Nighttime going downhill in baby - help please!(7 Posts)
I'm quite new to mumsnet but have already found these forums very useful (intriguing at times) and was wondering if I could pick your brains for some advice around my baby's sleep...
DS2 is 11 weeks old, so still very young and I'm not trying to do anything dramatic and am trying to mainly follow his schedule rather than impose my own. Learning lessons from DS1's sleep, however, I'm trying to get into 'good habits' early on. He's also falling into a routine quite quickly because of DS1 (2yo) routine.
Anyway, I was v lucky with DS2 in that as soon as he was born, he was comfortably going 3 hours between feeds, often 4 at night, and feeding well each time. I also cashed in on the fact that he was drifting off to sleep by himself and have been encouraging that so he now takes himself to sleep at night, although needs a bit of help in the day. (No crying involved at all, if he ever cries when I've put him down for bed, he gets a cuddle straight away and then we try again). While this has continued, I'm starting to get a bit concerned that the gaps between feeds aren't getting much wider, nearly three months later. The current pattern of his day and night looks like this (I've started with the evening as that's the more predictable bit)
6.15 - bath, then waiting in bathroom while brother has his bath
6.40 - we put ds1 to bed first with ds2 in bouncer.
7 - usually in ds1's room feeding just before 7. Almost always awake when he goes down and then takes himself to sleep between 7.15 and 8. 8 is very much the latest end of the spectrum.
11pm - dream feed. I do this to try and get a long stretch later in the night and have started using expressed milk so I can see how much he takes. Usually he is still asleep when I do this but wakes for the bottle. Sometimes he wakes beforehand in which case we give him the bottle.
3am - 5.30am - wakes to feed. I'm sure he's hungry. I know he can do 11-5,30 which I would be v happy with at this stage but 3am is becoming much more common. If he wakes at 3, he will almost certainly wake again before 6. He then requires a lot of resettling (dummy, cuddles, BFing) on and off and gets up for good around 8 (although this can vary massively).
Once up, I look out for signs of tiredness and put him down for a nap (usually 1.5 hours ish after he got up). I also tend to feed him as a start to the day when he's up to reset his clock and make sure he has a full tummy as I'm not sure how much he's been eating in the early hours. He tends to sleep for 30-60 mins that first sleep then have a bigger one in the middle of the day and another hour between 4 and 6, depending on when he woke up. Feeding is roughly every 3 hours over the day - sometimes 2.5 if he's hungry earlier, sometimes 3.5 if he's asleep at the 3 hour mark but otherwise I tend to offer at 3 hours. Also still some little naps around those bigger ones.
Sorry for all the detail! So my main issue is the middle of the night. I'm really wary of early rising and constant wake ups in the early hours as we had both those problems until very recently with ds1. With the expressed bottle at 11pm, it does seem that he lasts a bit longer if he drinks more but it doesn't always correlate. He has drunk 150ml in the past but we have recently struggled to get to 100 - last couple of nights 70 - and he's woken at 3 and then on and off until the morning. He seems to stop drinking because he's full, not sleepy as often goes back to bed awake.
I know he's not a bad sleeper by any stretch but neither was ds1 at this stage so I'm terrified of what might happen! Any tips for how to get him to drink more at the 11pm feed (please don't say do it later, I'm already really struggling to stay up til 11.30 then be up on and off from 3 and up for good with ds1 at 6.30) how to deal with wake ups when I'm positive he's not hungry, any tweaks I can make in the day that might impact on the night would be much appreciated? I know it's early and I'm not trying to get him to sleep through or anything, just really keen not to let this escalate...
Thank you in advance! Xx
Dreamfeeds dont work for every baby. My little one is 12 weeks old I give him a bottle at 7.30 and he is in bed for 8. I dont do a dreamfeed as he will wake more often.
I put him down at 8 with no dream feed, he will wake up at between 2.30-3.30 if he takes full bottle then he will go back down untill 7.30 or 8am. so its better all round.
Also make sure your baby feeds good during the day as if they dont drink enough during the day then they will wake more at night to make up for it.
Watching with interest as my 14 week is like this except his first wake up is at 1am.
Except mine has his longer nap in the morning and has shorter naps in the day.
Not sure if I can be of much help, but my DD2 (now 18 wks) was rather similar at that age. The dream feed works well for her (at 10-10.30 as we like to go to bed early too!) but seemed to have no bearing on when she would next wake- anything from 1am to 6am. And if she woke before around 4 am she was guaranteed to wake again before 6.30 (my acceptable up for the day time). Up until about 10 wks I just fed her every time she woke but she often took very little and it became less certain that she would go straight back to sleep after.
I then started looking at mybabysleep.com after seeing it recommended here, and decided to stop automatically offering milk and tried to settle her with dummy, cuddling etc, in the hope that she would eventually wake less if she didn't expect milk. It wasn't the instant solution I hoped it would be but gradually she did wake later and less, and since 15 weeks she has been sleeping 7pm til 6.30 or 7am most nights, although still with the dream feed. I haven't fed her if she has woken since 12 wks.
A few caveats- she is a big baby (91st centile) who feeds every 2.5 hrs in the day, and is FF which I understand is supposed to make a difference. And she has been sleeping in a cot in our spare room since 8 wks, so when she wakes I lie her on one side of the double bed in there (just on top of the sheet in her sleeping bag) and wrap myself in the duvet on the other side. I then stroke her head and keep replacing her dummy until she is asleep, but we then stay there until morning, I don't risk moving her! Also she is a very laid back baby and I can genuinely say she never cries when she wakes in the night or during any attempt to re-settle her.
You probably don't want to hear this but DD didn't go longer than 2-3 hours until she was eating a decent amount of solids - prob 9/10mo.
I would go to bed earlier, an 11.30 bedtime would ruin me for days, and I don't get up before 7.30 unless I absolutely have to!
I know you didn't ask for the merits of dream feeding but I just want to say you might find it easier if you dropped this and went to bed earlier. On that basis he might stretch to midnight before waking through hunger, then the next feed is more likely to be 4am and would stretch through til the morning possibly?
I did a dreamfeed for ages, but realised I was waiting up when I should just have an early night. 9pm - midnight is a decent stretch.
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