Four (4) hours between feedings during the day, no solids. Am I doing a Very Bad Thing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-31-2012, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Daughter is 4 months.  She has, according to the home scale, just doubled her birth weight.  She is sleek and sassy;  alert, holds her head up well, rolled over (just the once, but what a once that was!), babbles, makes demands...

 

I was nursing every 3 hours during the day, on a baby-led schedule.  (This means that her newborn needs were noted, and the schedule built around her natural preferences, with gentle nudging if needed.)  She was easily going 6 hours or more at night without waking to nurse.  She was a happy little bunny rabbit.

 

Recently, her day-time feedings started not going very well.  She was biting, pinching, not draining the breast...  I noticed that if she got a little hungrier, we didn't have these concerns. 

 

So now she is fed every four hours during the day and as needed at night.  I have been on the new schedule for about a week, and she is showing no signs of reverse cycling and nursing more at night. 

 

But she doesn't have solids yet, and I'm planning to wait at least another month, and probably two, before introducing home-made vegetable and fruit purees.  Somewhere between 6 and 10 months I'll introduce yogurt and meat purees as well, when she seems ready and in need.  I hope to skip the cereals until she's nearer to 12 months, frankly.

 

Whaddya all think?  I am so nervous that I'm not feeding her enough, but she truly seems to not be good and hungry until the 4 hour mark - at 3 hours she's hungry, but not enough to hold her attention for very long at all.

Does extending the time between feedings have some effects I need to be aware of?

 

Please give me your advice!


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#2 of 12 Old 01-31-2012, 09:51 AM
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meh.  just go with it.  she sounds like she's happy and busy and growing.  if she's nursing consistently every four hours and getting a good solid feed, I don't see any issues!  Of course just keep an eye on her growth, and wet and dirty diapers.  If all of that is in line, then there shouldn't be any issues.  I've nursed two kids so far and never watched the clock with either of them.  I have no idea how often they nursed, honestly!


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#3 of 12 Old 02-01-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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LCB, thank you!  I'm a clock-watcher.  One of my super powers is, if the kitchen timer is set, doesn't matter for how long or what I'm off doing, within 2 minutes of it going off I get up and go wait in the kitchen.  It drives Mr. pretty crazy.  So I'm probably overly concerned with the clock.  I will continue to make sure she's peeing on a good schedule.  She saves her poops for when we're headed somewhere...  it's her new favorite thing.  Make Mama clean a huge poop with people watching in the hatchback area of the Subaru.  Little butt.

 

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#4 of 12 Old 02-01-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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At 3-4 months, I noticed that my guy seemed to eat a lot more quickly than he had been... turns out he just got more efficient at draining the boob. He's 5 1/2 months now, and tends to refuse to nurse until he's "starving" (ie: super cranky) because there's just too many interesting things going on around him that he can't be bothered to stop and nurse. :)

 

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#5 of 12 Old 02-02-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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cat13, thank you for the shared experience!  She's certainly good at draining me dry.  I let her stay latched and working on each side after she's drained me in order to keep my supply up, since I don't plan to introduce solids for a little while yet.  She's also very interested in everything that goes on around her too, and oh yes, that's challenging...  esp. since she doesn't unlatch to turn her head to look.  irked.gif

4 hours doesn't seem to let her get cranky, which I try to avoid because then she's too busy yelling at me to latch on well.  Sheesh.   Here's to keeping our nunnies more interesting than, say, the cat, or that noise outside.  Heh.


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#6 of 12 Old 02-02-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

cat13, thank you for the shared experience!  She's certainly good at draining me dry.  I let her stay latched and working on each side after she's drained me in order to keep my supply up, since I don't plan to introduce solids for a little while yet.  She's also very interested in everything that goes on around her too, and oh yes, that's challenging...  esp. since she doesn't unlatch to turn her head to look.  irked.gif

4 hours doesn't seem to let her get cranky, which I try to avoid because then she's too busy yelling at me to latch on well.  Sheesh.   Here's to keeping our nunnies more interesting than, say, the cat, or that noise outside.  Heh.


I can never compete with the cats. They are definitely the coolest thing he has ever seen and he will ALWAYS stop nursing (even crying!) to coo at them. lol.gif

 


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#7 of 12 Old 02-03-2012, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lucky!  If daughter stopped fussing when the cats were about, I'd walk around all day with freeze-dried salmon in my pockets!


