Breastfeeding schedule? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, so my little guy is almost 4 weeks old and I'm wondering how long to keep him "scheduled"... We've been feeding every 3 hours, but I'm wondering when this will change!

Thanks!
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#2 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Toss the schedule and watch your baby...feed him when he wants to be fed. Welcome to MDC!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#3 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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No schedules! Babies need to nurse for different amounts of time with different frequencies. Scheduling feedings can lead to failure to thrive and will decrease the degree to which you're in touch with your baby's cues. Watch the baby, not the clock. If he is rooting or fussing, go ahead and nurse, even if it hasn't been very long. When he goes through growth spurts, he'll nurse more often to build up your supply.

Babies know when they need to nurse. Respect him.
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#4 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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Are you waiting for 3 hours before you feed him or is he asking you to feed him only every 3 hours?

IME most babies that age will not wait for 3 hours to feed and will need to be fed more often than that. If you aren't sure what the signs of a little one wanting to feed are look here

If he is sleeping a lot and only waking to feed every three hours prepare for that to change some time soon when he needs to boost your milk supply as he goes into a growth spurt and may want to feed a lot more frequently to do this.

I highly recommend Kellymom for everything you ned to know in terms of what to expect in the early weeks and how to keep going - and of course come here too!
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#5 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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Every 3 hour is not frequent enough for a 4 week-old. At 4 weeks, a baby should be fed at least every 2 hours, and more frequently if baby needs/wants.

Breastmilk is easy to digest, so most moms should expect their baby to need to eat every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Frequent feeding is necessary for building a good milk supply.

The American Academy of pediatrics says that crying is a late indicator of hunger in infants. Mothers should not wait until their baby is crying to feed.
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#6 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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The best breastfeeding schedule is no schedule. Babies know when they are hungry, let your baby tell you when he is hungry. Babies will work into their own schedules, but right now frequent feeding is absolutely the best for your little guy(their stomaches are so very tiny they need to eat frequently) and it is normal, and it is best for you to ensure you have a great milk supply.
Check out http://www.kellymom.com it is absolutely one of the best sources of breastfeeding info on the net. Good luck mama!
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#7 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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I am also here to exhort you to stop the schedules and nurse your baby whenever he indicates he needs to eat. I also think it is a good idea to offer the breast often, even when the baby does not indicate a need to nurse, since in your case the baby might not cue enough because of the schedule you tried.

People used to ask me how long my baby went between feedings and I would have no idea. He nurses whenever he indicates to me that he needs to nurse--whether the last time was 20 minutes ago, 2 hours ago, or 4 seconds ago. He used to always cluster feed in the evening. As he grew his nursing habits changed. I still follow his cues and feed him whenever his cues show me that he needs mama's milkies (my word for breast milk).

I am astoundingly lucky! Mother to my beloved child since 01/06/07. Fighting cancer since 09/06/07.
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#8 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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I'm also in agreement not to nurse by the clock. Just follow your baby's cues! My DS nursed very frequently when we brought him home after his NICU stay, but the ped said not to let him go more than 3-4 hours without feeding him; meaning, nurse on demand, but don't let him sleep through feedings until he's gaining weight consistently.

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#9 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Let me explain myself a little better... I offer my breast any time he is rooting, sucking, etc. but at night, he can go for longer than 3 hours, so I will get up and offer my breast every 3 hours, whether I see a sign of him being hungry or not. I was just wondering if/when I should just let him sleep or go as long as he chooses without offering it as often as I am.
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#10 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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I could never bring myself to wake up unasked at night to see if he would like to nurse... I mean seriously. If hes sleeping for 4 or 5 hours straight then lucky you!! Don't worry, he'll tell you when hes hungry... my guy just nurses lots right before he goes out for the night an then lots in the morning when he wakes up... and otherwise id guess nurses 1-2x in a good 10 hour span Tis blissful!!
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#11 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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As long as supply is find and baby is healthy and full term I believe in never waking a baby.

