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New mum in need of advice my 6 week old wont sleep at night please help I feel like im going mad

(19 Posts)
muminneedofsleep Wed 14-Oct-09 12:25:25

Hello ive been searching the internet for days in desperation for the answers to helping my 6 week old baby sleep when i came across mumsnet i really liked the idea of talking to mums who have been/are going through what i am and would so appreciate any advice.

Since my baby was born he hasnt slept for more than three hours at a time (and thats on a good night)and would then wake and not settle for another 2-3 hours before falling asleep in my arms and then possibly only sleep for twenty mins. sometimes he would scream for the whole time and it would usually result in me breaking down in tears.

I tried mentioning it to my midwife who simply said he was just being a spoilt baby, after 4 weeks of me getting around 4 hours of sleep a night i rang the health visitor who said he might have collic and ive tried everything.. colief, gripe water, infacol but nothing helped. Then things seemed to get worse the screaming was more frequent with him arching his back clenching his fists, hiccups making him cry,grunting, he really seems in pain.

I took him to the doctors and then to the hosp and they suggested it might be silent reflux, hes been on baby gaviscon for 9 days and also ranitidine for 4 days and at fist things improved but now where back to square one and i feel like im having a break down when hes at his worst.

If anyone can advise anything please message me back even though friends and family have been really supportive i feel so alone dealing with him sometimes, none of my friends have ever had problems with their babies sleep and i dont think they understand why im not as sociable as i used to be or infact at all as im so tired all the time, also my husband works 6 days a week and goes to work at 5am and its stressing him out so i feel like i have to make even more of an effort to sooth baby to make sure he gets enough sleep to go to work (lately hes had to call in sick at least twice and we really cant afford it)

rubyslippers Wed 14-Oct-09 12:29:18

my DS had silent reflux - it is the pits

ranitadine is very weight dependent so the dose will need to be adjusted frequently

he may also need a drug called domperidone which helps move milk through the gut more quickly

gavisocon IME made DS much worse and i stopped using it fairly early on

am shock@ MW suggesting he is spoilt ...

can you try to raise his moses basket - the head of it and see if that helps?

keeping him as upright as possible after a feed too

alos, until the reflux is under control he won't sleep well = perhaps you need to see the Paed again?

MrsBadger Wed 14-Oct-09 12:33:29

oh dear, sounds like you're having a tough time of it sad

if DH is finding it hard can you make another sleeping arrangement, even if it means him sleeping on the spare bed / floor / sofa. Two knackered parents and reduced income are no fun.
If DS naps during the day take the opportunity to have a kip yourself.

Re DS, is he happy and healthy apart from this? Alert and happy during the day? I'm very sure he isn;t spoilt smile, your hv is a loon.
Is there really nothing that soothes him back to sleep?

At this age dd rarely slept for more than 2h at a stretch without waking to demand a feed, but once fed she'd often drop off, and if she didn;t fall asleep would at least be happily awake (even if I wasn't happy being awake at 3am)
You don;t say if you're bf or using formula...

Cupsy Wed 14-Oct-09 14:56:09

You poor thing. I know exactly how this feels. My daughter had really bad reflux when she was born and we couldn't put her down without her throwing up. She just cried all the time too and was starving hungry because of the sickness. However, she started sleeping through when we read a book about swaddling. It was instant. You have to swaddle her tight and properly. Also raise the mattress up slightly by putting books underneath, they like to be raised a little. Please try it. They do grow out of the reflux also as their little bodies develop so there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hope this helps.

