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Help with sleep definitions please - fed to sleep, drowsy but awake...

(24 Posts)
Jellybabie3 Tue 06-Feb-18 10:52:37

My DS is wham in the middle of the 4month regression (4mths tomorrow). After 7 weeks of 45-60min sleeps i have been reading alot of stuff....

Yesterday i did a feeble attempt of PUPD and it resulted in a very overtired baby. I've decided to not do sleep training as it seemed awfully stressful on him and me. I am trying gentler methods for now. But can you help with some of the terms as tbh i have no idea what stage we are at...

Sleep through the night - apparently this is 5 hours?? Madness if hes down at 7pm. So midnight is STTN?? Albeit the best we have had is 2.5hours since the regression so we are a long way off but he was doing 10pm - 4am so that was it right??

Spread feeds in the night - ebf here so fed on demand. I dont believe its possible to time and spread feeds apart at this age. Sometimes he last 3 hours when out and about, others 30mins when i am sat here with hin. Therefore if he wakes he gets fed??

Fed to sleep - as above DS is ebf. He currently feeds then takes himself off the boob and rolls onto his back to nod off. Does this count as fed to sleep? If yes how do you change that??

Droswy but awake - i lift DS into his side crib when hes rolled onto his back from the boob. His eyes are shut but he wriggle when moved, may flutter eyes to look at ewan, shuffles to get comfy - does this count or does this term mean eyes open, falls asleep by himself???

Sorry if I am being dim!!

InMemoryOfSleep Tue 06-Feb-18 10:57:45

@Jellbabie3 You’re not being dim at all, you sound like you’re doing a fab job! I would worry less about the definitions of what you ‘should’ be doing and listen to your baby (which you’re already doing with feeding on demand etc). I really recommend Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s Gentle Sleep book - it’s not a sleep ‘solution’, doesn’t give any answers, but it explains what is normal sleep at each age and what to expect. It stopped me going mad many a time!

FATEdestiny Tue 06-Feb-18 23:03:54

Sleep through the night - entirely subjective to the point it's a pointless phrase. Use it only if it makes you feel better, ignore if it doesn't.

Fed to sleep. Yes, you are feeding your sleep. The way to change that us to not feed to sleep. It is that simple - have a different way to get baby to go to sleep. A dummy is the gentlest and simplest alternate. Or cuddling/rocking to sleep, cosleeping or sleep training methods that involve crying.

Droswy but awake - you are nowhere near drowsy but awake. Awake means awake- properly and fully awake. Drowsy means 'baby is ready for a sleep'. it, don't put a wide awake and not tired baby down to sleep. Instead put down baby when ready for a sleep (drowsy) but while still awake.

Therefore if he wakes he gets fed?. He won't actually need those calories every 30m-1h or whatever. He just needs to go back your sleep. Your method is feeding to sleep, so you feed. You don't actually need to (in terms of calorific need) if you had an alternate way to get baby to sleep.

I used to put baby in sidecar cot and cuddle close with a dummy being sucked to get baby to sleep at bedtime (from fully and completely awake. Breastfed before bath, completely separate to sleeping). And night wake and I'd cuddle close with dummy again. 80% of the time this would get baby back to sleep without feeding. Only if baby was not settled within 10 minutes or do would I then give a night breastfeed. By 4 months I was doing usually 1 feed between 8pm-7am. Occasionally 2, never more than this.

Caterina99 Wed 07-Feb-18 03:16:48

Hi op my DD is the same age as your DS (4 months on the 11th). I have a 2 year old DS though who was a good sleeper so I’m not completely new to this, although it’s surprising what you forget!

I don’t feed DD to sleep. I do occasionally if it suits me obviously, but usually I feed her and then if she’s dropping off I wake her up by winding etc. she rarely falls asleep on the breast now as her routine is eat awake sleep so I feed her when she wakes up.

Before bed I do the last feed at about 6.30. Our current routine is a cat nap from 5.30-6 so she’s not overtired and then bed at 7. Start feed about 6.30, takes about 10-16 min then pjs on etc and into bed by 7. I’ll rock her a bit until I see her eyes getting heavy and then put her down with dummy and leave. Sometimes she settles right away, sometimes I have to go in a couple of times. I know I’m really lucky though that my babies will settle like this.

