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4 week old won't sleep - please help!

(4 Posts)
steph2608 Fri 28-Mar-14 11:47:15

I have a lovely 4 and a half week old baby, however she is starting to drive myself and my husband mad! She has started refusing to sleep in the Moses basket (or indeed anywhere other than on one of us or in the car/pram) day or night.

Last night she slept soundly on DH from 7 - 11. She then had a bottle of expressed milk, 4 ounces in total. Breast feeding is going well but we're trying to do one bottle a day so that I can rest....ha! After having the bottle she was then awake until 1pm when I fed her again (breast fed this time). She wasn't crying during this time, she was just wide awake. After a 15 minute feed, she fell asleep (without burping). I held her for 20 minutes or so rubbing and patting her back and used the 'dead arm' test to check she was properly asleep before putting her in the basket. Within 5 minutes she was awake and crying, seemingly hungry again.

I fed her again (now 2am) for about 15 minutes and again she fell asleep without burping. I held her upright for 30 minutes while she slept rubbing and patting her back. Tried to put her down at 3am. Almost immediately she started making grunting and growling sounds (like she's clearing her throat) and was writhing about. She was awake minutes later and although I tried to comfort her in the basket, she started to cry.

She was showing hungry signs again so I fed her at 4am for about 15 mins. She fell asleep, same pattern occurred as above. Husband decided to let her sleep on him from 5.30am and she slept like a log!! She was still asleep when he got up for work at 7.15am. She slept in our bed on her back with me watching until 8.30am - quashing my belief that she just doesn't like sleeping on her back (she did make the occasional grunting/growling sound but remained asleep). This morning she fed, fought her tiredness and has fallen asleep in the sling.

My questions are:
- Is using the sling in the day making her clingy? It's the only sure fire way of getting her to sleep but should I keep trying to put her in the Moses basket (or carrycot)?
- Could introducing the bottle feed in the late evening be causing a problem? Would it be better to try a bottle at another time of day?
- Should we stop her from sleeping on hubby in the evening? This is the only time I sleep but i worry that allowing her to sleep for hours on end might be creating a rod for our own backs.
- should I try and interrupt this long evening sleep to "feed her up" for the rest of the night? She'd quite happily sleep for 4 hours or more at this time but then hubby ends up getting no sleep at all
- Should I wake her for feeds regularly in the day to help "feed her up"?
- Is it worth trying out gimmicks such as a Robopax rocker or will this only work in the short term?

Apologies for all the questions but I'm extremely paranoid about creating bad sleeping habits. However I'm also worried that hubby and I aren't getting any sleep at the moment!

Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated.


Luna13 Fri 28-Mar-14 13:37:53

Steph, did you consider co-sleeping for a while? 1 mth old baby is very little, maybe she just needs it rather than routine.

everythinghippie29 Fri 28-Mar-14 14:43:00

This was my situation exactly which is why we started co-sleeping.

Not everyone's cup of tea but it has been a godsend for my sanity and I love it now.

I follow all the safety guidelines and DS sleeps fairly well waking twice in the night for a feed which I do laying on my side now (and doze through!)

If you are not sold totally on tour DD being in your bed, you can get side sleepers or cribs where you take one side off and have it up against the bed which makes the feeding and comforting easier!

I tried with DS having a nice expressed bottle before bed hoping he would sleep longer but he is such a little piggy he just drank all 5oz and still woke up wanting food so didn't notice it making a difference to his sleep but other mums I know swear by a big pre bed feed!

Its so tiring this early on but your DD is only 4 weeks and may just be taking a little longer to get used to being on the 'outside' so to speak! grin

I hope you have more luck and sleep soon! Congratulations on your DD!thanks

Estrellita Fri 28-Mar-14 16:45:32

Congratulations on your DD, and sorry you're struggling. Unfortunately this is fairly normal behavior for a newborn. The difficult end of normal, but normal none the less.

I could have written your post 2 years ago as my DD was exactly the same. Well, possibly worse as she was colicky, cried day and night, had horrid reflux, and was later diagnosed with cows milk allergy. But all that aside, she could just not tolerate her basket and would always, always wake soon after being put down. If not immediately the within the hour for certain. Exhausting does not even begin to describe it. We only managed by sleeping in shifts and co sleeping, with me learning to feed lying down. That was an absolute lifesaver.

Fwiw - and others will disagree - I don't believe in that you can create "bad habits" in young babies by being focused on their needs, including the newborns need for close physical contact. I think that when you meet a need early in life, it creates a deep seated sense of security which enables the child to become more independent at the appropriate time. Meet a need, and the child outgrows it. Decline to meet a need, and it may become an issue later in childhood.

My Dd practically lived in her sling until she was around 6 months, and we continued to use it up to about 12 months. She's affectionate but not clingy in the least, except when tired or ill. She's never had any problems with nursery, and is a very spirited and independent toddler. She also sleeps through the night, in her own room, though it took until she got to about 22 months to be ready for this.

However, this doesn't help you sleep! Be open to suggestions, try different things, but in general it is easier to change how you cope with a new baby than the baby's behavior itself. Hang in there...

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