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Sleep Routine - 4 week old baby

(10 Posts)
HazelM26 Sun 03-Jan-16 19:49:06

My DS sleeps more throughout the day than the night. I looked up you can teach a newborn when it is night time by giving them a bath, changing them into different clothing, dimmering the lights, play some musical toys etc.
Just wondering if this has worked for anyone and what time of the evening should I bathe him? I would love to get my DS into a routine every night time.
Is there any other tips anyone can give me? I know it won't be easy but it is worth a try smile

FATEdestiny Sun 03-Jan-16 21:34:10

You can bath him whenever is convenient at this age. I wouldn't worry too much.

At 4 weeks old baby should basically just be sleeping all of the time - day and night. You should be looking at wake, feed, nappy check, maybe 10-15 minutes happy/awake time through the daytime then offer a feed again to make sure full, wind and back to sleep.

So really you've only got 30-45 minutes awake during which you feed, check nappy, wind, little cuddle and that's it. Do this is a lit room. The only difference at night is less cuddle time, so maybe only 20-30 minutes awake for a feed, wind and nappy check, and it's done in a darkened room.

Is your baby waking for long periods of time in the night or waking frequently but going back to sleep easily?

By bedtime routine, I assume you mean things like bath, sleepsuit on, story maybe signalling bedtime. It's fine to do that now, just it will be flexible. Baby is unlikely to be 'going up to bed' for several months yet. But you can still start a routine.

Whatever time baby wakes up between 6pm and 8pm, call that 'bedtime' and do your routine of changing clothes etc. But baby will need to stay downstairs with you until you go to bed. He may well have another 'nap' or two before you take him up to bed rather than staying asleep.

HazelM26 Sun 03-Jan-16 21:58:07

Thank you so much for your reply! My DS wakes up for a feed, so I feed him, wind him, nappy change then I keep hold of him for 5-10 mins and he sometimes falls asleep in my arms. I try put him down to sleep and he wakes up and cries so I pick him back up and it gets to the point where i've been up for ages and I don't know what he wants and hes still crying.
When he stops and I can finally put him down I probably get half hour sleep until hes crying again and he's sucking on his hands for another feed. He only seems to sleep for a long amount around 5am until 9am.
He sleeps in the moses basket in the day in the front room, I've never left him alone in a room before.

Believeitornot Sun 03-Jan-16 21:59:10

Take him outside during the brightest part of the day. Wake him at the same time each day. He'll get there regardless but this might make it quicker.

FATEdestiny Sun 03-Jan-16 22:27:57

Babies need a lot of help to get to sleep. Three specific things are especially comforting for a newborn:

- Suckling - either nipple or dummy. Sucking is a baby's instinctive soothing technique so will help sleep.

- Tight, secure feeling - 4 short weeks ago baby was in the tight space of your womb and was part of you, never alone (google the fourth trimester) so baby is naturally comforted by this feeling. You can recreate the feeling using a swaddle (just a sheet wrapped securely around baby). Or by cosleeping (safely), holding baby close to you in your arms or using a sling.

- Movement - also as a result of being in your womb while you go about your day, baby will be soothed by movement like rocking, bouncing, jiggling.

It is quite normal to have to work really hard to get baby to sleep.

HazelM26 Sun 03-Jan-16 22:45:46

Sometimes when DS sucks on his fingers I try to give him a dummy to see if he just wants to suckle on something, I have different types of dummys I try to give him but none seem to interest him.
I will start a few of them techniques to help him go to sleep.
I get a lot of help in the day from my DP parents. Especially since the holidays, as they've helped so much I worry if he's forgotten who his mum is?

FATEdestiny Sun 03-Jan-16 22:50:33

He wont have in 4 weeks, don't worry flowers

It is important for your own growing confidence as a new Mum to be his 'primary carer' though, so do all you can yourself while of course accepting help when offered.

I often found parents-in-law (and any other helpful relatives) useful for other non-baby essentials. So ask then to do the ironing or cook a meal to free you up to focus on baby. If a friend says "can I do anything for you?" say something like "Yes, can you fetch me some milk and bread from the shops" or "absolutely, fancy hovering the sitting room please". People will be glad to help you without needing to take over with the baby.

HazelM26 Sun 03-Jan-16 23:02:02

I live with them so it is a bit difficult. They love looking after him which I am soo grateful for! They let me have a break when needed. When I go to my parents they expect me to just rest so they can take over him day and night. I don't want to tell anyone to back off but it feels as if i'm not bonding with my son as much as I should. Everyone else seems to be more of his parent than I do as I don't seem to have the natural mothering skills. hmm

FATEdestiny Sun 03-Jan-16 23:22:01

You will have natural mothering skills. Like all new Mums, that involves being thrown in at the deep end, being utterly shocked and overwhelmed by the responsibility of parenting a baby, thinking you cant cope and that you are rubbish and not doing anything write - then just riding through all this and coming out the other side to say:

"Well look at me, I did do it after all. I did manage and I did cope and maybe I can do this parenting lark after all"

But you have to be left to struggle a bit and learn so that you can get there. It is all part of the bonding process. Could your DP speak to his parents?

Or just be the one who does everything with baby. Don't let then take baby, don't take the breaks.

You could just hibernate. Stay in bed with baby and just stay cuddled together all day. Have other people bring you food and drinks but mainly just stay in bed with baby.

FATEdestiny Sun 03-Jan-16 23:22:55

right, not write blush

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