3rd Trimester

Is it true that you should never let a newborn sleep more than 3 hours?

I'm sure this never happens but what if a newborn sleeps for over 3 hours? I was told in my breastfeeding class that you have to wake him up after 3 hours to feed him and that you cannot allow him to sleep any longer than that. Is this true? Like I said, I'm sure newborns never sleep that long in the beginning but say he does for some reason, do I really need to wake him?
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Re: Is it true that you should never let a newborn sleep more than 3 hours?

  • I'm pretty sure it's only for the first couple of weeks, but yes, I was told to wake my baby every 2-3 hours to eat, especially if you're BFing (to build supply).  With DD I didn't have to because, well, she never slept that long LOL.
  • With DD1 the first 2 weeks the hospital (and her pedi) stressed that she needed to be back up to her birth weight by the time she was 2 weeks old. DH and I would wake her every 3 hours to feed her. After she hit her birth weight and started gaining (this was a day or so before 2 weeks) we would let her sleep as long as she wanted and did more "demand" feeds. I was EBF'ing BTW.
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  • You'll hear that a lot.  Personally, the only time I would do this is if I had a baby who was under 7lbs and was having problems gaining weight.  IMO though, I lived by the rule with DS to "never wake a sleeping baby".  I got really lucky with DS.  Right away, he started sleeping in 4 hour chunks at night.  He'd wake up to feed and then head right back to sleep again.  I never woke him to feed, but then again, he was 9lb, 1oz when he was born and was back up to his birth weight within a few days.
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  • My pedi told me "Feed every 2-3 hours until baby has regained their birth weight (full term babies only I assume), then DO NOT wake them between Letterman and Lauer."  If they are hungry, they will wake up and feed.  Good luck!
  • image courtfsu:
    My pedi told me "Feed every 2-3 hours until baby has regained their birth weight (full term babies only I assume), then DO NOT wake them between Letterman and Lauer."  If they are hungry, they will wake up and feed.  Good luck!

     

    Ha! I love that concept.  


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  • trojastrojas
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments Name Dropper
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    I had never heard of this til now, but good to know. 

    I'm taking a breast feeding class this Thursday, I wonder if they'll mention it. 

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  • irerirer
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    I think once they've regained to their birthweight (you probably have already heard that they tend to lose a little weight in the first few days) you do not need to wake them to feed.  DS never slept long enough for me to have to worry about this, as most babies are pretty good at letting you know when they need to feed again! 
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  • My pedi said to wake them during the day every 3 hours, so that way they would sleep longer at night. I'm not really sure if this worked or not, we had a helluva time with night sleeping until DD was about 6 months old. I guess it just depends on the baby, not sure what we'll do this time around!

    But they only time you really HAVE to wake them up to eat is the first week or so, and only until they're back up to their birth weight.

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  • It is just in the beginning, like others have said.  The night before I took DD to her 1 month appointment, she slept 6 hours.  My H was freaked out and had me ask them at what point should we wake her.  The nurse and doctor looked at me like I was crazy when I asked!  We all laughed at my H.  I should mention that we had no issues with weight gain and she was eating enough during the day.  

    I didn't BF but there may be different rules in order to keep your supply up. 

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  • HkayeHkaye member
    No! They will tell you that but with dd she would sleep for 4 hours at a time so no way would I wake her up. Believe me they will wake up if they are hungry. Now if your baby is under weight than I can see a purpose in this but I highly doubt they will be sleeping longer than that anyway. My dd was 7lbs 14 oz and I had her sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and she gained weight just fine too.
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  • Here is some advice coming straight from a second timer. Unless your baby is premature or has other healthy problem, DO NOT wake that baby up. My son was almost ten pounds and I was told by the nurses to be SURE to wake him up every TWO HOURS once we got home to nurse. What.a.nightmare. He doesn't sleep well to this day. No need to wake your baby to nurse, IMO. They'll let you know when they are hungry.

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  • Thanks everyone. It seemed kind of strange to me. My baby has been consistently measuring much larger than he should so I don't think being under 7 pounds will be an issue but who knows. I'm thinking that as long as he's back to his birthweight and is gaining weight appropriately that I won't wake him. On the other hand, I doubt I'll be lucky enough for him to sleep over 3 hours straight ;-)
  • I plan on Feeding on demand not a scedule so if this baby decides she wants to sleep longer than 3hrs than so be it... my son slept alot but who knows what this lil girl will do  she will prolly never sleep  knowing my luck :)... some people like schedules but myself im more of a go with the flow type and try to adapt to what the baby wants at that time.
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  • I was just talking to DH about this last night, we did this with our first, but as long as birth weight of #2 is not too low, I'm not doing it this time around!
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  • image kerrbear72:

    image courtfsu:
    My pedi told me "Feed every 2-3 hours until baby has regained their birth weight (full term babies only I assume), then DO NOT wake them between Letterman and Lauer."  If they are hungry, they will wake up and feed.  Good luck!

     

    Ha! I love that concept.  

    This is EXCELLENT advice!! love it!

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  • hocushocus
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    You should talk to your pedi about this as the recommendations vary. Some pedi say do this for 2 weeks, do this until they start gaining. Some say 3 hours some say 4. I work my first. I didn't with my second.
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  • hijoihijoi
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    You're lucky if you can go three hours.  My son was so small we had to wake him up every two hours to eat.  Eating took an hour, so there was litterally no sleeping going on for the first month.

