Tell me how you get your 12 week old EBF baby to bed in the evening...

(27 Posts)
HairyBoob Fri 08-Apr-16 21:09:23

Our bedtime 'routine' for DS2 currently consists of me sitting in a dark room for two hours feeding and trying to settle him.

He has a bath with DS1 earlier in the evening. Comes back downstairs, DS1 (6) trundles off to bed. Then around 7pm I commence my evening of fun in the dark bedroom. He feeds, I put him in his sleepyhead in his cot, he faffs, I cuddle, feed, put down, more faffing...repeat ad nauseum.

It's 9pm now and he's just gone down. I didn't BF DS1 and I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. The evenings are starting to get me down. Should it take this long? What if it goes on like this forever? Will I ever be able to just feed him, pop him in his cot and he'll nod off? I'm starting to resent the fact that it's only me who can put him to bed (for context - during the day and rest of the night I'm FINE. This isn't a PND thing or anything like that).

He won't take a dummy or bottle. not through lack of trying

Any advice or experience will be so gratefully received. thanks

AlleyCatandRastaMouse Fri 08-Apr-16 21:13:50

I am a good bit past it now but when DS was that age I had his Moses basket downstairs until we went to bed. He fed and slept on and off all evening and went to bed at the same time as we did. I could not be assed with all the toing and froing up and down the stairs so it seemed easier. He grew out of that about 6 months and starting going to his own room but that was DHs headache.

Lauslaw Fri 08-Apr-16 21:22:55

What ally said! I was unable to breastfeed but have Velcro 13 week old and we just keep her in the living room with us/allow her to nap on sofa and then when we go to bed carry her oh-so-carefully and pop in the cot! At least that way you get to spend te evening with your other child/partner as well

mrswishywashy Fri 08-Apr-16 22:05:07

My five month old is the same but it's getting easier and I expect if I wasn't so lazy she would go down earlier but I quite like holding her. Our routine is 6pm we all eat dinner, then partner gives her a bath or massage then at 7pm I start feeding. When we first started it wasn't until midnight she was settling, now most nights it's about 8pm. Tonight she woke up when I put her to bed but I just patted her and she went off to sleep. I keep lamp on so it isn't dark but don't have sounds on.

NerrSnerr Fri 08-Apr-16 22:12:47

We didn't put our daughter down until we went to bed. We just cuddled and fed downstairs until we went up. I then fed one last time and put her in her Moses basket. We didn't put her upstairs in the evening until 6 months.

HairyBoob Sat 09-Apr-16 02:29:26

Thank you for all your replies.

We had been doing what you are all suggesting - keeping him downstairs with us - up until a couple of weeks ago until he became inconsolable by 8pm. The only way to stop him going apeshit is to take upstairs 'to bed'. It's like being downstairs was too much for him in the evening.

Bristolian1 Sat 09-Apr-16 02:58:44

My ds was just like this! As you say it felt like being downstairs was too stimulating for him, but I ended up feeding him off and on for ages at first. Now we do bath and then chats with dh for 10 mins then bed. He mostly feeds and is off to sleep by 7:30 now that he's 16 weeks, so there could be an end in sight for you soon!

Candlefairy101 Sat 09-Apr-16 12:19:35

Can you express some milk into a bottle for the last feed, he'll get a full tummy quicker?

farfallarocks Sat 09-Apr-16 15:26:32

When you say faffing what do you mean? Some babies need to have a little
Time to decompress on their own. My dd took a dummy but dd refuses and he has a whinge and about for 5/10 mins before nodding off. If I intervene he gets really cross and overtired and can't sleep. Could you try just leaving him after a good feed and wind?

HairyBoob Sat 09-Apr-16 15:48:15

candy He won't take a bottle or dummy.

far I do leave him to faff but it inevitably turns into a cry and at 12 weeks I won't leave him to do that. But during the night he's very good at kicking about by himself and then just nodding off.

InFrance2014 Sat 09-Apr-16 16:01:55

12 weeks to me seems not very old to be able to settle down so early in the evening (7 is early in my memory of DC1), especially when BF represents not just food/water but also comfort. You might need to adjust your own routine so you can go upstairs, be quiet with baby, i.e. read a book with very low lights, listen to a podcast with earphones while rocking or something, so you don't feel like you aren't getting any relaxation time in the evening.

lcoc2015 Sat 09-Apr-16 16:03:10

I'm in the exact same situation except dd2 is 20 weeks. This has been happening since 16 weeks. Before that she would stay downstairs with us til bedtime. I started to notice she seemed overstimulated at night so we made a decision to start getting her down at 7/7:30.

To be honest i've kind of given up on anything other than nursing her to sleep and transferring her after trying the pick up out down approach to no avail. Other than a sore back!

I just nurse her to sleep from 7ish to 9 and then the second or 3rd attempted transfer works! She also only naps on me or in cae/buggy during day although i do try to leave her to self settle for naps - just to see if it clicks one of these days. I am going to do controlled crying for naps and bedtime rom 6 months though.

If i can convince her to start taking a bottle i might introduce some formula as that uses to knock dd1 out for an easy transfer to the cot!

