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Infant feeding

Missing/overreading hunger cues at night?

5 replies

OperaPanda · 05/12/2017 07:53

I'm a FTM and my LO will be 3 weeks in two days, she's EBF. She's gaining weight and has plenty of nappies.

I'm a bit confused about when to feed her at night. She usually wakes me up every 2-3h when she grunts, stirs and accelerates her breathing which to me sound like hunger cues. I don't wait for her to cry but feed her immediately.

However, two things confuse me: when she was going through a growth spurt and cluster feeding ever hour this wkd, she woke up an hour after falling asleep and did all these cues. I started getting ready to feed her... and was so exhausted that I dreamt I was feeding her but had actually gone back to sleep myself!! The point is: I woke up two hours later (so 3h after her last feed) to her fussing exactly the same way. I'm not even sure she's slept in between, poor thing! I fed her then, feeling awful, and she ate hungrily but my point is: was she really hungry the first time around if she didn't cry when I ignored her cues? Am I actually feeding too early and should I wait for her to reach pre-cry/little cries state?

At the same time, this morning I picked her up when she was just fussing as usual but delayed giving the boob by only one minute as I was saying goodbye to my DH leaving for work and she started crying. So that seems to indicate she is really very hungry when she fusses.. Or just got frustrated because she was so close.

She's a quiet baby but is usually vocal during the day (aka things escalate naturally to crying if she's not fed with early cues). So why so quiet at night? Should I just wait and see how long it takes her to cry, as maybe that's her natural way to space things out a bit?

One last thing: she's very gassy and I've only recently discovered that her hunger cues during the day (she gets desperate to suck) is sometimes just to relieve trapped winds, not hunger, as cycling the legs (letting go big poops and farts) and giving my little finger to suck sent her to sleep more quickly than the boob yesterday. So maybe the fussing at night is similar and isn't hunger? At the same time, 2-3h seems normal to me at 3wo.

Would be grateful for opinions! Thanks!

OP posts:
NuttyCasey · 05/12/2017 11:40

Sounds normal, every 2-3 hours for a 3 week old is fine. Although it might be worth a try seeing what happens if you leave her when she’s fidgeting? I would try to comfort her though without picking her up, she could learn some bad habits from being picked up every time she stirs/cries!!!
Some babies sleep for a long time from a very early age! She could be one of those! If it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work and you can just go back to feeding her when she starts stirring.

My HV told me that babies think eating will fix everything, if they’re hurting they think eating will help or if they have wind they think eating will help. Half the time I don’t think they’re actually that hungry, just looking for comfort.
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

OperaPanda · 05/12/2017 20:28

Thanks, that's helpful! I might try to wait and see one night. As you say, I'm mindful not to create associations either but I also sometimes think I can just pick her up and burp her some more if it's winds.

Interesting the midwife said that. So what did she recommend to do then when it's rather obvious it's not hunger (aka just had a big feed 30min earlier)?

OP posts:
arbrighton · 05/12/2017 20:44

You cannot 'create associations' at this age. Bf is comfort and closeness as well as just food

AMagdalena · 06/12/2017 15:57

I'd just feed your DD every time she woke. She's tiny. She still needs to eat every 3 hours if I remember correctly.
She needs closeness and the breast is great at providing that to babies.
Also, as times goes on, you will recognise her cues instantly. My DD is 18 weeks now and I know when she wants feeding just by the way she stares into my eyes.ĺ

EgremontRusset · 06/12/2017 16:12

Might sound silly but are you sure she is awake when she fusses at night? My DS would fuss and even briefly cry out while totally sleep at that age.

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