Nights were going great with just one feed, but the last week she’s been up a few times, I assume the 4 month sleep regression. I usually try with the dummy and then if she doesn’t settle or wakes up again within half an hour then I just feed her cos it’s easier and I usually let her feed to sleep then

I think you need some way to settle your DS apart from breastfeeding. Also when DD is overtired she wakes every hour that first part of the night. Trial and error has suggested she needs to go to bed an hour after her last nap. Good luck!

Caterina99 Wed 07-Feb-18 03:19:45

Sorry that was really long! Hope some of it is helpful. My next mission is improving naps, but I know that’s just something that comes with time so I’m not too worried about it just yet.

Jellybabie3 Wed 07-Feb-18 07:58:53

Well i really dont want to give DS a dummy so I am abit stumped. DS does not like being put down asleep from standing let alone awake (would be utterly pointless). He hates being lowered. So i guess I am in trouble!!

Roseandmabelshouse Wed 07-Feb-18 08:02:52

It's all a load of rubbish. Chuck out the books and just go with the flow. Sounds like your instincts are helping you do a grand job!

I ebf and co-slept. I can promise you my children slowly transitioned to sleeping in thier own beds and gently self weaned.

In fact I would argue they now sleep better than those I know who sleep trained. I would worry less about what 'you should be doing' and do what feels right for your baby.

Jellybabie3 Wed 07-Feb-18 08:03:08

I am suprised so many people can get a 4 month old to nod off by themselves.

teaandbiscuitsforme Wed 07-Feb-18 08:21:44

I've always fed to sleep, think it's a brilliant way of getting babies to sleep. I agree with chucking the books!

ScottishDiblet Wed 07-Feb-18 08:30:30

A great step by step guide is the sensational baby sleep plan by Alison Scott Wright. It talks you through exactly how to do this and teaches you how to do it. Best of luck. smile

Jellybabie3 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:01:30

Looks like this is a 50-50 split thing.

Caterina99 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:05:31

Thing is babies are pretty much designed to suck to soothe themselves to fall asleep. Unless you’re really lucky with a baby that stays asleep once down, it’s boob, bottle, dummy, thumb or maybe toy or blanket to get them back to sleep when they wake. For me personally co sleeping just isn’t for me, so I need my babies to be able to settle without using me so I don’t want that dependence on the feeding to sleep so I use a dummy. I still do night feeds, but when they are actually hungry rather than every hour. I know I’m lucky though that my babies have taken to this

Caterina99 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:25:03

Or movement I suppose? We don’t really do naps in the cot yet (and I found that pupd to just enrage my DS so I won’t be trying that again this time round). DD settles for naps either in the car (poor second child dragged about everywhere), or pram or the swing or in the baby carrier.

I read somewhere that at 4 months it is most important to get them to sleep by whatever means and not worry so much about how it happens. Once they are used to sleeping at certain times then you can slowly push the cot naps etc. Focus on bedtime and routine as that’s when they are most tired and then the rest will follow

crazycatlady5 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:39:19

I mean this in the kindest possible way but I really think you’re overthinking things. I say this purely because you remind me so much of how I was and our babies sound very similar. ALL babies are different. Some you can put down from the day they come back from the hospital, some sleep through the night from a few weeks old, others from 6 months, others way over a year old. Mine has just turned a year, she still feeds to sleep and we mostly cosleep, although she prefers her own space most of the time (sidecarred cot next to our bed).

They all get there in their own time. Sucking to sleep is entirely natural, not only is it soothing but it helps to realign the skull after birth in the first year.

I totally get how sleep deprived you are, but put the books down and stop reading all the ‘advice’ out there (which I decided to also do around the 4 month mark) and just go with the flow. I promise you’ll be much happier for it flowers

FATEdestiny Wed 07-Feb-18 12:34:40

I am suprised so many people can get a 4 month old to nod off by themselves.

From the baby's point of view, dummy and sidecar cot cuddles is exactly the same way of getting to sleep as feeding to sleep and cosleeping.

- sucking as nature's way of soothing baby
- physically close to mum
- going to sleep where baby will stay asleep. NOT being transfered when asleep.

One method develops dependancy.
One method is develops independance
Neither is wrong, neither is right. Just two ways if achieving the same thing - contented, non-stressful sleep without any crying.

