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newborn sleep nightmare, officially desperate

(444 Posts)
ExistentialistCat Tue 05-Oct-10 08:32:20

2 week-old DD2 just won't settle in her crib at night at all. She'll sleep in her moses basket during the day quite happily, though. I've tried all the usual tricks (warming the mattress, swaddling, making a little nest out of a rolled-up blanket etc etc etc). We end up co-sleeping out of necessity but I don't want to, I don't get any sleep like that, and I'm not sure it's safe because DH and I are so extremely dopey now.

I'm averaging 2 hours sleep a night (not all in one chunk) and I just don't know how I can continue like this. I also have a 15 month-old DD1 and it's so unfair on her that I'm a permanently bf-ing zombie during the day.

Does all this settle on its own at the magic 6 week mark or is there something we could do to encourage DD2 to sleep in her crib? How do I survive the next 4 weeks? How much of an influence might bf-ing have, and could a night time bottle of formula help (I ff DD1 and don't remember the sleep issues being quite this bad in the early weeks)?

stargirl30 Tue 05-Oct-10 08:37:26

I didn't want to co-sleep either but DD obviously really wanted to. Once I'd got used to the idea I was converted.
Get a bed rail for your bed and DD2 can sleep next to you. Personally I always thought this was safer than sleeping between me and DH.
If you follow the guidelines then there is no reason co-sleeping shouldn't be a safe option. They may have given you a leaflet in hospital, or google safe co-sleeping.
Co-sleeping now does not mean you have to do it for ever but it will help you get through the next few weeks.
Stargirl x

Bumperlicious Tue 05-Oct-10 08:42:31

Watching for advice as while things aren't as bad as for you we have a 4 hour fussy period sometime in the night every night.

I can't co sleep either. Are you feeding enough during the day. I'm having to wake dd to make sure she is feeding every 2-3 hrs. Many many sympathies

ExistentialistCat Tue 05-Oct-10 10:40:31

Ah, Bumperlicious, are you the one whose baby's 'routine' consists of being awake from 10-2 at night? Perhaps our two could start a club...

I do wake DD2 if she's gone for more than 3 hours without feeding. Thing is, I'm not sure she always wants to feed when she's fussy in the night. She sort of scratches at my boobs and headbutts my nipple but doesn't seem interested in latching on. I've noticed she gets like this when she's overtired during the day, and the one thing that settles her is being put in a sling. But I certainly can't sleep with a sling on!!

Thanks for the thoughts, stargirl. I really, really don't want to co-sleep but I feel like I haven't got a choice if I want to sleep at all at the moment. I know babies are all different but DD1 has slept in her own crib/cot more or less from birth (there were a few now hazy weeks of enforced co-sleeping) and that really works for me. I love her to pieces and I also love that I can put her to bed at 7 and not see her for 12 hours!!

foxy123 Tue 05-Oct-10 11:00:04

what about letting her sleep in her moses at night? maybe she prefers it?

Cosmosis Tue 05-Oct-10 12:14:03

you've said yourself there that there were a few hazy weeks of enforced co-sleeping with DD1 - I bet it was at exactly this time. DS was fine in his moses basket for about the first week, then went through about 2 weeks of refusing to sleep in it at all, so we co-slept. Now at 4 weeks, he's back to sleeping in it - although he will only sleep on me during the day! I'd say co-sleep for a while and gradually try to get her in it more and more and you'll get there.

Bumperlicious Tue 05-Oct-10 17:37:26

'I do wake DD2 if she's gone for more than 3 hours without feeding. Thing is, I'm not sure she always wants to feed when she's fussy in the night. She sort of scratches at my boobs and headbutts my nipple but doesn't seem interested in latching on.'

exactly the same! i really can't sleep with her either so co-sleeping as pointless as being sat up awake.

ExistentialistCat Tue 05-Oct-10 21:56:42

We've just had an evening of on/off feeding since 6-ish. DD2 has been unhappy and unsettled and looks like she's in pain. She's been awake for over 4 hours now and must be knackered but I just don't know how to help her wind down. She's been asleep on me a few times but every time I budge or so much as look at the moses basket, she wakes fully and does the pain screaming thing again. I'm so tired I can't stop crying and I'm really starting to dread this time of night.

Good to know I'm not the only one, Bumperlicious. BF counsellor told me this is normal newborn behaviour designed to stimulate my milk production. Well, there seems to be plenty of milk and what I really need now is newborn behaviour designed to provide mummy with some much-needed rest.

Bumperlicious Wed 06-Oct-10 00:36:34

Much the same here. Managed to get an hours sleep 9-10. now after feeding/fussing since 10 she is asleep on the breast. Waiting for deep sleep to kick in & hopefully put her down. Am so tired. Not sure how long I can keep this up. Considering a dummy just for this fussy period.

