FATE or anyone else who has any ideas- 9 week old none sleeper(26 Posts)
I've scrolled through pages of the sleep board and tried everything suggested- but I can't get my 9 week old to sleep right. As a result she's getting overtired and very difficult to get to sleep.
She's Ebf on demand. No routine during the day- but I've noticed she's tired around 7pm so we've started a "routine" around 645pm to try and coincide with this (wash or bath, change into night wear, milk and story while she is feeding, swaddle, twinkle twinkle while putting her into sleepyhead, then I shush till asleep. She sleeps in a next2me in a sleepyhead beside me. She's still got a strong startle reflex and if she isn't swaddled she smacks herself in the head literally for hours while trying to get to sleep, she then wakes herself up every 40 mins or so once asleep, so she's swaddled at night. However she's getting stronger and managing to free her arms more frequently so the head smacking is becoming more of an issue!
During the day I fail miserably to see her early tired signs so again she ends up overtired and impossible to get down- therefore ive started trying to get her to sleep an hour or so after waking. If I do get her to sleep it lasts only so long as I'm holding her or the movement (pushchair or sling) continues.
She won't feed to sleep, be rocked to sleep, shushed, patted and white noise makes no difference. I do use a dummy- but she spits it out most of the time.
Her lack of sleep is really impacting on her mood during the day, my ability to put her down at all and hence even do a load of laundry, and she's obviously overtired.
Can anyone please make some suggestions to help her and me?
I feel for you on this - I have a 9 week old nap refuser too! I've found that my best shot at putting him down for a nap is by gentling patting him on the back as if winding him on my shoulder, as soon as his first yawn occurs. I lay him down and put some white noise on, then leave the room. He often starts crying so I give him four or five mins then I circle his tummy and stroke his cheek to calm him, leaving the room again. Sometimes I need to do this two or three times.
I'm told that the worst thing to do is worry about getting such a young baby to nap with any regularity and that it's best just to go for a walk with the buggy or go about your business by driving or shopping etc as this age is best napped when on the move.
As for the bedtime, I'm working on that just now but finding that 7pm is too early for my baby to go down for the night. He pings his eyes open 40 mins later and I think it's because he believes it is a nap. I'm going to push him back to a 9pm bedtime and see if it works. Maybe this would help for your little one too?
Have you considered that the problem could derive from hunger, not sleep?
I mention this because in the first 3 ish months (the newborn phase) sleep should be relatively passive and easy, compared to post 4 months. In this newborn stage as long as all needs are met then baby should sleep. The most simple and obvious reason for baby not sleeping would be lack of calories.
Not feeding to sleep is very telling. It's ususlly pretty difficult not to feed to sleep as a newborn. Light sleeping is also worsened by low level hunger.
So my first suggestion would be to focus on feeding.
On from this, make sleep as easy as possible for baby. So if she sleeps while you are holding her - sit yourself down and keep holding her. If she sleeps being rocked in the pushchair - keep perpetually rocking the pushchair and don't stop the movement.
(Incidentally, bouncy chair is great for a baby who likes perpetual movement. Foot bounce baby while you sit on the sofa)
I suspect that the mistake you are making is the assumption that you should be able to just get her to sleep (holding her, rocking her etc) then stop. That time will come, evidently not yet. So you have to keep it going as much as is possible in the daytime.
Cosleeping (at night and for naps) may help. The idea is not moving a sleeping baby. You feed to sleep lying down and keep baby there.
And continue with no more than an hour awake. You may be into an over tiredness cycle. All bets are off once baby is over tired - you need to them then go into a situation of "any sleep, any how". However you can possibly get as much sleep as possible from baby, do that just to get baby sleeping.
I would really concentrate on feeding though. It's a hard conversation to have with anyone EBF, but the "never fails" answer in the newborn weeks should be feeding to a milk coma - at the breast or with a bottle of formula.
Have you tried a bouncy chair? Because you'll can feasibly settle yourself down with a cuppa and book (make sure you have a wee first!) Then just keep bouncing for the duration of the nap. It's not wonderful but it's a lot more manageable than constant walking with sling/pushchair.
I would say 7pm is far too early for a 9 week old. Does she cluster feed in the evening? Often holding them and feeding all evening means they will go down a bit better at around 10/11pm.
I found setting the bed up for safe co-sleeping and feeding lying down (following all guidelines) meant we both slept much better. It's obviously not for everyone but I found baby didn't wake anywhere near as much and when they did we both got back to sleep quickly.
Daytime naps, I think you're right about baby getting overtired. At this stage, I'd do whatever it takes to let her sleep, so let her sleep on you and then when she's awake put her in a little bouncy chair/mat and do your jobs then.
