Tips for getting a newborn to settle at night?

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  • Tips for getting a newborn to settle at night?
  • Premier Icon MrOvershoot
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    wrecker – Member

    Subscribed. Wreckerjnr arrived at 1600hrs today. 9lbs4!!!!!!!

    Bonny baby πŸ˜‰

    Good luck, your first?

    lister
    Member

    Feed on demand with boobs. Deal with the fatigue. You’ll all sleep sometime, it’s fine. Weird but fine. You just cope.
    2 week old babies have no routine. They just need when they need. You won’t even have a clue what it is they need for several more weeks at the very least.
    All you can do is work through it each time they cry: nappy, feeding, wind, cuddle, hopefully sleep then repeat πŸ™‚

    But don’t listen to me, my 7 year old still doesn’t sleep through! (5 year old does though)

    Crazy times, and you’ll forget and do it all again in a couple of years…then you can be smug on the internet to others.

    But please stick with the boobs, don’t listen to the bottle/formula nazis πŸ˜‰

    wrecker
    Member

    Yarp. Handsome chap too, if I do say so myself.

    spacecadett
    Member

    I have nothing constructive to add but wanted to wish you luck. I read the thread with interest because Mrs Spacecadett is expecting our 1st in Feb.

    swaddling helped our twins relax and feel calm. tried white noise but didnt really work.
    they were both on formula as neither would breast feed, we just had to adapt to their needs.
    Now, at 13mths, they sleep really well. I think from 5mths they went down for 11hrs without interruption.
    Both of them will probably make up for it in later life and go on to be right pains.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Little babies need food, changing and cuddles, nothing else. More or less of each one depending on the baby. Imagine if you’ve just been born – you can’t see and have no idea what’s going on, so if someone put you in a room on your own, you’d probably cry too!

    I would not recommend bottle feeding at night btw if you plan to breast feed. It can bugger up the supply, her breasts won’t know what’s going on. I’m sure some people manage but we seem to have spoken to lots of people who had tried breast feeding but said that they didn’t produce enough. Often it’s because they are trying to pump or bottle feed at night etc.

    user-removed
    Member

    Congrats OP and Wrecker. Don’t want to fill you with horror but ours turned one in November and has never, not once, slept though the night. It has knocked us both for six and I think we took a fairly sensible approach to the whole thing.

    We’ve tried almost everything mentioned above bar controlled crying, but as has been said, they’re all unique!

    organic355
    Member

    Well he slept from 1 to 2:30, then 4 to 5:30 then went down at 7ish and is just stirring now.
    I suppose that’s more than we can ask for.

    Not sure how I.am gonna handle this when I go back to work next week?!

    clubber
    Member

    My top tips

    Ignore anyone who thinks they have the right or only answer. Babies are all different. some just don’t sleep well.

    Read all the ideas you can find and try them (well, the reasonable ones…) – some may work for you and some may work for you at different times as your baby grows up.

    Accept that you’re going to be tired and ratty and try not to take it out on each other. Work can be hard when you’re knackered, no getting round that.

    Know that it will get better πŸ™‚ It may take a while but eventually it will. I think knowing that from experience made my second much easier to deal with than my first even though she was (is!) a worse sleeper.

    Van Halen
    Member

    tee hee – wait till you have a second. what you are experiencing now is merely mild discomfort.

    swaddle the little bugger up tight ours liked that. oh and an extra blanket.

    rum for you.

    that gin isnt great – bathtub gin for the win.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Ignore anyone who thinks they have the right or only answer. Babies are all different. some just don’t sleep well.

    That’s true.

    If it makes you feel better, or worse, we were up for a couple of hours last night with ours. She’s two and a half. She’s just a bit of a worrier, that one…

    jfletch
    Member

    We are persevering with breast feeding for as long as we can, and advised not to try and express any yet as it will effect the milk production.

