How long should my son 5 1/2 months go at night without eating

Amber - posted on 10/01/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My son is 5 1/2 months old and weighs about 18lbs. I am still brestfeeding and I am curious how long he should be able to go without eating. He gets up all the time in the middle of the night and I am not sure how long he can go with out it. He usually sleeps one big 5 hour period, then eats but after that he is up several times, some just to see me and others to eat, but Iam just not sure. Just looking for some guidance, we are getting no sleep and it is starting to affect my work and marriage.

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JACQUIE - posted on 10/04/2009

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Honestly, I wouldnt worry about it. If he is hungry he will wake up...especially during the middle of the night, he may be sleeping longer now and take all the sleep you can get. I would not wake him up to feed him though.

Amber - posted on 10/01/2009

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Thanks so much for the advice. I have to live in the here and now and for now that is what works and I will deal with the not wanting to sleep alone later (one thing at a time). I doesn't affect our sex life which is most important to him, but what is does do is affects my husbands down time at night because he gets up every 1-2hrs. and just needs rocked back to sleep or shh back to sleep and he just wants to relax. Which I totally understand, but I do not advocate the CIO method, it just not for me, so therefore I expect him to help out and he really just doesn't want to. That is when we argue. If he sleeps for 5hrs. that usually is just the amount of time he goes without eating he still is getting up in between that time. But I am working it out and it helps to hear others talk about the same things and knowing that you are not the only one so thanks

Nicole - posted on 10/01/2009

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This really is normal. Especially since he is breastfed. Breastfed babies just don't get as full each time as formula fed babies - hence they eat more often. I no longer breast feed my daughter at 10 months, but when she was that age she got up about 3 times a night to eat, and my pediatrician said not to allow her to start crying herself to sleep (whether breastfed or formula fed) until 7-8 months of age. Tell your husband it is totally normal! There is nothing wrong with your son, he is just different from your daughter who it sounds like slept like an angel! Personally I wouldn't suggest the co-sleeping, just because as my daughter got older, the nights I would let her sleep with us, she would then be fussier the next night if she was in her crib and would wake more. I have stopped it alltogether now besides when she had a very bad ear infection - and after that it was quite the trick getting her to sleep peacefully in her crib! But if he doesn't get fussier and it works, then hey go with what you can. Just don't let if affect you and your husbands sex life... it will just make your husband much crabbier about it! Which as we all know is never fun, since they usually tend to whine around like teenage boys when they are crabby about something. Good luck though, and take advantage of those 5 hours each night!

Amber - posted on 10/01/2009

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yeah if figured it was normal and there are some nights that I put him in bed with me and he does sleep better, I just feel bad that I am kicking my husband out. I have been back at work for about 2 1/2 months and it has been really difficult, i hear these women talk about how their babies are sleeping for like 10 and 12 hours and my daughter was the same way, but not my son. My husband is convinced that here is something wrong with him that doesn't allow him to sleep without someone being there, he is just not used to this, because my daughter was the exact opposite.

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All babies are different - yeah, I know it is cliche, but it's true! With that said, I think one 5 hour stretch is pretty normal at 5 1/2 months. But breastfed babies in particular tend to sleep in shorter stretched than their formula fed counterparts. When doctors talk about babies "sleeping through the night", it is typically defined as going 5-6 hours without waking to eat. I think my son at that age was not quite sleeping for 5 hours at a time, more like 4 hours, and still probably nursing 3 or 4 times at night. He's a little over a year old now, and wakes up once at night to nurse, just before I go to bed. For me, I've found co-sleeping (or at least having baby in the same room) has been a lifesaver - the baby and I both slept better and longer when he was in the bed. I've been back to work since he was 6 weeks old, so I needed the rest as well. Now that he's sleeping a good 8 hour stretch, I'll transitioning him into his own room. Good luck.

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