You manage to get any sleep cat?

ExistentialistCat Wed 06-Oct-10 07:53:25

How was your night, bump?

Tried dummy - she just gags and spits it out! I'd say try it; pretty much anything that gives you even a little rest at this point has got to be worth it. And weaning DD1 off her dummy was not hard at all.

I don't want to count cickens, but after a very fussy evening DD2 slept 11.30-2 and 3-5, and has been dozing since 6.20. DH settled her in her moses basket which we put in the crib. I'm afraid I put in earplugs because I was that desperate... No idea whether we'll be able to replicate this, but it's really good to share experiences and support each other.

Bumperlicious Wed 06-Oct-10 08:55:32

Fussing 10-1.30 then down in hammock. Up again at 5, back down 6.15 then up again at 8.30. So I am getting a short stint of sleep, though not great as I am uncomfortable with sweat & keep waking up thinking I'm holding the baby! I'm just struggling to get through the fussy period especially as I don't and won't always get a sleep in the day.

Glad things a bit better for you. How's the day time? Dd2 sleeps fab in the day!

thehairybabysmum Wed 06-Oct-10 09:12:03

My friend found that one of those swinging 'Amby' moses maskets helped settle her ds who had reflux and wind so was v. unsettled at night.

ExistentialistCat Wed 06-Oct-10 19:02:47

Yes, Bump, it's hard when the fussy period starts just as you want to go to bed yourself, isn't it... But 1.30-5 sounds brilliant! I've got the night sweats, too, but much less of the 'argh where's the baby?' paranoia than I had with DD1 (I once woke up convinced that DH was DD and pulled off the duvet in a blind panic, all the while wondering how she'd got so big so quickly!!).

DD2 sleeps beautifully during the day, and in today's case, pretty much all day long. I know it's not supposed to make a difference to their night sleep at the moment, but you can't help wondering whether you should try to keep them awake more during the day...

I'm really hacked off with all the health professionals who've responded to me saying that I really, really don't want to co-sleep with things like 'Ah, but have you tried using two cushions?' I'm sorry, but which bit of 'I don't want to co-sleep' didn't you get?!

Bumperlicious Wed 06-Oct-10 20:03:10

'DD2 sleeps beautifully during the day, and in today's case, pretty much all day long. I know it's not supposed to make a difference to their night sleep at the moment, but you can't help wondering whether you should try to keep them awake more during the day...'

yes yes have thought the same but i guess they will be awake more as they get bigger.

hv today suggested that i try giving up chocolate as my nightly fix might be making the wind worse. but just been looking at kellymom which says that it is actually quite rare but a persistent myth that what you eat affects wind. So bollocks to that!

DD just gone down so debating whether to grab some sleep now, even though i had a nap 3-5, or whether to actually spend some time with dh!

ExistentialistCat Thu 07-Oct-10 08:44:23

Teehee, I had the same last night - DD2 sound asleep from 8 until 10. I wish I had slept then, as she proceeded to feed pretty much all night from 10.30 onwards. Then DD1 was sick at 5 a.m. so now I can't go to the NCT meet-up that was supposed to keep me sane today. This is HARD!

How was your night, Bump? Is this your first baby, and how old is she?

Bumperlicious Thu 07-Oct-10 12:26:43

Oh that's crap! You must be knackered!

This is DD2, she is 16 days today. DD1 is 3. She had a vomiting bug when DD2 was 2 days old, then DH got it 4 days later - horrific!

DH went back to work today. I had to drop him off and DD off at nursery so we all had to be out of the house on time. Just made it! Now I am enjoying DD2's nap with lunch and Ugly Betty!

It's really hard to know when to sleep isn't it? I'm currently going up around 9-10 but DD only seems to settle for max 2 hours at that stage, then we get the fussy/feeding marathon. Last night it was 10-12.30, up again at 4 then up again at 7 nappy soaking (bloody sainbo's own!).

This must be incredibly boring for anyone reading - hell it's boring for me - but good to know someone else is going through it. One of us may even come up with a solution!

Tomorrow is going to be the real test, DH at work 9-7 and me with both DD's all day for the first time!

porcamiseria Thu 07-Oct-10 14:05:50

HELLO! just to say my 4 week old is very similar

sleeps OK in day, maybe too much? then evenings from HELL

last night on off awake till 2am

same as both, fussy/screaming all evening

tummy ache?

so lots of sympathy

for now we are going to try and cut the day time sleep a bit....

sorry to say but glad I am not alone!!! :-I(

Bumperlicious Thu 07-Oct-10 14:19:52

I seem to remember the danger of not enough sleep during the day is that they may get over tired & may not feed well. but i guess the get more alert during the day with time.

i did wonder if dd is sleeping to much, but i am just making sure she doesn't go more than 3 hours between feeds in the day.

i'm hoping this is mostly an age thing & they will grow out of it.

we're in this together!

