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Probably a stupid question

(25 Posts)
pickleandflux Sat 06-Feb-16 09:53:42

When to start more independent sleeping? I get confused. I understand the idea of a 4th trimester, when baby needs more closeness and comfort. But then later on need to encourage more independent sleeping (put down drowsy but awake, perhaps with a dummy). Question is, when to start? Wait until 12 weeks or should I start now (she's 7 weeks)? Currently I put her down in a light sleep, and she mostly stays asleep for 4 hour stretches at night. If she wakes I give her a dummy and pat her, which usually works well. So things are mostly good at the moment but I don't want to give myself avoidable problems later.

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 11:27:52

You can put a baby down to sleep from birth. If baby cries and doesn't like it, of course reassure and pick up if needed.

What you are doing is great. Do more of this smile

imwithspud Sat 06-Feb-16 11:47:22

You can start when ever you like. With DD2, I put her down occasionally from quite a young age, just to see if she could self settle. If she cried, I picked her up and tried something else, but I thought there's no harm in giving her the chance to see if she could do it. Gradually over time, she started getting easier to settle in her moses basket/cot, we went from being nursed/held to sleep, to lying in her cot clutching my hand to go to sleep, to me sitting next to her cot, now at 8 months I can pop her in her cot awake, leave the room and she'll be asleep within 15minutes, no fuss. Occasionally I have to sit with her and hold her hand, but 9 times out of 10 she's brilliant and settling herself.

It's been completely different this time round. With dd1 I was almost insistent on getting her to sleep myself as I thought I would be a terrible parent if I popped her down to settle herself confused she did all her naps on me for the first 3 months. I'm not sure if it's at all related but she was a horrid sleeper, never napped for longer than 30minutes and waking 2 hourly through the night. I really wanted to avoid a situation like that this time round so I changed things a little bit and for me it worked. Could have been luck of course but I'm glad things have worked out well.

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 11:56:08

How do you put your little one down drowsy and settle her.

When my baby wakes she wants feeding. When she feeds she falls asleep do.i don't have that opportunity and like you I have read about it too.

Just going with the flow at the mo

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 12:09:22

You can just put baby down asleep after you have fed her (rather than continuing to cradle her). That's a first little baby-step on the journey to independent sleeping.

Do you wind her after you have fed her? Milk being a sleep inducer is normal (it's what it's meant for in a newborn). You could feed to sleep but then lift baby to your shoulder for a few minutes back rubbing to wind her. That rouses baby very, very slightly. Maybe she will go back to sleep on your shoulder, but at least she gets used to moving from one place to another and stills settling to sleep.

In the newborn weeks I used to BF, baby fell asleep. Lift to my shoulder, baby woke slightly buy usually got drowsy and went back to sleep. Rub back for a few minutes. Set out swaddle blanket while baby dozed on shoulder, move baby into swaddle and wrap. Lift again to shoulder for reassurance if needed then put down in cot/crib. This was right from newborn.

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 06-Feb-16 12:17:07

Both of ours were fed then winded then bum changed then swaddled and laid down to sleep, but I do think we just hit lucky with babies that were happy with that.

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 13:14:29

Oh yes I do do that. I've stopped swaddling though I felt it added an extra step and was hard to settle I got less sleep. But yes I do winding and put down xxxxx

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 16:41:31

Well after being all chuffed thinking that's what I do I haven't been able to get her down all day. She's been falling asleep on me after being wide awake put her in basket and she wakes and cries.

I had no sleep all night or all day. Partner gone out and left me to it..Fed up.

pickleandflux Sat 06-Feb-16 16:59:28

Anyone have tips for the daytime naps? She settles well at night, but in the day will mostly only sleep being held. Tried bouncy chair, dummy etc, but she is too interested in her surroundings and just gets overstimulated. We often need to cover her eyes with a muslin as she fights sleep so much! Still at least nights are mostly ok!

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 17:11:04

In the "fourth trimester" basically all baby does is sleep. If all needs are met, baby sleeps and then only wakes when a need isn't met (hungry, nappy, etc). Then awake time is very limited - maybe 20-40 minutes awake and then straight back to sleep.

pickleandflux - that sounds like over-tired baby. Very easy to solve (at this age, it will get harder when out of the newborn phase), just put baby down to sleep much earlier. Time awake in a newborn is so limited that it might just be baby wakes, is fed, nappy check, quick 5-10 minute cuddle and then straight back to sleep.

I favour dummy and bouncy chair for daytime sleeps. Just bounce, bounce, bounce that baby into sleep submission. EASY routine might help with ensuring regular naps and feeds. It is just a repeated cycle of predictable things through the daytime:

E - Eat - full feed upon waking
A - Awake time - Nappy check and quick play. Maybe 20-40 minutes from waking. Because baby has been fed already, then the first sign of grumbling or upset is because of being tired so straight into bouncy chair with dummy.
S - Sleep - I just keep on bouncing, reinserting dummy as needed, until baby submits to sleep. Swaddle and cot may work still at this age, but baby will grow out of this.
Y - You time while baby sleeps. I usually spend this on sofa with bouncy chair in front of me and my feet on the legs. Then I am ready to start bouncing again at the first sign of baby stirring.

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 17:33:41

That sounds so easy but my baby has been awake and feeding 9n and off since midday. She's fast as eep then I put her is moses basket and she wakes.

She's settled so I've rocked her but it doesn't work. So I have to start the cycle again.

So despite me attempting to meet all her needs it hasn't worked. Am I doing somehung wrong?

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 17:35:40

She's been awake for far longer than 40 mins. ..

I d9nt know what's happened she was going down in moses basket fine before. I seem to have gone backwards so I am interested in this thread

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 18:18:17

first how old is your little one?

