9 week old won't sleep unless held

(13 Posts)
KirstyYummyMummy Sat 14-Jul-12 18:19:18

Hi, my DD was born at 33 weeks and is 9 weeks old on Monday. She has been home with us for 5 weeks now and won't settle to sleep unless she is held. So after her feeds my DH or I will hold her and once she has been asleep for 15-30mins we place her into her moses basket (or sofa or play gym for variety) more often than not she wakes up within 5 minutes and starts crying again. She is at her worst between 6pm and 11pm, but usually sleeps reasonably well at night in her moses basket.

I always said I didn't want to continuously hold my baby as I don't want her to still want this when she is older, but I cannot bear to hear her cry so I do pick her up and hold her when she cries and try to put her back down again once she falls back to sleep and if she stays asleep it is usually only for about 30mins before she wakes up again for her next feed for it all to start again!!

Does anyone have any tips on how to get her to settle better?

candr Sat 14-Jul-12 21:05:03

Sorry, my DS was like this but it does get easier I promise. I know it is not advised but we put one of our pillows in moses basket and he felt more snuggly and had our scent there which really seemed to help.
He still usually only sleeps for 30 min but I try to see the posotives ie. is ready to go out again by 1.30 having had lunch at 12 so I can spend longer out without him sleeping in car or waiting ages for him to wake.
I was told to just enjoy holding them while they sleep as you just don't get the chance when the next one comes along, they are fed and back in basket straight away - so true.
Curl up in safe position on sofa so you can nap too and you may find she sleeps longer while you are asleep.

Handsfullandinamuckingfuddle Sun 15-Jul-12 22:10:13

Hi - One of my 30 weeker DT's was the same. He slept on our chests at night for weeks.
He is 2 now and refuses to sit still long enough to snuggle up.
I second enjoying the cuddles while you can.
Have you tried swaddling ? Putting something that smells like you in her moses basket like candr suggested.
I think she may just get there in her own time - she is only supposed to be 2 weeks old. Its early days yet so it may take a bit longer, but it will get easier

HalleLouja Sun 05-Aug-12 20:08:52

If its not passed by now buy a sling. They need cuddles and in my experience it doesn't make them want holding lots when they are older.

I'm having major sleeping problems with my DD. She was a 32 weeker and is 11 weeks old today (3 weeks corrected). For the first few weeks she was home with us she slept really well in her basket but over the last 10 days or so she's got worse and worse at sleeping anywhere except on mine and DH's chests. We try waiting until she seems deeply asleep before putting her down and we've tried warming her Moses basket with a heat pad before putting her in it. Very occasionally she will stay asleep, but only for 10 minutes or so. If she's not picked up again really quickly when she cries she quickly descends into an awful crying fit and seems absolutely beside herself with anxiety.

The health visitor and some well-waning relatives have told me I'm 'spoiling' her and that I can't possibly let this behaviour continue but I'm at a loss for what to do. I can't bear to let her cry and how can you adopt controlled crying techniques on a baby that's developmentally 3 weeks old?! I don't really mind letting her sleep on me but I'm scared about increasing the risk of SIDS by doing this. Do you know of this behaviour is a premmie thing or whether it's just typical newborn stuff? I'm a very anxious first time mum and just want to do what's right for my little one.

P.s we've tried swaddling and a sling but she will still only be put to bed for 15 minutes or so after using them.

I'm having major sleeping problems with my DD. She was a 32 weeker and is 11 weeks old today (3 weeks corrected). For the first few weeks she was home with us she slept really well in her basket but over the last 10 days or so she's got worse and worse at sleeping anywhere except on mine and DH's chests. We try waiting until she seems deeply asleep before putting her down and we've tried warming her Moses basket with a heat pad before putting her in it. Very occasionally she will stay asleep, but only for 10 minutes or so. If she's not picked up again really quickly when she cries she quickly descends into an awful crying fit and seems absolutely beside herself with anxiety.

