With my first baby, my midwife strongly encouraged me to wake him every two hours to eat. My best friend did this with her first baby (who, like my son, is an awful sleeper), but with her second, she decided not to. He grew just fine, and is a champion sleeper. He's amazing.
I was just wondering what you did, if anyone had told you to do this, and whether you think it affected your baby's sleep habits. I'm expecting my second in the fall, and am thinking about following my only definitive household rule--never wake a sleeping baby!
Some babies have health/ growth issues that might warrent this. Otherwise it sounds INSANE. If your newborn is sleeping within arms reach at night, and held/ carried by you during the day, there should be no reason to have to do this. I couldn't say if it causes later sleep issues, but no mother of a newborn needs to sleep deprive thmeselves unless the baby's doctor has a good reason to have you do this.
Yeah, I'm mostly asking because my son was born a few hours past his due date, weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz, and was generally very healthy (a little jaundice, but not more than normal for a home-birth baby). I think my mw was just trying to head off growth issues, but I really felt like I was working very hard to get him to wake up and stay awake (undressing him, blowing in his face, etc.). Maybe he needed sleep more than food...
maybe once in a while if it seemed they had been going too long without, but not on a regular basis. we never watched a clock with regards to starting feedings or how long they were on each side. they always let me know when they were hungry and they still do. :
and it is totally normal for a newborn to sleep a lot more than they are feeding for the first 24 hours after birth, no need to wake them unless there are specific complications like not latching at all or something. i figure this is a wonderful built-in thing so momma and baby can both recover from their hard work cause they are going to start wanting to eat a lot after that.
In cases of jaundice, getting the baby regular feedings can help clear things up (and flush things out), which can remove the necessity for additional intervention. I would consider jaundice a special case, and would guess that that's why the midwife recommended waking the baby for feedings.
I would not let a newborn go more than 3 hours during the day or 4 hours at night. That doesn't mean you have to go crazy, watching the clock, but new babies do need to eat frequently and with some babies, they will be so tired, they don't eat enough which makes them more tired, etc. Plus, going more than 4 hours, can put the mom at risk of mastitis. I do feel the benefits of frequent feeding are so important. However, really, most healthy babies will want to eat at least tht frequently all on their own anyway, so waking them up may not even be necessary.
I didn't at first but then DS lost a lot of weight and was very sleepy, so I woke every 2 hours in the day and 3 at night until he was back to birth weight. He would definitely have become dehydrated if I didn't wake him to feed (and I had to work hard to wake him too!)
ETA: He's 2 now and a great sleeper.
My DS slept a lot when he was first born and my midwife told me I had to wake him up every 4 hours to nurse him so that my milk would come in... however, since he was about 1 week old when I stopped waking him, he has slept a minimum of 6 hours every night. I know I'm very lucky, but I thought I'd weigh in to say that waking him every 4 hours did not negatively affect his sleep habits...
I never woke up my babies to eat, we always had plenty of pee and poo diapers and my babies never lost birthweight, so no reason to not let them sleep. That said, my son nursed every 1-2 hours around the clock, while my daughter was every 2-4, with some longer stretches of sleep too. She is a better sleeper and eater than he is too. I treated them both the same, nurse on demand and sleep when tired. Although I did work harder on getting him to take naps.
Nope! My DD never had weight or growth issues though - so we never had a reason to wake her. Plus, she was SOOOO hard to get down that it would have been really silly to wake her after all that work! If she ever had weight or growth issues I can see waking her, but otherwise, never.
Never, never, never followed that advice. But my kid was off the chart for height/weight, so I had no compelling reason to worry about his food intake, and we co-slept so I was pretty aware of what he was doing at night. From birth, he sleep in about 5 hour stretches, and did most of his feeding during the daytime anyway. Usually only woke up once at night. When I started working, he did more feeding at night, but it didn't bother me, since by that time, I could nurse him laying down.
I did after my DD's 2nd and 3rd well visits showed that she wasn't gaining weight. I actually had to set an alarm in the middle of the night. It was miserable! If I had to do it all over again, I might have just let things go and let her sleep. She struggled with weight gain her first two years, and is still a small child, but very healthy. She was sleeping 7 hours straight at 2 weeks old, but that all stopped after I began waking her for feedings.
For a LONG time afterwards, she continued waking at night at the exact time I was waking her up to feed as a newborn (even after she stopped BFing at 18 months). It was horrible. And now, as a 4 year old, she still wakes up in the middle of the night every night to come sleep with us. We have a lot of sleep issues, and I wonder if any of it can be contributed to that very first few weeks when we followed the pediatrician's advice and woke her up at night.
Heck no, on the rare occasions my DS went more than 2-3 hours of sleeping at a time at night (did not happen until he was, I _think_, 3 weeks old) I let him lie! He peed and pooped like it was his job, nursed a LOT, and I just never had to really set a schedule. But if he wasn't gaining much, or seemed overly sleepy to me, I would have, reluctantly. I don't think it needs to be strict, routine practice for healthy newborns.