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Waking every three hours

(14 Posts)
scgd Mon 27-Dec-10 20:15:23

Am I being unrealistic in expecting my 18wo ds to sleep more than 2.30-3 hours at a time during the night? He also expects boob each time to feed before resettling again. Am ebf. Ds was born at 36+3 so mw make him slightly younger don't know if that knowledge makes any difference! I only feed to sleep In the night also. I just feel that by now he should be sleeping for slightly longer periods or do I just have a bad sleeper??

Dreemagurl Mon 27-Dec-10 21:23:53

How long is he sleeping during the day? I'm no expert so hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to help but if he's sleeping for long periods during the day that might be affecting his night sleep. My 9 wk DD isn't great at daytime naps but she has a good 5 hrs at night before a feed and then another 4. Is he waking erratically, I.e not the same time every night? If so it's probably hunger and is either going through a growth spurt or not getting enough during the day. I tend to tank mine up in the evening and after a 10 o'clock feed she's down and sleeps till about 3.
Of course all babies are different and have different sleep patterns!
What works for us is having a set routine - bath, then feed in a darkened room, then shushing to sleep.
If he doesn't go any longer can you express into a bottle so your OH can do a feed in order for you to get a longer stretch of sleep?

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Mon 27-Dec-10 21:31:27

Sounds like my DS at that age, am afraid! It did get better around 6 months but sleep regressions etc meant he didn't maintain longer stretches regularly til a bit later.

Have you tried not feeding to sleep? On occasion I was able to do this and sometimes he woke and went back to sleep by himself (without crying, he just grumbled a bit - I was sleeping next to him). Might be worth having him close to you so he can sense you as he might want a feed for comfort

I'm not sure how early/late they're born matters. DS was 41+1 weeks and a big baby! And a terrible sleeper.

amijee Mon 27-Dec-10 21:38:30

Could you post more info? Such as:

bedtime routine and time of bedtime
freq feeds in day
daytime naps and how they happen
times of night time wake ups and what you do

scgd Mon 27-Dec-10 22:19:06

hi thanks for replies. i'll try and get as much info in as poss!

he doesnt sleep that well in the day. he has very short naps that last usually 25-30 mins. he will fall asleep on me (sometimes with a dummy. this is the only time i offer him one but he doesnt really know how to keep it in so its usually more hassle than its worth to even offer it) dep on where i am i will either put in cot, on on a chair, or just hold him. but wherever it is, the timings are usually the same. he sleeps on his tummy. he usually has these around 9.30, 1 ish and 4.30 ish. he used to have two long naps AM and PM but he soon stopped them.

i can express but my DH starts work very early so i dont like to bother him as he has a strenuous job and needs as much sleep as he can get.

i only feed to sleep at night, if i put him to bed without a feed wont he just be up soon after? have tried to get him to self soothe if he wakes but it doesnt work on him. he eventually gets himself into a state that i pick him up and put him back on the breast.

will post routine in a bit thx

scgd Mon 27-Dec-10 22:45:13

7-8 wakes.
Sleeps (or not...)'
We follow EASY routine but not always 4 hourly deep on his awake/nap sometimes the cycle comes round before 4 hrs IYSWIM.
We have tried bath routine but he hated it works himself up and totally unsettles him. He loves watching Night Garden on bedtime hour 6.20pm which we sit together for. Then we start winding down for bed for half seven ish. If he hasn't had his 3rd 'nap' by 4.30 I sit with him so he does. Otherwise he will not last much longer after 5 and that's too early For bed. I also feed him at 5 ish regardless of if he's due so that he gets that extra feed in before bed. I never have problems getting him down it's the staying Adler that's the problem

scgd Mon 27-Dec-10 22:48:08

Adler I mean asleep stupid predictive text sorry. Also when mentioning bath time it supposed to say hates bath not hated

amijee Mon 27-Dec-10 23:02:38

Does he have 4 hrly feeds int he day? How many feeds is he getting betwee 7am and 7pm? What time does he have the last feed of the night? What times is he waking in the night and what are you doing?

Why does he hate the bath? Could he be cold? It's a really useful bedtime tool as it serves to 1. relax most kids 2. extend the period of being awake without too much trouble as they generally enjoy it. What type of bath does he have? My Dc's all loved the bath support that went inside the tub as I was able to bath them hands free and they feel quite secure.

