Newborns at Night: Wake After 5 Hours



It is hard to wake a sleeping newborn, and at no time is it harder than in the middle of the night. On Becoming Babywise  (affiliate link) states “do not let him sleep more than five hours if you are breastfeeding” (page 112). This holds true until baby is 5-6 weeks old.


Now, I am a rule follower by nature, so I have always followed this rule. The purposes of the rule are to 1)Ensure baby gets enough feedings in a 24 hour period and 2)Ensure mom builds an adequate milk supply.


But it was not always (or ever) easy. To set my alarm and wake my baby in the middle of the night was no fun.

I remember some moms commenting they didn’t follow that rule.


So I would love to hear your comments. Did you follow this rule, and how did breastfeeding go for you? Also, how did sleeping through the night go for you? I will give you my examples:


Brayden: We didn’t start until 9 weeks old, so no need to follow the rule. I will say, however, that as you might expect, feedings were sporadic at night until we did Babywise, and nursings sometimes went more than 5 hours. We breastfed until a year with no supply issues. He started STTN at 6 months old.


Kaitlyn: I followed the rule. We breastfed until a year with no supply issues. She STTN consistently around 3-4 months old.


McKenna: I followed the rule, and had to wake her at 5 hours every night. We breastfed to a year with no supply issues. She STTN consistently around 2-3 months, but once she reached 5 weeks and I stopped waking her, she woke like clockwork at at that 5 hours for a while–which was frustrating. I had to wonder if sleeping would have been better without waking her–but there is no knowing how milk supply would have gone.


So please share your experiences! I would love to get some real-life feedback on this rule.


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