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New here, please help!

(15 Posts)
becs1973 Wed 27-Aug-08 08:52:22


I'm new here, nice to meet you all :-)

Hoping someone can help me as I'm completely exhausted and want to know if this is just my baby (doubt it) or a phase he's going through which will eventually end...(please!).

My little boy is 11 weeks old and is a terrible sleeper (day and night, hurrah!). We battle over daytime naps all the time, basically he will not take them and if he does they are only one sleep cycle long (45mins from which he wakes up grumpy) and I seem to be continually putting him down to nap as he's always tired! in addition to this, at nighttime he usually goes from 8pm till around midnight/1am (he's exclusively bf), which is great, but after that we descend into chaos with him waking every hour until around 7am when he wants to get up, but is then tired again by 7.30am.

I suppose what i'm asking is what I should work on first, I'm so tired I can hardly think straight to be honest. Should I try to extend his daytime naps? or carry on just putting him down every hour or so?

With his nighttime sleeping, each time he wakes I feed him as it seems to be the only thing that will settle him (for a whole hour, woo hoo!) but maybe I'm making it worse by doing that? I've tried co-sleeping but it's the same nightmare.

Maybe it's just a phase and most 11 week olds are doing the same, in which case i'll just work through it! Any advice gratefully received!

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Aug-08 09:00:01

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jojoisamum Wed 27-Aug-08 09:20:39

I am still not overly sure what I am doing but our little boy doesn't sleep much during the day either - he is tired but just doesn't seem to nod off and if he does, like you it is only for 45 minutes or so.

We've decided (although it may not be for everyone) just to go with him and not try to enforce a nap on him during the day. If he sleeps then we let him but if he's awake then fair enough.

This seems to have worked over the last week or so with his night sleep too. He now goes down at 8 pm instead of 10.30 and will sleep until between midnight and 1 am. He then wakes at around 3 and then again at 6.

We're getting a bit more sleep at night which is fab.

becs1973 Wed 27-Aug-08 09:44:08

Hi Starlight and JoJo
Thanks for your responses. I'm glad to see it's all completely normal. You read about these babies on 3 hourly routines etc and it would just be impossible for me to implement, or at least more battles than it's worth. I'm just going to go with the flow then, if I'm not following any routine then I can't 'fail' at it , can I?!

JoJo - interesting that letting your little one do what he wants during the day means he's sleeping better at night. Can I ask how old he is? I had heard that babies just get more and more wound up as they get tired so you have to kind of enforce sleep on them, but it seems like you're doing the opposite and it's working just fine!

jojoisamum Wed 27-Aug-08 12:13:17

He's just 8 weeks so there will be loads more changes to come I am sure but it seems to be working just now.

I might be wrong with what I am doing but I think you just need to go with your gut instinct plus DH and I are both shift workers so probably having a set routine in the future during the day won't work for us anyway!

jojoisamum Wed 27-Aug-08 12:13:18

He's just 8 weeks so there will be loads more changes to come I am sure but it seems to be working just now.

I might be wrong with what I am doing but I think you just need to go with your gut instinct plus DH and I are both shift workers so probably having a set routine in the future during the day won't work for us anyway!

taliac Wed 27-Aug-08 12:36:27

Hi Becs - have you read about sleep associations? I ask because bfing your LO to sleep could be part of the problem

Although feeding to sleep is a good and natural thing, and great when they are distressed, it can be a problem if you do it every time he goes down. He may well be associating bfing with going off to sleep so when he passes into a light sleep phase, he "needs" it to go back into deep sleep. Thus the waking after one sleep cycle.

Suggestions to get on top of this are: have a consistent bedtime (nightime) routine - bath, bf, story or song, then bed - that involves him going to bed sleepy but awake. Then when he wakes up the first time, try not to feed him to sleep, but feed him then when he starts drifting off, take him off and put him down awake. He may protest about all this if he's used to feeding to sleep, but you just comfort him without feeding til he sleeps.

