Help!!Sleep Deprived Mother of Almost 5 week old!!

Shellie - posted on 03/12/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My son will be five weeks this Saturday! He was sleeping pretty we up until a few days ago. He would sleep from around 7:30 - 8 until about 1 and then would wake up at about 3:30 -4 and then wake up again around 6. But now he is waking up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I don't know what I am doing wrong. I tried cluster feeding before going to bed, that didn't work. I also tried making him stay awake longer before I started to put him down. I don't want to let him cry himself to sleep, but I don't know what to do. I ordered the book The No Cry - Sleep Solution, but I haven't gotten it yet. Please help, I have to go back to work in three weeks and need to have him sleeping better by then.

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Corissa - posted on 03/16/2009

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I see you have gotten a lot of replies...and I know different things work for different people...but I can share what worked for me and hopefully it will help you in some way. Swaddling definitley helps...which I am still doing for my son who is 3 months old. It helps keep them from startling themselves awake with flailing arms. Also, I follow the concepts in a great book called "Babywise" which helps teach a baby the difference between day/night and helps establish a routine right from the start. Growth spurts do happen where a baby demands more to eat...and it usually is accompanied by or followed by a day or two of real sleepiness. Every baby is different, but I had my daughter and son both sleeping stretches of 6-7 hours by 9 & 12 weeks old following "Babywise"...it really was a lifesaver of a book for me!

Rachel - posted on 03/17/2009

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It will get better!! My daughter is 7 weeks old, she went through a growth spurt at 4-5 weeks, and it lasted about a week. I thought I'd never make it through, I got maybe 3 hours of sleep every night for that week. It felt like she woke up every hour to eat!! I even started feeling like I was doing something wrong. Its just their way of telling your body that they're growing and they need more. She has only just started sleeping 3-4 hours this past week. Swaddling helps, it helps them feel more secure. I also feed her laying in bed at night. I get more rest that way.  Just hang in there!! You are doing a great job!!

Jess - posted on 03/13/2009

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Yes, that lovely 5 week growth spurt!  It can really signat that the "baby-moon" is over but it will settle down. 



One thing I always made sure I did with my four is make sure I have a fairly settled and organised day.   I don't let mine go more than three hours between feeds during the day if they are not sleeping through the night (once they are sleeping through the night, they usually want to go up to four and a half hours between feeds during the day and I will let them do that).  I feed them as soon as they wake up then have a bit of "activity" time (tummy time, go for a walk, sit in an armchair with them in my lap and just ENJOY them - trust me the baby stage goes so quick!) and then when they start to show "tired baby" signs (jerky arm movements, yawning etc.)  I pop them into bed to avoid overstimulation.  Some of mine have wanted to be swaddled for sleep, others I patted or rocked the bassinette - it is all about what works for you and your baby.  I don't let them "cry it out"  but I am not fussed if they need to make a few grumpy noises before they go to sleep.  They are still working out that this yucky feeling means "tired" and that they need to go to sleep!   Anna (8weeks old today) got grumpy when I put her back to bed about an hour ago, so I just put her to the breast and she nuzzled in and went to sleep - she didn't want to drink, she just wanted help to calm down.



It's hard, but being calm and not stressing will be the biggest thing that will help.  Babies do pick up when you're stressed and react to it.



This too will pass!

Jennifer - posted on 03/12/2009

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I know your pain-

I had to be the bearer of bad news- but this is completely normal right now. Your baby is so young- and should be waking to eat at least every two hours.

This also helps program your body to produce more milk for him, which he will need.

Trust me- you are not doing anything wrong!

The book you ordered is a good one- but don't expects to do any kind of sleep training until he is at least four months. Right now, he needs to sleep when he sleeps- and eat when he eats.

Hang in there Mama! Try to sleep whenever he does. Feeding laying down in bed can help you get a little more rest too.

Wearing him in a sling may also keep him from getting to fussy- but doesn't help you get much more shut eye.

Going back to work will be hard- but don't worry, it does get better in a few months.

Hugs.

