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What's reasonable for a 5 week old?

(44 Posts)
calella Fri 03-Jun-11 19:18:54

I am wondering if we are expecting too much from our 5 week old or if good habits at the start will benefit us in the long term.

She generally feeds at 0000, 0400, 0800, 1200, 1600 & 2000 when she is bathed and ready for bed.

Its been hard work but we ar trying to stick to this plan to avoid unsettling her.

We think the colic has struck because for the last couple of nights she has been pretty unconsolable from about 6pm to 9pm. Despite the bath and feed.

She is sleeping in her moses basket next to our bed but from 8 or 9 onwards when she settles we have been leaving her upstairs with the monitor on.

The support network we have is really strong, but we are still unsure of what we should be doing and what stage we should be at.

Is what we have achieved about right, or too little?

Should she need holding for x hours or be ok to leave on her play mat x minutes, because that is where the confusing and conflicting information comes in.

She is still quite clingy and needs holding a lot.

Any advice or comments appreciated smile

Moulesfrites Fri 03-Jun-11 19:27:07

Is she breast or bottle fed? If breastfed I think your feeding schedule is too fixed - is best to feed on demand at this stage to build and maintain supply. I don't know about bottle feeding.

She does need to be held close at this stage. She is teeny tiny and just a few weeks ago was inside you! It will get easier but please don't ration the cuddles - she is 5 weeks old!

calella Fri 03-Jun-11 19:30:02

She is bottle fed.

Its good to know that we arent doing the wrong thing by cuddling or holding her a lot of the time.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Fri 03-Jun-11 19:34:15

that's a long time between feeds for a small baby
dd2 started bottle feeding at 4.5mo, and was only going 3 hourly then. She still feeds 4 hourly at 7mo, with some solids.
does she seem hungry in between feeds? do you ever offer the bottle more often, especially near bedtime?

funnybumblebee Fri 03-Jun-11 19:54:56

My DD (bottle fed) fed every 1.5-2 hours at that stage- every two hours all day until 18+ weeks. I would feed on demand rather than have a schedule. I would hold her all the time- my DD is 6 months and I miss being able to cuddle her!

RitaMorgan Fri 03-Jun-11 20:00:55

You can't cuddle a baby too much!

Babies often want to feed little and often in the evenings (cluster feeding) so if she's upset maybe try offering more feeds? I would feed on demand rather than schedule feeds anyway.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear Fri 03-Jun-11 20:03:27

Can't help re the feeding - no idea about bottles, but you're doing a lot better than I was at that age with either of mine if you're getting her to settle upstairs at all.
You can't hold a baby of that age too much. You really can't. It really can't do anything but good to give her lots of cuddles. It won't make her clingy. And anyway, they're only that little and squidgeable for such a short time.
Congratulations on your new baby, and enjoy smile

chocoroo Fri 03-Jun-11 20:28:18

Our 15 week old DD is bottle fed and fell into a similar schedule. It just so happened that she seemed to demand a feed roughly every four hours and really we just ran wItH that.

She did drop the 0400 feed fairly quickly - probably at less than 6 weeks. At that point we started putting her to bed after the 8pm feed with the monitor on. This really helped with the "witching hour" for us. From then on the 1200 feed became a dream feed which we dropped about 3 weeks ago. She now goes from 8pm to 8m.

I was worried about her fluid intake but spoke to the HV and she was happy. She is pretty hungry and now gulps down 8oz bottles happily but very rare,y fusses because she's hungry, and if she did I'd offer more food.

As for playing and cuddles...just go with your instinct. I worry endlessly about not talking to DD enough but she's turning into a happy little lady so I just have to trust tha I'm on the right track.

I should add that we're very conscious that we have a very easy baby. Although I did have a four day labour so I think I deserve it smile

Georgimama Fri 03-Jun-11 20:32:11

I only have experience of a BF baby but he definitely wanted to cluster feed in the evenings. And I agree completely you cannot hold or cuddle a baby too much, I mean, really, what would make you think you could? Your OP comes across as really tense and I bet you have read every baby book going. I beg you to shelve the lot and just enjoy your child. There are no shoulds at 5 weeks - if your baby is gaining weight and producing plenty of soiled nappies that's all you need to worry about.

calella Fri 03-Jun-11 20:33:08

that's a long time between feeds for a small baby

She is putting on lots of weight, so I dont think its hunger...

Tgger Fri 03-Jun-11 20:33:30

Hold her as much as you can. She will feel more secure= happier everyone.

calella Fri 03-Jun-11 20:38:03

Excellent, thanks for the advice evreyone... feeling much better already.

nancydrewfoundaclue Fri 03-Jun-11 20:39:31

All babies are "clingy and need holding a lot" smile That is completely normal.