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#8 of 12 Old 02-03-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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That seems like quite a long time? Have you considered trying to opposite? Feeding more often but only one side. My kids almost always nursed that way. Much more frequent but not always on both sides.

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#9 of 12 Old 02-06-2012, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It does seem like a long time, doesn't it?!?!  I'm still keeping a close watch on her.  She's filling her diapers on schedule (and off schedule!  Surprise!  I know you're trying to be somewhere right now, but, DIAPER! Haha.), she's happy, talkative...  She always wants to eat A LOT each time, so I had considered doing every other breast every 2 hours, but scrapped that plan.  She wants both.  She knows there are two, I swear, she can count!  So far we are doing OK on the every four hour schedule.  She's still in the 90+% on the charts for fat-n-sassiness (slightly less on the height, just like her mama!), so I tentatively press onward.  I appreciate your experienced advice so much JudiAU!  I'll continue to keep y'all posted.


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#10 of 12 Old 02-06-2012, 02:42 PM
 
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When you talk about "every 2 hours" or "every 4 hours," are you referring to your schedule or hers? I find it's best to let the baby dictate when to eat. Some days she might need to eat more often (ie: teething, developmental milestone, needs more comfort, etc) she can. I know this is much easier said than done! I've begun covering the alarm clock, because it helps my sanity to be unaware of how often we are waking to nurse.

 

BTW- love your profile pic!


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#11 of 12 Old 02-07-2012, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I like to think of it as our schedule.  I'm a person that cannot be on unstructured time.  So even before we realized I'd be an at-home Mom, I had a mind to a schedule.  When she was littler she nursed on demand, or every 3 hours, whichever was soonest.  She was already sleeping 5-6 hours at a time at night (with me in the bed.  Without me in the bed she'd sleep about 2 seconds.) and would frequently want to go longer than 3 hours during the day, but I'd show her the nunnie and encourage her to get down to business, and she'd eat.  At about 2 months I started noticing when she liked her naps and such, and I started helping us gel those preferences into a schedule that we follow, more or less.  (I'm not following it to the minute, it's mainly feedings and naps, with Mom's daily to-dos jammed in there.) 

If she ever acts like she wants to eat, I'm all about taking my shirt off.  But this little lady - she'll turn me down!  Generally she turns me down cold at night.  It's happened quite a few times where she wakes up fussy, I pull her in close and make sure she's not too hot or cold, she's still fussy, I offer her to eat and she actually shoves it away.  Last night she woke up before I came to bed and screamed bloody murder, and I would up feeding her about 1 hour after she'd eaten, because although she didn't want the nunnie she eventually accepted it, and it calmed her.  Nothing else had worked!

So I wound up doing the 4-hour schedule because she just didn't seem hungry after 3 hours.  She wants both breasts...  if I try to give her just one, she YELLS.  But she doesn't want to eat 3 hours apart.  She messes about, won't focus...  and if I let her see what distracts her and bring her back, same thing different distraction.  This is in a quiet room.  But at 4 hours she's not been crying or looking for me, but when we get settled she waves her arms and smiles and latches right on.  But it's such a long time!  Sorry to ramble, and thank you for your kind words about my chubby-cheeked little Biscuit, cat13!


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#12 of 12 Old 02-10-2012, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update!

 

Big thanks to all the women in this thread helping this first-time Mama figure things out!

 

So, we're back to the 3 hour schedule.  She wasn't nursing more at night, and she only acted hungry outside her 4-hour window once or twice (and was promptly fed as soon as she squawked), but I noticed she was fussier at night, fussier for naps...  fussier in general.  She was still peeing, pooping, playing, etcetera, so I wondered if she didn't like her new schedule.  So on Tuesday I switched back, after our 2+ week experiment, and have been feeding every three hours again.  Wednesday night was a no-fuss night.  So was last night.  She did bite today, twice, during the mid-morning feed.  I've noticed she bites when she's bored, and not hungry.  (Ooooh, what fun!  Look at the face and noise Mama made!  Even the black cat made a funny face.  FUN!  Can't wait until I have teeth!)  So, I'm going to stick with the 3-hour routine (maybe she needed she cuddles?  It's not like she wasn't cuddled when she wasn't feeding, she is on me more often than she isn't.) and note if there is one particular feeding that doesn't go well, perhaps I will "wean" her to only one breast for that feeding, and pump the other breast. 

 

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