April 7, 2011

Reader Question: Sleep Issues 3

Jessica writes:
Please help me! I know you don't do these often, but you do them sometimes. Will you do one now? Will you HELP. ME? I'm hoping you and your fantastic readers can help. Ava is 10 weeks old now and the kid does. not. sleep. She still wakes up every 2-3 hours to eat. And it takes her 45 minutes to eat a 4 oz bottle, so if you do the math (I can't, I'm sleep deprived) I think I'm getting like 18.4 minutes of sleep at one stretch. My boyfriend works out of state, so he's rarely home so it's just me and my 10 year old and I'm pretty sure asking her to get up with the baby is a bad idea. I read "Becoming Baby Wise" because a friend swore that it helped her get her baby to sleep...I read it, and I don't get how it helps your baby sleep. In addition to her constant waking at night, she also doesn't nap. She'll take a 15 minute cat nap here and there, but that's it. I've tried letting her sleep in her bouncy chair and her swing, doesn't make her stay asleep longer. I've tried laying her down in her bassinet or her crib when she's looking sleepy, she wakes RIGHT up and is pissed. I've tried letting her "cry it out", and I hate it. I did it for 30 minutes and she just got more and more mad to the point where she started choking. (Can't do that at night anyway, because the 10 year old will wake up!) The only way I can get her to sleep during the day is if we run an errand (but it has to be longer than a half hour), she'll fall asleep in her car seat and then I just leave her in it when we get home (I know, I'm mean). I realize she's only 10 weeks old and she's BRAND NEW, but when I read that 10 weeks old require 15-18 hours of sleep, I want to cry. Here's what we're doing now: 9pm, bottle, bed time routine & asleep (was doing 7pm, but she wakes up at 10) She's up at 11, 2, 5 and then 6:30 (we never leave the nursery when she wakes) and SOMETIMES I can get her back to sleep until 8. I'm exhausted, my parents have offered to come over during the day to let me nap, but I am seriously incapable of sleeping during they day, unless I drug myself into it, and then I'm a mess the rest of the day. I have to go back to work soon, and there is no way I'll be able to function like this. Do I just have to wait, or do you have some killer advice? I'm hoping between you and your readers, someone can help! I'm going crazy. I realize this email is all over the place, but my brain function is limited these days. If it helps to know, she's bottle fed (formula).

Oh, dude, I SO WISH I had AWESOME EXPERT FIVE-CHILD ADVICE for you, but do you know, I don't think I EVER successfully solved a sleep issue, or at least not without another issue cropping right up. I consider them NIGHTMARES to handle. I will tell you EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT SLEEP, and it will not take long:

1. That thing I read a few other places, about the baby's first nap of the day being about an hour and a half after the baby wakes up. This BLEW MY MIND because it seemed so counter-intuitive: why would the baby go back to sleep again so soon after waking? But indeed, if I put my babies down at about that interval, they DID go to sleep. (This does not mean it will work for your baby; see #2.)

2. That babies are SO DIFFERENT about sleep, and that what works for one person works for someone else only by SHEER COINCIDENCE. This can be excruciatingly annoying when you've got a Poor Sleeper and a friend is telling you that if you would "just" do X and Y, YOUR baby would sleep like HER baby did. When actually what it was, was that she got a Good Sleeper and is crediting her Awesome Techniques for it, and/or that her baby happened to respond well to the particular technique. This is one of the areas where I feel like working in a daycare did me HUGE FAVORS: the more babies a person handles, the more a person is forced to accept that some babies work one way and some babies work another way and there isn't much that can be done to change that.

3. That it also matters what works for YOU the parent. As you've noticed, some people can nap during the day and some can't. People have different levels of tolerance for crying, and different abilities to adjust to different levels of sleep. People also vary tremendously in their willingness to do certain things such as swing sleep, tummy sleep, car sleep, on-me sleep. What works for you will be different than what works for another parent, just as what works for your baby will be different than what works for another baby. And this may change over time.

4. It is worth continuing to try things. There are so many stories of families that struggled and struggled and struggled and struggled, and then they tried their hundredth thing and THAT worked for THEIR baby.

5. But if it DOESN'T happen like that, see #2.

6. Are you able to doze in a recliner while you feed her at night? I did that for a lot of night feedings, but I know people vary in their dozing abilities. I used a lot of pillows to prop everything securely, and then I'd drift off. Sometimes this meant I woke up in the recliner in the morning, baby asleep next to me.

7. When you go back to work, will she be in daycare during the day? I've heard encouraging stories of daycares sleep-training the child during the day, which then results in better nighttime sleep as well.

And now let's turn it over to the group, because THAT is where I think the valuable advice is: when you can see a huge pool of advice like that, you can see the amazing variety of possibilities and you can pick-and-choose and try different things.

(You can also look at the comments from two previous sleep-issue questions: this one is my favorite and I say a bunch of things I would have also said to you except I felt self-conscious about repeating myself, and this one is also my favorite, for the same reasons, and the comments sections on both posts are SO GOOD.)


Jen said...

