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How do I get an over tired 3 week DD to sleep?

(45 Posts)
SheWillBeLoved Wed 19-Aug-09 23:20:08

She's exhausted, I'm exhausted, and she just won't sleep. For the past few days she has constantly fought her sleep. She has just this minute dropped off after being awake solidly from 4pm. Her eyes are/were bright red, she's whingy, too tired to take full feeds and so they're just rolling into each other and not filling her enough to settle her for a decent amount of time.

She has a dummy which soothes her, but she'll suck too hard now and again, it'll pop out, and bing! - she's wide awake again for another half an hour. Since birth she has been great, self settling and feeding every 3-4 hours. Just seems like something has thrown her off these past few days and I feel so helpless seeing her so obviously knackered but unable to drop off.

Any tips on how to settle her and help her wind down? Surely being awake for 6-7 hours solidly isn't right for a 3 week old?

frumpygrumpy Wed 19-Aug-09 23:25:25

Is she breast fed? One of my children was a real sucky baby and just wanted to nurse her way to sleep. Dummies didn't do it for her at all. She also slept poorly through the day her whole baby/toddler life but did sleep well and right through the night from a very young age.

I'd be inclined to see if she will settle with you and then keep her there and catch some sleep yourself x.

hairymelons Wed 19-Aug-09 23:28:48

Possibly a growth spurt leading her to want to feed constantly rather than nap? I remember DS's growth spurts as involving constant feeding and not a lot of sleep for either of us. 3 weeks would be a typical time too.
6-7 hours is a long time for a little baby to be awake but as you can't actually force her to sleep, don't worry too much just try different stuff until something works.
Have you tried a baby sling? Usually work wonders for tiny babies. Swaddling also changed our lives at around the 3 week mark, DS loved it. He was a little Houdini though so we had to get those special swaddle robes from Mothercare. Finally, what about the pram/ car? Might be worth a punt if all else is failing.

hairymelons Wed 19-Aug-09 23:30:16

second what frumpy grumpy said, DS joined us in bed at around 2 weeks and stayed there until his night feeds were down to 1 or 2 a night. Could not face trekking down the hall several times a night...

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Wed 19-Aug-09 23:30:47

is it a cherry dummy? the tommee tippee ones are best imo for staying in. she's only wee, i don't think rolling feeds are unusual. second the sling and also when things get a bit MAD i often point the baby at a plain white wall to let their wee brains calm down.

SheWillBeLoved Wed 19-Aug-09 23:43:59

Frumpy - she's taking EBM - huge problems with her latch with no one has been able to help with yet sad

Hairy - I'll offer her food if I notice she is still awake after her last feed but she either isn't interested or will take a few mouthfuls and then lose interest. I haven't tried a sling, might be something I'll look into. I do swaddle her as she hits herself in the face or hits her dummy out of her mouth as she is falling asleep.

She sleeps when in the car, but as I don't drive and DP works nights, it's not something we can rely on when/if all else fails.

Aitch - She has Avent dummies which are quite flat, and only yesterday we bought Tommee Tippee orthodontic dummies which seem even flatter but she didn't entertain those at all, spat straight out.

SheWillBeLoved Wed 19-Aug-09 23:44:51

* which no one has been able to help with

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Wed 19-Aug-09 23:54:33

cherry, deffo. 3 quid for three. those spiffy ones are shite, dd2 wouldn't entertain them for a second. THEYR'E in boots, superdrug etc.

look like this

although i don't know how much good a dummy is wrt latches though, you might find that it's not. it's tough at the beginning, isn't it? [kindly] smile you'll get there, four weeks is better, five better again, six even better etc. wink

SheWillBeLoved Thu 20-Aug-09 00:00:58

I know the dummy won't do her latch any good, but to be honest, I think sadly I've resigned myself to the fact that the closest to BF I am going to get her is to express and bottle feed it. I've lost count of the people and the hours that have been put into trying to get her to latch on sad

I curse the day I gave her a dummy - it was always the sound of nails on a blackboard that got to me, but now it's the sound of her dummy dropping out of her mouth wink

hairymelons Thu 20-Aug-09 00:01:51

Who's been unable to help with the latch so far? Just wondering if there's another resource avavilable to you wrt latch.
There's a good section on slings in the MN product reviews if you decide to give it a try

hairymelons Thu 20-Aug-09 00:02:34

available, even

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Thu 20-Aug-09 00:08:35

oh dear, does she just not fancy it? my friend's wee boy did that, he had a wee chest infection in hospital when he was born and who knows if that was the thing, but he was an out and out refuser. (good news is she's bfing ds2 at 9 mos)

keep trying, if you can bear it. tits are so much easier to remember when you go out. wink but if like me you turn out with this just not being your best subject at mum school, it's a sadness and a disappointment, but it takes its rightful place after a while in a line of wee parenting sadnesses amongst all teh joy.

