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Can you help me try to establish a night time routine for 4 week old bf baby?

(25 Posts)
bumperlicious Sat 14-Jul-07 15:18:10

Ok, I know a lot of you are going to say you can't expect a routine this early. But I'm not talking about a really strict routine, but I want to start expressing next week so DH can do a feed and I want to think about the best way to do it but am still in a newborn baby fug! I just really need a sleep longer than 4 hours!

Currently we don't really have a pattern but DD will feed sometime between 11 and 12.30 or so, settling down by 1am. Sometimes she will sleep 5.5 hours, sometimes only 3.5. She wakes up between 4 and 5.30, feeds and if we are lucky, down again by 6-6.30 till 8 or 9.

I want to introduce an expressed feed so I can get to sleep for longer than 4 hours, but not sure how/when to do it. DH is up for work at either 6 or 7. Should I get him to do the late night or early morning feed? Can you share your experiences or night time routines?

Before this time DD is often unsettle and will sleep on one of us or feed and not settle well leading up to the late night feed.

daisybo Sat 14-Jul-07 16:28:24

tbh you will not get a 4week old baby to follow any kind of routine.
however, if you want to introduce a bottle of expressed milk, it's much better to do it first thing in the morning. giving a bottle (of ebm or formula) at evening/night is the worst possible time supply wise. the hormones that are responsible for producing milk are highest in the eve and at night (which is why a baby having a growth spurt will wake at night to increase your supply)
and the best time to express is prob morning as well as breasts are 'fuller' in the morning - so you could express monday morning for dh to give baby on tues morning iykwim!
babys don't 'settle' at this age, both mine slept on my chest or on my boob at this age. they were around 8 weeks when they got easier to settle and slept in their cots.
you are doing brilliantly, keep going it will get easier

kiskidee Sat 14-Jul-07 16:35:44

bumperlicious, by the lack of mentioning, i take it you have sort of solved the latching problem? tbh, the easiest thing to do at this stage is to cosleep. (no, you won't roll over and smother your baby.) i wish someone had told me how to do this and that it was safe at this stage as it would have saved me a lot of tears and exhaustion. expressing is another thing to do at this age.

here is an easy to read page about cosleeping the links make fab reading for when you are over the fug of sleep deprivation [whispers] best cured by co-sleeping

daisyandbabybootoo Sat 14-Jul-07 16:37:26

bumper...i was hoping to do this too, but sounds like its not a great idea. Just tried pumping and I'm all milked out by ravenous babyboo. tried for about 20 mins but no let down happening with pump, even if I'm looking at her, so I've got a measly 15ml of foremilk and nowt else!

Hi again daisybo...I've added a bit to my name to avoid the name confusion between us

daisyandbabybootoo Sat 14-Jul-07 16:38:13

well not the routine, but have a few hours off....

daisyandbabybootoo Sat 14-Jul-07 16:39:18

kiskidee, i've just tried your link and it isn't working

kiskidee Sat 14-Jul-07 16:41:23

sigh, sorry

Juicylucytoo Sat 14-Jul-07 19:34:37

Bloody hell bumper you must have something good in your milk to be getting 4.5-5hours some nights. I rejoice when I get 3!! (Babyjuicy is also 4 weeks, nearly 5)

Good luck with the expressed feeding. Have started expressing today - it's not very rewarding when you see so little after so much effort!!

daisyandbabybootoo Sat 14-Jul-07 20:08:59

great link kiskidee. makes my 3 ozs i got last week a reasonalbe amount.

daisyandbabybootoo Sat 14-Jul-07 20:09:31

oops wrong BF thread

suezee Sat 14-Jul-07 20:11:41

im sorry but u will just have to suffer, babies dnt give a shit that u need to sleep and are totally unaware of what time it is. i started getting ds into a routine about 7 weeks but they are demand feeding at this early time so u jst have to sit it out

bumperlicious Sat 14-Jul-07 21:48:20

I see the advantages of co-sleeping but I haven't grasped how to BF lying down so I'm not sure that would be anymore help. Also, I would probably still have to get up to change her sometime in the night.

I really need to do something soon as I am just so knackered. I feel awful when I wake up after 3 or 4 hours, sick and cold. This is such hard work!