againandagain Wed 14-Oct-09 21:18:19

Sleep deprivation is torture, we haveall been there. Doe he have a bouncy chair? My DD was not a sbad as your baby by the sounds of things but she did have rflux type symptoms. I let her sleep in her bouncy chair as it kept her a bit more upright, also I could bouncy it with my arm out the side of the bed whilst keeping my eyes closed!! I also spent a couple of nights in the lounge dozing whilst beeing propped up by cushions with her on my sleeping over my shoulder. Other than that, all the normal things. Sleep when he sleeps, forget about trying to get things done, let him sleep wherever he can (pram, chair, on you), find alternative sleeping arrangments for your DH although let him know that he needs to be supportive Above all try to remember most babies grow out of this type of things and that soon he will start to develop a bit of a routine. I am a new mum of an 8 week old DD and things have just really turned a corner so I do know how hard it is. x

muminneedofsleep Fri 16-Oct-09 21:56:11

thank you all so much for the replies there are definatly some things i will try. Baby is constantly unsettled night and day, it feels as if we havent had a chance to enjoy him, when people say you'll miss him being this age and these are the best days i just smile because at the moment it feels like life is so hard and doesnt seem to be getting any better.

I breast fed for the first month but baby was so demanding and never sleeping i just couldnt continue (and i still feel a bit guilty about it but i was so worried id pass out asleep while feeding and somthing awful would happen).

We went back to the hosp today and they now seem to think he could have an allergy and have given us a prescription for pregestimil which is a hypoallergenic formula but they still want us to continue with the medicine for silent reflux, were at the point where we will try anything but hate the thought of giving my baby all these different things if were treating him for the wrong thing, when i got upset speaking to the doctor he suggested we leave the baby there for the night for observation and to give us a break but there is no way i could leave him and when my husband asked if it was so they could carry out any tests or try medication they said no so i really dont see the point.

Im praying we will have a turning point soon and will try him on the new formula tomorrow wish me luck x

vickstar76 Fri 16-Oct-09 22:05:17

My baby is 11months old and still wakes every 2-3hrs over night i have never had a full nights sleep yet - but i do manage to get out most days - you learn to cope and really you must sleep when the baby does and accept help from others to achive this. It is completetly normal for babies not to sleep for long periods it is a safety thing. Try reading no cry sleep solution by elizabeth Pantley - she also has loads of info on her website - do a goole search website. Today we are told babies who don't sleep have sleeping problems where as most babies esp at 6 weeks don't sleep - this is the norm not the exception - it is perhaps our expectations that are problematic....
you will get through this

vickstar76 Fri 16-Oct-09 22:09:10

ps sleeping with your baby on your chest whilst in a reclined position helps with reflux - i have a friend who did this til her son grew out of it at 6 months

bippyhippy Mon 19-Oct-09 20:42:14

It was so unkind of your midwife to say your baby is spoilt. How ridiculous!

Anyway, for some good advice on helping your baby sleep I recommend Sleepytot Sleepytot.

It's free.

Jujubean77 Mon 19-Oct-09 21:04:21

You poor love. You are going through an awful time.

I could have written your post word for word 3 yrs ago. I am so angry at what your MW told you.

I took my baby to a paediatrician specialising in newborns/ gastric problems to make sure there was nothing wrong medically. Doing this really put my mind at rest. I paid for it, even went into a bit of debt but I just didn't trust any of my Healthcare professionals. It sounds like you are getting some advice from the doctors and they are listening to you.

It will get better I promise, I know where you are right now, thinking what am I doing wrong, but it really is the luck of the draw what kind of baby you get at this stage. Keep posting here there are so many experienced Mums with wonderful advice to give.

nottheyummymummy Thu 22-Oct-09 11:19:06

My son was on ranitidine and domperidone until he was a year old - acid reflux is incredibly painful for them. Have you tried putting a folded blanket or something under the mattress to elevate babies sleeping posistion? this helps stop the acid coming up and burning their throat sad. It will get better I promise, once the doses are adjusted and they grow it does stop....I also found that notpatting his back to wind him helped as you are patting the acid upwards - try rubbing in a circle. Good luck

SmallSCREAMCap Thu 22-Oct-09 11:37:16

No practical advice to better what's been given above, but thought you might appreciate another hang in there & well done. My 1st baby basically screamed for about 8 hours a day and rarely slept more than 2 hours day & night, we tried everything tbh, but she just stopped at around 17-18 weeks.

