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Getting 6 week old to have his long sleeps at night

(2 Posts)
Cuppaqueen Thu 18-May-17 09:24:36

My 6 week old DS has (so far) been a really good sleeper both day and night. He takes regular naps in the day including reliably 2 hours plus over lunchtime, and until recently was only waking up once at night between 10pm ish and 6-6.30am - around 2.30-3am - which was BLISS. However, he's shifted slightly and over last couple of weeks, he's slept 7-10pm ish, then change & feed and 11pm-1.30/2am, then feed (& change if necessary) then 2.30/3 till 5/5.30am. I don't wake him up to feed, just wake when I hear him fussing. We get up at 7am when my DH goes to work.

I know he's still small and we are lucky he sleeps as much as he does, but does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get him to go back to longer stretches at night like he was before? I know he can do it because he's easily gone 4 hours on various occasions but he stubbornly only has a short first stretch of night sleep (the 11-1/2am one) and the second stretch is getting shorter as he wakes up earlier. On the other hand, he sleeps like a log from 7pm and we always have to wake him for the feed before we go to bed, which makes me wonder if he therefore doesn't feed well at the 10/11pm feed?

He's EBF, and has his daytime sleeps mostly in his pram bassinet and nighttime sleeps in his cot by our bed. I bring him into bed for night feeds and then settle him back in the cot when he's drowsy (if he's gassy, it can take 30-40 mins as he's not comfy lying down and needs burping/keeping upright). We don't want to co-sleep and in any case it wouldn't help with the gas.

Bit of a long one, sorry - I'm new to all this! Any suggestions? The short stretches of sleep at night are starting to knacker me out and I'm hopeless at napping in the daytime alas. Thanks smile

FATEdestiny Thu 18-May-17 10:50:32

Firstly, sleep development is not linear. It isnt tge case that as baby gets older, their sleep gets better and it is incorrect to assume that because baby could do 6h stretches a month ago, that he can do the same now. Sleep development will naturally have times it gets worse and times it gets better.

Restless nights are most often linked to

- low level hunger. In that over 24 hours total calorie intake is on the low side, leading to more disturbed sleep. Solve my more frequent, bigger feeds. Primarily feed more in the daytime, to calorie load so fewer calories are needed at night. But night feeds will also be needed.

- lack of sleep over 24 hours. Over tiredness perversely leads to a baby who is harder to settle, sleeps less deeply and so wakes more easily. Solved with an increase in the frequency of daytime sleep. Try to limit awake time to 40-60 minutes or so. At this age, baby should never be awake for more than 1h in one go.

- method of going to sleep. This matters, but only once the above two are sorted. No point at all focusing on things like stopping feeding to sleep until yoy have a baby getting plenty of calories and sleep over 24h. Once these are sorted, working on in-cot settling becomes important. A dummy can help with this.

As an aside note, no reason to change baby in the night unless it's a poo. Most decent nappies should manage 12 hours of over night wee without leaking.

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