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Sleep pattern in 3 week old baby

(25 Posts)
TeaDr1nker Wed 19-Dec-07 20:35:34

LO is just over three weeks old, during the day she has pretty much got herself into a routine, at around 6pm she has a bath and a feed, then goes down - i am breastfeeding. I have noticed over the past week that she really doesn't sleep much between 7/8pm and 10 and that she cries an awful lot. I have looked at the usual, she is not dirty, hungry etc etc.

I just seem to have an unsettled baby in the evenings. Is this normal? Any solutions. Please don't say 'welcome to the world of motherhood' as it is really starting to get me down. I just can't seem to comfort her and i don't know what to do. I am trying to keep things in perspective, yes she is only three weeks old and hopefully she will outgrow this.

But some tips/advice/words of comfort would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.

SenoraParsnip Wed 19-Dec-07 20:42:34

it could be a colic type thing - does she seem in pain, and does she raise her legs when she cries?

also what does she do when you try to feed her? are you sure she's not hungry? some babies "cluster feed" in the evenings and feed for ages, even when they've just had a feed.

karen999 Wed 19-Dec-07 20:43:38

Hi, what are her feeds/sleeps like during the day? My dd1 was like this also but I realise now that she was over tired and therefore harder to settle. My dd2 has been in quite a strict routine from 2 weeks (now ten months) and this seems to have eradicated the evening bawling match that I had with dd1!

edam Wed 19-Dec-07 20:44:23

I don't want to say 'welcome' but it is really common for babies to be unsettled in the evenings and/or to cluster feed. Have you tried offering another feed?

SenoraParsnip Wed 19-Dec-07 20:45:54

why don't you want to say welcome, edam?

welcome, btw, teadrinker.

MegBusset Wed 19-Dec-07 20:50:28

Sounds like it could be colic, we had the evening shit fits for a few weeks around this time, it was horrid but goes by 6 weeks in most cases. Have you tried giving Infacol? Also evening cluster feeding is v common, so if she demands the boob, even if you think "She can't possibly still be hungry", actually she might still need to suckle to get your supply up.

Have you got a sling? She might settle better in there during the evening...

pendulum Wed 19-Dec-07 20:52:14

normal- both my DDs did this until they were around 10 weeks. DD2 is 12 weeks and has only being going down to sleep at 7 for around 10 days now, before this we would have to pace around the kitchen with her for hours. Even now we have to go up to resettle her a few times before we go up at 10ish.

As others have said, even if it's not classic colic, 7-10 is a really common time for babies to be overstimulated, overtired and very difficult to settle.I know it's exhausting and frustrating but they do seem to adjust their day/ night patterns over time, and you will get your evenings back!

MegBusset Wed 19-Dec-07 20:58:42

Yes, I don't think we started putting DS down before we went to bed until he was 8/9 weeks. Before that he would sleep on one of us all evening (when not crying, that is!).

Oh yes, we introduced a dummy around this age because of the colic, MW said it was OK as long as we hadn't had any problems establishing BF. Did help on some occasions when he wouldn't take the boob and was screaming his head off.

edam Thu 20-Dec-07 08:53:16

The OP said 'please don't say welcome to the world of motherhood', that's why!

iwouldgoouttonight Thu 20-Dec-07 08:58:45

Bless you, I remember those early weeks of evenings spent carrying an inconsolable baby. Like others have said they do often seem more difficult to settle in the evenings. I found my DS was more hungry in the evenings so I ended up feeding him virtually constantly between 7pm-10pm, he'd be on the boob for about an hour, come off for half an hour and then go back onto it - I'm sure there couldn't have been much milk in there but at least it settled him and I could sit down and watch TV for a bit!

I know it seems like forever at this stage but it does get better each week and by about 10-12 weeks you will probably be able to put her to bed in the evenings and have your evenings back!

iwouldgoouttonight Thu 20-Dec-07 09:01:36

Or a dummy, just for those evenings to help her settle. I used one with DS very occasionally, just when nothing else would settle him. He only used it for a few weeks but it did help him settle and kept me sane! Sometimes they do just want to suck but aren't acutally hungry.

