14 weeks and struggling(24 Posts)
I have a 14 week old and still feel like it hasn't got any easier.
Everything I read says how much easier it gets after 3 months and if anything it's actually harder. I used to take ds out for a walk in the pram which was our guaranteed way to get him to sleep.. until he got to about 11 weeks, now every time we go out he ends up not sleeping, getting overtired (I think) and crying.
I feel so confused by his cues- when I think he's tired I take him up to a dark room and sit with him in the rocking chair- this seems to make him overtired and jittery too. The only way I can get him to sleep is in the sling and he only sleeps after about 10 mins of him crying and me bouncing.
This is starting to make me feel really down as I now can't really do much as he won't sleep in the pram, I'm exhausted as he only sleeps as long as I'm moving. I feel like I'm doing it all wrong as we still don't have much of a routine- this is how most days look:
7.30ish am- dp gives ds bottle
Plays with him til 8.30iSh
8.30-8.45 - put in sling to sleep
9 - ds normally asleep
10.30- I normally sit down around now which wakes ds
10.3o - feed
11 tummy time, bouncy chair etc
I look for tired signals, I nornally put him back in sling around 12ish
1.30 - stop moving, ds wakes so I feed
3ish sling And sleep
5.30 stop moving wake and feed
6 dp home - who normally wears him in the sling for the evening
8.30 feed then ds puts him back in sling, then manages to swaddle him while he's asleep to put him down
During the night he wakes every 3 hours for feeds and normally falls asleep straight away.
I loosely follow the EASY routine (just don't get any of the 'you' part).
Can anyone see where I'm going wrong here? So confused by ds, not sure if I'm trying to make him sleep too much which is why he resists and cries so much? Or is he constantly overtired? He's getting way more sleep now than he did as a newborn.
Don't have any advice but just wanted to say you're not alone. Dd is 5 months and I still have no routine, lots of crying, won't sleep for very long hopefully someone will be along soon with some actual help x
My DD is 14 weeks today and getting much harder to get to sleep during the day! She is my second and in my experience anyway this is totally normal - the really newborn weeks are a relative breeze compared to what follows. DD also won't yet settle down for a long night sleep before 11 pm or midnight. I'm sure you're not trying to get your DS to sleep too much, as too little sleep definitely leads to lots of crying from them. Until they start doing longer and/or fewer naps it is just deeply tedious as you spend most of your day trying to get them asleep or keep them asleep.
My third dc is 20 weeks now... I find a routine a total God send. I don't find sleep cues very helpful because in my experience as soon as you get them, they are already over tired.
Your routine is pretty good already but I'd get him up at 10am rather than waiting till 10.30. Then a feed at 10 and back in bed for 11.45/12.
What happens when you use the pram for naps? Does he scream? My dc cries when I first zip her into her pram suit but settles down as soon as we are on the move (outside). Once she's asleep I can go into shops or cafes and she stays asleep except for a little jiggle after about 45 mins (one sleep cycle). So if he cries in the buggy, try moving for 10 mins at 11.45 and see if going out a bit earlier helps.
Feed again and then if they've had a decent nap you should get a bit of respite here. Bouncy chair or play mat for a bit whilst you sit on the sofa eating biscuits (you deserve them!)
I've always hated the baby bit, I find from 6 months old life gets MUCH easier. Weaning with finger food is a great activity that keeps them busy and content and then they get mobile and much happier.
So hang on in there. The 4-6 month bit can be miserable and I'm so glad I'm nearly out of it for the last time!!!
I'm actually one of those people that has found everything after about 12 weeks about a million times easier. I just found the start so so hard. Mine never slept in the pram, was constantly over tired and just extremely extremely gassy and crying from it. Plus several hours colicky crying every night which thankfully stopped around the 10-12 week mark. At least post 12 weeks they are smiling regularly, giggling and "talking" so you get some feedback that they're happy.
About 2 hours after mine is awake he has a morning nap, feed to sleep or sometimes rock and it takes about 2 mins. I then place him on my chest (tummy down against my tummy) and sit there with him on me for a 2 hour nap. I'll be on sofa watching TV but if I'a desperate I'll go to bed and sleep too.
