6 week old doesn't sleep. I'm going mad

(22 Posts)
littleanimal Mon 27-Oct-08 21:23:13

First post so please help - am completely at my wits end.

DD is six weeks old. The only thing that ever calms her down is breast feeding. Otherwise she screams. All morning. All evening. She only sleeps for about 3 hours in the pram when we go for a walk in the afternoon. When we get home, she starts screaming, again. After she feeds she will generally fall asleep in my arms afterwards, but as soon as I try to put her in the moses basket, her eyes flick open and she's screaming again.

She gulps her food and seems to have had terrible colic from day one. Infacol and colief haven't worked. We try to wind, but it doesn't seem to make much difference. She spits out a dummy. She is a big baby (91st centile) and gaining weight well.

She will eventually sleep at night and generally only wakes once or twice, but after feed it takes me about two hours to get her settled. So I'm exhausted. Then during the day she screams again so that I don't have time to have a shower or eat lunch. All the books go on about not letting your baby sleep too much. If only ...

Any thoughts or ideas would be so much appreciated.

elmoandella Mon 27-Oct-08 21:27:21

do you drink fizzy juice/lots of milk or anything cafinated

or eat eggs
windy veg

elmoandella Mon 27-Oct-08 21:32:18

oh and fennel tea works wonders for me when bf. but got to drink about 5 cups a day.

MesaLoca Mon 27-Oct-08 21:33:34

I know you don't want to hear this but it sounds pretty normal to me. Sorry

I think lots of babies only like sleeping in their mummy's arms and not on their own. I ended having to let my daughter sleep in a sling on me for every nap. I had to just try and enjoy it because like you I was stressing and looking for a problem that didn't exist and it was driving me mad. Do whatever it takes to let her sleep I say... she will learn to sleep eventually.

And throw away the books!

daffodill6 Mon 27-Oct-08 21:33:40

You will get through this.
This stage is hard with your first one and they are all different but it is not forever. - Best piece of advice I was ever given , 'just as you've got used to this stage.. they change to the next'

She may need feeding every 3-4 hours if its a growing spurt and you're demand feeding - I did - its no big thing but I may be 10 years out of date. Felt like I was chained to the armchair and baby thou!

Normal to feel tired, take up every offer of help you're given!

berolina Mon 27-Oct-08 21:33:48


Co-sleep (check out the Unicef guidelines on safe co-sleeping)

feed, feed, feed.

If none of that brings improvement, GP.

Try to avoid 'all the books' - the insecurity-creating potential they hold is immense.

MinkyBorage Mon 27-Oct-08 21:39:39

have you tried a sling? all mine lived in slings for the first few weeks, I did everything with them in the sling,

Co sleeping. Brilliant.

Could you try bringing her home half way through the three hour nap and leaving her in the pram to give you a chance to do something

LovelyBertha Mon 27-Oct-08 21:42:34

Had similar prob with ds. Don't think he cried as much as your dd, but had really bad evenings and only calmed by bf. I'd bf until he was asleep, and then as soon as I put him down, he'd wake up and cry. Friend recommended a book by Harvey Karp called 'Baby Bliss'- was absolutely life changing. It has quite an annoying tone and is full of american-isms, but the actual information is brilliant. After one day of following book's instructions ds was sleeping for much longer stretches, and slept thru night from 8 weeks. It's not a routine- it's based around the idea of replicating a womb like experience for baby. Worked for us- no more constant bf or colicy crying.
Well worth a try I reckon!
Good luck- it will get better

elmoandella Mon 27-Oct-08 21:44:08

oh and i hate to say this but ds wanted bf every 2.5 hours or he was screaming house down. also found if he wasn't upstairs and in peace and quiet by 7pm he'd be screaming house down. there's only so many hours certain babies can take with background noise. we originally tried keeping him in moses basket downstairs till we were ready for bed. but eventually realised he had other ideas.

it will get better though. well done for getting so far. it takes a while to figure out what baby likes.

daffodill6 Mon 27-Oct-08 21:53:36

Also something which worked for me was to play Classic fm v quietly as background noise when dd was placed into another room in the evening/night etc. She wasn't alone....

Grab your sleep when you can and remember how precious these days are

MoChan Mon 27-Oct-08 21:56:02

My daughter was like that until she was about four months old, and she's still high maintenance. I'm not saying that's what's going to happen to you. But it is early days. Loads of babies won't sleep when they're six weeks old.

I basically wore my daughter for the first three months or so. She seemed to be feeding most of the time, but I used a sling (hugabub) that she could feed in and then drop off to sleep. You can get stuff like housework done whilst they're strapped on (though sadly, I found that she woke up if I sat down).

