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Thread: sleep association

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    61

    Default sleep association

    My 5 week old has started to wake frequently to nurse eg every hour during the day and when he has finished nursing, he suckles himself to sleep. Now he won't settle without an extended suckle and I am concerned this is why he wakes so often eg he is looking for his settling association (the breast) instead of self settling.

    Looking for advice on how best to manage the sleep association. Sometimes he naps for only 10 mins before looking to suckle.

    He is growing well and otherwise is healthy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,632

    Default Re: sleep association

    Welcome! What you describe is totally normal for just 5 weeks old. The frequent waking is probably a growth spurt- there's a big one around 6 weeks. And I wouldn't worry about sleep associations now. A lot of parenting books/websites out there are all about sleep associations- like if you nurse your baby to sleep once he's more than 5 seconds old you're going to be stuck doing it until he's 20. Now it is true that babies form sleep associations that can be hard to change, but 5 weeks is (IMO) not the time to worry about that. At 5 weeks, I think it's more important to focus on using what works to get your baby to sleep. And to start reading some baby-friendly, breastfeeding-friendly books about infant sleep- I recommend Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Sleep Solution.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: sleep association

    Thank you for your quick reply. Everything is so new and confusing at the moment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,632

    Default Re: sleep association

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*designerfish View Post
    Thank you for your quick reply. Everything is so new and confusing at the moment
    2 things that have helped me cope with the challenges of parenting are what my Dad always says ("Experience is something you get right after you need it.") and something my Aunt, who has 6 kids, always says ("The only constant thing about babies is that they change all the time. So if you don't like what your baby is doing right now, just wait a minute.")
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    61

    Smile Re: sleep association

    I particularly like your aunt's saying...made me giggle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: sleep association

    Back again...still worried! Baby is having worse day time sleeps now eg today he has only slept 3 hrs. Wakes constantly and looks for the breast, grazes then either fall asleep in my arms/on breast or cries as he is over tired.

    At night I don't notice it as much as I am falling asleep when he is feeding and find myself waking up to put him back into his crib at which stage he is very asleep and has had a good feed.

    Now during the day he isn't getting the full feeds, instead snacking.

    Any suggestions????

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: sleep association

    What you are experiencing is NORMAL. Please relax and let yourself enjoy your baby. Have you tried nursing in a sling or a carrier? Your baby is still a newborn and needs to nurse all the time. Have you tried replicating your night-time nursing with him to see if that helps him sleep longer during the day?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: sleep association

    ...sorry, yes am a little stressed at the moment after a tough 2 days with bundle of joy

    haven't tried a sling yet but have tried to do the same routine as the night time feed.

    Will try and get a sling.

    thanks for the support....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,632

    Default Re: sleep association

    Just want to reassure you that "snacking" is normal for newborns. They have tiny tummies and breastmilk digests super-fast. So they are often hungry very soon after they last ate. Sometimes breast compressions can help them eat more in a sitting, increasing the length between feeds.

    How often is your baby eating in a 24 hour period? A lot of new moms are shocked when they discover that many new babies eat every 90 minutes or so- and that's from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next, not end to beginning!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: sleep association

    Does your baby have long awake periods? I remember at that age that my daughter couldn't handle being awake for more than an hour or so. If she was awake for over two hours, she was a nightmare to deal with... Have you seen the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Harvey Karp? He has a DVD too, which might be easier to do.

    The first three months of my daughter's life I basically sat on the couch. I read and/or watched TV and nursed her on and off all day while I held her, because that was what she wanted. When she was around 5 or 6 weeks old though, we had to switch things up a bit because she was clearly overtired at night and freaking out around 7 pm (which is also really normal). We starting trying to get her back to sleep if she had been awake for about an hour and also restarted swaddling, etc. as advised in that book.

    Are you swaddling? Lilah didn't seem to like it, but after the first angry roar, she would settle down and it really did help her sleep longer at that age.

    Life with a newborn is stressful... especially for a new mom! You just want to do the right thing and all those books (and other people) can make you feel like you are doing the wrong thing. Hang in there, it will get easier.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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