on cue BF and sleep routine (X post on cosleeping) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-10-2014, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help!  I seem to be a bit confused.  Since I BF on cue, I let DD nap "on cue" as well.  When she's tired, I let her sleep.  When she's not, we've not insisted on it in the past.  But I think this has been pushing her bedtime later and later. Sometimes she's down for the night at 8:30, other times not until 10:30 with a lot of prodding on our end.  And this is when she's tired - rubbing eyes and the whole shebang. DH and I have started to enjoy the semi-regular adult time in the evenings, but DH gets up very early for work, and I want that adult time to not cut into his sleep. That's why I'd like DD to get to bed by 9pm.  She sleeps 10-12 hours at night, with 2-3 feedings at night.  She catnaps during the day, about 3-4 naps daily, 30-45 minutes each.  So she's getting the minimum amount of sleep for her age, and doesn't seem to need/want any more.

 

How do I continue to BF her on cue while at the same time establishing some semblance of a bedtime/nap time routine?


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#2 of 11 Old 04-12-2014, 01:04 PM
 
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You don't say how old your DD is, and her age/readiness will effect how successful you are at establishing a routine. Does she have a pattern for daytime sleep that she usually sticks to? Is she tired around the same time each night, but having trouble getting to sleep some of the time? Having the same bedtime routine each night can calm your child and help communicate that it's time for sleep. Different things work for different folks, but here are some ideas of what to include in your evening routine that may work to calm your baby;

-a warm bath, perhaps scented with lavender which many babies find soothing
-reading books, especially those with a sleep time theme Goodnight Moon for example
-singing a lullabye, or playing soft music
-dimming the lights
-massage or lotion
-back rubbing or patting
-breastfeeding

Repetition of any or all of these things in the same order, at the same time each night will likely get the result you're looking for.

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#3 of 11 Old 04-12-2014, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops. DD is 4.5 months old. There doesn't seem to be a regular time in the day that she gets tired, but thats to be expected if she wakes up for the day at different times too. She hates baths, so that's definitely not soothing for her.

I guess my dilemma is, if I institute a sleep schedule, wouldn't this catty over to BF?

I did start trying to look at putting her down as helping her calm and relax, rather than expecting her to fall aslsep right away. Probably what's changing is my outlook .

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#4 of 11 Old 04-12-2014, 03:27 PM
 
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Honestly I wouldn't try to regulate her sleeping, which does effect breastfeeding, at this age. It is very common for kids to have an upheaval of their sleep & eating routines around 6 months. It's just because they are doing so much growing and learning and often teething. I'd suggest waiting until you're past that, maybe 7 or 8 months, to start getting her in a routine. And then only if you need to.
DS is 9.5 months and just in the last few weeks started to get a predictable schedule. With DD it was more like 7 months. The ideas I mentioned earlier are best used with kids 8 months and up IMO.

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#5 of 11 Old 04-12-2014, 03:32 PM
 
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You can have a routine and still BF on demand. But, unfortunately, you can't make 'em sleep if they don't want to :-)

We have a bedtime routine, although the actual time on the clock at which it is instituted varies. I then lie down with my babe and feed her as she desired until she goes to sleep.

With both girls we have had periods where we regularly get whole evenings to ourselves and periods where we don't see each other after 6:30pm. We choose to accept that as part of life with small children who will never be subjected to sleep training. I do accept that this is easier for us as my husband is a shift worker and we have some mornings together.

Bear in mind though that, at that age, their body clock changes pretty often. We noticed changes in pattern about every couple of months or so. We also spend a lot of time texting back and forth while we settle a child each at opposite ends of the house. Patience, creative solutions and the mantra "this too shall pass" have been our strategy.

Good luck :-)
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#6 of 11 Old 04-12-2014, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This reassures me that I'm not imagining the link between sleep and breastfeeding. And also it helps to hear that we are not setting ourselves up for never having some predictability if we don't institute it now. That's what I've been reading and I suspected it was all coming from non AP/gentle parenting. Exp thanks to both of you. :-)

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#7 of 11 Old 04-12-2014, 07:43 PM
 
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Oh no, I don't believe that at all based on our experiences. I can't remember when we instituted the bedtime routine for DD1 but it wasn't super early. Maaaaybe 6 months, but could have been later. With DD2 it did sort of happen because she just fell in with DD1's program but neither of them have been cued to sleep by the routine so it doesn't really affect their bedtime.

I think a lot of it is personality. DD1 is an early to bed, early to rise girl and always has been. DD2 is a night owl, sleeper-iner but they've both been parented the same way from the start.

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#8 of 11 Old 04-22-2014, 12:24 PM
 
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Where does your baby sleep?  My son had a low, full-size bed, and that is what I have set up for my new baby coming soon.  Our first "routine" was that all nursing after 8pm was done lying on the bed in dim light or darkness (unless we were out somewhere) and when he was done nursing, I would keep lying down with my eyes shut as if I expected him to go to sleep.  Sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn't; if he wasn't ready to sleep, I would take him with me and go about my business until the next nursing.  I also put him in a night diaper (extra layers) when changing after 8pm because once he was asleep, he was more likely to stay asleep if he wasn't soaked.

 

But bedtime was a 2-3 hour window for him until about 18 months...so I agree with those who say you can't expect much predictability in an infant!

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#9 of 11 Old 04-22-2014, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD sleeps in my bed. She wakes up when she has the urge to pee, which I figured out thanks to practicing elimination communication part time with her. Luckily now she holds it at night for upwards of 4 hours, so when she starts to wiggle, that wakes me up, she goes on her potty, we put her cloth diaper back on, nurse, and go back to sleep. It's easier for me to tell if she already peed and needs a new diaper, as I hate to waste disposables, but I need a backup as I get more tired as the night goes on, and can usually not change her but just roll her closer to nurse and keep sleeping.

But it's the going down for the night that is troublesome. Routines have not been helpful, as she recognizes its that time again and starts wailing! I've noticed she has to be up for about 2 hours before trying to get her to sleep, so I try to pay attention to her last nap so it's not too late or too long.

By now, she falls asleep in my arms fairly quickly, but it's hit and miss with her letting me lay her down so I can get a little me/adult time. We won't do CIO, and don't mind her needing us to fall asleep, for the most part. Just wish she'd keep sleeping after being put down.

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#10 of 11 Old 04-23-2014, 07:17 AM
 
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You may need to hold her longer after she's asleep, before you try to lay her down.  My son needed to be asleep at least 15 minutes, and thoroughly conked out with his body limp and mouth hanging open, to stay asleep when his position was changed.  That's why I started nursing him lying down on the bed--so I wouldn't have to move him while sleeping--but even so, it was important that I stay with him a little while after he seemed to be asleep, because my movement could wake him.


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#11 of 11 Old 04-23-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Interestingly, DD doesn't usually nurse to sleep, which I've tried! She wants to switch to her binky instead. I usually end up holding her for the duration of her naps bc if I wait until she's solid, half her nap is done anyway.

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