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Can't get seven week old to sleep in evening - help!

(17 Posts)
Jane7 Sun 11-Sep-11 09:54:50

DS2 naps ok in day, either in sling or on my chest, then usually wakes at about 5.30pm/6pm. I start trying to settle him to sleep again at about 7.30 and I can tell he's really tired by then (sucking fists, being cranky etc) but for some reason he is SO difficult to get down. I really don't know how to get him to sleep. If I put him in sling, he'll fall asleep but then wake up when I try to take him out and put him in basket. If he falls alseep on my shoulder (which he often does), I try to keep him there until he's in a deep sleep and then transfer to moses basket, but he'll wake up and start crying. I even let him cry for five mins last night in case he needed that to get to sleep, but he just got in a state. The only thing that has worked is endless jiggling in my arms and then holding him like that (v. uncomfy) for about half an hour and then doing the transfer into basket. But I feel like a fool - surely it's not this hard to get a tired little baby to sleep. My first son fed to sleep so that was easy but although DS2 is breastfeed but never falls asleep on boob. Any ideas to make our nightime rigmarole easier. At the moment I'm spending up to three hours trying to get him down, by which point I'm knackered as he still wakes to feed every three hours at night.

HappyAsASandboy Sun 11-Sep-11 10:11:40

You have my sympathy - I know how knackered you are!

If HR won't go to sleep, why not keep him up and play with him? My twins (now 10 months) didn't really have a 'bedtime' as such until around three months - until then, the cycle just kept going day and night. If he will sleep on you, then let him. I mastered eating one handed (get DH to chop food for you if necessary), because I was always feeding, but same would work if he's asleep?

My two settled into a sleep-at-7-ish pattern at about three/four months, and have been pretty good at that until the last month or so, when they've stopped feeding to sleep and want singing and rocking sad. Now I am truly knackered!

Good luck! And remember, it will all change soon anyway grin

Jane7 Sun 11-Sep-11 11:27:06

Thanks Happy - I think you're probably right, that I'm trying to impose bedtime a bit soon and then all that happens is that I'm stuck in darkened room with a baby who takes half an hour to rock to sleep. Maybe if I was downstairs watching telly, the whole thing wld be easier. But my concern has been that if he's tired, won't the light and tv etc make him over stimulated in the evening. Or is he too young for that?

LittleMilla Sun 11-Sep-11 12:34:07

My DS (now 19 weeks) was a flipping nightmare early on. I started a bedtime routine at about 7-8 weeks and I think it helped him. We did bath, boob and then bed. Was doing it for a few weeks before I attempted (under duress I must add - my mum made me do it!) to get him to settle himself. It was as much about deciphering between grumbles and shouting to get himself to sleep, and genuine sad crying. you'll be better than me though if you've already got one!

Something I found to help the transition from me to moses basket was a hot water bottle. Made it all cosy and I think it stopped him waking up.

But one step at a time in my mind. The self settling can come once you're able to put him down OK.

Good luck.

broomformychin Sun 11-Sep-11 14:38:45

I struggled with this as well, my health visitor said I should be putting the baby in the basket when she was sleepy ( when their eyes keep opening and shutting and their nice and calm)but not asleep. I started doing this and then stroking her face and shushing her until she drops off. Also make sure the Moses basket is warm. We started putting a hit water bottle in her basket before we put her in. I know it sounds over simple but before that was suggested to me I'd only been putting her in the basket when she was asleep and doing it that way made a real difference and she sleeps for a full 5 hours now all at once! Hope that helps smile

Jane7 Sun 11-Sep-11 19:44:03

Thanks littlemilla and broom. I'm going to try the hot water bottle tonight. His eyes often open and shut in that sleepy way when he's having his last boob so maybe I shld whip him off, quick burp and put him in his basket then instead of embarking on the great 'jiggle up and down the room malarkey; He's currently lying on my bed not looking very tired even though he's been up for two hours. Trying to decide whether to stay upstairs listening to radio 4 and try to settle him in a dark bedroom or jack it in and take him downstairs to see if he'll fall asleep just as easily in front of telly. I'm def keen to try to encourage self-settling but can't imagine putting him in basket awake wld work quite yet, might wait until he's about ten weeks to even try it. Thanks for your wise words.

broomformychin Sun 11-Sep-11 20:00:49

Hope tonight goes well, I just need to work out how to get my dd sleeping in her basket during the day, that method only works at night for some reason, so I end up stuck to the sofa holding her all day ( not that i mind, trying to make the most of all the cuddles)

sittinginthesun Sun 11-Sep-11 20:04:39

Just to say, my eldest wouldn't settle until 10pm until he was 13 weeks. We tried everything, but he used to get in such a state (colic) that I just accepted that the evenings were his grouchy time and didn't try to settle him. At 13 weeks, he just started to fall asleep at 7pm.

Ds2 settled at 7pm from the day he was born. Just one of those things, I guess.

Jane7 Sun 11-Sep-11 20:16:51

I didn't really want to go down dummy route, but tonight I've tried it and he seems to have gone to sleep. Trying to work out whether it's best to march around the bedroom rocking a seven week old for an hour every evening or let them suck on a dummy... maybe i cld just use dummy for nights and only until he's twelve weeks and then whip it away and by then he might be old enough to do the self-settling thing more easily... hmm, wishful thinking?!

