How long can babies go? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 03-24-2006, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, let me preface by saying that I am not wanting to wean DD anytime soon.... but...
How long can she really go on just booby juice before getting hungry? DH (in his own, kind, trying to help way) suggested not putting DD straight to the breast when she wakes at night in an effort to help me get more rest. Aside from the fact that it wouldnt help me sleep to ahve her crying, added to the fact that we co-sleep so its not like I really wake up, it got me wondering. During the day with me, she generally goes a couple of hours at least. When shes with my mom, and wont take a bottle/sippy cup of EBM, she has (lots of) jarred baby food/fruit chunks/teething biscuit/cheerios, but is very hungry for me when I go get her 3-4 hours later.
So, how long could she reasonably go if she has had only breast milk for, say, 6 hours before bed? Is this why people stuff their babies with cereal at night?
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#2 of 17 Old 03-24-2006, 01:35 PM
 
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I'm thinking back to my girls... at that age (not quite a year) they pretty much only ate solids at mealtimes with us, and not a lot of solids. Mostly they nursed. When they were over a year I started encouraging more solids, but it wasn't like I made them eat solids instead of nursing. Even then I didn't do a snack after dinner, just nursed. Both of them slept through the night, but they might wake up occasionally in the middle of the night and I would nurse them and they'd go back to sleep. I started giving a cracker as a nighttime snack when they were about 15 months old; too lazy to mix up cereal.
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#3 of 17 Old 03-24-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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It depends on the individual. My dd has always slept at least 5-6 hours straight and basically didn't eat ANY solids until 11 months.

-Angela
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#4 of 17 Old 03-24-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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It can vary so much from child to child.

My dd slept through the night really early and started solids at 6mo (but not solids the way many people offer them).

My ds didn't sleep through the night or night wean until right before he weaned at 32 months old. He started solids at 6mo but didn't eat much until he was ready for table food.

I just go with the flow, everyone gets more sleep that way.
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#5 of 17 Old 03-24-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna
It depends on the individual. My dd has always slept at least 5-6 hours straight and basically didn't eat ANY solids until 11 months.
I can agree with the "depends on the individual." Both of my kids were eating large amounts of food and still only sleeping 1-2 hours at night. In fact, DS was eating completely "regularily" (as in, normal amounts of everything for a 3.5 year old if you simply considered bmilk his milk source) and still going less than 4 hours at a time.

 

 

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#6 of 17 Old 03-24-2006, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, thanks for the replies, all! I'll just keep going along with what the little booger wants. She changes constantly so in a few weeks Im probably going to be wondering if shes getting enough breastmilk!
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#7 of 17 Old 03-24-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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My daughter is almost 15months and she eats 2-3 solid meals a day and snacks throughout. She nurses at least 2-3 times a night and 4 times a day. She is constantly on the run chasing her big sister and the little boy I watch so sh nurses a LOT less than she used to. When the 15 month old little boy is not with us for the day, she nurses like crazy because things are calmer and she's not as active. But this varies quite a bit. Today older dd is home from school and even with all 3 kids playing, Sara has nursed 3 times and it's just 1pm. She'll nurse again at nap, maybe at dinner, and again before dinner AT LEAST. However, I can leave her with her daddy for 5 hours without her nursing at all as long as she nurses RIGHT before I leave and AS SOON as I return. She will eat solids that entire time happily but once she sees me, she wants to nurse. At night she CAN sleep 4-5hours without nursing but she usually chooses not to. She started solids at 10months or so but wasn't eating a "meal" until 11 1/2-12months. Her interest just took off at 12months and she started hogging down everything in sight.

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#8 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 12:16 AM
 
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When ds1 was 9 months I was able to nightwean him (I was pg and couldn't take it) and there was no problem. The first night I just patted and shooshed him back to sleep and that was it! No problems. He was eating some table food at that point, but not regularly.

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#9 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 10:51 PM
 
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I was told by my doctor that around 4-6 month age depending on the baby they can technically go all night without eating. I was basically told if they nurse during the night it was more out of habit or for comfort. A baby nursing all night also can lead to tooth decay. I know with my daughter at 5 months when she started waking up at night I would try and soothe her some other way. For her I could pat her back until she went back to sleep. However, this ended up starting another habit where I had to wake up and pat her back every night. Eventually I broke her from that as well. For me when I started comforting her by patting her back she ended up sleeping 8-12 hours varying without eating. It's been wonderful for me because I get more sleep. Don't be afraid to stop feeding them at night, they can last. Especially if you give them a lot of breastmilk during the day. I still nurse every 3-4 hours a day and feed her a little solids after she's nursed. You do not want to replace breastmilk with solid food, just give it to them extra after nursing. I know if a baby doesnt nurse enough during the day, it can cause them to try and get what they are missing during the night. Hope this helps!
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#10 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ocfb16
I was told by my doctor that around 4-6 month age depending on the baby they can technically go all night without eating. I was basically told if they nurse during the night it was more out of habit or for comfort. A baby nursing all night also can lead to tooth decay. I know with my daughter at 5 months when she started waking up at night I would try and soothe her some other way. For her I could pat her back until she went back to sleep. However, this ended up starting another habit where I had to wake up and pat her back every night. Eventually I broke her from that as well. For me when I started comforting her by patting her back she ended up sleeping 8-12 hours varying without eating. It's been wonderful for me because I get more sleep. Don't be afraid to stop feeding them at night, they can last. Especially if you give them a lot of breastmilk during the day. I still nurse every 3-4 hours a day and feed her a little solids after she's nursed. You do not want to replace breastmilk with solid food, just give it to them extra after nursing. I know if a baby doesnt nurse enough during the day, it can cause them to try and get what they are missing during the night. Hope this helps!
You were told a lot of stuff that isn't really true.

