9 week old is an awful sleeper(36 Posts)
Please help somebody! My baby girl is 9 weeks old. She is a pretty horrendous sleeper day and night and I'm getting to the point where I'm so tired I can't function anymore.
After battling to rock her to sleep from about 6.30pm most nights she will finally go off about 8. She will then have her longest stretch of the night, anything between 4 and 8 hours (although the 8 hours only happened a few times, it's mainly 4!) she will then sleep in 2 - 3 hourly chunks until it reaches 4 am and then no matter what I do from then she just will not stay asleep for longer than 45 mins. She won't just go down in her cot either I have to get her back to sleep either by rocking or nursing and then when she goes in her cot she seems to wake right up again shortly after.
She doesn't get a massive amount of sleep during the day but I have been trying to get her to nap after about 1.5 hours of awake time as she gets really overtired then and it seems to be working and she seems a lot happier in the day. She probably gets between 3 and 5 hours of sleep during day but this hasn't made any difference to the night. I have to either rock her, put her in sling, take her out in car/pram though as she won't sleep in her cot during the day meaning that I can't then nap when she does!
She is exclusively breastfed although I have considered formula to see if she sleeps better but she won't take a bottle! So I can't even try that!
I'm exhausted and I really don't know how much more I can take!
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
She's a tiny baby. She's sleeping wonderfully well - too well for a breastfeeding baby, as she'll need to feed every two hours.
Is she your first? The level of exhaustion experienced by mothers is a bit of a shock, isn't it?
I think you need to read up on breastfeeding, and change your attitude to sleeping. Your life will suddenly become much easier, when you accept that her way of doing things is normal and fine, and she doesn't have to sleep all the time.
Is there a father, or grandma who could look after her in your home (not taking the baby away) for a few hours while you get some sleep?
She sounds like a very good sleeper for a newborn actually... The stretches will get longer at night as time goes on. It seems like she is alreasy recognising the difference between night and day so well done. Someone else needs to help you with the holding/rocking etc if you are exclusively feeding. Feeding is your job, try and get help for everything else! Maybe after early eve feed you should go to bed for a stretch, even if it's 7pm.
She's 9 weeks old, that's why. Perfectly age appropriate behaviour.
I think you're going really well. 9 weeks is a tricky age for sleep as they get over tired easily but sounds like she's having regular naps in the day and starting to do that longer stretch at night. The nursing, rocking to sleep is a pain as it takes up lots of your energy but she is very little still. It won't be forever.
If you have get them to take her out for s walk while you nap. Same with nights and resettling or a lay in at the weekends.
Oh sweetheart. I remember thinking this and then being horrified when people told me it was normal. It can go on for a long time I am afraid and just about sends you crackers. Two suggestions 1. Do you have family/friends who are mums who you can rally to howl on/cook casseroles/help with washing 2. If you are exclusively BF would you consider letting your DP do the 11 o click feed so at least you can get 4-5 hours unbroken sleep. It really is purgatory, you have my wholehearted sympathy.
That's amazing for her age! As others have said, perfectly appropriate for her age.
Thanks everyone for your replies. Yes she is my first, I think exhaustion is just getting to me! My husband has been more helpful in the evenings recently to try to get her to sleep so I can shower/nap/pump (for a bottle that won't be used because she straight up refuses them!) but it still just feels like I don't get a break! I just hear about all these other babies her age who go down on their own and sleep for hours on end and get jealous! I know she is breastfed and should eat regularly but she is gaining weight really well, so I'm not too concerned if she sleeps a little longer between feeds. When will I start feeling human again?!
Oh it's really hard isn't it. Honestly every week gradually gets better! Don't bother with pumping if it's taking away valuable nap time from you. And if she is gaining weight then definitely let her sleep, it sounds like she is getting into good habits like I said by sleeping longer stretches at night already.
I agree, ditch the pumping if it's not helping. It's just another job on top of millions of other jobs.
Going to bed early and maximising the sleep is the best way to survive it I found. Along with getting as much help as possible.
I didn't feel human again for a long time after DS but you are still recovering from the pregnancy, labour and birth. Be kind to yourself, you are doing wonderfully!
Please don't feel pressured by hearing about other babies sleeping better. I've been in that position and it nearly pushed me over the edge!! Best not to compare but when my babies were 9 weeks old they were following a similar pattern. A longer first stretch of around 4 hours, then waking every couple of hours. And that was a good night. This is normal for a baby, and healthy. But it is exhausting for you so you do need to make sure you are topping your sleep up during the day. It does get better and I got used to the sleep deprivation in the end.
You won't get much of a break for a while, that's just reality. Don't listen to stories of other tiny babies who sleep for hours, chances are they are not true. And stop expressing milk for no reason!
