Thoughts on Sleep

If babies are born with one fundamental flaw it is that they don’t realise that if they do not allow their mother to sleep and eat then their care may be substandard. Baby, if you let me sleep and eat properly I will be able to care for you in a much happier and competent way and I will also make better milk. Not permitting either of these things could be detrimental to you! It is in your interests to allow these things to happen.

It’s not advice I’m after here because I’ve got a few ideas that I need to work through first but it would be nice to look back on this when TTB sleeps through the night. Hah. If.

Over the past 6 weeks or so, TTB has gone from sleeping ok (3 hours, then 2 hours, then 2 hours and another hour if I could convince him to) to absolutely dreadful. At the lowest points he was sleeping on me while I slept propped up against the corner of the room on pillows. Actually no, the lowest point was the nights preceeding that where I did not sleep at all because he wouldn’t let me put him down at all. I figured that sleeping propped up with him on me was better than no sleep at all, or waking up on the chair with him in my arms and my face on his head.

Then came the co-sleeping … he would let me sleep laying down but only if he was right next to me and wanted to cuddle my face all night long. Disconcerting at best, he has very soggy hands at the moment.

Following that, the only way he would sleep in his cot at all was to put his small crib mattress in there too so that he was tricked into thinking he was still sleeping in his crib. However, he would wake after 30 minutes and then not go back down at all and would wake hourly if I did manage to get him to go back down.

Then, on New Year’s Eve in a fit of frustration I laid him down on his front and he actually went to sleep and looked happy and comfortable and peaceful. Of course, this goes against all of the guidelines so we hovered like nervous hawks for ages and googled like mad to make sure he was ok. He was and continues to be ok on his front and most of all, HE SLEEPS! Hurrah!

Now, we have a very strict bedtime routine in that I bath him at 18:45 and then he is in bed at 19:00. From his bath he goes into his darkened bedroom where his lullaby CD is playing and his little picture projector thing is projecting onto the ceiling. I feed him, he falls asleep, I put him down and then go downstairs.

Typically he will then wake at 9 for another feed, and then go for another 2 hours before another feed and then another two hours. After that though, he wakes to feed hourly. Yes, hourly. On Monday night he fed 7 times between 7pm and 5:30am. He wakes up at 6:30 and I make sure we get up then so that we start the day at the same time.

My dilemma at the moment is: he takes a full, proper feed at each waking. He is a big boy (almost 16lb) and is hungry. But, I am not convinced that he is really hungry at each waking or whether he has just learnt to feed each time he wakes (After feeding on demand as a newborn) and needs to feed to get back to sleep.

On the one hand, I have always fed him when he wakes at night because I just assumed he was waking through hunger. However, has he now learned that this is what happens when he wakes in the night? Or is he actually hungry because he is so big and that the only way he can get enough calories is to feed frequently? Honestly, although this means I don’t sleep very much, I know it’s not going to be forever and if this boy needs frequent feeding I’m happy to provide it. (And erm also he won’t take a bottle so …) It’s only for a short time and I’m not doing too badly.

The health visitor want me to hold off on weaning as long as I can. I think he is ready to eat more, but I don’t want to assume that he will magically go through the night when I wean him as the problem may be that he is just used to being fed to sleep and to feeding when he wakes.

Hopefully this will sort itself out but it doesn’t help the continued feelings I have of “I am doing this wrong” and “I should have done this differently from the start”.  I know every baby and every mum is different but the look of horror that crossed the face of my friend who I spoke to about it today got me thinking that perhaps I should be trying to tackle it. My gut feeling says to just ride it out and see how he is when he gets real food but I do wonder if I should just refuse to feed him at night if it’s been less than 3 hours. But then … neither of us will sleep and he will just get upset.

Gah, sometimes I wish that I didn’t have to make all the decisions ;-) (Sometimes I think that I’m just playing at being a grown up!)

45 thoughts on “Thoughts on Sleep

  1. Hi, my daughter was on rice an puddings at 8weeks after having a weekend of no sleep an my mum stepped in she is now 21 an idea never looked back after that weekend she weighed 4lb 10oz full term an was a wee hungry baby, you do what’s right for you ur doing a great job

  2. thanks Anne, I have some baby rice but was waiting as long as I could at the HV was so keen for me to hold off weaning as long as possible.