The 5.5 hours seems to be an occasional fluke!

bumperlicious Sat 14-Jul-07 21:50:44

KIsdee, just out of interest if you are still reading, how do you manage the co sleeping? Our bed is in the middle of the room, not against the wall or anything. Do I need to buy a special rail to keep her from falling out?

chestnutter Sat 14-Jul-07 21:58:08

Bumperlicious - I could never bf lying down either. Also I have to tell you that neither of mine slept for more than 2 hours in a row for the first 6-ish weeks so I think your DD is doing very well. I remember all too well the shattering exhaustion of that stage but I have to tell you that she WILL stretch out - give it another couple of weeks and I bet things will be a bit easier. And in the meantime, just remember that every time you stumble out of bed to feed her she'll be putting on a few more ounces which take her nearer to sleeping through the night! Good luck

potoroo Sat 14-Jul-07 22:13:27

Bumper - I never made a decision to co-sleep as such, but it just sort of happened because I'd fall asleep while feeding and wake up a few hours later with DS snuggled up beside me. I think from memory he fed a little more often this way but I didn't really wake up properly so it didn't matter IYSWIM.

This time around I think we will co-sleep from the beginning to make life a bit easier.

It took me a while to get to grips with BF lying down. I can't remember exactly, but I think I used to get DS latched on while sitting up, then shuffle down while he was drinking - certainly didn't worry him! Once we got used to that, he could eventually pull himself on while I was lying down.

I wasn't comfortable with him between DH and I so I had him on the outside of the bed. We did buy a guard rail, but DS didn't really move from beside my breast to be honest.

In case you're worried too (as we were) we had no trouble transitioning DS into his own cot later on. Now as a 2 year old he has no interest in getting in our bed except to say 'Wakey wakey - get up Mummy'... HTH

kiskidee Sun 15-Jul-07 18:07:50

i am still reading bumperlicious. will have to write later though. it might be real real late.

callmeovercautious Sun 15-Jul-07 19:12:19

Bumper - I found expressing a bit of an art form that required practice. If you can manage it the most productive for me was when DD was feeding from one side I would express from the other. Also express in the morning, I have never got much later in the day. If you can manage it try and get up before lo and express from your fullest breast. Then feed lo from the other, if he wants more there should then be enough in the side you expressed from.
The sleep issue! - Firstly they do get better at sleeping for longer stretches but it can be sporadic. Secondly you get used to the wakings. Also unless your lo is dirty try not to change the nappy as this wakes them more. Just pick him up and pop him straight on, pref in the dark still. You should find he feeds and goes off to sleep pretty quickly. We have night feeds down to 15/20 minutes now.

kiskidee Sun 15-Jul-07 19:18:17

"I haven't grasped how to BF lying down so I'm not sure that would be anymore help."
Bf lying down is a skill so it takes a bit of learning and practice to do it just a way that suits you and your dd best. Think of it as a part of the bf learning curve that you are still on. It will take a few days or a few weeks to get used to it. just keep reflecting on what is going well and what you can tweak to improve it. that is how we learn.

I think part of the difficulty (for me anyway) was being frightened to squash dd so i was always trying to be super aware of where she was on the bed. If you lie in the recovery position, your legs keep her from scooting down too low on the bed and your lower arm from wiggling up to where you may have pillows. then they are little heat seeking missiles so they stay snuggled up right next to you. My bed is also in the middle of the room and i found that it was just when she was starting to stand up and crawl around that that bed rail came into its own. before that, it was a hassle for me to climb over and dh is super careful and insisted on one since i would feed dd to sleep then leave the room once she was asleep.

as for feeding, i have little boobs so i would scoot dd across my body to feed her on the other side. sometimes i would move her back and sometimes leave her between me and dh. i understand big norked women just lean over a bit further to offer the 'top nork'.

