3 month old wants to Nurse all night

Emily - posted on 11/22/2008 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My 3 month old wants to nurse every 2 hours at night (only every 4 during the day); so I tried giving her a tsp of rice cereal in her bottle at night, but it didn't help...any advice?!

(I dont want to give her more rice than that cuz she was a premie, and I dont want to stress her lungs out.)

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Studies have shown that early solids do NOT end up making a child sleep longer, and there is always the risk of allergies, asthma, and obesity with premature introduction of solid foods. I would stop offering the rice cereal immediately and not offer again until your baby is 6 months old adjusted age, as is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.

Three months is a pretty typical time for a growth spurt - has this frequent waking just started or has she always been like that? During a growth spurt it's especially imperative to nurse on demand so your body gets the message to increase milk production. By supplementing with formula, solids, or even expressed milk in a bottle, your body will not get that signal.

Finally, if she has always been this way - nursing more frequently at night than during the day - there are a few things you could try. First, offer the breast more frequently during the day - at least every 2 hours. Fill her up during the day so she is more likely to sleep longer at night. Make sure if she "asks" to cluster feed in the evening (wants to nurse almost constantly), you allow her to do this. It's good for your supply AND may keep her fuller for longer during the night. Next - co-sleep, if you are not already doing so. If she cues to feed every 2 hours, at least you will get some more rest yourself if you don't have to get up and down so many times! Finally, remember that this is actually VERY normal for a baby of this age to wake to eat so many times. None of my three (exclusively-breastfed) babies slept longer than two hours until they were about six months old. The twins woke every 45 minutes to an hour and half, if I was lucky - and never at the same time! She'll outgrow it.

Good luck! :)

Christina - posted on 11/22/2008

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I agree with Stephanie here in regards to it possibly being a growth spurt as well as her suggestion to not feeding your baby rice cereal until your baby is closer to 6 months of age. I feel it is important to allow your baby to nurse on demand during growth spurts.

I found that my baby would go through spurts where he nursed more frequently until my milk supply would increas enough to satisfy his hungry during one feeding. Something you may want to be sure of is that your baby is actually feeding and not just using your nipple as a pacifier. Sometimes they get so sleepy that it happens. Gently wake your baby up enough that he starts to nurse again. I find that my lil guy just needs a little tickle on the chin or toes to get him to start nursing again. My 5 month old is up every three hours to feed and it is getting quite tiresome. My doctor suggested that my son may just need some mommy loven and that I could try putting him back to sleep by soothing him in other ways besides nursing. He said that if my son was truly hungry than he would not fall back to sleep easily. Babies do wake for other reasons other than nursing but I think we just automatically offer them a breast because I is a sure fix and convenient.

With my first son, a doctor recommended that once my son had reached 4 or 5 months (and not before) that I could try to stretch out the length of time between my baby’s feedings through out the night by sidetracking (comforting and rocking him) him in between feeding which might train him to space out his feedings so he would drink more in one feeding rather than little feedings more frequently. He said my lil guy was just in the routine of feeding every 2 or 3 hours. My doctor also recommended the “cry it out method”.

Also perhaps evaluate your sleeping arrangements with you and your baby. Are you co sleeping? This can go either way…baby may sleep longer if he is snuggled between you and your spouse or it could be the opposite. My lil guy moves around too much and we would wake each other up. He currently sleeps in his own crib but in our bedroom which helped a bit because he couldn’t feel us move but he stirs quite frequently when we make any noise. In our situation, he would probably sleep longer and more soundly if he was in his own room where he can’t hear us.

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Carrie - posted on 11/22/2008

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http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/... might explain some of it.



I'd continue to nurse on demand, especially if she was early and probably needs to be careful of weight gain issues. Around 4mo is when I started co-sleeping b/c it was easier to nurse sidelying and then I could sleep too.

Tiffany - posted on 11/22/2008

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you could try cluster feeding at night or either offering more often during the day even when she doesn't seem like she wants to nurse. it kind of sounds like she's sort of reverse cycling. so, maybe if you get her to nursing more during the day, then she might nurse less at night.

Shennen - posted on 11/22/2008

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My experience with my two children... I fed them when they wanted... It might not be fun to be up in the middle of the night - I still do it I know how it goes... Try to nap during the day if you aren't getting enough sleep... Your baby will calm down and eventually get a more manageable routine for you... Hang in there - you are doing GREAT!!... Breast milk is wonderful... but if you find you want to try formula (it usually takes longer to digest and your child may not wake as often), don't stress about it!

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