I am a SN caring for a set of newborn twins (boy and girl) for a couple during the night shift. They are 2 weeks old and last night, the little girl slept soundly for 6 hours (missing the 3 a.m. feeding), and woke up for the 7 a.m. feeding. At their pedi visit this week, the doctor said they are eating "more than expected" and gaining weight well.
My question is if their intake is adequate during the day, isn't it ok for one of them to skip a night feeding if sleeping soundly? The mom stated that she wanted them to be awakened for feedings to keep them on schedule. I will, of course, respect her wishes. I was just curious if one started sleeping for longer stretches of time, isn't it ok? Especially if it is falling in line with sleeping during a night feeding. This 6 hour sleeping stretch may have just been a fluke since they are still so young, but I'm still wondering about the scheduling.
Would love to hear your advice. Thanks!
May 2, '09
I would not awaken a normal, healthy, term newborn for a night-time feeding. Night-time sleeping is the goal. It sounds like this new mother wants to rigidly keep her babies on the same schedule, which she will probably soon learn is unlikely to happen.
May 2, '09
My rule is, "DO NOT wake a sleeping baby unless you have no other choice". Because I work in an ICU there are times when I just have to disturb them, but I try to arrange things so that I can give them as much uninterrupted sleep as possible. If you think back to your A&P, human growth hormone is only secreted during sleep. That's why babies and teenagers sleep so much... they're actively growing. These little gaffers are eating well and gaining weight well so missing a night feeding isn't going to harm them in any way. I have not doubt that if their mom was looking after them at night herself she'd soon be rethinking her schedule idea. But because she has you there at night to do the heavy lifting and she's not losing any sleep herself, she figures she can dictate your activities. Since she's paying you for your time, she's right. She can tell you what to do and expect you to do it. So you need to be an advocate for those babies and educate Mom on normal growth and development. Reinforce what the pediatrician said and see where it takes you. Think of this as your chance to learn some negotiation skills, you'll need them a lot later!