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Thread: 6 week old - unsettled between feeds

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    Default 6 week old - unsettled between feeds

    For the past few days and night, Ethan has been very unsettled between feeds. He just cries unless I am holding him. I was able to feed, change and put him to bed and he would sleep for a good 3 hours as he is feeding 4 hourly. But now he barely sleeps so neither do I!!!! What can I do to help him settle?


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    What is his behaviour like, other than the crying? Does he seem to be in pain?

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    Big hugs to you, I know its hard!!!! I remember DS went through a really unsettled phase when he was 6 weeks old - apparently a growth spurt time?? so they don't settle very easily!!!!! I think I used to just put him on his belly, and pat his back.. I used to sit on the couch with him on the seat beside me, and pat him whilst reading a magazine or something. I know I put him in his rocker chair thing and put him next to a window with a tree outside, and he would be mesmerized by the leaves moving and fall asleep with the movement of the chair. Or the dryer is another good one too, I used to put him in his little reclining chair in front of the dryer, and switch it on and the sound and movement used to put him to sleep.
    Good luck!!!!! Its not easy being a mum!!!!

  4. #4

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    I don't think he is in pain, he kicks his legs out and arches his back. He does eventually stop this and falls asleep in my arms and then I put him to bed but he wakes up 10-15 minutes later crying and then I try to settle him again, he falls asleep, I put him to bed and then 10-15 minutes later he is crying again. A nurse once told me to not let him fall asleep in my arms because he is waking up and not knowing where he is but if I put him in his cot before he is asleep he just cries.

  5. #5

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    Mel - I can't even put Ethan in his rocker because he just cries. He will only fall asleep in my arms but it is putting him in his cot that is the problem.

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    Back arching, crying and kicking out legs can be signs of reflux. My baby boy did the same thing starting at about 3 weeks old and it turned out to be reflux. There are lots of different things on here about reflux. Have a read and see if anything else about reflux sounds like your bub. I may be wrong, just a suggestion. My boy was happy and sleeping perfectly up until that began and it took ages to convince me it was reflux! After 6 weeks of medication, he was back to normal and happy again. He's now 6 months old (today!) and is still on Zantac but hopefully not for much longer. He used to make grunting sounds as well when he was in pain. Good Luck!

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    Hmmm.. Lynn.. that is a difficult one.... not sure what to suggest next!!!!! DS always let me put him down when he was that age (totally different story now!!) I do remember him falling asleep on my chest a couple of times at that age so I just watched tv and let the housework pile up. I had it a bit easier though, my DH was home with us for the first six weeks, so I got a little bit spoiled!!!!! It might have been different for us cos DS was FF from birth basically (2.5 days old) so not sure if that makes a difference as he usually fell asleep after most feeds cos the pig would suck down so much he'd look drunk..

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    Lynn, Toby used to only sleep in my arms as well until the Zantac started to work.
    It may be not be reflux, i hope for you it isn't, just sharing the experience i had

  9. #9

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    Thanks guys. Since I have been on here he has been asleep! He must know that I am writing about him so he is behaving. From what I have read it is quite common for bubs to only want to sleep in their mum's arms. I just thought it was me and I was doing something wrong. I will read up on the reflux and see if he has any symptoms.

    Thanks agains guys, I really appreciate it!

  10. #10

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    Hi Lynn, yeah, it is very normal for your bub to want to sleep in your arms! At 6 weeks a lot of things can change and a baby that normally sleeps well can become very unsettled. It can be caused by a few different things and it usually passes. If you are worried about reflux you could try keeping him upright for a little while after his feed (like in your lap or in his rocker) and you could try elevating his cot/bassinette mattress by putting rolled up towel underneath. This will help stop the acids from rising up while he is asleep.

    Hope he settles down for you soon

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    Lynne hun *hugs* to you! Firstly - you need help, make sure you have your partner, a friend or relative nearby to take bub in arms and give you a hand.

    As others have said, they have a growth spurt at 6 weeks, but it also marks the milestone when they stop being a newborn and become an infant - they gain day sleep cycles, whereby they no longer sleep through, they actually wake up.