AchristmasRGPARGYcarol Thu 20-Dec-07 09:13:45

DD seems to want to just suck some evenings too. It is exhausting but i just take each day as it comes and reassure myself that it's not going to last forever and therefore i just enjoy each moment with DD. They grow so fast and it wont be long before i'm trying to remember how tiny 2 week old babies are.

If you just resign yourself to the fact that you wont really have an evening to speak of just yet, you wont get disappointed when you are occupied with the baby night after night. If you expect it, it'll make life easier, IYSWIM.

I also second the Infacol recommendation. It's great stuff and sometimes the taste of it surprises DD and settles her immediately. Worth a try perhaps?

Good luck, and dont be a stranger to the November post natal thread! wink

TeaDr1nker Sun 23-Dec-07 20:52:33

Thank you all for answering me. I have now done some reading and understand that this type of behaviour is very common. The things they don't tell you!!! I have heard of cluster feeding so may have to feed her a bit more.

LO just cries, doesn't draw her legs up in a collicky manner, and yes we use a dummy to settle her, which works.

I am just taking things day by day, even hour by hour sometimes.

LO is now 4 weeks old today

Any other tips/advice are very much appreciated even if i don't respond as promptly as i once could.


TeaDr1nker Sun 23-Dec-07 20:53:26

Oh and what does IYSWIM stand for?

POOKAingwenceslaslookedout Sun 23-Dec-07 20:54:12

If you see what I mean - IYSWIM
I know what you mean - IKWYM

fifflegumps Sun 23-Dec-07 22:50:14

Had the same with both my boys. It didn't last more than a few months but it seems to be very common in new babes. Get yourself comfy in bed with pillows and supplies ie choccies, fruit, jug of water and regular supplies of tea - also a good book if you can concentrate. Just relax - perhaps it is nature's way of bonding baby and you with skin contact and also making you rest - why not with babe. It means normal evenings are different for a while but not for ever. Good luck. wink

hbmummy Mon 24-Dec-07 19:22:39

DH here coz DW is dealing with DD and dictating - everyone has been telling us that this will pass. DW has yet to be convinced. Our DD is now 5 weeks and from 7pm until 1am we have a struggle with her while she bunnies about and bawls. We only seem to get 1 1/2 or 2 hours sleep at any one time from then on. Just started with Infacol tonight....praying for a miracle, or at least a couple of hours unbroken sleep.

Any advice on a getting a longer sleep would be welcome smile

TeaDr1nker Mon 24-Dec-07 20:24:07

Thank you all for advice, it's the unpredictability that i am having difficulty with and my evenings are spent on edge waiting for her to cry. It is this that i find hard to deal with.

Ubergeekian Tue 25-Dec-07 22:23:35

It's just One Of Those Things, I think. The Boy did similar things - generally he'd sleep from 6 or 7pm (with feeds) but occasionally we'd get a week or so of latish nights. We couldn't see any point in trying to modify it - like yours, he didn't seem unhappy - so we just went with it and in due course he changed back.

Mind you, the weeks did seem quite long ...

TeaDr1nker Sat 12-Jan-08 16:42:12

Ok, so LO is seven weeks old now, and still doing the evening crying. She will cry herself into a real storm that even when picked up she doesn't calm down immediately, although she does eventually. I still find evenings difficult even with a vey supportive partner. I don't think she has colic, doesn't seem to have the signs. I read somewhere that this is their way of letting off steam after a day of stimulation, even though she does nap during the day, which makes sense to me, but doesn't make things easier...

MidgetGem Sat 12-Jan-08 21:03:30

Hi TeaDr1nker, my DD is currently 15 weeks old and what you describe sounds like what we went through with out DD at 8-10 weeks old (she is now 15week), we knew it wasn't colic and now realise it was her becoming overtired, as if she had had enough of the day but couldn't switch off. She used to go into total meltdown and it was heartbreaking to watch, nothing could pacify her. We have solved this problem by making sure our DD has plenty of sleep during the day, she prefers catnaps at the moment (but had longer sleeps at your LO's age) she is still only able to be awake for about an hour and a quarter at a time during the day before she gets grizzly then she has a half hour catnap, we repeat this cycle all day. When she wakes up from her last cat nap of the day round about 5:30 on an evening we go into her room, put lullabies and nightlight on and bath her and sit in the darkened room for a little while before I give her her bedtime feed about 6:30pm, I find it takes her about and hour to calmy wind down and "switch the day off" it's as if my DD used to get to a point about 6pm and decide that she had had enough of the day! I have also found that if she goes to sleep calmly she doesn't wake so soon for her next feed - HTH good luck

Lulabellx1 Sun 13-Jan-08 07:40:46

Hi Teadrinker. Dont worry it is totally normal. My LO used to do exactly the same thing and everyone would tell me "it'll work itself out by 6 weeks" but it took him a little bit longer. Try and remember that every baby is different and your LO will work it out in his own time.

