5 week old won't sleep- need any advice!(17 Posts)
My ds will be 5 weeks on Friday. I'm bf and struggling to cope with the complete lack of sleep. Ds won't go down for naps or sleep at night. He's had about four 3 hour sleeps in 5 weeks but only when he is lying on someone. The rest is about 45 minutes at a time over night and maybe two hour and a half naps during the day if he goes in the pram which means I can't sleep at the same time. I feed on demand but all night he is on the boob and if I do get him down he's back up rooting and it takes another couple of hours before I can get him down again.
I'm really struggling with the little sleep I'm getting and I see people's posts of their similar aged babies sleeping through (formula fed) or at least feeding and then napping for a couple of hours. I've tried bath, lights down and then feed but he won't go to sleep. I'm starting to despair and wondering what I'm doing wrong? Any advice appreciated.
This might not be helpful but in your shoes I would buy some cartons of ready made formula and give him some before bed
Sleep is vital, lack of it will start to affect all sorts of other things in your life!
I remember crying on my kitchen floor at 5am when my DD was 5 weeks old and wouldn't sleep.
I gave her formula, which didn't help as it turned out she had silent reflux. Once diagnosed, she was like a different baby. She would only sleep upright on me because lying flat hurt her, but I obviously didn't realise. Is reflux a possibility? Is he unsettled all the time?
My ds1 was very similar. Turned the fabled 6 weeks a few days ago and has been a joy since! Happened overnight. Hang in there. They do get easier.
Obviously I'm aware this will change again with growth spurts, developmental leaps etc but nothing lasts forever.
I'm always so sceptical of the "I have my baby formula and they slept thru" advice. It's normal for a five week old baby to wake up and the best advice is how to make it easier for the mother. Can you co sleep? Don't believe the photos u see. Every child is different. You are doing well to be breastfeeding at five weeks. It's not easy. Don't forget that your milk contains a hormone to help them sleep better at night too.
Take each night as it comes. Try not to think about the next night or next feed. Just focus on the current one iyswim. This will get better.
Try feeding lying down. It saved my bf'ing relationship with both my children. Xx
Not much help but maybe find a way you aren't being used as a dummy.
Things you could try:
Bouncy chair with play arch removed (daytime)
Remove 1 side off your cot and butt up to your bed (night time)
Rocking to sleep
Cradling/cuddling to sleep
Baby should be sleeping most of the time at this age. Awake time of maybe 20-40 minutes between naps (mostly taken up with a feed and nappy check)
Feed as often as possible - more milk than you would expect. Most issues this age are solved with more milk or more sleep.
Don't wait for hunger signs to feed and don't wait for tired signs to help baby sleep. Basically just feed, sleep, feed, sleep, feed, sleep on permanent repeat all day. Awake time is very, very limited at this age. Over-tiredness is a big problem.
I don't have a much advice sorry, (first baby so no expert) but I had this with DD who is now 5 months. I honestly thought that it would never get better but it has. She is still not a good sleeper but it's much more manageable, even on nights where she wakes up often she doesn't do the epic feeds. Also take what other people say about their babies sleeping through with a pinch of salt too. I tortured myself over the fact that my friends' babies of the same age were sleeping for 5/6 hours stretches and was still on 2 hours if I was lucky (no naps in the day because DD only naps in sling/pushchair)
I think that the cluster feeding at night is normal too, apparently it's when hormone levels are at their highest.
In the interim things that helped were co-sleeping, and feeding lying down. Until DD was 8/10 weeks I was really careful about putting her in the moses basket (for the first part of the night at least) however her sleep got worse again around 10 weeks (had previously edged up to a 3hrs stretch, then 2hrs and 2hrs) and I started co-sleeping all night long with her, breastfeeding lying down. It made my night feel less interrupted even if I had been woken up seven or eight times. I just took her to bed when I was ready to go and fed her to sleep (self settling is a distant dream) and fell asleep myself, that way also caught her longest stretch of sleep (if she had one!) I still do this now to an extent although I am trying to bring her bedtime forward and separate her and my bedtime.