  3. Oh Lordy…you poor thing. It will pass though. Mine is now 13 and sleeps for 12 hours at a stretch quite happily! (And snores the entire time – in fact I often wonder if I should get that looked at). You’re probably sick of advice but here’s my four penn’orth anyway – major breakthrough for us was at 12 weeks when I moved onto baby rice / rusks for supper. 6 till 9 p.m. was energetic playtime, especially with Daddy who’d not seen him all day. Then supper / bath time and bed at about 10 p.m. Then he slept much better at night, often right through until 6.30 a.m. I’ve just checked his baby book so can confirm that this actually happened regularly. Can also confirm that health visitor was appalled that I weaned him “so early”. He quickly moved onto 3 square meals a day.

    My daughter was entirely different, slept like an angel and refused food for literally months. Can’t get her to bed now, she is 11 going on 21.

  4. I am also a health visitor, non practicing mind, a little slow paced for a NICU nursie, and an old hand at breast feeding. I agree with yours, hold off weaning, what he takes to begin with wont “get him through the night” anyway. It’s your milk which is the most important nutrition for him right now. I agree with you, it’s a hard time, when I did my HV degree, I wrote my dissertation on sleep routines, because it has such a knock on effect on the mothers ability to mother. You sound like you already have your answer yourself, possibly if he has already fed well try settling him without a feed, he sounds like he is waking out of habit more than anything. There is light at the end of the tunnel, you are nearly there x x

  5. Hmm babies just don’t read the books do they! Even when my eldest was a nightmare for the first 10 weeks I did get some sleep in my own bed. I was lucky that both of mine slept in the carry cot which was beside my bed until they stopped the middle of the night feed. They then went into their own rooms and the early morning feed was done in their rooms. This got them used to sleeping on their own. They were also happy when they moved into the big cot. TTB is trying to have it all his own way isn’t he?

    I think the first baby is the hardest as we are new to the job. We have plenty of time to worry about the first. My second just fitted in with our routine and was never a problem. She obviously had me up for a middle of the night feed for about 6 weeks. I remember thinking one night that I was so tired that if she wanted a feed I didn’t think I could do it and she kindly slept through until about 5am. I worried a lot less about the second.

    The question is really is he hungry, got into a habit or just doing it for comfort? Have you considered a dummy. Mine had dummies as it saved my sanity. They were weaned off the dummies by the time they were 2. The eldest kept losing hers in the night so we placed two more around her head and she always managed to find one on her own.

    You do need to think about your own well being and sanity.

    I was in the physio department in my local hospital last week and saw a pregnant girl waiting to have her hands examined. She ended up with some gloves and was told that hopefully her hands would return to normal after baby had arrived. This made me think of you. Have your hands returned to normal?

  6. Oh bless. I feel for you, it does seem never ending at this point. Honestly, it sounds like you’re doing just fine. Go with your gut, you’re his mum and you know best. I think you’re right and the HV above echo your thoughts on holding off weaning for a bit. Honestly, it’s just a phase and it will pass. I remember this feeling well. My eldest was born in October and I think the winter darkness makes it feel like its night time all the time. It passes, honest.

  7. Probably isn’t helpful, but every baby IS different and no one child will tick all the boxes that the Maternal and Child Health nurses want ticked.

    My eldest did not sleep through the night until she was 13 months old. Gee that was a long year. My second slept through the night from 2 months until about 4 or 5 months then started waking through the night again, she didn’t sleep again all night until 13 months old. My last, who is now 7 months old sometimes sleeps all night and sometimes doesn’t. Again slept through from 2 months until about 4-5 months. The introduction of solid foods for my last two seemed to wake them up again, which is contrary to everything that the nurses tell you.

    Don’t feel bad about doing the “wrong” thing, there isn’t a parent alive who wouldn’t do something differently if they could.

    One thing that I have learned is that your idea of how long to let a child yell for is much shorter with your first than with your subsequent children. :)

    I came out to see my yelling boy just a few days ago, he was playing in the lounge at the time, and he was starting to fall asleep sitting up. Grabbed him just in time before he toppled over!

    xXx Helen

  8. I think your instincts and the advice of your HV are spot on. Babies only need mother’s milk for at least the first 6 months, and giving him other foods won’t guarantee that he’ll sleep any better. Baby sleep is such a tricky thing, hopefully soon he’ll fall into a better pattern for you, but until he does, just remember that it’s a phase and he will grow out of it eventually! Follow your gut, you’re doing a great job!

