Repas lactés du bébé : quand et comment espacer les tétées ? - Élhée

Baby's milk meals: when and how to space out feedings?


  • At what rate should you breastfeed your baby?
  • Night feeding, often the first abandoned
  • Most important ? Accompany your child's rhythm

You have always wanted to breastfeed your baby and today he is here, in your arms, right against your chest, at your breast. For several weeks you have been experiencing your greatest happiness, and yet, everything is not always simple. Between milk surges, nighttime awakenings, staggered feedings and your baby often falling asleep at the breast, breastfeeding is not always a smooth ride and you wouldn't mind a tip or two. Besides, you wonder, when the time comes, how to space out feedings and help your baby sleep longer at night . No exact science here, but a good dose of observation and of patience For accompany your child's rhythm .

At what rate should you breastfeed your baby?

As is often the case with babies, the answer to this question is both simple and complicated. Simple because midwives, pediatricians, etc. recommend breastfeeding babies “on demand”, that is, when they are hungry. Complex, because this method is less suited to bottle feeding and requires flexibility, observation and patience on a daily basis.
On average and depending on their appetite, a newborn can breastfeed 8 to 12 times per 24 hours.
Some babies who are more greedy, ask for the breast more often, become agitated, turn their heads, open their mouths or cry to make themselves understood. Others, more discreet, ask their parents to be more attentive to recognize and anticipate their needs. For them, after a nap, a skin-to-skin cuddle can be the opportunity for a welcome feeding, which they would not necessarily have asked for. This is “wake-up breastfeeding”.

Night feeding, often the first abandoned

We might as well admit it right away, there is no no way to set a certain pace for a baby's feedings . Because the conditions of breastfeeding are specific to each mother/child pair, because different elements can disrupt, modify or change the rhythm and quantity of feedings (seasons, temperatures, location, state of health, lactation level, etc.). ) and also because your baby is growing quickly; the time of feedings, their duration and even the volume of milk absorbed, change regularly.

Despite everything, the middle-of-the-night feeding (or bottle) is often the first (or first) to stop. Once baby starts sleeping for several hours without interruption, allowing you to do so too, he or she can naturally do without it . This is not yet the case for you? Here are some ways to encourage it.

To space out feedings, promote independent falling asleep

Often, the Breastfed babies fall asleep at the breast , satisfied and full. If they wake up at night, these same babies may have difficulty going back to sleep without breastfeeding, not because of hunger, but out of habit and because the breast reassures them. If this is the case for your child, to space out feedings and promote a more pleasant and restorative sleep rhythm for everyone, you can help him by teaching him to fall asleep on his own like a grown-up.
To establish new sleep habits, start, after the evening feeding, by place your baby in his bed while still awake . In this way, even if you stay by his side, he gradually understands that he can let himself be carried away by fatigue and fall asleep peacefully without being in your arms . Once adopted, this habit will allow him to no longer feel lost and without a solution if you wake up at night . Of course, you can accompany the arrival of sleep with caresses, a story, a lullaby... anything that seems pleasant and soothing for your child.

To space out feedings, replace the last evening feeding with a bottle?

To support your little one towards longer nights and therefore help them “skip” the 2 or 3 a.m. feeding or bottle, you can also try the following method. If you are comfortable with mixed breastfeeding , replace the last evening feeding with a bottle of formula . This will perhaps be an opportunity to test the breastfeeding bibROND to facilitate the transition. Of course, it is possible that baby refuses to drink from a bottle. Also, if you fear the breast-pacifier confusion , we have prepared a complete article for you on the subject.
But, why could giving a bottle of powdered milk in the evening help baby not wake up too much at night? On the one hand, the Breast milk perfectly adapted to the metabolism and needs of babies is very easy to digest . On the other, the Industrial milks, often thicker, often require longer digestion time . This difference could have the effect of “stuck” baby for longer and limit the number of nighttime awakenings.

Few full nights before the age of 4 to 6 months

Even though, as we know, nighttime feedings will not last a lifetime, they can be tiring and even trying for the mother and for the couple . Also, if this is your case, don't hesitate to take naps as soon as possible. While baby sleeps too, while someone else takes care of him, in the morning instead of ironing, during the day instead of tidying up... All this can wait. Most important ? You, your baby and the health of both of you.
Also, rest assured, the Most babies start to get a good night's sleep (between 6 and 8 consecutive hours of sleep) around 4 to 6 months . If this is not your case, perhaps a perinatal osteopathy session or the adoption of a  “gentle night” herbal tea compatible with breastfeeding could you help?

Most important ? Accompany your child's rhythm

Any transition is never easy, especially when it comes to changing a baby's habits! But, with time, over the weeks, patience and kindness, observing what works for you (and may not work for your friend's baby), you will find the keys to spacing out your baby's feedings and, if you decide to start with the middle of the night feeding, extending your sleep time for everyone.
To do well, respect your child's needs . If he sleeps better near you, try co-sleeping . It may be easier for you to reassure him with a simple hand hug if he wakes up. If, on the contrary, the slightest noise risks waking him up, gently guide him towards independent sleep in his bed , in his room and without feeding.

Often, you have all the keys within you to help your baby . Just listen to yourself and trust your judgment as a mom. And if the situation becomes too complicated, don't hesitate to call your midwife or pediatrician, who will undoubtedly be able to refer you to a baby sleep specialist.


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