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8 wk old chronically overtired. Help!

(26 Posts)
OperaPanda Sat 13-Jan-18 16:52:27

We have a very easy baby who's barely cried since she was born.

We had a good nap and feed patterns as she seemed to be putting herself naturally on some type of schedule but:
-10 days ago she's started struggling to sleep for more than 45min at a time during the day.
-Then a week ago we started having issues with her falling asleep in the afternoon and she clearly became overtired in the evenings (crying after bath).
- Now it has moved to mornings as well, each nap is a battle and she cries every time.
I've lost my happy baby who would coo and babble when waking up: she wakes up yawning and rubbing her eyes as if she needs to go back to sleep immediately but I never manage to resettle her and she acts hungry so I take her out of the moses basket for a feed.

She gets about 10h of sleep per day when the recommendations are 15-16 sad

She feeds roughly every 2h during the day (very efficiently, 5-8min on average and has been putting on weight like a champ)
then nappy change
and then a bit of play. I watch like a hawk for first signs of tiredness. I usually see the first yawn around 40min after she woke up, so I take her in my arms on put her on my raised laps to start winding down. She usually doesn't like it and starts wiggling: she wants to see more! If I let her, she rubs her eyes and ears within ten minutes and gets overtired as she never stops looking around. But if I keep "winding down" and doesn't allow her to look at stuff, she starts crying.

I've managed to comfort her a couple of times after 15min of crying but the last time it didn't work and my DH has taken her out on the pram. I'm worried this is getting worse.

We shush pat her in her moses basket and it used to work very well (she still resettles herself sometimes and likes the moses basket). In order to prioritise sleep we decided to let her sleep wherever and close to us if that meant more sleep but she does the same whether it's on me, in the babycarrier or else. Except that on the pram she eventually falls asleep. I can't spend my days pushing her through town though!

So far she still sleeps well at night (soothes herself and goes 22h-7h with two feeds 2am and 5am) but I'm worried this will change soon if she doesn't catch up on sleep.

We tried putting her in a separate room to avoid noise but that didn't change anything so she remains with us during the day. I'm hesitant about putting her in the dark for naps as don't want to create day/night confusion now she has them sorted.

She refuses dummies so it's no an option.
And I'm not keen on white noise as I would rather avoid props (and generations of parents did without it). But maybe I should try?
Does her being tired means that we should start winding down even earlier, before the first yawn? Worried she'll then be undertired, frustrated and fussy...

Sorry for long post. Keen to hear advice if you have some! Thanks smile

OperaPanda Sat 13-Jan-18 20:18:05

She's now refused to nap since 5pm. It's 8pm and she cries on and off. It's definitely getting worse sad

Bananarama12 Sat 13-Jan-18 20:25:01

Is this leap 2 time?

OperaPanda Sat 13-Jan-18 21:20:35

Yes, it is. The app tells me she has 3days to go. Can this be as simple as this? I so hope so. It does mention fussiest but doesn't talk about horrible nap times like this. The former leap wasn't near as bad that. But I'll put my hope in this thanks!

Bananarama12 Sat 13-Jan-18 21:39:46

I had a lovely sleeper until leap 2, also lovely and chatty in the morning. Now he's very fussyand grumpy sad let's hope we get our happy babies back!

moreismore Sat 13-Jan-18 21:44:26

I would try putting her down again sooner, especially after a short nap. So winding down after 30mins maybe, before she has time to tip into overtired? Baby wearing might help? Walking around in a carrier used to soothe my baby at this stage. It’ll keep changing! Try not to worry too much and roll with it a bit...

QforCucumber Sat 13-Jan-18 21:45:05

Honestly id try white noise, if it works it works smile at that age I too would force naps, In the car/walk round the estate with the pram/rocker bouncer chair thingy. Anything to ensure 1 hour awake time. At 22 months he doesn't need to be walked/rocked/pushed to sleep (and hasn't for a long time) he was always a 30 min nap 1 hr awake kinda baby.

