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am I being too impatient?

(31 Posts)
cleoowen Tue 05-Feb-13 17:11:03

My 7 week old will not nap in the,day,for longer,than about 10 minutes. I find I am in a cycle of trying to get him to sleep from,about 12.30 until 4/5 so get nothing done all day and just get frustrated and end up crying. He doesn't seem bothered and after a feed is happily say with me. But for my own sanity I feel I need him to nap partly because I am trying to start a loose routine now and partly because I just need some time to myself.

I am following the easy routine so feed,activity,sleep. I sometimes manage to get him to nap in the morning but not for long or if it's right after the feed but the other two daytime naps are not happening.

basically I feed then talk to him, sit/cuddke him or play on his playmat with him or he plays,independently. When he shows,cues he is tired I get him off,swaddle and go straight upstairs to quiet room. Today tried the bathroom as,wondered,if our bedroom is,too light. He usually starts to cry at this point so rock in arms and do white noise. From this,he usually starts falling asleep quite easily so I put him down before he actually falls asleep. He either wakes up as put him down or he appears to fall asleep but wakes up shortly which case,he will cry or just happily coo and look around for ages without falling asleep.

I have tried just leaving him if not crying but doesn't fall asleep just starts crying after awhile. I have,tried the hairdryer, tried going in and,patting chest,rubbing head,or tummy. Tried sitting by Moses out if sight and doing white noise and rocking,Moses. Each time he appears to fall asleep but just keeps waking up and nodding,off,etc for ages by which time it is time for his next feed and,he starts crying because,he is hungry. I ve tried more blankets, less blankets, darker room, everything. He is tired as will nod off and be

He's a,great sleeper at night and only wakes once in night so I am grateful for that but could this be the,problem?

Am I just being impatient expecting him to learn to fall asleep and self settle? But he has done it from day one at night so why not during,the day?,it is usually about two hours awake,time before I try and,get him to nap.

Hannahnz Tue 05-Feb-13 19:41:56

My darling was doing the same but she got more and more frustrated too and ended up crying- a lot. this may not work for you but I found if I stopped feeding her as soon as she woke up like I used to when she was little. I now try and distract her and keep her stimulated when she wakes up the feed her after about 1.5 hours when she is clearly hungry.
I have found she will go to sleep then and for much longer... worth a try? I have found this being a mum thing involves a lot of trial and error haha

cleoowen Tue 05-Feb-13 20:21:09

Thanks,Hannah. So do you mean your routine is sleep, activity,feed? I would imagine it would be much easier to get them to sleep after a,feed rather,than the sleep,feed,activity routine. He pretty much goes straight to sleep or has no problem self settling after feeds,at night.

My only worry is,that,he learns,to sleep only after a feed and then what do you do when they get older and you are no longer breastfeeding. Don't want to make a rod for my own back.

cleoowen Tue 05-Feb-13 20:26:16

He can also settle if,feed,activity,sleep at bedtime. Wondering if it's because it's not dark during,day or he's not worn out enough. But thought too young to customise between day and night.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 05-Feb-13 20:27:07

I'd put the baby whisperer in the bin, especially if you are bfing. The easy routine isn't based on any evidence and like other posters have said, it will be much easier for you if you try feed then sleep. Lo will not learn any bad habits and you will not be spoiling him.

If feed then sleep doesn't work try putting him in a sling or in the pushchair and go out for a walk smile.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 05-Feb-13 20:37:33

Just seen your last post. You will not be making a rod for your own back. One thing that Tracey Hogg seems to omit is that most babies grow out of being fed to sleep quite naturally and without any imposed routine or stress. Have a look at what kellymom says about feeding to sleep and bad habits here.

Did you know that the baby whisperer is on the kellymom books to avoid list? The information in it isn't evidence based either.

If you want a baby book that is a little more bfing friendly and is evidence based try baby calming by Caroline deacon.

Are you going to any bfing support groups too? I found them great for picking up tips on things like naps and sleep and what is normal smile

nextphase Tue 05-Feb-13 20:38:15

Congrats on your new arrival!
When very little, we used to only manage to be awake for 60-90 mins before having to go back to sleep. Is it worth trying to get him to sleep sooner than you currently do?

We did a very loose version of the baby whisper - EAES - so eating on waking, and feeding to sleep again....

We also did car / pushchair / sling trips around sleep times, with a full tummy.

You won't make a rod for your own back. DS1 fed to sleep til about 9 months old, day and night. DS2 did the same til about 6 months. DS2 is brill at self settling now. DS1 is just a horrible sleeper!

cleoteacher Tue 05-Feb-13 21:17:41

thanks everyone. I am going to think about switching the routine around as I think I am just making life hard for myself and for him when I don't need to be. I also have save our sleep book by Tissy hall, which has the same sleep, eat, activity, sleep routine and that is what I was going to follow.

