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8 day old and sleep!

(17 Posts)
BritishBeef Mon 01-Oct-07 15:32:17

My son is just 8 days old and my wife and I are struggling, in the evenings especially. I know it's only very early days so maybe we just need some reassurance?

From about 6pm until 11pm/12am he is extremely irritable and cries a lot and won't settle no matter what we do. It means that we are unable to eat or do anything during this time. We don't want to get into him into the routine of taking him for a drive (which worked the time we tried it except that he woke as soon as back in the house).

I'm concerned that he's sleeping too much during the day and this is making him irritable in the evenings. He is only awake for about 90 minutes after his feed in the morning at about 9am but for the rest of the time if he isn't feeding or having his nappy changed (which he always screams during) he is generally asleep until the 6 hour period of crying in the evening.

He's breastfeeding but we are having some troubles. He has a voracious appetite and is at a healthy weight but during the unsettled period seems constantly hungry. Our midwife has suggested feeding him more often during the day as we were feeding him 3 hourly or on demand. He sleeps well after about 11pm. He'll fall asleep for 4/5 hours then have a feed, then sleep for another 3/4 hours after that.

How much stimulation should a week old have? We play with him in the mornings while he's awake for the 90 minutes but the rest of the time he sleeps inbetween feeds. He often falls asleep whilst feeding. One of the big problems is that he will fall asleep fine after a feed in my wife's arms (or mine) but as soon as we try to put him down in the cot he just starts screaming.

We are finding it so hard going and just wondered whether this was normal or should we be waking him and stimulating him more during the day to make him more tired during the trouble period in the evening?

Sorry for the long post! Any help appreciated.

scorpio1 Mon 01-Oct-07 15:35:08

Babies this age sleep an awful lot!

As for the timing of his evening crying; its very common. I don't have any experience of breastfeeding, but i know that when my babies did this they had wind, and needed winding very properly, IYSWIM? I have read that Bf babies cluster feed in the evenings.

Hope someone who knows a bit more about B/F will be along soon!

bluejelly Mon 01-Oct-07 15:37:25

Very common pattern for small babies I think. My dd was a terror from 6pm till about 10.30pm
All she wanted to do was feed. Exhausting but it doesn't last for ever. It's a great way of getting the supply up, and will mean that by the time he is hitting his first growth spurt there will be stacks of milk there.
Don't get into the habit of driving him around. For me co-sleeping helped but it's not for everyone.
It will all have changed in a month I promise!

Good luck

PS don't think week olds need stimulation apart from lots of cuddles...

peskipixie Mon 01-Oct-07 15:38:24

it is totally normal to be so overwhelmed. things change so quickly, even a week can make a difference at this age. if you think he might be crying brcause he is windy try infacol (check 1st but i think thats suitable from birth), it really helped my ds. the bad news is that some babies are just like this. take it in turns and repeat to yourself 'its not forever'. because it really, really isnt. it just feels like that now! dont bother about routines at this age, they dont work. you just have to do what you can. lots of dvds and snuggling on the sofa (all 3 of you) so your wife can sit and feed a lot in the evenings, stuff like that. you have both my sympathy and congratulations

cktwo Mon 01-Oct-07 15:43:25

Sounds pretty normal to me, and you sounds to be doing everything you can do too. Newborns will sleep alot and only really wake to feed. They also are notorious for getting colicky during the evening. DD1 used to start crying from around 7pm every night in the early days. The only thing that would soothe her was lying face down on my DH'd lap whilst he rubbed her back.

All I can suggest to try and keep your sanity is that you take the easy option on the meal front for a while - ready meals or take aways (or get someone (MIL?) to bring you dinner!). Also if you get him used to sleeping in his cot during the daytime naps he will associate hid cot with sleep at bedtime too.

Hang on in there as things do get easier. The first few weeks are sooooooooooo hard, it is a steep learning curve for all involved. smile

imagineafullnightsleep Mon 01-Oct-07 15:44:12

REally sorry - can't help you much with the b/feeding part - but as scorpio suggested, babies sleep alot at this age. I know this sounds a little weird, but during the day, when my ds was that little, we used to lie him on a folded duvet that was placed on the floor - and only hold him for long periods of time during feeding etc. Another friend of mine recommended this technique to me, and it seems to have worked. Basically, it means that your baby adjusts to the environment around him, without being held. Meaning he adjusts to the usual household sounds we all take for granted (TV, washing machine, general chat etc.) Resulting in him being more comfortable. You may find he cries a little bit at first, but stick with it for a day or so, and you should notice a big difference.
Re. how much stimulation he should have - I think the two of you are doing a great job. If you can manage 90 mins in a day, then well done. I don't think my ds stayed awake for more than 15 mins at a time at that age !
You could always take him out in the pram for 10 mins in the afternoon? Not just to send him to sleep, but in an attempt to help him adjust to falling asleep without holding onto one of you.
Hope this helps.

bluejelly Mon 01-Oct-07 15:46:11

Also worth thinking about a sling that you can wear at home, means you can get on with things like washing up etc whilst he still feels secure and close to you

MadamePlatypus Mon 01-Oct-07 15:50:48

With DS we didn't try to get day/night sorted out till he was 6 weeks old, but we cracked it pretty quickly once we got a bed-time routine going. With DD we thought "Hey we know what we are doing now, we'll get this bed-time thing cracked much earlier", and it still took 6-8 weeks for her to come round to the idea of having a regular bed-time.

