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Old 08-08-2010, 12:51 PM   #11
joyful mother
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

If she is holding the baby during sleeping it is not Babywise. I would just drop by with a carrier before someone drops by with a Babywise book to help her.


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Old 08-08-2010, 08:15 PM   #12
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

7 feedings a day isn't necessarily problematic at all. DS1 nursed every 2 hours at birth, but DS2 and DS3 were every 3 hours. My closest friends and I are all schedule mommies and Babywisers. We have all nursed our littles (38 of them) to a year minimum (4 self weaned earlier) without supply issues and healthy weight gain in our babies. All the babies STTN without eating 11P-7A by 14 weeks of age which did drop them to 6 feedings every 24 hours. The babies drop their night feedings all our their own. We do not refuse to feed a hungry baby! One night, they just don't wake up to eat until morning. Your cousin's baby may well do that soon. All of mine began sleeping through sporadically by 6 weeks; consistently by 12 weeks. I think there is a great deal of hysteria about scheduling and nursing on predictable intervals per the cues of our babies. In fact, many moms and babies have done very well doing just as your cousin is doing. It is different than many people choose, but not necessarily a recipe for disaster at all. If you love her, believe in her intuitition to care for her baby until you see something that indicates a problem. Her schedule does not a problem make.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:45 PM   #13
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

i think, if baby was 8'4 and is now in the 10-11lb range, then she must be feeding him plenty.

my ds, who is now 11 weeks (was 8'6 at birth and is now 11'8) , nurses at 8am, 11am,2pm, 6pm and 7:30-8:30..sometimes a little more, more for comfort then feed..and he sleeps 8:30pm till 8am, sometimes waking at 6am to feed. He's been doing this since 7 weeks. It works for us, might be working for her.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:54 PM   #14
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

my 7 week old eats every two hours during the day and then sleeps a 6 and 4 hr stretch at night. she has done this since she was about 2 weeks old and rarely strays from her routine. this is totally something SHE has instituted and i feed on demand.

i know this isn't typical for ebf babies but my daughter is growing and thriving.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:11 PM   #15
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

Maybe suggest she pump between feedings to avoid leaking. Then her sons Daddy can get in on some feedings and she can maybe pop out of the house for an hour.

Sounds like baby is getting plenty to eat. My DD was sleeping 8 hour stretches by that age.

As for the carrier, just drop one off. She her how to use and let her know it will help when he's sleeping and she can get a few things done
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:18 PM   #16
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

Sleeping through the Night
by Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D.

Department of Anthropology,
Texas A & M University

[This essay was originally directed to one person. It has been edited slightly to make it less specific.]

I am an Adjunct (semi-retired) Associate Professor of Anthropology and Nutrition at Texas A&M University, and I do research on infant/child feeding beliefs/practices both cross-culturally and from an evolutionary perspective, as well as research on children's health and growth. I know from first-hand experience that being a new parent is a difficult time of adjustment, especially when expectations don't match reality, especially when our culture has taught us that children should have certain needs/wants/behaviors and then our children don't seem to fit that mold. This problem of a mismatch between expectations and reality can be very difficult for new parents to accept and adjust to. Sometimes, some children can be encouraged/convinced/forced to fit the mold of cultural expectations, and they do fine. Othertimes, though they do eventually fit the mold, it is at the expense of their sense of who they are, their self-confidence, their view of the world as a safe and trusting place, sometimes, even, at the expense of their health or life. Probably nowhere do cultural expectations and the reality of children's needs conflict more than in the two areas of breastfeeding frequency and sleeping behaviors.

