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Bf newborn can't sleep on her back, getting no sleep and feeling desperate

(17 Posts)
RottenRow Fri 22-Jul-11 11:12:24

My two week old ebf DD2 cannot sleep lying down, has to be upright on me and I'm not getting much sleep as a result. I thought it was wind as DD1 was like this but even getting a good burp out of her doesn't stop her waking up as soon as she is put down either because she gets hiccups or she just sounds so uncomfortable and wakes up.

I have tried raising her moses basket, a u shaped towel to make her feel more enclosed, swaddling. I did have some success with this and was able to get her into her moses basket asleep for a few hours early on in the night but this is not working anymore. I have tried feeding her lying down and she would then sleep on her side but again she has stopped doing this.

She just seems so uncomfortable after a feed, groans, grunts and she does wet burps and then squeals afterwards as though they hurt her. She will drop off upright on me and I hold her for upwards of 45 mins, gingerly transfer her back to the basket and then the whole thing starts again. She will then want to feed to sleep but doesn't seem to want the milk and will let it all flow out of her mouth.

It's not so bad in the day as I can keep her upright but DP goes back to work soon and I just don't know how I am going to cope with the two of them at home with no sleep. I am really hoping someone can reassure me tha this is all normal newborn behaviour and not something else (DD1 didn't want to sleep on her back either but she didn't seem to be in so much discomfort) or offer me some other tips I can try to ease her discomfort and help to settle her.

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 11:16:11

Could it be reflux? Maybe acid coming back up into her throat is hurting her when she's flat.

Reflux is sometimes caused by cow's milk intolerance, so you could try cutting that out of your diet for a couple of weeks and see if there's a difference. If it doesn't help maybe the GP could suggest a treatment.

parsleysandwich Fri 22-Jul-11 11:24:35

I don't have any advice, unfortunately, but my 3 and a half week old is exactly the same - always wakes himself up with grunts and moaning or hiccups and generally seems uncomfy when I put him down on his back, but perfectly happy to sleep for ages on me or in a sling. I've been having various breastfeeding problems that are taking a while to sort out (mastitis, probable slight tongue tie, possible thrush...) so have wondered if improving the feeding so he takes in less air would help... he usually seems relaxe when feeing though.

Hope someone with more ideas will be along soon...

Albrecht Fri 22-Jul-11 11:32:23

Yes get it checked out to see if its reflux and cow's milk is also worth a try.

Ds was very like this and gradually got better so he would sleep on his own flat after a few months but I co-sleep to try and get enough rest. Do whatever you have to to get sleep. Sometimes I go to bed when he does around 7.30pm. Sounds bonkers for an adult but helps to catch up.

Do you have a sling? Some you can take off and lie them down once you get them off to sleep (pick up and drop the arm to make sure its floppy and so its a deep sleep).

Marabou Fri 22-Jul-11 11:36:35

I'm a first-time mum so I'm sure someone with more reliable advice will be abe to help soon enough, but I was thinking of reflux as well..

My 10-week-old DS used to sleep in his bouncer chair which is at a 45-degree angle upright so we were able to control the excess spitting up and he was more comfy, when we just couldn't hold him all the time.. I later learned that you can actually buy these support pillows you can put in the baby's cot, which holds him upright at a desired angle and therefore helps with the discomfort of acid coming up in his mouth.. We also lined the bouncer with two towels rolled up on either side to make him secure and avoid him feeling ovelwhelmed with the space around him.. Hope you will figure it out soon!

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 11:47:13

parsleysandwich - have you read this from analytical armadillo? It suggests tongue tie can cause reflux type problems.

RottenRow Fri 22-Jul-11 12:08:22

Thanks for the replies, it could be reflux except she is not being sick, though she does spit up the odd bit of curdled milk sometimes during a feed.

Albrecht I do have a sling so will keep trying. i swear last night she was in the deepest sleep but when I put her down she got quite bad hiccups which woke her up. It's good to know it may get better in time.

Am considering cutting dairy out of my diet. Is it enough to just not eat any milk, cheese, yogurt etc. or do I have to scan everything I eat for traces of milk protein? Will take her to the gp next week if we're not getting anywhere. Just worried they will think I am barking as she is gaining weight and is generally more content during the day.

parsleysandwich sorry to hear you are having problems, let me know how you get on.

