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When is it ok to stop feeding baby during the night?

(32 Posts)
cupofteaplease Thu 04-Dec-14 16:59:20

My ds is nearly 5 months and still feeds every 3 hours night and day.

He has small amounts (it seems to me, compared to other babies his age) of 3-5oz at each feed. I can't encourage him to eat more during the day; if he doesn't want it, he just won't have it!

Friends have suggested switching the night feeds to water, which might encourage him to eat more in the day and then sleep at night.

Isn't this too young to drop night feeds? I know if he chooses to sleep through, that's a different matter, but if he is still drinking at night perhaps he needs it...? He is on the 25th centile if this has any bearing on anything.

As he's my 4th dc you'd think I'd know better... hmm

NickiFury Thu 04-Dec-14 17:04:21

I read that at 6 - 8 months most babies are able to sleep through the night, before that their stomachs are too small to hold the milk they need to get through. I waited till 10 months before offering dd water instead of milk. After three nights she stopped waking and slept through.

All babies are different though, they're not all capable of the same thing at the same time obviously smile.

Heatherbell1978 Thu 04-Dec-14 17:39:13

Apparently they need to be 11-12 lb before they are able to physically which is around the 12 week mark for an average baby. Obviously all babies are different and I guess this assumes they're taking in enough calories during the day.

DS1 is 15 weeks and we've just introduced a dream feed at around 11pm when he takes 6/7 oz. This normally sees him through to 5am but he never actually eats much then so I think he 'should' be able to go until about 7am and I'm just waiting for the day he does....

GotToBeInItToWinIt Thu 04-Dec-14 19:13:32

I was always told that you shouldn't try to drop night feeds until 6 months. DD is 12 months and we have only just managed to drop the last one sad.

Hoggle246 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:18:26

I guess it depends how you 're coping. If you're ok with lack of sleep perhaps give dc a while to see how he settles naturally, especially as you will be introducing solids soon. But if you're shattered I personally would be tempted to try water at night.

If it's any consolation re daytime, at 5 months ds was only just going 4 hours between feeds, before that he was on 3 hours for quite a while.

cupofteaplease Thu 04-Dec-14 19:42:01

I don't mind feeding every 3 hours during the day, but at nighttime it's a bit much! I think I'm just jealous because all the babies his age we have met are reliably sleeping through and I'm thinking, 'Why not him!'

But I'm trying to put a positive spin on things and imagine that I'm being given the gift of time- I've done lots if online Christmas shopping during the night feeds! wink

Thanks for the advice everyone.

cupofteaplease Thu 04-Dec-14 19:43:52

Oh and he is 15lb 5oz at 21 weeks, so he should be able to manage it, based on heatherbell's calculations...

fatterface Thu 04-Dec-14 19:48:34

Mine were between 6 and 9 months depending on how well they took to solids and how much milk they had in the day.

At 5 months they all had a feed at 11pm and then either 3am and 7am or went through til 7am (again depending on size and feeding habits of the baby).

Notfastjustfurious Thu 04-Dec-14 19:54:02

If it's any consolation my 5 month old 15lb 4oz baby doesn't sleep for more than an hour and a half all night long and as she's ebf I can't even try the water trick. I think it eventually just happens (says me rocking in a corner)

Lillieshill Thu 04-Dec-14 19:58:55

I don't think you can judge this on age or weight. It has to be based on each individual child's needs. Five months is nothing. And I would have loved my son to be waking only once every three hours at that age. He woke 5 to 7 times at night and had reflux so needed to be held up for 20 to 30 mins after each feed. This meant it wasn't uncommon for me to still be awake after the last feed when he woke again. I was getting maybe three hours sleep in the whole night spread in short chunks throughout the night. I had friends whose babies woke hourly way past five months. Really, you are very, very lucky with your baby. Be thankful.

