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Thread: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

  1. #1

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    Default How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    I'm finding it hard to demand feed Bub and encourage good sleep habits within the confines of our everyday life - kindy drop offs and pick ups and regular appointments. As much as I want to be baby led and go by his cues, he really needs to have some vague pattern to his days otherwise he misses out on sleep when he's showing tired cues, or has to be woken for appointments or demands a feed in the middle of a car trip etc He usually only sleeps for 30-40 mins at a time, and I'm working on resettling him to try to encourage him to transition between sleep cycles....yesterday I was able to resettle him and he ended up sleeping for just under three hours (unheard of). Normally I'd have had to wake him after 1.5 hrs for kindy pick up, but thankfully a friend was able to pick up DS1 for me. I couldn't have put him down any earlier as he wasn't tired...because he'd fallen asleep during his earlier feed, so didn't finish it and ended up being hungry when he woke again so couldn't be resettled to sleep for longer. It's a vicious cycle...

    Could I try giving a top up feed just before a (hopefully longer) nap? And gently try to encourage that nap at a time when I know I won't have to wake him for appointments?
    Do your nap and feed times change depending on wake up times, and how does that work when you have places you need to be? He doesn't transfer well and pretty much hates the car so these are factors as well.

    Any experiences or suggestions (or reassurance) most welcome

  2. #2

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    It's hard. It gets easier when they get older and drop naps.
    Feeding, for me, was always fine as the breasts were always available, but for sleeps I just decided that we had to get on with things, so sorry mate, but you are either portable and asleep or cranky and tired. I don't know what you can do about it save giving up on an outside existence (which is impossible if you have older kids anyway).
    If you can have the occasional 'down day' that can help, you may also be able to regig sleep times a bit if you know you're going out at a certain time, but there are *no* guarantees it will work at all. I made a very conscious decision that I would not order my life around sleep times because it is so depressing
    When out and about I used a carrier or wrap to carry DD and she would often sleep in there when little, so that can also help. I would often walk around with her on the boob, too.
    Good luck!

  3. #3

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    Firstly you just have to decide what works for you, my 3rd and 4th child have had school drop offs and Kindy drop offs from the minute they were born, not routine and just letting go suited me (us) best. Hugs its very hard to transition after number one being able to be happily worked around

  4. #4

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    Yeah, thanks ladies. I figured as much.

    I had aspirations of baby wearing and DS2 happily attached to the boob while I'm out and about, but the reality is a bit different...it's been too hot for baby wearing and I've ended up with a very sore back every time I've worn him (and that was with a super comfy stretchy and a Bub under 4kg!). And feeding on the run isn't anywhere near as carefree and comfy as I thought it would be...I've ended up with wet patches nearly every time or feeding in a car park in almost 40 degree heat. So I try to at least be somewhere I can sit down. DS2 feeds better when I'm comfy too.

    I'm trying to make all my appointments in the morning and get home by lunch so we can hopefully get in at least one decent nap.

    I'd love to be able to go with the flow a bit more, but being an anxious control freak, it's hard! I tend to catastrophise, so a short nap or poor feed might throw me for the rest of the day. Working on it...

  5. #5

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    I was going to suggest maybe planning a bigger nap either early morning or afternoon when you get home. That way he's getting at least one good sleep. I too am a bit of a control freak I found that dd fell into a loose routine around 3 months and it was so much easier for me. I could plan appointments etc.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    I think you basically just muddle through for x number of months and then figure stuff out. Letting go makes it easier, yes. I'm not much of a control freak and schedules make me anxious

  7. #7

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    i find 'demand feeding' easier than scheduled feeds bc at busier times i can always offer earlier or have a few smaller feeds.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    With DD I did sort of a baby-led schedule if that makes sense. So at first, as others have said, I muddled through it but I paid attention to when she naturally became sleepy or hungry and encouraged feeds/put down times around that.

    I also made appointments work for baby and I, rather than trying to work around times that were stressful or not practical.

    I always fed her right before going out as I was not comfortable feeding in public yet because DD was a bit unsettled and we were both still learning to BF (position, pain and attachment were issues for us). Sometimes she would of course demand a feed while out so I did have to find somewhere quiet. I did express milk of an evening or morning too so that I had the option of offering some EBM if we were out so that is an option too, though expressing can be an added hassle so it is not for everyone.

    So essentially I did demand feed but tried to pre-empt feeds too. Encouraging a sleep routine was very important to me though, more so than a feed routine, so I always put her sleeps before anything else. And as mentioned, I framed her sleep routine around what she was instinctively inclined to do anyway. So if she seemed commonly sleepy at say 10am, 12pm or whatever I made sure we would be somewhere where I could put her down. Preferably at home but also timed car trips and walks at sleep times hoping they would encourage her to sleep. It didn't always work though of course! And that was ok. Mind you this was all based around one child, not two so I am sure I will be throwing my own hands up in despair in a month or two!!

  9. #9

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    Lady love - That's what I did with DS1 and am trying to do similar with DS2. Yeah, the sleep is more important than feeds because, as Hoti said, I can offer earlier or more frequently if I need to. Most of our regular appointments are in the morning, so I'm trying to be home around lunchtime to at least have one opportunity for a decent nap each day. So far not much joy with the resettling/encouraging that long nap (40 mins is standard), but I'll keep trying...

  10. #10

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    I should add that DD was a HORRIBLE sleeper during the day at first. 30-40 mins max and that was after 30-50 mns of trying to settle her.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: How do you demand feed and help Bub sleep with a scheduled life?

    I pre-empt feeds/sleep by having a feed before we leave the house. DS is pretty easy to transfer to the sling or pusher when we get to where ever.
    On school days we drop DD at 9, then go for a run, then play at the park. Lunch is around 12, then we have boob, and he will usually fall asleep, and wake before school pickup. If he doesnt then Ill put him in the pusher and go for a walk until he does fall asleep.


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