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12 week old bedtime routine *please* help- I'm failing her

(13 Posts)
jeffily Thu 18-Jun-09 19:51:44

Hello all. I've been reading these forums since DD was 5 weeks old, but this is my first post- so hi! These forums seem very friendly and supportive, so here goes, I wonder if anyone can advise me?

DD is 12 weeks old, but she was 6 weeks premature. She was a good weight though, 6lb 1oz and is growing well, now nearly 12lb. She is breast fed, currently she feeds every 2 hours through the day and 3 at night. We are co-sleeping, and I am happy with this and don't want to stop. Until about 10 days ago she was falling asleep on my lap in the evenings and staying in the living room with us until I went to bed. Then she started screaming for two hours every evening from about 5/6 and eventually falling asleep exhausted on my shoulder. V tiring and upsetting for all of us! I decided that she was probably ready for a bedtime, as she is starting to be more awake and aware and I thought that the light/noise/presence of us in the living room was stopping her from being able to settle. I spent a few days getting her used to being in her cot- popping her in there after a nap in the sling so she woke up there and spending some awake time lying in there- then we began to do a routine. Bath, massage, songs/story and cuddle till sleepy, breast feed and into bed. ^At least that is the theory!^ Actually what has happened is that she will start with the crying after the feed before her bedtime one (ie at 4/5). She stops crying for her bath, which she loves, then starts again when she has to get out and carries on until she is too tired and finally falls asleep on my shoulder and I can transfer her into bed. It is meaning that she is awake for about a 3 hour stretch in the evening before she sleeps, whereas in the day it is rarely longer than an hour, so I think she is over tired. The feed is always punctuated by crying, like she has wind and it is giving her pain but she never brings any up and when she calms down she will suck ok.
Currently she is lying in her bed, crying a bit but I am leaving her unless it escalates. I feel awful. I must be failing her in some way for her to need to cry so much in the evenings. DH says he will support whatever I think- which is worse than useless because what I want is for him to help me find a solution (isn't that what men are meant to want to do!!!!). Plus he works away quite regularly so is not even here to help me. AHHHHHHH! Please advise/suggest!
Sorry this is so long...
Crying has escalated. Am going to go and comfort.

flamingobingo Thu 18-Jun-09 19:55:11

Oh poor you! The early weeks/months of parenting are really tough.

Don't worry that you're going to do her any harm if you just do what works. Sit down with your DH and write out a list of the things that help her not cry in the evenings (crying in the evening is v. normal, sadly!). Think up some new ones. Look for other ideas on websites etc.

Then, when she starts crying, work your way through them all until you either find the one that works for a long time, or she falls asleep.

DanielBumpsMummy Fri 19-Jun-09 13:59:56

Hello Jefily - some days my little guy will nap around 3/4 and then although he is very sleepy he won't nap again until bed time.

And like your LO he can get very upset during that period..........he is now 18 weeks old. And things do seem to be getting better as he gets old (fingers crossed)

So what I try and do is get him to have a nap any way I can between his last two feeds - he either goes in his swing or I take him out for a walk until he sleeps. Even if he won't sleep when we are outside he is calm and not crying - so I figure that's better than nothing.

The other thing we did was try and bring his bed time forward - he used to go at 8/8.30 and now its more like 7/7.30.

Hope that helps.

jeffily Fri 19-Jun-09 19:32:10

Thanks both of you for your support and suggestions

I invested in a musical mobile which plays Mozart! She doesn't seem to be taking much notice of it yet, but maybe it will work. And tonight I used started bedtime at 5, put her in the sling afterwards to get sleepy, she cried but had a cat nap I think, and now she is in her cot- and no noise so far!!!! This parenting lark is so much harder than I ever imagined!

Thanks again.

ches Sat 20-Jun-09 04:54:02

You are not failing your wee daughter, you have identified a problem and are actively seeking a solution, prepared to try different things until you find something that works. That is being a FANTASTIC mum, so relax.

