Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

By day my 10-week-old can’t seem to move from the 6-8 week routine

My daughter is doing well on the routines and has been sleeping through the night for the past 10 days from 11.15pm until I wake her at 7am. She settles herself well a couple of times during the night and settles well for all her sleeps during the day. I am currently on the six to eight week routine and am reluctant to move on as she cannot stretch herself to wait for her feed when I wake her at 9.45am. The most I can make her wait is until 10.20am, but that is only if I leave her to have a kick in her cot. The moment I move her, she begins to demand her feed. Also, she will not wait for a feed at dinner time. I still have to split the feed between 5pm and then after her bath at 6.15pm. My daughter also struggles to stay awake a full two hours. I have to work really hard after she has been awake for 1 1/2 hours and sometimes with no success. She is sleeping no more than 4 hours each day.
What do you suggest to help me to get her to wait for her bottle after waking?
Also, should I be moving her onto her appropriate age routine even though she is not managing the structure of the six to eight week routine yet?
My daughter is currently averaging between 930ml to 990ml of formula per day. She drinks about 200ml at her 7am feeding. I then split her 10/10.30am feed when she takes about 140ml and then about 30ml at 11.30am/12 noon (this sees her though until she wakes herself after a 2 hour sleep – I have ordered blackout blinds to stretch this sleep a further 15 minutes/half an hour). She takes 170ml at 2/2.15pm. Then 140ml at 5pm and 120ml at 6.15pm. I currently split her supper: at 10pm she takes about 140ml and 10.45pm she drinks about 40ml of formula and settles until 7am.

It is not unusual for a baby to take a while to get the routine laid out for their age. Your daughter is doing very well as she is already sleeping through the night. Now that she seems to be consistently sleeping through then you can very gradually cut back the time she is awake at 10.30pm to 30 minutes. If she starts to wake up well before 7am then put it back as a split feed again until she is slightly older.

By day your daughter obviously needs slightly more sleep than other babies of her age. As well as trying to follow the routines, be guided by her needs too. A lot of babies need a short cat nap in the afternoon until they are 4/5 months old, especially if they only sleep for 2 hours at lunchtime. The same applies to her being unable to wait beyond 10.20am for a feed. Gradually over the next week or so try to move this forward very slowly, increasing the time by a few minutes every few days, but if your daughter seems to be able to cope better with a split feed then continue to give her this until she is a little older.

When she is awake give her plenty of kicking time on the floor. Also move her from room to room so she has plenty of things to stimulate her. Seeing the world from her chair is different from how she sees things from the floor. Gradually she will be able to stay awake for longer between naps. Moving onto the next routine will be a gradual process as she grows up a little more. Many babies are not fully on the routine for their age but it is a guideline to work towards, taking into consideration your own baby’s needs as well.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

I am finding my 8 week old impossible to wake for his 10.30pm feed

We started the programme when my baby was two weeks old and have now been following it for just over five weeks (he is a few days away from 8 weeks). We now have a good structure in the day, he is up between 6.30 and 7am and he feeds well from the breast for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. He then takes a half an hour nap between 8.30am and 10.00am. He then feeds again at 10.00am, 6oz formula (we have been unable to alter this time to the suggested time for his age). After his 10am feed he is quite sleepy and we struggle to keep him awake past 11.30am, so he has an afternoon nap from 11.30am till 1.45pm or 2.00pm. He feeds well at 2.00pm: approximately 20 to 25 minutes on the breast. We then have social time until 4pm, then go out walking where he naps for approximately 30 minutes. At 5pm he feeds well: 4oz of formula [once again we have been unable to stop the split feed as suggested for his age]. After his bath he has approximately 15 minutes on the breast and is down 95% of the time by 7pm.
Our biggest problem is the night time; when we wake him at 10.30pm he is so sleepy – almost impossible to wake. We have tried turning all the lights on, carrying on our conversation in his room in the hope he will wake, changing his nappy, putting him under his play mat. We have even tried, as you suggested, starting at 10pm and trying to keep him awake till 11.15pm but to no avail. He eventually wakes a little to feed but we are only ever able to give him 3oz – this then has the result of his waking at 1.30am to finish the feed. He will then only settle until around 3.30am; he feeds and then is up again at around 5.30am to feed again! For the last couple of nights we have tried not waking him for the 10.30pm feed and have found that he sleeps soundly until around midnight. At midnight he feeds well before settling back down until around 4.30am. He has a small top-up feed at 4.30am and then settle until 7am. When we allow him to wake naturally to feed I find he feeds and then settles back to sleep very quickly. If we wake him at 10.30pm, he has his small feed but then is awake a few hours later, is very difficult to settle back to sleep and he seems to get more difficult to settle each time he is up (which is every two hours). I have tried cutting back the 5pm/6pm feed but have found that he will not settle by 7pm if I do.
What should be do with regards to the 10.30pm feed? At present it is far easier for us to avoid it – as getting up twice in the night is preferable to three times and he is easy to settle when he is up. However going forward we don’t want it to be habit and still be getting up to feed in months to come.
He now weighs 13lbs. He is breast fed at 7am, 2pm, 6.15pm, 12md and 4.30am. He takes 6ozs formula at 10am and 4ozs at 5pm.
He naps at 9-9.30am 11.30-2pm and 4-4.30pm.

