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My 8 week old won't sleep during the day .. except when cuddled.

(41 Posts)
ilovemyoboe Wed 01-Jul-09 11:11:43

Help! My 8 week old won't sleep during the day except when cuddled. He just doesn't stay down in his pram or cot. I pop him in fast asleep and he wakes within minutes. He sleeps very well at night - will sleep 11:30pm until 7am - but because he doesn't sleep during the day he gets VERY grouchy and irritable very quickly. He spends all afternoon and evening unsettled and upset because he is so overtired. I can't put him down for more than 5mins before he cries.

The only time he is happy is when he is breastfeeding. However because he is getting so tired, he keeps falling asleep when feeding. I'm not sure if he's getting enough food or not - the health visitor is coming to weigh him again today as he only put on 80g last week. He will fall asleep on the feeding cushion after most feeds (although not this morning) but usually wakes when I try to move him. This means the only way to get him to have some sleep is spend hours sitting in a chair with him .. which sounds nice, but is horrible in this heat, and means I can't even get a drink or go to the toilet, never mind attack the messy kitchen or sort the washing or the other 1001 things that need doing.

The latest advice from a La Lech League breast feeding counsellor via the health vis is that he is too young to sleep the night through and this is depriving him of a feed and affecting my milk production (as feeding in the night good as high hormone levels) so I should wake him at least once in the night for a feed. The last two nights, i've fed him at 10pm, got him in cot at 11:30pm, woke him at 3:30am for a feed, and then he's woken for day at 7am. So far the only difference I see is that he's now grouchy in the morning too as he has had even less sleep from being woken in the night. (He won't stay in the cot ever unless he's put in it asleep at the moment - settles himself back to sleep in the night, but not when first put down. Takes ages to feed and settle so the change-feed-settle in cot cycle takes 1.5-2hrs.)

Has anyone else had a baby of this age who won't sleep during the day? This started at around 6/6.5 weeks when he got more alert. My theory is that he is just too interested in what is going on around him to sleep as he's too busy looking around and doesn't want to shut his eyes. You can see him fighting sleep. He then gets so overtired that he doesn't know what to do with himself, and can't sleep unless I walk around rocking him .. and he often wakes if I sit down. Have tried a dimmed room to reduce stimulation, and it helps calm him, but he still doesn't stay in the cot. He's such a light sleeper a lot of the time, that unless he's in the cot he doesn't get a decent length sleep.

Having a miserable baby all day is really getting me down. We quite often spend the afternoon walking round the house with both of us crying! Any ideas or advice or similar stories much appreciated.

juuule Wed 01-Jul-09 11:20:47

Are you swaddling him? I found that a tight swaddle helped in that the baby still feels secure in the same way as being held.

bellavita Wed 01-Jul-09 11:23:25

You beat me to it juuule - swaddling does work.

Although, leaving him to cry for a short while in his pram/cot will not do him any harm whatsoever, especially if he is sooo tired.

hullygully Wed 01-Jul-09 11:25:59

Mine never slept for more than 10 mins during the day either. I used to do everything one-handed with him draped over one shoulder. Keep him in a sling, and try not to mind. Just keep saying through gritted teeeth: it WILL pass...

NellyNoKnicks Wed 01-Jul-09 11:29:49

Have you tried a baby sling for the day time? Might make it a bit easier on you instead of holding him all day.

Does he sleep in his pram? maybe you could take him for a walk round the block when he gets grumpy in the day?

NellyNoKnicks Wed 01-Jul-09 11:31:38

ooh sorry just read your post about pram...

SparkyMalarky Wed 01-Jul-09 11:37:59

going through the same thing with my DD - 7 weeks! Have just swaddled her and that, a dummy and some shhh-patting (trying the baby whisperer again) has had her in her crib for about 25 mins, but I can hear some stirring now...And it did take me 30 mins of sitting with her to get her to sleep (don't think I'll be doing that when I have my 3 year old at home later on wink)

I have found a sling works a treat tho - she slept happily for 2 hours the other morning, leaving me to get on with the baking, playing with DS etc.

Not sure there's a perfect solution, but I do feel your pain now better go and get her......

juuule Wed 01-Jul-09 11:46:42

I did the draping over the shoulder thing, too, hullygully. That works well.

cyteen Wed 01-Jul-09 11:54:18

At that age I just took the 'whatever works' option. DS was a crap sleeper in the day until fairly recently, so he spent the first few months of his life either in a sling, in my arms, in his carseat or in the pram. Naps in his own bed are quite a new development!

