6 week old just will not sleep!!(15 Posts)
Not sure if I should be posting this as a feeding issue rather than sleep but here goes...
Literally feel at my wits end. DS 6 weeks old (yesterday) is ebf and was usually waking 2 hourly every night. He used to do the odd stint of 3-4 hours but hasn’t managed this since he was about 3 weeks old.
Recently in the last week he’s been waking more and more frequently, up until yesterday it was hourly, now tonight it’s been almost every 30-40minutes.
He wakes up crying as though he’s hungry, although I don’t always automatically offer a feed, I have been trying to just soothe him back to sleep. He tends to get really bad trapped wind so I normally assume this is the case, as he grunts and strains all night long normally anyway, but tonight in particular nothing other than a feed will get him back to sleep.
I’ve heard of growth spurts but this just seems really excessive to me, surely he can’t be hungry every half hour through the night?! Even after I do offer a feed he’ll only feed for about 10mins, but it then takes ages to settle him enough to put him back in his next2me cot as it seems the second his head touches the mattress his eyes ping back open again.
Day time has never changed, he can go 3 hourly between feeds no problem. As I’ve been feeding on demand I don’t always keep track but it definitely seems that night time is turning into an all-you-can-eat buffet 😐
It’s getting to the point where I’m starting to hate breastfeeding because I never get a break. However I don’t think the odd bottle of formula is even an option for us at the moment as he has suspected cmpa so I’m currently trialling a dairy free diet, could that be effecting it as well??
I’m just exhausted. The sleep deprivation is actually worse than when he was a brand new newborn. Am I being over sensitive or am I over feeding my baby?? The only solution I feel I have now is to let him cry it out but that seems so cruel when he’s still so young. Any words of wisdom or even just reassurance would be greatly appreciated. 😣😞
No solution, but I am in a similar situation. Dd will be 6 weeks on Sunday and in the last 3 weeks had only had a few nights whet she sleeps in her cot between feeds, otherwise I'm awake 12-6/7. Two weeks ago she was feeding hourly (EBF) and now she's feeding less but will only sleep on my chest.
You're not overfeeding him, he might be growing or might just need extra comfort. They go through big developmental changes now and their perception of the world is vastly different, so it's understandable that they need extra comfort. I don't do CIO, I feel that if she's crying it means that she needs something and it's my job to give it to her, though this means sore nipples (from cluster feeding) and little sleep for me.
Sorry if I'm not much help, just want to share my situation and let you know that you're not the only one struggling overnight. My HV assured me that it's totally normal for a baby this age to be acting this way and that the best thing is to just stick it out and trust that they will eventually sleep for longer.
I remember feeling the same at this stage so please know it does get better!
Sounds like baby is cluster feeding. And the not wanting to be put down thing? Google the 4th trimester.
If I could go back in time and advise myself I'd say TV, snacks, drinks and lots of breastfeeding and cuddles during the day. At night, maybe consider co-sleeping? Or have you tried using a dummy. That worked on mine.
It does get better!
I was really desperate around 6 weeks too, DS was clusterfeeding round the clock. For us it did get better within a week or so. Have you tried taking the baby into bed with you? We also have a next2me but those few centimetres difference of whether he's in it or in my bed mean a couple of hours more sleep for us. Also try to do breastfeeding lying down if you're co-sleeping, so baby can latch on and off throughout the night without either of you waking up fully.
Just please don't try crying it out with a 6 week old, he's far too young for sleep training, he doesn't even know the difference between day and night yet. You are everything he knows right now, and needs you close to feel safe. Google safe co-sleeping, it really helped me survive.
Could have written your post OP! DS six weeks today. Up until this last week, he was doing some pretty decent stretches some nights, then like you it went down to two hours but still not bad. Now it's not even hourly. Just constant feeding. He's feeding a lot in the day too although can sleep for longer. He will eat so much he makes himself sick. I think he's going through a spurt but his system can't keep up (he was almost 4 weeks premature so still small).
It's so incredibly frustrating, especially when you know they're capable of better sleep! But as @actino says, it's not forever and it will get better. In the meantime, I'm trying to accept that between 12 and 7 I am not going to get much if any sleep, and adjusting my day accordingly. DH starts Christmas leave next week and we have family staying over Christmas so I'm going to make the most of having support. Can you get support? Obvs it's limited because we're breastfeeding but hoping DH can take him after an early morning feed so i can at least get an hour of sleep.
try feeding til he falls asleep then putting him upright on your shoulder for 15 mins. feeding to sleep means he should have a full tummy then upright helps with wind. 15 mins wait before putting down means they go into a deeper sleep and less likely to wake up when put down. i also put a towel under head end of moses basket so the bed is slightly tilted not flat which helps with wind. did all these tips with both DDs, one woke every hour one sleeps for 4 hour stints so who knows if it works but i try. safe co sleeping for the worst nights. it does get better eventually. good luck
Thank you so much for all of your replies! ❤️
It really helps just knowing I’m not the only one going through this every bloody night. Sometimes it can be the loneliest and hardest time when you just want a little bit of sleep 😓😴 and obviously with ebf it’s not like DH can help with the feeding either really unless I find time to express (and I’d much rather be sleeping than pumping!)