    I guess now would be a good time to start assisting him to self soothe. This means watch for tired signs - usually after an hour of awake time (including feeds) then put him to bed. Don't be tempted to rock him to sleep! Although it is a short term fix, eventually it could lead to a dependancy (I was still doing this at 11 weeks otherwise I would have a bub screaming all day. The thing was, I spent ALL day holding him so he wouldn't cry!). I mean, if it works and you can do it, by all means go ahead, but if it is tiring you out, then maybe just give him the opportunity to self settle.

    There are some great services out there that you can call and they can give advice over the phone.

    I went through it too and believe me, they can self-settle! Now I have a but who I put in his cot and he puts himself to sleep. No more pacing the room. But every bubs is different so explore all options.

    Good luck

  12. #12

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    Completely normal Lynn I know that doesn't make it any easier though. And I'm not the one to ask for self settling advice, because I always just went with the cuddle to sleep option LOL.

    Just a thought, (I'm assuming he is BF here) 4 hourly feeds is not a lot for a 6 week old bub. My DS did the same, but things really improved once he started feeding more often. Try offering a couple of extra feeds, and see how he goes. Maybe go 2.5-3 hourly during the day, you might find he's more settled. If he's not BF, then scrap that

  13. #13

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    It is so nice to hear that it is normal!

    Janie - yeah he is BF and has started to feed more over the past couple of days but that is because I was doing it to settle him. He did bring a whole feed back up so I thought maybe I had overfeed him.

    Dragonbub - thanks for the suggestions. I have booked into a settling class next Tuesday so hopefully there will be some good suggestions that can help us.

    Trish - thank you, it is wonderful to hear that it will pass. Although I do love his cuddles and love holding him just not all day and night! I don't think he has reflux but I will look into it.

    Thanks again everyone - I will let you know how the settling class goes and maybe I can offer some help to other mums out there

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    Good luck at the settling class Lynn! I went to one when my first DS was tiny and it was a great help. I'm with you, I don't want to hold my bub all day & night either!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    Mel - I can't even put Ethan in his rocker because he just cries. He will only fall asleep in my arms but it is putting him in his cot that is the problem.
    Same here...Jack only lasts a few minutes in his little rocker and hates his cot during the day. He seems to sleep ok on the bed at times if I feed him lying down and then I can leave him there. OR...he loves sleeping on my lap, which is fine if the house is in some sort of order and I don't have anything else pressing to do.

    I think if he were a winter baby, it'd be so much easier to deal with because I could wrap him up snugly and tuck him into his cot. I had no problems with James as he was a winter baby...I think that's got a lot to do with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Trish~ View Post
    Good luck at the settling class Lynn! I went to one when my first DS was tiny and it was a great help. I'm with you, I don't want to hold my bub all day & night either!
    Trish, what did they suggest you do?

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    mrsr - I went to the settling class just over 3 years ago so my memory is a little hazy! They basically spoke about putting your bub in a feed/play/sleep routine so your bub feels settled knowing they will be fed, etc. They then suggested swaddling your bub (using muslin in the hot weather) and putting them to bed awake so they learn to put themselves to sleep. I found with my second bub that he would settle better in his cot if I put him on his side and patted him on his back and went "shhhh" in his ear. The "shhh" sounds a lot like the noises they heard in utero so it tends to calm them down (sometimes I have to do it really loud!).

    One other suggestion if you just can't settle your bub in a cot is to try a baby hammock. My first DS eventually would only sleep in my arms - turns out he was in pain, but we found that out later - so we bought an Amby baby hammock and the first time we put DS in it for a day nap he slept for 2 hours! Sometimes I would have to bounce him in it to get him to go back to sleep, but it was much nicer on my back and arms and I could actually get stuff done while he slept. You can hire hammocks from baby hire places so that way you can find out if your bub likes it or not before deciding to buy one. HTH

  18. #18

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    Thanks Trish...I'm actually going to see if our GP thinks he may have silent reflux. There are a few similarities to his behaviour.

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