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settling a baby who has been sick Lock Rss

Hi Maree,

My baby son in 8 weeks old. When he was two weeks old he developed an infection and had to go on antibiotics for a week. He was quite miserable as he had an infection on his face which was similar to a boil and the glands under his chin and jaw were very swollen. As a result I found I was holding him to comfort him most of the time. The antibiotics he was on then stripped his tummy of all of the good bacteria and it took weeks for him to get back to normal - he had bad pains in the tummy after a feed and was very hard to settle - hence he was held a lot of the time and often fell asleep in my arms. He finally was starting to self settle last week and go to sleep by himself but after yet another visit to the doctor he has been put on antibiotics again but this time for six weeks. This has given him a bit of diarohea and tummy pains. Before this he was sleeping 5-6 hour blocks at night but is now back to 3-4 hours and after that waking ever 2 hours. He is also back to 2 hourly feeds after going 3 hourly before. He has never been much of a sleeper in the day but now he is only catnapping 2-3 times a day for 20-50min. It is a real struggle to get him to go to sleep in the day - I put him to bed awake but end up rocking him to sleep. He is not grouchy when awake but is very tired by the end of the day when he falls asleep about 5, with me waking him for a bath and feed at 8. I am worried because I know that he is getting into the habit of me holding him to go to sleep. I read not to start doing the 2 minute patting thing unless your baby is well. Do you have any suggestions? Is it normal for babies not to sleep much during the day?
You have had a lot to deal with in his short time. You are correct we don’t like to use settling techniques unless baby is completely well. At this age it is very much hands on though and no leaving baby. When he is well it would be good to try settling him awake into his cot using settling techniques and try to teach him to sleep independently. Also try to implement a feed/play/sleep routine and you will be able to eliminate the frequent feeding by knowing when he is tired and when he is hungry.
Cheers Maree

It's Time to Sleep

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