If your ebf baby sleeps/slept well at night what do you put this down to?

(83 Posts)
sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 10:24:17

Their nature? Your fabulous supply?! Your routine of feeds? Or anything else.

13 week old ebf baby here.

ThoughtsPlease Fri 25-Jan-13 13:07:46

For most people it is impossible to have exactly the same routine for each child.

The routine will always have be to different because after your first you will have other children to look after, e.g older children at nursery or school, the routine will be different for a new a baby.

PoppyWearer Fri 25-Jan-13 13:08:59

Luck. DC1 resisted routine at first then got into one from nursery and now school. Still a really rubbish sleeper at 4.6yo.

DC2 even worse.

Possibly metabolism? I know a few bf babies who slept really well. Tended to be the bigger (chunkier) boys, IME. My DC2 is a boy but tall/skinny and seems to metabolise his food/milk quickly and needs little-and-often, even now we're on bottles at night. DC1 was a dinky little thing (girl) and also seems to need food little-and-often.

We now need someone to contradict me!

squidkid Fri 25-Jan-13 13:11:43

Sorry Poppy - my brilliant sleeper is a 9th centile girl....

It's all random I think!

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:20:05

I'm going to update in a min with what I'm doing and my reasons for asking but I've got two little ones both with colds. As soon as I get my hands free...all the responses are great thanks.

But Thoughts you said I had a routine that I believe guided them to sleep well.

Smudging Fri 25-Jan-13 13:27:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeyHoHereWeGo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:29:02

I am telling the as yet unborn baby -

Listen Buster, i'm due a good sleeper after the hell of the past 5 years.
Stay in there until you are good and ready to sleep all night.

I'm pretty sure thats how its done.

Smudging Fri 25-Jan-13 13:32:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:33:00

the joyful I read thoughts post as the way in which (or routine) of dealing with night wakings and feeds rather than the daytime routine in its entirety.

Speaking as someone with a 27 month old and 3 month old - yeah you have to go with the flow when caring for two. Well I can't clock watch.

issimma Fri 25-Jan-13 13:34:51

pure luck

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:35:16

smudging - thanks and I think you are on to something. I learned a lot from how I dealt with my first. I think the nature of the baby also has a part to play however.

squidkid Fri 25-Jan-13 13:35:38

smudging on the other hand, I held/fed/rocked baby to sleep all the time as a newborn (still do sometimes) - she needs a dummy to go down - we co-slept till about 10 weeks - we've never had a bedtime routine other than kiss & nightlight on, and we've had some stressful bedtimes - and she still sleeps!!

I don't watch TV, and we do keep it dark/quiet at night, but other than that....

My boyfriend's mum said she had to throw water over him as a toddler to wake him up... I think it's genetic grin

Smudging Fri 25-Jan-13 13:37:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:41:40

So I am asking because...I am feeding dc2 as if he were still newborn! He feeds every two hours or less. On demand mostly but I am conscious of keeping feeds really regular. For example if he was sleeping more than two or two and a half hours I would get him up for a feed. He also pretty much still doing a cluster feed of an evening, although he is starting to nap in between rather than squeal if not plugged in the whole time.

His sleep is pretty good. He regularly goes 6.5, 7 or even 8 hours. My SIL is doing the same. Her baby is exactly the same age. We both had challenging sleepers first time around.

Anyway this is quite time consuming and a massive committment with a toddler also. Especially given the time of year, one does not want to get the boobs out on a park bench on a cold and frosty morning. However when I have let dc2 space his feeds more, nights are affected. The other thing I have noticed is if he does have two feeds at night instead of just one (this happens occasionally since he was 4 wks he is now 13) he is not hungry particularly upon waking for the day.

So I'm thinking this is all linked and I should carry on...?

Jojobump1986 Fri 25-Jan-13 13:44:48

Good genes - his daddy slept through from 5 weeks too! That & ignoring him when he was awake but not upset seemed to do the trick! He'd shout if he was hungry & cry if he was upset so he did let us know when we were required!

