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Thread: Is this pretty normal or do we need some help?

  1. #1

    Red face Is this pretty normal or do we need some help?

    OK, I've done a few posts around the place about DS's sleeping habits lately. He is only 6 weeks old but isn't the best sleeper on the block.

    I feel like I'm constantly comparing him to other bubs his age and constantly seeking reassurance but I just want to know if his sleeping habits are pretty normal for a new bub or if we should maybe think about getting some help from a sleep school or similar.

    Basically he feeds 3 hourly throughout the day (he is breastfed). We follow the feed, play, sleep pattern during the day. He will wake, have a feed, be awake for around 45mins to an hour (depending on how he's going, I try to watch his tired signs) then I will start to settle him back to sleep. I wrap him, give him a cuddle until he starts to relax a little and get a bit sleepy (usually no longer than 5 mins) then I put him down awake. Most of the time he will cry or protest in some way when i put him down so I pat him, shhhh, stroke his face etc. Often this is enough to get him to start to doze off and then I'll leave him.

    Often though he'll be crying again within a few minutes so I go back in and often will repeat the above process.

    Once he is finally asleep, 9 times out of 10 he will wake after one sleep cycle. Sometimes he can resettle himself straight back to sleep, but often I have to resettle him. Again sometimes this is easy, other times it's takes a while and sometimes I just give up after about 30 mins and get him up.

    I do use a dummy with mixed results, sometimes it helps, other times it doesn't, sometimes he won't take it.

    I've been told he should be sleeping for about 2 hours at a time between feeds and he generally does this for at least 2 of his 4 days sleeps, his first and last sleep tend to be a little shorter because he is more unsettled at these times.

    His nights used to be perfect - he'd wake, I'd feed him, wrap him and he'd go straight back to sleep, no settling at all. He also used to do a longer sleep of about 4-4.5 hours at night but now has gone back to 3 hourly feeding. The last few nights he has not settled as well after his feeds and has needed a bit of help. Last night was a really bad night by our standards and he was awake between 1.45am and 3.30am!! I was beside myself tired and ended up in tears (again).

    He sleeps in his cot in a darkened room during the day (we have had much more success since doing this) and in his bassinet in our room at night.

    I just find the constant settling, resettling and lack of sleep at times exhausting and often feel stressed and upset about it.



    So what do you think? Does this sound fairly normal or do you think we've got a few sleeping issues on our hands already?

    I love my little man to bits, he is a beautiful baby boy, but god I just wish he would sleep more/better/easier!!

  2. #2

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    Thanks Kim. I know they are all different but I just don't want to label the poor lil fella a 'bad sleeper' if what his doing is fairly normal.

    I think that's half the problem this time - I have a toddler too so I can only catch up on some sleep when she is asleep too and she only has one sleep during the day now (she turns 3 in January) so if either of them don't sleep well at that time - there goes mummy's sleep too! Which is what happened yesterday and probably why I was so tired and upset last night.

  3. #3

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    Hi Willow
    When you put your little man down to sleep at night try putting an iten of your clothing in the cot with him. Sometimes they just miss their mum. Often this will be enough to settle him back down should he wake. It goes without saying that you should make sure that whatever you put in the cot should not be able to cover his face.

  4. #4

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    Willow I so hear you on the comparing your bub to everyone else. In the early days it seemed like my DS was the only child on earth who wasn't sleeping through from birth (lol) I too got obsessed with it but now I have learnt to accept that babies are totally different so it is almost impossible to compare.

    Now one thing is that this unsettled time could be because of the 6 week growth spurt. He may go back to his usual cycle in a few days. So that you feel better, there were times in the early days when DS would not sleep between feeds, no tired signs nothing. I would be beside myself which in turn would stress him out and in the end we were both exhausted and crying. It would be a major acheivement if he slept one sleep cycle. I guess what I'm trying to say is that what you and bub are doing sounds exactly like my DS at that age. All other babies were sleeping after each feed, going long stretches at night blah blah blah. I just learned to switch off and not get caught up in the 'my bub your bub' merry-go-round. It will get easier with time, he will settle into a routine eventually.

    My DS has only just started going for longer stretches at night but then there are some nights when he still feeds 3 hourly, so from one frazzeld mum to another, you are doing a wonderful job and you are doing exactly what is right for your and your little man.

    HTH
    Lv Spring

  5. #5

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    he sounds like a perfectly normal little guy to me.
    The constant attention that new-borns need can be exhausting and just when you think they've got themselves in a great routine they have a growth spurt or drop a sleep and you have to re-adjust to a new routine.

