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BF routine - help

(33 Posts)
SpikeMomma Mon 11-Jul-05 10:23:31

Have a week old newborn (9.4lbs). So far breastfeeding gone well. Problem we're having is getting into a routine.

Tried 3 hourly feeds through day - which baby seemed happy with. Prob is night time.

Try put him down around 7-8pm, very unsettled and taking up to 3 hours to go to sleep, after eventually takes both breasts.

He then sleeps from 12pm-6pm - but such a battle to get him to sleep, we're not sure this is right for him as we think he's over tired. Currently he's only getting one main sleep in the afternoon for few hours. Which we think he needs more of in the morning.

Midwife did say we should wake him to feed him as he was going too long without a feed. When we do, he takes a good 50-60 mins on each breast - and then the late feed sleeping is a battle to settle him. So we're a bit stumped really.

Wake him to feed him, or leave him to sleep and demand feed...? If we could just sort out the 7-8pm slot we'd feel like we'd be getting a good 3 hourly cycle. I'm also worried leaving it 6 hours during the night might start to affect my supply.

Any advise from your experience?

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 10:27:46

I think a week old is far too young to even be thinking about any sort of routine! Even Gina Ford doesn't start her infamous regimes until a baby is two weeks old (also too young IMO). Yes, feed no LESS than three hours apart during the day, and follow your baby's cues. Six hours at night is not a problem IMO as long as you are feeding frequently during the day. Wanting to cluster feed in the evening is absolutely natural and normal and doesn't have to be a battle. YOu can feed and watch telly! I think your baby is asking to feed in the evenings.

tiktok Mon 11-Jul-05 10:29:29

SM, a week is far too early to be worrying about getting into a routine....going with the flow is much easier at this stage for most parents and babies. It sounds to me that he would be happier just being fed during the unsettled time early evening. Every day is gonna be a bit different at this stage.

Yes, six hours is too long at this age for most...he has prob slept that long because he was exhausted after the settling difficulties earlier.

My suggestion would be to feed him when he indicates he wants to be fed, give him lots of skin to skin contact, and to stop micro-analysing his waking, sleeping and feeding

welshmum Mon 11-Jul-05 10:35:25

Sorry to hijack but Tiktop when do you think is about the right age to start thinking about routine with bf babies?

welshmum Mon 11-Jul-05 10:35:47

Tiktok even

Papillon Mon 11-Jul-05 10:55:39

I think alot of new mums agnonise over the word routine

We are influenced by our parents/grandparents generation who frequently used Truby King advice and routines and today we have Gina Ford. I admit I don´t like their advice on routines, nor their ideologies. I, tand alot of other parents find going with the flow, breast feeding on demand, and not at set periods, creates quite amazing bonds and your child will most likely breast feed for longer. You baby will find its own routine, this can be with your encouragement or just over time.

Sorry if this seems judgemental but have just had my midwife visit and she tandom feed her child... which I plan to do also. We talked about breast feeding and unspoken communication. How breastfeeding is the most natural pacifier a mother can give her child.

Here is a website with lots of information about parenting and breastfeeding that you might find touches your spirit. Dr Sears

All the best

tiktok Mon 11-Jul-05 10:57:08

I don't think there is any 'right age'. But if someone really wants a feeding routine and really thinks their life will be easier with one (and they are often disappointed in that!) then it's very important they do not risk compromising breastfeeding. Baby needs to be gaining weight well, consistently, mum needs to have confidence in her milk supply....you can't really be sure of this before several weeks have passed.

(Note: Gina Ford advises mothers against her routines if the baby is not gaining 5 oz a week. I don't know where she has got this from, as of course very little of her work is evidence based. But at least she recognises here that routines can restrict the amount of milk the baby takes, and negatively affect health, and reduce the stimulation of milk production.)

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 10:58:54

I'm breastfeeding number two (not atm as my typing is worse when I am!) and have found this time I never even think about routine - I'm too busy! I just feed whenever. If Iknow I'm going to sit down for ten minutes or go on MN I just put dd on the breast whether she's rooting or not, and I often give her a top up just before we go out or get in the car. I have literally NO IDEA how often or for how long I feed her, and she's happy, contented and enormous! I much, much prefer it this way as I am far more relaxed. She's now five months. Just feed him whenever he snuffles at you! In most babies the feeds do gradually space out anyway and your baby sounds like one who will find his own routine all by himself and in the next few weeks.
Personally, if my baby was well, weeing frequently, gaining weight and feeding well in the daytime, I wouldn't wake him at night. I'd just be very thankful!

tiktok Mon 11-Jul-05 11:02:15

Agree with you about not waking, aloha....but not at a week with a baby who is not being fed on cue.

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 11:05:11

I take that point Tiktok - I did add the caveat that the baby is feeding well during the day, which wasn't very clear but I meant frequently - at least three hourly but not by the clock, but by baby request (so much nicer sounding than 'demand', don't you think?)
I was joking with a friend recently that to us 'demand feeding' was when we got so full and uncomfortable that we'd get the baby and demand they feed!