ExistentialistCat Thu 07-Oct-10 15:23:12

I am sooo appreciating the support on this thread!

Bumperlicious the similarities between our DD2s are getting spooky! Mine is 17 days old (DD1 only just 15 months though) and DD1 also had a horrific vomiting bug last week... Mind you, I'd be chuffed to pieces for a stretch of sleep between 12.30 and 4!

I'm totally confused at the moment. Yesterday we had a textbook day of 3-hourly feeds (each only about 10-15 minutes) and DD2 was asleep between them pretty much all day long. The people at the bf clinic clearly thought I was bonkers. Today she has been on and off the boob almost all day, screaming in between. I finally decided enough was enough, stuck her in a sling and went to the playground so that DD1 finally gets to do something she'd like to do.

It's terrifying having DH going back to work. I don't know how I'm going to cope with the feeding marathons, to the extent that I'm seriously considering switching to ff for that reason alone sad.

Porca you also have my sympathy, mixed in with some terror as I'm hoping that things will start to improve at 4 weeks. This is clearly ridiculously optimistic as previous experience suggests that these strange random nocturnal creatures don't really turn into humans until they're 3 months old - 4th trimester theory and all that...

porcamiseria Thu 07-Oct-10 19:53:37

ha ha! my mum has a theory he will sleep thru at 12 weeks, I think not! I think this is all normal, hard but normal. my DS 1 was similar, but not so bad!

I have tried to cut daytime sleep and not feed too often. let us see what occurs tonight eh

glad you got out ecat

ExistentialistCat Fri 08-Oct-10 13:51:10

I'm not sure how I can carry on like this. Managed some sleep from 11.15-12.45 and from 5-6 this morning and that was it. In between DD2's feeding marathon and DD1 crying because of some unspecified pain every 10-15 minutes, I had almost no break. This is so hard.

Bumperlicious Fri 08-Oct-10 19:31:02


Wish I had some advice. Could you try getting some sleep earlier in the evening? Can dh take dd2 at all, or at least deal with dd1?

We are having similar probs with dd1 in the night too.

Would you consider expressing so dh can do a feed? I'm trying to hold off on bottles for as long as I can. I do have some dummies stashed in the cupboard...

themachinist Sat 09-Oct-10 17:17:29

oh can i join this club please?

My 3 wk old DD is very similar to this. She happily sleeps/feeds throughout the day, and is a pest at night. Last night no more than an hour at a stretch. Am pooped and emotional. Dont think its colic, just struggles to settle, and stay asleep. Poos and wakes herself up and then wants feeding. Tried everything.

We have had a couple of good nights (4 hour stretches) but cant see any pattern to these. A few nights ago she was awake for a 5 HOUR stretch - 12.30-5.30 - AWFUL!

She cluster feeds all evening and this used to stock up my son for the night, but she just keeps on eating all night. Is piling on weight - a lb in a week!

Oh God, so tired.

My DS was such a star, sleeping 7 hour stretches at this point - we were very spoilt there.

When will this get better?

Bumperlicious Sat 09-Oct-10 19:44:21

Welcome to nighttime hell! Wish I could tell you when if it stops!

Lack of sleep is really starting to hit now. Dh getting frustrated, saying he is trying to help & do stuff but it doesn't seem to be making a difference. The thing is even if I get a 3 or 4 hour stretch it doesn't make up for the 2.5 weeks (actually 9 months) of lack of sleep.

Look forward to when I can express a feed.

ExistentialistCat Sat 09-Oct-10 21:59:57

Welcome to the club, themachinist! Not that it's a club that any of us would join voluntarily, I suspect...

Last night counted as an amazing night: After a feeding frenzy from 4.30-7.30 and a screaming frenzy from 7.30-9 (during which I put DD2 in a sling to calm her), DD2 slept until nearly 2 am!! Unfortunately I didn't go to bed until 11 as I was sure she'd wake any moment, but even so I got 3 hours of sleep. It is ridiculous that this counts as a luxury these days, though!

Do you guys think that bf is making things harder? I ff DD1 (tried bf but it never worked) and I don't remember the frenzies being this bad. There were frenzies but she seemed to zonk sooner.

Sending everyone the best possible vibes for tonight... It's good to have this little support group as lack of sleep makes me very weepy and unreasonable indeed!

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