Evaluate my baby's day

(50 Posts)
marshmallow2468 Wed 01-May-13 21:57:03

Good evening,

I've been having a few issues with DS, wondering if you'd be so kind as to look at an average day for us, help me find solutions! 12 week old DS is breastfed, and vaguely in a feeding routine, one that was led by him rather than following a book. He just seems to have got more difficult the last week or two.

6.45am wake up, nappy change
7.00 feed
8.45ish nap (approx 1 hour)
10.00am feed if awake, otherwise feed when he wakes, usually by 10.30
11.30-12.00 nap starts (1hr approx)
1pm feed if awake, or wait to wake and feed then, usually by 1.30
Afternoon he might nap for half an hour max
4pm & 6pm feed
6.30pm inconsolable screaming starts
8.00pm feed, falls asleep on me
10.00pm into sleeping bag, offer another feed, sometimes takes it, sometimes not
10.30pm bed

I'm usually up with him once overnight for a feed. In between the times above he usually plays on play gym, sits in bouncy chair etc. Bath happens before 8pm feed twice a week.

The problems I'm having are the evening crying, becoming more fussy at feeding, and lack of afternoon nap, which I suspect contributes to evening crying. I can read his tired cues in the morning, but they don't happen in the afternoon. I worry he's not sleeping enough. The evening crying is really getting to DH, and he now seems scared of his son.

If you've read all this, thank you! I'm just feeling a bit insecure about my parenting skills right now.

meglet Wed 01-May-13 22:05:52

It sounds normal to me and I think you're doing a grand job smile.

12 weeks isn't very old and I'm certain DD was still ratty and feeding a lot in the evenings around that time. Her evenings settled down by about 5 months.

missmapp Wed 01-May-13 22:09:51

Sounds great to me- I always used to call 6pm-7pm the witching hour as mine always screamed like mad then ( it was always the time when my mum rang aswell!!)
I used one of those rocking chair things with ds2 and that used to keep him calmer for a while, but ds just used to scream!! It does get better- but I think you are doing fab.

Perhaps put him to bed early say around 6pm. He starts screaming at 6.30pm so I reckon he wants to be asleep but it's too late so he gets overtired then finally crashes.

Fuckwittery Wed 01-May-13 22:10:49

I think the problem is maybe that he's awake for more than 2 hours after the short afternoon nap before going down for the night, Mine always went bolo at such a young age if awake for more than 2 hours.
If I read it right he's waking up from lunch nap st 1 or 1.30
Then afternoon nap is presumably 3-3.30 or 3.30 or 4
He probably needs to be asleep by 6 or at least having super quiet time

Can you stretch out the afternoon nap by having a walk or taking him out in the car then?

If 6pm isn't working for bedtime, maybe another 15 min nap crammed in and a later bedtime?

Sympathies as I remember this evening screaming well and I think I went for 4 short naps in a day and later bed. Your nights sound brilliant though.

Fuckwittery Wed 01-May-13 22:12:28

If the tired cues don't seem to be there in the afternoon, at this age I'd just try to go with the 2 hour awake rule (which he seems to follow in the morning) and try and give him a chance to sleep

babies do have a tendency to scream in the early evening - we used to take turns to walk back and forward carrying them in the house (quite quickly) until they dropped off. We generally did bathtime in the morning at that age - wasn't until they were a bit older and settling better at night that they had bathtime in the evening.

TwentyTinyToes Wed 01-May-13 22:24:51

Looks normal to me. Dd is 16 weeks and we follow a similar pattern (with a lot more night waking). I really struggle with a late afternoon nap for her because by then i am also sorting dinner for my ds. She will often sleep in the sling for a bit, could you try that? Or try the buggy or car? Being overtired at bedtime will contribute to the screaming so try either earlier to bed or to stretch the afternoon nap. The change really quickly at this age, everything is a phase.