Smudging If those things make a huge difference then I'd hate to think what mine would be like had I not done all those things! (Which I did, from the time he was two weeks old, and never fed downstairs or in front of the telly after 5pm). The only thing it has achieved is he goes to sleep easily at night which is why I think a routine can only achieve minor, not major, changes in what a baby is otherwise pre-programmed to do.

ThoughtsPlease Fri 25-Jan-13 13:49:35

Smudging, I completely agree, yes you have to work hard initially but the rewards are worth it.

By routine, I meant a general idea of feeding lots and lots in the day, and regular daytime sleep, allowing babies to learn to self settle in the day, as they come in to a light sleep naturally and by reacting initially you teach them this is how it is, and can end up with them expecting the same at night!i It is much easier to deal with in the day too rather than in the night.

I think the idea that the restrictive minute specified routines of the likes of Gina Ford is a load rubbish, clouds the fact that the principles can actually be very helpful.

DS at 8.5 months weighed 16lbs, so another one where a little baby sleeps well.

X-post with OP - some babies just do continue to feed like newborns. DS (8mo) has only just stopped feeding every 1.5 to 2 hours now that he's taking in reasonable amounts of solids. I'm starting to think the PP with the suggestion about metabolism might have a point...

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 13:51:32

Elpha my thought is that these things can help a potentially good sleeper along their way.

dietcokeandwine Fri 25-Jan-13 14:06:23

I think there is a huge element of luck - but I don't think you can be as dismissive as to say it is 'just' luck.

I have two boys, one was a chunky 75%iler, the other a much more 'dainty' 25%iler. One much calmer, one much feistier and prone to overtiredness. Both EBF. More routine oriented with DS1, a routine but rather more flexible with DS2 because I had to be. Both slept through the night (late feed at 11 then through the night till 7am) from about 8/9 weeks. Both continue to be good sleepers, barring occasional illness, periods of separation anxiety as toddlers etc.

Based on my own experience I honestly believe that a massive amount has to be to do with the baby themselves - their nature, their individual sleep needs (some babies simply need more sleep than others), their ability to learn to settle themselves and also to resettle when they stir during the night (some babies seem to learn that skill very quickly and easily, for others it takes months if not years). Both mine seemed to (a) need quite a lot of sleep and (b) learn how to settle and resettle with minimum guidance / stress. I don't think the EBF v EFF thing has a lot to do with it, to be honest.

But I don't believe it's ALL nature; I suspect that the habits some people get into (either deliberately, accidentally or through sheer desperation) can - sometimes - impact on their babies' ability to sleep. i.e. if babies become dependent for whatever reason on rocking/feeding/dummy/cosleeping this may (not necessarily, but may) impact on their ability to learn to self-settle and resettle. There are enough threads pleading for help in getting poor sleepers to sleep better, where different techniques are suggested and subsequently do make a real difference, to imply that what parents do can have an impact.

So I do agree that my two were born good sleepers, but I also think that I could have buggered that up to a certain extent had I parented them differently. I do think that having an element of routine, not letting a baby get too overtired, keeping night-times dark and quiet, moving them to their own rooms once they got to the point of being disturbed by us during the night etc made some difference, but I certainly wouldn't claim absolute credit for having 'good' sleepers, because so much of it is due to the individual natures of my children themselves.

I am due DC3 next week and cheerfully admit that I am due an absolute shocker of a sleeper this time around grin

leedy Fri 25-Jan-13 14:25:00

I'm on the "sheer bloody luck" bench. DS2 is EBF and a great sleeper - he's 10 weeks old, usually sleeps from 11 - 6 and then back down again until 9. Has been doing this since he was about four weeks old. He does cluster feed in the evening (while I watch telly, no less!), but that's something he wants to do, it's not like I'm forcing it down him! The only "thing to help sleep" I do is make his 5amish feed very quiet and dark, otherwise it's all what I believe a certain Baby Whisperer would refer to as accidental parenting, rods for my own back, bad habits that will be impossible to break, etc., smile

I do feed him a lot during the day, but again that's led by him, and he's starting to settle into a very rough nap routine.

