Sleeping FAQ: 0-8 weeks – Daytime Sleep

My son of 5.5weeks is really sleepy all the time so it is difficult to get him onto the routine

I am having real problems getting my 5.5week son on the routine. He is sleepy all the time, and will often drop off almost immediately after a bottle, despite having just had a nap. I do make sure he is fully awake before feeding. We have tried everything to keep him awake during the wake period, changing nappies, clothes, play mats etc but he just goes!

I am also thinking that he does not take enough feed in one go, normally only 4oz per feed and that this is why he always wants to be fed before the times he is supposed to. I try to string him out until the next feed time, but all this does is upset him/make him tired etc.

He is also almost always waking at 5am if not he will go until about 6am, but there is no way I can keep him awake until even 8.30am as per the routine.

Basically I do not know what to do. I try not to start the day before six am. If he wakes at five am I try to settle him back down, but sometimes I have to give him a second night feed, then he will take a top up at 7.30am, but is still screaming for the next bottle early!

Please help me, I also have 3 yr old who followed this routine from about 3mths old, and is still a contented toddler, who sleeps and eats well. I know this works but just do not know what to do.

I have read some on the questions etc on the FAQ, but I am having trouble with sleeping and eating and do not know where to turn. He is also very colicky and get uncomfortable. Some evenings he will settle and others he will not. We never know where we stand and what to expect.

My son feeds at 5am, 3ozs, 7.30am 2ozs, 9.45am 4ozs, 1.20pm 4ozs, 5pm 4ozs, 6.45pm 3ozs, 10.30pm 4ozs, 2.30am 4ozs, 6am 2ozs.

My son was 8.13ozs at birth and now weighs 11lbs.

He naps at 7.30-9.30am, 11-1pm, 3-5pm and settles at 7pm.

It is not easy to get a sleepy baby of this age to wake if he really doesn’t want to.

One way you could help your baby is to lengthen his feeds slightly. When he feeds at 7am let him have half of the feed so, if it is a top up, give him about 1oz. Then lie him on the floor in a safe place and let him kick for a short while.  Even a break of 5-10minutes could help. This will make sure he is fully awake again before taking the rest of his feed and may help him to stay awake a while longer afterwards. Use this method at all the feeds he has during the day.

Another trick is not to change his nappy until the end of the feed as this again may stir him a little.

You are doing well by keeping the feed times in place throughout the day. Some babies are sleepier than others and will need longer naps until they are just a bit older.

Check that the teats you are using are not too slow as this will tire him out and he will be likely to fall asleep at the end of a feed. As your son is on Omneo formula he will need larger sized teat to allow the thicker milk to flow freely. Working on the calculation that a baby needs 2 1/2ozs for each pound of body weight your son’s intake of 4ozs each feed is about right. You could try adding an extra ½ oz at the feeds when he seems hungry, seeing if this helps him to settle for longer until the next feed.

There are two articles on the site which may help you. Structure without stress is about getting your baby onto the routines according to his needs. If you haven’t already looked at it you may also find Gina’s exclusive Toddler and Baby Routine helpful as well.

If you son wakes at either 5am or 6am treat this feed as a night feed and aim to get him back to sleep as quickly as you can. Feed him in a very dimly lit room and keep your eye contact with him to the minimum. Give him enough feed at 5am/6am to settle him properly which may mean offering 3ozs. Unless he really needs changing don’t disturb him further, so he is more likely to settle back quickly to sleep. If he is a little more awake at 6am try cuddling him whilst sitting in a comfortable chair to see if he will drop off again. He may settle better when held against you at this time of the morning.

If your baby can be settled until 7.30am and then woken for his top up of, say 2 ozs, he is more likely to take it properly and stay awake for a short time, which will get him through to 10am.

As your son is sleepy in the day he may well be rather unsettled in the evenings. Try working on keeping him awake for a short stretch in the afternoons and make sure he is fully awake at 5pm so he is more likely to settle at 7pm.

Now your son has changed to Omneo formula he should be a little less uncomfortable in the evenings and so more likely to settle.

It may take your son another week or so to wake up a little. Until he is ready to move on to another routine, by staying awake longer and managing to get to the feed times stated, keep him on a routine for a baby younger than his age.