EBF - Sleeping longer at night? — The Bump
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EBF - Sleeping longer at night?

Thanks in advance for your advice -

Baby Hudson is in a cradle in our room, and is 11 weeks old. DS eats at about 9 every night, and falls asleep around 10 or 1030. He sleeps until about 3 a.m., but then after that he is up every 2.5 hours throughout the day. Even if he wakes to eat at midnight he always wakes at 3 a.m.

For example, last night he fell asleep at 10, then woke up at 3am, 5am, and 7am.

I have read on the boards that a lot of moms both breastfeed and then give a bottle at the nighttime feeding. Pros? Cons? 

Would love any advice about better sleeping.

Re: EBF - Sleeping longer at night?

  • I don't know how old your son is. 

    Different babies STTN @ different ages - you don't really know if it's due to BF'ing or FF'ing, it's not a perfect science.  Formula is much more filling since it needs to meet the nutritional needs of newborns through 12 month olds, so there is a lot for a little baby to digest that he or she doesn't really need yet, so they just pass out.  

     I used to "dream-feed" my DD @ whatever time I went to bed and I think this helped top her off, and helped her start sleeping longer.  She STTN @ 6 wks, but then started waking again @ 5.5 mos. due to teething.

    To some people EBFing is very important, other people don't mind/care to give a bottle of formula a day.  Keep in mind that supplementing w/ formula can be a slippery slope to eroding your supply. 

     

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  • EBF is definitely important to me -- - if I gave any sort of bottle at night it would be pumped...nothing against formula, just like feeding my baby!

     To answer your question, he is 2 months, 3 weeks old.  At each feeding we change his diaper before and after (cloth during day, sposies at night).

  • Put the baby to bed earlier. I found that that helps a lot.  I truly believe that the more well rested a baby is the better they sleep at night. I have found that my DS sleeps best when he is in bed by 7 or 8pm, sometime even 6:30 if he is really tired. I tried to do the whole "wake to feed before I go to bed"/top him off thing" and the putting him to bed late thisn and it has never worked for me. If he was going to wake up at 2 am to eat he was going to do it whether I last fed him at 7pm or 10 pm.

     I have also found that if he goes to bed at 7pm he will sleep until 4am, but if he goes to bed at 9pm he still wakes at 4am. The later bedtime has never helped us. 

     I think that STTN/for longer stretched has more to do with the baby and what they are ready for more that them simply being full. BM is digested within 2 hrs so in that case the baby should always have to eat every 2 hours and that is  not the case. I also don't think that formula makes them sleep longer.

    I have also found that if the baby gets enough to eat/calories during the day that they don't need the night feedings.

     I say this as someone who's DS started having a 7 hour stretch at 6 weeks, an 8 hour stretch at 8 weeks and a 9-10 hour stretch at 11 weeks.  At 11 weeks he was asleep by 7:30pm and would wake at 4:45am, feed and go back to sleep until 7:30am. babies need 11-12 hours of nighttime sleep.

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  • thanks - he does go to sleep at/around 7 p.m typically...

     the kellymom site has amazing stuff == i totally forgot to check there.

     

    thanks!

  • Do you feed him every time he wakes up? I know that my DS will sleep from 7pm until 3-5am, wake to feed and then after that he doesn't always sleep as well. Like last night he woke at 3am to feed.I knew he was hungry because he had a hungry cry. So i fed him. Then he woke again at 5am. I knew he wasn't hungry because he just ate 2 hour ago and even during the day he only eats every 3.5-4 hours so we gave him his paci, a quick rocking and he was out in 30 seconds. If he had been hungry the pac would not have done the trick. Sometimes they just stir themselves awake and aren't always looking to be fed. It take time for them to learn how to transition between sleep cycles and get themselves back to sleep.
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  • I don't think giving a bottle will help.

    One thing you might try is an earlier bedtime.  For weeks we would put DD to bed between 10 and 11 and she'd sleep until 4 or 5.  We thought that was pretty good for a 2 month old.  But then one night we put her down at 8 -- and she still slept until 5!  Sleep really does beget sleep -- it's early to bed, late to rise for babies.  Try an earlier bedtime.  Worst that happens is that you have one bad night where you don't get much sleep at all.  Best case, you can get him to sleep longer.

    Also -- DD started with a five hour stretch between feedings.  She's gradually stretched that out until now, when she almost always goes 9 hours and sometimes 12.  So that five hour stretch is great -- you've just got to work with him to gradually extend it (as his body is ready).

    Oh, and DD still pretty much eats every 2 hours except for that long stretch.  I figure it's worth it for the long nighttime stretch!

    ETA: After reading the replies, I just wanted to add that you might want to consider not changing the diaper at nighttime feedings.  Changing her diaper really wakes DD up, so I don't change it at night.  (She doesn't poop at night, if she did I would obviously change that.  But disposable diapers hold a lot of pee without being wet against their skin.)

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  • Hi!

    I agree with PP that an earlier bedtime may help. L goes down between 6&7pm. He sleeps 11-12hours. He has been only doing this for a week but before that he woudl wake once or twice, eat & go back to sleep. The first night he STTN I berastfed at 4pm and then at 6pm my mom topped him up with 2oz of pumped milk. I have been afraid not to do this so now I BF and he nurses for a long time before bed. I empty both breasts then offer him 2oz of pumped milk. I am not sure if that made a difference but I will keep doing it if he keeps sleeping thru!

    Also when he was waking I was not changing diapers at night unless he pooped which he stopped doing a few weeks ago.

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    My babies were BOTH in a rush to meet mama, Logan born July 24, 2009 at 35.2 weeks, 5lbs 10oz, 1 week in the NICU. Eliya born March 22, 2012 at 35.6 weeks, 5lbs 12oz, 5 days in the NICU
  • Also, you may want to consider moving him to the nursery. It was hard (on me) but L did great with the transition & we have all been sleepign better since. He sometimes wakes int he night I can hear him but he settles himself & I am not jumping to get him as quickly.

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    My babies were BOTH in a rush to meet mama, Logan born July 24, 2009 at 35.2 weeks, 5lbs 10oz, 1 week in the NICU. Eliya born March 22, 2012 at 35.6 weeks, 5lbs 12oz, 5 days in the NICU
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