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(17 Posts)
MusicMum18 Fri 04-Sep-15 19:59:27

I have a 5 month old baby who is all over the show, she was sleeping well but now is moving around and waking herself up during the night every couple of hours or so. She moves from back to front but can't get up and ends up waking up every couple of hoUrs throughout the night with arms and or legs out the cot bars or head rammed up against bars or upside down etc.
She's always struggled to sleep during the day, only sleeps if in car or when walking with pram. She usually gets so tired by 6 ish that she can't help falling asleep then but it's too near nap time.
I did controlled crying to get her to sleep at 8pm which worked so I'm going to try Gina ford routine tomorrow and use controlled crying to try and get her to nap.
But how do routines work if I want to go out or take lo to baby group?
Am I sending mixed messages if I try to get her to nap at say 10am every day but then some days I make her stay awake for baby groups? It's really hard to work around the groups as the ones I want to take her to are at different times each day!
Sorry if this is long winded but basically I'm after advice on good easy routines for 5 month olds, and advice on how routines fit into life as I don't want to spend all the time at home following the routines by the hour etc. how does it fit in to normal life?
I hop this makes sense!

Andcake Fri 04-Sep-15 20:38:46

Ok so I don't approve of cry it out for a 5 month old but I'll gloss over that.
At about 6 months I did the 234 routine - gave me a bit of flexibility but I would also stretch it half an hour here and there. I also got ds used to napping at home and in buggy only.
Tbh the 2 nap thing then only really lasted until ds was 11 months when he went down to one lunchtime nap.
Babies change quickly and you just have to go with it. People I know who did Gina ford just didn't do baby groups etc at nap time and I must admit I did things around thus a bit. Little ones really don't need to many of these things before the age of 6-8 months in my opinion. So do what gets you the best sleep in my opinion.

Verbena37 Fri 04-Sep-15 20:44:06

It might not be only her moving that wakes her up.....she may not be sleeping as deeply to start with due to teething etc.

Are you bottle or breastfeeding?
I would say that if you want to reduce stress of rigid nap times (as some books suggest), maybe the set nap time at home isn't the best idea? Once a pattern is set, then she will want to sleep every day at that time and so yes, you'd have to deal with the behaviour of whatever happens without that nap.

On the other hand, if there is no patter at all, and you don't go with her sleep cues, that too cold led be very tiring and stressful for her.

For a couple of days, why don't you see if you can recognise her sleep cues (rubbing face, eyes, playing with ears, repeated noises, yawning etc) and try putting her down to nap then. If she does it when out, pop her in her pram or sling or cuddle her whilst she drifts off.

At night time, try doing a gentle routine (bath, story feed and cuddle and bed. Rather than a strict controlled crying thing, you could try leaving her in her cot when she is yawning and see if she drifts off and if she fusses, go back and pick her up, give a cuddle then put her back and keep doing that until you can just go in and not pick up but just pat and soothe calm.

I'm saying this but in real life I breastfed my babies until they were two and never left them to cry ��.

Hope you get the results you want.

BertieBotts Fri 04-Sep-15 20:48:10

Hmm I think it is a bit mixed to try and get her to nap at different times every day. Unlikely to be successful if you're trying to do a timing based routine. You'd have to pick the nap time and then avoid going to groups which eat into this time.

Could you do nap triggers instead? Like if the baby group is before nap time, then walk home and hopefully she falls asleep in the buggy, but if not immediately go and do the sleep cue things etc that you usually do. Then on the days there is no group you just go for a walk with the buggy to get her all sleepy at around the right sort of time. That way when it's after a big event rather than by the clock it becomes more of a cue and it should be more flexible.

Bear in mind there is usually a sleep regression at around 4-5 months anyway, so this might be to do with that and nothing to do with naps at all. When DS was that age I didn't have a routine, I just let him nap whenever (he also would usually go to sleep in the car or buggy or sometimes in his bouncy chair) and then took him up to bed with me at about 11 or so.

MusicMum18 Fri 04-Sep-15 21:03:11

Thanks for your advice everyone. Firstly, did the controlled crying for one night to get her to go to sleep at night as otherwise I would've lost the plot big time. Not sure if it was that that worked, or if she just decided herself that was time to sleep. Because it may have worked last time, I was thinking about it again, but Even tho my brain says it might work my heart just can't do it as that one night was very stressful for me and for lo. There's nothing worse than hearing own baby cry and not going to them. So that's out.
I think I'm going to follow what verbena says over the next few days, just watch lo extra closely for signs of tiredness and maybe try to use triggers to encourage napping.
I've just read some more Gina ford, and maybe routines are good for some people and babies, but I think for me and lo I don't agree with them.

I don't have set feeding and sleeping times, so why should she?
I do think she's teething at the moment, so that could be a factor.
I'm breast feeding and then topping up with expressed during day and formula at night if she needs.
My approach so far has been to follow lo's cues and tbh up till now she has had a rough routine that she put herself into naturally. Maybe I should give her a chance to do the same a she moves through this next phase?

