No longer sleeping thru night - wants to feed

Leigh - posted on 03/22/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )




My 4 mo son started sleeping through the night at 6-7 weeks. Lately (for the past 1-2 weeks) he is waking in the middle of the night and wants to eat (I am breastfeeding). He is a big boy... 17+lbs. He also has had a stuffy nose which may be playing into it. I have 3 possibilities: 1) he really is hungry. 2) he is waking up b/c of his stuffy nose and deciding that since he is up, he might as well holler and get some food. 3) he is waking up b/c of his stuffy nose and is nursing for comfort.

If it is #1, I have no problem feeding him, but I have to admit, I like being able to sleep through the night without night feedings. We also have our 4mo MD appointment tomorrow and will probably discuss starting some cereal with him b/c he eats constantly during the day too. Is it possible that he is big enough that (even though he is feeding every 2hrs during the day) he is not getting enough and needs to feed at night?

If it is #2: I don't want him to get used to nursing in the middle of the night just because he wants company.

I don't think it is #3 b/c he eats a whole meal (it's not like he is just snacking/suckling for comfort) and he can normally self soothe back to sleep when he wakes in the middle of the night.

Any suggestions to help my kid with his stuffy nose and to not get into a night feeding routine again. I have been using saline and a humidifier but he still is so stuffy.

Anyone have this situation before?


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Claire - posted on 03/22/2010




I have the same situation with my daughter. She started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks until she was 4 months. She went through a growth spurt and now she wakes up 1-2 times a night. I wasn`t too worried because I dont mind getting up with her. I would rather her eat in the night than cluster feed in the morning which can hurt the breasts if it goes on too much, especially when they get teeth cause they bite. They don't mean to but it happens because they're so ravished. I started feeding Autumn baby cereal before bed at 4 months too after it started and noticed she had a better sleep. Nestle has GREAT starter cereal that you can put breast milk into rather than water and it is easy to digest. Maybe even pump a bottle and throw a tiny bit of cereal in the milk to thicken it to sit in the tummy longer at night which might help. Growth spurts can cause full night sleeping to stop. Thats what happened with my and my girl. She was up every hour at first because my milk wasnt coming in enough so she had to feed more often. Either way, good luck!!!

Emily - posted on 03/22/2010




It's really, really common for sleep regressions to happen around 4 months (and other times during the first couple years as well). It's also a big possibility it's a growth spurt.

Nursing every 2 hours is not unusual, and does not mean he's not getting enough. Keep in mind breastmilk digests in 90 minutes, so it's really really normal for them to feed that often. My first child nursed every 2 hours for the first 8-9 months of his life.

I doubt he just wants company, though some babies do need comforting in the middle of the night, which is just as real a need as food. I would keep nursing him... it's probably a growth spurt or just normal sleep behavior. I've found that sleep patterns are always changing with babies because their little bodies and brains go through many changes. I bet your baby will sleep through again when he is ready.

Here's some food for thought too:

[deleted account]

Rather than feeding thru the night it would be ideal to give ur children more during the day rather than encouraging nightime feeds! If they're already having the maximum amount of formual you may want to talk to ur doc about starting baby cereal and/or puree baby foods to give them a few more calories during the day! Once you allow those night feedings it could turn into a bad habit?!

Leah - posted on 03/22/2010




Okay, My baby is doing this too, and he has just turned 4 months. He is waking and looking for a bottle. It will be interesting to see what everyone says on this because it never happened with my first child.

Jodi - posted on 03/22/2010




The exact same thing happened with my son. He started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks at as soon as he hit 4 months he was waking up twice a night, and wasn't able to put himself back to sleep like he used to. He was also eating full bottles at night, but I think it was just because I was making full bottles. I started decreasing the amount I offered and eventually just kept putting his soother back in his mouth instead of giving him a bottle. Now, at 6 months, just starting to sleep full nights again! I've been told it's called the "4 month regression" and a lot of babies go through it.

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