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help 6 wk old baby sleep problem.

(15 Posts)
karney Mon 29-Sep-08 11:16:03

First time really shattered mum here. my ds is 6wks old and isn't a great sleeper. Over the last week he has started sleepin from around 9.30pm to 1am (which is great), he takes an hour to bfeed, wind and rock to sleep then put him down at 2am(ish) he then wakes up at 3am and this pattern goes on all through the night til the morning. He only sleeps at hourly intervals and by the the time I'm dozing off to sleep he's waking up again, so no sleep through the night. I,ve been tryin to get him into a 2hour sleep and 2 hour awake routine through the day but It's not on. He's been up this morning since 8am and I,m still tryin to get him to sleep. then in the afternnon when I go out in the car with him he sleeps for 3/4hours. Help any advice greatly appreciated cos I,m soooo tired and feel really crappy!sad

FrockHorror Mon 29-Sep-08 11:21:32

SOunds pretty normal to me tbh. My DS is almost 4mo and is still the same with the sleep pattern from hell! I've now adapted my sleep routine to make sure I'm getting enough and am able to deal with the nightly wakings/feedings.

It will get better. Honestly.

kitbit Mon 29-Sep-08 11:25:55

Congratulations on his arrival and well done so far!!!
Firstly, 6 weeks is very very little still, and he's still finding his feet in his "new" life in the outside world. He's also governed by him tummy, and has little concept of day or night. Not a great comfort, but important to know as it's normal.
When he wakes up in the night do you have the light on? Do you pick him up and go downstairs? We found that not putting the light on or chatting to him or walking about too much helped ds figre out when it was time to be awake and perky and when it was time to have a feed then drop back off again. It took a couple of weeks, but it did help.
Do you have him in your room? I also found that as soon as ds squawked I'd pick him up to feed him, usually within a couple of seconds. Any longer and he was wide awake.
We co-slept which helped hugely too, having mum next to you lying down and warm making sleeping noises is a great trigger for making a baby sleepy!

What about gently adjusting the afternoon sleep? I'm reluctant to suggest waking a sleeping baby, but perhaps over a few day you could wake him perhaps 15 mins earlier each day and maybe readjust his general daily pattern that way?

If all else fails remember that it'll pass very quickly, in fact just when you're sure you know the rules they all change...aargh!
Hang in there, it does get easier!

MatNanPlus Mon 29-Sep-08 11:31:28

Have you thought of a morning car journey so he has a good sleep after a feed? then again in the afternoon, i would do the feeds no further apart than 3 hourly at this age so the 4hr+ times happen at night, as from reading you post he is getting to good sleeps but afternoon and early evening rather than early evening and night.

I do wake a sleeping baby if i am going to offer a feed, again minimal chat/stimulation in the dark hours.

He sounds tired, i would expect him to nap thru the day after a feed.

AussieSim Mon 29-Sep-08 11:37:50

Might get blasted here, but have you tried a dummy to resettle. My 4mo would resettle with a dummy at that age. Other than that it can just be a matter of time. Have you tried just taking DS to bed with you and skip the winding and the rocking to sleep. You don't have to commit to co-sleeping forever - just till he can go a bit longer between feeds. Good Luck.

karney Mon 29-Sep-08 12:20:33

thanks everyone it's reassuring to know it's normal at this stage. just not feeling very confident due to lack of sleepshock. i'd like to try taking him to bed with me but i'm a bit nervous about it. do i just lie him beside me and dp?i've been putting on the light to feed him so will try feeding in the dark
aussiesim have been using dummy thru the day to comfort him but not a night anyway willing to give anything a try thanks xxx

kitbit Mon 29-Sep-08 13:54:30

here is quite a useful article, it's a bit wordy but the bullet points are good so that you can see how to cosleep safely.

We had a guardrail and then after a while I took the side off ds's cot and tied it to the side of the bed, filling the gap with rolled up towels and putting a sheet over the join. ds would start off in the cot part and then I'd lift him or he'd roll towards me for feeds before dropping off again. Sometimes he'd stay snuggled up but if he didn't want to I'd lift him back towards the cot bit. When he was next to me I'd push the duvet down to my waist and tuck it around myself, wear warm pj's on top and ds had his sleeping bag/grobag and a little blanket if needed. When he was big enough to lift his head up and/or roll around I'd tuck him into the duvet with me and sleep with my arm crooked over him.

It's trial and error really to find a position that is comfy for everyone, but as long as you follow the safety guidelines it's great and really helps with sleep deprivation.

