Looking for help! 10 week old (EBF) no routine and can't be put down(22 Posts)
Hi everyone, this is my first post and while there is lots of information on here I was hoping to get some more tailored advice/support. Sorry for the long post but here it goes...
I have a 10 week old baby girl and I feel like each week is getting harder and harder (as supposed to be easier).
She is a very cuddly baby and won't let me put her down much during the day. When she is in a happy mood I might be able to put her down for about 5-10min (usually that means I can at least use the bathroom ). While I can cope with this and understand that she is still tiny and needs me around and can't entertain herself my main 'issues' are the following:
Naps - she only sleeps in my arms or in the sling when walking around. She won't really sleep in the pram either so I have stopped using the pram too. It also gets more difficult to settle her as the day goes on. I might be lucky and can put her down (once asleep) for her first nap in the morning (usually an hour after she woke) but then her nap will only last 20min rather than 45min. And she will wake up being cranky. So basically I have no break at all during the day as I am
either feeding her, changing her, playing with her or walking around to make sure she sleeps and doesn't become overtired come evening).
Bedtime sleep - she is very fussy in the evenings so while I have tried to introduce a mini bedtime routine it doesn't really work most evenings (unless I let her scream the entire time and I kinda think that defeats the purpose of a nice calming routine). I also need to settle her in my arms & bouncing and can only put her down once in a deep sleep. She normally starts fussing between 5-6pm and then there are two things that can happen, she cries or falls asleep (but there is no real in between mood where I could do something 'nice'. Even changing & swaddling her happens while she is protesting if she has fallen asleep while trying to soothe her. Does this means I should put her to bed before 6pm? Seems very early to me? Or shall I not focus on a bedtime routine at all? To be honest I am keen to have and her 'in bed' by 7/7.30pm since she is not really that happy in the evenings...
Nighttime sleep - she still wakes up throughout the night, I usually feed her 2-3 times pending when she was last fed. The other times she wakes (lots) I offer her the dummy (perhaps i am creating a bad habit?) She sleeps in a Chico next to me. Last night (at around 3.30/4 am) I took her into my bed and she slept til 7am without her dummy and seemed much happier. So perhaps I should consider bedsharing but I was trying to avoid it.
I am not expecting her to sleep through the night at all but I would love to be able to put her down 'to bed' once or twice for a nap per day and perhaps getting into some sort or bedtime routine. And reducing the time it takes me to settle her in the evenings.
I am really feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel and while I am getting some sleep during the night i am dreading the days and evenings. It also makes me want to give up Breastfeeding so I can get my partner to take on more responsibility at nighttime and weekends...
Perhaps it's all normal but I keep reading/hearing about all these babies that fall asleep with very little support and don't seem to fuss a lot.
Any tips on what to do or at least some reassurance that it will get easier post 12 weeks? I am so confused with all the information out there.
I had no "routine" with DD at 10 weeks, at that stage I was really just going with the flow then she just gradually fell into her own routine.
She also never slept in a pram and spent about 90% of the time in a sling, she'd only nap on me. While it is exhausting imo its totally normal and really just enjoy your little ones cuddles rather than trying to set a routine.
Google the 4th trimester, that really helped me through that stage.
She's doing what a baby should do. X she's attached to you which is a good thing even if your sleep deprived, touched out brain wants to scream sometimes.
Ironicalky enough I'm going to advise you to ignore other peopke's advice. Well, not ignore exactly. More read it, see if it makes sense to you and your situation and take what you want from it and ignore the rest. Look at how you're doing so far. You've alreasy made so many decisions on what works and what doesn't for your family. You just need to continue to do that and have confidence in it.
Babies don't follow instructions or user guides. What worked brilliantly for your friend might be a disaster for you. That doesn't make you a failure or your baby "difficult", it just emphasises how unique each set up is.
Roitines work for some. Some parents feel they need it (or actually do) and some babies slip into one easily. For others, nope, it ain't happening. In my case we decided very quickly the effort of trying to get a baby who doesn't understand time to know that she can sleep at 1400 but not at 1430 because we had some random concept of routine just was not worth the effort. What would work for you? Do you need/want a routine? Or is it something you've been told you must have.
Babies don't need sleep training. She has no concept of emotional intelligence and won't for years so she isn"t manipulating you or any of that rubbish. When you're that age the world must be so scary, of course she wants the person who feeds her, keeps her warm and smells familiar.
