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  5. HELP!!! really struggling to settle my 3 week old

HELP!!! really struggling to settle my 3 week old Lock Rss

i got into a good routine for one week there and she was sleeping great but now it seems to get harder everyday. i've been up with her for i dont know how many hours now. she sleeps when i have her head on my chest but she stirs when i move her and then eventually cries. she settles best for me and not her dad (not to mention he's leaving for work in two days and i don't know how i'm going to cope by myself 6 days a week!)

i've tried changing her nappy, feeding her, it's not too hot or too cold, she soft clothes on, she's certainly had a cuddle.. so what does she want sad

i'm starting to get really emotional, what have i done?

The first six weeks are pretty much a huge growth spurt as it is but they usually have a sudden one around 6 weeks, You may find shes going through it a little earlier. Is she wanting to feed more often and/or for longer? You'll probably find it'll pass with a week but they keep going through growth spurts like this of and on. The only other thing I can think of would be wind, even if you haven't just feed her try burping her and see what happens.
have you tried wrapping her? we did this with DS and it helped alot. we also made a list of things to check what is wrong such as hungry or nappy change. that way we could eliminate what wasnt wrong and focus on what was.

Our list was:

Nappy change
needs wrapping
too cold
too hot
feeling lonely (we had a security blanket for him)

Imagine this:

You are all snuggly and warm in a floating oasis, with singing and rocking and you're never hungry because you are always fed. Now imagine that you are forced out of this happy place by brute force (or in some cases cut out) and find yourself in a bright, loud place where no one is rocking you, you feel things like discomfort and pain and hunger and you are put to bed with the expectation that you will fall asleep on your own with no rocking or singing and NO ability to control their emotions of settle themselves.

The first place is the womb, the second place is life outside the womb. For your baby the world is a very scary place and all they know is that they want to feel like they did when they were in the womb. How do they achieve that? They cry so that mum (or dad) comes and picks them up, feeds them, holds them close, rocks and/or sings to them etc. This is what they expect because they can't do any of that stuff for themselves yet nor IMO should they be expected to.

They have little tummies that require feeding little and often and as the PP mentioned the first 6-8 weeks of establishing a milk supply is basically one GIANT growth spurt. [url=] explains what you can expect in those first 6ish weeks. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 - 10 days, 2 - 3 weeks and 4 - 6 weeks.

So to answer your question she wants YOU....she doesn't care if you are feeding her or not, she just wants someone to be with her and I think is easy to forget that she is in fact helpless. The following things are some of what we did in the early days/weeks (and we had a 4 year old to cope with as well):

[item]We had DS2 in our bed. He was there full-time for about 8 weeks, part-time from weeks 8-16 and then full-time again during his 4 month growth spurt. had we not done that, no one would have gotten any sleep

[/item][item]I fed to his cues and allowed comfort feeding. I had real issues bf DS1 and was determined not to make the same mistakes again.

[/item][item]I ignored ALL the housework and spent most of my time on the sofa or in bed. If someone offered to help, I took it.

[/item][item]DP and I slept in shifts for a while (though this might not be that easy for you if DP works away for example). So he'd go to bed early and get some sleep, then I would feed DS2 at around 11ish and then DP would get up with him and would only bring him to me to feed.

[/item][item]I carried DS2 in a frontpack so that if I had stuff that I just had to do, I had hands free to do it but he was still close to me.

[/item][item]We slept him on his tummy. Now alot of people aren't comfortable with this but we found that he'd do a couple of hours if put down on his tummy and only 20 minutes if put on his back. He'd then get very overtired and he'd be harder to settle.

[/item][item]He was fed/rocked to sleep for 5.5ish months when he decided that he didn't need to do that any more to get to sleep.

So basically we did what we needed to do to get through each day. Days were predictable, but no two were ever the same. Have you got friends and/or family nearby that can help?[/item]

oh anouther thing Have you tryed a sling during the day? and yes wrapping is a realy good idea to try for the first 2months it was the only way Daniel would sleep.
I don't agree with sleeping babies on there tummy before 6 months, risking your child sufficating for a couple of hours sleep. I know people whos babies have died from this! Its not because people aren't comfortable with it its because it raises the risk of SIDS considerably (this have been proven).
And I know babies who have died when put to sleep on their backs. So what's your point? I said this was what WE did, with a disclaimer that not everyone is comfortable with it, what they do with THEIR babies is up to them. Studies show that babies will sleep in the position that is the safest and most comfortable for THEM, these don't always coincide with the 'guidelines'. We did what WE felt was best for US as a family and we didn't do this for OUR benefit, we did it for HIS.

