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8 week old baby who only sleeps for 45 minutes

(12 Posts)
Simone Tue 27-Mar-01 12:32:15

Help - my 8 week old had a growth spurt last week which seems to have knocked out her day time sleep pattern. She will only sleep for 45 minutes at a time until the late afternoon when she is so exhausted she will sleep for a few hours but this then affects her bedtime which I am trying to keep to 7pm.
She has also developed the habit of only falling asleep on the breast . Any advice ?

Emmagee Tue 27-Mar-01 13:39:37

Only that it'll be different again in a weeks time!

I remember thinking I had got a routine going and as soon as I thought it, it would change. My advice would be to let her sleep when she needs to and feed as much as she needs at the moment - but then I should say that I'm fairly anti-routine in such a tiny baby per se.

With bedtime, you may find that a regular bath (with lavender oil), cuddle, feed at around the time you want her to go down will help to set the right tone, but just don't get too stressed out if it's not excatly 7 every night

Bugsy Tue 27-Mar-01 14:15:43

Babies change their patterns so much when they are small. If you feel she needs a longer sleep in the morning how about taking her out for a really long walk at the time that you want her to go to sleep. Do this for a couple of days and see if that will settle her back again.
Falling asleep when being fed is so common and opinion is hugely divided as to whether to let babies do this or not. Most books suggest that you should try to unlatch your baby before they fall into a really deep sleep, so that they don't get too used to having a boob in their mouth to go to sleep.
Try not to get too stressed about routines. Not all babies are very receptive to following timetables. You could probably bet your last £1 that even if you put your baby to bed at 8pm for a couple of weeks, rather than 7pm, that this will change again within a month.

Azzie Wed 28-Mar-01 10:02:12

I sympathize - my son slept very little during the day as a small baby, which was exhausting for me. (I was amazed when my daughter arrived, and slept all day - at last I could see why people liked small babies!) With babies things change so fast - my husband's advice to a new father recently was "If things are going well, enjoy it - it won't last. If things seem terrible, don't worry - it won't last." I do think you should stick to your idea of a bedtime routine if you can - both of mine (following the advice of a mother of 3) had a 7.30 bedtime from 3 months, which gave us some adult time alone together, and seems to have been good for the kids too - they are now 3.5 and 1.5 and we have never yet had any real problems about bedtime.

Janus Wed 28-Mar-01 19:56:17

Dear Simone,
I can't remember how much sleep a baby is meant to get at 8 weeks but maybe 45 minutes in the morning is about right?? I would go with what she wants to do in the day but maybe try to stick to the evening routine of feed, bath, bed. I too use lavender oil in the bath (or the Johnson's one which has lavender already added) and I also put a drop or two on a teddy or on the mattress. When you're breastfeeding it's hard for them to not fall asleep at the breast, especially when so young and probably feeding quite often, and I would just stick with giving her as much food as she wants rather than trying to take her off early.
I remember feeling soooo knackered in those early days of feeding round the clock, etc, but I do remember that around 9 or 10 weeks she just developed her own pattern of falling asleep around 7pm and would wake for feeds only. This was encouraged by the bath routine but some nights we just didn't get round to it but she still went off. I think they do develop their own patterns to a cetain extent but you can 'help this along' but I wouldn't become obssessed with it.
Good luck anyway!

Jamie Wed 28-Mar-01 21:31:06

Hi
I can really sympathise, my son only slept for short periods from 3 weeks old. He always woke grumpy from naps. My mother-in-law encouraged me to get him to go to sleep by himself for naps and bedtimes at 5 months and by 6 months he had regular 1.5 hour naps morning and afternoon. I also established a bedtime routine at this time. I tried sleep training at about 7 months with a dummy and he slept through til 4am at 9 months which was a great improvement. All I can really say is that it will get better.

Jamie Wed 28-Mar-01 21:33:37

Hi
I can really sympathise, my son only slept for short periods from 3 weeks old. He always woke grumpy from naps. My mother-in-law encouraged me to get him to go to sleep by himself for naps and bedtimes at 5 months and by 6 months he had regular 1.5 hour naps morning and afternoon. I also established a bedtime routine at this time. I tried sleep training at about 7 months with a dummy and he slept through til 4am at 9 months which was a great improvement. All I can really say is that it will get better.

Boogedy Wed 28-Mar-01 23:29:59

I don't see any harm in letting baby doze while on the boob. I give my 3month old her penultimate feed at 8pm, and she some times falls asleep. I simply give her a gentle nudge, rub her hand and/or give her a few words of encouragement which starts her off again. When she is finished, usually with a long stretch, I transfer her to her cot. If she wakes up by the time I've got her down she sucks her fingers back to sleep again. However, it did take a few nights to teach her to self soothe, by sucking her fingers. It was physically and emotionally draining, having to reassure her without picking her up (unless she was really bawling). But it was worth it because they do have to learn to get themselves off to sleep independantely of you, for everyone's benefit.
My baby wakes up approx 4 hours after her last feed. For a while we managed to shush her back to sleep til morning, but for the last couple of night she's woken up and cried for hours til in the end I fed her, so I could get some sleep. Tonight we're going to try to shush her back to sleep without a feed at 3/4am. Wish us luck!

Gazza Thu 29-Mar-01 12:18:32

Try putting her down for a short morning nap of no longer than 40 mins so that she will feel tired by lunchtime. I wake my son up at about 7am then make sure he is awake and active for two hours before allowing him a nap in his room (which incidentally is also very dark) of no longer than 40mins. He then goes down for his lunchtime nap at around 12.15-12.30 and now sleeps for around 1.5 - 2 hours. For a time, like you, I found he was waking after around 45 mins and this is due to them coming in to their REM sleep when they are likely to be roused by light or sudden noises. I find that keeping the room really dark and trying to be quiet during this time encourages him to go back to sleep. If he does wake I either try to ignore him for 10 mins and he sometimes goes back to sleep or stroking his head, putting the mobile on again and leaving the room rapidly - all worth a try! Good luck!

Midge Thu 29-Mar-01 13:09:50

I sympathise with your sleep problem - been there, done that. I only wish to add two comments to whats already been said here. My best friend gave me the best piece of advise, while I was still pregnant and it applies to most stages of babies development it seems to me. She said "You'll think it's never going to end - but it does". Many times during the never ending round of night feeds I heard her voice repeating this to me, it stood me in good stead. The other thing is not to get too hung up on a rigid routine, I found things just gradually worked themselves into a reasonable order, and slowley most of my marbles have returned to their rightful postition. (I think I lost some with the after birth).
Good luck and hang on in there!

Willow2 Thu 29-Mar-01 18:41:27

Have you had her weighed recently? It's worth checking at the baby clinic to see if she is getting enough milk. Don't wish to worry you (I know what it is like to be a breastfeeding mum who is constantly asked whether her child is getting ehough food!) but a friend also has an eight week old who has just done the same thing and she then discovered his weight had dropped and he was simply starving. Extra feeds and supplimentary bottles seemed to help her.

Bloss Tue 03-Apr-01 19:40:39

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