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6 week old been awake for 6 hours - HELP!

(38 Posts)
LittleMilla Wed 15-Jun-11 19:40:51

I have tried everything - pushchair, car (x3), rocking, dummy. DH just got home, bathed him and trying again with dummy.

I am at my whit's end with him. He frequently gets overtired (despite my best efforts to get him off to sleep on first cues) and we then pay for it with a usually unsettled night.

I've ordered baby whisperer book but it's not arriving until Friday.I really am very desperate and have had moments today where I have wanted to hurt him. I feel so guilty. I cannot cope and am feeling like a crap mummy.


bumbums Wed 15-Jun-11 19:43:51

Are u breast or bottle feeding him? Have you tried feeding and cuddling him in a darkened room?

WorzselMummage Wed 15-Jun-11 19:44:33

You're not a crap Mummy at all but if you're having thoughts sbout hurting your baby you need to speak to a professional as you might have PND. Don't feel guilty, it's quite normal and happens to a lot of people smile

It is ok for your 6 week old to be awake for 6 hours though, so what if he has an unsettled night.. he's 6 weeks old!

Have you tried walking round with him in a sling ?

LittleMilla Wed 15-Jun-11 19:54:23

I am breastfeeding him. DH has managed to settle him, but we'll see how long he lasts. I tried two feeds earlier today in a dark room - both times he strated to nod off, then got all fractious, pulling on my nipples and general head banging.

I had my postnatal check today and wanted to say to the GP that I have had some pretty shit days, but she was horrid. And then my afternoon just went downhill. I don't feel like this every day. But the bad days are very bad, if that makes sense. I feel like I have made a big mistake and am just no good.

I just don't know of any other babies that stay awake for as long as he does. All of the other NCT babies seem to be far more normal and don't stay up for longer than 2 hours. Which is why I feel so stressed when he is obviously tired, but not switching off. It seems to happen every other day, but I cannot see any reason why.

PukeyRag Wed 15-Jun-11 20:42:12

Is he feeding properly?

My DD started like this and after a few weeks I was told that she was constantly hungry and not putting on weight because she wasn't latching on properly. This resulted in a very unhappy, unsettled baby who was never full up until her third week of life. I felt awful, she was miserable, I was miserable and we weren't getting any sleep. So I expressed my milk in to a bottle and hey presto, it filled her up in a small amount of time and she slept. She was content. (also, introducing a bottle this early will be more of a success than later when he prefers the breast)

Even if he is latching and getting enough, it really might be a good idea to express your milk anyway so that you can hand him over to someone else so that you can go and get some decent sleep. Trust me, sleep takes the anger and frustration away and enables you to see things/your baby in a completely different light. Sleep deprivation is a dangerous thing at times and it will only be worse if you have PND and you're trying to do this on your own.

If you're not sure, see a lactation consultant and talk to your health visitor about how you're feeling. Sometimes though a few hours kip can make a world of difference. Get family round, get friends round, anyone who is willing to take him for at least three hours (providing he has food) for the sake of your state of mind. You may want to think about giving some formula if it gets really bad.

If you feel like you're going to lose it, put the baby down safely in his cot and walk away. Take ten minutes to calm down, take your anger out on something else if you need to, he will be fine for a few minutes, and remind yourself that he is a tiny baby who needs you, he is helpless. I know it's damn hard and complete emotional chaos to begin with, but I assure you, in six weeks time you will have a different baby. It DOES get easier, tell yourself "This too shall pass. This too shall pass"

All the best.

LittleMilla Wed 15-Jun-11 21:07:46

Thanks for replies. He fell asleep for 20 mins and then woke up about 45 mins ago. DH has given him some formula but he's STILL not settled. I am having a glass of red to try an calm down blush. And just leaving him too it, although feeling guilty cause he hasn't had dinner (although i;ve eaten eff all day so figure he'll be OK?).

I struggle with the lack of sleep and am just desperate to get him in to some sort of routine. It's the odd days that are just beginning to wear - some days he's brilliant, others dire.

He's gaining weight well - I had him weighed today actually. He has gone from 10lb 2oz to 11lb 3oz in two weeks, so think he's doing OK. It just seems to be at the detriment of my sanity! He;s able to go up to 4 hours between feeds, but I find myself feeding him more frequently (usually every 2-3 hours) in an effort to get him to it's always a battle. Unless he's in his pushchair, which seems to be the best place for daytime naps. But even that has its shelf-life.

PukeyRag Wed 15-Jun-11 21:15:38

Just remember that a six week old baby WILL be all over the place with sleep, you have to be prepared for that. There is no point in trying to get him in to a strict routine just yet, he's still so tiny but remind yourself that it will not last forever. And a glass of wine is nothing to be ashamed of wink

Get yourself a sling (I have a moby wrap) and co-sleep, see how that goes. I have a thread in the sleep forum (Support thread specifically for mums with 'clingy' babies) you may find some good tips on there.