The health visitor and some well-waning relatives have told me I'm 'spoiling' her and that I can't possibly let this behaviour continue but I'm at a loss for what to do. I can't bear to let her cry and how can you adopt controlled crying techniques on a baby that's developmentally 3 weeks old?! I don't really mind letting her sleep on me but I'm scared about increasing the risk of SIDS by doing this. Do you know of this behaviour is a premmie thing or whether it's just typical newborn stuff? I'm a very anxious first time mum and just want to do what's right for my little one.

P.s we've tried swaddling and a sling but she will still only be put to bed for 15 minutes or so after using them.

Sorry for posting twice - technical problems!!

Handsfulloffun Wed 15-Aug-12 13:17:06

Hi Daffoldil.

You cant spoil a baby. Especially not with cuddles.

I commented earlier but have name change slightly. My DT's were 30 weekers. DT2 slept on our chests for the first few weeks maybe even months it is all such a blur. Some babies just need that extra touch and reassurance. It dose not mean they will become clingy and dependent later on - DT2 is now very outgoing and confident.

I worried about the SIDS issues too. It might be worth posting on the sleep board for a bit of safe co sleeping advice.

We were told that prem babies were higher risk from co sleeping because they find it harder to regulate their temp and can over heat. So we just dressed them in a single layer of clothing and let them sleep on top of our blankets.

It is very hard, getting your babies home from SCBU especially with so much well meant advice. I felt the same as you for a while, then something clicked and I though no bugger it I can do this. It takes a while but you will find your feet.

Good Luck smile

Hi Hands

Thanks for your reply, it's always good to hear from people who've been in the same position. Im heading iver to the sleep boards nowvfor co sleeping advice. I hope your DT's are thriving. smile

balletmoo Thu 23-Aug-12 18:38:33

Hello!

My son was born 6 weeks prem and thrived on cuddles. I regularly slept with him on my tummy, and carried him in a sling around the house and outside rather than using a pram. He would sleep in his co-sleeper cot but we warmed the mattress in winter with a hot water bottle (so he wasn't transferring from our warm arms to a cold bed - guaranteed wake up!). We also put things in that smelled of us.

For what it's worth, we took him to see a McTimoney Chiropractor at 3 months (on recommendation from a large number of friends) because he would settle on his side but not his back, and this made a significant difference (he was born by emergency c-section, was very small and had to be quite forcibly removed from quite high up inside me!). I stress that McTimoney Chiropractic is incredibly gentle - not at all like the sort of treatment I get!! grin

Anyway. I loved my "tummy nuggles" (as I called them), and took full advantage, regardless of what anyone else said. And he thrived. And by 5/6 months (actual) he was sleeping 7 hours in one hit. Of course that all changed with teething sad but there you go!

I could look on it that i was a slave to his naps, but I prefer to look on it as special mummy/baba bonding time. I won't get the opportunity to do that with the next one, I am sure. At least not to that extent. So I say enjoy it while you can, and it will improve with time smile

Good luck!

CharlieMumma Thu 23-Aug-12 18:41:19

Maybe instead of a pillow u could lay a pillow case in the Moses basket as a sheet then it will still smell of u and might help baby feel settled. Enjoy it tho my 18mth old only cuddles me of he hurts himself or is trying to grab my phone from me!

Poppet45 Thu 23-Aug-12 22:34:50

DD was a 27 weeker and she was just like this with sleep, initally fine, then awful. It turned out she had a zinc deficiency which causes major agitation (and is v rare) as well as refluz (which is v common in prems). As soon as she was laid flat the stomach acid burnt up her throat, and at its worst used to come out of her nose. Babies this small don't fret for the heck of it, they normally do it because they are not comfortable. DD spent weeks sleeping on my chest with me freaking out about SIDS, now sleeps v happily in her cot, albeit propped up at a ridiculous angle. If it is refluz there are meds which can help a lot and give you your sleep back.

Poppet45 Thu 23-Aug-12 22:36:14

Oh and don't beat yourself up for 'spoiling' a baby by letting it sleep on you. Remember how amazingly beneficial kangaroo care was to our little ones in the nicu, I bet its just as wonderous for them at home too.

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