8 week old refuses to sleep(55 Posts)
Lost count at the number of times I have posted on here about DD's terrible sleep but getting really desperate!
She is 8 weeks old and has been a terrible sleeper from the start (4 weeks prem and is on ranitidine and also has colic). The last week sleep has been getting worse to the stage that I've been trying to get her to sleep tonight since 7pm. Have done the routine, feed, bath, rock then cot but no luck. She drifted off for 10mins then woke again. I've kept her in the room, no lights, shushing, feeding several more times and still she's lying here wide awake with me and crying. Have tried bringing her into the bed too.
After weeks of colic and now with sleep getting worse I feel I'm at breaking point.
I'm not sure how much help I can be but I didn't want to read and run.
Our little one is 6 months old today and it used to take us hours to get her to sleep at night. And then she would frequently wake up as soon as we put her in the cot.
Some of the things we tried and might or might not help are;
Her daycare swaddle her for naps and they say she sleeps there no problem at all.
It might be her cot feels cold after being all cosy in your arms - try warming the cot up with a hot water bottle before you put her in? You could also try putting a worn top of yours in there so the cot smells like you?
My friend swears white noise is the answer to her problems (I have never used it) and we have used youtube lullaby videos, sometimes these work for us.
I assume you have checked there is nothing obviously wrong? Have you checked her temperature? Has she had vaccines recently? How soon after a feed is she being laid down if she has reflux?
For the first few months we used a night light
Currently the thing that works best is if i sing twinkle twinkle little star 3 or 4 times :/
What happens if you bring her into your bed? Ours will wriggle around and make noise for about 20 minutes and then go to sleep no problem.
Is your partner around? Can they help out and take over for a few hours so you can get a bit of sleep yourself?
We used to just have to rock our baby to sleep which could take hours and then put her in her cot and pray... for some reason she would always go to bed way faster if her dad took over from me...
This works for my four month old. Have used every night!
Ps I have used a sleepyhead for both my children and really rate it. Makes them feel cosy as it cushions them. Worth a look if you don't have one.
Pps I know it's really really hard but in my experience 8 weeks they are still so little. We didn't start trying to put either of ours to bed in a routine until at least 14 weeks. We just had them downstairs with us cuddling or in the bouncy chair as they are still going in and out of sleep at that age so don't worry too much about a bedtime just yet (easier said than done when you are exhausted I know!!!) it may be that they are just too little and need to feel close to you for a few more weeks.
Thanks all. I use that youtube video everytime I try to get her to sleep, works during the day just not so much at night. I put a hot water bottle in her cot.
We keep her upright for 15mins or so after feeding to help with reflux although with the ranitidine that's less of an issue now. She doesn't seem to be any different whether she's in the bed or the cot.
I'm out in the car with her now (currently parked). I'm at a loss as to what to do. I'm so sleep deprived (have managed average of 4 hours a day split over 3/4 single hour sleeps). I am losing my mind and don't want to do it anymore.
Is there anyone who lives nearby who can help you? Maybe they could watch LO for a few hours tomorrow so you can sleep?
Don't give up, you are doing a great job and you have done so well already
Sounds awful. It must be terrible for you. I think 7pm is quite an early bedtime for an 8 week old. My baby was going to bed around 11pm at that age as most tiny babies have late bedtimes which get progressively early. all you can do is follow her cues and sleep when she does. Don't try and force a bedtime that she doesn't want. Do you have a partner ? My baby also goes down better for my DH as she got frantic around my boobs. Get someone else to shush her off. Swaddle/ white noise / sleepyhead. Good luck
Also, are you EBF?if so, have you tried a bottle of formula? Worth giving it a go. The mam anti colic bottles are good. My friends baby cried and cried and didn't sleep and she gave him some warmed formula one night as she was at her wits end and baby settled and slept for 4 hours in a row.
The Sleepyhead really helped mine settle. I also agree that maybe bedtime is too early? I found that a walk out in the pram at about 6 for a short nap kept him happy then he'd cluster feed till 8 or 9 - if I tried to put him down when he was still wanting more milk he'd scream the house down. Could yours be wanting to feed? Mine literally wants to feed every half hour in the evening.
Can your partner take her until her next feed?
Do you have a bouncer or swing? That is the only way i could get my ds to sleep.
Sorry just saw that you said you'd tried more feeds. Mine initially would stay downstairs with DH - he'd give him a bottle and bring him up when he came to bed about midnight. If I finish feeding at 9 I'd then get a solid few hours sleep. Could something like that work for you?
Yes sleepyhead is great. Go on eBay for second hand one if you don't want to pay the -ludicrous- prices.
We didn't have bedtime for DS until 5 months. And that was just because he naturally fell into that routine.
As for the sleep deprivation, there were some nights I would just cry and think wtf have I done. Is it possible for your partner to do more?