For whatever reason the day somehow goes down hill after and all further naps are harder and harder to come by. The other day I walked around in the dark and cold outside for 40 mins with the baby carrier on and then about 30 pushing pram (with an attempt to feed to sleep in the middle) before he closed his eyes. But the whole time was desperately tired, yawning, grizzling, rubbing eyes. I find it infuriating how easy the first nap of day is compared to the rest.
It's tough that you have to move for the whole nap, I find that whenever I can get mine to sleep in the pram (never once did anything but cry in the pram until I changed to the upright setting and he will now sleep in it, so that's a brilliant development) he's the same. But if I rock or feed to sleep at home I can transfer to lying on my chest and he'll sleep well.
From memory this is when it gets so much harder to get them to sleep as they stop sleeping round the clock and start needing help to get to sleep and get overtired so easily.
I found with both of mine that I actually had to get them to sleep far earlier than I realised. If they were yawning I'd missed the cue. This was far more so with dd1 who was a bloody nightmare to get to nap and a hellish sleeper in general. If I caught her early she usually was ok but if not she would melt down and fight it for hours.
You have my sympathy - it's not easy.
With different stages I found different things got easier and different things got harder.
Thanks, it's a bit of a relief to know I'm not the only one. I just feel like I can't do anything with him as it will result in a meltdown.
RNBrie- whenever I take him out in the pram he starts off quiet then he gets a bit snarly and shouty, then starts to cry, then screams. I managed to get him to sleep a couple of times last week but only after he cried himself to sleep, which I've tried with the hood up, down, with/without a muslin covering it, quiet road and loud road and it's the same everytime.
Most of the time I put him in the sling with the hood down he cries to sleep even though I can see he's tired.
He seems constantly tired-l feed him when he wakes up and within 10 minutes he's looking away or yawning- I don't know if he's had enough and needs to sleep or if he's still waking up and digesting his food
I found DS easy until he was 3 months - it got streadily harder from that point on. It got somewhat easier at 7 months when he dropped to 2 naps - because he's only having 2 now they're at very reliable times and for good lengths so I have some predictable time to myself. But he's now 8.5 months, can do 4 hours awake and is on the go wanting to be entertained absolutely constantly, he's exhausting.
I remember 3-5 months being hell tbh what with the 4 month sleep regression and teething.
I might go for shorter awake time at 14 weeks. Try 1hr15. Dark room, loud white noise and dummy were what worked for us. Even at 5 months my DS struggled on 1.5hrs awake time - I'm sure at 14 weeks he was doing a lot less.
My ds2 HATED the pram. Would scream and scream and just not go to sleep. When he got to 5 months or so we switched it from the bassinet/pram set up to the pushchair one and he loves it now and falls asleep beautifully in it. I know this doesn't help now, andi I too found it exhausting not being able to use the pram, but I wanted to give you hope that it might change
I had exactly the same issue with DS. A health visitor pointed out that if he went down OK at night, I should look at what I was doing differently in the day. It turned out DS would go down for naps swaddled in his cot in a quiet dark room. Initially I had to rock him to sleep for ages but he got much easier to put down. It was a pain with going out and seeing people but nothing else other than the sling worked at the time. It wasn't until 9 months he'd nap in the pushchair.
Are you maybe playing with him to much? Ds1 I think I over stimulated him playing and talking to him he was an awful sleeper took me an hour walking with the pram in the freezing cold to get a 30 min sleep his night time sleep then began to suffer because of over tiredness. Ds2 is 13 weeks and is much better I generally play with him for 10 mins when he wakes give him 20ish mins then he goes into his bouncer I dont talk to him much just let him watch me giving the occasional smile and eye contact then when he starts looking tired I put him to sleep.
I really think avoiding over stimulation is key
Thanks for these responses. Does anyone have any experience with the Gina ford routine? Is it too late to start? She says 3 hours sleep max between 7 and 7 but that doesn't seem like much to me
In my humble opinion Gina ford is bollocks. All babies are different. You cannot fit them into one mould.
My 8 mo just about manages on 3 hrs sleep. At 14 weeks he was doing a good 4 hours.