RottenRow Fri 22-Jul-11 12:14:27

just another thought, dd2 is also getting nappy rash, could this be related? can't remember dd1 getting it so early. we clean with cotton wool and water

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 12:16:36

Some reflux (silent reflux) doesn't include much puking.

Nappy rash could also be related to cow's milk intolerance. Or possibly thrush?

parsleysandwich Fri 22-Jul-11 12:21:59

RitaMorgan - thank you, that's a really interesting article. I've been having trouble getting anything done about the tongue tie, despite the Health Visitor noticing it over a week ago, but will put some more effort into getting that dealt with...

Good luck RottenRow - I've also felt that since he seems to be gaining weight well, maybe I'm fussing about nothing. He isn't sick either. But I'm sure it is worth trying to fix things rather than the baby being uncomfortable and you not able to sleep.

marzipananimal Fri 22-Jul-11 13:24:56

have you thought about cranial osteopathy? I don't know much about it - just read about it on here - but apparently babies can have problems caused by slight misalignments or birth injuries etc and an osteopath can sort them out

Forester Fri 22-Jul-11 13:33:06

My DD had reflux and had medication for it. Tilting up her cot worked fine at night but the doctor recommended that she slept in her rocker during the day and also said that there's nothing wrong with them sleeping in their car seat at this age - overnight if necessary (i.e. the two hour limit or whatever it is is a myth). So definitely worth having a chat with your doctor as your situation is very miserable at the moment.

camdancer Fri 22-Jul-11 15:11:02

DD1 had silent reflux and so also refused to sleep on her back. Very little spitting up but she was crying with pain. Once we had her on Ranitidine she was a different baby.

DD2's reflux was more the usual lots of sick type. After 2 weeks of her sleeping on either me or DH we made the decision to let her sleep on her stomach. Very, very controversial and something you have to decide for yourself as it has been linked to an increase in cot death. I am also doing a total elimination diet to try to work out what is causing the reflux. So far the one thing I know is that either strawberries or cherries give her very bad nappy rash.

pettyprudence Sat 23-Jul-11 21:01:53

My DS has a cows milk protein intolerance which showed itself via acid reflux - wouldn't lie down, screaming, puking. I read that it would take 2 weeks to see any improvement after cutting out all dairy (if it was CMP) but I only lasted 1 day doing that! I did cut out milk and cream and actually saw an improvement in just 3 days. I can still eat cheese and butter. Phew!

Now he just has reflux without the screaming and maybe this would improve if I cut out all traces of CMP but I don't realistically think I could manage that (I started reading back of packets and CMP is added to EVERYTHING!) so instead we have lots of bandana bibs and change of clothes for both of us grin Oh and now he has head control I tip him over the laminate flooring after a feed as its a lot easier to clean that than it is him/me!

Iggly Sat 23-Jul-11 21:09:08

Sounds like silent reflux. DS had this. Slept upright on me or lying on his left hand side (better than the right) on an angle (cot was on blocks).

I also used a sling in the day.

Speak to your GP and ask to try gaviscon or ranitidine (latter is more effective, former is usually what they try first). You should keep a note of symptoms and don't be fobbed off. Took four visits for us to get the meds and it made a huge difference.

Also worth considering a dummy for after a feed, keep waist bands loose - dress baby in all-in-ones or dungarees and don't do nappies up tightly.

Another thing I had to do was block feed ie feed one boob very other feed because my let down was very fast which made DS gulp too much air - he'd get wind which would also bring acid up.

I also gave up dairy because DS reacted to cows milk protein via my BM (so formula was out). Same with soya! I drank a lot of ovaltine to maintain calcium intake. He still reacted when a young toddler so I knew I'd done the right thing.

Iggly Sat 23-Jul-11 21:14:11

this website is useful

SnarkHunt Mon 25-Jul-11 16:40:39

How do you feel about cosleeping? When my little one was about 2-3 weeks she seemed really uncomfortable on her back, would go to sleep but as soon as I put her in her MB she would squirm and grunt and cry and sometimes be sick. In the end I let her sleep on her tummy on me, laying in cuddle position on my chest while I was flat on my back. If you get them in the right position it feels really stable and safe. She slept really well, so did I and she grew out of it in a couple of weeks. It might not be for everyone but if you feel comfortable and don't cover baby in duvets or anything it might work. She sleeps in her own bed most of the time so rs not a long term commitment!

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