Your partner can help so much. Don't reduce his contribution to feeding her. You're doing great with the breastfeeding. Don't assume that if you stop things will get easier. They might. They might not.
The thing is as soon as you get used yo something with babies, they go and change it anyway! This time next month, the issue with x will be line gone but now you're converned about y. Whayever is upsetting you right now almost certainly won't last. I don't mean that flippantly, it's just things change so quickly.
If you're thinking about bedsharing whether all the time or occassionalky make sure you know how to do it safely. Bedsharing is safe and has advantages when done "properly". Alternative you could look at a cot that attaches to your bed so she's next to you and can smell/hear you but you have your own space.
Dummies are a personal choice but they can interfear with feeding and you may end up havinh issues getting her to give it up when she's older. Someone will be along in a minute to tell you they are the best thing in the world and all babies should have them. Whatever works for you.
It will get better.
How are YOU doing though? Baby aside?
No real advice I'm afraid but my 8 week old is very similar. He has been put down for about 30 mins for the whole day today! He's my second though so I'm just going with it. The snuggles don't last forever.
Can you get her to sleep longer in the sling for naps? 45 mins seems short. Are you taking her out of the sling and she wakes up? Ds will stay asleep in the sling for about 2 hours. Once he's asleep I can sit down and do something. Or just have a rest. But he has to stay in the sling.
My dd was quite similar and she is now 3. She sleeps all night in her own bed. Your dd will get there too!
Thanks for replying. I have read/heard about the fourth trimester and it does make sense but perhaps I just underestimated how hard I will find the transition to being a mum... I am not sure to be honest. My partner wants to help but my DD only wants mummy when she is upset so he's finding it hard to help when she won't stop crying when he tries to help. I know everyone says to enjoy this time but I am not sure I really do at this stage. I am feeling more like I am on auto-pilot keeping myself busy-ish so the days go by faster.
And re the sling wearing... she will usually wake within 5-10min after I stop walking so I can't really walk her to sleep and then let her sleep in the sling while I rest/sit down. I am hoping that it will change and we will naturally fall into a 'routine' / her sleeping in her bed, or even next to me while I have a nap during the day.
It's not easy and don't feel bad if you feel that you're not enjoying it. Becoming a mum is hard! Especially when you can't get a moment to yourself. Have you tried white noise? That did help my dd have longer naps but she was much older by then.
Ds now grizzling. He seemed to be a in deep sleep so I put him down. Clearly not. Hope you get a better night. It will get easier.
Dd is 6. She was like this as a baby and still is now. It was a nightmsre after Dd. She comes into our bed every night, even though she knows damn well it pisses us off. I think it's her personality, but she says I'm her ' best girl' and tells me she loves me, completely unprompted, so it's not all bad.
I have a ten week old too, and he is entirely the same. He naps in the sling, he doesn't like being put down, and he feeds a few times overnight after a bit of an early evening cluster feed. It's all normal enough - my first was like this too.
I'm just going with it. He sleeps on someone's lap all evening and then comes to bed with us. In the daytime, at least he's in a sling so I can get stuff done.
They change fast at this point - the evenings become less fussy, and naps should start to become more routine-y as they spend a little longer awake. Right now, they're more likely to catnap a bit, rather than take long restorative naps.
It is wearying, and I do know what you mean about getting through the days - but it's going to get more fun as she gets older. Do you have hang out with friends during the day? I spent a lot of time with members of my NCT group when I had my first (now I have him for company instead...).
It is very hard and to be honest I found the ‘enjoy it while it lasts’ period infuriating as I was exhausted and confused through most of the newborn phase. I now understand how normal it all is and to be totally honest - at 8 months pp - I now miss my baby being a newborn! Although I’m enjoying all the new stages.
Please please please don’t listen to any nonsense about bad habits or routines at this stage. Just let your baby be near you.let her sleep and feed when she wants. Cuddle up to her and make her feel safe. It’s literally all she wants right now. Daddy will have time with her in future - my 8 month old is obsessed with her dad and I barely get a look in now!
Promise it gets better. Follow babies cues x
Thanks again for your replies, So i guess I just have to keep reminding myself it will change and it will get easier (or different hard?).
And yes there are plenty of people around I can catch up with (Other local mummies and NCT ladies) so that helps at times.
I wish I could just 'accept' it and enjoy the time and sometimes I do but other days are just really hard to get through.
I just keep going for now and try not to worry too much.