It sounds to me like there is some sort of feeding issue and less of a sleeping issue. 45 minutes for a 4oz bottle (which also doesn't sound like a lot for a 10 week old) seems like a long time. Maybe there is reflux or some other issue? (I had a baby with significant feeding problems). A well fed baby should sleep more.

Anonymous said...

My only thought is that she needs to recruit her parents to spend the night to give her some relief once in while. I couldn't sleep during the day when mine was 10 months old either. I doubt sleep-training works too well on a 10 week old - could be wrong, but it sounds like she needs her folks to rise to the occasion and actually help when and where it's needed (at night!). It also sounds like she is going to have to ask them to do it since they haven't offered yet. But I'd say ASK! I can't imagine trying to do all of that virtually alone.

meowmix said...

I didn't read all of swistle's advice, so forgive me if I repeat. One major thing that jumped out at me...she should not take 45 min to eat a 4oz bottle. Can you try a different nipple or a faster flow nipple of the kind you're using? I'm thinking my kids ate more than 4oz at a time by 10 weeks also, so maybe she's only eating 4 oz because she's getting worn out doing it, and then she's waking up in 2-3 hrs because she's still hungry. Of course, totally ignore me if you've already talked the feeding thing over with your dr.

Farrell said...

My daughter was not a good sleeper. She would be out COLD and then the MINUTE I put her down, she would wake up screaming. I spent many a night on the couch with her (turned in, me on the outside of the couch so she couldn't fall off and pillows removed so she couldn't suffocate)....I feel your pain. And I can only offer what worked for me, which may not work for you, as Swistle said. So, what worked for me:
-Strapping her to my chest and then going about my business; she would fall asleep until it was time to wake up and eat
-shushing in ear (like RIGHT in the ear - your lips to her ear making shushing/ocean sounds)
-white noise
that's all i got; i'm sorry; you may have already tried all of the above. The book "Happiest baby on the block" did have a lot of good tips as well.
I feel your pain!

Amanda said...

My little screamer non-sleeper ended up getting diagnosed with reflux. I know this isn't the answer for all screaming non-sleepers but it certainly helped us. Once the pain of the reflux was addressed he slept much better.

I'm also a fan of do what works for you! Just because someone else tells you a baby SHOULDN'T sleep in her carseat doesn't mean it shouldn't be done by you. My second child slept in her carseat at night occasionally because that is where she fell asleep and if I learned anything it's never move a sleeping baby.

Do you cosleep? I wish I could go back in time and just have coslept with my little nonsleeping first. I think that would have made a huge difference because even now at ten years old, a calming touch really makes a difference with him,

Amanda said...

Oh the 45 minutes to eat. YES. Try a faster flow nipple. The newborn nipples sometimes make them work too hard and they get worn out but are actually still hungry

Bea said...

I agree with Amanda - give yourself permission to use the carseat if that's what works for your baby. I think there is such cruelty in all the "rules" that get handed out to parents about never letting a child sleep in a swing/carseat/anything but a hard mattress with no bedding on it. My best friend used the carseat extensively with her babies and they're all healthy, athletic kids today with no ill effects.

Anonymous said...

I know it doesn't work for everyone - but I would have never survived going back to work with all 3 of mine without cosleeping. And, for the record, They all were sleeping in the crib by 12 months - when listening to them cry a little bit is MUCH more tolerable. When they are itty-bitty I couldn't do the cry it out thing at all, but later it's not as bad. I would give cosleeping a try. If you try it, just make sure you don't take any medications that would make you sleep heavier, and move all pillows and blankets away from the head of the bed. Good Luck!!

Amy said...

Does your bouncy seat have a vibrating feature? Since she falls asleep on car trips, maybe she would fall asleep in the bouncy if it was vibrating?
I nursed my daughter so 45 minutes sounds about right (my daughter was a slow/sleepy eater), but the comments above about a faster-flow bottle nipple make sense to me.
Good luck!

Aoife said...

My first child was bottle fed and a crib sleeper - I've been where you are! What worked for us was swaddling and body rocking. This is old school (my moroccan husband gave me the "I told you so" after I started doing this). I used Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp (who is a really nice, polite guy - he actually answered an email I sent him). The swaddling helps them feel secure and the rocking mimics the womb. It blew my mind that just RESTRAINING THE CHILD (which mentally felt good to me!) calmed him down and let him rest. I started at about 8 weeks old doing that and finally got 5 solid hours of sleep for the first time.

Good luck! I hope you find something (but dump Babywise... that woman is a fruit loop)

Rebecca said...

I had a good sleeper and a non-sleeper. Both had reflux, although interestingly enough the good sleeper had worse reflux and puking.

So that all babies are different thing? Totally right.

If you haven't tried it, co-sleeping was wonderful for me with both boys. Not everyone is comfortable with it, but they do make co-sleepers... like little bassinets that kind of attach to your bed. It promotes bonding and closeness and for some babies it's the only way they can sleep.

I'm another one concerned with her eating. I would try a faster nipple as well to see if that might help. If not, bring it up with her Dr at her next check up, just to cover all bases. Can't hurt.

Good luck!! Sleep deprivation is absolutely miserable and I truly hope you find your solution soon!!!

Marie Green said...