My gut feeling is that she needs a nap mid morning and mid afternoon, not sure why I think this but might ty using those triggers around those times tomorrow xxx

NickyEds Fri 04-Sep-15 21:14:11

Sorry op but I really think you're pissing in the wind with this one. My ds has always been a routiney baby, he's 20 months now and still loves his routine. However I didn't "get" him in it, I found that it just emerged naturally and evolved and changed as he got older. I think it will be stressful to impose a strict routine on a 5 month old and a bit unfair to then change it as and when it suits you! As pp said pick up on sleepy cues and work from there. In my experience baby groups at this age are more about you meeting other mums- no one at any of the ones I went to would bat an eyelid at a baby being fed/napping etc during a group.

NickyEds Fri 04-Sep-15 21:15:47

X post with you op. Your plan sounds like a good one smile

MusicMum18 Fri 04-Sep-15 21:32:27

Thanks nicky eds, at the end of the day each baby is different that's why I just can't bring myself to follow Gina ford with 'one routine fits all ' approach as per book. Please don't judge me everyone for the try at controlled crying, it's so hard as first time mum when everyone's giving you different advice. I feel terrible that I did it. I made the initial mistake of trying to follow people's advice rather than go by my own instinct.
I've learnt from that though and I'm going to be guided by my baby. She will let me know what she needs. Although I'm going to struggle to read the tiredness signs as she doesn't seem to show many of them. Ishe really fights to stay awake! I will watch her extra closely tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for the constructive advice xxx

Verbena37 Fri 04-Sep-15 21:50:12

Please don't think people are judging you. I'm sure they're not.
Now you've said you're breastfeeding, Could she have expressed breastmilk at night perhaps and only breast in the day? Perhaps try to cut out formula and see if she settles more easily....some babies get tummy ache from formula due to it not being as easy to digest. That doesn't mean you shouldn't mix feed if you feel it's right for you and your baby. Many women mix feed.

I know you said about controlled crying but at five months, if you breastfeed her when you think she is tired, she will just drift off on the breast and you can lay her down. (I'm a doula and breastfeeding peer supporter by the way). Breastfeeding can be for cuddles, to calm and to induce sleep as well for nourishment.

It's great that you are listening to your own body and your baby to know what's right. It can be so confusing to new mums with so many people suggesting using health professionals. That's not to say that any are wrong....just that you have to go with your mum instinct (like you have been) to de idea what's right for you, smile

MusicMum18 Fri 04-Sep-15 22:30:44

Thanks verbena.
I had a tough time breastfeeding at the start, had an 3rd degree episiotomy so lots of pain, plus ridiculous pressure from hospital to breastfeed. Also got told different things by different people, one midwife told me to feed exactly every 3 hours. Another said to feed 6 times every 24 hrs so I wrote down and stuck to 6 times. Resulted in a Hungry, crying baby, not latching on oroperly. She Lost too much weight so back to hospital. Nightmare. V stressful. When I look back the poor lo was crying from hunger, she needed feeding every half hour when I look back, and I was saying to my husband we couldn't feed her as we had to wait for 3 hrs to be up. I was so silly looking back, but I just trusted others when I should've trusted myself. If I have a 2nd I will know! You live and learn!
But I stuck with the breastfeeding as I wanted to do it to create the bond which has worked. We love it. Used nipple shields as last resort to keep breastfeeding, they worked. Feel proud now of what I've done. Never thought I'd make it to five months. Me and lo both love it, tonight she was stroking me, bless her.

Things have changed continually with the bf though. She went through a phase of just liking left side. Then she went off bf completely for a bit then at the moment she's taking both! With little top ups.
During day She does sometimes fall asleep but it's hit and miss if I put her down whether she'll wake up when she's away from me.Sometimes I just let her sleep on me and I have a little rest too. Other times she sleeps are if I take her out in pram and rock, or if she's in the car.

I usually just bf during night when she wakes up, but not sure if she's hungry or if she's woken herself up through wriggling or teething, but I effectively feed her back to sleep and then she goes straight back down.
I'm not sure if she wakes up 2 hrs later because she falls asleep when feeding and doesn't take enough milk or if she wakes herself up through wriggling/teething.

I've had very little-no support with breastfeeding. Lots of pressure after lo was born, then no ongoing support. Tried ringing hospital to speak to feeding counsellor, who said she was surprised I was still going after the difficult start, and told me I shouldn't be using nipple shields. I was upset and told her that if it hadn't been for the shields I would've stopped bf altogether and surely she should be encouragingwomen to bf and to try what works for them? I've tried latching lo without but she can't do it and gets frustrated. I had to use nipple shields as lo lost too much weight so decided to top up with formula from bottle rather than going home to continue exclusive bf and risk her losing more weight. She got too used to bottle then wouldn't latch on to me, shed cry and pull away, all very upsetting, hence nipple shields as last resort which she took to immediately.

