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20 weeks old .........is this usual?

(12 Posts)
busywizzy Wed 10-Aug-05 21:24:30

My DS is 20 weeks old and is usually still waking for a feed in the night (he is bottle fed). I'm OK with this as he wakes, feeds quickly and goes straight back to sleep usually until somewhere between 6.30-7.30am. My question is that he wakes for this feed anywhere from 3.30am onwards (the pattern over a number of days can be something like 3.30am, 4.30am, 3.15am, 5.45am) and last night he woke at 2.15am despite the fact that he went through the night to 6.30am the day before. He goes to bed at 7.00pm and goes down awake so knows how to go to sleep. He also naps well during the day in his cot (approx 9.00am and 1.00pm with a catnap in his buggy at about 4.30pm)and again, goes down awake.

My HV says he should be sleeping through by now and that the inconsistent times mean he is waking out of habit and not hunger. She says I need to 'break him of this habit' but I think he is genuinely hungry. He weighs 16lbs and has been on solids for about 10 days. I give him a 6oz bottle in the night and he drinks it all and also takes a full bottle when he wakes in the morning.

What does anyone else think or does anyone have any advice. I thought I had a very good baby but now I feel like I have a problem on my hands .

burstingbug Wed 10-Aug-05 21:53:11

I stopped night feeding when I stopped breast feeding when my ds was 15 weeks old, whenever he woke up after that he just had cuddles for a while until he fell asleep. He went onto solids just before he was 17 weeks old, slept through from about 18 weeks which was fab. Now he's starting to wake up again in the night because of his teeth, again I just put gel on his gums and cuddle him back to sleep if I can. DS is now 24 weeks old and still has a doze generally an hour before each feed for about 20 - 30 mins. We put him to bed about 9pm and if his teeth don't bother him he'll sleep till anywhere between 6 and 9am. He weighs 17lbs 10.5ozs.
You know what your baby is like and if you think he's hungry then by all means feed him, but you could try cutting back the feeds by an oz each night to gently ease him off them, if thats what you want to do. On the other hand, my friends 2 year old dd still has up to 2 bottles of milk each night.
You decide whats best for you both.
Sorry to ramble on but hth a bit.

bonym Wed 10-Aug-05 22:00:31

Hi busywizzy . Dd2 is exactly the same (I think she's 2 days younger than your DS?). I also think it is hunger, as she does seem to have a good feed when she wakes.
She has been like this for probably about 3-4 weeks, after previously sleeping through from about 7.30pm to 6.30am, BUT it does seem to be getting better. We had the worse night yet about a week ago, when she was waking every 2-3 hours, but last night she only woke at 3am and then again at 6.30am.

I also posted on this a couple of weeks back and the general consensus was that it is not unusual at this age and it does improve!

I am planning to start solids when we get back from hols in a week's time and am hoping that will improve matters. If your ds has only been on solids for 10 days I guess he is not eating very much at the moment? Maybe things will get better when he is eating more. (Fingers crossed).

clary Wed 10-Aug-05 22:05:11

my ds1 woke at night for a feed until he was 7mths old (I was b/fding). I decided that enough was enough and knocked it on the head - he didn't seem to mind and started sleeping through!
But unlike yr ds busywizzy he was not really hungry for breakfast - which is why I decided to stop the night feed.
Sounds to me as tho yrs is still needing that night feed if he is hungry in the am too. I would stick with it if it's not a problem to you.
hth

Yanka Thu 11-Aug-05 09:39:15

I think the habitual waking is supposed to be the same time every night (we had problems with this as DD was on 4-hour feeding routine and kept waking up at 2am for some time even thoug she wasn't hungry. It went away eventually and she began sleeping through at 10 weeks). According to Baby Whisperer, if the baby wakes up at different times at night then he / she is hungry. You know your baby best and if it seems to you that he is hungry, then it is proably right. Perhaps it may be time to either increase his day feeds or even introduce baby rice?

Tipex Thu 11-Aug-05 18:33:04

good old health visitor! another comment designed to make you feel inadequate! My 6m old is still having a night feed! Actually the baby whisperer reckons that irregular wake times mean they are hungry not habit, so there!!!
go with whatever you feel your baby needs, it will all change at some point and if he seems hungry and its not really disturbing either of you that much then why fuss about changing it?

busywizzy Fri 12-Aug-05 19:13:58

Thanks for all your advice. Tipex, I'm soooo with you on the HV opinion. I walk inot the clinic feeling so proud of my beautiful, happy and contented little boy and I come out feelig like the worse mother on the planet!

