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Newborn sleep - I'm going crazy!!

(42 Posts)
RuthB4 Sat 20-May-17 15:48:05

Is this just me?? What would you do?!

I have a 2 week old DD (second baby) and I am seriously sleep deprived! I know this is normal but I am literally awake ALL night on some nights, and on others only manage an hour's sleep on average.

The problem is that my baby has wind that I can't seem to bring up, whatever I try (and I've been obsessively googling how to wind a baby, and trying all the techniques). I find I spend hours trying to get the wind up and if i give up and lay her down she just squirms and moans and writhes until she wails! I know it is ridiculous to spend so long trying to wind her, and I suspect that it wears her out and interferes with her rest to be constantly manhandled. But I can't let her wail in pain! I find myself sobbing most nights with the ridiculousness of it all! I am soooo desperate for sleep! My DH returns to work on Monday after 2 weeks paternity leave and although my parents are visiting from the UK (I live in NZ) I suspect it'll be harder for me to get sleep in the daytime.

I don't know why I'm typing this really, other than to vent, and typing this stops me crying for a bit.

Please tell me others have expeeienced this! It was exactly the same with my first child and I remember my DH and I were hallucinating from lack of sleep!!!

FATEdestiny Sat 20-May-17 17:27:14

What is she like sleeping in non-flat positions?

During the daytime will she sleep in a bouncy chair, sling or rested on your shoulder? If she sleeps OK with her head raised but is unsettled when flat, it could be a sign of reflux.

Have you tried a swaddle and dummy? It could be that the squirming and crying is simply because baby wants to go to sleep but doesn't know how. The swaddle recreates womb conditions and the dummy mimics breastfeeding, helping baby get to sleep more passively.

Movement can also help. And limited awake time. All day and night, awake time at 2 weeks old will simply be enough time to be fed, nappy check and reswaddle, then I'd expect baby to be falling back to sleep during the wind cuddle.

Winding a baby, especially a newborn, shouldn't be a vigorous affair. Leaning baby in your shoulder and rubbing their back in circular motions is often enough. Often you don't even need to run, just being uptight is enough.

PurpleTraitor Sat 20-May-17 17:32:19

Why do you think baby has wind? I might have been doing it wrong, but I never actively winded a baby or thought about that as a separate activity to just general baby handling/life during which babies sometimes burped or farted. As they do.

Just another perspective, really, because it would flip the whole thing on its head if it's just Baby doesn't like to be put down (few do) and cries and moans to be picked up (understandably) and that's nice but hard for you (naturally)

wintertravel1980 Sat 20-May-17 19:21:41

PurpleTraitor - often you can actually hear wind if you hold the baby vertically on your knee and rub his/her stomach. I know I could when I tried to burp my DD. Initially it was pretty hard to get the wind out (and apparently, my DD was an "OK'ish burper").

In fact, according to my maternity nurse, 90% of cases when she was asked to trouble shoot and when a newborn had troubles settling related to wind. I know "the fourth trimester" concept sounds much more exciting than poor burping but the reality is fed, swaddled and well burped newborns should be able to fall asleep relatively easily. Things change as they get older but a 2 week baby is still a newborn.

Here is what I did:

- I ended up using MAM anti-colic bottles. Of course, every baby is different but MAM worked best for my DD.
- When burping DD, I kept changing burping positions (vertically on the knee, on the shoulder, etc).
- If nothing else worked, I used to put my DD flat for 2-5 minutes and then burped her vertically on the knee.

RuthB4 Sat 20-May-17 23:58:05

Thanks all for the replies. It's morning on this side of the world and I've spent most of it sobbing! My poor DH is obviously worrying that it's more serious than sleep deprivation but I think if I could just get 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night then the world wouldn't seem so bleak.

It's definitely wind that's bothering her. She falls into a very deep sleep when i breastfeed her and whilst i wind her initially, then when I lie her down next to me she is still for a moment or two, then starts writhing in her sleep. I can hear the bubbles as she does a funny gulping noise and then when i pick her up i can hear and feel the bubbles moving in her tummy. After a lot of winding I can usually bring up a burp and occasionally a fart, but as soon as i put her down she starts squirming and gulping again. Before long she wants another BF and so the whole problem starts all over again!

In the day time she will usually sleep on a blanket on the couch for an hour plus. I'm actually wondering if the couch is slightly elevating her upper body which might explain why she is more comfortable. Otherwise she likes to sleep on me or Daddy. I have only tried her in the bassinet at night once so I'm wondering if i try that again with the mattress elevated slightly.

I initially swaddled her but she fought it so much that I've stopped now. I don't really feel that it makes a difference but I could be wrong.

