Please someone help me. This baby will not sleep anywhere.

(89 Posts)
maybethedayafter Mon 05-Sep-16 16:46:23

She won't sleep in her cot, she won't sleep in her car seat, she won't sleep in her pram. She will only sleep if she's held and even then not for very long. She is exhausted because she wakes up because she's unsettled, not because she's well rested. I don't know what to do. She cries and cries and cries because she's so tired. She gets herself so worked up that she won't feed and so she just won't settle. I have a sling but she won't even go to sleep in that for me. Please help me. My baby is becoming really unhappy because every waking minute she is exhausted.

Feelingthelove Mon 05-Sep-16 19:39:46

Hi, I'm afraid I can't really offer much advice but just wanted you to know you're not alone! My DS (nearly 8 weeks) was and during the day now is exactly the same. Some days are worse than others but we will generally only get 2 maybe 3 naps during the day per week. It's horrendous when they get over tired so I can completely sympathise! X

I suppose the only advice I can offer is to try to keep as calm and relaxed as you can. I know far easier said than done! But I've learnt the DS really picks up on my distress.

Hang in there and will get better. How old is your DC? Xx

How old is your baby ? My last dc was a nightmare sleeper so you have my every sympathy

Handsoffmysweets Mon 05-Sep-16 19:44:07

You have all of my sympathy OP. How old is LO? Can you talk us through feeding/daily routine/any illnesses/allergies etc. We might be able to come up with something to help x

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:55:02

My ds wouldn't settle without a very soft blanket to cuddle. Still finds one to sleep with now and is 2 next week!!

Bigfatnope Mon 05-Sep-16 19:58:54

You have my sympathy my ds (15 month) has been a nighmare sleeper too. Never sleeps longer than 1 hour. Up 10+times at night...its exhausting!

Tbh you can try everything and may find something that works and it may work for a week and then sometimes nothing works. Not meaning to be a downer but sometimes you have to just say to yourself that you just have to get through it by coping however you can. I used to sleep when ever I could and if he was up constantly just do what you could or listen to music or watch a series on tv etc on really long nights.

WorkingBling Mon 05-Sep-16 20:01:55

How old is your baby ? It's worth first ruling out physical issues - does she have reflux possibly? Silent reflux can make them very uncomfortable and doesn't always seem
Obvious. Other things I was told to check for are ear or throat infections.

Are you bf? Is she getting enough?

If nothing physical, if she will sleep at least a little in your arms I would suggest sacrificing a day or two to just chilling in bed with her and aiming to let her get what sleep she can. If she gets a bit more sleep she may start to get better sleep. Sleep really does beget sleep. Which doesn't help when baby is just not sleeping I know. But anything you can do to get a few more minutes will hopefully help cumulatively.

allthecarbs Mon 05-Sep-16 20:05:04

How old is she?
Have you tried swaddling?

You must be knackered you poor thing. Do you manage to get any rest during the day when someone else can have her? Seriously any chance you get for even 30 minutes shut eye just pounce on it. V important you heal and have enough energy to cope.

MirrorMirrorOnTheFloor Mon 05-Sep-16 20:06:31

Oh, I remember that! You have all my sympathy. Will she sleep if you rock her in your arms in a rocking chair? Or (the only failsafe option for my dd1) in a stretchy wrap type sling (had to be that sort, not a Baby Bjorn, I think she liked the cocooned feeling) with you walking outdoors? Or in one of those cradle swings that goes side to side (NOT back to front, those seem to make sicky babies worse).

mylaptopismylapdog Mon 05-Sep-16 20:19:14

Poor you, this is hard. Do you talk to her or have you tried white noise,music or rhythmic clapping,(sounds odd but sometimes they stop crying to listen), ? Or look for a baby massage or yoga class or group where you can get out and talk to other mothers?

maybethedayafter Mon 05-Sep-16 20:24:21

Thank you for all the replies. She is 11 weeks old but was 7 weeks early. I considered that she may have reflux when she was in SCBU as when her feeds increased to fill feeds (via NG tube) she started having increased desats which is an indicator for reflux and is how DD1s reflux was diagnosed. DD1 was given medication for it - ranitidine and domperidone. I mentioned it to the nurses but there is a different neonatologist from when DD1 was there and while all premature babies used to be on reflux meds (they're more prone to it from having the tube keeping their oesophagus open), the new consultant has a different approach and only prescribes meds in the most severe cases.

