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Is night feed needed at 5 months?

(27 Posts)
Cosy Wed 12-Nov-03 22:36:27

My 5 month old DS wakes up around midnight each night, and drinks about 5oz of formula. He wakes at other times in the night but resettles himself within a few minutes, whereas at this wakeup he just cries louder and louder until fed.

His feeds are roughly:
7am B/feed
10am 5 oz bottle
1pm 5 oz bottle
4.30pm 6 oz bottle
7pm 5 oz bottle
12pm 5oz bottle

He is also on two small solid meals of 2 icecubes worth at around 12pm and 5pm.

Is it unusual for DS to still be feeding once during the night at this stage, and are there any tips on how to cut this feed out?

mears Wed 12-Nov-03 22:38:50

Would he take more milk at other feeds? He doesn't take a lot of milk throughout the day by the look of things. If not, he probably still does need that feed.

Cosy Wed 12-Nov-03 22:50:33

Have tried coaxing him to take more at feedtimes but not had any luck. He had been a frequent breastfeeder (every 2 hours), but as I am going back to work, have moved to bottles and he seems happy to feed every 3 hours. Should he be taking 7oz at each feed during the day?

mears Wed 12-Nov-03 22:52:49

I would have thought he would have taken nearer that amount, however if he doesn't want to he can't be forced. He may just need that midnight feed for now.

Cosy Wed 12-Nov-03 22:57:47

Thanks Mears.

naayie Wed 12-Nov-03 23:00:26

5 mths is still so young, feed him his midnight feed as he will stop when ready, but make sure as soon as he sleeps through this feed that you do not give in and start all over again!

jmg Wed 12-Nov-03 23:01:32

I've noticed that you give him a bf in the morning. If you ahve been regularly b/fing prior to going back to work, could you try giving a b/f as the evening feed say around 6pm followed by a bottle at say 8pm. It may well be that the combination will encourage him to drink more than usual which might well be enough to see him through.

Cosy Wed 12-Nov-03 23:10:25

Jmg - I'm not sure whether to introduce another breastfeed again, as I think that my milk is really drying up. Even for the 7am feed I now breastfeed both sides, which I never needed to do before. But maybe there would be something there for him in the evening to tide him over.

jmg Wed 12-Nov-03 23:30:17

I would think that providing your are still b/fing at all after a few days your body would get back into the habit of producing more milk. I wnet back to work when my dd was 8 months old. I only did morning and evening feeds and kept going for a very long time on that basis - over a year!

Why not try it for a couple of weeks and just see what happens. If nothing else it did always seem to be a nice bonding time in the evening after being apart all day.

At the end of the day though, its probably about what you feel you want to do. If you are keen to wean off the breast completely then it probably isn't a good idea. If you are happy to carry on b/fing a little longer then it might just ide him over until he's a bit bigger and taking more formula.

Cosy Wed 12-Nov-03 23:43:16

I have really mixed feelings about whether to continue trying to part breastfeed or not. I have felt really hormonal in the last couple of weeks as I have moved onto formula. Being able to breastfeed was a real battle for me, as everyone round me wanted me to bottle feed (as DS took long time to regain birth weight). My goal was always to breastfeed until returning to work, and I am so proud that I made it. It is such a special bond. I wonder is it normal to find it difficult emotionally to stop breastfeeding?

jmg Wed 12-Nov-03 23:58:09

I know what you mean! After sailing through b/fing my dd(5), I had real problems b/fing with my DS(3). He lost a lot of weight (0.5lbs) in his second week and the midwife told me to supplement with formula. Within 2 weeks max, I had completely dried up. I got an electric breast pump to try and increase supply, was only getting 1oz at a time. Eventually I gave up.

Its only now that I'm a bit more aware (from mumsnet) that I should have just taken to bed with him and not supplemented. He was only 6 weeks old when I finally gave in.

I still have very very bad feelings about it now. Especially as he had very severe glue ear as a baby which was caused by an allergy to cows milk, (obviously didn't know that at the time). I'm still tearful writing about it now. I feel it took a very long time to come to terms with it and feel he got a raw deal compared to my DD.

