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8 week old bf and sleeping

(17 Posts)
NewChoos Wed 25-May-11 15:00:09

1st time mum looking for advice/reassurance...

8 week old DS is feeding every 1-3 hours including at night. Is this normal at this stage? he feeds for between 20 mins - 60 mins, the norm is 50-60 mins. I do think he sometimes comfort feeds.

When will he start to go longer at night? (or am I dreaming?!) He also only settles in cot/moses basket if fast asleep, so sometimes he manages 2-3 hours at night and a couple of hours in day otherwise he's in my arms. Any tips please as I could do with a bit more sleep, we do co sleep for the latter part of the night but I don't sleep that well.
Realise he's too young for sleep training and hate leaving him crying (works himself up so he's like a beetroot and holds breath sometimes even when I'm next to him!!)

Is it worth introducing ff at night to see if sleeps longer?

Apologies for typing, DS on lap (as usual!)

1Catherine1 Wed 25-May-11 15:07:48

First time mum here too and my LO is 9 weeks old. This does seem a lot to me in comparison to my LO. Is he gaining weight well? I know some women who have had this problem when there has been a problem with their supply and baby is getting tired feeding.

If I were you I would have a word with the HV or a breastfeeding councillor just to check that all is ok.

good luck

EauRouge Wed 25-May-11 15:18:23

It sounds pretty normal to me, DD1 was like this. DD2 is BFed too and was almost sleeping through at 8 weeks. There is no evidence at all that FF top-ups will give you a better night's sleep, it's just one of those things that gets bandied around (same as the early weaning thing).

IMO it's just pot luck whether you get a sleeper or not! My two DDs are being raised in exactly the same way but DD1 is a terrible sleeper and her sister is the exact opposite.

Co-sleeping was a god send for me but you say you don't like it- could you maybe compromise with a bedside cot? It doesn't have to be one of those fancy expensive co-sleeper ones, you can usually modify a cot bed quite easily by taking one side off. Then he won't be in your bed but you still won't have to get out of bed to feed him.

Is there a BF support group near you? Even though there may be no magic solution to the sleep problem (other than just waiting it out), it's nice to get some sympathy from people in the same boat.

And remember, there's nothing wrong with comfort feeding! Babies need comfort too and he's putting in his order for how much milk he needs the next day grin

NewChoos Wed 25-May-11 15:18:41

1Catherine1 - he is gaining weight (although initially dropped 10%), he gains around 6-7 oz a week on average which apparently is fine. How is your LO sleeping?

NewChoos Wed 25-May-11 15:28:35

EauRouge - thanks for message. I am planning to move cot up as he is outgrowing moses basket, so we can see how this works. I don't mind co sleeping, but he seems to need to be held by me so I find it more difficult to sleep.
I did swaddle for a couple of nights and he slept for 4 hours (bliss!) but was told should only swaddle from mid chest down with arms out? and this doesn't work as well for him.

Am sure you are right re pot luck, hope to try for DC2 next year and as I'll be returning to work pt, I'm not sure I could manage 2 of them!

SlightlyScrambled Wed 25-May-11 15:34:09

Was the same for me. Never managed to get dd into a cot until she turned 12 months. Used to nap in my arms until 8 months.
At 16 months she does sleep through the night. So there is an end in sight.

Cosleeping saved my sanity. I got more sleep that way as I didn't have to get out of bed and sometimes on barely woke up to change sides to alternate breasts.

I also took naps with her during the day if I was feeling tired. Can you do this?

I was promised by a well meaning bf mum that formula would DD longer sleep but it didn't. It made her constipated and she lay prone in my arms for half a day after a bad reaction to it. I wished Id never tried it. Logically thinking, formula feeders have sleep issues too so of course it doesn't really make them sleep longer.

Newborns stomachs are tiny so they need to feed often. As your dc gets bigger, the lenght will stretch out between feeds.

Sleep cycles are also much shorter for babies. My dd's was 45 mins and I could set my watch by it.

Your baby would comfort feed too. After 9 months inside of you, he still thinks he's a part of you and it's natural to want to be with you all the time. The comfort sucking also serves a purpose too, it stimulates supply for those growth spurts coming up.

All what you said sounds normal to me. And yes, it is exhausting! But it gets easier as they get bigger. Don't bother with housework and get any visitors to put a load on or make you a cuppa.