    The good news is that in about 13 years he'll put himself to sleep and then sleep through until after 10am :P

  6. #6

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    Spring, thank you so much, you have replied to so many of my posts lately and you always make me feel better!

    We have been taking him to a chiro too by the way (not the one you recommended though, we found someone local) but as you can see, it hasn't been a miracle cure for us! LOL.

    I love that picture of Oliver, he looks like he has big chubby cheeks, just like my boy!

    Alan - I have tried this before, but DS sleeps right next to me, literally a few inches away, in his bassinet at night so he can hear, see, smell me etc so I don't think that's so much the problem. And normally he is very settled at night.

    The good news is that in about 13 years he'll put himself to sleep and then sleep through until after 10am
    LOL Dach! One of the great design flaws of the human being - they aren't born knowing how to sleep!!

  7. #7

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    Willow, has he always slept in your room, or have you tried swith him sleeping in another room?
    Just a suggestin becuase this happened with us, but I found DS' night time sleeping improved a lot when I moved him in to his own room (I did this earlier than 6 weeks).

    This may or maynot suit you I just wanted to let you know it helped us.

    Also I think his sleep patterns are well within the range of normal.

  8. #8

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    Glad to help Willow. You just sound so much like me only a few short weeks ago. I'm sorry the Chiro isn't the miricle cure for you but hopefully it helps somewhat.

    Just hang in there, as Dach says, only another 13 years and this sleeped deprived cloud that you are floating on will be a distant memory (lol)

    Spring

  9. #9

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    Spring - i think it has helped a bit. We saw a huge improvement the first week we took him, but I'm not sure whether it was the chiro visits or us moving him into his own room for day sleeps that helped. But in the few weeks since there hasn't been much more improvement. Some days are great, others not so great, which is normal I guess.

    I'm glad i'm not the only worry wort out there! I was the same with DD and promised myself that after the long road to get here I wouldn't do it this time and would just go with the flow and enjoy my beautiful baby. But I guess it's just not me, I'm obviously not a go with the flow kinda gal! LOL.

    Rayray - he is in his own room during the day but not at night. I have been considering moving him though. I just don't know if I'm quite at this stage. It's hard cause DD was in our room with us till about 5 months so I feel a bit guilty moving him out so early. But he is a different sleeper to DD - he is much more restless and noisier and moves around a lot more which i think is affecting my sleep too. I'm trying to hold out but that will definitely be the next step if his nights continue to be more unsettled.

  10. #10

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    Hi willow ~

    It gets better! You will get a little bit of sleep before 13 i promise lol.
    I don't think you should worry about having sleeping problems later on, New bubs seem to change daily.

    When Scarlet was at that age all she really done was sleep for 3hrs then feed, then sleep again... she wasn't really 'into' being awake if it didn't involving feeding *lol* but on occasion when she wanted to play at 3am or 4am i used to take her to the guest room and lay down with her and play half asleep half awake and she was generally pretty happy just to stare at me even though i was semi-sleeping, she'd fall asleep and i'd put her back into her cot.

    Goodluck.

  11. #11

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    He sounds pretty much like Zyon & I think we notice the exhaustion more as we have a toddler that isnt old enough to do stuff for themselves & they still need us!!!

    Zyon only has short spurts of sleeps most days & then we are in & out for school drop offs & pick ups!!!

    He doesnt sound like he is a bad sleeper in a few wks things will all change again, which is what I remind myself when they have bad patches (atleast this will change again!)

    Plus at 6ish wks he could be going thorugh a growth spurt!!!


    He's a top little bloke!!!

  12. #12

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    Aw thanks Tracey!

    He's having a good old sleep this morning and making me feel guilty for even posting! LOL.

  13. #13

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    Willow, as you probably know from some of my posts, Tom was a shocking sleeper for the first 3 months or so too. After Jack who was sleeping through by 6 weeks (not bad for a bf bub!) and a good day sleeper, it was quite a shock to the system. The amazing thing is though that now Tom is a much better sleeper than Jack was at the same age. Jack started well, but day sleeps went to pieces at about 5 months, and night sleeps went totally astray when he was 7 months. His sleeping only just went back to being good when he was about 15 months. Tom on the other hand took longer to sleep well (he rarely slept through until about 12 months, but would only wake for a feed and then go straight back down), but hasn't gone off track (except for a couple of nights at a time when he's teething). So I think to a certain extent it's swings and roundabouts, you can have the problems early on, or later, but none of us (or few of us) get off scot-free.

