Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Need your advice - feeding and sleeping

I took a photo of my bedside table yesterday before I decluttered it because it was ridiculous.

Ridiculous because I've been going into every bookstore and buying sleep and baby books like crazy. I have spent thousands of rands.

In my current reading pile I had FOUR books.

too lazy now but will upload later...

Anyway, the main thing I gather from all of these people is if you want your babies to sleep more during the night, you've got to get them to feed enough during the day.

Right, not a difficult concept.

BUT how, dear friends, do you do that?

Connor is about 6kg so should be having 900 ml a day.

He is kind of there... or at least around the high 800's every day for the last two weeks.

But he will ONLY eat if he's hungry. Don't you wish we were the same? I wouldn't have to deal with my emotional eating of chocolates and other wrong foods!!!

Anyway, back to the story.

If he's done, he simply stops, spits out the teat (nipple) and that's that. No amount of encouraging him will get him to take 1ml more.

Kendra is the same with eating, but more stubborn as she will scream if you try to feed her when she is NOT HUNGRY, Mummy, so I tend to use Connor for all my experiments as he refuses quietly :)

His feeding schedule looks something like this:

12:20 140 ml there'd been 5hr 20 from last feed to this one
04:30 85 ml
07:10 50 ml
09:10 100 ml
11:15 90 ml
14:05 105 ml
14:30 20 ml this is me, when I know he's going to go sleep, trying to get more food in him
17:40 90 ml
18:45 70 ml
22:30 125 ml

total for day 875ml

all this information is courtesy of The Notebook, without which I wouldn't know what they're eating and when.

Okay, so I would love to know HOW I get them to eat more during the day?


  1. OK I'm just an inexperienced new mum but based on Minx's feeding patterns and C's heavier weight, I would've expected him to be eating more like 150ml per feed. Can you try tapping the edge of the bottle as you're feeding him? Crazy I know, but it works for Minx. Someone says that it makes them more interested in the bottle? Stroking his cheek as he eats to remind him? Stopping him and winding him after every 30 or so ml?

    It looks to me as though you almost want to sneak another feed in during the mid evening (it's almost like he's snacking?) some how so that by the time the 10.30pm feed is done he's feeling extra full and SLEEPY.

    But yes, totally - the food in/sleep out formula seems to be true - more food during the day has meant Minx sleeps much better. There's always the risk of wearing it tho if you pack too much in :)

    Ok that's my 2 cents.

  2. Josiah eats 5 oz right before bed and still wakes up once a night. If I tried to feed him more, I know he'd take it (since he always will take a bottle whether he needs it or not), but he'll probably spit it up. Keeping them awake and interested, as the previous person said, may help, though.

  3. So this came from our NICU nurse and it worked, although it doesn't seem very nice. When they are awake and not eating, get mean. Once they stop give them 5 and then thrust the bottle back in and force the issue. Make them get angry. They usually start eating again, especially if they haven't taken much in to begin with. That, however, if a double edged sword. If they are truly full, you could be wearing it.

    We also tried wiggling the bottle and nipple while they're drinking. Our girls also look at blank walls while they eat. One day DH noticed Emma had stopped eating and was watching the news with him!

  4. We twisted the bottles while they ate and that kept them going. I hate to say it though...they'll do it on their own schedule. I don't think mine did it until about 4-5 months. Someone also told me that when they double their birth weight is when they'll sleep through the night. It was pretty accurate for the week!

  5. We followed the Baby Wise book since birth. They were on a 3 hour schedule...we would maybe feed them at 2.5 hours if they were super fussy. We did not feed them every time they were fussy even if they didn't eat alot at he last feeding. We did whatever we could to put hem off till the next 2.5/3 hour time slot. We backed up their bedtime gradually and then started dropping the middle of the night feedings. At 3-4 months they metabolically do not need middle of the night feedings, according to a few books I read. They just wake up out of habit so you have to break that habit.

