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9 week old - tips on dreamfeeding / 4am waking

(13 Posts)
whizzymummy Mon 14-Jul-08 21:06:12

Hi - I posted this message earlier today on another message board but someone suggested this might be a better place (doh!).
So here goes again...
My 9 week old DD has been settled in a rough routine for about a month now, sort of gina ford but not quite as I have a 2 year old so am not that strict and naps are all over the place.
I'm exclusively breastfeeding her and have been expressing a bottle of milk at 9:30pm for my husband to give her at about 11pm. That had been working great and although she'd taking variable amounts (2-4oz) she'd then go through until 5am-ish, and a couple of lovely 6am mornings and I could give her a small feed and put her right back down to sleep until 7am when the whole family gets up.
Life's wonderful and all settled until a week ago all change... We simply can't wake her for the dreamfeed, tried it at variable times from 10pm through to midnight, tried waking her, tried it with her asleep and offering the milk ... no chance, she doesn't want to wake and not interested.
So we've decided to test dropping it and see how long she goes. 2 nights now she's gone until nearly 4am, which I think from a 7pm bedtime is frankly amazing at this age and would be pleased but... the problem - she's ravenous and she won't settle after that feed. She'll sink a bottle of 5 oz and scream for more, or feed loads from me, and with either way will not act like she's satisfied or settle back to sleep without a LOT of effort on our part. Even worse she then loses interest in her 7am feed and the whole day starts to go a bit mad from there!!
Has anyone had anything similar and got some tips? Really don't know where to go from here, my main concern is also not having her waking our 2 year old who has a tendency to be in a light sleep early morning, definitely can't cope with 2 awake early on.
Should I carry on trying with the dreamfeed? (My instinct is not if she doesn't want it.) I've wondered if I should try a top up with a bottle at 7pm to see if she'll go longer (can a 9 week old really go from 7pm to past 4am anyway!?)... or perhaps try something else?
Any advice appreciated!

iarel Mon 14-Jul-08 22:06:19

hi, it might settle in a few days as babies go through growth spurts every 4 weeks. 7 to 4 sounds brilliant though my DD is 11 wks and goes to bed from 9 to 6, but went through same. maybe try to leave her to wake up when she is hungry and when she does a 4am, as hard as this is, don't turn any bright lights on, or talk or especially make eye contact. just feed and change nappies as quietly and unobtrusively as possible and she should settle into her old sleepimg pattern once the the growth spurts' over. it worked with mine. also you could ty expressing after a morning feed as there is always a bigger supply of milk and use that as a standby if she is still hungry. hope that helps

whizzymummy Tue 15-Jul-08 09:08:16

thanks iarel.
Out of interest what's your rough afternoon / early evening plan like to get her to stay awake until 9pm?
Also do you think I hsould drop the 9:30pm expressing now - bit concerned as my body has got used to it and don't want it to drop my overall supply.
Anyway, I breastfed her when we woke last night and that settled her immediately so no more luxury of DH doing a bottle as she screams after one! I suppose it wakes her up or she gets wind (and no nice cuddle with mummy!). DH tried to wake her at 11pm one last time but she only took 1/2 oz and was very upset when he finally got her awake enough to feed so I think we're ready to knock that on the head and take the consequences of no dreamfeed. I suppose if she starts waking up much earlier again we canb try it again but she's clearly not interested and wants to sleep. Crossing fingers tonight when we leave it she goes a long time!!

iarel Tue 15-Jul-08 21:00:29

DD normall falls asleep from 6 to 7pm. when she wakes up, she has a bath and will feed on and off till about 9. keep expressing, the more you express the bigger the supply. i normally express around 10pm as well as after she had a feed in the morning. that means that there is always 2 extra bottles in the fridge for top up emergencies. if your little one has slept through the night before, she should do so again. it really sounds to me like a growth spurt, is she feeding more during the day? maybe try to write down the times when she is, to get a clearer picture. i honestly would say leave her. she will wake up when she is hungry. there is a bigger chance that in a few days it will calm down and that she will sleep longer and slip back into routine, especially if early morning feeds are done with the least amount of fuss. i used to wake my DS up for a night feed and found that his body clock got into a habit of waking up at the same time long after he should have been sleeping through the night. with this one i vowed to go with the flow good luck tonight and let me know how you get on

whizzymummy Wed 16-Jul-08 09:36:39

Well last night I decided to leave her as I said but she woke up! We started to hear her on and off from around 11pm and so my DH went in around midnight and she was awake so he gave her the bottle of expressed milk. She was hard to settle after (an objected to the bottle throughout the feed!) but went to sleep finally and went through until 7am without a feed (with a bit of help from the dummy when she woke at 4am aparently!). Now I really don't know what to do, clearly when we manage to wake her for a night feed and she has a good one she'll sleep through until morning. DH thinks if he hadn't gone in at midnight she might have gone until 1 or 2am but no longer - that's far from ideal. I suppose we need to go with the flow and see what she does each day and night and like you say see if she settles into a pattern again. I find it hard to destinguish her growth spurts to be honest, I think it would be easier if I could see it in a bottle but obviously I don't.

iarel Thu 17-Jul-08 06:25:00

all out of advice! how did it go last night?

