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Week old baby : questions about frequency and length of feeds

(8 Posts)
LizLemon Sun 20-Sep-09 08:45:54

Hi - hope you can all help quell some lingering anxieties.

We had a bit of a time of it during delivery me and my boy, and it ended up in a forceps delivery with an extended episiotomy. At the beginning of the week I was doing what I'd been told and sitting up to feed using the crossover hold, until my nice midwife suggested lying down to feed. That's been much better and I'm obviously more relaxed and comfy now which has helped loads.

He'd lost 12% of his birthweight by day 4, so that made me anxious too, but he managed to pack on 190g by the next weigh in, despite engorgement troubles. Because of that initial weight thing I'm still feeling worried that he's not eating enough, mostly because he doesn't care that the midwife told me never to let him go more than 4 hrs at night or 3 hrs during the day without a feed. She's never had to wake him up- we've tried everything suggested but like his dad if he's asleep he's asleep. If he's awake but he doesn't want to eat then he sucks his bottom lip in and refuses. When he does want to eat he has a great latch and sucks incredibly powerfully so it's not as if hedoesnt know how.

I started keeping a boob diary a couple of days ago and I can see he has his own pattern if I let him dictate: during the day the gaps between feeds are anything from 1-2.5hrs and he usually sucks vigorously for10-20mins. There's one leisurely feed of 40mins after which he's ok for 3.5hrs. But somewhere in there is a really long gap of at least 5 hrs - last night it was 5.5 and it was me who woke up first (we're cosleeping because I'm not v mobile and besides it's nice)

Part of me thinks he's fine, and he just hasn't read the books- pee and poo are fine in quantity and frequency and since I started picking up on his hunger cues it feels like bf is going well. I just have this guilt about letting him go that extra hour+ when the midwife was so adamant so I figured someone here would be able to say if it's misplaced or if I should try harder to wake him and get him to feed. also his feeds seem quite short in comparison to others - is that normal?

BertieBotts Sun 20-Sep-09 09:31:04

There is such a wide range of "normal" feed times for newborns, which is why nobody tells you what to expect! I would say from my hazy memory, that sounds a lot like DS when he was newborn. He slept 7 hours at night at 5 weeks old (it didn't last, sadly!)

I think the feeds seem short because most people don't post with a newborn just to say "feeding is going well and just as I expected", they tend to post if they are having problems.

I wouldn't worry about the 5-6 hour stretch at night, especially if he is feeding every 1.5-2 hours during the day. (And I could never wake DS up when he was asleep either so I have no tips on that anyway grin)

Mummy369 Mon 21-Sep-09 01:05:53

Baby needs between 8-10 feeds in a 24hr period. So, clearly, if he has fed 2 hrly during the daytime - he won't need to feed as much at night. He has started gaining weight, latches on well, sucks vigorously, lets you know when he is hungry, wees and poos are plentiful, and presumably is content and satisfied between feeds.

I would make the most of the good nights - they probably won't last! Watch the baby, not the clock. And you're right - he hasn't read the books! grin

LeninGrad Mon 21-Sep-09 01:09:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elkiedee Mon 21-Sep-09 01:16:55

My ds2 managed to lose a huge proportion of his birthweight initially and we were pushed into top ups. We did wake up and try and do feeds in the night, breast and top up, briefly, but returned to exclusive bf and he had a couple of months of very frequent day feeds and sleeping well at night.

If he's gaining ok enjoy some sleep while it lasts - maybe try and see your health visitor/go to weigh in sessions or contact any local bf support groups etc if you're concerned.

Skillbo Mon 21-Sep-09 11:18:53

Just to let you know, my DD lost a lot of weight in her first week or so so was advised by my HV to not let her sleep longer than about 4 hours at night. I would have to set myself an alarm and wake her y changing her nappy as she was quite a sound sleeper.

Although this was a royal pain in the arse, she gained her weight back really quickly and sleeps even better now. I think the milk at night is richer and so helps them put weight on quicker so if you are worried about him puttig on weight, might be worth a go.

This is just some helpful advice though - you sound like you are happy with the current situation and he sounds like he's doing well so it really is a matter of doing what you feel comfortable with.

posieparker Mon 21-Sep-09 11:20:29

Go with you gut, as long as he's not yellow at all a five-six hour break is okay.

LizLemon Mon 21-Sep-09 11:29:36

Thanks everyone - it's nice to have some reassurance. Being a first time mum it's not always easy to trust your instincts, especially when there's so much conflicting advice.

will enjoy the long gaps while they last

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