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One hours sleep a night

(38 Posts)
JoJoLouise Wed 03-Sep-08 09:44:54

I have a 5 week old baby. I'm following the Gina Ford plan, which was a success with my 2 year old. We haven't had more than 1 - 2 hours sleep since he was born and really need help.

My baby feeds well at 5pm and again at 6.15 pm, followed by a 2 - 3 oz of expressed milk. He then won't settle from 7 pm until around 8 pm. We wake him at 10.30 for a 3 - 4 oz of expressed milk and he goes back to sleep around 11.30. He wakes up at 2/2.30 and I feed him for around 30 minutes...this is where he won't go back to sleep...just screams until 6 am.

He refuses a bottle of expressed milk at this time so we know he isn't hungry. His eyes are wide awake and he seems be to in some discomfort but winding him makes no difference. He will nod off about 6 until 6.45 and then is quite sleep all morning.

I really would appreciate any help as I'm not sure how much longer we can cope with this situation.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Wed 03-Sep-08 09:48:34

ds was like this from pretty much birth until 12/13 weeks (ish) tbh he had colic, which was awful. we used colief with him.

nothing against the GF methods but i'd go with what makes DS settle for the minute not what the books say.

WigWamBam Wed 03-Sep-08 09:50:35

Five week old babies know nothing of what night-time is for. Eventually he will settle, but it's early days yet.

Do you feed him between 6.15 and 10.30, when you wake him? That's a long time to go without a feed at that age, particularly as many (maybe even most) babies cluster-feed at this time - feed and feed and feed until you think they would explode. That may be why he is unsettled in the evening.

Throw away the Gina Ford for a bit, and just feed him when he is hungry. See if that helps for starters. You can always try again with a routine in a couple of months time if you really feel like it - by which time, though, he may be finding his own natural rhythm and his own routine.

This will pass; the first few weeks are hellish but it will get better.

JoJoLouise Wed 03-Sep-08 09:56:21

He is taking the expressed 2 - 3oz up to 7 pm, and then when he cries I will carry on offering him breast until he eventually goes off around 8 pm, so he's only going a couple of hours before 10.30. I have pretty much fallen out with Gina this time but it's left me not really sure what to do instead, he seems so tense and unsettled even after a feed. I'm convinced that I have enough milk now after fretting about this for weeks. I do agree that it will pass, just feel helpless that I can't get him settled and not in discomfort for long periods.

Will try colief, have just cleared up a very painful case of thrush so will need to check that it won't trigger off that again.


GivePeasAChance Wed 03-Sep-08 09:56:37

I totally regret using GF with DS1 when he was that age. It just stressed me out, much like what is happening with you. Agree - throw it away and do what he needs rather than what the book says he 'should' need.

He will settle. The first few weeks are such an upheaval but he will get the night/day thing within the next few weeks (usually by 8 weeks apparently). Good luck.

castlesintheair Wed 03-Sep-08 09:57:40

Agree with WWB, 5 week olds are too young for routines and day/night means nothing to them. I would just feed him when he needs it concentrating more on the daylight/evening hours if you can and he should settle soon. I used to sleep with mine on my chest 'til they were a few months old. I know GF wouldn't approve but babies like to be held and it meant we all had a good sleep. All of mine were great sleepers by 4 months. DD2 was sleeping through the night by 9 weeks and I never had her in any sort of routine at all.

cupsoftea Wed 03-Sep-08 10:01:20

Co - sleeping & bf on demand by the breast rather than expressed is the trick to a good nights sleep

drivinmecrazy Wed 03-Sep-08 10:09:27

This sounds so much like my 2 DDs. DD1 thrived on Gina Ford but DD2 hated routine. Same now. 7 yo loves a routine and to know what and when things will happen but DD2 just likes chaos and mayhem. Definately different personalities from day one. No advice to offer sadly as DD2 didn't really sleep til after she turned 1, then it was hit and miss for another year.
Good news now though, she's just turned 3 and sleeps like an angel. TBH, I think i have only just started to like her after the hellish time she gave us.

