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Reassurance needed! How long between feeds at 3 weeks?

(9 Posts)
bluebear Mon 10-Nov-03 08:44:52

Okay, This is my second baby and I ought to know what I'm doing but I don't!
The new baby dd has been sleeping for hours at night without waking for feeds. She is now 3 weeks old and went 6 and a half hours between feeds last night. Whilst I am over-the-moon to have such a long sleep I am worried:
Is this sort of gap normal? (she did feed 6pm-7pm then 8.30-10.30 last night before sleeping).
Do I need to wake her to make sure I keep producing enough milk. (Vague memories of 'it takes 6 weeks for breastfeeding to become established' or something).
Someone tell me I can trust her to wake if she's hungry - please.

tiktok Mon 10-Nov-03 11:39:39

BB, your guiding info is 'is she putting on weight?' and is she pooing several times a day?

If she is feeding effectively (as evidenced by a 'yes' to both those Qs) then you can be reassured you and your milk supply and your baby are doing ok.

If not, post again

JanZ Mon 10-Nov-03 11:41:27

Is she jaundiced at all? Sometimes that can make them more sleepy.

Is she gaining weight OK? Happy, healthy and alert? (in fact, I wouldn't worry about the weight if everything else seems OK).

My own ds didn't wake at night, but as he wasn't gaining weight, I was encouraged to wake him to feed him at night, initially 2 hourly (he was only 2 weeks old), and subsequently 3 then 4 hours. The gaps I actually managed were about an hour longer than suggested (ie 3 instead of 3, 4 instead of 3 and at 5 hours stopped bothering).

It actually didn't make any difference to his weight gain - he ate when he wanted and just pretended to feed when we were waking him up and pestering him. We eventually all agreed that he was just following his own growth curve and that we should stop worrying and start enjoying him.... and the good sleep!

musica Mon 10-Nov-03 11:42:37

bluebear - if she wakes during the day for feeds, then I would have thought that long at night was fine. Having said that, ds really couldn't be trusted to wake, and we did have to wake him up, but like tiktok says, if she's putting on weight etc. then she's probably fine.

bluebear Mon 10-Nov-03 12:21:34

Thanks for answering everyone!
My first child fed every 2 hours day and night until over 6 months so I was just not expecting this.
Dd is putting on weight fine, She has put on a pound over her birth weigh and was not a small baby to begin with. She's only doing one dirty nappy a day (but lots of wet ones) I was assuming the breast milk was all being 'used' IYKWIM.
Hurrah, if she does it again it looks like I can just enjoy the sleep. Thanks again!

tiktok Mon 10-Nov-03 15:31:17

She sounds fine, BB....I don't think the relatively infrequent poos (for a bf baby iof this age) are significant with that amount of weight gain.

JanZ - weight does matter I would worry about a new or newish baby who seemed healthy and happy and alert and yet was not gaining weight, or worse, losing it. Most healthy, happy, alert babies are gaining weight within normal parameters. If they are not, it would be a cue to look carefully at the feeding and all aspects of the baby's health.

Spod Mon 10-Nov-03 22:43:58

my dd is 3 weeks also... she feeds less during the night... wakes maybe 2 or 3 times and only wants a short feed... just a drink or just a change of position. feeds more during the day like yours. not sure about weight as aint weighed her (find out 2morrow) but several dirty nappies per day... i guess they're all different... would love 6 hours straight sleep... lucky you!!

JanZ Tue 11-Nov-03 10:13:34

Tiktok - I wasn't meaing to imply that weight didn't matter at all - just not to worry overly about it if everything else seems fine.

My ds was happy, healthy and alert, with plenty wet and dirt nappies, not dehydrated but only gained weight *extremely* slowly. He WAS checked out, but the consultant wasn't at all concerned about this manifestly healthy baby in front of him - even if he wasn't following the growth curves. Even giving every second feed as EBM, and supplementing after feeds with EBM didn't change his rate of weight gain, even though I could SEE he was drinking loads - so I stopped bothering and went back to "proper" breast feeding (with only the occasional bottle of EBM)and stopped worrying about his slow weight gain - and started appreciating the fact that he was sleeping through! In fact, I stopped weighing him regularly at about 4 months old (which was when I went back to work and was difficult anyway).

The b/f counsellors at the support group (at the maternity hospital) said he a good example of a "NON-failure-to-thrive" baby who wasn't following the growth curves and would often get me to talk to some of the "newer" mothers who were getting obsessed with their babies' weight.

For the record, I went on to feed for over a year, and he is is now a healthy 3 year old who is (I think!) about average for both weight and height.

I suppose my point is "don't obsess about weight" - use your eyes and common sense. As long as you are confident that all the other elements are OK, make sure to enjoy the baby! In any event Bluebear's baby IS gaining weight, so she should just thank her lucky stars!

tiktok Tue 11-Nov-03 13:52:01

Agree with all you say, JanZ

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