    So the point of my ramblings is that just because your DS is not a good sleeper now, doesn't mean that it will stay that way. You might find that it all falls into place in a couple of weeks and then things will be a lot easier for you. I hope so!

  14. #14

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    Hey Willow, sounds like how Natty used to be as well. In the first couple of weeks though, she used to sleep for longer periods in the day, then would be awake for a couple of hours in the night, just as you said your DS did... every night! She wasn't unhappy, but was just wide awake, usually with the hiccups Fortunately that stage passed pretty quickly, and then the daytime catnapping began. Sometimes she'd sleep for 2 hours, sometimes 20 minutes. I used to get so frustrated because once she went to sleep (which would often take a while) I'd never know how long she'd be down for. And its not like I had something to do, I just wanted to know.
    At any rate, it sounds to me like you are doing everything the sleep schools would recommend at this point - putting him down drowsy but awake, settling in the cot etc etc. You sound to me like you have everything under control (as much as you possibly can!). But, if you feel you need the reassurance and extra support, then go for it. I know it isn't for everybody, but I have found the Tressillian helpline a brilliant resource. I've rung them twice (I wish I had've used them earlier on!) and they have been very supportive and respectful of my feelings.
    All the best, and I'm so glad he's having a nice long sleep this morning! Make sure you have yourself a lovely cuppa (in lieu of a nap)

  15. #15

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    Thanks Amy - i've called the Tresillian help line about 4 times already!! Told you i needed constant reassurance! They've all told me that he sounds to be doing exactly what they'd expect at his age (even with the waking after one sleep cycle etc and the resettling) so I don't know what more I'm looking for! I took DD to Tresillian so I know what they will recommend and am already doing it, I think it's just the reassurance I'm after and I don't know why!

    MantaRay - thank you for posting again. You've also answered a lot of my questions and been a big help lately so thank you! I often think of your boys and how it was hard for you initially too so you give me hope! I completely agree though, it's a very rare baby who NEVER has any issues with sleeping and I gave someone that same advice just a few days ago LOL!!

    Thanks girls, I think I just needed a pep talk, I'm feeling much better now.

  16. #16

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    hi there,
    i haven't read all the replies but just wanted to say it sounds completely normal... the babies that sleep well that you are comparing him to are a RARITY, not the norm... try to block out all the stories you have heard and all the comparisons, it will only drive you mad... my girl really didnt sleep much during the day no matter what i did, and often would be awake for hours in the night, up until not long ago (she is 8.5 months now)... try to stay calm and relax, i know at the time it feels like it is NEVER going to end, i was where you are and am now on the other side, it does end, i promise, he will start settling and sleeping better and for longer stretches, but it does take a little time.... i promise it will be over in the blink of an eye and u will look back on this time wishing it hadn't gone so fast.... do whatever it is that works for you, i spent weeks and weeks letting my daughter sleep in my arms while i rested on the couch and watched tv, not ideal, but better than her being awake and crying.... have you thought about using a sling - i wish i had of used one more when she was new...

    the first few weeks are EXHAUSTING, but gradually your body will get used to the shock of interupted and lack of sleep... try not to count the hours of sleep you have or haven't had... just try to take each day at a time and don't expect to much of him...

    our daughter sleeps through probably 8 nights out of 10 now, and if we have a 'bad night', it is usually that she wont settle between 7pm and 10pm, but then once asleep pretty much stays asleep til morning. I thought it would NEVER happen, but it did.... i know it seems like an age away but honestly it will go so quick, just try to enjoy him, he will only be this small and totally dependant for such a short while, now i can barely get a cuddle from my girl, and all those weeks i spent annoyed that i had to hold her while she slept, i'd love to be able to do that again, just once!!

    not sure if i have been of any help, but the story sounds so familiar and i spent too much time comparing my girl to all the other babies in my mothers group who were sleeping, it doesn't do any good... i realise now my expectations where to high.... i would make the 6 month mark my 'expectation' for him to sleep though, if it happens earlier then that is a bonus....

    hang in there it sounds like u are doing a fabulous job and all the right things, try not to get too stressed i promise you will end up looking back on it and thinking 'ohhh i wish i had relaxed and enjoyed it more' - but its very easy for me to say this now, as i am on the other side, whereas at the time i felt like i was in hell and wasn't coping.

    sorry for the essay, i hope maybe something i have said might help a little

  17. #17

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    aww willow i just read that you have a three year old, you have more experience than me!!! my post is probably useless sorry next time i will read the thread before i post!!

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    LOL Willow, there is nothing wrong with needing reassurance on a daily, even hourly basis!
    You are awesome for getting through this with a toddler as well. I salute you!

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