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Am I doing this right?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

The other day we were at a friends house and the husband asked about Clover's routine ie: nap time since we were there during the day. I said she didn't really have a routine and only really cat napped during the day. Of course this made me wonder if she should have a routine of some sort.

She's 8 weeks old now so should I be starting one? Right now she tends to fall asleep for the night between 1:30--2am then she either wakes up every 3 hours after that or sleeps for 5-6 hours, I have no clue what the difference is between the 3 hour wake ups and the 5-6 hours.

I nurse her and change her and she's back to sleep within 30-45 min. If it's after 6am I bring her back into bed with me as DH gets up shortly after that for work. She then sleeps for another 3-4 hours.


During the day I feed on demand, sometimes this is every 3 hours sometimes it feels like it is non-stop. We talk, sing, read, listen to music and do tummy time, most of the day though I hold her as she doesn't really dig the bouncy seat and my house is too drafty for her to hang out much on a play mat on the floor.


She cat naps after every feed for about 10-20 minutes and sometimes she will have a longer nap around 2-3 which we will go and lay down in bed for.


But it's not every day. Am I suppose to be giving her a routine already?

Also she tends to fall asleep at my breast a lot, I read that this is a bad thing to do, but she seems to always doze off into a milk coma. Why is it bad?


I don't want to do anything that is going to cause trouble in the future.

post #2 of 17

DDC crashing- neither of my girls had a routine until they made their own.  Seemed to work for us.


post #3 of 17
Pineapple, your routine sounds a lot like mine except I go to sleep around 4 and wake up at noon.
post #4 of 17

Lilah is 10 weeks and doesn't really have a routine yet either.  The only thing I can mostly count on is that she goes down usually sometime between 9-11pm (with some random 1am's thrown in for fun ;P) and sleeps until 7:30am.  She never really wakes up during that time, just eats in her sleep, anywhere from 1-3 times usually.  In the morning she's up for 1-2 hours and then falls asleep again and after that all bets are off.  Sometimes the morning nap is an hour, sometimes it stretches up to 4-5 hours, sometimes it's two 1-hours separated by an hour of being awake.  And in the afternoon sometimes she takes another longish nap and sometimes she just catnaps for 15 minutes at a time all day.


I have no idea why falling asleep at the breast would be considered bad.  Saves my bacon sometimes at night!  Maybe the theory is that a baby who falls asleep doesn't get a full feeding?

post #5 of 17

Naomi is also 10 weeks old and doesn't have a day time routine.  Night time is basically asleep between 8-11 pm, and up every 3 hours to nurse (occasionally she goes 4 hours which is nice!) until 7:30-9:30 AM every morning when she is awake.   I then recently started laying her on her playmat where she happily plays for maybe a half hour and then we cuddle or she sleeps.  Some days she will have long naps but most days she cat naps which sometimes results in her being overtired by the evening and then we have to do soothing activities to get her to sleep (swaddle, bouncing etc.)


I think people are sometimes against having the baby fall asleep after nursing because there is a sleep training method out there that discourages nursing to sleep so that the baby doesn't always need you to fall asleep.  The method encourages nursing after waking up, activity and then sleep again.  Naomi actually tends to do this on her own, though today she woke up from a nap, nursed and fell back asleep and is still sleeping.  Every day is different here!  Naomi always nurses to sleep throughout the night.  I can't imagine anyone thinking that would be bad!  And of course as PP mentioned, in the early days if the baby falls asleep while nursing they might not be getting enough to eat, but I wouldn't worry about that if baby is gaining well.


All this from a first time mom also trying to figure it all out. nut.gif

post #6 of 17

Ds fell asleep at the breast every night. It never was a problem until he was about 8 months old and too big for me to gently lay him in his crib for the night. He would wake up and I would have to hold him until he fell asleep again, and then again creep to his room and try to get him in bed without realizing i wasn't holding him. It was hard on my back and on me to keep doing that every night. So finally I had to put him in bed and let him cry himself to sleep for several nights until he learned to fall asleep on his own. Which was bad, he would scream for close to an hour b.c he wanted me to hold him. (he was fed and wasn't hurt so I had to just let him scream). Finally he would go to bed without me holding him. This time I will not let DD fall asleep at my breast and am putting her down for naps during the day instead of just holding her. I don't want to go through that again. But every baby is different so who knows if yours will do this too.

post #7 of 17

Also wanted to chime in (and am a first timer, so what the heck do I know!?).


Cady will be 8 weeks tomorrow, and doesn't have a super "strict" routine, but has already sort of started to create one on her own. 


She sleeps from about 10:30/11 through till 6 or 7 (without waking up to eat or be changed.  Go ahead and throw things at me; I know I'm super lucky). 


In the morning after eating/changing, one of two things happens... if it's before 6 (i.e., 5:30/6) she goes back down and sleeps till about 8:30/9 (which is great, because I can get so much done in that time!).  If it is after 6, she usually is up for the day, and we play for a couple of hours, and she eats before taking a short nap around 10:30/11ish.  Then, more playing for a couple hours, and then a loooong (3-4 hour) afternoon nap (time of nap varies).  She's up by about 5:30/6 which is perfect, because that's when DP gets home from work.  DP and I eat dinner, play with Cady, and I pump a bottle, which DP gives to her around 8:30.  She eats again before going down for the night, and then we repeat.


