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My 12 week old doesn't sleep

(16 Posts)
roseability Thu 10-Sep-09 20:30:59

My 12 week old DD does not sleep well at night. Okay she is only 12 weeks, I do not expect miracles or through the whole night but I would like some longer stretches now and then. I am exhausted.

I BF and co sleep. She is either in a bedside crib or right next to me. I do not believe in sleep training or leaving young babies to 'cry it out'. She is offered the breast whenever she wants.

However she stirs so much during the night. I have a DS aged three who needs some energy and patience! We were spoilt with him as he slept great at night from a young age despite no sleep training. We were just lucky I know and maybe that is why I am finding it a bit tough this time.

My HV has suggested not offering the breast every time she stirs and to not go to her immediately. I just don't know. She is overtired during the day and doesn't nap well during the day either. She did for the first 8 weeks but was carried in a sling most of the time. I still carry her sometimes but am trying the pram a bit more.

She was such a settled baby (during the day at least) but in the last few weeks she has become grumbly and a bit stressed sad

Just some offers of wisdom and a sympathetic ear needed! I don't want a debate about controlled crying as I don't propose to follow my HV advice and leave her at all!

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 10-Sep-09 20:38:54

hi there, I had a similar situation with mine around 12 wks. I couldn't even entertain the thought of letting her cry at that time (tho it changed after 2 months of literally no sleep!)

Is she teething? growth spurt? I think that those were the cause of my dd's unsettledness around that time.

I was also guilty of feeding her everytime she stirred, even though she didn't need it (hang ups from when she was 1st born and losing weight).

Would she definitely cry if you didn't feed her? Would shh pat work instead?

YOu have my sympathy, everything is hard when you haven't had any sleep, esp with a toddler. Sounds like you are doing a great job with it all. Sorry don't have any words of wisdom, can only offer the sympathetic ear!

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Sep-09 20:40:07

awww i know exactly how you feel as i was in the same situation with my second child!

had the same age gap as you too, so when ds2 was 12 weeks old ds1 was 3. ds1 was a lovely sleeper and ds2 was a bloody nightmare!

like you we co-slept (through necessity rather than choice though).
I guess i coped with it by knowing that i was doinmg the right thing by being there for him and feeding on demand, and hard as it was, we did get through it

I used to go to bed at around 8pm, ds2 would stay downstairs with dp, who would bring him up when he wanted feeding, so as to disturb me as little as possible.
then we'd co-sleep til morning when dp would get ds1 up for me.
i also tried to at least lay down during the day even if i couldn't sleep. i'd put a dvd on in the afternoon which was my lowest point of the day (around 3pmish) and i would lie down with ds2 on the sofa and doze while he fed/slept.

it IS hard, incredibly hard. I know now why they use sleep deprivation as torture!!!
but it doesn't last forever!

roseability Thu 10-Sep-09 20:54:58

thisisyesterday - one great thing is that my DD does go down at 8pm. We allow her to sleep upstairs and we use a baby monitor. I should go to bed with her but I just relish these couple of hours to myself too much! She then quite often stirs when we go to bed at 10ish. Then it is every 1.5 - 2 hours thereafter. Despite the co sleeping and breastfeeding (sometimes she suckles my boobs for ages while she lies next to me) sometimes my DH has to get up and rock her. I was led to believe by pro co sleeping books e.g. continuum concept that such babies slept great at night! Ha to that!

I do try to rest during the day and I have support on hand but I am tired at the moment. How did it pan out with DS2? Does he sleep well now?

Incidently when did you guys put baby in their own room?

tasmaniandevilchaser - did you end up leaving yours to cry a bit? Did it work? How was it?

plimple Thu 10-Sep-09 21:21:06

Have you tried not going to her as soon as she stirs but just listening to her? If it sounds like she's saying "hmm, I've woken up as I'm wet/cold/hungry" sort her out, but if she is just stirring and saying "ooh, I've woken up, I hope I can get back to sleep soon" just make a few soothing noises so she knows you're there and let her settle herself. You won't know what she's saying until you allow yourself to listen without disturbing her.
I remember listening to my DD and not dashing to her for the first time and thinking it was some kind of magic that after a few minutes of murmurs and whimpers she went straight off to sleep.
By the way, why do you think you "should" go up with her at 8pm? Maybe she relishes the time alone too!
I don't believe in leaving a baby to cry needlessly, but I do believe that sometimes babies cry when they are tired and want to be left alone-like me!

