What would you do?(21 Posts)
I'm trying to get 6mth ds into a routine. For 3mths now he's woken for nightly feeds every 1-2hrs and recently every 45mins. His day time naps consist of two 20min power naps if I'm lucky. As you can imagine I am shattered and something needs to give.
So following a post in the feeding thread and a chat to yet another HV, I decided to try timed controlled crying. It's the second night now and although he woke as usual last night, I did manage to go the whole night without feeding him and by about the 4th wake up, he was only taking 5mins to cry himself back to sleep.
I've written up a routine for him which looks like this:
6-7am - Breastfeed
8am - Baby Porridge
9am - 30min Short Nap
12noon - Lunch & Breastfeed
12.30pm - 2hr Long Nap
4pm - Dinner & Pudding
6pm - Bath, Breastfeed, Bed
What do you think? Is it okay?
We are usually out between 10am and 11.50 am and ds tends to fall asleep in the car, but then wake up about 10mins after we get home. Should I wake him as soon as we get home and stick to the routine or do I need to amend it to somehow fit round this?
What do I do if he wakes after an hour during his long nap?
Please come and give me any advice you can as I want to make every effort to make this work. I can't carry on like before any longer.
Have you tried more feeds during the day? My dd is 8 months and has 6 feeds in total. Our routine is currently:
7:30 wake and breastfeed
9:30 breastfeed before am nap (usually 1 1/2 hours)
2pm breastfeed before pm nap (usually 1 1/2 hours)
4pm small breastfeed
7:15 breastfeed before bed, usually asleep by 8pm
10:15 dream-feed then sleeps through until morning.
She used to take 30-45 min naps but they became longer at around 6 months
Thanks Happy, I thought they only needed 3 milk feeds after 6mths. Does this only apply to formula feeds? Up to now he's stocked up on breastmilk at night sometimes feeding for 45mins in one go only to wake an hour later for more; and then not being very interested in it during the day. HV suggested I make him wait for a Breastfeed to ensure he has a proper feed. She thought his night time routine was down to comfort.
I could put in a couple more breastfeeds before the short nap and dinner.
Are you sure he doesn't wake through hunger? Many 6 month olds still need milk during the night. I'm not saying that some of the night wakings are down to comfort, but couldn't you just try and reduce the night feeds to say once or twice instead of just cutting them out completely? I know my DD definitely still needed milk at that age during the night.
And 3 milk feeds a day is rubbish. All babies are different.
That's down to the controlled crying. Once he's learnt how to self settle I might be able to reintroduce it but I'm afraid it will confuse him if I am letting him feed to sleep on one occasion.
He is hungry at night but HV insists that's because he's not getting enough during the day and if I can resolve that then he shouldn't need a night feed. I'm not convinced but can't see controlled crying working if I keep a night feed at the moment. Anyone else managed it?
I really wouldn't try controlled crying until you're absolutely sure that he's fed enough during the day and he's not hungry still at night.
But I've got to do something to break the cycle. He is a very healthy weight, 75th percentile. I have spent the past 3 months with less than 5hrs sleep per night and only an hour each stretch if I'm lucky. This can't be good for either of us.
My son was on 4-5 feeds in rhe daytime and possibly one at night at this age. He started really struggling with his sleep at about 7 months and I'm pretty sure this was due to being breasrfed to sleep. We had a sleep councillor come round and discussed cc vs disappearing chair. Decided to try cc as ds wad always worse when I wad within sight. We were very lucky in that it only took a couple of nights for ds to go to sleep on his own. Never looked back since.
He's very young to be relying on food rather than milk? He is going to need more milk during the day if he stops having it overnight IYSWIM.
He's definitely too young to only need 3 feeds.at 6 months he won't have been weaning long so should be getting most of his nutrition from the milk.
Could he have been reverse cycling with all the feeding in the night? Maybe try BF every two hours during the day to see if it makes a difference to the night.
DD is 7.5months and is still hungry at night, although she doesn't wake as often as your DS. I sympathise with the rubbish sleep
I think you have done incredibly well. I do recall that when my dd was about 6 months and was having solids i just didn't product much milk - certainly couldn't express more than a drop or two by then and she was waking and feeding hourly or two hourly so there should have been plenty of stimulation. Probably not a correct thing to say but perhaps a bottle of formula at bed time. Your baby needs sleep you need sleep. Happy baby = happy mummy ime. FWIW both mine were crap breast feeders and crap sleepers but we all survived somehow and they grew up OK. 18 and 15 now. Go with what you feel is right for your combined well being..
I'd also add more in the day. Atm you've got him going 8-12 with no food or milk. I'd struggle with that schedule myself! I think with DD1 I aimed to feed her first thing, mid morning, lunch, mid afternoon, dinner, before bed (and she also had a dream feed from a bottle) with the idea that those timings would be replaced by food at either mealtimes or snack times. Small children do need snacks between meals, they can go breakfast to lunch with nothing.
