Sleep/routine at 3 months, where to begin(20 Posts)
Newbie mum and mumsnetter would be v grateful for any advice. DS1 is 3 months old, born a month early. We are grateful that jaundice aside he was largely ok, but from a month in suffered badly from colic/painful digestion/straining and silent reflux which makes him v congested. Both day and night sleep have been affected by this. He won't nap without some form of body contact (sling/in arms/propped on cushion against DH belly). If we move him or he goes down in his pram he wakes up after 10 mins, often screaming and seemingly v distressed. At nights he was sleeping lightly (grunting, congested etc due to reflux) in his Moses basket waking every two hours to feed but has just had his first cold so he slept on me a la tree frog and now flat refuses to go back in it. We were planning to put it in the cot to help transition him and now not sure what to do on that front. Cot playtime hasn't worked so far he just cries.
There hasn't been much point in having an evening routine as he would wake from his tummy troubles so much, but it's becoming increasingly obvious that our evening activities disturb him. We have the lights and noise down but even so. And if he can't sleep from about 6 onwards (waking for feeds) he goes into a tailspin and works himself into a right state. But we can't put him down upstairs anywhere as he wont stay down. Fingers crossed he is now over the worst of the troubles but it has left us with no routine at all. I think it would be good for him and the household if he can sleep longer than 2 hour stretches and to slowly learn to sleep by himself. I do recognise it is early days and don't want to stress him further however. any ideas on where to begin?
Thanks and sorry for essay! Ps he is breastfed with a couple of bottles of ebm daily from DH.
He sounds like DD (6 weeks early, also woke after 10 mins if put down, slept a la tree frog on me for 3 months). DD had tongue tie - undiagnosed till 4 months - which I'm now sure caused a lot of her wind and refluxy symptoms. So do get DS checked by a proper LC if you can.
Regarding routine - usually the best place to begin is with a bedtime routine - but at this age don't try to make it at 7pm, go for a time near when you want go to bed yourself. Hopefully he'd be done with cluster feeds by then and somewhat "tanked up" for a longer stretch. At this age he would usually only do one lomger stretch (and it would usually be straight after his "bedtime") so you want that to be when you are in bed. Bedtime routine just means something like bath or flannel wash, change of nappy and babygro, feed and then bed. If you are going to bed at this time yourself then you won't disturb him iyswim. Gradually as he gets older you can bring bedtime earlier.
As for naps, I think the most important thing at this age is to get him enough naps to avoid overtiredness rather than worryng about when or how. So stick with the sling/chest. If you want to start trying him on naps in a carrycot/crib then the first morning nap is usually the "easiest" ie where they need least help to sleep. Don't do what I did and try to do Gina sodding Ford which led to horrendous overtiredness and vicious cycle of no sleep...
My dd is 11 months and still only naps on me or in the sling so don't stress about that, if it works for you then go with it.
A sleepyhead helped to get dd to sleep in her cot (even though she does still wake loads in the night!)
Thanks guys! Some really useful ideas here x
Ps will avoid Gina et al. Can totally understand the appeal but I think I'd have a similar experience to you...
If you're breastfeeding then Gina is the worst idea ever, you'll ruin your supply in days.
My dd is only 3 weeks but we found she is settling much more easily in a swaddle blanket at night - we only use it at night and find that and the dark room help her to settle. (Our problem time is the evening when she just won't settle - especially when we want to eat tea!)
I tried so hard to get my DS into a routine from about that age, but. I kept getting it wrong and when I thought I had got somewhere, he changed, routine changed, I got stressed and so on and so forth. He also never did those marathon naps like all those books talk about(lies, all lies!!!). So, go for a nice bedtime routine that you will always keep. Don't think my DS started having a bedtime until about just over 3 months due to those cluster feeds so go with it for now. He also didn't really establish a routine(by himself) until around nowish(he is 9 months ha), despite my attempts of inflicting one.
At that age go for an hour to 1hr 20 mins awake time between naps and that is probably a good routine to start at. That is what I have done really, focused on awake time rather than times on the clock. It is only now I can do that I guess.
My daughter was 6 weeks early and we had a lot of troubles with where and how she slept for the first few months as her digestive system, everything, wasn't as quite as mature as full term babies. Yours will get there in the end. Good luck x x x and don't stress too much about routine, please, don't do what I did x x x
Oh yes, agree with the Sleepyhead! Had one for DD2 (who was just prem at 36+6) and wished I'd had it for DD1.
And yes to swaddling, and white noise. Basically after DD1 we chucked every sleep aid possible at DD2
Hi Fifi, you found a lot more chilled out than when we spoke several months ago.
OP - dummies are recommended for reflux since the sucking motion naturally soothes baby.
Babies with reflux issues also often life a raised head. A bouncy chair holds baby in a raised head way and is great for daytime napping. You could also place a couple of books under the legs of one end of the cot to raise one side. Not too high though, that can be dangerous.
Haha FATE! (where have you been) . Yes, a little more chilled out but still have my moments. I finally have a decent napper .
And agree with reflux about needing head raised. My daughter would never sleep in a pram but did really well if seat was raised or in a comfy pushchair, pillows at one end of Moses basket etc....She hated prams. . Wow, my memories are coming back now, that was six years ago
Have a look online for how long babies of different ages tend to go between naps. I think these things vary between babies but I found knowing when to look for tired cues helpful for ds2 who is 15 weeks. I think it's around 90 minutes at 3 months but may be on due date rather than birth date...
Beyond that do whatever works for your family.! We were getting overtired disasters in the evenings and doing bedtime after ds1 goes down at 7 is working for us at the moment. Bedtime may involve a bath but often just nappy and clothes change and into moses basket. He's usually down for a good stretches by 8.
My DS is the same , born at 35 weeks in scbu for 3 weeks. Had reflux and cmpi still trying to get on top of it at 12 weeks. He is in a routine with feeds as bottle fed but naps are on us and in a sling. Due to tummy troubles he sleeps on me film 4am till 7-730 as wont lie flat either. We have cot raised etc
Again thanks so much, some more new ideas and a few we could revisit. We have managed one nap in bouncy chair to date but makes sense to revisit now we're through the worst of the gastro issues (crosses fingers). Will still triple check him for tongue tie though... Thanks for the support too xx
Onthedowns that time is the trickiest for us as well, seems like the congestion is at its peak? I do have moments during that time though when I look at his little sleeping face and feel like my heart will burst...lucky they are so darn adorable! Massive good luck xxx
Yes but sure why! We have been through many meds and on neocate but not impacting so far! It's very tiring he hates lying in his back, if he does we end up sleeping for 10mins awake then a cycle all night? Trouble is he will now be getting used to sleeping on me but don't want any stress till his tummy is better.
The reason 4-7 is worst is because they've had most of their night and aren't so tired by then so are more easily disturbed by any tummy issues... try to make sure you wind them as thoroughly as possible at the 4am feed (exhausting at that time I know) as that helps.
Oh that makes sense! Thanks Minipie. Onthedowns I am also concerned about setting a precedent for sleeping on me but gonna go with it for now...
Yes it's very hard my daughter has reflux but slept much better and didn't really have the 3-/4-7 issue !
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