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Sleep and feed issues Rss

Hi all,

I'm a first time mum who doesn't feel like she knows what she's doing half the time! I didn't clue into "sleep cycles" until Tim was 9 weeks old (he's now 3 months), so ended up in a vicious cycle of feeding him every time he woke up (after about 45 mins) as I thought he was hungry. Anyway, after the last few weeks of trying to establish the "feed-play-sleep" routine, he's doing better. He now sleeps relatively well in the morning (can usually resettle), then basically catnaps towards late afternoon and early evening. He also seems to want closer feeds at this time (sometimes 2 hourly). It all ends at about 7pm when he goes to bed. I'm envious of the mum's who have babes that "sleep through", because I'm still feeding Tim at ~10-10:30pm, then about 3 hours later (1:30amish) and again 3hours later (4:30am). He doesn't tend to sleep more than 3 hours at a time during the night. (Although according to tables on how much sleep he should get per day, he is managing about the right amount). He currently gets about 8 feeds a day (and during the day, he sometimes mucks around on the breast and only takes from one breast) so I'm wondering if I'm "giving in" to him at night? He's quite a tall baby though, so perhaps he needs the extra nutrition?

Any suggestions on steering him towards the magical "sleep through"? Also, any suggestions on how to best manage the afternoons, during which he can be awake for 3-4 hours? I try resettling for 20 mins in bed (but I can just tell he won't settle), then get him up, try and delay the feed until it's been at least 2.5 hours (bath or chat or play), then feed, then bed, then repeat until it's about bedtime. It's very hands-on - does anyone else have a bub like this? Guess I'm looking for reassurance - everyone tells me "it will get better". I'd like to know when! While I remember, does madly sucking his fists while he won't resettle mean that he's hungry or overtired?

Thanks,
Angela.

Angela; Tim (b. 17.7.05), Will (b. 30.11.07)

hi angela!!
your not alone! my bub is 9weeks now and he is doing exactly what your little one was doing.if he had it his way, he would feed everyhour, but after doing that for a week (thinking it was a growth spurt) i stretched it out to about 2hours (during the day) which i am still trying to stretch out to 3-3.5 hours (what a nightmare!!) i feed him evertime he wakes which is usually 2hours, but if he has a cat nap for only 40mins i still feed him anyway as he cries to be fed!!! i know he isint hungry but somedays im so stressed i just cant occupy him for 2 hours or listen to hm cry!!
caden is aslo is hard to settle in the afternoon, which almost every baby i know is like that. its almost like their 'naughty' time.
and i know what you mean about trying to settle them and knowing its not going to work! he will yawn and carry on but only fall asleep on me, and if i put him in his cot awake he will lay there for ages smiling and 'acooing'. so cute, but very frustrating!(especially around dinner time!)

ive only just got him to actually sleep during the day as he fights his sleep constantly and screams until you pick him up. a few stressful days and he is having 2-3 day naps which last between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. better than nothing lol! he is a good night sleeper though, he wil have a solid 7hour sleep, which is at the wrong time but each day i am pushing it later and later and were now getting him to bed at 8:30-9, rather than 6pm, which is great!

my little one sucks his fists alot, and shakes his head from side to side with his mouth open like a little sparrow also, which i think is hunger, but im pretty sure hes just overtired, i guess you can just tell from the last time you fed him.

ooh i so feel your pain! it is very hands on and can leave you pretty stressed at times! if you have msn i would love to chat with you as it seems im not the only mother wrapped around my babys little finger wink
hope to hear from you soon!! (oh and sorry about the long post, im just happy to know im not alone!!)

amandaxoxo
May baby has become the same as yours in the evenings. She's only 6.5 weeks. She gets fed at around 2ish then is awake until she seems tired (about an 1 - 1.25 hours) then only catnaps and seems to want feeding although she goes atleast 4 hours every other time of the day. It is very tiring trying to keep her entertained in the evenings.

My baby sucks her fists too...usually when she is hungry....I think.

Can't comment on the night problem as I am one of those lucky ppl whos baby sleeps from 7pm til 6 am with only one feed now.

I bought Gina Fords "contented baby book" and she seem to think that they do only catnap in the arvo and drop that catnap quiet early.

This who parenting thing is a bit of a guessing game really, and even when you think you have it figured out it all goes out the window. smile
Hi Angela, my baby is 10 weeks and I'm having the same problems with trying to get him to settle and sleep during the day. He is a great sleeper at night though so what I've done it put up block out curtains in his room and everytime it's nap time I shut them to darken the room to help him sleep. This has helped and I find he naps a lot better than before, but still not perfect. Sometimes he fights sleep like you wouldn't believe, but at least once he does fall asleep he now sleeps for longer than 20-30mins. A couple of times I've gotten an even 3 hour nap out of him which is a godsend.

With regards to his night feeds, this is what I did. He normally goes to sleep around 7pm and our evening routine is: 6pm - bath, 6.30 - feed (I too breastfeed), 7pm - bedtime. Generally goes down quite good. At 10pm (just before I go to bed) I go in and do a dream feed. I don't wake him but merely gently pick him up and tease him with my nipple until he takes it and has a feed. I generally don't burp him at this stage either as I find he's too relaxed to swallow too much air anyway. I then pop him back in the cot and wrap him up. In the early days, this would generally take him til 1am where he would wake and cry out for a feed. This would then take him through til about 4 or 5am. At about 7 weeks I felt he could drop the 1am feed so I used the help of a dummy. Mind you he doesn't take to a dummy during the day or at any other time for that matter but this seemed to work for some reason. When I would hear him stir I would immediately jump up (and time is of the essence here because you don't want him to fully wake up) and place a dummy in his mouth. This did take a couple of gos and I found myself having to sit by his cot for approx 20mins popping the dummy in each time it fell out. Sometimes I would have to sit there for the whole hour. Because what you're trying to do is extend the 1am feed till 2am, by then which you could feed him. After about 3 nights of this, I found he no longer woke up at 1am for his feed, but woke up at 2am. Success - I moved the 1am feed til 2am. I did the 2am feed for about a week and then wanted to move it to 3am. So I did the whole routine again. When he woke at 2am I would try and hold off his feed til 3am with a dummy. He now generally wakes for his 3am feed meaning I've got him to stretch out 5 hours from his last feed (10pm). By moving this feed I also found he dropped the 4/5am feed all by himself and didn't have to work on that one at all.

This has worked for me so far and I've even had about 3 nights so far where he's slept all the way through til 6/7am without a feed. I think when I've gone in to pop in the dummy in his sleep he probably thought that was his feed smile It kind of makes me think that some of these wakings might be more out of habit rather than hunger. I was actually thinking of doing a couple of nights where I don't feed him at 3am and just hold him off with a dummy and see how that goes.
Thanks for your replies and advice - I felt a bit better knowing I'm not alone. Had a doosy of a day a few days back - little sleep all around and feeling miserable as a result. I'm going off to the QE2 sleep clinic this weekend for 4 nights to see if we can sort things out (of course, he's being an angel and having a huge sleep this morning!). If anything works, I'll let you know.

Better go - can hear him stirring.

A.

Angela; Tim (b. 17.7.05), Will (b. 30.11.07)

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