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How do I figure out if baby needs feeding or shushing

(34 Posts)
Mumagain2017 Tue 12-Dec-17 07:46:31

So when baby wakes in the night I've just been automatically giving her a bottle but wonder if I'm encouraging a waking up habit.
She is 4 months and waking twice.
How do I know when to just shush her or when to feed.?
Sometimes she drinks 6 oz and sometimes only 1 or 2.

Any tips? Thank you

EssentialHummus Tue 12-Dec-17 07:53:45

I always try shushing first. Can always feed if crying escalates.

EssentialHummus Tue 12-Dec-17 07:54:13

(3 month old, if that makes a difference.)

QueenNefertitty Tue 12-Dec-17 07:54:55

At 4 months she might well still be hungry in the night. I breastfeed so can't speak for how much formula etc. And I know breastfed babies typically wake more than FF, but 4 months is still very little (IMO) to go all night without a feed

seething1234 Tue 12-Dec-17 08:05:45

At 4 months it could well be hunger. I ff mine and used the amount on the packet as a guide. So if they were getting their required amount in the day time I'd try settle them instead of feeding.

PotteringAlong Tue 12-Dec-17 08:08:31

I don’t even try shushing mine. They go back to sleep far faster if I feed them so I just feed them.

Mumagain2017 Tue 12-Dec-17 08:20:43

Thanks ladies
I think generally she is hungry but those 1 or 2 oz nights are so frustrating!
I also think it might be part of that 4 month developmental change with more night time wakings
Although she has only ever slept through twice sadly

letdownalittleagain Tue 12-Dec-17 08:40:02

Aw, when my youngest were tiny: check bum, brief dummy/ shh then feed.

The later breastfed ones though I just boobed and passed back out

Intercom Tue 12-Dec-17 09:31:38

I used to find shushing would work but only for a few minutes until hungry baby woke up again! Unfortunately you can't tell in advance whether she'll drink 1oz or 6oz but neither is a waste of time. 1oz to a baby will seem like more than it does to us. In a couple more months she'll probably be sleeping through for longer.

Mumagain2017 Tue 12-Dec-17 17:31:14

Thanks Intercom

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Tue 12-Dec-17 17:37:08

If you reassure and resettle her but she won't go back to sleep, then feed her. A hungry baby won't sleep so I wouldn't worry about getting it wrong.
It's not a waste of time to feed, just need to accept it for now (although I know what you mean). 4 months is really young and if she needs the milk she needs the milk, whatever the amount.
Good luck!

Mumagain2017 Tue 12-Dec-17 17:44:29

Thanks user

user7654321 Tue 12-Dec-17 17:58:48

When my DS woke up hungry, he would wake up and immediately scream the place down for milk. If he just wanted a cuddle or something else, the cry was different, and started with a ‘grunt’. His ‘hungry’ cry was very distinct from his other cries!

sallythesheep73 Tue 12-Dec-17 20:15:27

If its any help I found with both my children about 4 months was the turning point of when they started to go for longer through the night. Def fill them up as much as possible at bedtime! Hang in there!!

Heartofglass12345 Wed 13-Dec-17 12:05:55

At 4 months i was going 4 hours between feeds, but larger feeds (following the guide on the formula). My son was still waking twice, my hv said to try feeding him every 2.5 to 3 hours in the day, waking him up if necessary (he didnt mind being woken up for food lol) and if he wakes a second time in the night to give him water and he will stop waking up. I tried it and it worked, he realised water wasnt worth waking up for lol. My second son just sort of stopped waking up for the second feed by himself most nights. Could be worth a try smile

mizzles Wed 13-Dec-17 12:53:37

If it helps, I find that my 6 1/2 month old will go back to sleep very quickly if she isn't hungry and has just woken due to a noise/disturbance in sleep cycle/etc. (I find the best way to get her to sleep is to put my forearms very gently over her when she is lying down, with my hands either side of her face, and then shut my own eyes and sing quietly, say shhh or just be silent). If she doesn't look sleepy again very quickly, I just feed her. I might be a bit of a softy, but I figure that even if it's comfort feeding, she's still quite small and if she needs that particular form of comfort for now, so be it.

My (unscientific) view is that babies grow out of behaviours when they are ready to do so, and trying to train them too much is setting yourself up for grief. But I am a first (and last)-time mother, so I don't really know anything other than how my own behaves!

Aki99 Wed 13-Dec-17 14:03:32

We stopped night feeds at 6 months on advice of HV and he now sleeps through (usually).

listentotheman Wed 13-Dec-17 14:24:21

I stopped feeding on night wakings around 3-4 months when I realised baby just needed soothing back to sleep.

Oly5 Wed 13-Dec-17 14:38:31

I am on my third baby and agree with mizzles. Night wakings do end. I’d just offer food to such a small baby

RockinRobinTweets Wed 13-Dec-17 16:21:39

Are they waking at the same time every night? That tends to indicate more of a habit that waking for hunger. Also, are they hungry when they wake for the day. I'd think about reducing the nighttime feed if they weren't hungry for their morning bottle.

Noof Wed 13-Dec-17 16:45:18

4 months is very very young and I would assume hunger each time, only 2 wakings a night is pretty good for that age. My son (admittedly small for his age!) didn't night-wean until 20 months and even now at 2 he is starving when he wakes up in the morning and has milk straight away. As someone who stressed a LOT over sleep and night-wakings - next time I personally would just feed at 4 months and not worry about it

BackBoiler Wed 13-Dec-17 17:07:13

I would say definitely hungry. When does she go down at night to sleep and when are her waking up times? I ask only because although my babies 'slept through' this was actually 11 until about 4am - even if I put them to bed at 8 they would still wake once or twice before 11 for some more formula.

BackBoiler Wed 13-Dec-17 17:09:23

waking him up if necessary

This I never did even though I formula fed. I always went with when they wanted food. The only time I did this was when DD had bronchoilitis at 8wks and she was wearing herself out feeding through the phlegm so it was an ounce an hour so she had enough.

Jessikita Wed 13-Dec-17 22:05:29

Try a dream feed at 10pmish. Enter her room, or if she’s in with you just go up, lift her as gently as possible and wake her as gently the least possible you can, just enough to feed.

Mumagain2017 Thu 14-Dec-17 19:38:34

Thanks for all your replies.
In the morning she isn't starving hungry for the bottle and can go up to 20 mins before asking for it.
I remember with my 6 year old we did the water at night about 6 months old.

I agree she is mainly hungry..she had 6oz at midnight last night then 3oz at 3.30 and awake at 5.50. Which was grim.

Hv said to try baby rice although I'm not weaning properly till 6 months...not going to start the whole MN debate about early weaning!!

Going to start doing a dream feed if I'm still awake at 10! Also think her teeth are bothering her but that's a different story!!

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