Smee Wed 03-Sep-08 14:38:07

He sounds like he's as stressed as you are. Not surprising really, poor you. I'd echo what the others have said. Go with what he wants for now, then once he's calmed you can start stretching time between feeds, but do it by being there for him, distracting by singing to him, etc, rather than by letting him cry. Otherwise you'll go back to square one. It worked with my lo. Once he'd relaxed he slept far better. Hope it improves soon though, you must be exhausted.

claire74 Wed 03-Sep-08 15:05:40

personally I think once you mention GF on here you won't get any advice other than the attacking of GF.

It is possible for 5 week babies to get into a routine at this age, I know this for a fact as I'm a maternity nurse and I have gently eased ALOT of babies into a good routine from around this age, without the use of controlled crying.

JOJO, my advice is see what is happening in the day, you say your baby is sleeping most of the morning, as he is awake most of the night, he will need to catch up somewhere.

but be careful you don't get into a vicious circle and the baby sleeps all day.

Its not true that its impossible that babies of 5 weeks can differentiate between day and night, they so can, however they need us as parents to show them how.

It takes time, but try and keep your baby's sleep in the day to max 5 hours, roughly about 1-2 hours in the morning, 2-3 hrs at lunchtime and 30mins -1hr late afternoon. Try your very best to keep the baby awake after 5pm as this will ensure your baby goes down nicely at 7pm, if you want your baby to go to bed a bit later then obviously they can sleep past 5.

If your feeding every 2-3 hours during the day and getting 5 feeds in between 7 and 7pm then Yes a baby can go from 7 til 10:30 for its next feed.

2:30 is also about right for this age for the night feed, which your ds does, so this is brilliant.

I'm sure once you work on waking him during the day , he will settle again at 2:30.

I'm sure you are but remember to keep the room very dark and quiet for the nightfeed, and a cuddle back to sleep at this time might really help.

I hth , trust me, through years of doing this for my job and 2 children of my own. It is possible, I know when your exhausted its hard to see the light..but its there!

Smee Wed 03-Sep-08 15:55:56

claire74, I know the history, but I can't see much evidence of attacking GF here, more caring people posting because they're trying to help

BlueBumedFly Wed 03-Sep-08 16:02:43

Smee, how about not waking him at 10.30pm? Do you think you are perhaps creating a habit on his behalf? Just a thought? We did a vague version of GF and if I woke DD at 10.30pm she still woke at 2am. If I did not wake her at 10.30pm she slept fine till 2am. Perhaps he is not getting into the long slow-wave sleep?

Smee Wed 03-Sep-08 16:04:55

Think you mean JJLou, but sounds like good advice!

BlueBumedFly Wed 03-Sep-08 16:11:37

Hee hee - yes you are right - DD has a cold at the mo, much snuffling and disturbed nights, put my foggy brain down to that!!

So, JJLou - how about not waking him at 10.30pm? Do you think you are perhaps creating a habit on his behalf? Just a thought? We did a vague version of GF and if I woke DD at 10.30pm she still woke at 2am. If I did not wake her at 10.30pm she slept fine till 2am. Perhaps he is not getting into the long slow-wave sleep?
Contact the poster Contact mumsnet about this post By Smee

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 03-Sep-08 16:12:50

Smee, we tried this we DS worked very well with DD but with her ahe naturally woke at 11 and then about which she dropped at 12 weeks, DS completely kettle of fish, wwe fed him at 7 woke him at 11 and then he would wake at 2ish, we then tried not waking at 11 and still woke at 2 ish but drank more and went back to sleep happily, now at 10 weeks is going 8 until 6, try going with the flow with your DC and just see what happens

Smee Wed 03-Sep-08 16:24:02

eh BBfly? What does your last sentence mean? am confused..!

