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5 week-old won't be put down

(17 Posts)
OrangeGloss Sat 08-Oct-11 16:11:55

During the first week or so he would only sleep on me or DH, bu slowly has gone into his basket and had been sleeping soundly for 3 or 4 hours a time.

He started a mammoth feed on Thursday, feeding hourly all day and since then has been unsettled, won't sleep in his basket and either cries or just lies awake.

I've been ill so have had little sleep, but just don't know what to do. I'm hoping it's just a growth spurt/phase as it's exhausting spending every hour of the day holding him sad I also feel enormously guilty that I should be enjoying every day of him

If it is a growth spurt how long will this last? Any other ideas? I've spent the day in tears which isn't good for either of us sad

dobeessneeze Sat 08-Oct-11 17:05:21

How horrible to have been ill with a 5-week old baby! You have my sympathies. And congratulations on your lovely baby!

I think they do go through growth spurts around the 6-week mark so it's possible that your DS has just hit this a week early (especially if he arrived past his due date?)

He may not really be unsettled though, rather he may just prefer to be warm and cosy in your arms rather than lying in a moses basket - smart baby! I think the vast majority of babies have quite a low tolerance for lying on their own at that age, but it does improve.

Whatever it is though, it won't last and he'll be different in a week or so. In the meantime, do you have a sling, and will he go in that? At least that way you have your hands free to make a cup of tea.

Is he happy lying down on the bed with you beside him? My DD will sleep for 40 minutes max on her own, but will often do 2-3 hours if I lie beside her, sort of curled around her. That way at least you can have a nap as well. If he doesn't like it at first, then you could try rocking him to sleep in your arms, then sort of keel over onto the bed with him still in your arms and gently remove them from around him.

Otherwise, cancel anything that you don't have to do, stock up on a mindless DVD box set and tasty snacks, accept any offers of help on the go, don't worry about housework, eat ready meals or takeaway or whatever you can find in the cupboard and wait for things to change.

Good luck - I remember 5 weeks being tough anyway though as the sleep deprivation really starts to take its toll and the offers of help start to trail off about the same time.

Iggly Sat 08-Oct-11 19:23:30

It should pass soon. Sit down, hold him and have a flask of hot chocolate. Pop in the sling for meals/loo trips.

The temp has also dropped - is he warm enough?

Could he be getting ill too if you've been unwell?

OrangeGloss Sun 09-Oct-11 17:51:35

Thank you both for posting, I did read yesterday but never managed to post my reply

I do think he might have been under the weather from my illness, poor thing. He's doing a bit better today, getting more like himself - good to know it's a phase, it feels like forever!

Good advice, thanks, I've stocked up on food and tv smile

wheresthebeef Sun 09-Oct-11 20:11:37

5 weeks is very young...our DS was very much the same but that phase passed quickly. Have you ever heard that many people see the first three months of a baby's life are like a 4th trimester? I think it is as well. They are barely out of the womb and need that closeness.

I agree with dobeessneeze, and maybe try and lie with baby when he has a nap and see if that works.

Don't fret, before you know it he will be chuckling at every move you make and you will forget all this smile

RightUpMyRue Sun 09-Oct-11 20:21:30

Of course he wants to be held. He's only been outside of your body for 5 weeks but lived in there, at a constant temperture being effectively held continuously for 9 months. He has no concept that you are only in the kitchen or have only popped to the bathroom for a pee, he only knows he is alone and needs not to be. It's very effective defence mechanism.

The first few weeks are draining, especially so if you've been unwell. Do you have a sling? Slings allow the baby to be held but leave your hands free to do the things you need. It's early days yet, don't expect too much of yourself.

OrangeGloss Sun 09-Oct-11 21:58:21

Yes he's still so young. I've never let him cry if I've put him down, I've always picked him up. It's just confusing when he switched overnight from being content to sleep on his own for 3/4 hours at a time, to not even staying 5 minutes confused it's good to know it's a phase and nothing we've done to distress him

I'll my sling an airing, and make sure he's content - as best I can anyway. He'd given me a couple of smiles which is a woderfuk reward smile

OrangeGloss Mon 10-Oct-11 22:00:58

So, he won't stay in a sling and I've tried 3 different styles, he won't lie with me - he'll only sleep on one of us and cries instantly if put down. He used to sleep happily on his own for 3/4 hours at a time until Thursday sad

sparklytoes Mon 10-Oct-11 22:08:50

Have you tried swaddling? Our dd is in the sling a lot, and won't go in the moses basket during the day. At night though, we swaddle her and also made the basket more snug by rolling up some small blankets down each side to make it more nest like - worked a treat. Also, is he bf? A good position that we like is feeding when both lying on our side - he might drop off to sleep then?

