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Am I expecting too much from a 12 day old?

(49 Posts)
RD82 Tue 03-Jan-17 19:55:24

My daughter is 12 days old. BFing generally every couple of hours during the day but this week cluster feeding hourly from 6pm-midnight ish.

Until a few days ago she would settle in her sleepyhead in the side sleeper crib for up to 3 hours which was manageable. Over the last couple of days she has become incredibly clingy...we are currently stuck in a cycle of: feed for average 30 mins every couple of hours during day, she falls asleep at the breast without fail. I then try & get a little wind up, put her in her swaddle & set her down in her (pre-warmed with a hot water bottle) sleepyhead. She stays asleep for a max of 10 mins before pinging awake. We have set the sleepyhead at a slight incline as she seems to love falling asleep upright on us or in a squished up crook of an arm. She takes a dummy for a bit, but I'm reluctant to use it too much whilst we're still in the early days of breastfeeding.

Desperation for sleep overnight has led us to propping ourselves up on the sofa wth her asleep on us which we do not want to continue for obvious SIDS risk reasons, and it's not sustainable.

My question is : am I expecting too much for a 12 day old? I'd be ecstatic if she slept in the sleepyhead/crib for 3 hour stretches through the night. Is she too young to make sleep associations or am I already on the road to sleep hell by allowing this to happen? I remember seeing posters on the maternity ward saying 'you can't spoil a baby with too many cuddles' yet all the books I've read (Baby Whisperer, No Cry Sleep Solution etc) seem to thing the earlier start the better & say not to let them fall asleep on you. she just loves being held. She will sit in her bouncy chair for a max of 10 mins if she's not hungry before she starts getting irritated.

I'm so confused, and I'm crying every time she gets upset. I want to enjoy this newborn stage but I can feel my mood & mindset declining the longer this continues.

Am I expecting too much? Does anyone know when they start making sleep associations?

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 03-Jan-17 20:01:36

It's tough but she's only 12 days old. Have you tried BF lying down overnight? Then when she falls asleep feeding, just lift her into the sleepyhead or fall asleep yourself next to her if she's likely to wake.

She's definitely too young for sleep associations (but I don't really believe in them TBH). All she knows is feeding and comfort from her mum at this stage.

fruityb Tue 03-Jan-17 20:02:16

Just hold her and do what you need to do! She needs closeness and comfort. My DS slept all over the place and at four months hasn't got any negatives associated with sleep as far as I can tell.

Hold her. Google fourth trimester. Do not be afraid of holding your baby!

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 03-Jan-17 20:02:51

BTW, you're much safer following the safe co-sleeping guidelines and getting rest that way than sleeping on a sofa.

Rednailsandnaeknickers Tue 03-Jan-17 20:03:53

I couldn't read and run. I don't have any real advice but just wanted to sympathise - DS definitely slept better on either of our chests for at least the first 3 months or if he was moving in some way (I walked miles with him!) - our best solution was DH would take him out for a walk in sling after tea/early evening for as long as possible before he needed fed and I would power nap. Even just 60-90 mins deep sleep without worrying about him meant I could just about cope with the nights. (This was summer time tho. If it was raining they'd go for a wee drive). It will get easier but yes, it's bloody bloody hard, nothing like it.

fruityb Tue 03-Jan-17 20:04:06

And I don't believe in negative sleep associations either. DS knows when it's night time after changing into pyjamas and lights going down. There will come a time they don't want cuddles as much so enjoy it!

elQuintoConyo Tue 03-Jan-17 20:04:20

She has been sleeping 3-hour stretches? We didn't get than until ablut 5 months shock

She is still a newborn and I don't think she will be settling into a routine any day soon.

Cluster feeding sounds normal (for want of a better word!).

Congratulations on your snuggly baby flowers

WhatInTheWorldIsGoingOn Tue 03-Jan-17 20:04:56

My 9 month old never sleeps for more than two hours and is more like 1-1.5 hours from 7pm until 6am. It's hard work! I would say at 12 days old you are expecting a lot. You just have to go with the flow. It won't be forever and one day you will look back and not even remember when they started sleeping through!

TheABC Tue 03-Jan-17 20:04:58

Right now she won't know the difference between day and night, let alone sleep associations! I would recommend pre-planned, safe co sleeping in a bed to save your sanity - you can cuddle and feed her alongside yourself and both get some rest.