I express after most feeds to keep milk supply up, maybe 4-5 times over 24 hrs for 15 mins ish. Her weight is steady and she's healthy and doing well now, so she must be taking what she needs although I'm never confident she's getting enough from me. I find it hard to trust myself and my body!!!

Thanks so much in advance for any help you can offer, I think I just have to keep going as I am. Bf is much easier now than it was, I have worked so hard at it! And it has been worth it.

I'd just love for her to go to sleep easier, I've never been a good sleeper, and I'd love for her to be differnt from me in that respect. My partner is the opp, he can sleep anywhere!

scandichick Fri 04-Sep-15 22:37:36

Just a thought - maybe airwrap might help with the arms and legs getting caught between the cot bars?

Unfortunately, waking up every few hours through the night is completely normal for babies that age (especially breast-fed ones) in my experience - but then I got a crap sleeper who still doesn't sleep through at two, but you don't need to know that

Verbena37 Fri 04-Sep-15 23:08:29

Scandichick is right.. It's totally normal for a baby of five months to wake regularly through the night. By that age many have spaced out feeds a bit but the majority wake every few hours or at least three or four times during the night.

You've done so well to continue feeding...with q lack of support from those who should have encouraged and helped you. One of the biggest grievances I had during my BF training was the nipple shield thing. With my first child, they saved me and I was about to give up when the MW suggested I get some to protect my cracked and bleeding nipples. I used them for about a week then I managed without. My sister however, used them the whole time she fed her your DD he couldn't latch properly without them. Some babies can latch with them perfectly well and it doesn't hamper milk production. Some however, don't seem to adjust with them and production decreases. Like you say though, not lol babies are the same.

She is still very young and in time, will space out her feeds but at that age, they do still need lots of feeds. You must be shattered expressing but seems like you have a good pattern going with it now. That in itself is a stressful task for many mums.

if she's having lots of wet and pooey nappies, then you know she's getting enough milk. If that changes, you know she isn't. That's the best way to know you're producing enough

BertieBotts Sat 05-Sep-15 00:09:36

Defo post on the breastfeeding board here, OP, they are brilliant. It's a shame but often the health professionals have patchy or outdated breastfeeding knowledge due to a lack of training or budget or time or all three. The great thing about the internet is you can pool everything and people can cross reference it for you, and you get people who are just really interested in it and will check facts without even really thinking about it. If you see a poster called tiktok, she is also a breastfeeding counsellor as her job but she posts a lot on the feeding boards here.

They can definitely help you make a plan to cut down the expressing - you won't have to do it forever smile

Verbena37 Sat 05-Sep-15 00:16:53

The op didn't say she wanted to stop expressing. In fact, if she is doing it successfully, she may want to continue to build up a freezer load if she's going back to work.

Musicmum the Breastfeeding Network are fab. Totally non biased, well trained for counselling over the phone and non judgemental. They have a wealth of info on their website if you get chance to have a look.

BertieBotts Sat 05-Sep-15 01:03:03

Oh yes, well spotted. I did make an assumption there blush just thought it must be pretty inconvenient to be expressing four or five times every day. The support would be there if OP wanted it, or just some reassurance, or anything really.

MusicMum18 Sat 05-Sep-15 04:37:24

Yes i don't understand why they put so much pressure on me to breastfeed but then didn't give me all available options. A friend of mine gave birth just before me, and struggled so gave up although she really wanted to bf. when I told her id been using nipple shields she was upset too as she could've continued if shed been told about them at the time. If breastfeeding is so good why can't nhs tell women about them, surely every day you can manage to bf is a bonus if that's what women want to do! Sorry to rant but feel strongly about it!! I'm so glad my friend told me about it otherwise I'd def have stopped!

Tbh I don't mind expressing but if I was confident my milk supply would stay up then I'd stop. I'm not going back to work for a while yet but I've frozen nearly 40 bags. I just thought with all the jiggly probs ibe had so far the more I can make the better!

Thanks Bertie, I'll post on bf board too, I have loads of questions...another is that dh wants to change teat on bottle but I haven't because if she finds it easier from bottle she might not take from me with shields?? Don't know if it works like this?

Verbena37 Sat 05-Sep-15 08:50:11

Can I ask how many bottles your LO is having? Why does DH want to swap teats? When does she have a bottle? Does he give the bottles so you can sleep?

I'm asking because if it's say it's only the odd one or two bottle feeds, then you can rest assured you're making ample mil and you could easily take her off formula and give breastmilk instead......if you wanted to.

Your breasts will make milk to match the demand. Totally feeding a baby on demand means you make the milk that's required. You can tell it's like that because say if your LO sleeps over when she has a a normal feed, your breasts will start leaking milk and be harder and they were ready to feed at the usual time.

Again, as long you feed her on demand, you should have plenty of milk. You can always have her weighed like you have been doing to make sure her weight keeps increasing, but bear in mind that it's only a minute percentage of women who don't have enough mil and cannot physically breastfeed. I'm so sorry you didn't have enough help and support when you needed it.

Feel free to PM me if you have other breastfeeding questions smile.

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