Feeling low - baby not settling : Hi my lovelies, I... - NCT

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Feeling low - baby not settling

Millbanks profile image

Hi my lovelies,

I think I’m just looking for some reassurance really.

My gorgeous 4 week old baby has been a dream up until now, but the last 3 nights he’s barely slept (and neither have I)

It feels like a constant cycle of feeding / burping / nappies from 1.30am onwards. If we’re lucky with a 45 min nap somewhere around 4am but then nothing until 10am ish.

I’m breastfeeding and formula feeding but he never seems to be full and it’s starting to get to me.

Does anyone have a similar experience to share, or any tips and tricks to get me through?

I know it’s probably just a phase but it all feels a bit bleak at the moment.

Xxx

24 Replies

Hi Millbanks

No advice as such but I could have written this exact same post. Out 5 week old will not settle past 1am throw in some meltdowns into the mix because he hates being changed. He is also going through a phase of not wanting to be in his crib but wanting to be held which has nearly drove me over the edge this week.

I downloaded the wonder weeks app. It is a one off cost of £5 but it shows you when your baby is going through a developmental leap and how this may impact their behaviour such as feeding more, clingy, crying etc. X

Millbanks profile image
Millbanks in reply to Rain415

Thanks Rain, sorry that you’re dealing with this too but it makes me feel less alone!Are you just awake from 1am then? I feel like I’m going mad…

Ah I’ve heard of that! Has it been useful ?

Xx

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Millbanks

That’s the app I mentioned in my message to you Millbanks - it will tell you when your baby is going through a phase and so when they may be more restless. It goes on due date vs birth date, so mine for example are only just hitting their first milestone and in what they call a “thunder week”. They’re more unsettled, feeding more, crying more, not sleeping as much etc. Download it and have a look. It is totally exhausting when it happens but hopefully it is a phase. I’m right with you - both mine were like this last night, it was every twenty minutes and one at a time! It was like they were teasing me 😂

I know I shouldn’t do this, but at 4.30am, I gave up and pulled them both into my bed with me where they eventually settled which gave me an hour at least! They seem to settle well in my bed next to me.

Anyway, big hugs. Xx

Jess1981 profile image
Jess1981 in reply to Millbanks

My sister recommended wonder weeks to me- she swore by it. Every time her daughter was due a developmental stage the app pinpointed it exactly. She said it helped her prepare for when her daughter wouldn’t sleep! it will get better. Promise.. All stages do pass. Big hugs tho sleep deprivation is crap! Cluster feeding is normal with newborn babies it is hard work . I also have to top my daughter up with bottles too . She would eat all night and by morning nothing left! I don’t know if it’s possible but maybe nap in day when baby isnt sleeping well to catch up it is hard to make milk especially when feeling tired. I wish I had the option haha not with a toddler 🙈Eliza is thankfully sleeping better only up once /twice most nights now 😅 she’s 9 weeks and has been sleeping better at 7 weeks. I feel a wee bit more human 🤣 my sister also recommended probiotics which worked wonderfully with Francesca she is still on probiotics now as she has a delicate tummy. Usually it is colic that wakes up newborn babies 🤬 I think sometimes babies comfort feed as colic is so painful I know Eliza doesn’t she over fills. My sister also put her son in a baby swing as he tho breastfed exclusively he was still very colicky and that helped shift the colic! They say breastfed babies don’t get colic rubbish 😂They all suffer with colic🥲 Xx

Hey Millbanks,

Sorry to hear you are going through this. I went through something similar in the first few weeks. It sounds like your little man is going through a growth spurt. I promise it will get better!

I had this as well as my baby girl not wanting to settle in her Moses basket. Anyway, my solution to my sleepless nights was to get relief in the evenings from my OH so I could get about 2 to 3 of hours of sleep ready for a relatively sleepless night. Like you we were mixed feeding so my OH could use either expressed breast milk or formula whilst I grabbed some shut eye.

Something else I noticed recently is that my girl has slept much better ever since I cut out formula and I have been exclusively breastfeeding. It is not an easy process and it was a massive risk but I did it because I was at a very low point. I recognise it is not for everyone.

Hope things get better soon. By the way, can’t believe it has been 4 weeks already!

Hi Millbanks,

Yes lovely, absolutely I was there a few weeks ago. It's so, so hard isn't it.

