Starting to burn out!(11 Posts)
I have a 9 week old baby girl, my first child. Things are going mostly great but I am struggling so much with helping her to sleep and as a result feel like I am going to break!
She has never slept well in her crib / Moses basket and has always liked to sleep on my chest. I EBF until 7.5 weeks, then switched to formula in the day and boob through the night.
I have done so much googling and reading of other threads and I have tried everything. I just can't seem to get her to sleep well, away from me.
She is a very alert and active baby and will fight sleep. In the day I manage to get her to nap by feeding her to sleep or walking with her on me. I try to transfer her to her crib or bouncy chair but she's awake within 20-40 minutes. This leads to me letting her snooze on me for a couple of hours so I know she's getting her sleep.
As for nighttime - I have lights low and give her a bottle at 6. We have one song and rock in the nursing chair. She is asleep by this point so I put her down. She will then either sleep for around 2 hours in her crib, so I know she can do it! But after the first night feed she will not settle back in there.
I've tried putting her down drowsy but awake but she just wakes herself up, smiling and laughing. If I leave her to it, she eventually cries.
I've also tried:
Swaddling (she hates it)
White noise (helps to settle her initially but not in the middle of the night)
Crib is on an incline due to her having some reflux issues
I'm sorry this post is so long but I am just desperate for help. I don't mind waking through the night to feed her - my goal isn't for her to "sleep through". It's just that at the moment I get such poor quality sleep as we are co sleeping and my brain is on alert mode.
Thank you if you've read all this! ANY advice would be so appreciated.
Your dd is still very young. I found my dd changed significantly at 11 weeks by suddenly falling asleep in my arms without needing a feed and falling into her own routine for naps.
We did a gradual approach as I wanted to stop breastfeeding to sleep and to cut down on co-sleeping.
We started at 8 weeks by breastfeeding to sleep and leaving her lying on my lap whilst in the living room. She'd normally be asleep by 8.
At 10, when I went to bed, I'd transfer her to the crib. We'd warm the crib with a hot water bottle first. If she whinged we'd leave her for a couple of minutes, only picking her up if she properly started crying. When she woke overnight I'd bring her to bed to feed and then co-sleep the rest of the night. We did this for 2/3 weeks.
At 12 weeks we started putting her in the warm crib when sleepy so roughly at 8. At 13 weeks I started putting her back in the crib after feeding at night. We haven't had any trouble with this, I think because by that stage she'd become use to going to going down in the crib awake earlier on in the evening. I wasn't faffing about heating the crib at 3 am so she went on a cold crib so we then also stopped heating it at 8.
She's 16 weeks now and in general will go down well, waking once or twice for a feed before getting up at 7/8.
We're not too fussed about a strict routine at this stage. We always get up for the day no later than 8 but I put her down to sleep when I think she's sleepy so generally somewhere between 7/830. Is your dd actually showing signs of tiredness at 6? My dd usually wakes from her nap at 6/630 but obviously all babies are different!!
I'd try warming the crib if you haven't already.
But sometimes she just won't settle-I've had to blast the hairdryer for a couple of minutes the past few days to get her to drift off(!)
Thank you for your reply!
I think you're right in pointing out my girl is still so young - it's hard to remember that sometimes as everything can be so relentless, it feels like she's been here for months!
We have tried warming the crib, forgot to mention that, along with having something that smells of me in there. We also had rolled up blankets at one point that kind of kept her snuggled up without swaddling.
We haven't really been maintaining much of a routine but it seemed logical to start the bedtime rituals with the 6 o clock bottle. To be fair though, some days she has napped on me till about 5 / 5:30 so then things have to start later. Maybe I'm not starting the bedtime routine at an appropriate time?
Do you think it's just sitting it out then and that she'll get the hang of it? It just frustrates me that she'll go down in there for the first part of the night but once she's woken for food the first time she just won't settle in there again!
