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7 week baby - sleep struggles

12 replies to this topic

#1 Oysta

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:21 PM

I am a new member to the forum.  My baby boy is 7 weeks old and for the past 3 days he has struggled to stay asleep (day & night).

Once I see overtired signs from him, I swaddle him and place him in his cot but with no luck - he tends to scream the house down.  I try some self settling techniques (pat, pick up and soothe/place back into cot) and he only manages to sleep for another 5 to 10 minutes before he wakes up in cries again?  He constantly yawns and jerks his legs and I know he is tired but he can't sleep?  

Is this a phase babies go through at 7 weeks?  He used to wake only 1 to 2 times during the night but now wakes around 4 to 5 times?  

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated?  


#2 axiomae

Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:56 AM

Have you looked into medical reasons? Taken him to the GP, been checked for reflux etc? Can you settle him in the car, the cot, on you, in a carrier or some other way for a while? 7 weeks is tiny - you can try having him self settle when he's a bit older.

Otherwise, don't do the pickup putdown method - too stimulating for a little one. Pat and shh, or rock his body back and forth. Try white noise maybe. There are lots of options, keep experimenting until you find what works. At that age, bouncing on a fitball put my DD to sleep in a matter of minutes.

#3 mandala

Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

7 weeks is too young for self-settling. Assuming all medical concerns have been ruled out, it sounds like your DS is in a cycle of overtiredness. At that age the maximum awake time is around an hour. My DS could often only manage 45 minutes, all of which was taken up by a feed and a nappy change.

I would suggest doing whatever works for a few days - car, stroller, carrier, sling - to maximise the sleep he can get, and then be really strict about putting him down for a sleep as soon as there are any tired signs.

#4 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

A lot of babies won't sleep by themselves at all, or for very long at that age. Carrier/sling, pram, car seat are all ways of getting them to sleep and sometimes stay asleep for long periods.

Having just come out of somewhere warm, and snuggly, and moving, they are more inclined to sleep in a similar environment.

#5 Goggie

Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:52 PM

QUOTE (KRT @ 19/12/2012, 12:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
7 weeks is too young for self-settling. Assuming all medical concerns have been ruled out, it sounds like your DS is in a cycle of overtiredness. At that age the maximum awake time is around an hour. My DS could often only manage 45 minutes, all of which was taken up by a feed and a nappy change.

I would suggest doing whatever works for a few days - car, stroller, carrier, sling - to maximise the sleep he can get, and then be really strict about putting him down for a sleep as soon as there are any tired signs.

I agree with the above. It is too soon for self settling but you are doing the right thing by trying all the techniques as he will learn it eventually. My DS is 16 weeks and now self settles for about 3 sleeps a day, the rest he still needs help with.

Does he fall asleep in your arms? Can you let him and then transfer to the cot?
The other thing is don't wait til he's overtired. My DS would be up for 45-70 mins around that age and I'd wait for 2 tired signs then wrap for sleep. Do persist with the cot settling though, they do get there but it takes time and patience. Good luck!

#6 Xiola

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:02 PM

I suggest getting yourself a wrap (hug-a-bub style) and letting your little one sleep in that.  It won't cause any bad habits and he should sleep well in it.

#7 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

Poor little guy and poor you too.   It's really common.  Have a look at this site for an explanation of what could be going on.


KRTs advice is really great.  You can even wheel the pram back and forth over a bump in the carpet if you need to be at home.  

I also had success with wrapping (arms up) and then holding in cradle hold with his face snuggled against me and just jiggling to sleep.   Then when you go to put him down, be ready to jiggle the bassinet for a minute or 2 to get past the transition.   Repeat the jiggling everytime you hear a squeak/stirring.

#8 deejie

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

As per PP, 7 weeks is too young for a baby to self settle.
Difficulties sleeping and settling and long periods of unsettled behaviour are normal for a newborn and typically peak between the 6-8 week period.Google "Purple Crying" and have a read of their website, it's a great source of information and reassurance.
Have you heard of the Fourth Trimester? It's an interesting concept that the first 12 weeks of life on the outside are basically an extension of life in the womb. It makes sense in some respects-- adjusting to life on the outside is hard. Babies are used to everything being provided for them. They are used to the comforting sounds of Mum's heartbeat and digestion, of being swayed to sleep in fluid, of being warm and snug. Suddenly, it's all different and they are "expected" to sleep flat on their back on a firm surface. No wonder they find it hard and cry!

Do whatever it takes to get your baby to sleep for the next few weeks. Invest in a good carrier so baby can be close to you and can settle easily for day sleeps. A few good days of day sleep might be enough to break the overtiredness cycle and improve the night sleeping somewhat.

It's not unusual for babies to struggle to sleep independently in a cot for the first few months. It doesn't mean it's not exhausting though. I hope things improve for you soon.

edit- for sense

Edited by deejie, 19 December 2012 - 01:14 PM.

#9 prettypenny

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

Would you consider a dummy if he not hasn't got one already?

Otherwise pp's have given good advice, just don't do it all at once. Try one thing at a time and give it a few days. Good luck, its really a tough time but it does pass.

Edited by prettypenny, 19 December 2012 - 01:17 PM.

#10 Kay1

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

I have been through this recently. I have found Infant's Friend helps a lot.

#11 Natttmumm

Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:26 PM

From my memory 6 to 8 weeks was an unsettled pHase for my girls. The started to cat nap during the day and were over tired at night.
We adopted the policy with DD1 of doing whatever it took to lengthen the sleep eg pram, car, swing, holding etc. we also used a dummy and soft music.
DD2 we used the swing which did the trick. She had a few nights sleeping in the swing next to our bed.
It will pass so hang in there and just do what's needed to get you the most sleep.
I found by 8 weeks the settled into a routine for a while.

#12 Oysta

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

Thanks so much for all your replies.

We are taking bubs to the Dr tmw to check if there are any reflux issues - I suspect yes as he tends to vomit after each feed and struggles to burp etc etc.  

I have been holding bubs to sleep for the last 2 days during the day and after around 40 mins I try to put him in his cot to see if he will sleep a little in it (so far with mixed results - somedays he will sleep 15 mins, somedays he will awake immediately).  

I have done heaps of reading over the last few days and it appears as though babies during weeks 6 to 8 are more fussy and clingy?  I hope the phase passes soon....but more importantly I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help bubs sleep...he is so tired!!!  

Infants friend?  Does this help with reflux or purely wind?  


#13 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:46 AM

Hi. just noticed you said you put him down at the 40 minute mark after holding. this might coincide with him coming out of sleep cycle and hence waking. i think 20 minutes is meant to be the best time to transfer. mind you it never worked with DD. she had to stay wherever she fell asleep. i spent the first 8 weeks holding her for all day sleeps!

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