For my wee boy I wouldn't say things have changed significantly at 7-8 weeks but you do adjust to very little sleep and things are honestly feeling more manageable. I'm exclusively breastfeeding but exactly like you mentioned, I have very little time between the end of 1 routine and the beginning of the next...24/7 🤪

However, I'm now able to get 1.5-2 hour stretches of sleep overnight which I'm sure you'll agree is progress compared to earlier weeks.

The only way I got through was let myself cry when things just got too hard (I found between say 5&8pm would usually be my tipping point for tiredness) and not feel guilty for not smiling 24/7 with our gorgeous wee miracle.

Maybe most importantly for me I found it helped to say no to people who wanted to come and sit around visiting or who wanted us to visit them for extended periods and to force myself to get good at cat naps so 10mins here, 10mins there of sleep during day when he would nod off. So I followed health visitor"s advice and prioritised sleep over absolutely everything else as often as possible when baby would sleep. In first 6 weeks I was surviving on about 3-4 hours of broken sleep, max every 24 hours.

Every baby is different of course and your little gorgeous bundle could decide to sleep and settle more from tomorrow! but I just wanted to reassure you you're not alone and it does feel easier after the first stretch and recovery too.

Much love. Xx

LizzieBW profile image
LizzieBW in reply to LizzieBW

P.s I found my little bubs started cluster feeding between the hours of 4pm and bedtime from around 3-4 weeks too which felt absolutely overwhelming because exactly like you mentioned, I worried I didn't have enough milk to keep him full and happy or wasn't able to keep up with the demand for him. In all honesty there were times I thought "Can I cope? Am I strong enough to get through this? Is this seriously my life now? Will this last forever?" because serious sleep deprivation is overwhelming! Or at least I found it was! but that too has settled down/I've adjusted more and I just plonk myself on couch with comfies on, make sure I've got what I need to hand and bed in for a few hours in evenings. Xx

Hi my love, gosh 4 weeks have just flown haven’t they?

Just wanted to pop on to say totally, totally normal what you’re going through. From recollection there is a growth spurt around 5 weeks and a developmental leap around 6 weeks which makes them extremely ravenous so they will most likely be cluster feeding when you’re bf (my boy would literally be glued to my boob for about 2 hours each feed around then 🤯) where you can, pop on Netflix and get some water and snacks and just chill on the sofa (hard at the wee hours of the morning but helps!)

Like everything, the good moments will pass 🤪 but the tough ones also will pass too ❤️ Like others have suggested, prioritise your sleep when you can - during the day if you’re able to put him down even for 20mins. Forget about housework, cooking etc just let yourself rest - it really is so important, will help with your recovery and mental health too 🧡🧡🧡 if anyone can help with cooking, laundry then it really does save you the bother and you can focus on you!

Nappy changes were tough at this stage but found using sensory cards or white noise to distract him helped stop any meltdowns.

Also where possible, if hubby can help with a bottle or two (maybe around 10ish) so you can get a good few hours sleep before the night shift - also works wonders!

You’re doing a fab job - the early days are so tough but just keep soaking in the cuddles and rest, rest, rest! Xxxxx

Hi lovely, sorry it's a tough time! As others mentioned you're around Wonder Week leap 1, as well as a growth spurt, so that might explain the change. It should get better in a week. I know the feeling about not being full - mine is mostly a really hungry boy and never says no to a boob, but he's becoming chubby with plenty of W&D nappies so he's just eating a lot to grow. I found if he slept too much in the day he slept poorly at night, especially if he had a long nap in the evening (this seems a distant memory now as I now struggle to get him to sleep at all in the day!), so maybe see how much total nap time he has and if it can be strategised. I find he usually wakes at 6am and doesn't want to go back to sleep for a bit ie that's the end of night time for him, so I take him through to hubby and grab 1-2h uninterupted sleep then. Hubby doesn't have to leave early for work in the morning though, so this would obviously be schedule dependent.

One thing I have found helpful is a white noise machine - I have Ewan the Dream Sheep but the Tommee Tippee Grofriends are not as extortinately expensive (in hindsight I would not have bought the sheep as it's stupidly expensive for what it is). I put it on every time I put him down so he knows it's a sleep cue. There are times I have put him down wide awake and he has managed to get off to sleep eventually with it on.

Last suggestion is considering using a red light for nighttime wakeups - blue light is more stimulating, including triggering melatonin breakdown, whereas red light preserves it. It does make nappy changes trickier but it stops him getting too stimulated in the middle of the night. I have a LED fireglow bulb in the bedside light and it's enough to see by to do everything.