I'm sure you've read loads about growth spurts, but she could be having one of those right now. The crying could also be gas, so you could try something for that. We gave infant gas drops with the active ingredient simethicone. They were our "we've tried everything else" resort and 99/100 no sooner had he had the drops than he was a changed baby who then produced a big plume of gas from one end or the other.

Bumblebooz Sat 20-Jun-09 06:39:07

First of all CONGRATULATIONS on being a great mum, you are really doing all the right things so don't get disheartened.

I'm a mum of 4 and at least 2-3 of my babies at about the same age did the same thing as yours. I think it's to do with the immature 'insides' growing and some people put it down to colic, either way, it is very common indeed to have a crying spell in the evening.

I was abroad visiting dh's relatives when baby no 3 started crying regularly in the eves and host aunt luckily was a pharmacist and gave me the drops as Ches described.

I found holding her on her tummy across my lap helped. Is there anyone who can help you? Share this with you? Mum etc? It would be better if you had some support and let your dh know how you're feeling.

jeffily Sat 20-Jun-09 16:14:23

Thanks ches and Bumblebooz for your messages. I'll try the drops as a last resort. I am actually feeling much better now. As you point out ches, seeking a solution has helped, just because I don't feel like I am just letting her cry for ages! And it is reassuring to know that other people are going through the same thing, even experienced mothers, so it is not just that I am doing something wrong. We have carried on with the bedtime routine and last night it was only 40 mins of crying, so moving in the right direction!

lou031205 Sat 20-Jun-09 17:55:58

Hi jeffily,

In the UK the main brand with simethicone as the active ingredient is Infacol.

DD3 is 10 weeks old and has been doing the same! We find that she can't control her little arms, and sometimes holding her upper arm firmly as she latches is enough to calm her.

This is an awkward transition time when they realise they are tired, but can't self-settle. It does get better.

THE FACT IS that you are recognising this stage as a problem for her, which means you are a great mum!

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 20-Jun-09 18:03:16

Message withdrawn

jeffily Sat 20-Jun-09 22:28:29

Yes, I am feeding her whenever she is hungry, though we have settled into a 2 hourly routine. Occasionally she will go 2 and a half hours and on a good night she will do 3 hours through the night. We have never achieved the mystical 4 hourly routine! I offer both boobs each time and I am careful to burp her in between and after.
Not so much crying tonight, but it did take 2 hours of calming music and sitting together for her to finally fall asleep in her bed and stay there. She just woke up for her feed, I fed her and put her back down and she fell straight back to sleep again, no probs. So it's not her cot, it's just that bedtime bit.

ChocOrange05 Sun 21-Jun-09 21:45:39

Hi - I noticed you said she has a feed at at 4/5 and is awake for a 3 hour stretch before bed. Until he was 6mo my DS had a nap of 15-45 mins between 4 and 5 (having his feed at 5pm). Have you tried to get her to nap at this time ?

I think the crying you explain could be colic and as others have suggested Infacol is good, also Colief is meant to be good but it is expensive although I think you might be able to get it on prescription. Have you done any baby massage, that's part of our bedtime routine (bath, massage, feed) and it is meant to be good for colicy babies too. I got this book from the library and its a lovely part of our routine which both DS and I enjoy (if you do a massage make sure you insert lots of kisses in between the massaging!)

Keep perservering with the bedtime routine, we started it when DS was one week old but he didn't start settling well until he was about 6 weeks.

I hope this helps - we follow GF and although lots of people don't like her routines/rigidness I found her recomendations for sleep/feed times really useful.

Starshinetiger Sun 21-Jun-09 22:07:58

Hi Jeffily - have you also considered Cranial osteopathy? It has really helped both of my DC and while it's not a magical sleep cure (I don't appear to do sleepy babies hmm), it has helped DD settle better of an evening (when she is most tired). Sounds like you're doing really well and I would just recommend this alongside the other tips above - IMHO is money really well spent.

ChocOrange05 Mon 22-Jun-09 09:08:47

I second Cranial Osteopathy - since having 4 sessions my DS has been a happy contented baby who hardly ever has grumpy periods.

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