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Day/night mixed up - can't rouse my sleepy baby

(22 Posts)
beccablum Fri 06-Nov-09 13:20:39

Hi - my 4 week old seriously has her day and night mixed up. All the advice says to keep her awake during the day. Easier said than done! She has to be the world's sleepiest baby. We have tried everything - taking clothes off, nappy changes, noise, moving her around, tickling, even cold flannnels! but absolutely nothing stirs her. Then at night she is very hard to settle and keeps us up for hours, despite lots of feeds (am breastfeeding and have plenty of milk, she's gaining weight, and has plenty of wet/dirty nappies).

Please can anyone give us advice on how to rouse a very sleepy baby and KEEP HER AWAKE, before we go insane?

Thanks in advance, Becca

dfmum Fri 06-Nov-09 13:43:36

It is quite early to start sleep training, but you could try to feed her less in the night so she is then hungrier in the day?

You've probably tried that - but thought I'd mention it.

Otherwise, i am sure that as time goes on, she will begin to find the rhythm of night and day easier to follow, bit by bit. At her tiny age things change so fast - one minute they're in one routine, the next minute they've changed it! Or so I've found - the only consistent thing about my babies prior to 6 months was their inconsistency!!!

good luck

Lozza70 Fri 06-Nov-09 13:50:33

We had a bit of a day and night mix up at the beginning with DS. Cannot give you any dead certs to sort it out but we made sure that during the night we kept all lights off and didn't interact or chat to much to DS. Then in the day we had lots of noise around and tried to have a little play on the playmat after each feed.

Good luck smile

dfmum Fri 06-Nov-09 13:55:17

yes, that's reminded me - night time feeds, no eye contact at all and very low lighting. That is one of the few good things I took on board from old Gina Ford!

beccablum Fri 06-Nov-09 15:07:48

Hi - ta girls! we've tried all that. we can't play with her on the playmat as she is always fast asleep after each feed...! our problem is that she is never awake during the day, and we can't get her to waker up or stay awake if we manage to get her to open her eyes for a minute or two. Any ideas for how to get a baby awake and keep her awake? x

Lulumama Fri 06-Nov-09 15:10:30

do not try to reduce how much she feeds in the night, absolutely not. sorry. firstly, she is tny, and her stomach is tiny and it needs filling a lot, and your breasts need to get the signals to keep making milk, so your supply and demand are in synch.

also, you ahve more prolactin at night

4 weeks old babies keep you up at night, are hard to settle and don't know night from day, all they know is they want milk and cuddles and that's it.

sorry, if it[s not what you want to hear, but that is what newborns do

beccablum Fri 06-Nov-09 16:58:39

not all 4 week olds keep you awake all night, and sleep all day! most are awake at least some of the day, and will at least wake for a nappy change. I have had other kids and seen enough other babies to know this is not normal. I don't mind being woken at night for feeds by a 4 week old (and certainly wouldn't cut down her feeds at night), but she is awake and fractious most of the night, and sleeps literally ALL day and is absolutely impossible to rouse. All her breastfeeds are during her sleep, so she is probably not feeding as well as she could either. She falls asleep within 1 minute of breastfeeding. By 2 weeks the pituary gland kicks in with newborns and they start to distinguish between night and day, and it is possible to start to teach them the difference - but only if they are awake enough to notice it is daytime!

Bensmum76 Fri 06-Nov-09 18:29:56

Hi'a. My DS was very quick to settle into a day and night routine and was awake for up to an hour at a time at week 4, and slept through the night from week 5. I think we were very lucky, but at night feeds i would feed him in the dark and put him straight back into his moses basket after a cuddle and winding session, would not stimulate him in any way. In the daytime I think he was sleeping around 5 hours a day in all, and I can't remember ever struggling to wake him up. Maybe you could gradually make some changes - can't suggest any, but I hope I've helped!

ReneRusso Fri 06-Nov-09 18:33:08

That sounds normal to me for a newborn. It's too early to try to get her into a more convenient routine. Give it another 2 or 3 weeks, and I expect she will be waking up more in the day.

beccablum Fri 06-Nov-09 20:00:34

We've done all the usual things - night feeds in dark, no talking etc, winding down. I am not exaggerating - she sleeps ALL day, and NOTHING will wake her.

Babies don't just naturally learn about night and day - they need to be guided and taught. But how can I do that if she doesn't wake up during the day to learn that it IS the day?!

This is NOT normal for a newborn - she is sleeping all through the day, and doesn't even wake up if you strip her naked and change her nappy! The midwives / health visitors we have seen and doctors say they haven't seen a baby this sleepy. We are not worried about her health as she is still feeding in her sleep, and is a good weight and is poohing lots etc. It's just we don't know how we are going to be able to get her to be active in the day, rather than crying all night! We long to be able to play with her in the day!