If you're not co-sleeping I'd recommend it. It wouldn't work for us now (she's fourteen months) but up until she was seven or eight months old, she was in every night with me. I suspect we both got a lot more sleep as a result.

Good luck, things will get better.

likessleep Mon 27-Oct-08 22:02:52

Have you tried swaddling (she will also then not feel any difference in temperature between your arms and moses basket)?
White noise (i.e. washing machine, extractor fan etc)?
Walking around outside?
Accept every offer of help
Forget anything that doesn't need doing
Although it doesn't feel like it at the moment, things will get so much better.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 27-Oct-08 22:03:39

at 6 weeks it is quite normal not to have prolonged periods of sleep - but lots of little ones. 6 weeks is the right time for a growth spurt too where they'll be wanting to feed ALL the time for a couple of days to help increase your supply.

Could be a sign of reflux too. Try all the other suggestions here first. If no improvement, go see your GP smile

pookybear Mon 27-Oct-08 22:16:07

just a thought about the position she is sleeping in, is she laid flat, or maybe a little scrunched up in a buggy that could be causing the colic. Have you tried baby massage? do it yourself, not only will it soothe your baby it will destress you and you will be creating a bond between you that is not associated with sleeping or feeding. I always put my children in the cot whilst they were still awake and let them drift off whilst I patted them lightly through the cot bars. It seemed to work. Just grab your sleep when you can and dont worry about it.

CharCharBaGOOOOOOORE Mon 27-Oct-08 22:22:06

DD was like that at 6 weeks. She fed pretty much constantly and catnapped in my arms or in the sling. At night, she slept next to me in bed. Never took a dummy. I agree with recommendations for cosleeping and sling, they were a lifesaver for me. This will pass, she may desperately need you all the time now but it will get a bit easier in a few weeks, then a bit easier again a few months down the line. Get Dp to look after you as much as he can, preparing meals in advance, cleaning and looking after you when he's there. Much sympathies, we've all been there. DD is much better now at 14 months, I almost forget what she was like as a little un until I read threads like this. smile Hang in there.

callmeovercautious Mon 27-Oct-08 22:24:46

You are me almost exactly 2 years ago sad smile

1. Do not read books on sleep.
2. Wind, wind, wind.
3. If she is asleep, sleep yourself - ignore anything else - housework, washing etc.
4. Look into slings, I really wish I had done this but I was too caught up in the stress to think about it.
5. Try and remember - time will heal all - this too will pass.

DD is a fantastic sleeper now, she is nearly 26m. Better than her peers, yet she was a demon for her first 12m. Always did OK at night like yours but getting her down in the day and first thing at night was rough to say the least.

Are you going to postnatal groups? I found when that started and I made friends it really helped.

Keep posting, MN has been a great help to us. X

pudding25 Mon 27-Oct-08 22:53:36

Have you tried a dummy? It really calmed dd down when she was tiny and should be ok to use once bf is properly established.

littleanimal Tue 28-Oct-08 18:44:56

Thanks for all the advice - it's good to hear that others have been through the same thing. Tried co-sleeping last night after the 4am feed. It really speeded up her going back down, but I didn't sleep too well as I was scared I would smother her! But I guess light sleep is better than none. We've tried the baby bjorn carrier which she likes outside but not in the house. So we bought the Babasling, but she screams when put in that - it seems to scrunch her up. Can anyone recommend a good one? Thanks for the support.

MinkyBorage Tue 28-Oct-08 21:33:37

haven't tried it, but lots of friends have recommended it and this is the one I'm getting next. You might be better starting off a new thread for sling recommendations, this one may be a bit lost now.

Good luck with the co sleeping, you'll get used to it.

Lilypink Tue 04-Nov-08 11:24:36

when my 6 week old is finding it difficult to settle I put her in the kari me tummy to tummy (hates the breast feeding position) and she falls asleep sucking her dummy. The kari me feels lovely as it is so soft and secure. I don't get on with it very well outside the house though as tricky to put on.

Good luck

mummyistired Sun 09-Nov-08 20:47:58

Hi there, hope problem has now resolved itself, if not you should see a Chiropractor / cranial osteopath, they can work to help so many problems. I saw someone myself in pregnancy she specialised in children and although DD was fine did not need treatment, I have recently reccommended a friend who was having exactly the same problems as you, was at wits end, chiroprator discovered that her DD had tight area in her neck and is now working on it, problem is easing and she is much calmer baby, so really well worth looking in to.

BerkshireOsteopathicPractice Thu 31-Oct-13 13:21:41

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