Ok, so I'm just going to say it: ditch Babywise. In my job, I work with new moms, and that book is poison. It puts all these THINGS in your head in a EXPERT VOICE, and then you're forced to listen to that EXPERT VOICE instead of your own instincts. And that EXPERT VOICE has never met your baby.

My best advice for sleep techniques for a newborn (up to 3 months) is "Happiest Baby on the Block". I'd highly recommend the DVD over the book. They both contain the same info, but the DVD allows you to see the techniques in ACTION. This particular book/DVD is not so much a "parenting style" as it is a "parenting technique". Therefore, it works with all types of parents and parenting styles. I'm serious, give it a try!

Also, the best advice we got is that we "slept where ever everyone was sleeping". We didn't follow any specific "baby must sleep in X". If we slept well and baby slept well while in our room, that that's where we all slept. If baby started keeping me awake in our room, then we moved baby to nursery. If I wasn't sleeping well with having to get UP and OUT OF BED to feed baby, I'd sleep in the nursery too. We went through many MANY "season" of where everyone slept, with our ultimate goal of being SLEEP and not worrying about the rest. (And for the record, even though we co-slept and nursery slept and everything in between, our kids all sleep all night and just fine in their own beds.) (Not that that's everyone's experience, but I think the fear is always "well, if I START that, then I'll never be able to STOP it" and parents picture co-sleeping with their teenagers.)

One last piece of advice that I thought was helpful: if you meet the need, the need goes away. So instead of trying to "train" a baby out of something, try figuring out what the need is and meeting it. Once you do, that need will go away. Example: if baby just needs lots of YOU time, letting baby sleep on your will fulfill that need, and soon baby will stop waking so often looking for you, and sleep better. (The key is figuring out the need, which is a trial-and-error process.)

Lisa said...

I feel your pain.

I'd second the previous posters' comments about possibly switching nipples, 45 minutes to eat a bottle seems kind of long for a 10 week old.

I have three kids; my first was awake for the first 8 months and then he slept great. My second and third kids were/are the crappiest sleepers ever. My second started sleeping through the night at 2 yrs old; up to then he slept maybe 6 hours a night and was awake from 2 am onward and never napped. I'm still working on getting my 20 mo old to sleep at night; she gets up at least twice a night. (This is totally NOT what you want to hear, is it?)

I have read all the sleep books out there multiple times. There is no magic cure, just because something worked for your friend three kids in a row does not mean it will work for your kid. I have had to come up with a whole new bag of tricks for each kid.

For all of my kids, there was no consistent sleep routine until they were about four months old. One technique I had success with was the 2-3-4 method, where you put baby down about 2 hours after they wake up in the morning, and then a second nap about 3 hours after they wake from the morning nap, and then bedtime is 4 hours after the afternoon nap. That generally looked like a 9 am nap, a 1 pm nap, and a 7 pm bedtime. Once my kids hit six months I skipped the morning nap, had one nap at 11ish, and bedtime at 7.

I'm sorry I don't have better advice (or a happier message.) I think up to 5 months you do whatever works--if they only sleep in a carseat, or cosleeping, or swing, or what have you--do what works. I coslept with the second two, just to get some sleep at night. If I went to bed at nine, I would get a solid five hours before getting up for the day. Once my second kid was mobile and getting out of our bed at 2 am, I would sleep in his crib with him in the middle of the night.

This isn't the cheapest method, but in terms of getting more sleep for you, could a family member or friend come over one night on a weekend and you go to a hotel or a friend's house and get some sleep? Just one night? My inlaws did this for us and it made such a difference for me. I think situations look so much worse when you are sleep deprived.

Lora said...

My plan of action with my babies was: co-sleeping and surrender.

I just accepted that I was going to be tired. When I stopped fighting it, and stopped reading every sleep book and trying every trick I heard of, I was able to stop stressing about it. I kept a good book by the bed that I only read during night feedings. It actually made me look forward to the night wakings.

But also, I do think you might want to go back to the earlier bed time. My babies would go to sleep early, have an evening waking, and that was okay.

Shannon said...

Oh man, I have so been there. I really hate to tell you this, but this may not actually be something that is wrong. It may just be your baby needs to wake that frequently to eat. Mine did for most of her first year of life. I realize that is not very encouraging but I can absolutely PROMISE you this WILL GET BETTER!!! Every sleep strategy out there only works on a percentage of babies. None of them are one size fits all. You can try them all if you want, but it may turn out to just make you more frustrated. My suggestion would be to focus on what will make the waking a little smoother/easier (ie. have the bottles pre-made so all you have to do is warm them? leave the washing for the morning? co-sleep if you are comfortable with that so that you dont have to get out of bed to go get the baby?)

Make sure there are no other issues causing your baby problems. Could she be in pain? Does she have thrush or an ear infection? Have you seen your doctor? Some babies have reflux which can be painful and can be treated. My daughter got a urinary tract infection at 6 weeks old that caused her some pain. Have you tried giving Oval drops or something for gas?

Try swaddling or creating white noise using a radio playing just static or something to drown out other noises. We did a tonne of swaddled rocking as it was the only thing that got our little angel to sleep!

