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Why won't baby sleep?

(62 Posts)
MistyBxx Sun 11-Mar-18 02:22:53

I bet there are loads of threads on this topic but I just can't get my girl to sleep!
She's only 12 days old and ebf so I'm not expecting any kind of routine yet, I'm just wondering how she can have a good feed at 11am followed by a 3 hour nap, another good feed at 3 followed by a solid 2 hour nap, then come bedtime, I can take her up at 9-10pm and she will continually cluster feed until 3am!! It's driving me insane!! When she finally sleeps, she sleeps 4 hours but for those 6 hours of the night I'm on a loop of feeding, winding, changing, top-up feeding, winding, she falls asleep, I put her down, 5 mins later, her eyes ping open and she's starving again!! It goes on and on and on and I'm lying there crying in the dark wishing she will just fall asleep!! I know she sleeps well when she does, so why does she sleep so easily at any other time of day except bedtime?!?! I'm exhausted and I literally dread it getting dark as I know what's coming in the night... hours and hours ahead of it. I thought maybe if I didn't let her nap in the day she would be more tired at night but the midwife told me she needs all her naps, plus it's kind of impossible to keep her awake! I'm just at my wits end and it's really having an impact in my first few weeks with her 😖 it doesn't help that my husband works 10 hour days and sleeps snoring away next to me while I'm up all night on our loop 🙈

FastWindow Sun 11-Mar-18 02:29:18

Babies don't like the dark. Cosleep, is my advice.

FastWindow Sun 11-Mar-18 02:40:45

And she's 12 days old and not ready to not be cuddled all night. Kick the snorer to the spare room for now. Snuggle her up to you and sleep for goodness sake. It will improve everyone's life!

FeedMyFaceWithBattenberg Sun 11-Mar-18 02:41:04

She is just a brand new out the packet baby, so she doesn't know the difference between day and night yet, and she needs your milk to grow. Cluster feeding and fussiness in the evenings is totally normal.
How is your latch? Has everything gone okay with your feeding so far?
I know it's tough op, but it will get better.
My son is 11w+5 days and sleeps 19.30-2 (with a dream feed at 23.00) 2.15-6.45 and has a nap every two hours in the day to prevent him from getting overtired. It does get easier x

Kiwiinkits Sun 11-Mar-18 03:33:01

Maybe instead of feeding to sleep, do it diffferently. You can set a pattern of sleep, burp, cuddle/play THEN sleep. So, even if she's not crying for it when she wakes up, feed her anyway. Feed her every time she wakes, then keep her up for a bit after burping her and changing her. I am suggesting this because it is likely that her eyes are pinging open five minutes after putting her down because she's just got a burst of milky calories from you. Milk, like other food, gives energy.
This will help you establish a E.A.S.Y. (Eat Activity Sleep timeforYou) routine eventually. (courtesy of the Baby Whisperer, which REALLY helped me understand my babies' cycles/needs).

Mustang27 Sun 11-Mar-18 04:20:17

It goes on and on and on and I'm lying there crying in the dark

You poor woman. Can you sleep at tea time or nap when she naps seriously if you are on your first baby and have no other commitments or people to care for sleep when she sleeps.

What you have described is perfectly normal unfortunately.

Where are you putting her down to sleep at night she may benefit being closer to you. Also how you place her down can be an issue for some babies, rather as a falling motion caused by going down the way of you can lift slightly, slide and place baby that helps.

Have you looked into growth spurts? 10-12 days is prime time for one there is also the wonder weeks. Read up on both so that you can gage what is normal it obviously doesn't get you any extra rest but it can be reassuring if you know it is normal.

You sound like you are doing great with the feeding and things, well done. Don't be hard on yourself and try not to sweat this stuff so early on it will get better and the more relaxed you are about it all will help. Massive hugs hope you are getting some rest right now.

MsJuniper Sun 11-Mar-18 05:05:00

I don't know what other commitments you have but when I was in your position the best advice I had was to stop fighting it and work round it instead. So finding opportunities to nap in the day - I'd always have a quick sleep when DH came home - then just staying up until it felt like DS was flagging. There's lots of stuff online about cluster feeding in those hours which is reassuring. I kind of came to enjoy those quiet hours together, although I remember the exhaustion too.

I also made sure we got out in the day so he started to get his body clock the right way round and after a while the main sleep period (4 hrs) got earlier and we could start a proper bedtime routine.

It did turn out DS had tongue tie so he probably fed more often than average, so you could always ask for a referral if you have any concerns eg slow weight gain.

PeonyTruffle Sun 11-Mar-18 05:39:35

That sounds pretty normal for a newborn. They’re so teeny tiny still, and don’t understand the difference between night and day.
Try and catch up with some sleep when she naps during the day.

