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3 week old doesn't sleep at night

(19 Posts)
cbring13 Wed 17-Sep-08 19:55:23

Hello all,
I am a first time mom with a 3 week old who was born 3 weeks early. Actually, today was my actual due date! She has been waking at night every 2 hours to eat but the past 3 days, she is up for hours on end at night. She will eat and then I try to put her back down as she seems to be asleep and she will be down for a max of 15 minutes and she will wake up and eat again. This will go on for 4-5 hours at night. During the day she sleeps and wakes up to eat every 2 hours but by 11 pm it starts with this eating marathon or she just wants to have a staring contest. And putting her down is out of the question as she flips out. My husband and I are at our wits end not knowing what is going on. Any advice?

S1ur Wed 17-Sep-08 19:58:29

I would try not to worry too much. At this very young age day and night are still all mixed up really!

Is she upset when she wakes? Does she settle on feeding?

She may be sucking extra to up supply ready for a bit of a growth spurt. If she is gaining weight and weeing and pooing and sleeping sometimes (even if during day) and happy and alert sometimes (even if at night)!

Then try not to worry and snatch a nap during daytime.

Plenty of time to concern yourself with routines and such later.

gingerninja Wed 17-Sep-08 20:04:27

Firstly, congratualtions. Secondly, this is very very typical of the first few weeks of a new baby. I remember the first 3 weeks after DD were born were the worst weeks of my life. It is awful but she's been tucked up inside you all warm cozy and fed on demand for 9 months. This is very new to you all and it will get better soon I promise.

You can encourage her to appreciate the difference between day and night by keeping nights dark and boring and days more light and entertaining. It will be a few weeks before you start to see a proper pattern to night and day sleeping.

PS they do feed very frequently at night because apparently that's when your milk comes in. Honestly it will settle down soon.

penona Wed 17-Sep-08 20:12:38

Ah poor you, I remember those awful first few weeks when you are going insane with the lack of sleep and worrying things are going wrong.

Firstly, it is a good sign she is feeding so well, so that is great news. And secondly, I would use GNs advice above - trying to make a difference between night and day so she kind of understands it. It takes a long time but will pay dividends later on. No need to be uber-strict, just say 11pm-7am is quiet, dark, dull. Daytime is fun! Most babies don't get their long stretch of sleep at night time until about 10 weeks at the very very earliest. (although someone will always say 'my baby slept through from 3 weeks' - just punch them grin) Don't want to scare you grin just reassure that this is totally normal behaviour for a 3 week old. It will settle down, but it feels like forever in the mean time.

Early babies often take longer to settle into less frequent feedings and more sleep, not sure why (there are loads of studies about it, both my sister and i had early babies so have read and discussed it alot!).

Most importantly, just try and get some rest whenever you can, even if its lying next to her. I know it's boring but it really helps you at least, and your milk supply.

Good luck, and congratulations. This board has been a great support to me, hope you find the same!

Janni Wed 17-Sep-08 20:13:34

Rest when you can during the day. Make a very clear distinction between night and dat eg when you feed her at night, try to do it very quietly, in the dark, rather than eg turning the lights on/watching TV (frineds of ours did this and it took ages for their little one to sleep well at night).

Most importantly, realise that this is a very bizarre, temporary phase in your life and that your little one WILL settle down and you will feel more normal again smile

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 17-Sep-08 20:57:35

Message withdrawn

Podster Wed 17-Sep-08 22:36:26

Sounds like me a few months ago ! I remember thinking one early morning after no sleep as I was feeding my dd for the umpteenth time that night that there must be something wrong with her because there was no way that babies could be like this or no-one would have more than 1 !! Looking back (she is only 5 months now) I can't even remember how hard it was because it does pass so quickly. I wish someone had told me that the 1st 6 weeks is the hardest time you will ever have and I might have been a bit more prepared. You feel like you are living in a parallel universe and that you will never be yourself again and that life will never return to normal, but it does settle down and now a few months on I completely understand why people have more than 1 grin.