I had one night last week that she went back down after a feed at 5am. We both slept till around 8 and I can't tell you how amazing it felt to wake up alone and be reunited with her. Those few hours of having no contact made the rest of the day beautiful. I definitely appreciated her a lot more and my mental health was so much better. I cried at how happy I felt! I might sound insensitive to some but I'm just well and truly all touched out! I need some space from her to get some good quality sleep!
Thanks again for replying. I'll try being led a bit more by her with the bedtime routine.
I did the opposite to you, bottle at night breast by day, then the nights could be shared and i got some full nights sleep.
OP, it sounds to me like co-sleeping would work wonders for you both. She's falling asleep on your chest because babies love the touch of another person and feel protected.
Thanks for the replies. The reason I prefer bottles in the day is to do with how bf was making me feel. I couldn't cope with it mentally and it was stopping me going out to groups and for walks which is really important to me. Unfortunately I have nobody to share the bottles with in the night anyway! Thank you though
I have tried co sleeping with her and it is somewhat better. I follow all the safe guidelines but my brain just won't switch off fully. I wake every half an hour roughly but this isn't helped as she stirs with wind often as well.
Might be worth considering a sleepyhead - you should find one on John Lewis website. My baby tends to sleep next to me on the bed but in the sleepyhead. When she is right next to me if we fall asleep after feeds I know I don't sleep as well.
Also have a quick look online about the concept of the fourth trimester - it helped me understand a bit more about what life is like for her.
I decided to see what my dd wanted and let her dictate the timings (apart from the 8am wake up). I'm not saying it's the best way but it seems to be working for us and to me seems logical at this stage - a wide awake baby isn't going to go to sleep. I'm very much a go with the flow person.
I loved co-sleeping but it came to a point where it wasn't working for me. I had a few anxiety issues about squashing her and kept waking up to check on her and by default I kept waking her too.
I wouldn't have been able to get her to sleep in the crib after a nightfeed at 9 weeks after Co sleeping from birth. She'd almost certainly would have woken up and I would then have had to have fed her again in order for her to sleep. Tbh I only put her back in the crib after a night feed as she did a poo as I fed her so I needed to change her. I had to put her in the crib so I could wash my hands but my cat then decided 2 am was the perfect time to be fed and let out so by the time I'd faffed with him my dd had had a brief chat with her mobile and fallen asleep! Since then she has been fine. I think she was just ready at that stage to sleep away from me (although the crib is pushed up to our bed so she sleeps near my knees).
If she's going to sleep but waking quickly have you tried giving her more milk? I feed my dd when she wakes from her last nap and then offer her more milk about an hour later.
Thank you for the support and advice everyone.
Gothjoose - thank you. I think I am struggling to judge when to start the bedtime routine as her naps are so variable in the day. It feels as if I need to get one thing sorted for everything to have a knock on effect but nothing seems to be fitting into place yet.
I'm guessing it's down to how teeny she still is. I have the Chicco next 2 me crib so she's very close to me when she does go in there. I put her in a sleeping bag type thing for the first time last night and she did sleep a lot better. I wonder whether she gets cold as she's so active, sometimes the blankets aren't covering her as well as they were!
How old is your baby now? I'm just so scared I'm setting my girl up to fail by letting her sleep wherever she lays her head!
My dd is 17 weeks. It's only been the last 3/4 weeks that she's been sleeping in the crib daytime and naps and going back in the crib after a night feed.
I'm not saying routines are wrong, one of my friends has a very regimented routine that she started when her dd was very young but it works for them. I think there is an element of trial and error and seeing what works for you. When pregnant I was adamant we wouldn't Co sleep or ever leave a baby to cry but when she got here I needed to sleep and Co sleeping was the only way I could do it, and I need to go to the toilet so sometimes I have to leave her to cry for a few minutes.
I think things just fall into place eventually. My dd has moments where only napping on me will do and she is starting to wake earlier in the day (last two days she's woken at 7) so it seems like my 8 am waking up time might be a thing of the past
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