HELP! No routine and wont't sleep alone - prem baby now 6 weeks corrected(6 Posts)
I feel totally lost right now!
My little boy was born prem at 28 weeks and spent his first 9 weeks of life in NICU. He came home being formula fed almost 2 weeks before his due date and has now been home for 8 weeks and is 6 weeks corrected age exactly.
He has been feeding well and putting on weight fantastically and has no medical complications. However, after having him home for about 2 weeks it became apparent that he was suffering from terrible reflux as well as generally very colicky. We did everything we could to help him by elevating his basket, adding thickener to his milk as well as colief and the dr prescribed rinitadine (antacid) however he would only sleep after a feed if he was being held completely upright. My partner and i took shifts for a few weeks to sleep whilst the other one held him. The reflux has now started to really improve with the help of all the measures put in place (thickener, colief, antacids) but we are now in a situation where he will not sleep unless he is being held by one of us. Inevitably this has meant he has come to bed with us which I am well aware is not ideal and i'm really not happy with the situation. We have had the lectures about the dangers of doing this and I am well aware that it's not great but I've tried for weeks to put him down in his basket or cot and he settles for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes before starting to make noises and eventually crying. I've tried picking him up to soothe him until he is in a deep sleep and then put him down again but the same thing happens. I've also tried to just comfort him without picking him up but that doesn't work either. I have the same problem during the day and the only place he will snooze is in his bouncer chair that vibrates which i think comforts him. He can sleep 1 to 2 hours in this.
I basically feel like I've come to breaking point and feel so all over the place. I just cant see how we can get into a routine as he basically wants to be held all day and all night - even when he is awake.
Ive spoken to a few other mums who say they don't really have a routine yet and others do and i read conflicting things about whether its too early for this or not. I just can't see the wood for the trees right now as I'm so sleep deprived and barely get time to do anything like shower when I'm on my own with him. The whole taking him to bed stresses me out beyond belief and i feel like such a bad mum.
We did buy something called a babymoov that goes in his basket or cot. Its not quite the same as a sleepyhead but same sort of idea. we have thought about getting the sleepy head but its so much money to spend with no guarantee it will work.
Any thoughts or ideas from anyone out there are welcome.
The thing about any routine is that it isn't going to help if your baby is having none of it. It may just make you more stressed as a result.
My DS (not prem, but he had been poorly at birth and in SCBU for a week) was like this, and couldn't be put down. Have you tried a sling for day time? He may nap and you would be able to move around and have two hands free. Also, you can try things like warming the cot with a hot water bottle before you put him down, having a muslin that smells of you as a sheet in the cot, having a blanket over him when he falls asleep on you and transferring him with that on him. Also white noise can be helpful - you can get apps for phones/tablets or special white noise devices for babies.
Does he sleep in the pram if you take him out in the daytime when he is tired? Getting some good sleeps in the daytime (however you can manage it) can help with night time sleep as well.
I agree with Culture, a sling saved my life weeks 3-5!! Specially a Caboo, life saver and keeps baby in froggy leg position which is recommended. Have you tried swaddling?? My DD goes down so much better after the golden 20 mins to deep sleep. I think it makes her feel still safe and cuddled plus it means she isn't going into a cold moses which was what used to wake her. Hopefully some of this was helpful??
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Most babies start falling into a better pattern by around 8-10 weeks and often their natural bedtime changes from very late to around 7pm - something to do with their internal body clock. By then their gut flora is settling so wind might start to reduce. I look back and think I never burped my baby enough in the first 8 weeks. Regular tummy massage can also help and I think especially in the early weeks. There are some good YouTube videos of this.
It's far too early for a routine in my opinion.
Are you using a sleeping bag? I found that my baby sleeps better in a sleeping bag than under blankets and makes it much easier to transfer them without them noticing.
Another thing to consider is silent reflux. If your baby sleeps well in bouncer chair perhaps the more upright position suits better. You could try keeping baby upright after feeds for a bit.
Thank you so much for the tips and sdvice - we have been using a sling in the day which helps for s few hours and yes the sleeping bag at night works much better than blankets.
However things have come to ahead. they think he has a milk protein intolerance. The constant crying as just gotten so much worse this week and nothing we did was helping. He starred refusing full feeds (not like him to do that) and being in a lot of pain. He's also developed eczema. So basically they think he has a milk protein or lactose intolerance wich is making him so unhappy all the time and unable to settle into a good sleep and also making his tummy very sore. We are going to be prescribed some special formula which if the consultant is right, will make a big difference.
They initially put it down to him being colicky and refluxy which a lot of babies get but his symptoms have gotten so severe the last few weeks they suspect it's not colic. I was starting think it was me and that I wasn't doing the right things for him so it's a relief to know something else was going and that we can hopefully resolve it. I think once we get him feeling better we can start thinking more about a routine and also hopefully if he feels better it will happen naturally.
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