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Tips to stretch time between night feeds in 3mo

(11 Posts)
BellyBean Thu 09-Nov-17 12:10:17

My dd has teased a couple of times with a 5/6 hour stretch of sleep but is typically doing 4-3-3.

I'm obviously happy to feed if she's hungry but last night it was 6pm, 10pm, 1.30am, 4.30 am, 8.30am.

Does anyone know how I can stretch at all?

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 09-Nov-17 13:00:17

In my experience, time is the answer to this - as she gets older, the time between night feeds will get longer. It is really tough coping with the broken nights, I know, and my best advice is to do all you can to make the night feeds as non-disruptive as possible - dim lights, feed in bed, with the cot by the bed, so you can put the baby down without having to get up. Maybe co-sleep - it worked sometimes for me, and works well for other people.

And during the day, take every opportunity for a rest - with my first, whenever he napped during the day, I rushed round doing housework that I thought I HAD to do - and only realised with my second that, if I was tired, the housework could wait.

Congratulations on your lovely dd - and I hope you get more rest as the weeks go on!

RockinRobinTweets Thu 09-Nov-17 15:02:30

She's doing well tbh.

There's two ways really - get her into the habit of feeding four hourly in the day so that she gets used to being a bit hungry before needing to be fed again and taking big feeds or loading her up in the day in the hope that she gets all the calories she needs then and doesn't need any more at night.

She's too young for night weaning etc

BellyBean Thu 09-Nov-17 20:59:56

Thanks, I'm going to see about stretching her slightly in the day, she's usually no more than 2.5 hours unless she's had a big nap, and I wonder if she's getting enough hindmilk.

It's just she often doesn't seem that hungry at night and it might be an hour or more in the morning before she wants a feed after waking.

Changerofname987654321 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:29:48

She is tiny. Just feed her when she asks.

crazycatlady5 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:32:22

Agree with pp. just feed on demand. It won’t be forever and you’ll find (I hate to say it) that sleep actually gets worse for a lot of babies from 4 months!

BerryBee Fri 10-Nov-17 06:14:04

If by "stretch" in the day you mean try and get her to go longer stretches without milk then I wouldn't. You want her to be getting lots of calories in the daytime. Remember milk is her own source of food and drink. I don't think I could go more than 2-3 hours without a drink to be honest.

Honestly sounds perfectly normal and healthy. Like PP says she'll cut down night feeds with time.

FATEdestiny Sat 11-Nov-17 18:01:38

Does anyone know how I can stretch at all?

Always try to settle baby without feeding, rather than immediately just feeding. You need an effective settling method (that isn't feeding) for this, I'd suggest a dummy.

Try for 5-10 mins to resettle with a dummy initially upon waking. You may be surprised and find due settled without a feed.

Also a good idea to establish feeding upon waking in the daytime, rather than deeding up in going to sleep. So instead of wake>play>feed>sleep, try to wake>feed>play>sleep

AgainReally Sat 11-Nov-17 18:10:21

A 3 month old breastfed baby is unlikely to be able to be stretched between feeds. The night feeds are the ones that keep your supply up which while established is about to hit a growth spurt. I reckoned every 4-5 weeks mine would up their feeds to boost my supply before it would ease off again.

crazycatlady5 Sat 11-Nov-17 18:17:41

The night feeds are the ones that keep your supply up which while established is about to hit a growth spurt. this. Breastfed babies regulate their intake so although it’s exhausting they know how much they want and need which is why every now and then it can be relentless and every hour or so (as I have had with my 9 month old for a couple of weeks until a few nights ago).

Go with it, and it will pass x

wintertravel1980 Sat 11-Nov-17 19:48:35

A three month old is not exactly a tiny baby. Yes, they are just getting out of the newborn stage but they can smile, they can understand differences between night and day and they can be taught how enjoyable and restful a night of good sleep is.

If a baby weighs more than 12-13lbs and is healthy, he / she should have physical abilities to sleep for 11-12 hours with one feed (which can eventually become a dream feed).

If you read actual recommendations from health care professionals, they use the term "responsive feeding" (rather than feeding on demand). Feeding responsively actually means that we are supposed to watch out for hungry cues and feed babies when we know they are hungry (or getting hungry). Making a noise during the night does not equate hunger. In a lot of cases, the baby simply does not know how to put himself/herself back to sleep.

FATE's recommendations are spot on. I followed a very similar approach (based on advice from my maternity nurse). I picked a period of time (initially - 1am to 6am) and started trying to resettle DD during this interval without feeding. I used shushing and patting but a wise thing would be to go for dummy. If DD did not settle (or woke up soon after going to sleep), I gave her milk.

During the day I followed the EASY routine but I tried to feed DD 5-10 minutes after she woke up from naps or in the morning. I used to change her nappy or put her under the mobile for a few minutes before feeding. The idea was to remove the direct link between waking and feeding.

What I found is that DD was perfectly happy not getting milk after 1am but she did need my help before she found an independent settling mechanism (arching her back, throwing her head back and effectively self-rocking). When DD began sleeping for 5 hours straight, I started stretching night feeds further. By 12 weeks, DD consistently slept from 7pm to 6.30/7am with one dream feed. She also learnt to love her sleep - at 10 months she still smiles and giggles every evening when DH or I put her into the sleeping bag for the night.

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