Breast feeding at night - am I doing it wrong?

Hello everyone

Just have a question about night feeds and sleeping through.

At the moment Liv (who is 9 weeks) has a dream feed at about 10pm, then wakes at about 1am, then again between 3 and 4am. This I can handle. But then she wakes up at about 5am and cluster feeds until about 7.30am, which is killing me!

Am I doing something wrong? I don't have a problem with the feeds at 1am and then 3/4am, but I just wish she would go back to sleep until 7 ish after the second feed! I did think that maybe it was a sort of habit thing that I had created so sometimes I try to ignore her noises in the hope that she will go back to sleep but she doesn't - instead she gets louder and louder until my heart is breaking for her!! So maybe it is a bit chicken and egg - I cluster feed her cos of the noises she makes BUT is she only making those noises cos she expects the cluster feeding???!!!!!!

Could it be something to do with the time of night she goes to bed? At the moment she has a feed at 6pm, bath at about 7pm and then is pretty much sparko from 8pm onwards, until "waking" for her 1am feed. So she sleeps 5 hours straight, then another 2 or 3 hours straight. I think that is good myself, and it gives me some respite in the evening, but is it having a knock on effect in the wee small hours??

And while we are on the subject of sleeping through, at what age did your baby sleep through, and what exactly constitutes sleeping through anyway? I would say it would be something like 7pm to 7am, but maybe I am wrong! Does it differ depending on whether they are boob or bottle fed?

Thanks for your help on this one ladies. I am feeling really rather insecure about it at the moment as people keep asking me if Liv is sleeping through and when I say no they look at me all pityingly, but she's only 9 weeks!! Plus my mil assumed we would be switching to formula soon simply because I am "still" feeding twice in the night. I would love to be able to come back at her with pro-boob feeding statements, as she is doing my flaming head in!

Hope you all had a lovely Chrimbo xxx


  • lo slept through from around week 10, then stopped at around week 14 lol.

    mine was more alert at 5am too but i read the gina ford book and realised i was the problem. i was more alert and was causing her to stay awake. so i started treating it exactly like at 2am feed and she then went straight back to sleep once i put her down.

    as far as im aware as it's harder to digest formula, a ff baby will go longer.

    my lo sleeps from around 8 - 8.30pm untl 8am. this works for us as hubby is out of the house from 5am until 7pm so wouldnt see her otherwise!

    go simple with a pro-breastfeeding statement, breast milk is better for them!!!! tey cant argue with fact! and i also find lying keeps people happy. does she sleep through? yes. oh. converstaion over. all they want to do anyway is tell you what you're doing wrong!

  • Thanks for that!!

    Can I ask - what do you mean when you say you treat the 5am feed the same as the 2am feed?
  • i think there is just you and me here! i was more awake so when she had her eyes open i was talking to her and being generally playful thinking she was awake, i even used to get up wth her thinking she was awake and wondering why she would then go back to sleep at 7am!!! but as soon as i started putting her straight back down she just went back to sleep after a few mins.

    btw she doesnt sleep though! she gets up at 5am for a full milk feed (2 boobs) and then wakes for weetaix at 8am. she's 9 months. recently she's been waking at between 1 and 2, i think cold.
  • Ah,it's not that then!! I put her right back into her crib after each feed, cos I am still sleepy at 5am even if she isn't!!

    Thanks hun xx
  • no worries. the best thing is to ignore people, as people lie! they like their situation to either be the best or the worst in my experience! and also ignore relatives who just want to give their advice as they like to think you know nothing. you are doing the best thing for your baby, dont let her pressure you into formula.

    i have a friend who put her baby into his own room before 4 months and constantly asks me when im putting lo in her own room. ive told her ive no intention of doing before she's 1, as disucssed with hv and my own research and it's actually what myparents did with us, but she still asks all the time. i think it's out of guilt tbh. :roll: i dont let it bother me.
  • Hi hun, Sophie is EBF. She is 20wks now and wakes 2-3 times a night for a feed.

