May 16, 2008,
H.H. asks from Las Vegas, NV on May 15, 2008
11 Week Old Going 5 - 6 Hours Without Eating at Night.
I am a third time mom. I have a 7 year old, 3rd year old daughters and a 11 week old son. My question today is regarding my son. He was 6 weeks early and weighed 4 lbs 10 oz. He now weighs approx. 11 lbs. and is a beautiful healthy baby. When he was born, he had very weak jaws and had to be fed through a tube. When I took him home from the hospital 2 weeks after his birth, the nurse stressed that he needs to eat a certain amount in a limited amount of time. Because of this, I am now a control freak regarding his feedings and the amount he eats in a 24 hour period. I keep a journal about all of his meals; times and amounts. I have noticed a pattern that in the evening he will have his last bottle about 7pm. and fall asleep about 9pm and sleep until 1:30 - 2am. At that feeding he will only eat about 2.5oz and is not interested in any more. I try diaper changes to wake him, turn on a lamp, and tv. He just wants to go back to sleep. Wakes again 3 hours later and I am lucky to get 2 more oz into his belly. During the day he eats 3 oz a feeding , but lately is really a distracted eater and the 3 oz can be a struggle. He averages about 22 oz in a 24 hour period.
I have tried feeding him right before he sleeps at 9pm and he is not interested. I have also tried waking him at 11pm and tried to feed him, and he is not interested.
My concern is the length of time he goes without eating. And when he does it is very little. I would think that he would be famished and eat up his bottle.
I know, I must sound crazy. Most moms just want their babies to sleep at night. I want mine to wake up and eat more. Is it okay for a 11 lb baby to go 6 hours without eating?
He has a check up next week with the ped.
Thanks for your advise!! Heidi
S.H. answers from Honolulu on May 15, 2008
I would REALLY check with your Pediatrician first... being he was premature, and per the specific instructions you received about the frequency & amounts of feedings he must have.
Premature babies have specific needs versus a full term baby. It cannot be compared.
Here is a link on premature babies:
Your son is now 11 weeks old....typically, at 3 months of age, this is a growth spurt time, and they typically feed more and more frequently at this phase. But again, he was premature, so I'm not sure how this time-line would apply to your baby.
His intake is... 3 oz. or less per feeding. How often to do feed him... about every 3 hours?
I'm thinking, since he had "weak jaws" when he was born...and had to be fed through a tube... I would REALLY check on this again and follow up on it. Weak jaws doesn't just go away when you bring him home. See a Lactation Consultant... and check with your Pediatrician as well... you want to make sure that (1) he is nursing/suckling properly....as this impacts their "ability" to feed. (2) make sure he is intaking enough....as this directly impacts their growth and weight gain (3) is he having enough wet and poopy diapers? (4) is he gaining weight and growing appropriately?
Sure, it's generally great that babies sleep well at night. But since your baby was premature and had issues with his feeding & jaws...I would really consult your Pediatrician. It's curious that he is not interested in feeding. SOMETIMES, this can mean that he is having a hard time suckling...I have 2 friends whose babies had this problem... and their babies were not feeding well nor gaining appropriate weight etc. I would really check on this. Sometimes, lack of intake, can make them lethargic...or dehydrated. Best to make EXTRA sure.
I would be doing the same as you, logging everything, if that were my baby. Your'e doing a great job of monitoring him... I would be the same way.
Take him to the doctor and check, also see a Lactation Specialist. It could just be that your baby is a good night time sleeper....but just double check with the doctor, since he also seems uninterested in feeding.
Take care and all the best,
1 mom found this helpful
J.B. answers from Los Angeles on May 15, 2008
hunny your baby knows when he is and isnt hungry i wouldnt stress over it unless he slows on eating all day. my daughter at like 6 weeks didnt wake to eat for 11 hours one night i still automatically woke every 3 and checked to see if she was awake and she wasnt so i went back to sleep. my mil got mad that i didnt wake her and i told her that if she was hungry she would have woke up. so dont worry too much. if you are that concerned call his dr.
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J.L. answers from San Diego on May 15, 2008
Hi Heidi, i have a little advice for you, but with an 11 week old, always consult your pediatrician before trying. Have you tried puting a little rice cereal in an infant feeder, a little cereal will feel him up more so than a little breast milk or formula. The fack that your baby was early, he may sleep more, but remember that;s when he is growing, I had all 3 of my babies on rice cereal at 6 weeks old, and it was a blessing. J.
K.S. answers from San Luis Obispo on May 15, 2008
Stop freaking yourself out. First of all he went from 4lbs 10 oz to 11 lbs in 6 wks. He is obviously getting the nutrician he needs to grow. My daughter is 14 mnths old now and I had the same problem. Everyone had there own opinion. When I just let her decide when she was full and went with her flow the both of us were much happier and less stressed. She started out at 6 lbs 14 oz and is now 17 lbs.(tiny I know), but the doctor says she will be a pettite girl. She looks very healthy.
Your baby can sense that you are stressed about this and feeds off of this. If you are nurvous so will he be. If you let him sleep for 6 or even 7 hours he would probably eat better at his last and first bottle after this time. Please stop worrying so much.
K.C. answers from Los Angeles on May 16, 2008
My first son was 7 weeks early, and 4lbs 11 oz. He to had a NG tube because being preemies, they do have a "weak jaw" or not a very strong sucking motion. He was on NG feedings for 4 weeks, to be sure he was getting enough calories. The doctors said as long as he was taking enough in the day, then I could let him sleep. He slept thru the night at only 6 weeks old! He ate like a pig in the day, and slept like a baby at night! I want to say at 3 months it was 24 oz. in a 24 hour period. This could be diffrent for your baby, as every case is diffrent. The thing is he has been home for awhile now, and when you left the NICU is diffrent then now. He has grown (very well by the sounds of it), and is obviouslly thriving. He should start to sleep longer periods by this time anyways. Call your pediatricians office forsure (even if you just ask a nurse or leave a message with the Ped.) to calm your nerves, but other then that enjoy your baby, it sounds like he is doing great.
B.R. answers from Los Angeles on May 15, 2008
Now that he is healthy, your baby knows better than anyone else how much he needs to eat. And you know the rest of us moms are cursing you because you are getting so much sleep! Talk to his pediatrician at his next appointment if you're concerned (or call if you're really concerned). But as long as he is hydrated (has wet diapers regularly, has BM's every day or so, and his soft spot isn't sunken), and doesn't act lethargic or sluggish when he is awake, he is fine.