What am I doing wrong?(13 Posts)
I'm a first time mum to a beautiful, but demanding, almost one month old baby boy.
At the moment our nights go something like this:
Around 7-7:30pm (I like to wait for my husband to come home from work) we give him a bath which he likes. Lights are down low, we speak softly to him and sing. Then I give him a feed in a darkened room with white noise app. To get him to sleep I usually have to rock him and put him down in his cot whilst asleep in his grow bag. This can take anywhere from 15- 40 mins.
If we're lucky he'll do a 2 and a half hour stint. Last night he was up every 2 hours for a feed (he'll then fall asleep on the breast) before being awake in his cot for about an hour at 3am. He didn't cry, he just fussed- kicked his legs, grunted and made whiney noises. Eventually at 4am I picked him up, fed him but he continued to fuss and cat nap for 15/20 mins until he woke up properly at 7:30.
He is EBF and naps probably 5 times a day (45 mins-1.5 hours) sometimes in his cot or pram but usually the sling. He'll have more cat naps here and there usually in my arms.
I feel like I'm doing all the wrong things e.g. rocking and feeding to sleep, putting him down asleep, but I'm just so desperate for any sleep right now (for him and me). I know it's still early days so should I just continue as I am and hope things change or should I be trying now to get him into good sleeping habits like 'drowsy but awake'( he just cries)? So many of my friends have babies this age who are sleeping in 4/5 hour blocks- how?!
Thanks for reading and any advice would be gratefully received xxx
Argh, typed a long message only for MN to lose it!
The tl:dr is that newborns are like this. They wake every 2 hours for feeding as their stomachs are tiny, and your friends are probably exaggerating. I know of no newborn who sleeps for 4-5 hours at a stretch at night!
Have a read of this www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/its-evolution-baby
It's not you. And from this point in don't question yourself or worry that you are doing something wrong. You are meeting the needs of your baby beautifully.
He's only one month old and that is tiny. Over the next couple of years his sleep will change so much - just when you think you have it cracked, he'll throw you a curveball and change his pattern because of 101 different reasons. Just because your friends babies are sleeping well now doesn't mean they will be at 3 months or 4 or 6.
One month in is hard and you are 100% right to be getting as much sleep as you can by whichever means possible. Cuddling, feeding, rocking to sleep is absolutely fine and over the next few months you can work on changing these if necessary but at 4 weeks old I'd just keep doing what you're doing. And trust yourself. You're doing a great job!
I'm definitely no expert but as a fellow ftm to a 7 mo, I can report from the other side (!) that I wish I could go back and tell myself to chill out on the issue of sleep. You're doing the same things that I did and I fretted over 'doing it wrong', 'spoiling the baby' etc. in my v limited experience, you can't spoil the baby at such a young age. They're operating at such a basic level - they can't plan ahead, they just know what they need in the moment and ask for it. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job in that you're listening to and responding to what your baby needs from you. Please take it from me, as someone who wishes I'd been told this, that this is normal and you're doing fine! As your baby's belly gets bigger, he'll be able to go longer between feeds and as he gets to know and trust you more, he'll be comfortable sleeping longer periods. Mine started out on a really similar schedule to yours and now sleeps 7-6 - and I've managed the mythical 'drowsy but awake' twice; I nurse her to sleep every night enjoy this bit while it lasts and well done
I was told that it takes babies less than a week to learn a new habit. So for a start don't worry too much about teaching him bad habits because he can just learn new ones (harder for you to unlearn the old habits!).
And as PPs said, new babies are like this. He will want to be as close to you as possible, at all times. And he will want to feed and nap very regularly. And they don't really understand night and day, although it helps to start making night about dark and day about light at that age (ie don't turn lights on at night, naps during the day not in too dark a room).
At that age DD was feeding about 20 times every 24 hours and she never slept for longer than an hour or two. We didn't have anything like a nap routine until she was at least several months old. Just learn his signs of sleepiness and follow his lead.
You will be ok! Enjoy the lovely snugly newborn cuddles and baby smell.
We have a 9 month old and when she was 1 month we just kept her downstairs letting her catnap until we went to bed. It seemed to exhausting to put her to bed and go and keep sorting her all night. We didn't start a bedtime routine until she went in her own room aged 6 months and it took about 2 weeks for her to get into that routine. All babies are different but I would go with the flow and do what's easiest for you at this age.
Thank you for your kind and reassuring words. This first month has been so much harder than I could have imagined and I feel in a constant state of anxiety. I just have to keep saying to myself, "This will pass and it will get easier!"
Thanks again x
It will pass and it will get easier OP! Your baby ands a lot like my DD was at that age. She got a lot better around the 6 week mark and again at 12 weeks. Even her "bad" nights are much easier to deal with now that she is 22 weeks. I sympathise with you so much.
Echo all the other posters, sounds like you're doing a brilliant job! I found the site below really helpful in the early months, it's well researched and practical - there's a rough guide to how long babies can stay awake and how long they tend to sleep for at each age and you might find it comforting to see that your little one seems to be in exactly the right zone....
Oh I forgot to mention; they go through lots of development leaps quite close together when they're little, so don't worry about sleep regressions - they're totally normal!
Ahhh you mumsnetters are so kind. Thank you for the links to the websites.
It's good to hear there is a light at the end of the tunnel especially today when I'm feeling seriously cranky and sleep deprived. I'm desperate for a nap, but he won't settle in his crib so have used the sling. I'm a little concerned that he'll develop a sling addiction, but that's another matter...
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