MoonDragon's Parenting Information
5 MONTH OLD WAKING TO NURSE
My 5-month-old is still waking up at night every hour or two to nurse? Is this normal?
At this stage of your baby's development, every hour to 2 hours is more than your baby needs. A lot of possibilities could be causing this, and through working with your baby the situation can be changed. It is normal for a baby at this stage of development to wake once or twice a night.
You might consider giving the baby a few spoonfuls of prepared rice baby cereal before her bedtime breastfeeding to see if it is hunger that is causing her to wake so much. Babies will go through growing spurts and their appetites will increase. When they are between spurts, their appetites will be less. Also, some babies seem to want to start solids earlier than others (usually around 6 months or so... possibly about the time they start teething their first tooth... while others are perfectly happy with only breastmilk until about a year old). You have to play it by ear, trial and error, and watch for signs that your baby is ready to supplement his or her breastfeeding with something more solid.
The safest grain solid is usually a baby cereal like a powdered or flaked rice cereal. Rice cereal has very few food sensitivities associated with it. Giving her some cereal before bedtime may help settle her down for the night by making her tummy feel fuller longer. You can mix the dry cereal with a little warm water or breast milk in a cup or bowl and feed it to her using a baby spoon. If the baby has difficulty with a spoon and you are getting more cereal on her face or you than in her mouth, you can obtain and use a feeding syringe (like those used for feeding sick puppies or kitties) and try inserting the tip into the corner of the babys mouth into her cheek area, squeezing in a little cereal at a time out of the way of the tongue and deep enough into the mouth where it will be swallowed and not spit back out. You will need to make sure the consistency is fairly fluid to do this, unlike the spoon, or it will not flow in and out of the feeding syringe smoothly, clogging it. Allow the baby to swallow the cereal before giving him or her another mouthful. Be sure to thoroughly clean the syringe between feedings, rinsing it with clear water.
Unsweetened applesauce is another favorite new food. As usual, it is always best to try to go organic, but sometimes we do not have that option. Avoid sweetened, spiced applesauce and those with anything else added to it. Introducing solids should be done one food at a time to make sure there are no food sensitivities. As a rule, avoid prepared baby foods in jars. Become a label reader. Commercial baby foods often contain salt, sugar, and other food stabilizers, preservatives and additives. It is easy to make your own from whole foods. Keep breastfeeding as usual. Keep in mind... You want to supplement your breast milk feedings, not replace them.
If you have any specific questions or concerns, contact your midwife, health care provider, or local Le Leche League leader in your region.
BOOKS & EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION
The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
By Elizabeth Pantley & William Sears M.D.
Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging & Pleading & Get Kids to Cooperate
By Elizabeth Pantley & William Sears M.D.
Perfect Parenting: The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips
By Elizabeth Pantley
Hidden Messages: What Our Words & Actions Are Really Telling Our Children
By Elizabeth Pantley
Gentle Baby Care: No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry -- Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby
By Elizabeth Pantley
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RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
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