How can I get my 9-week-old demand fed baby onto the routines?
I have just been introduced to the CLB book and trying to put it into practice. Any tips for starting with a 9 week old baby? She goes to sleep after a feed between 7-8pm at the moment. She was sleeping until 3am but then started waking at 10-12.30pm, 3am then 6-7am. She feeds from one breast, but there is still milk remaining if I squeeze the breast. She is a very unhappy baby during the day; she is not content even after a feed and a fresh nappy. She cries a lot during the day. Should I be bathing and feeding her earlier? She does seem very unhappy when I bath her and this seems to be due to tiredness. At bedtime she will feed and fall asleep then when I put her down in the moses basket, she stirs or wakes but does settle to sleep on her own as she does during the night after feeds. She is now too big for the basket really and for the past few nights I have put the basket in her cot to get her used to her nursery and ready to go into her cot. She is putting on weight well; her nappies are still fluid but there are plenty of them. Sleeping during the day can be hit and miss. Feeding during the day is about every 3 hours but they can be earlier or later.
To get your baby into a routine look in the book at the 2-4 week routine where the timings of feeds are probably nearer to your daughters 3 hourly ones at present.
To start to fit her into a routine always begin your day at 7am no matter what has happened in the night. You may need to wake her and she may only take a small feed if she fed at 5/6am. But this will help you keep on track for the days feed times. Once you feel that she is pretty much on the routine and has been for several days move onto the next one, then work your way towards the one for her age. She may not get there very quickly but keep working at it. As well as the 7am start put the bath and bedtime routine in place.
Make sure she is always awake by 5pm if she takes a short afternoon nap. Feed her one side and then let her have a kick whilst you prepare for her bath. As she wont be so hungry she should enjoy this better. Offer her the second breast before settling her by 7pm.
You will probably need to wake her for the 10/10.30pm feed but then you can get to bed knowing she has fed well. She should then only have one night waking around 2/3am. The routine helps you structure her day so she receives enough feeds between 7am and 11pm to only need this one night feed. If she is totally breast fed she may need a feed around 5/6am for another few weeks. Treat this as a night feed, keep the lights as low as possible, keep eye contact to the minimum and don’t change her unless really necessary. Settle her back until 7am and then start the new day with the curtains open.
Keep trying to settle her at nap times having a quiet wind-down period of about 20 minutes in her room; she should be held in the dark with no eye contact and then settled in her basket or cot when sleepy but not soundly asleep. At this age a baby will be become overtired and may fight sleep if they are allowed to be awake for longer than 2 hours after waking. Some babies of this age are ready to be settled for their nap 1.5 hrs after waking.
In the routines you will see the mention of expressing. Begin to do this at the timings suggested for 2-4 weeks. This will help keep up your supply and also begin to offer you the chance to offer an expressed bottle feed or top up if needed. You will always have a few drops of milk in your breast but if it feels soft and smaller your daughter will have emptied it. Begin to offer her the second breast at each feed as her daytime unhappiness could be caused by hunger.