I think the best thing at 8 days is to go with the flow and not worry about doing anything 'wrong'. We did find that swaddling (we used a miracle blanket) and a dummy worked wonders. To be honest, after a long session of sucking on her dummy, DD did take a minute or so to get back into the swing of breastfeeding, so if you are having problems breastfeeding (although who isn't at 8 days?), I would treat it with caution. However, it did make things easier for us and she dropped it at about 4 months.

BritishBeef Mon 01-Oct-07 16:37:13

Thanks for all your help, much appreciated. We've had a lot of fun breastfeeding so far - very painful nipples, sleeping at the breast, always hungry. We've tried expressing to give my wife's breasts a rest. She was feeling constant pain whilst breastfeeding although it's a little better at the moment. He's got rather a hard suck on him and every mouthful he bolts and makes a choke type squeak noise much to the amusement of the midwife who said that he has a very strong suck and combined with the fact that my wife seems to have a very strong flow makes it difficult for him to feed - I think it causes wind as he burps after winding every time.

cktwo Mon 01-Oct-07 20:36:49

Stick with it, if you (or should I say your wife) can.
Nobody seems to tell these babies how to breastfeed before they arrive. Its a learning time for them too grin.

funnypeculiar Mon 01-Oct-07 20:43:43

Sounds like you're doing really well. They do sleep a lot when they're tiny.

Both ds & dd (both bf) were very unsettled in the evenings for the first few weeks. And dd in particular wanted to feed all evening, and then doze, then scream, then feed etc etc. What we did was to make the front room a darkish, calmish place (TV on quiet, lights low) then we could watch TV, pass her between us, but also hopefully start giving her the idea that it was dark/evening time and stgart introducing the concept of day vs night. Whenever we could we would settle her in her moses basket in a quiet corner of the room, but didn't stress to much about it in the first few weeks.

Has your wife seen a bf counciller or similar to check the latch is OK? And is she slapping on lots of lanusol - fab stuff smile

My other other tip is, once he goes off to sleep for the night go steiaght to sleep yourself - no sneaky housework grin

SpacePuppy Mon 01-Oct-07 20:54:38

From my own experience ds slept at least 16 hours in 24hrs in the first few weeks, it was a matter of feeding (takes up to 45min), nappy change (can take 15 min if inexperienced grin) then a quick cuddle and back to sleep for about 45 min to an hour and then the cycle starts again, ds was a big baby and needed to feed every 3 hours in the beginning, only around 8 weeks did it go to 4 hours.

Your early evening might be better if you introduce a bedtime routine bath, massage, dress, boob, sleep. My ds took to routine like a duck to water (I'm a Tracy Hogg fan, she has a few book worth looking at).

I would guess the screaming during nappy change is just that, something is changing and he doesn't know what, I overcome that by just gently talking to ds telling him in detail what I was doing (fucking nuts but your calm voice will do the trick) remember they can sense if your anxious too.

And yes there was a time when I said to dh, "do you think we'll ever have an evening meal again", well from 14 weeks, ds slept through with no need or a middle of the night feed. So yes it will get better. and we're talking weeks not years!

Bodkin Mon 01-Oct-07 21:19:20

Totally normal newborn behaviour! Mine has just grown out of doing exactly as you describe when she got to about 10 weeks, so really , don't panic about getting your baby to sleep in the evenings - just feed on demand and try and make him comfortable if he gets windy. Pacing around the room with the baby helps, as does lying baby on your lap on his back and "bicycling" his legs (should produce a few good trumps!) Seems like this stage will go on for ever, but it won't (and one night, soon, when he goes to bed at 7pm and stays there, you'll end up quite missing the pacing....!)

Also, they do sleep loads in the day at this stage. My DD (who is now 12 weeks) can still only manage an hour awake before she gets tired and cranky and needs another nap! Just time for a feed, a nappy change and a bit of play, then back to bed!

Sounds like you are both doing really well - hang in there!

funnypeculiar Mon 01-Oct-07 21:24:37

congratulations, btw smile

Bodkin Mon 01-Oct-07 21:33:54

Can I just say grin Funnypeculiar at "Lanusol" - my god that WOULD be a product - sorts out yer piles and sore nips all at once!

funnypeculiar Mon 01-Oct-07 21:39:17

grin d'oh blush
<wanders off to lab-in-shed to create panacea to all women's ills>

bilblio Mon 01-Oct-07 22:15:40

My DD is 10 weeks old now, we had the same periods of crying in the early evening but then the HV suggested Infacol. It can be used from birth and it made a massive difference within a couple of days. I could never get her to burp before then but she was obviously really windy.

As other people have said, keep the baby in the living room during the day, telly on, plenty of noise, but I don't think he needs more stimulation during the day. At night keep things quiet, and darker.

My DD also used to fall asleep during feeds, my Mum suggested flicking her heels to keep her away, but I found running my hand over her head would wake her up. In the early days a feed would take about 45 minutes, now they last about 5-10 minutes (she's a speedy feeder).

My DD also used to fall asleep in my arms but wake as soon as she was in the carrycot. I solved it by swaddling her tightly before a feed, so she still felt like she was being cuddled when I put her down. But I also but a muslin cloth on my belly as I fed her. I then put the muslin cloth down in the carrycot and laid her on top of it so the mattress was nice and warm and still smelt of me. Even now I rub the mattress before putting her head down so the cold sheets don't wake her. For the first 2-3 weeks though she did just want to be cuddled all day tell your wife to put her feet up forget the housework and try to enjoy it.

It does all pass though. We wake my DD for a feed and change at 11pm but other than that she sleeps from 7pm-7am with several naps during the day. (well she has for the past week but I've probably jinxed myself now. grin )

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