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TheZooKeeper

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:09pm

Night Feeds - any advice welcome!

I know, I know, it's early days still and she hasn't reached a routine, but do you have any advice on how to get Ella back to sleep after a feed?

It's a slow routine of feeding, nappy changing, feeding, nappy changing and it takes ages for her to get back to sleep - more like 3 hours, was 5 this morning (DH had to take over).

Any advice would be brill.

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:29pm

What do you do now during and after a feed?





TheZooKeeper

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:34pm

have my alarm go off, wake Ella up, change nappy then feed, when she's dropping off and had enough milk put her back, then she wakes up and starts grizzling!

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:35pm

Ok, why are you waking her up for a feed?


Edit: Gosh sorry that sounded a bit harsh. I just mean how come you're waking her up for feeds rather than her waking you when she's hungry?





TheZooKeeper

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:43pm

so she can have 4 hourly feeds - but we don't always have to wake her, she does that herself now

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:44pm

My thoughts exactly! I'd say just let her wake you when she wants a feed, unless you are trying to 'dream feed' her just before you go to bed in the hope you can grab a few hours before she wakes again? Also do you have to change her every time? I used to change DD once in the night when she was feeding a lot (ie more than once or twice in the night). Now she only wakes once I don't change her at night - when they are asleep they don't pee a lot anyway (in theory!) and disposables are so good they don't feel the wet. Do you feed with dimmed lights and no noise? really boring for you and really hard to stay awake yourself but it does help them not get too awake.

Other than that if she wakes grizzling after a feed it could be wind so a walk up and down the stairs used to settle DD and get the trapped wind out. If all else fails I used to rock DD asleep at this young age - which may make people gasp in horror but its not done her any harm!



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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:45pm

oops sorry cross posted! personally I wouldn't wake her every 4 hours at night unless she is loosing weight.



Bells

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:49pm

If she's gaining weight and not jaundiced there's no real reason to feed to a schedule (unless you're following one of the guide books). If she's taking 5 hours to settle I would reconsider waking her.

When she does wake try feeding her as quickly as you can to try to keep her sleepy. Leave nappy changing (if she really needs it) until the end unless it's poo and then try putting her back in her bed. Keep all lights down low, don't make eye contact and don't talk to her apart from 'ssshhhh' or soft cooing noises.

You could try quickly filling a hot water bottle with hot tap water, as you lift her out for a feed pop the bottle in to keep her bed warm, as you put her back in take it out.


Edit: cross posted with you this time Primrose :D





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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:56pm

He He Bells! Yes you've just reminded me about the hot water bottle trick Bells, we used that one too! also using one of my scanky T shirts I'd had on all day as a sheet too! Sometimes tilting the mattress up a bit at the head end is supposed to work too - my DD always ended up sliding down the bed though!



Bells

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 7:58pm

Aye :D .... anything to soften the transition between Mummy's warm arms and comfy boobs to the cold hard bed made up with one measly blanket ;)





Bells

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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 8:10pm

Primrose I hope you don't mind but there's on of your old threads HERE which may help Jenny see that these first few weeks can be very difficult even for someone like you who has since become a natural breastfeeder.





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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 9:17pm

Hi Jenny

I agree with trying to wake her just before you go to bed so that you can get a while without her waking to allow you to sleep a bit.

I'll offer the other side of the coin to Bells and Primrose, just to give you the option! I also woke my DS's by setting my alarm and we rapidly got into the wake-just-once-a-night routine within 10 days of birth. I would wake them at 10.30pm and then at 2.30am for DS1 (that was all he could manage - sometimes he woke me then) and at 3.30am for DS2 as he could go 5 hours straightaway because he was heavy at birth.

As for getting them to go back to sleep, yes, change her nappy at 11pm (maybe in the middle of the feed) and then don't change it in the middle of the night. Keep lights low, and if DD is quiet and comfortable when you put her down, then her grizzling may simply be that she hasn't learned how to settle herself. Primrose suggests rocking her to sleep and yes that will work if that's what you want to do. Letting DD grizzle for a while is probably fine if it's only grizzling. If it's full-blown crying/yelling, you may think differently. However, my DS2 at 4 months still cries the house down when going to sleep sometimes, but only cries for one minute then he's soundo and nothing will rouse him. I just live with it! Maybe DD just needs to grizzle herself to sleep. How long have you left her without picking her up again?
Had a total of three fresh IVF cycles and three frozen transfers (embryos and blastocysts)
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Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 9:36pm

I agree with limpet to do a dream feed, but i wouldn't wake in the night, but thats because i like my sleep too much 8o I would change in the middle of the feed as limpet says, and only change if necessary. And defo let her cry for a while if she has no wind etc. I found with mine if i rocked or bounced it just woke them more as it stimulated them. xxx
Mum of 3 year old twins.
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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 10:24am

I only started DS on a 4 hour schedule when he was 4 months old.
At 1 month, he was feeding on demand, at around every 2 hours.
At 3 months, at around every 3 hours.

