sleeping and nursing - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 10 Old 12-28-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 6-day old baby (my first) and just got the hang of nursing yesterday when my milk was finally fully in and my baby seemed to notice and loved it. Yesterday he started nursing every 2-3 hours and today it has continued (yay!). With colostrum he was only nursing like 3 times a day and I was starting to get worried so now I'm much more relaxed. The issue is nighttime (or maybe it is not an issue? that is why I'm posting). We have a Pack-n-Play with a bassinet set up next to our bed because I don't want him dependent on sleeping in the bed with us over time and eventually want him in his own crib in his nursery. I nurse him before I sleep, and then when we try to put him down, he has a hard time going down by himself and staying asleep for long. So, ultimately, he ends up in bed with me to nurse again soon afterward, and if he doesn't latch on right away (and being that I'm so tired that I try to nurse him lying down) we both pass out. And he usually doesn't latch on right away ever. So, baby ends up sleeping curled up next to me the majority of the night. I love it, I'll admit, but I'm a little worried that a) he is a small baby- 5 lbs. 14 oz at birth, full-term- and I'm concerned he is not getting enough milk at night, and b) he is getting dependent on sleeping on/next to me and won't go down easily on his own. I'm not against co-sleeping by any means but I want a balance so that he can be independent and I don't have to wean him from our bed when he is 3 years old or something. During teh day he can take naps on his own, usually swaddled and wrapped up in one of our blankets- a no-no for nighttime from what I understand, but we keep an eye on him during the day and he seems to love the warmth, so I also wonder if he is cold at night?

 

Any advice? Should I be worried about all of this? Should I wake him up to feed, or let him sleep?

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#2 of 10 Old 12-28-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Okay hopefully I'm following you :)

 

So it sounds like baby is sleeping long stretches without nursing and that worries you?  If he is nursing plenty during the day, producing lots of wet diapers, and his color is good (no jaundice) I wouldn't worry too much.  If he is full on sleeping through the night I might wake him up for a feed at least once, especially where he is so little.  He should be due for a check up at two weeks, right?  Talk to your healthcare provider about it, they should be able to examine the baby, see how he's gaining and give you some advice.

 

On the cosleeping thing, do what you feel is right for your family but one thing I can tell you for certain is this: their sleeping habits will change SOOOO much in the first few months, don't worry about anything you do or don't do now causing a habit!  We coslept a lot when DS was tiny tiny since I like my sleep!  At 11 weeks old we moved him into his room and then about three weeks later into his crib - no problem.  He does not go to sleep on his own but that's not because of anything I did or didn't do - that's just how he is.  Some babies can settle easily and go down to sleep by themselves but many can't for quite some time.  I truly believe it has very little to do with what you do as a parent!

 

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#3 of 10 Old 12-28-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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I swaddled my older son in Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Blankets.  I got mine at BRU, but if you google you can find them online.  They come in fleece, or cotton, or organic cotton.  They velcro, so even if he were to get his arms out, the blanket stays wrapped around his body and couldn't work its way up to his face.  We used it for at least 8 months, its the only way I could put him down after nursing and have him stay asleep (he slept in a crib).  

 

As for the sleeping at night and getting enough to eat, I think 6 days old, a lot of babies are still in the sleepy phase.  I would give it a little more time, and see if he "wakes up" more.  Babies should be nursing 8-12 times (at that age) a day, but you can better tell if he's getting enough by his output (wet and poopy diapers).  

 

Congrats on your new baby!  :)


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#4 of 10 Old 12-28-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Congratulations on your little one!

 

We used a woombie for swaddling -- works great, super-easy to use (zips right up! so they can't kick it off) and comes in different thicknesses for warmth. I highly recommend them.

 

As far as habits -- we're convinced we get issued a new baby every week (she's 4 and a half months now). I think habits must come later. :) So don't worry about that at this stage. We coslept in the beginning for the same reasons you are, and it worked great. Now, it's not working well (I think we wake her up!), and so we put her in a pack-n-play like you said most nights. 


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#5 of 10 Old 12-28-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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Congrats on your new little one! 

 

If he goes down better and sleeps better swaddled during the day, I'd try swaddling at night.  I second the Woombie, it is fantastic!  Our little guy (5.5 weeks old now) is a wiggler and had a hard time going to sleep unswaddled, but he would also wiggle his way out of a swaddle easily - even those swaddlewraps with velcro.  The Woombie works great - we have the houdini version.  DS is just over 8lbs and is just barely big enough for the houdini which runs a little larger than the original size.  Your little one would probably need the preemie size.  We were struggling with sleep for the first few weeks, but we've had the Woombie for over a week now and we're doing so much better. 

 

We currently cosleep and I love it, but I too want him to sleep on his own at some point, hopefully within the year.  I think we're going to try moving him to the cosleeper in a couple months, then move to the crib when he outgrows the cosleeper, but we'll see...I hadn't originally planned on cosleeping at all, but we tried it out of desparation and found out we love it.


