How do you settle baby at night?(19 Posts)
I have a 5 month old ds who is exclusively breastfed and generally a happy little boy. His sleep at night is quite random - sometimes he'll sleep through from 7pm - 5am (hallelujiah!), other times he'll wake frequently.
Sometimes when he wakes he's not hungry but instead just needs comforting. These times I will try and walk around the room/rock/shush him back to sleep but invariably after literally 2 minutes (on a good night) I am beside myself with frustration when he's not showing signs of being sleepy, and end up just putting him on the boob and feeding him to sleep lying down in our bed. He then falls back to sleep pretty quickly and we bed share until he next wakes.
I am ok doing this as we all get a bit of sleep albeit not great as I'm a very light sleeper, but I am posting here more because I am wondering whether it's normal to become so frustrated so quickly especially when he's not even crying!! I read posts on MN of people taking ages to settle babies and wonder why I can't seem to do it. I snap almost instantly. Settling has always been a potential flashpoint for me for some reason and I don't know why. Should I be spending more time trying to settle him? And wondering what other mums do in the middle of the night? Does everyone else do the pacing round the room for hours thing or just bung baby in the bed for an easy life?
I end up bringing him into bed every time mostly because he's decided to start waking hourly after the first 4 hour stretch and it's a lot less disruptive to feed him.
I've found a white noise app to be quite effective in calming him though and helping him to settle? Also stroking his face and down the middle of his nose.
You're not alone with the frustration! For me it's down to sleep deprivation - I just have a massively short fuse when I'm tired and get frustrated very quickly.
My DD is 5 months too - sleeps in her cot for most of the night. Until the hellish sleep regression I used her dummy to settle her (once I'd ruled out hunger/ wind/ temperature) along with white noise. It worked very quickly. Then she started waking every hour looking for the dummy (aaarrrgghhh!). I did (and sometimes still do) bring her into bed with me from 4am onwards just for a quiet life. We are FF rather than BF so for is its about proximity rather than boob in mouth.
Do you have a partner you can share the night settlings with? We now sleep in shifts - either one night on/ one night off, or I go to bed early and take over from 2.30/3.00ish. We have been weaning off the dummy (using the Pantley gentle method) and having a block of sleep in the first part of the night is the only way I have the stamina to persist with this.
Hope this is of some help! No magic answers but plenty of empathy!
I think I fed my first baby to sleep for 9 months. It worked for her and it worked for me. I also used Ewan the dream sheep - he didn't cause her to settle much then but when she was older he was very helpful as a soother
I think it's normal to be frustrated when you're tired and sleep has been disturbed. BF babies do seem to like to feed more in the night - think it's something to do with how quickly they digest the milk. My DS started sleeping better when he started solids and being able rto get comfy at night and sleep on his side. I'd hang on if I were you and just feed him and go back to sleep. He will eventually sleep through of his own accord. I'm actually a big fan of co-sleeping. Think it saved my sanity.
DD 4 months and I still feed to sleep when/if she wakes. She's a baby, I'm her mother and I have the fortunate ability to BF her so I use it to my advantage. I'll worry about CIO/soothing etc when we're on the bottle to sleep. For now, I get 8 hours uninterrupted sleep and I'm not about to fuck that up .
Ds sleeps in our bed and I feed him to sleep every time he wakes in the night. It's best if I get my boob in his mouth as soon as he stirs, before he fully wakes.
On the odd occasion that this doesn't send him off to sleep I hand him to dp (seeing as I do 95% of the night wakings).
I find I get more stressed about night wakings if I try to count them, or look at the time. Knowing that you were up every hour from 2am seems to make it worse.
Breastfeeding makes both you and the baby fall asleep quicker so I say go for it
Almost exactly what CutYourHair said. In fact I'm sure there are times I force my boob into DS' mouth when he isn't even waking up, just mumbling in his sleep!
He's 2 months old and I honestly have no idea how many times he feeds in the night because I just doze through it. It took me until about 7 months to get to this point with DD (I always used to look at my phone to check the time and that would wake me up) and I feel so much better rested this time round.
Honestly, just take the easy approach.
If the baby wants feeding, and settles after a feed, why don't you want to feed him?
OMG I could of wrote this myself I literally found myself in this position tonight!! And I feel awful because I am snappy and frustrated I think it the tiredness and anxiety of wondering what's wrong?? I'm not sure I'm just glad I'm not alone in feeling like this lol xx
Sorry, I didn't read your OP properly.
In answer to the questions, I suppose we're all different so don't beat yourself up, just do what works for you but to answer. ..
I get really fed up being woken but my default is always to feed the baby first. Once feeding I feel lovely and calm and don't want to put the baby down again. But I do as I know I'll be exhausted in the morning.
I have no patience or energy for 'alternative' methods of soothing, I just push a boob into DD2's mouth. Worked for DD1!
My 6kth old is s terrible sleeper but very very slowly is improving. Now a good night is 3-4 wake ups, before normal was 10-15. This last month I give her a bottle at 6.45, pop her in the cot, stroke her head and walk out. Sometimes she whinges then sleeps, sometimes she plays then sleeps, sometimes she just sleeps immediately, occasionally she whinges then cries so I nip back in and pop the dummy in then leave again. The wake ups start from 11pm ish. But she goes down a dream.
I never got my children up to soothe them, that woke them up more. I only ever gave them milk. If my breastfed daughter had just had milk and I knew this was what she wanted, I would put her dummy in and lay her on her side.
I co slept with of mine (still do!) and so it wasn't ever an issue really as often a hand on their back as soon as they started to stir was enough
Sorry, knew this was what she DIDN'T want. Still don't know how to edit posts on here!
Co sleeping, feed lying down to settle.
I have much less patience during the night than I do during the day. During the day I have bounced the bouncy chair, pushed the pushchair back and forth, rocked DS2 until he has slept.
At night I want him back to sleep as quick as possible. When he was teething and he was up, wide awake, for hours in the night I really felt annoyed with him... think it must just be broken sleep and tiredness.
This is precisely the reason I co sleep with DS. The only way I know how to settle him is by shoving my boob in his face. But since it has a 100% success rate I am too lazy to do anything else
Glad it's not just me!
Shove boob in mouth laid next to me, go back to sleep. Possibly move him when I next wake up. I have no other night time parenting skills
Thank you so much ladies for your replies - I feel so much better and had a good laugh reading some of these too - badg3r the 100% success rate is so true!!! :-) And AlexandraEiffel I'm glad your nighttime parenting skills are the same as mine - relief.
Why do we beat ourselves up so much !!
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