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[deleted account]

This is definitely normal. Your son is going through a growth spurt. I too just about went insane with the lack of sleep, but after four days he returned to normal. The next growth spurt he had was a sleeping one which was much much easier.

Shantel - posted on 03/16/2009

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unfortunately, my baby is 9 months two days ago and he just started to sleep a lot better. Your baby is so young still and I have read that if they wake  up when they are that young they need something...YOUR MILK!! I feel like when they finally start sleeping, something else happens and interrupts their sleep, like teething, or if they learn to crawl or walk it seems as if they are so excited they keep waking up. I started to give my baby baths at night an hour before bed, and then nurse him and put him down. this has started to be a good routine! But dont worry, youll find your routine, eventually!! Good luck and stay strong!!

Lisa - posted on 03/16/2009

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I agree with the suggestion to nurse in bed. I do this all the time and usually we both fall asleep and when he wakes up, he just nurses more and I fall back asleep. I hope you're getting some rest.

Misty - posted on 03/16/2009

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definately normal, i would try swaddling tho, kidapottomous was a life saver to me...recommended by mums.  Might seem to fight it at first but it does relax them after a little while...now my little man (11 weeks) assumes the position ready to be swaddled.  I think 6-7 weeks was when he started giving me a few nights of 4 hr long sleeps, now hes anywhere from 6 to 8 from put down.  before that tho he could wake every 1.5 to 3 hrs.  You have to remember their stomachs are only tiny and the little amount of milk they take (espbreast milk) digests very quickly and they get hungry again.  I recommend trying to have a good day nap with bub and be comforted in the fact that it will get better...it is for me and im only a little bit in front of you ...congrats on being a loving caring mum xox

[deleted account]

He is still soo young, keeping getting up to feed him. Try to nap when he naps.

If he uses a bottle try getting someone else to feed him while you take a longer nap.

It will get better, just hang in there, and remember you are not alone.

Cassie - posted on 03/14/2009

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I understand, it's really exhausting, but if he is waking up to eat, he needs it. He is so young that you can't start limiting at night. I'm sure he will slow down soon. Around the 2 month mark it gets a little easier.  Hang in there and remember that naps are your friend right now.

Whitney - posted on 03/14/2009

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It sucks but is totally normal..they are so unpredictable. Once you think you have it all figured out, they go and change on you! Hang in there, it gets better. My daughter is 7 months and I never thought I would make it to this point and it is just wonderful! At 5 weeks, I say just met their needs. we did let her cry it out at 7 weeks just because we would put her down when she was asleep and she would start to cry. The doc said that we needed to do it to teach her to put herself to sleep. It worked! But, if she woke up in the night for feedings, I fed her. You are doing nothing wrong..they are who they are!

[deleted account]

I did not read everyone's responses, but here is my input and suggestions.

1. Keep cluster feeding of an evening... to help increase your supply during growth spurts and to help fill him up. This is a valuable "tool" to use all through the first year. Be sure you are nursing every hour for 4-5 hours of an evening. Here is a link:
http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fus...

2. Sleep when he does sleep! Also, consider bed-sharing! Then he can nurse and you can sleep. If you are not using drugs (including prescription meds, like sleep meds), are not drinking and are not morbidly obese, you can co-sleep safely.

3. Get help from your partner if available and possible.

4. Here is a calendar of times to generally expect problems with sleep and fussy periods. This is from the book "The Wonder Weeks" and was right on for my son. Although he tended to start a week to a few days sooner and lasted a week or so longer each time. It seems to help to know when to expect fussy periods and thus times when sleep will be disturbed and know when the end of it will likely be coming.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=19...

Remember most experts say you should respond to all cries and not cry it out until 4-6mo at the soonest. It's hard, but it does get better! Best wishes!

Tamara - posted on 03/13/2009

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I "ditto" what many others have said.....Probably a growth spurt.  While all babies are different, there are some general "times" when you can expect these growth spurts, and around 6 weeks is one of them. 



At this age, your baby shouldn't be crying himself to sleep, either.  My pediatricians have all stated that up until about 6 months of age, a baby cries out of need, even if it's to be held for comfort.  Around 6 months is when you can begin the crying-it-out method (which I've done with 2 of my 3 kids), but before then they are really to young and their brains too immature to understand what's going on. 



