3 month old regularly waking(20 Posts)
I'm combi feeding my lo who is 3 months old (1 bottle before bedish). Whilst I know it's common for breast fed baby's to feed frequently still, I'm wondering whether he actually needs feeding so often. In the day time he can manage to go 2.5/3 hours between feeds and sometimes he can do a long stretch at night usually from when he's first put down at 7 (3 or 4 hours, but then its hourly or 2 hourly) But there seems to be no consistency. I've tried giving him a bottle at 7 and giving him a bottle at 10 but it doesn't really make a difference. Last night my husband slept by his crib and managed to settle him without a feed on one of his wake ups although there was a bit of tired crying before hand. He doesn't cluster feed at night anymore and he has a bedtime routine. He probably has 3 to 4 40mins naps during the day. Basically I'm wondering whether he should be capable of longer stints at night and whether I shouldn't feed with every wake and just try and settle him?
It sounds completely normal to me. My daughter is formula fed and she still feeds twice in the night at almost 7 months (11ish and 4ish). There's no harm in trying to comfort him without feeding in the night but if he's hungry he's unlikely to settle. All babies are so different in terms of how long they will go between feeds. There really is no length of time he 'should' be going.
Congratulations and great job on the baby and the breastfeeding so far!
Breastfeeding is beneficial for your baby in ways that go beyond 'just' feeding / food. It's part of how they form their secure attachment to you; it's a comfort and helps them regulate their stress hormone responses. Your baby needs this just as much as they need calories. It's not any less important.
So while it sounds like your baby maybe did ok without the extra food overnight, I'd say yes they absolutely still 'need' to breastfeed frequently at this stage. You need to be OK as well, though. It's really hard and tiring in the early days; take all the support you can get (your dp sounds amazing!) - it's very justified!
Breastfeeding regularly overnight is also important to maintain your supply, which is particularly important if you're combi feeding.
Thank you for the replies, I thought that may be the case even though I was hoping for a miracle solution . It's just so tiring and my mum is pushing me to start formula feeding as she thinks he's either not getting enough or he's using me and therefore creating a rod.
Ohmigoodness . Sending unMN-y hugs. It's SO exhausting in the early days, and must be doubly difficult if your mum is pushing formula.
I discovered 'The Analytical Armadillo' (on Facebook and Twitter) in my early bf days. I found it really helpful as a reliable source of information, it gave me confidence in my decisions around feeding and made me feel like I was making informed choices.
Babies are bloody knackering but night waking is normal. My daughter still wanted in night feed until she was 18 months. I had been back at work full time for a year by then and was so tired I could barely remember my own name.
he's using me...
Thing is, he is using you.
You (and your breasts) are his comfort. Breastfeeding is about far, far more than just milk and calories.
The more pertinent question is - do you mind him using you as his comfort mechanism? It is likely to be long term (past the first year, at least) and will involve night wakes, sometimes very frequent night wakes.
Setting yourself realistic expectations is very important for your psychological health.
There are other ways. There are ways to give comfort but give it independantly even while breastfeeding (dummy, for example). But even this needs realistic expectations. Baby will still need you to help acesss that comfort (putting dummy back in) for many months. There will still be night wakes but if you dont want to breastfeed to settle, you can use other methods.
If you are mix-feeding in the specific expectation it will reduce night wakes, I'm afraid you might be disappointed. It won't make much difference. The things to work on for fewer night wakes are:
- more frequent daytime feeds
- more frequent daytime naps (no longer than an hour awake between naps at this age)
- longer daytime naps (try to resettle when first waking)
- make getting to sleep as easy as possible for baby. Movement and something to suck primarily.
- try to get baby to sleep in the position they will stay asleep. So feed lying down and let baby stay there or find a way to get to sleep in the cot (sidecar cot helps for this - then cuddle, swaddle and dummy to get to sleep)
I want to breastfeed but it just gets me down a bit when I get tired and when I hear of all these babies sleeping through, but as you've all pointed out this is just what babies do.
I'll try and increase the the day sleeps and see if this helps as well as lower my expectations.
