Our 3 week old daughter is a great sleeper at night, sometimes sleeping for 5 or 6 hours without waking. (In fact last week we had to set an alarm to wake and feed her every 3 hours as our midwife had recommended that newborn babies shouldn't be sleeping for 5 / 6 hours.)
However, the flip-side is that during the day she will often feed almost constantly, especially during the late afternoon / early evening. Also, she is very difficult to settle even for a few minutes and requires constant picking up / rocking to stop her crying.
I know it's early days yet but wondered if anyone could offer any advice? We've spoken to other couples in our area, whose babies all seem to be feeding periodically rather than cluster feeding (which I thought was more common amongst slightly older babies). Should we be making more effort to wake our baby at night and feeding her? We've had a few attempts but often she doesn't want to feed.
On one hand I'm thankful for a decent night's sleep before work but on the other hand I'm fearful for my wife's sanity :-)
asked 26 Mar '10, 15:06
Those of our kids that slept 4-6 hours at a time at night were a great blessing for my wife and I, especially so early on!
It's not common, but it's not very rare either. We just followed the basic rule that when the baby sleeps, we sleep, and we feed on demand.
We did find, though, that for those babies that were restless during the day a swing was necessary if we didn't want to carry them all day. A swing also changed their sleeping habits a little bit.
Also, if they seem tired or you do want them to take a nap during the day, try swaddling. Even if they don't fall asleep, a well swaddled baby may just sit and relax in the bassinet or in your arms, but not require the constant moving, and may stop crying so much.
answered 26 Mar '10, 15:25
According to the LLL Breastfeeding Answer Book a healthy thriving breastfed baby should feed between 8 and 12 times in a 24 hour period and be gaining weight (you could look at the WHO breastfed baby charts to check what sort of rate your baby should be gaining at).
Another way to check that your baby is getting enough milk is to check her diapers. If she is wetting her diapers 5 - 8 times a day (try comparing with the weight of a dry diaper if you're not sure) then she is probably doing fine. The urine should be pale and only mild smelling.
I think my point is that I don't see why you should need to wake her in the night - unless there is some other health issue. I would follow her cues and feed her as and when she shows interest. Cluster feeding is not unusual behaviour and it's likely that she will grow out of it as she gets bigger.
answered 28 Mar '10, 15:58
A friend recently told me that both of her children were the same way and both are healthy kids.
Your wife could try expressing milk and see if your daughter will take the occasional bottle. Then you could help with feedings and give her a break from time to time.
answered 26 Mar '10, 15:14