Does spacing feedings improve or worsen night sleep in a 5 month old?

Katie - posted on 05/06/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I've breast fed on demand from birth to 5 months. My girl was eating about every 2 hours during the day and her night sleep was steadily improving until the point where she was only waking once or maybe twice in the night (10 hour stretch) to eat and then would go straight back to sleep. I decided to put her on a 3 hour schedule during the day to stabilize our routine which she's done without fuss. Since then her sleep has worsened, now she's waking three or even 4 times a night, not to eat, she just wants to snuggle. We have a very solid routine and she puts herself to sleep without fuss at the same time every night. Is this just a coincidence or could reducing her feedings in the day actually be responsible for poor night sleep? Anyone else had this problem?

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Celeste - posted on 05/07/2012

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Scheduling can impact supply. It might be a coincidence, but it might not. Not sure. Babies wake up for a variety of reasons-reaching a new milestone, teething, etc. Routine is great, scheduling feeds, not so great.

In my experience, sleep has little do with how one is fed. I've known plenty of babies who were bottle fed that were terrible sleepers.

Angela - posted on 05/06/2012

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I think that increasing her feedings during the day would improve her sleep at night. Since she has already been trained (albeit on her own) not to eat at night so she may think its not an option. When I needed my daughter to sleep better through the night I fed her more during the day and especially well right before bed, even waking her if I thought she hadn't eaten enough to go longer at night. She may also be craving you more at night if she feels she doesn't get you enough during the day. You may not realize it but you probably aren't holding/cuddling her as much during the day if you're not feeding her as often. I know it's very easy to use the extra freedom to get other things accomplished! I have to remember to take extra time to just spend time with my kids when I know that I need to get the dishes done!

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