7 week old wakes at 3am...(25 Posts)
Dd is 7 weeks old so I know is probably still too young to have a proper routine. However the lack of sleep is killing me! I start getting her ready for bed about 7.30/8 (dimmed lights, quiet voices, pjs, song and white noise) but she usually doesn't fall asleep til 10pm after crying unless we sway her lots.
She'll then sleep til midnight, feed, sleep till 2.30/3am, feed but then will not sleep anywhere from that time on unless it's on me!
We have a cot with the side down wedged next to our bed with a sleepyhead (which I had high hopes for but made no difference whatsoever). From 3am if I let her snooze on me for 20 mins or so I might be able to put her back in the sleepyhead but only for about half an hour or so before she wakes up (she grizzles for ages which turns into crying unless she's picked up).
In the day she'll only nap in sling, pram or on me so I can't catch up on sleep then.
Anyone else had something similar? Is it just a phase and will pass?? When she wakes should I feed her then put her down straight away rather than letting her go to sleep on me so she gets used to that?
We gave up trying to out baby to bed like a normal routine until she was about 4 months old. She was having none of it so we just let her snooze on the sofa and put her to bed at 10/11 when we went up. Worked well- don't forget they love the smell of you so more content when near.
My husband is not a massive sleeper so I often left her with him downstairs while I caught up on sleep - used to go to bed at 6/7pm as knew I'd be up all through the night. Bizarrely he seemed better at putting her in the chicco next to me cot thingy when I was already asleep than I ever was.
Good luck - life is much easier now my baby is 8 months. Not sure I could ever do those first few months again! Is it your first?
If she is getting used to falling asleep on you then she will expect to be on you 24 /7 and when she wakes and she is in a cot of course she doesn't like it. I would feed maybe swaddle and then put down maybe with some gentle patting , alos if she is using the boob to fall asleep then maybe you might want to try a dummy. These are just ideas nothing is ever in stone with babies . Good luck .
If she's awake till 10 pm, then 7 pm isn't her bedtime. I'd keep her up till you go to bed, feed her lots with lots of little naps in between. It's normal for newborns to have a very late bedtime.
You can have her in the living room with you, either in her sleepyhead or bouncer, or in your arms of course!
A swaddle and dummy might help too. Having her sleep on you when you're drowsy is not a good idea because of SIDS risk, so I'd try to settle her with a bf and dummy when she wakes at 3 am, but not put her on my chest.
She is very little yet and will want to stay close to you. It will pass. Good suggestions above. Both of mine slept down with us until we went up to bed - saves battling to get them down. I then moved to putting them to bed when they were a bit older (6 months or so - possibly earlier but I cannot remember!). It is hard but you do adapt.
Aw congratulations on your baby! She is still so little and from what I know of many small babies this is extremely normal. It's an instinctive survival strategy. They do grow out if it - some babies feel very secure easily, others don't. But they way to help them feel secure is to reassure not push away.
Best advice I had was that as long as they're sleeping, they're sleeping! Ds had to sleep on my husbands chest in the early morning. DH could sit up and doze.
This video is from recent research
This is also helpful
The problem is that a few babies do 'sleep through' - but that's not that they should. And sleeping through is classed as 5 hours. My ds was every 2-3 hours, with a 4-5 hour stretch early on.
Thanks everyone. Yes she is my first. I figured she just wants to feel secure, hence sleeping on me, and that the length of time she'll sleep on her own will naturally increase. But then am worrying she's becoming more dependent about needing to sleep on me! So much advice on sleep is v conflicting too. But need to remember she's so little and just to go with the flow at this age!
If she would sleep for even 3 hours straight that would be a dream! Even though she'll sleep on me from 3am she's still awake st least every hour for bf/comfort.
For the sake of your sanity, stop trying for a bedtime. Keep her up with you and allow her to comfort feed until you are going to bed. At least then you'll get an evening rather than trying to get a baby to sleep.
Also, read up on the 4th trimester. It'll make things seem more logical. Let her sleep wherever she'll sleep for now.
I'd suggest you keep this up until around 4 months. Once you're over the worse of the sleep regression you can start trying for a bed time!
She hates being swaddled (unless I keep her arms free) and refuses a dummy atm but will try it again when she's a little older. Also she starts crying about 7 unless I take her to a darkened, quiet room and soothe her for a few hours! I'll try bf'ing her then putting her down next to me after each feed from 3 as am worried about me falling asleep with her on me. Thanks for all the advice, just want reassurance it's normal I guess!
But then am worrying she's becoming more dependent about needing to sleep on me!
Sooooo many people worry about this as the films I posted say. I did, she's growing and needs milk; plus she's stimulating your supply - there's richer milk at night. She may go through a phase like this and it's very normal. The phase may last a while too. But then before you know it it changes. After 4-6 months a lot changes and more nearer 1. (There's sometimes a separation anxiety phase at 7 mo.)
It is tough though and work as a team to accomadate her needs and yours. Lots more cuddles from daddy in the day and slinging will help too as he will have more success settling her when she's older if she's more used to him.
Dummy's are ok too. I worried about this and I sort of which I hadn't!