I do know that most babies start to eat faster as they get older, so if you hang in there it will probably start to take less time to get through those night feedings.

Unfortunately, I do think 10 weeks is a little young to start letting them cry it out. I know some people are strongly against CIO and I'm not here to debate that. I'm not sure but I believe the popular opinion seems to be that around 4 months is a better time to try that. But if your baby is really just hungry, that's not going to work.

Find ways to get a break. Do you have a mother or good friend who could help you out one night to give you a solid night's sleep?

Sleep deprivation is by far the most difficult part of parenting a baby, in my opinion. The first year with my first child was really really hard. I know exactly what you are going through. My advice to you is to do whatever it takes to get through, as Swistle suggested. Bad habits can be broken later. You are a rockstar just for continuing to get up day after day! Those of us who have been there salute you!

Misty said...

Oh, Marie Green has great advice. I would see if any of that works for you. Join Amazon Mom and order the DVD so it comes to your mailbox and you don't even have to leave the house to get it.

kate said...

If you haven't already tried swaddling, I would try that - it worked for my three month old, who was previously waking up every twelve seconds. We were convinced that it wouldn't, because it seemed like he HATED swaddling, but actually, after three minutes of fighting it, he settled down and started sleeping more. And not too long after, he went from waking up every couple of hours to sleeping through the night or getting up once at the most.

That and we put him in his own room, which worked with my first as well. I think when they were in my room, I would get up when they would make the slightest noise, because I'd think they needed to be attended to, but when they were in their own room, I would only get up if they were actually crying.

And if that doesn't work, I'd try co-sleeping, because if you're waking up that often and working, it's a lot better if you're not FULLY waking up.

kate said...

Oh, and we used Happiest Baby on the Block too - hence the focus on the swaddling.

M.Amanda said...

It is so, so, so totally true that each situation is different, each baby, each parent. Ignore "rules" as long as the baby is safe. "Belly sleeping is BAD" and "swaddle!" was stressed so much to me that I still feel a little shame admitting my kid was never swaddled and slept mostly on her belly, but following those rules only resulted in lots of tears - hers and mine.

What really worked for me was cosleeping. I had one of those curvy pillows (Snuggie? It was about $50, which blew my mind, but I LOVED IT.) that wrapped around me and helped support the baby while I dozed and she ate. Also, #6, like Swistle, I slept in a recliner with the baby on my chest some nights because I was just too tired to wake up and go back to bed.

None of my attempts at sleep training worked. Maybe I was doing it wrong. Maybe she knew Mommy was a pushover. I don't know. Once she was in daycare, though, it was just a few months and she was on a schedule.

Sara said...

You've gotten some good advice here and some not-so-great advice. Putting in the caveat here that I love Swistle and her advice, I think your best plan would be to not solicit advice on the internet for this issue, which ranges the gamut from helpful to unhealthy and call your pediatrician. Thats what doctors are there for is to help you out with these type of problems.

That being said, I would echo The Happiest Baby on the Block, get the DVD from the library if you can't stay awake long enough to read the book (I've been there too :), and trying out a faster flow nipple on your bottle. Also, sleep training and CIO-type things do not work on a baby this young. Four to six months is usually the optimal period for these type of things. CIO is a method of behavior, not just putting the baby down and letting her cry.

I hope this doesn't come off as mean or judgey, it don't sound that way in my head :) You'll just get 500 different opinions from people on-line and you'll go out of your tree trying to try them all. Touch base with your child's doc just in case it might be a medical issue and see what he/she thinks.

Jen said...

You have already gotten some excellent advice. I would say if you find something that works run with it. The car seat works? Drive around the block as often as you need to! I followed the rule of never wake a sleeping baby so when mine fell asleep in the car seat, he slept there until he woke up.

I have to admit I had a great sleeper. However! He did have a dairy allergy. And in all my research on that, I found that it presents itself in various and sundry ways and one of those ways was an inability to sleep or other behavioral issues. So I would say at your next trip to the ped, ask about it. Or in the meantime, try one of the hypo formulas and give it a few weeks to really kick in. And of course I am not saying this is your a ha! solution! But just that, well I thought it would be worth throwing it out there, especially if there are other signs present...excessive spit up and the like.

Wishing you luck and the sleep that will come with it.

Kathy said...

My daughter would not sleep by herself so we coslept out of desperation. We loved it so much that we started #2 in our bed at birth.

Brenna said...

Let me start out by saying that I think I was blessed with decent sleepers. Not great sleepers to be sure, but they didn't fight everything we tried to get them to sleep.

The first two co-slept until they were ~4 months old, then we transitioned them to the crib. A little bit of CIO (please nobody yell at me) and they were good to go (with a regression here and there of course.

The third one was a horse of a different color. We couldn't co-sleep with her; the co- part went okay, but she forgot about the -sleep part of it. What we finally figured out for her, after much trial and error was: swaddleswaddleSWADDLE (she couldn't get enough) and she slept in her swing. I slept on a futon next to the swing because it made me a little nervous. Which led to using a table top fan for white noise. I wanted to drown out any noise I made since I was sleeping right next to her, but I also needed it to cover her little squeaky baby noises. I would wake up at the tiniest sound, when she didn't need me. The fan was perfect for us. It muffled the small noises from both of us, but I could definitely hear her when she DID need me.

