Post # 1
Disclaimer: I am not a mom, nor do I really know any babies or am close to anyone who has them. I’m a baby noob. So maybe this is a stupid question, but I’ve always wondered and never asked.
It’s obviously a common complaint among new parents that they don’t get very much uninterrupted sleep. Why exactly is this – does the baby NEED to be tended to every couple of hours? If it wasn’t fed or in a fresh diaper every couple hours, what is the worst that could happen? I’m just curious if there’s actually a medical reason for it or if the new parents just want to be tending to all these things so the baby doesn’t have to wait until morning and checking in on them. So… please enlighten me!
Post # 2
Pinkmoon: Yes the baby needs to be fed frequently and diapers need to be changed regularly also.
You simply can’t ignore a hungry baby. They need lots of nutrition and fluid as they are growing more rapidly than any other time in their life.
The worst that could happen?- the baby could die of dehydration and kidney failure.
Post # 3
Babies need to eat every few hours (at least) when they are first born. Their stomachs are tiny so they can’t eat much at once and have to eat like 10+ times/day for at least the first few weeks. Some babies need to eat once or twice per night for months and months– but not all. It sort of depends on how your LO is gaining weight and how they are sleeping.
Also, if your kid is crying, you sort of have to calm them down. At some point (people disagree as to when but most people would say at least 4+ mo, a lot of people would say much older) you can do “cry it out” to try and train the to sleep through the night, but before that it’s really not good for them to just let thm cry alone (and some people aren’t comfortable with ever letting their baby cry alone regardless of age– there is some debate about whether it is ok or not).
Post # 4
yes yo need to feed baby through the night.
also,babies cry. Have you tried to sleep through a baby crying on a plane or something?
Post # 5
Baby’s aren’t born with a sleep cycle but they are born with a foracious appetite and a desperate need of human contact. It takes babies typically 3 months to develope any semblance of a sleep cycle and their bodies grow so quickly they need constant feeding.
Between holding, focusing, and caring for a baby, it’s exhaisting. It’s like being “on” and at alert all the time, even when it is sleeping. And babies need constant contact and exposure to parents because it is the earliest forms of socialization. They need to feel safe and secure. Babies aren’t born with the skills of self-soothing- they learn that from their parents.
Post # 6
Babies cry if they are upset/in need. Mothers are actually biologically programmed to be physically uncomfortable when they hear their baby cry.
Some babies are good sleepers, and some are not. My baby is a terrible sleeper and will only sleep a few solid hours if she is bed sharing with me and laying in my arms. She wakes frequently to eat during the night. Obviously all of these things seriously cramp my sleeping style.
Post # 7
nessdawwg: Haha, yah that’s why I wondered about this. If you didn’t need to tend to them, why not sleep as far away as possible so you’re undisturbed? I can’t stand the sound of kids/babies screaming.
But you guys are educating me. I figured there must be a reason or else some parents would probably just wear earplugs or something. I just didn’t know what the reason was, and figured I’d ask WB versus googling it.
Post # 8
Not every baby is the same. My son slept through the night from the day he got home, 7 to 8 hours. I worried because I thought all babies had to eat every so many hours but my Doctor told me to leave him alone,let him sleep, and that babies will let you know when they are hungry. Because every baby is different, questions like these should be handled by you physician.
Post # 9
Pinkmoon: my dd is 5 months and still wakes at night. young babies need to eat every 3-4 hours (at least breast fed babies) around the clock. Now that she’s getting older, she only wakes once or twice to eat. Yeah, she has a wet diaper, but I don’t change it unless she pooped.
Sometimes they just wake up an need mom or dad to comfort them back to sleep. They are just babies and don’t know how to do that sometimes. I’m not a fan of “cry it out” because I don’t expect my baby to know how to comfort herself if she’s scared or lonely, or get herself back to sleep. crying won’t hurt her, but why let her cry if I can get her back to sleep faster?
Post # 10
Yup, the majority of babies require plenty of round the clock and night time parenting for a decent chunk of time! A newborn’s stomach is absolutely tiny and breastmilk is digested really quickly so they usually require nursing 8-12 times within a 24 hour period (night nursing is also a really effective way of establishing and maintaining supply). They’re also born without any circadian rhythm so they have no concept of night and day so it takes them awhile to consolidate their nighttime sleep. Newborn’s also have really delicate skin so leaving them with a wet or dirty butt is a recipe for diaper rash and other nasties.
The other factor to consider is that the prolonged crying of an unattended or distressed infant raises the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits brain development and neural connections (one of the main arguments against CIO)
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
All this sounds like a lot of work >>sigh<<
Post # 12
Yeah, for us it was mostly the needing to eat thing. My DD lost a lot of her birth weight in the hospital so she needed to eat every 2 – 3 hours (and that’s start of feed to start of feed… so she’d eat at 2 then again at 4/5…) around the clock. It sucked because she actually is a pretty good sleeper, so sometimes it was me setting an alarm and waking her.
Post # 13
Yes, a newborn needs to eat every 2-3 hours. Their little tummies don’t hold much and digest food quickly. The good news, is this is only temporary, and you do get to sleep through the night eventually. I am a mom of 2. My kids are 10 and 6. I survived infancy, twice, and I worked full time. It really isn’t the end of the world.
Post # 14
Pinkmoon: If you ever have children, you will understand that the sound of your newborn baby crying is pretty much the most gut wrenching thing you can imagine. You brought this little thing into the world who is 100% dependent on you for everything, and your hormones are going crazy making sure that all of your time, attention, and energy goes into making them comfortable, happy, and thriving.
This is something I didn’t really “get” until I had my son, either. But from the first time I heard him cry, I knew I would do virtually anything in the world to make him happy so he would stop 🙂
Post # 15
Completely agree with all the PP about needing to feed throughout the night. Also when a newborn is crying (besides the fact that it is quite loud) this is the prime time to build trust. Which, in my mind is incredibly important.