If your ebf baby sleeps/slept well at night what do you put this down to?(83 Posts)
Their nature? Your fabulous supply?! Your routine of feeds? Or anything else.
13 week old ebf baby here.
Mrswishy thanks for your comments. Would you tell me more about your routines please. Also do you have any thoughts on what is termed te 'four month sleep regression' ? Thank you.
My two have always slept well at night. Both at least 6 hours a night if not 8 hours from birth. I really really believe this is because they were fed on demand during the day ( and by demand I mean every 30 mins at times, basically if they squaked they got a boob!). Both cluster fed for about 3 hours at night until they were about 4-5 months. I think in the first few months, mine never had more than an hour at a time OFF the boob in the daytime. I just got a good sling so you could feed anywhere on the go. I think if you stuff them in the day, they sleep at night# my theory!
Dc2 has been asleep over 12 hours now. 11 weeks in Monday. No signs of waking either. She's in a Moses basket next to my bed on her tummy with a cellular blanket up to her waist. I know the tummy sleeping is against SIDS advice but that's how they want to sleep. Obv no one smokes, there's a window open and I use a room thermometer.
Sheer luck. Well, that and the end of his silent reflux at seven months. He's 17 months now, sleeps 12 hours at night and has done for yonks. Though loving, funny and exceptionally sweet, he has had an intense personality right from the get-go and we're already having plenty of growly toddler tantrums, so it's not all plain sailing with a "good" sleeper.
I agree stopgap - dc1 behaviour no different to the other toddlers apart for the sleeping she's still a little madam!
Sedgiewoo - the routine I follow from about two weeks (first two weeks are demand fed) is start every day the same time, feed at least every three hours, nap between feeds (in the early days naps are anything from 45 mins - 2 hours. A feed will take at least an hour, that's what I tell my clients, I recommend switch feeding and the time includes nappy changes and winding. Babies are mostly swaddled and try to give them an opportunity to settle themselves from early on as its very easy to hold a sleeping baby all day. Then have a bedtime routine of bath, massage, low lights. If baby does not settle in the early days its ok to have them in living room but try to keep stimulation down. Most babies I've had do not have dream feed although in the early days they are usually eating around 10pm anyway.
At 6 weeks a routine would look like this:
7am up and bf
Another 1/2 or so nap but awake by 5.30pm
Usually a feed at 5.30pm, just one side
6pm bedtime routine, another feed by 6.15/6.30pm
Feed on demand during night , usually twice at 6 weeks
The parents her keep to this routine the closest gets quickest results, however the baby who slept through 12 hours at 9 weeks had no routine during the day asides from feeding 3 hourly. So it's not an exact science.
I've heard and read about the four month sleep regression however I've yet to have a baby do it and that includes babies I've left before 4 months. I keep close contact with all my clients and none have ever reported the sleep regression they all say how amazing their babies and children and now even teenagers sleep.
Thanks mrswishy. It sounds as if you have a lot of experience. Please may I ask a question about my baby ? it would help to get your view
OP, if you like the sound of that routine you might want to get Contented Little Baby by Gina Ford.
Thanks elphaba - I have her toddler book somewhere and she refers to her routine for babies. I don't think gf is loathesome (!) but it's not for me. Attachment parenting speaks to my heart but a bit of routine is good too - I think there is a middle way. If I can just find it! Bit difficult to clock watch for naps and feeds with a two year old also.
My question is to do with baby stopping his cluster feed. In the day baby feeds every two hours or so - he has been feeding or fussing at the boob from 5.30 until 9 or 10 or even a bit later. Ive not minded as he has for weeks then slept 5-7.5 hours then going back for 2-4.5 hrs. He now seems ready to go down at 8-8:30.
I don't know if a dream feed is a good idea. Its been hit and miss in terms of getting him back in bed and also delaying the next feed.
I kind of need his previous pattern to continue, i need a good stretch of sleep myself as I have been feeling post natal lowness. Fatigue makes it 10 times worse.
Nature, also we co-slept and I think that helped him feel secure.
ds1 slept through from around 5/6 months. He slept well before that, only really waking for feeds. I don't have a clue what made him sleep that way, he just is how he is. Dd slept through on a regular basis once she his 3 years old or so. Ds2 is 10 months and I dream of getting a full hour of sleep .