Tara said...

My baby is 15 weeks old, and she was/is not such a good sleeper, either. We had to co-sleep to get ANY sleep at all when she was new. I was scared of the idea of co-sleeping with her on the mattress between us, but I am too cheap to shell out the money on a co-sleeper device, so I put a contoured changing pad on the bed and she slept on that between us. She slept GREAT as a result. We did this for about 3-4 weeks. Then we moved the changing pad to her pack-n-play, and she slept in there for a few weeks in our room. Then we moved the changing pad to her crib and she slept there for a few weeks. Now she sleeps about 7-9 hour stretches at night just in the crib. She does NOT nap duruing the day for more than 45 minutes at a time unless she's being held. But she is a happier baby (and we are happier parents) being able to sleep at night. GOOD LUCK!

Nicole said...

OMG, number 2. That is so true! So true! I remember when I was with my prenatal group, our babies were 3 months old. One mom looked at me like I was from outer space and said "Your baby is STILL waking up at night to feed? That's crazy!" Yes, well. My first baby was a fairly decent sleeper and my second was a nightmare. I actually have no advice at all. I'm just commiserating with you because sleep issues are terrible. We think we can control them, and we can only SOMETIMES.

One girlfriend of mine, with four kids, her first baby slept only at two hour intervals for years and years. Her second baby was sleeping eight hours solid at night by the time she was six weeks old. So you just never know. NUMBER TWO.

JCF said...

Yes, I agree with the previous commenter who said that Babywise will poison your mind by making you think you're DOING IT ALL WRONG. I read that book before my first was born, and even though I didn't agree with most of it, I still couldn't shake it for most of my baby's first year. I've heard so many other moms say the same.

If you haven't tried swaddling, try the Miracle Blanket. Maybe see if you can borrow one to see if it works for your baby, since they're kind of pricey. They worked so well for 2/3 of my kids, and it was worth every penny.

Do you have a wrap? At 10 weeks, I was wearing my babies in a wrap a lot during the day. They slept great in it, much better than in the crib or swing or anything. I found that if they got some good sleep during the day, even if it wasn't in the crib, they slept better at night.

And finally, time. Give yourself some time. I know you're exhausted right now (I've totally been there), but I think 10 weeks old is a normal age for tons on night waking. I always felt like my kids improved a lot (and so did I) around 12-14 weeks.

Elsha said...

My son absolutely wouldn't sleep unless he was swaddled, and at 10 weeks old he slept mostly in the swing or the bouncer. But we actually bounced the bouncer with a food, much more vigorous bouncing than the "vibrate" feature because the vibrating wasn't enough to put him to sleep.

What eventually worked for us to get him to soothe himself to sleep was a transition object. A teddy bear that I slept with for a week or so, then gave to him every time he slept, held it between my body and his any time he needed comforting, etc. BUT. We didn't do that until he was 9 MONTHS old. And, don't hate me, but waking every 3 hours sounds pretty normal to me for a 10 week old. It'll get better!

bunnyslippers said...

My little miss was a terrible sleeper and, in retrospect, a very hungry girl. Each time we did something to bump up her diet (adding cereal, adding solids, offering her appalling amounts of food) she slept much better. Even then, when she was a little older, we'd have to get up for cereal sometimes in the middle of the night.

There is *no way* she got 15-18 hours of sleep when she was that young. I remember worrying about the same thing. She's healthy and bright now so it didn't damage her too badly.

My advice (in short form for the sleep deprived--my deepest sympathies):

1) Switch to a bigger nipple.

2) Have someone take over for a night (you will feel far more human after five solid hours sleep).

3) At night feed her in the dark.

4) (Something I learned the hard way) Don't change her diaper at night unless she's either poopy or horribly soggy.

Good luck! And talk to her doctor if you are really worried.

She will sleep soon and you will sleep again.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

You've got some great advice here. Hopefully it won't be too overwhelming for you.

My first daughter slept terribly at around 10 weeks and wound up being a pretty great sleeper so there's hope!

1. Feeding sounds like an issue. Check nipple size and for reflux (my first had mild reflux).
2. Swaddling (specifically the Miracle Blanket, trust me when I say I've tried them ALL.) saved my life. No joke.
3. At 10 weeks we had to let my oldest sleep wherever she could. Sometimes that meant a stroller after a walk around the house at 2 am. Sometimes that meant on us in a sling while we bounced on the gym ball. Sometimes that meant in her carseat after a drive. Once she got past a rough patch, we got her out of them so she didn't create a dependence but for a few weeks there we were just in a survival mode.
4. Happiest Baby on the Block is awesome, like Swistle says. Simple to read and apply, too, thank goodness.
5. It'll get better, it really will.
6. Keep trying to sleep during the day, one day it just might work (I'm the same way, can only nap when terribly sick, or when my kids aren't sleeping then magically, once I turn off my brain, I'm out.)

Good luck!

Joanne said...

I think I am going to say the same things as previous posters, but I'll go on just in case.

