8 week old won't nap during day or settle in Moses basket at night - help!(24 Posts)
Ok so I'm all in a muddle about our 8 week old DS's sleep. During the daytime it's virtually impossible to get him to nap unless you're holding/rocking/walking with him (sitting on sofa with him in my arms does not cut it) and then he will only stay asleep for any decent length of time if you continue holding him. Obviously it's lovely having a baby sleeping on you but I'm getting fed up by either DH or I always having to be a human mattress to give DS any kind of daytime sleep. If we try and put him in his carrycot after he's fallen asleep, he wakes up more or less instantly, and once we've tried that a few times he just won't go to sleep at all - gets really crotchety with tiredness - I feed him instead - and then he finally goes to sleep. I'm dubious about relying on this tactic as well though, as I don't want to have to nurse him to sleep every time he needs a nap!
Daytime naps usually only ever last about 20 mins. We laugh in the face of the hour and a half suggested by the baby whisperer.
All of this means I don't get any kind of break all day when I'm at home during the week with DS, I can't take a nap myself (unless he's sleeping next to me in bed, which never makes for great sleep) and end up totally knackered by the evening.
We're plagued by the same problem at night which usually means I end up co-sleeping (DH is in spare room anyway) and getting a really broken half awake/half asleep night of sleepy breastfeeding, rather than clear blocks where I'm up and awake feeding DS, and then the rest of the time separately asleep in bed/Moses basket. Co-sleeping always seems a good decision at the beginning of the night (as a way of getting him to settle), but a terrible choice at the end of it! No set bedtime or bedtime routine yet - perhaps we should be doing that...
Anyone else battling the same things? Any magic suggestions to get him to settle in his basket - and sleep longer?? How often and how long should he be napping in the day? Do I need to do something proactively about all this and accept a battle to settle him (and even less sleep) before the situation gets better - or will he grow out of it? (She says hopefully).
We're typically pretty organised so this unstructured, 'path of least resistance approach' isn't our natural mode - but we're not quite sure how to tackle all this so are going with the flow at the moment...
Sorry, incredibly long and tedious post. I need some sleep! I hope this makes some kind of sense. Any advice would be brilliant.
Google the fourth trimester - it might help to make sense of it a bit.
Do you have a sling? You can put him in and then get on with your day - if you look for a sling library near you you can try before you buy and there will be someone to help you choose the best one for you.
I did just go with the flow with my DS - we co-slept because ultimately we got more sleep that way and he definitely did grow out of it and now happily sleeps in his bed!
this sounds like DS at the same age. he wanted walking around all the time and woke up when we put him down. we started his bedtime routine around that time and he has gradually got better.
naps are usually 40 mins and at that age they were 3 times a day. he is now 7 months and self settles but in the interim swaddleme wraps at night and rocking in the pram or bouncy chair with a dummy in the day worked.
Ah he's only 8 weeks old; you don't need to think about a routine yet. Some babies don't "do" napping anywhere else than in someone's arms; my ds3 didn't either.
As a PP suggested, use a sling/carrier when you need to do stuff, I'd recommend an ergo; it was fantastic for me (with the infant insert). We still use it now sometimes, and ds3 is 2 on Sunday. We also co-slept, out of necessity, as ds3 wouldn't sleep anywhere else. He now starts off in his bed at 7pm and comes in to us at some point in the night.
Evidence-based info on how babies sleep.
Hang in there, it will get better.
No advice but I'm in the same boat with my 7 week old DD. Naps happen while she's on the move- in a buggy, on a shoulder, jigging up and down on a knee (how she manages this I have no idea).
"Sleep when the baby sleeps"? Ha!
So all I offer is empathy. It is lovely having a baby fall asleep on you but I do look forward to her eventually (magically) achieving "put the baby down sleepy but awake and allow her to settle herself".
Thank you, this is all really helpful and reassuring! I think I'm unnerved by the lack of structure - DS is totally happy with it though (unless he gets overtired at repeated wakings if we try putting him in the Moses basket).
I will definitely investigate sling libraries, good idea - other friends have recommended the ergo sewing - because i've had such sore nipples (bf probs now on their way to being resolved) i couldn't face wearing a sling before now!
littlemonkey what was your bedtime routine and what time? And were those 40 min naps just at random times in the day?
littlelight when that magical / mythical 'self-settling' moment arrives i'll be (quietly) breaking out the champagne.
