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Newborn Sleep Issues?

I have a 3week old and I am having trouble getting him to sleep at night. All day he will wake up once every 3 hours for a diaper change and a bottle, but around 5pm he starts waking up every hour and not taking a full bottle, not burping after eating, spitting up. Sometimes he can take a 4oz bottle and still seem like he is hungry, and doesn't want to keep the pacifier in his mouth. I don't know if he has days and nights mixed up, or if he's just still too young to really have a routine. I also have no idea whether or not he's too young to let him cry himself to sleep. I don't want to spoil him, but I also don't want to let him cry if he really does need something. Any advice would be very helpful!

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Asked by MrsBrockHardy at 2:00 PM on Jan. 14, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (7)
  • He is too young to cry himself to sleep. IMO he's not too young for a routine. We basically used the feed/wake/sleep cycle in Babywise for all 4 of my kids and it was wonderful. The idea is that during the day you wake them up every 3 hours to eat, after they eat they should be awake for some period of time and then they go down for a short nap before time to eat again. At night, you don't play with them after they eat, you keep things very calm and don't have the normal wake period between feeding and sleeping. I would recommend the book.

    Answer by missanc at 2:08 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • Sounds like he has his days and nights mixed up... and also like he is cluster feeding at night and maybe in a growth spurt. See, when a baby is at the breast they will cluster feed in the evening to tank up for nighttime and want to nurse lots during growth spurts... that can't be mimicked with a bottle, the milk just keeps coming. Is there any reason he isn't nursing? You could take a lot of the guesswork out of this... and also help correct his days and nights (because milk produced at specific times of day cue baby to be awake or asleep).

    Anyway... keep things bright during the day and noisy, keep things dark and quiet at night. Feed when hungry... make smaller bottles if he wants less at a certain time of day (babies at the breast never take the same amount of milk each feeding). Erase the word "spoiled" from your vocabulary. When you have a 3 year old screaming for cookies, you can begin using it again...

    Answer by LeanneC at 2:09 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • You need to make sure you are not feeding him too much. A newborn's stomach is very small. There is a maximum you are supposed to feed a feeding and a maximum a day. You should have been told how much it is. I breastfed so I don't know. A newborn's stomach is the size of a ping pong ball so 4 ounces sounds like too much to me. Babies aren't able to regulate how much they take in and you have to measure and make sure you don't over feed. Formula fed babies can't be fed on demand and as much as the will suck down.

    Babies aren't spoiled by holding. Newborns should never be left to cio, its dangerous.

    LeanneC is talking about breastfeeding, different from fromula feeding. Of course it's not too late if you did want to breastfeed.

    Answer by Gailll at 2:56 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • I just wanted to add that I am not able to breastfeed. I tried it, had planned on it my whole pregnancy. I never produced milk at all. I saw a specialist at the hospital and once I came home. We tried lots of things and nothing worked. Including a tea and a supplement that is supposed to help your body to produce milk. SO..I am aware it would be easier, better, and more healthy for my baby to be breastfed, but it's not possible for me. I really do feel horrible about it. I'm not trying to be rude, but please, now that I've let you all know, don't make me feel worse about it.

    Answer by MrsBrockHardy at 3:07 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • How was it determined that you weren't producing? Many women think they aren't producing when they actually are, they just don't know the right things to look for. Not second guessing you, just throwing it out there that many moms are mistaken in this department through no fault of their own.

    Another thought is medication, was that ever brought up? I know there are some moms on here that have successfully used medications to begin producing/keep producing milk. You might want to ask in the breastfeeding moms group about it (if you are still interested in trying).

    And don't feel horrible about it. Life is too short to beat yourself up over things that are not in your control. Like I said, there are things beyond herbs that may help... but if you want to stick with what you're doing, that's great too. No matter what, don't beat yourself up. You are doing the best that you are able... no shame in that, sweetheart.

    Answer by LeanneC at 3:44 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • Nothing to feel awful about...but I'll echo leanne. Most women don't know what too look for...and the ONLY thing to look for is dipe changes.

    If you WANT to try you certainly can.

    Definitely cut down the bottles. And really...these aren't issues with his sleep...this is normal. They don't sleep long stretches in the beginning. You'll get your eight hours a night again...oh..when you're in the grave, I'm afraid! It's always something from here on out.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:53 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • I've heard that you shouldn't let them just cry it out at this age. When they cry you should go to them and comfort them. The routine thing is kind of hard at this age, but you could always try. The sooner you start it, the better it will workout for you in the long run. Also, try giving him a bath at night and swaddle him for bed time. These things worked great for us. The swaddle made all the difference. Also, what is he sleeping in at night? Our daughter hated the basinet, so she slept in the papasan chair on our floor for the first 2 months. It worked great except we had to be extra quiet at night since she was right next to us. Also, he might be getting acid reflux from drinking out of bottles. They say when they have it, it is usually worse at night. Good luck.

    Answer by moviemom22 at 10:53 AM on Jan. 15, 2010

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