My 3 1/2 Month Old Eats Every 2 1/2-3 Hours...

Lounge By JaeRodriguez Updated 21 Aug 2010 , 4:29am by margaretb

JaeRodriguez Posted 7 Aug 2010 , 7:55pm
post #1 of 36

24 hours a day! Is that normal?

He gets 6 ounce bottles and usually finishes them every feeding, when he doesn't finish them there is an ounce to a half ounce left.

My 16 month old was only waking up once a night by now. But he had more of a set bedtime where as this one just kinda whenever he wants. I'm so unbelievably tired all the time though.

I just started today cereal in his bottle, I'm not sure if it's helping, we'll see! Oh, btw, I know some people now say not to put the cereal in the bottle, what is the reasoning?

Ahhhhh I'm one tired mother... hehe

35 replies
zespri Posted 7 Aug 2010 , 8:31pm
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That's perfectly normal. They have such little tummy's, they can't store too much in them. Don't compare your babies, friends I've spoken to who have more than one tell me their eating habits are vastly different.

The reason you don't start solids so early is because studies have linked early solids to developing allergies, or asthma. Also their digestion system can't handle it very well, and in worse case can cause organ damage.

If he's only 3.5 months, don't expect him to sleep through the night yet. I know you're tired, but you must feed him when he needs it until he's about five months old. At that stage you can start 'sleep training'. To wean him off his night time feeds, you'll need to reduce the amount you give him at night slowly. If you give four scoops normally, do three scoops until he is making up that extra scoop during the day, then drop to two scoops... etc. The aim is to try and encourage him to drink all that milk during the day instead of needing it at night.

I suggest keeping a diary of his sleep/eating. I say that because you're putting him to bed whenever he likes, but you know from your first child that routine is extremely important for a baby, and for YOU, so you know when you can have lunch etc.

I really feel for you, I remember feeling so exhausted and teary and wanting to take the easy way out!

The best resource I've ever found is this website. Yes it's a shop, but they spend a LOT of time helping people with their baby sleep problems.

Go to their 'sleep information' tab at the top, they have NEVER failed to answer one of my questions, they're incredible! They even answer question e-mails personally. If you're on facebook, try their fan page, lots of help to be had.

Also I recommend the DVD called 'The Sleepeasy solution'. While they use the 'cry it out' method which I find a bit heart breaking, I just substituted it for the 'controlled crying' technique, (learned elsewhere) and all their other advice is totally solid.

I know you're tired, but if you get it sorted, you and he both will be sleeping through the night before you know it.

*hugs* good luck, and remember to be kind to yourself!

7yyrt Posted 7 Aug 2010 , 10:39pm
post #3 of 36

Try this website, it helped my daughter with her new son.

catlharper Posted 7 Aug 2010 , 10:46pm
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My kids were night and daughter slept 6 hours a stretch coming home from the hospital and my son didn't sleep more than 2 hours at a stretch till he was 9 mos old. My daughter ate every 2 hours when awake but my son hardly ate at all till he got on solid food and NOW he eats every 2 hours. So an odd mix there. Watch how your baby is gaining weight and ask your dr how fast you can start to introduce solid food. Baby cereal did nothing for my daughter...she just ate it AND more. But she was a small baby and a small toddler so the dr wasn't concerned. My son's weight didn't vary..steady the dr wasn't concerned. Babies eat and sleep differently. This doesn't mean we have to give in to every whim. If your baby is gaining too quickly then you will need to moderate the weight gain with food portion. Chances are everything is fine. It takes about 3 mos to find a routine so your baby may still be working that out.


Texas_Rose Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 4:29am
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My oldest was a hungry, hungry baby. She's now 8 years old and 4'6" which seems pretty big to me. She was a preemie and she had to eat every 2 hours. By the time she was a month old she was eating 8 oz at each feeding and it was every three hours. I wasn't able to breastfeed and we were spending tons on formula. Back then they said to start cereal at three months...they changed it to six months old a few years back.

My younger daughter never had as much appetite. She slept through the night much earlier and she just wasn't a big eater. She's about to turn 5 and she's below the 3rd percentile for growth. We're going to start having tests done to see if she has a growth problem that's treatable.