She’ll grow out if it it, they don’t do it forever. 3 Years later, I actually miss the crazy night feeds blush

elvisisntdead Sun 11-Mar-18 05:45:51

Other things which may help- swaddling. White noise, possibly try dummy?

Shutupanddance1 Sun 11-Mar-18 05:49:55

On nights I struggled I woke my husband up to help me out - sometimes in the middle of the night you need someone else to hold the baby for 30 mins so you can get a cat nap.

I also did the EASY routine during the day and it worked well for us.
My baby was BF and didn’t sleep through the whole night 7-7am until she was 10 months but by 4 months we were down to 2 quick feeds a night

Tentativesteps133 Sun 11-Mar-18 06:13:24

I know everyone says it but it’s so true - sleep when she sleeps! Assuming she’s your first and you don’t have any other children to look after, when she has her 3hr nap and 2hr nap then you should be napping too. That’s give you a good 4-5hrs through the day which should make the nights easier.

Don’t worry about housework or getting anything done other than feeding/changing/cuddling her for the first few weeks. I know it’s difficult but you just have to kind of let everything go and follow the babies lead when they’re that teeny. I promise it won’t be forever!

yikesanotherbooboo Sun 11-Mar-18 08:30:56

I agree that you just have to go along with it. She is sleeping for quite less mh spells for a baby of her age it is just that she hasn't got Day and night sorted. Sleep when she is asleep , this particular phase doesn't last long although frequent night feeding can continue for ages.

thingymaboob Sun 11-Mar-18 11:26:12

Sounds normal. Cluster feeding at night is to establish your milk supply as well as comfort etc. White noise and swaddling helped me. I also put a dim light on (setting 1/20) which helped me as I could see my DD (8 weeks old now) and she seems to like it rather than pitch black.

FortheloveofJames Sun 11-Mar-18 15:35:54

Totally normal I’m afraid. Baby is establishing your supply and cluster feeding at night is important for this. She’s also only 12 days old, so new to the world and doesn’t know she’s not a part of you yet. Being close to you is her way of feeling safe and secure. Just go with it, prioritise napping in the day if you have no other children and do what you need to to make things easier for you- cosleeping, let DH/DP do housework, make meals, bath baby and take baby for cuddles

This will pass and it will 100% get easier. Keep going, you got this x

rubyroot Sun 11-Mar-18 17:44:21


I'm a bit ahead of you, so have recently gone though this. My baby's favourite awake time was 11-3.30. He also became a fussy grizzly monster- wind, crying, feed, wind crying etc.
The wind became a nightmare and we started trying infacol, gripe water etc.

Also had the cluster feeding. Milk comes in at night which is why all the night feeds.

For me, it got better at two weeks- think i just got used to it and learned you just got to go with the flow. I watched episodes of stuff in bed on laptop when baby wouldn't sleep in between feeds etc. I also made sure i got out and about in day- yes, missing out on possible naps but started to make me feel more human.

The bad wind lasted about 10 days- the persistent crying that accompanied this has now gone. Baby started recognising day and night at 5 weeks - I say started...

Next growth spurt and cluster feeding will be between 4-6 weeks. Go on kelly mom and look up growth spurts- its a good site for other info too.

9 weeks now- Majority of nights I can now get him down between 11.30 and 12; vast improvement on 3.30. Had two six hour sleeps this week- I thanked baby in the morning. smile

However, I know and expect sleep to be erratic- hence the fussiness and fighting sleep fromm 11.30 until 1.20 last night. But I did get four hours straight at the end of it.

Just chill and ride the wave and it will get more enjoyable- everything is a phase. And i am slowly learning that.

rubyroot Sun 11-Mar-18 17:48:15

Oh and when you wake in morn even if not quite ready open curtains nice and wide to let light in- 9 at the latest. Dim all lights in evening if baby is up with you and quieten everything down- dont chat or play with baby late at night-I know its hard- but can help it realise its night time

123456kent Sun 11-Mar-18 18:15:13

I could have written your post and I did a lot of crying in the first few weeks. Week 3 was the hardest for me, I was miserable with it. I made sure nights were pitch black and quiet but for white noise and days were bright and loud and around 6 weeks she ‘got it’ - not saying suddenly I was getting 8 hour stretches (still don’t at 5 months), but things started to fall in place with night and day. Hang in there - it will happen!!

