Welcome to the LIVE New mums webchat!

We've got author and mum of three Lucy Atkins here 12-1pm TODAY to host our live new mums webchat. Got a question about coping with your new life, or how to handle your newborn? Perhaps you're wondering how best to meet other new mums or looking for tips on surviving endless sleepless nights? Lucy is here to help!
Lucy has written a book called First Time Parent - and we have five copies to give away to the first five people to post a relevant question on this thread. She is also a member of the Fairy Godmothers panel, leading a campaign to provide support and advice to new mums and mums-to-be as they prepare for their new arrival.
Welcome to babyexpert, Lucy!
Please go ahead and post your questions for Lucy here.
Web Ed Nicola


  • Hi Lucy, I was just wondering if you could give any advice on whether I should be keeping my 4 month old awake more during the day at all? He can only stay awake for an hour before he starts getting cranky and yawning, and also rubbing his eyes. Then he'll sleep for 2-3 hours. Before his 8 week jabs he would stay awake 2 hours, then nap for an hour. I've tried playing to stimulate him, or just letting him have a kick about, but he just wants to sleep and I feel mean trying to discourage him. He still wakes for feeds 3-4 times a night despite 3 hourly full feeds during the day, I don't know if this means he's more tired? Thank you. xxx
  • Hello.

    I was wondering if you have any tips about getting my little girl to sleep better at night? She'll have a couple of nights where she'll only wake twice for feeding and then have a night where she wakes crying every 1 to 2 hours!

    She is 17 weeks old and is breastfed.


    [Modified by: lisajoy on November 10, 2008 11:46 AM]

  • Hi,

    My baby is 5 weeks old, he feeds every 3-4 hours, but doesn't wind very easily, I rub his back, put him on my shoulder and pat/rub but he still doesn't burp, he wriggles loads! I do persevere for at least 15 mintues normally 30 minutes..then he suffers with tummy ache where he screams and screams with his legs pulled into his tummy... is there any tips? sometimes he can cry for over an hour!
  • Hello, my little boy Hugo just turned 2 months old. He is over all fantastic, eats well, is an amazing 63 cm tall! He sleeps great at night despite being breastfed. From 11pm - 5/6am, then a feed, and sleep further till around 9/10 am. SO we get a great sleep.

    BUT he has trouble with daytime naps at home. If we go out and he is in the buggie he can sleep the whole 3 hours or so in between feeds, no problem. If we are at home, he MIGHT fall asleep on his own, but he would sleep top 30 minutes .... If he falls asleep after a feed in arms and stays there, he might sleep for about 2 hours, but as soon as put down wakes up ... or sleeps for 15 minutes and wakes up. Putting him in the buggy at home doesn't work either ...

    I am not really sure how to resolve the prob, he has no problem settling himself during night ...

    So at the moment I just try to spend most of my days outside of the house (which is great for both me and him), but if the weather is crap (as today) I really wish he would nap at home!

    Any ideas? Thanks!
  • Hello - I'm now online and ready to dive in! Keep them coming - I know what it's like to have a new baby and a lot of unanswered questions (you may have to type with one hand and jiggle your baby with the other!). I'll do my best,
  • Hi Rebecca, it sounds like your little boy is pretty sleepy during the day but he's doing a lot of growing right now, and he's still extremely small so I wouldn't get too steamed up about it as long as he is feeding well during the day. All babies have different sleep requirements, and though it's incredibly tempting to compare him to your friends' babies, it's all about him I'm afraid. Some babies need hardly any sleep during the day (their mums tend to be the pale, shattered looking ones!) and some need loads and loads. I think your plan of entertaining him during his wakeful periods is a good one - but if he's rubbing his eyes and getting cross then he really is just tired and if he was my baby, I'd just let him sleep. If he's still waking three times a night when he's six months old, you might want to think about how to space out those night time feeds and perhaps keep him more wakeful during the day. But for now, I'd just relax and let him do his own thing. Lucy x
  • Hi,

