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16wk old feeding 1-2hr feeds during day & 2hrs from midnight

(19 Posts)
Hovis1980 Wed 05-Feb-14 00:58:44

I'm a first time mum with what seems to be a very hungry boy! I was just looking for some advice on whether the feeding/night time sleeping pattern he's following is normal or whether I could be doing something differently so he feeds a little less often and sleeps a bit more.

My little boy was born 10lb 3oz and has since followed around the 95th percentile for weight. I've been exclusively breastfeeding on demand & typically feed every hour from 0600 to about 1000, then every two hours till about 1600, and then he cluster feeds until bed time between 1800 and 1900. He'll then normally sleep until 0000 or 0200 on a good night and will then feed every 2hrs getting up between 0500 and 0600.

When he feeds it's normally for 10 mins (draining one breast) or sometimes 20 mins (draining both) and he seems satisfied after each feed.

I've tried spacing the day time feeds but found he started to wake more at night. And at night time I always try shushing him before picking up for a feed. Sometimes that works at 0000 but at 0200 and 0400 he always wants a feed. I'd hoped by 16 weeks that he'd be feeding a little less frequently and sleeping a bit better.

I guess my question is whether this is normal and I need to crack on with things as they are... and a lot of eye concealer ;-) or if I could/should be doing something differently? Thanks!

Hovis1980 Wed 05-Feb-14 01:10:49

Ps - just to add this has been his regular pattern now for about a month now.

BarberryRicePud Wed 05-Feb-14 06:25:01

Trouble is normal is such a huge range.

DS was born 6lb 10, 2-9th centile. Ebf, straight up to 50th centile where he remained til weaned, then up to 98th for height and 91st for weight. He's now 3.5 and v tall. He woke every 45 mins for 5 months. With hindsight of knowing where his natural centile was, he was hungry. He bottle refused though and was always offered both breasts, in fact would go one to the other and back again.

Dd was born 8lb 15, 98th centile, ebf, and she's stayed there. Really obvious now that my milk supply was so much better this time. She woke every 2-3 hours at night til 7m when I gently night weaned, extending the hours between feeds and just cuddling until the time was reached. She's 9m now and has only just started sleeping through 3/5 nights ish.

So, I'd try doing a nappy change after 1st breast to wake him a bit then offer second breast before putting down. Try to slowly extend time between feeds at night but with cuddles (sshh pat never worked for any bf babies I know!) and walking/bouncing whatever.

Consider a dummy overnight. Consider a bottle of formula at evening and perhaps 10pm ish. If you're lucky enough that they will take a bottle, it's worth a go combi feeding IMHO. I know that's not for everyone but this whole thing of feed more to up your supply doesn't always work. My supply was enough for DS to survive but despite great latch, long feeds, loads of demand, it was never fully enough.

Just my experience. HTH.

You also are hitting 4m sleep regression...

Hope you get some sleep soon.

cupcake78 Wed 05-Feb-14 06:29:23

My money's on 12 week growth spurts and 4 month sleep regression. Put the two together and I think that's what you've got.

hazchem Wed 05-Feb-14 06:33:43

It sounds pretty normal to me. Babies go through different phases of growth and they need more intake during that period.
The only thing I'd consider doing if you aren't already is co sleeping. Also spacing out feeds probably wont make him less hungry just more hungry. Try to go with the flow. Have a nap during the day if you can.
It gets easier in a bit smile

Shelby2010 Wed 05-Feb-14 14:04:26

You need to get him to take bigger feeds and stretch his little tummy, then he'll be able to go longer between feeds. Easier said than done.... but as previous poster suggested, you should try and get him to take both breasts at a feed even if it means waking him up. Giving him a bottle of formula may help initially as (if he takes it), he'll probably glug down more as it's less work for him. Hopefully then letting him go longer and feel hungrier for the next feed, therefore taking both breasts, getting fuller etc etc

It can seem like one step forward and then one back at times as they do go through growth spurts, have colds etc which then put them back to feeding more frequently again. and when they finally start sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time, your older DC will start waking up in the middle of the baby's longest stretch

hazchem Wed 05-Feb-14 23:32:42

Shelby I don't think you fully understand how breast make milk. They don't need to empty or fill up as they are continually making milk, if a baby is sucking they make milk faster, when the baby isn't sucking the slow down. So as the baby grows they will take more but you don;t need to stretch either the tummy or the time. Just feeding on demand providing there are no under lying issues.