Hassled Wed 01-May-13 22:27:09

Colic? Fits in with the pattern of evening inconsolable crying - one of mine had it and it was hideous. And then one day it just stopped - it will happen; hang in there.

Hassled Wed 01-May-13 22:29:34

And the only thing which would calm my colicky baby was getting in the bath with him. It was a lovely lull from the screaming - I'd stay in there as long as I could get away with.

SquidgersMummy Wed 01-May-13 22:31:22

Honestly you are doing brilliantly - my dd had colic - evenings were awful - their guts mature and one day it just gets better. Don't worry re a routine - if it helps and it works fine but its really early days still. And most importantly remember the mummy naps. Or cuddle up for an afternoon nap together - nothing better! smile X

marshmallow2468 Wed 01-May-13 22:32:40

Thanks for your comments. I was thinking of trying an earlier bedtime, maybe doing it gradually might work. He's often uninterested in the 10pm feed so might drop that as a start and work from there.

As for the afternoon/early evening naps, it's tricky. I could try the sling but he changes his mind daily as to whether he likes it. Something definitely needs doing there though to get him more sleep.

Comforting to know the evening screaming is normal though!

SquidgersMummy Wed 01-May-13 22:53:28

Ps - I found my switching to soya milk really helped the colic - worth a go as if it helps its pretty obvious within 24hrs ish. A friend suggested it as helped her chap. Think milk passed on thru breast milk is hard for them to digest. The cheap uht stuff was bearable. When she started weaning I went back onto dairy no problem. Might be worth a go. I looked into Infacol etc - I know some people swear by it but there's no evidence base to it and I didn't find it any help at all. X

marshmallow2468 Thu 02-May-13 08:14:25

Those of you who suggested a 6-7pm bedtime, how does that work logistically? I'm not comfortable with putting DS to sleep in the bedroom alone at that time as per SIDS guidelines. We wouldn't have eaten then. I'm trying to fit everything in so that DS is happy, DH is happy, we get to eat food and have at least a few minutes of conversation.

Bedtime after the 8ish feed might work better, but then I'd worry that he wasn't getting enough food by missing the 10pm feed and would wake up more. I've read that more sleep leads to more sleep, but for some reason I don't believe that!

As another question, does anybody think attempting to re-time some of his feeds might help? That's the routine he fell into, so that's when he's offered a feed. But I reckon the late afternoon/evening feeds could possibly be altered gradually. Maybe. Who knows? I'm just worried I'm getting everything wrong for my family!

TheDetective Thu 02-May-13 08:36:28

Sounds fine to me, but agree that it sounds like he would benefit from an earlier bed time! Some people put their babies to sleep downstairs with them in the evening, and take the moses basket up at bedtime.

I didn't, I put him upstairs with the baby monitor. It depends on what you are comfortable with.

I was happy to do this with regular checks.

I think just put him down at 6ish. He's screaming by 6.30pm so should've been asleep already? You could try a) sling but not guaranteed he'll sleep or b) put him down in a Moses basket and have it near you but shielded e.g behind a chair or something so he's not too disturbed by your movements.

marshmallow2468 Thu 02-May-13 09:27:25

Right, I've decided on a plan of action:

1. Attempt to make afternoon nap longer in the hope of not being exhausted and screamy at 7.
2. Try earlier bedtime. Might do this gradually in the hope of eventually having a reasonable bedtime.

Thanks for all your comments.

teacher123 Thu 02-May-13 13:13:34

I think an earlier bedtime might help. With DS Through lots of trial and error we 'found' his bedtime! It was 5.45pm until he was about 9mo. He is just over a year and we can now stretch it to 6.45 on really special occasions! He has never been able to sleep with lots of distractions, and he refused point blank to settle downstairs with us in the evenings. From about 6 weeks we would bath him at 5.30 and attempt to have him settled by 7pm. I would then eat dinner and go back upstairs and play on the iPad/go to bed/read until bedtime. From about 3mo I would pop in and out of the room all evening, never leaving him longer than about half an hour. Then from about 5mo he was in his own room and generally settled off by 7.