What happens if he goes down at 8/8.30pm?
If he's fed well during the day and up to 8/8.30pm then I'd probably leave him to sleep. However, in the short term it is important for you to go to bed then as well. I would skip the dream feed especially as you says its hit and miss with your baby. Hopefully what will happen it that he'll stretch further and further through the night and then you can adjust your evenings to match.
Eg what usually happens with the babies I have they feed before bed time, then wake 10pm, 2am and 5am. Naturally by 6 weeks the 10pm drops. Then the 2am and 5am feeds merge so just one feed. Then the final feed either they just sleep through or the feed gets later and later towards 7am.
Am happy to answer any further questions even just to be a sounding board. All babies and parents are different and sometimes I think its better to adjust our expectations of what babies can do instead of following to closely to any written routine. eg I'm currently with a 12 day old who has only slept 3 stretches of 45 minutes since I started, so I may take some time to respond:-)
Dd bf til 12mo, ebf til weaned slept through (12hrs) from 15w. She is 6 now and still struggles if she has much less than 12h per night.
Ds slept a lot from birth. He was mixed fed from 4wo due to preferring sleep to milk!!!! He slept 12h from 16w, and still has an afternoon nap 50% of days at nearly 4yo.
I can only assume therefore that nature has been a great help. However, I also credit the fact they are thumb suckers and the fact that ( due to their sleepy bf issues) I always put them down awake for naps.
Forgot to mention, that I would have also put it down to supply/regularity of feeding as ebf dd rose to 91st centile and fed loads during the day ( every 2ish hours for 40 mins!). However, ds dropped to very low centile and fed every 3-4 hours so, go figure!
My 11 wo EBF baby slept from 10.30 to 6.45 last night...and it was amazing.
His brother slept through from around 12 weeks. There is a 7 year gap between them and I remember being told when ds1 was tiny that sleeping through was a matter of biology. If the baby can take in enough fuel in the day to see them through the night they will sleep. I am not sure if I agree with this, but that's what the health visitor said.
This time around I have noticed that ds2 doesn't poo every day. Sometimes it can be every 4 days. On the day when he poos (and there can be loads and loads of poo) he sleeps better at night. Obviously this may be coincidence.
Also there is no correlation here between the amount of daytime sleep and night time sleep. One day he will spend most of his day awake with small cat naps and still only wake at 4 and other days sleep all day to only wake at 4. Other days he will wake at 2 and 5. In other words creating a sleep debt as it were doesn't work!
Last night ds2 did stir at 5 but only because his head had reached the top of the crib (somehow he wriggles up the crib from the bottom) so I moved him down and he went straight back off.
The main difference between my two boys is that the younger one will self settle if he is put down with a full tummy, clean nappy and has been thoroughly winded. He is also a very very calm baby. Ds1 wouldn't self settle for years.
Are we doing anything magical? No! So I am not sure that my post helps really! My gut instinct is that it is luck mixed with a bit of biology! But I am no expert!
I will get flamed for this but my babies slept well and I put it all down to <whispers> Gina Ford.
It was 12 years ago I read an article in the paper and thought I would give her a go. I was exhausted as my DS1 seemed to be feeding all the time and I had no idea how much or when I should be feeding him, the HV would just say "whenever he wants" but I was knackered and didn't know what I was doing and he wasn't happy either.
Basically her advice was to feed 3 hourly during the day - I think it was something like roughly 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm then wake them up at 11 for a last feed. I only did the 11pm feed once and the bugger wouldn't go back to sleep so I never did that one with any of them - I'd let them wake me once in the night which was usually about 4am, which was fine by me. Once in this pattern they were all really happy, I remember marvelling about DS1 that he just never cried!
In hindsight what I was doing "wrong" with DS1 was being so tired that when he wanted a feed I would give him enough so he would fall asleep then I would try to gingerly put him down and get something done/sleep myself. He would then wake up again 30 minutes later and I would be in despair. What I learned to do was ensure he had a full feed each time, from both sides, instead of having little snacks that were ultimately unsatisfying. I learned to keep trying to keep him awake and feeding, then when my calling his name and jiggling his hand didn't work, I would change his nappy which would wake him up enough to have the other side.