Good advice about leaving baby with dh at 8 and going to bed yourself. That was my saving. I slept soundly knowing dh was in charge and didn't resent the wakening during the night as much. Also l think they go through a growth spurt around now so feed a lot. It's tough going but will get better.
A couple I know don't really 'do' bedtime 'properly' till around 18 mo. And dads a gp.
They go through a growth spurt at around 6-8 weeks when they tend to feed almost constantly in the eve & night. We are just through it here (8 weeks yesterday) and though she still feeds during the eve and doesn't go to sleep till 10:30-11pm, she is doing long blocks of sleep (last night till 7am though this is probably a one off!!).
So - keep her with you in eve, hang on in there and don't fret about bad habits. That'd be my suggestion!
It took me until my DD was 6 months to realise that we are just animals and no where else in the animal world is a baby left to sleep on their own. She needs to be cuddled and held. Try cosleeping.
I used to put DS to bed when he was tiny (and he'd wake) but by the time I had my second child I cared less about what I was supposed to do!
DS was very clingy when small and lived sleeping on me. When she was really little I used to let her fall asleep on my chest, after DS had gone to bed (so about 9 or so I think). I spent the evenings with DD sleeping on my chest, sitting in the sofa with DP bringing me cups of tea and snacks and the computer and related items in easy reach (lots of munsnetting!).
It was a lovely time, she was all snuggle and content. When I went to bed, she came with me, and went in a side cot.
Could you try something like this - let your baby fall asleep on you when she's ready? Maybe if she already feels secure she won't wake at 3?
Of course I was lucky to have DP there to facilitate this. When he later started commuting and coming back late it would have been harder to be stuck to the sofa.
Maybe if she feels more secure maybe she won't wake so much? Worth a try? Although, based is at that age do need to wake to be fed.
I should say it's important to do this only if you are awake. An adult sleeping on a sofa with a babe in arms is not safe.
Good advice about leaving baby with dh at 8 and going to bed yourself.
Yy to this. If she''s not ready to go to bed till 10, forget about all that trying to get he to.sleep. stuff at this early age.
Hand her over to DP at 8, go get a nap. It will he an excellent chance for them to bond, to work out their own relationship.
It's amazing she's doing 10-3! Keep her up with you until you or your dh goes to bed.
Mine is a year and is awake more than this - 7 weeks is way too early to expect anything just go with the flow and you will get used to it x
Will she settle if you bf lying down after 3 am?
I barely put mine down until she was 13 weeks old. Give her to your partner in the evening and he can bring her up for feeds when needed so you can get to sleep. It gets easier.
We do co-sleep and I cuddle her to sleep to begin with and everytime she wakes up. Have tried bf lying down, just find it v and gives dd wind as she gulps in more air - will try again as she gets bigger as need to practice technique. Think I just have to accept she's only little and will get there in her own time!
Ok good advice thanks, will not worry about a routine until she's good and ready for it in a few months! Feel a bit better about it now it's the daytime and I've had coffee, just when it's the middle of the night and you're shattered it can all get a bit too much! I know logically it's all normal and will get easier, you just worry you're doing something wrong sometimes.
OP, I have a 3 week old DS but he's my second. Things I learnt from my first have really helped to make this one a lot easier:
- Fourth trimester is key. Feed, cuddle and snuggle as much as you possibly can for at least the first three months. Your baby will be happier and more content for this and therefore more secure. A lot of the 'making a rod for your own back' warnings only apply if you're expecting a baby to sleep on their own/through the night etc at quite an early age. If you're happy to take it at the baby's pace, then don't worry about it at all.
- Cluster feeding and sleep - Feed as much as you can in the evenings (say from 6pm until you are going to bed). This really helped to get slightly longer chunks of sleep overnight. Only take her off the boob for nappy changes!
- Co-sleep and don't bother transferring the baby unless she does it without a fuss.
- Let baby lead you with introducing a bedtime but don't worry about it for a few months yet.
- Routines don't have to be determined by time. They can be little rituals that you do every day but don't worry about the timing for a few months yet.
Something else to consider is whether the temperature in your room has dropped a bit at that time and she's actually unsettled due to being a little chilly. I have a 6 week old who is generally going back diwn easily in her crib. I am guided by the gro egg room thermometer (excellent bit of kit) and it's around 18-19 during the evening and sometimes has dropped to 17 in the night, still within the comfy zone, but i find adding a light blanket after that feed often helps her settle. Other tips I find help are....
not assuming that snorty squeaky noises are actually her waking, bury your head and try to ignore anything other than proper crying, I've been surprised how often she'll resettle herself, sometimes after 20 minutes or more of griping.
Picking up and burping and putting back down. It may just be that unsettling her.
Incline the head end of the crib.
White noise.. I put Ewan the sheep on every time she lies down in her crib. On occasions when she starts griping and stirring after an hour, putting the white noise back on often resettles her back to sleep.
It's not too late to start swaddling if you don't already. Works like a miracle for some babies.
Hope some of this helps!
Also, DS hates swaddling (after DD loved it!) but is very settled in a sleeping bag. If your DD is big enough, it's a good way of ensuring that they stay warm even if they're moved. We put DS in his sleeping bag at about 8 with lights dimmed downstairs as part of our 'routine' at the moment.
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