    My baby boy is almost 2 months old now and is usually very good in the day and has naps every few hours but at night as soon as he goes into his crib he will scream for an hour or more despite feeding him just before he goes down. Once asleep though, after every feed in the night he willl settle so its just that first few hours when he goes in. He is awake enough in the day and so should be tired but seems to hate his crib! I was just wondering what i could do to help him learn to go to sleep there.
  • Thank you for your reply. I try to let him sleep as much as he wants, but have started getting other mums telling me that as he's getting older he should be awake for 2 hours before sleeping. He just loves his sleep, so I should be thankful for the rest I think! Will ignore what others say and put him down when he shows signs of tiredness and not torture him with my bad singing etc, lol. Thanks again. xxx
  • Hi Lucy - just wondered if you could help with a breastfeeding query. My baby is 12 days old and has lost nearly 1/2 lb so I'm keen to get as much milk into him as possible but how do i know when he's still feeding (and getting milk) or when he's just comfort sucking (and making me sore!!) ?? I don't want to let him go to sleep on the breast but if he's getting milk it would be ok if you see my point....
  • hi max is nearly 7 weeks old and he has been feeding on hungry baby milk every 2 hours, so from advice of a friend i put a quater of rusk in his bottle last night and he slept from 10 - 5 which is astonishing for him. Surely this is not doing any harm?? i know the weaning guidlines are 4-6months but i dont see it as weaning really, its only a quater of rusk disolved into his milk everynight? Thanks sara
  • Hi Lisajoy - I know, it's a tough one. Sleep - or lack of it (for you!) - is the number one new baby issue. It's incredibly hard, too, when your baby doesn't seem to have a good nightly pattern - it can feel really confusing, not to mention knackering for you. There are all sorts of reasons why your baby may be waking but probably the number one thing to check is feeds: if she didn't get enough during her daily milk feeds on a particular day she may be hungrier at night so it might be worth seeing a breastfeeding advisor (try the National Childbirth Trust, La Leche League or your local hospital which may have local breastfeeding advisors). The real key with breastfeeding is the 'latch on' - getting her on there so she feeds really efficiently. Even if you think you're having no problems with this, it might be worth getting an advisor just to watch you latch her on, to be sure. She may also be feeding more on certain nights to 'up' your milk supply as she grows bigger (the way your milk supply is stimulated to increase is by your baby suckling away - you've probably heard people referring to 'growth spurts'.) I'd definitely keep up the breastfeeding though: you're absolutely doing the right thing for her by breastfeeding her. She may be waking with trapped wind, or feeling chilly (does she have a baby sleeping bag? that's always a good one to stop her kicking the covers off). Or she may be in the habit of waking for a cuddle (though it doesn't sound like this is the case, or she wouldn't have those longer more peaceful nights). She's also still very tiny really, and as long as you have good bedtime routines, things should become more predictable. Lucy x
  • Thank you,

    She does have a sleeping bag - luckily we were given lots 2nd hand as she is a fidget! I have been told that she is not hungry by my hv as she is putting on more than average weight! The silly thing is that she slept really well the night that i'd been out all day and she only took about 4oz from a bottle between 9am and 5pm! I thought she'd have a bad ight as would be catching up on feeds! I will keepup our bedtime routine and make the most of the better nights!

  • Hi Mrsh01 and your windy little boy. Poor him and poor YOU! It sounds very frustrating. Winding babies is not always a matter of a quick pat and a great big burp followed by smiles as you've found out! You don't say whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding but I'm guessing that one of the problems, here, is that your little wind machine is sucking in a lot of air with his milk feeds. If you are breastfeeding the key is that 'latch on' I have just gone on about to another mum! I sound like a broken record but it really is the cause of most people's breastfeeding woes, so if you are breastfeeding, do get a breastfeeding advisor to have a look at your technique to minimize all that oxygen he's sucking in. If you are bottle feeding the same can apply. Many new parents find joy by switching to a different teat (you can get special ones for "colicky" babies), or even switching to a different type of formula (have a word with your health visitor about this - she's contactable via your GP if you don't already know her and should be a really helpful here). Try sitting him in a more upright position as you bottle feed and make sure that when you tilt the bottle there is no visible air in the teat.
    The next thing is your winding method. Try this instead of the shoulder - it worked much better for my own very windy babies: sit him on your lap supporting his head and chest under his chin with one hand while you rub or pat his back with your other hand - try to keep his back straight. You can also try winding him mid-feed. As for your mammoth sessions - I wouldn't go on winding for more than a minute or so - if nothing comes out you're unlikely to have any joy (and you'll get frustrated!). It's very common for babies to have wind problems in the early days as their digestive systems mature. It's hellish for both of you, but it will pass I promise, Lucy x
  • Thank you very much! i am bottlefeeding! and interesting to know that I don't need to wind for as long as I have been... I've been so worried that I'm doing it all wrong! I've just bought some Dr.Brown's bottles... I'll give that a go to see if he doesn't take in as much air!