Please - Try not to take things too seriously! I made this mistake for the first few weeks and I tore myself apart emotionally. Learn to laugh at a situation and it will be easier to deal with. smile

PukeyRag Wed 15-Jun-11 21:17:35

P.S. In a few weeks when he starts rewarding you with smiles every day you can both be happy together through the fog of sleep deprivation and he will begin to be a joy to be around at 3am!

bumbums Wed 15-Jun-11 21:24:25

Great advice from Pukey.
The first 4mths at least are just about surviving each day. Try not to expect too much from your self or from baby.
Do what ever you have to do to get through each day.
Most importantly DON'T DO IT BY YOUR SELF!! Speak to friends and walk out each day. And remember many people who say everything is breezey are really covering up how difficult things are.
You are not alone! I have been in exactly the same position as you. Its very hard but and I know its hard to believe it will pass and you will enjoy your son.

janek Wed 15-Jun-11 22:09:26

sorry, but isn't there such a thing as a 6 week growth spurt? so he's hungrier, he feeds more, then in a couple of days your milk supply increases and everyone is happy again?

Jojay Wed 15-Jun-11 22:16:06

'I tried two feeds earlier today in a dark room - both times he strated to nod off, then got all fractious, pulling on my nipples and general head banging.'

Have you tried swaddling him? Does he doze off then jolt awake again?

If so, swaddle him tightly before a feed, then stick him on the boob. Let him stay there until he's properly asleep, then hopefully he won't jolt awake again as you prise him off.

It's worth a try, and worked wonders with my DS2. He was unputdownable before that.

GreenTeapot Wed 15-Jun-11 22:30:39

The earlier in the day, the easier the nap. When mine were that age they'd need a nap 45 minutes after waking so I'd stay in bed until they woke after their first nap of the day smile

Get yourself a wrap sling and practise using it - many babies cry at first then realise they love it, so put him in it and go for a brisk walk. It will be your best friend.

Can you feed lying down? Eventually I persuaded my really crappy sleeper to feed to sleep with me in bed then we'd both get a rest.

I really think you would do well to see a breastfeeding counsellor. I have had awful problems with oversupply causing screwed up sleep but because weight gain was fab none of the HCPs I saw thought therewas a problem. The hospital feeding advisor gave me really great advice once I tracked her down.

I know you crave routine but you absolutely can't bank on anything with tiny babies, they're totally random. It will get better, immeasurably, but this bit is an absolute test. He will be worth it when he's a giggling cherub and that will happen faster than you can imagine right now.

firemansamantha Wed 15-Jun-11 22:34:46

White noise!!!!

Have you got a hairdryer? The sound of that used to knock mine out instantly at that age.

FunnysInTheGarden Wed 15-Jun-11 22:41:00

OP, we had this problem with DS2. The only thing that worked was making sue he was fed, swaddled and safe and then I'm afraid had to let him cry. We would let him cry for 5 mins then offer more food etc until he didn't want anything else to eat. After that all we could do was let him cry, checking every 5 mins or so that he was OK. Trying to hold him just made him hot and so cry even more.

All I am saying really is don't be afraid to let him cry for a bit.

BTW after a couple of nights he settled really well.

Longtalljosie Wed 15-Jun-11 22:48:56

"I am just no good"

Bollocks, you're normal, and I bet you're a fab mum, you just don't know it yet because you're in Newborn Guantanamo Bay.

The "wanting to hurt him" though - talk me through that. Do you think you're really going to, or do you just feel beside yourself and have to leave the room? Because having to leave the room is really very normal.

cat64 Wed 15-Jun-11 22:53:38

Message withdrawn

Antidote Wed 15-Jun-11 23:02:34

We've all been there.

Are you drinking caffeinated tea/coffee/coke? If so, just have a little think about how much you are drinking. Some is ok but it is easy to get into a habit of loads! Kellymom has guidelines. Can't do a link, sorry.

Good luck.

UKSky Wed 15-Jun-11 23:07:47

Sorry funnys but I don't agree with you about leaving a 6 week old baby to cry. Babies that young cry for a reason even if it is just for comfort.

LittleMilla sorry to hear you are at your wits end - but it will get better. Have you tried snuggling up in your bed with DS. If you lie down and relax he will most likely do so too and you can both get some much needed sleep.

He is only 6 weeks old and the world is still a very strange and scary place to be so he wants to be near to you as much as possible.

With regards to the baby whisperer book it is not generally recommended for very young babies. It does get better and whilst that's not much comfort right now it will give you something to look forward to.

