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6 week old will not sleep!

(12 Posts)
wilfrhodes Tue 21-Feb-17 20:02:40

DD is six weeks old today. She's not been a great sleeper (averages 14 hours out of 24) and we've had to get used to daily battles in the evenings, but every day this week she seems to get worse.

today she has slept for less than 90 minutes since 8am.

she won't sleep on her own and needs to be held for half an hour if she is to sleep for any prolonged period. at night she sleeps "well" = three periods of 2.5-3.5 hours each. she sleeps on me until i van be certain she is fully asleep, when i move her to the cosleeper cot. sometimes i only realise this when i wake up with her on me (i know, but i am literally passing out). in my head she goes straight to sleep with a short feed when she wakes in the early hoyrs but the fact is this often takes two hours.

i have tried rocking, singing, cuddling, bouncy chair, dummy, walks in pram, sling and combinations thereof. she is bottlefed, but i have also tried offering my breast for comfort..

much of the time she is awake during the day she seems happy, alert, not floppy and wants to interact. but i know that she should be sleeping a lot more, so i try to get her to sleep as soon as i can after feed/change. it just doesn't happen.

she has beautiful eyes but at times i resent seeng them open all the time!

wilfrhodes Tue 21-Feb-17 20:05:06

of course whilst i have been typing this (one finger, balancing precariously over DD in her carrier), she has fallen asleep! only ten minutes so far though, so wont count chickens...

Babydreaming Tue 21-Feb-17 20:32:26

I had the exact same thing! My boy was wide awake all day and I fought him trying to get him to nap and daily walked for miles in the pram. I'm still not sure what to's like they haven't figured out how to put themselves to sleep!! He would scream every evening and was inconsolable as he was just so tired,

We are now 6 weeks on and there has been huge improvements. He now gets 4-5 hours in the daytime. The only way I can get him to sleep is by making sure he's had enough milk and then putting him in the sling and walking around. It still takes 15-20min of me walking for him to sleep but at least I have my hands free! I know you've said you've already tried the sling but maybe worth another shot? If he won't sleep at least you can get on with doing things! Make sure he has enough milk too as I often find mine is more difficult to settle to sleep if he doesn't have a full belly.

Hope that helps!

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 20:40:39

You've not mentioned swaddling, it might just be an oversight. Swaddling can be helpful for babies who like being held because it recreates that tight, secure feeling. Often works best teamed with a dummy.

Also allowing baby to fall asleep lying next to you, and stay there (cosleeping).

We are talking a tiny newborn here. Until 3 or 4 months old you are best working on the premise of: Sleep. Lots of. Anyhow. Anywhere

Awake times in this newborn stage shouldn't be more than an hour. It might be as short as 20 minutes between waking from one nap and going back to sleep. To have more than 2 hours awake in any one stretch is likely to lead to significant exhaustion in your baby. If this happens repeatedly, your baby will be significantly over tired and needs some significant focus on sleep.

wilfrhodes Tue 21-Feb-17 21:03:41

baby good to hear from someone who has experienced the same issues. i haven't given up on the sling - far from it, i used it four tmes today (only the last attempt with any degree of success). i need more confidence in it though, so i will persevere, thankyou.

fate i tried to swaddle her but DD hates having her arms restricted. so i tried just the legs but that doesn't work either, even if i hold her st the same time. or rather, it did work, maybe twice, so i kept trying it but without achieving the same effect. i still do try it on a daily basis.

she won't fall asleep next to me, either in the cosleeper crib or in the bed (she fusses then howls) - only on me. we have a kingsize double bed to ourselves! (DH sleeps in the spare room at present, so that one of us is able to get a proper night's sleep to support the other one.)

so far as breaks between naps are concerned, i very much try to limit these, so the main (only?) bit of "play" interaction is first thing in the morning, after she's had her three longer periods of sleep. it's about 15-20 minutes, then we start the day-long battle to get her to stop being awake,

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 21:52:11

Have you tried very frequent feeds? Like a full feed every 90 minutes to 2 hours?

Is she draining the bottle? How many bottles per day are you giving?

wilfrhodes Tue 21-Feb-17 22:08:44

fate she is fed on demand, which has settled down to about seven feeds a day. she usually gets to the end of the bottle but then puts her head back, closes her eyes and smiles. sometimes it is tempting not to burp her to see if she will drift off to sleep at this point but experience has shown that she doesn't fall asleep and she then gets discomfort from trapped wind!

sometimes she leaves some of the bottle and very occasionally she will ask for more, which is then given. in the past couple of days she has upped her daily intake from 750-850 mls per day to 900 or once over 1,000 mls a day, which i put down to the six-week growth spurt. we're very much baby-led on the feeding front, but i know she needs our help when it cones to sleep!

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 22:17:51

You don't want a baby finishibg a bottle. There always needs to be more than baby wants in there.

So if a bottle is emptied, it's time to make bigger volumes per bottle. For example a baby who usually drinks between 4-5oz per feed wants 6oz bottles making up.

The idea of frequent feeds is anticipating when a feed will be needed and giving it before hunger signs. Physical signs from baby that indicate hunger actually mean baby was hungry half an hour or so earlier. The same is true for tired signs.

Waiting for physical hunger signs (and tired signs) from baby actually means you missed the ideal time for the feed (or nap).

wilfrhodes Tue 21-Feb-17 22:24:02

fate i see! we will prepare bigger bottles and see how that goes with respect to her sleep. thankyou!

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 21-Feb-17 22:26:52

Yep, we had one of them, she was fairly happy, never did really get the hang of daytime sleeping, much to the annoyance of her nursery. In yr7 at secondary now, still doesn't need much sleep. She did turn out to be cows milk intollerant, but even then she didn't sleep. Sorry it's not much help but it does get easier and she has read so much more than her peers because she gets an extra few hours to read each night.

wilfrhodes Mon 27-Feb-17 22:13:14

well, nearly a week on and things are a little better. we've had a particularly good day today, which helps!

i discovered we (DH and i) had some undiagnosed underlying anxiety about overfeeding DD, which did not combine well with her increased need for milk due to a growth spurt. so for some of the past week she has been having quite a bit more than the recommended amount of milk per day (and on other days she has been well within those boundaries). today i tried to put her in the smallest of her outfits and it grin sad

also, using swaddling/dummy every now and then is helping too. i had picked up a bit of prejudice about both things, for some reason. i am now reprogramming myself to understand them as tools in a wider array of methods of looking after DD.

it's hard, this baby lark. every day is different. it might all go to hell next week but i am grateful it's ok for now and i can't ask for more!

thanks, fate, for helping us to negotiate the plethora of advice out there. i really could not see the wood for the trees! i may well be back though...

FATEdestiny Mon 27-Feb-17 22:48:29

That's a great update grin

Remember you cannot over feed a baby on milk. Their stomach is such that if you give too much, they'll posset (sick) it up.

A pre-weaned baby (so up to 6 months old) should never be restricted in her milk. Baby needs as much as baby needs. The amounts on the tin are only averages.

- A 91st centile baby will need far more than average.
- A 9th centile baby will want much less.
- A baby with more developed motor skills will need more calories per day than a baby of the same age but with fewer motor skills.
- A baby going through a growth spurt will need more.

And so on....

Your issue with over feeding is very unhealthy for a baby.

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