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(BF) What am I doing wrong at night?

(28 Posts)
McDreamy Mon 16-Feb-09 14:49:06

DD is 10 days old and is a really efficient feeder during the day. She is contented, settled and feeds about every 3 hours. She has alert periods when she just looks around, very happy.

Then comes the night! From midnight to 6am she seems to feed every hour, not so settled and contented when she's finished, harder to bring up her wind, only seems to sleep if she's being cuddled.

What am I doing wrong? How can i get that 6 hour period to be during the day so I can get some sleep?!

I know she is only 10 days and she's still small weighing 7lbs but it's such a difference between the night and day.

aurorec Mon 16-Feb-09 17:47:54

Not sure what to say McDreamy, mine was the same. For some reason some babies don't react well to night- she's too little to know the difference between day and night but during the day she has you around providing interaction and entertainment.

Maybe she's confused by the fact that you actually want to sleep at night... grin

Not sure if it's the right advice but try to keep things as low key as possible in the night- no light (I use a night light and it works very well) minimum noise and movement. She'll slowly get used to it! I guess in the meantime sleep when she is during the day. If you can that is.

hanaflower Mon 16-Feb-09 17:49:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McDreamy Mon 16-Feb-09 18:10:07

Thank you for your advice. She is no 3 so not too much chance of a nap however dh is on paternity leave this week so will make the most of it!

JacksmamasLittleBundleOfLOve Mon 16-Feb-09 18:12:48

It seemed to take about three weeks for DS to get days and nights straightened around in his mind. It's tough until they do. Hang in there and keep doing what you're doing and congratulations on your new little one!

aurorec Mon 16-Feb-09 18:15:31

Get DH to take the other 2 out as much as possible (park, museum, whatever) so that you can get some quiet baby/sleeping time at home.

And of course you're not doing anything wrong (I should have put that in my initial post).
No wonder your LO is happy looking around during the day- she has 2 older siblings to keep her entertained!

PinkTulips Mon 16-Feb-09 18:34:36


it's the only way to cope i find, it means i can doze and just have to wake up to switch sides occasionally and do the odd nappy.

if i didn't cosleep i'd have been up feeding from 10pm to 8am last night.... he only really dozed off just as the older 2 were getting up shock

it does ease after a while and they naturally start sleeping for longer and only feeding at longer intervals through the night but in the meantime not having to get up to feed is a lifesaver

McDreamy Mon 16-Feb-09 22:30:54

I think I would be too scared to co sleep, frightened I would squash her sad

JacksmamasLittleBundleOfLOve Mon 16-Feb-09 22:44:50

I think if you try co-sleeping you'll find it much less scary than you thought. A certain part of your awareness is always conscious of your little one right there beside you. Well, unless you're drunk or drugged - but I have to say that even high as a kite on Percocet after my op this week I was still aware of DS right there beside me. It just becomes an intrinsic thing. And it's really the best way to get the rest you need as well as breast-feed until your l.o. figures out day and night.

TinkerBellesMumandFiFi2 Mon 16-Feb-09 22:47:40

McD it's actually really safe when done properly. breastfeeding and co-sleeping go hand in hand because they work so well together and facilitate the other.

As Hana said being nocturnal is the natural state for babies as that's when you make the best milk and it keeps them from going into too deep a sleep protecting them from "forgetting" to breathe. It's part of what has become part of our thinking since formula became so popular, formula is the same any time of day and formula babies tend (not always, I know before anyone says it) to feed well enough to sleep longer. So now we think that peaceful babies who sleep through the night are normal and what we aspire to.

JacksmamasLittleBundleOfLOve Mon 16-Feb-09 22:50:40

<waves at TBMaFF2>

aurorec Mon 16-Feb-09 23:17:01

McDreamy I was the same as you and scared of co-sleeping.
A good compromise is to put the crib right by the bed, you can reach out and pick her up without having to get up.

Poledra Mon 16-Feb-09 23:23:13

Oooh, McDreamy, congratulations smile. I'd say co-sleep. It's something I was too frightened to do for DD1, did a little for DD2 and am still doing for DD3 (6.5 mos). It makes it so much easier. There is research somewhere that shows that bfing mothers tend to curl in a c-shape round their baby, with the baby safely in between the mother's outstretched arm above their head and the mother's legs under its feet (of course putting their head at optimal height for self-service at the breast wink).

ilovemydogandMrObama Mon 16-Feb-09 23:24:49

It's as if they need a re-boot! grin

Am sure someone will know the reason why babies do this constant feeding thing at night... I know that when I had to leave DS during the day, he would make up for it at night...

You aren't doing anything wrong -- a friend of mine has a 4 month old who sleeps from 8:00 pm - 06:00am envy. Both of mine seem to need feeding every couple of hours...