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 10-Sep-09 21:24:07

hi there, ok, here's my story! dd used to cluster feed all evening, then go to bed at 10pm ish (when I was desperate to go to bed around 8pm! I hadn't quite cracked feeding lying down). Then we'd co-sleep or use bedside cot and she'd wake every 90mins and I'd feed her to sleep. After 2months of this I was nearly mad with sleep deprivation and stress. I didn't even have 5 mins in the evening for any 'me' time, she wasn't a good sleeper during the day either.

So we decided on a plan - it did involve crying, but we didn't leave her alone. We decided on times we would feed her and if she woke at other times, then dh would settle her by putting his hand on her and saying a phrase we used at bed times.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, often she'd only cry for 10 mins (which is a lot shorter than the 6 hrs a night of colic crying we had!) having a plan to stick to helped. Obviously if she was doing a hungry cry, then I fed her straight away.

We didn't give her a night time formula feed, but if I had to do it again, I would, then I'd know she wasn't hungry for the first few hours at least.

In the end, you've got to do what you're comfortable with - I couldn't have left dd to cry at 12 wks. But on reflection, I should have thought of my own sanity a bit more - I was very focused on 'must do ebf, must co-sleep, musn't let her cry'.

We put her in her own room at 5mths, when we got back from holiday, so that her sleep associations with our room were forgotten.

Hope you have a better night tonight!

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 10-Sep-09 21:27:25

ooh yes, plimple's post has reminded me. I didn't realise til dd was a bit older that she has a 'pre sleep grizzle or screech' and to interrupt that is to prevent her from sleeping. Dd can settle herself a lot in the night now, and I think I was stopping that by immediately tending to her as soon as she stirred. So that she learnt that she needed to be fed to get herself back to sleep.

borriebear Thu 10-Sep-09 21:36:39

I could have written your post! I am having exactly the same thing at the moment. My DS was sleeping quite well be all of a sudden has started waking ALOT and when I try to feed him lying down he literally suckles for hours without ever really dropping off.

The result is, in the morning he is tired and so am I! He used to just drop off and detach himself but not anymore. Any how I am off to bed again and fingers crossed for a better night sleep tonight. I am going to try settling him without feeding but unfortunatly my DP has just dislocated his shoulder so will have to try doing this on my own, something I dont have very good success rate with. Wish me luck.

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Sep-09 21:45:56

well, i put up with the night wakings every 45-90 minutes until ds2 was about 9 or 10 months old.

then i bought a copy of the no-cry sleep solution. we worked with that until he was not falling asleep on the breast, had a comforter and took a dummy.

none of this stopped him waking frequently at night though, but it did cut down on how often i fed him during the night. i would offer the dummy and if he took it great. if he was genuinely hungry though he would wake up after another 5 0r 10 minutes, and then i woulkd feed him

after he wasa year he gradually started going longer and longer between feeds. he weaned when i was pregnant (he was around 16 months).
he is now 22 months and sleeping through, all by himself.

so, we didn't really DO anything much apart from geytting him to fall asleep by himself. personally i wouldn't/couldn't do any kind of sleep training before around 6 months i think (i believe that's recommended minimum age for things like controlled crying etc)

for me it worked better to find ways of coping with my tiredness, rather than making him change his behaviour iyswim? i feel quite strongly that if a baby is asking for the breast then they are doing it for a reason. it may well not be because they are hungry, it may be because they need the comfort and security you offer and i think that's in some ways even more important that the food aspect of breastfeeding.

when i look back on it now it seems like such a short time that it went on for, even though it was months and months and i feel proud of myself for doing it too
we couldn't offer formula or anything as ds2 is also intolerant to dairy, but tbh even when he went onto solids it made no difference so i don't think it was hunger-related.

thisisyesterday Thu 10-Sep-09 21:47:29

borriebear, i chuckled at your post because i was whinging the other day that my ds3 WON'T fall asleep on the breast lol

he is also 12 weeks old now, but he feeds and then is just really grumpy and unsettled and cries until he drops off. it would be sooooo much easier to feed him to sleep!

roseability Fri 11-Sep-09 10:43:43

I have a lot of 'hang ups' as a mother due to childhood difficulties (a whole other post!). I also had PND with DS and really want to enjoy my DD. I am not depressed this time but I do want a more settled baby!

