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.

Speaking as an EBFer (prior to weaning) with an awful sleeper, who I threw every sleep-facilitating trick in the book at from birth, I firmly believe that good sleepers are born, not made. Feeding method (BF or FF) or supply has naff-all to do with it, nor does parenting. You might be able to tweak things very slightly with routines but I'm convinced the ability to consistently sleep for long stretches at consistent times is determined by biological make up alone. Those who say 'mine slept through from X weeks because I did A, B and C' got lucky and probably would have had a good sleeper even if they hadn't done A, B and C (much as they might like to think it's down to their supreme parenting skills). I did A, B, C, D and pretty much everything else right through to Z. Still up every two hours at eight months old <yawn>

NotAnotherPackedLunch Fri 25-Jan-13 10:56:47

There was some research out some years ago which advised getting at least an hour of daylight in the afternoon to help set the baby's body clock.
I can remember stumbling round pushing the pram in my sleep deprived state every afternoon for at least an hour. After a while she did sleep through the night, but I've no idea if that was going to happen anyway.

Agree with pp - good sleepers are born, not made. My DS only starting sleeping through at 16 months, was up once a night from 12 months to that point, and previous to that, twice a night at least.

DD (4 wo tomo) is currently (touch wood) sleeping a six hour stretch at night. She wakes naturally about 9am, has a massive feed, goes back down about 10, feeds every 2 -3 hours during the day until about 5pm, when she cluster feeds and is on and off me constantly (more on than off tbh) until 10.30pm. Wakes at 4.30am, feeds til 5, back down again until 9.

Freaks me right out.

Parents with good sleepers are lucky. It's not down to anything they do, not due to parenting technique or feeding method or whether they spin the baby widdershins three times while muttering incantations before bedtime. Just luck.

ginmakesitallok Fri 25-Jan-13 11:31:19


MadameJosephine Fri 25-Jan-13 11:37:54

Sheer luck!

DS was EBF and he never slept through a single night till he was 2, I was permanently exhausted.

DD is 10 weeks and has slept well since birth, she goes to bed with us about 10pm, wakes once at 4 and then sleeps till 8. I can't believe my luck!

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:41:59

Madame - so you have done nothing differently? May I ask how many feeds approx during daytime hours? Well 8-10pm

squidkid Fri 25-Jan-13 11:48:10

Mine is EBF and has slept through almost every night since 6 weeks
I call it luck, I didn't do any sleep training or anything like that, just cuddles and milk
Also me and my boyfriend were both excellent sleepers as babies - maybe it's inherited...

squidkid Fri 25-Jan-13 11:49:04

She is 17 weeks and feeds approx 10 times between 5am and 6pm

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:52:28

Squid that's interesting. A lot of feeds in 13 hra. What's the longest between feeds and are you mindful of this or do you purely demand feed? If you don't mind my asking.

squidkid Fri 25-Jan-13 11:58:17

I feed on demand. Her last one is usually around 6-7pm, so she goes 10-11 hours most nights.

In the day we rarely go longer than 2 hours though. Sometimes as often as hourly. She is a very good sleeper, but I don't take any credit for it.

feetheart Fri 25-Jan-13 11:58:38

Total luck.

DD slept through from 14 weeks, DS slept through finally at 14 MONTHS. Both were EBF and treated exactly the same and nothing we did (including the incantations grin) would encourage the little bugger dear to sleep through.

Happily now, at 9 and 7, they are both good sleepers and have to be levered out of bed on school mornings hmm

MadameJosephine Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:28

I don't think I've done anything differently but there's 16 years between them so I can't be sure! I just go with the flow really, have fed on demand and coslept with both of them. We don't really have a pattern of feeds during the day, anything from 1-3 hours between feeds, probably 5 feeds between 8-6 and then shes a definite cluster feeder in the evenings and will be on and off for several hours before that 6 hour stretch of sleep

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:15:27

Madame. Thanks! Wonderfully long gap. Like my mum she had 14 yrs. I started late 37 and 39 when having mine. Not sure now what I was waiting for.

I'm seeing v concentrated feeds and continuing to cluster feed of an eve pas newborn stage, for good sleepers in these replies ...