I'll be honest, between the two extremes, I'd rather have a baby with a big appetite icon_biggrin.gif It will get easier in a few months, and by the time he's a year old you won't even remember how exhausted you are now. Can you get your husband to help out now and then? Being able to sleep at least six hours every now and then is important. Even if your husband did one night feeding on each weekend night, that would help keep you going until your baby's past it.

ladyellam Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 6:24am
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I had a ten pound baby (they thought he was going to be 14 lbs!). He ate all the time! Every 2-4 hours until he was almost 7 months old. I ended up having to give him formula as well because I couldn't produce enough milk for him. He didn't sleep through the night until he was almost 10 months old. He used to be a night owl, just like his mommy.

I think every baby is different and as long as the doctor is happy with his weight/height, I wouldn't be too concerned.

I hope you get some sleep!

JaeRodriguez Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 1:57pm
post #7 of 36

Thanks everyone! :]

I asked my doctor if I could start cereal, and she said it's ok, but if he didn't want it not to push it. Well I did yesterday and yay, he slept 8 hours!

I think the reason (besides it's exhausting) it had me so worked up is because he WAS going 6-8 hours a night and then all the sudden he stopped! And I know they say it can be a growth spurt but not 3 weeks straight right?

The hubby- HA. That's all I have to say about him waking up with the baby!

Even if it's just one night of 8 hours, it was SO nice! haha

tsal Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 2:14pm
post #8 of 36

I have 3 boys (6, 4, and 20 months) and all of them were up constantly as newborns. I easily fed them every 2 hours for the first 6 months. Dh would joke that I must produce skim milk because they were always hungry! I breastfed, by the way, and were it not for my own serious food allergies and the research that shows that exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months cab prevent/reduce allergies in children, I would have thrown in the towel and given them a bottle here and there so I could sleep! What's worse was that I was dying for coffee but couldn't have too much because it would keep them up more! Oh, and I had to go on crazy elimination diets because they were all sensitive to dairy and soy for the first 9 months (they outgrew that thank goodness).

I totally understand sleep deprivation, but know that this too shall pass! Hang in there!!

JaeRodriguez Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 2:27pm
post #9 of 36

7yyrt, after reading that, I don't know if I want to continue to do the cereal in the bottle thing. I know he wont eat it off of a spoon, so I may talk to his doctor again Monday.

I am going to start keeping a food journal for him (I just started one for me so that shouldn't be hard.) And see exactly how much formula a day he is getting. I don't have that much longer until I can introduce solids, so I may just have to grin and bear it! My husband says I should nap (yeah, right) during the day if both the babies are sleeping. :/ I have tried but I just lay there and think of all the things I should be doing lol!

tsal- bless your heart!! Breastfeeding was a nightmare with my first baby, I couldn't keep up with him and oh the pain! The second time was so much easier, I had to stop because I had gallbladder surgery and couldn't hold him on my sutures!

I can't imagine having to do elimination diets, my mom told me horror stories about that with me, I was colicy and they blamed it on what she ate!

Thankfully, I have family that will watch them (usually they will watch the baby one night a week) and I can get a full night sleep. And THANKFULLY, I have an older child, so I know that this doesn't last forever! icon_razz.gif

Shelle_75 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 2:48am
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I agree it may be a growth spurt, or he may be starting to cut some teeth. Nursing/sucking really helps them, and I know mine ALWAYS want to nurse more when they are cutting their teeth. Even if no teeth bumps appear, his gums may be starting to get tender. Mine all cut their first two front teeth at two months, so 3 1/2 months wouldn't be totally out of line with teething.

Whatever the case, I hope you get some more rest there, Momma! And remember with babies, it's always a temporary state of being.

JaeRodriguez Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 1:08pm
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Thank you Michelle! I have heard of babies cutting teeth that early and his fist is always in his mouth so maybe that's what it is! We switched him to soy yesterday too.

hollyml Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 10:21pm
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Babies really should not eat ANYTHING other than breastmilk -- or formula, if breastfeeding isn't possible -- until they are able to begin feeding themselves. And cereal isn't necessarily the healthiest thing to start with either; banana, avocado, or sweet potato are more nutritious choices. Typically a baby who's ready for solids is *at least* six months old; though some babies may be ready a month or so earlier, no 3 month old should be eating cereal. "Ready for solids" means the baby can sit up with little or no support and has good control of head and hands, and shows readiness by grabbing at food and managing to put it in his/her mouth, without the tongue immediately thrusting it all back out.

