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How do you get a newborn to sleep at all at night?!!

(4 Posts)
AnMum Sun 19-Dec-10 11:52:10

I have a 9 day old son, who does not sleep at night at all! during the day, he has regular feeds (every 3-4 hours), sleeps well, has periods of being awake and happy and settled. Come 10pm, he turns into a monster and will not settle for more than 40 mins at a time. At the moment my husband and I are running 2 hours shifts of trying to calm him while the other one sleeps, but we can't keep doing this once my husband returns to work. Any tips?????

Due to big problems with latching on, we are feeding him expressed breast milk in a bottle with one or two formula feeds a day on top of this. One thing we can think of is that we are not feeding him enough at night, but will a baby really reject a bottle if they are not hungry? I feel sure that he will suck on anything you put in his mouth whenever you put it there, so don't want to be overfeeding him and making him uncomfortable that way!

Any tips welcome from two very tired new parents!!!!

lovelymama Sun 19-Dec-10 14:47:48

Ok, first of all he's only 9 days old so don't panic - they can be very unsettled in a new world and this isn't going to last forever. Stay calm and this will filter through to DS.

Does he nap regularly during the day? Good naps can lead to good night time sleep. I think at least 6 hours napping between the hours of 7am and 7pm is normal for a newborn. It sounds crazy but sleep really does lead to more sleep.

Also, how much milk are you giving him in his daytime feeds? I'm a breastfeeder so don't really know exact required quantities but I think it's at least 6 bottle feeds per day of about 4 or 5 oz for a new born.

Even if you are feeding him enough, he may want the comfort of being near you at night so even if he has to sleep on you, let him do that. DD refused to sleep anywhere except on me at night for the first 5 weeks and she sleeps ok in her cot now.

Finally, babies are born with the need to suck - even if he's not hungry, your DS may just want to suck so use a dummy if you're not already. Don't worry about the nonsense that people say you will end up with a toddler walking round with a dummy - if you use the dummy correctly and just give it at certain times it will benefit your current situation.

Great that you and DH are working in shifts as you will both learn how to settle your baby and will prevent you from getting overtired. By the way expressing all that milk must be killing you - have you had any support from a BF counsellor? Even paying a private helper is worth the cash (about £100 I think) as they are bloody geniuses at sorting out BF problems.

Good luck and remember my first point - nothing lasts forever in this baby game. 6-8 weeks is a real turning point so just keep going. xx

Cosmosis Mon 20-Dec-10 09:18:03

I think he's still a bit young to know night from day tbh, you may just need to ride it out. My bf baby definitely rejects the bottle when he's had enough (he has occasional bottles of ebm) so you could try more food? or a dummy as above, he may just want to suck, or try a finger - my ds refused a dummy for ages, but would happily suck on a little finger.

AnMum Mon 20-Dec-10 14:37:45

We made a bit of a breakthrough last night by increasing his feeds before bedtime and during the night and we managed to get three stretches of 3 hours, which felt like a minor miracle! Feel like a different person today!

Lovelymama, I am in touch with a bf counsellor through the NCT and I am hoping to meet up with her this week. I am beginning to think that it is a losing battle but I am definitely going to meet her to see if she can help...

Thanks for the tips!

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