I'm longing for her to be old enough for me to try gripe water or similar, although it never helped with my first daughter!

Both girls are pretty rubbish at latching on to the boob and I wonder if they both gulp down extra air as they feed which causes the wind. But I have no patience for trying to get DD2 to try and latch properly at 3am!!! She does have a slight tongue tie which might help with bf once it's cut i guess.

I'm clutching at straws really. I was so looking forward to this baby and adding to our family but just feel like i can't do this much longer!!

FATEdestiny Sun 21-May-17 10:11:09

She falls into a very deep sleep when i breastfeed her and whilst i wind her initially, then when I lie her down next to me she is still for a moment or two, then starts writhing in her sleep

A baby with no wind would do this.

In fact I'd say that the vast majority of all babies don't like being moved (ie put down) once asleep.

The key is to either:

- get baby to fall asleep where they stay asleep. Something that moves (bouncy chair, pram) is hoid gor this. It means not feeding to sleep

- feed to sleep and leave baby where she falls asleep. Either feed lying down or in your arms. Then make no attempt to move baby

- reduce the likelyhoid of baby feeling stimulation when being moved. This is what a swaddle does. It reduces physical stimulation so that while putting down a sleeping baby is still tricky, it is slightly easier.

I'm with PurpleTraitor. The most likely answer here is that you are interpreting normal newborn behaviour for something else.

Mysterycat23 Sun 21-May-17 12:19:07

In the newborn days with 4 month old DS I fed him to sleep and then very gradually slid him down and to the side of my body into a safe co sleeping position. I could not break the body contact or he would wake. Babies instinctively want to be close to body warmth. We call it mumdar!

Irontheshirts Sun 21-May-17 12:28:33

Google food that causes wind in breastfeeding. Just to check that you are not eating something that may cause excessive wind. My DD couldn't tolerate me eating citrus fruit and drinking orange juice.

teaandbiscuitsforme Sun 21-May-17 12:35:13

I would breastfeed lying down so that you can rest whilst she's feeding and then when she's asleep, either transfer her into her cot or cosleep safely. Doesn't sound like a lot of wind.

DoubleHelix79 Sun 21-May-17 18:45:47

This won't help with the gas issue, but I think at this point your DH needs to step in and help you get some sleep. What we did in the first few weeks was that I'd go to bed as early in the evening as I could manage (8 or 9) and DH would take over for several hours. I expressed milk so he could feed her and didn't need to wake me up. I would then go to bed, put on white noise to block out any crying and was not to be disturbed under any circumstances (bar a genuine emergency). I managed at least 4-5 hours a night they way. Your DH might lose some sleep, but I'm sure he can put up with it for a while.

BipBippadotta Mon 22-May-17 06:49:01

Not rtft as I have a non-sleeping 6 week old
myself & am unable to concentrate for more than 10 seconds at a time - but have you had her checked for a tongue tie? Mine wasn't latching well and was enormously windy as taking in a lot of air at every feed. Turned out he had a tongue tie and once we got that snipped he's been much, much less windy. Not sleeping much better, mind, but has progressed to grizzling and sicking up everywhere rather than shrieking and farting thunderously all night.

Hang in there. It is really awful having no sleep at all.

NameChange30 Mon 22-May-17 06:57:49

"She does have a slight tongue tie which might help with bf once it's cut i guess."

Tongue tie can cause excessive wind because they don't latch very well and take in extra air when feeding. When is it getting cut? I think that will improve things for you.

You could also drink fennel tea or get Neuner's Baby Stomach Tea (if it's available in NZ) which you can drink yourself and/or give a bit to the baby - it's suitable from 2 weeks. It helps digestion and wind.

Lastly I've heard you can get a wedge cushion to put under the baby's mattress and elevate their head slightly, which can help.

BipBippadotta Mon 22-May-17 06:59:36

Couple of other thoughts: don't give up on swaddling yet - mine fought swaddling very fiercely for the first few weeks but when I tried again in desperation at 5.5 weeks he was ok with it and slept for 4 hours straight for the first time in his life. He escapes normal blankets so I got one of those 'swaddle me' Velcro wraps, and he becomes quite peaceful when he's in it.

Also- normal upright burping positions don't work on my guy, but lying him face down across my legs can sometimes get a bit of wind out.

Having someone else take the baby so you can get 4 hours' sleep does make an enormous difference, so try to get your DH to do that a couple of times a week at least.

