7 weeks old, help.(20 Posts)
I'm new here, and rather desperate.
My 7 week old baby won't sleep. The first few weeks went ok, 2 hour chunks throughout the night. He picked up a chest infection at 3 weeks old and it took 3 weeks to shift it, since then I'm lucky if I get one 2 hour sleep a night.
We have started a "bedtime routine", bath time, story time and feed then bed time. The room is nice and dark, he has his sleeping bag, he hates being swaddled, we play white noise... He is exclusively breastfed so my husband can't help through the night. He won't settle, he will sleep in my arms and as soon as he is laid down he stirs until he cries.. this goes on all night until I give up at 6am and we "get up" for the day.
I've not had more than 2 hours sleep for the past 4 weeks. I'm averaging around 3 hours broken sleep a night and have been for 4 weeks now. He will sleep in the day time if we go for a walk or he is in the car, meaning I don't get a chance to rest.
Is this normal? I feel like a complete failure as a mum as he won't sleep, he just wants me for milk. Im slowly losing the plot, im wishing all my time away and i feel immensly guilty for not enjoying our little boy.
Has anyone got any words of wisdom to help?
I would give anything for a few two hour chunks of sleep in a night...
Google '4th trimester'. Your baby is new to the world and is only just beginning to know day from night.
BF babies feed at night to boost supply - prolactin is higher at this time. At 6 weeks, DS1 fed for 24 hours non-stop, it was hell!
I co-slept with both my babies, it was a life/sleep-saver (Both of my boys were fairly crap sleepers).
It does get better.
Www.kellymom.com is an excellent breastfeeding resource, also google BASIS sleep info for what to really expect sleep-wise from breastfed babies.
Handhold OP, it's so hard.
New mum here, DD is mixed fed but was exactly the same. Two things have helped. A dummy at night only for settling, I didn't want to try but it has worked for her. Also after reading a lot here, we took her to a cranial osteopath. Three sessions and she's now sleeping much better. Within a night started to do three feed and two. Last few nights five feed and three.
You have plenty of time ahead of you to enjoy your DS but now is about survival! Needing more than a few hours sleep doesn't make you a bad mum. I've had two kids who were both like this and the period you're going through (7 weeks) was probably the worst of it. In my case, there was reflux in play but also their sleepiness had worn off, and they were going through a growth spurt and feeding incessantly. Check out The Wonder Weeks - that app saved my sanity and I realised it wasn't just me!
I know you are EBFing but your DH CAN help you in the night. You do feeding and changing (if necessary), he does winding and settling. If you were to tell him how you're feeling as you've written it here, if he's a decent bloke he'll WANT to do more. Please don't struggle alone.
Don't get down on yourself OP, no one can ever prepare you for how tough a newborn can be. It can be hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel but you will get through it.
Have you got someone that can help you during the day, maybe look after baby for a few hours so you can have a sleep? Could you try expressed milk in a bottle so someone else can take on a night feed?
I also second the cranial osteopath, definitely helped my DD with her sleep.
Have you tried swaddling? Not all babies love it but it massively helped my LO start sleeping for longer chunks at that age. Good luck OP, it gets easier xx
Thank you for all your replies, it's nice to know I'm not alone.
I managed to get a few hours sleep in the day today whilst my parents watched my little boy. Had a good chat with my husband who is being supportive.
Have tried swaddling though it seems to cause more issues.. will look into the osteopathy route. we are persevering with the bedtime routine. One day things will change, I hope it's sooner rather than later. The small hours are a lonely place to find yourself...
Sending hugs Wllr, I know exactly how you feel (my 13 week old DS is asleep in the sling on me at the mo, because he won’t sleep in his cot). You are absolutely NOT a failure - you sound like a fantastic mum. Could your DH maybe have little one for a couple of hours in the evening or in the morning so you can get a little bit of sleep?
So sorry you're having a tough time. My little one is 6 months now but I remember exactly what she was like when only a few weeks old. She's EBF aswell so felt so alone sorting her out while he's sleeping especially when my partner went back to work. We tried everything we could think of, it's just a stage.
