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How to cope with sleep deprivation

(31 Posts)
Aliveinwanderland Wed 09-Nov-16 05:45:05

DS is 2 weeks old. I expected to be tired but oh god the sleep deprivation is killing me. DH is back at work and DS is breastfed so it's me up all night with him.

He isn't even a difficult baby, he doesn't cry, just wants to be held so I can't put him down until he is sound asleep only he wakes.

He wants feeding every 2 hours. By the time he has been changed, fed and settled it gives me about 30-60 minutes sleep before we have to do it all again.

How do people cope with the lack of sleep? I had a scare earlier as I nodded off sat up feeding him and woke up to him fast asleep under the duvet.

ReadySteadyNo Wed 09-Nov-16 05:47:21

This was me 4 weeks ago, I brought ours into bed with me (after researching safe cosleeping). Wasn't something I wanted to do but I needed sleep and I have to say I'm now getting enough that I don't feel tired anymore, which is nothing short of miraculous.

CheshireSplat Wed 09-Nov-16 06:12:09

Try to nap in the day time when the baby does. Does he or she sleep in the day? Put DC in the Moses basket and sleep. Do you have anyone in RL who could come round and hand you the baby to feed and take him/her away again and let you sleep. Don't even think about housework!!!

When DD1 was older than this, she was on a 3 hour cycle - 1 hour to feed (it took til 3 weeks for her to latch on), 1 hour to settle and one hour to sleep. DM stayed for a few nights and I'd wake her and I'd hand DD1 over on the landing once I'd fed her and DM would settle her for me.

Other tactics. curl up on settee all day watching box sets in your pyjamas with drinks and biscuits so it doesn't actually matter if you're tired. Although the falling asleep thing and worrying about suffocation is terrifying. Could you swap the duvet for a dressing gown so it does matter so much?

Finally, if it helps, in my experience there gets a stage when you don't actually get any tireder. So you might not feel worse than you do now, even if it carries on like this.

It's so tough but you'll survive. Get fresh air. Eat well.

Aliveinwanderland Wed 09-Nov-16 07:07:55

We have been cosleeping for past 2 weeks as he wouldn't settle is his crib but he has just stared to go down it in.

During the day he will only sleep in a bouncy chair. I could try and grab and hour when he is in there but they aren't meant to be unsupervised in them.

I don't have family and friends around as they all work full time.

TheChineseChicken Wed 09-Nov-16 07:11:42

Just be careful about leaving the baby to sleep in a bouncy chair. They should be lying flat at all times

TheChineseChicken Wed 09-Nov-16 07:11:57

Ditto car seat etc

ThinkOfTheMice Wed 09-Nov-16 07:46:59

Feed lying down. Consider expressing or giving a formula bottle for one of the feeds a day so dh can do it and give you a solid couple of hours rest. Basically do whatever you need to to rest. Feed lying down?
It is really hard. Ds hasn't slept more than 2-3 hours his whole life. He's 13 months. flowers

ralice Wed 09-Nov-16 08:07:57

I was actually talking to my DH about this last night. DS is now 13 months and I said, "Imagine how much more sleep I'd have got if I hadn't changed DS's nappy after every feed!"

We used to change him whether he'd done a poo or not. I wish I'd known it was ok to leave him if he was just a bit wet. Changing him annoyed him so much I'd usually have to end up feeding again - a cycle of wake (after 30-60 mins), feed, burp for 20 mins (he was a puker), change, feed, burp, sleep! Terrible.

Congratulations on your little bundle. It will get easier, I promise.

MadameSilva Wed 09-Nov-16 08:15:41

You probably don't need to change the nappy after every feed. If you breastfeed him to sleep just let him sleep (unless it's a poo). If I'd changed my dd after every feed she'd be wide awake, then I'd have to feed her again to get her back to sleep.

My dd woke every 2-4 hours for a year. It's a killer. However, for the first three months she'd wake around 6am, feed then sleep until 10ish so that's when I slept (we Co slept). Also lots of leaving dd with DP at 8 pm and going to bed to get a couple of hours of sleep before she'd want a feed again.

Might sound strange but I found taking dd for a walk every day helped me cope with the lack of sleep. I'd buy a coffee, wonder around and enjoy that she was asleep and not on my boob for an hour.

golfmonkey Wed 09-Nov-16 08:51:42

I also think, in all honesty, your body just gets used to feeling like absolute crap. But at 2 weeks you don't know what kind of a sleeper you're going to have - things could all get much better each week that passes. And if it doesn't, then you just spend hours on here googling sleep problems and how to fix them. Hope it gets better soon, just get as much help as you can even if it's just a little bit. Xx

Aliveinwanderland Wed 09-Nov-16 09:02:43

Chinese I know he should only sleep flat, however my DS seems to have skipped that page in the baby manual. He will sleep anywhere other than flat in a pram, crib, Moses basket or cot! I've tried everything.