Personally, I never had to wake him for a feed, he woke himself :rolleyes:
We also changed his nappy BEFORE a feed so that if he fell asleep during a feed he would not be disturbed. I used to at night just let him feed as much as he wanted until he fell asleep but kept all distractions to a minimum at night-time.

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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 10:46am

Don't mind Bells - really interesting to read it again, brought back some happy memories!! It would have been great to have been able to look into the future back then! Everything does sort it self out eventually, most of the problems I really think your little one grows out of - looking back I wasted a lot of energy and worry-time trying to get my DD to do things but in the end they find their own way, I truley think sleep is a developmental thing, much like sitting up or crawling - don't think you can hurry it along really, much better to just go with the flo!... must tell myself that the next time I'm worrying about something LOL! (PS DD slept through last night (ie from 11pm to 4.30am) hence my chille out philosophy this morning!)



TheZooKeeper

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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 12:12pm

So confused at what to do for the best now. She had a feed at 9.30 and again at 10.30! Then I stayed up until she went to sleep - she didn't so ended up going up to bed at around 11. Changed her bum, then she grizzled and cried for ages, she wanted another feed, and had to have her bum changed again (she seems to feed then poo then feed again then poo again).

I tend to leave her after a few hours of grizzling and crying and sometimes she does go to sleep, but it scares me to leave her unless she's choking on her feed.

She didn't sleep unil 5am. I have no idea how to approach this now, I'm totally knackered. I may have to look at keeping her awake in the afternoon/evening in the hope it will tire her out.

She is demand feeding but seems to want it every 2-4 hours now.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "TheZooKeeper" (Sep 27th 2006, 12:17pm)


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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 12:44pm

Jenny, that's normal hunny in the first few weeks, honestly, it really is. It is very very tiring and you think it will never stop, but it will get better. BUT you have to take the advice - sleep when your baby sleeps.

And DS often needed a nappy change mid feed, but again this will sort itself out eventually. And if your DD needs her nappy changed after feeding that's also ok - just do it then. But dont wake her to change her nappy, and as long as she is doing a pee 5-6 times a day then she is past the stage of needing to be woken up to feed.

Some babies (and DS was the same) do sometimes just grizzle cry during the day. Try rocking and walking around with her, singing silly songs, lots of cuddles. It may not stop the grizzles but it will help your sanity. Hold her and comfort her and watch TV. She's so young still - barely newborn - she wont be interacting with you for a few more weeks. But wait until you get to 6 weeks - probably seems impossible now :D but it will happen - she'll start smiling and you'll love her to pieces.

Big hugs hun. You're doing a grand job, and your DD is doing fine. Everything will be ok.

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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 12:47pm

Good advice sun. Jen sunshine is right your little girl is still getting used to everything, it is very difficult to start with but it DOES get easier, as sun says sleep whilst she is sleeping, rest as much as possible and eat and drink well. xxx
Mum of 3 year old twins.
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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 12:54pm

Right. Jenny don't panic and don't take it to heart. The majority of babies are hard work at this age and that is not a reflection of how you are handling things. This parenting lark is a big game of trial and error, what works for someone else will not work for you and the way that most people find something that works is by trying lots of different approaches.

She's only been here for 15 days which isn't an awfully long time for you to get used to a whole new way of life so although you're tired and feeling frustrated about the whole thing just take a step back and give yourself some space to think.

I'm sorry I'm rambling but it's important that realise that having a newborn is so totally consuming.... the tiredness, the hormones, the discomfort... that you can get eaten up with it. Allow yourself to see that although the nights aren't going too great at the moment, you're doing incredibly well to have got this far and that THIS is what having a baby is all about.... it's normal.

First, it's highly unlikely that Ella will choke in her sleep. She has the ability to turn her head if she's sick and her sick is very fluid so is easy to spit out if she does bring some up. Don't worry about that.

