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Sleeping at 3 weeks

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:09 PM
  • 6 Replies

My 3-week-old seems to be noctournal. She naps fine during the day, and we try to keep the house light and not limit noises during the day so she knows it's daytime. But at night, she'll nap normally (about an hour or two at a time; she eats every 2 hours) until 11 or 12 and then want to be up until 3 a.m.

Last night we tried starting a bedtime routine for her, even though I've heard conflicting information on what age you can actually do that successfully. We gave her a bath, read to her, fed her, and put her down around 9. This was the first time trying to have her sleep in her crib instead of the bassinet in our bedroom. It was miserable. She woke up at 11 to eat, went back down, and then woke up again at midnight and screamed for an hour. After that, she'd fuss every time she was put down in her crib, barely sleeping more than a few minutes at a time.

At 4, after she would only sleep in my arms, I finally gave up and put her down in the bassinet in our room, and she zonked out until 6:30 and slept normally after that.

If I didn't know better, I'd think she was angry at us for trying to control her sleep patterns. She really seemed like a resentful little thing last night! It doesn't help that I've been really emotional and upset all the time, and ended up crying almost as much as she did last night.

I know it's possible to get her into a routine, and I know it's going to take more than one night, but I don't know if I can take it. I feel like, as an intelligent adult, I should be able to do this. I always thought I'd be a natural mom, but this is really hard for me and I feel like a failure already. Any advice?

by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:09 PM
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by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:37 PM

It sounds like she has her days/nights mixed up which is pretty typical for newborns. I think encouraging some kind of routine early is great, but keep in mind that it will take her some time to get the swing of things keep things as quiet, not-fun, and dark at night as possible. She should get the hint that night time is not playtime, but with her being so little she needs to eat at night right now. It will get better soon!

by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:54 PM

I have a three week old two and he had nights and days confused, but I co-sleep so he got into the routine very quickly because during the day he nurses they goes into his swing or vibrating chair and at night we sleep together. Its hard though because in the mornings when I get up he wakes up too and hes really used to being with me so its hard to really do anything during the day so I guess theres pros and cons to every method. Good luck to you though mama

by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Many babies do not settle into a distinct pattern of sleep for months (which is one of the reasons many say not to do CIO sleep training before 3/4 months.  Others don't like the method at all but that is for another post.  I don't judge, but I wouldn't expect CIO to really be effective sleep training til after your baby's been here for a while).

I am a know it all about this subject.  I've read tons on it.  And my DD was a crazy sleeper.  

 It sounds like you are doing everything right.  While she may have her sleep cycles a little confused now, doing a routine at this age is for the parents as much as the baby, because you, too, are getting used to taking care of a little person and running your home the way you want.

We've had a sleep routine since my daughter was a few weeks old and while it took a long time for her to sleep through the night on a regular basis, the routine has helped keep ME sane. 

Congrats on the new baby.

by on Aug. 8, 2010 at 8:12 PM

It's typical for an infant to have their days/nights mixed up and that will switch back with time. I don't believe in putting my child on a schedule, but I do strongly believe in routing. From the time he was a week old, every night we would do bath time, get him ready for bed, feed him and read him a story and them put him down for the night. Eventually his schedule slipped into the same routine and at 3 weeks old he was sleeping 5-6 hours a night and at 2 months he was 8-10 hours a night. We always fed him before bed even if he just ate an hour before so he always went to bed on a full belly. During the day we still fed on demand, but kept the same general routine and it seemed to work for us.

by on Aug. 9, 2010 at 12:45 AM

Wow--I would be in heaven if Evie slept for 5 hours at a time! We're lucky to get 2 hours, I think because she typically only eats 2 ounces at a time. If I can get her to eat 3 oz, she'll sleep longer, but that doesn't happen too often.

Last night my husband stayed up with her until 3:30, mostly holding her while she slept. Of course she slept great on daddy's chest, but I'm afraid that's spoiling her. We usually put her down in her bassinet or crib when she falls asleep, but the last couple days have been hairy. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a nanny! :)

by on Aug. 9, 2010 at 10:22 AM

I coslept with my kids to get them on a nocturnal schedule. It saved my sanity.

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