BlueBumedFly Wed 03-Sep-08 16:28:15

Dunno, my computer must be going mad... I copied and pasted what I said to you by mistake and pasted it in again for JJLou. Have no clue but it wasn't me unless I have really lost it.

Off to do the Nursery run.........

Smee Wed 03-Sep-08 16:29:22

tee hee...

meandmyjoe Wed 03-Sep-08 16:49:50

Might have already been mentioned but I wouldn't wake him at 10:30, have you tried just dreamfeeding him at this time and maybe set an alarm to dreamfeed him again at 1:30am in order to hopefully get to him before he actually wakes up and gets unsettled at 2am. Might be worth a try! Might break the habbit of him waking at a certain time and realising he's hungry and then not being able to get back to sleep.

JoJoLouise Thu 04-Sep-08 20:23:02

Thanks to you all.

Last night was slightly better. He was wide awake at 10.30 and then woke up again at 2. he fed for 40 mins and then I put him in his basket, whilst he didn't cry, he did make lots of grunting noises for an hour. He woke again at 5 but settled once we brought him our bed.

Today I seemed to feed him all day and he only had a total of 4 hours sleep during the day. Real problem tonight though.

Started feeding at 5.15 - 6.15
Feeding again at 6.15 - 7 pm
Top up on 1oz at 7
Wouldn't settle
Feed again for 20 mins
Still wouldn't settle and is still crying now at 8.20

What is going on here? He can't be hungry after that much feeding all day. He is on Colief now and seems to be making him poo more than he was.

Smee Thu 04-Sep-08 20:39:58

I'd guess he's feeding for comfort. My DS did that lots and it was definitely a vicious circle because the more I fed him the more chance I had of giving him tummy ache - which might be why your lo's crying. If he's fed enough during the day, then I'd say definitely don't give him any more until he's had a good sleep. Try holding him until he falls asleep. Have you tried giving him something else to suck on - even if it's your finger. It might throw him into a rage, but giving him more food might make him more uncomfortable. I used to distract my son by singing softly to him. Sometimes worked..

JoJoLouise Thu 04-Sep-08 21:44:35

Going to break with the habit of waking him at 10.30 and see what happens tonight. I'll express now and then feed him whenever he wakes up. He didn't actually get to sleep until 8.30 so there really doesn't seem a point to waking him at 10.30...let's see what happens!

JoJoLouise Fri 05-Sep-08 06:35:02

can't cope, can't cope, jut feel so ill and exhausted, fed all day yesterday and this was last night's pattern

12 am - woke screaming, gave ebm
1 am - settled after screaming for 30 mins after feed
3.30 - woke screaming, full feed for 30 mins
4.30 - settled after screaming for 30 mins
5.30 - woke screaming, gave bottle of water, cuddles, finally fed, he sicked most of this up
6.15 - went to sleep

I've got a 2 year old as well and she is starting to get distressed that all I do is sit and feed her brother and she is also waking in the night with him

feel like i'm falling apart

Smee Fri 05-Sep-08 10:19:24

Am sending you big, big hugs, as I so remember how awful that level of exhaustion is and I didn't even have a two year old as well. Can you get any help? You can't go on like that, you'll collapse.

He sounds colicky and stressed, so all you can really do is try to break that cycle by not comfort feeding him (hard I know), holding him and making him feel loved, etc, etc. It will pass honestly. Have you given him a dummy? I was anti them, but everyone (midwives, HV's, doctors, my mum!) all said give him one, and it really was a life saver as it soothed him when he wanted my breast.

JoJoLouise Fri 05-Sep-08 10:56:23

thanks for kind words

i actually found a dummy this morning which had come free with some bottles i bought. when he wouldnt settle for morning nap i put it in for a few minutes and took it out just as he was nodding off. he was fasr asleep for 45 mins! have fed for 45 mins just now and he is being grouchy but will not feed again for 3 hours

health visitor just phoned and is coming round this afternoon. she started to mention topping up with formula! i fed through thrush for 5 weeks and theres no way im giving in now!

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