She's obviously not learnt to tell the time yet... :D nor does she understand that darkness and quietness means sleep.... but she will do at some point.

Whatever method you use during the night the most important is to keep her unstimulated by noise or lights. To be honest, at this age I personally wouldn't think about routines or bad habits if you're feeling like carp, it's more important that you get a few good nights sleep. If that means cuddling her to sleep, rocking her to sleep, sleeping sat up in a chair with her on your chest or dragging the crib up to your bed and sticking both your arms through the bars.

This is where I would put baby in bed with me but I know that new mums are petrified of this..... :rolleyes: heaven knows how humanity has survived this long without these guidelines!

How do you feel Jenny?





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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 8:11pm

big hugs jenny...it can be a very exausting and exililerating time...at the same time...just try and rest whenever ella sleeps and forget about housework for the next few weeks [zx127]

edited for spelling .....AGAIN :rolleyes:

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "IRISH" (Sep 27th 2006, 8:12pm)


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Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 9:07pm

Just to reiterate what everyone else has said jenny - You are doing absolutely nothing wrong - you just have to go with it but its flipping knackering isn't it! I can remember being up zombified all night feeding, rocking her, walking about... anything! to stop her howling (and having murderous thoughts about my DH snoring in the bed next door!!) I became really attached to the radio and chocolate minstrals, that really kept me sane! I don't know if anyone has told you Jen but just in case, it is really common for babies to cluster feed in the evenings in the early weeks - I can recall my DD being barely off me from about 6pm till 3am. In my experience keeping them awake in the day doesn't work - my DD has only had the smallest of naps in the day, definatley doesn't mean she sleeps at night though! out of all her peers she is the 'worst' sleeper!



TheZooKeeper

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Thursday, September 28th 2006, 1:01pm

Thanks for your kind messages all. Ella kept awake all evening last night, had a late feed and slept until 2.30 - had another feed and a nap nap ( :D ) change and then went to sleep until about 6. My god I could live with that but I know it won't work!

She cried and grizzled until 12.30am though and did the same for a few hours this morning.

It is tiring esp when I don't know why she's crying, I figured if she's been fed and been changed then she's either tired and cant get herself off to sleep, or she's bored or wanting a cuddle.

I don't get frustrated with her, far from it, I love her to bits and know she's still very very newborn, little and getting used to her surroundings. I realise it will take some time to establish a routine, we're just getting used to everything ourselves and know it will get earier (or so people tell us!!).

Primrose - I agree with the snoring!! I stay in the spare room as DH is now back at work and I do the feeds, although he does tell me to wake him if I need help and he will do a bottle feed. He's brill with the housework (man-stylie though!) and has been bringing me home loads of flowers! One night he snored the whole night and after 3 hours of Ella being unsettled I woke him up!!

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Thursday, September 28th 2006, 7:33pm

Thank goodness I'm not the only one! They test the patience of a blinking saint - after pacing the floor with DD you crawl into bed only to be faced with that racket! I give him a bloody great kick most nights 8o Sounds like your little one had a great night! I always rejoice with the good nights and think every night 'maybe just maybe she'll sleep through tonight' :D May be deluded but it helps me!



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Thursday, September 28th 2006, 8:46pm

Jenny, I hope you're feeling ok about all this!!

Reading through the whole thread, everyone (myself included) is offering their advice based on what they did. I personally (opposite to Bells) think that routine is great because you know what to expect and so does the baby - even very young babies can thrive on routine (neither of my DSs ever woke in the evening between 7pm and 10pm from 3 days old). So, there you have it - the two moderators of this thread are on opposite sides of the fence, so that shows that both theories work. 8) 8)

However, what is important here, is that you do what you're comfortable with.

My other strong recommendation is that you don't try each idea for just one day. You and Ella won't really know if it's working. If you rock her to sleep one day, but leave her to grizzle another day, you'll confuse both of you and neither might work when actually you haven't given it a chance. Have a think about what you think would suit you and your mentality best, either from any of our suggestions, or from a book, and try it for a few days on the trot.

