FTM 2wk old baby will not settle at night, feel like I'm failing

(43 Posts)
Cordypants27 Thu 22-Sep-16 09:50:29

Being a FTM I don't know what I expected and I know every baby is different and that babies require care and attention frequently, I also thought (maybe foolishly) that newborn babies NEEDED sleep and were unable to go too long without.
My LO seems to be fighting sleep, constantly rooting and thrashing about and crying. After trying the usual of feeding (for the 100th time), changing, winding, cuddling, I am at a loss of what to do & it is already starting to make the relationship with my OH strained as we're snapping at each other because we're so tired and we don't know what to do.
Any tips for newborn sleeping (if there are any) as a lot of the advice already is for older babies.
Please help x

DownWithThisSortaThing Thu 22-Sep-16 09:58:18

They do need to sleep a lot and they can get quite ratty if they're overtired, which stupidly makes it harder to settle them.
Is your baby in a cot/Moses basket? Do they settle quickly when you pick them up? Are you putting them down once they're asleep?

DownWithThisSortaThing Thu 22-Sep-16 10:00:02

P.s I found the sleep deprivation horrendous with a newborn, I felt like I was cracking up in the first couple of weeks. It is hard but you're getting through it flowers are you getting any/much sleep at all?

Acunningruse Thu 22-Sep-16 10:02:20

Is your baby getting wind up after feeds? Discomfort after feeding and not wanting to be laid flat could be signs of reflux. Try keeping baby upright on you for 20 minutes after feeds and you could also prop moses basket up at head end by putting a book under each foot.

DollyBarton Thu 22-Sep-16 10:05:51

This really is normal. Can I suggest you keep your phone or an iPad beside the bed and read mumsnet when your sleep is being stolen from you so that you can pass the time without feeling angry, frustrated or upset at only getting X hours or minutes of sleep. When baby is clearly gone back over, put down the phone and sleep till the next wake up. This kept me sane but to be honest I wouldn't expect too much improvement in baby's sleep for another good few months,

DollyBarton Thu 22-Sep-16 10:07:31

Oh and if you are breastfeeding, cosleeping and learn to feed lying down. It's a godsend as you can doze as they feed plus when very little I find they sleep better cosleeping (until about 5 months when I can't recommend strongly enough not cosleeping with them anymore).

HalfStar Thu 22-Sep-16 10:09:32

It's really hard, you just need to get through this bit. Have you tried swaddling after a feed? Wind as much as you can upright after a feed and then try gently putting down swaddled with white noise playing. That may work less well at night hmm but in general I highly recommend swaddling and white noise.

HalfStar Thu 22-Sep-16 10:10:51

And yes, I agree with Dolly also about the feeding lying down if you're breastfeeding.

Diddlydokey Thu 22-Sep-16 10:13:27

Hardly any babies know how to fall asleep on their own and they only seem tired when they are actually overtired. When they are overtired, it is much harder to soothe them to sleep.

Once they have been awake for 45 minutes, try settling them to sleep using the 5 S's

happiestbaby.com/using-the-5-ss/

The time that they are awake for gets longer as they get older but at the newborn stage, they basically need to be awake to feed and then go back to sleep again, ideally.

At nighttime, your milk makes them feed more if you're BFing.

Fuzzywuzzywasabear Thu 22-Sep-16 10:13:45

flowers 4 weeks here and we have nights where baby won't settle at all and then miracle nights where we get 4 whole hours in a row having done nothing different?! hmm

From speaking to others it seems to be hit and miss what works and doesn't and just because it works once doesn't mean it will work again!

Things we've tried
Place one of your t-shirts in the crib so it smells of you
Place hot water bottle in crib before you put them down so it's warm (remove before you put them in)
Swaddle them
Let them fall asleep on you then gently put them down once they are asleep - we call this baby buckaroo grin
Sing to them
Dh likes to dance around to get baby to sleep
Ewan the sheep
BT baby monitor white noise and light show
Rolled up blanket under sheet in crib - diy version of a sleepy head
Dummy

I'm doing a baby massage course in a few weeks which I'm hoping will be the magic baby soothing cure all grin

TheGirlWithGlassFeet Thu 22-Sep-16 10:24:10

The first couple of months in particular are really difficult.

The best tip I had from the midwife was that if you know they've fed and they still want to suck give them your little finger (facing upward) to suck as this comforts them and helps them fall asleep.

I had a Chicco Next To Me cot which attaches to the bed and was brilliant as you can lie in bed and settle them.

Cordypants27 Thu 22-Sep-16 10:55:18

Thanks very much for all your tips.
LO winds quite well following feeding & will happily settle in a drunken haze but as soon as she is put back in her Moses basket she starts thrashing & crying & rooting. As I'm breastfeeding I never know if she has fed enough (she has a tongue tie & hasn't been putting on weight so we are now mixing with bottle feeds) then I don't know if I'm making a rod for my own back by attempting another feed.
I don't want to do the whole co sleeping thing, I would get less sleep because I would panic too much that I would suffocate her.
I'm post op section & still a little tentative so I don't feel I'd be able to take her for a little walk or anything yet.
I'm getting about 3 hours sleep in total at night, once she settles she will sleep for around 2 hours then awake for a feed & a change, then I'm looking at anywhere between 3-5 hours of trying to get her to settle down again which leads to crying, stressing, feelings o failure & snapping with OH.
I will put my tablet by my bed to watch something, have tried reading but seems to make me more tired. Will try the white noise at a louder level (have been playing quite low) & hopefully this will make a difference to our nights.