    thanks again
    x x x

  • Hello Fooxoo - first of all, I've got to say little Hugo sounds like an absolute star with his night time sleeping. Lucky you. You don't say what happens to get him off at night though - is he crashing out during the feeds? Or do you put him in while he's still awake? If you can put him in his cot when he's awake but sleepy, rather than letting him crash out during a feed this will help him to learn to put himself back to sleep when he wakes fleetingly during those daytime naps too. It could be that at night he's totally knackered, so goes back to sleep when he wakes fleetingly, but during the day he's sleeping in a lighter pattern and so can't get back to sleep without mummy's arms or a rocking buggy (though he's initially knackered during daytime naps, hence his falling asleep relatively easily to begins with). The key, then, is probably to concentrate on encouraging his (already pretty decent) ability to put himself to sleep without the rocking/mummy factor. This way you stand a chance of having a bit of rest this winter rather than being out, pacing the streets in rain like this! I hope this helps - I had this problem with my first two babies by the way - it's really a very common issue. I only cracked it with Ted, my third, by religiously putting him down to sleep when he was still awake! good luck, Lucy x

    [Modified by: LucyAtkins on November 10, 2008 12:52 PM]

  • Hi,
    My lo is 16 weeks old and is bottle fed. He was 15 lbs ozs at his last weigh in and was 8lbs 1oz when he was born. He's a great sleeper and untill 3 weeks ago a brilliant feeder taking 5 bottles for 8-9fl ozs.
    Over the last few weeks he's really dropped the amount he has amd I'm a little worried.
    This morning he would only take 3 fl ozs at 7am and 6 at 11am. He's normally not interested in his 7am bottle but drains his 11am and 3pm so I'm at a loss. I wind him which is ok but if I offer him the bottle back he just pushes it out with his tounge and sticks his hand in his mouth! Thought it might be teething but just wondered is there anything I can do to help hin take a bit more or feel better?
    We've bought all sorts of things to chew on but his or my hand are much better apparently!
    Thank you
  • Rebecca and your sleepy boy - yes! I couldn't agree more!! you can be well-rested, thankful and smug when your (envious!?) friends say he's too sleepy. x
  • Hi Lilylou - I know, some babies really do object to that cot at night - they know it means bye-bye mummy/daddy and that's never good. Have you tried being really consistent with all the lovely beddy byes routines so he begins to think of bedtime as a nice thing not an abandonment thing:ie. the soft lighting, the nice warm bath, the same goodnight lullaby every night, last feed in his room, again - the dim lighting - then put him in cot, turn on a mobile above his cot that plays the same tune every night.... A firm kiss and "night night" - then leave the room? (I've outlined this in my book First Time Parent - you may have just won a copy!! if so, check out the SLEEP chapter). Routines can definitely help babies to get past this and start to feel like bed is ok. It's a blessing that he's putting himself back to sleep if he wakes at night and to be honest this is a huge positive step, so keep it up and I'm sure you'll get there soon. Also, try - if at all possible - not to get tense about it yourself (if daddy's around maybe he could take over?)- he may also pick up on your understandable stress around this bed moment. It's amazing what little babies sense. Though don't be tempted to blame yourself here, it's probably a combination of factors and you'll get there. good luck, Lucy x
  • WEe've reached 1pm so it's time to let you all know that this webchat is now CLOSED - no new questions please.
    Many thanks to all of you who posted questions, also a big thanks to Lucy for fitting us into her busy schedule. Lucy has kindly agreed to answer as many outstanding questions as possible posted during the session, so come back later to see her answers.
    Web ed Nicola
  • Thanks very much for your reply, i do give the last feed in the dim room but probably could tighten up the bedtime routine a bit and will try the mobile idea and see if that helps.
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