JacksmamasLittleBundleOfLOve Tue 17-Feb-09 02:24:50

That's exactly how I sleep with DS, Poledra, curled in a C-shape around him. Of course, lately he's started doing this thing where he uses me as a mattress - he sort of wiggles around and then stretches out like a starfish, with his head thrown back and resting on the pillow right beside my head and arched over me. It looks like he couldn't be remotely comfortable (and certainly isn't for me!!) but if I don't move he could easily stay there for half an hour. He's also started crawling over me when I'm on my side and then putting his head down on my head and cuddling up to me - again, how can that be comfortable, I mean, my head isn't exactly squishy like a pillow, but he seems to like it. DH woke up and saw us like this and laughed his head off.

smurfette15 Tue 17-Feb-09 09:01:47

I was scared of co-sleeping too but when DS was waking every hour I tried it out of desperation and it was a life saver!! In fact, I didn't realize how many mums DO co-sleep. It feels so natural and you are very aware of you LO. I think recent research has suggested that if done correctly, co-sleeping babies are safer and mums breastfeed for longer

TinkerBellesMumandFiFi2 Tue 17-Feb-09 12:58:52

<waves back at JacksmamasLittleBundleOfLOve>

Babies feed more at night because the prolactin levels are highest so you make the best milk then and they know it. By feeding more often they don't go into the real deep sleep when they are at risk of forgetting to breathe which reduces their risk of SIDS. Cosleeping helps baby regulate their breathing so that they don't forget to breathe. Cosleeping means baby only wakes enough to find the nipple and Mum wakes enough to help baby along, rather than baby waking, grizzling (no answer), screaming, Mum and Dad waking with their heart pounding, trying to calm baby enough to get them on the breast, trying to calm down enough to go back to sleep.

I have always laughed when people have tried to tease me about sleep because I get more sleep when I have a newborn than I do normally.

JacksmamasLittleBundleOfLOve Tue 17-Feb-09 17:57:03

We were so rested when DS was newborn because we co-slept and people always wondered how we got so much sleep. It's not for everyone but it did work well for us.

McDreamy Tue 17-Feb-09 18:21:52

Well that all sounds encouraging, maybe i should give it a go.

A few questions first though.

1. Do you cover them with their own blanket rather than your duvet?

2. Where does your LO sleep? In between you and DH?

3. How long do you co sleep for?

4. Is it difficult to make the transition to their own bed?

smurfette15 Tue 17-Feb-09 19:11:17

DS sleeps on my side of the bed (HV advice) and I have put a toddler bed rail there (for my own piece of mind!). Don't cover her with your own duvet as she could overheat. I leave DS in his grobag, cover myself with the duvet but wrap it around me and tuck it between my knees so that it won't go over him (does that make sense??). Keep her away from the pillow too. You will probably find that you naturally curl around her with your lower arm just above her head (stops her sliding upwards to pillows) and your knees bent up (stops her sliding down). Her head will then be level with your breast. I found that feeding on your side does take some getting used to but it's worth it. I don't go into a deep sleep (do you ever with a newborn??!) and at least it means I don't have to freeze for however long it takes to feed him! grin.
I haven't tried to make the transition to the cot yet but will co-sleep with him for as long as my partner and I are happy. Good luck smile

JacksmamasBabyIsOneYearOld Tue 17-Feb-09 19:36:59

We started out with DS in a grobag. When he got older he didn't like his grobag anymore and just slept in a onesie (I think you call them vests) under my duvet. I pull the duvet up to my neck but make sure it only goes up to his waist, and it doesn't seem to shift around at night so I was never too worried about that (after the first few nights, anyway). We thought we would transition him into his cot between 6 and 9 months, if he was sleeping through, but he's still a big boob-man at night, and we're happy with him sleeping with us, so who knows when he'll graduate to his cot. We may have to turn into into a toddler bed before he'll sleep in it though - he hates the crib rails, I think he must think he's in jail when he's in the crib. He sleeps between us or on my side of the bed, and I have a travel bed rail on the side of my bed because he tumbled out one night blush - I hadn't realized he'd learned to roll over blush.

TinkerBellesMumandFiFi2 Wed 18-Feb-09 16:10:42

1. Do you cover them with their own blanket rather than your duvet?

Don't cover with yours it's too heavy. I sleep with the double as high as I can then have a single that I either wrap around my shoulders or put over the top of me

2. Where does your LO sleep? In between you and DH?

As long as you are in the cuddle curl position (natural position when you're breastfeeding, you won't need anyone to tell you that's the right way lol) it doesn't really matter as if dad rolls towards you he will lie on your arm first!

3. How long do you co sleep for?

As long as you are comfortable with it, see my next answer

4. Is it difficult to make the transition to their own bed?

With Tink I would put her in her own bed at night when she settled, I would bring her in when she woke the first time and keep her with me all night. The longer she went between feeds the more time she spent in her own bed. At the moment Fifi isn't going in her own bed yet but as she starts to be able to spend more time away from me when she's sleeping I'll start putting her down.

McDreamy Wed 18-Feb-09 16:18:55

Thank you all for your advice. I had a wonderful nights sleep last night as did Abigail. All your advice was spot on, I naturally slept curled around her, was semi aware of her the whole time.

She only fed once at about 3am, next time I looked at the clock it was 6am!!!! I feel great today and am not dreading tonight.

Co sleeping is the way ahead for us at the moment smile

TinkerBellesMumandFiFi2 Wed 18-Feb-09 16:21:05

I find when they're with you they're more settled so don't feed as much. Remember for a baby sleeping through is classed as 3-4 hours so it sounds like it's working perfectly for you!

JacksmamasBabyIsOneYearOld Wed 18-Feb-09 16:41:12

Yay McDreamy, that's lovely!! Isn't it great to wake up and not feel completely knackered?
And really, much as I love and adore my DH, there is nothing like cuddling your baby as night blush - hope he doesn't read this... but it's true, and I think completely biological.
I'm so pleased you tried co-sleeping despite being nervous and that it worked for you!

Did you nurse her lying on your side? One tip that really made a difference for my low back was to shove a pillow behind my low back so I had something to lean against while sleep-nursing. I found that out by accident when I nap-nursed with DS on the sofa and found my low back didn't bother me after and it was because I had the sofa back to lean against. So I tried the pillow the next night - much better!

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