Obviously, as I have DD1 sleeping in the day isn't a possibility either. My one saving grace is that she does sleep at night but that's either on my chest or next to me and co-sleeping isn't recommended for premature babies.

As for feeding she is fully breastfed. I do worry that she isn't getting enough because I had to establish my supply by expressing and it took about 3 or 4 weeks until she was fully breastfeeding. But since then she has been gaining weight and she does have plenty of wet and dirty nappies.

She does have colic - whatever that is! She screams/cries from about 5 to 9pm every day and I wonder how much of that is down to either being hungry or being overtired, but she cries and pulls off when I try to feed her and she really does seem in discomfort. Usually she will cry and cry and cry until she does a poo and then she will start to settle down.

In terms of routine there is none! Although she's 11 weeks she's still less than 8lb so she is basically like a newborn. As a generally idea this is what our day typically looks like. She does consistently have a feed at 2am and usually another between 4am and 6am, but from 8am onwards she feeds on demand and it can be pretty much constant for most of the day.

When she was in SCBU she slept in her incubator no problem. When she moved to an open cot she was unsettled at first - I think the lights and the noise bothered her. When she came home from hospital she would sleep in her cot, sometimes for a couple of hours. Recently, the longest she has slept in her cot is half an hour.

I really wish that she would sleep for her own sake. She's just so unhappy when she's awake. I feel so bad for her.

GeekyWombat Mon 05-Sep-16 20:28:31

Massive sympathy here.

Our first was like this. I remember she was three weeks old when my sister visited and managed to get her to fall asleep in her car seat for the first time (literally before that the only time she slept was on one of us). I cried with relief and we ended up putting her at the foot of our bed still in the car seat (I know, I know) for four blessed hours of sleep.

What worked for us (maybe? Or she could have just grown out of it, it's always hard to tell!) was infacol to stop colic and then a (pricey) Baby Bay side sleeper bed thing. We bought it at about four weeks in desperation after it was recommended by a friend (I think you can rent them from some places to try them, also lots on Ebay although they seem to hold their value pretty well). The first night we put her in it she slept for seven hours straight and I actually woke in a panic to check she was ok. After that she was fine, and DC2 has slept in it from the start and is sleeping through for the most part between 7.30pm to 6am at four months. Of course he could just be a good sleeper - but he definitely didn't like the moses basket we tried him in to start with!

I'm not saying it will work for you, but that's what worked for us. Good luck with whatever you end up doing. It's just a terrible time.

GeekyWombat Mon 05-Sep-16 20:29:46

OP posted while I was writing - I should probably give myself a biscuit!

A lot of what I've said isn't that helpful in your circumstances so have flowers chocolate and cake instead.

Artandco Mon 05-Sep-16 20:30:29

Have you seen a 'sleepyhead pod'? They are a safe way to co sleep, and the cushioning helps them feel secure. Swaddle inside the pod also. It can go next to you on your bed

Bigfam Mon 05-Sep-16 20:33:04

Have you tried white noise? A lot of babies seem to respond well to that (mine included) swaddling sometimes helps, or alternatively a sleepyhead pod (or something similar, purflo nest or poddlepod etc) to nap in during the day, they sort of cocoon the baby making them feel secure. You have my sympathy, I hope you find something that works for you both.

Handsoffmysweets Mon 05-Sep-16 20:37:13

I'm going to go back and keep re reading to see what I come up with but it jumps out at me that you say she cries and cries until she does a poo then she settles down. One of mine was exactly like this and at a similar time in the evening. I gave him gripe water (as recommended to me by a friend who had also had the same problem) and voila, the problem was fixed. I realise that this may only be the tip of the iceberg or even nothing at all, but if she's constipated/gassy/tummy troubles etc, she is going to be in pain, not be able to sleep, kick off, get overtired until she is able to poo.