Cereal in a bottle (except when prescribed for severe reflux) is a really bad idea not only because of all of the risks of early introduction of solid foods (digestive tract diseases, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and others, as well as simply poor nutrition) but also because it's a choking hazard. And because when the baby's digestive tract is not ready to cope with it, the baby's body has to put way too much energy into digestion and that takes away from the baby's ability to learn and develop -- which is why, although controlled studies have shown that young babies who get cereal do NOT sleep longer, they sometimes do seem to sleep "harder." Babies are biologically *meant* to sleep lightly and wake frequently, and to eat very frequently. Those babies who sleep more deeply and don't disturb their parents at night are often called "good sleepers" but in fact they are at a much higher risk of SIDS and of assorted more subtle health problems.

More info and references:

I know very little about formula feeding or the differences between different kinds of formula, but I do know that usually the healthiest way to formula feed is to make it mimic breastfeeding as closely as possible. So yes, it's normal for a 3 month old to eat every 2 or 3 hours around the clock, although it's not ABnormal for a baby that age to have one longer stretch at night. (Babies often go through a major readjustment of their sleep habits at about 4 months, so you may be able to nudge your son into letting you sleep a bit longer soon. icon_smile.gif) And your approach to solid foods should not be significantly different than it would be if you were still breastfeeding.

I had my own set of challenges with breastfeeding but fortunately neither of my babies was sensitive to caffeine! I would've REALLY hated to give up coffee! icon_smile.gif

zespri Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 10:48pm
post #13 of 36

well said Holly. I have also read that if a baby (who is too young for solid foods) sleeps better through the night after solids, then it has shown it is a coincidence, and probably due to something else.

I think the reason it's suggested bottle feeding mimic's breast-feeding is based on the assumption that the mother is doing both, so wants to avoid 'nipple confusion'. Otherwise there is no reason to do so. I was very distressed that my baby could not latch on, I had an extremely slow let-down, and very little milk. So I expressed eight times a day for five months, and I STILL couldn't produce enough milk so had to use formula. (yes, I saw three different lactation consultants, there were a variety of reasons the latching didn't work). Some of my husbands colleagues have recently completed some (as yet unpublished) research which proves a combination of breast and bottle feeding seems to be best. Exclusively breast-fed babies were more likely to develop asthma and other allergies, which they think may be due to the baby developing a better immune system from the germs the bottles exposed them to. Also formula has some beneficial ingredients (I think iodine was the example I was given..?) which breast milk does not.

All in all, I am happy that I gave my baby a combination of breast milk and formula, and I will do the same thing with my next baby whether my milk comes in better or not.

mariak Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:20am
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I can so relate! I just had my 9th baby and he is the worst I have ever had. He is three months and eats every two hours, day and night. Sometimes he doesn't take more than a ten minute nap all day and then hardly sleeps at night. I am going nuts. I just keep telling myself it will get better as he gets older but it is hard when you aren't getting any sleep.

JaeRodriguez Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:28pm
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Maria! 9th! wow, I need to stop complaining! :] That's amazing, I used to want 6 kids but my pregnancies have been so horrible health wise that my two will probably be it. We will probably adopt later on. You need to update your signiture and put your new baby on it! :]

Thank you for sharing, I feel better knowing that at least I'm not the only one suffering through it!

The past two nights Jacks has only woken up once a night to eat. We switched his formula to Soy and I also moved him into his brother's crib and his brother in our room. Something must have worked! :] There is hope! icon_razz.gif

At least you have other babies too so you know that there is an end to the sleepless nights. (Well, in this way, anyway! icon_razz.gif) Are you a stay at home mom?

hollyml Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 11:44pm
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I'm curious about this unpublished research that shows combifeeding to actually be beneficial. If so, it is the first medical study EVER done ANYWHERE to show ANY medical benefit WHATSOEVER of formula. (Bottle nipples boosting the immune system? Did none of the breastfed babies in this study stick random things in their mouths? Mine sure did, even the one who refused to take a bottle or a pacifier!)

It's true that formula has some artificial additives (like iron and Vitamin D) which may seem "beneficial" compared to breastmilk, but the level of benefit is debatable, and is anyway vastly outweighed by all the risks associated with formula and bottle feeding. Food scientists can't even identify everything that's in breastmilk, let alone reproduce it artificially! (The reason breastmilk has less of some of the vitamins and minerals we *can* identify is that the biological norm is for babies to get them from other sources anyway. Vitamin D, for example, is produced in the body as a result of sun exposure.)