Redling Thu 04-Dec-14 20:43:59

My DS is 15 weeks and weighs 15lb, he wakes twice between 8-7, usually at 1ish and 4-5ish. He is hungry at these times, I can hear his tummy gurgling as he drinks! I have never had a set idea of when he will sleepnthrough and honestly don't expect it of him, he wakes to feed and then goes straight to sleep, it's not comfort, it's hunger. He may be 15lb but I don't think that changes anything. If I go to bed at 10 I'm getting enough sleep even if it is broken, his wake ups are so short! I DONT think of him as a bad sleeper because of this, but people are always ready to say he should be sleeping more. I am happy though so they can bugger off smile

bambinibop Thu 04-Dec-14 20:52:55

My dd slept through from about 4 months but now at 9 months she has started waking up again (there have been other times in between where she stopped sleeping through for a few weeks so I assumed growth spurts) she is still bf so she feeds then goes straight back to sleep. It doesn't really bother me so I'm happy to carry on as we are. She is also only 15lb6 so she's so tiny I always think she could do with the extra calories! I want.to stop bf at around 1 year so then I'll probably start offering water instead of milk when she wakes at night (maybe she'll be sleeping through again by then! )

bambinibop Thu 04-Dec-14 20:54:09

I think every baby is different there is no right or wrong! Not helpful but true!

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 04-Dec-14 20:56:55

We night weaned DD1 at 8 months and her sleep went to holy hell. DD2 I didn't even try. DS I am now torn what to do. He's 7 months and I'm still feeding at night, often 3-4 times.

TBH, his sleep sounds pretty enviable to me right now.

cogitosum Thu 04-Dec-14 20:59:00

I think night weaning is not recommended before a year.

fatterface Thu 04-Dec-14 21:03:18

By who?

CPtart Thu 04-Dec-14 21:09:05

Mine both slept through reliably by four and five months. They were ff by this stage. At several months I gave them porridge or weetabix at bedtime too so I would be sure they wouldnt wake from hunger!
Naps in the daytime however, were another story!

cupofteaplease Thu 04-Dec-14 21:26:45

Trust me, lillieshill I am very thankful for my ds. Given that my last child died at 13 months of severe disabilities where I barely slept her entire life, I am very grateful for my little boy. Also, he was on Ranitadine and domperidone for reflux, but thankfully he appears to have outgrown it, and the lack of vomiting has made his night feeds quicker, so that's great too.

I was just asking if giving water at night would help him eat more during the day too.

I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, it wasn't my intention. It has actually been really useful to hear of other dc that are similar to my ds. Like I said previously, all the other babies we have met at groups are reliably sleeping through, so it's skewed my sense of 'normal'.

fatterface Thu 04-Dec-14 21:28:23

DS1 didn't sleep through til he was 3 years despite night weaning at 9 months shock

Lottiedoubtie Thu 04-Dec-14 21:29:02

My FF DS is 12 weeks and feeding every 2, 3, or 4 hours (if I'm v. Lucky) through the night. He's heavy (75th percentile) but this doesn't seem to have reduced his appetite any!

I've just got my fingers heavily crossed for the night he 'grows out' of so many feeds.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 04-Dec-14 21:35:27

Remember that the other babies you hear of may well have exaggerating, if not fibbing, parents. DS2 was 14lb by the time he was 6 weeks old. Now 17 weeks, huge and feeding hourly day and night to maintain his portly physique hmm All babies have different nutritional needs.

I'm sorry about your DD thanks

cupofteaplease Thu 04-Dec-14 21:35:52

I remember dd1 crawling into bed with me for a very long time, but at least she wasn't crying for milk!

So we are all agreed then, don't offer water at 5 months at night time- that was my initial thinking. I think I'll start lying to people when they ask if he's sleeping through, that way I won't have to listen to all the advice wink

cupofteaplease Thu 04-Dec-14 21:37:09

Thank you Elphaba

bambinibop Thu 04-Dec-14 21:44:04

If I think a person is going to give me annoying advice I keep it very vague about sleeping and just say she sleeps well! If it's mums at baby groups that I'm friends with then I'm honest because then I find people often also admit they are still up in the night smile

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 04-Dec-14 21:44:15

Oh Cup. I am sorry if my comment about your DS sounding enviable was upsetting. I know all about your beautiful daughter and followed your threads. I just meant it as a wry comment in solidarity.

I think three hourly night feeds at 5 months is very normal. A lot of babies won't go longer until they're well into solids. And some resist for months/years/until you crack and sleep train. They all have their little foibles.

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