How big a feed does my 8-week-old son need now he sleeps longer at night?
My 8-week-old son has started to stretch out his nights, and is now waking at approx 4.30am. However, I am a little confused on whether I should give him a half- or full feed at this point. I am currently giving him between 2-3ozs when he wakes in the night; he will then take about 3oz at 7am. I have to wake him at 7am for this feed and prior to his night lengthening he was taking 5-6oz. Once he has the 2-3oz at 4:30am he will go back to sleep; last night he made a fuss for a couple of minutes first. I understand he is possibly moving towards sleeping through from 10:30pm but I want to make sure I am giving him the correct feed.
He currently takes: 7am 3oz, 10am 4oz, 2pm 5-6oz, 5pm 3oz, 6.15pm 3oz, 10.30pm 4oz, night 2-3oz. When he was waking at 3am he would take 3-4oz and then another 5-6oz at 7am. He weighs 11lbs.
Your son is doing well to be getting this far in the night. Getting him through completely will take a little longer and possibly you will need to juggle his feeds a little until you find the right combination for him.
There are two ways to try: The first would be to give him the smallest possible feed at 4.30am for him to settle; no more than 2ozs. This should help him be really hungry by 7/7.15am. However, some babies seem to settle better if given a larger feed at 4.30am and then woken at 7.30am for a small top-up to get then back on track for 10/10.30am.
As your son can settle with a small amount continue to do it this way. Wake him at 7am and feed him about 7.15/7.20am when he should be really hungry. This should help him take a bigger feed than he does now, so you will be able to encourage him on towards 10.30am. If he begins to be difficult to settle at 4.30am, then try the second method.
Have you tried giving him a split feed at 10.30pm so he takes a little more then? Wake him at 10pm and give him a 3oz feed, then let him have a quiet kick until 11.15pm. Offer him a fresh bottle of milk of 2-3ozs before settling him for the night. This could have the effect of him going through later than 4.30am. It may mean several days of giving a bigger feed at 5.30/6am, followed by a top-up at 7.30am but is another way of getting a baby to go through without losing too many ozs by dropping a feed.