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9 week old won't sleep, or stay asleep

(47 Posts)
Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 20:04:27

Ds is nine weeks old and does not want to sleep. If I do get him to drop off he won't stay asleep. The world is just too interesting

Today he's been awake from .. Well... He's not really been asleep in the night either smile but let's say 6 am. I've managed to get him to drop off a few times but he stays asleep no longer than five mins or so then wakes up.

Any ideas? I've tried boring him to sleep, I don't reward wake ups with instant food or attention, I try to give him a few minutes to settle if he's grizzly although I don't leave him too long and I go to him immediately if he's genuinely crying

I don't feed him straight on waking ( nappy change or gentle cuddle whilst not interacting)

I've tried long walks in the pram, everything... Help!!

He hates the sling, before anyone mentions that. ;) the few times I've managed to coax him into it he's screamed his head off. I genuinely don't see how you can get anything done with them strapped to your front anyway.. They are so in the way!!

I'm about to go insane from having no time to myself to do anything. Help.

Cel982 Mon 07-Dec-15 20:28:23

Does he stay asleep if he's in your arms? It's probably not what you want to hear, but it's completely normal for a small baby to only sleep on or beside their caregiver. Mine would only nap on my chest for the first six months. I found life got easier once I stopped fighting it and accepted that this was the new normal.

Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 20:32:21

At some point I have to move or pee or just have -two minutes where he's not mauling my nipples

I can't have him welded to me all day, I will go insane sad

How can I get him to sleep??

IHaveBrilloHair Mon 07-Dec-15 20:36:24

Hold him and feed him, it's what he wants.
Settle yourself on the couch with remote and lots of lovely food and the wifi

NeeeeNaaaaaw Mon 07-Dec-15 20:39:45

Make sure you pee before you feed him to sleep. Then sit and cuddle while he naps.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 07-Dec-15 20:40:45

I'll add to the chorus of just hold him and let him sleep on you. Done it with two babies now and I'm still alive smile Babies don't know they're supposed to sleep in cots. They're biologically designed to sleep on or with their mothers. You let him sleep on you, he'll be much more put-downable when awake and you can wee and do jobs then (or go to a sling library and get yourself a sling that he likes better...what are you using?)

Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 21:00:14

thats what I'm doing now - feeding him then letting him sleep on me. I can't bear it. Feeding is painful, and sitting still for so long is painful too - I had really bad spd and it's not resolved, I can't sit still like that for ages without being in a lot of pain. I've sat with him for hours today and can barely walk when I get up. He needs to sleep without it being on me.
I feel completely touched out. I am extremely introverted and I don't deal well with this.

Slings - tried a baby bjorn, a stretchy wrap one, a friend's baby ktan and a random one a friend lent me (ergo baby?) he hates them. Gets hot and sweaty and screams his head off.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 07-Dec-15 21:12:26

As much as you feel you may need it, there's not really any way of fighting with his biological make-up. Acceptance and finding a way of enjoying it is really the best way. I, too, hated it with my first. I think I grew to accept it when he was about six months, and realised how much easier my life became with this acceptance, and I was no longer trying to fight a screaming baby into a cot or pram to sleep. If he ever did go to sleep, in never lasted longer than about 20 minutes and he was a clingy, tired, underslept horror when awake as a result. I missed the long, lazy cuddles terribly when I was back to work full-time when he was eight months old, then absolutely revelled in it with DS2 when he also refused to sleep off me.

The only other possible suggestion I have is that you lie down with him on a padded surface on the floor and feed him to sleep in situ so that once he's heavily asleep, you can move away. Go back to him after about half an hour until he stirs and feed him back to sleep into the next sleep cycle to lengthen the nap.

This time goes so, so quickly. I know it feels like tired, exhausting, painful forever now, but it's gone in no time so going with what he needs, and making it as pleasant as possible for yourself (food, Netflix as a PP said) really is the easiest option.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 07-Dec-15 21:14:21

At 3.5yo and 16mo, they're both currently asleep in their own rooms as we speak, and DS2 slept for three hours in his cot yesterday.

This too shall pass chocolatechocolate

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Dec-15 21:21:56

Skiptonlass1 - Your baby needs to sleep.

Not just a little bit more, but lots and lots more than the amount your describe. 9 weeks old you should be looking at maybe 30-60 minutes awake time in between a nap. Naps might be short, 20-40 minutes to be expected at this age. 5 minutes is nowhere close to enough.

You now at the point of "Sleep anyhow, any where, any way. Just get the baby to sleep more"

So forget about everything else. Loads of stuff in your post is just so far beyond worrying about you have no idea: not "rewarding" with a feed, not interacting, no attention, boring him - all these things are, frankly, quite ridiculous at this age. I'm sorry, but they are. You ae hugely over-thinking this.

