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Thread: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

  1. #1
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    Default LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    LO is 9.5 weeks and EBF. For the past 2 weeks naps have been getting worse and worse. It started with her only wanting to nap on my chest. I could usually get her to sleep 45 mins to an hr like that, but I couldn't move and I was glued to the couch. As time went on she has stopped doing this. Now the only way I can get her to sleep maybe 20 mins is to BF her til she falls asleep and not move her. She wakes up after about 20 mins and will not fall back asleep. Then at about 7pm she starts crying and is inconsolable for hours. She gets to the point where it seems like she can't breathe because she's screaming so hard. The only thing that temporarily works is to put her on the breast til she falls asleep again for a few minutes and then it starts all over again. She's pretty good sleeping at night and will go 4-5 hrs, feed then another 3 hrs. Then she's back to feeding every 2 hrs or so. She's maybe getting 1 hour of napping total during the day and it's starting to make me really upset. I feel like I can't do anything right because she's screaming so much. I've tried every technique and trick I've real to get her to sleep longer and nothing works. Once she wakes up after that first 20 mins or less she will NOT go back to sleep. Is this some sort of growth spurt? Is it normal to fight naps so much? She just seems miserable all the time now. It's affecting my mental health because I just can't bear to hear her screaming. Is there anything I can do besides putting her on the breast every 20 minutes to try to get her back to sleep? My pedi told me to rub her belly and sing to her but that doesn't work at all and she just keeps escalating til it's full on screaming. I'm desperate I don't know what to do anymore

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    Does she like being swaddled? Mine only naps that way if I'm not holding her. She likes one arm out though.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    My little one never (and I mean NEVER) slept by herself for the first few months of her life - she would wake up as soon as we laid her down or tried to get off the bed if we were laying beside her. When she was about 3 months old, almost the only way I could get her to nap was to let her nurse THROUGH her nap. This meant sitting with her nursing sometimes up to 3 hours. I know that is hard to hear, and it was hard at times to make myself do nothing that long to let her sleep, but it did allow her to get decent naps (for the most part; sometimes she would still wake after 20-30 mins and be unhappy but wide awake). That lasted quite a while, I'm afraid, but now (and since she was about 6-7 months old), we've been able to lay her dow after nursing to sleep and she sleeps by herself just fine. She is what I would consider a high needs baby based on what I've read. They're notorious for not being able to sleep easily (she, too, slept unusually well at night for a newborn, though always beside me). One thing that did work was putting her in the swing - have you tried a swing for naps?

    ETA: also carriers! Have you tried a ring sling? Wrap? Structured carrier? Those were so helpful when I NEEDED to get things done but baby just wanted to be held close.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*amkree View Post
    Does she like being swaddled? Mine only naps that way if I'm not holding her. She likes one arm out though.
    I've tried every swaddle technique out there, she absolutely hates it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    My son is almost 9 weeks and you are telling my story!! I keep beating myself up as I search for an answer: we co sleep and I wear him all the time, which has worked so well but I keep thinking I have somehow sabotaged his napping, because I keep reading about how crucial it is to have routines and schedules which I wasn't ready to do just yet!! He was leading the way just fine until recently. Week 8 is supposed to be a so called wonder week, but who knows if that is to be believed. Generally, what has worked for me, but didn't even work tonight, is get him in the ergo carrier while I bounce on an exercise ball and hold a pacifier in his mouth...he won't use one on his own...and eventually he passes out in there. Or letting him nurse endlessly. I feel your pain! It must be a phase.
    Last edited by @llli*scoob4751; November 21st, 2015 at 10:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    She will sit in her swing for a little bit but she won't sleep in it. If I do try to get her to nap in it she eventually starts crying and will escalate unless I take her out and put her back on the breast. I've tried the carrier too. Sometimes she'll sleep in it sometimes she won't. When she does it doesn't really last that long. All these things used to work much better. She actually used to be a happy easy baby up until about 2 weeks ago. It's like a switch flipped and she turned into an entirely different baby. I'm wondering if colic can start this far along? From what I've read it usually starts earlier. Or PURPLE crying? Does that start around 7 weeks? I just can't take listening to her scream and not be able to make her feel better. I feel awful.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    Colic episodes can start at 7 weeks. Hours of inconsolable crying followed by periods of baby sleeping normally (as your baby seems to do during the night) in a healthy, normally gaining baby sounds like colic to me. Of course, colic is not a disease that can be cured, it is basically a name for a behavior, the behavior being bouts of inconsolable crying for a certain number of consecutive hours in a day. I had never heard of purple crying, and having looked it up, it appears to be another name for colic. Basically the idea if I am understanding correctly is that it is an attempt at finding a more meaningful, understandable and consequently helpful term for this normal stage in an infant's life.