Papillon Mon 11-Jul-05 11:07:52

Thats a good point Tiktok about stimulating milk supply. The benefit of confidence in you being able to feed your baby exclusively via the breast.

lunachic Mon 11-Jul-05 11:45:36

i sucessfully bf 2 babies till 6 months and beyond and the best piece of advice my hv gave me was *keep putting the baby to the breast there is no routine with breastfeeding* this was
good advice as bf babies feed when they want which to me is a great thing about bf- if this doesnt suit you spikemomma maybe you could build up a store of expressed milk to feed with

bf babies will sometimes feed ALL day(usually when on a growth spurt) and though it will shock you at first you get used to it

another thing is weight gain-i would be suprised if baby gains weight unless fed on demand and
finally another piece of good advice from a friend was to persevere with breastfeeding cause if you can stick it through the first couple of weeks it gets much easier (and easier in the long run than bottles)

good luck spikemomma hope its going ok for you hope bf works out

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 11:47:39

I find breastfeeding so easy. I cannot imagine having to deal with bottles now.

lockets Mon 11-Jul-05 11:53:09

Message withdrawn

welshmum Mon 11-Jul-05 11:58:42

Thanks for starting the thread spikemomma - I've picked up some good tips.
It strikes me - and I know it's probably bleedin' obvious - that breast feeding is not just another way of feeding a baby It's a state of mind/philosophy. I don't think I'd quite realised that. With no.1 I tried to combine bfing with a strict routine and it all went wrong and I was mixed feeding at 4 weeks. Now I think I know why and will attempt a different approach with no.2 (7 weeks).

SpikeMomma Mon 11-Jul-05 13:39:22

Thanks all. I'm not aiming for a routine as such - i'm happy to go with the flow - but one which is good for baby, so he doesn't go too long without.

I was more concerned about the comment made by the midwife that it should be every 4 hours and if he's on for longer than 40-50 mins that's a problem, or that we should wake him if he hasn't had one for a long while. (which i hadn't worried about before, thinking he would naturally wake when hungry). Is 6 hours too long if he is feeding regularly every 3-4 hrs during the day? My breasts are very full in the morning which gives a good feed. But will this change if unstimulated for 6 hrs?

I agree that bf is a philosophy - a lovely one at that. I just want to ensure i keep my milk supply up, and baby content so i can keep on enjoying it. I know some woman can't bf for lots of reasons - so i feel quite blessed that i've managed it so far and just love it. It's the only time i feel calm in the whirl wind of new motherhood!

It's true to say baby is learning and so am i - sure we'll crack it though. But it's great to hear your advice - so keep it coming!

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 13:44:32

Not all newborns wake for food - most do, but not all. Personally, I'd say feed at LEAST every three hours during the day, then let your baby sleep at night. Let your baby cluster feed during the evening which really helps to boost supply (ie don't 'battle' to get him into bed) and don't worry about him being on a long time as long as you aren't getting sore nipples and the baby is happy - staying on a long time can be a sign that he isn't positioned correctly and isn't getting enough milk - but can, and often is, just a sign that little babies love to suck and be cuddled by their mothers!

SpikeMomma Mon 11-Jul-05 13:46:46

Papillon - what's tandom feeding?

Just been thinking about the time i spend with my baby bf - ahhhh i lurrrrrrrve it. Me, my boy and busom. Can't beat it. No better feeling.

Swell of emotion - off to commence again, was it the left or right one...?!

Papillon Mon 11-Jul-05 13:48:52

Tandom feeding is bf a your child and your baby. dd will be 2 years old when baby is born.

Have you ever tried a sling... baby can suckle while in sling if you get sick of sitting down for the feed

SpikeMomma Mon 11-Jul-05 13:50:00

Thanks Aloha,

I think you're right. He seems to like every 3 hours, and i think we'll try a few more before bed time and see if that works. If that's cluster feeding. Probably find this changes his pattern a bit. But if not, i don't mind getting 6 hrs sleep!

I do think he just likes spending time bf as he seems very content.

Papillon Mon 11-Jul-05 13:52:33

Yes that is cluster feeding. Tank them up before bedtime!

My midwife said this morning that breast milk is like valium... very calming

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 13:54:30

Ah, he sounds lovely! And I hate to say this, but do enjoy your sleep - some babies sort of 'wake up' around ten days old and suddenly want to feed more and sleep less!
If it's working out so well for you now I'm sure it will all be fine.

SpikeMomma Mon 11-Jul-05 20:38:39

I have got a sling Papillon, used it the other day to send him off. I got it with the purpose of descreet breast feeding - but haven't used it yet. I'll give that a bash too.

It's still been a mare trying to get him off to sleep tonight. He just doesn't 'do' bed time! Tried to get him off earlier - but still taking the same amount of time. Two breasts later...slightly more 'drugged' looking but not really having it. Think i'll 'tank' him up with a third later if he doesn't fall asleep. He might blow up he's had so much...

Tipex Mon 11-Jul-05 20:43:09

spikemomma, at that age my DS was never down for the night before 10-11pm, he often sat with us in the evening and fed fed fed!! He started going down earlier and earlier as he got older (ie started making tired signals earlier so we would get him to sleep when he did that). He wasnt ready to go down at 7pm until much older than your DS. I know its annoying not to have your evening but if you are spending 3 hours trying to settle him you're not getting it either!

tiktok Mon 11-Jul-05 21:14:36

spikemomma - please don't take this the wrong way, but what on earth were you expecting at a week???? Strikes me you have got enormously high expectations of a teeny little baby who was inside you, feeding and sleeping whenever the heck he wanted to just seven days ago

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