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6 weeks old - Impossible nighttime behaviour please help

(36 Posts)
camerafairy Tue 06-Sep-11 04:29:37

please can anyone help? My 6 week old bottle fed baby is displaying the following behaviour every night and I am beside myself as cannot sleep during the day and he rarely sleeps longer than an hour at night and when he does it is fitful light sleep. This is what he does:

Rigid hard body
Eating fists but impossible to feed
Hungry but spits bottle out pushes away with hands 
Highly stressed and whimpering
Hard stomach
Flailing arms and legs
Sucks furiously then chokes and coughs on bottle
Will only enter into light sleep with dummy, cries when dummy falls out

On aptimil first milk, comfort, and closer to nature anti colic bottle, takes 6oz every 3 hours during the day, last weight was 10.3lb

Starts approximately 10pm ends between 4-6am, often longer
generally display none of this behaviour during the day and seems contended and naps well.

History: constipated since 2 weeks
On lactulose and infacol

Any ideas or advice on helping him, finding out the cause and coping I'd be so grateful

MrsDistinctlyMintyMonetarism Tue 06-Sep-11 05:11:47

<strokes arm gently>

Welcome to motherhood. it's massively hard work for months, but will eventually get easier, honest.

At this age they really don't know the difference between night and day. Learn to sleep at the same time as your baby during the day, truly it makes an enormous difference.

camerafairy Tue 06-Sep-11 05:24:46

Haha, thanks! Oh I wish I could but I'm self employed, if I get behind and upset my customers I'm in serious trouble! My mum and partner help so I am getting sleep but I'm pretty worried about him as he is so unhappy at night

strawberrie Tue 06-Sep-11 05:27:01

Sounds like it could be griping/wind pains, does he struggle to get wind up? You could try gripe water or infacol. Have you had 6 week check with your gp?

Lack of sleep is grim but this will pass. Do you have support, anyone who could take baby for a walk during tbd day to let you rest for an hour?

strawberrie Tue 06-Sep-11 05:28:03

Sorry I missed the bit about infacol, semi-asleep myself.

seeker Tue 06-Sep-11 06:04:12

I'm a bit bothered about the lactulose- how often does he have it?

TheRealMBJ Tue 06-Sep-11 06:05:16

Sounds like colic. Especially as happy and contented during the day. Sorry sad. It's hell BUT it does pass

Have you tried colief? It's expensive (about £10/bottle) but is available on the NHS if it works. Baby massage is excellent too. There is a special tummy massage for colic that you should do 3 times a day (more if you can) helps get things miving in the bowels and eases discomfort. Warm baths covering tummy also brilliant.

Have you noticed any change in behaviour/contentment with some skin-to-skin contact? Sometimes the hormones released by skin to skin can help calm baby (oxytocin) and provude natural pain relief (endorphins).

Dr Brown's bottles are also supposed to be excellent.

SpanglyGiraffe Tue 06-Sep-11 08:19:31

Definitely agree with the Colief & Dr. Brown's suggestions! They worked miracles on my DS.

It really is awful, but it really DOES get better smile

kellieb7 Tue 06-Sep-11 09:41:05

Bless you, it sounds tough and there is nothing worse that a LO upset and appearing to be in pain. When my DD was about this age she struggled with terrible colic and wind and I tried everything on the market but in my honest opinion the only thing that calmed her was being in the sling with just a nappy on and me having no top on (obviously I only done this at home grin), she was breastfeed so she just slept, snuggled and nursed as and when she wanted/needed. I did this every evening for about 4 weeks and also did tummy massage every time I changed her nappy. I found that as soon as she saw the sling and I stripped her off she immediately seemed to calm down as if she knew this would help her. Keep trying different things as you may find something that works for your LO - Good luck.

MrsMooky Tue 06-Sep-11 10:21:07

I've got a baby who displayed the same sort of behaviour, though EBF. I've got her on Infacol (Colief as well but it's a bit of a faff when breastfeeding, so she only gets it on the 'big' feeds) and I've cut out dairy, but on the advice of my midwife I took her to a cranial osteopath and I do think it's that that has made a significant difference to her.

The theory behind it is basically that babies have soft skulls and bones which get compressed during childbirth and can sometimes get a bit too compressed, leading to tensions elsewhere in the body. I had a very very long labour and a forceps delivery so my daughter seemed like a prime candidate; we've only had a half hour session so far but the difference was noticeable immediately. She slept more soundly and for longer than ever before, and her colic seems to have really abated, touch wood.

Who knows, maybe its the Colief that's doing the trick, I'm not sure if the osteopathy has any scientifically proven benefits, but it's seemed to work for us and I just found it a huge comfort to feel like I was doing everything I could to help, if you know what I mean? Good luck!

camerafairy Tue 06-Sep-11 11:36:31

Ahh thanks for your support just reassuring to know it's 'normal' whatever normal is for babies!! Very interesting what you said MrsMooky as my baby boy was also a forceps delivery but a very quick high pressure one as his heart rate kept dropping. labour was four hours in total so I may speak to my HV about that - thank you. We have tried infacol and gripe water but it makes no difference so I have ordered some colief (£19 for next day delivery &#58381; but if it helps him I don't care how much it costs!!) so I will give that a go. I live in Somerset and a product like colief isn't available in any shops or pharmacies near me even the nearest mothercare has limited stocks of anything! My boy finally dropped off on my chest at about 6am he had hardly eaten at all just about 3oz all night which is a worry, but he woke at 9.30am smiling and took a whole 6oz with no struggling at all, so it's definitely a nighttime/early hours thing....