As you have found a way to stop your son from waking so much in the night you now need to build on this and very gradually move things back so he begins to have a longer and longer stretch in the middle of the night rather than between 7pm and midnight.
To do this set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you think he is liable to wake (if you have decided to sleep before midnight). By waking him about 10-15 minutes earlier than he does naturally, he should still be hungry and will wake properly enough to feed. After 4-5 days of doing this, providing he still then settles until 4.30am, move him back another 10-15 minutes. It will mean a time of rather broken sleep or long evenings for you, but it should help him readjust to having a good feed about 10.30/11pm rather than later. Once this earlier time is reached you may decide to make this a formula feed again and get an early night, expressing before you do so.
If things begin to go wrong again before getting back to 10.30/11pm then continue to wake him at the time you have reached for a few more days before beginning again to push him back.
In respect of the other points raised be guided by your son’s needs as well trying to get him onto the routine recommended for his age. The 10am feed can be moved forward gradually in the same way as described above. Wait 5-10 minutes longer every few days before giving to him. Some babies of this age do need it early for a while longer, so push things gradually and he will mature in time to be able to wait a little longer for it.
Again the split feed at 5/6pm often is needed for longer. Some babies may be 12- 14 weeks before being able to get to 6pm. It is far better to continue with it as a split feed than have a discontented, hungry baby who does not enjoy his bath because he is too hungry. Use the routines as guide to work towards but also take your own son’s needs which may mean he stays on the routine stated as younger than his age until he is ready to move on.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My 10-week-old baby has three teeth; his discomfort is making the routine hard

My baby is only 10 weeks old and has three teeth, the fourth is coming through. Teething problems are putting getting onto the routines out the window. We have been trying to follow them for the last 2 weeks. Because of his age there is not anything he is allowed to take to help his discomfort.
He weighs 17lbs and has 6 8oz feeds in the day at 8am, 10am, 1.30pm, 5pm, 8.30pm and 4.30am. Following our health visitors advice he is taking a small bowl of baby rice as well.
He naps from 11am-1pm and 3-3.30pm. He settles at 9.30pm.

As your son has started to teeth so early take him to your doctor and ask for medication to be given to you. At his weight he should be able to take things usually given to older a babies but a doctor needs to supervise the quantities.
To get your son more onto the timings set out in the routines you will need to shift your whole day earlier by starting at 7am. At present he is having a feed at 4.30am and obviously settling until 8am. Begin to wake him 15-20 minutes earlier every few days to get his body adjusted to waking earlier and having a feed. You could try to move him back a whole hour at once but it may put the rest of the days timings out.
Follow the timings laid out in the 8-12 week routine. You will see that this will push on the times he feeds a little. By waking him at 7am you can put a short morning nap into place. His longer sleep of the day should be later, around lunchtime, which will coincide with his natural dip in alertness. He may need a very short nap in the afternoon but should be awake by 5pm. Give him his bath around 5.45pm and follow it with a bottle. Settle him for the evening much earlier than you have been but then wake him for a feed at 10/10.30pm. By moving his feeds in this way he should begin to sleep his longer stretch in the middle of the night, from 11pm onwards and may well get well beyond 4.30am. If he wakes before 7am having slept all through try to settle him with a small feed until 7am or if it is around 5/5.30am give him a feed and settle him back to sleep. At 7/7.30am wake him and offer him a smaller feed so he is able to get back to being fed again at 10.45am.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My 9-week-old son has begun to need a feed earlier in the night

