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6 week old ds getting more and more difficult to settle, at wits end

(21 Posts)
minxofmancunia Sun 08-Nov-09 21:03:50

up until a few days ago he was ok, yes i expected some hard work, i have a 3 year old dd who was difficult but my whole day has now become about settling him down for naps.

NOTHING works bar the sling and (sometimes) the pram, feeding, rocking, patting all ineffective. As a result he's exhausted, overstimulated, unsettled, feeding badly and generally grumpy. It's all a bit shit tbh as this issue is taking over the whole day.

v v occassionally he's ok and settles quickly has decent naps and is happy. Most of the time we're having a nightmare.

Most evenings it's 3 hours+ of pointless techniques.

Never thought i would say this but am looking forward to when he's old enought to do some sort of sleep training as don't mind feeding/rocking to sleep but this doesn't settle him, in fact i think it makes things worse. He just gets into an overtired rage.

gutted because up until now I thought things were going well but all gone pear shaped this week. He's now been awake for 3.5 hrs (dh with him now doing the whole meaningless routine) and we're all exhausted by the stress of it all.

Am contemplating stopping bf and giving ff a go to see if this helps as cannot live like this every day. There's no pleasure in it and will get pnd again if things don't change.

Anyone got any suggestions as to what's made him change (was v relaxed and settled before) and how we can get him back to that.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 08-Nov-09 21:17:04

don't stop bf mate, a bottle will probably not settle him any better

you are so nearly past the awfulness of the newborn iyswim


carry on with the sling/pram for one more day then one more day, then one more day etc.

he is still so very young, and needs the comfort of being next to you or DH

good luck - and just think, you have got to 6 weeks already, hurrah !!

minxofmancunia Sun 08-Nov-09 21:20:49

thnaks for your message. I'm just wondering if the general unsettledness is related to feeding as he's been fussing at the breast and having small really frustrating snack feeds rather than proper feeds.

I persevered woth bf with dd and tbh she didn't settle or seem happy until she was weaned and hving ff during the day with just bf in the eve. in fact once she accepted a bottle of formula she was so much happier like a different baby.

I can't just spend all day feeding/soothing as I have her to look after as well 2 days a week. Tomorrow is one of them and I'm dreading it.

rubyslippers Sun 08-Nov-09 21:23:03

swaddle him

i have a 3.5 DS and a 5 week old DD (breastfeeding)

evenings are spent cluster feeding her so i feel your pain (3 hours tonight)

i have spent quite a lot of time crying over her head at 4 am - i find BFing quite tiring at the moment

does your DS nap at all in the day?

I kept a feed diary with DS (PFB alert) and i looked back over it today and you know, he wasn't sleeping much better and he was FF by 7 weeks

keep going ... apparently things do settle after 6 weeks

minnietheminx007 Sun 08-Nov-09 21:41:48

he's not having a growth spurt is he, 6 weeks is a typically tough time for feeding, maybe just give it another week so you can rule that out before you decide to go on the bottle?

minxofmancunia Sun 08-Nov-09 21:51:59

he was sleeping well in the day until a few days ago, 3x good naps and self-settling some of the time, miraculously.

hardly any crying either, seemed like a very chilled contented little boy. this is why i'm gutted we've gone from that to agitated fractious little bundle who just can't settle.

minxofmancunia Sun 08-Nov-09 21:55:16

yes minnietheminx i'm wondering whther it's the 6 weeks growth spurt thing and just to try to plough through it.

Trouble is I did that with dd and things never really got any better until she accepted a bottle (4 months).

That's a long time to be struggling imo and just proves to me that bf doesn't work for some of us.

CarGirl Sun 08-Nov-09 22:01:34

If it continues to get worse make sure it's not silent reflux. It can start anytime and it makes them miserable, only other sympton is curdled stinky posseting even if they've just finished feeding seconds earlier and often trapped burps that come up ages later, waking up screaming etc

Jojay Sun 08-Nov-09 22:04:35

To echo rubyslippers, SWADDLE HIM!

It can work miracles, it really can. It did with my DS2 who was truly awful until I discovered it at 10 wks.

Swaddle him, really tightly, so he can't get his arms out.

Give him a bfeed when he's sleepy and hopefully he'll fall asleep on the breast. Once asleep, gently put him down.

The first time I did this with DS2 he slept 7 hours straight through. Until that point he's never slept more than 2-3 hrs on the trot and took upwards of 2 hours to settle for a nap.

The other mistake I made ( and there were legions...... wink)was to expect him to just doze off wherever we happened to be - at a toddler group, in his bouncy chair with DS1 racing around. People tell you that second babies 'just fit in' but in our case, he needed to be swaddled, in the dark, in his cot with peace and quiet.

The Swaddle Me blanket from Mothercare is brilliant.

minxofmancunia Sun 08-Nov-09 22:07:23

i have been questioning reflux for a while cargirl he's v vomity and windy generally.

When he's properly rested he's so happy and chirpy just after about 3/4 hour he becomes grumpy and irritable. Hecan'r stay awake for v long at all without getting fractious, not more than an hour. Then maybe a 20 min doze if I'm lucky then more crying because he needs a lot longer than that.

Are short fragmneted sleep patterns indicative of reflux too?

iliketurquoise Sun 08-Nov-09 22:09:27

it can be colic or something else.
boots has some medicines for colic.
i think its best idea to visit gp and ask.
i remember my dc had such hard time and it continued for a while, i think till 3 months old. it was very difficult i remember.
good luck.

