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3 week old sensitive baby and not sleeping (me or her)

(14 Posts)
Mab3l Mon 31-Aug-09 17:28:53

I have a 3 week old and she's very sensitive. She is in a 3 hour routine but she is not sleeping that well for the 2 hours in every 3.

She sometimes wakes within 10 mins of her going down and then she doesn't settle for the next 2 hours and the next thing I know it's feeding time again and neither of us has slept.

If I can't sleep I can't look after her properly.

She can't self soothe. I am trying dummy. She is feeding well. I feel like I can't read her cues.

I know she's only young.

Help. Anyone having similar problems?

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 31-Aug-09 17:35:29

Do you need to hang on to that routine, can you let go a bit and follow the baby.

She may want to be fed more often than 3 hourly and thus be hungry hence the non-sleeping?

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 31-Aug-09 17:57:27

You say that if you can't sleep then you can't look after her properly.

Do you have a partner, family, friends, who can call in and take the baby out for a stroll in the pram while you go back to bed.

The early weeks are vile but will not last for ever

HerMomminess Tue 01-Sep-09 10:39:40

Dear Mab,

Welcome to my world.DD1 will be 4 weeks tomorrow.

Last week discovered helpful MN threads and have managed to continue BF...JUST!

I have exactly the same problem. She previously went down no probs but at the moment she wakes up within 20 minutes of hitting her basket (I feed her in her blanket so it is nice and warm). Then nightmare to settle. Previously we could tell when she was rooting etc but it feels like each time she says boo all I can do to pacify is stick a breast in her mouth. Which she invariably takes& settles for a while.though I am unconvinced she has a 'proper' feed. No doubt it is sometimes related to wind/ straining .

I have started reading about co-sleeping (not for me/ us), controlled crying (not the courage& too young), pick up put down method. I am doing the hours of cuddling/rocking/ sshh-ing. Ilove th cuddles etc but at some point I have to stand up/ go to the loo etc.

Family etc are far away and DH is an angel but back at work. Friends have been fab but can only abuse them that much.

Any advice would be helpful.Good luck if you find some.

MrsBadger Tue 01-Sep-09 11:07:08

she sounds normal and utterly lovely smile

agree the 3hr routine might not be helping - by definition a routine like that means you arent reading her cues but reading the clock instead...

go with the flow, get a sling if she won't be put down (ring/wrap/pouch, not a Bjorn type), feed her as often as she likes and don't worry about self-soothing

cosleeping can be a lifesaver at this age, even if it's just for naps not all night

and hang in there, it doesn;t last forever...

trixie123 Tue 01-Sep-09 19:29:41

so nice to know we're not the only ones. Our 4 wk old DS has been pretty good but last 24 hours has only slept about 6 of them. going through that feeding / over feeding?? vomiting, settling, pooing and having to start all over again cycle. Was DPs first day back at work today and ended up sobbing over the moses basket at least twice. (me not DS!) can't offer any advice, just general mutual support. x

seeker Tue 01-Sep-09 19:38:28

I'm really sorry, but she is too young for any sort of routine - she needs feeding more often at this age. She will settle into a routine when she's a bit older, but at this age you need to just resign yourself to feeding her practically continuously and sleeping whenever you can. it won't last long - 6 weeks is often a breakthrough time.

Have you tried co-sleeping?

What do you mean by sensitive? Does she react to noise, or touch?

FaintlyMacabre Tue 01-Sep-09 19:51:38

When you say 'she's in a 3 hour routine' what does that mean? That she asks to be fed every 3 hours or that you have decided she should be fed every 3 hours? That's really not very often at all for such a little baby. I would ditch any idea of a routine for the time being. If you are not clock-watching you will find it easier to follow her cues, rather than thinking 'she can't be hungry again, it's only been 1 hour since the last feed'.

A good description of hunger cues is here.

I would also go with MrsBadger's advice about using a sling to help her to settle and keep her close to you in the daytime. Co-sleeping can be a godsend at night. Don't feel that she has to learn to self-settle yet- don't forget that only 3 weeks ago she was tucked up inside you, having every need met before she even knew she had it, and being rocked to sleep constantly.