Sounds hard, I've been there recently but not as bad so somewhat like how you feel!
My now 12 week old is much more settled and yours will too.
Apparently around 6-8 weeks they lose their newborn sleepyness so they need help getting to sleep -
With my own dd we started putting her up bed at 7 around 8 weeks as she would be crying and sleeping in only ten minute blocks by that time.
Once we started putting her to bed with white noise etc she slept so much better at night.
They say that they get the best sleep before midnight so it's good to get them down a good while before then.
As recommended above, we use the sleepyhead, it's amazing!
Once you find ways to get the baby to sleep you will fly along.
My first was great at sleep but this ones a different story! Although she only wakes once a night now she will only sleep for 30 min blocks during the day.
Try if you can get anyone to mind for baby for two/three hours tomorrow to catch up on some sleep
At that age I used to just have them downstairs with me (sometime asleep sometimes not). I found it too soul destroying to spend the entire evening battling a baby to sleep. It doesn't actually get YOU any more sleep but helps with the losing your mind feeling.
You can do this though, it will get better
I know how tough it is. Mines 9 weeks now and hhs bedtime is when the colic switches off, about 10-11pm. I tried one night to start and earlier bedtime routine but it made us both miserable. Like a pp said babies so young tend to have late bedtimes.
I’m finding a sling in the evening and then co sleeping is the only way my ds is going to settle and sleep well. They’re still so young.
Thanks all... we finally got her to sleep around 4am and I just kept her in bed with me and fed and slept on/off from then til 9am.
I've tried so much of what you've all said but I think we just need to keep on trying/going. I thought sleepyhead type aids were banned in the US and as such lots of retailers here stopped selling them because they were a suffocation risk??
I've bought some swaddles from Amazon that have the velcro attachment and will attempt those. The large muslins don't keep her contained for very long.
I'm not going to force an early bedtime on her but might still try the bath/feed etc. from 7ish or so and keep her in the darkened room - unless you think that's pointless? I just worry that when she wakes from her nap earlier in the evening that if she's awake going on 5/6+ hours that she must be so exhausted and that's only going to make it more difficult for me to get her to sleep? But you'll know you can't force an 8 week old to sleep, it happens or it doesn't!
Sleepyhead hasnt been banned as far as I am aware. Everyone I know with a baby swears by them and they have worked a treat with both my kids. Think it's about £100 from John Lewis but so so worth it in my opinion.
I'd recommend a cocoonababy or a sleepyhead. My DS had both.
He was the worst sleeper and had everything your DC has.
He's 14 months now and sleeps SO much better & is even in a cot!
It sounds like you've BOTH had a really tough start. My advice would be to step back, take a deep breath, and stop trying to get her to go to sleep in a dark room in the cot at 7pm. I understand you're exhausted but stressing out over it will be making it all harder.
I would say at 8 weeks that expecting her to go down for the night at 7pm and stay alone in the cot is very unlikely. Often early evening is a nap, and it's not until a bit later like 9-10pm that they may settle into a longer sleep cycle. Also could be having a growth spurt, and evenigns are prime cluster-feeding/hungry times.
She's very young so you could have a go at using slings/woven wraps- they were fantastic with my second, and helped the labour of carrying around/dancing to sleep. You can go for a nice walk around the block- it might keep her awake for a bit but likely to stop crying, and she may well chill out.
And also, if you're EBF then just try having her on the sofa with you in the evening, lights low, chilled out skin-to-skin breastfeeding, just like a newborn again. She might be genuinely hungry, or just need to be close to you. That's all absolutely normal behaviour for a baby this age.
Get your partner to try all this too, if she will go in a sling with him/sleep on his chest, you can get some sleep.
And at weekends, absolutely get him to take the baby away for as long as possible in the mornings so you get a really solid lie in.
Are you EBF? It's not popular on MN but the forth trimester approach got me through the first four months.
Eight weeks is too young to be put to be alone IMHO.
Sorry to hear you're having a hard time. Remember that - as a 36 weeker - she would only currently be 4 weeks old if she was born at term. Development follows due date rather than birth date for preemies. (The premature baby board in MN is helpful if you haven't found it yet)
My son was 6 weeks early and also not a natural born sleeper! I have heard that prematurity and all the things that go with it (reflux etc) make it harder for a baby to 'learn' how to sleep well.
From memory, I think I was told babies don't know day from night for the first 6 weeks - hence they just snooze when it suits them, rather than fitting to the "7 til 7" sleep time that would suit us parents just fine. So your little one is still in this phase, though she'll soon be coming out of it and might start getting to sleep at night a bit better.
As PPs have suggested we used a cocoonababy (once he was big enough, up to 4 months) and then a sleepyhead (up to 8 months). Lifesavers! After that he seemed ready to be in his cot on his own. Also very helpful is white noise, we use the SoundSleeper app which is brilliant.
Good luck, it does get easier!
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