From a baby's viewpoint, the world is a dangerous place and the best chance of her surviving it is with you. So, not surprisingly, she wants to be held and cuddled by you as you are the only safe point in her existence. I would recommend getting a sling, enjoying the newborn cuddles and going with the flow for now.

PolarEspresso Tue 03-Jan-17 20:05:22

God, I wouldn't wake a sleeping baby to wind and swaddle them! If she falls asleep hold her til she's really asleep then lay her down somewhere warm. Definitely look at safe cosleeping and feed lying down.

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 03-Jan-17 20:07:42

Newborn babies - especially breastfed ones - need to sleep on or hard up against their mothers in order to stay asleep. Sleeping separate in a cot (a very modern concept in evolutionary terms) is a complete anathema to them as they need to know you'll keep them safe and that their food source is nearby. Co-sleep safely - just you and her on a firm double mattress, no duvets, sausage-roll yourself in blankets and thick pyjamas, her in her own sleeping bag/swaddle (assuming she doesn't roll too easily once wrapped with you lying next to her) and make do with the thinnest of pillows, well away from her. Feed her to sleep in situ, then inch yourself down next to her, preferably with part of your body in contact with hers so she knows you're there.

cheminotte Tue 03-Jan-17 20:08:38

Definitely learn to feed lying down - if you don't know how, a local breastfeeding counsellor (e.g. NCT) can show you.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 03-Jan-17 20:12:31

It's very normal for them to get 'worse' after a week or so after the newborn snooziness has worn off.

Mine was the same - from week 2 to about week 5 or 6 most nighttime sleep was on me or DH propped up in bed or on the sofa. Obviously it means temporarily abandoning the SIDS rule book but you're far from the only person who resorts to this in the early weeks. Things got better bit by bit and we were gradually able to roll him off into the sleepyhead as long as one of us was right next to him. Little by little we were able to move further away until we could actually put him down and leave him on his own.

I do wonder if we'd tried harder he would have taken to sleeping independently earlier, but to be honest I think we deployed every tactic in the books (raised one end of cot, warmed cot, t-shirt I'd been wearing, swaddling, etc) and none of them made any difference.

It is tough but it is a stage yes they will grow out of

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 03-Jan-17 20:14:44

And YY to being too young for sleep associations. The way she needs to sleep is almost entirely hard-wired. Expect her to need support from you to sleep in one way or another for at least the first year of her life, if not beyond. If she doesn't, you can be pleasantly surprised, but if you anticipate it happening and have realistic expectations of infant/baby/toddler sleep, you'll have a much happier time of it. I enjoyed my second maternity leave SO MUCH MORE because I threw all the books in the bin, ignored the housework and just let my baby sleep the way he needed to sleep.

They all get to the same place in the end, regardless of what you do. How you get there is up to you. When they get there is entirely developmental and has virtually nothing to do with you, so bin the books and cuddle your baby.

Mumneedstea Tue 03-Jan-17 20:20:19

I am in the same boat as you OP.. DS2 is 16 days old and will only fall asleep in our arms or on my chest. I have found swaddling a big help. When he is swaddled properly, he can sleep for up to 3 hours. It's only when he manages to get his arms out of the swaddling cloth is when he tends to wake up and then will want a feed.
So at night after every feed, I let him fall asleep on my chest and once I know he is fast asleep, I swaddle him and put him in his moses basket smile
Hope this helps.

Redkite10a Tue 03-Jan-17 20:21:02

The wanting to be upright thing sounds like it might be reflux. We found reflux only really started being a problem with DD at about 2 weeks, possibly because the volumes they take in are smaller before then.

DD is now 8 weeks. With Gaviscon, I can normally get her in her sleepy head in her cosleeping cot angled with a wedge for maybe the first 3 hours. After her first wake up, I usually can't get her back in it and she spends the rest of the night cosleeping with us, following the cosleeping guidelines.

I didn't have anything like this trouble with DS, and my mum keeps pointing out it is not me being rubbish that I'm finding it hard - it's that DD is difficult because she's in discomfort and it will get better with time.

Do what you have to do to survive at this stage, worry about sleep associations once they are passed the 4 month sleep regression when everything goes out the window anyway, or at least it did with DS.

Hedgeh0g Tue 03-Jan-17 20:26:44

Day 10 ish is a major growth spurt. It's tough, but what you describe is normal. It'll settle down again soon...until the next growth spurt.

My opinion based on my experience: those books only really work most of the time for tiny babies if you're formula feeding. I'm sure there are breastfed babies who they work for, but I think they are fewer. Because the thing is, they all rely on routine, and not feeding before sleep, and that doesn't work when you're feeding on demand and tiny babies naturally fall asleep on the boob- it's what they are meant to do.

