Thank you all for your help on the sleeping issue! I really do think that he has just got used to waking and being fed. I mean, when they are newborns they do wake because they are hungry and I really just followed his lead with it. I perhaps should have taken more care to be aware of him getting older and having different needs and developing habits. I also need to break his habit of napping in the pram – I have always put him down to nap in his pram in the daytime because that way I didn’t need to buy a moses basket! But he only has a couple more months before it turns into a pushchair (sob!) so I need to get him napping in his cot. Which he currently is, right now. Small victories! (I will come back to this point.)
Last night, he went to bed at 7 as per usual. He woke at 9:15 and I tried very hard to get him to go back to sleep without feeding him. This took so long that it reached almost 10pm and thus 3 hours which is as long as he ever goes without a feed so I did feed him in the end. He slept until 1am so a good 3 hours. I fed him, and he slept again until 4am. Another 3 hours! This time he fell asleep very fast and didn’t take a full feed and woke 45 minutes later for the rest. And this is the part that makes me roll my eyes a bit … he woke at 5:52 and I thought “nnnnnnngggggg I know I shouldn’t feed him again but if I can just get another 45 minutes sleep ….” so I did feed him and put him back down and then we both woke up at 7:45 when I got a text message! That NEVER happens usually! But, he was far happier this morning than usual.
My gut feelings at the moment are that yes, he is used to waking and feeding. But, in the daytime he only goes 3 hours and he has always fed more frequently than the suggested amount. He is a big baby. So if he wakes 3 hourly in the night, I will feed him because I think he is hungry after 3 hours. If it’s been less than that I need to get him back to sleep without feeding him. Also, I need to perhaps wake him after a feed and then settle him down again. Hmm. That’s a tricky one because although he wakes up and cries for food in the night, he isn’t properly awake and just feeds with his eyes shut and goes straight back in his cot afterwards.
Also I think that I just need to keep going, I’m not that tired really and feel fine. The way he learns is by repetition I think, he needs to learn what is expected of him in terms of waking and sleeping and feeding so I need to be consistent and teach him. This is easier when I am awake, I have very little resolve in the wee hours of the night! Also, it’s bloody hard to resist feeding him – physically he is very very strong, far stronger than I ever expected a baby could be and he always has been. Most of the time he is straight like a rod and doesn’t want to bend for a cuddle or anything. When he wants to feed in the day, he leans back and throws himself down to his left and pulls at my clothes. In the night, he makes himself into a ball and is a dead weight and just drops really hard and fast downwards and starts wrestling for food. If I put him back up on my shoulder he just continues like this until I give in and sometimes he grabs at my face! He has on occasion stood straight up in my arms and bellowed in my face. It is very difficult to overpower him!
(Ooh I can hear him waking up now)
With the daytime sleeping, 3 days now I have put him to sleep in his cot. Twice I have managed this without feeding him. It feels like a huge victory.
Ok, about 9 hours have passed since I started writing this and I have totally lost my thread.
Basically, thank you all so much for your comments, once again you have all really helped and I appreciate it no end. To clarify, TTB won’t take a bottle or a dummy but I have tried both. I persisted for a while with the dummy but he just spits it back out and always has done. He took a bottle from Andy twice but since then has just got really distressed when we’ve tried it.
I don’t think that weaning him will be a magical cure all for the sleeping really. I think he is hungrier than other babies (perhaps he has a fast metabolism) and so wants to feed more frequently to get the same amount. He is maintaining his 75th percentile line quite happily. I do think he is used to feeding to sleep, which is what I am going to work on next. But, I am happy to feed him this much through the night at the moment because he does seem to need it (takes a full feed each time) and I’m not doing badly on this much sleep. If it became more of a problem then I’ll tackle it differently. Also, things do change and if I keep being consistent with bedtime/wake time he will eventually learn what he needs to do.
Anyway I need to finish cooking dinner now! Oh and btw I actually have been crocheting lately so I will have something to show you, not quite finished yet but getting there. Exciting!