Eating in the night - is it necessary?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2005
Eating in the night - is it necessary?
4
Thu, 08-12-2010 - 5:50pm

Up until 8 months old, DD was a great sleeper. She was going 6:30pm to 5am, and then back to bed until 7:30/8 for a morning nurse.


Around 8 mths she started getting teeth and I kind of blamed night wakings on that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Thu, 08-12-2010 - 6:56pm

If you look at the studies of "normal" infant sleep there is a period of increased night waking around 9 months.

"Regular night waking was a common characteristic throughout the first year:
Baby's age

% babies waking at night
3 months 46%
6 months 39%
9 months 58%
12 months 55%

The number of awakenings per night was a function of age. Following a decline in the number of interruptions from 3 to 6 months, an increase in night waking at age 9 months was recorded."

Another study notes, "Sleeping through the night: 71.4% did this on at least one occasion by 3 months of age, but many of these relapse into more frequent waking in the 4 to 12 month period. It is not until after 24 months that regular night waking (requiring attention) becomes much less common."

Although this study did not address breastfeeding, it is relevant because a lack of understanding of "normal" sleep patterns can lead to supplementing, early solids, belief there is not enough milk, etc. http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/sleepstudies.html

If you also consider that this is a time of high distracability, teething and other developmental advances this is not surprising. I know you siad you are following baby's lead in the day. What often happens is that baby is distracted (or busy) and does not nurse as much in the day - well then they make up for it at night by nursing more. So the increased nursing at night is "necessary" IMO - baby has to get those calories in somewhere. Also BF is babies way of checking in (day or night), getting a drink etc.

Just keep in mind that the night waking is temporary and even if you do nothing it will end. I can tell you that when my 2nd DS was around 19-20 months and still waking 3 times a night we night weaned, but night weaning did not end his night waking.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2004
Thu, 08-12-2010 - 9:40pm

I had this exact problem. We sleep-trained my DS at around 5.5m old and he was STTN ~11hrs per night. All of a sudden at around 7mos, he stopped and was up every 3 hours again. He would nurse and go right back to sleep.

I found out by chance, when we were sleeping somewhere that happened to be hot and he STTN, that he was just too cold! My DH used to keep the AC turned super low. My DS could tolerate it for 3 hours before waking up, and he needed the warmth of my body to put him back to sleep. Ever since we stopped keeping it so cool, he has STTN every night!

I would agree that it could definitely be a developmental thing, but it could also be something as simple as the temperature. It couldn't hurt to try to change the temp!



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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2008
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 10:47pm
Just wanted to jump in and agree with PP. Our son was sleeping wonderfully and then all the sudden he
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2007
Sat, 08-14-2010 - 10:03pm
My daughter's sleep gets disrupted any time she is teething. Starting around 6 months and then repeating every couple months. They also have disrupted sleep for developmental reasons too. My daughter has always been a night nurser and like yours goes right back down (unless with teething and then she tries the perma latch). I've just always operated under the assumption that she knows what she needs. Sure some babies don't, but I know mine and she does, so I really dislike sweeping statements from docs who don't know my baby.


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