CyradisTheDMSlayer Thu 20-Aug-09 00:13:33

Message withdrawn

SheWillBeLoved Thu 20-Aug-09 00:13:36

Hairymelons - numerous midwives at the hospital, HCA's, even a lovely student nurse spent a good few hours with us. Saw a lactation specialist before leaving hospital, have since been back to a different one. HV has spent time with us, as well as 3 different community midwives during my home visits. All can't find a reason why she won't latch on, doing everything leading up to her latching on correctly, but she won't open wide enough to get a good mouthful, and then gets frustrated and too upset to have any hope of latching on. Quite sad about it, but glad that she is getting breast milk even if it is from a bottle. Better than not at all I suppose!

Off to have a look at the slings, even though I've always said when pregnant that I'd never get one wink how opinions change once the baby is actually here!

SheWillBeLoved Thu 20-Aug-09 00:15:28

Cyradis - grin Her bouncy chair does have a vibrate option, suppose I should pop some batteries in it and see if it does anything for her!

CyradisTheDMSlayer Thu 20-Aug-09 00:20:10

Message withdrawn

StripeySuit Thu 20-Aug-09 00:20:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hairymelons Thu 20-Aug-09 00:37:06

Well, I think you're amazing. It's such hard work expressing, especially enough to feed a hungry wee thing. And, oh the heartbreak when it goes unused...So, hats off to you.

If you do want to speak to someone else about it, the LLL helpline have always been great when I've had feeding issues 0845 120 2918. They'll more than likely send someone out to see you if that's what you want.

The Dr Sears website has dozens and dozens of ideas for reluctant sleepers.

Just so you know, DS was a terrible napper. Not the best at night either but he fought naps with every ounce of his being! Things have got loads better as he's got older and since using the No Cry Sleep Solution he sleeps well. I agonised over his naps and I see now how pointless it was. Really, you can lead a horse to if she just happens to not be so great at the naps don't worry too much.

Ok, hope all works out well for you and she lets you get some rest soon!

Astrophe Thu 20-Aug-09 00:39:48

Could you try holding her/rocking/patting/whatever keeps her asleep for a whole sleep cycle, just to break the pattern? I know it would be a bore sitting for 2 hours, but maybe after that she would be refreshed enough to take a proper feed and get back into the swing of things?

Sympathies It is tough, I know because my DD2 is also 3 weeks! What day was yours born?

Mine is feeding every 1 1/2 - 2 hours, 24/7...grrr...but Aitch is right, every week get s abit easier, I am clinging to that. Best wishes

SheWillBeLoved Thu 20-Aug-09 00:42:03

It is hard work, also plays a big factor in me not being able to sit and cuddle her to sleep all day as much as I'd love to use it as an excuse to sleep myself , or constantly have her in a sling if I did get one. I'm hooked up to a double pump like some sort of bloody dairy cow for most of my day grin

Thanks for the number and the link - having a read now

SheWillBeLoved Thu 20-Aug-09 00:46:04

Astrophe - that's something I didn't think of to be honest blush been to busy concentrating on her maintaining being able to settle herself to even consider letting her have a complete nap in my arms. I do let her settle in my arms until I see she's at the point of no return, but then she goes into her crib. Normally she's fine with that, but lately she's having none of it!

She was born on Wednesday by the way

Astrophe Thu 20-Aug-09 00:48:59

Mine was the 30th.

Hey, its much easier to think of solutions to other people's problems than my own! Maybe you have the perfect excuse to sit down with a gripping novel or trashy mag for a few hours!?

Hope you find something that helps.

glasgowtomelbourne Thu 20-Aug-09 01:07:49

Has tongue-tie been ruled out?
I remember breast-feeding not being my best subject at mum's school (love that phrase btw!) and I am determined to get it right this time round.
Basically you gotta do what you gotta do to get over the OT. Let her sleep in your arms for a full sleep, put your feet up as well and relax.
Remember you are doing great, it takes a lot of dedication to be hooked up to a double pump.

Tinfoil Thu 20-Aug-09 17:14:40

Is it a rocking crib? How about some quiet white noise on the radio?

hairymelons Thu 20-Aug-09 17:34:35

How's your day been?
Hopefully you've spent a relaxing afternoon on the sofa together...I really miss taking DS to bed with me for a nap- he's a wriggly 13mo now so it's not very restful any more!

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