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Hunger sign when sleeping.. Should I wake my baby up?

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    Gataloca's Avatar
    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Hunger sign when sleeping.. Should I wake my baby up?

    I have been schedule feeding my newborn because he would have long sleep (4 to 5 hours) even during day time. Since he would wake up very hungry, he would then feed for hours. So I preferred waking him up every 3 hours to feed him.

    Now, after his 2nd growth spurt (I guess I didn't notice the 1st one) at week 2, he has been more constantly asking for feed (every 1 to 3 hours), therefore I am letting him lead, and feeding on demand.

    However, sometime he is sleeping and showing sign of hunger. He would make some fussy sound, move a lot, make sucking sound, etc. Should I wake him up and feed him? or should I wait till he is fully awake and crying before feeding him...... Sometime I read his hunger cue, and when I am ready to feed him, he is back asleep..... should I wake him up?

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    Lisainhk is offline Registered User
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    Congrats on the new bub! Mine is almost 1 year old now and it seems like yesterday that he was tiny. Sigh.
    Anyway, mine would also sleep long hours in the day so I had to wake him to feed him. I think though if your bub is sleeping and moving around and making sucking sounds it might not mean that he is hungry as such. It could be gas or just being a restless bub. If he is waking for a feed every 3 hours that's good enough so you shouldn't need to wake him when he is sleeping now. I think it's best to let him wake up properly otherwise he will just fall asleep again as you said. My boy still makes sucking sounds and faces in his sleep hehe.

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    no, do not wake him.

    i do understand that you are a new mum and are unsure of what to do exactly. that is perfectly normal, you are not the first nervous mum, nor will you be the last.

    the best thing to do is what you think is right.

    personally, i would NEVER wake either of my kids. i figured "if they were hungry, they'd let me know." and they did. my daughter went from bottom 2% up to 50% in 8 weeks! i fed on-demand and it all worked out. it's amazing that they develop their own little routines and often-times adults don't even realise or pick up on it. believe me when i say, your baby WILL give you proper, unmistakable cues. i always figure if i have to ask myself, "is that a cue?" then it's not.

    your baby WILL wake up when he's ready and when he's hungry. he should not be feeding for 2 hours at a time, no matter how hungry he is. after about the first 30-40 minutes (maximum) the sucking is just for comfort. soon, you will recognise the different types of "suck" that babies have. the "i'm famished cause i just had a REALLY long sleep!" suck is very different than the "mmmmm.... my mummy is so nice and cuddly!" suck.

    it will just take you a little while to recognise them.

    good luck!

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    Gataloca's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the responses. I guess I am confused with all the information that are found on books and on the web. Some say that one should feed once the baby shows sign of hunger, and should not wait till him cries as he may become too fussy for a proper feed.

    Today I watched a documentary, and it says that "by the 3rd week, most of the parents know how to interpret their baby cry". I really felt like a bad mum because other than the cough like cry, which means hunger, I don't recognize any other cry. I don't know when he is tired, bored, over stimulated, or his nappy is dirty... it is really frustrating!

    Oh, and thanks God he is not longer sucking for hours. I guess I have better supply now, and he also sucks better. Now usually he is done in 30-40 minutes.
    Last edited by Gataloca; 08-07-2010 at 02:18 AM.

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    jvn
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    Eugh, I just replied and then lost it - so here it is again!

    I'm glad it's working out with the feeding. I personally wouldn't wake a sleeping baby for food but all of them are different so it may be that some would be too fussy to feed after a long sleep. There's no one size fits all solution and I would throw out a book that insists that there is!

    I saw the same information about knowing your babies cries in a book - it's not helpful as it makes you unsure and second guess yourself and then you start overthinking and overanalysing every sound you hear.

    What they are talking about is scientific research where they have recorded newborn babies cries and found that they have certain universal sounds in common. Once you bring it out of the lab and into the real world it's a lot more complex than that!

    Gradually you and your baby will get to know each other and you will get the feeling that when he looks and sounds a certain way he's hungry or he's bored. It's not a specific "Ah-ha, that sound is his wet nappy cry, I should change him" and I wish books/documentaries would stop making it sound like it is!

    The bottom line is that babies are people too and even though there's some universal sounds they also have personalities, some babies cry more than others, some cry for different reasons than others and some mothers find it easier than others to know what they want. Sometimes they're hungry, tired and too hot all at once and there's no specific cry for that.

    That's why when you come on here and get advice from mums that have done it not scientists, doctors or authors then you'll always hear "you know your baby best" - don't get me wrong, there's a place for doctors and good science in the world but it's not to make you feel insecure and second guess yourself as a mum.

    I still look at my 11 month old sometimes and wonder what he's trying to tell me and and I'm pretty sure I'm not a bad mother ;-)

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    carang's Avatar
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    gataloca,
    i think you need to close all of your books, turn off the computer and forget documentaries for 2 weeks. just spend the time with your baby and get to know him on your own withough all that other stuff telling you this and that.

    if you can do that, you will be much more comfortable and your "mother's intuition" will kick in. you will be able to use trial and error..."oh, he's crying! well, i just fed him, so can't be hunger... maybe it's gas? i think i'll rub his tummy for a few minutes...oh, that didn't work... maybe he's just needing a cuddle? ahhhhhh.... that was it....."

    the ONLY way you WILL get to know the different signs is if you give yourself time with your baby without distractions. go for it! you'll do great!

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    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    The only time you need to wake a sleeping baby is when they are not putting on enough weight. Sometimes when the babies are little they sleep through their hunger cues. If they do this once or twice a day it doesn't matter but if they do it often then they can end up with only a few feeds instead of the eight to 12 that is recommended.

    So if your baby has fed often in the last 24 hours let him sleep. But if you are worried about weight gain and he's only done a few feeds in the last 24 hours then I'd wake him. And waking him as he shows signs of wanting a feed is easier than from a deep sleep.

    I remember being a new mother and reading that I'd begin to recognize different cries as my baby grew - well she's 23 year old now and I still can't do it (although homesickness or boyfriend trouble are the best guesses now). But when she was little I'd check the nappy and then offer the breast. It seemed that breastfeeding solved nearly every problem - hunger, thirst, too cold, too hot, lonely, bored, ….

    I don't think that mothers do recognize the cries, as such, but have educated guesses taking into account their experience and the activities of the day. If you know that you've done loads that day and the baby isn't interested in feeding then it is a simple guess to say, "Oh, I think he's over tired." And if you've done nothing it is just as simple to guess, "Oh, I think he's bored." And, of course, as you spend more and more time with your baby you have more experience with to guess with.

    The only cry I could ever tell was one of real pain - it is much more piercing and unbearable than a normal cry. And it always panicked me much more.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

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    carey is offline Registered User
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    Gataloca, I like your threads. I think you are doing a great job. Keep up your good work. I admit that I was not prepared to handle the kind of hardship that is part of breastfeeding. Therefore, I ended with pumping although that is also not tough. Your threads help me to prepare myself mentally to breastfeed our second. I will really try to make it work.

    I was quite naïve about breastfeeding. I thought that I would feed on schedule and like they told me at the hospital and I would feed for about 10 minutes per side per feed.

    Your posts also remind me when I was a first time mother with a newborn. I was reading and researching a lot. I even have a set of DVDs that suppose to help me to interpret newborn's cry. I watched it over and over again. I thought it kind of help me in a way to at least know that those are one of the possibilities that caused my baby to cry. If you are interested in watching it, I could loan it to you (I would still like to have it for my second). We just need to set a time and place to meet.

    Best of luck.

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