What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbookFind out more
Tips to settle a 3 week baby at night(30 Posts)
Hi my three week old baby, settled ok during the day after feeds but at night it's another story last night we up all night from 10pm right through until 7am with her crying and not settling we fed her, changed her, cuddle her, refed her, changed her, etc, it's hard and we ended up in flood of tears and close to loosing sanity, we not sure what to do, we are first time parents and scared
From my limited experience of 2 children, 3 week old babies don't sleep at night 😐 They are nocturnal and it's perfectly normal. All you can do is feed them, cuddle then etc and wait for them to gradually grow out of it. From memory, this gets better from about 6 weeks as does your ability to function on zero sleep. In the meantime drink coffee, eat chocolate biscuits, and have a read about the fourth trimester.
Best of luck!
Yes I'm afraid it's normal and nothing to be scared about, babies don't understand night from day. My 14 week old daughter didn't sleep at night at all for the first month she was literally awake from 11pm - 5 am and with a 2 year old as well I was surviving on less than 5 hours broken sleep in every 24. She suddenly got it and at 4 weeks started to sleep 11pm- 3am then 4am- 7am now she does 9pm - 6.30am.
The early weeks are really hard but it doesn't last forever x
3 weeks is so tiny and it's exhausting. You can only go with the flow, let baby snuggle on you, be as calm as possible and catch up on your own sleep in the morning when baby settles. I know that's probably not what you want to hear right now, but it's just the early days parenting experience.
Don't feel you have to be up in the morning, I used to go to back to bed when DH went to work and my first baby fell asleep.
Keep calm, rest as much as possible and don't be too proud to accept help from family and friends.
Totally normal I'm afraid! it is horrendous and you will feel like a zombie. It gets better is all I can say. My DS is now 2 and we are all still alive! xxx
How did you let oh sleep for work did you stay up all night in different room. How you work it
I stayed up with the baby in the living room. We have a sleepyhead (these are AMAZING!!) so I would wait for him to fall asleep in my arms then transfer to that on the sofa and catnap next to him. It gets easier! DS is 12 weeks today and sleeps 10:30-5:30 now.
If your DP is back at work, they look after the baby from dinner until midnight then you do midnight til 6am and they do 6am-7am (whenever they need to get ready for work). Not sure how you're feeding but mixed feeding is best for getting some rest, this is of course, up to you.
At the weekend, they do one night and one morning and vice versa.
Settling a newborn tips:
Don't let them get overtired. They shouldn't be awake for more than an hour, ever. Once they've been awake for an hour, settle to sleep using the 5s's. Usually, that hour will be mostly feeding, burping and changing.
Swaddling is really helpful as they don't feel the cold as much when you try to put them down.
Hold them for 20 minutes once they're asleep so that they're deeply asleep.
Can I ask if you slept in the same room as dp?
My dh slept in the spare room for the first six weeks - after that we had established a pretty good routine so not as much of a problem.
You have to remember that babies are not born knowing the difference between night and day so we just have to work with them until their natural routine kicks in / once they have eaten enough during the day to sleep for longer it gets easier
All babies are different. Mine slept during the night at three weeks - and during the day. They just slept.
I slept in a room with the baby. DH stayed in our room. I would start to try and differentiate night sleeps (dark / white noise / grobag / crib upstairs) and day sleeps (light, everyday noise / in bassinet or similar / stay awake after feed).
The first task is to teach the baby the difference between day and night, we started this as soon as DD was born: in the daytime the curtains are thrown open, the lights on in a drizzly day, music playing and lots of interaction. At night we kept it dark, and calm and quiet.
Then we made a good night time routine: bath, pjs, cuddle and feed and song and bed - we had a Next To Me so someone could lie in the bed next to her while she drifted off but mainly she slept in her Moses basket with us in the living room until we went to bed.
Bear in mind that none of this made a blind bit of difference at that age, it was just getting a routine going. Like laying the ground work for when she was big enough to sleep through, but more than that, giving US a bit of routine so we didn't completely lose our minds.
At around 6-8 weeks she seemed to realise that nighttime was for sleeping and started to sleep over night in two batches (four hours a feed and then three hours).