    This is bolox. The only affect is that she will produce more. Anyway…

    When it comes to getting a sound nights sleep I found it was as much our anxienty that was the issue as anything to do with the baby, mainly worrying about why she was crying. Our solution to this was to give a bottle of expressed milk as the pre-night time feed (10-11pm ish). This way you know exactly how much they have had to drink. A gut full and then you know when they wake up they aren’t hungry etc.

    Can’t do it for the first few weeks though so in that time you just have to man up and get used to sleep depravation. I found that if the baby was fed I would just take her downstairs and watch TV while Mum got some rest, much better than both being stressed in the bedroom trying to do the impossible and persuade a baby that isn’t tired to go to sleep. If she was being fed I would just sleep as I can’t help with that bit!

    Premier Icon ransos
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    With our first, we’d feed her, change her, swaddle her and then break out the patented Daddy cuddle (swinging slowly from side to side whilst moving her up and down gently at the same time) until she got dozy, then into the moses basket.

    Inevitably, mini Ransos mk2 gets less attention, but usually has a two minute cry after being put dowen, then goes to sleep. She’s two months old.

    But as has been said, they’re all different. Advice is just the stuff to keep you occupied whilst you’re waiting for the little blighter to snap out of their non-sleeping phase.

    Oh, and new borns have just spent 9 months upside down, in the dark and under water. Who wouldn’t be a bit freaked out?

    Ooh

    *sits down and opens the gin*

    We’re not alone! Hurrah, mini RRR arrived 5 days ago (3 weeks early and after Christmas and New year in hospital for us).

    Because mini RRR was underweight we have to wake him up to feed him every 3 hours rather than letting him tell us when he’s hungry. If we’re lucky we get 1.5 hrs unbroken sleep before after the feeding and changing , before the next round begins.

    Tips, suggestions, generic platitudes?

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    This is bolox. The only affect is that she will produce more. Anyway…

    Not our experience. After having had lots of trouble at first, we learned that BF has an emotional/hormonal component in its mechanism*. For the same reason the sound of a crying baby can make her leak, a little sucking machine won’t do much for production. Of course many women don’t have this trouble. Also we found that trying to express during the day for consumption at night didn’t work for us. The variability in demand was causing problems – no stimulation at night meant that during the day we struggled to both feed and express. Once they both figured it out at 3 months there was tons of milk.

    Anyway – just tips for anyone trying.

    * As in, to have sex you just need to stick that in there – but if you are’t both turned on it won’t be particularly successful!

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Just find what works for you to be honest. Noone here will have had the exact same experience and we’re all just advising stuff that has worked for us – YMMV is key!

    Stuff I’d defintely try:

    Swaddling (if using blankets is a faff, then try swaddle pods – a bit of a luxury. but they worked for us). Our little fella used to be really calm when we used them – and it’s much easier to ensure they’re sleeping on their backs.

    Expressing milk – we had a pump donated by a friend made by Medela – generally their stuff works really well, but whether we’d have shelled out for it ourselves without knowing, I dunno. But having used it, and if we have another, I’d be buying it if we don’t get it donated again. I used to let mrs DD get some sleep from around eight and do a late feed at whenever dd woke for it, then swaddle and put him down in the basket beside mum. Then she’d do the next feed. You’ll have to use a bottle sooner or later so if you can get baby used to it now, then when the time comes to switch over full time, it’ll be less traumatic for everybody.

    Ewan The Dream Sheep (again) πŸ™‚

    Congratulations and best of luck RRR. I think you should keep in touch with your midwife as yours is a special case – dd was a couple of weeks early, but not underweight so I have no experience other than my own.

    Keep the folk whose advice you seek to a minimum and to those you trust most. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a scattergun approach and not knowing what has and hasn’t worked. I think laydeez are often more diplomatic in these situations and want to ask everybody’s opinion – but there comes a time when you just have too much advice to try to follow.

    I don’t think you begin to see any kind of clear pattern with what baby wants until around 8 weeks anyway – until then I think it’s best you take your lead from him/her – unless you’re reading a Gina Ford (or the likes) book in which case, knock yerself out.

