Thursday, October 8, 2009

Advice please?

Dear mothers/people who have experience with newborns,

How do you get your newborn to sleep a little at night?

Here's my situation:
Dylan is an absolute star from 7 am until midnight. Seriously, easiest baby ever. Only cries when hungry, eats pretty well, takes a 2 hour nap after every feeding. However, from midnight to 7 am, he becomes much more difficult. Here's why:
1. He becomes very snacky and won't have a regular-length feeding. This leads into my next point.
2. Since he isn't getting much food, he wakes up every hour to hour and a half. Sometimes he just eats and is easy to put back to bed, sometimes not. Usually not.
3. This little boy loooooves sleeping on his tummy. Tummy time is not an ordeal for us- it is the easiest way to get him to sleep. I know the world says that tummy sleeping is bad, but this little one loves it so much that it's hard to make him sleep on his back. When he's on his back he sleeps much less than when he's on his tummy.

Please let me know what has worked for you and your newborns! I miss sleeping for more than an hour at a time!

ps- how bad is it that I sometimes let Dylan sleep on his tummy? Should I call DCFS on myself?


Rachael said...


Are you swaddling him? If not, do it. It is the only way my boys would sleep at night. There are several blankets that help in doing this, if not google it and I am sure you can get step by step directions. Also, swings always helped my boys sleep at night.

It sounds like he has his days and nights mixed up (this is VERY common). When you feed him at night don't let him sleep/snack on you. You know, like he is half asleep when eating. Make him stay away when eating, when you notice that he is falling asleep, take him off and put him in his bed. Let him fuss a little if needed, no longer than 5-10 minutes. If he doesn't fall back to sleep, pick him up and do it again. Try to train him that you have feeding time and sleeping time. I know it is hard. Good luck! Just remember that this too shall pass!

Also, here is my advice I always give new Moms that I wish someone would have told me. The first few months are REALLY hard. You kinda go into survival mode. Sleep when he sleeps, seriously. Go get a huge pack of paper cups, plates, and cutlery from Costco so you don't have to worry about dishes. Don't try to be super woman and do everything all at once. Just really try to relax, and enjoy your little one. They grow up fast and the newborn stage is such a blur cause you are so tired!

Sorry for the novel. :)

Morgan said...

Rachael has some great advice!! Really, can't even add to it. But just to snacking!! Even if it is in the middle of the night, do what you can to make sure he stays awake long enough for a meal. Wiggle him, bounce him, speak loudly.

As far as the sleeping on his belly...the world has changed their mind on whats right and wrong so many times!!! Just keep doing what works! Good job Chrissi!

Taylor Kowallis said...

yes, keep up the good work. Get the Swaddlers from Babies R US and see if that helps, it did for my twins! Total life saver like I told you! Its okay for babies to cry, dont let him tell you when he wants to eat, get him on a schedule and dont let him change it! Get Baby Wise, it talks all about this! All this will change soon just let him know that you run the house not him :) Love you!

Angela and Mike said...

Colton would not sleep at night at first either. It may not be much help to say it, but he just grew out of it. The first 2 weeks are CRAZY exhausting and first 6 weeks are just not great. Gradually it got better with Colton, things I did to try and help were...

Try and help him be awake and have activities during the day (I did Baby Wise Eat Awake Sleep, Eat Awake Sleep cycle)

Keep the night dark and quiet like it's nighttime

HAVE HELP. Mike took a shift my mom took a shift and I took a shift. It's the only way to do it.

As for tummy sleeping. I know some people that just let their kids sleep on their tummies because they liked it so much more. IF you are going to do it, make sure that the fitted sheet beneath him is very tight and that you don't have anything else that could cause suffocation.

AND most what you feel works with your little man. You are the mom and every baby is different. Don't feel bad like you are failing if he won't sleep...chances are, he'll grow out of it on his own. It's hard to believe it though.


Sariah in Vancouver said...

You already have fantastic advice here! And I ditto it.

Rori always slept better on her tummy, so I finally caved and let her. Just do like Angela and Mike say - make sure the sheet is fitted and there's nothing else that he can smother his face in. But like Morgan said, they have changed how you're supposed to lay a baby down so many times; my mom would always tell me that in all the years of having her 8 kids, she's had doctors tell her that every way was good and every way was harmful. Do what feels right and works for you guys. Just make sure the crib is clear of anything (blankets, stuffed animals, clothes) that could get in his way.

Oh, and do try the swaddling. Cadi HAD to be swaddled to sleep well. Some babies just do. But either way, the first few weeks ARE going to be hard. He's trying to figure this all out, too. Good luck to you both!

Janna said...

I didn't read anyone else's advice b/c I'm lazy. But, my two boys both slept on their tummies. They slept much better on their tummies than they did on their backs. They didn't have swaddling blankets when my kids were little, but I'm getting one for this baby. I hear they are super helpful.

As far as the feeding goes, I am sure you got tons of advice already! Good luck!! Hope you get some sleep soon!

Lindsey said...

that is really hard! Brady preferred his tummy at first too but I was scared to let him sleep on it. So we rolled up a receiving blanket and kinda propped him a little on his side so he wasn't totally flat on his back. He got used to it and then by about a month old he kinda pushed it out of the way and was just on his back.