If you pump and have a partner at home, you might want to let your partner give that middle of the night feeding.  One more thing to try is to wake and feed the baby when you go to bed.  This may help shift the baby's longer period of sleep to a time when you're actually going to bed instead of waking up shortly after you go to bed. 



 

Mary - posted on 03/13/2009

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He is probably growing! And this is normal, babies go through so many changes and stages. I wouldn't be to worried you seem to be doing your best.  Sleep deprivation is part of being a mom, and especially a breat feeding mom. My son is almost four months and I am still sleep deprived.  If it is a growth spurt he should be over it in a few days. hang in there!

Anna - posted on 03/13/2009

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Do you swaddle him?  My son hated it when we first brought him home, but at a freind's suggestion we tried it somewhere between 5-8 weeks.  I would nurse him, then when he fell asleep I would lay him down and swaddle him.  It helped him sleep in longer spurts.  I do remember a time where he had been sleeping well and suddenly woke every 2 hours like clockwork.  It didn't last long though.  Don't worry about what you will do when you go back to work.  His sleep schedule could be completely different by then.  As soon as you get used to something, it changes.  My best advice is like someone else said, try to just roll with it.  Good Luck!

[deleted account]

As everyone said....growth spurt might be the cause of it! I also reckon breastfeeding on demand as much as you can to keep him happy...maybe co-sleep or have him right next to you to avoid trips at night....and sleep whenever you can during the day too.



Good luck you are doing a great job!

Aletta - posted on 03/12/2009

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It sounds to me that he is experiencing a growth spurt.  My daughter was like your little guy, and even though it's hard, just try to roll with it as best you can.  Feed him whenever he wants (even if only for five minutes) night and day.  He will be much happier and you will be too.



I had an episode with my daughter: one night (she slept for 6 hours at two weeks old) but the next day was brutal - she would panic if not fed within the next five seconds of her "I'm hungry" cry.  It made her extremely upset and it made me awfully anxious and nervous.  That night, I made myself get up and feed her every three hours and continued that schedule for the next couple weeks.  It worked wonders for us!  She slept better and was much happier overall, while my milk supply increased.  I looked through her baby book the other day and realized why she was like that: she grew 3.5 inches in 21 days!

Tegan - posted on 03/12/2009

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That's the craziness of motherhood! He's growing and developing so much that sometimes he just needs more milk. You just kind of have to roll with it for now. :)

Jennifer - posted on 03/12/2009

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By the time you go back to work, your baby wil have gone back to sleeping what has been his routine. He'll wake more for more feedings as the growth spurts come and go!



Be sure to eat lots of fresh veggies and fruits and steer clear of high fat fast foods because they zap your energy, too!

Caty - posted on 03/12/2009

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5 weeks is really to young to start sleep training, like everyone is saying it's probably just a growth spurt, and he needs to eat more, i find i get better sleep if baby is right next to me, that way my little one can just latch on when she's hungry and i don't have to wake up all the way

Andrea - posted on 03/12/2009

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This really is normal, even though it sucks. It could be a growth spurt. My daughter will have great nights & then nights when she's up every 2 hours. It's kind of what newborns do. I think it's too early to expect him to sleep well. I would also suggest Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child & the Ferber sleep book. These books are written by actual sleep doctors & even if you don't ascribe to the sleep training methods, they both have really good chapters on infant sleep- I've found it helpful to know a little bit about the clinical aspect of sleep- that way you know that what your baby is doing is expected at that age.

Jennifer - posted on 03/12/2009

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Yes- A growth spurt typically happens between six and eight weeks. He could be waking more often to get mommy to make more milk for him :)
He is young and it will seem like after this growth spurt is over- another one will happen. Totally normal!
Just feed him whenever he wakes and wants it :)

Barbie - posted on 03/12/2009

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He's probably going through a growth spurt. He should go back to normal in a day or two. Just feed him when he wants it and he'll start sleeping again soon.

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