During the day, I think the baby should go back down for a nap within two hours of waking. This may be different for each baby. My son would make it the whole two hours, but my first daughter had to go down every hour on the hour. It SUCKED but at least she was sleeping some, I figured. You should look for sleepy signs, like eye rubbing, and then do whatever it is you do before sleep, like a routine, or whatever and quickly get her into bed.

I definitely think the swaddle is a good idea, and I loved the Miracle Blanket too. I also think some kids do well with a sleep positioner thingy. I see no problem with a 10 week old sleeping in a car seat if that's where she'll sleep.

I keep the room where I expect my baby to sleep pretty dark and I like some white noise, like a "Baby's First Blow Dryer" CD (sleeplullabies.com) or a noise machine.

I love the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child but I think you are too tired to read it right now. I think at less than four months, all you can do is try to get them to go down every two hours in the day and doing whatever is necessary at night.

On Swistle's advice, I sat in/slept in a chair for much of my second and third baby's newborn months. I mean, it sucked because I was in a chair but it was great because I got SO much more sleep than I had with my first. I think it helps to keep the room as dark and quiet as possible. I'm not sure about the bottle issue but 45 minutes does seem like a long time for a bottle. Mine were bf'd so they were a little sleepier about it but by the time my son took a bottle, he would HOOVER it right up.

When in doubt, I would get a sling and wear that baby during the day, unless it makes you too crazy. Mine were super, SUPER fussy as well as being crappy sleepers and I found if I wore them and moved around, eventually they'd go to sleep and I could either relax in a chair or get something done, or take a walk, or just something on my own.

If you could get one of your parents to come over and take one night and get like six hours in a row, I think it would really help. It gets so hard to be so tired AND to be trying to figure out a rough sleeper, I think it's better handled by you when you are well rested. Even if well rested means just six hours in a row!

Mostly I wish you luck, I know how hard it is. I hope something works and at the very least, I find there are changes at 12 weeks and 16 weeks with sleeping that should really help. Hang in there, mama, we have all been there and it stinks!

Jenni said...

I think, like Swistle said, you just have to keep trying. I've always found that when they sleep well during the day, they sleep better at night, but some babies are just poor sleepers.

She is taking a looong time to eat that bottle. Perhaps she's just a suck-to-sooth baby? Have you tried a pacifier? I know some parents hate them (an possibly you are one of them) but if it gets you some sleep, you should consider it.

Kelsey said...

I wish I had some really great advice, but I think the keep trying until you find some way to sleep is the best answer... my oldest was easier than my younger - number two would only fall asleep on my chest for a long time - which resulted in not great sleep for me and a very sore back. But now he is three and a great sleeper so somewhere along the line it worked out... hang in there!

Kira said...

Oh. Oh honey. Fifteen years ago, when I had one baby who seemed to read the child development books when I wasn't looking (he did what everyone said he would, is what I meant), I would have totally had a ton of advice. After all, *I* clearly knew what I was doing, LOOK at my perfect bay-bee!
Now, three more kids later, I just want to bring you a cup of tea and pat your hand with loving sympathy. Hang in there, dear heart. It will get better. Or at different.

Elisabeth said...

I remember this feeling so perfectly from about 18 months ago when my son was this age and just not sleeping at all. It's such an awful mix of total exhaustion, worry about your baby, and just wanting SOMETHING to work. Right now, preferably, so you can get some sleep. I kept reading blogs from friends with similar-aged babies who were sleeping 6 to 11 hour stretches and I just wanted to sob. Or punch the screen, depending on the day.

Here's my best advice
1) Other people have mentioned the car seat and I definitely endorse that. It's the one place where my son finally started sleeping when the crib and the swing didn't work.

2) Would your parents be willing to come overnight one night? Maybe a weekend? It could help so much just to get one good night of sleep.

3) Remember that you are a good mom, you are trying your best, and that things will get better.

Amy said...

I agree with most everything that others have said. I am a Babywise mama for my first two and with my third...it was a whole new ball game. With my third, he needs to be elevated. There are great wedges you can buy or something like this: http://www.target.com/Fisher-Price-Newborn-Rock-Sleeper/dp/B004G81T7A/ref=sc_qi_detaillink.

And remember...take it day by day. It WILL get easier!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who said to ditch "Babywise". And, I agree with Swistle that the first nap is much sooner than you would think it should be. My second was a terrible sleeper until I realized that he was completely over-tired and we weren't giving him enough naps.

Try: swaddling, maybe a faster nipple, a sound machine, room-darkening shades, vibrating seat, and check out "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". Good Luck! This too shall pass...

parkingathome said...

I was reading the comments, but I figure mama is so sleep deprived that if I repeat things, it will be all new because she's already forgotten what she just read!

