Help. Dont know what to do.(9 Posts)
Our 4 day old wont sleep at night. Its now 7am and she hasnt slept since 7pm. She sleeps really well during the day but at night she wont. My wife thinks she is hungry but as soon as she starts feeding or is just held, she will fall asleep. But whenever we put her down, 5 mins later she is crying. Im getting really wprried about my wife as she is a strong woman but is just weeping now. And im worried about post natal depression. With visitors and and having a dog etc she doesnt get any sleep during the day either. In the last 4 or 5 days she has only had about 6 hours sleep. Im doimg all I can to help, I change all the nappies but as she is breast feeding I cant help there. Ive suggested giving her a bottle at night that way I can do that while she sleeps but she is not keen. I know it will get better but im really worried just now. Also I dont understand how a baby can happily go 12 hours with no sleep.
Hi David congratulations to you and your wife on your little one. Sounds like your baby has her says and nights a bit mixed up! It's really common and mine were just the same at this early stage. All you can do is encourage their circadian rhythm by keeping it dark at night, no lights on to feed/no TV and lighter in the day, allowing normal daytime noise etc. As far as feeding is concerned, it's early days for breast feeding to be established and it will settle down. Your little girl will start taking more milk in one feed and the time between feeds will lengthen. As far as PND is concerned, most women get weepy around this time, it doesn't mean PND necessarily. Just keep an eye on your wife and let the visiting midwife and HV know how she is feeling. They will ask your wife questions to verify whether she has normal hormonal dips or PND. One thing you could try is a stretchy sling/wrap for in the daytime. This will give your baby the closeness she craves but free your wife's hands up! I'd personally put a stop to the visitors if you can. You wife (and you!) need time to just relax and cuddle your baby without the stress of people coming in and out. Run your wife some nice (bubblebath free) baths to lie in. Baths are the most wonderful thing after giving birth, when the milk comes in. I feel for your wife, I really do, but this time will pass. Give it a handful of weeks and things will probably look very different. In the meantime, mention the low mood to your midwife.
Lack of sleep will drive anyone to weepiness. It sounds like your baby will sleep at night, but only in arms. Quite common I think. My DS wouldn't sleep in his basket at night for the first week or so, even though he would snooze there during the day. It's to stop them being eaten by wolves, or something. I would suggest taking shifts to hold the baby for a couple of hours while the other one sleeps. I used to aim to be in bed from 8pm to 10am and be asleep for 50% of that time = 7 (broken) hours. Obviously be careful not to doze off while holding baby on the sofa etc. Take the baby from your wife after a feed and walk around the house a bit if necessary while your wife grabs an hour or two of rest. Return with baby when hungry, take a snooze yourself, rinse and repeat. Hand the baby to a visiting relative for an hour or two and both take a nap if you can. This phase doesn't last long. If she turns out to be a long-term basket-refuser, look up the safe co-sleeping guidelines and try that. Good luck!
This is completely normal and I would say the crying is probably sleep deprivation coupled with baby blues. Newborns arn't designed to be away from their primary caregivers at this age so your baby wants to be close to you and only feels safe enough to sleep if that is the case. I would suggest naps in shifts, and also a looking into getting a co-sleeper/sling or baby carrier or a sleepyhead.
As she is BF there is not distribution of labour so you may need to wait until baby is fed and then take her so your wife can sleep.
Perhaps swaddling might help also. (Gro-snug) is really good.
My DS is ten weeks old now. We got a co-sleeper even though I had originally said they weren't worth the money, sleep is precious and lack of it can contribute to PND.
Good luck and congrats on your new baby!
Congratulations on your brand new baby!
My first baby is now 3 months old. He was exactly the same for about a 1-1.5 months after birth. He would only sleep at night and nap during day lying on my or DH's chest. I'm also exclusively breastfeeding. What we found that helped was:
1) I often slept at night with him lying on my chest, I would be sat up slightly but still comfortable to be sleeping. About 30 degrees angle I'd say. Baby would sleep for hours like this.