Jilted? does that book outline times of a routine?

Anyone else care to share their routine for a baby this age? I want to get a loose routine not a rigid one which never allows you to leave the house!

could 8.00am awake up, 9.00 feed, 9.45 nap for an hour and a half, 12.15 feed, 1.00 sleep for another hour and a half, 3.15 feed, 4.00 nap for an hour, 6.15 feed, 7.00pm sleep work?

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Tue 05-Feb-13 21:28:32

Honestly at 7 weeks I would just put all the books in the bin, ditch the routines, have a nice big cup of tea and feed baby to sleep.

A 7 pm bedtime for example is pretty unrealistic, most bf babies have a keen desire to feed all bloody evening! And you have hardly any feeds in there, sme days mine fed twenty times. Other days they fed half a dozen.

You seem very keen on a routine, do you feel stressed when people suggest just going with the flow? I don't want to make you feel stressed but routines just look such a lot of hard work. You can't make a baby nap at a fixed time, so why waste time trying?

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 05-Feb-13 21:30:28

It's an evidence based book and helps you to develop a routine that suits both you and your baby. Sadly lots of books advocate a strict routine but the babies haven't read the books. Mothers can be left feeling that there is something wrong when baby won't comply, when in fact what they are doing is just normal baby behaviour. Here's the blurb.

I've not heard of tissy hall. Is she a mother and are her booths evidence based? Only asking as so many self titled baby experts aren't mothers and their books are based on opinion rather than evidence.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Tue 05-Feb-13 21:31:37

And 'rods for backs' don't exist, honestly they don't.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 05-Feb-13 21:33:31

Just googled, thought you might like to read this. Don't want to worry you but its always good to get a balance.

omama Tue 05-Feb-13 21:55:29

I think with any baby book you look at, if you try to follow it to the letter it will prob make you feel like a failure but there's nothing to stop you picking & choosing the bits you like.

I actually disagree with jilted re babywhisperer. Ok some of the info on bfing is not that great, but the principles of respecting your child, observing their behaviour/cues & responding appropriately are good to follow. I also disagree re the feed to sleep thing. It is not just Tracey Hogg who suggests avoiding this, many many sleep 'experts' have a similar view. These boards are full of people with 1-2 year olds who are still waking every couple of hours throughout the nights & being fed back to sleep & mum is at the end of her tether. If it was no issue people wouldnt be asking for help. Imo baby is more likely to sleep through without needing your assistance during the night much much sooner,if they know how to self settle.

I started BW with ds at 3 months, we did eat activity sleep & ssh pat to help him learn how to settle in his cot. Took a couple of weeks perseverance to get there but he did & naps improved immediately. He has always self settled & rarely needs us in the night.

One thing i do notice op is that you try for a nap after your ds has been awake for 2hrs & at this age its probably a bit too long. He may be overtired when he goes down & this may be why he's difficult to settle or wakes up again after just 10mins. BW has a good guide for awake times at different ages & i found it to be pretty accurate when ds was a baby. At 2 months they suggest approx 1hr 15-20 max. That is from eyes open to eyes shut, including feed time/nappy change. So iiwy, i would just try getting him down much sooner & you may find he sleeps for longer.

If you haven't already, id also recommend establishing a wind down routine - a regular sequence of events eg nappy change, story/lullaby, into sleeping bag, cuddle & into bed. Do the same thing every time & he will learn sleepy time is coming.

Finally, if he does fall asleep on you, a tip for keeping him asleep is to wait a good 20mins for him to be in a deep sleep before you try to put him down. Any sooner he is still in a light sleep & is more likely to wake when moved.


cleoteacher Tue 05-Feb-13 21:58:42

thanks guys will check out that book.

I must admit I am not a very 'go with the flow' person and I am finding it difficult having no time to myself in the day as he doesn't sleep. I would find it much less stressful to have some kind of timings for the day.

However, I don't want a rigid routine like gina ford either, I am in the inbetween camp. I would not do controlled crying or anything like that or a certain amount of time for him to feed and a certain amount of time on each breast. I would like to try and have a set time for getting up, bedtime and a loose time for his three naps in the day. That would suit me. But I also want to go out and about and would be happy for him to nap out rather than rush home for a nap at a certain time.

YellowandGreen -I am finding I am feeding him every 3 -4 hours at the moment and he does not seem to show hunger cues or crying because he is hungry inbetween. He is small but it putting on weight and his feeds are normally 35-45 mins and wet and dirty nappies in the day.

