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Question about breast feeding

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March 29th, 2012, 06:59 PM
lovemyleah's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
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With my daughter, I formula fed. From about 5 or 6 weeks on, she slept most of the night, occasionally waking up for a feeding, but then going right back to sleep. I was fine with this of course, as I was and still am working full time, and will continue to do so, after this baby is born.

My question is mainly for BTDT moms: With a BF baby, will I have to wake up lots of times in the night to feed? I have heard that Breast milk digests so much faster and that BF babies are ones that wake frequently to eat. What has been your experience? I know I sound so selfish to even be asking this, but with working full time, and caring for my 4 year old, I need my sleep! I am going to do my best to BF at least until I go back to work, but I just needed to know your experiences, if BF effects the frequencies of feedings.
Hi all! I'm Lisa
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March 29th, 2012, 07:16 PM
AmyT's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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When my 1st was born we exclusively BF until he was 10 or so weeks old, and he was always a GREAT sleeper! What we did is we were used to going to bed fairly late, so I would feed DS around 8 pm and he would sleep until we were getting ready for bed. I would wake him around 11 - 11:30 and feed him as long as possible, change him and put him down around midnight. From like 4 days old he would then sleep until 6 am! I'd feed him again and then we would both nap for a couple more hours and get up around 8-9...sometimes even 10, and he would eat again. By the time he was 8 weeks old he was sleeping closer to 8 hours and then after switching to a bottle/formula at around 10-11 weeks old he would sleep 12 hours a night! I know this is not "normal" from all the other moms that I have talked to, but it does actually happen sometimes. I do think they sleep longer periods if they are formula fed, but I also believe that 6 hours of sleep in a row for a new mom is awesome!

Things didn't go quite as well with DD but she would usually sleep 4 hours for me so I would maybe have to get up 2 times with her. I was so tired with her I never had any issues getting back to sleep after nursing. For your sake I hope baby sleeps longer for you so you will get the sleep you need!

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March 29th, 2012, 07:51 PM
GiftsfromGod's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I've ebf all three of my babies. My oldest DS and my DD were both good sleepers and as a newborn they would sleep 4 hours, eat, fall back asleep for another 4 hours. My second DS was never a good sleeper and even now at age 3 still isn't. Didn't do anything different with him just some kids are different.

I did find that having a regular feeding routine (I'm not talking a rigid schedule) but making sure the baby isn't getting used to "snacking" but instead getting his tummy really full every 2-3 hours all day helps them to sleep better at night. When I would let them feed for 5min every hour they would get hungry at night and want to eat all night.
Ruth - Mommy to S (miscarried at 10 weeks), W (9yrs), J (8 yrs), E (6yrs), F (4yrs), D (3yrs), &C (passed away 6 1/2 hrs after birth) & expecting another sweet baby March 2018

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March 29th, 2012, 10:51 PM
curlygirl77's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have ebf 4 babies for at least a yearr each and thet all slept differently. one slept six hour stretches from a newborn, another woke up every two hours. babies are all different and there is no way of knowing until you have him/her. i will say that bfing is more uncomfortable for YOU if they sleep longer, especially at the beginning, as you may wake up frequently anyway, or like i did you will wake up aftr two hours engorged or leaking milk andwant to wake the baby to feed anyway . sorry if that sounds unappealing but bfing isn't very glamorous lol.
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March 30th, 2012, 12:26 AM
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I exclusively BF my son and he started sleeping 7 hours through the night at 5 weeks. I have had friends who have BF and been lucky like that as well, and others who weren't so lucky. But I don't think all bottle-fed babies sleep well at night either.
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March 30th, 2012, 04:36 AM
3Sapphires's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I EBF both my kids, and I'd say we were up twice a night from pretty early on, after a few weeks was once a night, then they'd have a growth spurt and I'd be up a lot.

The feeding never really bothered me, it takes maybe 10 minutes, but the burping was awful! I usually passed him off to DH for a burping...

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March 30th, 2012, 05:13 AM
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I EBF both of my girls for close to 18 months each. One woke up very frequently and fell asleep again quickly, and one slept through the night very early on. I would try to get to them quickly when they started stirring so I could start feeding them before they woke up all the way. I also tried never to make eye contact! ;-) With one of my girls, especially, she would get so excited when I looked at her that she would want to play. I think the other ladies are right- every baby is different.
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March 30th, 2012, 06:26 AM
RunningMommyTo5's Avatar Marathoning Mom to 4!
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I've EBF all of my three boys, and they were all sleeping through the night by 5weeks old. I actually tried to wake them up at 3 and 4 weeks every 4 hrs to nurse like is recommended, but they were so sleepy that they would nurse a couple minutes and were back out again and I just could not wake them enough to get a full nursing at night. I told my ped this at their 4 wk checkup and he said that babies will always wake if they're hungry and they were gaining fine, so let them sleep. At 5 weeks, they were all sleeping from about 10pm to 5am , which is when I'd have to wake them to nurse before I ran (or risk major pain from engorgement on my runs, LOL) From the time I brought them home from the hospital it was only waking up once before 5 weeks at night.

