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I know I've posted before but DH made me do it.....

(49 Posts)
Tipex Sat 25-Jun-05 10:05:58

We're getting desperate. DS sleep getting worse. Hes 18 weeks, breast fed. Was always a good sleeper, woke only for feeds and went 9hours at 8 weeks. got worse at about 12 weeks when he started feeding 3 hourly overnight and is now waking constantly./ We are absolutely battered. He feeds 4 hourly in the day and we're trying to feed him only once at night. last night he woke...

10:30pm, took 45 minutes of rocking and trying to put him down to get him asleep
12mid, woke, rocked to sleep
1am as above
2:10am fed, striaght to sleep with ease afterwards
4:10am woke, rocked and feel asleep on our bed
5:45am up for the day, has first feed at 6:30am

he goes down at about 6-6:30pm. We're trying to put him down more awake but its tough. I know hes probably not getting off to sleep well at 11pm as we're not feeding him but we honestly felt he didnt need food, was just using it to get back to sleep. He will occasionally go back to doing a long stretch till 3am but its only once every 2 weeks or so. He naps okish in the day but quite irregular in how long he'll have.
Is there ANYTHING we can do to try and get some more sleep as the whole family is suffering, DS included.

Donbean Sat 25-Jun-05 10:12:21

Do you give him solids at all?
If not when are you thinking of introducing them?
At the risk of bieng cremated, he sounds hungry to me and ready for solids......
Slivers away to baracades herself in ready for onslaught.......

aloha Sat 25-Jun-05 10:12:49

Personally, I would feed him three hourly in the day or even more often if he so much as does a shadow of a root, and then feed him at night when he wakes. Esp at 10.30. Lots of people actualy wake their babies at 10.30 for the express purpose of waking them. If he gotes straight to sleep after a feed I really, really think it is the best thing to do in terms of you all getting more sleep. He has probably had a growth spurt and needed more milk and may still be trying to catch up. At night, I think he seems hungry. Try feeding him at 10.30 and then at the first waking after that. It might take a week to settle down but if he's the type who is capable of going to sleep straight after a feed (ds wasn't, but dd is) then I'd say feeding is the best option.

aloha Sat 25-Jun-05 10:15:15

My dd has been through phases of more frequent waking but I always feed her whenever she wakes and it has always settled down again. Atm she is still waking once a night at around 4am for a ten minute feed and back to sleep straightaway, and she is feeding herself to sleep around 8.30-9pm and waking at 7ish, sometimes later. She feeds at least three hourly during the day, so she getting quite a few more feeds than your ds Tipex but I am not feeling sleep deprived.

Donbean Sat 25-Jun-05 10:15:42

OOOh maybe not, just worked out 18 weeks in months...too soon me thinks.
Feeding advice below sounds reasonable, he does sound hungry though.
Possibly a growth spurt maybe?

misdee Sat 25-Jun-05 10:20:37

just feed him at night. why are u trying to feed only once at night?

Fran1 Sat 25-Jun-05 10:20:58

They do say children have growth spurts every now and then where they want to feed constantly.

You're speaking to a mum who bf her dd on demand and often had her in my bed! so no advice.

She woke often, but i got to sleep a lot more when brought her into my bed! and i need my sleep .

Now at two she sleeps in her own bed, and sometimes wakes in the early hours to climb into ours for the last couple of hours - doesn't disturb us so we don't mind!

foxinsocks Sat 25-Jun-05 10:35:23

It's been a long time since I had babies but I do vividly remember both mine desperately needing a feed at 11pm (and they were going down at 6.30/7).

I can't remember when we cut out the second night feed (normally around 3ish) but at least if you could (in your mind) have some sort of night time feeding routine then you could start to cut out feeds.

The baby at the end of our road is entirely breast fed (7 months), has a few solids and has a feed at 11pm. The mum told me that only recently has he entirely got rid of the other night feed.

Tipex Sat 25-Jun-05 10:41:35

I've been feeding him four hourly in the day as he just wasnt hungry after 3 hours and wasnt taking a decent feed. He barely seems to make hungry signs at 4 hours TBH.
Dont think its a growth spurt as has been like this for 8 weeks! I think it started with a growth spurt as he was sleeping longer then went back to 3 hourly, but now its just habit.
The reason for not feeding him at night is because he is capable of sleeping longer and having less feeds, and when I've started feeding him when he wakes then within a week he seems to need feeding back to sleep every couple of hours. He then feeds even less in the day. We were hoping he would learn that its not worth waking if he doesnt get fed. Maybe I am doing wrong. Feel like a rotten mum now , have been starving my baby.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 25-Jun-05 10:44:53

It's quite hard to keep them from feeding in the night at this age. I'm a big fan of just keeping them in bed with you at this point, and letting them feed lots. My nine-month-old is just now starting to cut down feeding in the night to once, or never (and I do feed him at 10:30 or so, whether he's awake or not).