It is so sad when they're knackered and don't know what to do with themselves, but they change so quickly at this point that habits don't really develop. And as for the housework, the best thing at this point might be just to lower your standards and accept that things aren't going to get done just now. And then set yourself up with a big jug of iced water, some snacks and a movie, and put your feet up for a bit while he sleeps on you

giantkatestacks Wed 01-Jul-09 11:55:54

Have you got a lovely expensive pram - could you borrow a lieflat umbrella job - ie a Mac techno or some such - have never met a baby that wouldnt sleep in one of them after you've been walking (fast) for about 15 mins.

Sympathies though - its really tough I know..

madwomanintheattic Wed 01-Jul-09 12:00:37

dd1 didn't sleep at all during the day until she was 4 months. i remember the first time she slept - dh had come home for lunch and said 'where is she?' - he couldn't believe she was asleep and we both spent the whole hour looking at her and wondering if she was ok... she slept for 3 hours solid and was a great napper after that... the only way i could get her to sleep before that was to take her to the garden centre in her carseat and sit in the greenhouse - essentially air-coshing. <not recommended lol>

KWS5 Wed 01-Jul-09 20:15:28

Hi I have the same problem with my 11 week old at first it was good as we both slept but now like you say you want to get stuff done, i have no solutions but i know just how you feel im just hoping he will grow out of it.

Bicnod Wed 01-Jul-09 20:25:46

My 9 week old DS will only sleep during the day on me, in a moving pram or with a dummy. I'm taking the path of least resistance and letting him have the dummy for napping for now (he doesn't ever need it at nighttime weirdly) - I know I'm probably storing up problems for later but I can't carry him in a sling as he weighs 15lb (giant baby) and I have a bad back I tend to go for walks every day around lunchtime to get him off to sleep - walked 7km the other day in flip flops as he went off and I didn't want him to wake! I feel your pain and I too am hoping against hope that he grows out of it and gets better at daytime napping so that he isn't such a grumpy bum in the evenings (also hoping he'll get better at nighttime sleeping as he currently wakes at least 3 times for feeding and never goes longer than 4 hours - yaaaaaaaaaawn!)

CantSleepWontSleep Wed 01-Jul-09 20:30:21

Put him in a sling and go about your business - he will sleep if he needs to.

My ds wouldn't be put down day or night for sleeps until he was over 12 weeks old. It's a short period in the grand scheme of things, although I appreciate that it can feel like a long time when you're in the throes of it, especially if it's your first.

ilovemyoboe Sat 04-Jul-09 20:31:54

Thanks for your messages everyone.

He hated the sling - screamed in that! He sometimes likes the front carrier and slept in that once, but cried the other two times. Will keep persevering with that. The drawback with this one is that if I sit down with him in it, it disturbs him so then he wakes up. He did sleep in it for a hour and a half that one time, but that meant I had to stand or walk around for 2 hours. At least I got to make loads of cups of tea, and put the original message of this thread on MN!

We have a Mamas & Pappas Pliko travel system, so the cot he sleeps in at night on a stand becomes the pram when it's put on the buggy (which is flattened out). He has slept in that once out, and was wide awake and/or screaming for the other two times. He loves it at night and hates it during the day.

Feeding time .. more later.

ilovemyoboe Sat 04-Jul-09 20:32:57

Oh, we tried swaddling him in the first week but once he was more than about 3 days old, he hated it because he couldn't wake his arms around. Maybe should try half swaddling him from under his arms downwards.

CherryChoc Sat 04-Jul-09 20:36:25

Have you tried co-sleeping? He will be able to feed in his sleep then and you might well find if he has a decent night's sleep it will help with naps during the day. (Also no need to swaddle - swaddling a co-sleeping baby isn't the best idea anyway)

Also please do post on breast/bottlefeeding board if you are worried how much he is getting.

fruitstick Sat 04-Jul-09 21:00:12

My only advice is that he is still very tiny and it will get better. My DS2 was like this until about 12 weeks and suddenly became much more settled.

I would try to get him into a sleep pattern first without worrying about how or when he is sleeping. For example, if he wakes when you move him, don't move him. Make sure you are set with some snacks, drinks and a good film and sit with him while he sleeps. If he's rested he will feed better.

Then, when he is used to sleeping in solid blocks at certain times (after feed or lunchtime for example), then you can work on where or how he is sleeping. As he is dropping off to sleep, stroke his forehead downwards gently and his eyes will close. Then, when you later settle him to sleep in his cot you can do the same thing.

I also found that DS would sleep on his tummy. Although obviously this is frowned upon, my HV said as long he was in his pram or crib and you were in the same room (in case he had difficulty breathing) it was perfectly safe.