Try what you need to for the nights - that sounds very hard going and he can't be hungry every 45 mins, as you say. Was he sleeping all night before it changed or did he need a feed?
Have to say, also, that DD1 only ever did two 45 min naps in the day. I never found a way to extend that time - and if he's only napping 20 mins at the moment how will you get him to sleep for 2 hours?
Thanks everyone. I'm going to introduce at least 2 more breastfeeds into my plan at 9am and 2.30pm. I might also try a late 10pm feed once I have his sleep sorted. Last night was much better, he woke but managed to get himself to sleep each time without much fuss.
Philbee, I'm not sure about the 2hr nap. I read a long afternoon nap was very important for under twos and it will give me a chance to get some housework done, but I suspect it's going to be tricky to get ds to play ball.
Everything I've read suggests that if they sleep better at night they will nap better, so I am relying on that to some extent .
Ds was very similar to your baby. We co-slept and he fed every 1-2hrs from birth to 6m, the gaps between feeds just got shorter and shorter! He also only had tiny daytime naps. At 6m I did timed CC and it was tough but basically took 2 days. I gave him a bottle of hungry recipe formula before bed (ebf till 6m). After a few days I realised that from 5am onwards he was consistently unsettled so I fed him when he woke at 5am (stil does now at 11m) takes about 10mins then strait back to bed till 7/7:30. So basically, CC worked for me, but be open to being flexible as I think we cut out the comfort feeding but the 5am feed I beleive he really needed (now just a habit but he occasionally goes to 6am so I think he will naturally give it up). For my ds the daytime feeding really picked up once he didn't feed at night, and the nap routine also improved. I had to adjust the naps to fit the school run as at 6m he would nod off after 10mins in the pram or car so impossible to avoid-he still has his daytime naps in the pram (I am a nanny and bring him to work). I tried for ages to het him to sleep 1-3pm in a cot (a la shewhoshallnotbenamed) until I realised he'd happily have 90mins in the morning in the pram in the kitchen, and an hour walking the school run in the afternoon. A two hour nap after lunch would be very handy but my ds just doesn't seem to be able to, and the naps I describe are perfectly adequate for me to rest/do jobs, so I'm happy with the compromise! The fact your ds cried just for 5mins then re-settled indicates CC may work for you, so do persist and good luck-but also listen to your instincts and be a little flexible to try to find a routine that suits you both.
Hey OP, I FF my DS so I can't help on the BF issue but one thing I would say about the naps is: please don't feel like you have 'failed' if you're little one doesn;t have a 2 hour nap in the early afternoon. LOTS of babies just do not do this mythical post-lunch nap! My DS is now seven months old and he has never napped for more than 45 minutes at a time.
he used to have 4x45min naps per day, and he has just started stretching his awake time out a bit, so now he only seems t have 3. But they are never 2 hours long!
more's the pity
I tried and tried and tried to get DS to 'do' a set routine with a nap after lunch and nearly sent myself mental in the process. In the end, I have given up and just followed his cues. After couple of weeks of doing this when he was around 4 months old, I realised he did want to sleep at roughly the same times each day, but they were 4 little naps....which you cannot find in any sensible routine book! But it was his routine and it was easier to go with it than fight it.
The one thing I would say is, if your DS falls asleep in the car on the way home from your morning activities, it might scupper your chances of putting him down for a nice nap shortly afterwards when you get home. It would with my DS, but they're all so different! I would either try and keep him awake in the car until you get home (nursery rhyme CD, Loud singing, windows open etc?), or build that little car nap into your routine somehow. ie, if he has 20 mins in the car around 12, it might mean that he doesn't need his next nap until around 1.30pm....and then if he only has 30-45 mins then, he might need another little nap around 4pm to see him through till bedtime.
See what works for your LO and good luck.
I read the opposite to you - good naps = better nights.
2x20 mins is not good, I really feel for you as it means you never get a real break. DS is not a great napper but usually gives me 2 x 25-45 mins plus a morning nap with me - see below. But he does sleep reasonably at night, disproving both our theories.
What does your current day look like, typically (pre CC)? Sounds like your baby is trapped in overtired cycle.
Do you co sleep at nap times? Could you try this for AM or lunchtime nap? I can sometimes get my DS to do 1-1.5 hours this way and it also means rest time for you.
Can you cancel any fixed plans for a week so that you can focus on his sleep cues etc at home during the day? I find even a 5 min car sleep messes my DS' ability to sleep again for the next hour or two, so frustrating. Invite friends to yours or do flexible things like pop round a neighbours or to nearby park during wake times, just staying in you'll go mad.
Btw I usually do 4 feeds in the day and 0-1 at night, but I was doing this before weaning started anyway.
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