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Settling to sleep Rss

After struggling with breastfeeding at around his 2 week mark(growth spurt)and having a baby who would wake up screaming 1/2 hour after every feed, squirming with what looked like pain in the belly (colic??), I resorted to bottle feeding and a piece of advice from a column written by Dr Howard Chiltern.
I haven't looked back after swapping to the bottle, knowing exactly how much my baby was getting and giving him fuller feeds which meant longer sleeps and a more settled baby and a less stressed out mum!
That's not to say there weren't times when I'd have to go in 1/2 hour after he was put to sleep due to him spitting the dummy out and crying- most babies will wake after this time period but you need to persevere and try and settle them back to sleep and train them to sleep for longer periods. Use picking them up as a last resort. Don't start a routine that is difficult to change. I would wrap my baby firmly-regardless of hot weather(use a muslin wrap)and re-wrap if I went in and he was undone, lie him on his side with a small pillow support front and back and lay his head on a towelling nappy, pushing a small amount of cloth under the front of the dummy to keep it from popping out, them when I have to go into him, I don't talk to him, make eye contact, I fix the dummy if need be or pat him gently on his bottom then leave BEFORE he falls asleep. Train them to soothe themselves to sleep. Also Dr Chiltern said to recognise the tired signs before your baby becomes overstimulated and therefore in a state of screaming and body curling(which is mistaken for colic). I have only ever experienced this a couple of times when I let him grizzle a little too long, he works himself into a state screaming and the only thing I do is put him straight to bed with the same routine. I may have to go in a couple of times but he settles with a few good pats and calm words. Since reading his column about settling your baby to sleep, my 3 month old has SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT since 6 weeks (7-8hrs) and now 3 months old he sleeps 12 hours a night-with 4 feeds four hourly during the day- he also sleeps about 7 hours a day with small periods of play in between. Work out how much they need to drink each day(for bottle fed) by multiplying their weight in kgs by 150 then this total amount can be divided between how many bottles they normally have a day. I find 4-5 good solid feeds works well a day. I know so many women who perservere with breastfeeding when it is quite obvious that there baby is hungry constantly and always unsettled and screaming- I know I sat through 7 breastfed babies at Mothers Group- constantly unsettled and screaming and needing to be fed. There are alot of people who can breastfeed successfully, I am talking of the ones who have starving, unsettled babies- like myself- don't feel guilty, it is better for both you and baby if your not stressed and worked up by the whole breastfeeding process!! Hope this article is of help. He has a book called Baby on Board which I am yet to buy!!

Mel, NSW, Riley , Flynn & Ethan

I bought the Baby on Board book a couple of months before my baby was born and it is the best book (I also love Babylove by Robin Barker). It explains all those "quirky" things your baby does in the first few hours/days/months. It was really helpful to be armed with knowledge before all those "wellmeaning" friends and relatives bombarded me with a lot of old wives tales. Don't get me wrong, sometimes their advice is welcome and useful, but Dr Chiltern dispells a lot of the myths and wives tales that people take as fact.

In regard to breastfeeding, I am still breastfeeding my 8 1/2 month old son. Those early days were really hard, there were heaps of days were I was feeding every 1 1/2 hours sometimes even more frequently, he seemed to be constantly going through so called 'growth spurts'. I was, and still am, extremely lucky to have really supportive nurses at our local baby clinic, I don't think I would have made it through without them and the mothers group. Anyhow during those early weeks I would often give comp feeds of formula to my son, usually only once per day and it was only 60 ml (sometimes less). Between 6 - 8 weeks everything settled down. He started sleeping through from 7pm - 5 or 6am when he was nine weeks old, after he was no longer having formula. I don't think badly of mother's who choose to bottle feed their babies, you need to do the best for yourself as well as your baby. There is no point stressing yourself out over breastfeeding if it isn't right for you. But I do know mothers who have stopped breastfeeding in those early weeks due to lack of support and thinking they have to do one or the other, you can combine the two. I have come across a couple of nurses who looked down on comp feeding, but if it wasn't for that I don't think I would be breastfeeding now. If you find unsupportive nurses, look around for another clinic, there are really helpful ones out there. Anyhow I just thought I'd share my experience.

Jasmine
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