I agree that not all babies are the same and there is no "one size fits all" solution. However, all my DCs were quite similar temperaments as babies (ie puddings) and for me the one approach did work with them all.
While I was EBF my LO, he slept well between 7pm and 7am, waking twice at very predictable times for feeds (11pm and 3am).
He was mixed fed up until he was 2.5 months old, then EBF untll he was 5 months old, when we re-introduced bottles. He has been on a sleep routine since he was seven days old - he was on a feeding routine when he was mix fed, but when I was EBF, he was fed on demand....but did actually tend to stick to the same feeding times he'd had previously. So would normally feed 4-5 times between 7am and 7pm, then twice at night. And would go straight back to sleep after a feed.
Now, at 9 months old, sleeps 12 hours straight through (has done since 6.5 months, when I dropped the night feeds, and began serious food weaning). Rarely wakes up unless he's teething or squashed himself into an uncomfy position in the cot!
Mrswishy- well this is a recent development as he has been camping out on the boob all eve until recently. Now though he seems ready to sleep about 8.30. A few times he has had a 10.30 feed and gone to sleep until 5 or later. But as many times he has woken right up and yelled when I've tried to put him down and this has gone on and on. Then he has woken earlier if anything say 3am instead of 4 or 5. Giving me a shorter stretch.
I'm going to try to skip the dream feed and go to bed when he does as you suggest.
I'm fine with one feeding in 9 hours - of course. But last night he wouldn't be put down after his feed. He would like to remain in my arms until sound sound asleep. And even then sometimes he has yelled after just a few minutes asleep in his cot and we start over, and over.
He does self settle but consistently. For naps it takes some conscious effort and white noise. At night if he doesn't cry and is just grumbling, I turn on the white noise and he will send himself off. I used a sling a lot in the early days becuse I have a toddler and could not take the time to do the whole nap routine without neglecting her. He would like to sleep snuggled into me, which I get, but I'm not confident to cosleep
Now I feel I need to work on the self settling a bit more as I can't deal with an aversion to his bed and being up all hours in the night. Any advice pls?
Obviously it's a transition for him. I want to manage it the right way without sacrificing his and my long stretch of sleep. I think the cuddling is a bit of the problem so I want him to feel happier about settling his bed. I'm anti cry btw! Thanks in advance
Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution sedgie. It's very attachment-parent friendly (Elizabeth Pantley is very much an advocate for AP and the book is endorsed by Dr Sears). It gives a very good no-cry gradual withdrawal procedure in there which addresses the exact issues you're mentioning.
It's great that he is self settling at times. In the nights is his bed/ room colder, maybe put a hot water bottle in cot to keep warm during feeds. Or what I sometimes do is hold them in a big swaddle and then lay them on that as it keeps good temp, when they I. Bed I tuck down the sides for safety.
IME with one awful sleeper & one great sleeper:
(b) Sleep / feed entirely on demand
(c) Sling for all daytime naps and the evening
(d) Co-sleep at night
(e) Never allow them to get overtired
(f) Don't eat anything that upsets their digestive system
But what would work for another baby would be different from what works for mine.
Luck! Ds2 slept 8 hrs from 3 weeks and 12hrs from 6 weeks.....then at 5 months started waking every 2 hrs then slept through again then woke for a few weeks and now at 10 months we are thankfully going through a sleeping through phase...for now!
I kept things relatively the same throughout, the odd tweak here or there but if you stick to a good routine and good habits there is light at the end of the tunnel, until next time they are ill, teething, hot, cold etc!!!
I'm going with luck again. Ds1 terrible sleeper, didn't sleep through until I stopped breastfeeding at 13 months and even then he wasn't good at it.
Ds2 is a sleeper, I could see the difference in him from birth. He's been going to bed at 7 since about 4 weeks old and it suits him. He hates being tired. He still has bad nights, but generally will sleep fro 7 til 7 with one feed.
Another difference I have noted in him from his brother is that he only sucks when hungry, he is not interested in sucking for comfort, fyswim. He feeds and once he's full, no more boob.
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