Anyway, I don't want to turn this thread into a debate over formula feeding! Not really what the OP was about. But I beg you, please try not to spread misinformation on the subject. There are many situations where, overall, using formula (whether exclusively or in combination with breastfeeding) is a reasonable choice. But one can hope that mothers will make that choice on the basis of accurate information. If you're talking solely about the health of the baby, there are NO "benefits" of formula, as compared with breastfeeding. That's like saying the benefit of using a manual wheelchair, as compared with walking, is that it can really build up your arm muscles.

As for "bottle nursing" (bottle feeding in a way meant to be as close to breastfeeding as possible) it doesn't really have anything to do with avoiding nipple confusion. (Nipple confusion is only an issue in the first couple weeks of a baby's life anyway; the more common problem is bottle preference, and there it's often best to make bottle feeding as UNLIKE nursing as possible.) It just has to do with feeding the baby in as natural a way as possible, because there's no reason to take risks you don't have to take. I'm not aware of any good information suggesting that the introduction of solid foods should be done earlier, later, or in any other way differently for formula-fed babies than it is for breastfed babies. Well, there's one exception to that, the diabetes study that showed an increased risk of diabetes when babies were not fed cereal until after 7 months old. However, that study did not really deal with the nuances of breastfeeding vs formula feeding. There's a suggestion that if you're switching from breastfeeding to formula, and you're introducing solids in the same time frame, then it's best to introduce wheat before the baby is weaned from the breast. If you're already exclusively formula feeding before 6 months, or if you have no plans to wean your baby from the breast until long after he is eating a variety of solid foods also, then it's irrelevant.

FWIW, I'm not a dietician or lactation consultant or anything so nobody should take my word for anything. I'm just a mom and breastfeeding advocate/peer counselor who's done a LOT of reading. icon_smile.gif

zespri Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 12:18am
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I must say Holly, that's a rather inflammatory post. You claim that your information is better than mine, then you go on to say you are just a "mom who has done a lot of reading". How do you come to the conclusion that your reading is better than my highly qualified doctor friends? My sources are research doctors who have have done years of study and research to get themselves into a position where they can make claims like this and back them up. Have you considered the possibility that your sources might be older than mine (most research takes years to work it's way into the public), or heaven forbid you're basing your advice on the 100% reliable internet.

Yes Holly, your post was inflammatory, and yes, I'm responding in kind. Please get off your high horse and think twice before assuming your advice is better than someone elses. The wonderful thing about opinions is that everyone is allowed to have their own, we don't all have to agree. I was very clear in saying that the research I referred to was passed to me by word of mouth, and is as yet unpublished, so anyone reading it can make up their own mind as to whether or not it is worth considering or not.

You've advised me not to spread misinformation, but what you really mean is 'don't give advice that disagrees with what I have come to believe is true'. The world was once thought to be flat by smarter people than you or I. Just because the official stance is 'breast is best', doesn't mean it's always going to be the official stance. Heavens, everyone in my generation was slept on their tummies as a baby, becasue that's what our parents were told to do in order to prevent SIDS. Now we're told that tummy sleeping actually contributes to SIDS. My point is that research is happening all the time, things change.

By the way, I'm curious as to how much research you have done in order to back up your statement that this is the first research EVER done ANYWHERE to show ANY medical benefit WHATSOEVER (gotta love your overuse of capitals to slam me down). Have you contacted every university in the world to see what research they have done? I know in my husbands case his research takes years to get from the results stage, to being reviewed by his peers and submitted for publication, and for organisations like the world health organisation get around to using this research constructively.

I think the point of my response here is not to say you're wrong, you could be right. I don't have all the answers, only my own opinion. My point is to suggest that you consider that other people might have something of value to add, even if you disagree with it.

FWIW, I'm not a dietician or lactation consultant or anything so nobody should take my word for anything. I'm just a mum and pro-CHOICE/peer counselor who's married to a highly qualified health research doctor who is also a member of the world health organisation, and who is good friends with a lot of other highly qualified health research doctors who specialise in child development, and members of the world health organisation.

Since you pointed out that you don't want to turn this into a debate, please feel free to continue telling me I'm full of it in a private message. I somehow doubt that you were sincere in your wish not to hi-jack the thread, or you would have done that in the first place.

