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7 week old baby barely sleeping at night

(28 Posts)
Charlotte95 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:29:31

My 7wk old baby barely sleeps at night, I feed him around 10.00pm he doesn't sleep until around 1 and then is awake at 3 then at 6 then wants to stay awake then, he also struggles to fall asleep alone, usually we have to get him to sleep and then put him into the cot 9 times out of 10 this wakes him up, he sleeps well in our bed which I resort to if I'm too tired but I want him to sleep on his own. Any ideas?

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Feb-17 10:38:35

Charlotte is this your first child? Because I think you may have highly unrealistic expectations.

"he also struggles to fall asleep alone, usually we have to get him to sleep"

Are you just putting down baby and hoping he will sleep? Babies all need help to sleep. They don't sleep like an adult (tired > lie down > close eyes > sleep).

They need active help to get to sleep, in the form of things that feel nice and comforting to baby. For example:

- milk. Feeding to sleep

- sucking. Dummy or comfort sucking a nipple

- movement. Bouncy chair, pushchair, swing, rocking, swaying in sling

- feeling secure. Cosleeping, being cuddled in your arms, swaddle to recreate the right, secure feeling.

Charlotte95 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:59:48

Yes I am a first time mum and I understand he needs help to sleep, I always feed him, make sure his nappy is clean and cuddle and rock him before sleep and he does also have a dummy, I avoid playing or anything during the night as I want him to remain calm, he will sleep in my arms but I can't put him down, I want to avoid cosleeping if possible- it's not for everybody!

MonkeyToucher Wed 15-Feb-17 11:18:55

When my DS was newborn we coslept as this was the only way he would sleep, but at around the 7 week mark I started being able to move him. Just my experience, but the things that worked for me were:

- Feed until asleep/really drowsy
- Swaddle tightly (or use one of those swaddle sleeping bag things you zip them into)
- Transfer into sleepyhead inside cot so they feel a bit more enclosed
- If they wake up instantly either back on the boob or put dummy in and rock back to sleep
- Repeat!

I'd say 9/10 times he didn't wake when being put into the sleepyhead in a tight swaddle. I also warmed the sleepyhead with a hot water bottle before transferring him in.

I hope some of that helps! Also don't want to sound patronising as I'm a first time mum too, but have you googled 4th trimester? Some babies genuinely won't sleep unless being held etc but it does pass eventually!

MonkeyToucher Wed 15-Feb-17 11:25:40

Forgot to add re sleeping on their own, someone told me at the time that for the first 12 weeks ish this is basically not going to happen, so do whatever you have to do to get them to sleep be that rocking, feeding etc. They are too small to learn habits as such so don't be worried about a rod for your own back and all that nonsense.

My LO is now 4.5 months and at night I can put him down awake in his cot with some white noise on and he falls asleep on his own in about 10 minutes. It's really only the last few weeks he's been able to do this though and just sort of got there on his own - I'm not convinced there's anything I could have done to achieve this will happen when they're ready so try not to stress smile

Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:26:37

He does sleep well when we co-sleep 2 hours is the most he ever sleeps, at the moment I have to wait a long time to be able to put him down asleep by which point im falling asleep myself! And even that doesn't work a lot of the time so he does just end up in bed with us, I don't want him to become too reliant on sleeping with us also I'm worried about all the dangers of SIDS and things, he doesn't like being swaddled I am going to try one of the sleep bags and I'm also thinking about the sleepy head but I am reluctant because of the price

Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:30:31

Seems like a lot changes at the 12 week mark, I'm just exhausted and am willing to try anything I know it's all part of being a mom, I want to be able to enjoy him during the day but I find myself too tired, I try to sleep when he sleeps but he only 'cat naps' during the day

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Feb-17 11:39:33

Have you thought about a cosleeper cot?

You can remove one side off a normal corner and wedge it up to your bed. That means you can cuddle right into cot with baby, but extract yourself afterwards.

Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:48:41

I have looked at those however my bed is higher than the average bed, I have his cot right next to the bed and do try and put my hand in just to comfort him

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Feb-17 12:03:49

Is the base of your cot on the highest setting? It's just I have a very talk mattress on top of our divan, so overall the height is taller than most beds. The highest mattress base setting on the cot matches our bed.

You could also raise the height of the whole cot by standing it on bricks or blocks of wood.

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Feb-17 12:04:10


Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 12:08:08

I've got it on the highest setting but I will try standing it on something thankyou!

UpLighter Wed 15-Feb-17 12:08:33

We are not that ahead of you charlotte and I can relate how we felt to how you described.
We tried a mixture of what has been said already and some worked better than others on different days.
At the moment a bath, massage and feed to sleep with a white noise machine works.
Have tried walks, car trips, rocking chair, bouncer and so on.
At points we did split shifts of childcare so both parents got 6 hours straight sleep. Luckily for us work style allowed this and for last week DC sleeps 9pm to 6am with one feed about 1am. Lucky for a 10wk old but am sure it will change next week.
Keep on trying, you must be a good parent as you have looked for helpful info.
Listen to the different techniques and find out what works for you and baby smile

DesireeDT Wed 15-Feb-17 12:12:35

Have you tried "using the dad"? We have a girl, and she seems to love falling asleep while in his arms.

