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Overtired 7 week old - won't nap help!!!!

(23 Posts)
mandymac Wed 10-Aug-05 12:11:06

My formerly calm(ish) baby has started staying awake practically all day and seems to be getting incredibly overtired (red eyes, rubbing ears and eventually screaming, but won't settle) . She will sleep in the car and pushchair, but its not possible to take her out for 4 hours a day! This is made worse by the fact that she won't go down to sleep at 7pm ish, but is normally awake until a feed at about 10pm. Thankfully she will then sleep (waking for feeds at 3am and 6am approx) until about 8.30 to 9.00am. I have just called DH at work crying and in a right state, he offered to come home, but said no, as I don't want him to get in trouble. I have read old threads on this, and am trying swaddling, patting, white noise and will get blackout curtains sorted. Guess I just need some words of encouragement .

beckym Wed 10-Aug-05 16:16:21

DS is 6 weeks old, and i have exact same problem. There seems to be a time gap of a total of 2 minutes from needing to go to bed, and being over tired! Haven't really got any advice, because its still an ongoing problem, but just wanted to let you know you're not on you're own. Accidentally found out that the hoover works some times though! might be worth a try

starlover Wed 10-Aug-05 16:18:50

have you tried settling her down before she gets tired?

beckym Wed 10-Aug-05 16:31:52

Don't know if it might work for you, but tried it with mine. He didn't like it, at all. He wasn't tired and was bored in bed on his own, so cried. Alot. With mine, there is a very small window of time in which he goes from being tired to overtired, then its just an absolute nightmare to get him to go down.

I know a lot of people don't agree with them, but have you tried a dummy? It worked wonders with mine for a week or so, but now he knocks it out as he'd much rather either scream or chew on his hand

fredly Wed 10-Aug-05 16:59:02

I had the same problem with my dd when she was about that age. During the day she would only sleep in my arms after a breastfeed. As soon as I put her down in her cot she would wake up and cry. She is my 1st so I religiously stuck to the motto 'don't leave them to cry for too long'. Well, 'too long' for me was about 15 seconds ! I tried to cuddle her, swaddle her, played nursery tunes, etc. She would sleep very well at night - slept through very early - but only after her least feed at about 11pm. We cracked it one afternoon when my husband put her into bed without any warning as she was being wingy and refusing to fall asleep no matter what we did. And she fell asleep within 10mn ! I realised that all that swaddling and the rest of it was just annoying her, she needed to fall asleep on her own. Since then she's been a really good sleeper, days included. It also helped her to learn how to go back to sleep on her own when she wakes up in the middle of the night.

fredly Wed 10-Aug-05 17:01:54

what also helped was when we started using a grobag because she sucks the sleeves to go to sleep. she's never been interested in the dummy and never found her thumb! (or didn't find it tasty enough!)

hoxtonchick Wed 10-Aug-05 17:14:50

have you tried a sling? my dd is 6 weeks & we've discovered that once she's asleep in our arms she will generally sleep on her tummy on a cushion. we only do this if we're in the room with her.

SpikeMomma Wed 10-Aug-05 19:24:17

Mandymac - we have the same child! Exactly the same thing happening with mine. It's awful to see him so tired yet seems too wired to sleep during the day (not too bad at night, awake once or twice a night and dead on 6pm no matter what!). Found the hairdryer works a bit, and laying him on his side on my thighs, swaying with little finger in mouth sooths him to sometimes get him down. Tried settling before he gets tired - but the monkey fights it!

Anyone have the answer?! My poor little lad is knackered!!

Mandymac - sending you a sympathy hug. It will get better. It's not just you. May the force be with you!

mandymac Wed 10-Aug-05 21:26:37

Very weird, just trying to feed dd, and she was really fighting it, screaming, etc. I had her loosely swaddled, picked her up and shushed her loud enough to be heard over the screaming. After 3 or 4 shushes, she was asleep, carried on shushing quieter and put her in moses basket - she slept for about 45 mins. Just fed her again however and now she won't settle - oh well. I have just ordered Harvey Karps 'Baby Bliss' book, from Amazon, as I know Shushing is his speciality - has anyone else tried the methods in this book on restless crying babies - did they work (nb: he's they guy who was on Richard & Judy apparently).

tribpot Wed 10-Aug-05 21:39:23

I know the Baby Whisperer has a theory that this kind of screaming can be a way of blocking out sensory overload, I guess you have tried a quiet room, blackout curtains as you say, etc?

My baby hates being swaddled, for what it's worth. We basically never try that. Does she settle if you put her over your shoulder? Sometimes just that tummy pressure can help a baby with trapped wind or similar. Will she settle if you let her sleep with her tummy on your chest or legs? We are totally crap at getting our baby to sleep in his Moses basket, but the result is he does sleep very well, and frankly at times that is more important than anything else.

As to DH getting into trouble, I say absolutely on occasion get him to come home and give you a well-earnt break from it. Don't worry about what his work think, let him be the judge of that.

mogwai Wed 10-Aug-05 22:56:59

same problem here - sympathies. I find the hoover calms her down but who wants to listen to thst?

Anyway, I hit on a new one this evening......