SquiffyHock Thu 17-Jul-08 06:50:09

Both of mine dropped the 11pm feed first (much to my dismay!) - they would go down at 7 and I used to dreamfeed until I realised that they were waking at 3ish no matter what. I then dropped the dreamfeed, in time 3 became 4, 4 became 5, 5 became 6 if that makes sense. It didn't take long.

In response to your question, DD slept 7-7 at nine weeks so they can go that long.

This is the worst time - it sounds like you're doing brilliantly smile

nik76 Thu 17-Jul-08 08:13:47

I'm BF so might be slightly different but I give two feeds quite close together before bedtime and she's slept through the night since 8 weeks. I give a feed at 6pm and one at 7pm ish then do the bedtime routine.

I have read that dreamfeeds you don't have to actually wake them up, just get th ebottle in there mouth??? not sure if that helps.

One thing I will say is that you get a feel for when she woken up and you know she's not going to settle without a feed, if this happens get her one ASAP otherwise it can get them too awake to get stright back to sleep - remmeber she's not waking up cause she wants too just cause she needs to eat.

whizzymummy Fri 18-Jul-08 22:57:48

Last two nights have been strange, both she's waking up nearer one o clock. I feel like she's starting to creep slowly back towards a dreamfeed time anyway!! Perhaps I was just being teased with the 4am stretches or she's going through a growth spurt, but I'm done trying to second guess her as she's got no pattern at all so I'll just have to go with the flow.

I tried the topping her up with a bottle of expressed milk too after last nights 6:30 feed and it made no difference at all so not sure I'll do that!? It could also be that she doesn't take the bottle well after I've breastfed her - too clever and realises it's a nasty bottle...

nik76 did you feed from both breasts for your last 2 feeds? She feeds at the moment 5 ish and then 6:30/7ish but I don't give her a massive feed at 5 as it seemed to be putting her off the last feed... have wondered if I should try changing that now.

Anyway, thanks for your words of encouragement ladies, I'd better go to bed but am pretending I have a life tonight and not going to bed at 9 o clock!!

nik76 Sun 20-Jul-08 05:30:41

One breast per feed all the time if still hungry top up with other.

I wouldn't worry about putting her off her last feed as it sounds like she's taking the same amount no matter when you give it. I would always fill her up on everyfeed don't worry about how much she'll taken on the night one. The last one's just a top up before bed.

Maybe trying 5 and 7:30 would work.

Have always done it like this so she's used to it now and now matter how little time there has been between the two feeds she starts getting a bit mad if I take to long with bath and getting changed as she wants more!!!

whizzymummy Sun 20-Jul-08 13:08:02

Thanks, I'll try that. On Friday I also tried what you call a dreamfeed where you don't wake them and was amazed when she actually fed in her sleep. However I tried to again last night and she didn't want it so I've decided though it's a great idea in theory I'm well and truly ready to ditch it and see how she goes on her own instead. Last night it was 3:30 and back to sleep by 4:00 which I think was great - I suppose tonight she'll go back to 1am again but what the heck!
What's your bedtime routine?
Interested as soon I want to try and introduce some stuff into routine that's not just milk=bed if you see what I mean! It all seems so long ago with my DS but I seem to remember giving milk in our lounge and then going into his room to do the routine and it was helpful much later when we dropped bottles as he didn't 'need' one for bed. However I know DD is very little still so a bit young to worry yet!

nik76 Mon 21-Jul-08 07:16:43

Can't help with feed = bed as we are in this trap now - she was so good at being put down awake but not having any of it now!!!

We do 5/6pm feed (depending on the day and last nap) playing on floor/mat, bath, massage (if not already crying for next feed) then bed.

Have started to sing to her as well.

whizzymummy Mon 21-Jul-08 09:13:49

Thanks! Difficult one isn't but I suppose they all get there in the end don't they! I might start doing massage too as I always think that's nice for them.

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