1. Not all babies can go through the night without nursing. I think 4 to 6 months is way too young for a baby to be sleeping through the night. Habit and comfort are not bad words. I sleep with a pillow out of habit and comfort, not out of neccesity, and no one would think of telling me I couldn't do it anymore just because they decided "it was time".

2. Night nursing does NOT cause cavities. Breastmilk is a live anti-bacterial substance, it does not pool in the mouth but goes right down the throat, and it does not have the same sugars as formula. All evidence points to the fact that genetics, more than anything else, leads to dental caries.

3. I'm afraid to ask this, but how did you "break" your daughter of the habit of needing her mama at night?

4. Did you know that night milk has a different composition than day milk? I forget the exact name, but it's very heavy on brain-building ingredients.

To the OP, you've gotten lots of other advice that makes sense. Personally, I don't even try to nightwean until 18 months. Good luck!

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#11 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocfb16
I was told by my doctor that around 4-6 month age depending on the baby they can technically go all night without eating. I was basically told if they nurse during the night it was more out of habit or for comfort. A baby nursing all night also can lead to tooth decay. I know with my daughter at 5 months when she started waking up at night I would try and soothe her some other way. For her I could pat her back until she went back to sleep. However, this ended up starting another habit where I had to wake up and pat her back every night. Eventually I broke her from that as well. For me when I started comforting her by patting her back she ended up sleeping 8-12 hours varying without eating. It's been wonderful for me because I get more sleep. Don't be afraid to stop feeding them at night, they can last. Especially if you give them a lot of breastmilk during the day. I still nurse every 3-4 hours a day and feed her a little solids after she's nursed. You do not want to replace breastmilk with solid food, just give it to them extra after nursing. I know if a baby doesnt nurse enough during the day, it can cause them to try and get what they are missing during the night. Hope this helps!
I'm glad your situation is working for you, but I think that going through the night (the full thing, not simply a 4-5 hour stretch) at 5 months is not only "normal/average" for a bfed child, but unlikely to impossible for many of them. Nighttime prolactin levels are generally higher in mothers producing a fattier milk. Some children get 40-50+% of their calories in the 12 "nighttime" hours--- many of them actively NEED to eat around the clock a that age to recieve all the calories they need. DD & DS both definately needed the calories they were getting at night--- for DD I'm sure they were well over half, and around half for DS as well.

Just because you *can* get a child to abstain from food for 10-12 hours of a 24 hour period does not make it better or healthier.

Additionally, night nursing does NOT lead to dental decay. If there is already decay OR there are other foods left in the mouth, bmilk can cause additional decay. The general consensus, though, is that children get cavities in spite of, not because of, bmilk.

Lastly, personally I would be very concerned with a 6 month old baby who only nursed 4-5X daily (every 3-4hours during the day, none during night). For MY children, with MY supply, that would have definatley led to serious problems!

 

 

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#12 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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Cross posted w/AM

 

 

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#13 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TiredX2
Cross posted w/AM
Great minds, and all that.

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#14 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
Great minds, and all that.
My thought exactly

 

 

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#15 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 11:29 PM
 
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I agree, it totally varies from child to child. DS didn't go more than 2 hours usually and only a few times he went for 4 hours until he was 14 months of age and he started on pureed veggies etc. around 7 months. Then DD slept for 6-8 hours a night nearly right away (only to stop that occasionally and wake up every 3-4 hours hungry for a while).

I just think you nourish your baby when they are hungry, follow their cues and allow them to learn to trust their own body for signs.
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#16 of 17 Old 03-25-2006, 11:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
4. Did you know that night milk has a different composition than day milk? I forget the exact name, but it's very heavy on brain-building ingredients.
Ooo, that totally explains so much to me!!!!!!!!!

It's a great argument for daddies who want babies to sleep all night, too.
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#17 of 17 Old 03-26-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm so glad I read this!! I've been so frustrated with waking up all night!! It's not like I don't like it, I'm just so tired and we don't co-sleep so I actually have to wake up to get DD and feed her, now I feel much better about it! I'll just think to myself that she's getting the good fats and brain boosters!! She's really cuddly then too, i'd probably miss not waking with her!
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