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Getting baby into a routine when breasfeeding

(12 Posts)
gemmac1 Sat 10-Oct-09 12:50:35

Hi can anybody please help me. My dd is 6 weeks old and I need to know if there is anyway I can get her settled into more of a regular routine whilst still breastfeeding? During the day she seems to be consantly attached to me and is just feeding when she feels like it. I do give her a bottle at night for her middle of the night feed.

anothercoldcupoftea Sat 10-Oct-09 13:16:23

Hi gemma - I think it is possible to get a BF newbie into a routine despite what many might say, but I think it depends on your definition of routine as it changes all the time as they grow anyway, and of course needs to reflect the needs of your DD primarily.

I've done it twice loosely based on the dreaded gina ford routines (ducks) (disclaimer, would totally ignore her breastfeeding advice about fixed number of minutes etc). You just need to make sure you treat all night feeds as night feeds, get them up at roughly the same time each day (eg 7am), and make sure they are not awake for too long in any one session (will depend on your DD, but at 6 weeks probably 1-1.5 hours or so unless she's particularly spritely), aim for a morning, long lunchtime, then an afternoon nap, and aim for a bedtime by eg 7pm as well - all just common sense really rather than a fixed 'special' routine. You just observe what your DD seems to want to do, and then try to tweak here and there to fit in with what you want as well.

However, I think its a possibility that your DD is permanently attached to you in the day because of the bottle at night. I'm sure someone more knowledgable will be along to help, but from what I recall its the night feeds in the early days that are particularly helpful in keeping your supply up. If you've dropped them, then your supply could be a bit low in the day, hence the constant feeding? Just a thought, ignore me if I'm wrong.

Also, I would say that although its good to start trying for a bit of routine at 6 weeks, you shouldn't expect miracles! They're still pretty teeny tiny and can't wait if they are hungry or tired. Good luck...

TanteRose Sat 10-Oct-09 13:26:16

also, remember 6 weeks is a big growth spurt, so she will be needing the constant feeding...wait a few days and she may well settle into feeding at slightly longer intervals..

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 10-Oct-09 13:30:53

I loosely based our routine around the baby whisperer one. EASY. Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time (?!).

I found that I wasn't spotting when ds was tired so would just feed him when he really wanted a nap!

This helped me suss that bit out and then I could see that a pattern was emerging. Of course it changes all the time as they get bigger, have growth spurts etc, but it did mean that things became a bit more predictable which I liked.

I agree about the night time bottle being a potential problem though so be careful about that.

gemmac1 Mon 12-Oct-09 15:21:50

Thanks everyone.

I have found that giving my dd a bottle for her night feed does help her sleep longer than if I bf and it dosnt seem to be affecting my supply at all....I seem to have too much milk if thats possible (hmm).

Daytimes to tend to follow a usual routine of her waking at 7ish then feeding. Her morning feeding is more like 'snacking' though, with short feeds interupted with little naps. By lunchtime though she seems to have settled more and will feed for longer and have a proper luchtime and late afternoon nap. Its just the middle of the night now that is causing problems. Most nights we have her settled down and asleep for 9, then she will sleep till 1.30 ish, waking to be fed and sleeping again till 4.30 ish, at this point I usually end up bf and then she will wake every hour till 7 for a small feed?????

This has only started to happen in the last week though before this she was waking at around 2.30, having a bottle and going back to sleep till 7????

Where am I going wrong?

anothercoldcupoftea Mon 12-Oct-09 19:06:17

Ah gemma, there's a question smile. I wish I knew. My DD2 was sleeping through like yours until about 3 months, but since then has been getting worse, a bit like the pattern you describe (didn't have this problem with DD1 at all). It's either hunger, sleep associations (i.e. not being able to settle back at night herself), or too much/too little daytime sleep. I've been trying different things for the last 6 weeks to try to work out which, with no luck so far.

Only thing that strikes me about what you say is that 9pm seems like quite a late bedtime if she's starting the day at around 7am - she may be getting too tired and so won't sleep as well?

Hope someone more helpful comes along - just posting so you don't feel like the only one!

littleweed10 Mon 12-Oct-09 19:21:25

hi gemma
just a thought, if you try to bring forward her bedtime a little, then she'll wake up for her next feed at a time before midnight - or you can dream feed her about 10pm (when you might be going to bed) this way, you might get a decent stretch of sleep before she wakes up for another nightime/ early morning feed.

to be honest, I think she's doing exaclty what my little one did (5 months now)- even a little bit more civilised (ie less wake ups!)
We were putting him down for bed around 9:30 for the first 4-5 weeks or so, then felt inspired by other new mums to try an earlier bedtime of 7pm. It worked... much to my surprise!! he would then wake about 12:30 for a feed, then at that point around 2-3 further times for feeds.

gemmac1 Tue 13-Oct-09 10:31:23


We have tried to get her to sleep before 9 but with no joy. Although she does seem to be a bit colicky this past week or so, so maybe thats why she wont sleep???

