Please help - nine week old awful nighttime feeding/sleeping patterns

(11 Posts)
WinnieK Mon 21-Apr-14 12:36:52

This is my first time posting so hope I'm doing things right. My problem is this: I have a 9Wk old boy and our night times are going from bad to worse. I'm bf with one bottle of formula at night to give me a break. At the moment, night time routines are: bath at 7pm, I feed him myself, he nods off usually between 8 and 8.30 pm and sleeps til between eleven and twelve, at which point dh gives him 5oz of formula (to give me a break and in the hope of getting him to sleep a bit longer). This was getting him to 3am at which point he'd wake again and bf, but is almost impossible to re-settle so I take him into bed where he half-feeds, half sleeps right thru til 7am. I'm knackered from this pattern and its getting worse as the past few nights he has woken at 2am rather than 3 and is half awake from then on. Everyone else I meet says their babies are going much longer through the night at this stage and honestly I don't know what we're doing wrong; I feel like we're doing everything a*seways (we're first time parents and pretty clueless). Advice gratefully appreciated ...

QueenOfThorns Mon 21-Apr-14 12:41:48

Is he actually half sleeping, half feeding? My DD falls asleep during a feed, but her little mouth keeps going. Like when you see a sleeping baby sucking on a dummy, iyswim?

When she does that, I gently detach her using a finger to release the latch, hold her for a few minutes to make sure she stays asleep, then put her back into her crib. She sometimes stirs when I put her down, but it usually works ok. Perhaps try something like this?

beccajoh Mon 21-Apr-14 12:52:04

You aren't doing anything wrong. If anything this sort of thing is relatively normal unfortunately. My son is 13 weeks and is pretty unsettled the second half of the night so I'm constantly replugging his dummy. The other thought I had - are you feeding to sleep?

WinnieK Mon 21-Apr-14 14:14:54

QueenofThorns, He does fall asleep sometimes but if I try and put him in his basket, he goes berserk. I know that some of the time he's in bed beside me he does sleep on and off, but his head bobs away all night as he knows he's near the srouce of food (sorry if TMI) and neither of us is getting any 'proper' sleep! Beccajoh I try not to feed to sleep at the 8pm feed, and in fact he's pretty good at that point, I feed him til he's had enough, then he's good about settling himself. Thanks for your responses. Think I am just worried that he's going backwards, not forwards!

TheStorySoFar Mon 21-Apr-14 15:34:26

Winnie, I could have written your post; apart from the minor detail that I have 3 older DC!! Hang in there; it gets better over the next few weeks I promise. Most babies enjoy the comfort of sleeping with mum & more that I know of are doing what our babies are doing at this stage than not! As PP has said, try to judge when he's feeding & when he's comfort sucking & just gently detach him. IMHE all changes with babies happen gradually & if you try to persist with this & with not always feeding/cuddling him to sleep he'll get better at feeding & settling by himself as he gets older. I think at 9wks in the sleep deprivation gets tougher as it's been a long time since we've had a proper nights sleep. It's great your DP is helping you out. My DH has been brilliant too. He is convinced that DS settles better after a FF & sleeps longer. He thinks DS grazes & snoozes through his BF & this is possibly what's happening later in the night for you & your DS. It's so comforting for them & all those sleepy hormones help the snoozing. In our case I think he's possibly right, but part of my problem is that I dose off during feeds & don't detach DS at the opportune moment. What helps me is that I'm doing feeds downstairs & watching TV sometimes helps me stay more awake & in control. Can you do this?

Littlef00t Mon 21-Apr-14 16:01:12

I wouldn't necessarily encourage you to do feeds downstairs with the tv as the more cues that it is night and night equals sleep the better.

Would suggest doing your best to get her to take a really good feed at 3 or whenever she wakes in the hope she falls asleep more deeply because not hungry.

WinnieK Mon 21-Apr-14 18:40:52

Very encouraging to hear it might get better from the voice of an experienced mum, thanks, TheStorySoFar. Yes, I do the same, I nod off myself and sometimes an hour has passed and baby's still hanging out doing his half-feeding thing. I feel lazy but I'm just so tired in the middle of the night I haven't the energy to engage in a marathon settle-a-thon ... I did manage to get him back in his basket once or twice but he woke up within the hour. Yes, I will try to get him to feed more energetically at 3am ...n thanks Littelfoot.it is good to know that it's not just us though, if I hear one more mum tell me their babies are sleeping six/seven hours I'll scream! I can cope with the regular feedings, but I can[t cope with the no sleep between 2/3am and 7am for much longer sad

beccajoh Mon 21-Apr-14 19:49:34

Winnie do anything you can to keep him awake - take his feet out of the babygrow, if he nods off blow on his face, tickle his feet, change his nappy etc. My daughter was a booby baby and would quite happily have been latched on and grazing 24/7! (DS is on formula - long story!) It's really hard but things will get better as he gets older. You will have setbacks of course with growth spurts, but it won't always be this hard.

rootypig Mon 21-Apr-14 19:52:51

Winnie google fourth trimester theory. All totally normal - 9 weeks in seems so far, but when you look back you see that they're still tiny. You might have more luck cosleeping with him.

Guidelines on safe cosleeping from KellyMom here

WinnieK Wed 23-Apr-14 12:28:48

Thanks everyone. Rootypig that fourth trimester idea makes total sense... I would just prefer if he wasn't in my bed 'cos I'm a bit anxious about it, even though he sleeps on my arm, well away from the pillow, and we don't move all night! I'll keep plugging away putting him back in his bakset and see what happens. Thanks for the reassurance.

rootypig Wed 23-Apr-14 15:56:00

I didn't like cosleeping either Winnie - I am prone to nightmares / terrors anyway and one night when DD was tiny I woke up gasping and desperately shouting at DH, where's the baby?? When he indicated the sleeping child next to us I shouted, yes yes, where's the other baby? hmm DD is not a twin grin. So I took your approach too, as much safe cosleeping as it took to stay sane but continued to try to put her down in her cot every time (we had a bedside one, which helped). Now she is 18mo she naps and sleeps in her cot very reliably, which other parents I know are still struggling with - so I do think it reaps rewards. Just be patient. But I must say if my next DC were happy in the cot from the get go, I would be delighted. Cosleeping is nice when they're bigger and you choose it on the odd night and aren't terrified.

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