On the tough nights DH and I would sleep in shifts, I'd take five hours at the start of the night and he'd take five hours at the end. It was sad and lonely and frustrating but it at least meant we both got enough sleep to cope.
There's no way of knowing how good or bad of a sleeper a baby will be, so much is down to them and their personality and nothing a parent does really changes that. But do know that it gets easier, and ta perfectly normal to feel shitty and weepy and tired this early on x
Oh and once she was a couple of months old, DH and DD and I started the night sleeping in the same room, if DD was having a bad night DH would stumble off to the spare room at around 1 or 2am to make sure he had enough sleep to function at work the next day (and DD would often come into bed with me: on her back, away from duvet and pillows, blocked in at the edge).
It could be colic, speak to your midwife or health visitor.
I swear by a monitor playing white Noise ! My daughter who was a terrible sleeper she didn't sleep well due to reflux, wheezing and undiagnosed allergies. But the monitor playing the sound of the hairdryer really soothed her and me, meaning we got about 2 hours sleep at a time ( until we moved her into her own room at 6 months and diagnosed her allergies) she actually still has it on now at night and she 4.5 years!! But she's a great sleeper.
3 weeks is still tiny bless you z sleep when she does in the day and I went to bed early when she did when she was tiny and my partner gave her the late feed before he went to bed ( if he was about) he's in the Police so does shifts. I'm pregnant again and plan on doing the same thing white noise, a raised mosses basket, dummy, with my 2nd. Don't think I'll get as much sleep though having a daughter starting school in September!
I completely agree with everything belle said - she has day and night mixed up so follow her tips to get her body clock adjusted. Even if she's awake all night, keep everything as dark and quiet as possible.
Why is everyone talking about night and day? Let's pretend the OP said:
awake solidly from 10am right through until 7pm
That would be no better
The issue here is not distinguishing between night and day. At 3 weeks old baby should be asleep most of the time, over the whole 24h a day.
It's not that baby needs to distinguish between night and day. At 3 weeks old there will be no difference between night and day. Babies sleeps most of the night. Baby sleeps most of the day.
- limit awake time (24h a day) to 30 minutes or so. Enough time to feed, wind cuddle, nappy check, check if any more of a feed is needed, back to sleep.
- Feed, feed, feed, feed
I can only say what worked for us FATE and drawing the distinction between night and day (basically encouraging DD's circadian rhythms to fall into a night/day time pattern) literally from birth was one thing we did and DD is
mainly a decent sleeper at 7months.
But as I mentioned: there's not much you can actually do to get a baby to sleep better, but feeling like you're doing something and have a plan of sorts was actually really psychologically helpful for us.
Oh yes, I agree with making a difference between night and day for a newborn baby during their limited awake times
My point is though, that this is not the OPs issue. The main problem isn't a day/night issue. It's a 9 solid hours awake issue.
My neighbour must have thought I was OCD...vacuum cleaner on at 3am. I was desperate and the white noise settled my son immediately!!!
I found at two weeks I had to start working to get them to sleep. #1 got rocked in her Moses basket for 25 minutes to slumber bear heartbeat sounds.
#s 2&3 co slept.
During the day they needed to be rocked/walked/driven/fed to sleep.
Oh Jesus FATE I misread that in the op - I presumed that the awake period between 10 and 7 was nap/wake/nap/wake in that way babies do. Being awake all that time straight is no fun!
I echo Fate's thoughts, when DD had sleepless nights I would: rock, dummy, swaddle (but she's old abode that if we caught her at exactly the right stage of tiredness, otherwise she'd fight her way out) bounce in bouncy chair, feed on repeat and occasionally sit in a darkened room holding her and silently crying to myself.
OP It is normal to have what feels like sleepless nights, but if DD is staying awake for more than an hour or two at that age it is worth asking the doc or HV - just to rule out reflux etc.
Having an overtired baby is the most frustrating thing in the world. But I promise it gets better!!
Rocking or driving worked for my daughter but yes fourth trimester - invest in a sling and buckle in for night feeds and box sets! Enjoy your baby!
Join the discussion
Please login first.