Monday, December 3, 2007

Seriously, slept through the night at under 4 weeks?

My poll is still going down below, but I'm amazed there has been ~three~ voters who have said "under 4 weeks"!!!

First of all, I'm simply insanely jealous. I've only been sleeping through the night for a little more than 3 months now (since that is when #2 decided she'd do it) and I couldn't imagine how it would be if I've been sleeping for more than 2 years! ahhhh.

Secondly, I just can't comprehend it. Really? 4 weeks? Like a full night? If so, this leads me to my question. And I am ~not~ questioning any one's parenting skills here at all. But only repeating what was told to me by my breastfeeding book. I read, which quite surprised me, (paraphrased) ~"A newborn breastfed baby will happily starve itself to death while sleeping". Yeah. It was said that bluntly. Of course, my pediatrician didn't tell me it like that, but he did say I needed to wake the baby because breast milk digests very quickly, hence the need of having to wake them up to eat every two hours. He said to only do this for the first 4-6 weeks, afterwards, let them sleep if they do.

So, for the ones who had early sleepers, were they formula fed? Were they breastfed and they would sleep through the night if you didn't wake them? Or was your information about having to wake them not forced down your throats like it was mine? Did they sleep like this from early on and that's just how it was? They've slept through the night since under 4 weeks?

I know if I was the mother being asked this line of questioning, I would feel defensive and offended. So please understand I am not asking anyone it like I even think for a moment anyone was starving their children! I strongly believe many different types of feeding (breastfed, formula, early cereal) and schedules of feedings (every 2 hours, waking, not waking, etc) are completely up to the mother and child. Mothers know their babies and know then they need to eat. I'm simply just curious because of the information given to me and for the experience I had.

That's it. I'm just curious and if anyone wants to answer, please do. If you want to tell me to stick it up my ass, you can do that too! What I expect to hear is that information of waking up a baby to eat wasn't told to everyone or wasn't made to be so important, especially if it wasn't within the past 3 short years. And, the whole thing of "starving to death" is just plain silly. While a newborn baby who sleeps may be ~really~ hungry when they wake up on their own, and they may have even eaten if woken up during their sleep, it's not like going a night without food would starve them! I think my book said that for emphasis and it scared the brand new mother in me. And, of course, I'm still jealous there are babies out there who are good sleepers!


Anonymous said...

My kids never slept through the night that early (my first was around 4-5 months and my second about 8 weeks), but my baby book and my pediatrician said that if their weight gain is adequate at two weeks then it's okay to let them sleep as long as they want. Earlier than that or if they're not gaining enough weight, you need to wake them up.

nancy said...

Thanks for the comment! I've only had one pediatrician, so I have no idea what others suggest.

Anonymous said...

I don't have children of my own, but my aunt just had a baby...and I know she waked him up every 2 1/2 hours to feed him by bottle the first few months, after that he woke up on his own when he was ready to eat. He is almost 6 months now and will sleep from 9:00pm until 5:00 am on his own. I guess it does just depend on the mother and how they want to do it.

Meredith said...

Hey Nancy mine didn't sleep thru til 10 weeks, but I will share what my pedi told boys were both bigger babies 8lbs 9 oz and 8 lbs 11 oz. The pedi told me that becase they were such big babies I really didn't ever need to wake them. They also didn't lose that much weight after birth. Just to make everything else clear too - the fist was breastfeed til 3 weeks, the second for 5 days and then they swicthed to formula.

nancy said...

See? My questions are already being answered :) Thanks girls!

KonnorandJaxsMama said...

I am 2 of the 3 'under 4 weeks' votes. My first son was only 2 1/2 weeks old before he slept for a 6-7 hour period straight in the night. At 2 months old, he was sleeping for about 8-10 hours straight through. At a little over 2 weeks old, he almost doubled his birth weight and his pediatrician was not concerned at all that he was sleeping for that stretch through the night. He stayed in the 95th percentile through his first 18 months of life. He is almost 4 and weighs in at a nice 44 pounds.

My second son was born at 10 pounds and he needed to eat! He did not sleep through the night until just under his 1 month birthday. At his 2 week appointment, the pediatrician encouraged me to try to get rid of the 2am feeding. He got rid of it himself at just under 1 month old. He is now 18 months old and in the 100th percentile for weight. Both of my boys were formula fed.

I was one of those lucky moms and I know this and am thankful each and day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy. I voted 6-8 weeks. That is how old my 1st was when she began to sleep through the night. The 2nd was around 3 months or so. They were both formula fed and were around 7 lbs. at birth. My pediatrican told me to never wake them to be fed AT NIGHT. During the days i would feed them every 2-3 hours or so but at night I never woke them up after the last evening bottle before I put them down. They have always been great sleepers...guess I am one of the lucky ones. Now, if I can only get them to stop trying to kill one another...I'd be all set! Supernanny anyone???

Kaci said...

I was just catching up and haven't even read/answered your poll, but to answer your question regarding what I was told. With Matthew they told me to wake him every 4 hours if he didn't wake. Scarlett was 9 oz over her birth weight at 1 week and I had NOT been waking her - she was sleeping 6 hour stretches at night. They told me I was doing just fine. :) I breastfed both of them.

Now if only I could get her to sleep more than 8 hours - I shouldn't complain, but 8pm to 4am doesn't match "my" schedule!

Jenera said...

My little guy slept throught the night at weeks (by through the night I mean at least 7 hours straight).

He might have slept through earlier except we were fighting with breast feeding and him not getting enough. If we had formula feed right off the bat, maybe he would have been one of those few sleeping through the night so earlier.

