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If your ebf baby sleeps/slept well at night what do you put this down to?

(83 Posts)
sedgieloo Fri 25-Jan-13 10:24:17

Their nature? Your fabulous supply?! Your routine of feeds? Or anything else.

13 week old ebf baby here.

BollyGood Thu 31-Jan-13 22:59:26

Sorry I meant dd went to bed at 7pm not 7am! and had her midnight and 2/3am feed and woke at 7am. Now it's potluck if she settles at a decent time some evenings she just won't go to bed whatever her daytime was like and she flies on the face of all reason!!! I read up thread about the poster who's baby only fed and didn't comfort suck. Dd has been like this since birth, she has never wanted the boob for comfort only when hungry. Every feed is a big one.

BollyGood Thu 31-Jan-13 22:53:02

This is a really good thread thanks OP!! My 9.5 month old is really happy during the day she eats for England and has two big bf's at some point in the day but not often the same time everyday. She rarely sleeps all night. She is 22 pounds now. I began weaning at 6 months by then she had three bf's a day, another around midnight then 2/3am. This wasn't too bad as she would go to bed around 7am and had good naps in the day usually at the same time each day.

Since weaning the nights are awful. I have two other children who were and still are excellent sleepers. I do the same things with my dd3 as I did with the others even down to cooking the same meals for weaning as the others had.

As I began the weaning she went completely off bfing, so I cut back on the food but it made no difference whatsoever. She loves her food but with or without it she only wants to bf occasionally in the morning (which is because of the night feeding, she is finally full by 7 am, which I can't seem to get her to stop!!!) once around 2pm and never before bed even if I give her hardly any food at tea. She is not interested. Yet, my little madam will wake now at either 8 or 9 or 10 pm for one bf, then 1am, 3am and usually 5 or 6 am, in total having a nother 2/3 feeds and a cuddle. I am like death warmed up- so tired!!! More so than the newborn phase. I have tried everything. She wakes at least 3 times through the night and has done since 6 months.

We are out in the fresh air 4 times a day for the school run, she only has two naps, she likes the 2/3 hr routine in the day and nothing you can do can keep her awake she has to nap when she wants too, self settles and all that malarkey. She is crawling rolling, sitting herself up, very active and busy. My daytimes are lovely, like clockwork and not dissimilar to GF but naturally chosen by dd not me. BUT my baby does not conform to the nights. She is fab at having her bf's and goes straight back down like a dream, only feeds in the pitch black she hates light at night, so technically should be capable of sleeping through. I struggle to drop off as I know I will be up again possibly in an hour definitely within two.

It is down to,luck mainly if they sleep. I am of this persuasion.i didn't used to think this first and second time around. I thought it was my good daytime planning which helped my babies sleep. Having a wonderful daytime routine has made bugger all difference this time round. And, to add insult to injury it was dd3's natural routine which just happened to be the same as my other two babies without me helping her into it.

Our friends have their first baby, she is now 5 months and sleeps all night. We have pretty much the same daytime thing going on.Why am I awake all night?????

sedgieloo Wed 30-Jan-13 21:18:19

Angdog - really interesting!

AngelDog Wed 30-Jan-13 19:59:26

Well, exactly the same range of patterns I mean.

AngelDog Wed 30-Jan-13 19:59:03

I think when they're tiny at least, feeding doesn't make as much difference as you'd think it might. One sleep book quotes examples of babies in intensive care being fed intravenously - they never feel hunger in the way that 'normal' babies do. Yet their waking patterns are exactly the same as babies who have to wake up to feed.

ilovecolinfirth Wed 30-Jan-13 14:04:50

By the way, some people ask whether he properly feeds each time during the day as I've always got my breasts out, but I'm guessing with the amount of poo he produces he does!!!!

ilovecolinfirth Wed 30-Jan-13 14:01:54

10 week old baby has slept well since 5 weeks, but a) he's a very big boy - someone told me large babies cope better, and b) he feeds A LOT during the day. When he's not being pushed in the pram he will eat about hourly, maybe a little longer between intervals but never more than 2 hours. Don't get me wrong, I love the good nights (hope they last), but there have been times when I've felt really down during the day due to the exhaustion of it all.

BiscuitCrumbsInBed Wed 30-Jan-13 13:38:32

My 18 mo DD is a terrible sleeper. Still bf on demand in day and night. Personally i put it down to a punishment for something bad I did in a previous life. Or possiblynature's revenge on me and DH for also having been terrible sleepers as babies smile

GirlOutNumbered Wed 30-Jan-13 10:22:38

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.

moojie Wed 30-Jan-13 09:59:01

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!!!

AngelDog Tue 29-Jan-13 23:24:56

IME with one awful sleeper & one great sleeper:

(a) Personality
(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.

mrswishywashy Tue 29-Jan-13 06:56:58

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.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 28-Jan-13 16:11:05

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.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 28-Jan-13 15:25:57


sedgieloo Mon 28-Jan-13 15:19:56

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

VisualiseAHorse Sun 27-Jan-13 19:46:47

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!

BalloonSlayer Sun 27-Jan-13 17:07:07

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.

DoItToJulia Sun 27-Jan-13 16:54:34

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!

BooCanary Sun 27-Jan-13 16:48:47

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!

BooCanary Sun 27-Jan-13 16:46:02

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.

mrswishywashy Sun 27-Jan-13 16:32:59

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:-)

Indith Sun 27-Jan-13 16:31:03

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 hmm.

BertieBotts Sun 27-Jan-13 16:28:01

Nature, also we co-slept and I think that helped him feel secure.

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Sun 27-Jan-13 16:27:53

Luck of the draw

sedgieloo Sun 27-Jan-13 16:24:30

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.

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