Does he have a comfort object (blanket / toy) to sleep with? My DDs both like to rub theirs as they drift off.


StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Aug-08 13:07:21

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taliac Wed 27-Aug-08 13:16:40

Starlight - Really? We encountered the feeding to sleep problem with DD1 at 15 weeks, and it was much like the OP - ie baby waking every hour through the night, so 6m seems a bit late to me. We didnt get on top of it til 6m of course, but introducing a gentle bedtime routine and putting DD1 down awake sometimes definitely helped.

Dont get me wrong, I still feed DD2 to sleep on occasion now, its a wonderful thing for a cranky baby / tired mum. I just think that it can turn into a problem when a baby never settles any other way..

angel1976 Wed 27-Aug-08 13:25:38

Hi becs,

Is he your first? If he is, can you sleep with him for one of his naps? I started doing that as I was going mad without sleep. So DS and I lay down together to sleep for this morning naps and he can sleep for 1-2 hours that way. If he wakes, I just pat him and he just right back to sleep. And he sleeps in his cot for his other naps and his nighttime sleep so don't let people discourage you from doing that by saying you are creating bad habits! So now I feel much better able to cope with the day and I love my special cuddle time with my little boy!


PerkinWarbeck Wed 27-Aug-08 13:33:22

hello becs,

sorry to hear you're so exhausted.
my DD was just the same at that age. she would pretty much only nap for 30-45mins, in a moving buggy hmm.

I've no advice, but lots of sympathy. try and rest when you can, stuff the housework.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Aug-08 13:40:01

Message withdrawn

taliac Wed 27-Aug-08 15:27:11

Hey Starlight - god I have uncomfortably vivid memories of being woken up every hour by DD1 because she could only get back to sleep with a feed. That for me was when it became a problem.

Otherwise, it is as you say!

becs1973 Thu 28-Aug-08 09:13:14

Hi all

Thanks for all the advice.

Taliac - we do have a bedtime routine, it's the only one i'm implementing. It's not really a set time as such as it can vary from 7pm to 8pm depending on what we've been doing during the day. But it's bath, feed, swaddle, cuddle, bed. And has been working quite well previously.

Now just to confound me he would not go down at all last night until gone 10pm and is now actually taking a nap (of all things) and has been since 9am!

Angel- he is my first and up to about 3 weeks ago I would take a nap with him. But now that seems to cause even more trouble, perhaps me being there means he smells milk and can't drift off. Who knows? He really is very sleep resistant and it seems to change all the time just to keep me on my toes wink

qapuccino Thu 28-Aug-08 10:20:34


My DS1 was a terrible sleeper at that age too - his naps were only half an hour - you could set your watch by it. At the time, he was either being breastfed to sleep or rocked to sleep. It got so bad that at one point, he started waking up every half an hour even during his night-time sleep and whilst being swaddled. I read a couple of baby sleep books and discovered that because he had learnt to fall asleep only by being either breastfed or rocked, he didn't know how to send himself back to sleep when he came into the light sleeping stage. One night after sheer exhaustion, I lay down next to him, put my hand on his tummy and just let him cry, and he fell asleep and slept for longer than half an hour. Some people might consider this to be controlled crying but I felt less guilty about it because I was lying next to him and comforting him. Anyway, I carried on doing this every time he had his night-time sleep and he usually managed to drop off to sleep on his own as long as the room was pitch dark. I think that babies as young as four weeks old can quickly learn to associate falling asleep with breastfeeding or rocking because my DS2 (4 weeks old) now wakes up within 5 minutes of being put down after being breastfed to sleep. These days I try as much as possible to pat/shh him to sleep without crying in the hope that as he grows older I can slowly teach him to fall asleep by himself. It doesn't work every time and sometimes takes longer than it seems to be worth but I'm hoping that this will eventually pay off in the end. Of course, not all babies are the same - I have friends whose babies used a dummy to sleep or were bottle-fed to sleep and still slept through the night way before my DS1 ever did even though they were the same age.

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