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help with 4wk yr old sleeping

(11 Posts)
Leethomas Mon 02-Nov-09 20:05:21

Can any one help I have a four week old who appears to not want to settle and go to sleep in their moses basket at night. And is so awake and constantly wants feeding however as I am breast feeding I think she is using this as a soother sometimes and its becoming very draining. My HV has suggested expressing and have my husband help or combine formula feed for the last feed before going to sleep. HAve tried this but she does not take much of the formula. It was also suggested I tried a dummy which I was against but last night needs must but she would not take this.

Has anyone got any suggestions, as she sleeps and settles well in the day.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 02-Nov-09 20:09:05

She's still very young and it's very normal that she wants to use you as a dummy, albeit very tiring and annoying!

Maybe she has her days and night a bit muddled?

Feed, feed, feed in the day so you can tank them up for the nightime.

nowwearefour Mon 02-Nov-09 20:17:12

gosh this is so very common. just roll with it. do nothing in the day that you absolutely do not have to do, just sleep. it will pass. stick with the breastfeeding and the phase will pass. my dd1 did this until about 6-7 weeks then started sleeping well and is now the best sleeper i know of. please just tryto enjoy having such a beautiful and small baby....

winnybella Mon 02-Nov-09 20:18:10

Have you considered co-sleeping? Babies at 4 weeks old need to feed every 2-3 hours so it's totally unrealistic to expect them to sleep for any long stretch.It will get better and at 2 or 3 months she might wake up only twice, or even sleep through. Then again, she might not- it's normal.Don't take the formula route- it isn't necessary and I am surprised your HV suggested it. Dummy is fine, I used it for my DD for a few months at night and then just stopped, she didn't even notice- what you don't want is a 4 yo running around with a dummy in his mouth, but if you use just for the night to get through a few tiring months, it should be fine.
We've all been there, lack of sleep is sooooo hard for the first few months.

MrsSantosisbored Mon 02-Nov-09 20:25:05

If you give formula your own supply will drop so if you want to carry on bf then it would be best to ditch the ff for now. AFAIK combined feeding works best once your milk supply is well established and that is not too likely at 4 weeks. Similarly dummies can interfere with her sucking at you which also stimulates supply - again best left until your supply is secure.

Maybe you could consider this as a short term solution so that you get more sleep. Lots of feeding and not wanting to settle at night are incredibly common in such a young baby. Do you try to rest at other times of day when she is asleep or are you trying to do too much (housework etc). Honestly, each to their own but believe me, invest a bit of time in just concentrating on bf for now and it really will pay dividends when you are not faffing around with bottles and sterilisers.

Your HV's advice is outdated. Can you find a local bf support group? (NCT and La Leche run them). I think the period 6-8 weeks after the baby is born is hard however you choose to feed anyway (experience of both)

Good luck and ignore the HV about bf grin

hairymelons Mon 02-Nov-09 20:32:19

Hi Leethomas, 4 weeks is really little- as others have said it's normal at this age not to really know the difference between day & night and also to feed every couple of hours at least.
The other thing is she may just want to be close to you rather than be in her moses basket. It can be tiring when they don't want to be put down but totally normal.
I found that we all got more sleep when we started co-sleeping but was a bit nervous about it when DS was so little. I also remember that we let him nap downstairs during the day but took him upstairs at night to help teach him the difference between day and night. Also kept nighttime nappy changes and feeds really quiet and boring.
It's tough going at first, hope she settles down for you soon

thisisyesterday Mon 02-Nov-09 20:36:12

leethomas, yourt baby is just doing what 4 week old babies do!

it's absolutely normal for her to be wide awake at night, she has no idea about night and day, int he womb it was all as one and she is still adjusting to life outside of you
that is why she wants to be close to you all thet ime

feeding frequently is really important to get a good supply established and to keep it going.
introducing formula and expressing could very easily have an adverse effect at this early stage and could compromise breastfeeding. If you are missing a feed (by giving bottle instead) then at the very least you would want to express at that time. in which case you may as well just feed her!

she really does need to feed little and often, newborns have teeny tiny tummies tht need refilling very often.
it will get better, but my advice for the timebeing is to change your habits rather than trying to make her change (cos she'll change anyway soon enough and move the goalposts!)
get as much rest during the day as you can, go to bed as early as possible, consider co-sleeping or getting a bedside cot, get your husband to take baby downstairs in the mroning so you can have a bit more sleep

hairymelons Mon 02-Nov-09 20:36:43

P.S.Ignore that HV or anyone that tells you it's bad that your DD is comfort feeding or using you as a dummy. It's only a problem if it's a problem for you, ie knackering! A dummy might help if she'll take one but I think it's advised to hang on until 6-8 weeks, once BF is established. Good luck.

ches Tue 03-Nov-09 03:11:14

4 week old babies don't comfort suck. 9 month old babies comfort suck. 4 week old babies are in the midst of a growth spurt and must feed every 90 min - 3 hours to increase your supply to meet their growing need and because their stomach is tiny (hence v. little formula) but their calorie need is huge.

Your HV knows nothing about breastfeeding. When you have bf issues, see a lactation consultant. Anyone suggesting formula at 4 weeks is ignorant and threatening your nursing relationship.

It is hard to hear that you need to feed your child five minutes after the last feed ended, but it is honest and will help you to achieve your goal of nursing your child. Growth spurts are fleeting, but frequent. Sleep when your baby sleeps. This too shall pass.

hairymelons Tue 03-Nov-09 13:03:34

Sorry, hijack....ches is that so? I was told sucking was the only way babies could comfort themselves so believed DS was comfort feeding when he was prob just troughing!
Good to know, I'll pass it on to friends that are being told the same by their HVs.

againandagain Tue 03-Nov-09 15:16:35

Hi, im a first time mum with a 11 week old baby, who when she was 3 weeks decided to stop sleeping! She was bottle fed as well so ff may not help you! All I can say is I wasnt keen on co-sleeping (had images of her coming home from school and jumping in bed with us!!) but I decided to when she wouldnt sleep in her moses basket. She settled better and went to sleep quicker after a feed and basically I used it untill she began to figure out days and nights, which happened at around 6 weeks. She was feeding only 2 or 3 times in the night so I just put her in her cot and with the veiw that if she got anxious I would put her back in our bed, but she wok up for 2 feeds and fell asleep straight away so I left her in there! So what im saying, very long windedly is, do what you can to encourage day and night seperation! For us that was

Swaddling at night
Lights on during the day, lights off at night
Low key feeding and nappy changing at night

Any way dont panic it does improve, my DD has been sleeping for the last 2 weeks 7.30-7.30 with one wake up for a feed.
But i do think we are hitting a growth spurt as for all my smugness the last 2 nights have been horrid! Just when I thought i cracked it as well! (trundles off with slumped shoulders and a tired sigh!)

Chin up!!

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