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How many overnight feeds at 4 months
Breastfed baby


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#1 chickychook

Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:58 PM

Just wanting to get an idea of what others babies are doing at 3-4 months for overnight feeds?

My breastfed DD is 4 months old next week and her usual pattern is currently:

5.30pm: Bath and a feed

6.30pm: Bed time

7.30pm (not always): Wakes up and I feed her in attempt to tank her up for the night!

10.30pm: DD wakes herself for her 'dream feed'

1.30am: Wake and feed

3.30am: Wake and feed

5.30am: Wake and feed

6.30am: Up for the day

So as you can see, the longest stretch she will go is 3 HOURS!!  Do you think I should be thinking about trying to settle instead of feed for the 1.30am wake?  

She is a 'small and often' feeder during the day, usually feeds every 2 hours and usually only takes one boob at a time.  Her weight gain is just adequate, she's not putting on heaps.

#2 DM. 2012

Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:29 PM

At 3 1/2 months bub was sleeping 7pm to 7 am but I know that I was really lucky with him at 4 1/2 months he started waking up once a night (no specific time) but is sleeping all night again.
Perhaps you need to drop her 6.30 sleep and try making her bed time 7 or 7.30. Make her last feed start about 1/2 hr before bed. Try to get her to drink from both sides. You could also try stretching out the time between her day feeds so that she has a chance to get a bit hungrier and will drink more.  Are you going to her at night as soon as she stirs or is she definately awake? I have heard my bub a couple of times lately cry for about 20 secs then not make another sound, if I was to have gone into his room he possibly would have woken up and in turn wanted a feed. You could try to settle for the 1.30 feed but I've tried settling my bub without feeding and can't really do it because he smells me and gets more unsettled because he wants a feed. Is she having some decent day sleeps

My bub has a couple of late afternoon feeds close together (about 4 then 5.15) then I try to give him his last feed at 6.30 and to bed at 7, these times can be up to 1/2 hr later depending on if I am organised.

I hope that her feeding and sleeping patterns start improving soon, it is really exhausting having to be up that often through the night.

Edited by Dylan's Mummu, 19 September 2012 - 10:30 PM.


#3 Fright bat

Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:36 PM

Sorry OP, until 5.5-6 months, the baby you get is the baby you get. DS1 was like yours - shocker. DS2 slept 12 hours a night from 8 weeks-18 weeks, then woke for one overnight feed for a month and is now back to sleeping 11-12 hours. No difference in parenting, and DS1 was formula fed which apparently takes longer to digest.

She's got a little tummy, and if she'll only take one side at a time, there's not much you can do about that either. At 5.5-6 months, their tummies get bigger (the stomach volume stays prett constant from 1 month to about 6 months) and they start to take more at a time, and more during the day. She's too young to settle without feeding, in my opinion (unless she has two sucks and goes back to sleep - but if she's actually feeding a reasonable amount each time, its because she needs it).

Can you co-sleep to make the night feeds easier for you?

#4 lucky 2

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:23 AM

Perhaps you would consider seeing a LC, she could watch a breast feed and see if there is anything that can be improved in terms of positioning and attachment, it may boost milk intake and improve weight gains and ? have a positive impact on the quality of feeds and ? longer btn feeds?
You never know!
All the best.

#5 ubermum

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:31 AM

My baby was born mid June.

On occassion, I have had 7pm-4am ohmy.gif Yep, amazes me when it happens.

More often, I get 7pm- 1am- 4am- 6am- 9am

This week, I am getting 7pm-11pm-1.30am, 4am, 6am, 8am probably because I have an essay due. It's why I also have a sick child home from school. Damn Murphy's law.

I tried everything with my first one and nothing worked. This baby is my third and is very similar to my first child in every respect. I can't be bothered trying anything. I co-sleep and go with the flow.

#6 beabea

Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:10 AM

A lot of people report 4mo's getting less settled at night temporarily, for no apparent reason. Things that have worked in my book:

- chalking it up as "developmental" and moving on with your life as best you can

- trying to stretch them out before the first feed of the night. I have heard some people swear by a dream feed but for a lot of babies this feed can royally stuff things up, actually causing them to wake more often and demand more night feeding. DS was in that camp and so with DD I wasn't game to attempt it. If I tried to stretch out the first feed as late as possible, they both seemed to take an extra good one and go back for a longer stretch, much better.

That said, a 3hr stretch might still be a good stretch for your sleep. With cutting the dream feed, I could get them to go 5-6hrs but it was from bedtime to midnight, with more frequent wakings from then on. (But with the dreamfeed we were up hourly from 10pm, without having had a refreshing 5-6hr break to start with, so to me it was a no-brainer to drop it out.)

#7 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:07 AM

personally I try to feed 2 hourly during the day, and my kids have been great night sleepers (though it could all be a fluke!)
my 3 week old does a 4hr stretch (usually 8-12), then feeds a few times between 12-6ish, and will then do another 4 hr stretch.
Luckily I get to sleep in 4 days a week for his long morning sleep.

#8 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:03 AM

A trip to the gp or bhc might help. Or a lc as lucky said.