My son had been going to between 5-6.30am for about two weeks with some 7am starts in between. He has now reverted back to between 4 and 5 am. I have been doing the “core night” when he wakes, giving him boiled water – he does not take much and protests quite a bit. I try the dummy and sometimes he settles for 10 minutes. He always seems hungry at this time, sucking his mitts or fingers until eventually I have to feed him. He is taking about 4 oz then a top up at 7.30 of 2-3 oz. Should I up the 10.30pm feed? He is taking 6 oz of SMA white, taking SMA gold during the day. The CLB mentions that we should try not to increase this. I have increased his day feeds last week anyway as he was nine weeks and due a growth spurt.
He weighed 11 lbs two weeks ago, so will probably be about 12 lb this week as he always has good weight gain.
Feeding chart: 5/6am 4-5oz, 7.30am 2 – 3 oz, 10 – 10.45am (split feed) 6oz, 11.45am-1-2oz, 2.15pm 5 oz, 5pm. 4 oz, 6.15 pm 3oz, 10.30 – 6oz
Sleeping – 9 – 9.45am, 12 – 2.15 pm [he is sometimes unsettled but usually tries to get himself back to sleep], 4-4.20/30.
This morning however, I went in at 4.10am when he woke, tried the dummy then left for 5 minutes; he wouldn’t settle. I went back in and he took 2 oz water and settled this time with the dummy. He slept until 6.50am, he may have been awake earlier because I had turned the monitor right down as he woke me up every time he woke and started talking to himself. Now I only wake when he starts to get upset. I am not sure if this is a good thing either. Because I wasn’t sure what time he woke, I let him have a short nap from 7.30 to 7.45 then fed him his top up as normal.
My health visitor had told me the same about the SMA white, but he has had no problems with it. He doesn’t seem to be constipated and at the beginning I think this was making him go longer in the night.

From what happened this morning you seem to be getting the “core night” to be beginning to work. Always offer him water first when he wakes before 5am as he has shown he is capable of going this long. It is difficult to be persistent in the early hours of the morning but it will work if you keep doing the things you already are. The amount of milk he is taking in 24 hrs is enough for a baby of 12lbs. It is usually best to keep the 10pm feed to 6ozs, providing your son continues to feed well in the day. Always increase the daytime bottles first – especially those at 7am, 10.30am and 6pm. It may take a few mornings more of having to encourage him to go a little longer before he is able to do so without you giving him water and a dummy.
Once your son manages to get to nearer 7am, even with the use of water and a dummy, he will be ready for a full feed. This will mean you can cut out the top up at 7.30am. You then can begin to push the 10am feed to nearer 10.30am if he is able to do so.
Providing you are within earshot of your son when he is crying you will find that both he and you probably sleep better without a monitor. You may well have been going into him when he was only stirring and not fully awake. He now has the chance to resettle himself when he stirs around an earlier time.
Check that he is well tucked in with a cotton sheet, and if needed a cotton cellular blanket, now that the mornings are becoming colder. Make sure both sheet and blanket, if used, are secured firmly down both sides of the cot.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My hungry 11.5-week-old son seems unable to wait longer for feeds

