Any tips on getting an overtired newborn to sleep, and stay asleep?

Heather - posted on 04/18/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Any tips on getting an overtired newborn to sleep, and staying asleep!? When I do finally get her down, she'll only stay sleeping for 20-30 mins. Only when I have managed to get her on the boob (it takes a lot of coaxing in that state), and she gets a decent feed, does she sleep for a solid 2-3 hours.

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Laurra Fitzgerald - posted on 04/18/2010

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Hey Heather - this is no fail! (I know this because I have 5 kids all grown up.) It's my first advice to new moms. Brew a cup of chamomile tea - let a bag steep for 5 min. When it cools put it in a bottle with expressed mama's milk or formula and give it to your baby (6 weeks old and older) in a bottle before bed. My youngest son had the ability to sleep for 5 min. and cry for 5 all night long and get rest. My husband and I were losing our mind. When he was 6 mo. old we took him to the Dr. and that's what he told us to do. He slept thru the night. I only had to do this for a week. He had developed a sleep habit. The tea helped us give him a new one. Try it and let me know if it works!
Sweet Dreams - Laurra Fitzgerald

Sonya - posted on 04/18/2010

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Try white noise. A fan set on low-medium, a white noise tv channel turned down comfortably low, swaddling, rocking, make sure she has eaten plenty till she's full ... even if that means several burping moments. Go shirtless Mama and hold her close while she's nursing or you're walking the floor with her. Mama's scent is very comforting for a baby. She knows she's safe and comforted with you. Take the time to stay with her while she naps. Lay in bed with her and nurse her (lying position.) Chores can wait! Take advantage of the bonding time with her. You'll find that it's well worth it in the end! Good luck and congratulations on your baby! Let us know how you're doing!

Stacy - posted on 04/22/2010

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I'm going to say ditto on some of the other things mentioned. what worked for me was swaddling tightly...yes, like a burrito...but really tight so there is no way the baby can get her arms out. when they are newborn they flail those little arms around and wake themselves up many times in this way,
another thing i have sworn by with my kids is a sound machine or any kind of white nosie. if it was naptime i might have the kitchen fan on. the dryer, minus the buzzer was always good.
congratulations...although exhausting, it is such a special and rare time for you.

Louise - posted on 04/22/2010

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My daughter was like this right from day one. In the hospital they put a white noise machine in her cot to get her to sleep. When I came home she would not sleep any where in the day accept on my chest and it was very sufficating. Try using a rocking baby swing as babies love motion. When I put my daughter down for the night I blacked out her room and she slept much better in the dark. I also played classical music softly all night long this seemed to sooth her. Both my boys and my daughter slept with the soft music it can be any music I suppose, it's just the fact that the classical station at the time played none stop with no talking in it! Newborns are used to the constant noise of blood pumping around them and the noises they can hear from inside mum like the tv so to try and put them in silence when they are born freaks them out. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Kristin - posted on 04/21/2010

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My daughter was an excellent sleeper until she reached 3 months- apparently she was quite collicky:( A friend let me borrow her "HappiTummi" band, which when heated up (only for a few seconds) is placed on the babies tummy and relieves them of most gas pain. I would place this on her tummy, rock her until she was relieved and put her to sleep. This routine allowed her to regain some sleep, as well as me:) Good Luck!

Lexi - posted on 04/21/2010

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swaddling never work with my son...he likes his hands too much but the routine and white noise i completely agree with. also i found out he had gas issues so whenever he cries at nite the first thing i do is burp him and i have meds for him to... good luck!

Heather - posted on 04/20/2010

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Thanks for your help, everyone. I can't tell you how much it meant to hear from all of you!
Your advice has been helpful. We did try the swaddling before my message (I think nearly everyone agrees on that method!!), but it wasn't cutting it! We finally got her down, and boy did she ever have a great sleep (good for all of us!)!! I've learned to try and notice her tired cues, before she's actually ready to sleep, and it is helping a lot. Of course, it's tough to meet her needs immediately if we're out somewhere, or in transit.... Now that she's six weeks old, I find it's no problem getting her to feed now, due to a growth spurt - she just went down 'for the night' after feeding for 1.5 hours!!! She is usually a very efficient feeder, only really eating for 10-15 minute intervals!! Crazy! I'm now sitting down for a second dinner! ha!
Anyway, thanks again. You're advice was very helpful in keeping me sane. :)

Sarah - posted on 04/20/2010

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Swaddle your overtired newborn! My LO sleeps amazing every night in his Halo sleepsack swaddle. It really helps recreate that feeling from the womb, making him feel nice and snug. The Halo ones make is so much easier to get a tight swaddle, and are safer then regular loose blankets.

Kirsty - posted on 04/19/2010

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try a warm bath a bottle and being wrapped up and snuggling them to sleep and then putting them in to bed good luck hope all is welll

Ann - posted on 04/19/2010

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Swaddling a baby seems to work. They like being wrapped up tight. If you google swaddling it will show you how do do it. My oldest daughter is a nurse at The Childrens hospital & a mom of two small girls & swears by this method.

Christina - posted on 04/18/2010

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You need to do the 3 S's....Swaddle, Swing, Shush

Swaddle her tightly, swing her in your arms while making a shooshing sound. Its tiring yes but it will work....as for making her sleep longer i would recommend give her a bottle with just a little rice cereal in the formula. That was she has a full tummy :D

Grace - posted on 04/18/2010

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Did you try swaddling? I did that with my first born and she slept pretty good.

On nights when I was overly tired and swaddling didn't work, I would put her in a swing (one of those battery operated ones so I don't need to manually swing it) and it would lull her to sleep, then I sneak her back to her cot.

Chakita - posted on 04/18/2010

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Well a warm bottle of milk always help my boys right before bed it gave them that full feeling and patted them to sleep in the crib! It works try it. Good Luck

Shannon - posted on 04/18/2010

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I feel for you, my son was not a good sleeper either. One thing that helped was swaddling him tightly in a blanket (we call it the burrito wrap.hehe). Something else to think about is a newborn will fall back to sleep before there full and be ready for more 30 min. later. Try nursing a little longer. Also remember to get yourself some rest, if your tired and stressed baby will be too. It will get easier, hang in there..

[deleted account]

Give it some time. Try doing the same thing every night at the same time, and soon your overtired newborn will be sleeping through the night.

Sarah - posted on 04/20/2010

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Swaddle your overtired newborn! My LO sleeps amazing every night in his Halo sleepsack swaddle. It really helps recreate that feeling from the womb, making him feel nice and snug. The Halo ones make is so much easier to get a tight swaddle, and are safer then regular loose blankets.

[deleted account]

Give it some time. Try doing the same thing every night at the same time, and soon your overtired newborn will be sleeping through the night.

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