WallaceWindsock Thu 02-May-13 13:37:31

From your posts I think you're doing a great job. However I would suggest that you start waiting for him to demand feeds as opposed to offering them. At this age babies can start to leave bigger gaps between feeds as they take more milk at each feed. Equally they will have times where they have shorter feeds and shorter gaps. This enables them to adjust their own sleep - babies will have stretches of time during the day where they will have a longer stretch of sleep and other times where they are more awake and alert. Going back to basics and feeding on demand for a few days may show that he wants bigger gaps between feeds and therefore sleeps better in the afternoon, or he may want shorter gaps in the morning and then nap better after lunch.

MamaBear17 Thu 02-May-13 19:54:14

I always found a bath helped my colicy dd. I would bath her, then use some lavender oil (the Johnsons one) and do a bit of baby massage. My dd screamed all day though and settled from about 7pm. Good luck; I agree with the others, you are doing a great job!

Fuckwittery Thu 02-May-13 22:42:12

How did your evening go to tonight?

marshmallow2468 Fri 03-May-13 10:32:46

Went quite well, thanks. Good long afternoon nap and no screaming in the evening! He had a bath, and then a feed, and went to bed about 9.30, so a bit earlier than usual and with one less feed. He slept through until 4.30, quick feed and back to bed until 7. So I'll be making a real effort for a good afternoon nap every day, and then make bedtime earlier than normal again.

My eventual aim is for no screaming when we're trying to have dinner, and bed by 8! Then when he's in his own room we'll try and make bedtime earlier again.

ppeatfruit Fri 03-May-13 10:43:07

Maybe try him with a little baby rice and BM ?He could be hungry (he'll soon tell you if he's not grin) DS was cramming his fists in his mouth after BF at 12 weeks and he loved his first solids.

ppeatfruit Fri 03-May-13 10:44:18

He's a very healthy 25 yr. old now BTW!

SecrectFarleysNibbler Fri 03-May-13 22:27:41

My PFB is now 18mths. The first 6 months was like playing a video game - just as you think you have mastered level one and got it down pat - baby moves you all on to level two! New rules, routines, worries ect! And then the next level and the next!!! It seemed to level out at around 6- 8 months. You are only at 12 weeks!!! They are nocturnal for the first 3 months! They love to cry all evening! You HAVE to,adopt the mantra - " this is not forever" ! I look back now and those first weeks are now a distant memory! Go with the flow and do what you need to do for all of you to get through but keep in mind it is only for a short time!!!!!!!

Badgerina Fri 03-May-13 23:18:11

He sounds like he's going through a developmental stage. Both my DSs have had fussy times in the evenings. I found carrying them in a sling in the hours leading up to their typical fussy time, really helped.

Badgerina Fri 03-May-13 23:27:25

BTW - Please don't give him solids. His gut won't be mature enough for anything like that for about another 12-14 weeks. I know it's what used to be recommended, but it really isn't anymore. We're lucky that we know so much more about the development of the gut, than we used to.

ppeatfruit Sat 04-May-13 11:37:17

Badgerina a bit of fruit is not going to harm him. If formula is supposed to be okay for baby's guts then surely mashed pear isn't going to harm him? My 3 were weaned at 3 months and all have fine guts as do I !!

MortifiedAdams Sat 04-May-13 11:40:38

Please dont wean him at 12wks. People never used to strap their kids in, in the car. Doesnt make it right.

ppeatfruit Sat 04-May-13 11:53:16

If they're hungry and you can't BF ALL the time is it kinder to let them starve or give them formula?

lilystem Sat 04-May-13 12:12:20

My ds is 12 wks too - I'm pretty sure we had a growth spurt last wk as we had some v fussy evenings but this wk seem to be so much better.

