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Routine and number of feeds (breast)

(22 Posts)
snowchick1977 Thu 11-Aug-11 13:24:39

Hi all!

My daughter is 5 weeks old. She is exclusively bf, feeding for 20-35 minutes at a time, every 2-4 hours. She feeds at 11.30 pm and then wakes once in the night to feed at 3-4am, she then sleeps until 6-8.

Since day one i havent really looked at the clock and she has kind of fallen into this pattern herself, which is easily doable for me.

My question is, is it too early to be enforcing some sort of routine, a better one than she is in now? Basically i met a friend this morning whose baby is formula fed and sleeping for 6-7 hours already. She is 9 weeks old. She made me feel like shit basically.

Will she fall into her own routine where at some point she drops her night feed? I know its early days, my friend has just made me question what im doing i guess when i thought i was doing ok sad

Thanks in advance x

Moulesfrites Thu 11-Aug-11 13:36:36

You are doing great! Carry on as you are - waking once in the night is great at this stage, but don't get too hung up on her dropping that - you might find they actually increase during growth spurts, sleep regressions! ( sorry).

Although ff is not supposed to result in better sleepers, anecdotally I have found that it does. My sil's two dds were both ff from birth and both slept through from 8 weeks! Otoh, my ebf ds is nearly 7 months and still wakes 2/3 times a night! it is normal for babies to feed little and often.

I found it was best to relax, ignore the clock and feed on demand. It was only until ds was 6 mo that I started a proper daytime routine as I had to figure out how to fit in bfs, food and naps!

One thing I would say is is try to get a bedtime routine established, eg bath, bf, in bed etc, but it was about 11/12 weeks before we did that as ds was an all evening cluster feeder up until that point!

Good luck!

midori1999 Thu 11-Aug-11 14:09:57

You're doing great to even be BF at 5 weeks, think of all the wonderful benefits your DD is getting that she wouldn't if she were FF. Plus, no guarantees she'd sleep if she was FF, I know plenty of FF babies that don't/haven't slept through until well past a year.

I don't think it helps that society thinks babies can be 'good' and sleeping through the night is one of the measures of them being good. As if babies can be 'bad'. hmm People have been asking if my DD sleeps through since she was 5 weeks old. I just say 'goodness, no, she's only x weeks old!'.

crikeybadger Thu 11-Aug-11 14:47:50

If it's 'doable' for you, then why change things?

You are doing great, responding to and meeting your baby's needs totally. smile

Don't worry about comparing your baby to others- particularly ones that are fed in a different way. The formula is harder to digest and sits in babies stomach for longer so that is why some FF babies sleep for longer- it's not down to routine or parenting skills.

pinkgirlythoughts Thu 11-Aug-11 14:55:03

Blimey, I thought my breast-fed DS was doing well to only be waking twice in the night at 11 weeks old- I'm actually somewhat jealous that your 5 week old only wakes once!

KeepOnSwimming Thu 11-Aug-11 15:43:07

my 6 week old wakes every 1 1/2 - 2 hours to feed....

EauRouge Thu 11-Aug-11 15:46:59

Babies don't need routine anyway- lots of people say they do but there's no evidence at all- so if you don't want to enforce one then don't feel like you're doing the wrong thing. If you do find routines useful then I would wait a little while. Things like growth spurts, teething and developmental changes can throw routines out temporarily so don't worry too much about being rigid.

As for the sleeping through the night thing, they are all different. My DD1 is almost 3 years old and doesn't sleep through the night. It's personality-based IMO and there's little you can do to change it so don't worry that you've done something to cause it.

Kathy Dettwyler has written a good piece about sleep.

inmysparetime Thu 11-Aug-11 15:54:43

I wouldn't get hung up on the baby Olympics, If baby and you are happy, keep with the status quo and don't rock the boat. DS didn't sleep more than 4 hours in one go till he was well over a year, but DD was sleeping right through at 9 weeks. I don't recall doing anything different with them. If babies within a family can be that varied, random babies compared with yours will just stress you out.

brillopads Thu 11-Aug-11 16:02:08

Jeez what is it with peoples obsession with routines for their babies and sleeping through the night? DD is 14 weeks old and EBF, I'm really not concerned with getting her into a routine because heck I'm on maternity leave, although admittedly we have started to try setting a bed time (8-9pm ish). Co sleeping also really helps make night feeds a minimum of fuss. OP if you were happy enough before then pay no attention to yr friend!

AJH2007 Thu 11-Aug-11 16:20:22

Wow, snowchick, I would say you are very lucky! My bf 5 week old DS never sleeps longer than 2 hours and can spend six or seven hours feeding at a time! I think my milk flow is very slow :-( so he has to work hard for a long time to get enough. I look forward to being able to feed in half an hour and have any kind of nighttime routine. Sounds like you are doing great.

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 11-Aug-11 16:28:29

cue-feeding, being responsive to your baby's signs and signals, what's not to like

ignore the nay sayers and underminers

you are doing great

great blog post here

lilham Thu 11-Aug-11 16:55:02

You are doing really well for a 5wo already. Mine was waking for 2-3 night feeds at that age. And then suddenly one night around 11-12 weeks she just slept through. I didn't even have a bedtime routine before she slept through because everything was so hectic and she was feeding every 2-3 hours. I think it's all BS with a certain 'contended baby book' school of thought where you enforce a routine leading to a baby sleeping through. What you get is a lot of crying, and she probably just sleep through a month later because she's grown up and need less feeds!