I thought I would lose my marbles, I hated going out with her as she just screamed all the time and I felt that people would judge me, it was a very difficult time.

Please know that you're not doing anything wrong - our second baby is one of those angel babies and we truly aren't doing anything differently to last time, he's just not distressed by being outside for some reason. Also our first baby has grown into a healthy, happy and appreciative little girl, despite my worries that she would be damaged somehow by those early weeks of distress.

People comment on how well I'm doing with my second baby and I just think, no, this baby is a piece of cake - it was last time that I deserved bags of praise, encouragement and perhaps a big trophy.

Here, have a trophy You are doing brilliantly.

muminneedofsleep Sun 25-Oct-09 09:36:57

Thank you so much for your supportive comments it makes such a difference knowing its not just us that have been through this and that its not us over reacting.

We made a little nest in his crib with towels and a sheet and propped up the matress slightly and he really did seem to be turning a corner and then i had to take him for his first jabs and sadly hes been unsettled feeding what feels like every 2 hours and crying for 2 days now, i just hope this is a result of the jabs and not us going back to square 1 again.

SmallSCREAMCap Sun 25-Oct-09 23:32:58

Glad things eased a bit. Jabs can make babies grumpy.

Did anyone mention the magic of hairdryers, hoovers and washing machines to you? No cure for reflux, I know, but those sounds work magic on some babies, mine included...

muminneedofsleep Mon 26-Oct-09 15:05:11

sounds to me like its worth a try next time he starts i might put him in his bouncer near the washing machine, thanks

sahraatmuc Tue 27-Oct-09 00:24:00

hi, i know how it feels. our baby girl had problems too and would wake up every few hours... really exhausting and we were all getting super cranky from the lack of sleep!

We found the hairdryer would really help our little one get to sleep - but switching it off again later sometimes would start the whole process off again.

i really recommend the recordings from Einschlafwunder The hairdryer worked a treat and fades away so it didnt disturb her. she was fine with this recording but we loved the heartbeats with waves - we would hear it on the babyphone and it would help us to sleep too.

hope this helps!

PandaEis Tue 27-Oct-09 00:53:28


my friends little baby boy was exactly like this! the paed said acid reflux etc had him on all sorts of medications and had mentioned 'failure to thrive' a few times to her during the consultations. i mentioned that it sounded like lactose intolerance or similar after speaking to my mum (she remembered me when i was a newborn being exactly like that) she told the paed what i had said (who pooh-poohed the suggestion) and the paed ended up doing the intolerance testing 6 weeks down the line of no sleep and agonising crying from my friend's DS (he was 10 weeks then) and he does indeed have a lactose intolerance. now soya milk and lots of it is the treatment and he is a changed baby!!

i would ask your paed to do the intolerance testing asap and see how that turns out. i hope he is feeling better soon and he gives his poor tired mummy some restsmile good luck xx

Longtalljosie Tue 27-Oct-09 07:09:04

Hi there - just to say my baby has silent reflux too. I think judging by the symptoms you describe - especially hiccups making him cry / back arching - it does sound like that's what it is.

Ranitidine takes a while to kick in properly - and if more is needed, there's always Domperidone as well.

There are all sorts of widgets etc on if you think any will help...

cupcakeandtea Tue 27-Oct-09 12:02:29


My son had awful colic which left me and my partner at our wits end so I can sympathise. I have to say there were times when I just sobbed with the sheer exhaustion of it all. We tried everything - Omneo Comfort, colic bottles, infacol, the whole lot and it lessened the symptoms a bit but he still suffered.

The GP called colic the '100 days of hell' and almost on the dot of 12 weeks it stopped and at 6 months it's become a distant nightmare (although I still use the anti-colic bottles at night just to be on the safe side!)

You're not alone and I really hope this passes because for me, it really put a shadow over my DS' first few months (I swore I'd never have another baby but that feeling has passed too!). Somehow you just find a coping strategy but if it is reflux perhaps demand to see a specialist?

Oh and another thing that may help...we put towels under the top end of his moses basket so he was slightly elevated. May help?

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