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Baby writhes so can't settle

(14 Posts)
Mafiti Sat 13-Apr-13 21:30:05

DD (breastfed) is 11 weeks old, but this has been a problem from the start. She does one deep sleep stint when I put her down at night, having not really slept well in the evening. This could be anything from 2 hours to 4. We managed 6 hours once but that seems to have been fluke! I consider 3 hours a good night. I then feed her, burp her (she rarely actually burps but does posset or sick up a bit) and try to put her back down. She's fine in my arms but as soon as I out her back in the Moses basket she pulls her legs up, arches her back and grunts and groans every couple of minutes. She's normally sleepy enough for me to re swaddle her but she then writhes and grunts and groans and pulls her knees up for the rest of the night. She also thrashes her head from side to side.

As she's getting bigger, she manages to escape from the swaddle after max 2 hours (i only rwally wrap up her arms so as not to restrict her legs or hips) and then I just can't get her to sleep as she's wriggling and writhing too much and then there's the startle reflex, too... But she's clearly really tired.

I think the writhing is farts brewing. I don't think she's in pain, but it makes for an unsettled night for both of us because i basicallys only get that first stint of sleep (and she's crap at napping during the day so i generally cant catch up) so I wonder if there's anything I can do to help her fart? I should mention that she's a very infrequent poo-er. She poos, then nothing for 4-6 days, then generally two poos in two days and then back to 4-6 days. When she does poo, there's lots of it, it's orange and fluid so I know the infrequency itself isn't anything to worry about.

Any suggestions for the writhing and thrashing about?

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 13-Apr-13 21:34:58

Sounds like wind related colic - nothing much to do except wait for her to grow out of it which usually happens at around 3 months - hopefully soon for you smile I used to put DS on my chest on his tummy and rub his back which seemed to help him fart!

You're right that pooing every few days or even once a week is normal for a breastfed baby.

You could try something like gripe water or infacol but some people think they are a placebo anyway.

Dumdeedumdeedum Sat 13-Apr-13 21:37:31

This sounds so familiar to me, my DS had reflux and bad wind. It can be silent (ie not so much puke) which can cause the writhing as the acid goes up their throats. I found holding DS upright or 15-20 post feed helped. He also needed ALOT of winding and patting didn't work. We had to straighten and roll his spine to get him to bring up the wind. Pushing their knees to their chests can also help. If you can try and find a baby massage class, or you HV team might have someone who can train you. HTH.

stargirl1701 Sat 13-Apr-13 21:40:34

Reflux? Silent reflux?

VisualiseAHorse Sat 13-Apr-13 22:15:39

Reflux is like stomach acid coming back up into their mouths, and can make them puke. Silent reflux is where they don't really puke, and it can be really painful for them.

A good winding technique for us was...
Sit baby up, supporting chin with one hand and back with the other.
Tip baby right back, then right forward (so he's almost bent in half)
Do this a couple of times slowly and then sit him up. Normally releases a good burp.

You can also try laying baby on his back on the floor, bring his right shoulder and left knee together (obviously, don't push too hard!), and then repeat on the other side, a few times each side. This one is good for farts/lower trapped wind.

Try cutting out dairy from your own diet and see if that helps too.

minipie Sat 13-Apr-13 22:55:55

oh this sounds just like my DD. she had terrible wind which stopped her sleeping. she also had a bit of silent reflux but I really think it was the wind which was the main issue.

i think the only thing you can do is try to reduce the air going in in the first place. take a long time over winding after feeds and try to wind before she falls asleep on the boob. check latch is good. does your DD seem to take in lots of air when feeding? does she 'click' or seem to fall off the boob/have a shallow latch? if so it is really worth getting her checked for tongue tie. this was our problem, once the tie was snipped (sadly not till quite late) the wind was sooo much better.

before DD's wind improved, the only thing that really worked was having her sleep on my chest... I think the tummy down position and the warmth helped. she slept for much longer stretches that way. but of course it wasn't all that comfy for me... swings and roundabouts!

minipie Sun 14-Apr-13 09:39:04

forgot to say, putting dd on her side and tilting her Moses basket also helped a bit.

