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How often should an 18 week old be feeding?

(8 Posts)
Cydonia Thu 27-Sep-12 05:48:49

I know all babies are different, but just wondering if it's normal for my DS to be feeding every 1 - 2 hours? He seems to go from one growth spurt/development phase to the next with no 'normal' time inbetween. His sleep is getting worse, am up 3 or 4 times in the night to feed him ( will sometimes settle without but not often ) and he only averages about one or two hours worth of short naps throughout the day. None of the other babies I know, either BF or FF are this bad!

Yesterday he was fed 14 times in 24 hours, usually spending 5 to 10 minutes on each side and feeds til he's full/dozy. He used to spend longer feeding and just take one side per feed, I guess he's just more hungry now? I feel like he is getting enough milk, he is satisfied after a feed but then screaming hungry again and hour or two later! Maybe I'm being naive but I thought as they got older they would go longer?

I thought things would improve when we got to 12 weeks and his colic/reflux settled but he actually sleeps less and feeds more now! Thought it was early 4 month sleep regression but 6 weeks later it's still going on sad
Tonight he went to sleep at 8.30 and has woken at 9.15, 1.15, 4.00 (settled without feeding) and now at 5.00. I am knackered!!

On Saturday night he had a bottle of formula - I'd left him with DP for an hour about 5pm, fed before I left, got a phone call ten minutes later telling me to hurry back as DS having a screaming tantrum and not taking bottle. I hadn't had chance to express any so used a carton of ready made formula. Anyway, I ended up giving him the bottle later on as an experiment and he slept for over 6 hours! Plus I was amused by the feeding instructions on the pack saying to give 5 feeds in 24 hours! 5!!!!

Basically (DS gone to sleep now so had better do the same) I need someone to tell me that this is either normal or give me some tips on how to get him to go longer between feeds. Because at the moment I feel like reaching for the baby rice and hungry baby milk sad

Cydonia Thu 27-Sep-12 05:57:30

Just to add, he starts off the day not too bad but as the day wears on he gets more grizzly and feeds more frequently which I know is fairly normal. But I thought they cluster fed and then slept longer?! I also think that come 5/6pm he is overtired and probably crying because of that and not hunger, but as he won't settle until I feed him it's hard to tell. I know this as spent 15 mins tonight when he woke the first time trying to settle him as he screamed blue murder. Fed him and he was asleep in 5 minutes.

karatekimmi Thu 27-Sep-12 06:07:08

Feeding wise it sounds like my little one - 17 weeks. He has short feeds but only goes a couple of hours until the next feed. I did find that when he was baby sat and given a bottle (expressed breast milk) he slept for longer (we used to get 6-8 hours straight at one stage but now down to about 4 then every couple of hours, however it can be better or worse)
I have been trying to slip in a bottle in the evening after his bath, sometimes he takes it happily, some nights I have to "trick " him into it, put him on the boob, then unlatch him and put the bottle in!!

Unfortunately I have no advice, just reassurance that it sounds like my baby! I figure it would be stressful to try and change his routine, as it will be changing soon, due to weaning, outgrowing his crib next to my bed and bath time moving upstairs.

MigGril Thu 27-Sep-12 06:30:52

It is totally normal for him to still feed this often. They can go longer after formula as they take more in one go and it takes longer to digest. Not a good really as it means they can overfeed.

The only thing about sleep is you do mention he's tired in the evenings. How is he napping, it could be you have more of a sleep issues then anything else.

Cydonia Thu 27-Sep-12 07:50:35

We're up feeding again!
Karatekimmi yes, that sounds like his sleep, can do 4/5 hrs then every couple of hours on a good night. It's very up and down, just when I think I've cracked it it changes again.

It could well be a sleep, rather than a feed issue then. He is rubbish at naps, and inconsistent. Sometimes he will sleep in the car, buggy, bouncy chair, sometimes he will even self settle and sleep in his carrycot. But at the moment he rarely naps longer than about half an hour at a time two or three times a day. Am reading the ' no cry sleep solution ' which has so far only told me he is not getting enough sleep, which I knew already! It seems to focus on them not feeding to sleep, which he doesn't really do anyway except in the middle of the night. Haven't finished it yet though.
I'm going to move him into his cotbed soon as he's outgrown his crib, whether that will help or make things worse I don't know.

Oh well, if the feeding's normal I'll just have to carry on with it, just wish I could express more so I can leave him without worrying. You'd think he could manage an hour without me wouldn't you?! Though I suspect the problem actually lies with DP not being able to settle him... Don't want to resort to formula even if it's just a couple of times a week as it gave him disgusting poo!

tiktok Thu 27-Sep-12 09:38:11

Cydonia your baby's feeding/sleeping is on the normal spectrum...maybe it would be easier to go with it for the present, rather than trying to change it, which sounds like hard work, to be honest smile

These early months fly a few weeks he'll be starting on other foods and drinks and you will have other options, and meeting his needs for you now builds his confidence and trust so he will be happier with others in the not-so-distant future.

Cydonia Thu 27-Sep-12 18:50:24

Thanks tiktok. Saw the HV today and had him weighed, he's still following his curve nicely so we're doing something right. She suggested starting on a small amount of baby rice at 20 weeks if I wanted. I'm not sure as want to wait til 6 months really. I forgot to mention he is teething too which doesn't help. Have decided he can be clingy til 6 months and then, erm, we'll see! smile

HearMyRoar Thu 27-Sep-12 19:26:32

My dd fed every 1 - 1.5 hours during the day (less at night thankfully) up until 3.5 months. She then suddenly without any warning at all changed to feeding every 2-3 hours and now at 6 months is 3-4 hours. It is hard work but it will get better and then you will spend at least 2 days worrying like hell because they cry when you try and feed them before you realise they have just changed their routine.

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