View Full Version : Pediatirician Told Me to Cut Out 4am Feeding and Now My Son's a Mess!

11-29-2003, 01:24 PM
Ok, so we were finally getting my 6 1/2 month old son on a scheduele. He was down by 7:30 pm, would sleep until 4am when I would then feed him, change his diaper then he would sleep until 8am. When I went to see the pediatrician 3 1/2 weeks ago she told me that he's too old to be eating in the middle of the night so cut it out.(she actually told me I should have stopped it a long time ago) Now he's totally off scheduele. He then started waking up at about 5am and would cry for hours until I fed him. Then he'd be so exhausted during the day his nap scheduele was all messed up and he would take random 1/2 hour naps rather than his 2 regular naps.
I decided to feed him when he wakes at 5am but it's now hard to get him to go back to sleep afterwards and if he does he's up by 6:15. I'm exhausted. I physically need to sleep in until at least 6:45. We've used the CIO method for all naps and in the middle of the night and he will just cry on and off.
My Pediatrician is really great but I felt stupid when she nicely told me that he was WAY too old for his middle of the night feeding. I just don't think new way is working for us. Can anyone give any personal experience advice? (we have pretty much ALL the sleep method books out there so I've read them all..which is probably why I'm so confused. They're all so different)
Mom of Kieran, 6 1/2 months

11-29-2003, 01:58 PM
How frustrating for you! I know about early wake ups! When he was a little older than your little one, Colin went through a phase where he would frequently be up at 4:30 for the day. Also, Colin kept his morning feeding until he was a year old or so, so I think you're right to put it back. If you don't mind it, and it helps him sleep, then I think it's fine.

As far as getting him to sleep in longer- that was a really tough battle for us. One thing that seemed to help was doing WHATEVER we needed to do to get him to go back to sleep, and sleep longer. Often that involved him finishing his night time sleep in the recliner on me rather than in his crib. (If you're comfortable bringing him to bed, that might work too.) I know that some of the sleep books will tell you that this starts bad habits (I know, I've read them all too, and applied the principles of many of them!), but I was surprised to find that in this particular situation, it actually helped him sleep better. After a few days of sleeping on me in the mornings, it was as if his little biological clock had been re-programmed to sleep late. It meant less sleep for me for several days in a row, but it really did seem to help in the long run. After it started working, I still had to let him sleep on me periodically when he woke up early, but those early wake ups have become less and less frequent.
Good luck!

11-29-2003, 11:49 PM
My goodness...my DS has been going through the same thing! Our babies must be connected in some cosmic way! Have you been doing some of the things Weissbluth wrote in his book since we last connected? Here's my experience in the last couple of weeks since I posted to you:

About a couple of weeks ago, he started to wake up around 3:30-4am. I, too decided to go in and feed him. At times he'd be up until his next nap and then other times after I'd feed him he'd go back to sleep until 5:30 AM. Sometimes he'd sleep in his crib and other times, he'd sleep in my arms in the rocker (very similar to Karenn).

After his AM wakeful period, he'd go down for his AM nap (8:30-9:30), which lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Then he'd go down for his PM nap (between 1:00-2:00). The PM naps have been frustrating for me 'cause they're SO darn inconsistent! And if he did go down for his PM nap, he'd sleep anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.

As far as his night sleep was concerned, we'd put him down anywhere from 6:30-7:30PM and crossed our fingers, hoping he'd sleep through the night. For a few days, he'd gone back to to waking at 1AM, then around 3:30-4AM. Unfortunately, I gave in a few times at the 1AM wakeup and went in to feed him. Those few times of going in (and of course losing sleep) made it more difficult for him to settle on his own. He quickly became used to me picking him up and BFing him, so when I'd decided that we needed to stop this feeding, my DS and I paid the price of having him wail for at least 30-40 minutes until he put himself to sleep. I also noticed that on the days when he was waking up, he was not as chipper in the morning...it was like he was sleep deprived. Another thing I took into consideration during these past couple of weeks was that his two front teeth have been cutting through his gums, so this may also have played into his waking up at night.

