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21wo. Wakes lots to feed at night. Too early to sleep train?

(14 Posts)
boysboysboys123 Sat 01-Oct-16 18:29:28

My DS is 21 weeks. He's FF. has 5-6oz per feed. He slept thru from 8-10 weeks but apart from that he's never slept more than 2.5-4 hours.

In the night he'll wake 4-5 times & only settle with a bottle. If he could he'd feed loads at night then go 6-9 hours between feeds in the day. I do everything I can (i.e. Restrict night feeds) to get him back to taking milk in the day. But even if he feeds lots in day he'll still wake the same in night. I'm trying hungry milk-no discernible difference.
Any suggestions? Too early to sleep train?
He's due to have surgery soon so am concerned if I don't do anything now it'll be even worse after surgery & I won't sleep train then cos I'll feel bad for him.
Thanks x

Flossierules Mon 03-Oct-16 10:06:02

I sleep trained my 5 month year old as he was waking almost hourly and I was slowly losing my mind! I actually got the help of a sleep consultant just to reassure myself I was doing it right.

We did it very gently, I never left him to cry longer than a few minutes, but it has been very effective. He can now self settle, whereas before he would only feed to sleep, and will go to bed at 7pm with no crying. I wake him for a dream feed at 10.45pm and he will then usually sleep through until 6-7. Recently he has been waking for a feed around 5am but now I actually know he is hungry, he isn't just doing it to get back to sleep. Am starting weaning soon so hoping that might keep him full over night but we'll see. I'm trying to be quite adaptable as babies change all the time.

Oh and the sleep consultant was quite strict about daytime routine as she says this directly affects night times. Must admit I don't stick to it very closely now my little one can self settle but do try and ensure he gets 3 naps during the day, the main one at lunchtime and a quick power nap in the afternoon and that he doesn't sleep after 5pm.

SpeakNoWords Mon 03-Oct-16 12:12:19

I think he's too young for any kind of controlled crying type training, definitely. Plus, it's possible that the surgery might disrupt his sleep again, so it would be better to wait until that's all sorted and settled anyway. Will he take a dummy at night?

boysboysboys123 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:04:54

Thanks both. Yes he does take a dummy. I'm just trying to get into a good routine now as I know I won't be doing anything 'harsh' afterwards. And I'm not thinking of letting him CIO but he seems much more tired & grizzly since sleeping worse.
Flossie can I ask what u did?
This week I'm trying to give him minimal milk in the nights & offer water & dummy. Means he'll prob get more addicted to the dummy but one issue at a time eh?!
Thanks for replying x

boysboysboys123 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:04:58

Thanks both. Yes he does take a dummy. I'm just trying to get into a good routine now as I know I won't be doing anything 'harsh' afterwards. And I'm not thinking of letting him CIO but he seems much more tired & grizzly since sleeping worse.
Flossie can I ask what u did?
This week I'm trying to give him minimal milk in the nights & offer water & dummy. Means he'll prob get more addicted to the dummy but one issue at a time eh?!
Thanks for replying x

boysboysboys123 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:05:04

Thanks both. Yes he does take a dummy. I'm just trying to get into a good routine now as I know I won't be doing anything 'harsh' afterwards. And I'm not thinking of letting him CIO but he seems much more tired & grizzly since sleeping worse.
Flossie can I ask what u did?
This week I'm trying to give him minimal milk in the nights & offer water & dummy. Means he'll prob get more addicted to the dummy but one issue at a time eh?!
Thanks for replying x

boysboysboys123 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:05:19

Thanks both. Yes he does take a dummy. I'm just trying to get into a good routine now as I know I won't be doing anything 'harsh' afterwards. And I'm not thinking of letting him CIO but he seems much more tired & grizzly since sleeping worse.
Flossie can I ask what u did?
This week I'm trying to give him minimal milk in the nights & offer water & dummy. Means he'll prob get more addicted to the dummy but one issue at a time eh?!
Thanks for replying x

Flossierules Wed 05-Oct-16 09:05:40

Boys, this is what we did.

Firstly we moved him into his own room (as we were waking each other up), got blackout blinds for his room and a dream sheep.

In the evening I would follow his routine: song, bath and feed and then take him upstairs to bed at 6.45. He usually fell asleep during the feed so I would just gently wake him by burping him so he was sleepy but awake. I then put him in his cot, put his sleeping bag on, gave him a comfort muslin, said goodnight, stroked him, switched on the dream sheep and left the room.

The first night he screamed as I left the room so I stayed outside the room for 2 minutes (with timer as it went so slowly), went back in and did the same: said goodnight, replaced muslin in hand, stroked him and left room. I didn't stay in the room for longer than 30 seconds. I then stayed outside for 4 minutes and did the same. His crying became punctuated with stops and yawns and he'd fallen asleep between 4-6 minutes. Idea is to increase by 2 minutes each time but he fell asleep before I got to 6 mins. I did this for about 3 days and by 4th he was not crying and (I was looking on video monitor), rolling around a little before going to sleep.

I wake him for a dreamfeed at 10.45pm and then usually don't feed him again until 7am. Now my Dh is able to comfort him if he wakes in the night (before the only thing he wanted was a feed) by saying goodnight, stroking him, giving him muslin and turning on the dream sheep. I think the white noise and the muslin have replaced a breastfeed as a sleep cue as he will quickly go back to sleep with the dreamsheep on.

Hope that helps. Don't feel guilty, remember it is far better for him to learn to self settle and have quality sleep as well as a mum who has energy!

ZZZZ1111 Wed 05-Oct-16 11:54:50

He is really young still and it's really normal for babies to wake that often during the night. I have a very wakeful 8 month old! I know how knackering it is. We bedshare which has saved my sanity!

Before you do sleep training you may want to read up about it a bit - there is evidence that rather than teaching babies to self soothe it actually teaches them there is no point crying as no one will come and comfort them. Also there is evidence that in the longer term it doesn't really help as babies often end up going back to crap sleep again at some point.

I'm sure you'll get lots of posters saying how well sleep training worked for them but just wanted to put forward the alternative view.

IsItJustFuck1ngMe Wed 05-Oct-16 12:03:44

Nothing of value to add but hugely interested pregnant firstimer bookmarking smile

boysboysboys123 Thu 06-Oct-16 17:59:29

Flossie thanks so much for that. U could charge as sleep consultant!
Sounds like we have similar routines-dream sheep, muslin etc. And it sounds like it worked brilliantly for u & not too traumatic. I believe sleep is so important for them (and us) that sometimes it's cruel to be kind.
I'm continuing with reducing night feeds, which is going well. He still wakes 3 times a night but that is better than it was.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Thu 06-Oct-16 18:07:36

I did supernanny nanny sleep training with dd2 at 6 months, she's now 15 months and has slept roughly 7-5 since. her naps in the day got a lot benter too as she wasn't so overtired all the time from being awake so many hours at night. It might not work for everyone but it did us.

DD1 Co slept with me til she was 2 and I worked great but DD2 was even more restless in with us and would cry and thrash about most of the night, hence the sleep training

boysboysboys123 Thu 06-Oct-16 18:32:54

Whatthefreak yeah I can't sleep with my LO. Paranoia re SIDS or them falling out plus the kicking means even less sleep!

ZZZZ1111 Thu 06-Oct-16 20:18:03

Yes OP sleep is important, but it is completely normal and healthy for babies to wake frequently at night - it is actually a protective factor against SIDS. Babies learn to self-settle when they are ready to, just with other developmental milestones.

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