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Sleep with 3.5 week old. Advice ?

(12 Posts)
Tillysmummy Sat 03-Apr-04 17:00:35

Hi all, ds is now 3.5 weeks and although I have a dd I can't rememeber what she was like at this stage. They seem quite different anyway. I am breastfeeding but am topping him up. He will feed for 30 minutes on each breast and then will still be hungry and crying. I had the same problem with dd and had to top her up with a couple of ounces of formula at each feed. Anyway, I can't remember what to expect in terms of sleep. He certainly seems to sleep much more in the day than dd. The problem I have is he wants to sleep more or less all day ( I wake him 3 hourly to feed but then he sleepy feeds on me for ages and I have to keep taking him off to try and wake him ) and I don't know how to change this around. At the moment he's not terrible at night. He goes down around 7 and then we wake him at 9.30 or so for a top up feed then he goes to anywhere between 12 and 1 and then wakes but is then awake for an two hours and sometimes more. I can't remember if this is normal I think that it will probably right itself. How do I make him less sleepy during the day or will that just right itself in time ? dd never slept so much during the day and certainly work more frequently at night but for only 10-15 minute feeds.

hercules Sat 03-Apr-04 17:03:51

I think it's perfectly normal for babies to sleep most of the time at this age and for some time yet. You dont need to give top ups unless you intend to stop bf as this is a sure way to diminish your own supply and cause problems with breastfeeding. What about giving expressed breast milk if you want to give a bottle or try the nct breastfeeding helpline.

hercules Sat 03-Apr-04 17:05:05

Just a thought but is your latch right. If he's not latching on properly this might explain why he's feeding for so long.

hercules Sat 03-Apr-04 18:29:45

bumping you

goodkate Mon 05-Apr-04 21:38:10

Someone once gave a really good tip. Never wake a sleeping baby. I think its because they establish their own natural routine. After initial problems I put the dd's(3) down at 7 but waited until they woke up naturally, when they were really were hungry. They could then have a 15 min or 3 hr feed but these slowly diminished with time. And don't despair baby's do seem to sleep more during the day at first for all of us weary mothers.

Gem13 Mon 05-Apr-04 21:59:07

DD is 7 weeks and for the first few weeks she fed and then slept for a few hours but after the next feed was awake for a couple of hours. DS did this too. She now wakes for feeds but goes straight back to sleep afterwards (at night). I think they are on a sleep/wake cycle for a while.

I agree with goodkate about not waking a sleeping baby. If you can, try to get to bed as soon as he's gone down and sleep until he wakes.

I'm off myself now!

kiwicath Tue 06-Apr-04 08:45:12

My littlin slept constantly for the first 3-4 weeks, not even waking to be fed. It nearly drove me round the bend not knowing if it was "normal", should I wake him, will he starve etc... I simply kept him around me during the day ie in lounge, kitchen, with tele/stereo on etc but started night time routine at 5.30pm (kick with no nap, bath, gentle massage, boob, bed at 7pm. I woke him during the day for feds simply because he wouldn't wake by himself and I needed to get something down him. Eventually he became more and more alert during the day time and asked for feds but retained his lovely sleeping habits for night times. I lifted him for a dream feed at 10.30pm but then let him sleep on for as long as he wanted. In the beginning he would wake at 3 which moved to 4 then 5 then 6 and by 6 weeks he slept through till 7.30am. He's 13 weeks now and hasn't changed his routine so far. Your wee one will sort himself out with a little gentle nudging from you. Good luck.

elliott Tue 06-Apr-04 09:09:20

tillysmummy - I remember in the first few weeks ds2 (now 18 weeks) would stay awake for up to two hours when he woke in the night. It does right itself fairly quickly I think, especially if you encourage day/night difference - at night don't talk or play with him, keep the lights dim etc. During the day I did wake to feed if he'd gone more than 3 hours. Its also very common for feeds to take a long time at this stage, I think in terms of milk supply its best to go with it - when I say ds2 would be awake for 2 hours at night, he'd be feeding for most of this time.

mears Tue 06-Apr-04 09:20:05

Tillysmummy - because he is topped up with formula, he may not be ready for a feed after 3 hours. Try not to time his feeds but watch what he does when he is on. A baby can be at the breast for 30 mins and only actually feed for 10 mins. Watch his sucking. He will suck in a rhythmic pattern with small pauses in between. He should swallow with every suck. Allow him to finish his feed spontaneously on one breast then offer him the other side. You might find that he wants longer on one breast rather than a feed from both. Try and avoid the top-ups, he doesn't need them. Let him wake on his own, you will find that he will breastfeed much more effectively. He may sleep for 6 hours when left the first time or he may actually wake after 3 1/2. It is having the confidence in your own ability to produce milk. The more you feed, the more milk you make. When you give regular top-up feeds your body gets less messages to make milk and before you know it the baby has more formula than breast. Are your nipples OK? Is he fixing properly?

Ghosty Tue 06-Apr-04 09:29:57

Tillysmummy ...
My DD is 9 weeks and I do/have done exactly the same as kiwicath ...
In the first few weeks I let her sleep whenever she wanted but tried to encourage her to feed every 3 hours and then let her go as long as she wanted at night ...
Now, I don't mind how much she sleeps during the day, as long as she is awake from 5.30pm so that she goes down well at 7pm. I don't mind if she feeds often during the day but I try not to let her go longer than 4 hours between feeds....
I try to fit in at least 5 feeds in the day time with a 'dream feed' at 10.30pm. She then goes through till 4ish ... I feed her with no lights on and no talking or playing and she has a quick 15 minute suck before going down again ... I am hoping that she will do what kiwicath's baby did soonish, although she does have a cold at the moment so it might take a bit longer.
In terms of the long feeds ... my dd used to feed for ages and then cry and bob on and off for ages after acting like she was still hungry but not really taking much more ... just using me to suck ... so we introduced a dummy (at about 3 weeks) when she began to muck about after a feed and she was much happier ... she wanted to suck but not feed ...

HTH a bit ...

Kiwicath ... when did your ds go till 7.30am then?

goodkate Tue 06-Apr-04 11:05:33

Kiwicath has a good point about her particular sleeping problem which is the reverse of most of us and of course you had to wake him to feed. I was very lucky with all my dd's. I established a "loose routine" early on, combining both mine and the dd's patterns. Consequently they all slept 7 til 7 at about 4 mths. But I had lots of sleepless nights getting it right and each baby was different. Sometimes they would just suckle for comfort but I didn't mind cos' they're only tiny. Sometimes I would fall asleep upright in bed with them in my arms. Has anyone else?

kiwicath Tue 06-Apr-04 18:55:34

Ghosty, trying to think back - I'm preddy sure it was around the 6 week mark. Wee chap did it all on his own thank goodness. His daytime naps aren't very predictable though but not overly worried as I know he's getting the hours in at night. Goodkate, definitely I've fallen asleep with him in my arms. Must be only for ano seconds though as my bobbing head wakes me up again - amazing how you can have such action packed dreams in such a short space of time???

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