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baby falling asleep at breast, but not in crib....

(11 Posts)
Beantin Tue 24-Feb-09 10:14:52

6 days old baby keeps sleeping badly - falling asleep when at the breast and then sleeping for ten mins in his moses basket before wanting feeding again. Have tried best to keep him awake on breast through recommended techniques, but little working. Only seems to sleep on sofa in daylight with cushion for protection and won't settle anywhere else. I don't have a chance to nap as won't sleep anywhere I feel secure leaving him and never sure if I'll get to bed only to be woken up 10 mins later. Breasts tired of constant feeding and keep losing track which breast, etc.
Sorry for long post, but wondered if any thoughts/hints other than 'will settle down'....

tiktok Tue 24-Feb-09 10:19:36

Hi, Beantin. This is normal and good - your baby was inside you less than a week ago, and being close to you, smelling you, touching you, hearing you, and being aware of you is familiar and soothing.

This changes as he learns about the world and gains confidence in it - and the best way for him to gain confidence is to respond to his normal, natural needs to be close at the moment.

It is easier to change your own life and expectations to match, than to change his life and expectations (you being the grown up!)

You can try co-sleeping (check out the safety guidance), and you can try drafting in another helper for the skin-to-skin closeness (baby's dad?) which the baby will probably accept except when desperate for you!

It can be a demanding phase, but it is temporary. There is no need to try to keep him awake on the breast, and it is unkind to do this if he really wants to sleep (IMO).

Hope this helps

tiktok Tue 24-Feb-09 10:20:43

Oh, just a point - him sleeping on the sofa with a cushion is not safe, unless you are there the whole time, watching.

Niecie Tue 24-Feb-09 10:29:18

Hi Beantin - Congratulations on your new baby boy!

You little boy is awfully young. Unfortunately for your and your ability to sleep it is too soon to expect him to be settled in any way.

The first few weeks are very hard. When my fist was 6 days old I didn't have your trouble but then I didn't get out of bed until lunchtime! He was exactly the same as your DS and wouldn't sleep for more than a few minutes in his moses basket. So have you tried feeding him whilst in bed? Get really comfy and then if he falls asleep after a feed you can nod off whilst you are holding him. It worked for us although if I tried to lie him down next to me he didn't like it.

Alternatively you could try a sling. I didn't have MN to look to when DS1 was young and didn't try him in one until he was months old and he hated it, but if you start earlier you might have more success than me. Babies do tend to settle better if they are close to you so being in a sling means that you can keep him safe and let him sleep without having to lie him in a cool flat moses basket - they must seem very weird places to him when until 6 days ago he was curled up and warm inside you.

It does get easier though. Honestly smile

Beantin Tue 24-Feb-09 11:04:04

am watching him on the sofa - wouldn't dare leave the room

tiktok Tue 24-Feb-09 11:11:32

I am sure you are - but I needed to put that in, just in case

What do you feel about the other replies?

oopsagain Tue 24-Feb-09 11:12:33


And OMG, I remember this so well.
I want to send you a big big hug and say this is normal.
he's still so little and jsut wants warmth and milk, that's it.

Get a sling and wrap him up close to you whilst you do your stuff around the house and enevn whilst you sit down.
The constant feeding is a real shock to the systme and it's a bit stressful havhing a baby attatched to you either feeding or sleeping all the time. I do know.
But baby jsut needs you and isn't used to being on his own.

Gradullay, as he gets older he will be more independant and learn to self settle in the crib etc.

But for now- i think a good quality wrap sling will keep him conforted and safe and allow you a bit more freedom.

I also learned to feed lying down and would go to bed with ds2 for alot othe after noon, we'd doze and feed and I'd listen to the radio. it was quite dreamy really smile

with ds1 i was too wound up to sleep and rest... but you CAN do it with your first.

I's hard- last week you were pleasing yourself and this week you are just a boob and a warm place for baby to sleep on.

I look back at those days with horror and fondness.
it will change and life will get easier and he will learn... good luck

dinkystinky Tue 24-Feb-09 11:28:33

My DS1 was exactly the same; co sleeping was the answer for us for the first couple of weeks. I also found that he'd sleep in his crib for short naps if he was swaddled (so it felt like he was being cuddled) and it had one of my worn tops in it. Now have DS2 who is 2 weeks old and is exactly the same - so its back to cosleeping and swaddling again. And lying down breastfeeding is great if you can manage it - try and keep the room nice and dim so both you and your baby stay nice and sleepy. And good luck.

Beantin Tue 24-Feb-09 12:20:51

MW visit interrupted....

Have heard that lying down with him will help. Am a bit worried about falling asleep with him so close though

Niecie Tue 24-Feb-09 12:47:09

Beantin I understand your worries about not wanting to fall asleep with him so close but it will be fine. So long as he is in no danger of being smothered by a duvet or a pillow it is highly unlike you would roll over on top of him or hurt him. I don't think, unless we are under the influence of drugs or alcohol that mothers sleep as well or as deeply once they have a baby - you are always aware of them, even if you are asleep.

You have to trust yourself to go to sleep or you will end up in a bit of an exhausted heap.

FWIW, I never mastered the art of feeding lying down - it always made me sore, which is why I suggested propping yourself up with loads of pillows so that if you both fall asleep your DS would stay lying across you and you would both be fully supported. Even if he did manage to roll off, which is unlikely in a new born, he would simply roll onto the bed.

Did your HV have anything useful to add?

Niecie Tue 24-Feb-09 12:49:24

Sorry not HV, MW - did she have anything to suggest?

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