Human children are designed (whether you believe by millions of years of evolution, or by God, it doesn't matter) -- to nurse *very* frequently, based on the composition of the milk of the species, the fact that all higher primates (Primates are the zoological Order to which humans belong, higher primates include monkeys and apes) keep their offspring in the mother's arms or on her back for several years, the size of the young child's stomach, the rapidity with which breast milk is digested, the need for an almost constant source of nutrients to grow that huge brain (in humans, especially), and so on. By very frequently, I mean 3-4 times per hour, for a few minutes each time. The way in which some young infants are fed in our culture -- trying to get them to shift to a 3-4 hour schedule, with feedings of 15-20 minutes at a time, goes against our basic physiology. But humans are very adaptable, and some mothers will be able to make sufficient milk with this very infrequent stimulation and draining of the breasts, and some children will be able to adapt to large meals spaced far apart. Unfortunately, some mothers don't make enough milk with this little nursing, and some babies can't adjust, and so are fussy, cry a lot, seem to want to nurse "before it is time" and fail to grow and thrive. Of course, usually the mother's body is blamed -- "You can't make enough milk" -- rather than the culturally-imposed expectation that feeding every 3-4 hours should be sufficient, and the mother begins supplementing with formula, which leads to a steady spiral downward to complete weaning from the breast. Human children are also designed to have breast milk be a part of their diet for a minimum of 2.5 years, with many indicators pointing to 6-7 years as the true physiological duration of breastfeeding -- regardless of what your cultural beliefs may be. I can provide you with references to my research on this topic if you wish to read more.

The same is true of sleeping. Human children are designed to be sleeping with their parents. The sense of touch is the most important sense to primates, along with sight. Young primates are carried on their mother's body and sleep with her for years after birth, often until well after weaning. The expected pattern is for mother and child to sleep together, and for child to be able to nurse whenever they want during the night. Normal, healthy, breastfed and co-sleeping children do not sleep "through the night" (say 7-9 hours at a stretch) until they are 3-4 years old, and no longer need night nursing. I repeat -- this is NORMAL and HEALTHY. Dr. James McKenna's research on co-sleeping clearly shows the dangers of solitary sleeping in young infants, who slip into abnormal patterns of very deep sleep from which it is very difficult for them to rouse themselves when they experience an episode of apnea (stop breathing). When co-sleeping, the mother is monitoring the baby's sleep and breathing patterns, even though she herself is asleep. When the baby has an episode of apnea, she rouses the baby by her movements and touch. This is thought to be the primary mechanism by which co-sleeping protects children from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In other words, many cases of SIDS in solitary sleeping children are thought to be due to them having learned to sleep for long stretches at a time at a very early age, so they find themselves in these deep troughs of sleep, then they may experience an episode of apnea, and no one is there to notice or rouse them from it, so they just never start breathing again. Co-sleeping also allows a mother to monitor the baby's temperature during the night, to be there if they spit up and start to choke, and just to provide the normal, safe environment that the baby/child has been designed to expect.

Is this convenient for parents? No!

Is this difficult for some new parents to adjust to? Yes!

No doubt about it, the gap between what our culture teaches us to expect of the sleep patterns of a young child (read them a story, tuck them in, turn out the light, and not see them again for 8 hours) and the reality of how children actually sleep if healthy and normal, yawns widely.

But the first steps to dealing with the fact that your young child doesn't sleep through the night, or doesn't want to sleep without you is to realize that:

* (1) Not sleeping through the night until they are 3 or 4 years of age is normal and healthy behavior for human infants.
* (2) Your children are not being difficult or manipulative, they are being normal and healthy, and behaving in ways that are appropriate for our species.

Once you understand these simple truths, it becomes much easier to deal with parenting your child at night. Once you give up the idea that you must have 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night, and view these nighttime interactions with your child as precious and fleeting, you get used to them very quickly.

I highly recommend Dr. Sears' book on Nighttime Parenting [available from the La Leche League International Catalogue]. Our children's early years represent the most important and influential time of their lives. It passes all too quickly. But meeting your child's needs during these first few years will pay off in many ways in the years to come.

Prepared August 25, 1997.


Last updated March 16, 2004, by kad. Contents copyright 1999-2004 by Sue Ann Kendall and Kathy Dettwyler. Thanks to Prairienet, the Free-Net of east-central Illinois, for hosting this site from 1999 through 2004.

