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please help me break this god awful routine

(13 Posts)
JessJess3908 Mon 29-Sep-08 09:51:22

My dd is only 3 weeks and 4 days old but she has got herself into a killer routine that is tipping me over the edge. at around midnight she seems to get really upset then cries and cries until 4am or 5am.

i am trying to keep her awake more during the day - but it seems she can stay awake for 12-15 hrs at a time. I make sure she is awake 9am and 12 noon for feeds. then for the last couple of days she has fed almost consantly all afternoon and early eve.

at around midnight something seems to happen to upset her - she pulls herself off the breast but then gets angry and shrieks. if she's not feeding the only thing that will keep her quiet is being lifted in the air. all this time she is wide awake - not even taking cat naps.

we are bfing... except when i lose it in the middle of the night and give har formula to try and shut her up. please help, dp and i are dreading the nights (sad

fransmom Mon 29-Sep-08 09:56:26

(((((((((((((((((((())))))))))))))))))))))
i'm sorry i don't have any advice for you sweetheart but bumping for you xxx

throckenholt Mon 29-Sep-08 10:01:21

don't try to keep her awake during the day - in my experience an overtired baby doesn't sleep well.

So - try and stick to a 2 hour rule - awake for a max of 2 hours - sometimes less if they are really tired - once they get to the yawning stage they are overtired.

You sleep when she does for the time being.

At night - my tiny babies settled best on dh's chest (there you are - something he can really do to help grin). Also try settling on her tummy and then once asleep turn her over on to her back.

My first one - I didn't know about the 2 hour rule - and he was a nightmare - could easily be awake for 10-12 hours in the day - and I nearly went mental.

tiktok Mon 29-Sep-08 10:04:10

JessJess - this sounds so exhausting

Can you call one of the breastfeeding lines and talk it through? One option would be simply to go with the flow, and not attempt to keep her awake in that morning period - what you are doing now by doing this could be making her grumpy and unsettled and actually making this issue worse.

Babies in these early weeks change day by day - trying to change the pattern and behaviour a baby has can lead to other complications, whereas going along with what the baby seems to need can be more peaceful and a lot easier. Time itself can allow the baby to reach an easier routine.

Babies of this age may need a lot of holding and skin to skin, and love napping close to mum. They may not like being put down to sleep in a crib. It can be hard to accommodate this, but it is a lot harder (I think) doing what you're doing and fighting it - 'cos you can't win

shoedweller Mon 29-Sep-08 10:12:42

Completely agree with throckenholt.

Tired babies cannot sleep.

Try this:
Once she is up in the morning start watching for a yawn after 1 1/2 hours (this may take a while before 1st yawn or maybe earlier if she's as tired as you are). After the first yawn take her into a quiet dark room and cuddle her for 5 mins. Then put her to bed. Stay with her in the dark but don't pick her up - just put your hand on her tummy. She'll be asleep before you know it. When she wakes up note the time and repeat. It'll take a while to see how long she can stay up for but once you've learnt how long they are usually consistent. My dc3 is currently only managing 1hour 5 mins at 8weeks!

Aim to get her to bed for the night at 6-7pm.

shoedweller Mon 29-Sep-08 10:18:03

Completely agree with throckenholt.

Tired babies cannot sleep.

Try this:
Once she is up in the morning start watching for a yawn after 1 1/2 hours (this may take a while before 1st yawn or maybe earlier if she's as tired as you are). After the first yawn take her into a quiet dark room and cuddle her for 5 mins. Then put her to bed. Stay with her in the dark but don't pick her up - just put your hand on her tummy. She'll be asleep before you know it. When she wakes up note the time and repeat. It'll take a while to see how long she can stay up for but once you've learnt how long they are usually consistent. My dc3 is currently only managing 1hour 5 mins at 8weeks!

Aim to get her to bed for the night at 6-7pm.

I know you're thinking but she won't go to sleep - that's what I thought.

Just give it a go.

JessJess3908 Tue 30-Sep-08 21:56:41

we had best night ever last night - thank u all for helping me chill out smile and fingers crossed it works again tonight!

throckenholt Wed 01-Oct-08 06:43:25

hope you had a good night last night too.

You will get duff ones - but hopefully you will now be getting enough sleep so that the odd bad day/night won't fry your brain the way it was before.

shoedweller Wed 01-Oct-08 09:19:20

So glad to hear it's working. Sleep is sooo important imo.

Pinchypants Wed 01-Oct-08 09:56:31

Totally agree with the great advice here - the more tiny babies sleep during the day without getting overtired, the better they sleep in my experience - my second (DS) is six weeks old and after learning all about sleep from the Baby Whisperer after a difficult first few weeks with DD, I have been getting him down for a nap at the latest an hour after the end of a feed and as long as I catch him at the first or second yawn, he'll drift off to sleep by himself very happily each time until he's hungry again - it usually works out at a 2 and a half to three our cycle. It's the 'eat-activity-sleep- you time' thing, and it works a treat. I never know how quickly and easily babies get overtired or overstimulated until I had DD - I always assumed that a tired baby would just have a kip!

Hope your nights get more manageable very soon.

toomanysweeties Wed 01-Oct-08 16:04:22

Once they are overtired how do you get them to sleep ?? This sounds so much like my DD2 today (5wks). Much sympathy with OP !

shoedweller Wed 01-Oct-08 18:41:38

The key to it toomanysweeties is to keep on top of it all day long. Start at the beginning of a new day. If on any one occassion you acidentally keep them awake longer than their time slot then they will be crying because they are tired. Put them down after a cuddle even if they are crying. They may well end up crying to sleep but that amount of crying compared with the amount you get at the end of a day when they really are overtired is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. They are after all crying because they are tired so the only way to stop them is to let them get to sleep which is most efficiently done by not interfering with them - although other methods work too obviously.

throckenholt Wed 01-Oct-08 19:11:50

if they are really overtired then try white noise - put them in their cot and put an out of tune (static) radio beside them - that somehow relaxes their brain and they sleep.

You soon learn to pick up their queues - with mine yawning was too late - not very helpfully I can't now remember what the signs were.

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