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Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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171768 tn?1324233699

newborn eating & sleeping

dd is now 7 weeks. she was 4 weeks early, so we had to wake her every 2 hrs to eat in the beginning to fatten her up. well, she's chunky now, but continues to eat every 2 hrs on her own, even at night. most people i know that have babies say that their babies sleep at least 4-5 hrs at night at this point in time. after the feed, she's usually up 1 1/2 hrs later to eat again. (and with me pumping after each feed, it leaves me about 1 hr to sleep before she's hungry again). she's eating 3-4 ounces at a time. any more, and she pukes. we tried formula before bed, but she was actually hungrier after that. i am very happy with her progress and weight gain. she was 4 lbs 7 oz when we took her home, and 7 weeks later she's just short of 10 pounds. but i am concerned because my lack of sleep is getting dangerous. for example, she woke to eat at 4:30am. i gave her 2 oz, as usual, and stopped to burp her. and hour later i woke up with her still on my shoulder. now, i do occasionally sleep with her on my chest, but i always carefully position ourselves and pillows to make it safe as possible. (i know she's not supposed to sleep with me, but if she's on me, she'll usually go 3 hrs btw feeds. i only do it when i'm desperate).
any suggestions for me??? i know she's hungry and it's not just habit because she give crazy feeding cues (rooting, hands in mouth, etc...) and will scream if i don't feed her that often. but like i said, she can't handle more than 4 oz in one feed yet. how long was it before your babies would spread out nighttime feeds?? luckily, she always goes right back to sleep in the bassinet, so i know she's not confusing day and night.
13 Responses
93532 tn?1349374050
Not that this will offer much hope for you, but due to my one functioning breast, my 10 month old still oftentimes wakes every 2 hours to nurse. He can and does sleep for several hours at a stretch, but it is not unheard of for him to start waking to eat a few days a week.

7 weeks is a bit early to expect sleeping through the night (considered sleeping 5+ hours straight) and nursing babies do tend to wake more frequently to nurse. She is growing well, so she obviously knows when she is hungry. This is somehting that will pass in time, the first six months are practically back-to-back growth spurts which involve a lot of eating and eventually some good sleep.

Just be patient and it will pass in time.
150483 tn?1212172156
First off I would like to say relax.It is so hard to have a newborn.My Juliana is 6 wks & does NOT sleep all night she wakes every 3-4 hr on the dot!Every baby is different.So those mommys out there who say there baby at 2 wks slept threw the night...LUCKY.This is my 3rd.Son is 12 daughter is 8 so this is like starting over again.I was told by baby dr that baby sleep threw the night depends on there weight  not the age.My son slept threw the night at 2 months,now my daughter slept at 9.And I know what you mean about dangerous I also had a few close calls,I've fallen asleep while burping my daughter,thought I had her on the bed & pushed & screamed at hubby thinking he was on her...meanwhile she was fast asleep on her bassinet..lol.But remember it will get better.She will start getting used to a routine,start eating more & in no time sleep threw the night.My Juliana DOES have day & night confused.She is so used to her bro & sis making noise that at night she wakes due to the quiet.lol
Avatar universal
I would be suprised if a 7 week old slept 4 or 5 hrs at a time. I have never heard of that. Mabye with a strictly formula fed baby. Most babies I know dont sleep that long until about 12 weeks or so.
My best suggestion for getting some sleep...Co sleep with your baby and leave your boob out for her to feed on whenever she wants...your not gona roll on her cause you know she's there..you wont get a sound sleep...but you will be more relaxed and have some rest..alot more than you will feel if your getting up and out of bed all night.
I would suggest try pumping during the day...I did the pumping at night thing with my first son...its a killer
My first son didnt sleep thru the night until 4 monts old.
127529 tn?1331844380
I know many people are against it but have you though of co sleeping with her until she gets a little bigger, I did with my second child at first. So you are pumping and bottle feeding the breast milk is that right? How much do you get at each pumping session now? If you have enough milk maybe you could drop 1 of your pumping sessions at night now. If you have been going for seven weeks your supply should be well established now and if you pump enough at your other sessions it should be okay to drop one of the night ones by now. When I pumped for my first son I pumped every 3 hours during the day (7am - 11pm ish) and just did one other pumping session during the night. You really need to rest when you can at night, that extra bit of sleep may even help your milk supply.
171768 tn?1324233699
nanis- good to know i'm not alone! i'm not really stressed about it- just so tired!!!

