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On the edge due to sleepless nights. Can you help?

(23 Posts)
Dunnitt Fri 09-Nov-12 21:59:16

6 wk old baby will not sleep more than 2 hours at once. Sometimes just 45 minutes! no matter whether he's had a lot of sleep in the day or just 2 hours. he always wakes 2 to 3 times between 11.30 and 6. And I don't think it's hunger as he hardly has any milk when offered. Am I expecting to much? I am crying with exhaustion so any ideas welcome.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 22:10:51

Oh it's so rough the early days but sounds normal. Exhaustion is such a killer sad x

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 22:12:15

Are you resting when the baby does in the day? You need to ignore housework for a bit and stay in your jamas and just get your head down whenever you can.

QTPie Fri 09-Nov-12 22:39:51

If it isn't hunger, then work on patting/shushing/settling and it will happen - you just need to stick with it.

Agree with what others have said: take it easy and sleep much as possible until you get through it.

PotteringAlong Fri 09-Nov-12 22:45:07

My 11 month old wakes 2 or 3 times every night! I thunk you're expecting too much, but I've found my body got used to less sleep and waking that often.

AlCookie Sat 10-Nov-12 03:07:56

God ! The pathetic beginning!!

Heres presenting to u a 'once upon a time' ultra frustrated mum of a now 7.5 month old - or i would rather (if you will) a mirror that shows you the beautiful future grin
At 6 weeks....I would gladly kill anybody who said 'dont worry....after 4 months all will be fine'. My reaction was - what are you, kidding me?!?! With as much sleep deprivation and cumulative exhaustion, i would be dead long before its 4 months!

But no, i am alive and much much much happier!

Well...,all the drama above was meant to 1) bring a smile to your face (i hope it did) and 2) a very very heartfelt sympathy. I so remember those first days, weeks, months!

As stated by other mums, the only way to catch up is to forget everything else. Everything means everything and includes every little household work, personal grooming everything. I hope you have some help around for the routine jobs like breakfast, dinner etc. You have to relax all day. I could never really 'sleep when the baby sleeps' but yes, whenever he was asleep, i just relaxed. Watched tv, watched friends on my laptop, took a bath or anything but enjoyed some 'me time'. I also indulged in food grin
Also, it was hard but i accepted the fact that for now my 24 hours are the same with no difference between day and night. So for now, just dont bother whether its night or day - round the clock baby will 'need you' every 1 to 2 hours. It could be just for comfort but at this stage comfort is a basic need like eating so please dont ignore this need. Its easier said than done but keeping such little things in mind will really save your soul.

I am one who was (and still is) convinced that i m not cut out to b a mum. But still, today i have a very happy 7.5 month old. And no matter how far it may seem like right now, but this happy point is your future. It might not be just round the corner but let me tell you one great thing - FROM WHERE YOU ARE, IT ONLY GETS BETTER!!

AlCookie Sat 10-Nov-12 03:08:21

Sorry for the long essay! I just didnt realise!

Lavenderhoney Sat 10-Nov-12 04:09:08

He sounds a wakeful babysmile is is happy when he wakes? Some babies don't need so much sleep. My ds was like yours, then my dd slept really well, both bf. I thought people were making it up til I had dd and she slept!

I found reading your baby from 0-5 very helpful as she discusses wakeful babies and sleep very well.

Really good suggestions on this thread for you, just get sorted with easy snacks for you, remote in reach, or a book. If he is awake and just wants to be cuddled by you that is normal, he's only just arrived. He will be happy to gaze at you whilst in your arms for now.
Please be kind to yourself, you've just had a baby- and relax as much as possible, just snuggle up - don't use the time he sleeps to charge round cleaning. Tidy kitchen, clean loo, put rubbish out, bare minimum - he might lie in a flat chair thing so he can see you whilst you do things, taking him with you round the house, chatting away to him in few weeks.

Smicha Sat 10-Nov-12 04:15:19

QT I'm in the same boat, 6 weeks and at least 3 feeds a night, so I wanted to offer solidarity rather than any real tips. One thing that keeps me going is that ds sometimes likes to fall back to sleep after his breakfast feed so on days where we have no plans I bring him into bed with me at that point and we sleep until 9 or 10 (never thought I'd think of 9 as a lie-in!) and then laze about for maybe another hour and that seems to make a difference to how I feel even though I feel guilty for 'wasting' the morning. On the days I'm really tired I can guarantee he won't fall back asleep though!

Al when I first read your post I thought you must have webcams set up all over the place to 'watch friends on your laptop' then I realised you must mean the sitcom, rather than your actual friends blush I blame sleep deprivation for my idiocy!

funchum8am Sat 10-Nov-12 04:16:32

I am going through the exact same thing. Tried getting her to stay awake longer and take more milk at night feeds but it is impossible to get her to take a proper feed as she falls asleep, but then wakes between 5 mins and 2 hours later. It was ok til this week but has started catching up on me. I can't offer any advice but loads of sympathy coming your way!