How do these people who weaned at 12 wks do it? My ds has only just Sussex holding his head up, I can't imagine he'd be able to take food!

ppeatfruit Sat 04-May-13 12:20:27

DS sat in his soft little chair and I gave him some mashed fruit with a soft shape spoon and he ate it! if he hadn't wanted it he wouldn't have would he?

BTW he slept better after it(he didn't scream because he wasn't a screamy baby before BTW just shoved his fists in his mouth and moped which was a brand new thing). The not weaning at 3 months thing is due to some person equating having dirty water in 3rd world countries to giving out 'advice' as being for everyone. All babies are different I didn't wean DD1 till she was 5 months 'cos she wasn't hungry.

TwentyTinyToes Sat 04-May-13 13:12:57

Op, i would read the current weaning guidelines and make an informed choice (as i am sure you will wink) I weaned my ds at 6 months and he pretty much had what we had from the start, ironically i do more blending now to hide veg in pasta sauce than when weaning.

MortifiedAdams Sat 04-May-13 13:13:58

ppeat of course he would take it from you. A three year ild would drink an alchopop if invited to - it doesnt mean they should

No ppeat you talk bollocks.

Weaning before 17 weeks has shown to cause damage to babies' guts.

marshmallow2468 Sat 04-May-13 16:07:02

Don't worry, no intentions of even giving up breastfeeding just yet, let alone giving solid food. I don't think it would be of any benefit anyway. My issues are more to do with napping and bedtime I think.

The last couple of days he's napped really well, gone to bed earlier and has slept very well overnight. And been a little less moody in the evenings! Thanks for all your comments and reassurances. I was having a bit of a stressful week but feel much better now and think I'm doing a half decent job.

Fuckwittery Sat 04-May-13 21:08:07

Well done marshmallow, sounds like you're doing brilliantly.

Badgerina Sat 04-May-13 23:36:49

Agreed ^^ He's a lucky chap grin

Badgerina Sat 04-May-13 23:40:29

Ppeat I know things were different when your children were babies, but as I said earlier, we know so much more about how the gut develops and matures, than we did 20 odd years ago.

My mum started me on solids at 3 months and I was totally weaned off milk and onto 3 meals a day at 6 months! She did this with the best knowledge and advice she had at the time.

We all do.

ppeatfruit Sun 05-May-13 12:02:41

creature I have no damage to my gut neither have any of the friends of my DCs etc. etc. I'm not talking giving babies mincemeat FGS.

BTW I must have hit a nerve there why the insults? totally unnecessary. its nice to be open minded isn't it? The whole of the western world would have problems with their gut if that was the case because the 'advice' has changed quite recently. I have been teaching EYs and didn't notice any improvement in their health than when my DCs were little. In fact probably worse.

Badgerina I BF till mine were nearly 2 but they started on mixed BM and rice or fruit when they were hungry what do you do now when they get hungry then?

jkklpu Sun 05-May-13 12:09:41

When he screams at 6.30, do you offer him a feed? Mine always used to cluster feed for most of the evening so he could be hungry/needing this comfort. He's still very small.

Well you're wrong. The research shows you're wrong.

It's like smoking - many people thought it was fine. Many people got away with smoking and not getting cancer. It doesn't change the fact that it is bad for your health.

I get annoyed at people who don't bother to check the latest advice and assume it's some sort of conspiracy. Ridiculous.

ppeatfruit Sun 05-May-13 14:16:12

Well doctors did research and found that people with lung cancer were far more likely to have smoked. Very few smokers get away without emphysema or whatever. I'd like to see the research; after all midwives and doctors still don't seem to know much about normal nutrition let alone NB nutrition. A lot of babies get ill from FF and can be allergic to BM so just late weaning doesn't seem the be all and end all to me.

And as I said before I'm not advocating meat and 2 veg at 3 months grin.

Badgerina Mon 06-May-13 14:38:20

Before 6 months, mine have both had hungrier times, but I just breastfed them more, since that boosted my milk supply to their needs. Sure enough, after the hungries, they both grew bigger! They both shoved their fists in their mouths but that is a normal stage where they discover their hands.

