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To ask for help re: baby's sleeping

(38 Posts)
Absofrigginlootly Wed 31-Dec-14 13:29:33

Sorry for starting yet another thread on this topic (I'm boring myself now!) but I wanted help on a specific question not really covered on my other threads.....

Background, DD is 9 weeks old, EBF. Fights sleep and gets overtired. Often (couple of times a week) has boughts of ?colicky screaming which go on for hours, hard to settle her during these periods. Have been referred to paeds to rule out silent reflux, dairy intolerance etc....awaiting appointment.

Weeks 1-4 she would do 2-3 hourly stints in her cot at night, daytime sleeps usually on someone, but occasionally in her basket. Got overtired if naps were interrupted by appointments, hard to get her back to sleep as she fights it.
Weeks 5-6 she had a terrible cold/sore throat, plus 2nd TT snip and was very unhappy and unsettled. Sleep went completely out the window, stopped going in her cot and as she was poorly I let her sleep on me for comfort.
Weeks 7-8 she seemed to suddenly become extra alert/aware of her surroundings and her sleeping became SO light that the only way to get her to stay asleep was on me or DH. Her ?colicky crying episodes became more regular and intense since 6 weeks too.

Since week 8 I have become militant about getting her to have regular day naps.... Seems to be helping as she goes to sleep more regularly now and with less resistance. All these naps are on me.

Nighttime sleeps still on me or DH. Tried putting her in her cot a few times but she wakes up immediately! Takes up to an hour to settle her back to sleep fully afterwards (on her 'settled' days...we havent tried it on her colicky days as after 5 hours of screaming/getting her to sleep we don't DARE try to put her down to have it all start again).

Still awake?! Thanks for getting this far...

Right, so my question is this. Where do we go from here????! How do we get her going back in her cot regularly at night and eventually be put down for naps in the day? (She won't co sleep, she wants to be on someone).

Should we keep doing as we're doing until she's a bit older and sleeping more deeply again and then try putting her down? Or Should we just keep putting her down regardless, even if she wakes up and every night is full or hours and hours of screaming? (Isn't that 'sleep training' and isn't she too young for that?)

I feel like I've suddenly looked up and realised I've walked way off the beaten track, with no real recollection of how i got here and no idea how to get back on the right road again!

Thank you smile

Kittymum03 Wed 31-Dec-14 13:52:02

Just wanted to say hi as I saw no one had answered smile I'm sorry your struggling with this.im one of those annoying mums whose little one only ever woke once at night if at all..when he's been ill though,he wants to sleep on us,but sometimes will settle on a blanket on the floor,if we soothe him there till he falls asleep.could be worth a try.do you swaddle her? then your still with her but she isn't on you..or I would rock him in his bouncy chair it took a while but would often send him to sleep.im not sure about night times,I know I've heard before something about leave them at for 5 minutes the first time they cry,then 10,etc,then eventually they know they have to self settle,but I don't know if that works.hope I've been some help.

mikado1 Wed 31-Dec-14 14:09:03

She wants to be on someone probably to be upright if her tummy is at her..would you prop up her cot or try some baby massage to help? Feel for you, we had v similar. Sacro cranial therapist sorted him in one session which tied in with lots of massage from me and. ..hard to hear..him turning four months. . Are you managing to sleep? ? Do whatever it takes for now for your and baby's sleep. . Inc pram, car etc. I was way too tough on it all being perfect and it didn't help! ! Best of luck!

Bulbasaur Wed 31-Dec-14 14:17:11

She's 9 weeks, which is too young to sleep train. You can try, but right now, I'd work on figuring out what works. DD has always hated her cot, refuses to sleep in it longer than a couple hours. I think it's the open space that freaks her out? Who know.

We used a swing to automatically rock her back and forth. Now that she's older and sleeping on routine clockwork it'll be easier to cot break her.

As your baby gets older, they'll learn to self settle, but right now she doesn't have those skills. So you just have to make do and do whatever unconventional thing you have to do for her to sleep.

Absofrigginlootly Wed 31-Dec-14 17:25:20

I guess I'm still somewhat struggling to come to terms with my expectations....I guess I naively thought I would have a baby and they would sleep in their crib (as per DM and MIL keep saying!).