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    I have no experience as a parent, however the best behaved babies of family and friends I’ve come across are kept to a strict routine. Fed, nap, sleep, awake for/at the same time every day. Seems to work well, but as I said I’m not a parent…..yet

    Regarding swaddling, do you own research on hip development issues and make up your own mind on what to do.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    You’ll have to use a bottle sooner or later so if you can get baby used to it now, then when the time comes to switch over full time, it’ll be less traumatic for everybody.

    I didn’t know there was a time to switch over to bottles!

    Anyway – sidetrack. DD is generally on the ball πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon wwaswas
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    Don’t wish to be a doom merchant but we tried *everything*.

    Our son didn’t sleep through the night until he was over 3 years old.

    Some kids just won’t.

    In the end we just developed coping strategies and routines that meant we could mostly function during the day. He’s 17 now and I still feel like I’ve not quite caught up on all that lost sleep…

    johndoh
    Member

    Not sure how I.am gonna handle this when I go back to work next week?!

    You just do – you have to get on with it. It really isn’t the end of the world. And I would try to stop finding answers on here and instead try different things to find out what works for you and your little one.

    FWIW, I noticed that one of our girls wouldn’t go off unless she was holding my finger and I had a moment of inspiration – we got her a knotted comforter – this type of thing http://www.amazon.co.uk/FIRST-KNOTTED-COMFORTER-BLANKIE-RATTLE/dp/B0044R7V6G and it worked.

    Anyway, if it helps you feel better, try having twins – then you really don’t find much time to sleep… And one of ours still gets up once or twice a night and she is 4.5 now…

    Premier Icon dmorts
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    Make sure you have carbon copies of any comforters…. no fun the day one go missing if you don’t!

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
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    At 2 weeks?
    Not a lot worth doing in my opinion.
    Check clean, dry, comfortable, if still upset, then its cuddle time.

    Don’t expect miracles, the bairn will demand 100% of your attention for quite a while, but be prepared to ignore all advice, as it will always contradict other advice. All kids are different, so are parents. I’ve just had the first full night’s sleep in the 16 months since my second was born.

    You’ll have to use a bottle sooner or later

    No you won’t. Both of my boys bypassed the bottle. There was an intermediate weaning stage of a few months of breast and solid(ish) food with tippy cups, then eventually onto just food, water/milk.

    johndoh
    Member

    At 2 weeks?
    Not a lot worth doing in my opinion.

    And I agree with this.

    Premier Icon woody74
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    Our new daughter is 8 weeks old now and we found for the first 2 to 3 weeks she wanted to be be cuddled most of the night. We have one of those V cushions so one of us would sit up in bed and cuddle her. You could actually sleep quite well we found. After that she started sleeping in her mosses basket but we found butting a hot water bottle in it when she was being fed or before we put her in it really helped. Just made it snug for when she first got in.

    With my first daughter we found swaddling her really helped. We didn’t do it very tightly but she really liked it.

    I would our new born has only started getting into a routine in the last 2 weeks, so give it a bit of time. You kind of have to just resign your self to crappy sleep for a few months

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    No you won’t.

    Actually, reading back through my post, that’s fair comment and I’m guilty of applying my own experience to my advice to the OP. If you’re planning on helping mrs organic with feeding or mrs organic is going back to work earlier than when weaning happens, or a myriad of other reasons, then getting them used to a bottle early might be useful. If she can breast-feed until solids are fully established, no milk is needed and/or baby is established with cup-feeding or using a sippy cup, then no, you won’t.

    clanton
    Member

    Lots of varied advice on this thread! You will find some of it works for you, some doesn’t. Babies vary a lot it seems.

    We only have one so far, she is now just over a year. IMO the first 6 weeks are essentially all shite, unrelenting exhaustion, stress and misery in which you will very nearly lose your mind – if you’re lucky.

    BUT it gets better, when they start to smile and respond. You won’t get a decent night’s sleep for a LOOOONNGGGGG time, some will manage at 6 weeks, ours took until 7 1/2 months until she slept through (up till that point 4 hours was the longest single sleep we had managed, and that was very very rare) and others are much worse than ours was!