My problem is in dropping 5pm feed and moving 10am and 2pm feeds on by half an hour. I have a very hungry baby although he has certainly calmed down over the past 4/5 weeks. I am trying to move on in the routines but he screams for milk at original times and the most I can delay 10am feed by is 10/15 mins and the 2pm by say 5 mins. He has almost a full 7oz feed at 5pm and 6.30pm. I do try to reduce the 5pm feed by as much as possible but he seems so hungry. He won’t go down to sleep either at 7pm unless full up. He has occasionally puked up some of 6.30pm feed (sometimes projectile) but happily feeds again after!
I also have a bit of a problem regarding the lunchtime nap as he gets very sleepy at 11am and often falls asleep then, despite all attempts to keep him awake. He will then sleep for about an hour and wake. I have tried staying in the nursery on and off with him till 2pm trying to get him back to sleep which he may eventually do around 1.15pm. Also I tried leaving him to cry but perhaps not often enough. I have tried going out in the car to get him back to sleep from 1-2pm which has worked. I’m not sure what I should persist with. He has his morning and afternoon naps in his pram (proper carry cot) as I am out walking each morning from 8.30 to 10am and he will usually nap well up to 1 hr. He loves the fresh air and is very calm in his pram. He goes down well in his cot too and falls asleep unassisted (as long as full up!).
At present my son takes 200mls at 7am, 10am and 2pm. He takes 100-150mls at 5pm and 100-200mls at 6.30pm. At 11pm 120-150mls. He is now able to sleep through to 6/7am. On the times he has woken at 3am he will settle back with 10-20 ml water/ dummy. He weighs 14+lbs.
My son naps at 9-10am, 11-12am 1.30-2pm and 3.30-4pm.

Some babies are less able to move on in the routines according to their age as their individual needs are different. Your son obviously is a hungry boy who takes his feeds well. Although his intake is not excessive for his weight there are things you can do to help be able to begin to space out the feeds a little. It is unfair to keep a hungry baby waiting for his feed but by offering it to him as a split feed you may help him to begin to space his feeds out a little.
When he wakes at 10am allow him to have 100-120 mls as soon as he shows signs that he is ready. Then have a break of 30-45 mins. Encourage him to have a good kick on his mat. If he begins to cry and fuss offer him a pacifier whilst he sits in his chair. Sucking time is an important part of feeding and babies who are hungry are inclined to drink their feeds quite quickly. They miss out on the time they need to suck and using a pacifier mid feed can help them fulfil this need. At 10.45/11am offer your son the remaining part of his feed. Keep trying to push on with getting him going for a nap later. Let him have some time kicking. Keep changing the scene with him so he has plenty of visual stimulation.
Until the lunchtime nap is more settled offer your son 30-60mls before he goes down. Be consistent in the way you try to help him sleep for this nap. If you decide to walk with him in his pram, then do this every day until he is more able to stay asleep for the full two hours. It may take well over a week for him to adjust his body clock to this. Take him out at the beginning of the nap time so he can learn to sleep for the full 2 hours in one stretch. Look at Gina’s article about the lunchtime nap and how to achieve the full two hours in his cot.
Once your son is sleeping better at lunchtime he may be waking nearer to 2.30pm. However, until he is able to do this, split his feed into two halves and give him a 20-30 min break so he is finishing the feed by 3pm. Some babies older than 8 weeks continue to have a split feed between 5 and 6.30pm. This feed is slightly bigger than all the rest which helps your son be able to settle well at 7am and sleep in the night. If it results in a happier baby at bath time, then keep the feed in two parts for as long as you like. Use the routines as a guide but also take your own son’s needs into account.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How much milk does my 12 week old need if I feed her formula?

I am starting to wean my 12 week old onto the bottle/formula and would like some advice on quantities etc to give her. She will happily take the bottle and I have always given her a bottle at 11pm. For the last three days I have given her a bottle at the 10.30am feed. I have also started giving her a top up from a bottle: c 50ml at 12noon before her nap. I wondered how much I should be giving her as I obviously can’t tell how much she gets from the breast. I plan to drop one further feed in a few days time.

I also feel like I am feeding her more often with these top up at lunch and split feed, is this ok or am I encouraging her not to take enough at her proper feed times.

At present she feeds at 6am 20mins, 7.30am 15mins, 10.30am 130-150mls, 12 midday 50mls, 2/2.30pm 30mins, 5pm 20- 30mins, 6.20pm 20-30mins and 11pm 130-160mls. May daughter weighs about 11lbs.

She naps at 8.50-9.45am, 12-12.40pm, 1-2pm and 3.45-4.15pm. She settles at 7pm.