RitaMorgan Wed 25-May-11 15:53:25

If swaddling works I would do that! I've not heard that they have to have their arms out.

susiesheep2 Wed 25-May-11 15:54:53

Sounds normal to me, my DD1 did most of her feeding at night, we co-sleeped, I didnt have much choice, it was either that or turning nocturnal lol.

The frequent feeding will pass in the blink in an eye. My DD1 starts school this year, I miss the night time snuggles now smile but its going to be starting all over again with DD2 due Aug :D

CountBapula Wed 25-May-11 16:10:22

We swaddled DS with his arms in until 6.5 months! It was the only way he'd sleep. It's fine as long as you make sure everything else is safe (ie ensure room is at right temperature, baby is dressed appropriately etc). (I think there are some FSID guidelines on safe swaddling.)

pettyprudence Wed 25-May-11 16:31:53

my ds is 8 weeks too and has a very similar pattern. we fully swaddle him on the midwifes advice which is the only way I can get him to sleep on his own

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 25-May-11 16:47:36

newchoos really feel for you as your LO sounds exactly like my DS was.

Agree with the others that if swaddling works for you then go for it. Don't know who told you not to swaddle but according to FSIDS, if you do swaddle you should let the baby have it's head and face exposed and use light materials.

As for introducing formula, if you do top up does it have to be formula? Could you express or collect some of your milk and try that? Kellymom has this information on introducing a bottle. Agree again with the others though on it being pot luck. My Mum ff me and I never slept, my sister was bf and slept through from 6 weeks.

As for baby being hungry, I don't think he is. The average weight gain from birth to 4 months is 5 to 7 ounces per week, so your DS is at the upper end of this.

If you want to try a book I can recommend The Fussy Baby Book by Dr Sears, its so popular around here that our libray has 4 copies.

One thing is for sure though, he will get older and bigger and sleep more smile

MigGril Wed 25-May-11 16:56:23

I read your post and wondered about the swaddling to. They swaddle all babies at our local hospital all wraped up tight.

DD also slept swaddled untill 5.5months only way she would sleep to, if fact I had her in a grow bag and just swaddled her arms when she got to long for the swaddle blanket I had, although I think they now do different size one's. We also cosleep for the seconed half of the night to I think we would have done it full time if we'd had a bigger bed.

I think the most important thing is they don't get to hot, which was why I liked the swaddle blanket we had it was nice and light and she sometime only wore a nappy undernether if it was warm.

They'll be off to school before you know it DD is in september still can't believe it we have 7month old DS and I already miss those tiny baby cuddles.

4pudding Wed 25-May-11 20:31:19

Co-sleeping is really, really fab for getting a decent night's sleep.

NewChoos Sun 29-May-11 12:00:56

Thanks very much for the advice. He slept for 4 hours last night although wasn't swaddled as he wriggled out of it! (hmm must practice!)

A midwife told my friend that swaddling wasn't advised above the arms as increased risk of SIDS, so I'm now nervous about doing this, although have done a google search seems there's not loads of supporting evidence re this one way or another.

JollySergeantJackrum Sun 29-May-11 13:27:49

Hi NewChoos

My ds is nearly 6 weeks and will only sleep for long stretches when swaddled. Nobody has ever told me that swaddling increases SIDS risk. I have stretch cotton swaddle blankets that someone bought us as a present.

There are instructions for swaddling here which I used, and if you feel that he needs to have an arm out there are also instructions there for one armed swaddling. DS now hardly ever escapes the swaddle.

My DS generally feeds every 2-5 hours so the max sleep he gets in one go is 4 hours, but this is very rare. He does sleep better during the night. At night I feed him while swaddled if possible and only change him if he's dirty. I also try to avoid speaking to him too much through the night as this tends to wake him up.

lilham Sun 29-May-11 17:30:45

It sounds a lot to me too compared to my 9wo DD. But then every baby is different. By the way, I found Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution very helpful with what's normal with regards to sleep for newborns. It's got great tips on how to gently get your child to sleep better too. (This isn't a routine book, and I'm not a fan of Gina Ford or Tracy Hogg).

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 30-May-11 10:26:30

Think that swaddling is safe as long as the baby doesn't overheat.

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