I decided to see if he could settle himself without any milk and the first night he woke at 2.15am, chatted to himself for AN HOUR then went back to sleep until 6.30am. Horray I thought.

However yesterday was the day from hell and he screamed on and off all day (teeth I think). I put him to bed at 7.00pm as usual with not too many problems but he woke every hour crying (calpol before bed clearly hadn't worked). He eventually settled at 10.00pm but woke again at 1.00am and it took me an hour to settle him (eventually gave in and gave him a small bottle), then he woke at 4.00am and 6.00am. Exhausted today as a result but determined to try again tonight with no milk feeds as he's been lovely all day.

Fingers crossed.

jambot Thu 18-Aug-05 16:09:54

My dd is 22 weeks and also bottle fed. You don't say how much milk he is taking during the day or how much solid food is is taking. It's hard for me to comment as I've been lucky in that dd has not been taking a night feed since 12 weeks and she was a big baby. Now 18 pounds. Your day time feeds might be the key. I would be interested to know what you are doing there. DD takes 4 feeds of 7 ounces (last one at 6:30pm, morning bottle at 7:00am), plus 3 meals of 10 teaspoons of food per day.

starlover Thu 18-Aug-05 16:28:47

busywizzy i agree with tipex about the habit/hungry thing
if it was habit it would be pretty much same time every night

however, i finally stopped ds's night feeds after he went all through about 4 times.
i knew he could do it so when he woke in the night i gave him some water in case he was thirsty (which he rejected) and then cuddled him to sleep.
he STILL wakes out of habit though, but now i just have to pop dummy back in and find his rabbit! lol

to be honest, if you felt you had a very good baby until you spoke to the HV then why change anything?

vickitiredmum Thu 18-Aug-05 16:46:29

Im certainly no expert but ive never really had any problems with night waking for feeds. Both my BF lo's stopped bothering to wake for feeds at around 11/12 weeks. Although i did encourage it initially but not automatically feeding when they woke up at around 8 weeks old. Would try changing nappy, or just position, cuddle etc and back to sleep. If they still werent happy (and i mean fussing or crying not just awake) i would feed. My DS is 16 weeks and weights 18lbs - he occasionally wakes up earlier than usual for a feed - and woke up twice last week in the night due to a growth spurt. Reducing volume of night feeds seems like a good idea too and make sure last feed of the day is a really good one (so not too tired to take it all etc). As i understand it, if you make sure they get adequate calories during their waking hours then they shouldnt "need" to wake in the night to feed. Another BW gem i think....? So maybe make sure you dont swap bottles for weaning foods too soon - try to give some purees, baby rice etc after a full bottle. Agree with you on the HV score though Tipex - they dont realise how much an off the cuff comment can really upset sometimes. Im thankful to have such a good one this time round (I think because she has a 11 mth old herself so its all still quite relevant to her!) Lastly, all babies are different and some babies just are the way they are - dont worry too much about things you just cant change.

vickitiredmum Thu 18-Aug-05 16:50:36

oh, and one other thing - some people give a dream feed at night about 10.30pm 11ish (if you are putting to bed at 7pm). I have never done this myself but it might help. if you wake him up and give him this feed to give a bigger chunk of sleep afterwards for you and him. Then either bring forward slowly the time you give it to him or reduce the amount of milk you give him over a period of time.

busywizzy Sat 20-Aug-05 20:04:56

Hello everyone. Thought I'd give an update as you were all kind enough to give me advise which I found sooooo useful.

I have been persevering with not feeding in the night as DS has now slept through until 6.30am about five times in the past two weeks so I know he can do it. If he wakes, as he often does out of habit like your lo Stalover, I tuck him in, give him a kiss and whisper for him to go back to sleep. Sometimes that works but if it doesn't, I give him a cuddle wrapped up in a blanket so he's all warm until he's calm, then I put him back in his cot and that usually does the trick. If I really can't settle him, I give him a very small feed (3-4oz) but I now haven't fed him during the night for over a week and last night he slept from 7.00pm until 6.50am .

I have also been concentrating on what he is feeding during the day and he is taking four full bottles (7-8oz), 7.30am, 11.30am, 3.00pm and the last one at 6.45pm just before bedtime. He also has 2 cubes of vegetable puree at lunchtime (after his bottle at 11.30am) and fruit puree with 3 teaspoons of baby rice for tea at 5.30pm.

Slowly I feel like it's coming together and I really want to thank everyone for taking time to offer their help and advise.

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