How to get 4 week old back to sleep

(10 Posts)
Aliveinwanderland Sun 27-Nov-16 03:20:27

My 4 week old currently is fed around 8pm, then wakes for another feed at around 11:30pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. At 8pm and 11:30pm he feeds to sleep and goes down in the crib no problem. Sometimes he is semi awake and I can put him down and he will drift off in the crib. However at the other feeds it can take an hour of rocking to get him to sleep and then as soon as he is put down he wakes and cries. Sometimes by the time he is asleep it's only 30 minutes before he wakes for the next feed.

I often give in and put him in bed with me which means I can skip the rocking to sleep as he will usually settle well while awake.

Any advice on how to get him back to sleep easier after night feeds? I'm exhausted and not coping with 2 hourly feeds when they take this long. I really don't want to cosleep as an option. Our bed isn't big enough, I love the duvet and I just don't feel comfortable doing it.

FATEdestiny Sun 27-Nov-16 08:38:43

Try a swaddle and dummy.

Aliveinwanderland Sun 27-Nov-16 09:31:40

I've tried swaddling and it doesn't make much difference. The dummy keeps him quiet for 5 minutes then he spits it out!

He just wants to be awake all the time and even in the day only sleeps for 20 minutes at a time.

RedLemonade Sun 27-Nov-16 09:45:49

My DD (now 16 weeks) was the exact same.

Tbh I ended up "giving in" and cosleeping from about the 3am wake on and we all did get some sleep, though I admit it wasn't the best quality sleep for me as like you I'm not totally comfortable with co-sleeping. But I just had to do whatever got me most slept at the time. I was so exhausted I just plumped for the path of no resistance!

Naps were all in the sling as, again like your DS (and most babies that small) she had a billion micro-naps through the day.

Since then I've been working on cot naps for the first morning nap (rocking and shushing her to sleep) and we're getting there (she'll go 30-90 mins) and sling for the rest of the naps (5-6 per day of 20-60 mins generally). If I'm v tired I'll co-sleep for the morning nap.

Nights are improving slowly. She'll go in cot a little more easily and stay in there more consistently with less effort on my part. She's also waking a little less often so I'm getting longer chunks of sleep some nights.

It's hell but there's light at the end of the tunnel and as this is DC2 for me I have learned to go with the easiest option for the "Intensive Care" weeks and then begin gradually encouraging better sleep habits as I emerge from the sleep-deprived fog.

I am still fairly knackered but it's getting better!

brewbrewcakeflowerschocolate for us both!

RedLemonade Sun 27-Nov-16 09:50:44

I meant to add that, because she's now having some less intense nights (I.e. Going for longer than 2 hrs between wakes to feed), I feel more rested and more patient for tackling sleeping in the cot.

So I'll be able to think "no I'll work on getting her back in the cot for this wake" and not feel so utterly defeated and burnt out.

On the bad nights though I have a policy of just going ahead and co-sleeping from x o'clock if she's just up too much.

Aliveinwanderland Sun 27-Nov-16 09:51:16

Thank you!

He will usually sleep for 2 hours in the afternoon when we get back from our classes but some of that is in the car on the way home so I get an hour to sleep when home if I'm lucky.

Yesterday he was awake from 8:30am to 5:30pm with just 2 20 minute naps. I hoped he would sleep at night with having so little in day but it didn't work and he has been awake since 3am!

FATEdestiny Sun 27-Nov-16 10:22:14

Sleep and feeds are significantly linked at this age. A full tummy usually means a sleepy baby.

Have you tried calorie loading through the daytime? Regular full feeds (formula or breast) every 90m-2h through the daytime should mean fewer calories are needed at night.

Aliveinwanderland Sun 27-Nov-16 10:31:14

He already feeds every 90 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes cluster feeding from 5-8pm. He has put lots of weight on so is getting enough food, he just likes being awake!

RedLemonade Sun 27-Nov-16 12:27:59

Does he doze during the feeds at all? I used to think DD1 barely napped at all till I realised she slept during every BF! 5-10 mins proper feeding, 20 mins eyes closed and occasional butterfly sucking.

I think the main thing is that, counter-intuitively, sleep begets sleep. So do absolutely anything that works to get him to sleep as much as possible in the day and you'll find the nights begin to improve. Sadly, tired babies tend not to drop off easily as we would, rather they get rapidly overtired and fight fight fight the sleepconfused

Aliveinwanderland Sun 27-Nov-16 12:35:09

He sometimes falls asleep feeding but not often these days. A few weeks back he always did but now he closes his eyes for a few seconds and then wakes up!

I tried him in the carrier for the first time earlier while I cleaned the kitchen and he did nod off, but again he woke 10 minutes later.

I'm hoping it's just a phases as last 3 days he has been cranky and hard work whereas before he was very chilled out and never cried.

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