Increasing time between night feeds(5 Posts)
Bit of background (don't want to drip-feed) - DS will be 8 weeks old on Sunday and is almost totally breastfed - just an occasional bottle of formula when I'm too knackered to go on. He is thriving on it, growing like a weed and very chirpy with it. He now weighs 13lbs8, so is a big boy.
This past week he has definitely become more alert and sociable in the day. We've been staying with my DPs as things were getting me down a bit and he has loved it - he's been passed around all his aunties, uncles, great aunties, great uncles and great grandparents, and has been sitting in the kitchen on his bouncy chair in the thick of everything. He still naps a lot in the day of course, but in between naps he's awake and taking everything in, giggling, smiling and making all sorts of noises. So I don't think it's that he's got his day and night mixed up.
But. Here's the thing. He's started going up to five hours between feeds in the daytime. But at night, he's still waking after about three hours. He isn't particularly alert at night although he is very hungry - gets furious if his nappy needs changing before he gets his food. Then he feeds for a bit and drops back off to sleep fairly easily. He evens settles himself fairly well once his tummy is full...
Why is he not sleeping for longer when he can easily manage five hours in the daytime? It's not as though he's ravenous for his daytime feeds either. Is it habit waking him - but he seems genuinely hungry? Is it that my milk is not filling him up properly in the evening? I am drinking loads of water and eating as well as I can to keep the quality up.
How can I stretch the nighttime intervals out? Occasionally - very occasionally - we get four or even five hours between feeds, and it feels amazing... But normally it's three hourly alarm calls from the boob fascist... Anything I can do to encourage more sleeping?
Have you tried feeding him more regularly in the day ? My dd gets fed every 3 hours at the latest in the day and can (but doesn't very often) go 5 and a half hours during the night. Before bed I encourage her to have a real big feed off of both sides in the hopes for a longer stretch of sleep. The regular wakings are difficult, but I just think to myself, she's not going to be like this forever and there will come a time when she won't need me so much, try and make the most of it
The problem is your letting him go 5 hrs in the day. That means he isn't getting enough milk in the day so needs to compensate at night.
Move to feeding every 2 hrs in the day, and you can then extend night feeds
I agree with Artandco...five hours is too long to go without eating or drinking anything, but he manages it when he has lots of attention and stuff to look at But naturally enough, his physiological need for calories and fluid is going to wake him up in the night.
You don't need to drink 'loads of water' by the way - it makes no difference to milk quality or quantity. The same goes for your diet. It's fine to eat well, but its impact on your breastfeeding is nil.
He's only eight weeks old. He needs frequent feeds - it's quite normal. Just offer more often in the day time. Over time, he will transfer his needs to the day.
Quick update - he's just done a five hour gap (10pm - 3am) after we made sure to try and stop to feed more regularly during the day. Hurray! Thanks for the advice all.
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