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3 month baby never slept more than 3hrs...

(19 Posts)
Rosegaia82 Sun 28-Sep-14 22:36:53

Hi there, I'm a first time mum to an 11 week old.
My son has never slept more than 2 hours at night, Often waking after 30/40 mins or an hour.
He was diagnosed with reflux at 5 weeks and this is being treated with good results, but it's not improved his sleep.
He often seems to be suffering from tummy ache and crunches his tummy up a lot, I'm not sure if this contributes to his waking?

He will nap during the day but often very lightly perhaps even with his eyes slightly open!
I have watched all the other babies in my circle start to sleep 5 or more hours, some even through the night but my situation never shows signs of improving, needless to say I am completely exhausted and just fantasise about sleep the entire time!

I go to bed at 9, baby usually has fallen asleep btw 7-8, then I'm up perhaps for 11, 1, 230, 4,5 and for good at 630
I have to hold baby up for 30mins after feeds due to reflux so if he feeds every 2hrs I may get 1:15 sleep between at very best and 30mins at worst.

Any reassurance (that this is normal?!) or advice would be great or any hope that this might improve!!
Thank you.

RRRJ83 Sun 28-Sep-14 22:41:10

Have you considered trying to feed him more throughout the day so he's not as hungry at night? Maybe don't feed him every time he wakes, try and soothe him back to sleep?

He may just be waking through habit, rather than hunger?

BrucieTheShark Sun 28-Sep-14 22:41:39

Yes I have been there. It's grim.

Under the circumstances, I would go to bed with him at 7pm if he will go to sleep then. We had screamfest up until at least 9pm plus all the rest so couldn't even do that. Plus 20 month old sibling to entertain all day.

Beyond that, it's all about survival. Who can you rope in to watch baby while you nap? Just grab all help and don't feel bad.

Do you have a partner and do they help?

BustyCraphopper Sun 28-Sep-14 22:44:29

Yeah we had this with both of ours - finally got to the root of the problem with both as cows milk protein intolerance. I went dairy and soya free and the problem largely resolved - would get 4 hour stretches which I find is enough to stay sane smile

Good luck.

(CMPI can cause reflux type symptoms)

VioletGoesVintage Sun 28-Sep-14 23:14:17

Ugh, sympathies! My eldest was like this - also diagnosed with (silent) reflux. The medication helped somewhat but the amby hammock and cranial osteopathy also made a noticeable difference.

No two ways about it: it was very very grim, and even six years on I am sure I have not quite recovered from months and months of two hours of sleep taken in snatched thirty minute increments. However it ended and he learned to sleep. Actually, maybe "learned" is the wrong word. He just got there, developmentally-speaking, in his own time - and I still don't really know if I could have accelerated the process. The main thing is that I survived, even though I thought I wouldn't. (I even went on to have more babies....)

I was never much of an evening sleeper but I learned to go to bed, even if just to rest, once he'd finished his evening cluster feed (usually 10pm ish). DH held him until he woke. Then it was my turn to make it through the night as best I could.

For a long time, he'd only sleep upright in someone's arms; none of that raise-the-cot-head, warm-the-Moses-basket, allow-him-to-grizzle-himself-to-sleep made one iota of difference. Once - and only once, I was so exhausted - DH was at work - I laid the baby in his basket and went to lie down myself. I truly thought I was going to die I was so tired. The baby screamed for two hours nonstop and I was too exhausted to feel guilty.

So,to sum up:

(1) It is not forever (or this too shall pass) - and, ok, I didn't believe the MNetters who told me this back in 2008 but they were right.

(2) go to bed as soon as you can after your baby as gone to sleep. Sod the cleaning/washing/cooking. Get someone else to do to it/get takeaway. Nothing matters more than your sleep. If you're like me, you'll fiercely resent the loss of your "me time" but, to repeat, it's not forever - and two hours uninterrupted rest is just about enough to allow you to hang on in there. If you can then bump it up to three or four with snatched twenty minutes, that's even better.

(3) It's worth it. It's probably no fun at all right now but it will be. I promise.

VioletGoesVintage Sun 28-Sep-14 23:31:35

Just thought, would you try co-sleeping? I know it's not for everyone (and I think "official" guidance is against it) but, on the occasions I did it with DS, it made a big difference to me not actually having to get up in the night to deal with him. He still woke just as frequently but at least I stayed in bed.

McGlashan Sun 28-Sep-14 23:44:13

I actually felt sick reading your post- I had one of these too and I hate to tell you it didn't improve much until he was weaned. I tried everything. It was torture.
If it had happened again I would've tried to co-sleep maybe with something like this

Anything to make it easier for you. You will probably have to accept like I did, that you will have to go to bed when the baby does and have no life until the wee bugger sleeps better.

Ds didn't nap either- 20 minutes during the day from about 6 weeks and I would have to walk him for hours before he did. I actually found that worse than the nights.

One thing I would say is that it's not your fault. Some babies are just like this. Don't knock yourself out looking for the magic bullet just make life as easy for yourself as you can. It won't last forever.

Rosegaia82 Mon 29-Sep-14 02:34:30

Wow! Thank you so much for these replies!
I think I might try the milk/soy thing out of desperation but do have feeling it may just be the nature of my baby, he is very alert and strung out!

