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What am I doing wrong

(76 Posts)
celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 06:48:19

5mo DD

Bed at half 7
Wake up at 8.10ish?
Takes until half 9 to go back down
Wakes at 12.15
Takes at least 30 minutes to go back down
Wakes at 2.30
Takes until 4.10 to go back down
Wakes at 5.30

Each time she wakes I offer breast because it's the only thing that gets her to go off again quickly but lately she's been waking completely in the night and not going back to sleep.
We have a routine of bath, pyjamas, last feed in a quiet darkened room
She goes down in her own cot first and after the first waking when I'm in bed she comes in next to me on a sleepyhead mattress. DP has been sleeping on the sofa since she was born because he can't cope.
Just so so tired I could cry

NickyEds Mon 24-Oct-16 06:53:51

What are her naps like? Frequent waking is normal at this age but taking a long time to go back down can be a sign of over tiredness. How often does she feed in the day?

Nowthereistwo Mon 24-Oct-16 07:03:40

Is she cold.

Also try to get her naps sorted and it should help nights.

Start with first nap and try anything bit boob to sleep. Hopefully she'll start to self settle and join up more sleep cycles.

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 07:05:00

She has sporadic naps in the day, usually on me after a feed when I don't dare move in case I wake her up. Also falls asleep in the buggy almost straight away. Yesterday she slept about 40 minutes in the morning, an hour or so around 1pm and then a 20 minute or so nap around 4. She doesn't feed as well in the day as she does at night because she seems to get distracted by everything and when she's sleepy she guzzles more. I generally don't let her get to the point of hunger in the day though by just offering food frequently. If she's whinging in the day it's generally because she's tired so I take her out in the pram so she sleeps.

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 07:06:28

It gets to 18 degrees in the night and she has on a long sleeved and legged bodysuit and a 2.5 tog grow bag.

NickyEds Mon 24-Oct-16 07:34:55

Does she have a dummy?

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 09:26:08

She used to have a dummy but then she just started spitting it out the whole time and I got fed up of constantly putting it back it again, then she would actually refuse to take it and I'm not going to force it into her mouth.It's been a while though so I might try it again tonight.

FATEdestiny Mon 24-Oct-16 11:47:15

Evening cluster feeding (where they breastfeed and nod on and off all evening) is very much the norm for a young baby like yours.

This is the reason most don't bother with a "bedtime" for baby until past 6 months. This is also inline with SIDs recommendations.

You could keep baby downstairs with you and keep let baby feed/nap on and off until you go to bed. Then take baby up with you.

I established a proper bedtime only once child had reached the point where they were staying asleep all evening. Once I started having to wake baby up to take upstairs with me, that's when baby's bedtime started. This was a natural development, didn't need to be forced.

I used a bouncy chair for evening short naps (and daytime naps), since this allowed for easy bouncing back to sleep to prolong sleeps.

I would also keep going with the dummy they are the simplest and easiest way to encourage independant sleeping. However set your expectations correctly. Babies cannot usually do their own dummy until 7-9m ish.

NickyEds Mon 24-Oct-16 12:35:05

I would certainly persevere with the dummy. Much as FATE says up to 6 months I kept both of mine downstairs with me, ds was happy to go in a moses basket from about 4 months but dd was later. I'd let let cluster feed and nap on me all evening and then go up to bed when I did. I gave both a dream feed of formula when we went up to bed (they would take varying amounts).

Ds had all naps either on me or in the buggy until 7-8 months ish- I would just bf him to sleep and hold him. Dd was much more difficult as ds was only 1 months when she was born- I persevered with the bouncy chair for ages but the only place she would really settle was the sling. I aimed for 3 naps a day of around an hour each .

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 13:52:26

I have her in a sling now sleeping on me just so I can get some things done. I know what you are saying about the cluster feeding, unfortunately it's hard when she starts getting grouchy and tired about half 6 and I still need to cook and eat dinner and lately I've been so tired I've been going to sleep when she does. So last night I went to bed at half 7 but it didn't make any difference, DP couldn't settle her at her first wake up so brought her in to me. I did tell him that was what would happen because while I was making dinner he rocked her to sleep and laid her down without her having fed but I got told to stop thinking negatively hmm I haven't tried dream feeding before so I will try that tonight, maybe try to express a bottle before bed so DP can feed her. Tempted to try formula in the evenings now as all the formula fed babies I know sleep a lot better. But all the babies I know formula or breastfed sleep better than DD.

FATEdestiny Mon 24-Oct-16 14:39:24

Is she your only child or do you have older children too?

I'm just wondering what "things you need to get done" in the middle of the afternoon when you could be sat on the sifa watching Doctors with a cup of tea?

It's just I've got 4 children. It's currently half term and I don't find myself so busy I must get stuff done in any matter if urgency. I don't mean to be flippent, just suggesting maybe you give yourself a break.

Get a boxset and don't worry about the housework. I watched all 7 series of Buffy on DVD when my DC1 was a baby. Life is busier when you have a baby and toddler though.

The "witching hour" around teatime is also a well known thing. Fractious child just as you're trying to make dinner. Alas it may last a while yet. You could:

- get DH to do the cooking
- move when you eat. Soon baby will be eating with you, so you could start to establish a much earlier dinner time.
- Get some ready meals in for the time being. Takes less than a minute to shove something in the oven straight from freezer.
- if you nose-scrunch at the idea of ready meals, batch cook at the weekend and freeze in portions.
- leave toy tidy ups to DH. Likewise washing up, laundry etc
- buy enough sleepsuits/vests/tops/bibs so you only have to wash a couple of times a week (says me, who runs the washer twice a day every day! lol)
- do stuff that must be dobe while baby is awake. Bouncy chair is great for moving a non-mobile child from room to room with you as you're doing stuff
- Then sleep/rest/chill while baby is sleeping.

