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Distressed parents

  1. #1
    leungpapamama is offline Registered User
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    Distressed parents

    Can anyone help us with this very distressing issue? Our son, who is now 2.5 weeks old, keeps waking up during night time, most probably every hour or so until 8am. In spite of this, he is absolutely fine during day time. He is calm and quiet and can easily fall asleep until midnight strikes his biological clock. His condition is worst at ~4am. Everytime he wakes up and makes a real fuss in the middle of the night, we immediately check his nappy as well as other things which might agitate him. If this is not the case, we'll feed him with formula milk, which contains a higher fat content and should theoretically keep him happy and full for at least several hours (but it didn't work for my son either). Sometimes we might let him latch onto his mother's breast and give him breast milk. However, he could suck for more than 45 minutes. Does anyone have the same experience and can teach me how to handle this "midnight trouble"? It seems like his biological clock has turned upside down. We've always tried to wake him up during the day but failed.

  2. #2
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    You have my complete sympathies - been there, done that.

    A couple of things might be affecting your baby:

    1. Babies are often born with their days and nights mixed up. This is because they were carried around by mum all day, and gently rocked to sleep in her womb. When night time comes, everything is still and they are often more active. I used to be kicked by my daughter before she was born from about 2-4am every night, cheeky monkey. Sure enough, when she was born, she was almost always awake around this time.

    2. Is baby falling asleep whilst feeding? Babies sleep generally in 45min-1hr sleep cycles. If he goes to sleep sucking (breast or bottle) then comes into a light sleep phase one hour later, he may be looking for that comfort again to put himself back to sleep. Wherever possible, put him to sleep in his cot tired but awake. He will learn to put himself to sleep.

    3. At 2.5 weeks, babies feed frequently. Breast fed babies especially need feeding every 2-3 hours, sometimes more frequently. It is helpful for the parents if feeding frenzies happen during the day, but unfortunately babies aren't very respectful of our sleeping habits.

    Your baby is still very young. Anything he does now is not a sign that it will be like that forever.

    You can try differentiating between day and night sleeps. For example, day sleeps in a light room, lots of household noise, etc. For night time start a relaxing routine of bath, feed, bed in a dark room.

    During the day, feed baby upon wakening, have a short play (at 2.5 weeks a short play might be just 15 mins), then off to bed. This feed-play-sleep routine puts some structure in the day and your baby will eventually come to know what to expect. At 2.5 weeks there might be no playing between some feeds, which is fine.

    At night, give minimal interaction - feed with as little light as possible (eg. a night light or reading lamp). No playing, just a quick nappy change if needed then back to bed.

    Of course at 2.5 weeks, if your baby is distressed, comfort him. This might mean a firm pat on the bottom to calm him down. It might mean a pick up and cuddle. He doesn't yet know how to put himself to sleep, it is a learned skill.

    To help you cope, take turns attending to the baby. If mum is b/f, dad can bring baby into her and then settle the baby back to sleep. Sleep whilst baby sleeps, including during the day.

    Here are some references, which may be of help:

    http://www.swsahs.nsw.gov.au/karitane/docs/survival.asp

    The sleep and settling strategies for birth to 4 months might help you.

    Good luck and be assured that your baby is very normal.

  3. #3
    leungpapamama is offline Registered User
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    disstressed parents

    dear jane01,

    Really appreciate your advice and will keep on trying...
    Oh gosh, really wish we can have a good talk with the baby to sort everything out.

    Regards

  4. #4
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    I hear you - don't you wish they could tell you what is wrong !

    Having said that, I have a 2 year old daughter who complains long and loud if something is not right, sometimes I long for the newborn days...

    I really feel for your predicament, as I have been there myself !

  5. #5
    Su Mei is offline Registered User
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    hi,

    the first few weeks (months for some parents) are the toughest so hang in there! There is nothing wrong with your little newborn, just as Jane mentioned, he's got his days and night mixed up. Babies have NO concept of night and day so its up to parents to nudge them in the right direction, to teach them day time is for most of their feeds and activity, and nighttime is for sleep. It's also essential to the parents state of mind and health to teach baby night and day as early as possible, and to get most of baby's feeds during the day as much as possible. You didn't mention whether baby is solely breastfed or half half, note that breastfed babies shouldn't go too long between feeds, esp larger babies - personally I think at that age, 2.5 hours during the day is ideal as their tummies are small and this will keep milk supply up too....once they start getting sufficient feeds during their waking day hours, you will find they can go longer during the night before waking which means parents get to sleep. If solely breastfed, you may also want to consider cluster feeding (ie feeding more often so if baby is feeding every 3 hourly, do every 1.5 or 2 hours in the evening) during the evening when milk supply is traditionally at it's lowest as mother is tired. Also consider expressing first thing in the morning if baby is not taking all the milk, this expressed milk can be given as a top up feed in the evening (so mum can sleep) by you or your helper.

    You may want to consider putting your baby into a loose routine - don't be overly rigid about it but do start a loose routine as it helps regulate your baby's day and night, and let's them know what to expect...eg. have a routine bath time, a routine of feed/play/diaper change/dim light & lullaby CD before sleep, even a set pattern of where you feed him (and if by bottle, by the same 1 or 2 people). 2 books which I have found very useful is the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and Gina Ford's Calm and Content Baby.

    Good luck and do hang in there, it will get better!

  6. #6
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Hi,

    Just wanted to let you know that both books are available on ShopinHK:

    http://www.shopinhk.com/product.php?productid=307

    http://www.shopinhk.com/product.php?productid=527

    Rani
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

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