Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Human or Hippo?

For his bed-time feed last W had 11 ounces of formula over the course of an hour. He's 15 weeks old and had only had a 6 ounce bottle at 4.45pm (which he apparently drained within 10mins!). He didn't bring any of it back up and each time I tried to stop feeding him, he shouted at me that he was still hungry and proceeded to tackle the 2 ounce increments as if he hadn't already had the previous ounces. When he got half way through the last 2 ounces, he pushed the bottle out of his mouth with his tongue and went calmly off to sleep.

This massive pre-bed consumption prompted a debate about whether we were over-feeding him and allowing him to comfort eat or whether he was genuinely hungry. I've got a bit of a mental block about dummies, but my partner (probably rightly) suggested that we maybe ought to try one to see if it's just the sucking that W likes and whether that might be enough to give him the comfort and satisfaction he needs to float off to sleep. I'm not sure we reached a conclusion to our debate last night, apart from to agree that we're not keen on toddlers running around with dummies hanging out of their mouths, but maybe it's wrong to count them out.

Anyway, we are lucky enough to have a little boy who has mostly been sleeping through the night for the last 4 weeks. I'm sure it's because he's getting enough milk on board during the day to sustain him and on the days when he has less than usual, he often wakes at 2am for a top up which he seems to drink without even waking up. He only has as much as he needs and as soon as he has had enough, he stops sucking and goes right back to sleep. So, the question is, do I just keep feeding him when he asks for it as he is a happy baby who sleeps through the night? Or is he possibly developing a greedy / comfort eating trait which we ought to nip in the bud (however you do that with a baby!!)?

When he woke at 6.30am this morning, he had a straight 6 ounces. By 8.30am he was after more milk (that's about 2 hours ahead of his usual schedule), so I changed his nappy and tried him with a dummy .... no chance of being fooled by that!! After 3 or 4 attempts to get him to suck on the dummy, which he kept spitting out, I gave in and he had another 6 ounces. By 10.30am he was purple in the face and shouting for more, so I gave him another 6. Amongst all that eating he managed a 40 minute nap in his cot and then after his 10.30am feed he fell asleep on his play mat ....

I disturbed him moving him to his cot and he seemed to be shouting for yet more milk, so I tried the dummy again. This time in his half asleep state, he latched on to it and fell asleep sucking away happily. Awake again after 40 mins and this time he was flippin staaaaarvin!!!! Another 6 ounces straight down in one - then I tried the dummy again, but he laughed me out of town and we settled on another 2 ounces. So, I'm wondering .... growth spurt (again???) maybe and how on earth will we make it from here (3pm) to 5pm without his head exploding through hunger?

Answers on a postcard please ....

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