Of course, this all varies, especially the times that all of those things occur, but the fact that she's become predictable (without me forcing her into a schedule) does help me plan my day a bit!  She really is such a great baby, and I know we're super lucky.


... of course, I go back to work on 1/3, and my MIL will start caring for her during the day... which means we'll likely have a whole new "routine" to get used to!  Looking forward to the next adventure!  Lol.

post #8 of 17

IMO there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a baby fall alseep at the breast. It's nature's sleep inducer for mother and baby thanks to the lovely oxytocin hormones breastfeeding stimulates. I think there is all kinds of things wrong and cruel about letting a baby scream themselves to sleep. Mothering (and therefore MDC) is a natural parenting magazine/forum which advocates for Attachment Parenting (among other things), and I'm pretty sure that it is mentioned in the user guidelines to not condone or advise CIO sleep training methods (not aimed at you OP).


I nursed DD to sleep for over two years and it was lovely. I really miss it actually! I think what some people believe is bad about it, is it is creating a "negative" sleep association. There is a belief that a baby should be able to put themselves to sleep without needing you. I think this is absurd, and if your instints are saying that nursing is a great way for babe to fall asleep, then that is your best indicator that you are doing the right thing.


post #9 of 17

I just wanted to say that I don't necessarily agree with the method I mentioned in my previous post.  I meant to make that more clear.  I was just trying to offer an opinion as to why some people might discourage nursing to sleep because I can't imagine any medical reason for it. 

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

i'm so glad that i have MDC, I don't know anyone IRL who is attachment parenting(when we found out we were expecting the first advice we got was to let her CIO.)so I sometimes feel a bit insecure with my instincts along with being a first time mom. Its so good to hear from other moms...although i'm envious of Lyndzies full night of sleep and wish she'd send some of that magic to my house!


I totally thought that the falling asleep at the breast was some medical thing, I'm glad it's not because honestly it's one of those magic moments I love. Sometimes she falls asleep and smiles and it's like "this is perfection." she has fallen asleep on her own as well so I'm not worried that she will only fall asleep during nursing. 


I'm going to start trying to have quiet time in the afternoon daily, if she sleeps they hooray if not then it's just snuggles and stories. I'll just stress less that I'm doing something that will cause trouble later on.


Thanks ladies.

post #11 of 17

I obviously was not telling anyone how to raise their baby. I was telling my story and why this became problematic for us. Like I said falling asleep at the breast was never an issue until he was huge at 8 months old. His bedtime was 730 and mine was not until 1030 so there became the problem of trying to get him to bed. He would wake up every time I laid him down. It would take me sometimes past "my bed time" to get him to sleep. So we are talking 4 hours of me trying to lay him down, him waking up crying, me comfort nursing him (or half the time just holding him) and then trying all over again to get him down for the night. exhausting.....no time for myself and he wasn't getting good sleep obviously.

Like I said, every baby is different and just because mine had this issue doesn't mean anyone elses will. But as his mother, I don't think it was cruel to let him cry himself to sleep. He was fed, he was changed, he was not in danger and by my holding him I was adding to the problem. I don't think anyone should be told letting their baby cry is cruel as there are times people have colicky babies and they need to put them down and let them cry so that they don't hurt their babies and it is ok to do so if you are stressed. As a mother it is hard to hear your child cry, I didn't like it but felt it was necessary so we could get him to sleep. This was my choice and I stand by it. I by no means am telling anyone else to do it. I was just stating that with dd she will not be put to bed at night asleep if we can help it. If she wakes up I will still lay her in cosleeper and see if she goes back to sleep. But I do think there is something wrong in me not telling my story just because it doesn't fit in with what this website stands for. How will anyone learn anything new if they don't hear stories from others that may include "mistakes".

Ds now has no problem going to sleep and often asks to go down for a nap. To each his own.

post #12 of 17

Side note: I just spent 3 days in the hospital getting my gallbladder removed and am on pain meds.

I re-read my original post... My child didn't cry for an hour in his room. 90% of the time that week he would fall asleep after crying for 6 mins. On the two nights he didn't, I would go in his room after 10 mins of crying to check on him, sooth him, make sure he wasn't in pain or hungry, ect. Then I would get him good and sleepy but not asleep, lay him back down and if he cried, gave him another 10 mins. That would go on for an hour on those two occasions. But with me checking on him and such, that was a good 15-20 mins out of the hour twice, so it was only 2 10 min crying sessions in that hour. Does that make sense? Pain meds make it hard to communicate. All in all, I'm not advocating anything, I'm just stating my experience. Do with it what you want.

post #13 of 17

Sorry, my post should have been more sensitive to the difficult time you went through. It just hurts my heart to hear of babies crying themselves to sleep. I know all too well about putting a screaming baby down for a few minutes to regain some sanity. I do this a few times a day. It is not the same as letting a baby scream themselves to sleep for an hour.


