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How do I get my baby to feed less often

(9 Posts)
esthermate Fri 16-Oct-09 19:33:40

Hi all,

I am looking for some advice please from all you knowledgeable mothers out there!

My ten week old baby is currently feeding roughly between every hour to two hours in the day, but she is only taking small amounts when she does. This extends itself to about every three hours during the night, and as you can imagine I am not getting much sleep!

It is quite disheartening because at this rate she will never sleep through the night.

I am currently expressing breastmilk because I couldn't get her to latch on, but the amount she is taking (between 80 and 100ml) hasn't increased really since I have had her.

Does anyone have any tips for getting her to drink more when I feed her but feed less often. I am trying to leave it as long as possible between feeds, i.e. waiting till she screams, but I am still having little success.

malfoy Fri 16-Oct-09 20:46:30

How is her weight gain?

It's too early to worry about her sleeping through but she WILL; I know how tiring it is esp. around the 8-10 week mark. I will get better.

Tryharder Fri 16-Oct-09 20:52:36

Am certainly no expert but I don't think waiting until she screams is fair to either you or your poor baby - if you want my honest opinion; sounds very distressing for both of you.

Are you expressing every feed? If so, I sympathise because it must be knackering and I admire you because I certainly couldn't have done it.

When you say your baby wouldn't latch on - do you mean she won't latch on now or she didn't latch on as a newborn.

Sounds like you need RL help. But am sure Tiktok and a few others will be along later to advise.

Sidge Fri 16-Oct-09 21:06:32

If you wait until she is starving and screaming she will find it hard to latch on, then you are caught in a vicious circle - the less she takes the sooner she will want feeding, the longer you make her wait, the harder she will find it to latch on and the less she will take etc.

It sounds like you need to go back a step - offer her as much breast as she wants as often as she wants it without stringing her out for longer. Get someone to help you latch her on as she will be far more efficient than a pump and may well take more directly than from a bottle. The more she takes the more satisfied she will be and may space her feeds out a little more.

Sleeping through varies so much though - DD1 slept from 2300-0700 at about 10-12 weeks, whereas DD3 didn't sleep a full night until she was nearly 2, yet both were exclusively breastfed on demand and had the same night time routine!

Caro1302 Fri 16-Oct-09 21:11:05

Hi, my DD is also 10 weeks and I've been working on spacing her feeds by sticking to a very rough routine during the day. Once she's been awake for a couple of hours and has had a feed I put her in the pram and take both LOs for a nice long walk. She falls asleep and by the time I'm home she's hungry and takes a bigger feed. I also have a sling which is a godsend because I can keep her happy in there until she gets hungry. I get one long break between 7/8ish through till 1am and then she wakes every 2-3 hours after that. I think that's pretty normal for this age. Stick with it- it does get better.

You have my sympathy for the expressing- that's exhausting.

BertieBotts Fri 16-Oct-09 21:18:14

Oh bless you - you sound exhausted.

I promise you it will get easier. It sounds counter-intuitive but if you feed her at the first signs of hunger (rooting with her mouth etc) she will be more relaxed so might even take more, and she will be less likely to get to the screaming hungry stage so quickly. If you are bottlefeeding do you have a partner to help with the night feeds at all?

Have you tried her on the breast again? It would be much easier to feed her directly, I am impressed that you have managed to express for her so far, I've always found it really difficult (If you can get her back on the breast you might even be able to feed her in your sleep.)

And she WILL sleep through eventually - but don't focus on that now. I found it helpful in the early days to think "2 hours... just 2 hours unbroken sleep would be lovely" then when I got 2 hours I was really grateful! Then I got used to that and it was "4 hours' sleep in one block... please..." and again when it came it was amazing grin I had a really long early stage of labour and didn't get any sleep between contractions for 3 days so by the time DS finally arrived I was longing for just an hour's unbroken sleep.

esthermate Sun 18-Oct-09 22:59:52

Hi all, thanks for the advice. I am afraid she has never latched on, and despite all my best efforts I finally had to give up on breastfeeding her as the moment she saw my nipple, she would start to scream! I am currently expressing for every feed which is quite time consuming but at least she is getting the best milk (which makes it all worth while!), plus she has an allergy to formula so I have no choice.

Her weight gain has been fine so I'm really hapy about that.

I started to let her cry before giving her a feed, after some advice from my friend who said I was being too soft feeding her on demand and that was why she was feeding so often. From all your kind advice it sounds like her advice may be a little misjudged! I will start feeding her on demand again and this should make everyone happier.

Thanks again

tiktok Sun 18-Oct-09 23:15:39

You've got some good suggestions, here

It's never helpful to wait until a baby screams to be fed - I feel sad for your friend who thinks that to respond to a baby's need for food, drink and human contact is 'soft'...everyone needs food, drink and comfort and we shouldn't have to yell for it!

Deliberately waiting until a baby is distressed enough to scream makes feeding times less effective and more stressful and is not a good 'lesson' for the baby. (Obviously, sometimes we can't always respond to the very first signs a baby needs feeding.)

I hope things go better for you. Very few babies of 10 weeks go through the night and three hourly feeding at night is probably a little less often than average...so she's doing fine and so are you

esthermate Sun 18-Oct-09 23:43:19

Thanks Tiktok!

Its nice to have some reassuring words of advice. It can be daunting to be a mother especially if you haven't got a clue, like me!

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