Hope things settle down for you - nothing is static in this game, good or bad! xx

I really can't remember, those early weeks just seem like a hazy memory - probably for the best!!Just wanted to send you big hugs and remind you of the parenting mantra - this too shall pass. Although it seems like it's stretching on forever at the time. I would also remind you that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture, so go easy on yourself as what you're going through is NOT easy, even if it's fairly normal!!

Hiya! Have you tried using tommee tippee anti colic bottles. These really settled my little one. I also sometimes had to use some gas drops in his milk. But definitely helped us both get more sleep! Keep going! You got this 💗

Millbanks profile image
Millbanks in reply to Chloed14

Ooo thanks - will try those! x

No advice from me.. but just wanted to say good luck xx

Thanks lovely - hope your pregnancy is progressing well! x

Hi my girl is now 6.5 weeks old, so only just been through this ( currently on a 4 day good streak). I've been combi feeding since week 3 as from 4ish till 9ish she would constantly be on the boob and I just found it too upsetting that I just couldn't settle her. As your combi feeding can you tag team with your other half? When it's been especially bad I pass little one to dad when he gets home and get a couple hours of sleep (yes dinner and household bits gets forgotten about but sleep is more important!)

A good cry sometimes helps, last cluster feeding/non sleep period I was on day 5 of next to no sleep (OH had to work late too) and just had to put her in her Moses basket to cry whilst I went into the kitchen to cry (and stuff my face with unhealthy snacks and something to drink), 10 minutes later I looked a hideous mess but felt a lot better for it!

Could it be wind or reflux that is causing little one to be in pain and therefore fussy? If so have you tried inficol or dentinox? Both are easy to add to a bottle, although inficol can be given straight into their mouth (inficol works better for my little girl.. but you just have to do trial and error till you find one that works best)

She's currently very clingy and won't be put down during the day but will contact nap, so I bought a sling which doesn't help with you getting sleep but it does give you your hands back and I found if she gets a decent amount of sleep during the day then she settles better at night.

Sending hugs and hopefully you can get someone to have little one for a few hours so you can have a bit of sleep... Just keep reminding yourself it's a phase and it will get better

Ah it's so good to hear you're through it - I am looking forward to that!Yes crying has been a bit part of these past few weeks - but you're right it does help.

I've also decided to knock the breastfeeding on the head at night - he never sleeps for long after but will do a decent stretch after formula. Will carry on during the day though.

Luckily my husband has been amazing and has been doing the pre-midnight shift so I can get some sleep in before the early hours.

A sling is a good idea, we do have one but I've not really used it yet - will try it out today!

xxx

I don't really have any advice (even though I've been there twice!) but I want to send you virtual hugs! You are doing everything to meet what your little one needs. Those early days are really hard, especially with your first because everything is so new. But how you are feeling is completely normal. As everyone has said it is a phase and will pass - probably just in time for the next one 😁 But just remember you are doing a great job and you are your little ones favourite person - they just can't show it to you yet.

Millbanks profile image
Millbanks in reply to GemX81

Aww thanks Gem! It really is the newness - I literally have no idea what I'm doing and googling everything every 5 minutes - but feeling a little more confident now and he does seemed to have settled a tiny bit...Wow this is so much harder than I thought! xx

GemX81 profile image
GemX81 in reply to Millbanks

It's a steep learning curve but you will get there. When I had my second (4 years later) I panicked that I couldn't remember how to do it but it came flooding back like muscle memory. So if you decide to have another it's a lot easier the next time round!

Congratulations for the birth of your little one! It's hard but is normal!They are developing so fast and it's the usual fussiness between 4-6weeks.

This link may sound familiar:

laleche.org.uk/fussy-evenin...

The good news is that is a phase :)

Would you like to meet local mums?

Millbanks profile image
Millbanks in reply to Gloria_B

Thanks Gloria - it's really good to know that - definitely makes things seem a bit more manageable when you know it's a phase.That article is great - really lays it out for you :)

xx

Thank you all so much for your info and reassurance. It’s all so crazy trying to get to grips with it all 😫❤️😬

You are doing an amazing job! It can be so hard to remember when things are tough but you really are ❤️

You're so sweet - thanks for your support. It's tough isn't it! xx

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