Getting baby to sleep for longer at night

(52 Posts)
Psba Sat 13-Feb-21 01:07:06

Our son is almost 3 weeks now and is back to beyond birth weight so we want to increase time he is asleep at night. But, whatever time we feed him at night he will wake up almost bang on 3hrs after previous feed.
Any tips for getting him to sleep for longer? We've done big feed at 10pmish, keeping it dark etc

OP’s posts: |
Bluntasduck Sat 13-Feb-21 01:11:26

You can't. He's hungry, feed him. I know it's mind bendingly knakering but this is how newborns are and how they are supposed to be.

Paris2019 Sat 13-Feb-21 04:29:12

3 hours is long time for a 3 week old to sleep... their stomachs are so tiny so need feeding all the timr! I'm delighted if I get a 3 hour stretch of sleep from my 11 week old tbh.

Psba Sat 13-Feb-21 04:39:41

It's 3hrs between feeds so he is sleeping for around 2hrs each time - day and night. Want to get him to sleep longer during night

OP’s posts: |
addler Sat 13-Feb-21 04:43:48

The only thing that works is time. Your baby is tiny, his stomach is tiny, he's biologically programmed to wake regularly during the night so that he stays alive.

Just keep feeding him when he wakes and the night stretches will slowly increase over time.

addictedtotheflats Sat 13-Feb-21 04:48:49

They very rarely sleep longer over night, they have huge growth spurts for the first year of their life and need to eat to compensate that. You feed on demand at 3 weeks, has no one explained to you normal newborn behaviours?

MaverickDanger Sat 13-Feb-21 04:49:29

We’re only just at that 3-3.5hr stage now at 6 weeks.

My HV said there is a particular weight that they tend to hit before getting longer stretches, so all you can do is keep feeding.

The Huckleberry app is great for looking at sleep patterns to get them in a routine when older, but when so young, there’s not much we can do!


saltysandy Sat 13-Feb-21 04:49:31

On advice froma sleep expert we tried to make each night feed a big one. So between each side (assuming you are breastfeeding but also if not), change the baby's nappy or use a wet wipe to wake them up a bit. This means they are alert enough to keep feeding rather than waking for small feeds more frequently. Good luck it worked for us!

greyballoo Sat 13-Feb-21 04:49:36

It's dangerous for babies to sleep for longer periods. That's how they avoid dying

DisgruntledPelican Sat 13-Feb-21 05:02:13

That’s a bit unrealistic I’m afraid. It’s very tiring but newborns need such regular feeding. A few more weeks may make a difference though, I think I got the occasional 4 hour stretch from 8 weeks ish. My baby slept a lot immediately after his 8 week jabs too (I didn’t, because it was the longest he’d gone without a feed and I was worried)

Psba Sat 13-Feb-21 05:07:19

Our HV said about not needing to wake him during night - don't wake every 3 hrs (now he's beyond birth weight) but let him sleep until he's hungry. He's done 4hrs once but hoped we could get him to sleep regularly for 3hrs at this stage.

OP’s posts: |
MsChatterbox Sat 13-Feb-21 05:07:31

Don't change anything and be grateful he's not waking every 30 minutes.

Psba Sat 13-Feb-21 05:09:02


They very rarely sleep longer over night, they have huge growth spurts for the first year of their life and need to eat to compensate that. You feed on demand at 3 weeks, has no one explained to you normal newborn behaviours?

Yes but not in detail- NHS don't provide that information freely. Different books etc give different information. Surely there is no "normal" as every child is different?!

OP’s posts: |
LizFlowers Sat 13-Feb-21 05:10:17

He's too young to go for long without a feed. All sounds quite normal.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Sat 13-Feb-21 05:34:49

Sorry but you can’t. Babies aren’t designed to do that. You’re fighting evolution. As tiring as it is. At three weeks he still can’t tell difference between night and day. He still needs feeding every three hours as his tummy is small. It will get better just not yet. Google the Fourth trimester. All very relevant. I would like to say it’s easier when they are older but I’m currently trying to settle my 10 month old on his fifth wake up of the night. (Bloody teeth!)

Lifeinaonesie Sat 13-Feb-21 05:38:34

Yes you can't, and even when they do start sleeping longer stretches they do it for a week and then have a developmental leap or teeth which means it all goes to pot and they're back to waking hourly. Adjust your expectations and set a date, say in five years, when you will try to get a full night of sleep.

swinglowsweetchariot12 Sat 13-Feb-21 05:47:17

Like others have said you can't, babies are designed to wake frequently it just takes time,

Some start sleeping longer, some like my daughter woke 8-10 times until she was 18 months old

She 2.5 now and I'm on my fourth wake up.

I would have killed for two hours at that age.

Hang in there OP for most people it gets better x

FlopMadeMeDoIt Sat 13-Feb-21 05:57:08

He's only 3 weeks old, this is what tiny babies do. They set the routine at that age. It is hard but remember it's a phase and it won't be like this forever.

Caspianberg Sat 13-Feb-21 05:58:33

That’s how long my 9 month old goes!

Nellephant Sat 13-Feb-21 06:06:28

The longest stretch my 6 month old has done tonight is 2 hours and 26 minutes 😴😴😴

It's really really difficult but sadly I think you have to suck it up.

(NB I think most 6 month olds sleep better then mine - hopefully yours will!)

mynameiscalypso Sat 13-Feb-21 06:19:24

Waking up frequently is a protective mechanism too - it reduces the risk of SIDS. It's what babies are designed to do so they don't fall into too deep a sleep.

OnSilverStars Sat 13-Feb-21 06:27:51

2 hours at a time is good going for 3 weeks old! Congrats

FizzingWhizzbee123 Sat 13-Feb-21 08:21:19

We all want our babies to sleep longer at night! But that need balancing with what the baby needs, and at 3 weeks, that’s definitely frequent feeds on demand day and night. I wouldn’t be trying to change anything right now, you need to just go with the flow and feed baby when he wakes.

I think you also might need to adjust your expectations around baby sleep otherwise you’re going to be very frustrated over the next year. Realise that there’s only so much you can control and sometimes babies just won’t sleep! Don’t drive yourself mad trying to control it. For the first 18 months or so, sleep is up and down constantly due to developmental leaps, teething etc. Every time you think you’ve got it cracked, they’ll shake it up again. You can work on sleep associations etc with an older baby, but under 4-6 months, I’m afraid you’re pretty much under their command.

If you haven’t tried it, you can try swaddling (I like Love To Dream arms up swaddles), black out curtains and a white noise machine to naturally encourage sleep. However if baby wakes, you need to feed at that age.

bubs765 Sat 13-Feb-21 19:26:40

Same as my 9 month old!😂 sorry it is hard but you have a long road of ups and downs ahead. Right now he is hungry so you have to feed him, there is no way you can get around that fact. He may sleep through the night at 3/4 months then be back to 2 hour wake ups at 6 months, it's just the way it is

3WildOnes Sat 13-Feb-21 20:42:11

Yeah, as everyone has said this is just life with a young baby (and possibly an older baby too!).

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in