23 answers

How Often to Feed a 5 Week Old

OK. SO I am dad, not a mom. However, I have a serious question. We have a 5-6 week old son. He eats about ###-###-####cc of Formula a day. Breast milk is not an option.

The issue is this. He can be very inconsistent in his feedings, especially at night. For example, last night I fed him at 5:AM. 100cc, which is a pretty good meal. Put him down to sleep at about 5:20. About an hour later he is up again . After some comforting, he goes back to sleep for a little while but is up again around 7:30, but only takes about 50cc and goes back to sleep. This of course does not satisfy him for long and he is up again at 8:30.

My wife and are are debating whether it is a good idea to make the baby WAIT to be fed. Small meals like 50cc, after all don't seem to sate him for very long or allow him to sleep.

On a related not, is it possible for the baby to be too tired to eat properly??? This assumes of course that he is already awake and feeding. We do NOT wake the baby just to feed it.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Dear J., Although it has been a long time for me, babies at 5-6 weeks are pretty much on demand. They do need their sleep as much as their food. When he is awake you may try keeping him awake to eat some more so he will sleep a bit longer. I was told to tickle or tap baby's foot. It may take time but baby will be on a better schedule. Life outside is as new to him as his being here is to you. Hang in there, best wishes, Grandma Mary

I would just do what you are doing. At 5 weeks they
are very inconsistent. Give him some time and it will
work itself out. It also sounds like after he sleeps
for a bit a 5AM, he is ready to start his day by 7AM.

Yes sometimes they are just too tired to eat. You sound
right on top of things, so just go with what he wants.
Congratulations.

More Answers

i am a nurse and a new mom and here is what i have figured out. 1. a 5 week old is way to little to be on a feeding sleeping schedule. they eat and sleep when they feel the need. that is why us moms are so delirious most days and nights. the baby will eventually around 2-3 months set own schedule. by 6 months baby is capable of sleeping all night (5 hours stretch) until then...unless you have a really great sleeper, you will be up every 1.5 - 3 hours to feed. it is exhausting but that goes along with the gift of being a parent to this precious baby. as a nurse i can tell you this...baby will go through several rapid growth spurts... 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks are the quickest. then it swaps to 2 months, 6 months, and 8 months. during this transition stage...baby will wake up much more often and eat what seems like an excessive amount on an irregular schedule. baby has no desire to over eat (like we grownups do) so if he/she is still hungry...then they are REALLY hungry whether it is 100cc or 50cc. i promise with time it will straighten out...just in time for teething when you will once again be up all night :) enjoy every second of it...it flies by! hope this helps from a parent/nursing perspective.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh he will continue like this for a while. My 8 week old is like this too. Sometimes he wants to eat and eat and other times just a little. You'll start getting a sense of whether it's a big or small feed, but I wouldn't make him wait...don't wake him unless it's been more than 3 1/2 to 4 hours since his last feed. As long as he has 8-10 wet diapers and 3-4 poopy ones in a day he's fine.

1 mom found this helpful

Please - DON'T make him wait for his food - you are his parents and are his only way to get his needs met. Don't try to structure your beautiful baby - this is what having a baby is all about.
Please- please make sure you give the baby what he needs WHEN he needs it - this will build a baby that trusts that his parents love him and will make sure that he is well taken care of.
He is only 5 weeks old - this is a change in your life - GO with it - enjoy him.
Many good wishes to you,
Celia

Newborns can be very confusing, especially when it comes to eating and sleeping. My son wanted to nurse every hour for the first month. Very exhausting and confusing because he would usually just fall asleep in the middle of the feeding. He is trying to work through his waking and sleeping and also he needs lots of conforting at this age. Feed him whenever he is hungry, even if he only eats a little. Also, bear in mind that he might also just want to be cuddled. Some babies have a very strong nursing instict (like my son who hated the bottle). Assuming he is gaining weight and otherwise happy, try not to stress because it will work itself out shortly enough.

I'm a mom of two (my little guy is 4 months)...and unfortunately, for a 5 week old, it's too early to put your baby on a schedule. They generally go on more predictable feeding schedules around 12 weeks. I always did 'on demand' feeding (and for a 5 week old, it usually worked out to every hour & 1/2 to 2 hours, and then stretched to two & 1/2 to 3 by 10 weeks), and I think most pediatricans would agree that this is way to early to make a baby 'wait to eat.' As far as the night goes...all babies whether breast fed or bottle fed go through the phase where they are hungry in the middle of the night, but are just too sleepy to get a good feed...you just have to go with it! It's exhausting, I know...but it will end soon enough. I know you said you didn't want to wake the baby to feed, but one thing I always found helpful was before my husband went to bed (he stays up later than me), he would wake the baby (even if it was 11 pm) with a little bath, so the baby was really awake and then get a good feed in then. Sometimes you can get a 3 hour stretch after that, and as the baby gets older - even 4/5 hours. Accrding to my pediatrician, most babies don't start sleeping through the night until 3 months or about 13-15 lbs.

Dear J., Although it has been a long time for me, babies at 5-6 weeks are pretty much on demand. They do need their sleep as much as their food. When he is awake you may try keeping him awake to eat some more so he will sleep a bit longer. I was told to tickle or tap baby's foot. It may take time but baby will be on a better schedule. Life outside is as new to him as his being here is to you. Hang in there, best wishes, Grandma Mary

I would just do what you are doing. At 5 weeks they
are very inconsistent. Give him some time and it will
work itself out. It also sounds like after he sleeps
for a bit a 5AM, he is ready to start his day by 7AM.

Yes sometimes they are just too tired to eat. You sound
right on top of things, so just go with what he wants.
Congratulations.

Please don't make the baby wait. Just trust that your baby will let you know what he needs exactly when he needs it. He is growing rapidly, both in body and brain, and also trying to adjust to his new environment. Remember too that their tiny stomachs can only hold a few tablespoons at this age, so it may seem like he's eating "too often." At this age, and for a long time after, "a baby's wants are a baby's needs," as they say. Meaning, they aren't savvy enough to manipulate or trick you--if they seem to be hungry, they need food, seem to be tired, they need sleep, etc. Once I took these ideas to heart, it actually was very freeing, because I didn't have to worry about how much or how often the baby was eating. Just roll with it and take his lead, follow his cues. You can't go wrong then.

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