2) same thing but my DH would hold him after he's been fed while I slept
3) taking turns as pp's said
4) co-sleeping later on when he was ok with sleeping next to me as opposed to on me
5) sling. He'd fall asleep instantly there. Again many times I napped sitting up during the day.
I also wasn't keen on bottle and even though I've got the pump and all the equipment it's only ever been used few times when I had to go somewhere. It definitely does get better. My son now sleeps much better, we still co-sleep at night, he wakes every 2-2.5h to be fed and drifts off back again (there are bad night too of course), from 8-9pm to 7-8am. I was weeping at night many times in those early days.
Newborn's sleep circle lasts 50-60'. That means lights sleep for the first 20' , then they fall into deeper sleep and around 60' it goes to light sleep and a new circle starts. Try holding your baby for 20-30' before placing into crib and it might work. It has worked for me. Also, every newborn would prefer mum's warm hug than cold crib sheets, try warming the crib with a heating pad, it might help. And politely refuse visits. Your newborn and your sanity should be your priority, not entertaining visitors even if they're family. If they care about you they'll understand.
Thanks all for your replies. Eventually (when the sun came up at 7am...) she went to sleep and slept for nearly 4 and a half hours! so I guess that bodes well anyway. Maybe she is just scared of the dark? I know children can be but I didn't know babies also.
She is snoozing again now so I've sent the other half back to bed again for more sleep and we will go out for a walk all together later. I think we will try leaving a light on tonight (unless specifically advised against?) Thanks
You're baby isn't afraid of the dark, think where she was only four days ago- total darkness. It's being separate from her parents touch that wakes her. She has no idea about day or night yet.
The early days with a new born are so hard, I had just no idea when we had ds the intensity of the attention they need or the sheer weight of responsibility I would feel. There are a few ways to cope IMHO;
-Take turns. This is what we did with ds (our first). I would bf then hold him whilst I watched a film, bf him again then wake dp and he would hold him whilst I went to sleep. We did this for ten days before he'd settle in his moses basket for short periods.
- Co Sleep. This is what we/I did with dd. Dp moved to the spare room and was in charge of ds. I was in our bed with new born dd. This was a much better set up than taking it in turns. Look up safe co sleeping. Was your baby very early or low birth weight?
- Sling- We had a Caboo Close and it never failed to send her to sleep. You could have her in it to let your wife get some rest.
-Take every sleep opportunity. We were really bad at this with ds. If your baby is asleep one of you should be asleep too. Until things settle down at least.
-Guests. Visitors have to be heavily restricted. This is your job!! Important people, ie immediate family can show up, look at the baby, leave food, walk the dog then go home! You need to make it clear to them that there won't be any cups of tea made by you or your wife!
-Crying. I cried every day for 20 days after having ds. It's too soon to be thinking about pnd I think, more like baby blues at the minute. It's horrible but will pass. Cuddle her a lot.
- A bottle. Id hold off if your wife feels she possibly can as bottle feeding this early could really compromise bf. Your wifes milk will come in soon and your baby's stomach will grow so she'll go longer between feeds.
I look back at the first two weeks with ds and shake my head at myself! We were trying to do supermarket shops, entertaining guests, visiting family (it was Christmas)etc. All whilst feeling absolutely broken and sobbing as soon as we were alone. Box set for the tv, snuggles on the sofa, any sleep you can anytime you can get it, any nice food you can muster up, plenty of fluids, pain killers.....if you feel up to it maybe a walk- and no more!
This is the hard yard. It will be easier in a week I promise. Congratulations!
She isn't scared of the dark. I'd suggest not leaving a light on at night as this will only add to her day-night confusion (totally normal at this age)
At this age both of mine would only sleep on me or my husband at night. We took it in turns to hold baby for 3hrs while the other one slept.
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