"Also, I would probably still have to get up to change her sometime in the night."
tbh, not too sure what you mean. My DD only pooped once during the night and that was the only time i changed her nappy during the night. <eek>

"I really need to do something soon as I am just so knackered. I feel awful when I wake up after 3 or 4 hours, sick and cold. This is such hard work!" You may find that with co-sleeping your dd wakes up just as frequently if not more. The difference is that neither you or she will fully awake because you will start to feed her before either you and she are fully awake so go back to sleep sooner. in addition, with co-sleeping, your sleep cycles synchronise so you will both come into light sleeps together so she won't be waking you out of your deep (and beneficial) sleeps. Also your body start to respond, priming for letdown etc before you awake so you will never have to respond to feeding a crying baby who is not getting a letdown. (Crying is the last hunger cue.)

the absolute key is to trust your body and trust your baby. Women and babies evolved in a co-sleeping dyad.

It is something we can do instinctively if we take away all the cultural and misplaced (and misinformed) academic finger waggling against it. In the West we have to relearn to do something that ought to come naturally. Give yourself a week or 2 to start to settle into it and feel the benefits.

"The 5.5 hours seems to be an occasional fluke!" yeah. I know the feeling.

bumperlicious Mon 16-Jul-07 10:12:05

thanks kiskidee, that is a great help. will try and give it a go. last night (well early this morning) she slept on my chest for 3 hours! she slept and I got kneed in the stomach every half hour!

yogimum Mon 16-Jul-07 10:28:05

this worked for one of my bosses. She would get her husband to do the late evening feed whilst she went to bed around 9pm or earlier if possible. I found expressing in the morning the most productive though ds took months to get used to a bottle. Get as much rest between feeds and eat well! Its a bit early for a routine but thinking ahead will get you through this early stage. I do two nights maternity work at the moment and look after ds 11 months so know how knackering it all can be!

yogimum Mon 16-Jul-07 10:29:13

with twins by the way!

Juicylucytoo Mon 16-Jul-07 10:48:32

Bumper - do you have any breast feeding counsellors / groups near you? They can help you with the technique for feeding lying down. I have my arm out above DS when I'm feeding him lying down. Also I have to help him with latching on in terms of positioning and because the breasts are quite full at night. Good luck with - it's so much easier in the night!

MaeBee Wed 18-Jul-07 20:31:14

i was advised not to start expressing til after 6 weeks, because you need your milk supply to settle to your babys demands. you could end up producing too much or too little otherwise.

i never learnt to bf lying down. but i still can only bf in one position so im no expert!

i know its really hard in the beginning. my 9 mth old only started sleeping well last month and i thought i ws going crazy through lack of sleep. at 6 months he was waking every 1 - 2 hrs! so, i know it doesn't seem it, but 3 or 4 hr stretches is good for 4 weeks. don't be a martyr, let the housework slide, NAP as much as you can to catch up on sleep. nap with your baby, its lovely (i did with mine and it took only 2 days to get him to sleep in his cot in the end). in the beginning its easier for you to adjust to your baby's routine than get her to adjust to yours.

it does get easier! and harder! and easier again!

summerunderakaftan Thu 19-Jul-07 10:55:57

I showed this to my very rigid routined friend and even she said wow at the amount of time your baby sleeps in one block through the night and also said there was not really much chance of getting a 4 week old to slep much more.

Like Daisybo said expressing and giving ebm in the night is the wrong time to do it as the hormones that produce your bm work hrder through the night so to speak. So if you really want dh to give ebm it would be better being the first thing in the morning feed. I would try if you can to hold off for another week or 2 to give your milk time to settle down aroung 6 weeks ish normally as your body settles a bit more into the supply and demand of bf.

I found that expressing while feeding on the other breast gave the best results as I was catching the best let down as the baby fed can be a bit of a faff and an electric breast pump that does the work for you might be easier.

When ds was that size he pretty much slept on my chest and you do get used to the kneeing and around 6 weeks ish I would wake to him latching himself pretty much, it was also good for just kinda propping my eyes open latching him on then dozing so I never woke up properly and he rarely pooed through the night so hardly ever had to get up to change him.

LUCIA22 Thu 19-Jul-07 19:19:00

I agree that 4 hour stretches are pretty good, my DD was waking every 1 or 2hours at that age. Try not to worry too much about it as it doesnt last long. My DD was waking just once a night by 9 weeks and I have never bothered to change her nappy at night as found it harder to get her to settle afterwards. Just try to nap during the day and it will soon get better.

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