Lulumama Fri 06-Nov-09 21:09:09

this is clearly normal for your baby, if she is gaining weight, weeing, and pooing normally. they don't play in the day at this early age

forget what you have read about glands and what they should do

at the end of the day, she has had 9 months as part of you, and just 1 month as a baby outside of your body

these things do take time and you need to lower your expectations, unless she is not gaining wieght etc

if your doc and HV are not concernedm you need to take a step back and give her a week or two , she can change radically in this time.

of course you can guide your baby, but you can't teach them anything at this point, way too early for any sort of training

Bensmum76 Sat 07-Nov-09 08:46:05

Maybe we were just 'lucky' with our DS, but he was into a 'routine' of sorts very quickly and seemed to adapt to day/night time easily. I am a big believer in routine and that it helps both baby and mum get to know each other and to enjoy each other. Maybe give it a week or two and things may develop more. It would be great to hear how your doing!

beccablum Sat 07-Nov-09 14:20:00

we don't expect her to be playing with bricks, we just want her to open her eyes! I don't think our expectations are too high, and it is an unhelpful thing to say that (in fact anything that starts with "you need to...")

Why forget about glands? I am not prepared to let our DD2 get her night and day all muddled up, and sleep all day and then be awake and very upset all night. That is not fair on her or us. I have already tried the baby led / attachment parenting stuff before, and although it works for some mums / babies, it was a disaster for us (and other friends). It just led to a baby that could not get to sleep and was upset both day and night.

I expect (and am very happy with) night waking to breastfeed, but I also expect some waking during the day! My OP was asking for help on tips for how to gently rouse a very sleepy baby during the day, and I would still love some help with that!

priyag Sat 07-Nov-09 17:07:56

I really feel for you, as I can see that you are not expecting your baby to sleep all night, but sleep at least some of the night. Is she asleep in the evening as well as the day ? What times is she awake in the night ?

What I would suggest is that you do not try to keep her awake during the day, but instead leave her alone. Once she has fed, but her in her moses basket in the same room as you where there is activity going on, do not tuck her in, and you may find that she will after an hour or so, start to stir. Do not rush to her the minute she stirs, especially if she has just fed within the hour.
It may take a few days of doing this, but she should start to wake up a bit. This has worked for me and some of my friends so it may work for you and your baby.

choosyfloosy Sat 07-Nov-09 17:10:51

Exactly this happened with ds, and he was still quite jaundiced. I am sure this is not the case with your dd, but just in case she still looks a bit suntanned, is it worth having a word with the HV?

In my case ds was feeding 45 mins on, sleeping for 5 mins off, all night, and then slept most of the day with max 3 feeds. I was told to wake him up but a) didn't realise how important it was and b) couldn't do it! I also wasn't doing brilliantly with breastfeeding and didn't realise this.

IMO I would talk to the HV or your GP just to be sure.

Scottie22 Sun 08-Nov-09 11:29:34

My newborn dd slept for 23 hours a day and we had to wake her up for feeds and try to keep her awake to finish them! There wasn't much we could do to keep her awake tbh even taking all her clothes off! It was just a gradual adjustment and by 7/8 weeks we had pretty much established it. She never sits down or sleeps in the day at all - she's 29 months old now and I can't believe she was so sleepy as a baby!

BertieBotts Sun 08-Nov-09 12:37:21

Honestly, my DS was like this too. He is fine, he adjusted eventually. Do try and relax a bit I don't think I have one photo of him with his eyes open until about 7 or 8 weeks old. And congratulations on your new baby, I don't think it's too late to say that grin

Feierabend Sun 08-Nov-09 17:36:04

Lots of sympathy to you beccablum, my DD2 was like that too. She'd even sleep through a bath and then be wide awake at night. It lasted for about 3-4 weeks and by 8 weeks old she had it sussed. Just keep daytime noisy and bright, and take her places, and at night be very strict about keeping the lights out / low and keeping things quiet. I always put DD2 back in her cot after the night feeds even if she was wide awake and then did the pick up / put down thing, sometimes for 2 hours. It was awful while it lasted, but it will pass. Good luck.

Lulumama Sun 08-Nov-09 17:39:54

sorry if you found my post unhelpful. it was certainly not meant that way

my point was to take a step back and try to concentrate on what your baby is doing and her needs, rather than what books say she should do or what her siblings do

a newborn who is not sure which is night and day sounds pretty normal , although frustrating

i am sorry if my post upset you and i hope you things are better for you soon

agree that going back to doc or HV for more reassurance is a good thing

Feierabend Sun 08-Nov-09 17:42:22

I started a thread when DD2 was 4 weeks old about exactly this - back in May - under the nickname Schulte. I got lots of good advice there so may be worth looking there.

beccablum Mon 09-Nov-09 13:28:28

Hi Feierabend - I can't find that May thread. Can yo send link? Ta x

Feierabend Mon 09-Nov-09 14:10:35

Here you go, linky Good luck!

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