He had EXCELLENT head control from the second he was born, he could turn his head both ways and he was ebf (a study concluded that a bf baby had their SIDS risk cut in HALF)so based on research I had done, and I did heaps of it, we felt comfortable doing this due to those mitigating factors. For US having a baby who got the sleep he needed, while mitigating risk the best we could, was more important than spending HOURS trying to force him to sleep on his back (and we did try this for WEEKS) and everyone getting stressed out.

I found this quote on a SIDS website:

'When considering which babies could be most at risk, no single risk factor is likely to be sufficient to cause a SIDS death.' Rather, several risk factors combined may contribute to cause an at-risk infant to die of SIDS.'

So to me that means that if the ONLY thing I do is sleep my child on his stomach and all the other risk factors are eliminated (which they were) then his chance of dying is as 'good' or 'bad' as any child sleeping on his back that has a parent(s) who smokes, was pre-term or low birth weight, sleeps with a pillow, feeds their baby formula and/or was overheated etc.


The first few months are hard... damn hard and there's no such thing as a routine, other than they feed, they stay awake for a bit, they sleep - they might stay awake for a bit then feed to sleep. They sleep for different periods of time, they take different volumes when they feed, there is no exact timing and you will do your head in trying to get things that way. Go with the flow, its all you can do.

In my experience in the early weeks they are super high maintenance, dont like sleeping alone, cant cuddle them enough... it does change in time as they get older.

Do whatever you have to do to get through the here and now, if that means rocking, sleeping bub in the pram, sleeping bub with you, hanging upside down in a cupboard to get some sleep... you get my drift... then do it. Make sure you burp baby and frequently during feeds (at least several times), then wrap and rock. My two loved the sound of the kitchen exhaust fan when they were really uppity - whitenoise works smile They would quiet down instantly, I'd rock them for a few mins and then ever so gently put them down. After six months I got tougher and they learnt to self settle but before six months I think you have to do whatever you need to do, they are just too little and most dont respond to self settling... despite what those books say!

Dont worry about starting bad habits, that's a crock. Babies need loads of attention and cuddling and soothing in the early days, as they get older they are able to settle more easily. Its hard work, its exhausting but you arent doing anything wrong, this is the nature of a new baby.

Cuddle that little love muffin, feed her and love her... all she wants is you cause you are her mummy. This wont be forever, once they get to around 4 months to six months they settle down a bit, sleep cycles get longer and things get better... they truly do... or no one would back up for a second kid LOL.

Take care!!

Ooooh those first 6 weeks were the hardest times for me and our little man Noah, he's nearly 7 months old now.
I was like you and found that sometimes, there is just no limit to the things you could do to help them settle a lil bit but mostly everyone is just soo freakn exhausted! I'd just sit under the frangipani tree sometimes, look at the stars and cry my heart out. Neighbors must have heard me but I didn't care. Its amazing what Lack of Sleep can really do, that you never thought about before!

I'm like the others, do whatever you have to do to just survive each half n hour block. People will always have there 2 bobs worth to put in, their own opinions, like never having ur baby sleep in the same bed as you,(noo noo slept in our bed with us for the first 2 months, other wise no one got sleep! and I was adamant when I was pregnant that no baby was going to be sleeping in our bed!!!)
Thats the only way he would sleep, right next to me) or on her tummy, no dummies, no thumb sucking - you'd go mad if you listened to them! Only listen to advice that fits in with your own common sense. And absolutely! If your little honey sleeps ok on her tummy and ur fine with this - do whatever makes her happy!

You know what? I found these 2 books 2 be helpful - the little contented baby book and the baby whisperer. Google them or borrow them from the library. I sort of gathered up lil bits from both of these books, things i wanted to try myself, things other people would suggest etc and mumble them all together and in that way, find out what suits your family the best, find out what works for you by trying a few different things and eventually, i promise, you will fall into a lil bit of a routine and getting to know your lil angel will take a good few weeks as well.