Perhaps I am wrong and he is not napping as he is hungry. Guess another reason to do feeding before sleep so he has a full tummy.

Curtsey Tue 05-Feb-13 22:15:28

Personally I would think that it would be no harm to feed a little more often than 3-4 hours.
I totally understand your worries about bad habits and feeding to sleep, and your wish to form some kind of routine. I was in the same place when my baby was 7 weeks, I remember it well. With hindsight I wish I knew how fruitless it all was, all of the trying to avoid forming bad habits, etc. Babies really do grow out of needing boob to fall asleep - mine did, anyway, to my astonishment, maybe around 4.5 or 5 months. They also eventually find their own natural little routines during the day. No harm to start bedtime rituals in a few weeks, but honestly right now you just need to survive! Buy a sling - and let him nap in there. Even though he's on you you will have free hands to eat and drink and read. It's a break.

And finally, I agree that two hours between naps is a bit too long at his age. I made the same mistake and DD got hideously over tired!

cleoteacher Tue 05-Feb-13 22:19:49

omama- just read your post. Thanks for the info. Like you I am picking and choosing bits of BW and following some things and have dismissed others. Thankfully, not been following number of blankets recommendations in BW, but a very interesting article.

Yes, think keeping him up too long and will try less time awake.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Tue 05-Feb-13 22:45:35

Maybe if you were able to relax, feed more and just hold him, he might drop off. I totally get the desire for time to yourself but to answer your original question, yes, I think you are being too impatient. Note that Omama didn't even start BW til 3 months. By which time, a lot of babies have fallen into their own ways anyway.

I don't like to be too pushy with advice but why not try to just say 'stuff it' for 48 hours and gve both of you a break. Feed more, cuddle more, get out for walks etc. Try to enjoy the time, I hope that doesn't sound too annoying but little babies a for snuggling, not organising. Hope all goes well for you.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 06-Feb-13 12:10:42

Think me and omama are just going to have to agree to disagree smile.

It's not my experience that the Mn boards are filled with bfing mothers who let their babies feed to sleep and are now regretting it, I see lots of posts from mothers who have made all sorts of choices and the sleep research doesn't seem to back up that view either. At 12 months half of all babies still wake however you feed or parent so the experts that suggest otherwise can be misleading. Have a look at kellymom, studies on normal infant sleep.

Don't forget too that omamas baby was 3 months. There is a big difference in those few weeks and in all probability your baby will have found its own pattern by then.

As mentioned above, 3 to 4 hours in the day isn't much for a bf baby. I would try feeding every 2 to 3 hours, or more if baby is asking for it. If you aren't certain when the baby is hungry, have a read of this on hunger cues. Agree though that it sounds like you need to keep your baby close for a couple of days, lots of feeding and cuddling and he should drift off to sleep on his own.

Don't forget too that following a strict rountine, like the bw, is no guarantee of success. My Dsil followed the BW and my dn still wakes at 7. Not weeks or months, that's 7 years. Dsil was very keen not to feed to sleep and not to be disturbed at night, its a real shame that she's invested so much time and energy in folding Tracey Hoggs methods and then not had an unbroken nights sleep for that long.

HearMyRoar Wed 06-Feb-13 12:58:30

My dd fed around every hour during the day at that age (she slept rather well at night back then so much less during the night) so i woud definitely feed more often as every 3-4 hours just doesn't sound like enough to me for a bf 7 week old. remember they only have tiny stomachs and bm is designed for easy digestion and feeding little and often. Also they are growing and developing so much in the early months I found the amount dd needed to feed would change as she had growth spurts and such so you shouldn't really expect her to always need to feed the same amount every day.

I would also agree that about 60-90 mins awake time is probably best between naps. Though i will come clean and say I really had no routine at this age and allowed her to eat and sleep whenever she fancied. I think 7 weeks is still too young for a fixed routine but that's personal and others would disagree. If you really need to do stuff then a sling is your friend smile

capecath Wed 06-Feb-13 13:55:24

Can totally relate to you wanting to get a routine in place as quickly as possible, but I do think you are being a little impatient and 7 weeks is still very young. The best I'd suggest is going for about 60-90 mins awake time (as others have suggested) and put her down for a nap before she actually looks tired. An overtired baby is a nightmare to get to sleep!

