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Four-week-old not sleeping between feeds
All day and all night

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#1 runnybabbit

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

I was hoping it'd be easier the second time around, but it's not!

So my baby is almost a month old, which I'm aware is very very little. I'm not expecting any big huge sleeps out of him or anything.

During the day he doesn't sleep for more than 20-40 minutes unless he is held (in which case he'll sleep up to 3-4 hours). Fair enough, it's a newborn sleep cycle thang.

The nights are killer though (in combination with the days and caring for a 21-month-old, too). The longest he's ever slept since day 3 is about 1.5-2 hours, and we usually only get one "long" stretch like that. He's exclusively breastfed and producing lots of wet nappies and mustard yellow poos, and gaining lots of weight.

If he wanted a full feed every wakeup then I guess I wouldn't have a problem with it, but he seems to be very snacky and basically will feed for 10 min max, too sleepy to continue feeding (have done the nappy change, feet tickles, chin tickles, cheek tickles, even damp face washer -- he just pulls off the boob if I annoy him too much and doesn't latch on again) and then usually settles relatively easily. 40 minutes to an hour later he's awake again for another quick feed.

During each quick feed he's too sleepy to gape properly, doesn't attach the best (but I have awesome hardy nipples) and then sometimes as short as 2-5 minutes later he's dead asleep and falls off the boob. If I sufficiently rouse him and try to get him back on the boob for more of a feed, he arches his back and pushes against my chest and seems to be very offended at me trying to forcefeed him.

So it seems to be that during each of those wakeups he really needs a resettle rather than a feed (my husband has had success settling him without feeding him). Is this assessment right? I don't want to start restricting boob access if it's what he needs, but getting 4 x 30-60 min sleeps overnight is really really hard after close to a month of it. My husband also can't help too much overnight as he has to drive for work and I worry about fatigue driving, but I'm exhausted too.

I realise that four weeks is way too early to even think about any sort of sleep training. I did have success with my first with shush-patting him into a subsequent sleep cycle to extend his naps; do I have a chance in hell at any success with this at such an early age?

Can anyone help, pleeeeeease? I am so sleepy.

#2 lucky 2

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

I reckon that's fine rb, you have assessed that his very frequent feeds at night are short and sleepy and you are trying to change that pattern in a way the considers the needs of your baby and yourself. That sounds sensible.
I wouldn't consider it sleep training, I'd call it a survival strategy!
If you or your dh could try to settle him without a feed especially in the earlier stages of the night when you are ? more likely to be still out of bed (well dh anyway) and if this leads to his feed being a bigger one and a bit extra sleep then that's a great outcome. You move ahead with this plan if it works, if baby is totally against it then you reassess your plan.
I'd just keep an eye on wee and poo etc and if he is thriving well and giving you less wakes in the night then that's a win-win.
What gestation was he born at?
I hope you get a bit extra sleep very soon.
All the best.

#3 Phoenix Blue

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

Does he cluster feed in the evening? If you can pick the cluster feeding, and kind of decide/work out when it's over, then palm him off to your DH and take yourself off to bed. Tell your DH not to bring him to you for 3 hours. Your DH 'should' be able to resettle him (even if he's holding him for all the sleep) in that time, and give you a chance to have a block of sleep.

I would not worry at all about creating bad sleep habits (holding, rocking, etc) as that is how you get a newborn to sleep! Have you heard/read about the 5 S's (Happiest Baby on the Block) Swaddle, Shhh, Suck, Sway... ummm what's the 5th??? Make sure you're doing all/some of those perhaps at every 2nd wake up if you think it's too soon to feed again. Take it in turns with your DH later in the night, so you only get up to feed every 2nd wake up if he's only sleeping 40 mins at a time.

Hang in there, he'll get there!

#4 SpaghettiMonster

Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

Google 'newborn shutdown at breast' as it has a heap of info that sounds relevant to what you are experiencing OP. The first search result is the one you may want to read. If I wasn't on the iPad I would copy and paste the link!

Edited by Half Baked, 03 February 2013 - 02:49 PM.

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