My husband doesn't tend to do much in terms of night duties and I think that's partly my fault for not asking enough but I should.
My baby is breastfed and I had wondered if may sometimes be comfort sucking?
We often end up co-sleeping as it is usually only way to get any sleep so by 3am I give in and usually put him in with me.

I think I am working myself up looking for a "magic bullet" and you're right, it would perhaps be better to accept the situation and stop stressing myself out. It's very difficult to see an end to it at the moment! I keep feeling it must be something I'm doing -thank you for the reassurance.

mrshope Fri 03-Oct-14 02:04:44

Rose - I actually could write this exact post.
DS is 12 weeks and while we used to have the occasional 4hr stint we are now done to 2-3 and more and more on the 2 side.
Naps are a complete battle. I am exhausted and I think he is too.
No answers just sympathy.
I genuinely don't kabob how much longer I can last without some decent sleep!!

mrshope Tue 14-Oct-14 11:42:12

Rose - any improvement?
It is still a complete struggle herehmm
Feel like we are going backwards as well.
I would just like more than an hrs sleep in one go
All anyone says is it will get better!! Whereas it genuinely seemed like we are getting worse

Rosegaia82 Fri 17-Oct-14 00:03:26

No, no improvements here, in fact has mostly gotten worse too- wakings are min hourly now from about 2am. We've been co- sleeping which I don't really sleep well with but does get me some more sleep. I've stopped sleeping a lot now when he's aslee - I lie there unable to sleep.
He also seems to fall asleep later and wake earlier as he becomes more alert. He screamed inconsolably for over an hour this evening before falling asleep.
The consultant who we saw for sons reflux suspected cows milk but I'm into 2nd week of elimination diet with no change & he won't drink neocate we were given. He's very troubled by tummy aches and wind esp in the night but I've no idea what causes it.

Completely despairing and just praying weaning makes some difference. Sorry you're in the same boat. At least I'm not alone. Sine babies are just hard wired to resist sleep it seems...?!

scottygirl5 Fri 17-Oct-14 16:58:00

We had this with DD1 and I second pretty much all the advice you've had. I hoped it would improve with weaning but it didn't, she just gradually woke less from about 10 months and at 14 months started sleeping till morning which for her was 4am Hang in there, it won't be forever, even if it feels like that now and, like childbirth, you will amazingly forget how hideous the lack of sleep was.

captainproton Fri 17-Oct-14 17:06:54

My son was like this, and then you have the growth spurts too. Sometimes I would lie next to him with my boob out in the hopes he would just latch on. Feeding seemed to soothe his reflux. I remember winding him for ages and ages. It only improved on weaning him, and went onto 3 meals a day, and he finally slept through. Those early days are hell!! Sorry not much advice to give.

mrshope Fri 17-Oct-14 17:16:30

Ah rose - weare lurching from one horrendous night to another as well.
Let's take solace in the fact that we are not alone.
Are naps any better for you? Ours are fairly woeful tbh
So jealous of all my nct friends who are minimum getting 5/6 hr stretches

DS is adorable in the day now. Much much less crying but I don't know where I am going wrong at night.

Pm me if you would like Rose - misery loves company! Maybe we could share ideas?!

mrshope Fri 17-Oct-14 17:19:17

Have you tried expressing and giving DS a bottle?
We started last week and while I still have to get up to express it does give me more of a break as DH can do the 10pm feed - just a thought?

Rosegaia82 Tue 28-Oct-14 18:58:14

I don't know how to PM!
We've tried my husband doing a feed but baby tends to scream on him!
I eliminated cows milk for two weeks with no improvement so back to square 1!

Allisgood1 Tue 28-Oct-14 19:07:51

Have you cut hidden dairy too? There seems to be dairy in everything, even things you wouldn't think of like soup and bread.

Dd2 had reflux and similar sleep pattern. The consultant suggested I wean at 4 months but she just was not ready. Things vastly improved when she did wean at 5.5 months.

I also used a reflux pillow under the sheet (we co-slept) and this also helped a bit.

Will he cluster feed from 5-7? I have always found they do long stretches of they cluster feed? Or maybe try another formula (we used a special aptamil one) at that last feed?

Rosegaia82 Tue 28-Oct-14 19:44:58

Yeah I was meticulous with dairy, soy& egg... I'm worried I didn't cut long enough- 2 weeks - consultant paediatrician assured me I would have seen some improvement.
I'm trying him on comfort formula at night now. He's not a good cluster feeder, it's a struggle to get him to feed for more than ten mins any time.
He gets terrible wind in the night & I'm sure this lies at the heart of the problem but no one has any suggestions and I've just been told to hang in there basically but am starting to get quite depressed- nothing ever improves at night!

Books1979 Sat 01-Nov-14 09:12:04

Massive sympathy, sounds horrendous. I thought we had bad sleep issues but nowhere near that. Although reflux is obv a key problem for you, have u also tried swaddling and white noise? V loud radio static has helped us a lot. Also can't recommend cranial osteopathy enough, in 3 sessions so far we have seen our little one start to relax. Still a way to go but highly worthy t. Have u tried a sling during the day for his naps? Best position for reflux. Drape muslin over head to block light. Also bouncing on birthing ball with baby in sling helps them sleep in day. Good luck.

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