I now have a very loose evening routine with a bath, and closes the curtains in the nursery if it's after 7pm. Then I do a dream feed before I go to bed. But if it's a bad evening where she wouldn't settle, I don't force her to stay in her cot crying. We just let her stay downstairs, watching us have dinner etc. Basically watching her cues to see when she's tired.

As for ff vs bf. In my NCT group of 5mo babies, two of the bf ones sleep through. The other bf one wakes 2-3 times a night. One of the ff ones also doesn't sleep through. One thing in common between mine and the other bf one that sleeps through are both babies feed a lot during the day. I'm doing 8-10 feeds. Obviously I don't enforce any routine during the day with that many number of feeds. I just offer the boob anytime when she looks upset. It seems the easiest way. It might be that she's hungry, or thirsty or she just wants to suck. It's different from ff where it's a hassle to get a bottle made, so it's more common for ff mums to get into a routine.

I did use the advice from Pantley's no cry sleep solution. Lots of advice to help the baby to learn day from night, and self settling in the cot.

lilham Thu 11-Aug-11 17:01:14

And a smug thing with bf is that now at 5mo, we are faster feeders than the ff mums smile Mine are at 3-5 min a feed and I'm usually finished when they are only half way through the bottle!

emsies Thu 11-Aug-11 17:43:20

WOW - only wakes once in the night?! I'd keep that quiet... mine woke every 2-3 hours all the way until about 10 months to feed and it wasn't unusual....

orchidee Thu 11-Aug-11 19:42:51

Why compare any baby's sleep with any other baby's.... but to compare a 5 week old baby with a 9 week old!? This is just bonkers.

OP you are doing great, it all sounds lovely and like things are going well for you. Motherhood is a great time to learn self-confidence and assertivenes. If your baby is happy and thriving then keep doing what you're doing. Others' opinions can be interesting of course but it sounds like you don't need to tweak anything. I would also beware of comparing your feeding / sleeping / dummy habits with those of a ff baby. Read Kellymom, Kathy Dettwyler (mentioned above) and other good sources of info on BFing. If you read the Dr Sears book on sleep (he's an advocate of gentle baby care) you'll find that babies have a different sleep cycle to adults, how this is for their own safety and that it is a good thing. It only lasts such a short time...

Loopymumsy Thu 11-Aug-11 19:46:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsMumf Thu 11-Aug-11 20:24:41

I echo everyone else! Sleeping through seems to have become the holy grail and to be a "good" parent with a "good" baby seems to rest on how convenient they are. It drives me mad when my DH's family go on about how his cousin's baby sleeps all the time and only wakes to feed etc when my gorgeous little one is awake a lot as if I am somehow failing. Ridiculous!x

seeksnewnamewithgsoh Thu 11-Aug-11 20:30:28

Another post in support of everything already said.

And your friend's baby has had nearly twice as much practice at life so far, don't get hung up on it. Ever, in fact.

BF DD slept through from 5 weeks - long before any of our friends' babies. But as their babies started to sleep through, DD had a sleep regression, illness then something else I forget in the haze of sleep deprivation which has meant that she hasn't slept through a single night since 4 months. She's 14mo now <YAWN>

As long as you're both happy and you have a loose pattern that you can work with, that really is the most important thing.

BizzeeBee Thu 11-Aug-11 20:55:19

For a comparison of sleeping through bf vs ff, my DS could be quite a good case. I stopped bf very suddenly when he was 7 wo sad (no gradual change, poor thing had to go cold turkey) so we are looking at two regimes in same baby at about the same age. there was no change in his sleeping pattern, waking evry 4 to 5 hours. he still wakes the same number of times in the night.

DS is only just now at 11 weeks being encouraged to a bedtime routine. I'm finding with ff that it is more important to be thinking about when I feed and have some semi feeding routine because I have 5 feeds a day and need to time it so there is a feed just before bed, not too soon after the previous feed. One great thing of bf I found was feeding on demand with no routine.

Your night time sounds great and is similar to what we are doing now. Nothing too strict and time bands, rather than set times, for bed and feeds. smile

AngelDog Thu 11-Aug-11 22:55:09

Cue feeding is great - carry on. It'll probably all go to pot when you hit the next growth spurt / developmental leap (and associated sleep regression) so it's really easier not to worry about routines in the early days. Babies' body clocks generally don't start maturing until about 12 weeks, and most aren't properly synchronised with the 24 hour day until 10 months.

Sleep is rarely linear. DS's night wakings were roughly 4, then 2, then 1-2, then 4, then 1-2, then 6-7, then 1, then 5-6, then 3-5 (for several months), then 1, then 3-4, then 0/1/2 now (19 months). You get the idea. smile

AngelDog Thu 11-Aug-11 22:56:04

Oh, and of the two worst sleepers I knew in real life, one (DS) was ebf, the other was eff. It doesn't necessarily make a difference.

snowchick1977 Fri 12-Aug-11 09:05:11

Wow, thank-you so much for all your responses.

Overnight i realised not to worry about routine like you all said. As long as i am doing what works for us thats all that matters x

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