Oly5 Sat 13-Jan-18 21:50:54

Are you kidding me? She’s 8 weeks! This is all normal.
She’s out of the sleeping all day newborn phase and is just being a normal baby.
I’m currently feeding and cuddling my 8 week old third child to sleep. The longest nap he’s had today was 90 minutes in the pram.. but only if I walked with him. The rest have been in my arms.
Crying after bath time is normal.
You’re reading way too much into this. Young babies don’t just fall asleep for hours in their for during the day. Most will only sleep in arms, in a sling, in a car or pushchair.
My best advice is to stop worrying about what you think your baby should be doing and just go with it. Don’t worry about napping and feeding schedules

Oly5 Sat 13-Jan-18 21:51:45

Hours in their cot that should have said

bassackwards Sat 13-Jan-18 21:54:01

White noise really works for us. I've been using it to help my DD sleep since she was about 7/8 weeks old. I know what you mean about wanting to avoid "props" to aid sleep - we've avoided dummies for that reason- but when I see the way white noise calms her when she needs help sleeping, I feel like it's actually a kind thing to do for her. So maybe worth a try!

Lanclain Sat 13-Jan-18 21:58:46

My eight week old also changed from sleeping virtually all day to being awake more and needing to nap.
The sling is the most reliable way of doing it although she now happily sleeps in the cot at night but during the day she refuses to sleep in it.

OperaPanda Sat 13-Jan-18 22:50:07

Thanks all.

Oly5, I'm not talking about schedules. And I'd be happy with the scenario you describe. My issue is that she screams her head off when time comes to sleeo, whether it's in my arms or else, which wasn't the case a minute ago. And then she doesn't stay asleep for long, no matter where she is, which leads to an overtired baby (vicious circle). So very different from what you describe.

We've tried white noise tonight. Didn't work sad but we'll try again. Might be that she was too worked up for anything to work.

I tried the sling and she hated it (might be because I'm awkward with these and don't use them well), she prefers the baby carrier but again she screamed in it today and only sleep for 10min in it sad

Nearly 11pm. Screaming has stopped temporarily since the last feed but now starting again...she's in our arms..she'll drop off eventually.

This has to be linked to the leap. I'll update in a few days if that's the case in case it helps someone else.

OperaPanda Sat 13-Jan-18 22:50:50

*wasn't the case a week ago

FirstNov2017 Sun 14-Jan-18 18:57:18

Sounds exactly like my son!! Same age. Virtually no naps from 10am until 5pm. If he falls asleep during the day it's 15 mins cat naps. He'll have an hour at 7 and then be all over the place until 10pm. Wake up at 1am and 4am for feeds. We have had to let him cry it out as nothing soothes him and he will fight sleep no matter what we try. Good luck. I'm hoping it's just a phase.

OperaPanda Fri 19-Jan-18 16:49:41

FirstNov, I'm sorry you're going through this too.

Just to say she's now 9w+1 and no improvement.
She won't fall asleep in my arms either. Bouncer/rocker doesn't help.
We tried several types of white noises which she covers with her screams.
Yesterday I pushed the pram for 3hours 3-6pm (my back and pelvic girdle are in pieces) and she got 1h45 of sleep but it didn't seem to make a difference: she screamed the place down in the evening, having refused to sleep after 6pm, fell asleep on the breast out of exhaustion at 10pm and had a very bad night (I helped her transition after nearly every sleep cycle - we both woke up shattered!). So of course today is worse and we've had screams since the first nap again. DH is now walking her in the pram.

I'm spending my whole day trying to make her sleep, I'm doing nothing else and even for her it can't be a fun day. She's so happy and babbling when I leave her be, she can look around her for hours in her bouncer, cooing at shadows on the wall. I'm nearly considering letting her be like this, but then she'll be even more OT and I imagine at some point this will affect her health?!

It's so bloody difficult. I find hard not to cry and scream myself. Hope it really passes in a few weeks!

Marcine Fri 19-Jan-18 16:55:22

45 minutes after she first wakes in the morning get her in the pram and go for a walk. Are you letting her have too much awake time between naps?
I had a 45 minute, only naps in the sling/pram baby. 45 minute naps are annoying but you just need lots of them.

OperaPanda Fri 19-Jan-18 17:03:41

Thanks Marcine, maybe I'll do that. I try to do the pram in the evening to make sure she gets some sleep in the afternoon when it's near impossible to crack, but maybe I should do it first thing as I hear the first nap sets the pace for the day.

