Breastfed Babies - How often are they waking up to feed at night?

Jessica - posted on 02/05/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )

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Hello - My baby is almost 11 weeks old and is still waking up 2-3 times per night to feed. I thought that at this point I would be getting consistent 4 hour or more stretches at night but lately he seems to be waking up every 2.5 - 3 hours. We swaddle him at night because he will not sleep any other way right now. Just curious how other breastfed babies this age are doing with night waking...

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Anca - posted on 02/13/2009

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My daughter is 3 months, 1 week old and she wakes up every 2 hours at night. It seems impossible to believe to me that some babies sleep literally "through the night"--I just can't imagine that! The longest stretches of sleep she will do are 4 hours, but that's only if she sleeps in the swing. We are co-sleeping, so maybe this contributes to her waking up more frequently? (I tried the bassinet with her in the first 2 months and it was just impossible, she would not sleep there more than 5 minutes by herself, so I eventually gave up completely.) I can't swaddle her at night, she stopped liking it when she was 3 weeks old, and since then it's impossible to keep her swaddle. We are currently using a sound-machine, one of those white noise things; it helps with putting her to sleep, but in terms of waking up, she still wakes up every 2-2.5 hours, at night, and she doesn't do long naps at day time either.

Melissa - posted on 02/10/2009

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My daughter is 2 and half months old and she just slept for 12 hours straight last night. She's down by 7:45-8pm every night and she's been routinely sleeping for 7-9 hr stretches for about 6 weeks now. I hope that last night was the beginning of sleeping all night long. I feed her about every 2.5-3 hrs during the day and tend to "cluster" feed (45-1 hr) in the late afternoon in preparation for bedtime. I can't say if that is why she sleeps so well, but I doubt it hurts :)

Bridget - posted on 08/23/2012

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My 10 week old girl seems to be waking 2 - 3 times a night too and sometimes feels like every hour in the early morning. Sometimes I think is it because of her falling asleep and not getting enough milk? Thought the 'through the night sleeping' may have started already too lol

Carrie - posted on 02/13/2009

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So yesterday Nirvana turned a big ol 3 months.....and she slept for 7hrs straight, she woke up at 5 fer a feeding and a change and went back to sleep til 7:30 this morning...I think she is in a growth sprut right now as she is sleeping alot, not much of a schedule during the day...limiting her feeding and sleeping during the day was a challenge so I still feed her whenever she is hungry and let her sleep when she wants to sleep but after her dad gets home from work we/she likes to stay awake more which is nice as we don't want her to Not be sleepy come bedtime which is still 9:0-9:30 ish....as she starts to get really cranky and tired.....sooo I'm in hopes that tonight she'll do the 7hr sleep again....fingers crossed:)

Carrie - posted on 02/10/2009

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We go to bed around 9/9:30 starting off with a good 5 min cry then feeding from 1 side then a burp then feed from the other side.....I had my fingers crossed on 2 feedings throughout the night.....the 1st feeding did happen after a 4 hr sleep, but after that she'll wake up after 1.5-2 hrs....it is very tiring.....soo I have been trying to limit her feeding and sleeping during the day......just on our 2nd day of this....I'll let you know how this works out for us.....But I must admit that it is nice to know that we're not the only ones with strange sleeping hrs....although I would much enjoy the 2.5-3hrs over the 1.5-2hrs.....Best of luck...

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Sophie - posted on 04/18/2014

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This is very common, breastmilk is a lot easier to digest so our babies need to top up more. Just remember that you are giving your baby the absolute best start in life :-) I know it feels tiring but you are doing a great job.

Karen - posted on 02/11/2009

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My daughter will be 3 months on the 26th and some nights she sleeps through the night and other nights she might wake up once or twice. She is up to 5 ounces during the day while I am at work and is taking 4 bottles while she is at the sitters. When I am home I feed her on demand. I find if she eats more before she goes to bed she sleeps longer stretches. Also, I had read somewhere to keep the room dim and not to change them if they wake up in the middle of the night. I have been doing this for about a month and it seems to help her fall back asleep faster. No issues with diaper rashes or anything which was my main concern.

[deleted account]

My little guy is almost 11 weeks. He goes to sleep around 9pm and wakes up at 12am, 3am, 5am, 6am, 7am. I'm now co-sleeping with him starting at 3am because I became so delirious by the lack of sleep that I was falling asleep holding him at night. I can't ever really sleep once he's in my bed but I can sort of float in and out of consciousness. Until about a week ago, he was always screaming from 3am-7am. Those were his colic hours, I guess. I'm finally starting to re-gain my sanity. (I have a 23 month old, too, so it's not like I can nap during the day).

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2009

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My daughter is almost three months and is sleeping from between 9-10 until about 5 or 6. I just give her a bath around 8 then feed her and put her to bed. She has started on rice cereal though and has that around 6 so that might help her...

Kristen - posted on 02/06/2009

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My daughter just turned 12 weeks today, but she has been sleeping 8 hours a night for about 6 weeks. She eats a frequently before bed though, like every hour. She will eat at 6, 7, 8, 9 and usually 10 is her last feeding but then she goes all night with out and wakes up around 6 am.

Aimee - posted on 02/06/2009

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my son was doing the same so i decided to give him formula for his bedtime feed ater his bath. now he only wakes once if at all through the night. formula is heavier in their tummy and keeps them fuller longer. it was the only way i could get any sleep

Fiona - posted on 02/06/2009

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My daughter for the first 3 weeks woke up every 2 hrs for a feed at night. Now she goes every 7 to 8 hours at night and during the day around 3 to 5.