  9. My little girl is 19 months old, and I have been through all the sleep drama – I feel your pain! For three months, she would only sleep when held, then she would only sleep in a “napper” attached to her travel crib. That last another couple of months, and then she would sleep for maybe two hours in her crib, so on and so forth which bring us to now: she sleep 10 hours in her crib with no night wakings.

    What worked for me was a mix of patience and stubbornness. If I decided that I wanted her sleeping in her crib (cot? I’m American ;) ), every night I would try to put her down in it. Maybe she refused, maybe she slept an hour, maybe she slept half the night. Eventually she started to sleep in in more often and for longer. The same went for night feedings. Early on, she woke every two hours. I would nurse her and put her back down (if she would allow it) or co-sleep with her. Eventually they do start to nurse less at night – I promise!

    Also, is TTB perhaps teething? That can cause temporary sleep disruptions.

    All this is to say that it’s hard, and it seems like things will never improve, but I promise they do! Hang in there and keep pushing your agenda gently – eventually TTB will come around. Good luck!

  10. I don’t think I’ve commented before but I just have to say… Go with your gut! Some babies are like that and it’s absolutely not you. Two of my three kids were like that from the day they were born but the middle one was easier. She was also the only one able to sleep on her back.
    Anyway, you’ll figure it out, I’m sure. It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job. :)

  11. I don\’t think I\’ve commented before but I just have to say… Go with your gut! Some babies are like that and it\’s absolutely not you. Two of my three kids were like that from the day they were born but the middle one was easier. She was also the only one able to sleep on her back.
    Anyway, you\’ll figure it out, I\’m sure. It sounds like you\’re doing an amazing job. :)
    BTW the No-cry Sleep Solution book worked with my oldest.

  12. I don\\\’t think I\\\’ve commented before but I just have to say… Go with your gut! Some babies are like that and it\\\’s absolutely not you. Two of my three kids were like that from the day they were born but the middle one was easier. She was also the only one able to sleep on her back.
    Anyway, you\\\’ll figure it out, I\\\’m sure. It sounds like you\\\’re doing an amazing job. :)
    BTW the No-cry Sleep Solution book worked with my oldest.

  13. Hi Heather,
    Do not wat to make you scared, but my 2 years and 3 months old daughter still does this. I still breastfeed because of this (only to get her to sleep and in the night, not during the day). Believe me we tried everything!! She eats very well, trough the day so thats not it. She never took a bottle since she was born. My oldest slept like, well… a baby ;-) so we were not expecting this!
    But I keep telling myself that she will stop. She will be old enough someday, and she will understand then.
    TTB will sleep! Really! I think you are doing really great!

  14. I do not have children at the moment, but I think you are doing amazing and should I ever be lucky enough to have my own, do you know, I think I will be coming back to your threads to reassure me that I am doing ok!!

  15. Hi Heather!
    First of all… You are doing GREAT! It is normal to think about “mistakes” or wrong things, but be sure of one thing. You are his mother and whatever you are doing is all right!.
    Mi first son didn’t sleep… Only six hours a day!! 20 minutes, then hours awake, 20 minutes… So one day we put him on his front. Ooooh, it was marvellous! He slept for five hours!!! Though we have read about this, and averybody said that this was wrong, we prefered our son to rest. And the doctor confirmed our theory: if the baby sleep it’s o.k.
    Breastfeeding is another thing, my baby didn’t have that problem so I can’t help you…
    But, be sure that you are doing great!

    P.S: Forgive my mistakes please, English it’s not my first language…

  16. Do what you think is right- he is your baby- by the time you have your next one you will be doing what you want to do.Listen to your midwife but do what YOU want.

  17. I believe you are very grown up if you are following your gut feelings. Don’t let looks of horror disconcert you, and just keep doing what you know is right for your baby. It is indeed very tough to go without sleep but it is tougher letting your baby “cry it out” to teach him new habits. I don’t think babies are manipulative and it’s not always about food. You are doing a good job!

  18. I believe you are very grown up if you are following your gut feelings. Don\’t let looks of horror disconcert you, and just keep doing what you know is right for your baby. It is indeed very tough to go without sleep but it is tougher letting your baby \"cry it out\" to teach him new habits. I don\’t think babies are manipulative and it\’s not always about food. You are doing a good job!