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:45am
post #18 of 36

Well now that we're talking solid foods- heh- I have a question!
I just heard a snippet of a radio show the other day saying there has been a new study that starting solids before 6 months wasn't contributing to allergies or it was beneficial or something of that nature. Has anyone heard this? Sorry I didn't get any info I wasn't paying attention until I realized what they were saying!

zespri Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:56am
post #19 of 36

I hope so, it's quite a struggle to hold out for the six month mark. I was determined to wait for six months to give my boy the best chance I could. But then Plunket (organisation dedicated to helping and educating new mothers) told me he was obviously ready, and to get on with it! I did the same as you and started with cereal, though I fed mine with a spoon. It's what we're told to do here by Plunket, because it's very bland, and bland is good when they're just starting out apparently.

Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

Well now that we're talking solid foods- heh- I have a question!
I just heard a snippet of a radio show the other day saying there has been a new study that starting solids before 6 months wasn't contributing to allergies or it was beneficial or something of that nature. Has anyone heard this? Sorry I didn't get any info I wasn't paying attention until I realized what they were saying!

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 2:12am
post #20 of 36

We're told that too! But it's a bit of opinion as to when you actually start most people say anywhere 4-6 months!

zespri Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 2:20am
post #21 of 36

ditto, we're told the average is six months, but never any earlier than four months. I suppose it depends on the baby as to whether it would be a problem. For example pamol is the most common form of pain medicine here for babies (I guess it's equiv to american tylanol). It would seem pretty harmless, right? My friend works in the local childrens hospital, and recently she had two babies (about 18 months old) in who needed kidney transplants. Their mothers were trying to keep their fevers down so giving them pamol more frequently than it says to on the instructions.... and that's all it took to damage their wee kidneys. I asked how long they had been overdosing with it, and apparently it was only two days....... that's scary. I don't know about you, but most people I know throw back basic pain killers like pamol as if it's nothing. And I bet a lot of babies would have withstood that better, but these two poor souls didn't. Maybe it's the same with the solids, most would be OK, but the few that wouldn't mean there's a blanket recommendation that you don't do it.

Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

We're told that too! But it's a bit of opinion as to when you actually start most people say anywhere 4-6 months!

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 2:31am
post #22 of 36

Very true and very scary for those poor babies!! That's why I am so careful with Tylenol and Motrin doses with my boys. Especially with new studies coming out daily about these kids medicines!

Adevag Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 2:34pm
post #23 of 36
Originally Posted by mariak

I can so relate! I just had my 9th baby and he is the worst I have ever had. He is three months and eats every two hours, day and night. Sometimes he doesn't take more than a ten minute nap all day and then hardly sleeps at night. I am going nuts. I just keep telling myself it will get better as he gets older but it is hard when you aren't getting any sleep.

Wow! I am definitely done with kids and I only have three. I can't imagine doing it all over again six more times!!! You must be getting some help from your older kids then (I hope).

Holly, thanks for all that information. Very interesting reading.
It's probably one of the hardest things for mothers - trying to understand the need for our babies. when we want what is best for our children and have to make the decision for them.

JaeRodriguez, I'm glad it's getting better for you. What a difference it is with a few hours of extra sleep.

It seems like we all get very different advice, depending on generations and locations. With my first, I was told start solids at 4 months. With my second (only 17 months later) it had changed to 6 months (same doctor). Weird. I never liked cereal, it caused constipation to my babies so I stopped using it.
With my third baby I had more confidence in myself to ignore doctors advice (ok. not ignore but not necessarily do exactly what they said) and be more relaxed about when to introduce solids.
I did exclusive breastfeeding for the first 7 months and then barely nothing but breastmilk until 9 months. The wonderful thing about breastfeeding is that when your child increases his/her appetite, they will at first have more frequent feedings, but then your breasts fill up with more milk to keep up with the demand.

Now my daughter is 2 1/2 and she is still being breast fed, but only like 2-3 times/ day. But whenever she is done I am ready for it LOL

I have not read as much as others about it, but my common sense tells me that a mothers breast milk must be better for a human child than breast milk from a cow or processed beans. But it's great that there are options for the many who cannot provide their child with breast milk of their own.
It's amazing how our bodies work. I read that a child's cells will absorb the mother's anitbodies for the first two years, then the cells close. So if the mother has had for example chicken pox, the child will be protected by getting the mother's immuniglobins and not be at risk during those two fragile years.

zespri, it would be interesting to hear more about that research. But from what your wrote ("Exclusively breast-fed babies were more likely to develop asthma and other allergies, which they think may be due to the baby developing a better immune system from the germs the bottles exposed them to." - not saying that sums up the research you learned about. I'm sure there is more to it), I would also think along the same lines as Holly and just solve it by exposing my baby to the germs from pacifiers and chew toys.