Strawberrie - Haven't had 6 week check yet, couldn't fit me in until next week (he is 6 weeks today he will be 7 weeks by appointment).

Seeker - my GP prescribed the lactulose on advice from midwife and HV, when he came off it he was constipated again within 24 hours so I'm scared to take him off it again as adding water didn't help, any suggestions??

Kellieb7/MBJ Haven't tried skin to skin since about week 2 and he wasn't bothered but worth another go perhaps in a sling? (I got a babasling but couldn't figure it out!)

TheRealMBJ - are dr browns bottles different/better than closer to nature anti colic? They look very similar?

milkyjo Tue 06-Sep-11 12:46:34

Could just be a coincidence but my EBF DS only pooed once a week when I was giving him infacol and seemed to be more sick than usual, he did have reflux though. Dr Browns bottle are the best on the market in my opinion for reducing wind. Try the colief and see how you get on, then if it works go to the GP and ask for a prescription. Hang in there!

kellieb7 Tue 06-Sep-11 14:13:24

camerafairy, I found a stretchy material sling much better and LO always seemed comfy and so was I grin

mistlethrush Tue 06-Sep-11 14:22:57

Ds had colic at this age - bad nights would start at 7pm and last until 4 or 5 am - screaming constantly with the odd 5 mins off if we were lucky. Colief helped. Cranial osteopathy got rid of it.

Octaviapink Tue 06-Sep-11 15:50:29

Umm, I think if you're trying to sustain a working-from-home business with a six week old baby you might be being a bit optimistic/unrealistic. Babies take up about 22 hours of a 24 hour day and even with help from your partner and mother what your baby needs is you. Your customers are just going to have to accept that you're on maternity leave.

TheRealMBJ Tue 06-Sep-11 16:41:13

Camera tbh, I have no idea. DS was ebf and refused all bottles, but from what I've read about colic, they tend to be recommended by lots of mums. I had a babasling too but DS didn't like the position in it, he much preferred being up right in his agains my chest (or DH's) in a moby wrap. I think it helps to be upright to get the wind out.

Never tried cranial osteopathy but lots of people recommend it.

bettieblue Tue 06-Sep-11 18:56:35


I used Dr Brown bottles (they have a tube that helps reduce the amount of air that baby swallows), I was using another brand anti colic bottles but you could still see loads of bubbles in the teat and you don't get that with Dr Brown bottles.

I went to a cranial osteopath, its about £40 per session, I needed 3 but it was worth every penny- I had a pretty straight forward delivery and it really helped. I think that if you have forceps delivery they will be able to ease his discomfort.

Earwiggy Tue 06-Sep-11 19:37:24

It could also be reflux, alot of the same symptoms as colic and with silent reflux there isn't even much spit up.

Definately speak to your gp at the 6 week check, they might not refer you straight away but you can go back if things don't improve.

I used dr brown bottles too which helped and make sure you are mixing the formula gently as shaking it incorporates more air.

Colic does generally clear up on it's own before 13 weeks and you will find everyone has a cure, which may just be the last thing they tried before the colic cleared up on it's own.

TheArmadillo Tue 06-Sep-11 19:45:30

If he's formula fed and constipated try changing formula. SMA in particular has a reputation for making babies constipated. But different babies get on better with different ones.

camerafairy Tue 06-Sep-11 19:56:53

Thanks so much you've all been very helpful and sweet, I've ordered colief and contacted an osteopath so fingers crossed.

Octaviapink - thanks for your concern, I appreciate this but I'm afraid it's not an option, I co-run a national and very busy company with my partner and we get bookings 2 years in advance, we have an unrivalled reputation which has taken years to build, it only takes one complaint to ruin it. Our baby was unplanned - I was taking contraception, abortion wasn't an option for me so I'm muddling through the very best I can, he is very loved by me, my partner and my mum but I'm afraid I do have to devote a lot of time to my business as it's my livelihood and ultimately I need to provide for my baby, and not all customers are understanding unfortunately.

Octaviapink Tue 06-Sep-11 19:59:52

camerafairy in that case I think your best bet is actually to get a night nanny. If you're bottle feeding anyway then having to wake up for breastfeeds isn't a problem.

AlpinePony Tue 06-Sep-11 20:03:55

Maybe a silly question, but are you adding powder to the water? Water filled to the meniscus?

Also, well done for working, I remember your fears prior. I don't agree a baby takes 22 hours a day, perhaps for the terribly disorganized! ;)

Iggly Tue 06-Sep-11 20:05:57

Please speak to your doctor about cows milk intolerance - the night symptoms sound a bit more than normal newborn behaviour along with the constipation. You can get hydrolysed formula on prescription.

greasychip Tue 06-Sep-11 20:11:59

Can I just say that it sounds like you are doing a fabulous job of juggling everything and you seem to be willing to try anything to help your little baby so don't feel guilty! This is real life and it's your reality so you are getting by the best you can.
The person who appears to be suffering, predictably, is you!
I have no advice apart from lots of cuddles, acceptance of this as a phase, prioritise rest when you can, and I hope the osteopathy/ bottles/ medicines provide some help.
Best of luck

birdsofshoreandsea Tue 06-Sep-11 20:17:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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