I don't like baby sleeping on me, it's OK to be like that. Try one of two things:

Swaddle + dummy if using a crib/cot. Or
Bouncy chair + dummy for daytime sleep.

Also look at your feeding. You sound very negative about breastfeeding. It's OK to give formula if you are at the end of your tolerance. A well fed newborn should not be fighting sleep to this extent. They basically just feed, sleep, feed, sleep, feed, sleep with very little awake time in between in the first 3 months.

"Sleep anyhow, any where, any way. Just get the baby to sleep more"

Do anything. Anything necessary. Get the baby sleeping more.

Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 21:44:08

It's not as though he sleeps blissfully on me - he still wakes after ten minutes or so. He won't stay asleep - why? What's preventing him from completing a sleep cycle? He will drop off but then wake up, regardless of where he is.

urgh... I feel terrible. I know everyone says sit on the sofa with the tv but I just can't. The idea of watching tv all day is grim - I can't bear having it on with the constant noise and chatter.
I just want him to sleep for half an hour so I can shower without a backdrop of screaming sad or get away from being touched all the time.

No sling libraries alas. I'm an expat and live somewhere pretty remote.

Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 21:57:18

Formula makes him vomit sad I have given him some when I've been in too much pain to keep feeding (he feeds for hours...argh) but he just chucks it up. I managed to find an alternative brand (as I said I live in the sticks, the shops here are limited!) and I will try him on that.
I'd like to keep breastfeeding (it's easier if it works) but I don't have any ideological axe to grind over formula. Ds just chucks it up :/ he's got a very poor latch (been checked, seen midwife/nurse/breastfeeding clinic/a consultant, they don't know why) and feeding is a bit shit right now. For me anyway, he must be doing ok as he's gaining fine. Maybe he's hungry?

We've tried dummies (spits them out) bouncy chairs (amused for a bit, howls after five minutes) swaddling, rocking, white noise, soothing quiet dark rooms, crowded places... prams.. He will. Not. Sleep.

Im not a great sleeper either - I rarely get more than four hours a night in short bursts - so I'm not fussed about me not getting to sleep but I think he should be getting way more than he is. I reckon in total he gets 7 hours a day if you add it all up. He's been like this since newborn. Dh was reading an article which said 'newborns can't stay awake for longer than ninety minutes' and was amazed because he'd been awake for ten hours straight.

I am not doing very well at this am I? Why won't he sleep?

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Dec-15 22:10:28

Good sleep encourages more sleep and better sleep. And unfortunately poor sleep will perpetuate in worse and worse sleep.

So if you get him sleeping well, it will snowball and improve his sleep more.

You really have to mega-focus on this. Don't worry about slings if they aren't 'you', its fine. Bouncy chair works just as well. And get a dummy - its all about the dummy.

While babies this tiny can't do ridged routines, getting some structure in your day might help you both. You could try something like:

Feed upon waking
Nappy check - only change if needed
30 minutes activity
Nappy check - only change if needed
Top-up feed to get to sleep
Working at getting baby to slee - bouncing, rocking etc.

...repeat, repeat, repeat...

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Dec-15 22:12:44

Don't be dismissive Skipton. Just keep trying, you will find what works flowers

BifsWif Mon 07-Dec-15 22:16:15

Could he have reflux? You mentioned him being sick after feeding.

My DD wouldn't sleep for longer than 20 minutes, day or night, and those 20 minute naps were restless. She was diagnosed with reflux at 4 weeks and after her first dose of medicine she slept for 6 solid hours.

I was feeding her to sleep and it hurt her to lie down afterwards (but obviously I didn't realise that) which caused the frequent waking.

Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 22:17:50

sad I'll keep trying... How can you get them to keep a dummy in? He obviously wants to suck it but seems to not have figured out how to keep it in?
I have a bvc appointment tomorrow so I'll see if they have any suggestions.

I know I sound negative. I'm just broken by all this. How do people do it?

Poor ds. He looks utterly shattered

UmbongoUnchained Mon 07-Dec-15 22:18:36

Have you tried music? Or white noise? My friends baby will sleep to the sound of a hair dryer, my baby would sleep to George Ezra being played really loud next to her. If you can't sit still then definitely persevere with the sling. How long did you have him in it before you took him out? My baby would cry for a while but the more I moved she would just drift off. I would go for daily walks with her in my along and she would sleep the entire the time. Eventually baby will associate the sling with sleep. Yes it's hard. But parenting IS hard. It will be over before you know it and you will regret spending all that time stressed.

Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 22:21:03

I don't think it's reflux.. He never pukes or possets breast milk- only the formula I tried. He is very windy and produces explosive mega poos. I give him infacol and probiotics on the advice of the bvc but I'm not convinced I've seen a difference.
I'll ask them at the clinic tomorrow- they might be able to tell if relic is an issue. Thanks for the suggestion

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Dec-15 22:23:37

We've tried dummies (spits them out)...

