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Tired and worried with 2wk old - advice needed

(27 Posts)
Vicksandtricks Tue 11-Feb-14 16:45:24

Hi all

I have a lovely 2 wk old DS but am working myself into a right old flap about sleep. DS will nap for hours in my/OH's arms but wakes after 20 mins if laid down anywhere else - Moses basket, pram, bed nest, our bed with safe sleeping set-up. Is this normal? When my OH was on paternity leave he was amazing and held baby for me to sleep, but he's now back at work. I got a grand total of 2 hours' sleep last night as DS fed, slept for 15 mins then started crying and wanted feeding again. OH says that I should sleep during the day when the baby sleeps but how can I do this if baby will only sleep when I am holding him?

I have wondered if I am putting DS down too hastily. He tends to feed until asleep and then I put him straight down. Should I be doing something beforehand to help him sleep? Everyone else in my NCT group seems to have a baby that will sleep for 3 hours at a stretch in a crib at night. Am I doing something wrong?

And one last one...I have seen people on MN say they improved sleep by giving a bath and then putting to bed. We don't put DS to bed though. He feeds at fairly random times and given the whole only sleeping on us thing, we can't put him to bed! Are we meant to be? If so what goes this really mean in practical terms?

Probably really stupid questions...any advice will be appreciated!

LIZS Tue 11-Feb-14 16:49:50

Everyone else in my NCT group seems to have a baby that will sleep for 3 hours at a stretch in a crib at night. lol they so don't ! Please don't believe all you hear. You are doing fine and your ds will settle into a pattern in time - it's only been 2 (if probably seemingly long) weeks. Have you tried taking him out for a walk in pram and letting him snooze there. Does he cry when he wakes or are you perhaps intervening too soon and he'd nod off again.

BrianButterfield Tue 11-Feb-14 16:52:22

I think maybe you are putting him down too fast - at two weeks I used to wait until DD was in quite a deep sleep before putting her in her basket. At night I BF lying down so I would make sure she was in a safe place/ position and often we would both doze off. Inevitably I would wake up again after 20 minutes or so when she was really asleep and put her in her basket where she would settle.

Marn1e Tue 11-Feb-14 16:53:03

Well this is normal stuff and it's all a phase, although I appreciate that that's not helpful!

With mine I got to a point where I literally HAD to sleep or get on with stuff so they had to be put down. If that meant them grizzling, then so be it. I know it's hard but you can't continue ad infinitum with a baby that you daren't put down!

Practically I'd warm his cot with a hot water bottle and remove it when you put him in for a nap. The warmth can sometimes help. I'd also ensure he was fed, changed, winded and comfortable and then put him down.

Yours is still very little and I'm not advocating that you leave him to wail but sometimes you have to put them down alone and trust me, nothing bad will happen smile

milkwasabadchoice Tue 11-Feb-14 17:06:51

That's totally normal. At that teeny tiny young age they love the attachment. Hopefully in a few weeks his pattern will change but I wouldn't hold your breath - some of them need a lot of attachment. You may have to learn to roll with it. If you don't have a sling, get one!
The bath-bed routine will probably be helpful, but not yet. He's too little , IMHO, to be put to bed in the evening. He is probably cluster feeding anyway? Just keep him with you in the evening for now. We started bathing and bedding DS at about eight weeks.
Whatever you are doing, it certainly doesn't sound like the wrong thing - your baby will have different needs and patterns to others' babies - please try not to compare.

JRmumma Tue 11-Feb-14 17:12:50

Wait 20 mins before putting down after he falls asleep, warm the cot first, i used to hold baby in a cotton blanket and transfer him to the cot with this still underneath him so that there wasn't a temperature difference too.

But most importantly, just enjoy and savour all of the cuddles. In a few months he wont want to just snuggle into you all day and you will miss it terribly.

FurryGiraffe Tue 11-Feb-14 18:46:09

Totally normal. Try waiting 20 mins before putting him down- you need him in a deep sleep. Test out depth of sleep by raising an arm and letting it fall- he's deeply asleep if it's floppy.

Also, take every opportunity to sleep yourself when your DH is home and can do baby duty.

Playdoughcaterpillar Tue 11-Feb-14 18:51:41

This is normal but exhausting isn't it? Both of mine did this to start with. I started the bath feed bed thing about 6w. I think i made the common mistake of responding too quickly to my firstborn. Don't jump straight up, they make loads of noises and will only learn to resettle themselves if you give them chance. That said, i wouldn't leave a tiny one cry for longer than a couple of minutes but sometimes it's just a grumble or a sleep noise.

Elderberri Tue 11-Feb-14 18:52:36

Sound the normal alarm....whoooo

Your baby wants to be close, to hear your heart beat and feel your warmth.

That's why we co-slept.

Get a baby sling.

Germanwife Tue 11-Feb-14 19:19:02

I could have written your post myself at two weeks! Same here - DS would spring awake the second we put him in his Moses basket, like he had a built in mechanism! He would only sleep in my arms or next to me, but I was too paranoid to co sleep. So what we did was completely bonkers: I would sleep whilst nursing DS (lying on the side) and my husband would stay awake, reading or watching movies, to make sure I didn't roll over and fall on DS! Then halfway through the night we'd swap and I would stay up and nurse DS (these were days of non stop nursing). It's mad, I know.

He finally started going into the basket at around 3-4 weeks, but only because my mum kept persisting with it (we were too exhausted to!). Whenever DS fell asleep nursing in the daytime, she would transfer him to the basket and rock it if he woke up. What really worked was warming the basket with a hot water bottle and making a nest for DS. He was tiny and was 'lost' in the basket so the HV made a 'sausage' of rolled up blankets (and a secure fitted sheet over it). It would fit exactly around DS ( but you have to make sure to do it in such a way that they don't bury their nose in it if they turn their head, and make sure the sheet can't be pulled loose).

