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Should I wake to feed 8 week old?

(24 Posts)
shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:57:41

He was 8lb 8 when he was born at 40 weeks exactly. He lost about 10% initially and was quite slow to gain it, but by 4 weeks he was back at his birth weight.

Now at 8 weeks his weight gain has really slowed. In the last 2 weeks he's not put on any weight (although different scales and today was naked whereas last time he had his nappy on so probably has put a bit on).

He is ebf and feeds lots during the day. There's no pattern, but he never goes longer than 2 hours.

When awake he is content and alert. He gets tired about an hour after waking - sometimes more, sometimes less. He does a big poo a day usually and loads of wet nappies.

He is dc3. His birth weight was lots heavier than the other two (6lb 5 and 7lb 2) which was weird and he's never looked that big. He's long and limby. DC1 was really slow to gain and health visitors were always freaking out and freaking me out, he even went below the centile lines at one point, and it all was OK in the end. DC2 is also petite and dropped centiles.

The weird thing is he is sleeping through - 7:30pm - 6:30am. So I'm wondering if I should wake him to feed in the night. I am reluctant to, obviously, but will if he needs it.

The health visitor said I could try it, but she said as he is happy, alert, good colour, feeding OK in the day, lots of wees and poos, etc, she didn't really know what was going on.

Any thought/ideas/advice?

Sorry for the essay. Thanks in advance,..

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 20-Mar-14 14:12:20

Yes I would, if he is not gaining weight and sleeping 12 hours then I would wake to feed him. Breastfeeding through the night also is the most effective time to increase your supply- so you will have more milk to feed him through the day.

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:16:22

Thanks. On one level it seems really counter productive but obviously I want him to be healthy.

Any idea why he's not waking up if he's hungry?

CrazyOldCatLady Thu 20-Mar-14 14:21:24

I wouldn't. They're all different, have different appetites, different sleep patterns and different rates of weight gain. As long as he seems healthy, alert and content I wouldn't mess with his nights - sleep is good for him.

I wouldn't compare two results from different scales either, they can be calibrated differently. We were always warned not to do that (we had problems with DS not wanting to feed).

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:25:04

Thanks crazy, that's my inclination, but I'm not sure if that's just for my sake. Obviously getting a good nights sleep is good for me with 2 other DCs(under 5). If he was screaming all the time I'd feel differently but he's happy enough.

It's a hard decision...

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 20-Mar-14 14:25:11

I doubt that you will find the answer to that question.
You say he is happy alert and that is good. The fact remains that he is not putting on weight- despite already feeding frequently though the day.
The most obvious and simplest solution would be to feed during the night. Why are you reluctant?

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:42:59

Why am I reluctant? Because I am a better mum generally if I get a decent nights sleep. Surely that's not too hard to understand.

Thanks for your advice...

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 20-Mar-14 14:47:02

I don't mean to offend- it just seems a realistic solution, A baby's main job is to grow , develop and put on weight. Secondary to a Mum's sleep.

If night feeding was not the solution you wanted to consider why did you ask? I gave my view and you dismissed it. I won't bother replying again.

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:51:35

I'm not dismissing anything. I thanked you for the advice and in fact asked you another question. I'm not offended. You asked me why I was reluctant and I answered honestly. Sorry if I came across as rude, that wasn't my intention.

kd73 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:52:35

I would normally say no don't wake a sleeping baby, however as he isn't gaining weight, I would definitely be waking him at night. Have you considered dream feeding him as you go to bed? It won't benefit your milk supply (which is best served by night feeding) but it will get an additional feed in

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 14:56:42

Thanks. Just to be clear, he is gaining, just slowly. If we dismissed the last weigh in (different scales in nappy) as inaccurate he has gained 400g in the last 4 weeks.

Why does night feeding increase supply?

Got to go on school run now. Will check messages later.

Thanks again...

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 20-Mar-14 15:03:29

How far apart were those weighing points and how long ago?

Lots of wet/dirty nappies does suggest that he's getting enough milk, and wearing a nappy on the scales is against guidelines. There's not necessarily anything wrong with sleeping through the night for a healthy baby at this age.

Otherwise can you encourage more daytime feeds, offer both sides etc?

Vicksandtricks Thu 20-Mar-14 15:07:52

Hi Shirley, I have a 7 week old ebf DS who is gaining slowly and just had a similar conversation with my health visitor. She told me to keep up as many night feeds as possible as a woman's prolactin is highest in the night, so the night feeds are most effective at building supply. Mine also doesn't always wake on his own and I considered letting him sleep but I don't think he can be getting enough during the day to make up for taking nothing overnight, so I am going to wake him.

Vicksandtricks Thu 20-Mar-14 15:10:33

Ps should have added that dirty nappies are not so regular here as for you, which is partly what contributed to my decision.

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 16:01:13

Thanks everyone. Re weighing - he was 3.75kg at 4 weeks and 4.15kg today at 8 weeks.

It may be a silly question but why does he not wake up for food during the night if he is hungry?

Could a plan be offer loads during the day for a week and get him weighed again next week and if no/poor gain think again? Or do I not have a week to play with?

Passmethecrisps Thu 20-Mar-14 16:05:37

My Dd slept through from 5 weeks old once she was moved on to prescription formula.

We spoke to the consultant (she was admitted to hospital for nursing strike and there were worries about her weight). Taking all her history into account he still said to leave her to sleep.

I would go with it just now until next weigh in. Babies need sleep to grow as well as milk.

crikeybadger Thu 20-Mar-14 16:12:51

Some babies don't wake in the night to feed because they are conserving their energy. It doesn't sound like this is what is happening with your baby though from what you describe.

Are you offering both breasts at each feed?

TheScience Thu 20-Mar-14 16:18:10

Has he dropped any centiles?

Personally I think I would probably concentrate on getting more milk into him - switch feeding and breast compressions during the day, and doing a dream feed before you go to bed seems like a good way to add a feed without disrupting your sleep.

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 16:20:46

Thanks. I probably haven't been consistent with offering both sides each time but I will do that now for definite.

I know ultimatly it's my decision but it's good to hear other people's opinion and experience so thanks a lot...

LoopyLa Thu 20-Mar-14 16:51:18

Can you do a dream feed? Or a couple, e.g one at 11/12pm, then maybe 3/4am perhaps? Then he's not necessarily waking but still getting fed. I wouldn't be keen to wake him personally because he's sleeping amazingly - I'm a mum to a 17 month old who's only just slept through a handful of nights shock

shirleycat1 Thu 20-Mar-14 20:17:13

Thanks. Yes if I do decide to do night feeds I'll aim to be not waking him up and doing a dream feed if possible.

TheKnightsThatSayNee Thu 20-Mar-14 21:40:02

I think feeding on demand is the ideal unless there are health problems or weight loss. My dd was sleeping through at that age and I let her. I hope the next ones the same.

LoopyLa Fri 21-Mar-14 08:20:01

TheKnights that sounds awesome, wish I'd been that lucky! smile

Ericadm Fri 21-Mar-14 10:31:50

I think 400 gram in 4 weeks does not sounds enough. My lb is the same age and he has gained the same amount in the last 10 days (and he is on the 9 th percentile so not a huge baby). I understand why you are recluctant to wake him up, it is amazing when they sleep through and you have a chance to catch up with the lost sleep. Maybe you could express some milk and feed him with bottle at night or let you oh feed him around 11 before he goes to bed so you minimise the time you need to stay awake?

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