Longdistance Fri 25-Jan-13 12:17:16

Total luck of the drawer.
Dd1 was ebf, and never slept through, is 3 and still wakes at night on occasions.

Dd2 was all ebf and slept through from 9 weeks, and still does.

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:20:40

Long distance - might I ask how old your baby is now and how many feeds in daytime hours pls?

Piemother Fri 25-Jan-13 12:27:54

Dc2 is 10 weeks and ebf and slept through from about 3 weeks maybe a bit earlier. She feeds solidly from about 7-10 at night then sleeps until 8am sometimes later. She feeds A LOT during the day and is sling carried and fed on demand. She has never been in a pram. Sometimes she sleeps a good few hours I. The sling bit this doesn't affect the nights. I'm not being smug saying she sleeps because I carry her I'm just listing what I do and what she does iyswim.
Dc1 didn't sleep through until 7 months also ebf but went in a pram

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:30:37

Pie - thanks and wow. Great sleep. Helpful reply actually also. Thanks for info. I'm also using a sling loads

ThoughtsPlease Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:49

I disagree that it is luck, 3 EBF babies all slept through 11/12 hours by 12 weeks, DS actually from 7 weeks. I had a routine that I believe guided them to sleep well.

DS 8 months, sometimes wakes and cries, he woke once in the night earlier this week, he is teething, I gave some calpol, rubbed some bonjela on, I did give him a very quick breastfed, just to be sure he wasn't thirsty or anything, and then put him back in his cot. He cried for a while and then went back to sleep. He hasn't woken any other night since. For me I think it could have been very different if I had prolonged it in the night, with more feeding, he would have happily fed for much longer, or I had waited until he had stopped crying before leaving. I just checked he was ok, which he was, gave some pain relief a quick cuddle and drink and back to bed.

Longdistance Fri 25-Jan-13 12:40:20

OP she's 19months now. She only used to have 5 feeds a day, and slept through the day. She still has a 3 hour nap in the afternoon.

I just think she loves her sleep grin

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:45:49

Thoughts - thanks for your thoughts, did you have a routine of feeds also. That is to say at the ebf stage do you recall number of feeds in daytime hours. Well once you were past the newborn stage that is. Thank you

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:48:26

Long distance - thanks. Yes sounds like it. <muses at what I could get done during a 3 hour nap>

TheMaskedHorror Fri 25-Jan-13 12:55:24

I think its luck. dcs1 and 2 did the wake up every 3 hrs routine whilst dc3 (3 months) usually sleeps from 11 til 5 most nights and has slept 10 to 6 a couple of times.
She does feed a lot from 8 til she sleeps.

Thoughts how do you account for parents who have exactly the same routine with all their children but have some good sleepers and some poor sleepers?

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.

sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 21:06:33

Mrswishy thanks for your comments. Would you tell me more about your routines please. Also do you have any thoughts on what is termed te 'four month sleep regression' ? Thank you.

Dottyspot Fri 25-Jan-13 21:07:20

My two have always slept well at night. Both at least 6 hours a night if not 8 hours from birth. I really really believe this is because they were fed on demand during the day ( and by demand I mean every 30 mins at times, basically if they squaked they got a boob!). Both cluster fed for about 3 hours at night until they were about 4-5 months. I think in the first few months, mine never had more than an hour at a time OFF the boob in the daytime. I just got a good sling so you could feed anywhere on the go. I think if you stuff them in the day, they sleep at night# my theory!

Piemother Sat 26-Jan-13 11:23:49

Dc2 has been asleep over 12 hours now. 11 weeks in Monday. No signs of waking either. She's in a Moses basket next to my bed on her tummy with a cellular blanket up to her waist. I know the tummy sleeping is against SIDS advice but that's how they want to sleep. Obv no one smokes, there's a window open and I use a room thermometer.

stopgap Sat 26-Jan-13 12:39:24

Sheer luck. Well, that and the end of his silent reflux at seven months. He's 17 months now, sleeps 12 hours at night and has done for yonks. Though loving, funny and exceptionally sweet, he has had an intense personality right from the get-go and we're already having plenty of growly toddler tantrums, so it's not all plain sailing with a "good" sleeper.