    Good luck – and try to be supportive of each other.

    I slept in a different room to my wife and baby for a while after I went back to work so that at least one of us would have a proper night’s sleep. It was her idea and some of our friends have done the same I should add! If she’s doing all the feeding there’s not a lot you can do to help but if you aren’t exhausted you can take up the slack the rest of the time.

    Premier Icon ransos
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    No you won’t. Both of my boys bypassed the bottle

    And if your Mrs wants to go out for the evening? Or she’s struggling to produce enough milk?

    I give our newborn a bottle of expressed milk once every couple of days.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    And if your Mrs wants to go out for the evening? Or she’s struggling to produce enough milk?

    Yeah, those too! πŸ™‚

    steve_b77
    Member

    Our little lad only took the bottle, nothing else.

    He’s 21 months old now and for the last 8-10 weeks has been sleeping through for a good 10-12 hours each night, it’s almost comical – if he’s been playing out all day and is struggling to stay away at tea time he’ll drop off really quickly and then wake up 10-12 hours after that.

    Basically, cuddles will always help – sleeping at odd times is easy to get used to.

    swedishmatt
    Member

    I haven’t read the other replies. However, we were in a similar position. Number one thing that without a doubt worked a treat. get an old radio but don’t select a station – just go for the big white noise. Crank the volume up and leave the room.

    Edit: 2 weeks old you say. I have blocked out anythinhg before 8 weeks as it was HELL. We started with this at 2 months roughly.

    organic355
    Member

    My cute little buddy asleep on my knee just now, makes you forget the trauma and sleep deprivation of the night before

    Premier Icon kiwifiz
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    Kiwifiz junior now 6 and a bit weeks old. Has gradually gone from 2 to 3 to max 4 hours of sleep between night feeds. To be expected as they grow and their actual stomach capacity increases…..they just can’t get enough onboard during those first 6 weeks so it’s pretty standard you’ll be on 2 hrly shifts initially. It often feels like you’ve just finished one feed/change/put down routine and the next begins! But research from decent sources (not to many forums!) on basic baby development pathways and you’re at least reassured that what you’re going through is standard. General medical consensus is that routine before 6-8 weeks is pretty pointless for said stomach capacity/neurodevelopment reasons but then get into what ever recommended routine works for you three (babies start differentiating between day and night at about this timeframe hence the recommended onset of a lot of the various routines). All baby’s are individuals but it makes sense to go down some tried and rested mainstream pathways and then adapt as needed. We’ve talked to a lot of friends and gleaned some top tips from their “experiences”. Wife has also done a lot of reading and distilled what seems sensible and medically grounded. Just remember as others have said, the goal posts move as they keep growing and changing both physically and mentally. Keep ahead of the game by researching what to expect at least! Good luck πŸ™‚

    Here’s one source we found helpful:
    Newborn sleep guidelines

    daisbuys
    Member

    WHITE NOISE!

    We use our iPod docking station and iPod we had lying around and set it up in her nursery.

    Downloaded an app called white noise and just played it as some background noise for her….sleeps from 7pm until 6am! No interruptions, straight through!

    On the app you have sounds of rain, noise, wind etc etc and we normally keep it on rain setting.

    I even use it now when I come of nights to drown out the noise of the outside world and the baby and missus downstairs….don’t hear a peep due to the ears being distracted sub consciously by the white noise πŸ˜‰

    mrsi
    Member

    Our littlun’s now 9 months and brilliant but the first 6 or so were BRUTAL. She didn’t sleep more than two hours at a stretch, wouldn’t settle, wouldn’t take a dummy, not interested in a bottle.

    A gym ball pretty much kept us sane. Sitting on it and bouncing to get them to sleep is a good alternative to walking about the place for hours on end and it’s easier to eat / read a book etc.

    In the end, a proper routine and an overnight visit from a sleep nanny cracked it for us. By far the best Β£120 I’ve ever spent.

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