Many babies need perseverance and time to understand what to do with a dummy. Until they are given that time to learn, it is a natural response to spit out anything pleased in their mouth. Spitting it out initially just means you have yourself a normal baby. Worth persevering with a dummy.

..bouncy chairs (amused for a bit, howls after five minutes)

Maybe you misunderstand me. The bouncy chair is not for amusement, it is for sleeping.

Remove all the bells and whistles (the play arch etc). Put baby in, dummy in mouth. Sit yourself on the sofa with bouncy chair at your feet and use your foot to bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce that baby. Just keep going and going - reinserting dummy as needed. Bounce, bounce bounce into sleep oblivion.

Given the sleep deprivation your baby is suffering with, he is going to cry and fight sleep. Just because he's crying in the bouncy chair doesn't mean it's not going to bounce him to sleep if you keep going.

Skiptonlass1 Mon 07-Dec-15 22:25:43

I tried about ten minutes on several occasions with the slings, when he was more in a chilled mood. He objected.
I'll keep persevering with it. I would really like to be able to use one as the only public transport where I live isn't buggy accessible and I'm very isolated here.
I'll try short times and working up maybe?

aussiemamamelb Mon 07-Dec-15 22:26:05

Hi I'm going to go against the grain as I have a 10 week old DD and a 2.5 year old DD and decided 2 weeks ago to gently introduce a routine (ie no crying involved although she did/does fuss). I felt it important so I could give time to my toddler as holding DD2 all day isn't or practical for us. We do play/feed/play/top up feed/sleep routine.
It involves getting her up at approx same time every morning between 7 and 8am and then between 1.25 and 1.1.5 hours wake time (the same throughout the day) she would go down for a nap in her bassinet and and I pat/shush her (I recommend looking on Facebook for Babybliss settling technique). I feed every 3.5 to 4 hours and she takes good full feeds. Her naps vary in length as she's a serial catnapper but I resettle her using the same pat/shush method to extend naps which often works. I always swaddle her, darken the room and turn the radio on low. It's about consistency for us and I've been keeping at it for 2 weeks and she goes off in a few minutes. I don't leave her to cry as I'm with her but she does make slight grizzle noises and will often go to sleep after 30 sec-1 min of this. We give her a bottle of EBM at night after bath and massage and then I keep her upright and sing (to get her to burp and part of our wind down routine) and then she's in bed by 7pm latest. Atm she feeds at approx midnight and 6am.
It works for now and I did this as DD1 used to every 45min-2 hours throughout the night. Maybe try this but I do highly recommend Babybliss (by Jo Ryan) for ideas on baby led routines. Good luck

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Dec-15 22:26:14

Sorry - I keep crossing posts.

UmbongoUnchained Mon 07-Dec-15 22:41:12

You'll need longer than 10 minutes. Make sure he's fed snugly and warm, stick him in the sling nice and tight so he feels like he's being held and then just go about your day. The motion of your movement, the sound of your heart beat and being close to you will send him off. May take 10 minutes may take half an hour. Just don't give in. The inconsistency won't help, it will make him anxious.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Mon 07-Dec-15 22:49:11

I am another one sitting here thinking reflux. Google silent reflux which doesn't involve sick. My two had to be held upright for 90 minutes after each feed (and rubbed not patted) and could then sleep flat on their own until the next feed. It took me four months to work out what was wrong with ds1. The cows' milk protein in formula might cause reflux. In your breast milk there will be some CMP broken down from your diet but considerably less than there is in formula. Have you considered going dairy-free?

captainproton Mon 07-Dec-15 22:49:22

Check out this website.

I would investigate cows milk protein intolerance, then silent reflux.

Something as simple as wind can cause them not to settle.

Has anyone suggested tongue tie? Are you in a country with high BF rates? If not a healthcare professional might miss a tongue tie.

Don't wait for baby to cry before feeding, licking lips, hands to mouth. Crying is last resort and causes them to consume air. A poor latch causes them to consume air too, and they will need a lottery of wind. Tongue tie can cause a bad latch too ad a lot of healthcare professionals miss tongue tie especially when not used to seeing many breastfed babies.

Some babies hate dummies and no matter how hard you try they won't take them, they usually suck their thumbs instead.

But my instinct is that your baby is in pain from either cows milk intolerance (not liking formula is a big clue as it's made of cows milk and soya can be as bad), or silent reflux, or just bad wind from poor latch. It is common for babies in pain to want to feed constantly as breast milk contains natural painkillers for baby. Is baby arching their back a lot? Babies in slings might not like being held tight in a sling either.

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