It is so tough in those early days. I'm gonna go against the grain slightly. I introduced a routine at about 6 weeks and it saved me! She started sleeping more regularly in the day. I put her to bed about 7 after a bath/breastfeed. It took about a week for her to start associating this with sleep so for the first few days I ended up spending a while settling her. I put her down then returned if crying, cuddled and put back down (repeat as necessary). She has ALWAYS gone to bed well since then. She didn't sleep through til 6 months but that evening time saved my sanity!
Re: waking up when you stop walking - Can I suggest trying bouncing gently on a yoga ball once baby is asleep in the sling? That way you might get to sit down for a bit and rest and hopefully baby won't realise you've stopped moving!
We're at 13 weeks now and I could have written this post.
It's exhausting, and no, I'm not particularly loving it either. No idea what I'm doing.
There are more of us out there.
While DS sleep is currently a bit haywire at 6 months, he sounds v similar to yours. We had absolutely zero routine at that point. I'd say he was about 4 months old when a 'rhythm' began to emerge in that I knew that once he'd been awake 2 hours he should nap again so I started pre-empting that - either by walking in sling or rocking him etc.
Now (at least before this latest regression!) there has been a natural routine emerging that is pretty close to the nap at 9,12,3 thing. Never managed a feeding routine though as he is demand fed!!
But I do at least have a view of how my day will look now so do hang in there!
I would 100% agree with Puddlesy. Great advice and same as my experience has taught me I'd say. Congratulations and enjoy your teeny squishy adorable DD - they grow up fast!
My DS was the same and the thing that saved my sanity was bedsharing. He slept so much better and so did I.
● Try a dummy
● Try a bouncy chair for daytime naps
● Try a dummy again
● Try to limit baby's awake time to no more than an hour in the daytime. Baby may be awake for only enough time for a feed and then short 20 minute kick on the floor then straight back to sleep. Awake time wants to be in the range of 40-60 minutes between 7am-10pm
● Put a significant amount of effort into getting baby to take a dummy, it WILL be worth it
● Check for feeding issues. Seek nd support, don't be afraid of formula or whatever route you take, but feeding and sleeping issues are one and the same thing at this age. A sleeping issue often means it's a feeding issue and vice versa.
● Dummies. They are ace. Try a dummy.
● Set up a sidecar cot for overnight. This just involves removing one side off a normal full sized cot
● <mumbles something about dummies being the most effective no crying sleep solution>
● Wind baby well after every feed
Aim to get at least one burp every time. Sleep issues that are not feeding related are often digestion issues.
● Try try swaddling baby at night
● in the daytime, be relentless about bouncing baby in the bouncy chair. Don't give up, baby NEEDS to slerp often. So after waking, a feed, a play on the floor until about 40 minutes after waking, then into bouncer with a dummy and be utterly relentless about rhthmic bouncing until baby is asleep.
● while baby is over tired, extra help will be needed to get her to sleep. You may want to keep the bouncy chair bouncing non stop through the nap. Don't worry about this. Park yourself in the sofa with the bouncer on the floor by you feet and keep foot bouncing while you watch tv
Hope that helps.
Don't listen to all this "suck it up, there is nothing you can do about it" rhetoric. There are lots of things you can do to encourage independant sleep at this age.
@Callamia - unfortunately my DD is so unsettled at night that (once asleep) I can't have her back in the living room she would just wake up again from the TV or us talking (despite us being not overly noisy)
@Smarshian - I tried to intro a bedtime routine (bath, change of clothes, singing a song or two, swaddle & then settle plus a feed at some stage) but find the timing very hard. Would you do yours every day at 7pm sharp despite when your DD had her last nap/feed etc? Would you also donor if she was crying and upset and not in a good mood? And lastly would you just put her down and let her be? Normally it takes me a good 1.5hr to settle DD before I can put her down...
@Lemondrop99 - I have tried the transition to a yoga ball but my DD will still wake
@TheWeatherGirl1 - hugs to you I am sure we will grow into this new role more and see the positives! And I do, I am very glad to have a healthy little child so please don't misunderstand me that it's all poo.
@Skippydooda - does your DS managed sleep in his cot/ non moving object once you had your routine? I am just afraid that while their might be at Routine at some point it will still be me walking DD to sleep in sling for all naps.