    But why shouldn't she?? She's not even 5 months old and has a stomach the size of a pea which needs to be topped up regularly.

    I HATE the look people give me when I say she's not sleeping through.

    I really don't know why people are so obsessed with it.

    Just go with the flow hun. Hopefully the 5am cluster feeds will just be a phase.

    You're doing great!

    Vic x
  • Many doctors and pediatritians actually count about 6 hours during night timeme as sleeping through for a young baby.

    Matilda is 10 or 11 weeks now (am a bit lost with week counting lol) she feeds 10 pm, 4 30 am and then 10 am and basically sleeps all that time from 10 pm till 10 am - as she boobs the 4 30 am basically asleep.

    Are you changing your los nappy? If so dont, unless it is a really horrid poop. I have stopped doing that so not to disturb her at feeds much. I also do not switch on the light, use the light from my phone to hook her on boob. I dont even talk, or look at her (as it is dark). Also at your 3/4 am feed maybe you wait a bit too long to feed her and she just becomes too awake. Maybe wait a wee while and do not let her get too wound up?

    Also try to make the gaps in between the clusters gradually longer, like starting 10 - 15 mins at first and then stretching them? I think you have to be strict a wee bit, not have her cry, you can hold and comfort her (as she is only little) but do it in the dark with no talking and all, try putting her back to sleep.

    I hope this helps.

    Good luck!

  • You're not doing a thing wrong hun, feed your baby when she wants feeding. Guarantee she'll change again within a couple of weeks then change again the week after that, then the week after that.... Just go with the flow and enjoy it, you'll actually miss the night feeds when she does sleep through!!
  • Hiya!

    My lo seemed to go through an amazing amount of growth spurts, she also seemed and still does have times (not too often)where she just wakes up around five and now she plays with her teddy (7months) but when she was tiny she wanted the comfort or was having a growth spurt.

    I'd say just go with it.. I'm sure it's still dark then so doubt the light disturbing her is an issue?

    I had some people asking me at two weeks old if she was sleeping yet, very irritating, I count sleeping through as going from what ever her normal bed time is till after 6am, she doesn't seem to wake at the same time every day still, this morning it was 7.30am. She slept through early at a few months old for about six weeks but then stopped for a few months and has only recently started again. (she wasn't feeding, just stiring but if we left her she'd cry and wake up properly)

    Good luck, your doing a fab job xx
  • Your LO feeds in exactly the same pattern at night as mine does. She is just 5 months old and has had pretty much the same pattern since 2 months. Clearly she likes it! Try not to stress about it, formula feeders seem obsessed with babies sleeping in adult sleeping patterns, it's not what nature intended and breast fed babies should be "sleeping through" somewhere between 9-12 months. As for the MIL, try either getting OH to shut her up, or tell her you'll be feeding till age 2 like the WHO recommends, or aks her to come along to you're nearest breastfeeding support group with you, sure they would love to meet her! image
  • You've got loads of replies but thought I'd add my tuppenceworth anyway lol. My 6 month old still wakes once a night most nights (sometimes at 6 ish) but I would say he is sleeping well. At 9 weeks your lo still has a tiny tummy and is probably not ready to be going without food for 12 hours. Formula is heavier stuff but changing to formula wouldn't definitely mean she would 'sleep the night'. I found (still find) that sleep patterns change all the time, down to one thing or another, hunger, teeth, big learning milestones...the list goes on. At the end of the day breastmilk is the best thing for her so tell your mil that you are q happy to feed her during the night because its normal!! Or lie and tell her she is sleeping 7-7 every night haha

    could you try not giving the dreamfeed to see if it made a difference, I found that as he got older he didn't need it and it didn't help him sleep. Hope the cluster feeding in the early a.m. stops soon, but have you tried feeding lying down and dozing? If you look into cosleeping etc it can be safer than its made out to be xx
  • I havent read the replys but if the clster feeding rather than the night feeds them selves is the problem it may be worth checking are you drinking enough at night I found at times I was not drinking enough at times over night especally as the heating was drying and so my lo used to fead regually in the eary morning maby take a jug of water or squash and maybe a snack to bed.
  • @mrsstb pont! yes, the night she sleeps through you'll wish she hadnt as your boobs will be enormous!!!!!!