I also used to express milk and give her a bottle of expressed milk before bed (in case you didn't want to use formula) She has tongue tie and was a really inefficient feeder. I could feed her for hours and she wasn't full. This could also allow your OH to give a bottle so that you could get a few hours rest.
swaddling helped too - I bought gro snug sleeping bag which was good.
I think I will start expressing to see if it settles him. We had his tt snipped when he was born but the constant eating is making me sore. I do worry that he doesn't get enough sleep- he's slept 4 hours in the last 24. He must be overtired but he just won't go to sleep- he's simply eating (or sucking) or crying. I've tried swaddling and dummy to no avail. I'm not keen on co-sleeping (I'm a worrier!) but I did try last night as I was desperate but he didn't settle and neither did I. I've tried white noise and that doesn't work either. 😥
Take him to an osteopath....you won't regret it. Xxx and btw..you are doing great!!
I have a 5 week old. He won't sleep unless touching me. At 2 weeks old I was getting 2hours broken sleep in 24hours and ended up co-sleeping (feeding to sleep and then him lying nose to touching boob until next feed). I really didn't want to bed share but we have a cosleeping crib and that isn't close enough for him!
I'd consider giving a bottle of expressed milk before bed- my friend does and her baby sleeps 11-4, but also has a dummy. DS won't take bottle or dummy. I get a Mac of 2hours between feeds- 11, 1, 3 and 5 but feed at 1 is lying down so I literally attach him and got to sleep again, so it feels like I'm getting 4 hours. I then also sleep with hi. Until about 10am as he won't nap in the day, unless lying on me.
You have to find a solution that works for you. I suspect both of you being exhausted isn't helping.
he's slept 4 hours in the last 24
An "average" (said loosely) newborn will sleep for 16-20 hours in every 24 hours.
Calm down. Breath and slow down first of all. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You will cope, because you have to cope. Stop everything else and just concentrate on sleeping and feeding.
- Get yourself everything you might need for the whole day and take to your bedroom. Snacks, drinks, phone, Netflix on tablet.
- Lay a towel on your bed (for milk spray)
- Warm fluffy PJs and socks to keep you warm and snuggly
- Lie on the bed with baby next to you and just stay there all day.
- Let baby just doze and feed, doze and feed, doze and feed.
- Dont try to move baby when sleeping, just leave here he is.
- Free access to as many feeds as needed
- You do the same - doze and feed baby, doze and feed baby, repeat, repeat.
Forget everything else. Just stay in bed with your baby and both of you get some rest.
Is baby gaining weight well, maintaining centiles and has plenty of wet and dirty nappies?
Thanks everyone. He is gaining weight so no issues there. We have managed to get him to sleep in the cot the last two nights for 4-5 hours- we bought a Ewan the sheep and it's worked great. I feed him then walk around with him and the sheep for 20 mins. We then put him and the sheep in the basket and he went to sleep. I feel like a different person!
Glad to hear things are better.
Ewan is fantastic.
Dd1 nearly 5yrs still adores her. Her favourite cuddly toy even though she has about 100 in her bed!
Pity my other 2 Dc never liked as much!
That's great news, OP. Just to say that if Ewan really works your DS may well respond well to other white noise. My DS at that age sounds similar to yours and has never been a baby to just fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Something that we have found works well so far (he's only three months so very much a work in progress) is baby white noise 'music' that you can buy from i-tunes. We've got one called 'Baby got colic', which is now our son's sleep cue (most of the time) and has made such a difference.
Ds1 was tongue tied, but it went undiagnosed until he was 6 years old. His sleeping was dreadful. Turns out his restricted swallow pattern had caused a 'bubble' palate (google pictures and compare with your ds) which restricted his airways leading to mouth breathing and apnoea.
I know you've said you had the tt snipped, but you might need to do some more investigation into his orofacial structure. Unfortunately in some cases a snip is not enough.
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