Give it time. Be so so gentle with yourself and take all the help you can get! Make anyone who comes to visit chuck on a load of washing or put the dishes away. Wrapping definately worked for our little baby so if you havent already, give it a try you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Private msg me if you would like to, I'd be more then happy to help in any way I can...even if its just a chat. I remember all too well what those days are like and you know....for us anyway...Noah started settling down and being comfortable in our world and more settled in general after 3 months. then we gave the self settling thing a go and my my my we actually got SLEEEEEP I could kiss the ground those 2 books walked u know what I mean!

hang in there...the time is passing so sloooowly right now I know, the days used to end when you went to bed and started when you woke up but now its a continous 24/7 cycle.
Invest in Foxtel for those nights where it just seems to drag on and on forever and u need something to take the edge of screaming baby! They have a radio station called AIR and u can choose the type of music you want to listen to...I chose SPA just by accident once and its the most soothing music ever, just like in a day spa!!! and I found this also helped Noah to calm down.

Ok well let me know If i can help ok!
Good luck!

Hi! Just checking in to see how you are going with everything
I thought of another idea to try: Johnson's baby bath and moisturiser, the ones in the lilac/purple bottle The bedtime range, I honestly believe that this stuff, if you use it conistently, really did help =)

gotta be worth a try hey?

I had the same sort of issues with my little one who is now 7 weeks old. I found myself in tears as she will only settle with me and not Dad. There are a number of things you could try.

1. In the evening, at around 6-6:30pm. Have a bath with your baby. The bath water does NOT have to be luke-warm like they say in all the books. It can be as hot as you would normally have it. They actually prefer it that way. If you or the baby wants to - you can feed in the bath... it creates a sense of comfort and relaxation for you and bub.

2. When out of the bath... don't try the whole body massage thing, I find it doesn't work. They just lay there exposed and screaming! Dress bub and if you want to you can rub the relaxing night time moisturiser (johnsons) onto the feet and legs.

3. Wrap bubs snugly. If too hot use a muslin wrap rather than a blanket and have a sit. Who cares about housework? It's only you! Others understand that you just don't have the time.

4. What sheets do you have in the cot... cotton ones are quite rough on their little faces. A polar fleece blanket is best. If baby won't sleep on their back it's okay to lay on the side. If you lay them on their right side it helps alleviate wind. I have a safe and sound anti roll pillow, but a rolled up towel either side works just as well.

All that should help settling at night.

During the day, have you tired a 'Hug A Bub'? They allow you to strap the baby snugly to you in a upright position with a supported head and leave both of your hands free to do what you need to do. This is the best piece of kit you can buy!!!!!!
All the best

hey guys it is going bette but i keep getting other problesm as soon as i think i've solved them all.. she has reflux and colic and i think she might be lactose intolerant, i'm going to talk to the maternal health nurse tomorrow...

thanks for all the tips i will be giving them all a go..

i do have a hug a bub but she's too small.. funly enough its a really small one too.. people keep asking me if she was prem.. she's still so tiny hasnt fattened out at all just got longer shes 8 pounds 9oz now.. and shes nearly 7 weeks old.

i have her sleeping in a bassinet at the moment.
last week in 10 hours she only slept for about 40 mins. i don;t know what to do. i have a good day and then a bad

i feed her and she always chucks up alot. now that im thickening the formula its not as bad straight away but she still spew like 2 hours later or more. and its not just a dribble.. and since i've had her on the fomula she's done 4 poo's today rather than the normal 1.. so is it this karicare food thickner or could she be lactose intolerant??

OOOoooh I think be really careful with the whole colic thing, some people throw that name around really easily. Although it's definately a valid concern, I was worried about that myself when Noah just wouldn't settle. With things like this, do not listen to ANY friend or family member, go straight to a doctor that you trust, not just one that sits there and doesn't answer your questions satisfactorily...
and do what they say. I don't think thickeners are the way to go though...she's so young, is her body ready to digest that yet? I thought they had to be much older and even then it wasn't wise to use it?

She could very well be lactose intolerant but please don't self diagnose, you'll find if you call the hospital and ask to speak with the lactaction consultant there that she/he'll be very helpful with all of these concerns and she'll be able to tell you whats going on and give you ideas to try.

Other then that there really isn't much to do. Which isn't what you want to hear at all! Its just hold onto the mast and sail through the stormy weather untill it passes. Which it does sound like reflux though definately talk to your doctor/midwife/LC about it and see what they say.
Also, if you are given any advise that doesn't fit in with your own common sense or just doesn't sit right with you....ignore it. No one knows what is absolute best for your baby but you. Even if its a tad unconventional, if it works - do it!
[Edited on 26/11/2009]

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