What everyone else does might not help much... It might make you feel worse.

Mine is a similar age, and on a good night he can go 7pm till midnight or 2am. But we've had a few average nights too.

I'm currently looking into food intolerances and allergies, as it runs in the family, so we are trying to cut dairy and eggs from my diet and I've noticed an improvement in the feeding and sleeping.

But I've also considered colic, reflux, and over supply issues in the past few weeks. Because he's very up and down. We have good days and nights and bad.

#9 Franny Glass

Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:44 AM

I agree with MSN's post.  

OP, if it makes you feel any better, my 5.5 month old is still having nights like yours at times. Some nights are better, with 4-9 hour stretches, but most nights we're lucky to get a block of 4 hours and sometimes it's every two sad.gif



#10 Stoked

Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:55 AM

OP, you're not alone! I have a baby on the 90% percentile for weight and he wakes up every 2 hours overnight for a feed. He also feeds often during the day - 1.5-2 hourly, hourly from 5pm (goes to bed at 7pm or thereabouts).

His idea of sleeping through is an occasional 3 hour stretch original.gif. He did sleep through (for five hours) from 5 to 10 weeks, then from 10 to 16 weeks he was waking every 90 minutes - and I felt rotten until my own sleep cycles adjusted - and it's now 'stretched' to two hourly with 3 hrs here and there, but not every night. We're so going to sleep school if this doesn't improve on its own by the time he is 7 months old.

#11 Stoked

Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:57 AM

Forgot to add that mine will not settle without a feed overnight - we tried, and even tried DH to settle the baby as DH doesn't smell of milk (I hope original.gif). Nope, the baby needs to eat full stop.

#12 happygurl06

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:21 AM

As others have said, each baby is different.  My DS slept from 10pm to 5:30am UNTIL he was 4 months!  Since then we have 1 or 2 overnight feeds, and on bad nights 3.  I just keep him in our bed from the first wake up at about 1:30am and feed him laying down while I doze.

If that sounds good to you read up on safe co sleeping before you do it.

I personally can't be bothered trying to resettle at night without the boob, I get more sleep and barely have to move wink.gif

#13 mandala

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:39 AM

My DS would feed every three hours at that age, but in our case it was a sign of a supply issue. He would feed from both sides but would pop off and wail, and was finished in under five minutes. I thought he was just distractible, but it turns out my supply had dropped dramatically.

As soon as I started formula top ups (quickly replaced with EBM top ups) he started sleeping for longer stints. Once I was on Motilium my supply improved and he went back to sleeping a few longer stints until all of a sudden sleeping from 6:30-6:30 at eight months.

It might just be that your baby is the way she is, but it's worth ruling out any other issues too. I wish I had looked closer earlier. I feel so bad for my DS being hungry sad.gif

#14 a letter to Elise.

Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:45 AM

DD is 3 months. Most nights she goes to bed somewhere between 6 and 8pm. She will wake again for her next feed between 12 and 2am (depending on what time she went to bed). She generally wakes for a feed again at about 4.30am, and then up for the day at 7am. She wakes, feeds for about 15min and the goes immediately back to sleep. She doesn't poo overnight, so I don't change her.

DS was waking about 3 or 4 times overnight at the same age, and was much harder to settle. He often pooed during a feed, so I'd be up, changing him, and then back to bed for the other breast. Sometimes he'd sleep straight away, other times, I'd have to pace the bedroom to settle. We didn't co sleep at that point, so not sure if that would have made things easier.

Main things I have done differently this time are to completely demand feed, baby led routine, and more cosleeping. She seems to have fallen into a pattern on her own. She feeds roughly 3 hourly throughout the day, with a couple of feeds quite close together in the evening (maybe 2 or 3, half an hour apart). She is a really chilled out, happy baby, and settles easily most of the time, so I suspect a lot of it's just her, not my fabulous parenting. They are all so different!

#15 Felix101

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:09 AM

Normal original.gif

DS is just past four months. He was sleeping 7pm-8am and waking just once at about 3-4am until 3 months then got down to waking every 2-3hrs overnight. He is just starting to improve, but by improve I mean at best sleep 3-4hrs inbetween feeds.... Our normal night is -7pm bed, 10pm wakes for a feed, somewhere between 1-3am wakes for a feed. If he wakes a t 1 he'll usually wake again at 4-5ish, feed then sleep til 7, but if he wakes at 2-3ish hell sleep til 6 and is up for the day.

I have excellent supply and steady weight gains. With assistance from good old google, it seems this is relatively normal behaviour for a four month old original.gif

Hopefully they grow out of it soon!! original.gif

#16 Fright bat

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:22 AM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 20/09/2012, 07:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is a load of rubbish. I don't know who has recently come up with this magical number but it's a figment of their imagination, nothing else. There is no magical age when and where children can sleep through the night. All babies like all people are different and have different needs.

However I would also suggest cosleeping as it saved our sanity when DS1 was 6 months old. We coslept with the rest from birth.