During the day feedings talk a lot to him and feed him where it is really light. then at night try not talking at all to him and keep it really dark. We changed diapers after half of the feeding to help him wake back up.

And seriously, sleep when he does during the day. I'm pretty sure I was a zombie woman until about 1 in the afternoon everyday.

The only other thing I can think of is try to 'put him to bed' a little earlier. That helped a TON when we noticed when brady seemed to be getting tired we just kinda made it his bed time and he naturally just slept better. Good Luck!

{lizzythebotanist} said...

my kids are both tummy sleepers, too. they both had acid reflux (GERD) and slept better that way. both slept through the night by 6 weeks, too. just keep an eye on them, no blankets, and soft things in the crib and make sure the sheets are tight and secured. swaddling is AMAZING. if you're not doing it, do it now. a lot of people think babywise is a harsh tactic, but it worked for my kids and both of them have been sleeping through the night with no problem. a lot of people who are against it haven't actually read it. in fact, haven has only got up 3 times in 16 months-all when she was sick. your baby has to learn to sleep and to live with the family-not the other way around. the sooner you help him to do that the better your lives become!good luck!

Momma Bird said...

I know you do not know me (I sometimes read your blog through Allie Luden's link...sorry for "stalking") Anyway, seeing as I am only a couple weeks a head of you on this infant train, I felt compelled to lend the mommy branch of companionship (it is also nice to know that you are not the only one pacing the floor at 3am with a baby who does not want to sleep). My daughter is going to be 4 weeks old on Tuesday, and sleeps most of the day and then is a very light sleeper at night. She'll eat up to 4oz during the day and only 1 1/2 at night so, she too, to up more frequently because of the snacking. I read the babywise book with my first son, and I think it is worth the effort and might work for you. DEFINITELY be very talkative to him during the day when he is up with a lot of light in the room and do not make eye contact or speak to him when he wakes up at night. I read that eye contact with you alone raises their heart rate and helps keep them awake. This helps them learn that the day is for play and the night is business only.

My son would only sleep on his stomach too (it took a few paranoid nights for me to get over, but he slept much better and so did we). Nothing that normally works for a baby worked for him: he didn’t like swaddling, white noise, car rides, baths, the was FUN!!! The best advice I got was from my doctor: a baby is going to do what a baby is going to do and 99.9% of the time, trying to control that is futile. If the baby is going to sleep, they are going to sleep and nothing in the world is going to keep them up during the day. Even now with our daughter, I try everything from tickling her feet to touching her face with a freezing ice pack…but she is right back to sleep minutes later.

Eventually, he will sleep through the night and so will you. This time really does fly by quickly, and I assure you that before you know it you will look back and wonder where the time went and if it was really that bad. If sleeping on his stomach helps him sleep, then do it. Every baby is different and so is every family and you need to do what works the best for you. It is exhausting and I too feel like a zombie even as I type this. It helps physically, mentally, and emotionally to take shifts with the hubby and trying to nap when the baby naps is huge (unfortunately I also have a two year old and he does not sleep all day). Sometimes all it took for me was just taking a shower and putting on something other than sweats and some make-up that made me feel human again. Good luck and hang in there!! It will get better!

Emily Nice said...

ahh he is sooo cute.
your doing great! all of my mom's kids (8) slept on tummies cause they slept better that way. Good luck on everything else!

~Aimee~ said...

I let Jason sleep on his tummy, because otherwise he cat naps and drives me nuts. You do what works for you. One thing I might suggest, if you're breastfeeding, try learning to nurse while laying down. Then you can snooze while he nurses, I've done that since Jason's first feeding and I get a LOT more sleep this way. It does mean he ends up in bed with you, but I've come to like it. And the risk of SIDS is lower with co-sleeping, so it's safe. Also, when he's up during the night, do as little to stimulate him as possible. Keep the lights off, don't worry about changing diapers unless they're poopy, as less noise as possible, so he stays in sleep-mode more. Swaddling can be fantastic. I hope you get some rest soon.

Anonymous said...

such good advice. can't say enough that you need to keep him awake during the day after every feeding. hen did the same thing and never slept at night because he had day and night mixed up. what worked to keep him awake in the day was wiggling his legs back and forth while he was on his back. they finally figure it out, but it takes a few days - mabye 3 at the most. i slept on my tummy as a baby and i am mostly ok , so don't worry, plus he will have a rounder head:). it is not a dcfs thing, you are not abusing him by letting him sleep how he wants. are you swaddling? miss you. keep updating.

Heather and Billy said...

Yah, you've already gotten a lot of great advice that's hard to add to. I'd echo keeping nighttime quiet. Does he take a pacifier? Use that more at night. After a few weeks (like after the circ has completely healed if you do that) you can technically avoid changing his diaper during the night unless it is poopy. Then you're less likely to make him more awake. One thing that I found VERY helpful is a sleep positioner. Use it- I had one that had one side that was adjustable for side sleeping- in addition to the swaddling. I think it helps them feel like they're being held during the night. You might even try putting him in a different room that you (if he's not already) and raising the bed slightly with a towel under the head of the mattress. Sounds like he could be having some tummy troubles. Mylicon drops.