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Old 07-19-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
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5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

So I have a question for formula feeding moms. My SIL just had a baby 3 weeks ago and after trying to breastfeed, is now formula feeding. They baby was still losing weight at 2 weeks old and then started formula feeding and gained 7.5 oz in 2 days. So she is working on gaining now! Yay!

But here is my question. She had been told to feed 3.5oz every 3-4 hours and so moved to a strict schedule of 4 hour feeds. The baby then went to its well baby check a few days later and was gaining well and my SIL said that the dr said she could move to 5 hour feeds. WHAT? I don't get this. Is this right? A 3 week old newborn only eating every 5 hours?

I then heard through my DH that she had called the advice line because the baby was only eating 1/2 to one oz at a time and was crying and not making it to every 5 hours. To me this seems like she is setting the baby up for failure to thrive or something.

I have never formula fed so before I tell her that I think she should be doing things differently and that her doctor is nuts, I wanted to get some formula feeding moms opinions. This advice and doctor are wrong, right? I'm wondering if the doctor meant the baby could go a 5 hour stretch if she is sleeping (like say in the middle of the night) but not to feed on a strict 5 hour schedule! Especially since she is just starting to gain weight!

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Old 07-19-2013, 10:33 PM   #2
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My son was losing a lot of weight and we began formula as well. Once he started to gain well the doctor said he could now go five hours between a feeding, but it was in the context of, that's the max, at night. We no longer had to wake him to eat. So, her doctor may have said that but if they are sleep deprived they may have misunderstood that its not a scheduling thing, it's a max allowable time.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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Re: 5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

I'm not sure. We fed more on demand and let DS kind of "set" his own schedule and we figured out his patterns and went with it. He was doing 4 hours in the day and 5-6 at night at that age. But my son was also an 11 and a half lb new born and gaining like crazy.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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Re: 5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

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Originally Posted by Hungry Caterpillar View Post
My son was losing a lot of weight and we began formula as well. Once he started to gain well the doctor said he could now go five hours between a feeding, but it was in the context of, that's the max, at night. We no longer had to wake him to eat. So, her doctor may have said that but if they are sleep deprived they may have misunderstood that its not a scheduling thing, it's a max allowable time.
Thank you! That is what I'm thinking the doctor must have meant but my SIL just misunderstood.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: 5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

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Originally Posted by slimy72 View Post
I'm not sure. We fed more on demand and let DS kind of "set" his own schedule and we figured out his patterns and went with it. He was doing 4 hours in the day and 5-6 at night at that age. But my son was also an 11 and a half lb new born and gaining like crazy.
Thanks! I'm going to recommend that she try feed more on demand than follow a strict schedule. I think the baby was doing fine on a 4 hour schedule, but has just hit the 3 week growth spurt, SIL thought she was told to move to a 5 hour feeding schedule and this just makes for a unhappy baby who then is too hungry to take a full feeding.

Thanks for the replies ladies!
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:57 AM   #6
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Re: 5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

At 3 weeks old, my 4 kiddos had a bottle every 3 hours still and at night they'd maybe go a little longer (if they slept then I let them sleep). We didn't move to every 5 hours (except at night) until they were more in the middle of their first year.
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:09 AM   #7
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Re: 5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

It sounds like she just misunderstood. My doc said my son could go up to 5 hours without a bottle if he didn't want it, but to feed him whenever he seemed hungry. Poor mom! She must be so tired!!!
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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Yeah that seems like a really long time for a newborn to go. My ff only babies didnt do a single 5hr stretch until 6mos(dd2). Ds is 7mos and the longest he can go is 4.5hrs and thats rare. Every baby *is* different but the fact that the baby now seems very unhappy would have me rethinking the schedule. Hope she gets it figured out soon.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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Re: 5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

My DS is 4mo but is BF and supplemented w/ FF. He does not go past 2hrs without a feed! At night the longest stretch has been 4hrs. Definitely encourage her to feed on demand
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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Re: 5 hour schedule for 3 week old?

I fed on demand and she generally wanted to eat every 2.5 hours at that age.
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