Author Topic: Breaking the cycle of Eat-Nappy-Eat-Sleep  (Read 92 times)

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Offline Not_alone122

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Breaking the cycle of Eat-Nappy-Eat-Sleep
« on: February 28, 2019, 17:37:50 pm »
Hi,
Hoping someone can help. We have a 10-week-old son and so far we've been unable to implement any kind of EASY routine. I offer him a feed when he wakes up. His feeds (mainly breastfeeding with an occasional bottle of expressed milk or formula) are always interrupted by him becoming uncomfortable with a wet and/or dirty nappy, so he gets changed, then gets to either finish the feed and, without us intending to, he falls asleep, or we give him tummy time/playmat/bouncy chair for around 20 minutes, then finish the feed and he gets bothered by his nappy again. Gets changed again, then we swaddle him and try tow shush and pat him to sleep, but he thrashes around in our arms, curiously looks around while yawning and cries/screams. Once we offer him more milk, he takes a few sips and falls asleep. He can then be put down for a 30-45 minute nap, before the exact same starts again!

We do try to watch the length of his awake time to be under 1.5 hours, usually waiting for the first yawn/spaced out glance/him rubbing his face, but it seems that when he yawns, the window for putting him down had already closed. He cries from what we assume is overtiredness, so we then resort to rocking which I didn't want to introduce, also shushing and patting until he tires himself out by crying in our arms and falls asleep. After 5-10 minutes we lower him into the Moses basket or cot and he stays asleep for one sleep cycle (longer at night, 1-3 hours at a time, presumably due to the sleep-inducing hormones in my milk or his body clock).

At night we feed when he stirs but while he is half asleep, then change when he gets fussy mid-feed, this sometimes involves a whole outfit change if the nappy had leaked. By this point, he is awake and needs settling, which we do by finishing his feed. This works every time, unless he dirties his nappy again, then the cycle repeats.

What can we change to make it an EASY routine and to make putting him down for a nap less of an exhausting battle? I believe sleep training and routine are beneficial to children long term, so don't want to keep going the way we have.

Offline Katet

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Re: Breaking the cycle of Eat-Nappy-Eat-Sleep
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2019, 05:10:31 am »
He's still young enough that the connection he gains by falling asleep cuddled up to you or while feeding far out ways him having independent sleep habits. That said in order to have him fall asleep not feeding you will get crying because he will be very confused about the change and so Will protest. Unfortunately there is no magic solutions. It's just hard work and tears (often from the parents too)
The most important step is establishing the rituals that communicate sleep time is coming. Things like sitting in a certain chair to read a story or singing songs are often the end point before putting them into bed, but the ritual can include things like saying goodnight to rooms in the house, closing blinds etc. A good ritual can be  long or short but it's part of the setling.
The it's normal to bout the baby in bed awake, At 10 weeks you can share/Pat until they drift off, and that can take 20+ mins for them to relax and drift off, and often they can need you to keep going until they are in a deep sleep.

One of the most important parts of Easy isn't the times but removing feeding from the fall asleep process,but where a baby is used to falling asleep feeding they will complain about the change because you are taking them into a new routine and that's scary.
At night at this age I'd start feeding only when he totally wakes as they do go in and out of light sleep and stir but don't always need to be fed.
It's important to realise this is a journey you are learning to take together and they can only learn if you show them and they will learn best if you lovingly support them through the proceses. Change takes time and effort and because a baby will be confused about the change it's important to realise they aren't getting upset because they are stubborn, rather they are communicating their confusion and that they need you to support them through the change.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline Not_alone122

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Re: Breaking the cycle of Eat-Nappy-Eat-Sleep
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2019, 21:40:09 pm »
Thanks for replying. It seems excessive and requiring a high level if energy that I simply don't have to shush and pat for 20+ minutes while the baby is uncomfortable. The book made it sound a lot easier than that. We try to set the scene for naps by swaddling, closing the curtains and giving him a dummy, then shush/pat while holding him, just like the recommended 4Ss. I think he understands this means sleep time but resists it with a passion, despite showing the tiredness cues.

Does anyone have any experience of relaxing their baby into naps without tears? On another thread, I've read about US or OS being a possibility, which can lead to OT behaviour (crying, nap refusal, short napping, inability to settle). How do I know what the right level of stimulation is for my baby?

Any suggestions on curbing the dragged out feeds and fitting some other activities, like reading or playmat, into the A part instead of constant nappy changes? It's as if the BW book didn't account for fussy babies who hate being wet even for a second :/
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 21:58:30 pm by Not_alone122 »

Offline Katet

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Re: Breaking the cycle of Eat-Nappy-Eat-Sleep
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2019, 22:28:13 pm »
I hear you on the struggle to find the energy to Sh/Pat and why I didn't go down that route.
Have you spoken to a health professional as the explosive nappies and being uncomfortable sound like there could be a reason.
All those questions about stimulation and routine unfortunately just take time for a parent to work out. Every baby is a bit different, my eldest was easily OS, while my youngest would sleep anywhere in the early months... Sadly that changed.

Essentially though, falling asleep needs then to have something that calms and relaxes them, a feed, rocking, a walk in the stroller, a car ride or a parent cuddling or doing Sh/Pat in their bed. It's pretty rare for a baby to just be put into bed with no fussing or crying and always go off to sleep, generally in the first 6 months they have unsettled periods and varying degrees of struggling to get to sleep.

For me with my first by about 4onths he'd happily lie in his cot, but wouldn't drift off to sleep, so after 10mins he'd be crying because he wanted to go to sleep. For him I found I didn't need sh/Pat, but we did need to walk around the house to calm and relax him and then I'd stroke his head until he went to sleep, but at least once a day, Id need to take him for a walk in the stroller as he wouldn't settle and sometimes that didn't work either. The first 3 months had me in tears every day nothing seemed to work (he's a delightful teen now and I really do enjoy him and so much less work than many of my friends children)

The hard part with fussy babies is that there often is no easy solution or simple way they are just hard work.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05