It's really not worth the struggle at this point. If you can set things up so you feed with as little sleep disruption for everyone (which for us has always been co-sleeping, although I know this doesn't work for everyone), you'll all be happier.

starlover Sat 25-Jun-05 10:44:54

tipes.. don't be silly you aren't a rotten mum! babies don't come with manuals!
when Linus started waking through the night I put him on solids and it has helped. he has half a rusk in some warm milk at bedtime and pretty much sleeps through now.

would try aloha's sugestions first though as up until then ds was doing the same!
was feeding him around half ten ad then again at 3ish.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 25-Jun-05 10:46:38

Oh, another thing worth noting about demanding more night feeds - if he feeds more at night, your production will go up (which he might need, if it's a growth spurt) and there will be more milk all the time.

I don't think solids are a good idea at this point.

foxinsocks Sat 25-Jun-05 10:48:31

Don't be silly! You're not a rotten mum at all!! You wouldn't be posting on here asking for advice if you were.

The only danger with night feeding (as you have rightly pointed out) is that they get used to being fed to go back to sleep. 2 feeds a night at 18 weeks is not bad at all!

Lots of people do the 11pm feed because it's when they go to bed so the hope is the baby then has a long stretch after that feed (and it often does work that way) rather than trying to get them to stretch from say 7pm till 3am and then getting up again at 5-6am.

You may want to rethink the rocking to sleep (that must be knackering for you) and change for something that requires less contact but it's your decision really.

aloha Sat 25-Jun-05 10:48:48

Of course you aren't a rotten mum! don't be daft. I do think 18 weeks is a bit young to try spacing feeds out this much. I was just saying that my dd still has a night feed AND feeds more often during the day, so more milk seems OK and normal for a baby of this age - dont' feel obliged to feed less. I feed my dd if she so much as turns her face to me when I'm holding her! Often it is just a snack. I don't really wait for her to get 'hungry' -ie rooting strongly, crying etc.
Why not at least feed at 10.30 or try going with the flow for a full week to see if it helps. If not, rethink the strategy! And it won't last forever. Even ds, who was a vile sleeper as a baby (he would wake and STAY AWAKE for hours and hours in the night, which was horrific) slept through at the end of eight months.

aloha Sat 25-Jun-05 10:51:47

And it is true that when dd has a splurge of night feeding with a growth spurt, it meant I had more milk all the time - day and night, and suddenly after a week of disrupted nights, I would find her day feeds did seem shorter but she wasn't getting less milk, she was getting more, but in a shorter time (does that make sense?). Ie you said that after feeding at night your ds took less milk in teh day. If you mean he fed for shorter periods, it doesn't necessarily mean he got less milk.

bambi06 Sat 25-Jun-05 10:56:44

what time does he ahve his last feed before he`s put in cot for night ? then wake him up at 10.30 (make sure he`s awake though otherwise wont take enough food to last) give one side if bf then change nappy , dim lights and no talking avoid eye contact and give the other side and put in to cot and let him drift off although i would imagine he will fall asleep after second side. i would hope if he`s fed enough he should last till 2.00 then the next feed should be around 6 -6.30 with any luck but its important that they are awake for that fed otherwise they just doze off before they ve finished and of course get wind , and are hungry again in another 1-2 hrs! also try not to let them sleep to late in afternoon( after 4 pmish ) so they`ll be tired enough to sleep at night . let me know how it goes

basketcase Sat 25-Jun-05 11:03:36

Totally agree - of course you aren‘t a bad mum just because your baby is having a tricky sleep phase. If it did, we would all be joining you at one stage or another. Almost unheard of for a child to be a good sleeper from day one and never have a little tricky phase.
You have had loads of good advice here so won’t repeat or replace it. Just one extra thought - isn’t it about 2/3 months that babies start to become a little more aware of their surroundings and more aware that they are being left alone - just a thought, but maybe his waking is a separation thing more than a food thing and his yelling is a way to get comfort and attention rather than food? Especially in hot weather, heat can make you sleep more fitfully. Also maybe he is just a little thirsty in the heat rather than hungry? have you tried a small drink of water?
What about "sleep feeding" as an idea? this worked for DD2. When she woke up in the night we kept lights off, hall light on so we could see but dim light, didn’t speak at all, just picked her up, fed her, put her straight back and stroked her head lightly a couple of time and left her. The less interaction meant that she didn’t actually wake that much and so settled quicker? Just a thought.
Another one is the controlled crying route with less and less contact but he is possibly a bit young for that route, more likely just wanting to feel you there for reassurance or is thirsty?
No answers, just a few suggestions and a lot of sympathy

basketcase Sat 25-Jun-05 11:05:53

If bf you might want to ignore my comment about water instead of milk?