I agree don't bother pumping. My first refused a bottle & it just wasn't worth the hassle. The good thing is - she took a cup really well (and quite early). Try and go with the flow and eventually you will get into a routine together. I'm afraid you need to adapt to her not the other way round.
Don't listen to other people. Your baby sounds perfect and is becoming ssecurely attached which will be good for you later.
Breastfed babies don't need to be fed every two hours. That's simply not true.
OP I think it sounds like you're doing a great job. 45 min naps are common as that's one sleep cycle.
You could try settling your baby in her crib consistently for a couple of days and see how you go. Don't feed/rock to sleep. Put her down awake and then pat and shh until she nods off. It just gives you a break rather than having to rock or nurse her.
Between 4 and 8 hours?! At 9 weeks? I'm sorry to break it to you but there are members of your nct group (if you did it) sobbing about why your baby sleeps so spectacularly well when theirs doesn't.
You poor thing. It's rotten. Make your life easier- stop trying to get her down- in fact, I'd keep her up later. My daughter is still going down at 9pm now and she's 9 months. When you stop fighting it it gets easier
I have a 14 week old BF baby currently snoozing next to me. The first few weeks were horrid. Every 1.5-24hrs he wanted feeding but then he eked it out to 3hrs.
We used to battle to put him to sleep every night at about 7 and it always took us until about 9-11pm to get him to sleep. One night we thought 'sod this' and didn't bother trying until 9pm. Eureka moment - he was out within 20 mins. We had been trying to force him to sleep too early. Within a fortnight of this we had our first 9-5am sleep. I woke up with rock solid boobs and leapt out of bed, convinced something awful had happened. Nope, he was fine!
That's now his normal sleep pattern. He's never really slept well in the day though, 20mins max here and there but I'll take that in exchange for the night sleep.
What I'm trying to say is it will happen. Our breakthrough was just relaxing and going with the flow. At the end of our evening battle I was exhausted which made the night deeds even worse. Later bedtime meant I was more relaxed to deal with the feeds and it obviously suits ds too!
There's no denying it's hard and sleep deprivation is horrendous. I'd try the later bedtime though and see if that works.
Good luck, you're doing a fantastic job!
Normal. However I felt like you with my first. A real shock. I thought I was in a war zone.
It gets better and she will sleep more. Agree with pp don't pump, it's pointless.
Sounds like a good sleeper for 9 weeks!
My first was the same and actually looking back she to was quit normal for a baby her age. But she didn't want to be put down. I think the biggest mistake we made was trying to fight her natural schedule by trying to get her to sleep early in the evening.
There is no rule that babies have to go to bed early in fact with a breastfed baby it can be easier to keep them with you in the evening. Feeding them often to tanking them up so to speck and they then sleep a bit longer at night hopefully.
Sleeping when baby sleeps is defiantly the best idea and if she won't take a bottle then pumping is just taking up pressures sleeping time. Your partner can help by doing the channing and settling if she'll have it.
Your both doing great it is so hard to start with and can be a bit of a shock to the system. Seek out some local support if you have a breastfeeding cafe nearby maybe a good idea just for a chat.
I agree with above as well - it's young to have a bedtime routine, you'll drive yourself mad. just put her to bed when you go to bed. (SIDS prevention guidelines says she should be sleeping/napping in same room as you or DH anyway so she can stay in the sitting room all evening with you)
Agree with pitta re just keeping her woth you in the evening. 1.5 hours rocking someone in the dark when they are not ready to sleep yet is pointless and soul destroying.
speaking from experience
She sounds like a brilliant sleeper! Make the most of it before the 4 month sleep regression!
What helped for us:
- Having a later bedtime rather than spend evenings battling with her about it (she moved to a 7pm bedtime herself by about 4 months)
- doing shifts - so DH would take her for say a 3-hour block in the evening/morning, would bring her to me if she wouldn't settle without feeding but would take her again to change/settle afterwards
- 3-sided bedside cot - absolute miracle, I got so much more rest without having to physically get up and out of bed every time she woke, and the bonus was that I could nap next to her during the daytime too (she wouldn't nap unless in sling and moving otherwise). Didn't buy this until she was 4 months and wish I'd got it much much earlier!
I agree with the above re not forcing a bedtime routine. At this age my DD was up with us in the living room in her bouncy chair. Sometimes she dozed off sometimes not. I fed her if she was fussy and crying. I'd go to bed at 9ish and my DH would bring her upstairs about 11ish and either I'd bf her then or he'd give her a bottle of expressed milk then we'd put her down and she'd do her long stretch of sleep from 11. I can't remember how long she's sleep for exactly at 9 weeks but because her long sleep was compatible with when we wanted to be asleep it worked pretty well. We didn't start even trying a bedtime routine until she stopped fussing in the evening. We just notified that she'd started to mostly be asleep in the evening rather than mostly feeding then we knew she was ready. No rocking to sleep. I think she was about 3 or 4 months old.
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