Am I breastfeeding my 6 week old too much?(14 Posts)
I am EBF my six week old DD. For the last couple of weeks she has been on a three-hour feeding schedule during the day, which seems to work fine. She is putting on huge amounts of weight - she's somewhere around the 90th-95th percentile, lots of wet and dirty nappies, etc.
The problem starts around 9pm. She's suddenly wide awake and crying and this will go until around 2am or 3am. During this time, often the only thing that will calm her down is me breastfeeding her - so I am often breastfeeding her on and off for about 5 or 6 hours!
This wouldn't be a problem except that she is sick so much during this time! I'll feed her, she'll fall asleep, I'll put her down and then minutes later she'll be sick which will wake her up. I don't think it's hunger that keeps her awake - I'm pretty sure it's some kind of digestive discomfort/"colic".
She's seen a gastroenterologist paediatrician who has ruled out reflux. We think she may have a cows milk protein intolerance so I stopped eating any dairy about two weeks ago (this does appear to have made some difference - she cries less and her nappies have gone from green and watery to normal). We make sure she is winded properly and held upright for 30 mins after every feed.
My question is - is the evening cluster feeding actually doing more harm than good? i.e. is she overfeeding which is upsetting her stomach? Would it be better to try to stick to the three hour feeding schedule during this time and find other ways to calm her down (dummy, going for a drive, etc?).
Any advice appreciated - we could do with some earlier nights!
It's possible she isn't getting enough during the day, 6 weeks is normal for needing an extra amount. The advice is to breastfeed on demand rather than to a schedule.
She won't overfeed but she will use the breast for comfort, it's up to you if you want to introduce a dummy or not for some of that but she might not take to it, my DD never did!
Is she perhaps getting days and nights confused? How much is she napping in the day?
Have you tried holding her upright for 20-30 minutes after a feed? It helped DS when he was sicking up a lot. Of course if she is sick she is emptying her tummy and want to feed again. I was feeding every hour through the day at this stage!
I would say she needs more feeds in the day rather than less. At 6 weeks I would be feeding every 90mins-2hrs during the day. It then means you can begin to do less often at night. So 90mins-2hrs in day until 10/11pm then just every 3-4 hrs overnight ( hopefully just one waking)
City - She sleeps much better in the day! It's an effort to get her to wake up! Not sure what I can do about it - I make sure night time she is in the dark and in the day time it is light. And she has an evening bath routine too.
Have you tried feeding her when she's asleep (during the day) so "dream feeding"?? That might help to wake her up a bit, maybe. I agree with pp that she needs to have a bit of a schedule change. My ds is on the 98th centile and would feed every 2 hours, during the day, then from 8pm he'd go roughly 3 hourly. Lights off. Me out of sight. No stimulation from tv/radio/phone light. Could you give her a bath in the morning? Have you tried feeding her upright (using your thigh as a "saddle") For the screaming part Are you making sure that you are getting the majority of the wind out. My ds is almost impossible to wind. Infacol helped us a LOT!
I'd agree with pp to try feeding more during the day so that her overall amount of milk is from the daytime not the evening/night.
My dd feeds around every 2-3 hours at 6 months!
Some of this advice is wrong.
Babies are programmed to feed more at night - it boosts supply. Also, babies have a growth spurt at 6 weeks; I once fed DS for 24 hours non-stop at 6 weeks!!
Even if you feed more often during the day, you might find your baby feeding just as much at night for the time being.
Evening cluster feeding is very normal at this age, she is building up your supply. Trying keeping to the schedule may mess up your supply. Bringing up some milk (posseting) is also normal. You can try keeping her upright for 10-20 min after the feed and raise the end of the cot. When you say sick, do you mean posseting (which is normal) or full vomitting (i.e. bringing up the full feed)?
Kellymom website is a good resource about breastfeeding. Overall, at this age the best is feeding on demand. She'll grow out of clustee feeding, definitely!
Thanks everyone. Funnily enough DD has been wanting to feed constantly for the last 24 hours! So the routine has gone out the window. I guess she is hungry/having a growth spurt and needs to build up my supply.
God it's exhausting though! I have just booked a holiday for April though and am going to stop breastfeeding just before it, so at least I have an end date in sight! Will try to get her onto a routine once I have stopped - it seems like breastfeeding and routines don't really mix...
My son was like that so I gave him a dummy (swore I never would) but it meant he was only feeding when he was actually hungry and not constantly for comfort! I know a lot of people don't agree with them but it worked for us!
This constant feeding doesn't last forever - even if it seems so at the time. When older, even breastfed babies fall into some pattern - maybe not necessarily a rigid routine, but much more manageable!
A few things
You can't overfeed a breastfed baby. They can change how they suck so they choose whether they suck for milk or suck for comfort. If they're full they may be sucking for comfort rather than feeding. But they're little people just like us and might fancy a snack after a bit, their tummies are tiny and empty quickly. So they might switch back for a bit more milk after some comfort sucking.
Breastfed babies fed on demand learn when they are full and regulate their own intake. This is a good skill!
It's normal for babies to sick up a bit of milk. They're not great at keeping it down and it doesn't really matter. Just feed again afterwards. Sounds like you're doing great keeping baby upright for a while after a feed though.
Your baby knows how much milk they need. This might be lots one day, less another. Or like you say, they might be cluster feeding, ie putting in an order for more milk tomorrow due to a growth spurt. Scheduled feeding isn't tailored to your baby so being guided by what your baby wants really is the best option if you can.
You're doing a great job. Breastfeeding is hard. Feed during the night if your baby wants it and you can manage it, it's normal. Get your OH to bring you tea or water, snacks and something to read. Mumsnet classics are great for a marathon cluster feeding session. And hang in there
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