YogaMummy2B Thu 16-Jun-11 05:52:35

Are there any other issues with your LO? You mentioned being a 'fussy' feeder, pulling and headbanging. Has this always been the case? Could be that there is a medical issue. Have you had your LO checked for tongue tie? That could cause problems with latch/frequent feeding and fussing. Could also be a touch of silent reflux causing baby to be uncomfortable and hence not sleeping.
My DD didn't sleep a wink during the day unless attached to my chest until last week, she is 10 weeks old. She has reflux and has managed one or two days with 16hrs awake! Very frightening as most of it was spent screaming at me, ended up taking her to hospital at 3am to be discharged at 3pm next day and told nothing was wrong and just to allow her to lay on my chest.
We had to work hard to get her to have a nap, looking for sleep cues, keeping everything calm, swaddling and singing to her. Even after all that she will only sleep for 1/2 hr to 40 mins, although 2 days ago slept for 21/2 hrs, it felt very surreal but seemed like light at end of tunnel.
You will get there, you are doing a good job. Great advice from Pukey, try and take it less seriously and don't beat yourself up, it is all very normal. Just keep chatting.

FunnysInTheGarden Thu 16-Jun-11 09:45:02

UKSky many people dont, but in my experience, holding shussing patting etc made him scream even more. He just got hotter and hotter and more and more frantic.

Having a tiny baby is a very trying time OP, and if you really feel like you might hurt him, the best thing is to remove yourself from the situation even for a few minutes.

Incidentally, there are some bits of the baby whisperer which are very helpful ie the EASY routine. Just don't take it all as gospel.

FrumpyPumpy Thu 16-Jun-11 09:57:05

Baby whisperer helpful for us, ds would settle from 8 weeks with iPod on of relaxing music using info from the book.

Ignor ignore ignore her bf advice. Use breastfeeding counsellor or kellymom but NOT babywhisperer.

ningyo Thu 16-Jun-11 21:03:48

It's really tough having a little baby who won't fall asleep easily when they're tired. Definitely give white noise a go. My little guy started fighting naps at around 3 weeks and I used white noise to help him drift off. We didn't need to use it for more than a month or so and it really helped save my sanity and allowed my son to get some much-needed sleep (he'd get hysterical with overtiredness, but is a great napper now). Definitely worth mentioning how you're feeling to your GP (if you can find one you like) or health visitor. I think a lot of us feel real anger towards our babies sometimes and it can be really normal to feel that way. Just talking it through with someone can help and they may have some suggestions on local support.

Elsjas Thu 16-Jun-11 22:02:06

Dd1 was a nightmare newborn. At seven weeks, from absolutely nowhere she started to sleep from 11 to 7 (still very unsettled and screaming all the time in the evenings) and then slowly she started to settle early each evening until at 11 weeks she slept from 7 to 7, and has been a great sleeper ever since. The first few months really are a trial of perseverance - but it really does get better and in a few years time it will seem like this period went by in the blink of an eye. Good luck.

LittleMilla Thu 16-Jun-11 22:21:48

Thank you everyone for your replies, I REALLY appreciate the advice. Feeling much better today after a good night. After DH's formula feed he slept for 5 hours shock and then another 3.5 hours after I fed him. He didn't want to get up properly until I obviously felt much better!!

He did his same trick today re: naps and just wouldn't settle this afternoon. Had about an hour's sleep on and off from waking, pukey I followed your advice and just kept my cool. Ended up driving him at about 5pm (he'd been up since 2pm) and he then slept for 2 hours until 7:30pm.

I bought some blackout blinds today (moby wrap is on tomorrow's shopping list!) and they seem to have done the trick, for today anyway. DH is out tonight so DS and I had a bath about 20 mins after he woke up (I fed him straight away) then gave him a massage, and put him back on my boob for his seconds. Nodded off, so I put him down. When he woke up again I whacked him back on, then gave him the other (I cold hear the milk sloshing in his belly at this point!!) and he went to sleep at 8:40pm!

Our forst night without repeated patting, rocking etc. And rather than enjoy it, I have been on tenterhooks the whole time - especially during the bloody thunderstorm! He's fast asleep though.

DH should be home soon and think he'll give him a formula to see if he'll sleep for longer again. I'm still undecided on making it a permanant feature, but I know that lots of people swear by it.

Re: supply I really need to see someone. Everytime I go to do it, things settle down and I don't bother. But then it comes back again with vengence and I know it's not great for him to try and latch on to a rock hard boob!

Thank you again for all your kind and considered words, I appreciate it. x

Antidote Thu 16-Jun-11 22:24:59

Well done you (and your Dh & ds).

It's amazing what even one good night can do for your mood.

Hope it goes ok tonight.

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