Our pedi never said to wake him up at night. We were told, if he woke up, feed him. If he didn't, don't worry. We did wake him up every couple of hours during the day mostly for a schedule.

Poltzie said...

I just have a question:
When you say breastfeed do you mean you nursed the baby or do you mean you fed the baby breast milk from a bottle (ie.pumping?)
I would think that the term breastfeed actually means the baby drinking from the breast but maybe I am way out to left field and it means that that baby is getting breast milk regardless of the delivery?
Sorry I know this is a little off topic but I've seen a few of your posts refering to breastfeeding and wasn't quite sure what that means.
Sorry, I'm not a mom yet and it's all new to me!

jamie said...

My son was sleeping thru the night at 8 weeks. He was just shy of 10 pounds and he was only breastfed/formula fed for two weeks because my milk just never came in so he would be on each boob for twenty min and then drink four ounces of formula. so i said screw it. I started putting cereal in his bottle at the doctors request due to acid reflux *he would just barf the whole bottle back out* it was awful. anyhoo i think the cereal helped. He is a lazy bone anyway he sleeps in until 10 sometimes and my sister swears that is just not fair.

Kristen said...

Hi Nancy, I was one of the under 4week votes. I'm Kristen (I commented previously on your expert menstuator post). My second son was 8 lb, 15 when he was born at 38 weeks. He has never woken up more than one time during the night (as in one time each night), even in the hospital. He was completely breastfed until 7 months when he self-weened because I went back to work at 3 months and he seemed to enjoy the instant gratification of sucking down milk from bottles rather than the harder work of sucking milk from momma's BB's.) At 2 weeks of age he started sleeping from around 11 until 7, by 2 months old he was sleeping at least 7-7. He is now 2 and he normally sleeps about 13-14 hours each night - daytime sleeping is a hit and miss thing at the moment, he really doesn't want his nap some days. I was never encouraged to wake him up to feed and he tracked on the same percentile for weight throughout, in fact, he got a little pudgy early on. So, I'm guessing while you may have felt a sense of sisterhood after my previous comment, you now hate me right? LOL.

nancy said...


I define breastfed as drinking breastmilk only. I don't think the delivery has anything to do with it to be honest. Although I breastfed (on the breast) for the first 12 months of each child's life, I still got them used to the bottle, feeding them pumped breastmilk, around 3-4 weeks each. During the night, they never got bottles, just because I would either need to pump or feed from the breast, so it was easier to just feed them from the breast. The bottles was just so I didn't have to rely on the breast to feed them - I've seen girls (my best friend) who breastfed on for months and months without a bottle and then when they wanted to go out to dinner or go do something, they couldn't, because baby wouldn't take a bottle.

I think I rambled there. "Exclusively breastfed" = no formula, only breastmilk. "Nursing" refers to feeding on the breast, but I usually use synonymously with "breastfed", as is the same as most of the women I have talked with.

nancy said...

Kristen - Yup. All sisterhood went straight out the window! (j/k)

I got a taste of good sleeping with Ella. Although it took until 11 weeks, she was a good sleeper. And both my kids ~GO TO SLEEP~ very well. Anytime it's time to sleep, night or nap, I just put them in their beds, wide awake and kiss them "nigh nigh". Done. Allie was just an issue in staying asleep all night.

So I can't say I've had it bad. We all have to focus on what we were lucky with, right?

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy. :-) Peyton did not sleep through the night until he was about a year old (and was breastfed until he was 8mths old).
Danica, on the other hand, slept through the night (9hrs) from 2mths-4mths old. Then we have not seen it since. WIERD. I'm still nursing her and she's almost 8.5 months old. When she was sleeping through the night she did many little 15min catnaps during the maybe that was her reasoning for sleeping all night long?? Anywho...right now she's waking 3x a night and wants to nurse. YAWN.
=) Traci

Krista said...

sleep through the night? What is that? My breastfed kid still nurses around 3 am most nights - at the latest, she makes it until about 5. She is 11 1/2 months.

Poltzie said...

Thanks for clearing that up Nancy!

Anonymous said...

I never woke any of my 3 kids up to eat. Never. The nurses at the hospital did tell me to wake them but I chose to go by the old-age wisdom of "never wake a sleeping baby." I never asked my pedi. Although my oldest was not a good infant sleeper my younger 2 were sleeping thru by 8 weeks. All 3 were BF for a few weeks exclusively and starving(I hardly make any milk) and then by 6 weeks were completely switched to formula.

Sarah R said...

Andrew first slept through the night (from 11 pm - 5 am) at around 12 weeks, but it only happened for about a week or so. I usually always breastfeed him around 10:30 or so, and he was sleeping until 5 am but now he's back to waking up at 2. I'm just going with the flow with him. Whatever time he wakes up to eat, it's fine with me. I really second the comment you made about BFing at night. I am so glad I don't have to get up to go make a bottle!

The only crazy thing I guess that he's done early is gotten teeth. He turned three months old on 11/25 and 4 days later he had his 2 bottom teeth! He's very good while nursing and hasn't bitten me (yet).

Anonymous said...

I've never woken my kids up to feed at night.

TBB was breastfed for 2 weeks then formula fed and had reflux. He woke to feed til he was about 2 I think. He's 5yrs old this week and still often wakes/semi-wakes once a night.

TTG is breastfed and just over 8 months old. He wakes a few times a night to feed.

I'm not bothered by either of their wakings at this point in time.

DP is 36 and doesn't sleep through the night :)