I know it's hard work, god do I know that but I found it easier once I relaxed and accepted I could not force DS into a routine. Sure I could do things that helped such as a nap wind down and bedtime routine but honestly these things only yielded results for us post 6 months.
Plenty of people will tell you they managed to get their babies into a routine from 8 weeks bla bla bla but the fact is many of these babies would just have done that anyway. They do things at their own pace. You can encourage routine but something as rigid as GF, IME, will simply make you miserable unless you have a very compliant baby.
In any case even when you think you had a solid routine (like we now do), all manner of things conspire to ruin it - teething, leaps, sleep regressions, illness, holidays.
They honestly evolve all the time
Thanks hurryboomboom I needed that- have been getting myself in such a state the past 2 weeks as I seem to mess up the routine by the first nap and there's always at least one big meltdown by the end of the day
At this age they should still only be awake for an hour at a time surely? So feed and talk and then sling. I think he sounds overtired.
My ds used to make a noise to go to to sleep in the sling too.
It is so hard though, babies do like to cry at 5pm though, and toddlers and preschoolers!! It's the witching hour
Have you tried not putting him in the sling for naps? What happens when you do? If he's not crying, just fussing, then walk away and see what happens, he might soothe himself to sleep. The best time to do it is when he's calm, and starts to look / act tired.
Also, have you tried white noise or soothing night lights? We have one on DS crib and he loves it, he starts staring at it as soon as I lay him down. DS is now 5 months, but we've managed to have a fairly good sleep routine since he was about 3 months. I tried a lot of things, but the night light worked the best.
My ds1 was very much like this. It's so hard.
What worked for me is moving from the carrycot to a normal buggy at 4 months. He used to watch more and then doze off.
Also, a dummy.
We bought the fisher price projector night light music thing and ds eventually would lie in his cot watching it until dozing off.
I highly recommend it and it saved me having to walk constantly for his naps. I once walked through a blizzard!!
I tried Gina Ford, but found it impossible because I have a toddler as well. Plus, she gives three month olds very little daytime sleep and I was constantly trying to wake DS 2 up, which was a real struggle (and I let him sleep longer than she advises anyway) and it made no difference to night time sleep.
I think you sound very organised, congratulations! I was a clueless mess with my first at that age.
I'd try breaking up the day into more EASY chunks, giving him more and shorter naps. The last nap especially seems very long, I would break that into two 45 min naps with one hour awake time in between. You could also do the same with his morning nap.
As pp have said, be careful to avoid overstimulation - at that age, playing with them for one hour is a lot! Talking, cuddling and eye contact are already sufficient stimulation. The rest of the time, I'd just leave him in his bouncer or on his mat. Don't worry about him being bored, he won't be!
I wouldn't worry if he cries himself to sleep, some babies do unfortunately. Trying to stop them from crying by rocking, cuddling etc. can just lead to them getting ever more overstimulated.
If I don't put him in the sling he gets fussy and jittery (overtired?). He doesn't even like the sling it's just the only way he'll fall asleep.
Bouncy chair with dummy
Sitting with him on a rocking chair
Dark room and light show
Leaving him on his playmat
All result in calm staring baby which turns into crying and then full blown inconsolable meltdown.
It sounds like he might already be too tired when you're trying to get him over?
It ends up in full blown inconsolable crying whether he's just woken up/just fed/after some awake time. He starts off very calm then I can see him getting more and more agitated before he starts crying.
In the sling I've noticed he starts crying as soon as I walk into a dark soon or put the hood down- he just never wants to sleep. I really don't understand where I'm going wrong
Have u tried white noise? Its so hard when your in the thick of it I ended up with terrible anxiety with my first because he never slept and cries all the time. When he screamed he hated being held so I used to put the light projector on and lie on the bedroom floor with him next to me he just had to cry it out. He's ended up such a easy going child you would never believe he started so bad.
Yep tried white noise too, Ewan the sleep doesn't seem to do much, I put my hairdryer on the other day to see if it would stop him screaming- i think the shock of it stopped him for s couple of seconds then he carried on!
I've tried putting him in his pram and in his bouncy chair with white noise and light show- he seemed transfixed at first and then started crying and kicking his legs and waving his arms
I wish I could be more help it will be better you will find something that works try to relax do what you need to do.
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