Providing you know roughly how much your daughter weighs you can work out how much milk she should be having at each feed. This can vary a little from baby to baby but it is a useful guide.

Allow 2 1/2 ozs of milk for each pound of body weight. As your daughter weighs 11lbs, this means 2.5 x 11= 27.5ozs. This is the amount of milk your daughter needs in a 24-hour period. Divide this total by the number of feeds she has in the day: 27.5 divided by 5 = 5.5 ozs or 160mls each feed. To work this figure out top ups are not included and split feeds at 6am/7am and 5pm/6pm count as one feed.

Although the above amount is the average for an 11lb baby you may find that your daughter takes slightly less at a feed. As your daughter is only 12 weeks old you may need to give her a small top up at 12 midday so she sleeps well at her lunchtime nap. Split feeds are a way to increase an overall intake and help her get through the day without becoming too distressed.

Once your daughter is sleeping through the night until nearer 7am you will only be feeding her once in the morning. Her 10.30am feed and the top up at 12 midday seem about the right amount for her given weight. The 5pm/6pm split feed often stays in place if a baby seems happier at bath time having had some of her feed at 5pm. Be guided by her needs as well as trying to keep her to the routines. Your notes suggest she is still on a size one teat. Try her with the next size up now that she is 12 weeks old. The faster flow should help her take a good feed without getting tired of sucking.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How do I adapt the routines for a bottle fed baby of 8 weeks?

My baby is 8 weeks old and I have just received your book. The routines shown are for breast fed babies. Do I follow the routine as if I was breastfeeding? I look forwards to getting started.

The simple answer is ‘Yes, follow the timings for a breast fed baby’. Depending on the timings of your baby’s feeds now you may need to work towards one suitable for his age. Note the sleeping and feeding patterns of your baby now and begin using the routine which is nearest to those, even if it is one laid out for a younger baby. Have a look at Gina’s article on the website: Structure without Stress which explains how to work the routines according to your baby’s needs.

Since a formula fed baby normally can go at least three hours between feeds, providing he is taking the right amount for his weight at each feed, it should not be hard to get the routines up and running.

A formula fed baby may not take so long over his feeds as one that is breast fed. Give him a break mid feed to wind and change him and then enjoy his playtime afterwards, providing he is not tired and ready for his next nap. A young baby can stay awake for up to two hours but many are ready to sleep before this. Being attuned to your baby’s needs as well as following the routines will help you have a contented baby.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My baby of 8 weeks wakes every night at 2 and 4am. What should I do?

My baby of 8 weeks wakes every night at 2 and 4am. What should I do?
I have recently joined the site and am awaiting my book from Amazon.com as I live in the States.

I have been following a 3 hour schedule starting at 6am (6, 9, 12, 3, 6, 9, and 11) and cluster feeding from 9pm until 11pm. Each feeding is 30-45 minutes long and he eats about 4-5 ounces. He also plays for anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes after he eats with an hour and a half nap.

My baby wakes every night at 2 and at 4 and cries. Can you help? What should I do until I get the book in the mail?

Here is a basic routine for a baby who is near in age to your son.

You may need to make some adjustments to his sleeping patterns so he is more likely to sleep for one long stretch in the night.

Routine for a baby aged six to eight weeks

Feed times: 7am, 10.45am, 2pm/2.30pm, 5pm/6pm, 10.30pm

Nap times between 7am and 7pm: 9am-9.45am, 11.45am/12noon-2pm/2.30pm and 4.30pm-5pm.

Maximum daily sleep 4 hours.

The routines run between 7am and 7pm as this is the natural body rhythm of a baby or small child. If you are waking your son to feed him at 6am then see if he will sleep on until 7am. If he wakes at 6am and is hungry then offer him a feed. Settle him straight back to sleep until 7am/7.30am and then wake him. Offer him a top up feed of 2-3ozs if he took a full feed at 6am. This will then get him on track for the day ahead. A baby of your son’s age can stay awake for up to 2 hours from the time he woke although he may be ready to go down for a nap before the time stated on the routine. Let him settle for a nap when he shows signs of tiredness. This could be around 8.30am/8.45am and he will need 45mins-1 hour for this nap.