Piemother Sat 26-Jan-13 16:05:14

I agree stopgap - dc1 behaviour no different to the other toddlers apart for the sleeping she's still a little madam!

mrswishywashy Sun 27-Jan-13 10:50:45

Sedgiewoo - the routine I follow from about two weeks (first two weeks are demand fed) is start every day the same time, feed at least every three hours, nap between feeds (in the early days naps are anything from 45 mins - 2 hours. A feed will take at least an hour, that's what I tell my clients, I recommend switch feeding and the time includes nappy changes and winding. Babies are mostly swaddled and try to give them an opportunity to settle themselves from early on as its very easy to hold a sleeping baby all day. Then have a bedtime routine of bath, massage, low lights. If baby does not settle in the early days its ok to have them in living room but try to keep stimulation down. Most babies I've had do not have dream feed although in the early days they are usually eating around 10pm anyway.

At 6 weeks a routine would look like this:
7am up and bf
8.30-10am nap
10am bf
11.30-1pm nap
1pm bf
2.30-3.30pm nap
4pm bf
Another 1/2 or so nap but awake by 5.30pm
Usually a feed at 5.30pm, just one side
6pm bedtime routine, another feed by 6.15/6.30pm
7pm bed
Feed on demand during night , usually twice at 6 weeks
The parents her keep to this routine the closest gets quickest results, however the baby who slept through 12 hours at 9 weeks had no routine during the day asides from feeding 3 hourly. So it's not an exact science.

I've heard and read about the four month sleep regression however I've yet to have a baby do it and that includes babies I've left before 4 months. I keep close contact with all my clients and none have ever reported the sleep regression they all say how amazing their babies and children and now even teenagers sleep.

sedgieloo Sun 27-Jan-13 14:05:15

Thanks mrswishy. It sounds as if you have a lot of experience. Please may I ask a question about my baby ? it would help to get your view

OP, if you like the sound of that routine you might want to get Contented Little Baby by Gina Ford.

sedgieloo Sun 27-Jan-13 16:24:30

Thanks elphaba - I have her toddler book somewhere and she refers to her routine for babies. I don't think gf is loathesome (!) but it's not for me. Attachment parenting speaks to my heart but a bit of routine is good too - I think there is a middle way. If I can just find it! Bit difficult to clock watch for naps and feeds with a two year old also.

My question is to do with baby stopping his cluster feed. In the day baby feeds every two hours or so - he has been feeding or fussing at the boob from 5.30 until 9 or 10 or even a bit later. Ive not minded as he has for weeks then slept 5-7.5 hours then going back for 2-4.5 hrs. He now seems ready to go down at 8-8:30.

I don't know if a dream feed is a good idea. Its been hit and miss in terms of getting him back in bed and also delaying the next feed.

I kind of need his previous pattern to continue, i need a good stretch of sleep myself as I have been feeling post natal lowness. Fatigue makes it 10 times worse.

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Sun 27-Jan-13 16:27:53

Luck of the draw

BertieBotts Sun 27-Jan-13 16:28:01

Nature, also we co-slept and I think that helped him feel secure.

Indith Sun 27-Jan-13 16:31:03

ds1 slept through from around 5/6 months. He slept well before that, only really waking for feeds. I don't have a clue what made him sleep that way, he just is how he is. Dd slept through on a regular basis once she his 3 years old or so. Ds2 is 10 months and I dream of getting a full hour of sleep hmm.

mrswishywashy Sun 27-Jan-13 16:32:59

What happens if he goes down at 8/8.30pm?

If he's fed well during the day and up to 8/8.30pm then I'd probably leave him to sleep. However, in the short term it is important for you to go to bed then as well. I would skip the dream feed especially as you says its hit and miss with your baby. Hopefully what will happen it that he'll stretch further and further through the night and then you can adjust your evenings to match.

Eg what usually happens with the babies I have they feed before bed time, then wake 10pm, 2am and 5am. Naturally by 6 weeks the 10pm drops. Then the 2am and 5am feeds merge so just one feed. Then the final feed either they just sleep through or the feed gets later and later towards 7am.

