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Seven week old won't sleep at night(21 Posts)
Our seven week old baby's sleep has been getting progressively worse over the last two weeks, to the extent she now only sleeps for around half an hour at night, including on us. She won't settle in her cot and thrashes about and groans until we pick her up. Eventually she'll cry. I feel like we've tried everything. I am wondering if it is silent reflux causing her discomfort as she's been increasingly fussy when fed (formula fed now). We have her cot at an angle and she generally wakes up quite congested.
Everyone keeps telling me this is normal behaviour and she has her nights and days confused, but is it really? She's my first so I don't know. But I know I can't cope much longer!
If she's formula fed can you and your partner take the night in shifts for a few days/week to get you both some sleep? Take the cot downstairs and then one person stays with baby for 4/5 hours then swap? It's by no means a solution to the problem but you'll be able to deal with it a whole lot better if you've had even 4 hours solid sleep ! Appreciate this isn't necessarily as possible if your partner is working but could easily be done at the weekend!
Things I found worked:
Holding baby for exactly 20 minutes after falling asleep and then carefully put in the cot. After 20 mins they're in a deeper sleep and less likely to wake when you put them down. (Not exactly creating the best of sleep habits but when you need sleep you'll do what works to get it!)
I'm sure you probably do this but have a clear difference between night and day - at night time, lights off, get a plug in night light and use the light from that only, no talking or playing or smiling, try and avoid eye contact if possible, no stimulating lights from a tv/phone and then day time the exact opposite, lights on curtains open, plenty of play, lots of interaction during nappy change and eye contact with feeding.
She will get there, do talk to the health visitor of course and just do what you can to get yourself some sleep. If that means going to bed at 8pm and your partner having baby 8-1am then you doing the next bit then so be it. You might 'lose your evening' but sleep has to be a priority and it's not forever
You have my sympathy, it's not easy especially when you aren't sure if there's an issue causing it or it if it's just baby being a baby!
For the congestion, the saline drops and nose frida are a god send! Put a few drops in wait 2 mins then suck out the snot and it definitely helps with the congestion.
Totally normal, we slept in shifts too. I can still remember being unbelievably tired.
It'll pass, you just have to do what you can to get through it. Sleep when you can!
My baby is 8 weeks and also not a great sleeper at night. One thing we did find that helps is a swaddle bag. We use a tommee tippee one which zips up around the whole body . This prevents the jerking out and startle reflex that was waking our ds up. We keep this to night sleeps only as well to try and help distinguish between night and day.
Thank you! We are doing shifts although it's a bit harder when my partner is working. Would you say this can be fairly normal for a baby this age then or should I be worried? If it's normal then that's ok, I know she'll learn eventually. But if it's not I should try and find out what's bothering her.
Thanks @forestsmurf we tried the same bags but she didn't seem to like them (are they the grosnugs?) and now she's grown out of them so she's in normal sleeping bags.
It's very normal, OP. Have you heard of the 4th trimester? Baby just wants to be close to you.
It's normal and they grow out of it.
Are you sure the baby needs picking up when thrashing and "groaning"? Newborns can be incredibly noisy sleepers (mine snorted like a little truffle piglet). I sleep with earplugs while they're in my room. Also if thrashing, suggests baby isn't swaddled. What about a swaddle wrap or bag? Can be very good at keeping them under for longer by suppressing Moro reflex.
It is very normal to want to be near you and settle once picked up and cuddled, but struggle to sleep seperately from you.
If she has become increasingly congested and unsettled, can you take her to GP to check it out
Thanks. She's not sleeping when she's thrashing around, she has her eyes open. She used to sleep better so this is a step backwards from a few weeks ago. We have tried swaddling but she didn't seem to like it, does it sometimes take them a while to adjust to it? I could try again. We also use white noise which does help to calm her. It's just the fact she's wide awake the whole time...
If she falls asleep in your arms try letting her sleep on you for 20 mins then putting her down? Or does she then wake up?
Yep she wakes up when we put her down, so I'm always scared to.
Imo it's worth trying the swaddle again, they may seem to not like it at first but its because their restricted. It didn't help my ds drop off but helps to stay asleep after that 20 min transition period
Thanks @forestsmurf I'm actually trying it right now! Do you just use a large muslin? I'm struggling to get it tight enough to stop her escaping!
I had the same with ds, the only thing that worked was putting a memory foam pillow between mine & dh vertically & letting ds sleep on that, it ensured he wouldn't be suffocated by the duvet but he was close enough to be able to put his dummy back in if it fell out or to feed him without too much disturbance. I wrapped a cotton blanket over ds & tucked it in tight under the pillow to give him the feeling of being held & the sides of our pillows made him feel cradled. Don't be afraid to use Infacol or other things to release the wind. We slept like that until ds was too big for the pillow. Also get your baby used to day & night, during the day keep rooms as light as possible, put your baby in a bouncy chair, don't try to restrict noise, get them used to napping with it. As your baby gets bigger don't be afraid to put the bouncy chair in the cot if it is the only place they will settle, do what you have to to get some sleep & retain your sanity.
Before the swaddle bag we used a large muslin. You tube is your friend here for technique, but essentially one corner right over babys torso pinning arms down wrapped under back and other corner pulled tightly in other direction with tension area across the arms rather than neck. I found it would sometimes take a few attempts before I got a good wrap. Good luck tonight, hope you get some sleep.
Have you tried a Sleepyhead? It can make them feel like they're being held. I know they're not recommended for overnight sleep, but only getting half an hour abs having the baby fall asleep on you is more of a risk in case you nod off with her on the sofa or in bed.
Also worth looking into allergies/CMPA.
How does she sleep in the day? Has she just got day and night still back to front?
Thanks @YukoandHiro yes we have used a sleepyhead but she's getting a bit chunky for it now! She has some hip issues and I worry that it's not good for her so I've taken it out reluctantly, I think otherwise it might help...
Oh and i wondered about CMPA but she doesn't really have many of the symptoms
My DD didn’t sleep
At night for 3.5 years and now she sleeps like a log. It takes a lot of time.