Waking to eat? — The Bump

Waking to eat?

At what point did you stop waking your preemie to eat? The past couple of weeks DD hasn't been eating well at all if I wake her at night, but wants to eat more/more frequently during the day. I plan on asking the neonatologist at her clinic appointment this week, but just wondered about other experiences.

Re: Waking to eat?

  • KTZ17KTZ17 member
    My DD still woke for nighttime feedings until around 5-6 months actual, 3-4 months adjusted. I only had to wake her up a few times when she was really little, but she generally let me know when it was time to eat! I think it all depends on your baby's weight gain. If your daughter was low birthweight and still isn't on the curve, I would guess your doctor would advise you to continue nighttime feedings. After how many hours do you wake her, how much does she weigh, and how old is she? You might be able to try extending time between feedings during the night and like PP said, make up for those ounces during the day (unless you're BFing, in which case you would have to increase the number of feedings during the day).

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  • She's 15w actual, 1 month adjusted. She has been on an every 4 hour feeding schedule since we left the NICU a month and a half ago, and she's gained about 4 lbs. since then (she weighs somewhere around 9 now). I don't mind waking, but her nighttime feedings have become such a beast. She's been wanting to eat more like every 3 during the day, or every 4 with a little 2oz. snack in the middle. I don't actually keep up with how many ozs. she takes in during the day - maybe I should try and it would make me feel better about letting her go longer.
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  • If she's eating well during the day and gaining weight, I would stop waking her. A baby that age will generally wake when he or she is hungry. Both of you will get more sleep!

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  • As long as your pedi is okay with it, you should feed on-demand. It's normal to want to eat more than every 4hrs during the day. Maybe try and keep a feeding log of ounces and times and see how it goes.

    I always fed on demand - it turned out to be about every 3hrs anyway. I never woke to eat once we got home (they always woke on their own) but I also had 34weekers with no weight gain problems.

  • The pedi had us wake DS until he gained weight consistently for I thiiiink two months. Then we could let him go for as long as he wanted. That was a glorious day.

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  • mmookimmooki member
    We didn't wake her for too long after she came home at 12 days old. She had surpassed her birth weight of 5lbs 12oz by the time she came home and she would sleep for a good 4ish hour stretch so I figured sure! Sleep! We went to the ped 2 days later and she had lost weight :(. So we started waking her every 3 hours at night. By her 1month appointment (she was 6w actual), we had stopped waking her. She did however, continue to wake on her own for 9-10 months for night feedings. I was bf so it wasn't a huge inconvenience since there were no bottles to make.
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  • My pedi told us at our 4 month appt that we could stop waking him up. He wanted him to get sleep also! He was still a little guy then but growing and on Neosure. How long will she let you go over night between feedings? I would try just going 5 hours or so to try that out for awhile. I wish you luck and hope you get some better sleep soon!
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  • Just to update, we had our appointment with the NICU surveillance clinic this week, and got the go ahead to switch to regular term infant formula AND to let her sleep longer! The nutritionist said she would like for us to go no more than about 6 hours without eating just yet, but I seriously doubt my little piglet will sleep longer than that.
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