Newborn not sleeping

(18 Posts)
exhaustednewmum Fri 11-Aug-06 02:42:51

Can anyone help me? My baby is 10 days old and has for the last two nights taken 5 hours to be fed and settled. Every time I try to put her in her Moses basket she screams but when I pick her up she is as happy as Larry. I started feeding her last night at about 22.30 and she is still refusing to go to sleep (it is now 02.45). I am shattered and running out of patience and ideas. Does anyone have any advice to help me please?

Ags Fri 11-Aug-06 02:58:30

You poor thing. It is so bloody hard when you are so tired. I'm afraid I always have more questions than answers with posts like yours.

Is she dozing as you feed her? Is that why it takes so long? For this, a piece of cotton wool dipped in cold water and stroked on her face will help wake her. Or if she is sucking only intermittently, I can swear by massaging the palm of her hand with your thumb. This always makes my dd suck and she tends to keep sucking as long as I keep massaging.

The only thing I can suggest is making sure you put something in the moses basket that smells of you. Perhaps a piece of sheeting or a muslin. Lay it on the mattress under her head so she will have a familiar smell to comfort her.

How long are you leaving her to scream? I know this is controversial (and not sure I could do it) but you could just let her cry for a while to see if she will settle herself.

Please post again if you are still up and let me know more.

tribpot Fri 11-Aug-06 07:33:22

exhaustednewmum, if she will sleep whilst she's on you, then just go with that for now. You're in a survival game; getting her into her moses basket can wait. Sleep is all!

britty Fri 11-Aug-06 13:22:18

Hi.My little boy was the same, he is now 6 weeks old.
With regards the sleeping, let him sleep on you if you can. Or something we did was get a large pillow that we had used(and therefore smelt of me) and lie him on that next to you in bed so you can still sleep.I would feed him in bed with him on the pillow and then he would drop off.I would keep my arm round him and shush him and pat him rhythmically and he would go back off again.The advantage of this is you can still sleep cos you're not so worried about waking them if you move and you can get up without disturbing them.If you do get up and they start to cry just get close to them and shush and pat agian, usually thats all my son needs and I can carry on sleeping or doing whatever I was doing.
Other tips are using a sling in the day , they love this.Using a dummy or putting your little finger in her mouth for her to suck.Some people may not like the last 2 ideas but they feel comforted and anything that helps them stop crying at this stage is good I think.
Most of all remember its not just you/your baby and it does get better very quickly.She is used to being close to you and that comforts her as she gets used to this big world.
Good luck and hang on in there.

SoupDragon Fri 11-Aug-06 13:54:20

Are you breastfeeding? Feed her lying down in the night and forget the moses basket.

Toothyboy Fri 11-Aug-06 14:22:05

Have you tried swaddling her? Lots of babies find it more secure and womblike . Also, try not to let her sleep for more than 3-4 hours at a time during the day otherwise she won't learn the difference between night and day iyswim

Good luck.

Snozcumber Fri 11-Aug-06 15:01:13

I had the same problem with dd2. Do you have your moses basket on a stand?

Someone suggested 2 me that we take it off the stand and put it in the cot or on the floor.

This seemed a bit random and I couldn't see what difference it could make. I was so desperate I tried it.

She slept 6 hours straight off!
Unbelievable but I wasn't going 2 argue.

dd1 would only sleep swaddled, so thats another good tip 2 try.


wendy33 Fri 11-Aug-06 15:33:43

I agree with the swaddling. Some babies prefer their arms to be free though so tuck their blanket in on the moses basket nice and tight.

Also check baby is not too hot or cold, this makes a big difference with my 6 week old

Not being critical but check babies nappy is clean. My baby always cries and cries if he soils his nappy and wont settle til it is dry.

Good luck! x

sarahelizabeth Thu 17-Aug-06 15:06:41

Hi my baby was the same and would sleep quite happily on me but the minute i tried to put him in the moses basket he would scream and the only thing to stop it was picking him up. As mentioned before i was told to swaddle him and also let him cry for 10 minutes before attending to him. I did both and it worked! I have to admit its really heart breaking leaving them to cry but i only had to do it a couple of times and he is now as good as gold and gets himself off to sleep. He loves being swaddled. He is now 9 weeks and sleeps through the night.