Sadly I have a dim memory of his older brother also being quite a good sleeper (though not quite as good) until about six months, whereupon he turned into Captain Awake who wanted to play at night no matter how dark and boring it was, so I am attempting to enjoy it while it lasts.

SunbathingintheRain Fri 25-Jan-13 15:07:48

I think it's luck initially, but that maybe there are things that could derail a good sleeper (and poss visa versa!).

My DS was great until a combination of cold/injections and possibly teething at 4 months led me to bring him to bed and feed him whenever he woke crying. Was then a terrible sleeper until 15 months!

DD (currently 5 months) has slept through since 8 weeks. Previous to that she woke once. This is despite co sleeping from birth until 8 weeks, and,yes, tv in the evenings, although we do have a good bedtime routine. She recently went through a blip whilst ill but I always put her back after feeds, didn't always feed etc, and she is now sleeping through again- phew!

Cluster feeding in the evenings might be important? I also have oversupply of milk, don't know if that factors at all. Mostly luck I reckon, at least at first.

Hope things improve for you soon op!

Lovestosing Fri 25-Jan-13 17:12:25

Most of it is down to the nature of the baby, and the rest is possibly down to the parent. DC1 usually woke once at 4 am
until he was 13 months, decided to sleep train him took 2 nights and never woke in the night again apart from when he was ill. DC2 was an angel baby, slept for 6 hour stretches at just a few weeks and slept all night soon after that, at the tender age of almost 5 she is still an amazing sleeper, she shares a room with DC3 and is never woken by her. DC3 started out really well, during her first weeks of life she regularly slept 6 or 7 hours at a time, and was sleeping through before 8 weeks of age. Oh how smug I was, I really thought I had it sussed, telling DH we were far too soft on DC1 going to him
at the slightest murmur and that's where we went wrong. At 4 months DC3 decided she didn't want to sleep through anymore and woke for
4 hours every night for the next few months!!! She's a great sleeper now but I'm pretty sure it is not down to me!!

Loislane78 Fri 25-Jan-13 18:46:59

My DD was a great sleeper.... until 4 month sleep regression, then Christmas (out of routine), then teething, then a cold, more teething (and stili no darn tooth!) you get the picture smile

I read on MN that nothing lasts forever good or bad as they change so quickly; I really see that now.

mrswishywashy Fri 25-Jan-13 20:39:52

Can I chime in (am a maternity nurse) over the years have had a good mix of EBF, BF with EBM, mixed fed and also formula only babies.

I think it is a combination of factors including luck.

All the babies that I work with follow a similar rhythm of the day from two weeks - including every day starting the same, no more than three - four hours between feeds, naps between feeds and a bedtime routine.

Earliest exclusive BF baby slept 12 hours consistently from 11.5 weeks (her two older siblings didn't sleep through until six months and 2 years). Parents were the same and feeding however my routine suited the baby, would have loved to know if the older two would have slept through earlier with my help.

I've had siblings mostly bf with one formula bottle from birth. Older sibling slept through at 12 weeks however to get there he was awake 24/7 for basically his first six weeks. His younger sibling slept through at 8 weeks and from day dot slept and settled well. The parents were heavily into meditation and yoga during the pregnancy of number two and we do wonder if that made a difference.

Its a topic I find really interesting, my charges are not left to cry it out or controlled crying they are given the opportunity of falling asleep although I'm not adverse to rocking/patting or giving any form of comfort. There is no magic answer although I tell many parents who I consult with that sometimes it helps to change our expectations of children's sleep and then we relax and then the babies relax.

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