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Old 08-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
summerc_22
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3.5 mo eating too often?

I'm a first time SAHM mom to a 3.5 mo, and I keep reading in various books that it is a good idea to develop a schedule of feeding, with 3-4 hours between feedings. I find that I feed him much more often, especially because I usually nurse him before naps and after. He doesn't nurse for a super long time so I am wondering if I am feeding him to often. If he starts to get fussy before a nap I feed him, then he either falls asleep or goes down awake but sleepy. I keep reading that I need to get him to fall asleep without nursing, but he seems to be doing ok... We've struggled with night waking but he seems to be doing better. We've transitioned from the bed to the crib, he's waking up about two times during the night but the timing is inconsistent. Should I try to restrict nursing to either right before OR right after naps? Thanks for any advice.

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Old 08-11-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
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Sounds 1000% normal to me. Breast milk digests so quickly that it is hard for babies to go 3-4 hours between feedings. You will obviously get different opinions from different authors, and they all believe they are *the* expert, but feel free to ignore them and trust your baby's cues.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:04 AM   #3
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Re: 3.5 mo eating too often?

Thanks for the reply. I've been trying to avoid reading the books from baby "experts" as they always seem to make me worry that I am doing everything wrong, but he was having such problems sleeping that I was recommended "the baby whisperer" and that's where I got the 3-4 hour idea, as well as most internet sources... Is there a danger of using bfing to soothe to sleep, ease crankiness etc? Am I preventing him from "self-soothing"? He is capable of sometimes taking a nap without nursing, and the night waking seems to be sorting itself out. I'm also worried now that I shouldn't nurse him every time he wakes up, but it is the easiest way to get him back to sleep.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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Re: 3.5 mo eating too often?

Trust your instincts and follow your baby's cues. Breastfeeding often puts babies to sleep. That's normal. It's comforting and relaxing. There's no sense in putting a baby on a strict schedule and forcing it to cry while waiting for a set time won't help anyone. Baby's don't read baby books. :-) But, in all honesty, you eat when you're hungry and get upset if you have to wait too long. Why would a baby, who is unable to regulate itself like an adult, be expected to wait until an appointed eating time? I don't understand those baby "experts" that advocate that. Anyway, I could rant about that subject for quite a while. If you're interested in a point of view that doesn't advocate strict schedules and silly rules that don't benefit anyone, check out www.evolutionaryparenting.com.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: 3.5 mo eating too often?

Get yourself to a LLL meeting, ASAP!

Breastfeeding on cue is the best way to care for your baby and be sure they grow as they need to.
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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I'm a lactation counselor, throw the books away and follow your baby's cues! Even eating every 30 minutes is normal, and don't worry about nursing to sleep at this age. I'm on my phone or I would write more!
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:18 PM   #7
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Re: 3.5 mo eating too often?

This is a highly personal parenting decision. I would read a lot and decide what you want ultimately for your child. There is also a middle ground. You can nurse when you think your little one is truly hungry and not just for comfort. Your babe is very young still! They still need to nurse a lot and know that you are there for comfort. If, down the road, your little person is still nursing very frequently and you would like them to go longer between feelings you can decide then.

For example, if your lo is 8-9 months old and you think they shouldn't be waking up 2-3 times per night anymore you can fix it then fairly easily. Just go with your gut! Sorry if this was not great advice but it really is a very personal decision!
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:53 PM   #8
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Re: 3.5 mo eating too often?

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I'm returning the stupid book to the library. You all seem to say to follow his cues for feeding, should I worry about offering the breast when there hasn't been a specific hunger cue?
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by summerc_22 View Post
Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I'm returning the stupid book to the library. You all seem to say to follow his cues for feeding, should I worry about offering the breast when there hasn't been a specific hunger cue?
If they've eaten recently (within an hour) I try everything else first:diaper, position change, cuddles, rocking, etc. Sometimes its something else. But sometimes they are still hungry. My two BF babies were both more like 2 hours.
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by summerc_22 View Post
Is there a danger of using bfing to soothe to sleep, ease crankiness etc? Am I preventing him from "self-soothing"? He is capable of sometimes taking a nap without nursing, and the night waking seems to be sorting itself out. I'm also worried now that I shouldn't nurse him every time he wakes up, but it is the easiest way to get him back to sleep.
There is no danger. The reason to get baby to nurse on a schedule has nothing to do with keeping baby healthy. The schedule is for convenience, getting baby into a routine, etc. Some parents need that schedule early on and that's okay. I personally found it super easy to just nurse on cue, but I'm not going to knock schedules because I might feel differently when I have baby #2 plus a toddler to take care of
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