I think you have entirely misunderstood my post. By no means did I suggest that all babies magically started sleeping through at 6 months. I said that there was no way possible you could do any sort of 'sleep training' before that age... You can help with their circadian rhythms and routines, but you can't 'train' them because they don't have the memory capacity to learn. Hence the baby you get is the baby you get; if you're lucky and get one that naturally sleeps more than another, well good for you.  

After 6 months babies are CAPABLE of being taught sleep associations that do not rely on intense parental intervention. That doesn't mean that all parents wish to do this, or even that its desirable that all parents do this.

#17 amesv

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:26 AM

DD was feeding 3 hourly during the day, last feed around 6.30pm, waking around 1-2am for a feed and then 6.30-7.30am up for the day.

#18 follies

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:42 AM

This is our routine and it is working.

Goes to sleep: 9-11pm. I aim for 10 but sometimes he goes to sleep easy and sometimes harder.

Wakes up: 3-5am. Feed, nappy change and straight back to sleep. If he wakes up any later he will not go back to sleep. This lasts 15-20 minutes.

Wakes up: 7-9am. Up for the day.

A few weeks ago I tried moving his bedtime to 7pm and I had the same results you did. It just decreased the amount of sleep he got and made me tired and grumpy as well.

Now I just put him to bed when he needs to go to bed, not when some book tells me.

#19 Stoked

Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:47 AM

QUOTE (Felix101 @ 20/09/2012, 09:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have excellent supply and steady weight gains. With assistance from good old google, it seems this is relatively normal behaviour for a four month old original.gif

Well I hope so, every single baby in my mothers group except mine is not just sleeping through but sleeping decent 8-10 hour stretches. They've all started solids already, are FF or have a bottle before bedtime to help them sleep longer though. I feel like the odd one out, still exclusively breastfeeding AND having a baby who just feeds, feeds, feeds. On top of all that, my MCHN said two hourly feeds are 'a bad habit'. Hmm...

Edited by Stoked, 20 September 2012 - 11:48 AM.


#20 follies

Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (Stoked @ 20/09/2012, 11:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well I hope so, every single baby in my mothers group except mine is not just sleeping through but sleeping decent 8-10 hour stretches. They've all started solids already,


Wait, stop there! You should not be feeding a baby solid before 6 months unless doctor advised. Your baby is just under 4 months. Are these babies older then yours?

ETA Whoops, assumed you were the op, but point remains.

Edited by follies, 20 September 2012 - 11:53 AM.


#21 Stoked

Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE (follies @ 20/09/2012, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wait, stop there! You should not be feeding a baby solid before 6 months unless doctor advised. Your baby is just under 4 months. Are these babies older then yours?

My baby is 4.5 months old and all but one other baby are 3-4 weeks older than mine. They pretty much all started solids on the day their babies turned 4 months old. I am resisting the urge to do the same as I  am hoping to do BLW (for which the baby needs to be able to sit up) and also because I have vivid memories of being spoon-fed and hating it original.gif.

#22 DM. 2012

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE (Stoked @ 20/09/2012, 11:47 AM)
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Well I hope so, every single baby in my mothers group except mine is not just sleeping through but sleeping decent 8-10 hour stretches. They've all started solids already, are FF or have a bottle before bedtime to help them sleep longer though. I feel like the odd one out, still exclusively breastfeeding AND having a baby who just feeds, feeds, feeds. On top of all that, my MCHN said two hourly feeds are 'a bad habit'. Hmm...


I think that some of the women in your group may be lying.

#23 Fright bat

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE (follies @ 20/09/2012, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wait, stop there! You should not be feeding a baby solid before 6 months unless doctor advised. Your baby is just under 4 months. Are these babies older then yours?

ETA Whoops, assumed you were the op, but point remains.


Depends who you speak to! Actually there is a lot of controversy about this and any bald statements like that don't really reflect the actual state of uncertainty present in the issue. My opinion? Watch the baby, not a book (like everything else). Some babies will be ready at four months. Some not until 8 months. There is no magic day before which a baby is not ready and then the next morning they are!

#24 follies

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:05 PM

QUOTE (Stoked @ 20/09/2012, 11:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My baby is 4.5 months old and all but one other baby are 3-4 weeks older than mine. They pretty much all started solids on the day their babies turned 4 months old. I am resisting the urge to do the same as I  am hoping to do BLW (for which the baby needs to be able to sit up) and also because I have vivid memories of being spoon-fed and hating it original.gif.


I would completely disregard that they are sleeping through. My 4.5month old (fully BF) has slept 8 hours before, once or twice! He will usually sleep a 6 hour stretch a night but he is a good sleeper.

I truly believe you should take what the other women say with a grain of salt, with many Mums there is always the chance that they are trying to "keep up appearances"

#25 follies

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:09 PM

QUOTE (MsN @ 20/09/2012, 12:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Depends who you speak to! Actually there is a lot of controversy about this and any bald statements like that don't really reflect the actual state of uncertainty present in the issue. My opinion? Watch the baby, not a book (like everything else). Some babies will be ready at four months. Some not until 8 months. There is no magic day before which a baby is not ready and then the next morning they are!


That is why I say to ask your doctor, but to have every mum start solids on the day they turn 4 months I doubt that they are all ready.




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