Anyway, you should feel very proud for having kept going when it wasn't easy. However, it is about finding the balance that is right for you.
You have already done so well!!

aloha Thu 13-Nov-03 07:20:08

jmg - I am sorry you feel bad about this. You did the best you possibly could given what you knew at the time and the (lack of) support you were given. I think it is totally normal to have emotional feelings about stopping breastfeeding. Cosy, it is totally up to you what you do now, but you sound as if you miss b/feeding so a night feed might benefit both of you, possibly. You could always see if it helped - when I was stopping bf ds we went back and forwards quite a lot on the number and timing of feeds until we finally stopped.

Bozza Thu 13-Nov-03 09:04:21

Cosy I would think it was pretty normal to feel emotional about stopping breastfeeding. After all it is the first step in your baby growing up and away from you. So although some people are relieved to get their bodies back etc for others it can seem a bit sad. I breastfed my DS morning and night after I went back to work with no problems but its up to you what you want to do. I went back at 15 weeks and he was on 3 bottles and 3 (minimum) breast feeds.

mears Thu 13-Nov-03 09:16:24

You know cosy, I wanted to suggest a B/F at either tea-time or bedtime, but hesitated as some would say 'here she goes again'. However, since you seem to enjoy it, it might be worth reintroducing another feed. Your milk supply will adjust. Personally I fed morning and bedtime near the end, the bedtime feed being the last to go. 3 out of 4 babies were sleeping all night at 5 months. Baby no.3 didn't sleep through till he was 8 months.

codswallop Thu 13-Nov-03 09:19:01

Please feel free to join the non sleeping baby up for sale thread!

Bozza Thu 13-Nov-03 12:14:18

Mears I left the early morning feed to last because I'm selfish and lazy.

M2T Thu 13-Nov-03 12:17:32

Cosy - at that age my ds was up at midnight and then 5am for feeds! I think that sounds fine.
Would he take any more solids at teatime? That 'might' work. It didn't for my ds. He was still getting a feed during the night (between 1am and 3am)when he was 7 mths!!

Cosy Thu 13-Nov-03 20:57:11

I'm finding the decision about whether to reintroduce an evening breastfeed quite hard.

As I am returning to work I had planned to move to formula, and so have spent the last 2 weeks making a gradual switch. I have really felt sad and low that the breastfeeding is coming to an end, and that I will never have this special time with my DS again. I never realised quite how difficult stopping would be.

I am so tempted to start back with the evening breastfeed, but my head is also saying to me that I am only delaying the inevitable, and that I will still have this emotional rollercoaster to face again in the future, and at least I have started to come to terms with it now.

Dont know if any of this makes sense, but it has helped just writing it down. Will keep you posted

mears Thu 13-Nov-03 22:31:46

Cosy - you do not need to stop B/F because you are going back to work. You can combine both. You have done really well though. Just want to remind you that you can keep your options open. My babies made the decison to stop feeding whateer I thought. You might find that an easier option.

aloha Thu 13-Nov-03 23:13:05

I *think* you may be stopping too early for you - not your baby - and you are just as important. I think going to work and stopping breastfeeding are two big changes at once and *possibly* one big change to many for your peace of mind. If you really like breastfeeding why give up now? Yes, you won't breastfeed forever, but that's no reason to give up before you are ready. Do what makes you feel happiest now and don't worry too much about the future - well, that's my opinion anyway!

bobthebaby Fri 14-Nov-03 03:31:36

And mine. I agree entirely with Aloha.

Demented Fri 14-Nov-03 13:07:37

I agree with Aloha but just wanted to add that my own DS2 has recently given up feeding (at 16 months) and I thought I would be devastated when the feeding came to an end but *for me* leaving him to give up by himself has been a guilt free experience tinged with a slight sadness, the end of an era sort of thing, but nothing as bad as I imagined. All the best.

Cosy Mon 17-Nov-03 10:07:08

Just wanted to thank you all for your advice, and let you know that I have kept up the morning breastfeed and now give DS a "bonus" breastfeed at teatime as well!! I feel so much happier already, it is amazing! Thank you all again.

Demented Mon 17-Nov-03 10:11:33

That's great Cosy, glad you feel happier.

aloha Mon 17-Nov-03 10:51:31

Cosy, that's brilliant I have to say that teatime breastfeed does indeed sound lovely and 'cosy'

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