Month 2 and 3 were the hardest sleepwise, I would just sit at home and cry thinking I couldn't do it but you can! There really is light at the end of the tunnel and they will sleep through the night eventually
It's nice you have a supportive family and husband. When you're partner gets home grab an hour sleep - it made my life so much easier having that break - sometimes I still couldn't sleep but just having an hour away was enough
Have you considered expressing milk at all? My DD is EBF and the same age as yours. In the last week or so I have been using a hand pump to express and getting DP to do one feed a day to get DD used to it. There was resistance at first from DD as she much prefers the breast but she will now take a bottle. You could then get your DP to take a stretch in the night knowing your DS can still be fed and perhaps decamp to the sofa for a longer stretch of sleep?
Also a word of warning, many friends I know who left it later than 6/7 weeks to introduce the bottle found their babies would not take to it so how is probably a good window for you.
I agree with magpie expressing and giving a bottle helped a little but please look after your milk supply. I did this and I am paying for it now... all I do is express milk she no longer feeds from me because the bottle is easier after a month she preferred the bottle and would scream whenever I tried to BF her. The only time she would feed is at night when she would sleep feed - I now spend hours everyday expressing off milk which when she was younger was even harder because she'd be crying for food and I was trying to express it off for her. We then had to resort to one bottle of formula a day to give me a break and as a consequence my milk supply is decreasing and the formula is going up I wanted to BF for 12 months and now I'm clutching at straws and will be lucky to feed pass 7.
We introduced bottled expressed milk a few days ago, he refuses it from me however gladly took a bottle from my mum! Husband to try tonight before bed, will keep our fingers crossed...
Hugs it’s a really tough time and you are doing amazingly. Do whatever ever works for you to survive. I beat myself up for not having a “sleeping baby” and being a “poor mum” but in reality it was utter crap, I just had a baby who didn’t sleep well for whatever reason. What helped me was knowing I had 2hr “slots” I could sleep/nap uninterrupted. I would feed her then DH took the baby between 7-10pm and walked her round the block or rocked her so I could sleep ahead of the night shift. I then took over 10pm-5am and then he would repeat again 5-8am before he went to work so I was getting 5-6hrs rest time. And he got 7hrs sleep (with ear plugs). It didn’t always work but we had to work as a team or I would have collapsed. I was BF too, as she refused a bottle from everyone.
My second baby was very different child who mostly just settled and slept between feeds, I was doing nothing different she was just a different baby but I did try to co-sleep with the cot hard up against the bed and just gently slide her back and forth for on demand breast feeding where possible. (Cot side was down on one side so seamless transition between bed and cot but separate sleeping spaces). Gd luck it does eventually get easier (my oldest now does 6hrs of competitive sports a week she’s still a non-stop bright child like she was as a baby! )
@justanothermum95 that's interesting to hear, how quickly did she start to prefer the bottle and how many bottles were you giving a day? I'm concerned about this happening as would like to bf for a year like you. We currently offer a max of one bottle a day, sometimes every other day, with a view to her getting used to it so I can take the odd evening off to pop out.
Thank you all for the support, it's nice to be reminded that I'm not alone...
Managed to get a 3 hour stretch last night, got some bottles of expressed milk on standby for the husband to give when I need a break. I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel!!
Your doing so well, it's so tough. My little one is older now but I remember very well how hard it is. It's great you're able to express some feeds for others to give. You're a great mum and to keep being great you need to let people in to help just like you are.
You're right it will pass, it always does, just break each day up. Try to get out everyday- a walk, look around the shops anything really. This will help you feel better. And get some rest, you won't necessarily sleep but a rest/ doze can help you feel good. Enjoy a snoozy cuddle on the sofa, don't feel a pressure to put him down.
So sorry you feel like this Op. My dd is nearly six months and I've come to realise that things change all the time. I thought I'd got it cracked and now she's waking again at night. But it really won't last forever. Funny little trick I found with my daughter, whilst your doing the bedtime routine warm her Moses basket/cot with a hot water bottle. The shock of being put on a comparatively cold sheet always seemed to wake my dd. I'm still breastfeeding and it is hard at times but your doing brilliantly, you alone have kept that baby alive for 7 weeks! My husband and mum were always quick to remind me of that when I was as struggling x
My 4 week old is playing the same game at the moment.
She eats, then falls asleep on me, then as soon as I put her down she wakes up and crys for more food. This has been going on for two days. We've both barley slept.
I've have to just feed her lying down like a dog and have power naps during, which I'm not keen on but haven't got much choice.
I'm sure it will pass, at least I keep telling myself that.
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