Mafiti Sun 14-Apr-13 10:19:22

Thanks everyone. She does have a posterior tongue tie that was snipped at five weeks but it doesn't seem to have done anything. Her latch used to be toe curlingly awful, now it's ok to basically feed and I help her drain the breast with lots of compression. I'm going to have the TT checked next week to see if it's grown back. Post snip she doesn't form a good seal around the boob (or bottle) but we seem to manage to get "enough" milk into her.

I'll look into silent reflux again - I don't know much about it and it seems very hard to get a diagnosis. A friend just got her DD diagnosed with the pukey kind of reflux when it was bleedin' obvious that's what it was (poor scrap had been vomiting every feed for 5 weeks) but it still took repeated visits to doctors/hospital and finally a private paediatrician to get her the right treatment. I dread to think what a clueless GP would make of SILENT reflux. (They know nothing about tongue tie either). Right, will get researching.

ZolaBuddleia Sun 14-Apr-13 10:27:11

My HV was very clued up on silent reflux. Tried various meds but in the end Ranitidine and Carobel fixed it. Carobel is tricky if you BF, it's a thickener so you'd need to express and then add it to the milk.

Good luck, DD was a writher, awful.

MandragoraWurzelstock Sun 14-Apr-13 10:32:11

I think all you can do (and I have a 14 weeker) is to hold her in the most comfortable position for her (and you if possible) because that's the way you'll both be happiest and get the most sleep.

Mine hates to lie flat, he will sleep propped up though - I always end up with him resting on my arm or the pillow, in my bed, which is fine as he sleeps then and I'll do anything to have him comfy iyswim

It won't be forever, just roll with it, path of least resistance.

minipie Sun 14-Apr-13 16:19:04

I have read that babies with TT often seem to have reflux (silent or not) because all the air they take in makes their stomach contents more likely to come up.

I would definitely get the TT snip rechecked, what you describe (not just the writhing but also the bad seal and need to do lots of compressions) is just like my experience with DD before the snip.

plummyjam Sun 14-Apr-13 17:51:29

Sounds exactly like my 8 week old. I was co-sleeping and BF lying down. She would have a good long stint 4 hours from 9-1 then feeding every 1-2 hours but after the first stretch her sleep would be really poor - lots of writhing, arms flailing, grunting and eventually waking herself up.

I have suspected reflux as she was vomiting and crying after feeds in the daytime but we've sorted that now by feeding her more upright.

Last night I tried putting her to sleep in the Moses basket but with the head end elevated so it's on a slope (bit more shallow than a bouncing chair). Also kept her semi-upright for about 20 mins after each feed and gave infacol pre-feed in case she was windy.

She slept like a dream! No grunting or flailing. Still waking every 2 hours but sleeping quietly and she's been much more settled today.

Might be worth just elevating the Moses basket/cot? Grobags are also good for stopping covers being kicked off.

I'm a bit gutted that our co-sleeping days are over as BF lying down was working so well until the reflux kicked in but I think we both got better sleep as a result of the measures above. Good luck and keep us updated!

Mafiti Sun 14-Apr-13 21:31:18

Just a thought - if it was reflux, wouldn't the symptoms be noticeable all the time? Just in the last week I've managed to put her down for little 45-minute naps during the day. When I first put her in the Moses basket (very sleepy but not quite completely asleep) she might pull up her knees and/or do a big stretch, but she's often sleepy enough to go off.

Similarly, when I put her down before going to bed myself, I get her to fall asleep on my shoulder, use a hot water bottle to make Moses basket snuggly and swaddle her. She's usually ok, though she might only sleep for two hours, it is proper deep sleep. It's after the night feed in particular where she's writhing and thrashing about and she'll only sleep fitfully.

If she was in pain, it would stop her sleeping at other times as well, wouldn't it? Maybe it has got more to do with her tongue tie and bottom wind... [Confused]

stargirl1701 Sun 14-Apr-13 22:05:40

No. At that age DD's silent reflux came and went. By 4 months it was with us 24/7.

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