There is loads of research showing how this method is not good for our babies. I'm sorry that you and your son had to go through that, and that you felt there was no other way.

post #14 of 17

ddcc - OP, I think you have to do what works for you. I've always found in child-rearing that, if something seems *too* cumbersome, it's probably the Wrong Thing To Do. Ds1 slept when he slept. I didn't know about baby-wearing until he was 3 months old and after I got a moby-style wrap, I went about all of my business with him strapped to me. He slept. He woke. We stopped to nurse - generally on his schedule. With ds2 and dd, I had them each in the wrap from day 1. I'm not sure any of my kids really settled into a schedule until they were 6 months and even then it was *their* schedule. I mostly rearranged mine to accommodate though it was sometimes hard since I have older kids with different needs.


As far as nursing to sleep, I think every babe must be different but I've never had much trouble transitioning kids to not-nursing-to-sleep at older ages (ds1 was 2ish when he stopped nursing to sleep - we talked about it and it went pretty smoothly with only a minimum of fussing and lots of cuddling). Now that I'm pregnant again I sometimes just don't have patience to nurse dd all the way to sleep if she's doing the latch-on-latch-off thing, so I rock her and sing to her. She fusses for 20 seconds then snuggles in and goes to sleep.


There's very little you can do which will Screw Your Baby Up For Life. They aren't going to still be nursing to sleep when they go to college and their desire for privacy at a certain age will even ensure you aren't cuddling them to bed forever (isn't that a sad thought!). Kids turn out all right even if you "let them use you as a pacifier" or don't "let them learn to self-soothe" (total BS claims, IMNSHO). What really will scientifically rewire their brain, though, is CIO.


Listen to your heart, mama, it will not lead you astray. If you feel the two of you need a schedule, then do it. If you feel like you only need a schedule because people seem to expect it of you, ignore them. Parenting becomes a whole different ballgame when we ignore what pop culture and society-at-large are telling us.

post #15 of 17

Babies have different temperaments. Some of them really need more structure and routine, and can get pretty cranky with a lot of changes. Others are really go-with-the-flow and flexible. So, whether you follow a predictable routine or not depends on your family's needs. Many times babies will naturally get into a rhythm where they are napping at a predictible time, all on their own. Others will fight sleep and be really cranky and it helps if a parent becomes more structured and sets up predictible sleep cues to help them get in the rhythm. If your dd is happy and content, and your current way of doing things works for you, too, then there's nothing to worry about.


As far as letting a baby fall asleep at the breast... I've never figured out how not to do this. Biology is working against us on this one. ;) However, I have found it really useful if babies also learn other ways to fall asleep. This has nothing to do with negative affects for them... it is more about being able to take a break myself. My middle two babies both had the opportunity to fall asleep on dad's shoulder, and it was wonderful. It still worked out that they would wake when dh put them down, and then I would have to nurse them back to sleep... but at least I got some down time in the meantime. ;) Car sleeping has also been a lifesaver for me. 


Yes, babies get into the "habbit" of falling asleep nursing... or rocking.... or what have you. But I actually think it is a WONDERFUL, BONDING, AMAZING habit, rather than the negative habit society paints for us. I don't place a value on "independent" sleeping. We cosleep, and don't have a timetable for when the baby/child needs to be out of the bed. If I was trying to make a baby sleep in a crib when they preferred to be cuddled up next to me, then I can see how nursing to sleep would make things difficult when baby gets bigger.

post #16 of 17
Neither of my babies have had any sort of routine. I nurse on demand and we co-sleep, with the babe falling asleep on the breast. (Learning to side nurse lying down with my first was absolutely life-changing!)

CIO and other "sleep training" methods discourage letting a baby sleep on the breast. But then they also discourage mamas from trusting their instincts and going to their crying child, so I don't put much stock in them because that seems completely insane to me, not to mention terribly cruel. greensad.gif

Listen to your gut and do what feels right for your wee one. IME, 99.9999999% of the time you'll do the right thing. Now is a good time to learn that what works for other mothers might not work for you, and what works for you might not work for them, and that's okay! Do what works and ignore the rest. hug.gif
post #17 of 17

Neither of my older kidlets had much of a routine until after 12 weeks or so. :) Sam is 6 weeks today (ack, how did that happen! ) and has minimal routine. :) I nurse him on demand during the day (about every 2-3 hours) and he does fall asleep after nursing often. When he is awake we talk to him, read, sing etc. he still sleeps a great deal. he does consistently nurse every morning around 7 and then again at 9, which is when i tandem nurse/ pump (after we take the big kids to school). he still has a pretty significant evening fussy period-- when that stops, we will work on a "bedtime" routine. now, he fusses in the evening until about 830-9, then I go to bed and take him with me. he sleeps a longer stretch then, then wakes about every 2-3 hours to nurse until 7 ish. then i drink coffee and try not to grouch at the big kids. ;)

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