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Oh dear.... sleep advice required...

(12 Posts)
kd73 Tue 23-Dec-08 07:53:06

Brought home new baby, initially he slept well in the hospital (but possibly due to to trauma of delivery he was shocked into silence). Anyway, having been transferred at hospital into a bay, we find ourselves with another new mum, who was practising a form of controlled crying (without control) and was basically ignoring his cries throughout the night.

My LO decided it was a choral practice and joined along and so basically I ended up leaving the room as it was becoming too distressing (for me!)

Decided that hospital was probably not the best place for me/us and so we came home yesterday. Slept in his moses basket downstairs, good as gold. We had regular breast feeding sessions and then it got to bedtime and the choral group become a solo effort with him roaring every time we tried to put him down. His attempts at breast feeding are half hearted but god forbid you try to seperate him from his "dinner". Ultimately, I have 2 nights of no sleep with large quantities of b/f.

I am very concerned that patterns are easily formed but hate the idea of leaving him crying and distressed...

Can I please have some advise as to how to turn around this situation as b/f is becoming toe curlingly painful and I am so very tired and worried how I will cope when DP returns to work after paternity.

nappyaddict Tue 23-Dec-08 07:55:43

He's a newborn. For the first few weeks it is quite possible he will feed as much as every hour. It's what they do unfortunately. He is much too young for you to be trying to get him into some sort of pattern. Do not leave him crying.

Does he sleep in his moses basket at night or in a cot?

seeker Tue 23-Dec-08 08:03:26

The first few days/weeks are like this - you may find that you're feeding what seems like constantly. Please don't think of patterns, or sleep problems or anything like that - he doesn't yet realize he's not part of you! Just try to relax, go with the flow, don't think about doing anything else but feeding the baby (that will get easier and less painful soon). Try to sleep when he sleeps - and in about 6 weeks (sorry!) you will suddenly realize that things are getting easier.

Good luck - and you'll get tons of helpful advice and support on here.

Anna8888 Tue 23-Dec-08 08:08:27

Do not worry.

A baby has no established feed-sleep-wake cycle at birth so you cannot "get into bad habits". You really do have and need to follow your baby's cues for the first days and weeks (do not try to make him do anything, it is pointless) on sleeping and feeding. But it will get better - by 16 weeks a baby's naturals biorhythms are getting into sync with the 24 hour day.

Try to take every opportunity to lie down with your baby and have a nap.

nappyaddict Tue 23-Dec-08 08:19:11

Cosleeping helps some people especially if you are breastfeeding. That way when they wake up you can just latch them on and then doze back off. Also go to sleep whenever baby does. I took to going to bed at 8/9pm for a while.

ches Tue 23-Dec-08 19:32:33

Are you swaddling? Has your milk come in yet or do you still just have colostrum?

shootRudolphinthehip Tue 23-Dec-08 19:43:18

No, no, no don't leave a brand new baby crying- it will do nothing except make them cry more. You can't spoil a newborn or get them in to bad habits when they don't know what night and day are. There is a time and a place for teaching them about routines/ controlled crying if that's what you want but now is not the time. You will live in a blur until you get in a pattern of feeding eg 6 weeks and then it will all change again. You need to go with the flow if you're bf, it's impossible to get a new baby to conform if you are not using a bottle. It is possible further down the line but don't get yourself in a knot because someone else was doing something in the hospital.

Enjoy what you can, sleep when you can, remember what you can and enjoy all those lovely cuddles. Babies cry and it's no-ones fault, it's just babies. (I hope this is your first or I sound REALLY patronising, but no-one told me any of this when I had my first and I wish they had- I thought everything was my fault/ crying/ sleeping etc)

Good luck, oh and swaddling worked for us!!

kd73 Wed 24-Dec-08 04:35:41

Thank you for posting the replies, we have made some monumental decisions (which are subject to change) since the first posting and are feeling a little more positive (despite the current hour).