    and drinking in the night is a good idea too.
  • all totally normal my ds2 used to cluster feed until about 10 then up at 12/1 and then feeding nearly every hour at about 5 months we started gettting 8ish to 1 then to 3 and then every hour until 7 eventually 8 to 2 then to 5 then cluster feeding as you describe eventually he slept right through at about6/7 months he was still getting up for a 5am feed at around 6 months and then straight to be until 7, he is now 9 months and sleeps 730 to 7am.

    like you i used to hate the 'is he sleeping through yet' even from people who didn't have kids like wtf would you know any way but tbh I think it is just 'one of those questions' similar to the 'well how was your labour' - oh it was fricken fantastic I was able to have a tea party in the middle of it kwim!

    Also I have to say I really craved sleep and was so happy when he did start to sleep better, as after all, so do you, but I really really missed our wee midnight feeds together, it was our wee special time and so cosy and nice, saying that now he gives great big slobbery kisses (tongue and all dirty wee man) and they are great too lol
  • Oh yeah, and you'll probably find that when Liv does sleep through you won't get a good nights kip anyway cos you'll be lying awake waiting for her to wake up or sneaking downstairs at 5am to get the breast pump out!
  • My lo is 21 weeks, bottle fed with a bit of solids and still not sleeping through. Its just the joy of having a baby!

    Btw I don't think mums feeding formula are any more "obsessed with adult sleeping patterns". I think all new mums are desperate for sleep no matter what they may say!
  • People who say formula will make babies sleep longer are talking rubbish. Each baby is different and they'll sleep more when they're ready. I have been very lucky with nights, William dropped his 2am feed at 6 weeks, and then his 5am at 8 weeks, and sleeps 10-11hours a night. He has been exclusively breast fed on demand since birth. I didn't do anything to make him go longer, he just did. Our daytime feeds can be anything from 1-4.5hours apart!! And duration anything from 5-80minutes!! He just feeds when he wants. some of the other september mummies who ff still get up 2-3 times a night. It's about when your baby is ready, not what you feed them.

    Before you all hate me tho image I should mention that the boy will not nap!! hence some of the long feeds I think he's dozing, and we often get a very grouchy second half of the day!


    PS moonandstars, hope you're well. William was 14 weeks on xmas day. isn't this a lot different to last year image
  • Hi hun, I just wanted to add that you are doing nothing wrong ! I formula fed and my DD was always very awake from 5am and I would have trouble getting her back down from this night feed. Also formula fed babies DO NOT sleep any better necessarily so you can tell MIL to but out !! I was still giving a night feed at about 6 months and my DD only started sleeping thro (which most people do say is 7pm-7am)once she was properly established on solids at about 7-8 mths and I think you will find this is generally the norm.....babies that are 3/4 months old that sleep through are not that common and as the others have said people are probably lying if they tell you they are !!!!!!!!! I thought my DD was never going to be a good sleeper (she had bad reflux too which didn't help) but she is now so hang in there and enjoy these cuddly moments ! S XX
  • Could you try feeding her when you go to bed rather than waiting until 1am. Isabelle is almost 13weeks and feeds every 2 hours in the day and I try to give her last feed at about 11pm. Sometimes she will go until 4/5, other times it's 7am. I just still take it as it comes.

    If your LO does 5 hours from 8pm if you could introduce a dream feed about 10pm, maybe that would take you to 3am and then your usual feeds would adjust so that the cluster feeding time is at a more managable time of the day? x
  • Should never have replied - he just woke at 4 am!! They have their own rules
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