Jane7 Sun 11-Sep-11 20:18:56

brroom - how old is your lo? and how long does she stay awake for in the evenings until you start to put her down in the basket? My ds tends to wake from afternoon nap at about six pm so i start trying to settle him at 7.30/8pm but maybe that's too soon, maybe he's just not that tired...

broomformychin Wed 14-Sep-11 06:49:58

She's 9 weeks tomorrow. We normally aim to have her to sleep by 8 so we start calming her down at about 7, we normally manage to have her asleep between 8.30 - 9 sometimes though it can be 10. She then tends to sleep til 3 ish. She sleeps at different times throughout the day (I am rubbish at having a routine during the day cos she'll only sleep on me or in the sling, for some reason the shushing stroking while she's sleepy only works at night) she has normally woken up from her last nap between 5.30 to 6.30. Have you had any luck yet? For us it does always work but the time it takes really varies, sometimes only 5-10 mins, yesterday it took an hour ( and I started to feel light headed from all the shushing grin)

broomformychin Wed 14-Sep-11 06:53:21

Just read your posts properly. We've started using a dummy too even though I wasn't keen to use one at first and it really helps. Were only using it when she needs to sleep at the moment. But it stops het from getting upset when we shush pat her to sleep.

CitizenOscar Wed 14-Sep-11 07:24:59

Don't know if it helps but my 12wo naturally falls asleep at 9pm. Before that he just isn't tired. Sometimes it's as late as 11! But he's not unhappy and he's then sleeping til 6am ish. So I don't worry about it. We have a bath, PJs, lie down/feed type routine but at the moment we keep him in the living room with us so I can eat, feed him as much as he needs, watch tv etc. He still falls asleep at 9.

If there's not enough time between nap & bedtime, maybe your LO just isn't tired? But then, you said you could see signs of tiredness.

I don't know really, my DS seems happy so I've kind of let him find his own routine which luckily is one that suits us too. Maybe taking some of the stress/expectations out of it for a couple of nights might help? I think we'll have to start a proper routine when he's a bit older but I'm hoping we can make that transition quite naturally (hah! Wish me luck!).

Good luck with whatever you try.

Jane7 Wed 14-Sep-11 16:33:31

Thanks for replies Broom. I'm beginning to realize that whatever I do, my lo tends to fall aslep between 9 and 9.30 so perhaps I should just keep him up later and work around that rather than putting him ds1's bath at 7pm which is clearly just too early o the start of him routine. Dummy calms him but it doesn't send him off. LAst night, when I put him down after lots of cuddling to get to sleep, he woke up in basket, eyes open etc, so I tried the firm hand on his hands and he did drop off so that's good. Many thanks for all your tips x

Happycookie Thu 15-Sep-11 22:11:59

Hi jane7, could have written that post myself!! my dd2 (7 weeks) spends all day napping in the sling, she wakes the minute I try to put her down anywhere, and fusses all evening every evening until she finally falls into a deep sleep around 9ish (sometimes earlier). Bizarrely she never falls asleep during feeding which my other 2 did. I am exhausted!!! But know that things will change at some point I guess.. X

Jane7 Fri 16-Sep-11 17:56:01

THanks for reassuring message Happycookie. If you're on number 3, you must be a bit of a baby pro. I've started giving ds2 a dummy for ten mins or so when i pop him in the basket at night. It sends him off and then I pull it out. I really don't want to be using a dummy in a couple of months time, but at the moment, it's either that or endless jiggling in my arms and then a painstaking transfer into the basket which leaves my nerves in tatters. I'm hoping I can use the dummy until he's about 12 weeks and by then he might have got the idea of bedtime well enough to nod off on his own. I don't use the dummy in day though, only at bedtime.

fififrog Fri 16-Sep-11 21:52:24

Hi DD is now 6 months but was just like yours, cried and grizzled all evening with eyes on stalks and drooping eyelids from 7 but just didn't seem to be able to go to sleep. I was convinced we should be aiming for 7pm bedtime, and indeed that is what we now have but it took about a month to get there, spending all evening trying to console her juggling eating dinner etc. We had a bedtime routine starting at 6, bath, massage, pjs then we'd take her downstairs and at some point she'd want feeding again so I'd take her up and try to get her to sleep. Eventually she started dropping off with much jiggling somewhere between 7 and 8, and we'd just watch tv with her on our laps (alternating so every other night we'd get to use a knife as well as a fork!) and then do that awful transfer manoeuvre after an hour or so when she was utterly asleep. After about 4 weeks of this she gradually became better at 7pm sleep, then we reintroduced pre-bed feed and then one of us would hold/rock/jiggle her to sleep in her room (it was about this time she moved into her own room at 11wks). We very gradually reduced the length of holding time but got stuck on 4 minutes for ages. We have literally just moved to putting her in the cot awake 2 weeks ago. Although I think we could have done it sooner, I am pleased we moved gradually and it has been easy for her to adapt with very little fuss. Pity she doesn't sleep better through the night though :-(

Good luck!

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