-Angela
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#12 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeannie0603 View Post
Let me explain myself a little better... I offer my breast any time he is rooting, sucking, etc. but at night, he can go for longer than 3 hours, so I will get up and offer my breast every 3 hours, whether I see a sign of him being hungry or not. I was just wondering if/when I should just let him sleep or go as long as he chooses without offering it as often as I am.
I probably no help... but my younger son wouldn't wake at all for a feeding for at least the first 2 months. So I woke him up until he started waking up on his own. But since yours is actually waking up on his own during the day, I wouldn't worry about waking him up at night - except that I sure wouldn't feed him less than 8 times in 24 hours at a minimum at 4 weeks old. As long as he's being fed at least 8 times I wouldn't wake him up at night.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#13 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Benji'sMom View Post
I probably no help... but my younger son wouldn't wake at all for a feeding for at least the first 2 months. So I woke him up until he started waking up on his own. But since yours is actually waking up on his own during the day, I wouldn't worry about waking him up at night - except that I sure wouldn't feed him less than 8 times in 24 hours at a minimum at 4 weeks old. As long as he's being fed at least 8 times I wouldn't wake him up at night.
My DS sleeps through feedings too. I made sure to go no longer than 3 hours (a few times 4 at night) the first 3 weeks. But I've been ress rigid about it the past two weeks. Now he goes 2.5 to 4.5 hours between feedings and eats 6 or 7 times daily -- not 8 times.

SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

It's clear when he's hungry. I have offered my breast other times just to check on my instincts...

I should add he was 10lbs 11 oz at birth and was 12.5 last week.
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#14 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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schedules are so mainstream. you'll know when to feed baby. all the other posters are right.feeding baby on demand ensures better milk production. i wouldnt wake baby either. you will notice a time of day where baby nurses more often. my son nurses most in the morning and early afternoon.

Lisa wife to Ronne and mom to 4 kids ,Thomas 4/92, Amanda 9/99, Christopher 8/06 & Nathaniel 5/08.
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#15 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 07:17 PM
 
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SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
No! If your babe has a good number of wet/poop dipes, is gaining weight, is happy and seems healthy, and you're nursing on demand and following their cues...there's no need to count how many times a day they nurse, or worry that it's not enough.

Just enjoy your babe and follow their lead.

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#16 of 18 Old 07-05-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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Oh - it was night time you were thinking of. At that age my dd was sleeping from midnight til 5am. I wasn't sure why but it didn't last! Those were the days.

ITA Don't wake a sleeping baby at night though; they need their sleep and so do you.
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#17 of 18 Old 07-06-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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At four weeks, absolutely let him sleep.

You need to wake them when they're not gaining well yet, and if they're not well, or if they're not producing enough wee/poo, or not getting many feeds in their awake time. This is because a dehydrated, sick or jaundiced newborn could sleep right through hunger and into FTT.

For most people this is the first week, or maybe two.

Some people do a thing called the rollover feed, which is when you wake and feed them as you're going to bed, so they (hopefully) sleep for their longest stretch then. It has mixed results.
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#18 of 18 Old 07-06-2007, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by txbikegrrl View Post
My DS sleeps through feedings too. I made sure to go no longer than 3 hours (a few times 4 at night) the first 3 weeks. But I've been ress rigid about it the past two weeks. Now he goes 2.5 to 4.5 hours between feedings and eats 6 or 7 times daily -- not 8 times.

SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

It's clear when he's hungry. I have offered my breast other times just to check on my instincts...

I should add he was 10lbs 11 oz at birth and was 12.5 last week.
A baby this age should be nursing at least 8 times a day and gaining at least 6 oz. per week. I'd try to increase the amount he's nursing. Co-sleeping can help, avoid pacifiers, avoid use of automatic swings and bouncy seats--they cause some babies to nurse less.
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