I guess it just feels wrong to me to let her sleep on us in shifts thru the night...partly because it feels unsustainable (DH back to work next week and he won't be able to help so much, he needs his sleep for work) and partly because I'm worried she'll get so used to it she'll never go back in her crib.....and she was sleeping in it....so I wanted to find a way back to that....

ScottishDiblet Wed 31-Dec-14 17:29:57

Congratulations on your litte one. May I recommend a book called the sensational baby sleep plan by Alison Scott-wright? It's all about routine and naps and teaching your baby to learn to self-settle (with your help). There's also a lot of help about reflux. It really worked for us but it isn't for everyone. We went from feeding to sleep every night/nap to self-settling and sleeping through. Good luck and HNY. smile

Kaidensmum Wed 31-Dec-14 17:42:56

Hi, I could have written this post a few weeks ago have been going through exactly the same thing! Thankfully my boy is 14 weeks now and we are through the worst!

The best advice I can give you is invest in a sleepy head! It's a sleep pod that hugs them and makes them feel secure, we now have it in a bedside crib next to us.

Up until we bought the sleepy head at about 6 weeks old my boy was exactly the same, would only sleep on us and woke up the minute he went into his crib. For the first week after buying the sleepy head we let him sleep in it I between us in bed (between pillows, no duvet etc) then moved him and sleepy head into his crib. Slept 2-3 hours from first night in sleepy head and now is doing up to 6 hours ��

So that's the night sleeps sorted for us, day sleeps are still more difficult, he will not sleep in his crib during day. He is also a nightmare to settle if he gets over tired so I am totally militant about naps do not let him stay awake more than 1.5 hours - much to families annoyance sometimes but I don't care! Most naps are in my arms or sling for fear of putting him down and starting the vicious over tired cycle - this is something I'm going to have to work on in new year.

To be honest he has naturally become much easier to settle over the last couple of weeks and have been able to get him to sleep without rocking which was almost unheard of before so hopefully it will become easier for you smile

Hope this helps

woowoo22 Wed 31-Dec-14 17:52:28

Try putting her in the pram for daytime naps, walking near where you live so once she's snoozing you can nip home and sleep/eat/stare into space.

To get her to sleep at night try a hairdryer.

Only things that worked with DS.

pommedeterre Wed 31-Dec-14 19:09:36

Dd2 never ever slept in her normal cot. Up every 40 mins (She had silent reflux but was on meds).

Went on holiday when she was 6 months and used a travel cot. She only woke twice a night for the whole holiday! We bought one when we came home and she slept in that until she moved into a bed.

So, what I am trying to say, is, have you tried other sleep things? Borrow some to try them out and see how she gets on?

AntiHop Wed 31-Dec-14 19:16:40

My dd is 4 months. It was really really difficult to put her in her moses basket without waking her up. She'd fall asleep on me but wake up as soon as I pit get down. We swapped to a cot and it suddenly hot a lot better. She seems to like the extra space.

NotSayingImBatman Wed 31-Dec-14 19:21:22

I recommended this on your last thread so not sure if you've tried it already but have you given a baby swing a try? Keeps reflux babies upright and the motion is soothing.

AllBoxedUp Wed 31-Dec-14 19:37:26

DD would only sleep on her side next to me when she was this tiny ( and she is tiny though 9 weeks can feel like a long time). It's not recommended though so do your own research and make your own decision before trying it. I felt confident she couldn't roll and that I'd wake if she moved. There's no way she would have slept on her back.

Have you tried white noise? There are some good apps now which worked really well for us.

Hope it all goes well. Don't beat yourself up to much about it all. From my sample size of 2 I think it's really down to the baby. DS was s terrible sleeper - woke every hour and screamed all evening. DD is much better and always feeds to sleep and only ever naps on me or in the car.

Last thing, when do you try to put her in the cot? You might find if you let her sleep on you all evening you might get her down later. Good luck.

WilsonWilsonWoman Wed 31-Dec-14 19:48:27

How was the birth?

ViviPru Wed 31-Dec-14 19:57:49

I'm reading Sweet Sleep by La Leche League. It might help?

ifgrandmahadawilly Wed 31-Dec-14 19:57:59

Have you tried using a grobag? It might help because there isn't such a sudden change of temperature when they go from being cuddled next to you to being put down on their own.

It's also worth knowing that it takes 20 minutes for a baby to enter deep sleep, so I wouldn't try putting them down until I knew they were good and sleepy.