I never read babywise, but I never heard good things about it. I DID read Happiest Baby and it REALLY HELPED. I would probably recommend the DVD since there is REALLY no time for reading now that baby is here. The perspective of treating the first three months as another trimester and mimicing the womb as much as possible really helped me to ....not want to throw my baby down the stairs

I could never cry it out, it tore my heart up. I could never let someone come over to care for the baby to let me sleep, because I felt mom-guilt and wanted to care for baby. I got so sleep deprived that I wasn't able to drive any more because I didn't feel safe at the wheel. I could never co-sleep, because I was too afraid we'd crush him and then still no sleeping for me. I did fall victim to the "he needs to be in his SLEEPING PLACE" thing, and eventually the sleep deprivation and my husband saying something along the lines of, "if he sleeps in the swing why can't he sleep in the swing?" I realized OH. When I read that you felt bad for letting baby sleep in the car seat the first thing I thought was, "No no! SLEEPING is the operative word, not CARSEAT!!" Geesh, I feel so much of your pain, and now that I'm through it I just sit here wondering why is there not a chapter on this in the baby books because it would have been nice to know all this BEFORE it got so bad, right?

The last advice that I ALWAYS give for colic-y babies or crap sleepers or crap eaters or reflux babies is check out a chiropractor. It's one of the last things you'd think of, but - especially if you gave birth vaginally - babies can be really out of whack and a few adjustments from a chiropractor can change their little lives. Any mom who tried this will go HOLY SHIT YEAH if you ask.

Mom-guilt is the worst. Sleep deprived mom-guilt is even worser. I wasn't able to with my first, but you bet your ass I'll ask for help with the second, let the baby sleep where baby sleeps, treat the first three months as if baby is still in the womb, and do whatever it takes to care for 1) baby and 2) self. Don't forget about #2. Don't let your mom-guilt cloud your judgement to the point where you're useless, because there is a line between sleep-deprived and torturing yourself for no good reason. You CAN DO IT. You WILL MAKE IT.


Sarah said...

Lots of good advice here. Check out the eating issues first, like many people are advising. My son started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks old- and before you start to hate me, let me add that he would nap for about 15 minutes during the day and spent the rest of the daylight hours screaming....so I paid dearly for that sleep!.
But anyways, around 4 months he started waking up at night a LOT. I thought maybe it was just the new thing and was really disappointed that he seemed to have lost all his good sleeping habits. But I mentioned it to my doctor just in passing and we discovered that he was probably having a breastfeeding-related food issue (not getting enough) and was just plain starving at night. I switched him to formula (sadly) and within a week he was sleeping again. So definitely definitely definitely check the food issues first.

That said, my son is now 17 months and we're having some nighttime issues and I'll give you the same advice everyone gives me- whatever gets you and the baby sleep, just do it. If it's the carseat or co-sleeping or him sleeping on your chest while you sleep in a chair, just do it.
Good luck! I know it's so hard.

Lippy said...

You must be so tired! I think #7 is the winner. All three of mine started daycare between 14 and 17 weeks, and we have a miracle worker for daycare. Within a week or two she would have our kids on a schedule and they slept much better. I have no idea how she does it. Our middle child was a big one for the swaddling, we swaddled until she was cough 10 MONTHS cough. I started imagining us teaching her college roomate how to swaddle her. But as many have said they are all so different, just keep trying new things.

Jeff'sGirl said...

My baby is 7 months now so I can speak with Authority on the subject of all things baby. Ok, not really.

Can I just say... don't give in to mom guilt. I just read parkingathome's comment and that is so me. Feel guilty for not making the baby sleep in her own bed, and then guilty for not cosleeping. See, I read 'Babywise' and 'The Attachment Parenting Book' so this way, the voices in my head telling me I'm doing it wrong can argue with each other. Nothing like guilt from both ends of the spectrum.

Anyway, what works on my little insomniac...
-Putting her down for her first nap within an hour and a half of waking up in the morning. Like, the second she starts to rub her eyes or act tired at all, it's naptime. I have to catch the tired before it starts or she gets so wired and cranky she won't sleep more than 15 minutes straight ALL day.
-Wearing her in a sling a lot during the day, nursing often during the day. I noticed that if she spends a lot of time down playing by herself or with a babysitter (even grandma), by nighttime all she wants is constant contact with me, and preferably with my boob. I would cosleep but I just don't sleep well, due to my adorable baby constantly kicking me in the stomach and stealing the blanket. She usually comes to bed with me to nurse from 5am on and that seems to work pretty good for us.
-Car rides! Strap her in, and I don't have to be looking at her or even thinking about her, drive until she's asleep, bring her car seat inside and prop it against the fan so it's still vibrating and noisy all night.

Tonight I got tired of rocking and nursing at 11:30 so I stuck her in the sling and went for a walk around and around the circle drive to clear my head and she fell asleep beautifully. I might have to try this one more often...

Jessica in Canada said...

Sometimes the answer you need to hear is: there is no answer. Because you keep looking, and you think "if I just look hard enough I will find the answer!" So don't beat yourself up about it.

That being said, a few things to try, but don't cry if you've already tried them and they don't work:

1. Don't feed her longer than 30 min. at each feed. I am a pediatric nurse, and we never feed even underweight babies longer than 30 min. After 30 min. they only get, at the most 1/2 ounce more. So the effort is more than the calories they are getting. And then they are more tired and don't eat properly at their next feed.

2. Try laying down with her during her nap in the afternoon. My last baby was the same way as yours. Even as a newborn, he took 30 min. naps. But if I laid down with him, he took 3 hr naps. (My house was messy.)