These last few days, though, my DH and I have noticed that he's SLOWLY starting to settle back down. He still wakes up at 1AM, but I don't go in anymore. He puts himself back to sleep within 10 minutes then wakes up between 5:30 and 6AM. I'm thrilled if he's made it until 5:30AM without me having to get up to tend to him! It's better than the 4AM wake up times, that's for sure. I have a feeling that he'll probably still wake at 4AM from time to time. My concern is that I don't really know whether to stay out of the room or go in to feed/tend to him if this happens, since I know he has the capability to sleep until 5:30-6AM. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Don't feel stupid in reference to what your pediatrician has said. My pediatrician said the same thing and that's partly what prompted me to read Weissbluth's book (that and the fact that I LOVE sleep :) ). I've wanted to give up MANY times too, thinking that it wasn't working, but then my DH encourages me and we keep at it, and I must admit, it is getting better.

Sorry if I've rambled on, but I hope my experience helps you know that again, you're not alone. You can PM me anytime if you need to vent off the boards or share your experience in a more private manner. Good luck and take care.

11-30-2003, 07:37 AM
I'm glad to see that going back to the am feedings worked for you. It's now 7:15 am and we've been up for an hour and a half already. I know the Pediatrician means well but I just can't take it anymore.
Thank you for your advice!

11-30-2003, 07:44 AM
Hi again, Jeanette!
We got the book and FINALLY got him to sleep through the night and then THIS happens! ;-) Boy, as much as I love my Pediatrician I'm really upset about this. I was getting tired of people being "surprised" that my 6 1/2 month old was still having "night-time" feedings. It was almost 8 hours since his last feeding...it wasn't like it was 2 or 3 hours. Friends and family were acting like it was the worst thing. I think the pressures of society are what make us mom's feel like we're not doing the right thing.
My husband sounds like he needs help so I'd better run.
Thank you so much for your advice again!

12-02-2003, 03:33 PM
This makes me a bit angry because so many people think your kid should automatically sleep through the night at some magic time. While I understand the benefit of a nighttime schedule and that babies often wake out of habit, I think if the baby's hungry, feed him. Others may not agree with this. My son, who is 6 mths, sleeps through the night about half the time. The other half, he gets me up once between 1-5am to eat. He then goes right back to sleep. I figure, it's not such a "habit" if he doesn't do it every night. And if he's hungry, I think he needs to eat. So this works ok for us. Even if my ped told me to cut out this feeding, I don't think that I would, unless I thought we would both benefit from it. I would follow my son's cues for the most part, and yours seems to be telling you he can't make it through the night just yet. Another thing you could consider, although we've only tried it a couple of times, is to feed him before you go to bed at night and see if that gets him to skip the 4am feeding. Best of luck to you.

12-03-2003, 10:18 AM
I'm glad that you are getting some sleep. When I told my ped about Martie wake up in the middle of the night (5:00 AM) he told me I could cut the feeding, until I told him that she was waking at 5:00 AM after going to bed around 8:00. He said that the 5:00 AM is when she was waking up for the day, and its not a night feeding. He said that I could train her to go to sleep later so she could wake up later. Now what we do is put her down between 8-9. She wakes up at 6:00. DH brings her into bed and she sleeps with me/nurses until 9:00. It's great.

I hope things get better!

Proud Mommy to Martie 4/6/03

12-03-2003, 11:55 AM
Thanks Andrea. (By the way, Jacob's a cutie!) I think I will keep that feeding. My son't a big boy for his age. He's going to be 7 months old on the 9th of December and as of monday a week and a half ago he was 19 lbs 11 oz and 29 inches long. He's just a very long kid and he may need more than most babies. He does get a bedtime feeding anyway. I nurse him and give him some formula before bedtime. He's just hungry I guess. He's got a cold right now so he's waking up a few times a night now just because he can't breathe (poor baby) but once he feels better we will see what his biological clock decides to do.

12-03-2003, 12:02 PM
My son must be weird or something because no matter how late we put him to bed he still wakes up at exactly the same time. He went to bed at 7 two nights ago and woke up at 5:30. He fell asleep at 8:30 last night and woke up at 5:45. Both mornings he couldn't fall back to sleep. We're both fighting colds so I'm dying to sleep in. Even when he's not sick we found him doing this so that's why we figured we'd start our routine and bring him upstairs at 7:30 and he was asleep by 8. I'm not going to change anything until he feels better but we'll try that again. Maybe he just needs more time to adjust.
Thanks so much Sonia!

12-04-2003, 07:17 AM
I just think some babies will wake up at the same time no matter what. It'll work itself out.

I hope you guys feel better soon! Fighting colds stink big time.

Proud Mommy to Martie 4/6/03