Good luck!

Ohforfoxsake Mon 29-Sep-08 14:00:04

Not much more to add, except to repear this is normal, not a problem. And IME 6 weeks is a turning point, so, fingers crossed, things will ease up shortly smile

If you can, just try to go with what he is doing. For the first 6 - 10 weeks, aim to have a shower daily and do your teeth, anything else is a bonus! Take it easy, you are both adjusting to a whole different life, so don't try to hard. It will all come good. The more chilled out you are, the better for both of you smile Good luck.

Ohforfoxsake Mon 29-Sep-08 14:02:53

oh, repeat, not repear. (doh!)

We co-slept by baby head being at the top of the bed by the headboard, and our pillows further down so effectively baby sleeping higher up than us and not covered with our duvet. Helps that we are both short though!

I also have a Phillips night-light, which is bright enough to be able to see.

theressomethingaboutmarie Mon 29-Sep-08 14:20:25

I would caution against the dummy. We started to give a dummy to DD when she was about 6 weeks old so that she would sleep a little more at night. She got to the stage where she would not sleep without it and it would fall out of her mouth when she relaxed about 20 times a night cue me getting up 20 times a night to comfort her and eventually put it back in when nothing else would do sad

karney Tue 30-Sep-08 10:57:20

tried not turning the light on which helped him settle back down quicker but think i will invest in the night light, thanks ohforfox. tried taking him into bed with me this morning but he just cried, i suppose i just need to be patient with the wee fella.thanks for all the advice.hopefully he will settle a bit more soon!!

KarinG Wed 01-Oct-08 09:14:29

just adding my ten pennies worth and to say that it is normal! All these books make it sound like your baby should be virtually sleeping through at 6 weeks which is rubbish. my baby (now 18 weeks old) started sleeping longer at night at around 6 or 7 weeks. I let her sleep when she wanted during the day - 2 hours awake sounds like a long time to me for a 6 week old, but then every baby is different. We'd start a bedtime routine around 5pm - the only time i'd wake her up if she was asleep, and she'd be in her basket by 630pm. By about 10 weeks she would be asleep by 7pm, but it took awhile to get her asleep at first.
Utter exhaustion is part of the parcel of early motherhood. make the most of when the baby is sleeping during the day and watch trash TV or sleep if you can. It wont be long before the baby is sleeping longer at night and is more active during the day that you wont have a minute to yourself!!

kitkat9 Wed 01-Oct-08 12:03:07

just wanted to agree with everyone else - 6 weeks is stil so little, and the best thing I did with my second baby was just to have NO expectations of any sleep 'patterns'. It took the pressure off me that I'd felt when ds1 was born - I remember the shock I felt when I realised that being a mum wasn't just a day job, it went on ALL night as well!

I was shattered, and it toook a while till ds settled down into anything resembling a routine - in fact I did end up using the GF routine, although I didn't follow it to the letter. I just 'cherry-picked' the parts that fit, and it helped. I did that from about 14 weeks, iirc. By that stage I was at breaking point!

With dd, the only routine I engaged was to start putting her down for the night at about 6.30pm EVERY evening - I found that she usually would sleep from then until about 10/11pm, then wake for a feed, then be down and up a couple more times through the night. Eventually this turned into her only waking at around 3/4am for about an hour before she went back down till morning. By 5 months, I think, she started sleeping through - I was amazed! And delighted! She's still a great sleeper now at 20 months. Oh, and I swaddled her, which seemed to help for the first few weeks. Have you tried that?

For her daytime sleeps I would just have her in her swing chair - the rocking motion was great and she would crash out for long naps, I highly recommend getting one if you haven't already.

I know how hard this is for you, but do try to ease up on yourself - lower your expectations of when you feel he 'should' be sleeping, and just be happy whenever he does sleep for the time being! YOur own exhaustion doesn't help matters so try to get naps in yourself whenever you can. It will all calm down, I promise!

karney Wed 01-Oct-08 13:16:46

funnily enough he settled and slept a wee bit better last night so feeling brighter today.KarinG/*kitkat9 thanks for your advice and have been swaddling ds as he thrashes about and wakes himself up if i don't. I suppose i,ve been wanting a routine a bit too quickly but when your desperate for sleep everything seems a problem. Thankfully a family member has bought a chair for him so hopefully he takes to that.smile

kolakube Wed 01-Oct-08 13:22:37

If I remember correctly, he may be having a growth spurt too around this age which could account for marathon feeding sessions.......

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