Childhood Diseases

Posted by: tj | 2012-06-12


how much should baby sleep?

Hello, I have an 8 week old baby. Should I wake her up at night for feeds?. As a newborn she would wake up every two hours, then from 4,5 weeks she would have four hour sleeps, but for the past week she has ben sleeping for six hour without waking up. And last night she even slept for seven. I should also mention that she gets very fussy fom 5 pm till 11pm and wants to eat onstantly, I feed her on demand. Shall I wake her up to feed her? I am just a bit worried that she is missing out at least one meal ( during the day she eats every three hours). I am breastfeeding her. Her weight gais is roughly 150g a week

Expert's Reply



There is no need to wake your baby. She seems to be very content. She is following a common pattern seen in breastfed babies. As long as she is gaining weight all is well.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2012-06-12

There is no need to wake a healthy baby who is gaining weight, feeding well and having sufficient wet and soiled nappies - enjoy the sleep :)

The fussiness from 5 - 11pm is called cluster feeding. Almost all breastfed babies do this - they feed and feed and feed - and tank up for a longer sleep later, which is what your baby is doing. She''s not missing out on a feed, she''s following a normal pattern for a breastfed baby.

At about 12 - 14 weeks she will stop cluster feeding and will still sleep for a longer period at night, but at around 4 months will have a big growth spurt where she will begin to feed around every 2 hours again (day and night) for about a week. This is also quite normal and will pass.

Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with your breastfeeding, well done.

You might notice that in the mornings baby has a small cluster feeding period as well, not all babies do this, and its not nearly as intense as at night. This often means a slightly longer morning nap - w hich makes a nice change from the usual cat napping.

To cope with the cluster feeding, some moms find that having a shower early in the afternoon helps, so that they can just camp out on the couch or in bed with baby during this time. Also, preparing supper during the morning so it can just be heated and eaten later helps (or if you have a helpful hubby, he will cook). Some moms find that using a wrap helps too, as in those short little 20 minute sleeps, they can still get things done and have both hands free as baby is settled and happy against them in the wrap.

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