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Self settling with dummy

(4 Posts)
ClaireRose33 Fri 24-Mar-17 15:24:00

I'm first time mum to baby boy now aged 5months. He's EBF. Feeds well, good weight etc. Sleep was ok until we hit 4months and he has started waking hourly all night long!! after much reading on Mumsnet I've now learnt about the 4month sleep regression and the need for babies to learn to self settle. So Ive stopped feeding to sleep and can now feed him before bed and place him into snuzpod attached to my bed, awake- he does cry so I give him a dummy, kiss and say goodnight. He goes to sleep independently like this, quickly with no crying. However!....he still wakes every hour through the nights and I have to lean across to put the dummy back in so I feel I'm no further forward! It's not so much for me...more I feel I am failing him already if I don't teach him to sleep more than an hour at a time?!
Have I misunderstood things or will he gradually just improve as he gets older? (Obviously I still expect to feed him overnight and do so 2-3 hourly dependent on if he settles quick with dummy or not). Sorry long post! I'll get the hang of things! Thanks in advance if anyone has any suggestions of help?! smile

FATEdestiny Fri 24-Mar-17 17:27:36

The wake ups are likely to be hunger related. All of them.

By that I don't mean baby is starving hungry every hour or so. However if total calorific intake over the previous 24/48 hours is on the low side, it causes light sleeping.

It's entirely reasonable that some babies at 5 months old are receivibg all of their calories during the daytime, so never need any feeds during the night. Such babies are also more likely to have higher total calorie intake so that allows them to "sleep through"

Sleeping through effectively means sleeping deeply. A light sleeper wakes frequently, a deep sleeper doesn't.

So the dummy has nithing to do with being a kuggt or deep sleeper. The dummy helps a baby settle to sleep when they wake up. That is the beginning and end of it. If you have a light sleeper, waking frequently, there'll be lots of dummy reinserts. If you have a deep sleeper, there may be a single dummy insert at the beginning of the night and that's it, no other wake ups.

Two key factors affect light sleeping:
- total calories over 24 hours
- total sleep over 24 hours

Make both as much as possible. Lots of big, frequent daytime feeds and naps.

Dummy is inconsequential to the frequency of wake ups. It's just a means to get baby back to sleep when he does wake. A very easy way too.

By about 7-9 months babies can learn to reinsert their own dummy. So even if you have a light sleeper still at that point, you may be needed less for reinsertions.

ClaireRose33 Fri 24-Mar-17 18:06:59

Oh wow I didn't realise! I thought he was waking for the dummy!
So hopefully if I feed him more and when we start weaning properly he might stop it?
He also does it for naps? Only sleep for half an hour at a time. He used to sleep for at least an hour and often 1.5hours. Iv started putting him in cot for naps instead of swing or pram but it's made no difference.

FATEdestiny Sat 25-Mar-17 09:27:39

Upping daytime milk and nap frequency is usually the answer. Then once you start weaning, try to avoid replacing milk feeds. Instead maintain the same level of milk feeds and have solids in addition to the normal amount of milk.

Short naps (20-45 minutes) are not unusual at this age. The key to ensuring baby doesn't get over tired is making naps frequent.

I would aim for about 60-80 minutes awake, give or take. If last nap was short, less awake time until the next nap. Remember that when you see tired signs, baby actually was tired half an hour earlier.

I find things that move (pram, swing, bouncy chair) are most useful when baby is having short naps. It means you can use the movement to try to extend the length of the nap and resettle when waking.

In time, naps should lengthen again. Once closer to 90 minute nap length, that's when I'd move to cot naps

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