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7 week old not sleeping in evening

(28 Posts)
dileas2010 Sat 20-Nov-10 22:41:13

My DS is 7 weeks old and will not sleep in evenings. He isn't sleeping much during the day either really. I think he had a growth spurt at 5 weeks and then went from sleeping all the time to very little. He's also started crying a lot so from 6 to 10 we are either consoling him and trying to get him to settle or he is wide awake. We've tried having a bit of structure with feed, bath then some shush pat in room but the only thing that really works is letting him suck little finger and that doesn't always send him off. Once he sleeps he wakes every 3 hours and it's reasonably ok to get him back to sleep after feed. Anyway, is this normal? Will it pass? Any tips on making him sleepy. Think i'm reading baby whisperer too much and worried about making him dependent on sucking and worried he's not getting enough sleep. Thanks.

waytoomuchchocolate Sun 21-Nov-10 07:26:23

you're probably just a bit early with trying it. ds2 is nearly 8 weeks and starting to settle more in the evenings but still not 'sleeping' until 11pmish. ds1 didn't do it until more like 9 weeks either. don't worry - keep him with you in the evenings for now and feed as much as he wants too, and enjoy some cuddles. you'll get your evenings back soon smile

Restrainedrabbit Sun 21-Nov-10 07:32:21

DD2 who is six weeks is the same, my other two settled in eve but woke more at night! I just look at it as welcome cuddle time, throw away your books and follow your baby you'll both be happier

dileas2010 Sun 21-Nov-10 08:49:22

Thanks for messages. Think I was looking for someone to say ignore books. The problem is that we con't just cuddle in evening as he cries all the time and i was worried if was over tired. Was worried i was missing cues for naps in day. We can comfort him by the finger sucking or his bouncy chair so will do that till he's ready to sleep. He is EBF on demand but maybe i should feed at some points instead of the finger sucking. It's just he was previously feeding and comfort sucking to the point of vomiting. Sorry for long posts - we had fairly easy first few weeks where he slept and didn't cry much. We now feel we don't know what we're doing. Heard crying peaks now and he's feeding well and healthy so shouldn't worry.

BaggedandTagged Sun 21-Nov-10 10:32:20

Have you tried (whispers) a dummy? Easier than standing there with your finger in his mouth and v good for settling a sucky baby

I started using one with my son (now 9wks) at 3 days as was crying whenever taken off breast even though not swallowing (so just comfort sucking) and not settling well.

I know some people say they make a rod for your back when you have to take them away but I've started leaving him unswaddled now, so hoping he'll find a thumb before the 12 wk dummy armageddon grin

Re day time naps, I know what you mean re the cues. I take is as rule of thimb that if he's been awkae 2 hrs he could prob do with a nap, and this usually works, although a bit of shush and pat persuading sometimes needed.

dileas2010 Sun 21-Nov-10 12:04:43

I have tried a dummy but I normally have to stand there holding it in which doesn't seem right. It has worked once or twice but normally he's not too interested. I normally try once I'm fed up of him sucking him my finger so maybe should go for the dummy option first and see if that helps.

PrincessBoo Sun 21-Nov-10 12:12:50

Gaining comfort from sucking at the breast is a function equally as important as the nutritional value of breastmilk. Wellbeing isn't just physical.

I echo the sentiments of others - certain books suit people and don't suit others. If what they say is stressing you out- ditch them

The no cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley is more gentle than the BW.

Restrainedrabbit Sun 21-Nov-10 12:31:37

Oh yes to Elizabeth Pantley, much more baby friendly and sensible Some babies are more 'sucky' than others, my 6 week old spends much of the evening suckling but I see this as a normal healthy function for a newborn. Fortunately she has a good latch and so I don't get sore. The 'shush-pat' method is good especially if you are sure they need sleep. I have a two hour rule too, if been awake for a while then worth seeing if sleep is needed. You are doing great smile

dileas2010 Sun 21-Nov-10 17:44:36

Thanks again for the replies. Nice to get come reassurance. Will look into the No cry sleep solution but may have to hide it from my DH - am building up quite a supply of books (which I'm trying not to pay too much attention to). Just keen to try anything which stops him crying so much as find it quite heart breaking and sure not sleeping in day can't be good for him - a couple of days last week he didn't sleep at all from 8am to 10pm. My HV also was asking me this week if he could self settle and said I should be trying to get him to do it now which made me feel a bit under pressure.
He's just had a 2 hour sleep on me though after a feed (while I caught up on strictly ) - am going stop worrying about feeding him to sleep for a little while yet. Thanks again!