This phase wont last forever, so keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel my love, as Im sure it'll get easier sooner rather than later.

My LO is now 15 weeks and by around ten weeks he figured it out i think. Dont worry if you're up with him till 11pm if you have to be, if your LO is not ready to be settled down then what is the point trying to force it on her?

I found myself getting in a state at 7 weeks because i was sure in my mind that babies should be tucked up in bed by 8pm at least. When i resigned myself to the fact that this wouldnt happen with my LO, we started having easier nights and he started naturally dropping off earlier and earlier. He know goes off at about 9pm but will still wake up for a feed at 11pm before going back to sleep untill the morning.

The stress is probably coming from within, because of YOUR expectations. You need to try and stop worrying about what you 'should' be doing and acheiving with her and let her set her own pace.

Good Luck Teadrinker. Im thinking of you...

Lu xx

NellyTheElephant Sun 13-Jan-08 19:55:19

As so many of the others have said this is very normal (and utterly infuriating as the one thing you want after a long day is to have a couple of hours of down time while you have supper and catch up with your partner). Both my DDs were like this. Until about 5 or 6 weeks we would have them downstairs in their moses basket until after the 10.30 feed then put to bed properly - so the 7 to 10pm slot was a mixture of crying, screaming, rocking and occasional napping.

At about 5 or 6 weeks, with both girls, I decided to make a concerted effort to establish a bedtime. What I did was after bath and then final feed in her dark bedroom, I would swaddle tightly and holding DD to my shoulder would pat and rock until I heard her breathing start to slow. I'd then put her in the moses basket and put a dummy in and rock the moses basket fairly vigorously (just hold the stand and shake it back and forth). Usually this combination would get DD to drop off. The first couple of nights DD would wake about 10 - 15 mins later and scream again, I would go back in, put the dummy back and rock the moses basket again or pat her rhythmically until she calmed again, I wouldn't actually pick her up unless this didn't work after a couple of minutes. Usually I found she's drop off again pretty quickly - for another 10 or 15 mins. For the first couple of nights this went on until I fed again at about 10pm then she went off to sleep properly. Those few evenings were exhausting - much worse than having her downstairs in the moses basket with us, but it was worth it for me as after about 3 nights the on off waking stopped by about 8pm and then she wouldn't wake again until about 1am, then 6am. After about a week / 10 days of this routine she would usually drop straight off after her last feed.

This might not work for your little one, but might be worth a try?

TeaDr1nker Tue 22-Jan-08 20:48:26

Thanks for that Nelly. DD is now 8 weeks old, and whilst the evening crying is getting a little less, it is still going strong. I am now sterting to introduce a bedtime routine. Feeding at around 6pm then having a bath then a cuddle and bed. DD is waking around 8.30-9.00 in the morning and takes two naps during the day each one lasting between one and two hours.

I am kind of following the baby whisper method in as much as LO eats, has an activity then goes to sleep. Thats as far as i get, oh and a little me time, which in the day means i sleep when she sleeps as she is up twice in the night for feeds usually at 2 and then 5.

Thank you for your support, wise words, or reassurance that this is normal behaviour is much appreciated.

Lateasusual Tue 22-Jan-08 21:38:07

This has been really useful to read TD, MG and Nelly. My DS was always most active late at night until 10 -11pm, but then started becoming unbelievably grumpy at about 3 weeks old. Why it didn't occur to me that he was just becoming over tired is beyond me!! He now goes to bed between 7.30 and 8.30 and still only wakes up twice in the night. He has also been sleeping a lot during the day. Usually two long naps of around 2 1/2 hours each unless I have to go out then he can have a few broken naps in his car seat/pram. I have been really panicking that he is sleeping too much but it sounds very much like MG's experience.

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