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Help! So exhausted! Baby wont sleep!

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Shine_Bright

Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:02 PM

My little man is four weeks old and is happy just as long as someone is holding him.

He will fall asleep in my arms or on my chest but as soon as I try to transfer him he wakes up. Or if im lucky sometimes he will transfer and sleep for 40 minutes.

Im not getting anything done during the day and im getting no sleep at night, to say im exhausted is an understatement!

Some days he will sleep for up to 4 hours during the day but at night time im lucky if he will sleep for 2 hours.

Last night he was awake from 10-1am slept from 1-3am and then was awake from 3am-7am. During this time im changing his nappy, feeding him, burping him and letting him fall asleep by rocking or patting, singing, sushing and then trying to transfer him.

I have a two year old that gets up at 7am and sometimes has a nap.

Please help.

#2 Loz07

Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

Can you use a sling during the day to help get things done while he is held/sleeping?
Plenty of sunlight / play during his awake time during the day to help with day/night confusion
Night time use anything you can to get him to sleep (including feed to sleep), he's too young to develop sleep associations yet, so just work on getting him to sleep first. Change nappy and burp between sides (if BF) so you don't wake him if sleepy after feeding.
Daytime is there someone who can babysit a bit so you can nap?

#3 Fright bat

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

Stop trying to transfer him.

The aim of the game until six months is to get sleep by any means necessary, whether that be sling, co-sleeping, whatever!

#4 roxy1981

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

My DS3 used to end up sleeping with me every morning from around 2am, i was too tired to try and transfer. If he sleeps with you I would just try and co-sleep. At least you would both be getting some sleep. It's so hard when you have a toddler to deal with the next day.

#5 erindiv

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

I always put my two into bed before they were asleep, even at that young age. I would then rock, pat, shush, whatever, until they were asleep. Then quietly leave. As they got older I would rock, pat, shush, whatever, until they were nearly asleep. Then even older, they would go to bed, a few pats, and I would leave.

#6 noodlebaby

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Yup. Whatever works to get the baby to sleep. My baby used to sleep on me, so I propped myself upright with lots of pillows and she slept on me. Probably a big no no but it got us some sleep.

difference between night and day with lots of sunlight/natural light and very quiet/dark at night to start their cicadian rhythms going.

#7 raone

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

What does bub do if you put him down awake? This might not be any help but my DS gets distracted by me. If he does fall asleep with me when I put him down all hell breaks loose. But if I feed, burp, change and put him back down he will talk to himself until he goes to sleep.He has done this since about that age. If I kept checking him he would stay awake longer. Just in case anyone asks I only did this when he was okay. If he was distressed he obviously needed a burp, more food or had gas.

#8 Bunsen the feral

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

Are you wrapping him? Might be worth trying if you currently aren't - nice and snug somewhen you put him down he still feels held if you know what I mean.

#9 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

That must be hard on you OP. Some will say just put up with it and try a sling. But we all have our limits and I have to say that I would be struggling with what your going though! And your 2 year old needs some one on one mummy time too which must be hard with a velcro baby.

How is he feeding (breast or bottle)? Could he have reflux? Are you wrapping? Is he having good weight gain and output? Have you seen child health for some tips on settling.

With getting so little sleep PND is a possibility so if your not feeling right seek some help.

#10 Suz01

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

I have just come out of that routine...

I agree at night do as erindiv says, at night put down awake but sleepy and I use a mobile. Could also try a radio softly playing for some white noise.  During the day get out as much as you can. I often got an extra few hrs with DS asleep in the capsule.

I invested in a Fisher price my little lamb swing. Its worth its weight in GOLD! It saves the nursing during the day.

I hope you get that much needed rest OP.

#11 deejie

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

It's completely understandable if you look at it from a baby's point of view. They have spent their entire existence encased in warmth, being rocked gently to sleep, listening to the reassuring sounds of their mother's heartbeat. Suddenly, everything is different. Sleeping on a firm, flat surface just doesn't compare does it?

This is the basis of the theory known as the "Fourth Trimester" (you can google it) which is basically the notion that the first 12 weeks outside the womb is a continuation on life inside it. It's a tough adjustment to the big wide world.

The easiest immediate solution is to invest in a good quality carrier. Wear your baby so he can sleep happily through the day and you can play with your older child and get things done around the house.

Or you can try wrapping if he is not already wrapped.

Is co-sleeping at night an option? At least that way you can lie down and get some rest, or swap settling duties with your other half for a couple of hours to give yourself a break.

The exhaustion is overwhelming and makes the day so hard. I hope things improve for you soon.

#12 José

Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:02 AM

OP I have written ur exact post not too long ago. I only have one child though so I don't know how ur managing wiith two!!. My DS is three months and things are just improving now. I believe the improve ment is due to changes in him as well as changes in what DH and I are doing. In the early days we had no success putting DS down sleepy but awake.  However now we can and he consistently self settles to sleep. Also we used to have him in our room but not any more. Im not exactly sure why it helps my guesses include that DH snores that DH wants the air con on too cold for baby etc. The other thing that helps is keeping play time really active to wear him  out. Day sleeps are syill not great for my DS but things un general are so much better. We were like you  holding DS all the time. Our bodies were dying from holding  him- he isnt light.  We also had a sleep consultant cone to our house. I hope things get bettet for you really soon. Lack of sleep is just so difficult.