    As far as the not napping, even when baby is nursed to sleep and held, even when baby is not in a stage of inconsolable crying- I don't know. Generally it is normal for a baby to want to be held most of the time and to protest when put down, and short bouts of sleep interspersed with nursing is also normal. But this does not usually mean the parent cannot move. When you say you cannot move, that seems odd. So you cannot put baby on your shoulder or snuggled in your arms while walking around, or wear baby is a sling or wrap, etc? What about passing baby to someone else so you can get a break?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 22nd, 2015 at 01:16 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    What I meant by I can't move was that the only way I can seem to get her to sleep for even a little bit is by nursing her. She'll fall asleep at the breast, and if I try to move her to my shoulder or pass her off she wakes up and starts crying. My husband will take her and try to walk her around and bounce her, but it just escalates and I have to put her back on the breast because it's the only way to get her back to sleep. She's usually good at night, but last night it seemed like she didn't get any good deep sleep. She wasn't crying but every 1/2 he or so she would squirm and wake up a little and then fall back asleep for another 1/2 hr. I have a feeling we're in for a rough day. I just nursed her a little while ago and she seemed fine until I tried to burp her and she started screaming and spit up a lot. I just feel so helpless and like I have to just sit with her nursing all day to try to get her to nap even a little bit so she won't get too overtired. I miss my happy smiley baby!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    ok, so there are 4 possibilities that spring to mind that are breastfeeding related. In no particular order-

    1) Baby is having a reaction to something you have eaten passing through to your milk. This is called a food protein allergy and dairy is the most common allergen (This is NOT lactose intolerance, which does not occur in babies.) Allergic reactions to food proteins via breastmilk is not very common, but possible, so you may want to think about it. I will post articles on this below.
    2) baby is not getting enough to eat. This can be ruled out by looking at weight gain. If gain is normal that is not the problem.
    3) You have a fast letdown and this is causing baby discomfort because baby gets lots of the higher lactose foremilk each feeding. Since this is usually accompanied by over production, some people call it that, but the main issue for baby is the fast letdown. Baby would be gaining rapidly, have watery and explosive stools, be fussy and gassy, copious and frequent spitups, etc. You may not see all the 'signs' at once or at all. If you are pumping or otherwise doing anything to increase your production like taking a galactagogue, that will of course increase the likelihood of this becoming a problem. Not nursing frequently also exacerbates this issue, but it sounds like baby does nurse frequently. Does baby usually take one side at a time or both? Encouraging baby to take one side at a time may help.
    4) this is normal and you may have what some people call a "high needs" baby. And yes, sometimes this behavior as you are describing it is just normal, and no it will not be permanent. It is normal for a baby this age to need to be comforted by nursing and to fall asleep nursing. Usually the child CAN, possibly, fall asleep other ways, for example, in the car or stroller or in sling. But not if at that moment they want to nurse. I call these babies the "accepts no substitutes" babies. Also usually as long as baby is held, once baby is asleep, baby will sleep for a bit, but it may indeed not be for long. But trust me, you are not alone is feeling that you have to sit and nurse your baby all day long. There is nothing inherently unusual about this. But you will probably feel much better if you take baby and just go out and let the chips fall where they may.

    I just nursed her a little while ago and she seemed fine until I tried to burp her and she started screaming and spit up a lot.
    If baby was fine, why did you try to burp baby?

    Jack Newman on colic- includes info on how to 'test' for allergies http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...baby&Itemid=17
    Allergic proctocolitis in the breastfed infant- medical protocol for when this issue is suspected: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...baby&Itemid=17

    PS, I hesitate to link to the website on PURPLE crying, because they are selling something- some plan, I don't know exactly. I have no idea who these guys are and cannot in any way vouch for their research. However, since you mentioned this already, this one page does describe why such behavior can be normal, and having lived through colic myself, overall it makes sense to me. So you might want to read it to see if this sounds like your baby or not. You should not have to buy any plan, we can offer you plenty of ideas for handling this stressful time for free. http://www.purplecrying.info/what-is...ple-crying.php

    Oh sorry there is another possibility that is not breastfeeding related, and that is painful reflux. (as opposed to non painful spit up, which is normal.) Here is an article about that: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/hea...t-what-do-faqs
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 22nd, 2015 at 11:53 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: LO not napping. I'm losing my mind

    I burped her because she does have problems with gas and spit iPad if I don't try to burp her she will usually end up spitting up on herself or have painful gas later on. I have had issues with OALD and typically nurse on one side each time which has helped with her green watery poops. This has been getting better though and the nap issues and screaming is a new development. I've talked to her pedi about reflux and she doesn't think that's what it is because baby is usually fine about spitting up. That's not what makes her cry, it's waking up that gets her going. I've read about sleep cycles and it seems like her problem is she gets one cycle in but wakes up and can't get herself back to sleep. I've tried every soothing method I've found and nothing seems to work unless I put her back on the breast and let her fall asleep that way again. I know that it's sometimes normal for them to just cry and to have periods in the evening when they are inconsolable but she was so good up until a short while ago that it worries me when she does it. I don't know if it's just a coincidence but things got so much worse right after she got her 2 month shots. She was having trouble napping before that but the hours of screaming didn't really start until the day after her shots. I'm at a loss for what to do and it's getting so bad I'm almost afraid of her. I'm just so worried that anything I do is going to set her off that I can't enjoy time with her anymore and it kills me to feel this way

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