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Waking due to hunger?

(4 Posts)
Fleurchamp Wed 18-Nov-15 21:30:04

My 18 weeks old DS has started waking every 2/3 hours at night.

Previously he would go 6/7 hours between feeds at night (one wake up a night) but this has gradually deteriorated over the past 6 weeks.

Currently I feed him (BF) every time he wakes and he usually falls asleep on the boob. Last night I was so tired that I slept through one of his wake ups (!) and so DH put on Ewan the dream sheep - lo and behold, DS slept for another 1.5hrs!

So, this leads me to believe that DS doesn't always wake just for food. But how will I know?

During the day DS feeds roughly every 3 hours with the gap between feeds shortening in the afternoon (7, 10, 1, 3.30, 5.30, 7 as an example for today).

We give him a formula feed at 7pm.

Previously I was dream feeding him at 10.30 but more often than not he wakes up before that time for a feed now.

He will then wake up a further two times at least. The day then starts at around 7am but can be as early as 5am.

Every night is different.

Any suggestions/ advice as to whether DS needs to be fed at each waking and any tips to stretch out the time between feeds during the night?

Thank you smile

FATEdestiny Wed 18-Nov-15 21:36:38

Personally, I would use a dummy. It sometimes takes some work to get baby to accept the dummy, so don't be quick to assume baby doesn't like the dummy too easily.

I work on a 5 minute rule and 30 minute rule.

At every wake up baby will immediately get the dummy. If dummy hasn't settled back to sleep within 5 minutes then I feed.

if baby wakes up again within 30 minutes, then this signals time to feed too.

I would also aim for feeding more frequently during the daytime - calorie load through the day so less calories are required at night.

Fleurchamp Wed 18-Nov-15 21:45:11

Thanks fate!

I have just got DS to take a dummy to go to sleep at night. I take it away before he's completely asleep so I don't have to keep getting up to look for and replace it.

Feed more frequently? Would you suggest every two hours? In the morning DS could happily go more than three hours between feeds but in the afternoons he likes to cluster feed. Some days he feeds constantly from 4pm until he receives a bottle at 7pm.

We give him 7oz at 7pm.

My mum keeps saying that I should start introducing solids but he is only 4 months and I wanted to hold out a bit longer.

FATEdestiny Wed 18-Nov-15 22:12:00

You've not got long until baby can put his own dummy in (8-9 months ish) so I wouldn't worry about dummy reinsertion to a huge extent.

I would aim for 2 to 2.5 hourly full feeds through the daytime, if it was me. Plus clusterfeeding when required/requested.

I was bottle feeding DC4 by the time she was 18 weeks. She was having 7 7oz bottles per day - every 2h to 2.5h, depending on the length of her nap (she was fed upon waking).

"Solids" at this age are not only not recommended, they would also contain fewer calories than milk (breast or formula). It is not that baby's tummy needs to be 'full up', it is that baby is using lots of calories so needs lots more calories.

If you are considering solids at 18 weeks old, then formula milk would be a better way to go. Formula would be better for your baby than early weaning would be. Breastfeeding is obviously good too. It's just if you start feeling the need to top up in some way, formula is better than food before baby is ready.

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