Stylingwax Sat 09-Apr-16 16:08:45

My DS fed to sleep in our bed till about 18 months.
Given he still creeps in most nights at 3, i'm trying to do it differently with 12 week DD. She usually naps in the sling during the day but I do try to put her down (Sleepyhead in our bed) at least once, when I think she's tired. Sometimes works sometimes not.
And in the evening once DS had gone to bed I'll try with her, feed, then dozy into Sleepyhead with dummy and white noise.
Occasionally works like a dream and she's down till I go to bed about 12, quick sleepy feed then she goes through to 5ish.
Sometimes works on and off. If she's really not interested and starts screaming above grumpy tired cry I will get her up as I just haven't got the selfless nature to sit in a dark room for two hours and she is still very little.

mopants Sat 09-Apr-16 16:15:03

Babies are meant to cluster feed in the evenings. It's to ensure there is milk there for breakfast. Mine is 13 weeks. She feeds pretty constantly from 6pm until completely dropping off between 8pm and 8.30. This all happens downstairs and I carry her sleeping up to bed. In all this I put the 3yo twins to bed at 7pm so she is having a break from feeding then and the 4yo and 6yo go to bed at 7.30 so another break then. I wouldn't worry about sitting in a dark room by yourself. Baby is too young to have a 'bedtime' and if they are generally sleeping by 9pm that is pretty good going. It shouldn't make bedtime any later by staying downstairs for a bit longer. If you know proper sleep happens towards 9pm then go upstairs at 8.40 for the final feed in a darkened room before laying in the cot

mrsmugoo Sat 09-Apr-16 16:16:56

12 weeks is still really young for a set bedtime. I'd just cluster feed on the sofa and eat your dinner with your partner if I were you.

Bedtime will draw in earlier as you get past 4/5 months, maybe even 6 months.

Iggi999 Sat 09-Apr-16 16:19:14

At 12 weeks should sleep with you for all naps/sleeps surely? I'm not sure what you mean by downstairs being too much, was he sleeping downstairs or still awake?

HairyBoob Sat 09-Apr-16 17:13:58

Thanks for all the replies.

TOTALLY get the cluster feeding thing. Completely comfortable with that and I know it's normal and necessary. No probs.

He cannot / will not stay downstairs. He becomes inconsolable from 7pm; as soon as I take him upstairs 'to bed' he calms right down and feeds really nicely for ages. Otherwise I would quite happily keep him with us in the living room believe me I've tried

I was just wondering if our little bedtime routine is what could be considered 'normal' and I'm much more reassured that it is now and know I just need to ride it out smile I couldn't remember what I did with DS1 and just needed a sense check.

I do make the most of it as much as I can - I take the iPad up with me and catch up on tv. BGT tonight! grin

InFrance2014 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:44:40

Knowing its normal can make all the difference in coping smile

mrsmugoo Sat 09-Apr-16 17:52:02

To be honest mine was the same - he'd be wired in the living room so I too would settle into bed with him with the iPad of an evening. I'd get my husband to sometimes sit with me or bring me cups of tea/snacks - I never had the expectation of getting him down for the night til 9-10pm though and I just enjoyed the snuggle time.

Gwynfluff Sat 09-Apr-16 18:05:06

Honed over 3 bf babies.

Lots of feeds in the day - at least 2 hourly.

No naps past 4.30/5 and give feeds as required around this time.

Up to start bedtime at 6 - not 7 or later, try earlier.

Bedtime routine: feed, bath, out of bath and into darkened, quiet room - so have the curtains shut, low light, bedtime clothes out. Into bedtime clothes, feed again as many boobs as needed. Into bed.

All feeds thereafter in darkened room.

Be anal about this for a few weeks. Should find they go off 6.30-7.

I often put the youngest child to bed and then did the older children.

I also noticed with my first that being downstairs in the evening with tv and lights on was too much stimulation

HairyBoob Sat 09-Apr-16 19:37:43

infrance Yes! Absolutely.

Thank you to everyone who has made me feel so much better. thanks

Spudlet Sun 10-Apr-16 03:46:07

DS is 14 weeks and we are just getting our routine down. We started at about 12 weeks.

So, 7.30pm - bath, followed by massage with baby lotion, nappy, pyjamas, into sleeping bag. Then I sit in the nursery with the lights low and feed him. We have Ewan the sheep on, he plays one round of his plinky music then onto the rain sound repeated as many times as it takes him to go to sleep. No talking as soon as he gets into the nursery, just gentle shhhhhing. Then into the crib with the monitor on. He's generally down by 8.30.

We were led by him on choosing the time, he started getting tired at 8-ish, so we start a bit sooner than that. We try to end his final nap by 5.30 so he's ready for sleep by 8.30, but not catastrophically tired.

It takes a few goes, but eventually DS learned the cues. I want to ease the time forward to 7.30 down eventually.

NB, it did all go to pot last weekend, due I think to the unholy combination of jabs, being away from home and a developmental leap. Nightmare! But touch wood, we're now back on the horse!

VictoriaRoses Sun 10-Apr-16 04:34:05

I have 13 week old twins. I change their nappies downstairs at about 9-10, take them up to bed and feed to sleep, pop in their crib and put on a lullaby machine which plays for 1/2 hour. They normally drift off yay the time it finishes playing. Didn't think it took a long time but it does take in excess of an hour from start of feed until they sleep.

peardroplets Tue 12-Apr-16 10:30:05

Some good suggestions here. Also to give you some hope - I was in exactly your position with a never-ending feed/transfer cycle. But about six months I noticed she was less sensitive to bring transferred. Now at eight months she feeds to sleep in my bed then I wait a minute or so and move her into the cot without having to be super gentle as she rarely notices being transferred these days. She still wakes loads in the night though so it's not all sunshine but that evening routine has definitely got easier.

Underbella Tue 12-Apr-16 11:04:59

DD coming up ten weeks old.

We pretty much feed all afternoon and evening although she is having longer moments of happiness under her jungle gym. Or just sitting with me, DP, or her sister, interacting.

I watch lots of TV whilst feeding DD, then head to bed around 10 - 11pm where she seems to fall asleep for 2 to three hours.

I do this by feeding lying down. She hasn't been near her basket since she was born confused

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