Wake him at 10am and let him have a kick and a play unless he seems very hungry. If you have to feed him before 10.45am then go ahead and do so. The routines are to be used as a guide to work towards, so don’t feel you have to make your son wait if he is obviously ready to have a feed.

It would be worth you reading the article by Gina, Structure without Stress, which you will find on the website. Gina explains how to fit the routines into your own baby’s needs.

The longest nap of the day comes over lunchtime as this coincides with a natural dip in alertness at this time of day. This nap should be 2-2.5 hours in length and then, when he wakes at 2pm/2.30pm, offer him another feed.

In the afternoon he needs a short catnap of ½ an hour before 5pm.

When beginning the routines, many mothers find it easiest to set the days beginning at 7am and also to put the bath and bedtime routine in place, then move on to work on the rest of the day.

Until your son is sleeping through the night use the “split feed” method for the next two feeds. This means you give a feed split in half over the period of an hour and a half. It helps your baby to take a slightly larger feed overall, thus helping him to sleep for longer in the night. Feed your son 2-3ozs at 5pm. Then encourage him to have some kicking time before you take him for a bath at 5.45pm. He needs to be dried, massaged and dressed by 6.15pm. You should then offer him the second part of his feed, another 2-3ozs. This should be taken in his room with the blinds and curtains drawn and in dimmed light. If your son has been awake since 5pm he should be ready to settle to sleep by 6.45pm/7pm.

You may have to wake him for the next feed. Begin by putting on the lights and taking off his covers at 9.45pm. Let him come round naturally, which may take 15-20 minutes. Offer him the first part of this next split feed – 2-3ozs – in a light room with plenty of background noise. Your son needs to be awake for at least 1.15hrs at this time of night as this will help him settle to a longer stretch of sleep in the middle of the night. Let him have a quiet kick on his play gym, but don’t over stimulate him. At 11.15pm change his nappy and offer the second part of the feed – 2-3ozs – in his darkened room. He then should settle down for a sleep.

At his age your son will probably still need at least one feed in the night. Providing he has not slept more than 4 hours between 7am-7pm the day before, and has fed well at all his feeds, he should manage a 4-5hour stretch of unbroken sleep during the night. Remember that the timings are always taken from the beginning of a feed so if the feed started at 10pm you can expect him to wake around 2.30am/3am and he will need a full feed to settle him again.

Always make the night feeds very quiet. Keep the lights as low as possible and only change him if he needs it. Try not to have too much eye contact so he gets to learn that feeding in the night is different from daytime feeds. Settle him back to sleep as soon as he is winded. Your son should then manage to sleep until 6.30am/7am. If he does wake before that time you can offer him a drink of cool, boiled water to see if he will settle again. If he doesn’t then offer him a small feed and settle him back to sleep until 7am/7.30am.

Make sure your son is well tucked in. If he is still swaddled, then use a cotton sheet lengthways over his swaddle and tucked in on both sides. Secure these sides with rolled towels pushed down well between the cot spars. At his age he may still be startled by the Moro reflex and could wake from this when in a light sleep. The sheet across him will help him feel more secure and stay more settled.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Breast Feeding

