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Struggling to settle new born - when is the right time to set up a routine?

(9 Posts)
hollymonster Mon 30-Jan-17 08:06:12

Hi all

I'm FTM to a little girl who is a week old (today!) and need some advice on sleeping habits and a few other bits.

We've got a co-sleeper cot that we always planned to settle her in right next to me and keep closed, then open when I need to feed - however since day one she hasn't wanted to be in there at all. We've also got a sleepyhead which she liked sleeping in so we started actually putting that in the cosleeper to see if that might work. Now that seems to have fallen out of favour altogether. It feels as though she just really doesn't want to be on her back. I say this because she seems to like to sit in a baby chair slightly upright, but only when she is awake. Other than that she just wants to be on my or my husbands chest. This caused actual exhaustion for a few days straight as I had to sit up all night with her and was worried i might pass out on her or something. So, begrudgingly, last night I made a bit of a barricade in bed where I was half sitting with a bf pillow around me and she slept on that all night on my chest. It felt very safe but not really the point as not ideal for anyone. My questions really are:

- does anyone have any tips on getting her into the cosleeper? To some how make it feel like a safe comfy spot for her
- any tips on getting her comfortable on her back? Perhaps swaddling?
- she likes to suckle almost constantly so most of it is definitely comfort - does anyone have any experience with nipple dummies (don't shoot me!!)
- when would be the time that we should expect to start a bit of a routine going? Is holding her all night foing to create bad habits?
- should i constantly pick her up when she gets unsettled? Being told off by bossy family members who say I should leave her a while but this feels unnatural

Thanks for reading, sorry for long post!


DianaMitford Mon 30-Jan-17 08:56:54

Swaddling is definitely the way forward. My dd settled immediately after night time feeds when I swaddled and lay her on her side in the Moses basket.

But basically she's so tiny that she really needs to be spending the majority of her time with/on you.

hollymonster Mon 30-Jan-17 09:19:52

Thanks Diana - yes that's what I thought and am more than happy with constant snuggles at the mo smile and as for laying her on her side did you prop a blanket behind her back or anything? My LO is definitely more comfortable on her side.

amysmummy12345 Mon 30-Jan-17 09:27:18

Google the fourth trimester, little one doesn't know that you and her are separate beings at the moment. As for routine, feed, burp, sleep, nappy change and repeat(not necessarily in that order)!

Thy suckling might be the start of cluster feeding which is a good thing as it builds your milk supply, the more baby feeds, the more you make, supply and demand at its best.

Just take things as they come for now, it's a cliche but try to sleep when baby sleeps, if someone is about try to get them to watch baby while you nap or take shifts with the baby. Before you know it, all of this will be a distant memory flowerscakebrew

Hyggemama Mon 30-Jan-17 09:30:42

Congratulations on your DD! We have a cosleeper and what seemed to help my DD settle in it was rolling a blanket up and wrapping it around them a couple of inches away from them so they kind of have an enclosed "nest". We also raised the mattress at her head end slightly by putting blankets underneath one end, not too much or they will slide down! If she likes sucking I don't see anything wrong with a dummy, although my DD would never take one but found her thumb at 4 weeks. I suppose there is a possibility of nipple confusion so you might want to wait until she is a little older but I would base that on how well she is feeding at the moment. As for family members saying you shouldn't comfort on demand you are right to trust your instincts. I let DD fall asleep on me in the early days and often with boob in mouth, I moved her to the cosleeper once asleep and now at 5 months she can settle herself in cosleeper. I know people would say this is a bad habit but I believe they will form their own routines when ready. Sounds like you're doing a great job.

ElspethFlashman Mon 30-Jan-17 09:37:26

Dummies are good - they help prevent SIDS by keeping the airway open.

Yes you should pick her up when unsettled, she's a newborn! Your family are very outdated. Newborns don't understand "training".

Feed her to sleep then prop her in the sleepyhead on her side with a muslin or blanket. Then once fast asleep pull it slowly out so she sinks back.

Expect very little in these first weeks. They are basically like little monkey babies, if they could cling to you 24/7 they would.

Tbh for the first 9/10 weeks forget about routine except make sure there is no more than 1 or 1.5 hrs between naps.

MiniMaxi Mon 30-Jan-17 09:41:35


How about sleepyhead in your bed? It's designed for cosleeping you just have to be careful not to pull the covers up over your baby, follow the other safe sleeping guidelines etc.

Otherwise you could try a Cocoonababy which is slightly at an angle and makes baby feel "cuddled" so she might prefer it. It's £125 though!

teaandbiscuitsforme Mon 30-Jan-17 13:09:11

I've have a 3 week old DS and we've attached a co-sleeper like we did with DD. However I haven't once even attempted to put him in it! I BF lying down and we co-sleep (following safe guidelines) which means that even if I'm awake feeding, I'm resting, he's sleeping for decent chunks because he's not being disturbed and we're all waking up feeling reasonably rested.

My point is that babies don't always like the set up you think is best before they arrive. If you're exhausted, it's much safer to safely co-sleep than let her sleep on you.

Don't worry about routine, don't worry about making a rod for your own back and don't worry about your bossy family! Google the fourth trimester and for these early months, feed, cuddle and do whatever you need to do to get the most amount of sleep. Please don't listen to your family and leave her to cry. Listen to your instincts!

teaandbiscuitsforme Mon 30-Jan-17 13:25:09

Also don't dismiss her wanting to be attached all night as just comfort sucking. She'll be working really hard to establish your supply and unlimited access, especially overnight, is absolutely crucial. If you're planning on BF for reasonable length of time, it's not recommended to introduce dummies (or bottles) until at least 6 weeks because it can interfere with supply.

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