Sounds like i need to just chill out about it a bit though. I made the mistake of reading a couple of baby books which bear little relation to (our) reality!
Off to read about the fourth trimester and look at that link now.
Same problems over here with daytime naps. I was just coming on here to see if it was normal...sounds like it is! DS is 10 weeks old and is haaaaaard work to get him to nap and then often wakes minutes after he's fallen asleep. I listen to rather too much crying in the day as a result. I'm finding it hard with 3 year old dd to look after too. I'm taking DS to a cranial osteopath to see if that helps.
Sounds exactly like all three of mine (youngest is six weeks). Sling and acceptance is all that worked. They grew out of it.
It's all really normal, but exhausting. Do look up the fourth trimester, and don't worry about a thing for the first three months at least. They do grow out of all of this. It will get better.
It will be easier on you if you can find a sling you are happy with (maybe mobi or kari me), to give you hands free during the day, and try to find a way to get more sleep while cosleeping.
My DD2 was like this. At five months I did some gentle sleep training to get her into her cot at night. She has only now started having naps in her cot at 7 months.
Neither DC did the baby whisperer long naps, but DD1 still slept brilliantly at night. I would throw the book away.
Just to say also, neither of my older two were great sleepers as babies. DD2 especially. At 5 and 3 they are amongst the best sleepers I know in their age group. The baby stage was hard, but it's not forever and I feel I've actually come off far better than the frend whose baby slept magnificently but whose 3 year old still regularly gets up in the night.
Thank you all, this is really reassuring. penguins that's nice to hear.
Right, embarking on another night here. Still have to figure out this co-sleeping lark. pottering and sewing did/do you breastfeed as well as co-sleep? At night did you feed in bed? DS and I are in the main bedroom, DH is in the spare room. DS had tongue tie op last week so I've only just started breastfeeding again and feeds are looooong, 45 mins to 65 mins - I think DS is still learning how to nurse effectively. (Before this I bottle fed expressed breast milk). I tend to feed DS lying on my side in bed and because it takes ages I often fall asleep halfway through and wake up an hour later with the bedside light still on, DS in bed next to me awake, and no idea how long I've been feeding. Usually DS is keen to feed again and as it's an effective way of (eventually) getting him to sleep, that's what I do. By the end of the night I don't know whether I've slept for several hours or not at all - it makes me feel very odd. I'm guessing I just have to stick it out until he manages to feed in a shorter time?! The alternative - trying to curtail his feed, as I suspect he is just comfort sucking for the last 15/20 mins - doesn't sound particularly appealing because then I'll have to get up and rock him to sleep anyway! Any thoughts? Just hope he gets better at it??
Sorry a million questions!
Totally there with you. 8 week old dd won't fall asleep anywhere but on me during the day and woe betide I try to put her down. My nap sack carrier, hired from local sling library, is the only way she gets decent naps, and ds gets half decent parenting!
As for nighttime, we've got a co sleeper cot attached to the bed but I've only just succeeded in getting her to sleep in it for the first part of the night. We feed lying down and I know exactly what you mean about feeling odd when you don't know how much sleep you've really had.
Ds was the same and although he went into his own cot at 5 months, he'll still climb into our bed some nights at 2.9 years. I recommend a super king size bed
On that note, I've finally fed dd to sleep enough for her to stay in the crib
famous last words so better get some kip myself.
Good luck for your night
Does he have a dummy? I usually notice at the end of a Feed when DD is using me as a human dummy, I unlatch her and pop the dummy straight in and she stays asleep!
Good idea lucky, might try that! And glad it's not just me misty. I think it's the countless mini feeds that are driving me nuts - might try getting up to feed him and watch a DVD or something tonight...
I wrote a post almost exactly like this when my DS was about 8 weeks.
He's 14 weeks now and I have only a couple of times succeeded with the whole putting down drowsy thing - I feed to sleep for bedtime and nap time almost invariably.
For nap times we have no set routine as such, other than watching out for his tiredness cues and getting him on the boob to feed him off to sleep as soon as he's tired which is after around 90 minutes wake time (so 4 sleeps a day average). I've only just started to try to put him down this week after 14 weeks of him using me as a mattress as you so accurately put it! I've had quite a lot of screaming this week but I'm persevering to try to get some time to myself in the day…and maybe the chance of the odd nap myself.