3. Does she need to eat every time she wakes up at night? Will she take a soother (pacifier) some of the time? If you don't want to co-sleep, put her in a basket on the floor beside your bed and just lean over and pop her soother in and don't let yourself wake up entirely.

Good luck to you. You are not alone. And remember, this may just be a stage or a growth spurt.

Susan said...

I've had 20 foster babies, almost all newborns. I've been surprised at how wide is the range of "normal" in every way -- including how much or little they sleep. My style of mothering seems very much the same with each baby, yet within a short time, the baby has made her many opinions known, she's shown me just how often she needs to eat, how quickly or slowly she'll take each bottle, how long she'll take to settle down, how long she'll sleep once she's settled, how easily she'll wake up, whether she likes music or not and how much music she wants (from crying at the first note to waking up and crying if the music finally stops) and on and on and on. It's one of the things I love about newborns, and why each newborn is a whole new world of experience and never in the least bit boring or repetitive no matter how many I care for.

So your newborn doesn't surprise me in the least. She sounds just as opinionated and distinctive as any of them. I'd love to sit and sip coffee and Talk Babies with you, but since I'm typing and already have taken up a lot of space before I even start, I'll limit myself to a couple comments.

1. You get a whole new set of issues when the baby is about one year and probably much sooner, and by then all the hassles with bottles and wahing and sleep deprivation will be a dim memory. So hang on and don't despair. Even after 20 babies, it still comes as a fresh surprise to me how my whole world changes when the baby is just a bit older. In terms of sucking and wahing and sleep deprivation and ALL the things that are overwhelming you now, it's true to say it gets Way Easier. And you will say "quickly" with hindsight, even though it seems like forever now.

2. Don't worry if you feel like your baby might be less than a wonderful person. I've had newborns who were so crabby and irritable and demanding that I've concluded that maybe they might end up having a negative temperament when they're older, but there doesn't seem to be the smallest connection. For example, my 20th foster baby was my Most Difficult. He wore me to a nub -- and since newborns are My Thing, I really don't wear down easily with babies but he did it. He's the first and only of my babies, ever, where I couldn't manage all the night feedings without help because I wasn't getting enough sleep to survive. At about 9 months he emerged as one of the sunniest, friendliest, most sociable and delightful little people I've ever met. It's especially true of the fussiest babies that you just can't tell. In the same way that you are overwhelmed with the fussiness, so are they. They have their little hidden issues (who knows? gas? the mysterious issues of baby-ness) that distract them during this time. A few months down the road, it's as if they say, "Well, glad to have THAT over!" and the sun comes out. If anything, it seems like the fussiest babies tend to be the smartest and most interesting and fun toddlers, but I may be making that up.

Best wishes to you with your darling Ms Opinions!

cakeburnette said...

I tried to leave a comment yesterday, but the Google account was not cooperative. So here goes again:

"Babywise" saved our life. Not that we followed it to the letter, but it gave us some pointers for things that allowed us to find out what was not working for our first baby. We got him to sleep in 2-3 hours stretches within the first week and by the end of 4 weeks, he was sleeping SIX HOURS EVERY NIGHT. But our problem wasn't at all like yours and I agree with the others that said 45 minutes to take a bottle seems to be odd. Definitely try the faster-flow nipple. I also think the swaddling sounds like a good idea--my second one slept through the night from her 2nd day of life. We always said it was our reward for not selling the first one to the gypsies, but having read all of these comment, I think it might have been the swaddling. She LOVED being swaddled, even as old as 4 months (she had long outgrown most blankets by then, though).

Anonymous said...

Like at least one other poster, my Terrible Sleeper turned out to have a mild lactose intolerance, which we discovered quite by accident. Switching to lactose-free formula saved my sanity, because after a couple of days on the new formula she finally slept longer.

Also +1 to talk to the doctor so he/she will check out baby's mouth and soft palate just to rule out a physical issue with the slow eating and the wakefulness.

Good luck to you, and remember that it will get better!

Sabrina said...

Haven't read all the other comments, so forgive if I'm adding NOTHING to an otherwise awesome discussion.

I have to HUGELY agree re: the Miracle Blanket. If you check out their website, they have this hilarious infomercial type video where people gush about how AWESOME it is and how it SAVED THEIR LIVES, and so you think, "um, yeah right, this must be about as awesome as that Rocket Chef I ordered one night in 1999."

But it IS that awesome! I have never heard from anyone that tried it that it DIDN'T work for them, not that it isn't possible, so I would really love to hear if someone had a not-positive experience with it. But it is amazing what straight-jacketing a baby does for her sleep!

My only other thought, not that it's helpful or advice, is that it sounds like her bad sleeping is contributing to more bad sleeping. You'd think that when a baby gets tired, they'd sleep more. Ooooh no! The more tired a baby is, the more restlessly they sleep. They will get SO tired that they actually cannot get to sleep. It is SO sad. And frustrating. But I'm just trying to instill some hope. If you can improve the nighttime sleeping, daytime sleeping is very likely to improve as well, and/or vice versa. Once she gets a good stretch of sleep, it should quickly get better.

I'm sorry you're suffering so much right now--I can feel your desperation and wish you much luck!