RTKangaMummy Sat 25-Jun-05 11:21:48

Does he ever go to sleep after being put in bed awake?

ie without rocking?

Maybe try a little solids to see if that makes any difference

Good luck

mears Sat 25-Jun-05 11:33:59

Tipex - you are doing a brilliant job by still excusively breastfeeding at 18 weeksIMO you will be far more exhausted by trying not to feed him than by just feeding him and you all getting to sleep quicker. Sleep training is not really recommended before 6 months at least.

If he would take more feeds during the day you might find he will go longer at night. Although you said he did not feed well, persist with offering him more feeds during the day and you might find he will be tempted.

Now, hands up here, I always breastfed my babies to sleep and I never had any real sleep problems with any of them. Only 1 out of 4 did not sleep through the night until 8 months. At that it was a nochange, no light quick feed then back to sleep.

At night I always bathed then then breastfed till they were sound. Bedtime was usually about 8pm. Could you push his bedtime back a bit? 6.30pm is a bit early. If you prefer to have him asleep at that time then I would offer him a feed before you go to bed.

A baby that takes a breastfeed when offered does need it. He can't tell you at the moment what he wants so take your cues from how he responds to your offer. You are in no way a bad mum BTW. You are just trying hard to get a better routine at night. I would say try and just go with him for the next few weeks and you may find it will sort out faster.

bloss Sat 25-Jun-05 11:55:31

Message withdrawn

Littlefish Sat 25-Jun-05 12:33:04

Hi Tipex

Just a thought, but my dd suddenly stopped sleeping at about the same age. I was sure she was hungry and kept feeding her (we were on bottles by this point), and started to wean her. After a week or so, 2 teeth suddenly appeared. As soon as they appeared, she went back to sleeping again (and I took her back off solids again). Have you seen any signs your ds might be teething? (dribbling, chewing hands, hot red cheek)

If not, then perhaps feeding more often in the day might work.

hermykne Sat 25-Jun-05 12:38:18

TIPEX
my ds , now 11mths, sounds linda like yours, one thing i would say is 6/6.30 is too early for bedtime, he'll naturally want to be awake 11/12hrs after that, thus 5.30am is about right for him to wake!
bloss mentions c/c, worked on my dd but not ds, and gina ford does say wait til 6mths to do it, instead have you done the Pick up put down and lots of ssshhhhhing, i did this with ds and it did eventually work.

i didnt stop night feeds til ds was over 6mths and solids introduced. i skipped the water substitue and just went from 2 feeds in the night to 1 then none, and he slept thru from just over 8mths. he's totally breastfed.

as mears said nothing wrong with feeding them to sleep, my ds sometimes goes to sleep on his 7pm feed sometimes not but will settle himself at 7.30 no problem

what are his day naps like, for sleeping at 6.30 is hesleeping most of the morning for you
restructuring the day sleep might improve his night

my ds didntdo a longlunch nap til about 16wks.
1st nap at 9am for about 20mins i wake him, and then a 2 hr one at 12.30 or so and he's ready for bed come 7pm or so, rubs the eyes etc.

matnanplus Sat 25-Jun-05 12:41:30

?cc = controlled crying?

if so then as a maternity nurse and nanny i've used this method with great success, i feed at bed time 7ish, then at 10.30-11 lights on, wake baby, change nappy and then lights down and feed, then no feed till 2am and 6-7am, works but the first few nights are rough, i start this routine around week 3 after birth and find it encourages the distinction between night and day and as a result, better big night sleeps and better day feeds. I've found that babies are often able to sleep thru 10-11 window but then the 2am feed becomes essential, umm not too good for parents, I've tried 'dream-feeds' baby staying pretty much asleep and have then either had a messy cot to clean 05-30 mins later or still up several times so I avoid that like the plaque.

A key is good daytime naps as a sleep deprived baby is harder to settle. I do very little rocking just some patting varying the pace and length during the day and at night or head stroking both of these after they have had a good yell, and have found less and less comfort is needed for them to 'self-settle'.

18wks is really to early to start solids and if baby is in the habit of waking will do so even with a full tummy, it isn't going to be an easy time for a few days but it will settle down really well, perserverence is the key.

If this doesn't seem to get you anywhere and give it at least a week, not forgetting if you alter the routine it's like starting all over again at the beginning! so have a plan and stick to it, then I've had good results from craniopathy in regard to sleeping.

misdee Sat 25-Jun-05 12:46:00

controlled crying on a 18week old baby?!!! dd2 is 17 weeks and feeds at 9-9.30pm for a good hour, then pop her to bed, usually sleeps till 5.30, then wakes for another feed, then i i leave her to sleep till 8, quick nappy change and out the door for the school run.

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