MrsMattie Wed 17-Sep-08 22:38:03

Very hard on you right now, but very normal. This phase will pass. Keep feeding her on demand and try to get some sleep when she sleeps. It won't be long before she settles down a bit.

IAteDavinaForDinner Wed 17-Sep-08 22:40:55

I echo the advice to feed when she wants fed. This time next week she'll be doing something completely different, you'll be even more tired and you'll be thinking you're going loopy. You won't be though - it does get better. It just feels like forever at the time. FGS don't try to change her or make her fit with routines or anything just now, you'll only get frustrated and end up stressed out.

She'll soon sort out day and night. Until then, try to get her out in the pram in the early afternoon each day, I've read some research somewhere that suggests that may help encourage night-time sleep.

mrslurkalot Wed 17-Sep-08 23:01:57

Hi cbring13,

I promise you it DOES GET EASIER. Your lovely DD will sleep through the night one day from 7 'till 7 or longer if you're lucky! You will feel rested again.

You are all still part of the way up a very steep learning curve.

Try and rest when DD sleeps during the day (easier said than done I know) and maybe in a week or so start a bedtime routine so that she can start to learn the difference between the two.

I have been there and feel your pain.

You will sleep again.

mrslurkalot Thu 18-Sep-08 14:28:56

How did last night go?

sammybeth Thu 18-Sep-08 14:35:06

My son was exactly like this, he would have a marathon feed on and off from 12-about 4 every night which obviously is exhausting but it does get better as they get a bit older and learn the difference between day and night. He did this until he was wbout 5 weeks old and by 10 weeks he was sleeping through from 10-6.

All i would suggest is that you try and catch up as much sleep during the day as you can. When baby sleeps you sleep too-forget the housework it can wait!!

cbring13 Fri 19-Sep-08 00:40:15

Thank you to everyone for the advice! I really appreciate it. Last night was a bit better but she seems to be better for my husband. I think she knows he has to get up to go to work so she only got up at 1230 and then again at 430. Tonight I will take back over and I'm sure I will be up from 12-3. Ahh, I love my baby though!! I know eventually this will end but oh how exhausting this is! Thanks again everyone!

gingerninja Fri 19-Sep-08 16:08:33

co-sleep cbring13 if you're breastfeeding. It makes it so much more bearable.

mrslurkalot Sat 20-Sep-08 22:48:00

Hi cbring13. I went thorugh this! My DH would do every Friday night to give me a break and DD would wake up once and every other night I would be up at least three times! - it's like they KNOW! I hope DD was 'good' for you last night and will be again tonight. Try and enjoy every moment, I promise you this bit will be over before you know it.

cbring13 Tue 23-Sep-08 23:59:47

Okay, so now not only does she have an eating marathon every night but she is so gassy its ridiculous! She is farting like an adult (or like I tell my DD just like him). I've tried the mylecon and that doesn't seem to do much. She passes gas during the day just fine without being bothered by it but at night she is screaming in pain. Not sure what to do now?? It's always something for sure. Oh and add to it she has an ingrown toenail that I just noticed and I've never even cut her nails!

FanjolinaJolly Wed 24-Sep-08 00:08:31

My second baby was REALLY windy.

Have you tried putting her with her head on your shoulder so she is upright and rubbing her back in a circular motion so she does some really good burps.I had to do this for at least half an hour after her feeds in the early days otherise she just screeched inconsolably.Do you have any Infacol at hand.It made no difference to dd but anythings worth a try.

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 24-Sep-08 00:10:07

Sounds like a very normal baby to me smile

You have to remember that they spend 9 months wrapped up and cuddled in your warm womb, and now, they arent.

It takes a great deal of getting used to.

FanjolinaJolly Wed 24-Sep-08 00:13:17

The mammoth feeds in the evenings are normal by the way,this cluster feeding can often occur when your baby has a growth spurt too.From memmory it was pretty much full on around 4 weeks and then againat 8 weeks.I remember commenting to dp that I felt great sympathy with the bovine species,(when i was not feeling ready to murder him because he was GETTING SLEEP and I wasn't)

(It does pass eventually,I know it feels like it won't but it does)

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