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16 wk old baby won't sleep alone during the day

(5 Posts)
custardcat Wed 04-Nov-09 20:56:39

I have a 16 week old daughter (though she was born 3 months prem, so she's actually been out for 6.5 months). She's teeny tiny (only 4.8kg, 1st centile). From the outset we let her sleep in a sling during the day, though she was always a very good night time sleeper (and still is), despite fairly frequent feeds. At night I will put her in her cot, still wide awake, and she will go off to sleep very happily. but during the day she absolutely refuses to sleep alone unless I spend an hour or more sitting with her while she cries, cuddling her to calm her then putting her back down (repeat ad nauseam...). This will eventually work in the mornings, but by the afternoon when she's massively overstimulated (another problem...) there's absolutely no chance. she just can't switch off unless she's on me (and even then she struggles).
She doesn't cry herself to sleep - she just cries, and cries, and cries, and I don't want her using all her energy for crying - I want her to grow. Equally I need to get her off me so I can regain some of my sanity, and I don't want her to be completely dependent on me for sleep.
any tips? are prem babies often a bit hyper-sensitive? do they settle down eventually?!
should i give her what she wants, or try to teach her to settle herself? aargh!

whomovedmychocolatecookie Wed 04-Nov-09 21:24:49

Yes premature babies sometimes need more closeness. If you'd spent the first X months of your life in a goldfish bowl you'd be insecure smile

Does she sleep in the car or with rocking? Perhaps one of those motion mats would help you, or even a baby swing.
Also try swaddling if you haven't already so she feels she's being held when she isn't.

They do grow out of this clinginess but it takes a while. She may also have other issues going on (teething etc.) which may not be apparent.

Sounds like you are very tired and fed up though and she may just be picking up on this (it is bloody hard I know - been there and know how frustrating it can be to have a child who just cries endlessly but it's all she has by way of communication).

Try swings/motion mats/swaddling/even a warm bath. I found a tummy tub was great for DD and she would go in it for 20 minutes, then conk out (sometimes in the tub and I would just wrap her in towels and let her sleep on the bathroom rug blush).

You'll get there, don't worry. This will pass soon.

LauraN1 Wed 04-Nov-09 22:27:55

Here's another one for "This Too Shall Pass".

16 weeks is pretty young, and my advice would be to let her nap in a sling as long as she wants. Later (from about 6 months I'd say) you'll be able to feed her to sleep and then sneak away.

Right now, can you get her to sleep in a pram whilst staying close to home and then when she's asleep, race home and have that shower? (Or whatever it is you are desperate for. With me it was always to have a shower ALONE).

And re your last question: Give her what she wants. She's way too young to settle by herself.

custardcat Thu 05-Nov-09 07:58:35

thanks both. forgot to say that she does sleep in the buggy, but it has to be constantly moving (and i mean constantly!). So I clock up several miles a day doing that....
think i will try with the cot a couple of times a day for a certain period, and if she's not happy then will relent and use the sling, at least for a few more weeks. i guess she'll grow out of it when she's ready.
what's a 'tummy tub'??!

lynsey212 Sun 07-Apr-13 00:12:40

I have a similar issue my baby was born at 34wks , 4.2 and in the scbu was a perfect sleeper ... He came home and bam he won't sleep at all unless he is on me sad
He sleeps wen in the car or pram being pushed not rocked but other than that no.
I've bought Him a baby bean bag which he seems to like and I just started to get him to sleep on it for maybe 20 mins b4 he screams wen he realizes he is alone .
I've been told its common in prem babies as there need for comfort is really high !
He is only 5 wks old so I am still pretty new to this so far I am managing on little sleep not sure if I will feel the same if its 6 mths down the line and its the same wink
So we sat here now and every other min he wakes up and I settle him bak down he is fighting sleeping but I keep trying the midwife said one day he will just go down and stay asleep ... Hmmm wish I knew wen that day would b shock lol

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