I agree with georgiemama you sound quite stressed. Pick your baby up cuddle her and just enjoy.

FWIW my DC4 is 13 weeks and she only goes 4 hours max between feeds and I cluster feed in the evening to "achieve" that. TBH the sooner you stop worrying about schedules and patterns the better.

PercyPigPie Fri 03-Jun-11 20:43:40

Unconsolable from 6-9pm? You are doing very well, if that's the only time she is inconsolable! Mine fed until about 1am at that age - I don't think you have anything to worry about smile

iheartglee Fri 03-Jun-11 23:08:47

My daughter was a very colic-y and sicky baby, so as a result I never bothered with times and schedules, I was just happy when she kept some food down! If your baby is happy, putting on weight and pooping regularly then I really don't think you have any need to worry. A lot of the early weeks is trial and error anyway, so if you find yourself worrying again, particularly during 6-9pm time where your daughter gets agitated, just try something different and see what happens! Babies that small have very little short term memory...she won't remember and it won't unsettle her. Good luck, I'm sure you're doing a fab job smile

thepriviledge Sat 04-Jun-11 00:19:09

How can you even think you're cuddling your baby too much,? I find it so strange. She's 5 weeks! It's nonsense that you think you're creating bad habits - she doesn't even know she's separate from you yet. I really implore you not to start rationing the time you hold her or let her play alone into x minutes etc - she's a newborn who hasn't read the books, doesn't know the routines. Loosen up and enjoy her and let her tell you what she needs

piprabbit Sat 04-Jun-11 00:27:59

I can't help wondering if the OP is the baby's dad for some reason...

As everyone else has said, keep cuddling. There's nothing wrong with having baby snuggled up with you on the sofa while you both watch a bit of TV together in the evening (by which I mean, you awake and holding baby ... not napping and propping baby on cushions).

NonnoMum Sat 04-Jun-11 00:28:04

calella - I agree with posters who encourage you just to hold and enjoy your baby. I promise that even if you hold and cuddle her 24/7 (which of course you won't be doing) then it doesn't mean she will continue in that pattern for the rest of her childhood. Don't let anyone (grandparents/DH etc) tell you that you are spoiling her or creating a rod for you back by cuddling her (it's just attending to her needs).

differentnameforthis Sat 04-Jun-11 04:21:21

I too agree re long spaces between feeds....but I guess I only have my own experience to base that on, (dd1 fed every 2.5 - 3hrs, was bottle fed) imo they should be feeding little & often. How much does she have at each feed? Don't forget she only has a very small tummy!

You say she is inconsolable between 6 - 9? At 6 it has been 2 hours since her last feed & is till 2 from her next, so have you tried offering her a feed? I would actually start bedtime a little earlier (6ish), followed closely with bottle about 7ish. It may even be that she is just exhausted!

She isn't still "clingy & needs holding a lot" at all, she doesn't even know she is separate to her mother yet. She still thinks she & her mum are one in the same person.

Lots of cuddles, little expectation at this age.

differentnameforthis Sat 04-Jun-11 04:23:39

Should also point out that at one point we though dd had colic, but we just didn't have a great routine in place for & she was exhausted.

After getting it sorted, the fussy times stopped in a few days.

Parietal Sat 04-Jun-11 05:28:53

It could be hunger as baby is approaching the 6 week growth spurt and may need more food.

Finallygotaroundtoit Sat 04-Jun-11 05:53:51

we have been leaving her upstairs with the monitor on.

To reduce the risk of cot death she should be sleeping in the same room as you whatever the time.
A monitor only means you can hear her - she needs to be near enough to hear you.

Has someone suggested you need to train her to be independent? If so it's just as easy as training her to fly!smile

seeker Sat 04-Jun-11 06:19:06

Those seem very long gaps between feeds for such a tiny baby.

ANd she needs to be close to you at all times at this stage - cuddle ehr and carry har and do everything you can to make her feel safe and secure. She doesn;t need to be independent and there are no such things as bad babits. And also she's probably a bit to little to enjoy being on the play mat just yet. She will soon, though but she really is still veyr tiny.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but are you by any chance a dad? If so, is your partner happy with the amount of time you are holding her too?

Georgimama Sat 04-Jun-11 06:21:53

Yes actually looking again the whole "is what we have achieved about right" comes across as pretty male, but some women do think in similar terms. You're not supposed to have achieved anything, OP. The three of you are all in one piece and vaguely functional. That's enough for 5 weeks.

TheBride Sat 04-Jun-11 06:22:11

Finally Don't scaremonger. The risks are absolutely minute, and in fact the FSID does not even bother to expand on the "sleeping in same room" point in its literature.

Hardly anyone has their baby sleep in the same room as them all the time. In any case, if they're downstairs with you and you had the TV on they're hardly going to be able to hear you breathe, are they?

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