I used to try and get things done when baby was asleep but then when I started doing them when baby was awake (I just took from room to room with me and did the bare minimum at that age) and enjoyed watching telly/reading a book/having a little sleep when baby had a sleep on me it was much better.
Maybe a sling for the day? Wrap ones are lovely at that age.
Don't worry about a routine at this age, just do what works best to get you through each day. You'll find your own little way of doing things that works for you both.
Thanks for taking the time to try and help.
I'm not at all offended re feeding- I'm just concerned I've left my baby hungry!
Any suggestions on how to get her to eat more? She feeds until she falls asleep and naturally falls off- but as soon as I move her she wakes up (it's very uncomfortable holding her that way so I try to get her more comfortable for me). When she wakes I wind her and then pop her on the other boob. Same routine happens as above. She never possets or vomits- except when she takes too much milk - so I have been trusting her instincts.
I also express so my husband can
give me a break bond. She's offered as much as she will take, usually around 4oz which we've been told is about right for bf baby of this age? If she was still wanting more she could have it though, and I'll ask he offers 5oz in future and if that's all gone then 6oz.
She feeds roughly every 2 hours during the day (been more when it's been hot), at night when she's finally asleep she does a long stretch of between 4-6 hours and then wakes every 1.5-2 hours when swaddled.
We have a bouncer, but again that doesn't work. It is got a vibrating function which we haven't used yet (no batteries ) so will try that.
She seems to drop off then startles awake- she honestly seems to actively fight sleep!
Have you tried a Miracle Blanket? This was the only thing my baby couldn't fight his way out of - like yours he would smack himself in the face and keep waking up.
Also second a sling during the day. I used to wear mine in the evenings too and gently lower him into his moses basket from it when we went to bed at night.
I love my slings and use a couple with her. She's not a terribly snuggly baby- so does fight them when I first put her in. Does get her to sleep though, so yes I will try using my stretchy during the day for naps.
Off to Google miracle blanket
I had three babies just the same as this
And whilst I know you want solutions IME for some babies there just aren't any. They just have to mature and slowly get better at sleep.
Mine never napped, never dropped off without huge effort on my part to facilitate it and never stayed asleep longer than 40mins day or night
You have my sympathy. Itdrive me to distraction and many tears.
But I also wished I'd stopped trying to find the holy grail and just accepted it and got through it and tried to enjoy their baby times bit more
I became so resentful of how 'easy' everyone else had it and would seethe watching babies just fall asleep on playmates on the midst of a noisy playgroup whilst my baby screamed with overtiredness and required a mammoth two hour pram push to get even a vaguely decent day sleep.
It is so exhausting but just one of those personality traits I guess
In the end slowly slowly mine all got better and I won't depress you with the time lines but never ever think this is something you are or aren't doing and how ever well meaning the advice , people are referring to their babies not yours and chances are it won't work for your baby.
Big breath. Enjoy the bits you can. It will get better regardless. You are a great mum!!
4-6 hours at night for 9 weeks is AMAZING! The one long sleep then 1.5-2 hours sounds really good for that age.
Is it maybe that it's your expectations that are too high and she's actually sleeping well? (Sorry if that's not what you want to hear)!
In terms of getting her to take more milk, you can try breast compressions.
Have you tried biological nursing position to be more comfortable. I used to just sit and feed-let baby sleep on me in day on my boob so they could just sleep/stir then feed a bit/go back to sleep. Feeding like that is really important for a breastfed baby and will get her sleeping longer (rather than feeding then trying to put her down) which will mean she's well rested and then in turn will sleep better.
Obviously there's lots of times when you can't just sit like that but I used to do that whenever I could. I then found baby was easier to get down the other times when I needed to.
She feeds until she falls asleep and naturally falls off- but as soon as I move her she wakes up
Ah, so she does feed to sleep. Not tolerating being moved once asleep is normal. You have to work around it. So ideas:
- Feed lying down (on your bed, armed with your phone for entertainment). Let baby stay in the position they fall asleep and try not to move yourself.
- Feed lying down on the floor of your living room. Once asleep and unmatched, slowly and gently ninja-style roll away from baby and leave her there to sleep.
- feed to sleep in your arms, replace nipple with dummy and get yourself comfy, keeping baby there in your arms.
- swaddle before feeding (this reduces stimulation so moving a sleeping baby 8s easier). Feed whilst swaddled. Kuft To shoulder and sway while winding, until baby is dozing. Then lower your whole body to lay baby down while keeping full body contact with baby on your shoulder. When laid, put in dummy if squirming and place your hand firmly on chest to reassure of your presence. This may take a few goes to work.
I forgot to add my favourite:
Relentless bouncing in bouncy chair and dummy.