Honeypeckle Sun 08-Nov-09 22:12:07

I had problems with bf DS in the evening. He was fine for the first few weeks then became really fussy at the breast and wouldn't feed which would result in me being stressed and him not settling. He would take a bottle fine so I decided to express and give him the full from a bottle. It's the best thing I could have done! He happily takes his feed now and settles himself to sleep (he is 18 weeks). So maybe give that ago??

Iamamumma Sun 08-Nov-09 22:12:09

I feel your pain, my DD is nearly 7 weeks and doing the same thing, the evenings are torture, she cries and wriggles and we can't do anything with her. We used to use the swing, but that doesn't work either now. I am going to try to swaddle her tonight and am hoping for the best!

CarGirl Sun 08-Nov-09 22:12:37

The thing about reflux is that they give infant gaviscon which is inert and isn't harmful if they haven't got reflux. It can take a couple of days to work though.

My dd just screamed and screamed, did sleep during the day and then passed out for 8 hours at night it was HELL.

I would say it's worth a try, she suffered a lot from trapped wind, squirmy and crying and was happiest on my hip facing outward with my arm pressed against her stomach. Laying down was not an option....

minxofmancunia Sun 08-Nov-09 22:34:22

sounds like my dd cargirl who's 3 now,and it truly was hell I have some infant gaviscon actually but haven't talked to gp about it. may mention it at 8 week check.

dd had colic and he doesn't seem like that it's just an overtired hell we seem to descend into in the eve.

The bottle idea idea honeypeckle is one I've been tpyong with. I have 6oz frozen and have been trying to extress every am. I may defrost the 6oz and ask dh to give it to him tomorrow eve. And swaddle him....

Don't know what to do about the daytime nap hell though, thats the real issue tbh, I'm either on my own or with dd and just can't do anything aside from feed/pat and comfort. If he does fall asleep on me the minute I move him to bouncy chair/carrycot he wakes up and the whole sorry cycle starts over again.

Honeypeckle Mon 09-Nov-09 09:54:13

Does he fall asleep in the bouncy chair and does it have a vibrate function?
My DS has his day naps in his bouncy chair, I turn the vibrate on and bounce him for a few minutes then his off asleep. Or if you're on your own can you just let him sleep on you for an hour? Have drinks, snacks and the TV remote handy to keep you occupied..

CarGirl Mon 09-Nov-09 19:32:18

Only just occured to me have you tried craniel osteopathy he could have discomfort which is why he isn't sleeing deeply until he's so shattered he passes out at night?

minxofmancunia Mon 09-Nov-09 22:31:22

thanks for all the advice, difficult morning today, he had a 20 minute catnap from 7.45am until1.30 he was a fractious overtired crying mess. Spent the whole morning patting, cuddling feeding etc. Poor dd spent the morning watching cbeebies, felt awful for her, what a crap mummy sad

Finally passed out at 1.30 on the breast, slept for 3 hours. This eve he took 2 go's to get down but swaddled him 2nd time round and joy of joys left him and he dropped off on his own!!!! Took 15 mins rather than 3 hours.

So will carry on with settling and swaddling but trying to put down whilst awake but drowsy.

Hopw for dds sake he's a bit more more rested tomorrow am. Feel like a rubbish mum, should know what I'm doing 2nd time round but I'm still as chaotic and cluless as ever....


roslily Wed 11-Nov-09 18:34:50

My 9 week old was like this and now it is my daily mission to get him to sleep.

Anyway after he has been awake an hour and he rubs eyes etc I swaddle him, put white noise CD on, and hold him very still. Sometimes I use hairdryer- it is like a drug for him! Sometimes he cries a bit, but then drops off. I had to start pre-tempting his tiredness as I was waiting 2 hours, which is too much for him.

noblegiraffe Thu 12-Nov-09 09:21:56

" If he does fall asleep on me the minute I move him to bouncy chair/carrycot he wakes up and the whole sorry cycle starts over again."

I had this problem, every time I put him down asleep he'd wake up. The solution for me was to have him asleep in my arms for at least 10 minutes, then transfer him to his basket. He might open his eyes during this time but can be rocked back to sleep. After 10 minutes, he is in much deeper sleep and doesn't wake up when he is moved, or settles back if he does.

You must use a clock though to time it, 10 minutes is a lot longer than you think when you are waiting to put a baby down!

NellyTheElephant Thu 12-Nov-09 10:24:58

Hang in there. You are at the worst stage I think, it really will start to improve over the next few weeks. My advice re the sleeping would be to do your best to put him down for formal naps in his cot in a darkened room, fully swaddled and maybe with the radio on or other white noise (I used to put Classic FM on as it's pretty gentle and relaxing). Try to put him down for a nap before he gets overtired (so probably 1.5 to 2 hrs from when he last woke). Give him a bit of time to settle. I don't mean leaving him to scream obviously, but sometimes they do need a bit of wind down crying and fussing as they drop off and rocking, patting etc can be over stimulating - that's what I found anyway. With DD1 I was always there trying to settle her (and rarely seemed to manage it), but with DD2 I would have a million other things to do and so although she might start to cry by the time I got to her a couple of minutes later she'd usually have dropped off, so then I decided always to give her a few minutes and sure enough most of the time she settled before I went back. I fed, swaddled, cuddled and patted for a few minutes until her breathing became calm then popped her down and left the room to put in a load of washing or something. Like any parent I can't stand to hear my babies cry so going off to do a quick task before going back to her helped me focus and gave her the time she needed to wind down without me fussing! Same with DS.

Don't beat yourself up about the CBeebies marathon for your DD - I would never have survived the early days when DD2 and then DS were babies without TV. Once the baby is a bit older TV viewing will go back to normal. I think in the early days you have to do ANYTHING to help you get by.

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