We are no longer going to feed outside demand and will follow his lead, the daytime feeds were being led by him at approx 3 - 4 hr intervals, so we hope given time a similar routine can be established during the nights & evenings. We will try and sleep or at least take turns to sleep as he sleeps and will be a little more confident in the fact that if he isn't settled and he has a clean nappy, he must be hungry and try to feed him again but not allowing myself or him as a dummy buggering up my nips for feeding.

So last night, we all retired to bed (we have abandoned his rocking crib and are using his moses basket, which he has slept in during the daytime) at 9.30pm. We gave him a feed upon demand at midnight giving 20 mins per breast, changed his nappy and them stroked him for 10 - 15 mins until he fell asleep before transferring him to the moses basket. The result is he has slept til 3.30am and so have we!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to try and get the local b/f councillor to assist us to ensure we are attaching correctly, but having spoken to the midwife it appears that my son and I are out of sync, which is causing the discomfort and pain. Rather than abandoning the b/f if necessary we will try to express and work it that way.

Its very early days but this time yesterday, I was despairing. Now I am chuffed to bits !

Must dash!

TinyWhiteFeather Wed 24-Dec-08 04:47:37

I BF'd both of my DC's on demand.

DS (10) was pretty good through the night and didn't wake for many feeds and yet now has massive sleep problems.

My DD (6) BF'd constantly for hours at a time, through the day and the night and yet she both goes to bed and stays there (mostly) and has a brilliant sleep pattern.

Well done on making a start at getting things sorted. I remember the helplessness of getting a routing going.

foxytocin Wed 24-Dec-08 05:05:15

Congratulations on your new baby!

Firstly, if your nipples are feeling pain throughout most of the feed or it is cracked, please go see a breastfeeding counsellor who can assess and possibly adjust your latch. A baby should be able to stay latched 'for hours' without pain. Your baby is not using you as a dummy. A dummy is used as a breast. Newborns have a great need to suck; they need to do that too to build your milk supply.

Google 'baby cafe' and see if there is one near you. Also 'NCT bumps and Babies' There are also the 4 breastfeeding helplines where you can speak on a one to one basis and possibly find a counsellor that way.

try to feed him every 2 - 3 hrs during the day (from the start of one feed to the start of the next) 3-4 hrs is not enough to build up your supply and is a possible reason why he is trying to make up for it at night.

don't wait till he's crying to feed him. crying is the last hunger cue so by then he is pretty desperate.

sometimes you'll find that you'll put him down and 5 mins later he's crying again and you can,t believe he's still hungry. just feed him again. it is normal, nomal normal. at this times what they need and want is the same so you're not in any danger of teaching him any bad habits and it is certainly not about your supply.

swaddle, cosleep, let other people take up the slack around the house as your main 'job' is to feed your baby. you're giving him the best start in life and it will only last a very short time that he will need your undivided attention so much. use it as a time for you to recuperate from pregnancy and childbirth.

nappyaddict Wed 24-Dec-08 16:25:18

Offer the breast every 2-2.5 hours. If he doesn't want it fine wait until he asks for his next feed but always offer 2-2.5 hours after his last feed.

kd73 Thu 25-Dec-08 07:42:37

Following on from my last postings, I know recognise the following:-

The first night was a massive adjustment to the little man, he cried and I despaired about what I was doing wrong (with a little rationality I can see I probably wasn't doing anything wrong and holding him all night didn't kill either of us!).

Having now seen both the midwife and a maternity support worker re the b/f, it appears that a) I have delayed lactation so ultimately my milk supply is only now coming thru and b) whilst I was shown in hospital the nose to nipple technique, I was not told how important it was for the little man to have the underside of the aerola (sp?) for milk production, so ultimately he has been sucking hard and chewing my nipple to little effect. Unfortunately, due to the above, poor techniques have been established and we are now retraining.

I am very very hormonal as well as in pain from the labour still and despite the fact I feel like crap, my dp is being very supportive and thinks we are doing fab!

It is only day 5 and I finally get that motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions, uncertainty and overwhelming responsibility and some days will be better than others, but as some have pointed out, this is my first baby and I didn't/still don't know what to expect, but as long as my intentions are good and I continue to do my best by the little man, it will be ok in the end!

Happy Christmas and thanks for listening to me!

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