Hovis1980 Thu 06-Feb-14 09:20:31

Thanks so much everyone for your tip!. Yesterday I made sure to offer him both breasts during each feed and also fed him lots in the bedroom where there's less distractions. And we saw some improvement last night... yay :-) He stirred at midnight but this time went back to sleep without me getting up and then slept an extra 40 mins only waking for his 1st feed at 0240.

Re combination feeding unfortunately he won't take a bottle. We've tried several different types of bottle, different ways of giving it to him etc... but no luck. He turns 17 weeks and my mum ssuggested i should perhaps try a small teaspoon of baby porridge before his bedtime? I'm conscious that the guidance now is toween at 6 months so am in two minds about whetheror not to try it. Any advice or experience anyone has would be much appreciated!

hazchem Thu 06-Feb-14 09:38:11

Hovis1980 Glad things are picking up. Breast milk is much much more calorific then baby porridge, so it wont help him sleep by filling him up. If you do decided to feed solid they recommendation is to feed in the morning first in case there are any allergies.

Shelby2010 I realised after posting my post might sound a bit rude, I didn't want it too.

BarberryRicePud Thu 06-Feb-14 14:16:11

I really wouldn't go with porridge. There's good reason not to wean til later, and quite honestly a teaspoon of porridge is neither here nor there in terms of calories. This is very difficult to say to our parents generation though, as they were told this was the right thing to do.

Just re the bottles, you might want to consider starting with a sippy cup soon. I started with mine from about 12-14 weeks, just a bit of formula for them to get used to it. By 6m they could manage an ounce or 2 with mess, and by 8m they could both drain a cupful happily without a drop spilt. They both bottle refused so it was great once they could have a cup and were less reliant on me.

Shelby2010 Thu 06-Feb-14 18:57:31

hocks well done! Hope tonight goes well. I wouldn't worry about trying anything different now if you are seeing an improvement already.

hazchem my advice was given on the basis that the op was making the right amount of milk for her baby but getting tired of the baby 'snacking' every hour or so rather than taking on enough calories at a feed to keep him going for longer. To be fair, it was a health visitor who told me I needed to feed DD1 more to stretch her tummy, so may not be an accurate description of what actually happens grin

Shelby2010 Thu 06-Feb-14 19:02:43

hovis not hocks! Stupid autocorrect!

hazchem Thu 06-Feb-14 21:31:38

Shelly Oh dear. Not great advice from a health visitor then. They really should know better. (trying to have a friendly, happy tone but sure am failing at it)

ElleCloughie Thu 06-Feb-14 22:09:43

Sounds like my 17 week old! She has improved over the last couple of days though, so there is light at the en of the tunnel!

Shelby2010 Thu 06-Feb-14 22:18:32

hazchem well she seemed to give better advice than the other one who told me I wasn't making enough milk because I sometimes watched TV while BF. Apparently I should have spent the entire time gazing at my baby to trigger the appropriate hormones...

ChrisMooseMickey Thu 06-Feb-14 22:29:40

There's a big growth spurt and sleep regression at 4mo- just keep doing what you are doing OP. You're doing great smile

I had to start solids early with DD. She was about 4 and a half months- started with a lunchtime veg puree. It's not for everyone but she was so hungry it was the only thing I could do!

hazchem Fri 07-Feb-14 00:10:58

How did you keep a straight face with that one Shelby? I do wonder where HV get there info from?

Hovis1980 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:27:17

Thanks everyone :-) It's reassuring to hear others have had the same experience! Yesterday we visited relatives so we struggled a bit with longer feeds but when my little one woke at 0000 I got him to take both breasts & slept straight through till 0400. This evening he's taken lots of milk so fingers crossed for a good night.

I think i'm going to hold off as suggested on the baby porridge & see if what i'm doing (plus him getting a bit older & getting past the 4 months sleep regression / growth spurt) continues to help. Oh... and BIG thanks for the sippy cup tip. We tried one this afternoon and after he saw us try it he then enjoyed putting it to his mouth. Most of the milk ended up down his tummy but it's a start?!

BarberryRicePud Fri 07-Feb-14 19:33:08

That's a great improvement. Hope it continues. Keep going with the sippy cup, just keep it relaxed and fun. All of a sudden it just clicks and they can do it.

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