Does he go to sleep awake in day or is he rocked?

Sorry to ask more questions but I think it's all essential to know what's going on.

Incidentally, there is a sleep regression at 4 mths - or has he always been like this?

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Mon 27-Dec-10 23:45:23

I don't mean at bedtime - I meant when he wakes at night, have you tried not feeding? I used to get DH to resettle to give me a break. Only if DS woke after 2 hours though.

Sleep goes mad around 4/5 months but in your case it hasn't changed by the sounds of it!

It will pass - I'd keep him near you so the wakings are manageable. Also worth trying to put him down for naps a bit sooner than his usual times in case he's getting overtired.

TBH though sleep will change so much that I don't think there's much you can do except guide him into good habits (give him the chance to self settle after feeds for example). I speak from bitter experience!

scgd Tue 28-Dec-10 01:39:36

Amijee don't apologise for questions! He goes anywhere between 2.5 and 4 hours between daytime feeds.
He now had baths with dh but not daily he doesn't cry now until he gets out. Heating is usually on full blast so don't think he's cold but still cries which does not leave him relaxed and settled at all! Have been lOoking into some sort of bath chair for him so that we can bathe together. He has his feed before bed around seven ish falls asleep on boob have tried but never been able to put him down whist still awake. He is also held until he falls asleep in the day. When he woke earlier after just ten mins I knew he wasn't hungry so tried to just hold him, he was busy rooting around and when he realised there was nothing began almost growling at me in annoyance!?!
I would reckon he prob feeds approx 6 times during the day bit is very rough. Doesn't ever have less than 5 x

scgd Tue 28-Dec-10 01:49:16

Igglystuffedfullofturkey I think you are right re teaching him good habits I'm pretty sure ds has a lot of bad ones when it comes to me! If he could he would prob stay quite happily comfort suckling all night and because I've always fed when he Wakes he has come to expect it to settle back down, if not to feed but for the reassurance it brings? As I said in above post he was almost growling at me earlier when I didn't offer the breast (so I did and the bad habits continue...)!

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Tue 28-Dec-10 06:36:56

He might be genuinely hungry. But there's nothing wrong with giving comfort - I used to do it every 2 hours. Sometimes as they get older, it's worth checking if he's waking properly by giving him a minute (obv if he kicks off then he needs you) before resettling. Also when I say teaching good habits -'doesn't mean you're in bad habits now, just give him the chance to self settle every now and then and he might surprise you! I used to feed and wind DS and sometimes I could put him down drowsy and pat to sleep in his cot, other times he'd go down awake or sometimes I'd rock him after a feed. Then it gradually became that he would self settle.

But things like teething, illness etc will mean he needs more help so I wouldn't worry too much. It does get easier as they get a bit older. Just try and survive now - it is normal, I promise!

amijee Tue 28-Dec-10 07:38:06

ok - few issues here.

Firstly he is still fairly freq in day so good chance he is genuinely hungry at night.

Secondly, I would try to put him down awake both for nap time and day times. The easiest way to do this is pat him on the bottom and sshh him ( he is on his front, isn't he?) Doing this at bedtime is probably the most important time so even if he falls asleep on the boob, try to wake him up thru burping/putting on sleeping bag etc.

With his night feeds, have a minimum interval of 3 hs bet feeds to start with and increase this slowly by 15 mims every few days to 4 hrly but leave it here until you are sure he can go longer.

scgd Tue 28-Dec-10 17:10:34

Hi ladies thanks for early replies :-) we used to do sshhh pat and it worked brilliantly but hasn't done for a while. Last night had a little breakthrough (maybe?)
Ds went to bed 7.30
Woke at 22.30 for a feed
Woke at 01.10 (dh fault but fed anyway)
Woke at 04.20 for a feed
Woke AGAIN at 5.30. Knew wasn't hungry so turned cot mobile on. He fussed for about 30mins then fell asleep until just before 9 :-) I DID NOT NEED TO GET HIM OUT TO SOOTHE

Will try again tonight if he wakes when I know he doesn't need a feed but won't get excited just yet

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