Iggly Mon 10-Oct-11 22:11:43

Silly question but have you tried a sling when he's in a good mood? Also how long have you tried a sling for? Sometimes I just had to go walking with DS, he's scream his head off for ten mins then fall asleep.

In all honesty though, just go with what works for now. Give him cuddled and I promise you, it'll get better. You said he was probably ill - being so little, it'll impact on him more than it did you so will put him out of sorts for a while. DS could take up to two weeks for a cold/virus to fully clear.

Iggly Mon 10-Oct-11 22:13:21

Also he might not be getting enough sleep hence the crying - again another reason for letting him sleep on you in the day. Sleep begets sleep in babies.

OrangeGloss Tue 11-Oct-11 00:58:20

I do swaddle him otherwise he wakes himself up almost instantly, but maybe I haven't tried the slings for long enough, and maybe not when he's in a good enough mood. I feed him lying down but he doesn't seem to settle for long afterwards as he's not physically on me

He's had a cold so maybe only just getting over that I suppose, and I had a stomach bug last Tues/Weds so that may have effected him too, and his mega feeds on Thurs....

dobeessneeze Tue 11-Oct-11 10:11:48

Do you cover him with a blanket and make it nice and cosy for him when you're both lying down? Similar to what sparklytoes said - wherever he is, if you can make it as snug and nest-like as possible, that might help? My DD and I always spent a lot of time in bed together anyway. Maybe just try hanging out with him wherever it is you want him to sleep (and I'd recommend your bed as that way you can sleep too) so that it becomes familiar to him?

I remember week 5/6 well though - I felt like I was spending most of my day plotting how to get away from the baby, trying to figure out how to put her down long enough to put a wash in/do the dishes/make lunch. It suddenly all became a lot easier and more enjoyable when I realised that there was nothing else in the entire world that I was supposed to be doing and the most important thing was to make my lovely baby feel safe and warm and secure. So I just sat and held her all day and left the dishes for other people to do when they came to visit!

You're doing really well though - hang in there and remember that you are never going to regret a single second you spent cuddling your baby, smelling his lovely smell and stroking his lovely soft skin.

OrangeGloss Fri 14-Oct-11 07:13:01

That's a lovely way to look at it, I just wish he would sleep on his own for a tiny bit so I could get some sleep too sad

I just don't understand why he's suddenly like this after sleeping so well - any ideas?

seeker Fri 14-Oct-11 07:29:40

Ok- here's what I suggest.if you have an dp ( if you don't you'll have to put the baby down for long nought to do this, sorry) to put lovely clean sheets on the bed, make a flask tea, fill a tin ith biscuits and make a packed lunch ( as delicious as you the ingredients for. Then get him to hold the baby while you have q shower and put some comfortable pyjamas on. Then just go back to bed with the baby and the tv remote and the phone. And q pile of muslin squares!

And just stay there. All day. Sleep when he sleeps, doze, cuddle and gaze. Gazing at babies is very important- it helps them grow!

dobeessneeze Fri 14-Oct-11 10:24:20

As for why the sudden change - I think this is normal and a lot of babies do this. Being born is totally knackering - it's just as hard work for them as it is for us, and a lot of babies will just sleep anywhere for the first couple of weeks. I think it's quite nice of nature to make babies really sleepy for just long enough for the mother to recover from the birth and then they become what they're REALLY like. At least that's my totally unscientific made-up-in-my-head theory about the whole thing anyway.

Seriously, do what seeker suggests. In fact, that sounds so nice, I think I might do it too for a couple of days.

BertieBotts Fri 14-Oct-11 10:37:45

What types of sling have you tried?

Agree sudden change is quite normal at this age. Not sure why. Could be the 6 week growth spurt starting early, too.

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