I'm also seconding the suggestion made earlier in the thread about trying different cribs / moses baskets / cots. We had one cot that my daughter would never ever sleep in!

peggyundercrackers Wed 31-Dec-14 20:14:19

Make sure their bed is warm,when the baby is on you they can feel warmth but if they go into a cold cot or bed its too different for them. We also used a Stokke sleeping bag in the pram and she would fall asleep in that so we started to use it in the house too and our dd always went to sleep in that, she still uses a bag but not the thicker one, just a light one.

For some reason our dd always used to pull her cover up over her face and she would sleep, it was only a very light sheet and she could breathe through it very easily, she still does it to this day, when you go in to get her in the morning you can't see her because she's hidden under all her covers.

Devilforasideboard Wed 31-Dec-14 20:42:23

Sleepyhead Deluxe or a Cocoonababy would be worth looking at, probably better with the cocoonababy if she has reflux as it seems to keep them elevated a bit more. We had a Sleepyhead and it was brilliant.

gamerwidow Wed 31-Dec-14 20:44:05

OP my dd was a terrible sleeper and used to keep a cheap buggy upstairs next to the cot to rock her to sleep in because it was the only way to get her to sleep . We never found anything else that worked the only comfort is that she grew out of it eventually . I think you should do whatever you find works and don't worry about longer term sleeping until your baby is older. Good luck , it gets better.

TracyBarlow Wed 31-Dec-14 20:49:51

Neither of my refluxy babies have spent a single hour in a cot. They just wouldn't. It's really not that unusual.

Ended up on my side, with them on their side in the crook of my arm feeding on demand. Always away from pillows and duvet and on the edge of the bed, rather than in between me and DH. Much, much safer than unplanned co-sleeping and taking it in shifts to try and stay awake.

We ended up getting quite a lot of sleep once we were used to it. It's not forever. They're little for such a short amount of time. If they won't go in a crib, then IME whatever you do won't change it, it will just make you frustrated and even more stressed and tired.

I had two hideous, hideous sleepers OP so I do know what it's like. The oldest at 4 now sleeps 13 hours in his own bed and the youngest at 2 wakes once for reassurance.

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 31-Dec-14 21:24:24

Hi again OP smile Did you Google 'fourth trimester' like I suggested on one of your previous threads?

Both of mine are/were non-sleeping Velcro babies who just want to sleep on or with me. It's a horrible shock to discover that babies don't just automatically have an association between 'cot' and 'sleep' isn't it? grin

I know you didn't want to consider co-sleeping, which I also didn't want to do with my first, and you said The Lullaby Trust advise against it. Their main advice is in a cot/Moses basket, but they also explicitly state, 'We do not tell parents never to bedshare.' They also have this leaflet which gives some advice on safe bed sharing. You'll also find plenty of threads on MN on different strategies people use to co-sleep safely. I did it from the start with my second, after having co-sleep for the better part of a year after several months of trying to battle DS1 into a cot, and I honestly think it made him happier to go into his own space because he got that earlier attachment from me.

BUT getting him to make friends with his cot took a while, and I started with full co-sleeping, then co-sleeping for the latter part of the night when he really didn't want to go in the cot again, and eventually he was happy to go back into his cot after every feed. He's still awake every one or two hours, but he's at least back in his cot and I can sleep in between with pillows and a duvet.

I used a hodge-podge of strategies from The No Cry Sleep Solution, Happiest Baby On the Block and pick-up, put down to get him in his cot and falling asleep there. Swaddling was the main thing. Yours may be getting a little old to introduce it now, so loose wrapping in a blanket that's she's in while you feed her may suffice. A gro-bag may be OK as suggested by a PP but ideally it should cover her arms so she gets a womb-like feeling. Maybe even try loose swaddling then stick her straight on the boob to calm down her initial hatred of it. The advantage of it is it makes her feel like she's still being held, even when she isn't. You Tube has lots of videos on different swaddling methods. DS2 is still swaddled all night long and for any cot naps at 21 weeks. Other naps are either on me or in the sling.

The second thing which was, and still is essential, is white noise. I've got a white noise app which runs all night and for all naps.

When you put her down initially, put her down in side-lying - either supporting her with your hand, or rolling something up behind her back like a blanket or a muslin. If she stays asleep, supervise her for 15-20 minutes then very gently ease her onto her back. It took weeks of putting DS2 down like this, then picking up at the slightest squeak, then putting down again, then up, down, up...etc and now he's fine just going straight in on his back.