I really dont want to give DS a dummy...

You will therefore either
● need to tolerate baby crying sooner or later if you don't want to feed to sleep longer term.

● embrace cosleeping and long term feeding to sleep. By allowing means continue the Pantly Pulloff along the way, but this is a long-game and isn't going you result in baby sleeping independantly anytime in the next year.

*crazycatlady5: "you remind me so much of how I was"

I was thinking exactly the same thing. I remember your early threads.

crazycatlady5 Wed 07-Feb-18 12:58:07

@FATEdestiny absolutely! I spent far too much time worrying and not enough time enjoying which I think is natural as a first time mum. I totally get where you’re at OP xx

Jellybabie3 Wed 07-Feb-18 13:38:14

OK-OK i will go with the flow. My gut tells me he is just not ready for any kind of sleep training. Thank you.

Crazycat thanks for telling me you still feed to sleep. I feel like its totally frowned upon around here....

Jellybabie3 Wed 07-Feb-18 13:45:30

@FATEdestiny thanks for your advice ....i know i tend not to agree (you recommend dummys alot as the saviour of all things baby) but i appreciate you are trying to tell me honestly just how it is.

I don't want to 'fix' my baby. He's doing what he's programmed to do. I just find it difficult when people spring up to tell you what an amazing routine their baby is in. In comparison my DS feeds when he wants, sleeps when he wants (ish) and i am prepared to comfort/hold him throughout. What i don't want to be doing though is holding him back in any way for my ease/pleasure or comfort/naivety.

The books are going away....for now atleast. I am pretty damn tired.

teaandbiscuitsforme Wed 07-Feb-18 13:56:40

Jelly The best thing you can do at the moment is give up the fight you're constantly fighting; you sound exhausted with it! I fought for nearly 7months with my first - then I 'gave in' and accepted that I parented one way and that was that. I fed to sleep and coslept and it was brilliant! It was like a weight lifted. With DS, I fed to sleep and coslept from the start - no stress, no tears and most importantly the most sleep I could imagine with 2 under 2!

I've just got up from napping with my 13mo DS (fed to sleep). 2.9yrs DD has also just got up - not fed to sleep 😂 but snuggled into bed with her favourite toys!

If you think your way works for you and your baby, absolutely go with it! Do not change because a book or some randoms on the Internet say so. Have confidence!

Jellybabie3 Wed 07-Feb-18 14:05:38

Thanks will do. I guess 7 weeks of wondering what happened to my 6 hour sleeps and a stinking cold makes all rational thought go in the bin!! Hes such a lovely baby i dont want to waste any time worrying. If anyone asks if he sleeos i will just nod. .atleast it ends tge conversation and stops me feeling like crap mum.

Thanks xx

teaandbiscuitsforme Wed 07-Feb-18 14:13:41

Unfortunately I think he lulled you into a false sense of security - sympathies! thanks

Definitely concentrate on enjoying him. If anybody asks how he sleeps- Smile, 'he sleeps like a baby' and change the topic.

You are in no way a bad Mum!

InMemoryOfSleep Wed 07-Feb-18 14:14:32

@Jellybabie3 you will be an expert at the smile and nod by the time your baby is one! Honestly, people’s expectations of baby sleep are ridiculous, they’re not meant to be sleeping through the night at this age, so just ignore any judgy pants who suggest you should be doing something differently. I can assure you that you are not a crap Mum, it’s so clear from your posts that you want the best for your baby. Hang on in there, things do get easier, and just go with your instincts (which are obviously fab) and enjoy your baby, this time goes by so quickly. And hope your cold goes away soon, sending flowers and a big brew to get you through x

Jellybabie3 Wed 07-Feb-18 14:29:44

I've just measured our room and the cotbed will go in. Albeit we will be rather squished but its doable. That makes me relax already as i am not panicking about timescales...I'm off to cuddle my baby whilst watching crap on the tv smile

Sipperskipper Wed 07-Feb-18 15:39:32

Don’t worry! If you are happy and comfortable with feeding to sleep, that is fine! If it is working for you and your baby, that really is all that matters. It is nothing to do with anyone else.

Some babies are in a set routine, some aren’t. My DD was in a pretty set routine at 4 months, which worked great for us, but friends with similar aged babies thought it was so restrictive! Just do what works best for you.

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