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Baby will not sleep, at end of tether, please help!!(47 Posts)
My lovely baby is 5 weeks old (6 on Wednesday) and I am absolutely at the end of my rope. This baby will not sleep. Sometimes she sleeps during the day for a maximum of 2 hours. But the rest of the time, which includes overnight, she grizzles and whinges and simply refuses to go down for more than about ten minutes (just enough for me to get drowsy before she screams and screams). Then she will only settle on the boob before the whole cycle begins again.
So I haven't slept for more than an hour since she was born and it is ruining my time with her. Every time I pick her up , she just roots and yells for milk - even if she's just eaten. I feel like a dairy cow. I am sure the milk supply is fine as she has a very easy latch, has gained a lot of weight, and fills lots of nappies. I'm sure it's comfort feeding.
I have a very supportive OH but there is only so much he can fo when this bottomless pit of a baby just screams for food after an hour with him. And to make matters worse, he's started snoring like a truck.
This is the fifth morning on the trot that the baby has been awake all night. My back and shoulders are killing me and I'm hallucinating with tiredness and worst of all struggling not to shout at my helpless beautiful daughter. I an disgusted with myself.
Things that don't work: swaddling, white noise, cuddling without feeding, rocking the buggy, sleepyhead next to me in bed ( we have a memory foam mattress so she can't co sleep as it's not recommended), walking around ...
What am I doing wrong and how can I do it right???
Have you tried a dummy? And by tried, I mean persevered with it for a bit? It doesn't work for everyone but for some, my DD included, it worked like a charm at such a young age.
This is a gruelling time for you
Can you try to express a bottle? I would then give her a warm bath and give her the bottle and put to sleep for her night time.
My dd1 used to just snack on me so was at the breast all the time for the first 12 weeks until she became much more efficient at feeding. She too couldn't be put down as she was nearly always needing a feed!
With dd2 i am expressing and so know how much she is taking each feed and she is the opposite to dd1, very chilled, good sleeper, until she's hungry!
Dh taking her for a drive so quiet house for you to sleep?
Sling so baby is napping on you/your dh and not getting over tired?
Lots of coffee, cake and sympathy with the knowledge this is just a phase and it won't last for long...
This was me ok so have you tried safe co sleeping? I was fortunate enough to have a midwife who taught me to co sleep safely.
It's biology that a baby so very young will only sleep on you, a sling in the day will become your best friend.
My DS did not sleep as a newborn in the day EVER!
I promise it does get better, I do believe in the 4th trimester, they have spent 9months inside you, in totally different surroundings.
Baby wearing & co sleeping was how I survived the first 6 months.
You aren't doing it wrong. My dd1 was the same. Comfort feeding is fine. It isn't a bad thing to do. She's only been in the world a few weeks so it's scary and new. She needs to be close to the person who has kept her safe for 9 months. Comfort is what she wants and she's getting it from you and your magic boobs! It's not wrong but I know it is exhausting. This incessant feeding will pass as she develops. My dd2 is 7 weeks and she's starting to sleep longer at night.
If she's got plenty nappies she's probably fine but it might be worth speaking to a bf midwife or lactation consultant just in case. I'd say it sounds pretty normal though. A bf support group either local to you or online would help.
Get a sling (Sa-Be is affordable and good) and carry her through the day in that. Being held close will make her feel more secure. Cosleeping is probably the answer for night because you'll be able to feed lying down. I sleep through lots of feeds! Could you sleep in a different bed?
Good luck, op.
Babies are really hard work and this can be quite normal and typical behaviours. It does get better I promise.
I would second getting a sling, are there sling libraries locally and looking into safe co sleeping, please look at the following website
However I would not encourage co sleeping if you or anyone in household are smokers, consuming alcohol or are on medication.
Please today look at the information, perhaps a grandparent can take baby for a scenic drive or an afternoon nap is due
Have you had baby checked for tongue tie?
That can make them very slow feeders, so whilst she may appear to be latched on well, she may not be very efficient.
Our second had tongue tie, and made a noticeable difference to the amount of time he wanted to spend feeding after it was snipped. Before it was just constant cluster feeding, which sounds like what you are going through.
If you've ruled tongue tie out, then try a dummy and get someone to take her a long drive in the car so she can sleep and you can get a break.
Don't be disgusted with yourself, you need sleep. A dummy and sling are both worth a good try. I was at the end of my rope with my dd at similar age. She fed constantly and had a big voice (still does) and the dummy brought a new, much more settled side of her.
Gosh - that's a website address I had to think twice about before clicking!!
My first DS was very much like your baby OP, and eventually he started to go down for longer periods of time. I think that your DH will just need to take the baby out for a couple of hours to give you a rest. You'll feel better after a couple of good hours sleep. Sending you hugs...
As some other posters have suggested, you need DH or a friend/relative to look after baby while you get a few hours kip. Out of the house for a walk/drive if need be. Don't feel bad about this. You need sleep to stay sane.
