Feeding to sleep(24 Posts)
I think I'm being a slightly neurotic first time mum and would appreciate views. My DS is 2 weeks old and wakes a lot in the night (every hour or so early on then every couple of hours). I feed on demand which means that I end up feeding to sleep very night, then putting in Moses basket when asleep. He's normally ok for an hour/couple of hours, then wakes regularly (every couple of hours at least) and won't settle in basket again. We've started co -sleeping, following guidelines.
- am I doing something wrong by feeding to sleep? Some things I've read suggest this associates feeding with sleep and this is why he needs feeding to settle in the night after waking.
- if so, how can you avoid feeding to sleep? They are basically the only 2 thins he does at the moment!
- is it normal to have this sort of sleeping pattern? He sleeps for longer stretches in the day.
I'm so tired and worried I'm doing it all wrong. Any words of wisdom gratefully received!!
Congratulations! Feeding to sleep is fine. Enjoy it while you can cos they don't do it forever. Likewise for co-sleeping. There will come a point when you feel ready to stop co-sleeping and you'll find a way to settle him in the cot. It might take a little time and you might need to research methods but it will come.
As for not sleeping for long at night is obviously cos he is hungry. How long does he feed before nodding off? Is he having both boobs? Some babies (my ds included) find being so close to mummy the ultimate in comfort and doze off without their fill of milk. There are different techniques to help this including stripping the baby naked so they are too chilly to fall asleep ( sounds cruel but he won't be freezing, just awake), feeding on one side then changing nappy to rouse them before giving the other boob, tickling feet, blowing on their face and I'm sure there are others which will be suggested soon.
Don't worry about the other stuff. He's only 2 weeks. Make the most of the cuddles!
I would make sure that lights are on and it's noisy for daytime feeds and naps and then quiet and dark for bedtime. Keep night feeds as dull as you can and keep all the lights off if possible! It takes a few weeks for them to get the hang on night and day. Congrats on your new baby!
This may be controversial, but if baby sleeps for long periods during the day, I think there is something to be said for gently helping them get day and night the right way round, for example really encouraging them to stay awake for daytime feeds, perhaps waking them for feeds after 4 hours or so, and making the daytime environment bright, nighttime dark etc. All the methods angelik suggests to help ensure baby has full feeds each time, and tanking up in the early evening, worked for us.
Congratulations and enjoy newborn snuggles too
Thanks for tips. Really struggling tonight with baby being sick and not settling so have moved to sofa for an hour while DH has him. No idea how going to cope when DH goes back to work. I feel like I've made a huge mistake, even though I love him lots.
I agree with what the others have said. You are absolutely doing the right thing by feeding in the night. Remember he has only been in the world for a couple of weeks, at the moment he just needs lots of feeding and cuddles. Please don't worry about creating habits or sleep associations so soon. Relax (as much as you can) and just focus on feeding and getting sleep anytime you can. Forget about anything else for now.
I know I found the first 3 weeks so hard, I thought I would never make it through them but you will! I would be amazed if anyone hadn't felt this way in the early weeks.
If you are feeling depressed or want to talk to someone have a chat to your HV or gp. And of course you can always vent on here
I found a book called Baby Secrets really good for establishing a routine (after the first few weeks though) and it gave me the confidence to wake her from naps in the daytime if she'd been sleeping too long. Having said that, now she's 6 months I'm a bit stuck again. But it helped me in the early months.
I also read Baby Secrets and found it useful, just to remind me what I needed to do in terms of looking after the baby! But I would say please also try not to worry too much about what books and routine advocates say you SHOULD be doing (I think I read all of them). It can make you feel so crap when it doesn't happen like they say it should and, speaking as someone who had barely ever held a baby before having DS last July, the first few weeks are anxiety provoking enough without all that. As long as the baby is feeding and is sleeping everything else will fall into place. I remember around 6 weeks it started to get a little bit less anxiety provoking and you get more in the swing of things.
My DS was a cluster feeder in the evenings (all perfectly normal) but nowhere had I even heard of this. Just try to relax and take things easily. Days might initially seem long when your OH goes back to work but you'll soon get in the swing of things and have friends to see, the odd class to do and box sets to watch for those long hours feeding on the couch!