Last night he managed to do 3 lots of an hours sleep in the crib, best we have managed by a long way so hoping it continues.

TheChineseChicken Wed 09-Nov-16 09:46:06

Yes, sorry, I realised you said as much in your post when I re-read it. You do hear sad stories though.

Joinourclub Wed 09-Nov-16 09:59:13

Part of it is to stop battling it and accept that for the time being you are going to get very little sleep. If you go to bed thinking 'pleeeeeaaase sleep'and they don't , then you want to cry. Instead make sure you have plenty to drink on your nightstand and your phone /iPad to browse and keep you awake. Maybe your husband can do the 10-12 shift and/or 6-8 shift so you know that you at least have a few guaranteed hours sleep and he gets 6 good hours. It's only a phase, very soon they will be sleeping better/longer. You can do this.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 09-Nov-16 10:05:44

I co-slept with all of mine. Quite often I wouldn't properly wake up when they latched on.

cautiousoptimist1 Wed 09-Nov-16 10:15:56

Have you tried swaddling? My DD would wake up as soon as I put her in the Moses basket at that age but improved massively once I started swaddling.

Aliveinwanderland Wed 09-Nov-16 10:16:33

I darent cosleeping close enough to him that he could latch on without me moving him.

My health advisor and midwife are both very anti cosleeping and have scared me with it. This morning DH put him in bed with me at 7am when he got up. Right on the other side of the bed, flat with no duvet or pillows anywhere near him. I managed to get 2 hours sleep like this with him.

Going to try him in the crib for sleep during the day today so I can have a sleep while he is in there. He is a cranky pants this morning though so not sure it will happen!

Aliveinwanderland Wed 09-Nov-16 10:16:58

Yep we are swaddling him and it definitely helps.

Mummyme87 Wed 09-Nov-16 10:21:06

Redkite10a Wed 09-Nov-16 10:33:41

They aren't supposed to only lie flat, Google the NHS advice on flat head syndrome.

I found things like putting the baby in a sling and going for a walk for me to get some fresh air, or going out to baby groups (often run by churches) helpful in coping with the lack of sleep.

I found i also got better at surviving on less and interrupted sleep over time, and also at taking short cat naps. It's still a killer though, DC2 is 6 days old and I'd forgotten just how hard this phase is!

Notsoaccidentproneanymore Wed 09-Nov-16 10:37:49

With ds1 we had a futon mattress on the floor. He slept at the side of me in a baby sleeping bag. I used to wear a thermal top and a couple of sweatshirts, and we used a top sheet and blankets to cover to my waist. So they were nowhere near him, and if he rolled, there was only 15 cm to the floor.

He did start sleeping through most nights from 3 weeks.

Ds2 completely different. We bought a king size bed so that he could sleep next to me (not in the middle of the bed). He didn't sleep longer than 2 hrs at a time, day or night till 6 months. I was so tired I thought I was going to die. But obviously I didn't grin

I fed both of them laying down, then hopefully I could slowly edge away when they were asleep.

It does get better, and you just get used to feeling crap. Dh used to take ds2 downstairs at the weekend after his feed, so hopefully id get some extra sleep then. I used to be able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

At times it felt like ds2 was permanently attached to me, 24/7 (he was!). It will eventually improve.

gnoomi Wed 09-Nov-16 10:39:57

Have you tried a sleepyhead? Makes co-sleeping safer, but even if you don't want to do that your baby may sleep a bit better in it. You could also try having the cot on a slight slant (put a sturdy book under one end to raise it slightly.

PotteringAlong Wed 09-Nov-16 10:43:34

You will get used to it. Honestly, you just adapt.

CheshireSplat Thu 10-Nov-16 01:39:07

You'd asked for techniques to get through this so I didn't want to say you just hey used to it. However, as everyone else is... DD2 will be 2 on Sunday. She's slept through about 6 times. You do get used to it. And I tested my maternity leave as I time to watch daytime TV, chat and drink cifyand do baby groups. Rather than have to use my brain and work. But, please do sleep when the baby sleeps.

Purpleprickles Thu 10-Nov-16 02:02:53

Alive I agree about safe sleeping and being careful of car seats etc but to reassure you my dd (now 7 months) slept lots in the bouncy chair during the day. I laid it back as flat as it went and she was fine. I also slept when she slept but she is my second and I learnt to do this from being so exhausted with my first. You do get used to it and then you will get a good few hours one night and feel like you have slept for a week!

Lalunya85 Thu 10-Nov-16 03:02:23

Maybe this would work for your late one?

You use it like to a bouncy chair but you can also lay it complety flat, like a moses basket. My DD absolutely loved this and she never woke when changing the position from bouncy chair to laying flat, it's very subtle. We got a second hand one. Honestly, they are brilliant.

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