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Help trying to get a baby to sleep?

(26 Posts)
PigsinSpace Sun 19-Oct-08 09:05:39


Maybe I am expecting too much at this stage. I have a 7 week old baby who is not turning out to be a great sleeper so far. I am worried she will get into the habbit of being held until she falls asleep which is what I am doing at the moment.

Her naps during the day are fretful, she never seems to have a deep sleep iykwim and is easily woken up. She likes being in her buggy and when I stop she wakes up instantly. At night time, she would wake every couple of hours. I don't think it is hunger as I feed her regularly (she is bottle fed) and I give her a dreamfeed too around 11 but she would still wake at 1.30 or 2 looking for comfort it seems. She is also irritable so I am wondering could this be something else, silent reflux maybe. Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks

no1putsbabyinthecorner Sun 19-Oct-08 09:27:04

Hi my ds is 7 weeks and has fussy days and good days, I think it is too early to expect good sleep I think.
I am bf and he too has a dream feed between 10 and 11 pm. He sometimes wakes at 2.30am and 5.30am for feeds. Or sometimes he will go till about 4am for a feed.
My dd is 20 mths and quite a good sleeper and was from quite small. I always put her down awake, but She was cuddled and even bf to sleep at an early age.

Ds is very different seems more clingy and cries/fusses more.
They have growth spurts at such a young age too. I would also not worry about habbit of cuddling to sleep, they grow so quickly I am enjoying all the cuddles I can grin

Sorry if I am not much help, but what ever habbit you do, its nothing that cant bechanged/undone when the time is right.
7 weeks is very young to expect good sleep routine in my

notnowbernard Sun 19-Oct-08 09:47:47

Agree 7 weeks too little to expect 'good' sleep

There seems to be a bit of a competitive aspect regarding 'sleeping through the night' (not you, OPsmile) Get a group of Mums together in the early days and that's all they go on about. IME that just makes you feel crap, and that you're doing something wrong. The reality is this is what babies do... they wake up a lot and need feeding regularly!

Have you tried a dummy? Both mine had one and it really helped settle them

no1putsbabyinthecorner Sun 19-Oct-08 09:52:24

Agree notnowbernard I tried dummy after a few days,with a raised eyebrow from hv hmm
Worked a treat, however he now prefers to suck on a corner of a muslin cloth.

notnowbernard Sun 19-Oct-08 09:55:23

I held out for about 3 weeks with dd1

dd2... about 5 days!

(if bf, this needs to be well established before introducing a dummy, I think)

TheProvincialLady Sun 19-Oct-08 10:13:00

A dreamfeed at 11 and then another feed at 2 is NOT comfort feeding at 7 weeks, honestly. It is perfectly normal. Her stomach is still tiny and she needs to be fed very frequently day and night. IMHO what you have is a problem with your expectations, not with the behaviour of your baby. Accept that this is how it is going to be for a little while yet, and that she is too young to get into bad habits, and you will feel better about the situation - and never discuss sleep with friends as it always turns into a competition over who has the best/worst sleeper!

MoonlightMcKenzie Sun 19-Oct-08 10:31:44

My dd is 6 weeks and I couldn't care less if she was comfort feeding (although with average weight gain of 10oz per week not sure it is purely for comfort).

If she wants comfort, then I give it to her, - just like I do with my 22month old.

They're little children fgs!

notnowbernard Sun 19-Oct-08 10:40:00

MM... OP has a new baby and has asked some pretty straightforward questions. Don't turn it into a heated debate

MoonlightMcKenzie Sun 19-Oct-08 12:25:37

notnowbernard That wasn't my intention, but you may have a point

Posts like the OP's have begun to irritate me of late because there are so many of them. Threads expressing worry over potentially allowing their babies to 'manipulate' them. Desperately seeking for solutions to a frequently feeding, non-sleeping newborn, suspecting some pathological reason for it and searching for a cure, or just a 'system' that will make some sense of it all and give some predictability, - when in fact the baby is a perfectly normal baby with perfectly normal behaviour.

This is in no way a criticism of the OP. I have been where she is. It is an criticism of our culture and society than many new mothers are made to feel like this and can become quite desperate. The result is a thriving parenting book market and an increase in PND.

I apologise pigsinspace. Life with a newborn, especially your first, is extremely tough in this society/culture, but things do get better. Try to trust your instincts and concentrate purely on survival. Do nothing, however heavily recommended by ILs, books etc., that makes life any harder NOW. You have 18 years to iron out bad habbits!

Good luck!

I'll try and stay away from these threads in future! smile

no1putsbabyinthecorner Sun 19-Oct-08 12:38:18

I agree that books,magazines and annoying well meaning family or friends can make you feel inadequate at parenting sometimes, like mm says trust your instincts ignore any pressure for people to get your little one
'Sleeping through'

Lke I said my ds is only 7 weeks and ebf can go every 3/4 hours in day, has done 8 hours some nights, but then some days feeds every 1 and a half to 2 hours.
I feel its normal.

notnowbernard Sun 19-Oct-08 13:04:24

Fair play, MM smile

DunderMifflin Sun 19-Oct-08 13:41:30

I completely agree with MM, No1 and NNB - with my DS (7wks old, 2nd child) I'm just expecting that he'll wake up a few times in the night (and he does!).

You can really tie yourself up in knots with the whole 'sleeping through' thing and as other posters have pointed out, babies waking and feeding is completely normal.

I think you just have to remind yourself of this (a lot!) so you don't feel as though you're doing something wrong.

