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4.5 week sleeping/feeding

(11 Posts)
EssentialHummus Wed 11-Oct-17 02:51:39

Dd is 4.5 weeks. I’m not sure what’s going on with her sleeping and eating.

During the day she reliably sleeps three hours at a time. Night is a disaster: Evening feed around 19.30, bottle of formula when she next wakes at 21.30-23.00. Then she’s up again for a feed at 1.30-2.30, which can last over an hour, sometimes much longer. She’s then up again an hour later (another hour long feed), then up again an hour after that, and we’ll maybe get a longer two hour stretch of sleep towards morning.

During the day feeds are also very long - I think one cracked two hours earlier this week. This length of feed only started last week, they were shorter before. She’s awake through these feeds.

I went to a BFing group yesterday. They suggested that she was likely comfort sucking a lot of the time. Her latch is fine. Her weight is very good.

I’m aware that her kind of night pattern isn’t typical - a straw poll among friends suggests that one or two more evenly spaced wakings is more normal at this age. It’s also very hard going for me (and my nipples!). I have tried tonight to only pick her up in response to a full cry, not whingeing or grumbling. She was up at 01.30, at first with a gradual non-escalating cry that didn’t sound like her hunger cries. I wanted to see if she’d go back to sleep. When the cries became normal hunger cries I latched her on. Ate, seemed to fall asleep quickly. Put her down, she woke up in minutes, same happened again. She’s now on me eating for the third time since 01.30. She’s just come off after minutes, now sleeping onmy arm.

NB I’m not trying to train her or anything, she’s far too young, I just don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

EssentialHummus Wed 11-Oct-17 02:53:05

FWiw nights are quiet, dark, minimal interaction.

CherriesInTheSnow Wed 11-Oct-17 03:02:46

Hmm most things I have read suggest it is actually better to pick them up earlier than when they start crying; ideally at the time they start rooting, to avoid them becoming overly hungry and tired. It could possibly help with her falling asleep every few minutes too as she won't be over tired from crying maybe? Maybe have a google of dream feeding too. smile

doleritedinosaur Wed 11-Oct-17 03:04:45

She's still trying to build up your supply hence the long feeds, especially as at 6 weeks there's a growth spurt.

Also at that age, they have no grasping of day or night.

Every 2-3 hours is normal & the longer feeds are "cluster feeds" to keep your supply up & in demand.

My eldest DS for a growth spurt would feed every hour at night until it passed.

Don't go by other people for normal night feeds, especially at that age.
If you think it is comfort feeding you could look at a dummy but it does past & they can settle & go longer once past this first growth spurt.

My DS's were completely different at night. DS2 would go 3-4 hours between feeds until a growth spurt but DS1 was hourly to 2 hourly at night no matter what.

doleritedinosaur Wed 11-Oct-17 03:06:01

When she is waking up is she doing the classic feeding signs as it's not good to get them to the crying stage as then they're worked up & overtired.

Signs such as rooting & sucking hands?

EssentialHummus Wed 11-Oct-17 03:25:06

Thanks all. When she wakes she’ll make noises, but nothing like the feeding cues we get during the day. I frankly think she wants company, as odd as it sounds. You pick her up (she’s on DH’s chest now, because he came in when I started crying) and she’s calm and will fall asleep.

teaandbiscuitsforme Wed 11-Oct-17 12:50:05

Have you tried feeding lying down so that you can rest as well?

She is tiny and building your supply so personally I’d just go with it unless you are concerned about weight gain/nappy input. I wouldn’t say 1-2 wake ups was normal for a BF baby, anything is considered normal at this stage!

Are you expressing when she has that formula feed? Because if not, 6 hours without BF is a long time to go at this stage and she will need to boost your supply to make up for it.

EssentialHummus Wed 11-Oct-17 13:46:51

tea thanks for replying. I’ve not got on with feeding lying down so far. There’s a really good BFing cafe nearby, I may ask them for help.

I’m not expressing, no - something to consider.

Tge rest of the night went strangely. Again when she cried it didn’t escalate like “normal “ hunger cries, no other signals either. I decided to try pat her belly/chest when she started crying to see what happened. Each time the crying died down. She slept (patting aside) 4am to 8am. My inclination is to try the same again. When she’s hungry the cues are very clear, this doesn’t seem like the same thing.

FortheloveofJames Wed 11-Oct-17 16:32:47

At 4 and a half weeks this sounds totally normal to me!

When they are so little they have no set schedule whatsoever, and as previous poster said they also have no concept of day and night either.

Feeding in the early days is all about establishing supply, so they take what they want, when the want, for how long they want and cluster feeding is common at any time. I remember my HV said cluster feeding is especially common in late evening/during the night as your milks different at these times? Can't remember exactly what she said but it was something like that.

In the early days I felt like my DS was never off my boob but it has gradually settled, however a 2 night wake up is still a good night for us!

Hang in there, things will settle, just a case of riding it out in my experience!

teaandbiscuitsforme Wed 11-Oct-17 16:46:29

I’d definitely persevere with trying to BF lying down and get some assistance if you can. I was really lucky that the midwife positioned DD for me hours after she was born and it’s a real lifesaver. Luckily my babies are big and I think that helps with the latch when they’re lying down. There are videos on YouTube etc if it helps.

Personally I’m not bothered about cues etc, especially at this age. As soon as she squeaks, I’d always feed and try to keep things as calm and quiet overnight as I could.

Do think about the expressing/formula thing. It might not be the issue but if you think about BF A’s supply and demand, your body doesn’t know that she’s getting milk from another source so doesn’t make as much. So when she wakes to feed, you might not have produced as much as she needs so she has to work harder to build the supply. And so the cycle continues, waking more frequently because she needs to build the supply. The point about feeding overnight is because your milk production hormones are in overdrive overnight so that’s when the supply is built.

teaandbiscuitsforme Wed 11-Oct-17 21:19:01

Forgot to add earlier - have you heard of the fourth trimester? If not, google and see if it helps you with her behaviours.

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