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Old 08-09-2010, 11:33 AM   #17
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

That's about what my son was doing at that age (every 3 hrs then once during the night). He was still gaining 8-11 oz a week too! I was worried about my supply dwindling so I would pump after feeds and if he went too long in between but now I am in a situation where I am making 16-25 extra ounces a day which is kind of a pain ykwim? I'm freezing it and building up a nice freezer stash but now I HAVE to pump a few times a day because I'm making so much extra milk. When I'm at home I don't mind, but its a pain when I have a busy day lined up. Sometimes I wish I'd just let my supply regulate itself
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:52 AM   #18
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

Sorry to disagree with the good doctor, but exactly how many babies has she nursed? I have nursed 4..the longest being 3.5 yrs. I have many, many friends with 6-8 children. When nursing frequently (read as continually) my children (and all that I've known) have been fussy, gassy and not well rested. They don't receive hind milk.

The only child I had supply issues with was C2 who was the child who never got a full stomach. Once I was able to establish a 2.5- 3 hr schedule with each of my children...they slept well, ate well, peed, pooped and grew well!

Let this Mama feed her baby as she sees fit. She is not starving, neglecting or abusing the child. The baby seems to be content, healthy, rested and Mama seems to be doing well! The good doctor needs to be up for 6 months at a time and see how mentally healthy she and her baby would be!

My experience with livestock tells me that animal Mama's get plenty of rest and their babies don't nurse continually.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:32 PM   #19
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

While it is very different than what my kids ever did I wouldn't consider that bad. Every 3 hours during the day is a pretty reasonable amount for that age for some babies as is only waking 1x overnight. I think as long as she isn't denying a hungry baby because the feeding isn't on the "schedule" then I wouldn't really worry with it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:45 PM   #20
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Re: My cousin is only Breastfeeding her 5 week old DS 7 times a day!!!

I am a LC and I just wanted to give my on this. While I am one who is all for feeding on demand, this is how I have nursed all 4 of my children, this is a situation that I think is just fine even if it looks like she is not feeding on demand. This baby looks like he is thriving, he is weighing a really good amount. We recommend a baby to gain at least 4 oz a week, and if that was the case, he would be roughly 9# 8oz. So she is doing well with that. Some babies prefer to eat every 3-4 hours, and some more often. If he is 5 weeks old, he is kind of coming out of that stage where a lot of babes are nursing every 1.5-2 hours, and even that not all babes nurse that way. I know my YDD nursed every 3-4 hours right off the bat.

The other thing to think about is that normally yes to the supply and demand. BUT there are some women that have an over supply and it really does not matter if they let 3-4 hours go by without effecting their supply, if nothing else it may help them out. When I had my preemies in the NICU, I was told to pump every 3 hours. I put them to breast every 2.5-3 hours (this was when we were in teh NICU and they were on a schedule there, before they were starting to ask to eat.), but I was told to pump every 3 hours. It worked out well for me, and still the recommendation for someone who had a normal supply is to pump every 3 hours in order to maintain supply, it is a rare occasion that I will recommend a woman to pump more often, but if she has a really really low supply that galatogauges (spelling is off there, sorry. These would be like Fenugreek, oatmeal, blessed thistle, etc) won't even help her, so I will then recommend every 2 hours.

But seriously if it is working for them, don't step in. He appears to be thriving, she does not appear to be allowing him to CIO, STTN is totally possible at this age, and she is holding him. He sounds like he is having all of his needs met and then some. If you wanted to give her a piece of advice, gently warn her that a growth spurt will be probably coming up soon if he is 5 weeks old, most kids have a good growth spurt around 6ish weeks. She may want to consider nursing on demand for that, and normally the asking to eat more often will last for only a few days to a week. Just so she is aware what is coming up along the road here. Support her, it may not be the system that you would do, but really if the babe is only asking to eat every 3-4 hours, she is still feeding on demand, he is probably just really really efficient at what he

Good for you for being concerned though. But just support her as long as everyone is safe, healthy and being cared for, even if you don't agree.
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