Therefore I put a huge amount of pressure on myself and burden myself with unecessary guilt. I pick her up too quickly and whilst I absolutely agree with the sentiments of not leaving a baby alone screaming and offering the breast for comfort as well as food, there is a balance possibly. I do suspect my DD is a grizzler before she falls asleep. She actually rarely falls asleep off the boob. I think when she grizzles I pick her up and disturb her unecessarily but I just don't want her to feel abandoned.

It seemed simpler with my DS as he quickly settled into sleeping at night and dropped night feeds when he started solids. I never left him to cry it out though.

Last night I made the decision not to feed her every time she wakened. I let her grizzle for a minute or two then I would pick her up, cuddle her and put her down awake. I kept doing this until she went over. So she didn't feel abandoned. I did feed her at 2 and 5am as I know she is young and not on solids yet but TBH she didn't even feed properly just suckled. I am pretty sure that she is not hungry all the time. At 6am she woke and actually settled herself back to sleep without crying or needing held. Could we have turned a corner! Oh and my three year old was up with nightmares!

Argh! I actually would like a third baby but if she doesn't settle down ny DH will never go for it grin

tasmaniandevilchaser Fri 11-Sep-09 19:25:56

grin my dh says he'll divorce me if we have another one!

sounds like it went really well last night, roseability! Sounds a bit like the 'pick up put down' from the Baby Whisperer. Good luck for tonight.

I can empathise with the unnecessary guilt, and also with finding a balance. Most of my friends did some kind of 'sleep training' around 4 mths (if not controlled crying, then a version where you don't leave them, like we did)and their children seem very well adjusted to me and securely attached to their parents, so I find it hard to believe that children are scarred for life by crying. I think that your general parenting style over the years has more of an effect on your child's well being surely?

yummymum27 Fri 11-Sep-09 21:33:40

Hello dear mums,

I have only subscribed now, so hope I have entered an appropriate forum. I have a question about sleeping patterns of my 15 weeks old daughter.

In her first 8 weeks she was a nightmare going or remaining in her sleep.

Later on situation got better and she managed 6-8 hrs of sleep during the night.

2 days ago she started to be awake every 1-3 hrs during the night, a feed or dummy puts her back to sleep, but than she is awake again?

Will it ever be better again?

plimple Sat 12-Sep-09 08:52:38

Yes it will!

bevlin Wed 16-Sep-09 20:04:29

Not read everyones answers.
Do you realise it takes 2 hours for a young baby to digest a breast feed (3 if it's formula)?
Over feeding can be very very uncomfortable for a new baby and her/his immature digestion.
There seems to be a lot of mothers laiden with guilt nowadays. Is it books or like you say Roseability, maybe past experiences.
Remember your DD is a baby and not an over thinking adult with sensitive issues like most of us (I include myselfgrin)! She won't think OMG, ive been abandonned, my mummy doesn't love me but it might give her time (and you) for her to work out if she's just over tired or genuinly hungry IYSWIM.
I just realised I had spoke to you earlier about crying etc.
You sound a lovely thoughtful mum, nothing like the one you must have had so don't put the same situation between you and your DS's.
My Sil sounds same as you. When we visited (my brother has left her, bastard, another story) - I noticed that everytime her baby girl (1) woke, made a squeak, farted, she picked her up and fed her, all night too. My niece was as knackered looking as her mum, very over weight and so unsettled! I know she too has issues with her mum and I wonder if she is over compensating for this.
Don't let your past rule who you are. Love your children but don't be scared to let them be a bit. They also have to learn to settle too. x

bedlambeast Wed 16-Sep-09 21:26:12

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