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16 week old not sleeping well and in bad habits(6 Posts)
Hi, I feel absolutely exhausted and that I've lost my confidence in what I'm doing as my almost 16 week old doesn't sleep well and wakes every couple of hours at least (she's ebf but doesn't always have a feed). I feel guilty incase we've got her into bad habits through exhaustion and confused her as I often cuddle her until she's back to sleep rather than letting her self-soothe because the tiredness has just made me want an easier life and to be able to sleep again more quickly. And the last few nights around 4/5am we've even let her come into bed with us where she sleeps much better. But I know deep down we shouldn't do this and are making a rod for our own backs as now she cries for us to pick her up and the moment she wakes she won't self soothe. I've lost all my confidence now with what I'm doing/what I should be doing and am confused as to how much she should be able to sleep at this point and if I should be pushing for her to self soothe or not at this age. Every time I hear her cry it's so hard to just leave her upset. She's never been the best sleeper but I feel we've taken steps back if anything and that I have let her down giving her mixed messages. She also seems to suffer often with wind at night and sometimes strains and farts which perhaps doesn't help and means she wakes more. What should I be doing please.
Also how frequently should I be breastfeeding her at 16 weeks in the night please? Thank you.
I think you should try to forget everything that anyone has told you about rods and bad habits and consider what your instinct is.
Personally I embraced cosleeping after finding it the best way for us both to get sleep. I don't think it is a bad habit and it's normal for baby's to need their mums to help them to sleep until they are much older.
It's best to breastfeed in the night as often as she wants.
Around 16 weeks/4 month is a big developmental leap for babies so normal for their sleep to go all over the place, but it is difficult for you if you aren't getting sleep.
You aren't doing anything wrong.
My baby is 7 months old and I've worried about many of the same things. I now cosleep part of the night and my baby doesn't self settle. Having read a lot and talked to a lot of friends with babies, I have come to the conclusion that they vary massively in terms of sleep, and some babies just sleep a lot easier without assistance. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, just different routes to get to the same place. Some people choose to cosleep, respond to cries, support to sleep etc for years until the child eventually learns to do it for themselves. Others actively try to teach their baby to sleep, often following strict schedules, routines, sleep training etc. Both have pros and cons and you might move between different approaches. You have to work out what actually matters to you in terms of sleep. Self soothing is not the magic bullet, I've heard from plenty of people whose baby self soothes but still doesn't sleep great. They also change massively between 4-6 months. If I was you, I would do what I needed to survive in terms of sleep, see where you are in a couple of months and then you could research different sleep training methods and decide if one appeals or if you want to just go with the flow.
Well it’s nearly 1am where I am and I’m currently sat with my 14 week old asleep on me for the third time since he went to bed tonight. No advice but you’re not alone! We were down to 2 feeds in the night until 10 weeks and now it’s 3/4. Last night I picked him up countless times to settle him and tonight is going the same way. He definitely has wind issues but I saw the Dr today and she just gave him herbal drops to try.
I agree with pp that you just do what works for you at the moment. My DM said I shouldn’t just pick him up but to me he is still far to small to self settle and he’s crying because he needs me.
You've had some very sound advice so far OP.
My 10mo is an AWFUL sleeper. I always try to get him to sleep in his cot or at least transfer him to it after he is asleep but it rarely lasts longer than an hour. He sleeps so much better in our bed, so that's what we choose to allow (for everyone's sanity).
The 4 month sleep regression is real and can make sleep really hard for them, so I see no harm in helping them. They are still so young at this age.
By all means, consider sleep training when it's times but please don't beat yourself up. You're doing your best and keeping your baby safe, happy and well rested.