We've co-slept since 8 weeks when he outgrew his moses basket and stopped being swaddled but I don't feed lying down for the reasons you described! I prefer to sit up, give a proper feed and then lie him straight back down to sleep after - can do end to end in 20 mins now. I actually quite enjoy the co-sleeping so I don't know when I'm going to try to get him in his cot, but as 4 month sleep regression is on the horizon I'm not going to make life any more difficult than it needs to be.
Yes I'm going to try getting up to feed tonight - hey, it can't be worse, can it? (Famous last words). It was when I managed 2 hours of sleep from 6am-8am this morning and felt like a new woman afterwards that I realised quite how bad it's been! Good luck with putting your DS down during the day - will be interested to hear how you go...
Hope your night goes well birds
I too have been contemplating trying to get her down away from me for naps. Not sure if I can leave her to cry though just yet. She's been very unsettled today and hardly napped until 3pm so hopefully she'll sleep well tonight. Oh, and we also had tongue tie revision a couple weeks back and I think she's only just recently figuring out how to use the new movement as it's taken this long to stick her tongue out more!
Hopefully feeding to sleep as I type..
I feel your pain! I wasn't able to get anything done at all as my ds wanted to be held all the time and would wake within 10 mins of being in his moses basket! I really didnt want to use a sling as it meant he was still always 'attached' to me and worried this would be a problem later on....then i was introduced to the 'poddle pod' which is a cushion that makes them feel like they're still being held/cuddled......amazing! I use it within his crib at night and get a 4 hour sleep and then another 3 until he wants a cuddle! And daytime is so much easier too i get about 1-2 1/2 of sleeping between each 4 hour feed which means he sleeps better at night! Hope this helps!
My dd3 is 7 weeks and either naps in the sling or next to me, usually whilst using me as a human dummy.
She'll sleep in her Moses basket at night but only after hours of rocking or feeding to sleep then transferring. We normally co sleep for the last few hours of the night.
I enjoy the closeness most of the time, especially as she is my last. But sometimes I'm exhausted and just want complete space.
My older two were much the same I'm sure and they're great independent sleepers now. I still have moments of worry though, that this time it won't work out so well!
Will check out the poddle pod - that sounds promising, thanks plokett.
buffy nice to know your first two were the same and sleep independently now. I completely agree, the closeness is lovely most of the time but sometimes you do feel like you'd like a breather. When my DH is holding DS and the cat spies an opening to jump on my lap I'm afraid he gets pretty short shrift.
Tonight's experiment went much better - bed at 10.30pm then up to feed at 1.30 and 4.30 - both times on the sofa downstairs but he went to sleep angelically at the end of each and then I could put him in his Moses next to the bed - amazing! I definitely sleep more deeply when he's not in bed with me and it was very nice not to feel like a milk bar all night. awake again at 6.00 and he's in bed with me feeding now as I'm happy to drop off with him for the final bit of the night.
Weirdly his feed length seems to have dropped to 25/30 mins or sometimes 15/20 mins - he goes to sleep and won't be persuaded to wake again - a little unnerving after his 45/60 min marathons but I guess he's getting better at it. Hurray!
He may well have been cluster feeding to get your supply up, as expressing isn't as effective as a baby in stimulating it. Good to hear the length is reducing now and what a great night! Please impart your secret for getting them to sleep in crib
I've admitted defeat with daytime naps and just using the sling
I don't know - it doesn't seem to work at all during the day - but last night he just conked out at the end of each feed - I carried him upstairs level ie without cuddling him against my body, one hand under head and the other under his bottom (reasoning that way he doesn't get so much of a transition from warm body to colder crib when he gets put down - of course this hold only works if they're pretty fast asleep anyway!) Very gradually lower him into crib so there's no sense of a 'drop' into crib. Put your hands on his tummy with a firm gentle pressure so if he stirs it's like there's a body against his. Gradually and slowly lift each hand off (putting them back if he starts stirring more). Stand back. Pray. In fact it's much like handling an unexploded bomb! Worked last night - but let's see if it has the same effect tonight...
I'm going with the flow on daytime naps too - getting a sling next week and also occasionally feeding him in bed during the day and both napping together after if i'm in need of a sleep. It's making me feel more sane not to be constantly battling to get him to do something he clearly isn't inclined to do!
Ah i remember the days of daytime napping with the baby. No such luxury with no.2! Well, transfer attempt number one has failed so feeding to sleep again... She's frantically rooting but my breasts feel empty. Thank goodness for mumsnet on my phone
Join the discussion
Please login first.