tips on getting a 12 week old to sleep who's breastfed and doesnt take a dummy

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Amber - posted on 04/04/2010

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Babies need a routine to help them have predictability in their days. They can't read time and therefore have no idea what or when to do things. They dictate their days by the things moms and dad do. If you have a routine down, and follow it closely, your baby will have the ability to start recognizing the day's activities, and therefore, will relax and be more confident. Transitioning from play time, eating time to sleeping time will soon be very easy to understand, predict and act out. " mommy is feeding me, after I eat, I get to sleep.." mommy is changing my bum, everytime she changes my bum she sings a song..".. These types of activities become whats " normal" to your baby so if you do them at the same time, in the same order, your baby will be happy, and able to learn to adapt on their own.

A routine for an infant under 10 months old is simple :

E.A.S.Y.. actually.

E stands for Eat. Eat a meal, have a bottle, breast feed.

A stands for activity. After eating.. clean up, change bum, play peek a boo for 5 min( some babies fall asleep while eating and can go strait to bed)..

S stands for sleep. After the activity, it's sleep time. Activity time can change as baby gets older and more active. When 12 weeks old, 10 minutes of " play " is all the baby needs. Sleep is important to recognize and establish.. look below for my hints on how to tell when baby is ready for sleep/rest

Y stands for You.. time for you. Do the dishes, make some phone calls.. eat something..

OK.. so sleep...

Recognizing when to switch from A to S is easy.. watch for " signs" and take your " window" when you can. Signs for sleep include:
Rubbing the eyes
staring off into nowhere
turning head away
wants attention
self soothes ( sucking thumb, looking for cuddle blanket)
hiding face ( burrying face in mom's chest, shoulder..etc.)
yawning
putting head down and closing eyes for a second

These are classic signs that baby is ready for bed, and must be responded to within 10-15 minutes These signs come one after another, and depending on baby, can be within seconds or minutes of eachother.
. If you're missing these signs, and you've got an upset baby ( baby is crying , you've missed your " window") , you can try many soothing techniques to get baby to sleep again.

You can " swaddle" your baby ( wrap a thin blanket around them ( arms tucked in at sides) tightly )
When baby is swaddled they feel close, comfortable and secure. That is important, especially in the first few months.

You can then rock or sway baby back and forth a few minutes. If baby does not seem to calm down or cries louder, then do something more sublte like gentle patting and swaying.

Some babies just need to be in their beds to cry it out.

lay baby down in crib and let cry. babies who are tired and cry themselves to sleep will cry about 15 mintues and you'l hear the cry go from a strong wail to a soft sob that starts and stops. If after 30 minutes baby does not fall asleep and is still crying aggresively, go into crib area, and rub baby on forhead, up and down between the forhead and end of nose. This you will see causes the baby to close it's eyes and relax.

Follow the " E.A.S.Y routine for a few weeks, and your baby will surely be happy and able to predict the next event with security.

Wendy - posted on 04/01/2010

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The first question would be exactly how long are you expecting them to sleep? One thing to try for a few hours of sleep is to start feeding them baby cereal. just start out with a tbsp. of cereal and mix it to a very runny consistency. You can use baby juice, fruit or breastmilk. Then slowly feed it to them. I know drs. say not until 6 mos. but all of mine have started eating cereal right around a 4-6wks. It is more filling and they tend to sleep a little longer. Sometimes the position they are laid down in can help also. Singing, humming, rocking or walking can all help. I have had 4 kids and they are all diff. Good luck, I hope this helps.

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Emma - posted on 04/05/2010

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I know v bad habit but mine came in with me and we all get sleep. i have a 5yr old 2 and she ahs 2 get up 4 school so i gave in but we all seem v happy with that arrangement depends on your own view of bed sharing good luck :)

[deleted account]

Hi I have 3 children and all were breat fed but it took very different things to get them to sleep . My 1st liked to be wrapped up snuggly and laid on her side . This made her feel safe . 2 and 3 were the complete opposite . They both hated that and wanted to be free to move . They both fed every 2 hours for about an hour . The only thing that made them sleep was a baby swing . After a feed I would put them in and I would get about 3 hours peace . None of them had a dummy , but number 3 tried to use me as one .Good luck

Roxanne - posted on 04/02/2010

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I breastfed both of my boys and neither had a paci, they used to like to be swadled and some white noise cd's work sometimes, they even have some that are supposed to mimic the sounds inutero. I tried not to get them used to falling asleep while eating but sometimes it's unavoidable. I wouldn't recommend feeding them cereal so young though

Stacey - posted on 04/01/2010

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alot of times when they are that small, free space around them doesn't feel safe, and then they want momma! i used a swaddler called kiddopotamus. it was awesome. you can google it. it wraps them up nice and tight, it worked for my newest baby. when i started using it, she slept through the night, and she was also breastfeed. it was around 12 weeks when a friend suggested it to me. they best thing i bought for the baby!! and for me :) good luck

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