taking his naps during the day and reflux.

However, in the last couple of days his appetite has been simply over the top and I was wondering if it might be another growth spurt. Yesterday evening I breastfed him an hour from 6.30pm to 7.30pm after which he had his bath.. and ate again 3.5 oz breastmilk I had pumped earlier... and because after that he was still hungry we gave him all together 2.5 or 3oz of formula, because I had to take a shower etc. After that and after taking his infant Gaviscon and a massive burp, he fell asleep like a log at 11pm and I thought he would now sleep at least until 4am or so, but nooo: he woke up like clockwork at 1.30am to be breastfed for 15 or 20minutes and again at 4.40am and 6.40am each time actively breastfeeding for 15 or 20 minutes.

He has now followed this routine for a few days.. Before he used to go to sleep at around 7.30pm, wake up to eat at around 10.30 to 11pm and then only wake up once a night at around 4am before finally waking up for the day at 8 to 8.30am. So I know he is able to go without a feed for longer than 2-3hours.

I'm not too concerned about his routine having changed, as I am aware of him going through many different routines and stages and I am happy to just follow his lead and try to catch a nap during the day, if I don't get enough sleep during the night. I was just wondering if this kind of eating might mean he is not getting enough breastmilk and I might have to supplement with formula. He is a big baby I suppose (14 pounds and following the 75 percentile) and up until now he has only got formula a handful of times. I love breastfeeding and don't really like the idea of giving him formula if he doesn't really need it, but I wouldn't want to keep him hungry...

Cosmosis Fri 22-Jul-11 17:46:33

there is a 12ish week growth spurt iirc, so it could be that a bit early? But it is really common for babies to feed a lot in the evening as well.

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 18:34:04

It might be that he just wants to comfort suck - they can end up overfeeding with a bottle, but can better control milk flow at the breast if they want the comfort of suckling.

tiktok Fri 22-Jul-11 18:43:53

Does it matter what you label it, though? Growth spurt, hungry baby, appetite change, change in routine, need for more comfort, developmental leap...whatever. If you respond to his needs by breastfeeding him, then you will make the milk he is 'asking' for. If you respond to his needs by giving formula, you won't.

You're not 'keeping him hungry' - you would only do that if you did not respond to his requests, and you are responding smile

Marabou Wed 27-Jul-11 12:26:26

Hello everyone and many thanks for your replies and sorry I haven't been able to respond earlier - have been busy with LO as usualsmile!

It is probably true that it doesn't really matter what it is with him so far as I keep feeding him on demand.. It's just difficult sometimes to not wonder what he wants that's all..

ShowOfHands Wed 27-Jul-11 12:35:11

I agree wholeheartedly with tiktok. As long as breastmilk is comfort, a drink, food, a response to being hot/cold/unsettled, it matters very little how you label it. Responding to them asking should allow the demand/supply aspect of bfing to work very well indeed.

The pattern you describe though is utterly normal for a baby of that age so it's not a sign of a baby who's unsettled or abnormally hungry. If he's well hydrated, weeing, pooing and gaining weight then you can see him thriving almost from day to day sometimes.

The only thing I will say is that if you're giving the odd bottle of ebm, it's very easy for them to drink it compared to bf so they will guzzle it in a way that looks like a greater hunger than it is iyswim. It's just the relative ease of getting milk out of a bottle.

Doesn't sound to me like he needs anything other than what you're giving him.

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