At 8 weeks my son still is not managing the routine timings

Having followed the CLB book since birth, I am delighted that my son is sleeping through the night at 8 weeks. He settles from 10.30pm to 6.30/7.00am. Now I need to make sure that anything I do to address the problems I am currently facing, don’t ruin his night-time sleep.
If Callum wakes between 6 and 6.45am crying loudly, I tend to assume that it is hunger and feed him one side. I then settle him back until 7.30 when I offer him the second side. If he wakes at 6.30am and doesn’t finish feeding until 7.15am, should I still settle him back for 15mins? He is often not satisfied at this time with one breast, so should I give him the second and start the day?
By starting his day at 6.30am, he is tried and ready for a nap by 8.30/8.45am. He is woken from this nap at 9.45 but depending when he went down can have an hour rather than 45 minutes. Is that a problem?
The biggest problems I am having though, are with the 10.30/10.45am feed and the 5/6pm feed.
When I get him up at 9.45am, he is content to be washed and dressed but by the time we are downstairs at 10.10am he gets very ratty and wants to feed. I can rarely make him wait beyond 10.15/10.20am.
At 8 weeks the routine states he should be feeding nearer to 10.45/11am, and I am concerned that I am so far off this time. Why can he not go longer than 3 1/4 hrs? At present I give him 15-20mins at 10.15 and than offer him the second breast at 11am. Is this right or should I just ignore the crying and try and make him wait until 10.45am?
He is very sleepy at this feed, often falling asleep after the first breast. I strip him off and lay him on his play mat to wake. I tend to push him to take the second side to make sure he gets enough to get through his lunchtime nap. Is this right?
The lunchtime nap is good and he gets through the next feed and a play until 4.15pm when he is offered juice. He still naps from 4.30-5pm.
Not long after waking at 5pm he is hungry again and I often give him 10-15mins on one side so he can enjoy his bath. He then feeds well and is settled at 7pm.
My husband wakes him at 10.30 and gives a bottle of formula. This can be a struggle as he is sleepy and it can take over an hour. Just recently he has cut back to 4ozs from 5ozs, but still managed to sleep through. Is it ok that this feed is getting smaller?
I am conscious that he seems a long way from achieving the 8-12 week routine in several areas and wonder how to best go about getting him more adjusted to them.

At eight weeks your son has done very well to be sleeping through on a regular basis. Allowing for his needs for sleep and feeding, needs to be balanced with getting him into a routine suitable for his age.
You may find the best way to get him onto the timings is to move towards them in small increments.
If he wakes after 6.30am and is ready for the second breast after 7am, then begin your day. If this has the effect that he is ready to go down for a nap at 8.30am then let him have 45 minutes-1hr at this time.
Once he sleeps more regularly nearer to 7am, then begin to push this nap forward by 5 minutes every few days until he is going down nearer to 9am.
As he is very sleepy at his 10.30am feed and sleeping well at lunchtime, he is showing that he still needs nearer to an hour at this time. If his lunchtime sleep begins to be affected, then you would know to cut his morning nap back to 45 minutes.

Continue to give a split feed at 10.20/11am until your son shows more signs of being able to wait longer before he wants to start feeding. If he can be distracted and encouraged to wait 5 minutes longer every few days, then gradually you will get to nearer 10.45 pm. Leaving a baby to wait when he is obviously hungry is not advisable and not fair on him.
An idea to help you with his sleepiness at this time is to let him have a time under his gym or floor time when he first wakes at 9.45am. Then feed him from one side and wash and change him before offering the second side. Many babies enjoy the times on their change mats so this may encourage him to be more awake for his second side.
Keep the 5/6pm a split one if it means that your son enjoys his bath time better. Again you will begin to see when he is more able to wake at 5pm and be content to wait until after his bath before having a feed.
Providing your son continues to get through the night on 4ozs given at 10.30pm, don’t push him to take more. Keeping babies awake at this time can be difficult but it is worth doing as they usually sleep a longer stretch afterwards.
Allow him a good 15-20mins to properly wake up before giving him the first half. Let him have a kick without too much external stimulation, then change him and offer him the rest of the bottle in his room with the lights down low.
As your son is only just 8 weeks he has another four weeks to get nearer to the timings set out in the routine. It will come gradually and if you allow for his needs balanced with gently encouraging him on towards the timings, by 12 weeks you will probably find he has achieved them. He has been doing wonderfully so far.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Breast Feeding

