At 8 weeks my son still is not managing the routine timings
Having followed the CLB book since birth, I am delighted that my son is sleeping through the night at 8 weeks. He settles from 10.30pm to 6.30/7.00am. Now I need to make sure that anything I do to address the problems I am currently facing, don’t ruin his night-time sleep.
If Callum wakes between 6 and 6.45am crying loudly, I tend to assume that it is hunger and feed him one side. I then settle him back until 7.30 when I offer him the second side. If he wakes at 6.30am and doesn’t finish feeding until 7.15am, should I still settle him back for 15mins? He is often not satisfied at this time with one breast, so should I give him the second and start the day?
By starting his day at 6.30am, he is tried and ready for a nap by 8.30/8.45am. He is woken from this nap at 9.45 but depending when he went down can have an hour rather than 45 minutes. Is that a problem?
The biggest problems I am having though, are with the 10.30/10.45am feed and the 5/6pm feed.
When I get him up at 9.45am, he is content to be washed and dressed but by the time we are downstairs at 10.10am he gets very ratty and wants to feed. I can rarely make him wait beyond 10.15/10.20am.
At 8 weeks the routine states he should be feeding nearer to 10.45/11am, and I am concerned that I am so far off this time. Why can he not go longer than 3 1/4 hrs? At present I give him 15-20mins at 10.15 and than offer him the second breast at 11am. Is this right or should I just ignore the crying and try and make him wait until 10.45am?
He is very sleepy at this feed, often falling asleep after the first breast. I strip him off and lay him on his play mat to wake. I tend to push him to take the second side to make sure he gets enough to get through his lunchtime nap. Is this right?
The lunchtime nap is good and he gets through the next feed and a play until 4.15pm when he is offered juice. He still naps from 4.30-5pm.
Not long after waking at 5pm he is hungry again and I often give him 10-15mins on one side so he can enjoy his bath. He then feeds well and is settled at 7pm.
My husband wakes him at 10.30 and gives a bottle of formula. This can be a struggle as he is sleepy and it can take over an hour. Just recently he has cut back to 4ozs from 5ozs, but still managed to sleep through. Is it ok that this feed is getting smaller?
I am conscious that he seems a long way from achieving the 8-12 week routine in several areas and wonder how to best go about getting him more adjusted to them.
At eight weeks your son has done very well to be sleeping through on a regular basis. Allowing for his needs for sleep and feeding, needs to be balanced with getting him into a routine suitable for his age.
You may find the best way to get him onto the timings is to move towards them in small increments.
If he wakes after 6.30am and is ready for the second breast after 7am, then begin your day. If this has the effect that he is ready to go down for a nap at 8.30am then let him have 45 minutes-1hr at this time.
Once he sleeps more regularly nearer to 7am, then begin to push this nap forward by 5 minutes every few days until he is going down nearer to 9am.
As he is very sleepy at his 10.30am feed and sleeping well at lunchtime, he is showing that he still needs nearer to an hour at this time. If his lunchtime sleep begins to be affected, then you would know to cut his morning nap back to 45 minutes.
Continue to give a split feed at 10.20/11am until your son shows more signs of being able to wait longer before he wants to start feeding. If he can be distracted and encouraged to wait 5 minutes longer every few days, then gradually you will get to nearer 10.45 pm. Leaving a baby to wait when he is obviously hungry is not advisable and not fair on him.
An idea to help you with his sleepiness at this time is to let him have a time under his gym or floor time when he first wakes at 9.45am. Then feed him from one side and wash and change him before offering the second side. Many babies enjoy the times on their change mats so this may encourage him to be more awake for his second side.
Keep the 5/6pm a split one if it means that your son enjoys his bath time better. Again you will begin to see when he is more able to wake at 5pm and be content to wait until after his bath before having a feed.
Providing your son continues to get through the night on 4ozs given at 10.30pm, don’t push him to take more. Keeping babies awake at this time can be difficult but it is worth doing as they usually sleep a longer stretch afterwards.
Allow him a good 15-20mins to properly wake up before giving him the first half. Let him have a kick without too much external stimulation, then change him and offer him the rest of the bottle in his room with the lights down low.
As your son is only just 8 weeks he has another four weeks to get nearer to the timings set out in the routine. It will come gradually and if you allow for his needs balanced with gently encouraging him on towards the timings, by 12 weeks you will probably find he has achieved them. He has been doing wonderfully so far.