RuthB4 Wed 24-May-17 09:55:59

Thanks so much for the replies! There are some really useful ideas which I'm going to try out. I'mplanning to get some fennel tea tomorrow. I'm also going to try raising tthe end of the bassinet.
Ive booked the tongue tie appointment for Friday so I'm hoping that will help - at least a little. I ended up crying on my midwife about it today and she suggested that i start an evening routine of a bf until drowsy, followed by warm bath and baby massage and then swaddled and into her bassinet after its been warmed with a hot water bottle. She also suggested placing the baby into the bassinet and rocking/patting/soothing her there on her side, rather than doing it on my shoulder, so that the sudden movement of putting her down doesn't wake her.

To be honest I'm exhausted and unmotivated about establishing a routine every day but perhaps it'll be worth it!
My DH has been doing a similar thing to yours Doublehelix. He's been staying up till midnight with her and then bringing her through. I'm sure that's how i manage to function (just!!).

I'm longing for this phase to be over which is such a shame as i don't want to rush through the newborn years!

RibenaMonsoon Wed 24-May-17 17:01:23

I'm sorry you are having such a crappy time.
I tried infacol as you can use it from birth, it helped for a while but not for long, it might be worth a try.

Worth winding baby several times throughout the feed. Just so you can get a little more of the wind up.

When my DS had a bad tummy through trapped wind, I found the bycicle legs followed by a gentle pushing of the legs up to the tummy, rinse and repeat etc. Helped him fart it out quicker.

I hope it gets better for you.

mikesh909 Wed 24-May-17 23:49:14

The bicycle legs as described by Ribena worked for us too. My DH looked up some youtube videos in desperation and they were helpful. Eventually our DD learnt how to pass wind on her own, it never occurred to me that she just didn't know how at first. Also I second what DoubleHelix said about shifts with your DH. Mine takes the baby every morning from 6-9am as he starts work slightly later in the morning. I get through even the worst nights knowing that at 6am I can have 3 hours uninterrupted sleep. I find that that's enough to not be at breaking point, even if it's all I get. Could you manage something similar? I hope it gets better soon.

nannybeach Thu 25-May-17 08:27:27

Yup, even without wind lots of newborns dont like to be put down. Always makes me laugh when people say they are sleep deprived! I remember after having my 3rd, hallucinating, try to eat my dinner with one hand while breast feeding him. I breast fed him for 17 months, (not usual in those days he is in his 30s) because it was the only thing that would get him to sleep,none of my (4 in the end) kids slept through the night at 6 weeks, like my friends bottle fed babies did, I was told to give them some baby rice or cereal in the evening to fill them up, because i was breast feeding every 2 hours, but I had to go back to work when they were 3 months old, part-time, you didnt get long maternity leave like you do now. I worked nights, and until my youngest went to school at 5, I stayed up after a night shift, just had a nap when she did. After many years of nights, sometimes I couldnt sleep at all in the day, some times I had one hour, after now retiring from my last stint of 20 years night, sometimes sleep an hour, thats sleep deprived!

NameChange30 Thu 25-May-17 08:37:28

It's not a competition FFS.
This thread is not about you and how much of a martyr/saint you were.

Redken24 Thu 25-May-17 08:37:58

Hi have you tried a dummy? My daughter used to feed herself to sleep then have awful wind/colic after. Gripe water helped us in a calpol syringe a wee bit before during and after - infacol made her constipated.

theclick Thu 25-May-17 08:45:12

It's not a competition FFS.
This thread is not about you and how much of a martyr/saint you were.

Aren't all sleep and breast feeding threads about that on mumsnet? That's all I see anyway. "Oh OF COURSE I breast fed little Tommy until university and I got no sleep until he moved in to halls!"

NameChange30 Thu 25-May-17 08:48:47


Landy10 Thu 25-May-17 09:02:32

Same sentiments - don't see any advice/sympathy there nannybeach not really sure what the point of your post was!

nannybeach Thu 25-May-17 09:59:50

Well, I wasnt rude or swearing like some people on here, am sympathetic, sorry if that didnt come across, wasnt meant to be a competition either, just my own experience of being sleep deprived, with babies, thats all! Wasnt a martyr/saint just a normal hard working Mum trying to get through.

SunnyL Thu 25-May-17 12:24:50

I had hideous problems with both my babies and their writhing. Turns out it was reflux for them both. Child #1 would take gaviscon in a bottle and things settled down dramatically for her then. Child #2 wouldn't take gaviscon in a bottle so i tried a syringe but it just ended up with her crying, me crying and making me dread feeding her. In the end I went totally dairy free with both babies and their symptoms dramatically improved.

Cutesbabasmummy Thu 25-May-17 12:43:44

Nannybeach you are harsh! Just for info my bottle fed baby only started sleeping through at about 19 months!

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