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Any tips for settling eight wo baby at night please?

(15 Posts)
messylittlemonkey Wed 19-May-10 12:14:02

Hello

Our DD2 is eight and a bit weeks old and has become unsettled at night in the past week or so. She has a good routine but has started having trouble getting back to sleep at night and has also started waking more.

She goes to her cot around 6.45 and usually gets to sleep by herself fairly quickly as she is tired at this point. We normally wake her at 10.30 for a feed, although recently she has started waking before this time. She usually settles back to sleep after this feed and HAD been going through til 3.30/4am before waking again, but recently she has woken around 2am. She will settle back to sleep, but only if we take her into our bed which I don't like doing for various reasons. She will then go to 3.30/4am before we need to feed her. After that feed she is ending up back in our bed as she can't settle to sleep gain in her cot.

As I said, we don't want to make co-sleeping a regular thing. Our bed isn't big enough for it to be comfortable and it just isn't something I really want to do.

I'm feeling a bit stressed as she's been winding up in our bed for the past week now and I want to put a stop to it.

I'm planning to camp next to her cot tonight if she won't settle and am determined not to bring her into our bed!

What would you do?

LadyBiscuit Wed 19-May-10 12:24:47

I wouldn't worry that you'll get her into bad habits now. Babies feeding patterns change a lot when they're this age - I used to just watch telly with mine sleeping on me in the evenings and then put them to bed when I went to bed.

messylittlemonkey Wed 19-May-10 13:19:44

Thanks Ladybiscuit.

TBH though, I think it's important to have some sort of routine from the off and my LO does her best stretch of night sleeping btw 7pm and 10.30pm! Also, I think it's important to have a bit of time to ourselves when the children are in bed, but that's just my way and it's each to their own of course - whatever works, eh?!

TurtleAnn Wed 19-May-10 13:54:05

We just fed our son whenever he woke up, he learnt that waking up meant a feed and now he doesn't wake up. Whenever he had difficulty settling (about nice a month) we popped him the bjorn and went for a long evening walk and he was soon off to sleep.
Slept through from 5 till 8 months then had teething issues, so we put Calpol in the milk when feeding at night and now he sleeps through again, only waking when teething for a few nights in the month (13 months now).
I am a big fan of whatever works for you and your child, trial and error.

tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 19-May-10 14:03:02

Holy crap, at 8 weeks you have a set bedtime, a dream feed four hours later and then generally she'll sleep for another 4-5 hours?

envy

I think you aren't doing anything wrong, and in fact you are either doing something a lot more right than I did or you have lucked out with your child. Eight weeks is tiny tiny, she's barely born. Don't worry about habits. Honestly, we fed on demand, we co-slept on and off depending on what was easiest, we never had a routine of any sort, and it all worked out fine. She's gone back and forth depending on her needs, nothing we've done has ingrained any habits. At 16 months she prefers to be put down awake, she purses up her lips to be given a goodnight kiss, and then she clutches her teddy, waves and says 'byebye' and I tell her I love her and leave the room. It's like a parenting fantasy.

You asked WWYD. I'd bring her into bed and enjoy the snuggles.

LadyBiscuit Wed 19-May-10 14:04:28

I found that trying to have a routine from the off just made my life unbelievably stressful and it was all a lot better when I just fed on demand and worked around the baby. I don't think they really have a clue about what's going on until they are about 3 months anyway and loads of books scare you into thinking that if you don't do it from the outset then your children will be utter nightmares and that isn't true.

But that's just my opinion/experience and it's some time since I had a baby

messylittlemonkey Wed 19-May-10 15:10:35

Thanks again.

As you may have gathered, I'm all for a bit of structure! Keeps me sane and worked well for DD1 form a young age (she's almost 5 now), so I know it's worth pursuing with DD2. Plus, I need to have routine because DD1 has to be at pre school for a certain time, collected at a certain time etc... so I'm not able to work solely around the baby. Routine doesn't have to be like a military operation, it's more just a case of doing same things at roughly the same times each day.