Any tips on positive mental attitude/relaxation for me & OH?

Thanks ladies x

Elephantsaremygods Thu 22-Sep-16 10:59:19

White noise needs to be loud to be effective. Think of the volume of the water when you're standing in the shower - that level.

Other things that worked for us at that age: swaddle, very dark room, trying to get him to sleep before he showed tired signs (at that age he could barely manage 45 mins awake, sometimes an hour. At 6 months he can only really go 2 hours before he starts getting grumpy), a sleepyhead (this is also excellent for safe co sleeping), a dummy (was a bloody lifesaver), walks in the buggy with a snooze shade over the top, the sling.

Elephantsaremygods Thu 22-Sep-16 11:05:57

And the other thing I would say to you is honestly don't sweat the sleep - babies change all the time and it won't be this way forever.

I had the opposite problem to you in fact - my son as a newborn slept like an absolute dream and then when he turned 3 months all hell broke loose.

53rdAndBird Thu 22-Sep-16 11:12:43

You don't have to have the baby in your bed to co-sleep. You can get a bedside cot with 3 sides that attaches to your bed, so the baby has its own sleep surface but is still right next to you.

I really recommend this - my baby just would not sleep in the Moses basket, and the bedside cot saved my sanity!

DownWithThisSortaThing Thu 22-Sep-16 11:13:05

It might be the Moses basket? Mine hated his. Some babies don't like feeling enclosed - DS liked to starfish

Basically it sounds like she just wants to be held by you all the time, which is totally normal.
Try a hot water bottle wrapped in the top you've worn, in the Moses basket, then when it's warm take it out and put her down.
Something else which worked for us was moving the cot right up to my side of the bed, so I could lie right next to him with my hand through the bars on his tummy. Sometimes this wasn't enough though and we would cosleep - there are safe ways to do it, and sometimes it was the only way any of us got any sleep.

EmzDisco Thu 22-Sep-16 11:15:32

What we did for a little while in the early days was that I slept on the sofa for a bit, with baby in carry cot on the floor next to me. So I could have the TV all night if needed. Had an arrangement with DP so he could sleep as much as poss and take her her say at 6am and I get more sleep then.

We did have a system so I could phone him in the middle of the night if needed and he would come down, make me tea and biscuits, give me a cuddle and a little chat. Take baby for 10 mins. Then go back to bed.

Wouldn't work for everyone but kept us both just about sane in the early weeks.

DD is now 1 and it seems a lifetime ago, so remember none of it lasts for ever.

EmzDisco Thu 22-Sep-16 11:19:13

Btw are you taking walks in the day? I was EMCS and was really anxious about walks afterwards, but wish I'd done a little more a little sooner. I just wanted to stay glued to the nice safe sofa but would have felt much better with a few more walks round the block, in hindsight. Just 5/10 mins with the pram.

ninecoronas Thu 22-Sep-16 11:19:59

I second TheGirlWithTheGlassFeet on the chicco crib, bought in desperation at 4am from the Argos website! Even if your baby is thrashing and rooting for hours you have a fighting chance of settling her without being out of bed all night, and can sleep beside her safely. FTM here too and my girl is 3 weeks... sounds exactly like yours! The first few weeks I was crying more than the baby at night blush but it's starting to get a bit easier. Still have no idea why she won't settle, if I ever get to the bottom of it I'll let you know!

ElspethFlashman Thu 22-Sep-16 11:22:50

In your shoes I would buy a sleepyhead or a cocoonababy.

You place them between you and your DHs pillows.

So you can't physically suffocate them, firstly cos they're too high up - literally above shoulder height, and secondly cos they're in this sturdy nest thing. (The cocoonababy is quite high up as well)

It doesn't have to be for long, but it's sadly normal at this age for them to have meltdowns upon transfer to Moses basket and there's very little you can do to change it tbh.

Putting him in curled up on his side may be something to try today at least. You use a rolled up muslin at his back and then 5 mins later once their sleep is deeper you slowly slide it out so they start to loll back on their backs in approved sleeping position.

QforCucumber Thu 22-Sep-16 11:23:03

Rather than co sleep it's worth just laying down in bed, top off and feeding, letting her latch on and off for say 2/3 hours while you doze. It's what saved my sanity through the day in the early days.

ineedwine99 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:26:13

I'm finding white noise and a grosnug are helpful
Though mine has hit 6 weeks and now will not settle after her night feed sad

wayway13 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:26:58

I had to co-sleep or I'd have gone mad. DH slept in another room and I took all pillows, duvets etc off my bed and just put extra layers on myself (winter baby). You won't suffocate your baby as long as you aren't drinking etc. I didn't sleep well but I did sleep.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Thu 22-Sep-16 11:30:30

A top tip from my sister was "in the first 2-3
months you need to make a deal that everything you say to each other will be forgotten. You're exhausted husks of people, don't stress about snapping at each other, just concentrate on the baby. You'll get it all back eventually"

I agree with walks in the day, even just sitting in the park with some fresh air makes a huge difference in wearing them out.
White noise all the way, for all sleeps not just night time.

katemess12 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:35:00

I feel bad as my DD is just coming up on 2 months and is the human embodiment of a sloth, but my best friend's baby was a very difficult sleeper from the get go. She ended up buying a little swing, which the baby loved, but she made sure she didn't rely on it too much as she didn't the baby to get too dependent on it. If not that, she would walk her around in the pram for a bit, or take her out in the car.

Once the 3 month stage passed, her sleeping improved dramatically seemingly out of nowhere.

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