Also OP, if you think that LO is in discomfort then keep pursuing that. Take her to GP to check their opinion on reflux, possible constipation etc.

Handsoffmysweets Mon 05-Sep-16 20:38:05

I probably should mention, I can't remember if there is an age on gripe water (I think its 12 weeks plus) but you may want to check with GP due to LO being prem.

maybethedayafter Mon 05-Sep-16 20:40:01

A friend gave me the purflo nest, she didn't really like it but when I tried it she was still really small so didn't touch the edges so it was pretty much like being in the cot. Now that she's a bit bigger I should give it another try. I did try swaddling without a great deal of success but I gave up on it pretty quickly. I should give it another try. I walked around all day today with a muslin down my top to get my scent on it but she couldn't have cared less!

She is now asleep at least! She is asleep on my lap and I'm sitting in a pitch black, silent room. I'm wondering if where she's recently become more aware of her surroundings she's unable to sleep in a room with light and noise. I know that now that she's asleep I should try laying her down but she has been awake for the best part of 7 hours. I don't want to risk waking her and have to go through it all again. What do you think? Am I an idiot?

maybethedayafter Mon 05-Sep-16 20:44:21

Thank you for the gripe water suggestion. It's definitely worth a shot. I tried infacol and it didn't do a great deal. I'm now trying Colief and I didn't think it was doing much so when I left the bottle at my parents house I thought I'd just leave it but the evening crying ramped up about 12 notches so I bought another bottle and we're using it again.

I think I might book an appointment with the GP. I did mention the nighttime routine which finally ends with a poo and he said there's not much that can be done, it's where her digestive system is immature and she'll grow out of it. Everyone seems to have this opinion that breastfed babies can't get constipated but there's obviously something going on.

Artandco Mon 05-Sep-16 20:47:30

With the purflo I think you can use overnight also? But you would need to check as I'm not sure if the sides are breathable. But if so you could co sleep with that. Means you can sleep with your arm over baby but no risk of rolling on them

Bigfam Mon 05-Sep-16 20:52:18

You should try white noise, if you use an app on your mobile you can actually get an 'in utero' noise. When my 19 month old was a newborn we used to have to put the hoover/hairdyer on for the noise blush (before discovering the apps)

Twine88 Mon 05-Sep-16 20:52:49

Our dd had similar issues, and when she grew out of her moses basket, it just got worse. We ended up trying a baby merlin sleepsuit after a recommendation from a friend in the US. She had really bad startle reflex, and would always wake during sleep transitions - like clockwork, but the sleepsuit seemed to offer some security to her - its a swaddle alternative. I recall the website was quite information. Its didnt fix everything overnight, but it definately helped.

Mermaid36 Mon 05-Sep-16 20:58:14

I have preemie twins (14 weeks early) who are similar to this, so I know where you are coming from!

They feed on demand and are more "fussy" at night - they also do the straining/poo thing all the time.
We find that keeping them upright on us for a bit longer after feeding helps, and also they like to sleep in their bouncy chairs during the day/early evening.

We had to introduce a bottle of EBM at night to put their meds in (they have Chronic Lung Disease) and whilst it's only 40-50ml, it seems to knock them out a bit; which gives my boobs a bit of relief!

We found that "sleepy" toys with either white noise, heartbeats or whooshy sea noises seem to settle the girls too, rather than music/lullabies etc

WorkingBling Mon 05-Sep-16 21:06:37

You are not being an idiot sitting in dark room. If this is what it takes for her to get some sleep, so be it. Get dh to bring you a drink and a snack b

maybethedayafter Mon 05-Sep-16 21:10:57

We have Ewan the Sheep, perhaps I need to give him another try. DD1 loved him. The Mersin sleep suit looks interesting - she definitely has a strong startle reflex and I end up tucking her in really really tight to help her to settle.

I don't know if it's relevant but she's really snuffly too. She constantly sounds congested although her nose isn't blocked - it's more like at the back of her nose and throat. It sounds almost snorty.

I checked and gripe water is for 1 month+ so even by her corrected age she is old enough.

I'm kind of annoyed at myself because we did all of this holding and cuddling to sleep with DD1 and we know the problems it caused but we're doing it all over again.

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