Hope this helps, hun. Nobody prepares you for all these agonising thoughts, do they?!
Had a total of three fresh IVF cycles and three frozen transfers (embryos and blastocysts)
m/c @ 11 weeks in 2007 DS1 and DS2 born from fresh IVF cycles :D
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TheZooKeeper

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Thursday, September 28th 2006, 8:50pm

good thinking there Limpet, before I read your post I was beginning to realise that too, routine is about trying something for more than one day, I think we may have confused her a bit tonight with waking her up at 8, bathed her, fed her now she's awake. I think I'll be confused about a routine too!!

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Thursday, September 28th 2006, 8:56pm

trial and error...but there are no errors

babies normally dictate their own routine after a little while anyway...meanwhile mummy is really exausted...big hugs xxx...soon she'll be a big girl cutting her 1st tooth and weaning :D fun eh?

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Thursday, September 28th 2006, 9:16pm

...and just to confuse you more... although Limpet and I have different ways of doing thigs we've both got two children each who are ALL great sleepers. In fact I have never met another person whose children sleep as well as my own do and yet we both use completely different methods.

They work for us because they work for us. That's hugely important because fighting to comply with something that doesn't sit right with you is hard work. I agree that you need to give each 'method' (for want of a better word) a really good try before you find a way of parenting that suits you. Once you've all syncronised you'll know what works and what doesn't ..... but that takes a little time so for now just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day.

Keep trying Jenny, they get easier (when you can send them to school :D )

xxx





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Friday, September 29th 2006, 8:01am

I agree with Bells & Limpet! Ella will find her own routine but equally if you want to try & get her into one you can if that works for you. DS has now settled into his own routine & it's great but it did take quite a while for that to happen. The one thing that stayed the same was the bath, feed, bed routine & the morning routine.

TheZooKeeper

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Friday, September 29th 2006, 8:48am

last night was a better night - we bathed her at 9, she stayed awake until we went to bed at around 10.20. Then after another feed and nap nap :D change she drifted off to sleep. So it's day 2 of keeping her awake in the evenings and having a better night.

Might have to keep this one up!!!!!

(I still wake up briefly every hour though checking her!!!!)

TheZooKeeper

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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 9:36am

we might have sussed it (touching wood and fingers crossed!) keep Ella awake at night, take her to bed last thing, give her a late night feed, she goes to sleep, wake up at 2ish, another feed, then doesn't wake up til 6.

If we keep this up we might have cracked a routine!!

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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 9:39am

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done!!!! See she will settle herself. :D :D :D
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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 10:20am

Wow that is fantastic Jen! DD didn't get into that kind of routine until she was months old!



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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 12:02pm

Well done Jenny :))


I think I'm going to have to wake my DD2 up. She went to bed late last night.... it was 7.30pm ..... and she's still up there (12.55pm) 8o She did wake for a chat with herself at 9am but fell asleep again before I got her up :rolleyes:

This is what you're aiming for Jen :D





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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 1:20pm

omg bells thats some sleeping...how do you do it?

got any tips?

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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 1:22pm

Quoted

Originally posted by JennyS
we might have sussed it (touching wood and fingers crossed!) keep Ella awake at night, take her to bed last thing, give her a late night feed, she goes to sleep, wake up at 2ish, another feed, then doesn't wake up til 6.

If we keep this up we might have cracked a routine!!


fantastic jenny...really hope this continues...you feel abit more sane when you've had sleep :D

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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 1:28pm

I woke her up at 1.30pm :rolleyes:

My only tip is that once baby gets to the stage where they're eating three meals a day with snacks and drinks in between along with the supplementary milk feeds there is no reasons for them to wake in the night or very early for extra food (whereas they 'might' on pure milk). If they 'do' wake then they need to learn to settle themselves off to sleep again without having a parent go in to them. Once baby has learned that this is the way life is there are no more broken nights and no more extremely early mornings.





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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 1:31pm

will she go down for you early this evening then...i cant imagine any of mine sleeping that long.....EVER ;(

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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 1:49pm

Her normal bedtime is 6.30pm so I'll probably move it back until 7.30pm just so that she can have all her meals. Yes, she'll go up to bed no problems :))

She has a box of smallish toys next to her bed which she can reach and I put her CD player on before I come out of the room so bed is quite a fun place to be.

She may not go to sleep straight away but she won't cry or protest, just babble away for a bit.





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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 1:56pm

she must be a fab little girl :D

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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 2:16pm

She's the most demanding, self aware, headstrong, single minded, difficult to please little girl I have ever known. If she didn't sleep at night I would be in the loony bin by now.





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Saturday, September 30th 2006, 2:20pm

:D




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