  19. Hey, you’re doing great and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. You’re his mum, and you know him best, try weaning if you want to, but trust your instincts. I swore blind I’d never use a dummy, but did in desperation wtih our second, and never looked back.

    We set such high standard for ourselves as mums and then beat ourselves up for not doing it perfectly. TTB is loved by you, fed and warm and that’s all he needs :)

    You’re brilliant.

  20. My son didn’t sleep through the night till he was five and a half years old! My daughter who is three years younger slept through long before he did. And yes I was a zombie! Fun times. Do what works for you and enjoy your little one.

  21. My health visitor told me two very important things – never give a baby a dummy at night time as they will come to rely on it for getting to sleep, and never feed a baby until they fall asleep and then put them to bed without waking them up. Yep, very difficult to wake a sleeping baby but they do actually need to learn to fall asleep on their own without the aid of a feed. And that’s probably where your problem arises – bubba wakes up in the night, can’t get back to sleep so cries until he gets fed, which in turn sends him to sleep. Problem solved until he wakes up again. Babies wake up a lot in the night don’t they?! A good relaxing bedtime routine followed by a feed and then a quick prod to wake him up and maybe a story before putting him into the cot. Then comes the tough bit. Controlled crying or pick up, put down method, whichever you are happier with. Remember, no talking, no eye contact. Eventually he will learn to get to sleep on his own and maybe you will get a better night’s sleep. Bearing in mind that you have teething to deal with and also hunger pangs when he is really ready for weaning. It’s so difficult to see things clearly when you are sleep deprived, I had a dreadful time with my second daughter (sat up asleep with her on my chest) but we got there in the end. Hang in there. xx

  22. Hi Heather, I think you are doing a fabulous job as a mum. Did you know that prolactin, the hormone that promotes the production of breast milk is highest between 1.00am and 3.00am in the morning, so if your little guy is feeding at that time, he is actually helping you to make more milk. I struggled to breast feed my babies but when I found out about high prolactin levels in the early morning, I would wake them up for a feed. Obviously not your problem as your little fella is awake frequently and feeding. I hope you can breast feed your baby as long as you want to, he is obviously thriving and it’s so good for him. (I’m not in any way critisizing those mums who choose or need to formula feed their babies.) I hope you find a way to get him to sleep longer and without you being right there with him. Good luck and remember, you are a fantastic mum.
    Anne xx

  23. I think you’re doing great. Ive been reading your blog for ages and think you are doing admirably well. have no advice as am just about to become a mum myself, but one thing someone did say to me was to nod and smile through the advice received from the HV and everyone else, and then do what I feel is best. I’ve been warned not to try to be supermum and told that when my little one is a rowdy teenager, like all the other kids, he will be walking and talking and it won’t be important how he was weaned or when he said his first word or walked his first step or had his first night of full sleep as all kids get there in the end one way or another and babyhood is just a season. I’m going to try to hold on to this advice once I’ve had my first week of no sleep!! Your best -which is clearly what TTB receives – is good enough for him, just remember that and I’ll strive to do the same when it’s my turn.Oh and if you do find a magical cure to getting him to sleep through please let me know ;-D xx

  24. I think you\’re doing great. Ive been reading your blog for ages and think you are doing admirably well. have no advice as am just about to become a mum myself, but one thing someone did say to me was to nod and smile through the advice received from the HV and everyone else, and then do what I feel is best. I\’ve been warned not to try to be supermum and told that when my little one is a rowdy teenager, like all the other kids, he will be walking and talking and it won\’t be important how he was weaned or when he said his first word or walked his first step or had his first night of full sleep as all kids get there in the end one way or another and babyhood is just a season. I\’m going to try to hold on to this advice once I\’ve had my first week of no sleep!! Your best -which is clearly what TTB receives – is good enough for him, just remember that and I\’ll strive to do the same when it\’s my turn.Oh and if you do find a magical cure to getting him to sleep through please let me know ;-D xx

  25. Um… dummy? (not for everyone I know). Some babies are very sucky and want the comfort without necessarily being fed.

  26. You’re a wonderful mom! Follow your gut feelings, listen to advisiers but pick out the ideas that are useful to you and your little family. I had to have 4 babies until I really followed my guts without being confused by others’ frowns… :-/
    My youngest slept in my bed until he was 2, I breastfed him to sleep until 2,5, we weaned way after he was 3… I didn’t tell people, it was OK so for me, hubby and our children!
    The advantage of co-sleeping is that I really got to sleep through, even if baby fed sometimes during night-time. I learned to feed him half asleep, and I often fell back asleep before him.
    Only when I was convinced I had enough of feeding and son could do well without it, did I start the “weaning programme”, and son felt I was very serious so he collaborated quite well. This would by the way even work with a small baby, they feel when you’re unsure or very conviced about something!
    Enjoy your baby and have a good sleep!

