Babies: 3 - 6 Months
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Night feedings - how do you know?

I'm having a moment of doubt here.  I'm just about ready to start sleep training in the next week or so (the 4 month wakeful bit is getting old).

My biggest issue with CIO (aside from hearing DD cry) is what if she's hungry?  What if she really does need me?

I've always relied on checking on her when she cries out. Usually her cry will sound a little different (more like "heh-heh" whimpering) and if I really need to be sure I would stick the knuckle of my pinky finger in her mouth. If she starts sucking vigourously, I figure she needs to eat.

So my dumb, basic, most-moms-have-this-figured-out-ages-ago question of the day is: how do you really know your LO is hungry in the middle of the night? And how do night wakings for hunger play into CIO strategies?

 

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Re: Night feedings - how do you know?

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    I will be interested to see responses. My LO wakes up at least twice a night, and I'm convinced one of those times is to comfort nurse.
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    I'm really curious too. My LO has begun waking several times a night and each time he is fussing with his eyes closed when I give him the pacifier he sucks so hard and then spits it out and tries to latch on to whatever gets close to this mouth. I feed him because he seems hungry and then he goes right back to sleep.

    He was STTN so I'm not sure what changed and if he is really hungry. 

    ETA: If I wait it out and try to get him back to sleep without feeding him he starts screaming bloody murder. 

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    LO is 3 1/2 months old and is "usually" sleeping through the night on a regular basis (until a tooth started coming in at the EARLIEST opportunity!)

     

    Anyway, I started to sleep train him a few weeks ago. He was getting up two times a night to eat and I started noticing at his first night-feeding (around 2) that he wasn't sucking like he was starving, so after a few nights of this, I started to push it back and made a rule that he doesn't eat before 3 (which meant a few sleepless nights of going in and giving him the pacifier or rubbing his back, whatever it took to settle him back to sleep). And after a few nights, he wasn't getting up until 3... and then that became 4... then 5... and now he doesn't eat at all at night now! It took a good 2-3 weeks probably. 

    Trust your instincts! Trust your baby for cues. And I do believe you have to teach them to sleep through. They have the habit of getting up to eat. 

     

    GL Ladies! And I never actually let him CIO. I was never comfortable with it, I was always able to just settle him back to sleep. 

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    For the past few nights, DS has been waking at 4 am which is unusual for him.  If I go in and give him his paci and/or rock him, he'll go right back to sleep with pretty much no fight.  So I figure he's not hungry.  If he wakes up hungry, he won't settle down easily.  So try to settle them down first and if it doesn't happen quickly, then most likely they are hungry.
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    I've been wondering the same thing lately. At three months DD was sleeping 11-5, then doing a three hour cycle of eating and sleeping until 11am. Then we hit the 4month wakeful and it's been 7weeks of brutal nights (she will only bedshare, couldn't even touch her PNP or crib without wailing, up multiple times a night, then waking up for an hour around 5am happy as a clam and ready to go before settling back down for a few hours). I've been trying to figure out how much to soothe and when to eat.  When I started forcing the crib she started wanting to be nursed three times! I assumed bc she wouldn't settle down any other way. Part of me is wondering if she is smart enough to know this gets her more mommy time now that she is in her crib...I think I'm going to start not feeding her until 3 (assuming she isn't inconsolable and obviously hungry). I feel like a failure when it comes to good sleep habits. Here's to hoping we can all work it out.
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    My doc gave me some advice. At my sons' age they should be able to go at least 9 hours a night without food. They don't need the nighttime calories. They have become "trained night feeders". So I did a CIO with soothing them with words and pats every 5 min one night, 10 min next night, etc. Also, the first few nights if they absolutely acted like they needed a bottle, I was told to use 1-2 ounces of water. It seemed to work. I only feed them around the 9 hour mark at about 4 am. Other than that one LO doesn't wake up at all and the other only needs a quick pacifier replacement or something quick.

     

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    imageCodyGH:
    For the past few nights, DS has been waking at 4 am which is unusual for him.  If I go in and give him his paci and/or rock him, he'll go right back to sleep with pretty much no fight.  So I figure he's not hungry.  If he wakes up hungry, he won't settle down easily.  So try to settle them down first and if it doesn't happen quickly, then most likely they are hungry.

    This exactly. About a month ago I tried just to give her a paci instead of feeding her and she fell right back asleep and ever since then has cut out her feeding. If she really was hungry she would scream but is content with a paci so I found she was just comfort eating. Though I don't feed her anymore, it unfortunately hasn't helped her STTN however is much easier for me to deal with since I don't have to make her a bottle and feed her.

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