I will say that I liked to do a couple of cluster feedings before they went down for the night and that worked wonderfully. It'd keep them on an every 3hr nursing while they were a newborn, but at night, I'd nurse at 8, 9, and 10, and then they were down for the night with no trouble at all and no waking! At 8 weeks, I gradually cut down the cluster feedings until at 10wks, they didn't need them anymore.

I think the key is getting them into a good routine throughout the day (not schedule, that's much different IMO) but a routine helps them to quickly "learn" to sleep through the night. Once they get into a pattern or routine, then I think bottle or breast doesn't matter too much as far as sleeping through the night is concerned. I have many friends with EBF babies who were sleeping through the night early on and many who bottle feed and were up every 3-4 hrs, and vice-versa. I think it'll depend on the baby itself, and the routine/pattern they get in.
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March 30th, 2012, 07:42 AM
lovemyleah's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks, ladies, for all of your input. I am very routine oriented, and my daughter is as well. It's what works best for us. So, if baby gets used to eating every 2 or 3 hours, I think we will be good. But, night time, I like the advice of feeding right before bed, maybe feeding more often before bedtime, that type of thing. Hopefully things will just happen this time, and night time won't be bad. It's encouraging to know that BF babies can sleep through the night, or close to it!
Hi all! I'm Lisa
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March 30th, 2012, 08:02 AM
amazing_love's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I completely agree that it depends on the baby. They are all different, some sleep better than others so you just never know. I EBF my son and he would wake up every 3-4 hours to nurse at first which i could handle since i was still getting sleep. The problem for us came when we tried to switch him to his crib at 5 weeks but that had nothing to do with nursing, he just wasn't ready to be in his crib. I also found it easier once we were nursing every 2-3 hours during the day rather than every hour which felt like constantly! That didn't really impact his night sleeping, just made me more sane during the day I had a friend who stopped BF only because she said she wasn't getting enough sleep at night so she switched to formula but it didn't help her get any more sleep so i don't think that's a huge factor. Hopefully you get lucky and your baby is a good sleeper!

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March 30th, 2012, 08:20 AM
karenwalter's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Connor had severe reflux that prevented him from gaining weight, so I'm not really a good case to go by (feeding every 2-3 hours until he was 10 months old! Praying this next baby is easier).

But, I do have friends who switched to formula because they wanted the baby to sleep and it didn't work; they still woke up just as many times with the formula as they did with the breast milk.

I think every kid is different and they're going to do whatever they're going to do regardless of how you feed them. Hopefully this one is a good sleeper for you and you're able to make it work

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March 30th, 2012, 08:28 AM
momma_d's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't think it would make a difference either! DD was always up a lot in the night and was BF, and when we switched her to formula at around 4 months, nothing changed.

IMO, I was more tired formula feeding because I had to get up and prepare a bottle. BFing was so much easier because the milk is always ready!
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March 30th, 2012, 08:44 AM
Moldovandish's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree that it depends on the child. DD has never been the best sleeper. She had reflux really bad as a baby and we had to keep her upright for 30 minutes after each feeding, including at night and it was exhausting. I also had to pump a lot to keep my supply up since she had a poor sucking reflex. So DH and I were both up several times a night for a while.
I'm hoping things will be easier with this next baby, as I really want to BF.

Baby Caleb - born on Sept. 15, 11.31 pm, 8 lb. 15 oz.
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March 30th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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It depends on the baby. If you are okay with bedsharing and figure out side lying nursing you can end up sleeping through the nursing sessions anyway, and you certainly can't do that with formula
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March 30th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Sagga02's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My son was BF for the first 6 weeks and then switched to a allergy formula. He was up every 2 hrs until around 3 yrs old so I dont think it matters if they are BF/FF

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March 30th, 2012, 03:36 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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I breastfed my daughter until at 3 months we discovered her spitting up and other issues were due to intolerance to my milk..honestly it was awful..she was up every hr maybe 2 yrs around the clock wanting to eat...I know thats not the norm but for us is was a huge problem..BF babies do usually eat more often than formula fed babies though..I don't think I'll even be trying bf'ing this time because i'll have a not even one yr old baby and my 2 other kids on top of my 3 kids i do daycare for..LOL

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