Breast milk is far, far nutritionally superior to any solid food before 1 year old. Formula is too infact.

Gut issues aside, the nutrition a baby gets from breast milk or formula is much more tailored to their needs (good fats and proteins) than the empty calories offered by baby rice and other infant cereals.

Meat is a perfectly suitable and beneficial first food. It is high in iron and other nutrients that most babies tend to need more of at around the middle of the first year. 6 month old babies can pick up a piece of cooked steak and suck out the juices.

My youngest love it, and chicken. Just not before 6 months, and only if they feed themselves.

ppeatfruit Mon 06-May-13 15:31:37

I agree but how do mums who are working or have other DCs to look after or both manage to purely BF a starving 6 month old? I was offering mine organic whole rice or fruit not denatured cereals. Some babies ARE allergic to formula though there are threads on here about it. It's for calves not humans. The proteins are too large and it doesn't have the correct omegas in it.

What hormone and AB fed meat? Or organic grass fed free range meat? If they can digest that then a bit of fruit isn't going to harm them.

Badgerina Wed 08-May-13 08:50:31

Ok. You might want to inform the NHS, and WHO of your findings though. Both these respected medical organisations recommend giving only milk (breast or formula) for the first 6 months. I guess they do this for a reason, rather than just "it worked with my babies"?

This has turned into a "my way is the right way" conversation, which I really don't want to get into.

You made your choices with your babies. Others may not choose the same, given the most recent findings and recommendations. That's the whole point of discussing the recommendations here, so that other mothers can make informed decisions based on up to date research.

ppeatfruit Wed 08-May-13 10:18:56

It's an interesting discussion because the fashions in child rearing and feeding change a lot. We can agree to differ because as I said the people who were weaned at 3 months would all be ill and the others wouldn't be would they. I suppose you can guess that I don't hold a great store in the medics and their research which is often not esp. good or relevant.

AFAICS what applies to a formula fed baby in water short Africa wouldn't apply to a BF baby in Sweden!!

Badgerina Fri 10-May-13 08:03:59

It is an interesting discussion smile I don't think I would call this feeding issue a "fashion" though - seems flippant, given the research that has gone into it.

I can understand not holding too much faith in the medics, but I wouldn't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. As it were wink Afterall medical health organisations do get a lot right, and are continually reviewing their findings, developing their research over many, many years.

You might find Gabrielle Palmer's small book "Complementary Feeding: Nutrition, culture and politics", quite interesting. She looks at worldwide trends in infant nutrition and how that has developed. It's a great read.

In terms of infant gut health this article is informative:

http://www.thealphaparent.com/2011/07/virgin-gut-note-for-parents.html?m=1

As is this one, from the ubiquitous KellyMom site:

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/delay-solids/

ppeatfruit Fri 10-May-13 08:12:11

Thanks badgerina smile Research is often not that amazing though you only have to read Ben Goldacre's book to know that.

The general health of the populations of countries who now eat a 'western diet' is bad isn't it? I follow my Blood Type by Dr Peter D'Adamo and am the only one I know who is wholly healthy yet the medics pay no attention to it at all.

It sounds like you're doing a great job.

With DD, she has a longer lunch time nap, 2 hours not 1. Which meant I had time to myself for a bit, and (with a 45min/1hr afternoon nap) she'd go to bed at 7 with no problems. It also meant that when she was a bit older, bedtime wasn't messed up by her sleeping too long in the afternoon.

As for the weaning discussion, we aimed to stick to milk for 6 months, it didn't happen. Health visitor and GP both suggested weaning early as we were having to give 2 bottles. DD was draining 12oz a feed. She still loves her food, hollow legs! grin Will again be trying to stick to milk for 6M when DC2 arrives, but if I get told to wean early, I will. I sure won't be doing it on a whim though.

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