A few people have said it may be down to her having a growth spurt tho?

Last night was better tho, she slept from 9.30 till 12.30, fed, then woke again at 4.30, fed and was up at 7.15. The problem at the minite seems to be getting her to sleep. She will fight it no matter how tired she is and get herself worked up. You can see her struggling to keep her eyes open but she just wont give in and go to sleep.

anothercoldcupoftea Tue 13-Oct-09 10:43:50

The problem is, the more tired they are, the more they fight it! So the earlier you can get her down for a sleep the better - DD1 always gave a good yawn as a cue for 'put me down now otherwise its too late', but my DD2 doesn't show many signs of tiredness, so I go by the clock as well (ie no more than 2.5 hours in the morning etc, at 4.5 months). Also worth looking at how you are getting her to sleep to make sure she isn't getting dependant on being rocked/fed to sleep etc (which is fine of course, but only if you always want to have to get her to sleep this way!).

Sounds like its getting better though - most things are usually because of a growth spurt!

littleweed10 Tue 13-Oct-09 10:47:21

when you do the last feed b4 bed, do you do it upstairs, perhaps bath, lights off/dim whilst doing last feed, playing a lullaby - ie let her know its bedtime? Believe me, when we put him in the cot even now, he doesn't just go to sleep unfortunately! it did take quite a lot of perserverence at the beginning. It took a lot of courage for me to put him in the cot awake, as he always fed himself to sleep on me, or I rocked him to sleep then put him down in the cot. But then he woke up roaring when I put him down. And as someone pointed out to me, you dont want to be rocking him to sleep in your arms when he's a stone or two!
Also, in the evenings, we used to take him for a walk around 6 o'clock ish in the pushchair or sling. its hard now its getting darker, but we try to do quite claming things with alex before bedtime, try to not have the tv blaring, the lights on full blast etc, as we find that too much stimulation gets him a bit too overtired/ over stimulated
Also have you got a baby sling? we found we could calm him down in this if he was getting fractious b4 bed, sometimes he'd have a little nap in this. This little nap then seemed to calm him down enough to go to sleep for nightime. In fact I;ve used the sling this morning for 1/2 hour when I knew he was tired, but wasn't ready for a nap. he started yawning in the sling, then I put him down in the cot and he's asleep now - hurrah!.

Lastly, not everyone will agree with it, but we started using a dummy at around 5 weeks to help him settle at night. For us it was a very useful tool - and a bit of a relief from all the crying! Particularly with colic, we found once we calmed him a little he used to suck on the dummy. Or if you're not keen on the idea of a dummy, he also sucked on my little finger which calmed him alot too (its just you're then a bit more attached to him!!).

littleweed10 Tue 13-Oct-09 10:49:50

ps completely agree with cold cup of tea - you're having identikit experience re daytime naps, and watching for signs. The biggest mistake I've found is to keep them going , and really all they need is a nap. The biggest lesson for me was that I found my little one needed help getting to sleep, he doesn't just do it unfortunately.

gemmac1 Sat 17-Oct-09 11:44:07

Thanks for the advice everyone!!!

I have now moved DD's bedtime feed to 7pm to try and have her asleep by 8pm, any earlier and she wouldnt see my partner at all during the week!! I am taking her into the bedroom for this feed, having no lights on excpet the tv on low in the background and just speaking to her quietly. She does usually tend to fall asleep on me but wakes as soon as I put her down. I have been trying to just leave her and have left the room and returned 10 mins later, and for the past few days she has usally got herself back off to sleep .

She has now gone back to only waking at roughly 2.30am for a feed and then sleeping again till 7ish, so fingers crossed she will stay like this.

I think the upset in her 'routine' and the waking more in the night was down to her being a bit offside??? She has a cold and may have been struggling to breathe but now we have got nose drops from the doctor for her which seem to be helping.

The daytime napping still seems to be an issue though....she is too scared of missing anything!!! No matter how sleepy she is she wont give in to it at all.......unless you put her in the pram and take her out.

I will just have to try harder with that one. Thanks again for your advice everyone.

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