Good things come to those who wait

At the risk of jinxing everything… Last week, Baby Girl started sleeping through the night. I can’t believe it! I’ve had eight hours sleep a few nights on the run! I haven’t slept a solid eight hours since I was about six weeks pregnant. I’m positively giddy.

Baby Girl’s dad has been diligently giving her a 10:30pm dream feed since six weeks old. Everything we (I) read suggested that this would help her sleep through the night as she’d be fuller for longer & gradually drop the 2am feed.

Last weekend (ten weeks old) her dad had a birthday do on the Saturday. I decided to go to bed at normal time; if she woke for her 10:30 feed, I could breastfeed. If not, win, I got to sleep. At 3:30am, I awoke panic stricken. She hadn’t woken at 10:30 or 2am as usual. I jumped up to check she was breathing, terrified she’d overheated with last weekend’s amazing weather. She was. I then didn’t sleep until she woke bright eyed, bushy tailed & happy as Larry at 6am for breakfast. By which time I was a nervous wreck thinking she was half starved.

The following night we decided to experiment without a dream feed again. She woke at 2:30am but wasn’t interested in a feed. The following night, she didn’t wake until 4 but still not interested. Just a bit fretful for five minutes then dosed off again. By the Wednesday, she was sleeping through 7 til 6. We couldn’t believe it.

After a Google, we found the dream feed can actually have the opposite effect for some. Essentially, you keep them in the habit of  waking up & feeding regardless of their actual needs. 11lb is apparently the magic weight. From then, their metabolic rate is such that they can last the night without a feed. Thank god her dad went out or we may have struggled on for weeks for no reason at all!

And the icing on the cake? The same weekend, Baby Girl suddenly happily started to settle herself. So. We’ve suddenly gone from working hard to get her to sleep with a feed every four hours to having a proper evening together & most importantly, a proper night’s sleep. Fingers crossed things stay as they are. Would be a very cruel trick for her stop sleeping through now…

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9 thoughts on “Good things come to those who wait

  1. Sessa says:

    This post makes me so happy…there is hope! My baby girl is 8 weeks old and still waking every 2-3 hours for a feed. At around 5 weeks she did a few few 4 hour stretches, but we’re back to waking more regularly. I hadn’t heard about 11lbs being the magic weight – she’s currently 10lbs 10oz, so we’re not far off. Her last feed is usually around 9pm and then she’s awake again at 1 (if not before) looking for more. Here’s hoping she starts to sleep longer soon and maybe even through the night!

    • amiecaitlin says:

      Don’t worry, definitely not alone! Mine fed every hour 5-9pm from three to seven weeks until we introduced the bedtime routine. Then she’d then wake up at 2 & be awake 2 hours then awake again at 6 & the day would start. I wS beside myself! She just suddenly changed. Hang in there! Would definitely recommend a nighttime routine if you haven’t already though. It really helped us.

      • Sessa says:

        I know I need a better nighttime regime but I guess I’d heard you should wait until they’re 12 weeks old before trying to train them into a routine…but I’m so exhausted I think we need to start teaching her to sleep. How did you introduce a routine? Do you use a bath or anything to help?

      • amiecaitlin says:

        Yes; she has her 6pm feed, bath at 6:30, cuddles & a short story then in bed at 7. She seems a lot happier with the routine. And once we started doing this, her feeding routine became quite solid on its own as well at every 4 hours day & night. (Sometimes every 2 in the hot weather though & while she’s getting used to sleeping through the night)

    • amiecaitlin says:

      I’d recommend Tracy Hogg the Baby Whisperer book. It’s not about a schedule but helping them development a routine. So you can mould it to what works for your baby (unlike Gina Ford).

      • Sessa says:

        Thought you’d like to know I bought the Baby Whisperer book and so far we’re finding it really helpful. Took me 2 hours tonight to get her to settle in her own crib but we got there in the end! Thanks for the tip…hopefully it’ll help swing us back into balance!

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