Am happy to answer any further questions even just to be a sounding board. All babies and parents are different and sometimes I think its better to adjust our expectations of what babies can do instead of following to closely to any written routine. eg I'm currently with a 12 day old who has only slept 3 stretches of 45 minutes since I started, so I may take some time to respond:-)

BooCanary Sun 27-Jan-13 16:46:02

Dd bf til 12mo, ebf til weaned slept through (12hrs) from 15w. She is 6 now and still struggles if she has much less than 12h per night.

Ds slept a lot from birth. He was mixed fed from 4wo due to preferring sleep to milk!!!! He slept 12h from 16w, and still has an afternoon nap 50% of days at nearly 4yo.

I can only assume therefore that nature has been a great help. However, I also credit the fact they are thumb suckers and the fact that ( due to their sleepy bf issues) I always put them down awake for naps.

BooCanary Sun 27-Jan-13 16:48:47

Forgot to mention, that I would have also put it down to supply/regularity of feeding as ebf dd rose to 91st centile and fed loads during the day ( every 2ish hours for 40 mins!). However, ds dropped to very low centile and fed every 3-4 hours so, go figure!

DoItToJulia Sun 27-Jan-13 16:54:34

My 11 wo EBF baby slept from 10.30 to 6.45 last night...and it was amazing.

His brother slept through from around 12 weeks. There is a 7 year gap between them and I remember being told when ds1 was tiny that sleeping through was a matter of biology. If the baby can take in enough fuel in the day to see them through the night they will sleep. I am not sure if I agree with this, but that's what the health visitor said.

This time around I have noticed that ds2 doesn't poo every day. Sometimes it can be every 4 days. On the day when he poos (and there can be loads and loads of poo) he sleeps better at night. Obviously this may be coincidence.

Also there is no correlation here between the amount of daytime sleep and night time sleep. One day he will spend most of his day awake with small cat naps and still only wake at 4 and other days sleep all day to only wake at 4. Other days he will wake at 2 and 5. In other words creating a sleep debt as it were doesn't work!

Last night ds2 did stir at 5 but only because his head had reached the top of the crib (somehow he wriggles up the crib from the bottom) so I moved him down and he went straight back off.

The main difference between my two boys is that the younger one will self settle if he is put down with a full tummy, clean nappy and has been thoroughly winded. He is also a very very calm baby. Ds1 wouldn't self settle for years.

Are we doing anything magical? No! So I am not sure that my post helps really! My gut instinct is that it is luck mixed with a bit of biology! But I am no expert!

BalloonSlayer Sun 27-Jan-13 17:07:07

I will get flamed for this but my babies slept well and I put it all down to <whispers> Gina Ford.

It was 12 years ago I read an article in the paper and thought I would give her a go. I was exhausted as my DS1 seemed to be feeding all the time and I had no idea how much or when I should be feeding him, the HV would just say "whenever he wants" but I was knackered and didn't know what I was doing and he wasn't happy either.

Basically her advice was to feed 3 hourly during the day - I think it was something like roughly 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm then wake them up at 11 for a last feed. I only did the 11pm feed once and the bugger wouldn't go back to sleep so I never did that one with any of them - I'd let them wake me once in the night which was usually about 4am, which was fine by me. Once in this pattern they were all really happy, I remember marvelling about DS1 that he just never cried!

In hindsight what I was doing "wrong" with DS1 was being so tired that when he wanted a feed I would give him enough so he would fall asleep then I would try to gingerly put him down and get something done/sleep myself. He would then wake up again 30 minutes later and I would be in despair. What I learned to do was ensure he had a full feed each time, from both sides, instead of having little snacks that were ultimately unsatisfying. I learned to keep trying to keep him awake and feeding, then when my calling his name and jiggling his hand didn't work, I would change his nappy which would wake him up enough to have the other side.

I agree that not all babies are the same and there is no "one size fits all" solution. However, all my DCs were quite similar temperaments as babies (ie puddings) and for me the one approach did work with them all.

While I was EBF my LO, he slept well between 7pm and 7am, waking twice at very predictable times for feeds (11pm and 3am).