PrincessBoo Sun 21-Nov-10 22:17:38

dileas I unashamedly fed my som to sleep until he learnt to self settle in his own time when he was about 1! I'm not suggesting you should do the same but don't let you HV make you feel you need to do anything you aren't ready for. Your baby, you know best.

Cosmosis Mon 22-Nov-10 09:39:28

Feeding to sleep is brilliant I think, why stop doing something that works? DS is now 11wks and I am just starting to feed to dozy and then settle him with swaying, patting and shhhing, as a kind of gentle transition.

I do find though that the days when we crack the daytime naps, are the days when he goes down better in the evening becuse he's not overtired. Mine seems to need to sleep after being awake for roughly 1hr 15, to 1hr 30 mins, so then he has a feed and goes to sleep, or we go for a walk in the pram, or I do the sway/rocking thing and try to get at least an hours sleep. It can be hard work, but it's worth it for a happier baby!

dileas2010 Mon 22-Nov-10 10:42:10

PrincessBoo and Cosmosis - thanks for comments. Been thinking about it and there must be a reason feeding makes babies sleepy - might as well take advantage.
Think I was taken by surprise by how quickly DS changed from being really sleepy to wide awake. Was taking my lead from him on sleepy but realise I need to put the effort in to make him sleepy (sometimes even feeding doesn't) when I see the signs. I've also had my parents visiting for the last 3 weeks and my in-laws for the last week (not all staying thankfully - we politely suggested holiday homes). It meant everything was a bit manic and they had a habit of coming in and talking loudly to him when he was asleep angry. Am going to take things easy this week and try and spend some time getting him to nap during day however I can.
We actually got him to sleep around 7pm last night and he was looking like he was out for the count until my poor DH dropped something and woke him up... finally got him to sleep about 11pm after that by feeding him lying down. Thanks again for all the support. x

Cosmosis Mon 22-Nov-10 10:52:56

Keep at it, it will get better! Parents visiting can be very stressful as well. We were at MIL's for the weekend, and at one point she decided she would get DS off to sleep. Well of course she didn't manage it and then we were left with vv screamy baby! It's frustrating becuase they can think they know best as they've done it all before, but you know what works for your baby. hey ho, at least she's not one to start telling us what to do and suggesting weaning at 12 wks or anything, it could be worse wink

dileas2010 Mon 22-Nov-10 13:02:12

Thanks. Am feeling a bit crap at the moment though. Just been to doctor as have mastitis and mentioned he was crying a lot and only seemed happy in bouncer or while being bounced by us. I said that while he would sleep on me after feed or sit on me while sucking finger he doesn't really like being cuddled at the moment. She then asked about if he made eye contact (he does) and said maybe I should try baby massage to help bonding. Had not really worried about us bonding before now and got quite teary as it made me feel terrible (am already booked on baby massage course this week as I thought crying was linked to wind). Think it was a bit of an offhand comment rather than a diagnosis but feeling a bit under the weather, tired and sensitive. Think it was worse because I had an ELCS as he was breech and someone else made a comment about bonding the other day which I ignored at the time. Have been a bit weepy since I got back but think I need some sleep. The doctor looked a bit alarmed when I started crying and started asking how much help I had and if I could get out for walks but it's actually about the first time I have cried since he was born. Anyway, just wanted to write it all down as makes me feel better.

BaggedandTagged Tue 23-Nov-10 04:19:36

Oh Dileas- that's awful- am sure was just an offhand comment but dont blame you for worrying.

I'm sure there isnt a bonding problem- some babies are just not as cuddly as others- my DS is a case in point- he loves walking around being held facing out (so sort of sitting against my chest with me supporting his bum and holding him across the chest) but wriggles out of very close cuddles and doesnt like being held horizontally or "face in" at all other than when feeding.

Also, you're bf so you're already getting loads of physical contact time.

In a few more weeks he will engage a lot more with you- these weeks are a bit tricky because they seem to be awake a lot but it's kind of hard to entertain them and them get overstimulated and grizzly so easily. I remember weeks 5-8 being pretty bad, but a couple of weeks on and mine is a lot less grizzly.

marzipananimal Tue 23-Nov-10 08:31:56

dear me, doctors should be more sensitive! I'm sure there's no problem with bonding. My ds (12wks) doesn't like close cuddles either and is also difficult with daytime naps. It's very tiring and frustrating but 'this too shall pass' and all that

dileas2010 Tue 23-Nov-10 12:29:40

Thanks - I think I would have ignored her if I wasn't feeling so rotten yesterday. Am feeling a lot better today as antibiotics have started to work I think.
Have also been getting lots of smiles and coos from DS from the moses basket today which has been lovely - think will have to accept he's just not very cuddly at the moment. Thanks again.