  27. Hi, well there’s lots of advice already on here, but i’ll throw mine in.My little boy is now 15 months and trust me it does get better! Here are the things that worked for me: I breastfed until he was 7 months but he was having 4 ounces formula before bedtime. I introduced a dummy at about 3 months, which really worked to settle him, I think sometimes when they come into their light sleep during the night they get into the habit of waking properly, a dummy might help him to go back off more quickly. And a really strict bedtime routine as well, which I know you’re already doing!Stick with it, my little boy goes off without a peep now whereas I have friends who faff about lying in bed until the baby drifts off etc I just really tried to instil the idea that night time is for sleeping, so not too much’fun’ if he wakes during the night i.e. not too much feeding (you could reduce to just one boob a feed during the night?)not too much talking, no lights on etc. But everyone finds something that works for them. Good luck, sounds like you’re doing brilliantly!

  28. As ‘one-oh-four’ did, I kept my babies up until around 10pm. Then i’d actually feed them again around midnight, even if they weren’t awake…and they’d then sleep until around 6am! It was such a relief! (They both slept through the night at 5 weeks old) And – most importantly, I think – I gave them a pacifier which seemed to be key- they’d go right back to sleep after just a few ‘sucks’. I don’t know if you’re against pacifiers, but i couldn’t have survived without them! Dentists say pacifiers are better than thumbsucking, if you’re worried about his teeth. Anyway…i wish you the best! The effects of sleep-deprivation are hugely underestimated in my opinion…and it’s so hard to try going to sleep when the baby finally takes a nap, because you so crave some time to yourself! Even though I didn’t get much of an evening to myself with my ‘method’, I quickly realized I needed some uninterrupted hours of sleep more than a quiet evening….and TTB sounds like a happy little fellow, I’m sure you can manage some crocheting while he entertains himself:-) Good luck! They do grow so fast…mine are now 19 and 14, but i still remember those baby-days as if it was yesterday:-)

  29. I am a breastfeeding peer supporter and I would advise you to go to your nearest breastfeeding drop in. It’s better to see someone face to face to see the whole picture, rather than words on a screen. I would not advise baby rice at this age, and this does go against the NICE guidelines http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/solid-foods-weaning.aspx#close (just because a baby is ‘hungry’ doesn’t mean they need rice, there might be something else going on).
    I wish you luck and hope your problems get sorted soon. In the grand scheme of things, breastfeeding an infant is a small part of parenthood and it will get better :)

  30. As for the feeling of playing at being a grown up Heather, I still feel like that some times and I’m 46 it only really been since my Parents needed more looking after that I feel more like a grown up now, Oh and perhaps having teenagers, that’s a whole new Ball game to look forward to and believe me it will be here sooner than you can imagine. Make the most of TTB while he still is T :)

  31. You\’re a wonderful mom! Follow your gut feelings, listen to advisiers but pick out the ideas that are useful to you and your little family. I had to have 4 babies until I really followed my guts without being confused by others\’ frowns… :-/
    My youngest slept in my bed until he was 2, I breastfed him to sleep until 2,5, we weaned way after he was 3… I didn\’t tell people, it was OK so for me, hubby and our children!
    The advantage of co-sleeping is that I really got to sleep through, even if baby fed sometimes during night-time. I learned to feed him half asleep, and I often fell back asleep before him.
    Only when I was convinced I had enough of feeding and son could do well without it, did I start the \"weaning programme\", and son felt I was very serious so he collaborated quite well. This would by the way even work with a small baby, they feel when you\’re unsure or very conviced about something!
    Enjoy your baby and have a good sleep!