He was mixed fed up until he was 2.5 months old, then EBF untll he was 5 months old, when we re-introduced bottles. He has been on a sleep routine since he was seven days old - he was on a feeding routine when he was mix fed, but when I was EBF, he was fed on demand....but did actually tend to stick to the same feeding times he'd had previously. So would normally feed 4-5 times between 7am and 7pm, then twice at night. And would go straight back to sleep after a feed.

Now, at 9 months old, sleeps 12 hours straight through (has done since 6.5 months, when I dropped the night feeds, and began serious food weaning). Rarely wakes up unless he's teething or squashed himself into an uncomfy position in the cot!

sedgieloo Mon 28-Jan-13 15:19:56

Mrswishy- well this is a recent development as he has been camping out on the boob all eve until recently. Now though he seems ready to sleep about 8.30. A few times he has had a 10.30 feed and gone to sleep until 5 or later. But as many times he has woken right up and yelled when I've tried to put him down and this has gone on and on. Then he has woken earlier if anything say 3am instead of 4 or 5. Giving me a shorter stretch.

I'm going to try to skip the dream feed and go to bed when he does as you suggest.

I'm fine with one feeding in 9 hours - of course. But last night he wouldn't be put down after his feed. He would like to remain in my arms until sound sound asleep. And even then sometimes he has yelled after just a few minutes asleep in his cot and we start over, and over.

He does self settle but consistently. For naps it takes some conscious effort and white noise. At night if he doesn't cry and is just grumbling, I turn on the white noise and he will send himself off. I used a sling a lot in the early days becuse I have a toddler and could not take the time to do the whole nap routine without neglecting her. He would like to sleep snuggled into me, which I get, but I'm not confident to cosleep

Now I feel I need to work on the self settling a bit more as I can't deal with an aversion to his bed and being up all hours in the night. Any advice pls?

Obviously it's a transition for him. I want to manage it the right way without sacrificing his and my long stretch of sleep. I think the cuddling is a bit of the problem so I want him to feel happier about settling his bed. I'm anti cry btw! Thanks in advance


Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution sedgie. It's very attachment-parent friendly (Elizabeth Pantley is very much an advocate for AP and the book is endorsed by Dr Sears). It gives a very good no-cry gradual withdrawal procedure in there which addresses the exact issues you're mentioning.

mrswishywashy Tue 29-Jan-13 06:56:58

It's great that he is self settling at times. In the nights is his bed/ room colder, maybe put a hot water bottle in cot to keep warm during feeds. Or what I sometimes do is hold them in a big swaddle and then lay them on that as it keeps good temp, when they I. Bed I tuck down the sides for safety.

AngelDog Tue 29-Jan-13 23:24:56

IME with one awful sleeper & one great sleeper:

(a) Personality
(b) Sleep / feed entirely on demand
(c) Sling for all daytime naps and the evening
(d) Co-sleep at night
(e) Never allow them to get overtired
(f) Don't eat anything that upsets their digestive system

But what would work for another baby would be different from what works for mine.

moojie Wed 30-Jan-13 09:59:01

Luck! Ds2 slept 8 hrs from 3 weeks and 12hrs from 6 weeks.....then at 5 months started waking every 2 hrs then slept through again then woke for a few weeks and now at 10 months we are thankfully going through a sleeping through phase...for now!

I kept things relatively the same throughout, the odd tweak here or there but if you stick to a good routine and good habits there is light at the end of the tunnel, until next time they are ill, teething, hot, cold etc!!!

GirlOutNumbered Wed 30-Jan-13 10:22:38

I'm going with luck again. Ds1 terrible sleeper, didn't sleep through until I stopped breastfeeding at 13 months and even then he wasn't good at it.
Ds2 is a sleeper, I could see the difference in him from birth. He's been going to bed at 7 since about 4 weeks old and it suits him. He hates being tired. He still has bad nights, but generally will sleep fro 7 til 7 with one feed.

Another difference I have noted in him from his brother is that he only sucks when hungry, he is not interested in sucking for comfort, fyswim. He feeds and once he's full, no more boob.