NervousAt20 Sat 10-Nov-12 04:24:13

My DD is 3 weeks old and wakes up at least every 2 hours if not more so hoping like you for a light at the end of tunnel

Hyperballad Sat 10-Nov-12 04:26:31

I've just done the 3rd feed of the night and my baby is 4 months old.

He is my first so I take full advantage of not having to get up and I sleep in as much as possible before starting my day.

I breast feed lying down on the occasions I'm exhausted then I can continue to doze and keep my head on the pillow which does help.

Longtalljosie Sat 10-Nov-12 04:27:52

Bless you - are you a lone parent or do you have a partner? My baby's five weeks and I go to bed at 9 leaving DH in charge until midnight, whereupon he gives her an expressed bottle which hopefully (worked v well with DD1) should give me a regular block of six hours sleep. We've just started this last week - much earlier than we started with DD1 but so far so good...

Smicha Sat 10-Nov-12 04:27:56

<<waves at funch and nervous>>
One other thing, there's a thread in the feeding section that helps lots of us get through sleepless nights if you need people to talk to and keep you sane!

waterrat Sat 10-Nov-12 08:11:44

Does he cry when he wakes? It's not for everyone but safely co sleeping might help him back into deeper pattern of sleep when he wakes each time.

IT does get better - I'm afraid what you describe is quite normal! My DS started doing 3/4 hour stretches at about 8 weeks - then by 12 weeks even longer...

lola88 Sat 10-Nov-12 10:19:30

My field of expertise this DS is 9 months and still wakes 2/3 times a night - he's just a wakefull baby nothing will make him sleep unless he wants to. This is how i survived

If you have any family near by ask them to come sit with the baby while you get an hour upstairs (9 time out of 10 they will let you sleep longer unless baby needs you especially if they are mothers they know what your going through) If your very close to them go visit and snooze on thier sofa

I used to sleep with DS in the day in my bed because he slept longer that way

At 6 weeks i also used to just lay up on the sofa while DS was on they play mat just to rest my body

And i kid you not i had redbull with my breakfast and lunch for the first 5 months

lola88 Sat 10-Nov-12 10:20:58

Oh and it will get better even if your baby isn't a great sleeper your body gets used to it by this point i count only getting up twice as a good night and i'm fine the next day

Yamyoid Sat 10-Nov-12 10:22:57

You say you're on the edge. I find Rescue Remedy helps with that.

Dunnitt Sun 11-Nov-12 22:14:41

Thank you everyone! Your words are a gteat comfort, particular alCookie, especially as here we are again, 10pm and my little bundle of joy has only sleept 3 hours in 16. DH currently walking him around to try and get him to sleep. This evening I was sick with the stress/pressure of trying to get him to sleep. He managed 45 mins and then wide awake. Oddly I felt more relaxed when he woke up again, the stress of waiting for him to wake up seems to be worse than him being awake! I was anti co sleeping, as concerned that it would form a bad habit that was hard to chage. But I may be changing my mind on that one...thanks again everyone

MoelFammau Mon 12-Nov-12 00:50:57

DD is 18mo and has slept through twice in her life. If you count midnight-6am as 'through'. The best it's been is 2 wakings between 9pm-7am. The average is nearer 4. And sometimes she cries all night. She has silent reflux and a suspected dairy intolerance though so is in pain.

I've also worked full time since she was 3mo while EBF and my nerves are so thin I can feel them twanging.

No advice but a lot of sympathy.

NapDamnYou Mon 12-Nov-12 01:03:03

Oh you poor lady.

My sympathies, I remember this so well. DH went on a conference in Ireland when DS was 6 weeks and having growth spurt and I wanted to die with tiredness and misery.

DS sleeps now but my god,it was hard. Are you BF?
Here is how to feed lying down.

Second the do not do anything apart from grab sleep and rest and sit or lie down when you can. You are doing brilliantly its not your fault he isn't good at sleeping yet.

NapDamnYou Mon 12-Nov-12 01:05:29

Ps you CANNOT get them into bad habits at 6 weeks old. Do whatever you need to do to cope. Really. And have a glass of wine if you want one. Or a mars bar. Or a good cry.

superchick Mon 12-Nov-12 05:41:43

DD was like this for ages. Months and months. Anyway, I'm not trying to scare you, co-sleeping is the only long term solution. It happened by accident really but was a lifesaver. I could doze off while bf . Don't worry about bad habits, just do whatever necessary to get through it. I remember that feeling of being on the edge very well.

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