tomel- i wish she'd take the boob. i have no choice but to pump at this point if i want her to get breast milk.

mum2beagain- i would co-sleep, but i can't because i don't trust dh. i am a very very light sleeper (which actually contributes to my exhaustion since she grunts while pooping in her sleep), but he is a very deep sleeper. in addition, he trashes and moves a lot in his sleep. when i pump i get 5 or 6 ounces. i kinda have dropped a pumping session. when dh gets home at 9:30, i pump. then i try to sleep from 10-1:30 while he watches her. so there's 4 hours btw pumpings there. but my boobs are always killing me at that point. a few weeks back i tried to go 5 hrs btw pumpings. i ended up with a clogged duct and mastitis. so i'm scared to go that long again.  you are right- my supply is always higher when i actually get sleep. i'm just trying to find a balance. i think my supply is ok to skip- it's a comfort/health thing. and since she's eating 3-4 ounces, i do get to bank some extra milk during the day that dh uses to feed her while i sleep.

thank you for your suggestions. i'm not trying to complain. i chose to give her breast milk. since she was a preemie, i felt it was best for her, and i am willing to do whatever it takes to help her grow. i've resigned myself to the fact that until i go back to work at the end of november, my primary purpose in life is to feed her, and it will take up most of my day. like i said, i'm starting to get nervous about our health and safety due to exhaustion. i'm not even looking for her to sleep through the night. i'd probably be nervous that she wasn't getting enough food if she did. i guess i just wish she'd go 3 or 4 hrs btw feeds on her own.

question- when people co-sleep, where does the baby sleep? in the middle?
Avatar universal
My DH sleeps in another room..so he can get sleep for work.

The baby sleeps next to me in the middle.

If your DH sleeps with you and your concerned about him rolling on baby..you can buy a cosleeper bed for baby that goes in your bed...they sell them at Target. babies r us etc.  Or you could sleep in middle and have baby next to you on your side...so you would be next to dh and baby on the end..if your concerned about her falling out of bed..put pillows there.

Do you keep the pumped milk in room with you...or do you go down and warm it up each time you feed her...I know that freshly epressed milk is good for 4 to 10 hours..so you dont have to go put it in fridge right away
127529 tn?1331844380
Yeah my DH is a heavy sleeper, he also has sleep apnea so I slept in a bed in the nursery, still do actually, DH doesn't know baby has dropped night time feedings ;) but I get so much more sleep in there than with DH, he wakes me more than the baby with his snoring and his cpap machine for his apnea is so noisy! Baby wakes for his first feed at about 6 so I bring him into bed with me then and we dose for an hour or so until it's time to get up.

Or buy a bed rail, the mesh type (for toddlers) and have baby on the other side of you between yourself and the bed rail.
93532 tn?1349374050
With my middle one, DH took the couch as he didn't want to worry about sleeping with the baby in the bed. he got more sleep and the baby and i had plenty of room. Now with Clayton we have a twin bed between our bed and the wall with a dresser on the other side of our bed to keep it from shifting. CJ sleeps in the twin, rolls over to nurse at night and when he is done I can roll over the other way and cuddle John. He loves having his wife back in bed with him ; )

The arm's reach co-sleepers are a great invention. I never used mine, but gladly passed mine along to a young mother.