MonkeyToucher Wed 15-Feb-17 12:21:43

If you don't fancy the sleepyhead (it is stupidly expensive for a big cushion) you can make a similar setup by rolling up a blanket into a sausage and positioning it around the edge of the cot (asssuming it's a small cot/crib). The sleepyhead was too big for our Moses basket so used a large cellular blanket around the edge and it worked pretty well.

OneWithTheForce Wed 15-Feb-17 12:23:38

Do you swaddle your baby? It worked like a dream for my son.

Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 13:29:25

Dad helps a lot and he tends to do that late evening feed so I can get a head start on sleep! As he's working I don't want to get him up during the night, we tried swaddling and he really doesn't like it, he does absolutely everything he can to get out of it, he still isn't overly keen on the bath but I am trying to get him used to it to use it as part of his bed time routine, investing in a sleepyhead is looking likely, everybody seems to love them! Thankyou everyone there are some useful ideas, nice to know I'm not the only one

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Feb-17 13:31:15

Regarding the DIY Sleepyhead suggestion MonkeyToucher made, it would be better to put the rolled up a blanket around the edge of the cot underneith the bottom sheet.

It's still not perfect for SIDS recommendations, but then neither is the sleepyhead itself. But the recommendations are for no blankets to be near baby's head. So by having them under the bottom sheet, and baby on top of bottom sheet, it's eliminating this aspect of risk.

Charlotte - have I asked about a dummy? Dummies can be absolutely invaluable for baby sleep.

Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 13:33:21

He does have a dummy and it does help, he's just not very good at keeping it in!

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Feb-17 13:52:54

he's just not very good at keeping it in

That needs you to readjust your expectations as well.

Dummies are always going to fall out. When baby relaxes and begins to fall asleep, their muscles relax. This includes the jaw muscles. So the dummy falls out.

If baby isn't in a very deep sleep by that point, baby may wake. In which case, you may need to hold the dunnt in for baby through the light sleeping phases. This should be grown out of once older, when getting into a deeper sleep is easier for baby.

But even once older, dummy will still fall out as baby goes to sleep. The dummy isn't meant to, and has no means to, stay in baby's mouth once asleep.

Also while baby is tiny, they may have less suction on the dummy for keeping it in. Or if baby has a small mouth for the size/shape of the dummy, it might be setting off their tongue thrust reflex (spitting it out). You could try different brands of dummy for this. I always favoured cherry teats but I know it gets who swear by MAM dummies.

OneWithTheForce Wed 15-Feb-17 13:56:37

Wrt swaddling my son preferred to have one or both arms left out of the blanket with the rest of him swaddled. He liked to sleep with his arms up by his head.

For baths make sure he isn't cold. Warm bathroom, warm water, warm towel, warm jammies. Stick towel and Jammies on radiator. Quick bath but not splashy or frantic. Submerge him in the water apart from his head so his body is warm. Gently pour the water around his head with your free hand.

Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 13:56:49

Once he's in a deep sleep he doesn't mind the dummy falling out it's just getting him to that point, I do try holding it in but sometimes that isn't enough to get him to sleep, it just seems like he only needs very little sleep

Charlotte17 Wed 15-Feb-17 13:59:21

He definitely likes to have his arms free and we did try just swaddling his body but he doesn't seem to get on with that either he really kicks his legs and cries, and with bathing we do everything you mentioned he is getting better, I guess it's all just a time thing I suppose

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Feb-17 14:11:33

I do try holding it in but sometimes that isn't enough to get him to sleep

The dummy on it's own probably isn't enough. Quite normal to need to add in movement (rocking), the tight secure feeling of being held or swaddled, a fully tummy and a dummy.

it just seems like he only needs very little sleep

The opposite is more likely.

An over tired, exhausted baby is a handful, to say the least. An over tired baby has the look of being "wired", big, starry eyes.

At 7 weeks, it's reasonable to expect baby to mostly sleep all the time. Maybe
30-60 minutes awake time in between one period of sleep and the next, day and night. And most of that awake time will be taken up with feeding.

Have you tried significantly limiting awake time? Say just feed baby when he wakes, wind, lie on the floor for a 10 minute or so play while you check his nappy - then straight back into getting him back to sleep.

rholo Wed 15-Feb-17 14:17:42

Hi, not sure if you've tried these but using a white noise app on your phone is easy to do. I have the volume louder than you would think. Also, once your baby is ready to be transferred into the cot lower them so their bottom is lower than their head as you're putting them down. If you have their head lower it triggers a startle reflex which wakes them, at least I think that's what I remember reading on here a few years ago.

I have co-sleeper with both of mine and used a cot attached to our bed with the side down. It will get easier but might take a while, the biggest thing that helped me was adjusting my expectations and accepting the new normal and trying to get a decent nap at the weekends when my partner was around. Hope that makes sense.

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