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Thread: Newborn finds it hard to sleep overnight

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Newborn finds it hard to sleep overnight

    Hi Everyone,

    I think my 4wk old has day/night confusion.

    Loren seems to feed and sleep well through the day. She usually does 2 longer sleeps during the day with little cat naps in between. Come 9pm at night I usually feed her and then it takes me hours to get her settled, some times all night. Over night she really only sleeps for one hour at a time and needs re-settling constantly.

    She is a windy bub and I have started to burb her during feeds as much as possilbe. Overnight she seems to struggle with wind and goes through sessions of grunting and pushing.

    I gave her the dummy which was ok initially but now she wakes and screams when she loses it. This means I am out of bed continuously.

    She hates being swaddled with her arms restricted so I swaddle her from the under the arms.

    She seems to settle when I walk around the house with her patting her bum but as soon as I put her down she screams.

    I am thinking of trying to keep her awake through the day and introduce frequent feeding in order to encourage her to sleep at night.

    Atm I am mosting bfing and comp feeding when I have to. Additionally she loves sleeping on her belly but I am too scared to put her on her belly overnight.

    If anyone has any ideas please help...Mum needs some sleep

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    home sweet home.


    BekZ: It is so hard when you have a bub that doesn't sleep overnight, I was there a few months ago and was beside myself. My DS would feed for an hour, sleep for about and hour and then the cycle would start all over again.

    I don't really have any suggestions other than to say you are doing everything perfect and your baby sounds totally normal. It just takes a while for our little bubs to get into a routine (some longer than others) but gradually you will notice that the night sleeps become longer and longer.

    I wouldn't keep her up during the day, she will just become harder to settle if she is over tired, you could however try cluser feeding in the afternoon and see if that helps her stretch out for a few hours.

    HTH Spring

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Boyne Island


    Bek just going through the same thing myself.. I just put olivia on her tummy.. I have an angelcare monitor though.. I put her on her back or side when she first goes down then her tummy if she doesn't settle at the next feed..

    If she is getting used to her tummy during the day then she might expect it at night kwim? If you really aren't keen on the night tummy buso.. Maybe start training her to sleep in a different position during the day...

    If you keep her awake during the day you will end up with one very overtired and grump baby who won't sleep anyways.. How do you feel about her sleeping on your chest on her tummy at night? Even if it just so you both get some sleep to be able to deal with the situation once you are both well rested?

    Good Luck.. I hope she starts sleeping soon

  4. #4


    Hey Bek!

    Both my bubs have always slept better at night than during the day so although I don't have the same problem exactly, we have had sleeping issues and I know how hard it is!

    I would suggest introducing a bed time routine if you haven't already - we do bath, massage, feed, bed. Apparently this helps as a trigger for them work out night from day and when they should be sleeping for longer stretches. Seems to work here. Also when you feed at night, are you keeping her in a dark room, no noise and limited interaction etc? This will also help her learn night from day.

    You are probably already doing all of this but she is only 4 weeks old and I think she'll probably work it out on her own in the next few weeks.

    I wouldn't keep her up during the day because I think Spring is right, she will become over tired and that will only make things harder.

    In the meantime I guess all you can do is try and sleep when both girls are sleeping (this usually happens at least once during the day here). Not a perfect solution but it helps with the sleep deprivation!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Winter is coming


    I would second the idea of a night routine. We do bath, short play with dad, then I feed him to sleep. It works well for us.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    Hey Bek, sterling effort you are putting in!
    I was one for waking bubs during the day, though I didn't keep her awake, I just woke her to feed, then put her back to sleep. She used to have a 4-6 hour nap during the day in those first weeks, then would be awake for a few hours overnight! (Not crying or unhappy, just very very awake and wanting to be held) That's when I decided she'd feed at least 3-hourly during the day, regardless. Having said that, she was pretty cranky when I woke her and the feeds weren't always so good. She did sort herself out, but I don't know if it was the waking her that did it or if she just worked it out herself...
    Sorry, this hasn't been any concrete advice, just sharing my experience. I think there's no harm in trying to wake Sara for feeds during the day (of course only if you're comfortable with that) to see if/how she responds. Otherwise, if you'd rather not, you can rest assured that the nighttime wakefulness won't last forever... Keep up the wonderful work, Bek.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC


    Hi there

    I don't know if it made a difference but I basically tried to show my daughter that daytime = interesting and night-time = boring, might as well sleep.

    So during the day, I would have her in the living room/kitchen with me where there is a bit of noise, people's voices and stuff to look at etc. etc. She would still sleep when she wanted to sleep but there were things for her to look at and listen to as well. So by comparison, night was quiet, people didn't talk and there wasn't much going on. I also had her sleep in her bassinette in the living room - not so much to teach her the difference between night and day but more because I couldn't bear her being in a different room to me. By accident, I think she worked out the night/day stuff pretty quickly and she'll also sleep pretty much through anything which is handy!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    between the mountain & the ocean


    i went through the same thing with ds.. what worked for us was to give him a top up feed at around 10 to 11 pm. now he usually sleeps from 9pm to 5am.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Perth, WA


    Oh poor thing!

    From what I remember, I don't think babies start knowing the day/night difference until around 6 weeks. Felix was the same...he slept longer during the day than at night...those first 4-6 weeks are really tough, hey?

    I'm not sure what dummy you have used...we were secretly recommended to use the happy baby cherry dummy (the midwives weren't supposed to advocate use of dummies so just told me this on the sly!!!) They are probably the cheapest dummies around but the babies can hold them much better than the more expensive brands (apparently!). Certainly was the case with us...when I tried a 'slicker' looking dummy for Felix, he couldn't hold it in his mouth at all!

    Also, what Fiona was saying about making night feeds as non-stimulating as possible, is a good idea.

    I also agree with not trying to keep her up during the day. Babies need to learn to the more they can practice, the better!

    Also...have you tried cluster feeding? It's when you add in a few extra feeds before bed time. I did that with Felix and it seemed to work pretty well. Between 4:30-8:30pm, he would have about 3 feeds...just little ones but the idea was to get him full so he could have a slightly longer sleep. I'm not sure it if always works for everyone...but it worked for us!

    You'll get there...hang in there...I think the first 6 weeks were the toughest and things then really begin to get easier.

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