    But on the norm, yes, three hours for the first few weeks.

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  • It mostly depends on the weight of the baby. I let my baby sleep as long as she wanted at night, but during the day woke her up to eat. You need AT LEAST 8-10 feedings/pumpings in a 24 hour period to maintain your milk supply.
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  • image courtfsu:
    My pedi told me "Feed every 2-3 hours until baby has regained their birth weight (full term babies only I assume), then DO NOT wake them between Letterman and Lauer."  If they are hungry, they will wake up and feed.  Good luck!

    Ha! This is good advice. Yes

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  • I don't know exactly, as I am a FTM, but I can tell you that if my darling baby boy is sleeping for 3 hours, isn't fussy, or squirming, or anything, I'm gonna let him sleep. As long as he maintains a healthy weight and isn't hungry, I don't feel like I need to set an alarm to wake me up every two hours, just to wake up little one who was trying to sleep too.

    My mother had told me once that as a newborn I used to sleep through the night, waking up may once to eat on my own. She said she kept waking me up every two hours and I'd be very fussy and it took more time to get me to actually eat since I was trying to go back to sleep. She said when she asked the doctor about it he told her to quit waking me up and let me sleep. I am going to go by that. 

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  • image ericamanuela:
    Thanks everyone. It seemed kind of strange to me. My baby has been consistently measuring much larger than he should so I don't think being under 7 pounds will be an issue but who knows. I'm thinking that as long as he's back to his birthweight and is gaining weight appropriately that I won't wake him. On the other hand, I doubt I'll be lucky enough for him to sleep over 3 hours straight ;-)

    DS was a great sleeper from the start, so it can happen.  It killed me to wake him!  We only did that for a couple weeks until he reached his birth weight (he lost a lot in the beginning). 

  • I think so but I didn't with DS...he slept 5 hrs strait....but he was 12lbs at his 2 week check up!!!

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  • flyer23flyer23 member

    DD's pedi told us to let her sleep once she had surpassed her discharge weight. So she was born at 9lbs 7oz, discharged at 9lbs 0oz, and was back up to 9lbs 4oz at 4 days old. That's when we got the go-ahead to let her sleep as long as she wanted at night. She did 6 hours straight that night, and was sleeping 12 hours straight by 6 weeks old. She never had weight gain issues, and my supply was fine.

    DS was waking every 3 hours for the first few weeks anyway, so it was a non-issue. By the time he was doing longer stretches, he was well past his birth weight.

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  • It's just about getting them back to their birth weight. Dd only lost a few ounces at the hospital, sonwe never woke her. She was generally waking to eat every 3-4 hours on her own, so we didn't stress about it. BUT she was gaining just fine so that was the difference. 
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  • image Hkaye:
    No! They will tell you that but with dd she would sleep for 4 hours at a time so no way would I wake her up. Believe me they will wake up if they are hungry. Now if your baby is under weight than I can see a purpose in this but I highly doubt they will be sleeping longer than that anyway. My dd was 7lbs 14 oz and I had her sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and she gained weight just fine too.

    This :)

    My son was also sleeping through the night at 7weeks. He fed every 4hours...10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm etc.... He was a great sleeper, I never woke him and let him wake by himself when he was hungry, which you are gauranteed to do! I didnt BF so maybe different rules apply.

  • To get her back to her birth weight, I BFed her every 2 hours until our weight check. (I still kept at it for 3 weeks though, as advised by my lactation consultant. She was born on 10/3 and I was home 10/5 and the weight check was at the LC's on 10/7, to give you an idea or an example.)

    You start and count from the latch. Once she is latched, then in two hours (form the time she started BFing) you start feeding her (or him) again.

    I know it seems tedious and tiring. It definitely is. But it's worth it! :)

     

     

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  • image ericamanuela:
    I'm sure this never happens but what if a newborn sleeps for over 3 hours? I was told in my breastfeeding class that you have to wake him up after 3 hours to feed him and that you cannot allow him to sleep any longer than that. Is this true? Like I said, I'm sure newborns never sleep that long in the beginning but say he does for some reason, do I really need to wake him?

    Were we in the same class cause they said the same thing in mine last night. I thought it was weird, what do I set an alarm??

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  • image jc0n15:

    image ericamanuela:
    I'm sure this never happens but what if a newborn sleeps for over 3 hours? I was told in my breastfeeding class that you have to wake him up after 3 hours to feed him and that you cannot allow him to sleep any longer than that. Is this true? Like I said, I'm sure newborns never sleep that long in the beginning but say he does for some reason, do I really need to wake him?

    Were we in the same class cause they said the same thing in mine last night. I thought it was weird, what do I set an alarm??

    You can if you want to. I just wrote down the times on a note pad and was pretty much confined to my living room couch or bed for the first week or so anyway. (Being in pain, shock and complete exhaustion, but my husband was pretty on it. "It's time to feed her again.") :) 

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  • If you are BFing, the nursing every 3 hours is to help your supply come in, as well as to get LO back to birthweight. You might be able to go a bit longer if you are FFing, both because formula takes longer to digest (so LO might naturally sleep a bit longer) and because you aren't going to be concerned about building a supply.

    We fully intend to wake at least every 3 hours for the first few weeks (possibly more often during the day).

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