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Baby Waking Every 2 Hours

We've added a 6 week old to our family who has been sleeping in a bassinet in our room, and he's waking every 2 hours to feed - we're wondering if he's just pacifying himself and does this mean that we should consider moving him to his crib in his own room (in other words, is Mom's proximity slowing him from stretching out his night feedings?).

Newborns often need to feed every 2 to 3 hours. That being said, many newborns will pacify on their mother’s breast for comfort. Is he nursing with effort and interest? Have you every offered him a pacifier first?

You need to make sure he is fully awake. During the night, if he is not completely awake (or you are unsure) offer him a pacifier first. Once you have decided to feed him make sure he stays awake long enough for a full feeding. Stimulate him halfway through his feeding: change his diaper, rub his back or undress him.

There is a connection beyond normal senses between mother and babies. Both mother and baby often sleep better in separate rooms. However, I think it is too early to move him to another room. If you move him now you will doing alot of walking in the middle of the night.

At 6 weeks
- keep the day bright & stimulating
- maintain a consistent bedtime routine
- stimulate for full feeding
- try a pacifier first when you don’t think he needs to feed
- slowly space out his feeds
and soon he (and you) will be sleeping well.

Follow up 2 months later

We've had a difficult time in establishing good sleeping patterns with him. But we did move him into his own room at a little past 2 months, and although the results weren't immediate, it was the critical step in getting him into a nighttime routine. Stretching out his feedings has been a process, and it didn't really seem to happen until about 5 months, when he cut down his nighttime feedings to once (or occasionally twice) per night. He is now formula fed, and that seemed to help stretch him out at night as well. But the takeaway for us was the importance of getting him into his own room. It was a process from that point, certainly, but that was the point of beginning for us.



Written September 2010 by
Dr. Gordon, Windermere Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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