Feed to drowsy. Into bouncy chair, dummy in. Then be utterly relentless about rhythmic bouncing and dummy reinserts. Just keep going until asleep. Slow down bouncers once asleep, but don't be afraid to keep the bouncing going (while you sit on sofa and watch tv) to get as much sleep as possible for baby.
I'm in a group where there are 14 babies all born around the same time. Most bf some ff, without exception all are doing a longer stretch when first put down for the night- so I'm hoping my expectations are realistic! It's the getting her to sleep that's an issue, and daytime naps.
I'll try compressions and try that feeding position.
Agree with little, 4-6 hours at night for 9 weeks is AMAZING!^^ My 18 week old is still waking every 2 hours during the night, despite having great naps during the day 🙁
My son wouldn't feed to sleep during the day, he would fall asleep at the breast but then wake up if I tried to feed him. What I eventually worked out is he wanted to be left to go to sleep in a quiet dark room with his dummy and then have his feed when he woke up. Have you tried getting your baby to sleep without feeding e.g. in a sling and then feeding them on waking up? His sign he was ready for sleep again was hin starting to get grumpy. Are there ever any times your baby goes down more easily?
With the swaddling, we had the miracle blanket but ds could get out of it from something like 2.5 months. We moved to using swaddling bags, the Love to Dream ones worked brilliantly for us but there are others. We had to keep swaddling DS until almost 6 months, so we went through several sizes!
Are you sure they are all telling the truth?!
14 nine week old babies ALL sleeping more than 6 hours at night doesn't sound very believable! Obviously some will but surely some would be waking every 1/2 hours all night. It might make you feel better to know that your babies sleep is normal (and I would say on the good side of normal).
I used to find people saying their baby slept 6/8/10 hours but then it turned out they would be feeding inbetween, they just meant that the baby didn't really wake up but had stirred for a feed.
She say 4-6 hours littletwofeet. And I think that this would be quite reasonable for any 2 month old, breast or bottle fed.
Yes, there will be babies some every 1-2 hours at this age.
Yes, there will be some sleeping solidly 12 hours at this age. (without waking or feeding - people don't lie, but it makes others feel better to assume they are).
But both these are the less frequent ends of the scale. The majority will fall somewhere in the middle and one 4-6 hour stretch is definitely a reasonable expectation for an average baby this age.
Fate the OP says that ALL the babies in her group are sleeping longer than hers (so longer than a 4-6 hour stretch). I agree 4-6 hours is reasonable at that age but surely you would expect some to sleep longer than this and some to sleep less, that's why I said are they all telling the truth (was meant a bit lighthearted)!
I still think it's unlikely that the 14 babies all sleep longer than this but maybe they all do! You could get another group where they all wake up every hour I suppose.
I know not everyone lies about their babies sleep but some people do and parents can get competitive, maybe no one in the group wants to admit they have a bad sleeper!
If OPs baby is doing 4-6 hours this is normal and I thought it may make her feel better to know her baby is sleeping well for her age rather than stressing that there is a problem/thinking she has a poor sleeper.
I know quite a few mums who have thought their baby should be sleeping through (as in 12 hours) by a similar age and when they found out 4/6/8 hours was more realistic, it meant they were much more relaxed as they weren't then worrying thinking that they needed to be doing something to make their baby sleep longer.
Hope you manage to get some sleep tonight anyway OP
I think finding 14 newborns who all have one at least one 4-6 hour stretch of sleep, would be quite reasonable.
Finding 100 who ALL do, maybe not. But 14, yes, I can see that happening.
... but i do agree little, that having realistic expectations is better for everyone.
Finding 14 newborns who sleep at least 4-6 hours is different to the chances of being in a (presumably ante natal) group where they ALL sleep MORE than this.
cross post Fate (I got distracted typing)! Yes, realistic expectations makes everything less stressful and it sounds like OPs baby is sleeping 'normally' (whatever that is )
How is the feeding OP? Does it seem like she is feeding contentedly, with a good latch, till she is full? Or is feeding a bit difficult for you or her?
I say this because my DD was like this but turned out to have tongue tie which was preventing effective feeding. (She wasn't losing weight but she wasn't able to get properly full, and took in lots of wind)
Sorry for the confusion - I mean that all 14 sleep for a long stretch at the beginning of the night- all at least 4 hours, one baby sleeps 10 hours already!!! So I figured mine was normal. Last night she went down at 830, woke for the first time 6 hours later. I couldn't bloody sleep for some reason- but she did great!
Yesterday day she went down an hour after waking in the morning but it all went to pot in the afternoon.
Today we have spent the whole day snuggling and feeding. It's been lovely! She's slept so well today. Mainly awake to just feed and 3x properly awake and playing. I've also bought a miracle blanket so we'll see how she does on that. I'd be overjoyed with another 6 hours!
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