Sleep resisting 3mo

(12 Posts)
3ormorecharacters Sun 04-Apr-21 05:14:27

My 3.5 month old DD has always been hard to get to sleep - since a few weeks old she's not slept more than 12 hours total most days. She could happily stay awake for hours during the day but I work hard to make her nap, though she rarely does more than 30 mins at a time unless in the sling. Most days we only manage around 2.5 hours of naps.

Nights are my main concern. It seems like everyone I speak to with a baby of similar age is sleeping through the night, or at least doing long stretches of 5 or 6 hours. The most we've ever managed in one go is 4.5 hours, and that was only once. Recently we've settled into a pattern where she sleeps for 3 hours, then 2 hours, then 1 hour, then I have to give up and let her lie on my chest. My DH takes her from about 6.30 and she sleeps in the sling on him for another couple of hours.

When she wakes up at night she's generally not upset, at least initially - more restless. I feed her back to sleep but am not always sure if she's actually hungry or just wants the cuddle.

I was coping ok with the lack of sleep but now I'm getting so tired and frustrated, and jealous of those people with sleeping babies. I feel like I must be missing something or doing something wrong. I spoke to my HV who wasn't very helpful - she quickly said it's probably reflux and told me to try Infacol or gripe water, but I really don't think it is reflux. Can anyon let me in on the secret of a sleeping baby?

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3ormorecharacters Sun 04-Apr-21 05:18:31

I forgot to include, she's breastfed. Part of me wonders if I should just give her a big bottle of formula before bed? I don't want to mess with my supple though...

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ElphabaTheGreen Sun 04-Apr-21 05:25:09

She’s three months old - still a newborn!

Mine didn’t sleep for longer than 1.5-2 hours at a stretch until they were about 18 months old, which is a little extreme, but I’m sure posters will be along who have had DC who haven’t ‘slept through’ until past two or three years old.

Also - you mention sleeping in your chest. Do you actually mean she won’t sleep in a cot for long stretches? If so that’s normal. If she sleeps on you for long stretches then there’s unlikely to be anything ‘wrong’ with her beyond being a very attached baby. A bottle of formula won’t help - she wants a warm boob and mum to get her through sleep cycles. The milk is only part of it.

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 04-Apr-21 05:27:14

2.5 hours total of naps is also fine - heavily supported 30-40 minute naps are pretty normal for Velcro babies (which it sounds like you have!)

Avacadoandtoast Sun 04-Apr-21 05:37:07

I have 2 - a 4yr old and a 6 month old. My 4 yr old slept through from about 12 weeks old....unfortunately my second has not been so accommodating and he likes to feed every couple of hours through the night. We are just going with it just now but it definitely makes me crave a good night sleep. They have both been EBF btw - people do say a bottle helps them to sleep through as it’s more substantial - but as a poster has said above, I think feeing full is only a little bit of why a baby wakes, they other reason is that they just want comfort from their mummy or daddy.

Fullofthejoysofspring Sun 04-Apr-21 06:50:26

Hi there, I have a 12 week old so sharing your pain. This is my 4th child so I just wanted to chip in to share my perspective. With my first, I was like you - worked hard to get baby to nap and became quite obsessed about her sleeping patterns (not saying you're obsessed, just that I was). What I have learnt since my first is that you can't force them to sleep when they're so little. The best advice I can give you is try to relax, take the day as it comes. Lots of cuddles and sling snuggles and you'll find baby drifts off quite naturally. If baby is happy in herself then she's getting enough sleep. If she's grumpy and clearly overtired then what I do with my little one is get myself a cuppa and go up to bed and read for a bit while she has a snuggle.

Paris2019 Sun 04-Apr-21 15:27:39

Your night pattern sounds exactly like my now 4 month old... until very recently he slept in mainly 2-3 hour blocks in his cot and shorter blocks after 3am (usually brought into bed with me). Also EBF. A couple of very rare 4+ hours. I too was getting sick of reading / hearing that he should be doing longer stretches. Over literally just the past few nights we've brought his bedtime earlier and lo and behold, he has done a couple of 5 hour stretches... I'm not getting carried away yet though as conscious it could be short lived! I also think his last nap was too close to bedtime so we've tweaked that. Not much advice but just wanted to let you know you're not alone and that hopefully it will steadily improve over time!

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3ormorecharacters Mon 05-Apr-21 12:39:24

Thanks for your advice everyone. I've just spent 1.5 hours trying to get her to nap. Even the sling wasn't working. I ended up shouting at her out of frustration and I feel terrible. 😔 I do try not to get too hung up on naps etc but it's hard, I know if I don't force naps then they just don't happen and that will impact night sleep. Though night sleep seems just as bad when she is well napped so maybe I should just stop worrying about it altogether! Ugh this all makes me feel so clueless and useless.

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FATEdestiny Mon 05-Apr-21 16:13:12

I've just spent 1.5 hours trying to get her to nap

Sounds tough, I wonder if the issue is the way you get her to sleep not being effective.

What were you doing for the 1.5h trying to get her to sleep?

3ormorecharacters Mon 05-Apr-21 17:37:06

I tried feeding her then putting her down almost asleep in a vibrating chair reclined so it's a bed. As soon as I put her down she stared to crt. The chair also rocks so I was rocking it, playing white noise and singing to her. This has worked quite well over the last week or so but she was just wide awake this time. I started at 1.5 hours since her last sleep and she was yawning, so I think she was tired. I tried using a dummy to calm her but dummies are still quite new to her and she isn't very good at keeping it in her mouth. It would stop her from crying but she kept spitting it out unless I constantly tapped it. After an hour of this I put her in the sling. By this point we were both quite worked up and it still took a while for her to drop off. I don't know what else I can do.

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FATEdestiny Mon 05-Apr-21 18:48:00

Feeding her to sleep or nearly asleep isn't ideal in the long term. A more independent way to get her to sleep would be to not feed at sleep time (instead feed when she wakes) and instead go from fully awake yo fully asleep all done in the place she will stay asleep (So in your case the bouncer).

So not go in the bouncer nearly asleep. Go in the bouncer (with dummy) awake but ready for a sleep and do all the settling in there.

putting her down almost asleep in a vibrating chair reclined so it's a bed. As soon as I put her down she stared to crt. The chair also rocks so I was rocking it, playing white noise and singing to her

That is a he'll of a lot of commotion when you are hoping she will relax. Singing, white noise, rocking, vibration. At the very least I'd drop that to one sort of movement and one sort of noise. Singing should be a lively, fun thing. I'd add white noise if you use that, but not singing. Likewise I'd stop vibration (because it's arbitrary- on or off - and can't be varied by tempo in the way foot rocking can).

Then just don't give up. Keep bouncing with your foot at an even and consistent tempo while you sit on sofa and watch a box set.

Keep working on the dummy if she's new to it, it does take practice. Also remember that active sucking will slow down and stop (and dummy drop from mouth) as she relaxes her muscles to go to sleep. So keeping her sucking might be keeping her awake. You only need to encourage the sucking if she starts crying, because sucking actively will always stop crying. But if she's not sucking and also not crying, she's probably going to sleep so leave her be (just keep bouncing)

3ormorecharacters Mon 05-Apr-21 19:14:04

@FATEdestiny that's really helpful advice, thank you!

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