I've her down to minimum activity now. I start winding down 30min after she wakes and usually catches her first yawn 5-10min into the the wind-down so I think I get the timing right? it's actually a very boring day for her, I feel bad: feed (5-10min max), nappy change, and calm chat with mummy/watching shadows on the wall or furniture in the room from my laps then in my arms or in basket to wind down. I've stopped the baby gym as it gets her far too excited.

I see her getting glazed eyes, yawns, rubs her eyes while she's in the cot or in my arms but she doesn't fall asleep and progresses to grizzling then screaming. Unless I put her back down and let her look around again, in which case she calms down and becomes happy... but she can stay like this, looking around, for hours (I tried once just to see if she had a different pattern, and she stayed 6h!!)

I've tried shush-pat, talking to her (which used to get her drowsy and asleep before), rocked in my arms, in my arms with no stimulation, in crib with no stimulation, in swing being rocked...nothing works! She doesn't even get drowsy at the breast anymore! sad

Marcine Fri 19-Jan-18 17:12:30

Mine needed quite vigorous movement in the pram or bouncing in the sling to get her to sleep.
First awake time of the day was 45 minutes for mine at that age, then an hour/90 minutes at most for the rest of the day.
I never did wind down time, just once it got towards nap time got them in the sling/pram.
Worry about settling in the cot later, 3-6 months. For now just make sure she gets enough sleep.

Marcine Fri 19-Jan-18 17:15:25

I would also use as many sleep props as you can - dummies, comfort blankets, white noise, special sleepy song etc.

BertrandRussell Fri 19-Jan-18 17:20:58

If you’re cutting down on activities are you sure she’s tired? Have you tried being completely baby led? What happens then?

OperaPanda Fri 19-Jan-18 18:11:05

BertrandRussel my DH was wondering that, if we now understimulate her and she's bored. She does rub her eyes, yawns and gets Jerry movements so she's tired. We've tried being completely baby led and she staid awake for 6h until the evening and it was a nightmare to make her sleep with a very OT monster. But it's the same anyway so maybe we should try again and see? Although she sleeps in pram so clearly needs sleep.

Marcine, Thanks I'll try more vigorous rocking! And maybe I shouldn't do wind down. But considering Im struggling to recover from back and pelvic girdle problems pram and sling every time aren't realistic. The one walk yesterday killed me.

Also, just rocking in the swing after feed gives her the hiccups, so does nappy change. Could this be silent reflux?

Marcine, I agree, I'm past caring about settling in crib atm.

TheVanguardSix Fri 19-Jan-18 18:22:52

Talk to me about the 6 hour stint.I don't quite understand. You left her lying on her back for 6 hours straight without any change/interference/ feed? And she was happy as a lark and awake? Does she have a gym mat?

Mine always fought sleep and it's so tough. I feel for you. For me, at this stage, up until about 5-6 months old, a walk in the pram at about 10 or 11am and then another one at around 3pm was what gave mine their naps. They just wouldn't nap at home. I had to get them out, which is hard to do on a cold January day. flowers

Marcine Fri 19-Jan-18 18:27:01

For at least the first three months you need to just get them to sleep and keep them to sleep however you can.

It's tricky if you're not physically up to walking yet - pushing the pram up and down your hallway maybe instead? Rocking it?

My dc3 has been my worst napper so far (won't take a dummy either - I think this is related!) and we were even out twice for walks on Christmas day so she would sleep grin. However she is 4 months now and had all three naps today in her cot without any rocking or bouncing. It does get better as they get older ime.

FirstNov2017 Fri 19-Jan-18 18:27:46

We went to our first baby group today. It was singing and kids all over the place. He was knocked out for an hour after. Naps have been brilliant today so hoping it doesn't affect him tonight.

Feels awful when you've tried absolutely everything. You must be exhausted!

Triangularsquare Fri 19-Jan-18 19:02:35

Do you have a yoga ball/birthing ball? I used to put mine in the sling then bounce up and down on ours, mercilessly, for what felt like forever. Bit of a pain but can be done in front of Netflix, easier on the back than endless pram walking and I'm sure it helped get some of my core muscles back

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