This may not be the case for you, but my milk supply ran slow by the end of every evening due to utter exhaustion, so baby was constantly snacking but couldn't get full enough for a long sleep. A regular mummy nap when DH got home from work sorted this out for me (and was noticeably better from the first nap, so you'll know quickly if this is your problem). If not, perhaps you could express a bit and let DH do a feed while you sleep.
This was my third child. She was very alert and got over stimulated very quickly and then found it impossible to wind down. I cluster fed, put in sling and paced and paced the house and cluster fed some more. Awful. However i could recognise nothing was seriously wrong, she was just finding it hard to settle as I'd had two before: Could it possibly be reflux ? Get a wrap sling and pace with her after feeding and I used to just unwrap the top so she didn't get too hot and then fall asleep sat up in bed still with the sling round me with her on my chest and a load of pillows under each of my arms so I didn't budge from holding her on my chest.
I know I'm probably going to get flamed for saying it because it's "not recommended".....but I had the same problem with my DD from birth. She slept for 20-30mins max day or night and it very nearly broke me. We tried everything. Swaddling, co-sleeping, white noise, the lot. Then one day I rang my mum in tears, and she suggested I tried putting her down on her tummy - apparently that was the safe-sleep advice when I was born. I did it when she was 4 weeks old, and she suddenly slept from 7pm until midnight, had a feed, then slept from about 1am until 6am! She is 6mo now and will only sleep on her front in the cot.
Obviously, if you're not 100% comfortable with trying it then don't. I understand the concerns over cot death, I was terrified the first time I did it - but I was surprised at how strong my DD's neck was. She turned her head from side to side by herself when she needed to.
Sparkly sleeping on tummy worked for my DD too as she had reflux.
Have you/would you consider formula feeding?
Jw35 yea my LO was diagnosed with reflux too a couple of weeks after I started putting her on her front, and GP said sleeping on her tummy was probably easing her discomfort when lying down
I had an all-night feeder as well, he'd feed every 45 minutes through the night and then go 4-5 hours between feeds during the day! Tried everything to get him to feed more but really nothing worked other than him outgrowing it. Although after much trial and error at bedtime I did discover that he hated co-sleeping or cuddles and just wanted to be put down and left to go to sleep.
At the time my H was very ill so couldn't help so i'd make the absolute most of having another person there. Go for a nap every time she sleeps during the day. Don't put pressure on yourself to get housework done or anything like that. At weekends sleep for a few hours, either express so your OH can feed her or give her formula every now and again. But I'd tell him to take her out of the house ideally, I'd have been listening out for every snuffle/cry otherwise.
Good luck, it does get better but it might take quite a while. And it's nothing you are doing wrong, at all. Babies are sometimes just really really hard work.
Thanks so much all, will read carefully. Dummies have been rejected so far but bought a different brand.
Similar here except DS3 is FF. He is nearly 8 weeks too. And not keen on the dummy. Sling, tummy sleeping, and a co-sleeper cot have saved my sanity. As I have 2 older DC, there have been times I've not got to him immediately when he's cried. Many times he's just gone back to sleep after 5 minutes or so. Sometimes he'll be comforted with a bit of bum patting whilst on his tummy. I do think they get over stimulated, and sleep better in a dim (not pitch black) room on their tummies, with normal levels of household noise (not silent).
Sorry, just had to pat his bum Again! His longest stint of sleep is from
6.45 to 11.15pm when he's in his cot in his own room. Which I think is no coincidence. I have to pat his bum a few times in the first hour. Actually my older two were in their own rooms all night by this age.
I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but I'll tell you anyway. Have you considered giving formula at night?
My son wouldn't breastfeed very well so we switched to formula. I'm the only one out of friends with babies who's baby sleeps for 6 hours at night, feeds, then sleeps for another 4. When he was breastfed he was doing what you describe.
Perhaps combination feeding would work for you. Also have you got a bedtime routine?
Ds1 was like that. Nightmare. Your sanity is important too!
I would try a dummy and let your DH give her a bottle once a day, eg late evening so you can go to bed. Formula knocked DS1 out for fractionally longer and having even an hour or two off the constant feeding was a relief.
It's not a nice stage and I was so relieved DS2 was easier.
I should add my friends all breastfeed, I'm the only one using formula
The most important thing here is that you need to catch up on some sleep hallucinating due to sleep depravation is an awful thing for you to be experiencing not to mention possibly dangerous. If you can express some milk and pack dh and your dd off to grandparents for the afternoon even giving your dd some ready made formula won't do her any harm if your too exhausted to express efficiently. Let them deal with her I promise you she won't come to any harm. Meanwhile have a bath and get in bed you'll feel a whole lot better for having the rest and it will allow your milk to fill up again should you want to express more later or give your dd a big feed when she comes back.
Thanks again everyone, it's so good to have some words of wisdom. I'm going to be reading it and re reading it all night!
My mum died a few years ago sadly and my dad is the kind of grandad who is amazing with toddlers upwards but I wouldn't leave a baby with him!
Just taken delivery of an electric pump so am hopeful that over the next few days she'll start to take a bottle from OH. But right now I'm so tired that I can't envisage anything other than this and I'm already panicking about another sleepless night trying not to drop her. Need to pull myself together!
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