We’re already using dummies for suspected silent reflux but also for comfort, and they do help but when he gets distressed he just spits it out anyway. I’ve tilted his next2me upright slightly, again for the reflux but does sometimes help with wind too. I’m giving him gripe water when he has big feeds at night too, didn’t really see the point giving it with all the 5 minute snacks and don’t want to overload him.
Interesting you all saying about the developmental leap, in the last few days he’s started smiling, giggling and making eye contact so really that’s quite a lot he’s got going on, maybe he’s a bit overwhelmed by it all?
@Ven83 I really don’t want to even attempt CIO, You know when you just feel that desperate.. I’ve got a couple of friends who have had babies around the same time as me and they all sound beautifully perfect and sleep through the night! —I have murderous thoughts just thinking about them when I’m still awake at 1,2,3,4,5am—
One of my friends has already apparently ‘sleep trained’ her baby from about 8 weeks old 😕 maybe I’m setting the bar too high for myself.
Meant to add we have tried co-sleeping when he gets really upset, it works sometimes but if he lays with me he just wants to play and feed from my boobs the entire time. He settles better in bed with DH and has slept with him a couple of times, but he’s a big bloke and we’re both too scared of him squishing DS, so even if he settles we never really get to sleep with him in the bed anyway! 😓😂😂
How long have you been dairy free for? Are you being strict with it, so checking every label? Takes a good 6 weeks to clear entirely from both your systems? What are the nappies like? Any problems with the skin or reflux like symptoms? If nothing improves and you still suspect an allergy I’d be tempted to cut out soya too. Soya protein is very similar to cows milk protein and it’s common to have issue with both Frequent waking is obviously normal in such a young baby but every 40mins does sound excessive. Do you feel she is uncomfortable at night?
Thoughts with you, it’s really tough!!
Would a bottle of expressed milk before bed help/be an option? Then you can see how much baby has got/someone else can give to him/her. We are currently giving a 3oz formula/1oz breast milk bottle at 10pm and some nights it has meant a 4-6 hour stretch of sleep (now 8 weeks).
Dont compare with other babies, makes you feel even worse, I do this a lot. Those great sleeping babies may have terrible sleep regression later on, when yours sleeps brilliantly.
We play white noise on a phone app, loudly, all night. May help when he/she wakes up to send them back off again. Think silence unsettles them. As someone above said, google 4th trimester. Helps understand them and feel less resentful/annoyed at baby when you are on 5th wake up of the night!
At 8 weeks I feel my babies body clock now recognises day/night, it’s taken a while but we are there.
Pitch black nights, no talking or ‘loving’ 💐
Just wanted to share this blogpost, it's a bit cheesy but helped me around the 6 week mark: http://nurshable.com/2012/05/27/six-week-growth-spurt/
I have to be honest, this does sound like a hunger issue. What's baby's weight gain like?
Going dairy free is a double edged sword. On the one hand if the undiagnosed CMPA is diagnosed, it should help baby feel mire comfortable. On the other hand limiting your own diet, as a breastfeeding mother still establishing feeding, is not helpful to yoj or baby. You need significant calories and nourishment yourself, so if you are restricting your diet you must ensure you still cover all food groups and eat and drink well.
You can buy non dairy formula from most chemists, over the counter. Might be worth considering. Equally, it might not be CMPA and normal formula may be fine, if the issue is just hunger and you want a break from breastfeeding.
@FATE DS’s weight gain is actually really good. Health visitor came round last week and he’d gained a pound in 2 weeks! This is actually the main reason they won’t diagnose him having cmpa because generally babies lose weight when they have it. I actually think the only reason he’s piling the pounds on so well is when he’s screaming offering a feed was the only thing I could do to get him to stop/fall asleep.
I have spoken to my GP/health visitor/paediatrician all about going dairy free before I started so they’re all aware in case it effects DS weight gain or otherwise, and it’s not something I’ve done light heartedly. But, like I said we noticed a change in him already after just a week, and with the exception of no sleep and frequent waking at night, he’s such a happier and more settled baby.
I really don’t want to give up breastfeeding, after having a really hard labour and birth it’s really helped me bond properly with DS. Plus I’ve heard/read so many bad things about ff babies struggling with cmpa and constant changes in formula, although it’s probably more tricky to amend my own diet I want to keep ebf as long as I can x
Just think I should add - I do believe ‘fed is best’ and at the end of the day I’ll do whatever I have to. But the sleepless nights are just.. ugh.. 😩😴😴😴😴
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