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how do you settle your baby after evening bath/feed?

(14 Posts)
valbona Wed 21-Apr-10 21:01:25

DD is admittedly still teeny - 12 weeks - but I wish I could work out how to settle her faster in the evenings.

We bath her around 6pm, then feed her, then cuddle and rock her to sleep. Once she goes down, she normally stays down til I dreamfeed her at 10/11 or so. But getting her down takes as much as two hours.

I don't really mind the time - it's not like I'd be doing anything other than watching telly - but it seems a shame that it takes so long when she is clearly knackered - yawning, rubbing eyes etc. I want to help her sleep - not get her to sleep to make my life easier IYSWIM.

I've read threads suggesting putting them down still sleepy but awake then patting/shushing - tried that but she just looks at me bemused.

Are we missing a trick? Or is it just totally normal to spend a lot of time setting a baby up for the night? please tell me your thoughts! thanks very much ...

ruddynorah Wed 21-Apr-10 21:04:24

i just feed mine to sleep. now he's a little older at 5 months he goes down drowsy rather than totally zonked on milk. i use dto have to creep him slowly into his bed without stirring him. now i can just unlatch him as he stops feeding and pop him in. he stirs a bit then nods off.

HeadFairy Wed 21-Apr-10 21:08:28

I usually try to work it so dd is pretty tired by bathtime.... I don't let her sleep really after about 4pm (unless she hasn't slept at all all day, but that's rare) and she loves her bath, kicks and giggles like a loon with her brother, so she's usually shattered afterwards and falls asleep during her feed. I put her straight to bed like that.

If she doesn't fall asleep I put her in her cot, and she usually yells and screams but I have to get ds to bed too (dh doesn't get home from work in time to help out and ds is sooo tired by this time too) so I quickly read him a story and then go back to her, by which time she's pretty tired and then I give her a quick bf and she's asleep. If she wakes during the evening she settles pretty quickly if I just hold her hand. Her cot is next to our bed so I just lie there while she falls asleep.

valbona Wed 21-Apr-10 21:10:37

thanks! feeding to sleep worked an absolute treat until about 8 weeks or so - but now if I put her down zonked on milk out she wakes up v cross after about half an hour ... sigh ... she seems to need to fall asleep un-milkily if she's going to sleep for a good chunk smile

ruddynorah Wed 21-Apr-10 21:13:13

is she bottle or breast fed? try unlatching her if breast as soon as her feeding becomes fluttery. then give her chance to nod off herself, but stay close so she can latch back on quickly if she isn't ready yet.

Lindy Wed 21-Apr-10 21:15:48

I'm not sure why you have to rock/cuddle her to sleep - why not leave her in her cot and shut the door - I did this with my DS as soon as we got home from hospital and yes, he did yell a bit the first night but that was the one and only time. I know this view is highly unpopular on MN though - but it worked for us and fortunately my DS is still a really great sleeper nine years later - maybe we were just lucky.

valbona Wed 21-Apr-10 21:19:35

aaah - I see what you mean re fluttery (she is BF) and letting her do the final tiny bit of falling asleep by herself. I kind of feel she needs to "remember" falling asleep if she isn't to wake right back up again.

I do sometimes try holding her hand and humming or other things that might just be soothing but she doesn't really buy it yet - she'll only calm down with full-on rocking.

valbona Wed 21-Apr-10 21:23:45

I do sometimes wonder if that would work lindy but I just think she'd yell more than a bit - go all purple and rage-y - and I can't handle that

HeadFairy Wed 21-Apr-10 21:39:46

valbona, dd does that too, she'll fall asleep on the boob but then wakes up furious half an hour later. I've assumed it was a bit of wind, because as she's fallen asleep on the boob I don't really wind her massively, just pop her on my shoulder for a min. But I do have a rule that once she's in her cot I don't get her out if she wakes up, just hold her hand and shhhhh-ing. She also has a dummy, I don't know if that helps more. I've always found it settles both of mine instantly, even if she's awake when she's finished bf'ing, when I put her in the cot and give her the dummy the eyes roll back and she drifts off.

BellaBalloon Fri 23-Apr-10 21:14:14

hi headfairy! hope all well with you. our old thread has vanished and i miss everyone!

apologies for hijack x

ps OP, fwiw, as a first time mum the big lesson i have learned is how nothing is the same with babies from one minute to the next.

My DS does the same thing sometimes - waking half an hour later if totally zonked out on the boob but this also coincides with when he has only had a short feed before doing so. I find that if I get him before he is to whacked then he will feed for a while and go down drunk in his cot.

I also found that some wakings were habit rather than hunger. In fact for me this included the dream feed. His next waking is the same either way so am now ditching that by letting him suck on my finger for a bit instead but without getting out of the cot. Could you try that to get back into longer sleeps?

The other thing is that I found that the 12 week growth spurt has brought me a more mature baby. It was horrendous demanding but he seems to be sleeping and napping much better now

HTH -certainly no expert so more of a sharing my experiences x

BellaBalloon Fri 23-Apr-10 21:15:08

HAHA so sleep deprived I answered two threads in one

soz blush

BellaBalloon Fri 23-Apr-10 21:16:58

and now with the risk of seeming stalkerish with the number of responses - i also find having the right amount of time in between the last nap and bedtime makes all the difference in avoiding the early evening nap before proper sleep sitch.

I kept leaving it two hours but in fact this was too long and DS was then overtired...

I will leave you alone now! blush grin

wrensmum Sun 25-Apr-10 20:00:50

Hiya, might it just be that her body clock is set to fall asleep at a certain time. I find that my DD's body clock gets set after 3 days of falling asleep at a certain time. she then falls asleep at that time much more easily and gets over tired after that time.

valbona Mon 26-Apr-10 10:55:14

thanks everyone! I think we are entering the infamous 12-week growth spurt right about now so all bets are off anyway. she eats every meal as if she was worried it was going to be her last ... grin

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