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Thread: nursing & fussiness-- not sleeping from midnight to 4 AM

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Bay Area, CA

    Default nursing & fussiness-- not sleeping from midnight to 4 AM

    Please tell me if this is part of "normal newborn behavior". Every night starting around her midnight nursing session, she begins this cycle of frequent feeds, spit up/burping/ diaper changes. What i mean is, she nurses about 15-20 minutes, then takes about 15 minutes to get her to burp (sometimes she spits up if we put her down before keeping her upright for a while), then we try rocking her to sleep after swaddling and rocking, which works after 20 minutes, but then she wakes up as soon as we lay her down in her bassinet-- then we try changing her, then rocking her again, but still won't let us put her down-- at which point it's been an hour and then I try nursing and sure enough, she takes the breast and is hungry again and the cycle repeats, never falling asleep unless she's in our arms. This continues usually through 2 or 3 feeding cycles. One other side note that makes this process difficult is she seems to really dislike being swaddled- we use the swaddleme velcro swaddle blankets and as soon as she's in it she makes these grunting/straining noises trying to wriggle out and makes herself more upset sometimes. She does better in the muslin swaddles, but those don't last longer than 10 minutes and I don't feel comfortable leaving her in that over night as I'm scared of it unwraveling and suffocating her.

    - she is 16 days old
    - already past her birth weight and continuing to gain appropriately
    - during the day she generally falls asleep much easier and is more tolerable of being put down.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: nursing & fussiness-- not sleeping from midnight to 4 AM

    Yes this falls under the normal column.
    never falling asleep unless she's in our arms.
    Also very normal. Have you considered if bedsharing might work for you? If not, or if you are and baby is still so wakeful, I suggest tag team these long midnight hours and take naps as you can during the day so you both get enough rest to function. This won't be forever but this overnight marathon is par for the course in these early weeks. If you want more info on bedsharing let me know.

    Other suggestions: If baby has nursed to sleep, I would suggest let baby sleep and don't try to burp baby. Go ahead and hold baby sleeping baby upright for a while before putting down but let baby sleep. A baby who is taking that long to burp probably does not really need to burp. A baby who needs to be burped and has a pain due to trapped air is going to let you know they need help and burp quickly when they get it. This can happen at any time, not just right after baby nurses. Newborn babies spit up whether they are burped or not. It is normal.

    Changing a baby is used as a technique to wake and stimulate babies who are not nursing often enough for a good reason- it can be very stimulating to a baby to have their diaper changed. So if you are trying to NOT stimulate but rather, settle baby, try avoiding changing baby overnight unless it is REALLY needed- if baby has had a blow out or is clearly leaking. Instead if baby stirs just immediately nurse baby back to sleep again and you may find baby will go more quickly into a deeper, slightly longer sleep. Many babies are entirely fine to stay in a wet or soiled diaper for several hours as long as they are not cold. It won't hurt baby to stay in a slightly wet or even pooped in diaper. I may be able to give you tips on keeping baby comfy longer in a diaper but it depends if you are using cloth or disposable and what kind of cloth if cloth. If you are concerned about an existing diaper rash let me know, I have some rash tips.

    If baby does not like being swaddled don't bother swaddling. Swaddling is helpful for some babies some of the time. It is not the sleep inducing miracle some claim. None of my kids tolerated swaddling.

    Read up on what is truly safe and not safe when it comes to infant sleep. Many new parents have been terrified about SIDS but have never been appropriately educated about what the actual risk factors are- and are not. I lost tons of sleep with my oldest worrying about my baby at night only to learn I was worrying myself sick over the wrong things! An excellent book for this information on the science of infant sleep and for all baby sleep concerns is Sweet Sleep from LLL.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 18th, 2017 at 11:25 PM.

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