123456kent Sun 11-Mar-18 18:16:20

Oh, also, not sure if anyone else has said this but SLEEPYHEAD. It saved me. £120 well spent

MistyBxx Tue 13-Mar-18 01:40:24

Thank you all so much for your replies. Here I am again, 1:30am and been "in bed" since 10:30pm. Absolutely no chance of co-sleeping, I can't relax at all when she's next to me (having tried the lying down breastfeeding position) I find it more stressful being scared of falling asleep and squashing her!
I think she's suffering wind. She goes stiff and then curls her legs up and kicks out, goes red in the face and does a 'painful' cry, it's pitiful. They say bf babies don't burp as much as bottled but I can feel the wind in her and hear it sometimes, she needs to get it up but all the patting and rubbing is doing nothing, I very occasionally get a burp but 7 times out of 10 I don't!
I'm on lactulose for severe constipation and stitches 😖 I take it morning and night and I'm wondering if that's affecting her wind? In her 2 weeks, she's never been as windy as she has the last few days.xx

Bellamuerte Tue 13-Mar-18 02:04:09

Read up on safe sleep guidelines before considering baby nests or co sleeping. Exhaustion is better than a dead baby.

My baby is 5 weeks old and I've also cried at night because I'm so exhausted and desperate for sleep. It helps if you can give up wishing for sleep and just accept that this is how your life will be for a few months. As others have said, sleep when baby sleeps. You could also try expressing then sleeping in a different room and putting dad on duty that night? Or put him on duty during the day and tell him to wake you only for feeds, then sleep all day?

RewriteMyFire Tue 13-Mar-18 05:20:06

Not trying to sway you either way but be wary of overly pushy messages (see above) especially when not evidence based. No evidence of sleepyhead being associated with cot death at all. And general (albeit non official) concensus is that safe co-sleeping IS safer than exhaustion/falling asleep in dangerous positions. Patenting is about making decisions that are right for your family based on your situations and the evidence, as you see fit.

123456kent Tue 13-Mar-18 08:05:57

Same with me, I was on lactulose, she was extremely windy, she hardly ever burped. When she had an ultrasound at 8 weeks (because she also never pooed) the sonographer said she was absolutely full of air. It just corrected itself over time. It’s all so hard at the time.
I also would go to bed at 10ish and still be awake at 1am etc. Soul destroying.
Do some research and consider if you think Sleepyheads are safe, I did, and it gave me some sleep in the early days, and now gives me good chunks (tried to wean and she is dependent on it - but that’s another story!!)

KatnissK Tue 13-Mar-18 08:15:42

When DS was 2-3 weeks old he went through some marathon cluster feeds- I was beside myself and one night DH had to take over and give him a bottle as I was going a bit hysterical. Could you express and let someone else take over for a bit so you can get some sleep? Or use formula - that's what we did as I could never express a lot. Also the cluster feeding definitely made him windier - you could try Infacol or Colief and also try feeding so baby is more upright (experiment with lots of cushions!). Even though it's exhausting try holding baby upright for 20 minutes after a full feed and hopefully any stubborn wind will out. I held DS upright on my shoulder and rocked him so that by the time I put him down he was asleep. Or I put him in a bouncer chair with a vibration setting on which he loved and also got up extra burps. Co-sleeping definitely saved me (DS is 9 months now and we still co-sleep) so maybe worth another shot. Hope it all improves soon, those early days are relentless but it honestly does get better (I never used to believe this and my boy still isn't a great sleeper but things honestly have improved so much!).

coffeeforone Tue 13-Mar-18 08:41:01

I'm lying there crying in the dark wishing she will just fall asleep!!

Whenever you get to this stage (assuming you’ve just fed), wake your DH up, hand over baby and sleep yourself for 30 mins or so.

pastabest Tue 13-Mar-18 08:42:46

I had an extremely windy breastfed baby and the HV told me it's basically bollocks that breastfed babies aren't as windy. There may be some evidence on a whole population level but individual babies can be windy no matter how they are fed.

Right, so everything you are describing for a 12 day old baby is completely normal. Probably not what you want to hear in the midst of it all but it will get better and at the moment you just have to accept it for what it is to a certain extent. Hard Work! (and probably a growth spurt)

Some things you can do about the wind - try a dose of infacol before feeds. We got some impressive burps up with that. Try cycling his legs and doing the 'tiger in the tree hold'.

At around the 12 days mark I also gave my DD a dummy. I didn't want to as I had a lot of negative views on them, but actually she wasn't wanting to feed all the time, some of the time she just wanted to suck for comfort and the dummy provided that comfort and gave my breasts a bit of a rest. She soon let me know if she was hungry again.

I used a sleep nest (not a sleepyhead, a cheaper version) and I wouldn't hesitate to use one again as it was wonderfully versatile and really seemed to help DD sleep. But it's personal preference.

In a few weeks time though this will all seem like a distant memory.

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