I appreciate everyones' thoughts!

AngelDog Wed 19-May-10 20:16:43

What I would do: just feed her every time (assuming she's bf, that is; don't know about formula feeding).

But if you're convinced she's not hungry, try patting her back/bottom and shushing in her ear, and/or rocking her - it may help her to get drowsy. A dummy might help.

IME most babies' night feeding / sleeping patterns are pretty random for the first few months, and will be affected by growth/developmental spurts. There is commonly one of these at around 8 weeks: see here. If this is affecting night waking, there's not much you can do.

I'm stunned at the prospect of an eight week old who can get herself to sleep at bedtime! If my DS could manage it by the time he gets to 9 months I'd be happy.

gettingbiggerbytheday Fri 23-Sep-11 21:17:54

AngelDog I'm really glad you said that, because I've been panicking that my 7 week old is the only baby who can't get herself to sleep!

I keep reading things that suggest that I'm commiting parental skills suicide by not putting her down awake. But she just doesn't sleep! She just stays awake and then when she's really tired screams, until she's picked up and settles quickly on my shoulder. Does anyone else do this and worry that they're doing the wrong thing? I'm not sure just how big a mistake I'm making.

Messylittlemonkey - have you tried having a hot water bottle in her cot for a minute or 2 before putting her back in? Or putting a comforter in with her (which you've previously stuffed down your top for a day so it smells of you?) Neither of these make my little girl go to sleep in her cot, but they do make her stay asleep in it.

Octaviapink Sat 24-Sep-11 13:12:03

Feed her to sleep, and do NOT make the mistake of assuming that what worked for your first will work for your second. DD1 may have got on well with a routine, DD2 may hate it. Expecting an 8wo to do the same thing every day at the same time is setting you and her up for failure.

gettingbigger - small babies nearly always need to be rocked to sleep, and in fact if they do need it then it's harmful for them not to get it, so you do what you need to do! Ignore ANY book that tells you not to pick up your baby!!

bananarama05 Sat 24-Sep-11 16:08:32

gettingbigger my 17 week dd generally falls asleep on me most nights before I put her down still. I just enjoy the cuddles and have half arsed started trying to put her down awake during the day but don't worry too much.

Best bit of parenting advice I've seen so far was from MN, ignore all the nonsense about rods and backs etc, somethings only a problem, if its a problem to you. Like I said, I enjoy the cuddles but each to their own and I've only got the 1 to worry about as the op said!

tozzap Sun 25-Sep-11 19:40:39

messylittlemoneky - I'm intrigued as to what happened in the end - did she learn to settle herself back to sleep? Did it all turn out OK in the end? I've now got an 8wo who I'm rocking to sleep at all sleeps (unless he falls asleep on the boob) but with two other children to look after and try and read stories to etc, I'm also after some good tips. I dont mind the rocking if it will improve on its own soon, but I'd love to have some time for my others in the evenings too.

tozzap Sun 25-Sep-11 19:40:53

messylittlemoneky - I'm intrigued as to what happened in the end - did she learn to settle herself back to sleep? Did it all turn out OK in the end? I've now got an 8wo who I'm rocking to sleep at all sleeps (unless he falls asleep on the boob) but with two other children to look after and try and read stories to etc, I'm also after some good tips. I dont mind the rocking if it will improve on its own soon, but I'd love to have some time for my others in the evenings too.

Tryharder Sun 25-Sep-11 22:32:32

I would have no expectations at all with regard to behaviour or routine for an 8 week old baby. You do what you do to keep them happy, safe and well fed.

NinkyNonker Mon 26-Sep-11 10:41:08

She's 8 wks old, really truly don't try to impose a rigid structure on her, she isn't meant to be away from you for long. Their sleep patterns change all the time, at 8 wks dd slept like yours, then the 4 mo sleep regression hit and it all changes. You can't enforce it, doing so will only make her miserable.

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