That isn't to say that breastfed babies can't sleep well- they can be taught to, but you are not advised to do that before 6 months (not sure it'd work anyway, they aren't biologically ready).

My advice: put down the books, and do what you need to (safely) to get by. Neither of mine would accept a dummy when they were actually hungry, so I'd say go ahead and use one if it helps. Co-sleep safely if that works for you- don't fall asleep on the sofa. Sleep in the day when you can. Don't put pressure on yourself to be doing hundreds of baby classes and drinking cappuccinos in coffee shops- embrace your pjs and box sets. Get your partner to take the baby in the early mornings so you can sleep in a bit. Basically, do what you need to. I do believe in negative sleep associations, but I also believe in not losing your mind from sleep deprivation, and it's all fixable when baby is a bit older.

EsmesBees Tue 03-Jan-17 20:32:23

Definitely don't wake her to wind her. If she has wind she'll let you know. Have you tried co sleeping with the sleepyhead? We had it in the middle of our bed when dd was newborn. It meant she got the closeness but we worried less about rolling on to her.

EsmesBees Tue 03-Jan-17 20:33:13

Also, white noise worked well for us. Had to be very loud though. Hairdryer videos on YouTube turned up to maximum volume!

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 03-Jan-17 20:34:55

Congratulations, your baby is normal smile. They love sleeping on you, it is completely normal. After living inside you, the cot must feel a very strange place. Throw away the books and concentrate on getting to know your lovely baby.

I breastfed to sleep until 18 months. Some would call it a negative sleep association, for me it was a very positive association as bedtime took me 15 mins tops and I could lie down and read Mumsnet throughout.
My husband does bedtime now and our toddler sleeps fine.

Please don't worry about your baby's sleep habits now. They won't form 'associations' now. And even if they do, you can help them change them when they are older.

BaggyCheeks Tue 03-Jan-17 20:41:25

Just from the title of your thread alone, I would say that you need to lower your expectations unfortunately! Other posters have given good advice already but I think mine would be - try not to have expectations of what baby should be doing other than feeding frequently, sleeping in small stretches and having plenty of wet nappies. 12 days old is no age at all, and there isn't a way that the baby can have any day/night recognition. I struggled with this with DS and the feeling of impending failure really messed with my mental health. Try getting the Wonder Weeks app - it helped me understand DDs fussy periods, which made them infinitely easier to deal with because I knew what was going on. I also think that Sarah Ockwell-Smith's website/Facebook page is a great reassurance re:sleep.

sarahockwell-smith.com/2013/09/30/the-great-sleep-obsession-the-problem-of-modern-day-life-versus-the-primitive-infant/

Don't be afraid to co-sleep safely - in a bed, with pillows away from the baby, and only a light cover over their body. It made Night times a million times easier in this house.

Floridasunset Tue 03-Jan-17 20:44:25

Our dd was the same around this age, suddenly started waking after being put in her Moses basket but it only lasted about a week. She was formula fed but would fall asleep whilst being fed in those early days and would cuddle her until fast asleep before putting it down.
At around 4 months she stopped falling asleep during a feed so we then started to put her down awake at night and she was fine so no negative sleep associations here. We still held her for daytime sleeps for a few months after that because we loved those moments.
She is now 9 months and falls asleep all by herself for 13 hrs a night.
Enjoy those cuddles while they last, those moments are precious

Mrscog Tue 03-Jan-17 20:46:46

I used to put DS2 in the side sleeper cot then shuffle a bit of my torso into it too just for a few minutes so he really felt I was there then after 10-15 mins I'd shuffle back fully over to my bit of the bed. Was really successful and gave me lots of space.

GoodStuffAnnie Tue 03-Jan-17 20:48:25

My ds fed every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day and night at this age, but the cluster feeding was continuous. Literally from 6 to 11 he wouldn't stop feeding for 1 minute, then he would sleep till 4. I did use a dummy and it really helped and there was no confusion. Put baby down confidently after a feed. Pick up again if upset. Just keep trying. It's hard!

athousandsplendidsuns Tue 03-Jan-17 20:49:40

Totally agree with advice to learn to feed lying down (can take a while but so worth it) and cosleep following the guidelines in bed for 3-4 months and not worry at all about them napping on you in the day. Having a much easier time with dd doing it this way than I did with Ds when I tried to follow the books.

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