It is very very common for babies this age to have later bedtimes. With DS2 we persisted with putting him to bed at 7pm from around 3 months, with a regular bedtime routine, after recognising with DS1 at that age he was grumpy and fed all evening because he was really just tired and wanting to comfort suck. It often took ages to settle him though. 4 months is a critical point for sleep regression and sleep associations, so fine to feed to sleep up until about that age, but then be ready to change habits... DS2 is now 6 months and settles himself a whole lot better after we did a few nights of shush-pat/pick-up,put-down/controlled crying, but only recently - wouldn't push it when less than around 5 months, unless they're feeding every 2 hours during the night (ie. unreasonably frequent feeds...) - they're still little.

I think key to good sleep at night is, 1) good naps during the day, 2) regular feeds during the day (if bf, 2-3 hours), but also try to avoid "snacking" and make sure they are good feeds, and after 4/5 months, try to stop feeding to sleep. I'm part of a group of moms who had babies born Aug 2012 and we're all going through similar things, but most now are sleeping much, much better, day and night, with a variety of methods tried!! Sometimes they do it themselves, so hey, in the end... who knows.... x

teacher123 Wed 06-Feb-13 14:12:29

I totally understand your need to organise your day. I've got and read Gina, BW, Tizzy Hall and No cry sleep solution. I got round things the following ways:
1) I liked Gina for the really clear timings of how much sleep a baby needs at any point. I ignored all the feeding advice as DS fed every one to two hours until we started weaning at 6mo.
2) I liked the tizzy hall stuff about self settling, and having the confidence to interpret different type of cry. For the first four/five months I got him to sleep anyway I could, usually feeding or patting whilst we established a really good bedtime routine and I got to know him better. One evening I fed him after his bath, kissed him goodnight and put him in the cot. He shouted/grizzled for 10 minutes, then slept for 4 hours. Obviously it's not all been plain sailing since then, but I realised that DS was a baby who needed to sleep alone. He will not cosleep or drop off if I'm in the room with him.
3) I fed to sleep for all naps until we started weaning, then I knew he wasn't hungry and he had learnt to self settle.
4) mini routine at naptime that is based on his bedtime routine.
5) controversial but IMHO not all crying is bad. Obviously leaving a baby to cry alone for hours and hours is inhuman. But 2 minutes of overtired shouting at naptime is in DS's case the quickest way to get to sleep. He needs to get it out.
6) BW is good in that it talks a lot about reading babies cues. I had no idea what I was doing before I had DS, and it was useful for that.

Also DS never napped in his cot till he was 5 months. Take him out in the car or buggy if it gets him into a pattern of having naps. Take a walk at the same time everyday and then eventually you can transfer that time into the cot. It will get easier!

cleoowen Wed 06-Feb-13 20:04:57

Thanks guys. Much better day today, he slept at morning nap first time I think because I followed your advice about letting him be awake 1hr to an hour and a half rather than two hours and it worked. Hopefully this,will continue. Went out and about for lunchtime nap which is fine as is what I want to do anyway.

no luck with later afternoon nap as think he woke up with wind and wouldn't resettle. So just cuddled and reassured. Fed more often too, every three hours apart from when asleep and fed to sleep and,he,fell straight to sleep at 7.

Hopefully, this will be the start of things to come. Not too bothered,he didn't do the late afternoon nap as having me time during morning nap is enough for me. But did mean he was grumpy during evening before feed as tired.

Being more laid back,and just going with it seemed to work.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Wed 06-Feb-13 20:11:30

I am pleased you had a good day, hopefully the start of things to come.

I bet he loved being cuddled. I jealous I don't have a 7wo to cuddle!!!!!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 06-Feb-13 20:25:18

So glad you had a better day and got done time for you. I know the thought of going with the flow causes you stress but how about looking at the next week as finding out what works for you both. You certainly seem to have made a great start smile

mummybare Wed 06-Feb-13 20:45:51

Hi cleowen - just to say I agree with omama and teacher123 on BW - disregard a lot of what she says about bf, but the stuff about sleep and reading cues, as well as timings, to which DD was (and still is, to an extent) very sensitive, is really useful. It's about putting in place a fairly flexible routine, but most importantly, learning what your baby needs - invaluable for someone like me who spent very little time with babies before having my own!

I also started doing EASY when she was a bit older and going about 3 hours between feeds as she got quite bad wind and I think had some silent reflux (never officially diagnosed, just my hunch), so keeping her upright after feeds worked for us.

In the first few months, I found it easiest to mix cot naps with naps in the car or buggy/sling (stretchy one was great till she was about 4mo), so usually I'd try to get out to visit someone for a cuppa, pop to the shops or just go for a walk and try to get DD to nap while we were out or on the way home. Getting used to both gave us a lot of flexibility, despite our timings being quite regimented (due to her, not me - I hope yours is a bit more laid back!).

Good luck smile

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