  6. I'm with Amy...though I didn't read BabyWise, that's exactly what we did. During the day we have always (and still do) stick to the 3-hour feedings. We tried very hard to make sure they were waiting 3 hours between feedings (beginning of one to the beginning of the next). Even now, if they only take 3-4 oz. at a feeding (6 is normal for us now), they aren't offered another bottle until time to eat. It is very rare that someone is hungry enough to eat prior to the next scheduled time.

    (sidenote: We don't spend an hour trying to get them to finish a bottle either...once they start playing with it, they're showing us they are done. My mother-in-law will keep going back to the same bottle for an hour sometimes and it drives me CRAZY!!) : ) Just had to throw that in.

    I also agree with Amy about waking up out of habit. Once we knew they were capable of sleeping longer, we tried to only offer a pacifier, not a bottle, during the night.

  7. Ok, so I think we know each other well enough now for me to say this. You have to relax!!! I say that and then remember what business you are in. =) All the books in the world will not cause your babies to eat more.

    I KNOW, trust me, that you want them to eat more. But they will not eat if they are not hungry. Period. It will just take time. My mother in law said that my husband was up every 2-3 hours his first year of life. Can you imagine? Some babies just don't eat that much. BB is back to taking 1 1/2 to 2 ounces each feed...every 2-2 1/2 hours. It is hard on us but we just have to endure!!

    I completely disagree with making them wait 3 hours to feed. That is so cruel to me. If they are hungry they need to eat...period. My doctor said of every book out there that her practice does not like Baby Wise at all. They won't recommend it to anyone. If you force them to wait, they get so upset that they will eat too fast and end up throwing up. Your babies are still really little...I know I've said this before. They are really on 10 weeks old today.

    You will ultimately do what you feel is best for your babies.

    Good luck! If we were in the same time zones we could call each other in the middle of the night!!

  8. Simple answer is you can't make them do anything. It is what it is.

  9. I understand that some people don't agree with BabyWise but just to let you babies never have had a throwing up issue..they never ate to fast and they started sleeping 11-12 hours a night at 3.5months old and they are eating baby food like champs...and they were 5 weeks early. But, you have to do what you are most comfortable with if it works or not.

  10. Leah, just so you know, we are not starving our babies or being "cruel" by "forcing them to wait." We are talking about distracting them with play or cuddling instead of putting a bottle in their mouth every time they fuss, assuming they must be hungry. We all have different ideas, and that's okay, but don't make it sound like we are being mean to our babies just because we do it differently than you do. : )

  11. I agree Deanna! And Leigh, seriously, you have to do what works for you and your family. I asked a TON of people what they did and read a bunch of books and it just turned out that the advice we decided to follow worked for may not for everyone. And, I hear you on the competition thing...I have to remind myself all the time that my boys were born early and all baby's don't progress at the same rate...I have said many a time "so and so's baby is already doing...." Back when I was stressing about the sleeping thing my mom reminded me that it won't be like that forever...the boys will not be waking up every three hours when they are in highschool :-)

  12. We don't do BabyWise here - tried it with Kendra, and we were all miserable. I moved her into the bed with us, nursed her on demand, and we were all much happier. Vannan nursed mostly at night because so many of her day feedings got interupted by her 2 1/2 year old big sister who had stopped taking naps at 21 months.

    I also stopped reading the baby books and trying to keep up with the "jones's" of baby land. I don't really care about percentile charts or sitting, walking, crawling, teeth, etc milestones - they do what they do when they do it (and I do write it down somewhere - though Joel's are scattered everywhere).

    The important thing is to make sure they have plenty of interaction with adults who talk to them. I've found that babies who are talked to learn more than those that are not talked to as much. We tell LaRue, "pick up your legs (as we lift them) so I can change this dirty diaper, now put your legs down, what a good girl, I'm going to snap your snaps now, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 all done. You look so pretty in your purple dress"


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