7yyrt Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 3:12pm
post #24 of 36

Not to mention the germs from puppies and kittens and chickens.

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 4:21pm
post #25 of 36

Haha, germs!!!

I would have loved to continue breast feeding but I couldn't because I had my gallbladder out and couldn't find a way to feed with my incisions. I don't like having to figure out which formula my boy needs while his poor tummy "suffers". I think the soy is the best, he's been sleeping better, eating more consistantly and his gas is much better!

I too, have had doctors/nurses tell me that now formula is just as good as breast milk. (Holly- I'm not saying that I know for a fact, just stating what they've told me as fact.) I haven't researched it at all, as I've no need because we've already switched to formula anyway.

Isn't it crazy how often they change their minds when "new" research comes about? With my first baby, he WOULD NOT sleep on his back. I kept him in the swing for 4 months because if I put him down on his back he'd be awake in no time. Even swaddled! Finally (after his weight BROKE the swing! icon_razz.gif hehe the motor burned out) and I tried and tried to put him down on his back... I put him down on his belly and immediately he was out and slept the whole night. WOW. I'm not advocating tummy sleeping, I do realize that there have been studies showing a greater risk of SIDS on tummy sleeping. I stayed up two nights in his room on the computer and reading because I was so worried about him being on his tummy, but for HIM it's what he wanted.

Of course, the older generations (I was at my wits in and in tears about him not sleeping on his back) the first thing out of anyone's mouth was "Honey, you slept on your tummy, you're still here"! Haha...

Maybe in 5 years it will be back to sleeping on belly because ....


Adevag Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 5:15pm
post #26 of 36

I remember when I was a child, my mom put my baby brother in his crib on his tummy. My mom told me that it's safer for a baby to sleep on his/her tummy in case they spit up they would not risk choking or drowning in their own spit up fluids.
My oldest is the only one I could keep on his back at all times.
I had to give my first child formula for his first month or two (can't remember). He had a rare case of jaundice that was triggered from my breast milk. So every other feeding had to be formula for a while. I was pumping to keep up, but it was a hard start for me. We also used a soy formula. Then I went back to exclusive breast feeding again. None of the other two kids had any jaundice. (which was nice both for me and them, and their poor heel that was not poked so many times.)

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 6:09pm
post #27 of 36

Aw, my first had jaundice too, he never had the little glow worm light but we did sit him in front of the window when the sun was shining! My second didn't have it at all. They told me to supplement formula with my first, and I had no clue what I was doing so I used a bottle and BOY oh BOY after that World War 3 to try and get him to nurse again. I was scarred for life I thought! I said I'd never nurse again! It was SO much easier the second time around!

zespri Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 7:47pm
post #28 of 36

It's a relief to hear people say that, I really really want to be able to breastfeed my next successfully, and I tried SO hard with my wee man. I'll never forget right after he was born the midwife looking at my breasts and saying "you're not going to be able to breastfeed with those!!" But we tried hard anyway. I thought (& still think) it's a really special thing to be able to do for your baby.

One of my neighbours told us her mother couldn't breastfeed, and she lived in the country with no wet nurses available. So she was fed solids along with goats milk right from birth!!!

My little guy also prefers to tummy sleep, our doctor says it's common with reflux babies as it's more comfortable for them. I would let him do it during the day as long as I was sitting next to him, but at night I would swaddle him and put him in a wedge on his side, as his head was getting so flat. But as soon as he could roll over on his own I stopped swaddling him and took him out of his wedge for his own safety, and he flipped onto his tummy out of choice.

Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

I said I'd never nurse again! It was SO much easier the second time around!

hollyml Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 10:48pm
post #29 of 36

I think the study Jae is referring to is one that said there's no benefit, in terms of preventing food allergies, to delaying specific foods considered highly allergenic (such as peanuts). But in this context "delaying" means to 12 months or longer. It's still the official AAP recommendation that babies should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, though of course many individual doctors tell parents that it's okay to introduce solids as early as 4 months.


Maybe it's the same with the solids, most would be OK, but the few that wouldn't mean there's a blanket recommendation that you don't do it.