#13 icekool

Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:41 AM

You poor thing!
I did all these things (carrying, rocker, bouncing etc) for DS1 and he ended up a terrible sleeper when he was older.

For DS2 and DD, I would feed, burp, change nappy (or either way around as both had reflux) and straight into the cot. Their  day sleeps in the cot too so they know they need to sleep when they are in there. I had a routine. I wrapped both of them, made sure they are warm or cool (depended on the weather). Yes, they cried when they were put in the cot, so I held them and when they stopped I put them down again and repeated until they learnt that they needed to sleep and I am there to comfort them when they are upset. I never used the patting or stroking the face as I already had DS1 when DS2 was a baby and DS1 and DS2 when DD was a baby. Moreover, I found whenever I told a toddler to be quiet, the louder they got!

One thing I did have which I think helped ALOT was this http://www.productreview.com.au/p/tomy-sta...-dreamshow.html

I ONLY switched it on when it was time to sleep. I used it for DS2 and DD. I still use it for DD who is 14 months old and I put her to bed (cot), switch it on and walk away. I didn't have it for DS1. By chance I discovered it (actually it was DH  wub.gif ). Every child is different and some things work with others. hope you get some sleep soon.

#14 bebe12

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:48 AM


i was where you are only a couple of weeks ago. My DS had to be held to sleep. we used a sling and a fit ball to take the weight but still provide the rocking needed to get him to stay asleep and maintain it (ds was born weighing 4.2kg so big baby). With fit ball you can sit at computer or at other tables to help supervise your toddler or be sitting above them whilst they play on floor.

Ds has reflux and it took 4 weeks before meds really made a difference that was noticable he was picked up at 4 weeks which for some is early but as DD had extreme silent reflux they were happy to medicate before he got worse.

At 13 weeks i started putting him in cot and found it took 20-30 mins to get 40mins sleep. i was not up to doing this before now as had c/s and older child at school so had to wake him am and pm for school run.

I also use the manduca during the day when he needs sleep but i need to do jobs. its great as it has baby insert built in so no extra money for that part.

Ds was wrapped but at 11 weeks we started to use the love to dream swaddle as he was strong enough by then to undo swaddle wrap, but still like being wrapped. link just showing for picture of item.


Whenever you can try to get someone to take LO so you can sleep or take the toddler so only one to deal with. Try to get a neck shoulder and back massage to help you feel better and thereby sleep better to.

Good luck do what ever works. you are a great mum for doing what you have for so many weeks.

#15 MissButtercup

Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

Firstly OP your doing an amazing job! I can relate completely - this was my DD#2 for the first 18 months of her life... yep a whole 18 months of sleep battles. I still don't know how we made it through.

First thing I would check is that bub is well and not in pain eg.. colic/reflux. How is bub feed, breast or bottle? Are you eating something that could be upsetting bubs tummy? Is the formula a bad fit for bub?
I found with DD#2 that she wasn't tolerating dairy (breastfeed) so I cut that from my diet which made things a little easier.

The only other thing that worked for DD was to teach her to settle herself - I did this with the help of my life saver, my mum. I wasn't strong enough to let her cry and pat her for ages so mum was my saint. Your bubs still very young though so I would just try puting bub down drowsy but not asleep and then pat if/when required. Do you have a family member/friend that could come help out? Maybe watch your children while you get some rest? I found I was no good to anyone being overtired and it just made caring for DD harder so I would strongly suggest trying to get some rest if you can.

There are some good suggestions here too ... Eg wrapping.

ETA - I'll have to go against the grain when it comes to just continuing doing what your doing - rocking, nursing, co-sleeping, etc... from experience I found that the longer you keep going with it the harder it is to break the habit as this becomes not only what bub knows but it's the habit that you fall into as well.

Edited by MissButtercup, 19 January 2013 - 01:04 AM.

#16 NunSoFeral

Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

4 weeks is tough - what a blur.

I'm with AK - I would suggest stop trying to transfer.
I would wrap
Pop into bed the minute the tired signs started - shush, pat
Dark, cool room
If not bed, then a swing/papasan - I'm with Suz little lamb one worked very well for us.

Good luck OP - sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

Edited by gettheetoanunnery, 18 January 2013 - 04:07 PM.

#17 Red nut

Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

For daytime, sling! I'm loving my hugabug, but I think they all do the same job. My 4 weeker was the same at night, fell asleep post feed, but woke as soon as I put him down. Then I tried putting him down not quite asleep, used the evil dummy, and patted him on the legs until he fell asleep. Still takes half an hour, but at least then he's down, and gives me a couple of hours. Repeat 3 times overnight, and there is enough to survive on at least.

#18 Red nut

Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

Oh, and we love the love to swaddle up, DS always gets out of a normal swaddle and wakes himself up.

#19 axiomae

Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

4 weeks is so tiny. Sling in the day, settle in cot at night. Work towards self settling with whatever method you choose when your LO is a bit older, maybe 12 weeks. Enjoy the little baby cuddles while you can - it really is such a small fleeting time and your tiredness will only be temporary. Good sleep habits can be established when you move out of the newborn phase. At the moment your LO needs to be kept close and loved original.gif

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