And don't listen to the smug lucky other parents who tell you their child slept through from 2 days - they're probably lying!! grin

PigsinSpace Sun 19-Oct-08 15:27:47

thanks for the feedback everyone. i will just go with the flow from now on....

notcitrus Sun 19-Oct-08 16:17:46

hi - i know babies of this age (mine is nearly 6 weeks) waking every 2-3 hours is normal.

what no-one seems to say is that it's not just waking, feeding, go back to sleep.
It's half an hour of baby squealing as he thinks about pooing, then changing him, then feeding for 20 minutes, he dozes off, persuade him to burp, spend 20 min on that, then offr other breast, half an hour on that, then up to an hour of screming or at best quiet wakefulness as you try to burp them/settle to sleep again.

which gives you about 30 min sleep before starting again.
And none of the bl;oody books mention this at all. they all gave magic babies who eat, then sleep and don't wake 10 min later.

felt terrible until meeting my antenatal class and ALL of us have the same problem!

so why's it such a huge secret and when will it get better??

no1putsbabyinthecorner Sun 19-Oct-08 16:49:54

I totaly agree with you notcitrus I have that here too, really struggles to get wind up, which is very tiring and very frustrating especially in the night.

i have been trying to settle ds all day, every time he falls asleep I lay him down he wakes. but is very sniffly and sounds congested. So tired because he cant sleep, and cant sleep because he is overtired. IYKWIM.

As for it getting better it does,but my 20 month old despite always been good sleeper still wakes in th night occasionally.
teeth,illness,cold,too warm,thirsty,cuddle etc...

TheProvincialLady Sun 19-Oct-08 18:51:31

notcitrus I remember that stage well and it is rubbishsad What worked for me was co sleeping and being so tired that I could not burp DS. I felt so guilty about it at first but then I noticed that DS was sleeping loads better because I wasn't disturbing him, and he never suffered any ill effects from the lack of burping. Apparently in most countries they don't do it with their babies.

notnowbernard Sun 19-Oct-08 19:42:10

I never had to burp either of my babies, ever

no1putsbabyinthecorner Sun 19-Oct-08 19:50:00

I want to co-sleep but makes me scared/paranoid, I have done it a few times for a short period in night when dh been on nightshift. As I have felt better about more space in bed.

Also me being so tired worries me too

TheProvincialLady Sun 19-Oct-08 20:05:54

I know what you mean about space in the bed but I preferred to kick DH out of the bed temporarily so we could all sleep better! Research has shown that breast feeding mothers adopt safe positions for sleeping with their babies - providing you don't drink, smoke, take drugs or aren't obese you should be fine. Your choice of course but it is so hard without sleepsmile

MoonlightMcKenzie Sun 19-Oct-08 20:15:39

Brilliant post notcitrus

PigsinSpace Tue 21-Oct-08 13:26:54

i know what you mean notcitris. I am finding going with the flow hard. The control freak in me is dying to get out. Yesterday was crap. She was awake for most of the day, only slept for an hour. Eventually she nodded off to sleep at 11.30 last night and then woke up at 5 am this morning. I just don't understand, there is no telling her nap/feed times anymore. DH and I are constantly arguing aswell cos we are just so tired. Am really fed up, sorry for the moan.

seeker Tue 21-Oct-08 13:37:56

There are a few - a very few - babies that fit into a routine. And I suspect that is much more about the baby than the routine. Most babies as little as this are completely unpredictable,a nd you will only make yourself unhappy if you try to impose a routine on her. this is only a very short stage in your baby's life - for the time being feed her when she cries, sleep when she sleeps, feed her to sleep, cuddle her to sleep, take her into bed with you - anything that makes life easier. Remember that looking after a tiny baby is a full time, very demanding job, and be very gentle with yourself. In a few weeks time she will be more settled, you will be more confident, you will know each other better and you'll be able to see the patterns in her behaviour. There, as if by magic is the beginning of a routine.

It will get better, I promise.

cestlavie Tue 21-Oct-08 13:40:09

PIS: we're just going through this debacle the second time round. The key to this, which we learned from the first time round is very simple and two-fold:

(i) Have appallingly low expectations of how much sleep you'll be having - if you go to bed accepting that the best you'll have it 3 hours then anything better is a plus point and anything less isn't quite as painful.

(ii) Go to bed phenomenally early - possibly take your dinner to bed, certainly don't bother showering, if you can't sleep try really really hard. After another shocking night last night, we're planning to go to bed as soon as our toddler lets us. If you can get 3 hours sleep under your belt by 11.30pm, you can be awake all night and still have hit your target hours!

PigsinSpace Tue 21-Oct-08 13:48:26

I know.... Do you know something though, my DH, as great as he is, is making this worse. Unfortuntately, he gets very stressed and the stress rubs off on me then. I find it easier sometimes to be on my own to try and manage them but tiredness kicks in so you need the help then?

Seeker I am living for that light at the end of the tunnel, lets hope it gets easier...

rempy Tue 21-Oct-08 13:48:35

PIS, it is really, really really hard. My sympathies. But no baby that little has a "routine", it takes them a long time to work out that there is a day and a night, never mind that they are expected to do different things at different times.

My DD was a shocker, but my DS who is 10 weeks tomorrow very suddenly settled down at night this last week, and now feeds 12 then 4 and the most important part - goes back down straight after. You need to wait. It is agonising. You will be ratty. Try very hard to do something nice for DP, even if its just making a cup of tea. The really small things are hugely appreciated when its like this.

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