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basic questions about sleeping, naps, and breastfeeding; advice needed

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  • basic questions about sleeping, naps, and breastfeeding; advice needed

    Shalom Y'all,

    I have some basic questions about breastfeeding and sleeping:

    1) I have a 3-month old that sleeps through the night 10pm-5am (I wake her at 4:45am to breastfeed), but I read that for a baby under 4-months, they are not supposed to go more than 4 hours without eating. However, I used to wake her in the middle of night to feed, but it was horrible and didn't work. She has been this way since birth. She is at a healthy weight and is gaining well...and she eats every 1&1/2 during the day. Is this acceptable? (I co-sleep with her next to me and she doesn't wake up)

    2) When can I allow her to sleep more through the night? Meaning, if I let her, she could sleep from 10pm-6am, but I wake her earlier to feed. At what age is it acceptable to allow her to sleep more hours through the night?

    3) Is it acceptable to allow her to nap during the day for more than 1&1/2 hours? I currently wake her at the 1&1/2 hours to feed her, but she cries and hates it. She is not getting the supposed 16 hours of sleep a day as a 3-month old is supposed to, but rather is getting about 10 hours.

    4) When and how do we start implementing a more regular bed time of 6-7pm? At what age? Currently, she is up to 10pm (feeding off and on from about 8pm).

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Chasya-Uriel

  • #2
    Each baby has different needs. They are not all exactly the same. That is part of what attachment parenting is about - learning to respond to the needs of your own child and helping them fit into the pattern of the family they have joined.
    Unless your baby is seriously underweight you don't need to wake her to feed her. Let her keep sleeping and enjoy the extra rest yourself. (Usually people are having the reverse problem where they are trying to make a baby sleep through the night - again, in that case they should respond to the baby's needs then the baby will happily go back to sleep).
    Similarly during the day, let your baby sleep as long as she needs (unless you're needing to go out, a breastfed, attachment parented child copes very well with flexible routines because their needs are met wherever they are). You can certainly let her sleep longer than an hour and a half. Don't force a feed on her, respond to her cues so you can enjoy your nursing times together. Use the extra time she is sleeping to do all your jobs.
    My children have never had a 6-7pm bed time, but I've never wanted them to. If you want to make her bed time earlier, you could try gradually bringing it back by no more than half an hour a week being careful to give her all the love and assurance she is used to getting when you help her go to sleep. Whatever you do, don't try to force her to sleep by controlled crying.
    It sounds like you're doing a great job of mothering your little daughter. Just relax a little more and don't expect her to fit the mould of what a baby is "supposed to do". Have confidence and listen to your daughter. She is telling you the answers to all your questions.

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    • #3
      Thank you!

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      • #4
        Follow up question

        That was a great reply. I'm wondering at what age is it okay to stop waking baby? My daughter is only three weeks. Sometimes she goes 45 minutes between feedings and sometimes she goes 4 1/2 hrs. Usually it's closer to three hrs at night. What's acceptable for a three week-old.. And when does that change? Thx!

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        • #5
          my DD was the same way and everyone told me to wake her up to feed her, so I did. Eventually she stopped sleeping through the night because she anticipated my waking her and it was quite a struggle to reverse this. Once we got her back on track, at about your childs age she slept 8-9 hours, nursed, slept another 3 and then took a 3-4 hour afternoon nap. Just relax and go with her cues. A baby won't sleep through hunger if they are gaining weight and are healthy

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