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When can I drop the night feed? Milk supply?

(12 Posts)
MadsZero Fri 20-Jan-17 22:04:11

DD is 9 weeks old. From 3 weeks I have set my alarm to wake her at 3am (she goes to sleep at 10pm). She goes back to sleep at about 4am and wakes herself between 6:30 and 7:30am. I have no idea when she'd wake up if left to her own devices but i started setting the alarm after she went from 10pm to 6am one night at 3 weeks.

Weight-wise she was gaining slowly then actually lost a bit of weight at 4 weeks. This was due to bad latching. The lactation consultant was great and improved things but even she couldn't fix it totally as I have large nipples and DD has a small mouth and we just didn't quite fit together. That has improved now as she's grown but isn't perfect. Because of this DD has two formula top ups. One at lunch and one before bed. I feed her before her top up and pump twice a day to maintain my milk supply.

DD has gained weight well for the last 5 weeks on the new system and I'd love to be able to stop waking her at night. But I'm a bit paranoid by now about making sure she's gaining and about my milk supply. I don't feel the need to stop the top ups she has but I don't want to start a cycle of less breastmilk and more formula?

Would it be safe to let 9 week old DD sleep through and would it hurt my milk supply?

Heirhelp Fri 20-Jan-17 22:06:05

I would be reclutant to let any baby sleep through at 9 weeks especially one which has lost weight.

JellyWitch Fri 20-Jan-17 22:22:35

9 weeks is very young to drop a night feed (although I remember my son sleeping 7 hours straight at around 11 weeks on 4 occasions - never again repeated in 7 years!).

Prolactin levels are higher at night and that is the hormone that governs milk production so night feeds are important for that and particularly for a baby who has struggled with weight gain.

If you don't want to increase the formula feeds then working on dropping those would probably be a better first step.

PiafPilaf Fri 20-Jan-17 22:45:35

My daughter slept through (roughly 11-7) from 6 weeks and it never occurred to me to wake her! She fed loads throughout the day. She dropped a centile but then I had to switch to ff for medical reasons and it didn't make any difference. Nobody ever suggested I wake her in the night. Two years later she eats like a horse and is still on the same centile! I'd honestly try leaving her and see what happens. And enjoy your sleep!

MadsZero Sat 21-Jan-17 03:36:51

Thanks guys. As I said I'm paranoid about this so am happy to play it safe and keep waking her. But I've really struggled to find guidance on when sleeping through is safe. I've heard everything from 6 weeks to 6 months!

I know it'll likely be different for different babies (like Piaf's DD mine eats like a demon during the day!) But at what point would you reassess and start considering letting her sleep through? Both from the perspective of what's safe for her (obviously!) But also at a point when my milk supply will adjust but not start spiralling down beyond that?

As I said I've heard a huge range of ages and have no idea what would be reasonable.

MrsMerchant Sat 21-Jan-17 03:39:29

When the baby no longer looks for it.

Geraldthegiraffe Sat 21-Jan-17 03:49:23

I am so so envious. (mine woke multiple times a night and still wakes once a night now at 4 (not to feed!!))

I was going to say about a year for night weaning, but I had to actively stop giving milk to a baby that was waking. One that doesn't must be amazing!!!

AppleMagic Sat 21-Jan-17 04:29:29

I think sleeping through is "safe" for most babies once they are past the first few days (where not waking for feeds can be a due to lack of energy and create a vicious circle).
It does sound like there is a risk it could negatively affect your milk supply though because you're already needing top ups. Your baby is old enough that if I were you I'd risk it a few nights and see what happens. You can always boost your supply again.

JellyWitch Sat 21-Jan-17 07:48:36

kellymom.com/bf/normal/hunger-cues/

reallyanotherone Sat 21-Jan-17 08:07:50

I'd risk it.

Mine was similar re. weight. I found if i woke her for a feed she'd half heartedly take it, then be really unsettled as she was awake, but not full enough to resettle, or hungry enough to feed more.

When i left her to wake naturally she'd take an absolutely huge feed as she'd be starving, then crash back into a milk coma smile

Her weight gain actually steadied- didn't make a huge difference, but settled to slow gain, once i stopped pissing about trying to "improve" feeding and just went with what she wanted.

MadsZero Sat 21-Jan-17 08:53:17

MrsMerchant the problem with that is she stopped looking for it at 3 weeks right before her (fortunately minor) weight loss incident so I'm not sure I trust her on that...

Apple the problem wasn't low milk supply so much as a bad latch that wasn't immediately fixable because - ridiculously - my nipples were too big for her mouth. We just didn't fit well. Now she's larger it's better but I imagine my milk has settled at a lower level. So yeah a bit nervous about reducing it further.

Gerald yes I absolutely feel lucky! I live in fear of the 4 month sleep regression ;)

really interesting. My DD actually eats well when I wake her which is part of why I'm worried she's not waking rather than not hungry?

But good to hear the perspectives. I'm planning to take her to be weighed in a fortnight then the following week are her 12 week jabs so I can get her weighed again then. So that week might be a good week to try.

Raaaaaah Sat 21-Jan-17 09:00:30

Best friends first two slept through from about 6 weeks. Both hale and hearty girls. I think she may have dream fed them though at 10:30. Maybe something to consider if you want to get some calories and zzzzzz's in? envy at the sleep!

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