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sleeping and feeding all over the place - please please help

Well as the heading says Joseph is STILL not in a pattern at all for his sleeping or feeding and I am feeling like I have failed him big-time. I only have 3 weeks left of mat. leave and I am not enjoying it because I am so anxious about this all the time. Basically he will go anything from 1 and a half to 4 hours between feeds and take anything from 2 to 7 oz at a time. He doesn't sleep more than an hour in total during the day and is SO tired by 5.30 that he's just crying with exhaustion. I have to put him to bed at 6.30 because he's literally screaming by then. (he then sleeps 12-13 hours at night) I just don't know what to do, he starts nursery in 3 weeks and I have to explain 'his routines' to them and he doesn't have any!!! He's so unhappy by late afternoon that I feel sure he needs more sleep during the day, but he wakes up after 10 mins sometimes and won't go back down. I feel that if his feeding was more regular he might be more settled but as I have always fed on demand (bf initially now ff) I don't know how to go about establishing a routine, really. Please someone help!!! Do I need to be strict and let him scream it out to establish a feeding routine - will it be better for him in the long run? Or do you think that when he's weaned it might be better? Is he sleeping too much at night - should I wake him earlier so he sleeps more in the day? I just don't know what to do but I feel like I'm letting my baby boy down :cry:

Replies

  • we start emilys bedtime routine from 7.30 at night when she has her bath, then she has her bottle and goes straight down till bout 8.30/9.00am. i give her a bottle then and most days she goes back into her cot for an hour. at about 10.30 she has her brekfast and another bottle at 12. we have a play around on the floor and i let her wear herself out. her daytime naps are only about 30-45 minutes long so i play with her til 4pm when she has her next bottle followed by dinner and thats her lot til bedtime. my advice would be to try him with some food after his morning bottle, he should go at least 3 hours between feeds especially if he has a bit of food as well. then play and make him laugh so that hes ready for a nap, i put emily in front of playhouse disney in her swing and let her nod off in her own time, sometimes if shes overtired she screams til she falls asleep but lately ive managed to have her relaxed before she gets to that point. i find shes tired about every 2 hours so i spend an awful amount of time making a fool of myself just to make her laugh and pass the time. if you can get that 1st full bottle down him you know he isnt hungry and i think its just a case of distraction.

    i dont think you should wake him any earlier as daytime naps get shorter the older they get anyway so you might as well leave him to sleep rather than have to teach hin again at some point. as for screaming it out, i had to let emily do this as she wasnt letting me put her down and as hard as it was it did work. i never let her scream for too long though.does he have a bath every night? i find this calms emily right down and makes her sleepy.

    dont know what else to suggest, im just going by our routine so hope it gives you a few ideas.

    ps your not letting your baby down, you only need 1 thing sorted(eg drinking a full bottle) and everything else will fall into place. and a trip round the block in the pram is my lifesaver on those days when sleep just isnt happening!!

    good luck
    clare x
  • oops double post

    [Modified by: mrssmith86 on October 08, 2009 11:15 AM]

  • You've not let him down he's a little person with his own mind. We all start out with the best intentions and say we're going to establish a routine but a baby isn't a robot you can't program them and if they don't want to do something they won't. It sounds to me though that he might be ready for weaning. Does he have the 2oz when he only goes an hour for a feed because he might be topping himself up?
    Once he starts at nursery it will work itself out because you'll have to be out for a certain time and if he doesn't take his feed then he'll have to wait for it . A couple of days of this and something will click in his head that if he doesn't take it he'll go hungry and he'll soon scoff it down. Please don't be so hard on yourself you're doing absolutely nothing wrong. My daughter was a dream baby and did everything perfectly to order but Jamie never does the same thing two days in a row. I'm bringing them up exactly the same way if not a little better this time cos I've had experience so go figure. Lastly don't put a deadline on yourself because you'll stress you and baby out. Keep trying but if it hasn't happened by the time you go to work then so be it I'm sure the nursery will cope.xxxx
  • I couldn't agree with Snappyloz more. You're definitely not letting your little boy down. And don't stress about getting him on a routine before nursery. If you want to try then fine, but if it doesn't happen as SL says, I'm sure once he's at nursery it will all fall into place.
    I would say though, if you do want to get him onto a routine for your own sake, that when he seems to be hungry after only a couple of hours, he most probably isn't! if he's taken a full feed before then he's probably crying for something else and it may well be that he's tired - if he's not napping much and crying a couple hours after feeding in my experience it's tiredness! it's a tricky one though because it's hard to know for sure that's what it is. However I also agree with MrsSmith that just thank your lucky stars that he's sleeping at night and don't wake him up so that he'll sleep better during the day. Maybe just try to establish more of a wind down before naps because perhaps he's overstimulated?
    My routine (and it's quite vague, I go by his signals rather than times, but it works out like thisimage
    7am - get up and have bottle (approx 8 oz)
    followed by some playing
    approx 9am - sleep. Often he wakes up after about 45 minutes and I end up playing with him again although I aim for a 2 hour nap!
    11am - food (solids) and milk (approx 8oz)
    followed by playing or whatever - we may be out and about or whatever
    1pm - sleep - this nap is usually his best one - a good 1.5 to 2 hours
    3pm - solids and milk (8oz)
    playing
    5pm - nap around 30-45 minutes and sometimes not at all.
    6.30pm - solids, milk (8oz)
    bath, massage
    Asleep usually by 7.30pm
    10 pm - dream feed (4-5 oz)
    fingers crossed for the night although he usually wakes up a couple of times - so at least you've got that sorted!!!
    hope that helps, and thanks for your welcome back post on the other topic!!!
    xxxx
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