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3 Week Old ... HELP!

(51 Posts)
lovinit Mon 18-Jul-05 04:46:42

DD is now over 7lbs and I am having huge problems in getting her to stay awake during the day and take big enough feeds during the day, which leads to her waking constantly during the night. I am currently doing the 10pm feed with EBM of around 3-4 oz and she still wakes another 3 times between then and 7am ... It is tiring me out so much !!!! Any tips on how to reverse the day/night cycle ???

Any advice welcome ! Also, I am roughly following GF as I did with DD1 , but not strictly.

Fran1 Mon 18-Jul-05 07:44:12

It will happen. Gently start using day and night routines. e.g bath, curtains shut, bedtime feed with lights out.
Shes only 3 weeks old she probably needs those three feeds in the night. As she gets older she will need it less, and find daytime more interesting to wake up to.

Try and nap as much as you can during the day, switch off to the house work etc and just get your sleep whenever you can.

Nik72 Mon 18-Jul-05 07:53:37

I think dd was nearer 6 weeks before she got anything like a day/night cycle I'm afraid. Try taking her out in the pram every afternoon - apparently the natural light is supposed to help get them sleeping better at night by improving the circadian rhythm.
Sympathies - it's knackering but it will get better.

tiktok Mon 18-Jul-05 08:31:27

Lovinit, none of what you say is unusual in a three week baby. The ideas in the other two replies you have are worth doing, but you might just find your little girl changes her pattern round all by herself whatever you do.

Think about whether it is worth bothering with the expressing and preparation you need to do to get and give that bottle of EBM, too. If you want to make life easier, then how about just bf her at that time?

bumpylump Mon 18-Jul-05 09:08:02

The heat is also going to be making your little one more sleepy in the daytime too at the moment, so things will get better. I found changing where ds sleeps in the daytime helped, he sleeps in his swing or pushchair in the day and only goes in his cot after 7pm.

chipmonkey Mon 18-Jul-05 13:07:53

lovinit, are you just expressing because of the Gina Forde thing or for another reason?

lovinit Tue 19-Jul-05 00:25:29

Tks for the advice.

I am expressing because I am convinced that she does not take enough during the day, thus is needing to feed more at night. It is a pain , but I am just trying to see if it helps. Also, as with lots of BF mums, I am afraid that the milk supply is low. It stresses me out so much that I want to at least take that concern away.

Last night was better, she woke at 2am, and I fed her then she woke at 5am, fed her but she had a snack feed then woke at 6am again. It must be that witching hour. Do you think that I should try and settle her back at 5am and make her learn to wait till 6am which would then be ideal ? She has been gaining good weight and so should not need 2 feeds during the night right ? I do not think that I shld feed at 5 and 6am , so one of those has to go. Is it ok to give water to settle her ?

QueenOfQuotes Tue 19-Jul-05 00:30:58

You milk supply won't be low - she'll get as much as she needs from your breast.
Give her milk whenever she wants it - DS1 used to feed every 2hrs (1hr feeds ) with an hours sleep inbetween during the night until he was a couple of months old (but he was also a particularly bad sleeper).

It's normal for (breastfed especially) babies to drink more during the night - she WILL grow out of it.

tiktok Tue 19-Jul-05 09:26:32

lovinit, I think it might help you to talk to other bf mothers - maybe there is a bf support group near you? - as your expectations for a three week old baby are very high....perfectly normal for her to wake at five and then at 6...maybe the six o'clock was an extension of the 5 am feed, or maybe she was thirsty these hot mornings,or maybe she wanted a cuddle as she woke and with bf, cuddles and bf go together.

She definitely does not need water, and what a hassle to prepare it and give it

You may find things easier not to bother with the expressing and botte of EBM - just go with the flow and let her settle into her own routine, which will 'order' the milk in line with her needs.

tiktok Tue 19-Jul-05 09:28:48

Why do you think you 'shoudn't feed' at 5 and then 6? I'd be concerned that trying to settle her back again without feeding might distress her, allow her to be thirsty/hungry, have a negative impact on your milk it worth it?

lovinit Tue 19-Jul-05 13:32:26

IHi Tiktok,

I guess that I am nervous that I may create bad associations that each time she wakes that she will get fed when unneccesary and also encourage too much nightime feeding. This is because this happened with DD1 and I really did feel very exhausted and depressed with the situation after 4 months of it ... and I want to avoid the same happening this time. DD1 would feed mainly at night and it was hard to reverse this . I know I sound harsh to you, but I feel that in the long term that if I try and help DD2 into a good routine that we will all be better off and I will have the necessary enery to cope especially with an active 22 month old toddler to look after as well .

tiktok Tue 19-Jul-05 15:43:25

No, you don't sound harsh, lovinit, just tired and pressured, and with huge expectations that cannot be met without a lot of hassle.

Your baby is three weeks old. Less than a month ago she was inside you, feeding and sleeping whenever.....she can and will grow to understand that feeding and sleeping can take place at certain times, but at three weeks old she needs to learn your love, your responsiveness, your comforting and your flexibiity more than she needs to learn 'good associations'.

