9 week old just doesn't sleep anymore, what can I do?(8 Posts)
He was so great at sleeping as soon as we brought him home, even slept through a few times at around four or five weeks. I would get up with him in the night, feed him and put him down still awake and he'd go back off by himself. Now he won't nap at all during the day unless it's on somebody. The instant he is put down, he wakes up. He doesn't go to sleep at all at night. I dread going to bed because I know what's coming. I haven't slept yet and it's 3am. He'll probably sleep for an hour at a time max and be up for the day at around seven. I'm starting to get extremely angry and exhausted. I can't catch up on sleep during the day because he won't nap, please somebody help he also has reflux, so I wash about 4 sheets, all of his bedding, including mattress protector and cover, my bedding, both of our clothes every day. I am getting so annoyed at constantly changing us and the beds during the night that I'm chucking it across the room and stomping around like a child.
I found that I was coping with everything quite well at first, now I do nothing but hold him all day and attempt to squeeze in a meal or putting the washing machine on. I haven't showered for two days, my husband was around yesterday so I could do stuff and ended up doing nine loads of washing. I didn't eat lunch of tea today. I have another child so will have to start doing school runs again next week. How can I make things better???
Could the sleep issues be associated with the reflux
Is he waking from the discomfort perhaps? Is his cot head raised etc?
I think he does sometimes wake because of that, but mostly just seems to be disturbed by being moved from my arms to the bed. I haven't raised the cot, have looked at the wedge pillows but became concerned at some reviews saying it just pushes them to the end of the bed and even a few saying their baby's head was trapped between pillow and bars. Last night wasn't too bad for reflux in the end, it stopped after that. The problem was he actually wouldn't go to sleep until 3.
Should I try to stop him napping so much on the day? He seems to be making up for the lack of nighttime sleep by sleeping on me for long stretches during the day. Should I try to do a bedtime routine? I haven't bothered yet since he hasn't naturally fallen into one (he did but that's now out of the window), we tend to just keep him downstairs with us until we go to bed, so there would be no proper 'putting to bed', Iyswim.
He also uses me as a dummy. He managed to do a feed in about 20 minutes, would often take both breasts and have about 40 minutes in total. He now never removes himself from my breast. I will try to remove him from my breast after an hour of sucking, with no swallowing happening anymore, and he wakes up and frantically searches for it again. He never seems to be in a deep sleep anymore. He's flinging his arms about and thrashing every five minutes, even when supposedly asleep on my breast. Unfortunately, he won't take a dummy. He pushes it in and out of his mouth before spitting it out, or gags as soon as I try to put it in. And I'm definitely not shoving it in!
The health visitor has told me to be careful I don't end up exhausting myself, but not offered any suggestions to help!
Watching with interest as we have similar issues with 4 week old DD2. She's gone from doing nice 3-hour stretches at night for the first 3 weeks to being awake for hours after a nighttime feed and often waking again after an hour when I finally do manage to settle her in the crib. It's rubbish! (We don't think she's got reflux but definitely colic and also throws up a lot.)
-I've got 4 children and never do 9 loads of washing a day! I don't even do a +quarter of that with a household of six.
The dummy will be key here. Also:
- Adequate winding after a feed.
- Rousing slightly after a feed (by winding)
- Settling baby to sleep in cot/separate from you
I will try to remove him from my breast after an hour of sucking, with no swallowing happening anymore, and he wakes up and frantically searches for it again
This is the most telling sentence. It tells me you aren't winding baby after a feed (if baby is still attached to nipple). It tells me that baby is falling asleep on you (so he wakes when moved). It tells me baby takes comfort from sucking (so dummy will help).
Dummies are NHS recommended to reduce SIDS and help with reflux. Not all babies will naturally suck when a teat is placed in their mouth so it may take some perseverance to get him to 'get it'.
He pushes it in and out of his mouth before spitting it out - this is what babies do when they don't 'get' that they should be sucking. It just takes for him to randomly fluke sucking rather than spitting it out, then it's like a eureka moment. I had to work hard for 7 solid weeks until DC4 understand how to use her dummy. Do not assume "he wont take a dummy" on the basis of occasional tries. It needs persistence.
This could be reflux related. But if you are not recognising when a feed is finished then it could be simply air in stomach bubbling to the surface whilst lying down - which induces vomiting. It might be that by recognising the end of a feed and winding properly, that the being sick reduces or stops completely.
Ending a Feed & Winding
You need to stop a feed as soon as it's finished. Baby doesn't need to be asleep, sucks don't have to have completely stopped for the fed to finish.
When finished, baby is likely to be drowsy. Lift onto your shoulder and rub his back. Then when you have had a burp or two, put baby down to sleep.
Settling to Sleep
Moving a fast asleep baby will always be a nightmare. The key is to getting baby to fall into that deep sleep where you want them to stay asleep. I would recommend a bouncy chair for daytime sleep (allows for movement to sooth to sleep) then a bedside cot for night time sleep (full sized cot with one side removed).
So feed to drowsy, then lift onto your shoulder to wind. This rouses baby slightly so not in a deep sleep but still sleepy. Then baby move baby again to cot or bouncy chair.
Dummy. When you take nipple out of mouth put dummy in. When in bouncy chair or cot gently hold it in his mouth. You wont need to once the dummy is excepted. Work on it all the time, it will be worth it a million times over.
Settle baby in-situ. The problems you are currently having is caused by baby sleeping on you then you moving him. Into bouncy chair (in daytime) and bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce that baby into sleep submission, reinserting dummy as needed. Night time I would swaddle for that feeling of safe security. Or shush and pat. Cuddle right into bedside cot.
Stop trying to move a sleeping baby, you'll always lose that battle. Instead move a drowsy baby to the place he'll sleep and settle him there.
Baby needs lots and lots of sleep, don't restrict daytime sleep. Baby at the age should not be having more than 1 hour awake between naps in the daytime. and should be having 16-20h sleep in 24h. I would also aim to feed 2 hourly through the daytime to 'calorie load' as much as possible.
If all the above doesn't help then you might want to look at your feeding. If he is vomiting a lot of milk up, then it follows that he is receiving fewer calories and so will need to increase your supply. Hungry babies cry a lot and have disturbed sleep - this is harsh for a BF mother to hear but shouldn't be dismissed.
I don't really have any advice but am having the same problem with my 9 week old who just will not sleep and I'm having the same issues you are- I can't get anything done during the day and at night I'm up every hour! Just to let you know you're not alone!
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