DD fed to sleep til she was 1 and then we changed it very easily by DH putting her to sleep instead of me. No problem at all. And I was worrying about for months!
Oh, and for the year that she was feeding to sleep, we had a lovely relaxed quick bedtime routine while all my friends who were trying to teach their babies to settle by themselves, were stressed out constantly because said babies wouldn't perform as their mums wanted.
Breastfeeding helping babies to go to sleep is bloody marvellous. Ignore anyone who says you should avoid it, they are bonkers. Why would you want to stop doing something that gets a baby to sleep easily and without tears?
That said, don't let feeding to sleep become the only way of getting them to sleep. Pram, car, sling, rocking need to get a look in. Because your DH needs to be able to get baby to sleep too, so you can have a break on that front. So make sure he can get your baby to sleep his own way.
I also feed my 6 month old to sleep. I used to wake her a bit before putting her in her cot and she did settle nicely,but for some reason i stopped doing that. But my worry is that if she woke in the night she wouldn't be able to settle herself again without me. Does anyone find that's the case?
Thanks again for all your help and advice. It all went out if the window yesterday because we had to take DS to hospital for small abscess (nothing serious) so got home quite late. He was REALLY grumpy when we got home so I thought we were in for a real night of it.
My dad was around anyway and was a bit worried about me I think because he offered to stay over and held the baby from about 11 until 3 in the morning, then woke me up when he needed feeding. It was amazing - most sleep I've had in ages, and then DS settled in his basket until about 7. I'm sure things will change again, but has made it seem as though things might get better one day!
Thanks again - it really helps to vent!
Oh, should add that DH has settled DS to sleep by the pram method before as I defo don't want to get to the point where it's only me that can settle him!
binky, just wanted to say I felt exactly the same about having made a mistake after both DCs were born. It's a very upsetting thing to feel, I think. But it's partly hormones, sleep deprivation (which is a real killer and not how I'd expected it to be) and the relentlessness of having a newborn. Those first three or four weeks are the hardest thing I've ever done. But it gets better so quickly and once they start smiling it's easier too. Ask for help and for people to take the baby so you can nap. I didn't do this the first time, too proud, and it was much harder. And it sounds like you're doing great! You can't help feeding to sleep when they're little, they're just sleepy people!
Thanks Philbee - it really does help knowing tht other people have felt the same as me.
hey binkybix! how is the lo doing and how are you?
I could have written this post.in fact, i was about to. including wondering what on earth i've done. i think we just need to power through and i'm sure it will get better soon! x
Sounds like you're doing everything right! The first weeks are killer for sleep though - I would recommend looking at the Kellymom website, especially about growth spurts. My baby had huge growth spurts at day 10 and week 3, then week 6 (and 8 and 9 and 10, or so it felt) and I would have gone spare if I didn't know what was going on. You will feed for what feels like forever, but it does pass.
Congratulations on your baby!
Hello. Sorry for late update. We had some great nights but now DS has got a bit worse with sleeping. Screaming in basket, crying even if with me in bed. Also some difficulties while feeding (pulling off, screaming, looking like wants to latch on but then just swinging head from side to side etc) it might be wind, but I really struggle to get anything up. I don't think the heat's helping.
Struggling again, have called in mil to help, but not much motivation for anything
Sorry - depressing update.
Sounds like it's the 2/3 wk growth spurt. My lo did the same re fussy feeding. Hang in there - this too shall pass!
He's 4 weeks now, but he did also get a bit funny at about 2 weeks, so maybe this will pass in the same way. Incidentally, what does LO stand for? Is it little one?
LO = little one.
There are seemingly constant growth spurts at the beginning - the Kellymom website had a good page on them (called frequency days on there, I think) and the book 'Wonder Weeks' is good for understanding the big developmental leaps babies make that make them behave like this. My lo is currently going through a particularly testing one! But seeing her pick up new skills almost daily is
almost worth it!
Oh, just one other thought re the fussiness and seeming to be windy. Mine also did that a lot in general and was eventually diagnosed with a tongue tie at 5 weeks. I also had oversupply, which was even harder for her to deal with with her tight tongue! If you have any other issues like sore nipples, blocked ducts, poor breast drainage, etc, you might want to explore possibility of tt.
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