Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:53 pm
Post subject: How often to feed
My baby's 5 months old and breastfed. I've been advised she should be fed every 3 hours. However, she needs to feed before naps to help her get to sleep and this can be less then 3 hours, as she gets tired after being awake for 2-3 hours. Therefore I'm feeding every 2-3 hours or less. Sometimes the feed before a nap doesn't last more than 10 mins, whereas a usual feed can be half an hour. Should I count the short feeds and wait 3 hours from then for her next feed or not count it and make her next feed3 hours from her last full feed. If I do the latter I would be feeding her an hour after her last feed, even thoughit was only a short one. She can also be too tired to feed well before her nap, so if that coincides with when she's due a feed she won't be full enough and therefore not sleep ong enough. I know this sounds complicated but I've explained the issue as best I can!
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:13 pm
The fact that the feed before a nap is so short and after is a longer one says to me that the one before a nap is simply for comfort not for food, so i would go from the feed after the nap.
Am also having issues with how long between feeds. Where did you get advice to feed every three hours? I just ask as i have been reading the baby whisperer recently and she suggests that three hours is too short a gap for a baby over 3 months old. She suggests 4 hours from 3 months.
As Josh has now grown out of his hammock he has moved into a cot. He was going about 3 hours between feeds but because of the transition I started feeding him before and after naps just as comfort, but it has resulted in him feeding not as well and not being bale to settle for longer than a couple hours a time at night. So have gone back to feeding only atfer a nap and the amount he feeds has improved.
But he cant seem to make it past 3 and a quarter hours so very interested to know what is the best gap between. Josh is four months old. I know with my girl she went four hours at a time at this age, jsut naturally progressing to this gap between but i seem to be going more demand fed this time.
Anyway, will stop the ramblings, lol, rathe stealing your thread there!
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:21 pm
What i tend to try and do is after naps so that it is a reasonably even gap as he is up for a max of two hours (often an hour and a half) and then is asleep for a max of an hour 45 so he gets a feed every three to3 and a half ish hours. If that makes sense.
So on second thoughts from my previous post, maybe make it so that you only feed before every sleep as this is what you are using to help him sleep and this will guarantee a fairly even amount of time between feeds. She soon will tell you if she needs more but you may find she feeds better if you stick to a longer gap.
Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:53 am
Thanks for your reply. My HV advised 3 hours between feeds as I'm breast feeding, with bottle feeding they can probly go 4 hours. You didn't say which you were doing? I don't really want to make all the full feeds before a nap as she may be too tired to feed enough. I also don't think she'll nap without a feed beforehand. If I count her pre-nap feed I can be feeding her every 2 hours, but if I don't count it it would be 4 hours. For example, feed at 7.30am, feed at 9.30am before nap, feed at 11.30am before nap. The 9.30am feed is usually short, but the 11.30am one can be a full feed. In the afternoon I do try to make her last 3 hours as she can usually stay awake longer than in the morning.
Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:11 pm
Ali jo you don't have to strictly time breast feeds to 3 hrs at all, you can demand feed which is actually what works best for your milk supply and baby as well (I was only told not to go over 4hrs while BF my last and he was born at 33 weeks ) , often short feeds are more like a drink and longer feeds are more like a meal so I probably wouldn't count the short ones before naps either ,
but you certainly don't have to feed her 3 hourly at 5 months old if she wants to go longer and if she wants feeding sooner she could well just be thirsty
(I find its best to take HV's advice on your own judgement as they just spout whatever they're told to this week )
I wouldn't worry about the timings for now, just feed her when she's hungry and when she weans she'll naturally go longer and start to drop feeds as well Your supply wil be well established by now and can quickly adjust to meet her needs xx