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#6 of 10 Old 12-29-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Congratulations on your baby!  joy.gif

 

It sounds like you've discovered the usefulness and joy of cosleeping on your own without having planned to do it. It is the most natural way to sleep for a young baby, and 6 days old is just too early to be worried about him getting overly dependent and never out of your bed. I mean, he was living inside of your body up until a week ago, it is perfectly natural that he needs to be in contact with you through the night for the sake of security, if not for the convenience of nursing. IMO babies who cosleep are actually less dependent in the long run because they get the security of sleeping next to their mama and that helps give them the sense of confidence to explore and interact with the world once they are ready. In the case of our baby I believe that is the case. He is very independent (for a baby) and self-confident, and I think cosleeping gives him the feeling that he can trust life and he is safe.

I don't have much advice about the BFing, but I would say you can trust your instincts which brought you to the naturalness of cosleeping. You can post and read more in the Nighttime Parenting forum for more ideas and tips about weaning your baby out of your bed when you've had enough. But for such a wee small newborn it's just too soon to expect him to sleep comfortably separate from you, IMO.



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#7 of 10 Old 12-29-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

 IMO babies who cosleep are actually less dependent in the long run because they get the security of sleeping next to their mama and that helps give them the sense of confidence to explore and interact with the world once they are ready.

 

IMO this is true of attached babies in general. I have noticed in my years of work with children that the most attached babies became the most independent and secure children.


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#8 of 10 Old 12-29-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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I had the same question when I had a week old. My baby is now 3 months and things have changed. I can tell you what we have done if that helps you. First of, I don't think anything that you do with your newborn will have lasting effects as far as being able to sleep independently or not. Many babies have a sort of 4th trimester where they need to be snuggled close to the mommy and daddy. I wanted my dd to sleep in the co-sleeper next to the bed, but she would only sleep there when we put her down in DEEP sleep but once up and nursed she would not go back down. I spent about a week trying to get her to sleep in the co-sleeper, but all it did was make me sleep deprived. Once I accepted what she needed and had her sleep in bed with me after she woke up I got a full nights sleep and so did she. For naps she would only sleep in a baby carrier. This lasted about 8 weeks and now gradually she is able to be more and more independent. She now takes most of her naps in her swing and at night I can usually put her back in the co-sleeper after she is awake- though most of the time I don't wake up to do it. We don't plan on co-sleeping forever, but for now it is working for us. Don't get too stressed out about what your baby is doing at this young an age. I wish I had relaxed a little more. Once they wake up around 12 weeks they really are totally different people. Congratulations and good luck to you!

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#9 of 10 Old 12-30-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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First, don't worry about sleep habits until 3-4 months at the earliest, even the most rigid sleep training advocates don't start until then and usually later smile.gif And yes, your baby will change sleep habits so much in the next few days/weeks/months.

Now, as for your baby being little and being worried about being too sleepy and not getting enough, how long does he go without eating? How is his diaper output, weight gain, etc.? Does he eat well during the day or sleepy then too? I'd think about all those things and then talk to your baby's doctor and see what they think.

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#10 of 10 Old 12-30-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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It's funny, i could have written your post when our babe was 1 week.  we had no intention of co-sleeping, but it was the only way she would sleep, and i loved, loved, loved it.  i loved to feel her close to me, i slept better and it felt so right.  then at about 5 weeks she was grazing a lot and i wasn't sleeping so well and DH left the bed one night b/c he couldn't sleep and i thought, "well, this is just what i was hoping to avoid when i thought we wouldn't co-sleep".  so just for kicks, that night i nursed her to sleep, side-lying with her in a swaddle.  when she was fully asleep, i got up and put her in her crib (which until that point had been used as a clothes hamper and stuffed animal refuge).  she slept for four hours straight.  the longest stretch ever.  she stayed there all night and i woke up and fed her in the rocker and put her back down.  it was amazing and i don't think i did anything to deserve it.  so it seems that she found what she wanted and it just worked.  in the past two months, i've brought her to bed two or three times when she just didn't want to sleep alone and it was fine.  one thing to be aware though, when we were co-sleeping i had the bed set up so as not to smother her (few blankets, one small pillow for me and a co-sleeper as a side car so she wouldn't fall off.  when i brought her to bed for the first time after she was in her crib, i was totally out of practice, DH and I had two pillows each, tons of blankets and i woke up in the middle of the night with my back to her and she was totally covered by blankets!  i almost had a heart attack.  so if you decide to occasionally co-sleep, remember the safety measures every time to keep your little one protected from dangerous smothering objects!

 

so in short, i would say what others in this post have said.  do what feels right and works for your family.  remember, every day is a new adventure and you can try things and if they fail, there will be another sunset and sunrise and life will go on so keep trying. 

 

good luck!


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