I know you've not had success with a dummy and, again, she may be getting a little old to successfully introduce one now.

It does sound like she may have something like a silent reflux complicating things. Additionally, I would strongly advise trying an elimination diet. The main culprit is dairy, especially with refluxy babies, but soy is just as common, and frequently they have both. If you can stand it, completely eliminate dairy and soy from your diet for four weeks, then re-introduce one at a time. Soy is actually the hardest to eliminate - they sneak it into everything (all bread, for example - check labels). WRT dairy, Green and Black's dark chocolate with mint is dairy-free, hemp milk is best in coffee and Oreos are vegan grin (Can you tell I found an elimination diet while breastfeeding and not sleeping utter hell?)

Sorry to hear you're still struggling, but honestly that great mantra is so true: This Too Shall Pass. Possibly not for many months (I still have to turf my two year old out of my bed...) but one day it really will feel like eons ago, even though it feels never-ending now. flowers

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 31-Dec-14 21:36:44

Oh, and, no don't leave her to scream. Not now and preferably not ever. Been there, done that, doesn't work, can make things worse and just makes everyone miserable sad

Forgot to say (yes, even after that epistle hmm) - daytime naps. Feck the cot/basket/pram. Just park in front of Netflix and let her sleep on you. DS1 learned to nap in other ways once he had to go to nursery when I went back to work, but even now he only ever naps on me at home, with his head in DS2's lap who naps on me at the same time. I love the sit down and the cuddles, and wish I'd just accepted nap laps earlier in DS1's life. It would have made for a less stressed mat leave.

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 31-Dec-14 21:40:26

OH! And (sorry blush) when you put her into the cot/basket, try actually leaning down and holding her in it for several minutes. It's back-breaking, but will get her used to the surroundings of the cot while still being held by you.

PrimroseEverdeen Wed 31-Dec-14 22:14:27

My 6 month old never liked his crib. He still sleeps in a sleepyhead. I would highly recommend one.

Absofrigginlootly Thu 01-Jan-15 13:05:51

Thanks for replies, will try to answer all Qs....

Yes googled 4th trimester. It definitely makes sense. I'm happy to have her attached to me during the day if that's what she needs and to be honest I've come round to the idea of co sleeping just to get some bloody sleep....BUT

Getting her to nap even on me/in the sling during the day is a battle...she fights sleep and wakes up frequently during her REM sleep phase, she only really settles properly for 45 mins at a time during her deep sleep..she needs to be constantly rocked, soothed, shushed etc thru her light sleep....

Sorry, be right back....

Absofrigginlootly Thu 01-Jan-15 15:17:19

....it's exhausting having to battle to keep her asleep constantly, knowing that if I don't it will all end in hours of screaming sad

Then at nighttime she used to sleep, wake for a feed, fall asleep at the boob, I would hold her for 30 mins or so until she was in deep sleep and then put her in her bed nest (swaddled, been doing that since birth) and she would sleep for 2-3 hours. Even got 4 hours out of her once (or did I dream that?!).

But now she sleeps so lightly she will only sleep on someone for about 3 hour stretches, nearly wakes up a few times throughout that time though and has to be gently rocked to keep her under. Then she is sleepy after a feed but doesn't fall straight to sleep, I have about 20-30 minutes or so of her thrashing around on my shoulder, looking around, falling asleep, and repeat, until she is good and under. Then I usually give her to DH.

Whenever I've tried co sleeping she sleeps no better than in her bed nest...i.e. She is fine in deep sleep but then starts thrashing around and wakes herself up, even if swaddled. I don't know a way of co sleeping safely if baby is actually ON you instead of next to you....any tips?

Have heard about the cocoona baby things.....but guess I'm reluctant to spend £100 on something that she might hate as much as everything else.

Have started a dairy and soy free diet to see if it helps at all. At the moment though, I think things aren't great on the sleep front because DD seems to have an upset stomach. Have been referred to paeds...awaiting appointment. Will be good to rule out anything physical contributing to all of this.

Tried a grow bag, but she poos so much during the night it didn't work very well....I had to keep taking her out of it to change nappy and also, she pood all over the gro bag...

White noise seems to do jack. Have tried the gro-hush, apps on iPod etc, kitchen extractor fan, washing machine etc.

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