Even now at 9 weeks, we have to transfer DS into basket when he's deeply asleep, we have had no success putting him there drowsy but awake. However, most of the baby sleep books I've read all say, get your newborn to sleep any way possible and only once they are past 3 months, do sleep training and sleeping in the cot rather than on you!

hennalyn Wed 12-Feb-14 05:39:02

I experienced the same problem with my baby until she was 1 month old. I think such behavior is normal because babies differ in terms of sleeping patterns. I believe it will ease when your baby grow older. There is nothing to worry unless you can feel that she is really sick.

ch1134 Wed 12-Feb-14 14:26:58

reassuring. This is my baby at 3 weeks. Lovely cuddles all the time but no sleep for me!

Mishmashfamily Wed 12-Feb-14 14:29:00

Have you tried swaddling?

Mishmashfamily Wed 12-Feb-14 14:35:28

op I had plenty of cuddle time but after a while it was tiring constantly having a baby attached to me. I was breast feeding and needed a bit of air sometimes !

I started swaddling and putting baby in Moses basket awake for quiet time rather than rocking, cuddling to sleep . It really helped.

Only now dd can not sleep unless she is on her own in cot.

There is nothing wrong with setting up a routine now, it won't do any harm if you follow a loose one to help your self have some structure.

Good luck!!

BeeInYourBonnet Wed 12-Feb-14 14:36:43

IME being overtired ( the baby, not you wink) causes a catch 22 situation. What worked with us was getting baby to catch up with asleep in any way possible to break the over-tiredness cycle (drive in car, long walks in pram, sling Etc). Once we were back on an even keel I , what people may call sleep training (I don't think it was) whereby we tried to keep DD awake after feeds, changed nappy etc and then put her down (stating nearby and shushing). It worked well for both my DCs but first you need to break the cycle and adjust expectations (your 2wo baby is/VERY unlikely to sleep for 3 hr stints all through night).

Good luck, and be kind to yourselves.

BeeInYourBonnet Wed 12-Feb-14 14:39:51

mishmash my DCs were exactly the same. They slept beautifully in their cots but not anywhere else in the end! My friends used to wonder why I was racing home for nap times whilst their DCs snoozed in their buggies! Swings and roundabouts!

EeyoreIsh Wed 12-Feb-14 14:42:50

I could have written your post! The only thing that works is putting dd down straight after a feed or swaddling. I know others who can get a dummy to work.

DH goes back to work tomorrow and I'm terrified of doing the nights on my own.

emblosion Wed 12-Feb-14 14:47:26

What BeeInYourBonnet said ^ and wrt NCT (or any groups) some people will lie through their teeth about how much their baby sleeps, mad I know.

All sounds v normal. Ds1 was a dreadful sleeper, it does get better. I would make sure he doesn't have trapped wind and wait 5 mins until he's in a deeper sleep before putting down. You'll find a way of making it work, hang in there :-)

Manc451 Wed 12-Feb-14 19:38:00

I had exactly the same experience - he slept for such short spells at night that I didn't (but could do a couple of hours at a time in the day). I couldn't sleep in the day - partly because he napped so frequently and how would you know when he's going to do a big enough nap for you to try to sleep too? It was terrible, but he turned a corner at six weeks. Before then he was completely clueless about night and day and hungry all the time, and people advising on things like schedules and sleeping when he slept just added pressure. I guess I'm saying stand by it will get better in a couple of weeks!

Manc451 Wed 12-Feb-14 19:39:31

Ps I found feeding him to sleep the best approach, you're not advised to but I easily got him away from it when he was a bit older. Good luck.

FlossieTreadlight Wed 12-Feb-14 19:43:25

Congratulations smile A hot water bottle in my DD's basket and waiting until her arms had gone floppy when she was asleep in our arms worked for us (took 20ish mins for floppy arms to manifest). When I put her down, she'd stir a little but a hand gently on her chest and shhhhhing (+ Ewan the sheep but don't know if he helped her or me) seemed to work. Most of the time.

Good luck and ignore nct mate's lies smile

Vicksandtricks Sun 16-Feb-14 06:53:45

Thank you all for the advice! We have started waiting longer before putting him down and also doing more on the burping front (being first time parents we were a bit clueless about this). He was not persuaded by warming crib etc and will still only sleep on us at night but he has started napping in the pram carrycot during the day so there is hope and we will persevere!

Booboostoo Sun 16-Feb-14 07:54:28

DD was similar and it was very tiring! I had to put her to sleep on me while I was sitting up and then very slowly, after she had drifted off properly, I could recline a bit backwards and slowly, again after a bit of time, slide down the bed until lying completely flat with her on me, and then eventually (the Mission Impossible maneuvre!) pop her on the mattress!

One thing that did help was the cocoonababy. It's quite expensive but it was the only other thing she would sleep on!

Ellen996 Mon 17-Feb-14 10:17:01

I also know exactly how you feel. My DD is now 4weeks old and I swear she can detect some kind of radar being given off by the Moses basket when I try to put her near it.

I tried all of the tricks - hot water bottle, swaddling, top that smells of me and nothing can persuade her to sleep in basket.

I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice to offer but just wanted to let you know that you're not on you own!

babybouncer Mon 17-Feb-14 10:26:01

1. Get a sling
2. Learn to bf lying down so you can nap when he does
3. Wait 20 mins

Repeat after me 'this is a phase and it will not last forever'.
Also, (this helped me a lot), those nct friends have babies who sleep now... who knows if they'll be sleeping next week?

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