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When should I wake to feed? Or should I chill out?

(14 Posts)
GirlSailor Mon 21-Dec-15 20:28:29

I'm fretting about my 2 week old. She has started taking less time over feeding, which I am pretty sure is her getting better and more efficient at getting the milk as she's gone from 15-45 min feeds to 5-15 min sessions but probably about the same amount of swallowing. She has the same amount of wet and dirty nappies and the midwife is happy with her weight gain.

I've been worried about her weight as she lost 11.5% of birthweight as my milk didn't come in until the night of day 5 so have been making the effort to wake her for a feed every 3 hours and keep her awake during feeds so I know she's having more.

Now she's spending more time awake she would naturally sleep longer. Should I let her or should I try to wake for a feed after 3 hours no matter what? This has varying success if it makes a difference. Often she will feed for a couple of minutes, drop back off and then wake up an hour or so later when I reckon she would have naturally woken. Basically all I've achieved is an hour's worry for 2 min of feeding.

How long am I ok to let her sleep for? And how long does she need to be feeding for? Sometimes she gets wind and gets cranky for hours meaning she can't get off to sleep so I don't want to wake her if I don't have to if she will be unsettled. She also comfort sucks with the wind so sometimes im not convinced a longer feed is any better than a quick one. Her dad reckons I should just follow her lead and she will wake up to feed and feed for as long as she needs which makes complete sense but I'm still worrying about her getting enough and just generally worrying about doing the right thing for her.

Any advice is welcome, and do feel free to tell me to get a grip if necessary.

dementedpixie Tue 22-Dec-15 08:44:53

Has she regained birth weight yet?

GirlSailor Tue 22-Dec-15 11:22:47

She's got 110g to go before she reaches her birthweight and has gained 30g a day on average.

DimpleHands Tue 22-Dec-15 19:15:19

I think you should wake every 3 hours until she has regained birth weight. After that, wake every three hours during the day but let her sleep as long as she wants at night.

daluze Tue 22-Dec-15 20:14:48

If you want to wake her, try waiting until ahe shuffles in sleep - transitioning between deep and shallow sleep, then she will be a bit more alert to take milk. Babies transition every 20 minutes, so should not be a long wait.
Long/comfort sucking is important to establish your milk supply, so let her do that as well as much as she likes.

Tfoot75 Tue 22-Dec-15 20:25:10

When my dd was hours old and solidly asleep after being born, the midwives advised to wake after 4 hours, and when she still wouldn't wake properly, they said not to worry until 6 hours had passed. It sounds like feeding is now well established so I would be wanting to see if she'll sleep for longer stretches at night. If you're worried then perhaps try 4 hours and then stretch to 4.5 the next night and so on? You don't really want to get a habit of every 3 hours if she could sleep longer!

Chickchickadee555 Tue 22-Dec-15 20:59:26

Sorry, to contradict you Tfoot, but this baby has had a slow start and at two weeks old hasn't yet regained her birthweight. Until she does, it's best not to let her go longer than three hours between feeds and yes, that might mean waking her to do so.
Feeding is not well established at two weeks.

TheBestChocolateIsFree Tue 22-Dec-15 21:01:53

I would definitely wake every 3 hours in the day - I'm a great believer in doing that anyway to speed up the transition to a proper day/night cycle. But for a baby whose weight gain is dodgy then probably at night as well.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 22-Dec-15 21:03:22

Yup, being as she hasn't regained her birth weight yet if she was admitted on to our ward we would recommend waking three hourly with one overnight gap of no more than four hours (provided she was still getting 8 feeds in 24 hours).

GirlSailor Wed 23-Dec-15 13:28:45

Thanks everyone. I will continue with the 3 hourly feeds. She doesn't sleep as well when she's not being held so at night she wakes more often anyway. She may just have been having an off couple of days as she has been back to feeding for 15-20 min stretches minimum.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Wed 23-Dec-15 13:32:43

My pediatrician told me to have my dd2 nap in daylight during the day, keep her in the same area I was pottering around if possible. This meant that she had lighter sleep during the day and woke naturally more often. Not sure if you are doing this but might help if you feel bad about waking her for feeds during the day and she may wake herself more often.

GirlSailor Wed 23-Dec-15 23:03:56

Yep, MyFriends, during the day she is happy to sleep through any noise or light that's going on. It's just not being held that means she has unsettled sleep at night.

DixieNormas Wed 23-Dec-15 23:09:31

I'd go to 4 hours, ds3 was 8 weeks early and every 3 hours was not working for him. 4 hours worked much better, I wax advised not to leave him any longer than that

daluze Wed 23-Dec-15 23:26:33

After my DS1 was discharged from NICU (got there due to low blood sugar), we were adviced to feed on demand, but not to let sleep more thank 4 hours. At the beginning we were waking him up every 3 hours anyway (I was too nervous even to let him go 4 hours), but it worked much better when we followed his lead. Most of the time he would feed more frequently anyway, with ocassional longer sleeps. I think they usually have better feed if fed when show hunger cues, rather than woken up.

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