[deleted account]

My 12 week old twin boys are up at least twice a night too.  They get a bath around 7:30, eat around 8:30, and are asleep sometime between 9 and 10.  Then they wake up between 1-2 and between 4-5.  One of them has gone as long as 6 hours, but just once.  Haven't been able to replicate that feat yet.  They are slowly lengthening out their eating during the day--we get 2.5 hours regularly and occasionally 3.  I'm just trying to be patient and thankful that at least they go back down quickly at night (usually within 30 minutes).

Erin - posted on 02/06/2009

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Brooklynn is 13 weeks and only wakes up 1 time in the night normally at around 4am then sleeps until around 8am. I also put her to sleep around 9:30pm though. She has been sleeping like this for about a month so it is nice. Ocassionally she wakes up twice but that is rare.

Jessica - posted on 02/06/2009

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My baby, 11 weeks, will feed every 3 hours in the day...not a lot though just for 10 minutes or less. At night he will sleep a span of 4 hours wake up to eat and then sleep another 5 hours. But when he is going through a growth spurt (which i am expecting the next one to come along any day now) he will wake up every 2.5 - 3 hours in the night...

[deleted account]

I am breastfeeding and he does the same. John will go down around 9 or so and wake up at 2-3am to eat. Then he is back up at 5am to eat. Then he is up for good around 7am.

Colleen - posted on 02/06/2009

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My daughter is 10 weeks and is just starting to sleep at 4-5 hour lengths.  She falls asleep around 10 and wakes up around 3, then again around 6 or 7.  I found that trying to keep her awake at the 10 o'clock feeding, when she tended to fall asleep before truly done, helped some. During the day she is still about every two hours.

Rachel - posted on 02/06/2009

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I'm going through exactly the same thing - the longest he will go is 4 hrs then after that he will do 2-3 hr stretches between feeds. My LO is also swaddled cos he won't sleep any other way. I hope it will get better soon...

Nicole - posted on 02/05/2009

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my daughter in 12 weeks old . she always has a bath a 6 and is freqently feed tell 9 and she goes to bed at 10 and sleeps to 8am in the morning and then will sleep tell 12 if i let her. i try to keep a sceduel which really helps if your able to . it was really hard and then she fell into a routine and i just keeped with it, which is awsome ... good luck every one : )

Candice - posted on 02/05/2009

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My first daughter woke up to nurse every two hours untill she was 9 months old, However my daughter Malia, born 11-11-08 will sleep 10 hours a night, I even wake her up in the morning.  So it just varies by baby.  Malia is by no means small even though she does not nurse at night.  I do swadle her which is a skill you do have to practice as I did not do that with my first.  Also you can try feeding your baby every two hours during the evening hours, which seems to keep them satisfied over night.

Kelly - posted on 02/05/2009

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My son is almost 12wks old and is waking up about 2 - 3 times a nite for feeds, but he has reflux, so i have to feed him small amounts more often. Sometimes when i bottle-feed him he will sleep for a little bit longer, has been known to sleep for 6hrs every now and again, ended up having to wake him as my breasts were very sore and swollen. I am hoping that he will start to sleep for longer periods soon. But, he also seems to be teething so i am up alot at nite anyway.

Trina - posted on 02/05/2009

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2.5-3hrs is sounding about the same for me. We co-sleep as well though so I'm getting rest at least. He's also eating about that during the day as well.

Melissa - posted on 02/05/2009

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My daughter is 12 weeks old and she has been going 6-7 hours at night, she wakes up around 5am and then again at 7am. Before this week she was getting up at 3am. She eats about 7x a day probably around 4oz (i'm guessing) and she weighs about12lbs. I bottle fed my son and he slept 12 hrs at 3 months. The more they eat during the day the longer they can go at night. If they are getting enough in the daytime they are probably not waking up because they are hungry. Sophie sleeps in a co-sleeper next to my bed, if she wakes I give her the pacifier. If she has a growth spurt, she eats every 2hrs during the day. Soon he will be sleeping longer and you will be awake wondering why he hasn't woken up yet!

LiLi - posted on 02/05/2009

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Hi! My baby is almost 10 weeks and she sleeps pretty good at night. We bed share so it makes night nursing so much easier. I try to nurse her as much as I can right before bed time so she will usually just wake up once to feed, I find if she doesn't nurse a lot before bed she will wake up twice in the night. We used to swaddle her but she was still waking often and I don't think she liked being constricted. Bed sharing really worked for us but I know it's not for everyone.

Nicole - posted on 02/05/2009

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Hello - Jaelyn is doing pretty good. she goes 5 to 6 hours before waking up to eat.  I also swaddle her or she can't sleep well either.  How often are you feeding during the day?  I am feeding Jaelyn every 3 - 4 hours.  I read that they need to learn how fast at leat that long during the day so they can make it longer stretches at night. Also is his last feeding in the late evening between 9:30 and 11:00 p.m.



Well good luck I know how much harder everything seems when you have not gotten any sleep the night before.

Cindy - posted on 02/05/2009

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I am breastfeeding and going through the exact same thing. My baby wakes up every 2- 2.5 hours. I think it is because he eats smaller amounts more frequently. Could this be the case with your little one? I hear other people say their babies sleep anywhere from 5-12 hours at a time and it's so upsetting because I would love even just 3 or 4 hours of continous sleep. You're not alone. I look forward to the day when he sleeps longer.

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