Cosmosis Wed 24-Nov-10 10:08:35

I cried the first time I realised ds was crying because he wanted to be put down and not cuddled. Now I'm grateful as it means I can mumsnet do my housework grin

littleweed10 Wed 24-Nov-10 16:03:41

sorry if someone has already said this, but are you demand feeding or trying to follow BW's 3 (I think?) hour rule? Whilst this is an interesting observation, its not necessarily a 'one size fits all'..

I also read BW and liked bits of it but I found my son around this age, was a real guzzler towards late afternoon, early evening, with me feeding about every hour or so. I wonder if your baby is sucking your finger but might benefit from a milky suck?

I wonder if your baby is getting a bit overstimulated in the evening? do you take him back into the lounge if he won't settle? Perhaps try to start chilling out time - lower lights, not too much blary telly - a good hour or so before you want to aim for bedtime...?

Our breakthrough came when I started winding down (as in 'wind the bobbin up' - not 'getting wind up'!) with my son in the bedroom and gave him evening feeds when in subdued light, no tv on, gentle music (he seemed to rather like cat stevens... hmm)

Anyway the point is, after a few days of doing this, he really did seem to begin to understand sleep and bed was iminent.

Good luck, it will get better, promise

littleweed10 Wed 24-Nov-10 16:04:42

sorry I meant to say he was a big cluster feeder - wonder if your son is wanting to cluster feed to tank up for bed?

he cries in frustration? just a thought?

Igglybuff Wed 24-Nov-10 19:21:05

Does he sleep better when on your chest? Can you get a sling for day naps - will help encourage him to sleep in the day then when he's older it'll help get him in routine?

dileas2010 Wed 24-Nov-10 20:04:15

littleweed - thanks for the message. I am demand feeding - feeds every 1 - 3 hours. Not trying to follow the BW word for word - just heard good things about using shush pat. We were doing the finger sucking as had a bit of a prob with him comfort sucking to the point of spectacular vomiting but seems to have passed. I have actually been trying to get him to feed a bit more to see if it would help (because of mastitis as well). Last night it was he didn't sleep till half eleven but he did sleep a lot yesterday (including 3 hours on my chest in the afternoon igglybuff - couldn't bear to wake him.
We were taking him into the lounge in evenings but trying to keep lights lowish and if tv was on we used headphones. Am going to try and be more strict about staying upstairs and the suggestions are really helpful. He's actually asleep now (!) but am having to sit here and shush.... he was asleep till I wrote that sentence but he had a quick feed and has gone back - hurrah. Have also gone back to half swaddling him rather than blanket.
He went in a sling when he was a few weeks but can't get him back in it. Tried today and he screamed. Think I try when he's already cranky so maybe need to catch him earlier.
Sorry - am incapable of short posts! Thanks all again for the suggestions - been really helpful

Igglybuff Wed 24-Nov-10 20:10:19

He sounds like my DS. He overfed and just wouldn't sleep. Turned out he had reflux and silent reflux hence only sleeping for long periods if he was upright on my chest.

Its worth trying a different sling - check that it's not cutting into his legs. Sling plus a dummy worked a treat when he wouldn't sleep.

Around 8 weeks he got more restless and harder to settle in the nights. It's all pretty vague (he's 13 months now) - in the end bedtime routine, early bedtime and sorting out the reflux really helped him sleep.

dileas2010 Wed 24-Nov-10 20:38:36

I've got a ring sling and his head always looks squashed in it. Also got baby bjorn but can't get him to settle for me in it though DH can. I actually have a collection of carriers and have 2 others I haven't tried yet blush (all from NCT sales, freecycle and ebay didn't want to spend lots and find it didn't work). One's a wilkinet and can't remember the other. Would like to get a wrap one and see if that is any good.
Not sure if it's reflux - we do have his moses basket slightly raised as he seems to posset a bit in the night but he actually sleeps horizontally across me. Will have to keep an eye on it.
Will perservere with early bed and making sure he sleeps in day and hope for best.

Igglybuff Wed 24-Nov-10 20:44:43

Can you loosen the ring sling? I have one too - took a while to get the hang of it though! Baby bjorn was his fav though.

DS was more affected by silent reflux - seemed to have wind and would writhe a lot in the early hours.

Keep trying with the slings in the day though. I found DS needed a nap around 45 mins of being awake and took it from there really.

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