Rookiemum Thu 17-Aug-06 22:36:53

Our DS hated the Moses basket but slept slightly better in it when I put a towel underneath the mattress at the head end to elevate it very slightly. If you have a cot or a pram it might be worth trying that instead as they sometimes wake themselves up hitting the sides of the moses basket.

Or try the dummy, I was really resistant to one, but gave in after too little sleep, at about 8 weeks old we stopped giving it to our DS and he didn't seem to miss it, but it really helped during those first few weeks.

The first few weeks are really hard and I am sure you are doing a wonderful job. It will get better soon, honestly.

Nooney Sat 19-Aug-06 18:34:54

Our baby wouldn't sleep in her Moses basket until our Midwife suggested rolling a towel (bath sized towel) up into a long snake shape and laying it in the Moses basket in an upside down u-shape. Baby then sleeps inside the u-shape and should feel more secure. It worked like a dream for us.

Clayhead Sat 19-Aug-06 18:38:47

Huge sympathy from me, my dd was exactly the same.

I agree with tribpot, I would just go with the flow for now and get her to sleep on you (FWIW, I actually wish I'd enjoyed that bit more now, my 'baby' is off to school soon, however, if anyone had suggested this to me when she was 10 days old, I'd have willingly slapped them!!)

exhaustednewmum Wed 23-Aug-06 22:18:38

Hi and thanks to everyone for your messages of help and support.

Have had mixed success since my last message. She sleeps some nights but often still takes ages to drop off. It's helpful to know that this is not unusual though.

Have tried swaddling her - it helps sometimes but seems to drive her mad at other times.

Must go now - little one is crying!

MaloryTowersIsSlimAndChic Wed 23-Aug-06 22:20:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hairymclary Wed 23-Aug-06 22:22:15

yeah, wot she said!

no really, she is still teeny weeny and she just wants to be cuddled and held and know that you are there and it's fine to do that. You can't spoil a newborn.
It's very, very common for newborns to cluster feed in the evenings and I think if I were in your position I really wouldn't worry about settling her down. Just keep her with you and feed her when she wants it

wrinklytum Wed 23-Aug-06 22:48:19

With both of mine in the early weeks I found they would only sleep with me holding them in my arms/on my shoulder.She is tiny and getting used to the big wide world and you are the one constant source of food and comfort!!!It is absolutely exhausting and a complete shock to the system having a new baby,but believe me you will find reserves you never thought you had and eventually your baby will sleep independently from you.Keep a big bottle of water and some snacks(I did bananas!!)next to you to keep your strength up while shes cluster feeding.If you dont like the idea of baby sleeping with you then the idea about the object that smells of you is good.You can also get a cot that attaches to your bed so she is right next to you(sorry dunno where you get em have read about em on here) someone else may be able to help!!Sadly this didnt work for mine but it may be a help for you.Finally although at the mo it seems like the sleepless nights wont end believe me they will and youll begin to feel more human again instead of like a milk machine!!!!

BabyTed Thu 24-Aug-06 13:34:21

My baby wouldn't settle in his moses basket when very little. We used to put him on a pillow on our lap and cuddle him off to sleep and then transfer the pillow with baby into the moses basket. Not sure if having them on a pillow in moses basket goes with current safety advice but it worked for us. Eventually he got used to waking up in the moses basket and would go back in without too much trouble after his next feed.

When he was about 6 weeks old we brought in more of a bedtime routine and put him into his moses basket to settle on his own. The first few nights he took a while to settle but soon took to it, but only if he had a dummy and was swaddled.

On the down side he only settles off to sleep with a dummy now, which is causing its own problems. The pillow thing might be worth a try though.

mummymaxi Thu 24-Aug-06 13:48:52

I've been reading advice in this stream. I get my 9 week old off to sleep by cuddling/feeding then transfer him to basket. Mostly he wakes about 20-30 mins later and I have to repeat the process! This wasn't how I imagined myself dealing with it, but it's the only way I have found of keeping him calm and both of us getting enough sleep.

I have tried settling him in the basket, with a muslin or t-shirt that smells of me, but he screams blue murder!! Do you think I should leave him to cry it out? If not, how can I help him to settle himself? Should I be worried about it yet - will he take to it naturally as he gets older, or am I teaching him bad habits that he will find difficult to break?

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