It really has helped me dramtically to co-sleep with my kids. I have done it with all three during the entire time they nursed (14 mos for the first, 15 mos for the second, and CJ is now 10 months and going strong) It works for some and i really do feel like i am more rested, despite feeding every 2 hours at night ; )
175662 tn?1282217256
I co-slept with my 10 yr old for the first 4 months... and Lilith looks like she's headed that way too, as she has yet to sleep in her crib (it's too hot to do that, and she doesn't like her play yard/bassinet (it isn't soft enough apparently)).  I'm really careful about how we co-sleep and 99% of the time have her on my chest (my sleep can suffer for it).  It was really nice for night time nursing with DD #2, not so much with Lilith, she doesn't like laying down to nurse.
171768 tn?1324233699
she's in an arm's reach bassinet right now. i only have to sit up to get her, and can easily reach her to stroke her head or belly if she needs comforting. is it ok for her to sleep on my chest?? i really prefer it, but dh is thrilled i do it so i don't much.
175662 tn?1282217256
Tired, There is a lot of contraversy over co-sleeping an of that I will not lie nor tell someone to do it.  Some believe that it helps not only with the parents rest, but that it also builds bonds with the parents.  On the negative side, there is the breaking of the parents bed that is inevitable... and the unfortunate situation where some parents smother the babies by rolling on them, etc.  If you have the arm's reach bassinet, I would suggest that is an excellent solution to co-sleeping safely.  I didn't/don't have that luxury, my room is barely large enough for the bed and dresser in it already.
172023 tn?1334675884
Its not ok to sleep on your chest, if she's sleeping on her tummy.  
134578 tn?1546634665
We like the Arms Reach so much that when our ds started to get too big (the "Mini Co-Sleeper" has a 23-lb. suggested top weight) we got the regular Arms Reach that turns into a chair after the baby gets too long for it.  (I think that sucker will take 500 lbs. LOL)  

When I was first doing night feedings, I and wailing ds would grope to the kitchen at midnight or 2 am, we'd either nurse (I was trying not to wake up hard-working daddy) or have a bottle, and by the time we were thoroughly full and wide awake, we'd be supposed to go up to sleep again.  Two things saved me:  dh started taking on the 2 am feeding so I could sleep, and then after that, ds began to be satisfied with sucking only from the boob at night.  I had been so worried he wasn't getting enough that I hadn't really put it to the test, but one week I tried it each night, and bingo, it was enough.  He wakes up a bit hungry in the morning is all.

Even if your baby won't take the boob and only wants a bottle, you might be able to get some use out of a version of my present nursing routine:   at night I find the crying baby with one arm (amen!), stick him on the boob and semi-conk out.  Dh has started to be REALLY CAREFUL with his sleeping -- he was a thrasher of the worst kind when the baby was born, but now he lies still really carefully, and besides, I put out an elbow and knee.  We sleep with the blanket down at my waist, (on cold nights the baby is in a sleepsack)  to avoid smothering risk.  If I'm still alert, I put ds back into the Arms Reach when he finishes sucking, and if not, he sacks it next to me until the next feeding.  Even if you are feeding with a bottle, you could almost do the same thing.  You'd be surprised what dh will learn to do vis-a-vis not thrashing at night if the alternative is to have to do the 2 am feeding.  :)

If it weren't such a break for you to be able to conk out asleep with the baby right there, I wouldn't mention it.  But if you are so exhausted you are falling asleep already even when you don't intend to and are afraid of the baby falling or gettind rolled on, you need to try some changes.  I would start with dh, and tell him the 2 am feeding is all his.  Then discuss his sleeping habits and promise you will poke him, and learn to throw those elbow blocks even as you snooze... I realize this sounds stupid, but you would be amazed how much you can do when semi-conscious to protect your baby.

As ImmortalOne says, I wouldn't tell you to co-sleep, but it did save the day for us.  Since Augie breast-feeds at night, he isn't sleeping through the night, and so I needed some way to handle it without being a zombie myself.
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