  32. You’re a wonderful mom! Follow your gut feelings, listen to advisers but pick out only those ideas that are useful to you and your little family. I had to have 4 babies until I really followed my guts without being confused by others’ frowns… :-/
    My youngest slept in my bed until he was 2, I breastfed him to sleep until 2,5, we weaned way after he was 3… I didn’t tell people, it was OK so for me, my hubby and our children!
    The advantage of co-sleeping is that I really got to sleep through, even if baby fed sometimes during night-time. I learned to feed him half asleep, and I often fell back asleep before him.
    Only when I was convinced I had enough of feeding and my son could do well without it, did I start our “weaning programme”, and my son realized I was very serious so he collaborated quite well. This would by the way even work with a small baby, they “understand” very well when you’re unsure or very convinced about something!
    Enjoy your baby and remember: it’s only a phase, it’s only a phase, it’s only a phase…

  33. Well Heather as these comments tell there are hundreds of ways to bring up a healthy and happy baby! I suspect TTB will do just fine whatever you decide as all your ideas sound sensible. Ideas about weaning have varied a lot over the years so introducing a spoonful of baby rice or some puréed carrot won’t kill him. A lot of the reason for later weaning is around theories of allergy development and also making sure a baby benefits from the immune protection that breast milk gives.
    It does also sound as though your sleep habits might want tweaking a bit though for both your sakes. A really helpful book is Babies! By Dr Christopher Green. He is a paediatrician who has brought up 4 kids of his own and it’s a lovely sensible book with some fun illustrations. I used the chapter on sleep problems with my first and it totally turned our sleep routine around.Good luck with whatever you decide! Xx

  34. You’re so close to the time when it will get easier – and you will look back and just remember the best parts. Saying that I had a terrible night with my 8 month old last night and wonder still when I will get an uninterrupted nights sleep (I have a 2 year old too) but its amazing how we can cope with lack of sleep and interrupted sleep. Anyway just dropped in to say I felt all this with my first baby too and now with my second I co sleep, feed in the night, it really doesn’t matter as my 8 month old settles herself, naps for 2 hours together in the day and goes to sleep for 3 or 4 hours at night in her cot without me with no problem. I’m doing whatever it takes to get a good nights sleep! Do what works for you.x

  35. Hi Heather, I swear I could have written your post myself after having my eldest son. He did not sleep. Around the same age as TTB is now, he used to wake every 45 minutes and would only fall asleep again after feeding. It was a killer and I swear it sent me just a little bit more crazy than I was already. In the end, he didn’t start sleeping better until he was on solids, had a soother/dummy and was taking formula milk instead… but those weren’t really things that I had wanted to do or felt happy doing for my son when he was still so young (we started weaning around 5 months). I went on the ‘advice’ of HV/GPs and never felt entirely comfortable with the suggestions they made – but felt at a loss as to what else to do as they were all giving me the impression that a baby waking so often was ‘wrong’. It wasn’t until I did my training as a breastfeeding peer supporter that I felt I learnt more to enable me to act on my own instincts this time round rather than this more ‘medical’ advice. My younger son still hasn’t been a great sleeper at times but this time round I found it easier, knowing that that’s just how it can be with some babies (regardless of whether BF/ formula fed/ weaned onto solids early/ milk only for 6 months etc…) And this time I was more relaxed about going with my instincts and doing what I felt was right for him. At the end of the day, breastfeeding is not just about food… TTB may not be waking always ‘cos he’s hungry but because he wants reassurance and comfort – this is more likely to increase at times when he is going through major changes in his development. I’ve found that with my son it’s been at times like when he’s learning to sit up, beginning to talk, starting to crawl, getting more teeth etc… that he wakes more frequently. And at these times we have just co-slept but also I do just crash on the sofa myself when both the boys have their afternoon nap! I so wish I could have been more confident/ relaxed about my parenting choices the first time round but it is just one of those things that nothing prepares you for and you can feel so confused by all the conflicting advice – especially from the ‘experts’ – as a first time Mum. I hope that reading people’s comments here and having time to have a think about options that you’ve already alluded to in your post will mean that you can come to a decision that you’re totally happy with as to how to continue helping TTB sleep at night… he will get there, I promise! And I hope you can find ways in which you can get some rest at other times of the day too… time for yourself to rest/ relax and do things that you enjoy. Take care x