Yeah, my understanding is, that's basically right. Some babies' digestive systems are matured enough to handle solid foods by 4 months, but that's the absolute earliest. Whereas by 6 months it's a rare baby who is NOT ready. So, thus the blanket recommendation to wait until 6 months, because it's not as if you can directly observe whether or not the baby's gut has closed. You can go by external developmental markers, though -- like, the baby grabs a piece of your banana and stuffs it in his mouth icon_smile.gif -- and that's more accurate than going by the calendar.

Baby-health recommendations do change as evidence is gathered, and sometimes it changes fast! The risks of liver disease associated with Tylenol was all over the news not that long ago, and didn't childrens cough suppressants finally get pulled off the market (in the US) recently? (There being no evidence whatsoever that they do any good, though I don't remember if someone proved that they do significant harm.) It's pretty clear now that back sleeping goes a long way to reducing the risk of SIDS -- something that we simply didn't know a generation ago. But the thing is, the *reason* that back sleeping has that effect is that babies who sleep on their backs are less comfortable and do not sleep as deeply as babies who sleep on their tummies! In a way, the back sleeping counteracts the higher risk that goes along with "modern" modes of baby-care like formula feeding. It's not at all clear whether the overall risk of SIDS is higher or lower for a formula fed baby sleeping alone in his own crib on his back, or an exclusively breastfed baby sleeping on his side cuddled up next to his mother in her bed. Nobody's managed to make that kind of direct comparison in a controlled study. We do know that bedsharing is dangerous for a formula fed baby, that if anyone in the household smokes the risk is higher regardless of any other factor, and that the risk goes significantly higher any time a baby is put to bed in a *different* position or situation than the baby is normally put to bed. (So if your baby normally sleeps on his back, it's *especially* important that he is *never* put to bed on his tummy, but if he normally sleeps on his tummy, the risk can actually go *up* the one time he is put down on his back!)

But also, a lot of otherwise excellent doctors and other medical care providers, not to mention grandmothers and nannies and whoever, simply are not well-educated nor up-to-date on specific issues. Most pediatricians receive essentially NO training about breastfeeding and there are a lot of very persistent myths. (Like the jaundice thing -- using formula for a jaundiced baby is almost always counter-productive, but plenty of doctors still recommend it based on outdated assumptions and information -- and how is a brand new mom supposed to know?) I absolutely support a mother's right to choose to stop breastfeeding because she is facing some challenge that she can't overcome without a big cost to her own health and sanity -- which, after all, affects her baby's well-being too, not to mention the rest of her family and anyone else who relies on her. But it makes me angry that so many mothers who do encounter problems get NO support or accurate information or advice about HOW to solve those problems. Instead they get, "oh, just use formula, it's just as good." It's NOT just as good. That's a provable, and long-proven, fact. There is a huge body of research that demonstrates very extensively and very convincingly that the more formula a baby is fed, the higher that baby's risk of essentially every disease and chronic medical problem known to mankind. Sure, in some cases, the "normal" or baseline risk of Disease X is already so low that even a very dramatic increase in risk is still pretty low in real terms. Ten times a one-in-a-million risk is only a one-in-a-hundred-thousand risk. But wouldn't you rather have someone explain that to you if you are facing the choice? For most mothers, who WANT to breastfeed, being told to just quit because "it's no big deal" is disrespectfully dismissive and patronizing. If you are having trouble with any of your normal bodily functions, don't you expect a doctor to tell you what your options are and what the relative risks and potential side effects of each of those options are? You don't want the doctor to tell you, "oh, just live without it, it's no big deal." But, sadly, that's what a lot of doctors tell mothers for whom lactation doesn't come easily.

So anyway. I really don't mean to be inflammatory, and I am not judging any mother's choices. But I am passionate about it because so many mothers are so badly misinformed and undermined by the very people who are supposed to be supporting and advising them. That really makes me mad.

Oh, and it usually *is* much easier the second (and subsequent) time around -- although at least in my case, it was just as challenging but the specific problems were totally different! That was true of a lot of things with the second baby, not just breastfeeding. The things that were all kinds of trouble the first time were not an issue at all, but there were whole new problems to cope with! icon_lol.gif People always asked me if it was easier or harder with the second baby and I always said "both!"

7yyrt Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 11:01pm
post #30 of 36

There may not be any benefit in holding off feeding the common foods that lead to allergies, but my grandkids still do not get them until after a year.
The reason being: at the same time we are told there is no benefit to delay feeding them, the numbers of kids with allergies seems to be skyrocketing.
That is good enough to us to hold off for a while.

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