BiscuitCrumbsInBed Wed 30-Jan-13 13:38:32

My 18 mo DD is a terrible sleeper. Still bf on demand in day and night. Personally i put it down to a punishment for something bad I did in a previous life. Or possiblynature's revenge on me and DH for also having been terrible sleepers as babies smile

ilovecolinfirth Wed 30-Jan-13 14:01:54

10 week old baby has slept well since 5 weeks, but a) he's a very big boy - someone told me large babies cope better, and b) he feeds A LOT during the day. When he's not being pushed in the pram he will eat about hourly, maybe a little longer between intervals but never more than 2 hours. Don't get me wrong, I love the good nights (hope they last), but there have been times when I've felt really down during the day due to the exhaustion of it all.

ilovecolinfirth Wed 30-Jan-13 14:04:50

By the way, some people ask whether he properly feeds each time during the day as I've always got my breasts out, but I'm guessing with the amount of poo he produces he does!!!!

AngelDog Wed 30-Jan-13 19:59:03

I think when they're tiny at least, feeding doesn't make as much difference as you'd think it might. One sleep book quotes examples of babies in intensive care being fed intravenously - they never feel hunger in the way that 'normal' babies do. Yet their waking patterns are exactly the same as babies who have to wake up to feed.

AngelDog Wed 30-Jan-13 19:59:26

Well, exactly the same range of patterns I mean.

sedgieloo Wed 30-Jan-13 21:18:19

Angdog - really interesting!

BollyGood Thu 31-Jan-13 22:53:02

This is a really good thread thanks OP!! My 9.5 month old is really happy during the day she eats for England and has two big bf's at some point in the day but not often the same time everyday. She rarely sleeps all night. She is 22 pounds now. I began weaning at 6 months by then she had three bf's a day, another around midnight then 2/3am. This wasn't too bad as she would go to bed around 7am and had good naps in the day usually at the same time each day.

Since weaning the nights are awful. I have two other children who were and still are excellent sleepers. I do the same things with my dd3 as I did with the others even down to cooking the same meals for weaning as the others had.

As I began the weaning she went completely off bfing, so I cut back on the food but it made no difference whatsoever. She loves her food but with or without it she only wants to bf occasionally in the morning (which is because of the night feeding, she is finally full by 7 am, which I can't seem to get her to stop!!!) once around 2pm and never before bed even if I give her hardly any food at tea. She is not interested. Yet, my little madam will wake now at either 8 or 9 or 10 pm for one bf, then 1am, 3am and usually 5 or 6 am, in total having a nother 2/3 feeds and a cuddle. I am like death warmed up- so tired!!! More so than the newborn phase. I have tried everything. She wakes at least 3 times through the night and has done since 6 months.

We are out in the fresh air 4 times a day for the school run, she only has two naps, she likes the 2/3 hr routine in the day and nothing you can do can keep her awake she has to nap when she wants too, self settles and all that malarkey. She is crawling rolling, sitting herself up, very active and busy. My daytimes are lovely, like clockwork and not dissimilar to GF but naturally chosen by dd not me. BUT my baby does not conform to the nights. She is fab at having her bf's and goes straight back down like a dream, only feeds in the pitch black she hates light at night, so technically should be capable of sleeping through. I struggle to drop off as I know I will be up again possibly in an hour definitely within two.

It is down to,luck mainly if they sleep. I am of this persuasion.i didn't used to think this first and second time around. I thought it was my good daytime planning which helped my babies sleep. Having a wonderful daytime routine has made bugger all difference this time round. And, to add insult to injury it was dd3's natural routine which just happened to be the same as my other two babies without me helping her into it.

Our friends have their first baby, she is now 5 months and sleeps all night. We have pretty much the same daytime thing going on.Why am I awake all night?????

BollyGood Thu 31-Jan-13 22:59:26

Sorry I meant dd went to bed at 7pm not 7am! and had her midnight and 2/3am feed and woke at 7am. Now it's potluck if she settles at a decent time some evenings she just won't go to bed whatever her daytime was like and she flies on the face of all reason!!! I read up thread about the poster who's baby only fed and didn't comfort suck. Dd has been like this since birth, she has never wanted the boob for comfort only when hungry. Every feed is a big one.

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