It does get easier but it is still very early days. Trying to relax (easier said than done, I know) and go with the flow should make things easier.

kittywise Tue 01-Sep-09 20:01:56

my newborns wanted feeding 1/2 hourly often. If I'd have left it three hours they would have screamed non stop.sad

bean612 Tue 01-Sep-09 23:05:29

Oh Mab, poor you. I remember it well. You're not doing anything wrong, she's just little and although I'm not particularly an attachment-parent type (though I have been at times, out of necessity!), I'd agree with seeker that 3 weeks is still very young to be in any sort of routine (and I'm not hugely anti-Gina Ford, either, I just think she's unrealistic). I remember the first few weeks being a complete blur of feeding (all the time), sleeping (well, not much of that, to be honest) and wondering what the hell was going on generally. It was pretty hellish, but it did get better, even though I didn't believe any of the the kind Mumsnetters who replied to my desperate posts to tell me so. Lots of other people will say it, but hang in there, sleep whenever you can, accept all and any offers of help, just do whatever you can to survive. Everything else can wait. It might feel like you've strayed on to another planet right now, but believe me, this is all normal. Good luck smile

TrippleBerryFairy Wed 02-Sep-09 18:50:22

Another one with bad sleeping baby here... Mine is almost 4 weeks and sleeps well during the day but some nights are quite dreadful.
Usually it goes like this: I change the nappy, feed him, cuddle till he seems to be dozing off and them try putting him into the crib. 20 seconds later he is wide awake, moving his hands and feet, kicking off the covers and making noises. I try to ignore him for some time hoping he'll go to sleep but eventually I pick him up for 10-15mins of rocking as otherwise I feel guilty. Then all over again... I am only greatful he does not cry, just makes noises which I think is a blessing!..

I do wonder what am I doing wrong so baby sleeps well during the day but not during the night. It seems that he likes the general noise around the house during the day and maybe gets a bit stressed once it gets quiet and dark..

I read somewhere that babies go through growth spurts (don't remember exact weeks when that happens) and that at those times they might start feeding more often and be hard to manage as well. So I do wonder my DS's sleeping patterns are due to this and his very young age in general.

FaintlyMacabre-thanks for the link to hunger cues. My baby does the fast breating when I put him down during the night and I was getting increasingly concerned whether that's normal... He must be constantly hungry during the night!

warthog Wed 02-Sep-09 18:54:59

she is too young for a routine - that will come!

please please PLEASE don't do controlled crying.

one thing that really helped us was when i fed her, i or dh would get a hot water bottle and fill with hot water from the tap. put it in her cot / crib. remove when finished feeding, checking the sheets aren't too hot! then when she's put down she's not going from a warm place to a cold place.

when you put her down, leave your hand on her head and very slowly remove it.

i found that would help soothe her.

are you swaddling her?

it DOES get easier, i promise!

dinkystinky Wed 02-Sep-09 18:56:40

It is really hard - you're so tired, recovering from the birth, and the baby wont sleep. DS1 was exactly like this. The lessons I learnt were (i) cosleep if possible - the warmth and skin to skin snuggliness will get them to sleep and will mean you get some sleep too - it really wont last for ever (ii) swaddle where possible if you cant co-sleep - keeps them feeling held and secure for longer and so they sleep better (iii) if putting them in a cot, make it a cozy cocoon type place - huge big cots terrify the really tiny babies, maybe try a hot water bottle in the cot before putting baby in, a muslin or your top in there to make it smell of you, blankets under the cot sheet to make a nest (iv) try white noise or natural sounds (rain, waves, etc) on constant repeat - will prolong their sleeping as they're not used to silence (v) feed on demand - throw out the routines - they're too tiny to understand them (vi) try bathing them before sleep time - the warm water may make them sleepy and (vii) if all else fails, pop them in the sling or in the buggy and take them out for a walk - the fresh air may help knock them out and refresh you. It does get better - this is just a phase and will pass. Dial down your expectations on what you will do to nothing more than feed your baby and enjoy getting to know them for the first 6 weeks or so and by the time you hit 7 weeks it should be so much better.

HerMomminess Thu 03-Sep-09 16:53:36

Hi Mab, Haven' t seen you back and wonder how you' r e doing. If all else fails it is good to know we' re not alone. Cheers Mozarela for your input too.

We have had some good and some bad. I think I' m having some success with shh-patt-ing but could also be coincidence. I got a swaddle blanket off amazon and will try it tonight.

After y' day' s terrorist behaviour& slinging during the day we had a better night, followed by a v peaceful day and daytime naps today. However who knows what that means for the night ahead.

Bring it on.

I agree with the changin you expectations. Hard to do when you' r e knackered and feel you' re loosing all control.

Cheerio&thanks all.

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