@FATEdestiny I have tried the swing but not a bouncer? Do you think that would make a difference? I also think that DD has a hard time letting go when it's daylight so should I put her in a dark room for her naps initially? And should I just put her in the bouncer and then see if she will fall to sleep just like that? And what would you consider a good length nap? Is approx. 40min ok? Do you think I should initially make sure she has her naps at the same time every day? And at what point will she be able to stay awake for longer? I have** read somewhere the windows is 1-2 hrs so I have been trying so stick to that pending her mood.
Thank you all xx
I have tried the swing but not a bouncer? Do you think that would make a difference?
I think a swing holds a baby in a different position (more upright and sometimes hunched - like a csrseat) to a bouncer (which is more reclined).
Also you get no control over the movement of a swing. By foot bouncing a bouncy chair, you are entirely in control to respond to tiny changes in behaviour by increasing/decreasing tempo, verocity or speed of the bouncing. Then to gradually reduce it over time.
In short, I would definitely recommend a manually controlled bouncer that you can bounce with your foot.
I also think that DD has a hard time letting go when it's daylight so should I put her in a dark room for her naps initially?
If you want. I think you get better long term sleep habits if baby learns to be able to go to sleep with some background noise and light. Especially useful if you expect your child to have a sibling in the near future.
Baby does need to sleep in the same room you are for daytime naps until 6 months. For this reason they are usually done downstairs. If you wish to spend your baby's naptime ditying in a dark room yourself, that's fine. I can't see any huge benefit in doing it at this age though, but also no harm.
If you are planning on doing naps downstairs in the daytime, then by all means draw the curtains and switch down the TV if ypu wish. Again, this doesn't actually make much positive difference to long term slerp habits, but its fine if ypu prefer.
(When I had DC2, so determined was I that he wouldn't be the light sleeper DC3 would be that I deliberately positioned his sleep posotion by the bright window, lights on in addition, telly, unabated toddler noise. All so he learnt from early on to sleep through everything)
And should I just put her in the bouncer and then see if she will fall to sleep just like that?
She's unlikely to go to sleep "just like that". It requires some work to get baby sleeping independantly. Dummy reinserts, lots of consistant, rhythmic bouncing relentlessly and often.
It takes some (often a lot) of effort to get baby to sleep. Just putting baby in bouncer and waiting is very, very, very unlikely to have baby happy or sleeping.
And what would you consider a good length nap? Is approx. 40min ok?
At 10 weeks 30-60 minute naps would be normal. This may well reduce over the coming month whereby 30-45 minute naps are the norm. Awake time of around an hour between naps.
Do you think I should initially make sure she has her naps at the same time every day?
Having a consistant (7 days a week, 365 days a year) wake up time in the morning is useful. Aside from that, be baby led according to nap length by limiting awake time.
I wouldn't want more than 1h awake at this stage, with varying awake times depending on the length of the previous nap. I had 45m awake time as my average at 3-4 months old. If nap was shorter than normal, shorten awake time to maybe 30m. If it was a longer than normal nap, extend awake time to maybe 60m.
Be baby led in setting awake times, all babies are different. Mine are just examples becsuse of you are a FTM you may have no idea what the norms are. Awake times extend with age, development and as naps extend - so it is a state that is constantly changing as your baby grows.
And at what point will she be able to stay awake for longer?
Depends on the child. Sleep changes quite significantly around 3-4 months old and after this point naps of 1 sleep cycle are normal. But baby can learn to link sleep cycles. Good sleep habits and established methods to resettle baby back to sleep make extending naps easier.
Some babies have habits in place to link sleep cycles in place ready for when the regression happens at 4 months and such children go straight to long naps without any trouble. Other babies struggle to learn to link sleep cycles and as such short nsos can remain for many, many months.
Generally speaking longer naps of the passive newborn sleep last until 2-3 months. Shorter naps develop from 3-4 months and then baby learns to link sleep cycles, so naps extend again at some point between 3-13 months. Huge variety at this point comes from the fact that there is a huge variety on the sleep habits of babies at this point and some are less consistant with helping naps extend compared to offer habits. My children were around 5 months old when naps extended.
I have read somewhere the windows is 1-2 hrs so I have been trying so stick to that pending her mood.
I'm not sure what window you mean? Awake time window does not want to be as long as 2h unless you are getting naps of 90 minutes plus. Even then I'd only go to 90 minutes awake time at this age, even with long 90m+ naps.
@FATEdestiny massive thanks for your detailed response I really appreciate your time. I think I will get a bouncer tomorrow and give your suggestion a go! x
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