Society gives ridiculous expectations about babies and sleep. It sounds totally normal to me though!
I'm in a very similar position op and baby is ff and 4 months old. She doesn't wake quite so frequently but 3 or 4 times in the night (between 7 and 7). So I don't think formula feeding would make much difference. What has started to make a small difference is feeding more during the day- so every 2.5 to 3 hours- never longer even if they're asleep. Then I do 2 feeds close together before bed. I also slightly cut down the amount given during the night so she would take more during the day.
I am also fed up of being made to feel this is not normal and she should be sleeping through the night by now. All babies are different and 3 months is definitely still very small.
Thanks for the comments it's made me feel better, I'm going to try some of the suggestions.
I would feed more often in the day. You say he can go 2.5-3 hours in the day, that's not what you want. You want longer feeds at night. So I would feed every 2hrs on the day between say 8am and 10pm. Then 10pm overnight try and stretch feeds to 4+ hrs by not automatically feeding at every waking and trying to soothe without feeds
It varies massively - my son started sleeping in 7-10 hour stretches from about 14 weeks. Then he hit 16 weeks and was up every 20-40 minutes. He's 22 weeks now, sometimes he only wakes once in the night, more often its 2-4 times.
My view is that he's a baby, and this is what quite a lot of babies do, and it won't be forever.
Your mother sounds exactly like mine, OP! "Don't you think you should start topping him up with formula?," Maybe he'd sleep better if you gave him something a bit more substantial, what about rusks? Have you tried rusks?"
My baby is 8 months old and is still up every 1-2 hours; last night he went to bed at 7, was up at 9, 11 then 12-2:45 wide awake, then up for the day at 5. He's currently wreaking havoc crawling around the living room pulling himself up on anything he can reach...
Some babies sleep; some don't. My eldest was exactly like this but now (aged 7.5 sleeps 8:30/9 - 6).
My 4 month old wakes often during the night too, I try to settle with the dummy between midnight and 6 am but don't always succeed. If he won't take the dummy I feed him.
Bf babies wake for the comfort of bf, which is one of the reasons they often keep waking until they're well over a year old. 3 months old is still very little and perfectly normal to wake often, but there is no harm in trying to settle with a dummy, have your partner go to him etc. You can still always feed if he won't go back to sleep.
I'd also feed every two hours during the day, even if he doesn't seem hungry. Make sure he takes a good feed and isn't distracted or goes to sleep during the feed.
Sounds completely normal. Babies don't naturally sleep thru the night for ages sometimes a year or more. (It's one of the shitty bits no one tells you about before.along with piles and competitive tiredness)
You're doing brilliantly!!
My now 4 year old ds was fully bf and woke about 5 times during the night for at least 10 months.
My 3 mth old ds2 is also fully bf and generally sleeps from 10-7 without waking or sometimes wakes once.
I've done nothing different. It's just them and their personalities.
I just looked at it as I was getting more cuddles!
Somethings you can try however are...
Giving a dummy
Feeding as much as possible in the day, obviously not over Christmas but take a few days where you just feed constantly in the day. Will help prevent reverse cycling
I bought the tomy star light projector. It plays music and projects lights on the ceiling. Both boys loved it and it helped ds1 learn to go to sleep on his own as he lay and watched it!
Good luck and well done! Ignore your mum and be proud of what you have achieved so far
I combi fed my first (it's hard work isn't it!?) and he was definitely waking twice for feeds at that age, even when DH giving him a dream feed between 11-12. I'd stick with it for now. DS started refusing milk in the night when he was around 10mo but still woke a couple of times for a quick cuddle until he was 14mo.
He won't take a dummy tried all of them, but does like white noise so will try to use that a bit more. I'm also going to up the day time feeding. I don't expect him to sleep through the night I just thought that he would gradually do longer stretches. I've massively lowered my expectations and hopefully that will stop the disappointment when I look at the clock with every feed! I look forward to the day that I wake up and it's been more than 4 hours.
It will happen eventually - I promise! I'm currently feeding my cluster-feeding 3 day old. Think back to those days and how far you've already come
Join the discussion
Please login first.