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feeding and settling advice (formula)

(6 Posts)
fireflyz Wed 29-Dec-10 21:14:54

Our 6 week old baby is becoming fretful in the evenings and not settling easily from around 6pm.

Is it really possible to train a 6 week old to settle to sleep? Read about the 'crying up' and 'crying down' in Gina Ford's book - does it work when baby is so young?

Also read about sleep associations - can a baby at 6 weeks really get so used to falling asleep on mum and dad during the day that won't go to sleep in the evening?

I wonder if we are feeding him enough during the day. He sleeps quite a lot during the day, but gets a feed at around 7am, then anther at about 9am, then another at around 11.30 / 12, then one at 3/4, then one at 6/7. Then another at about 11, then again at 2/3am - although sometimes that one moves to about 4/5am if he doesn't wake up - which if it gets too late, knocks the 7am one on a bit - which might mean we miss a feed...

Do people set alarms so they feed their babies during the night or do they just let the baby wake them for the middle of the night feeds? We've got the baby in our room so can hear if he starts wanting a feed etc.

We're feeding him Aptamil 1 - using Philips Avent bottles with a size 1 teat - wondering if the teat size is too small and whether we should go up to size 2 teats.

I fed baby 160ml formula from 6.45 to 7.30 (pauses for burps etc), then one nappy change with lots of poo at about 8pm, and baby not really settled properly all that time and is not settling now and it's 9pm.

All advice much appreciated.

Zimm Wed 29-Dec-10 21:39:24

Hello,

I am pretty novice myself but I do know that evening fretfulness is totally normal for babies and also there is a growth spurt at six weeks which can make things worse. I don't personally like Gina Ford so cannot comment on her although I would think a 6 week old is too young for controlled crying etc...I expect you just have to wait it out, no harm in offering a bit of extra food if he in hungry?

I would follow demand feeding at night e.g. don;t wake the baby, but I don't bottlefeed so hopefully someone who does will be along to advise on this. Good luck - 6 weeks is a hard time.

fatlazymummy Wed 29-Dec-10 21:43:06

Why would you set your alarm ? The baby will wake you if he is hungry. If he isn't then let him sleep [unless you have been specifically told to feed him during the night].
I mainly formula fed my 3 babies. I used to give them their last feed at about 11 pm,with an extra ounce in the bottle.I used to give them gripe water and make sure they were properly winded.
It is quite normal for babies to be a little bit unsettled in the evening.
If you are worried about your baby falling asleep on you then there are a few things you could try. I used to swaddle all my babies and put them down when they are drowsy but not completely asleep. You could also try a dummy.
I can't comment on Gina Ford as I have never read it but I did try to follow a routine [though it wasn't rigid.]

wigglesrock Wed 29-Dec-10 21:52:41

I formula fed both my dds on demand. From about 6-10pm were the most unsettled hours. DD1 started to settle down and slept right through 6.30pm - 6.30am from 10 weeks old, heve no idea how I did it, never followed any routine!!! DD2 never settled apart from on me!! was and is the worst sleeper, just one of those things, although she would sleep right through if I stayed with her.

I do know people who have used Gina Ford and it has worked but it was very regimented re naps and what you could do in the day etc, not really for me. Good luck and agree with zimm 6 weeks is a difficult time

Hello fireflyz smile

I guess from your OP that you're using "The Contented Little Baby Book"? Just put it aside for a minute.

Being a bit unsettled is totally normal. You just need to work out the best way to comfort him - is it colic/wind? Does he just want a snuggle or to be walked or rocked?

The world will not end if you cuddle your baby to sleep. It will not create sleep associations that cannot be changed when your baby is older.

The world will not end if you feed your baby when he is hungry rather than trying to feed on a rigid schedule. I would not wake a baby to feed at night if that baby is gaining weight and feeding well during the day.

Unless your DS is getting frustrated when feeding then I would leave the teats as they are.

Some older babies (my 16month DS, for example) will cry a little when going to sleep but I would not leave a baby to cry at 6 weeks old.

Trust your instincts and look for your baby's cues. smile

TheSugarPlumFairy Wed 29-Dec-10 22:59:16

How much is she taking at each feed? I would think that at around 6 weeks, LO would be feeding roughly every 2.5-3 hours during the day which looks roughly what you are doing and taking between 4-5oz.

At night i never woke to feed. I gave a dreamfeed at 11pm and crossed my fingers for morning. DD usually made it to about 3.30 i think, then gradually stretched out to 5am and then at about 10 weeks 7am. If you are finding that a nightfeed is throwing out her breakfast feeds you could try to restrict how much you give her in the night. If she normally takes 5 oz (150ml) try offering her 4oz instead. It may well be enough to satisfy her hunger without affecting her appetite for her breakfast. it is amazing how much difference an oz can make.

Being unsettled in the evening is as everyone has said, quite normal at this age. We found swaddling helped loads (we used a summer infant swaddle pod and alternatively a woombie and both were brilliant), as did having a bedtime routine (bath, bottle, bed). DD did need to grumble for a while before she drifted off. I never left her to cry but i did let her whinge for a bit. If she started to properly cry i did the shhh/pat method which is basically soothing LO with patting/stroking and shhhhhhing them without picking them up.

How is your LO at napping during the day? Some people will tell you that you should keep your baby up so they will sleep at night but i have always found that a well rested baby settles much easier for the night than an overtired and overwrought one.

At 6 weeks i would think your baby would probably be getting tired after about 90 minutes of being awake.

HTH.

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