It also suggest your baby isn't getting enough daytime sleep so is over tired by bedtime. If her naps are still less than an hour each then if add in extra naps. You could try limiting awake time (from one nap to the next) to about 60-90 minutes.

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 18:28:17

Thanks Fate, a lot of helpful suggestions there. She is my first child. Stuff I needed to get done is just general tidying, doctor appointment, dog walking, drink a cup of tea, use my hands! No idea how you manage to cope with 4! Really admire you. I do think DP could do a bit more, he is so messy and rarely tidys up after himself and it stresses me out living in a dump. I'm not trying to do all the housework and have an immaculate home - just put stuff in the dishwasher, put coats away, not leave crap everywhere. Now is not the time to lecture Dp though as he's going through a very rough patch with a family bereavement. We do use bouncy chairs to do things but she will only tolerate them for about 10-15 minutes before she starts whinging and that escalates into screaming until she is picked up again. She has never fell asleep in it, and it's one that can vibrate and has toys attached too. Will try and let her cluster feed tonight and then give her a dream feed when I go to bed. Will try taking a dummy to bed with us too.

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 18:30:01

DP is cooking dinner tonight too smile

LapinR0se Mon 24-Oct-16 19:44:18

The main issue is that she is being fed to sleep. If you can help her fall asleep without the boob, then she will have much better and longer stretches

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 20:03:40

I did think about that but don't feel confident enough to deny her food when I don't know exactly how much she's had all day. What if she was dehydrated. Like I said she does drink a lot throughout the night and feeds much better than she does in the day. Currently have her on my lap sleeping /feeding trying to fill her up. DP cut my food up for me so I could eat! Tv and me talking keeps waking her up.

LapinR0se Mon 24-Oct-16 20:06:51

She is not a newborn anymore, there's no way she should be feeding more at night than in the day.
You need to try and get max 2 night feeds but ideally none and ideally get plenty of milk into her during the day. I know it's hard but the main problem now is that the boob is a sleep crutch for her

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 20:22:18

I definitely agree Lapin but it is hard. If she doesn't want to feed she doesn't want to feed and turns her head away or ends up scratching me or now she has bottom teeth clamping down sad

celeryeater Mon 24-Oct-16 20:23:50

I will try offering it to her more often though. Think I will try a breastfeeding support group in the week to see if they have any ideas too.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 24-Oct-16 20:46:10

Everything FATE said about making things easier for yourself during the day.

Also - very important - boob does not solely equal food. I could have fed both of my DSs large bowls of porridge made with full cream and bananas, with a sprinkling of Piriton and they still would have been awake every 1 to 2 hours for boob through the night. Past a certain age, being 'hungry' has very little to do with night feeds but that doesn't mean they don't need them. Your baby is not just a digestive tract. A breast is the perfect cure-all for insecurities, fear of the dark, moving teeth, change in temperature etc etc. There is also a bonus of a nutritional top-up, with a bit of tryptophan to aid immediate return to sleep. For a tiny, developing baby, those things are needs just as much as calories. You are doing everything right and your baby is doing what is biologically normal and healthy.

When you say it's taking half an hour to go back to sleep, though...is that because she feeds to sleep then you try and put her down elsewhere, she wakes up and you have to start over again? If so, can you feed her to sleep in situ/while lying down to shorten the length of the night wakings? It's normal for baby mammals to need to sleep on or with a lactating mother - waking upon being moved away is something of a biological imperative for survival. Alternatively, do you think she is taking half an hour to go back to sleep because she sucks for that long? She's probably asleep again within seconds, but continues to suck while asleep. Again, the solution to this is feeding to sleep in situ. You'll have a better chance of unlatching her sooner if you're not also moving her.

LapinR0se Mon 24-Oct-16 20:48:44

The breastfeeding cafe will tell you to feed on demand which is fine however at this pony you'd quite like to FoD in the daytime grin
The issue is your baby associates breastfeeding with night and dark and quiet and sleepiness. He is not interested in the day as he wants to be seeing the world.
You need their help in doing a reset so be specific with them on that point.

LapinR0se Mon 24-Oct-16 20:50:11

Pony?? Point!

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 24-Oct-16 20:58:03

The issue is your baby associates breastfeeding with night and dark and quiet and sleepiness.

This is not an 'issue'. It's developmentally normal.

KellyMom, as always, has sage words and evidence-based links on the subject.

LapinR0se Mon 24-Oct-16 21:04:17

Elphaba I think your advice is great for someone who wants to be a brilliant breasfeeder.
It is not good advice for someone who's desperate for a bit more sleep.

Nottalotta Mon 24-Oct-16 21:07:52

Just to add re the feeding, I think it's quite normal for the baby to be less interested in feeding during the day at this age, as they are more easily distracted, and more interested in the things around them. Ds was certainly like that.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 24-Oct-16 21:11:13

Neither of my boys gave me longer than two hours at a stretch for the first 18 months of their lives. Since there's only two years between them, I had well over three years of severely broken sleep, for most of which, I had no choice to work full time.

Trust me, I wrote the book on desperation for more sleep.

But since no sleep training technique known to humankind worked on them, and only resulted in a lot less sleep for all concerned, I learned that accepting the biological norm was by far and away the easiest thing to do. Had I accepted it much earlier in their lives, there would have been a lot less tears and stress for all of us and I would look back at their babyhoods with a lot less guilt. That has nowt whatsoever to do with breastfeeding.

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