At 8 weeks old my daughter will not feed long enough at the breast

During the day my 8-week-old daughter will not feed for long enough to keep her satisfied until the next feed. For the first few weeks she fell asleep after 10mins, then for the last couple of weeks she has been feeding for about 10mins then starting to struggle and jerk her head away, taking my nipple and stretching it (ouch), letting go, then frantically searching for it again, yelling if she can’t get it quickly enough, as if she’s ravenous. Then, after a swallow of milk, she wrenches her head away again, and so on, almost as if she doesn’t like the taste. This goes on until she loses interest altogether. I’ve tried switching sides (although the breast she’s on is not empty) but the same thing happens. Why is she doing this? Her intake is nowhere near what it should be, as within an hour she’s yelling for food again; daytime naps all have to be preceded by a top-up, otherwise she will yell for food before I’ve left the room. Even that doesn’t guarantee an uninterrupted nap. I’m very concerned that she has learned the wrong sleep association but she has always had this problem and I don’t know how to get her out of it. Incidentally, she is fine in the evenings, although is very hungry after her bath and is rarely satisfied after 45 minutes on both breasts, but will not take a bottle top-up from me (only my husband if he’s home in time). I usually have to give her a few more sucks on an almost-depleted breast at about 7.30 before she settles until the late feed: about 4-5oz of formula, which my husband gives at 11 o’clock. That usually takes her through until 4 or 5, although in the last 2 weeks she has slept through twice, waking and settling herself at around 3-4am, without my intervention. As we live in the USA, my daughter goes to the paediatrician every month, and we do not have a baby clinic or health visitor. The paediatrician, when I mentioned her eating habits, said that her feeding would get more regular between 8 and 12 weeks: I’m not convinced.
At present she feeds 7am, 10-15 minutes one breast, 7.20am perhaps 2 more minutes, 7.50am 2 minutes, 8.20am 5 minutes, 8.55am 2 minutes, 9.25am 10 minutes, same breast as before, 5 minutes second breast, 10am -6pm the same “snacking” every hour at irregular intervals until bath time. 6.15pm 20 minutes each side, 7.30pm 2 minutes on fullest breast, 11pm 4-5oz formula, 4-5am 10 minutes one. It impossible to know her overall intake but her weight gain is good. She weighed 8lbs 1 oz at birth and is now 11 lbs.
She naps at 8.50-9.20am, 12-1 pm, 2-2.30pm, 3.45-4.30pm and settles about 7.45pm.

There could be several reasons why your daughter is feeding in this erratic way. Firstly take her to the paediatrician and have her checked out for any signs of reflux. It can often result in this “bobbing” and pulling of the breast when feeding. She may not posset or bring back feeds for it to be present. If this is ruled out then you will need to look at other factors which may be causing this problem.
Look at your own diet and lifestyle to see if there is anything which could be affecting the taste of your milk. Garlic, chilli and curry [hot] and other strong flavours can affect the flavour, especially if eaten in large quantities. Keep a food diary of all you eat and drink and see if there is any relationship to the times when she is more fussy. It takes about 16 hours for the food you have eaten to be affecting your milk. Stress and too much exercise can, according to research, also affect the taste of your milk. Taking gentle exercise is fine but don’t try anything too strenuous until you have solved the problems you are having.
The rate of your “let down” reflex usually remains the same throughout the feed. i.e. if you have a fast “let down” your milk will flow quickly through out the feed. Your flow can slow down if you are very tense or anxious so make sure you are in a comfortable position before beginning a feed and make yourself relax by taking several deep breaths and releasing your shoulders. Sometimes a breast will not flow so evenly and releases the milk in “waves”. This means there will be a time when the baby receives no milk no matter how hard she sucks until the next “wave” flows. If the delay is long, perhaps as much as three or four minutes the baby becomes, understandably, impatient, cries, fusses and does not feed well. Moving across to the other breast can help, even though you know that the first breast has not probably emptied. You may have to move your baby from breast to breast throughout the feed as this is the only way they will receive a continuous flow of milk.
If you are regularly expressing you will be aware of your supply but also make sure that you daughter is latching on correctly each feed. If you have any soreness in your nipples [apart from them being pulled by her] whilst you are feeding it is likely to be caused by an incorrect latch. Seek advice from a lactation consultant who will be able to make any adjustments to help you. This in turn will help with your supply as your daughter will stimulate your breasts properly at each feed.
Keep trying to give your daughter a bottle yourself. Some babies will often not take it from their mother at first but it is well to preserve with this. There are a couple of things you can try to help her. Sit with her facing out from you rather than in the crook of your arm where she will be able to smell the familiar smell she associates with breast milk. Walking around whilst offering a bottle can also help as she will be distracted by what she sees around her. Keep the teat in her mouth even if she initially cries and keep “teasing” her tongue with it to encourage her to suck.