He now really needs something to hold when he sleeps so he has a muslin square (which he pulls over his head hmm.

Without wishing to get all wistful, this is the loveliest part of motherhood and in 6 months time, when he is really heavy and constantly wants to get down and move around, you will long for the days when he would lie on your chest and sleep grin.


Dotty38 Sat 04-Jul-09 22:38:32

Half swaddling worked for me with a muslin instead of a blanket.

I also used a sling (moby wrap and a baby bjorn) which gave me my freedom back during the day. You can get a wrap sling which you can breast feed in too and stay on the move (although I never used the sling for feeding, whole other story re. the feeding with us!!) but she loved being cuddled in the wrap sling more than the baby bjorn one I had.

It also didn't seem to affect her ability to settle in a cot, I just had to wait until she was ready which for us was when she was about 11/12 weeks. When they are so small they need the close contact, we seem to have a strange idea in the west of having a baby and then trying to teach it to be on it's own in a cot and then getting stressed when the baby doesn't settle when alone???? For me the answer was a sling for the close contact, IMO that is what all very tiny babies need contact from their mothers pretty much constantly.

natandjonah Mon 06-Jul-09 09:20:49

My DS was like this at this point. think he just got so interested in everything. As he has been napping downstairs in his moses basket, we moved it upstairs and so it was less interesting and he went to sleep better. Also found if he is overtired having him over my shoulder which is his most comfortable position and standing by a blank wall so it is boring grin my firend swears by a bright-ish light which makes them close their eyes! DS didn't like swaddling either but it was the only way to keep him asleep as he likes attacking his own face so we would put him down asleep and then swaddle him then

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 06-Jul-09 09:23:45

DD was just like this. I either swaddled her, or more often than not, I had in her a front carrier and carried her around with me everywhere I went.

Supercherry Mon 06-Jul-09 10:10:44

Ilovemyoboe, have you tried a vibrating bouncy chair? Some babies find the vibrations soothing.

Another idea is to put the hoover on, the 'white noise' can really help some babies to settle and keep them settled. You can buy white noise CDs really cheaply from Ebay, about £2 including postage.

I remember this phase well, I would sometimes find myself breastfeeding DS, while standing up and jigging up and down, in order to get him to sleep grin. I've got it all to come again in 4mths time and I can't wait grin

Powdoc Mon 06-Jul-09 10:24:13

ilovemyobo- just wanted to add that it might be worth giving swaddling another try. My 11 week old DD hated it for about the first three weeks or so, but then suddenly came to like it, and still rather likes being swaddled for a nap now if she's unsettled (I know some books say not to swaddle the arms after the first couple of months, but I figure it can't hurt for a nap or two. She's not swaddled at night).

ilovemyoboe Mon 06-Jul-09 12:15:23

Again, thanks for all the ideas. Glad to hear I'm not the only one with a baby who wouldn't sleep. All the babies in my NCT antenatal group seem to happily snooze in their cots/prams during the day and lie in their prams like angels when out. Meanwhile, my little lad is doing the opposite.

Will try swaddling again. Can't try it when he's asleep as he takes sooooo long to get into a deep enough sleep to be able to do that without waking him that it wouldn't be worth it for daytime naps and he sleeps at night anyhow.

I've been topping him up with some formula on the advice of my GP (who is a paediatrician too) and that seems to be helping him settle. Looks like part of the problem is that the poor lamb hasn't really been filling up enough the last week or two. He seems to be a very hungry baby .. but then he was 9lb 14oz at birth! (I'm a size 12 with slim hips, so that was interesting! My husband didn't tell me that big babies run in his family hmm ).

He's in the front carrier again at the moment and that works well once I've got him in it and asleep - he'd rather be cuddled so puts up a fuss at first. Took about 15mins of crying on and off whilst I rocked him in it and shushed before he went off to sleep in it today, but he's now been asleep for 1hr 10mins so that's good.

Interesting that some babies seem to settle more into napping in their cots around 11/12 weeks. This is what has just started to happen with my only friend with a baby who won't sleep during the day. He is now 16w and is just getting into a nap routine.

The blank wall is an interesting thought - might try that as my baby is most comfortable upright too. He likes being walked around to put him to sleep but then often spends the time looking around instead. Maybe being rocked in front of a blank wall will work. (If not, could try painting some sheep on said blank wall for him to count and see if that works!!)

ilovemyoboe Mon 06-Jul-09 12:18:03

Giantkatestacks - what is a Mac techno? Not sure what you mean by 'a lie flat umbrella job'. Our 'pram' is part of our travel system, so it's the cot he sleeps in at night put on wheels instead of a stand.

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