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 18:29:54

Just over 5 weeks. X

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 20:59:11

It'd been the same up until now with no signs of changing tonight.

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 21:03:23

First - why don't you try swaddling again? It makes the transfer when being put down easier. If you think she's getting enough calories and feeding is established, you could try a dummy.

Conversely, the problem could be calorific need and the fact she wants to feed constantly be a sign she needs to increase your supply.

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 21:25:20

I'm not sure the swaddling ever worked to begin with. I never swaddled properly. I always left arms out and I didn't do it tightly. She's just seemed hapoy in the way I wrap her in sheet and blanket.

I felt feed, swaddle put down was affecting sleep and it felt unnecessary when she didn't seem bothered about a swaddle.

Would you swaddle before feeding?

I've had cluster feeding g at night but not in day. It's strange because she will go d9wn asleep but then wakes n starts lengthy feeds again. I csnt even time them it's been pretty constant.

What do you mean by calorific need?

I have EBM and have thought about giving a top up but I'm. Wary of protecting my supply because it was low and know that bab sucking should increase supply. Hopefully.

I also want t9 know that she's putting weigh on from me. Like I say she does eventually seem satisfied but today it's taken ages to get there then she wakes when put down.

She's very fussy at the boob on nights and tonight has just now started crying at the boob.

Thanks you give good advice. Are you an expert.

Unhappyexpat Sat 06-Feb-16 21:50:13

I found 5-6 weeks a really tough time with ds. Looking back at his growth graphs you see the huge, huge growth spurt he went through (from the bottom line to the middle.) he just wanted to feed, was cranky and his sleep went to pot.

I know the advice is to feed and not supplement but I was struggling with feeding and I gave some formula top ups which really helped. But we also had a few days in bed/on the sofa just feeding all day. I found I needed to eat and drink more too.

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 21:52:13

By calorific need I meant needing more calories, so needing more of your milk. I am not suggesting top-ups (although there is nothing evil about formula milk), just saying that if baby is feeding so much, to the detriment to her sleep, then she might be hungry and need more milk.

You can swaddle before feeding if it works for you. I used to do it after a feed. My swaddles were tight though, especially around the arms (legs loser, to allow for hip movement)

This thread started by talking about the "fourth trimester" - where baby is most settled when womb conditions are re-created. Swaddling is another fourth trimester thing. 5 weeks ago you baby was squashed into a really tight space in your womb. The swaddle has been used for generations of mothers as a way to recreate that tight, secure, enclosed feeling of the womb.

A baby in the 4th trimester might like:
- Darkened conditions (no bright lights in the womb)
- Tight, enclosed, secure-feeling spaces (like being squashed in the womb)
- Calm, rhythmic movement (swaying in womb as you walked)
- Dulled-own background noise (as was heard through your stomach walls)
- Being close to Mum (used to being physically part of Mum)
- Not much stimulation (no flash cards, bright toys, funny faces etc in the womb)
- To not feel hungry (before being born baby never knew the feeling of hunger)
- To mostly sleep (apart from the some stretches and kicks, baby mostly just slept in the womb).

So as baby is first born, it is unrealistic to expect a baby to completely change everything about their world that they have been used to the previous 9 months. Those who believe in the 4th trimester believe in re-creating these conditions as much as possible for a baby's first 3 months of life, to ease them into being alive.

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 22:05:24

Thank you I've read about it and am definitely trying.

I wouldn't need to give formula as have expressed milk. Do you mean they need to increase calories and aren't getting enough or do you mean, as I understand that sucking increases supply eventually?

I try to keep things bright in day and dark at night. I don't want to swaddle arms but it's personal choice. I'm just worried about it. I also read if they haven't been swaddled then don't suddenly start. They want seater on IS plage or lullaby trust.

It's hard to recreate all those things hut I am trying. She's definitely close to me a lot.

Are u a specialist?

Sorry to OP for hijacking post blush

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 22:15:38

Hiw can I guve her more calories then?

It's hard to recreate the feeding and sleeping part of the 4th trimester.... She's constantly feeding and won't sleep at the mo

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 22:17:26

Baby sucking a lot will increase your supply. Or it should assuming your latch is good and baby is sucking productively. There is no need to give top-ups unless you want to.

The lullaby trust recommend starting swaddling before 3 months old and not after - you are well within that. But personal choice is fine. Swaddling is like marmite - some babies love it and some hate it.

I'm not a specialist. Just a Mum, four childen and four very different baby-sleep experiences with each. Then a decade's worth of chatting to other Mums at Baby & Toddler groups, living and sharing their parenting woes and sleep problems.

Unhappyexpat Sat 06-Feb-16 22:37:04

I'm not sure what the lag time is between increased suckling and a permanent increase in supply (as opposed to just refilling a boob) but I imagine it's not instant. It seemed to take several days for the hunger/increased feeding from ds to translate into noticeably more milk. During that time he was really cranky (and I was cracked and sore and shattered) so I gave top ups. But as fate says, you don't need to, and if you do it may blunt the feed --> increased supply response.

5-6 weeks was really hard, but after that we had a lovely few calm weeks (until the next growth spurt,)

firsttimemum15 Sat 06-Feb-16 22:40:21

What does blunt the feed mean. I really don't want to give top ups but have given in and given a modest one now as I'm past it. I didn't give in at the last time like this but she's been feeding almost constantly since midday it seems really extreme. I'm sure one small top up won't hurt too much. I'll keep telling myself that I think increased supply is a day or two behind but don't know how I'll spot the increase.

Empty boobs refill quicker so om hopefully ok on that front.

firsttimemum15 Mon 08-Feb-16 20:03:04

The easy routine although that's what I do anyway hasn't worked here. No sleep. Feeds approx every hour limited naps. I'm exhausted but bab has good weight gain.

How's everyone else

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