I figured if she was going to scream down my ears for an hour, I'd wear the iPOD so I couldn't hear it (this started with me wearing earplugs to protect my sanity). I ended up playing my favorite album, rocking her, singing my head off. I used to play this album a lot in the car when I was pregnant. I looked down and she was asleep. Could be a one-off but try it with a walkman or similar

Nadene Thu 11-Aug-05 01:50:37

I had the same problem. I tried the letting her cry herself to sleep (on doctors orders) and it actually works and the crying time gets shorter and shorter. Its like she is learning to go to sleep by herself and I don't feel bad about the crying anymore because she sleeps a lot better and is a lot happier. Its like she's learning a new skill. I know its harsh but I had to do it because she was so overtired that even when I tried to rock her to sleep she wouldn't calm down in my arms. The only solution was to put her to bed and let her cry for a bit. And it works!

Yanka Thu 11-Aug-05 09:31:30


We had a bad sleeper as well - there were times when DD wouldn't sleep anywhere else than in her pushchair (only when it moved at a certain speed over bumps), her bouncy/vibrating chair or on me. We thought she hated swaddling, so I only tried it in desperation at about 7 weeks after a two-hour screaming session at 3 am. Surprisingly to me, she fell asleep immediately! From then on we swaddled religiously all the time (and using Tracy Hogg's shh-pat to settle her to sleep). There would always be initial screaming (about 5 minutes and then she would fall asleep. Now she is 16 weeks and we moved her from her moses basket to a cotbed and as she started finding her hands we stopped swaddling and put her in a gro-bag. She tends to fall asleep on her own, sleeps through the night and when she wakes at night (about two times a night), she settles back to sleep wtih no crying.
I hope your problem will also be resolved - it takes time and a few tears but it will be over one day!
Best of luck

acnebride Thu 11-Aug-05 09:59:03

I have no advice, but just to say remember that your dh does have a legal right to 68 days of unpaid leave in the first five years of your child's life. If he's willing to be there, then I say take it. There ain't nothing tougher than this period of your life.

mandymac Thu 11-Aug-05 16:22:30

following swaddling and shushing nap last night, dd did wake again for a feed and then slept from 10.30pm to 4.00am, fed and then up again at 6.30am for a feed, then back down till 9.30am, and we have managed to get her to nap today, I think that half the battle is going to be stopping the overtiredness in the first place, trying to break the cycle, today has been much calmer . Shushing still seems to be working, just caught her before she went into meltdown, layed her face up on my legs (head on my knees) rocked her from side to side and shushed quite loud and within 30 seconds her eyes were closed. I even managed to transfer her to bouncy chair and she opended eyes but then dropped off again with a few more shushes .

Mogwai where have you been - missing you on the junies thread. Sounds like we are having the same problems. - Yeuch its horrible, thank goodness for redwine and chocolate, keeping me sane along with dh and mumsnet

SpikeMomma Sun 14-Aug-05 17:39:02

Mandy mac - we found the harvey karp 5 s's: shushing, swaddling, swinging, sucking and... summat(can't remember now sorry!) really good. Think it helps me settle ds in a lot more relaxing way. I'd defo reccommend it. As it does the trick most times.

The shushing works a treat. I do it automatically these days. Felt a right spoon the other day when i realised i'd carried on 'shushing' way after i'd crept out of the bedroom leaving ds in bed and i was on my own in the kitchen. Felt a bit silly when i realised i was shushing the kettle...?!

mogwai Fri 19-Aug-05 14:57:35

hey mandymac and Spikey! I'll have to get my backside over to the June thread

I took my baby to be weighed yesterday. The HV said she thought I should let her cry. She gave me a photocopy of an article about some research that was done in Australia which said that children who had been allowed to cry themselves to sleep turned into better sleepers than those who had had "intervention" - in the form of shushing, rocking, swaddling etc

I was surprised she said this but it only reflected what my instinct was telling me. I dond't need to do it at night, but I'm going to try it for the daytime naps.

Nadene Sat 20-Aug-05 00:16:58

Would love to know the outcome of the crying to sleep for daytime naps. My 10 weeks olf girl is pretty good at night but rubbish at sleeping in the day - always 45 mins only and won't go back to sleep after waking. She is very cranky in the afternoons because of this and therefore bedtime gets earlier every night which means wake time is earlier too. How do you get them to stay asleep longer in the day?

Littlestarsweeper Sat 20-Aug-05 00:20:33

I used to play ds relaxation music and spray watered down lavender oil in the room before i put him down. If she is well, you will just have to leave her.

mogwai Sat 20-Aug-05 23:12:28


We did it today nadene

she cried for 20 mins and slept for 10

My Penelope Leach book says that "wakeful" babies are more alert and developmentally faster. So what? I need a kip if I'm gonna keep up with a developmentally precocious daughter

Nadene Mon 22-Aug-05 09:10:26

Mogwai do you mean leave her to go back to sleep after the 45 min nap?

Nadene Mon 22-Aug-05 09:12:05

Sorry I meant that for littlestarsweeper - just leave her to cry back to sleep after the nap?

mogwai Mon 22-Aug-05 16:48:30

It seems to be working!

She is now napping for an hour in the morning, after a bit of a moan (about 5 minutes). She is napping for a similar period in the afternoon but still needs to listen to her favorite U2 album to get herself properly asleep for the pm nap.

Not sure if this means she loves or loathes them....

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