By Expert Contributor Katie Kovaleski
Should your newborn be expected to sleep through the night? No! You should not expect your newborn baby to sleep through the night when you bring him or her home from the hospital. Newborns are not meant to sleep through the night and they are most certainly not meant to have feedings withheld in order to try to achieve that goal.
There was a new study published recently by Foxnews.com that claimed to be able to offer a method that would allow a newborn to sleep through the night. This method entailed “stretching” feedings so that a baby’s brain would get used to going longer without food.
“To train newborns to sleep through the night, the Jassey brothers created a method that eliminates middle-of-the-night feeding by stretching out meal times to occur at four-hour intervals during the day.” (Drs. Lewis Jassey and Jonathan Jassey, 2014)
A newborn’s stomach is extremely small, there is no possible way that the same amount of food given at much longer intervals will equalize to the same amount of milk or formula they would take in if they were fed whenever they are hungry.
A newborn will typically feed every two-three hours max, which equals about 8-12 feedings a day. This method chops that down to just six feedings. So essentially, they are cutting the food intake in half because while the size of the infant’s stomach can’t be miraculously taught to handle more food, the intervals between feedings are doubled.
“The theory behind their method is to train a baby’s hunger receptors to acclimate to a specific schedule. As long as a baby gets fed the appropriate amount of food needed for healthy weight gain and development, they will not become hungry at inconvenient times— like 2 a.m.”
Unfortunately, there are many things about having a newborn that may seem to be “inconvenient.” It’s my view that those “things” are just part of being a parent. There are things you can do to help your baby grow, develop and sleep well. However, we absolutely do not advocate withholding food, ever.
“If your baby is in the habit of going fewer than four hours between feedings, the doctors recommend extending each feeding time by fifteen minutes each day. That way you can gradually increase the in-between times.” (Drs. Lewis Jassey and Jonathan Jassey, 2014)”
This study/theory is disturbing and is not something I would ever recommend a parent try and if there were any interest in using this method, I would heavily stress discussing it in-depth with your pediatrician.
For the full article on this study click: FoxNews.com