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First six weeks

(7 Posts)
Jobob80 Fri 24-Dec-10 19:56:47

My dd1 was born four weeks ago tomorrow, and generally she's a dream baby. She breastfeeds well without causing me any pain and is putting on weight at a great rate. She's healthy and alert and peaceful when not hungry or windy.

The difficulty is that she's something of a night owl. During the day she often sleeps like a proverbial baby, nodding off soon after being fed and sleeping soundly for hours at a time. At night, on the other hand, she seems to struggle to sleep for longer than about 40 minutes, which over the last three nights has lead to my dh and myself completely failing to get any substantial amounts of sleep between 9pm and 5am. She also takes far more milk during this time than she does during the day, which is draining on me, sitting up on my own trying not to nod off.

It's survivable now, if intrusive, as we're not working, but dh is back to work after Christmas and it'd be good if we could get just a reasonable amount of sleep most nights. Plus of course sleeping late into the day means we miss both most of the daylight (I live in Scotland) and pretty much all chance of getting out to the shops or the park or whatever.

Frankly I think a dummy would be just the ticket but of course she's still very young for that, as she's exclusively breastfed. I may try that about a week before dh goes back to work if we've got the same situation still ongoing.

Any thoughts or tips? Words of hope? Any chance Santa will show up at ours tonight if we're all still awake?? smile

AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Fri 24-Dec-10 20:32:37

Kellymom has some tips - scroll down for the newborn ones.

Exposing her to daylight is your best bet. Outside is best, but by a window is thenext best thing.

I really wouldn't try to sit up and feed her - it's gruelling for you and not safe if you do accidentally nod off (I've nearly done it many a time). Set up your bed so she can't roll off and see if you can feed lying down. Even better, try the whole night co-sleeping. It will make the world of difference. I only wish I'd known about it when DS was newborn rather than discovering it at 4 months - I'd have been a lot less sleep deprived. Even if you can't sleep through the feeds (and you'd be amazed how easy that is), lying down is more restful and you don't have to worry about propping your eyelids open.

I can't see why a dummy would make any difference to her day/night issue.


AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Fri 24-Dec-10 20:33:51

And congratulations on your DD.

Porcelain Sun 26-Dec-10 14:17:19

I would suggest cosleep, you can get foam bumpers or rails meant for toddlers to stop her rolling out, though that's just backup, you'll be surprised how well you monitor her in your sleep. Did your mw give you the UNICEF cosleeping leaflet? You will likely find you respond to her better so she doesn't cry and disturb dp.
Her behaviour is normal, you produce more prolactin at night so this is the better time for her to feed. She will start to sleep more at night, daylight, noise during the day (leave the radio on when she naps) and generally being up and busy in the day will encourage her.
I didn't find a soother helpful. Cuddling him in bed worked better. He spat them out. Plus there is the theory that satisfying the urge to suck reduces their sucking at the breast, which might seem a good idea, but she is "ordering" her future milk supply, so unless you are sore It's best to let her.

vmcd28 Mon 27-Dec-10 20:55:46

My ds is 5 weeks old. I've found it helps if you make sure you all get up at a set time, say 8 or 9am. Get your baby up, open the curtains/blinds and get her nappy changed and clothes changed. Do this every morning to try to get her body clock used to being up at the same sort of time each day. Whenever she wakes during the day, try to make it exciting and stimulating for her. Be full of smiles and excited voices, put her in a bouncy chair or even in front of the tv, just so she can see that daytime is fun. When she's asleep in the daytime, make sure there is noise, eg tv or music a.d chatting, washing machine etc. Conversely at nighttime, keep everything dimly lit and whisper to her and to your ds, ie make nighttime boring.
I haven't started an evening routine yet, but it might be worth trying a set time for a bath or a calming story or something?
Anyway, this should start to set your dd's body clock a little.
Oh, and nap on the settee when dd is asleep during the day - don't be tempted to lie-in. That's what turns day into night. X

zan06 Thu 30-Dec-10 10:05:05

I'm so pleased to read this post! I was about to write a fairly identical one... My baby is only 10 days old so I'm aware that she's still quite little for a routine, but her body clock seems to be fairly stuck in nocturnal mode. She sleeps well and feeds well during the day and also has awake periods. However, at night she seems ravenous and feeds every hour.

Various people have suggested that I try to keep her awake more in the day, and that I feed her more often during the day. However, I feed her every 3 hours and when she is asleep, nothing seems to wake her or keep her awake for any length of time. We already have a bath time routine each evening and I will keep this up in the hope that it is effective as she gets a little older...

I'm afraid of co-sleeping and am concerned that it would be very difficult to move my baby into her own bed once she is used to sharing ours. I currently have her in a Moses basket right next to me so I can just reach and pick her up when she is hungry.

Thanks for the advice written in this thread - it's reassuring to know that I'm probably trying the right things and just need to continue doing so...

lurcherlover Thu 30-Dec-10 22:14:40

My DS was exactly like this in the early days - MW told me it's completely normal, for two main reasons:
1. They are used to being in the womb and being lulled to sleep in the day by your movements - at night when you were still in bed is when they would wake up and kick about. This continues for a while until they learn about day and night.
2. Your prolactin levels (milk producing hormone) are higher at night and babies are designed to feed more then - nature made it that way so that cavewoman could feed her baby when they were tucked up together in the cave at night, and during the day she could do more food-gathering etc.

You will in all probability find your babies work it out themselves. For me, DS suddenly started sleeping more at nights when he was 3 weeks old and has continued to do so. The amount he sleeps varies, but he will always sleep for a few hours solid now (he's now 9 weeks). So it will probably happen for you soon. In the meantime, make sure you abide by the rule to sleep when the baby sleeps - if that means you go to bed in the early evening for a bit, so be it (I used to sleep from 8pm til 11, then I could do the night shift). Prioritise sleep over everything else, it's the only way to survive!

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