You can teach her the other stuff later - and a lot more easily, too. Meantime, give yourself a break and stop fighting the natural and understandable needs of a tiny baby, who doesn't have a clue that 5 am in the morning is not a great time to wake!! I strongly believe that it is easier like this, both in the short term and the long term

tiktok Tue 19-Jul-05 17:18:25

Just another point, lovinit - this little one may be totally different from her elder sister, for all sorts of reasons. Your dd1's sleeping may have had nothiing to do with what you did or didn't do

lovinit Wed 20-Jul-05 02:15:12

Thanks Tiktok. I do understand what you are saying and agree but am just tired and feeling low. I also know that my tiredness is making me snap with DD1 and I feel awful for doing that !

How long do you think that I should let things be until I try and settle her into a routine ?

bobbybob Wed 20-Jul-05 04:21:37

At 3 weeks old, she simply hasn't forged the right brain connections to associate anything with anything - except her instinctive association of mummy and comfort.

Any time taken trying to "teach" her anything will be wasted, so just keep her next to you if she has a snack feed and get a little nap in before she wants the rest.

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 11:13:12

lovinit, don't even think about a routine as some Big Deal you decide on at some specific moment. Just see what she does naturally and when it feels a good time, you can start bathing her at the same time each evening (for example) and feeding her afterwards, and then gradually move to a (flexible and responsive) feeding time from then. You are worried, I think, that it will all go pear shaped and uncontrollable - if you lower your expectations and compromise a bit, following your baby's lead, things may be easier than you think.

TuttiFrutti Wed 20-Jul-05 11:43:28

Lovinit, when I read your first message I couldn't believe it because this could have been me a few weeks ago. My baby is now 12 weeks old, and I have tried to follow the Gina Ford routine all the way through, but the first few weeks were really hard and at 3 weeks he was always waking at 2am and then again at 5am.

Stick with it - it does get better! For the past 2 weeks my ds has been sleeping right through the night. He now recognises the routine and knows that bathtime means that his last feed and bed is coming. He is entirely breast fed, like your baby, and I think this does mean progress on dropping feeds is a bit slower - but it will happen so don't give up!

Babies learn by association, so if you can do all the "night time" things like drawing the curtains every time you want the baby to sleep, she will (eventually!) learn what this means.

tiktok Wed 20-Jul-05 12:16:06

Tutti - your baby could well have got to that stage without you putting in the effort to 'teach' him in the early weeks

lovinit Wed 20-Jul-05 12:19:44

Tiktok, you are right , I should lower my expectations ! I will try and chill and take it as it comes but still try and use the GF routine as a guideline.

Tuttifrutti, 12 weeks seems a long time away.!!! DD2 last night did 2/4/6am ! Anyways, will chill like I said and hope that things fall into place . I do the bedtime routine already, so we'll see !

Tks for all the support !

chipmonkey Wed 20-Jul-05 13:22:41

lovinit, I've never really had a routine as such with any of my 3 babies but I got The Baby Whispere book by Tracy Hogg and her EASY routing looks a lot more realistic than Gina Forde IMO. There's no "schedule" as such and it is more baby-led. Worth looking into maybe?

Mojomummy Wed 20-Jul-05 13:51:44

I can understand you trying to get organised, (I'm a GF fan) however I agree with other mums, with not bothering with the EBM. Your baby will love to get the comfort from BF & introducing the bottle may lead to her rejecting the breast ?

I would sleep when she sleeps so you can get rested & maybe in a few weeks time start getting her into the GF routine with the day times naps ? I think we started with the daytimes naps when DD was about 6/7/8 weeks old

lovinit Thu 21-Jul-05 04:01:59

Another bad night ! What should I do if DD2 wakes at 2 am then 5am and then 6am ? Should I really be feedingg her at 6am again ? She wakes up and immediately wants to suck ...maybe I can introduce a dummy ? This morning she sucked on and off for an hour, which was exhausting, then at 8am would not settle unless I gave her the breast but then she promptly brought it back up .

Advice and support still desperately needed !

bobbybob Thu 21-Jul-05 05:07:42

Are you bringing her back to bed to feed - I can highly recommend it.

Maybe she is just a morning person.

blossom2 Thu 21-Jul-05 08:05:33

i'm so sorry you had a bad night lovinit. i don't have any advice since i'm in the same boat at the moment but you do have my sympathies.

i personally would feed her in order to get some sleep .... but at the moment i would do anything to get some sleep .....

thinking of you ... let us know if you need anything ....

tiktok Thu 21-Jul-05 08:59:47

lovinit - what is wrong with feeding her again at 6 am? Sorry - I just don't get it. Isn't it easier just to feed her once more, without getting up and out of bed yourself, rather than trying to settle her back without a feed? She might settle with a dummy, but you still have to put it in for her....and if she is hungry or thirsty (and she might be - the mornings are very warm, as well as the fact that she may just be needing a big feed in the mornings and she has to take it in two bursts!) she will not settle for long.

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