  36. Ah, I remember it well (sort of, sleep deprivation doesn’t help the memory much does it?) I’m no HV, nor am I coming from the ‘breast is best’ camp (my little one point blank refused after 4 months, much as I’d have loved to continue) but I did want to say that weaning made absolutely NO difference to my boy’s sleep, nor did formula, so it’s really not worth trying either if you’re not comfortable with the idea. My boy didn’t take a dummy (well, he did for a week or so but then decided it wasn’t for him) but it definitely helped some of my friends and there have been absolutely no down-sides to them giving their baby one; in fact those who breast fed for longest were the ones who had a dummy. If TTB takes a dummy and it calms him down then you’re definitely one of the lucky ones. The solution for me? Well I tried everything in every book to get my boy to sleep with no effect, I went back to work, realised I couldn’t function on 5 hours of broken sleep and at 10 months did controlled crying. It was unpleasant but it worked within a couple of days and my boy is so much happier now and I’m a much better parent too. Right, now I’m off to run and hide from all the criticism I’m going to get for admitting that!

  37. Haven’t managed to read the other comments yet so perhaps you’ve already had this advice, but here goes… There’s no reason why you couldn’t do some bottle feeds and some breast feeds if you think TTB needs more food. Some babies won’t accept a ‘fake nipple’ though but it might be worth a try. I agree with your health visitor that you should hold off weaning. If I remember right the generally accepted time to start weaning is at 6 months but you probably know this already!.

    As for waking through the night, I suggest trying to gradually stretch the time between feeds. There are lots of books that provide detailed guidance on this (I used Baby Secrets by Jo Tantum and Barbara Want, and it worked brilliantly – Stashlet was sleeping through the night at 12 weeks). If you are feeding every 2 hours through the night (for example) you stretch the 2 hours to 2 hours and 10 or 15 minutes, initially by distracting the baby. But after a couple of nights he should cotton on and sleep for 2 and a quarter hours. Once he’s done this for 3 or 4 nights in a row, you stretch again to 2 and a half hours. I found with Stashlet that we could achieve some stretches in 3 or 4 days and other’s took a good week for him to settle to the new routine. But it really made a big difference for me, so it’s well worth investigating.

  38. Heather, you are doing fine. Just trust your Mom instinct and everything will work out. Try to rest/nap when TTB naps and enjoy these moments. They are over way too quickly. I know that is much comfort but trust me, when you are older and he is grown, you won’t think about the lack of sleep, you’ll remember the closeness you had with him.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

  39. Oh My goodness look at that gorgeous baby on that gorgeous blanket!!! A-dor-a-ble!

    As far as sleep goes, despite having had 3, I can safely say I have no advice. The pursuit of sleep does become all consuming, but you will get there, and so will your gorgeous boy. Try not to worry, there is no magic cure and all babies (as the cliche goes) are different ;).

    All best wishes as always

    x

  40. You are doing a great job! All babies are different, and they change their routines every couple of weeks just to keep you on your toes :-) It’s hard when you are in the middle of it, but it will get better. Just think when he’s a teenager, he’ll sleep all the time and you’ll wonder if he’ll ever get up :-)

  41. Have you considered controlled crying. My daughter is now 7 but when she was 3 months old I decided to give cc a go because if I didn’t do something I was going to lose my marbles. I’d read a magazine article that had different approaches for different age groups. On night one it took two and a half hours of her crying before she slept, on night two it took 15 minutes and on night three she slept instantly. We have never looked back, she is a great sleeper and has never needed anything to help her fall asleep by herself. My niece has a two and a half year old and I recommended the same approach to her. She was also successful with it and thanks me pretty much every time I see her. It’s hard for the first few nights but once you are over that hurdle it’s fabulous! The one thing to remember though is to not give in – you give in and the baby knows that you have a point in which you will give in and so will cry for hours until he/she finds the point. Be strong. Good luck.

  42. What worked for me, is, after thoroughly burping him, I was then able to lay him down (anytime, sleeping or playing or else he would cry,). Also, I made sure during the day, he got most of his nutrition. So, that meant, pretty much eating every three hours round the clock until it was bedtime. I woke him if he was sleeping over three hours in the day. We then changed diapers, fed, played etc. Then it was nap time again. At night, if he woke, I would wait 15 minutes, and go in and reassure him, tuck him back in, but I would not feed him, because I know it is a habit. I do know too he wanted comfort. So, then I would go back to bed. If he cried longer I would wait longer, and go in later and comfort him, (knowing in the back of my mind that he was stuffed with lots of milk during the day!). I hope this helps! Just make sure he is thoroughly burped cause that can be uncomfortable when he lays down.

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