A.D. asks from Huntington Beach, CA on February 09, 2008
Sleepless Nights with a 13 Week Old
I have a 13 week old little girl. Her last feeding is around 11:30 pm - midnight. She hasn't been a great sleeper yet and lately she is waking around 3 am. She does not cry at first, kind of grunts and squirms. She seems to be frustrated from being swaddled. If I unswaddle her, her startle relfex is so strong that she can't go 5 mins without startling herself and then she can't sleep at all. After a few minutes of frustration she starts to cry. At that time I usually unswaddler her and lay her on her side and that pacifies her a bit. The squirming usually continues till about 5:30 am when we get up to feed her.
She also isn't great about napping unless it is on us. I usually have to swaddle her for naps too, otherwise she startles herself too much.
Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with the night issues as well as how much sleep should she be getting at night? What constitutes "night"? Lastly, when does the moro "startle" reflex disappear?
Help. The sleepless nights are getting extremely frustrating.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all the great suggestions.
I forgot to tell everyone that my daughter is breast fed and formula fed. I don't seem to be producing a ton of milk, so she gets both. I have starting pumping exclusively to determine exactly how much BM she is getting, that way I can supplement with formula. Regardless of how many times a day a I pump, I only pump out 12 ounces a day. So, needless to day I do have to supplement. I tend to giver her more breastmilk in the morning and mid day and more formula toward evening and night. She eats 4-5 oz. per feeding and 5 1/2 at midnight. I guess I didn't really think she was hungry when she grunts because she isn't sucking and once we pick her up she tends to fall back asleep. I thought if she was hungry she would really cry and get upset. Which we try to prevent at all costs.
Overall, I feel completely blessed that we have a baby that smiles like crazy, laughs and is rarely fussy.
Just thought I would add that I ahve been to a lactation consultant 2x and bth times she didn't get alot out of me. They encouraged me to give her as much bm as I could, but to supplmenet as well. She was not gaining weight at all. She was born at 7 11 and barely weighs 11 lbs, almost 14 weeks later. I too am taking Fenugreek. I am also moderate to severe hypothyroidism and I believe that has something to do with my poor milk supply.
H.D. answers from Reno on February 11, 2008
I personally would change and feed her at 3 to get the rest of the morning peaceful. If it works. great grandma H
V.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 11, 2008
Your baby is still only 3 months old. They usually need to nurse every three hours around the clock. Most babies at that age don't sleep longer than 4 hours at a time. She might just be hungry or want and or need the warmth of your body. My daughter didn't start sleeping more than 5 hours a night till she was 5 - 6 months old. It's very frustrating, but you do learn to "sleep when they do".
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C.C. answers from Reno on February 11, 2008
Teas come to mind Deluted of course, and caffene free, peppermint for the tummy and cammomile for sleeping about an ounce, water it down a bit, this will also help if she is thirsty, sometimes we forget they get thirsty. squirming usually indicates trapped gas so give a good burp after feeding. you didn't say if she is being bottle feed.
R.L. answers from Redding on February 11, 2008
I would try feeding her when she starts grunting--it may be an early hunger cue.
C.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 11, 2008
I'm guessing she's hungry- babies go through growth spurts around 3 months and again at 4 and 6 I've read. Maybe wake her to feed her. Also my baby wakes up around 5 am squirming and grunting and I learned that it's because she has gas or needs to poo. If I help her burp or fart or poo she goes back to sleep without eating.
It took me a LONG time to build up my milk supply but I was advised to supplement as little as possible to make sure that the baby was really suckling- apparently that's what stimulates the milk supply so if she's full on formula she may not suckle as often or as hard. Also, I was told to stimulate my breasts through breastfeeding or pumping at least 8 times a day. I would pump 10 minutes after each feeding (exhausting i tell you) and nothing came out. But it seems to have worked because around 4 months I had too much! So keep at it.
Forgot to add- "sleeping through the night" for breastfed babies is 5 hours.
M.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 11, 2008
I used the Miracle Blanket to swaddle both my girls. With my second I swaddled & used a sleep positioner. It was heaven. It has a small incline & sides that are adjustable so they feel secure. I bought it at Babies R Us & I believe it was fairly inexpensive. Under $30. It's worth a shot. Good luck. It does get better. Going to bed at 12 then around 3 seems normal to me. Then she'll probably wake for good around 7. After a little while she'll probably go to sleep around 10 & then up @ 4 till morning. My girls got up @ 4 it seemed like forever. Try to catch up on sleep when she naps. It really helps.
C.S. answers from Los Angeles on February 11, 2008
Does she sleep better in bed with you or by herself? I strongly subscribe to the "wherever everyone is sleeping the most" is the best situation at the time. I'm sure she won't want to sleep with you when she's 13 years olds.
Mother of two boys now aged 17 and 20
D.A. answers from Los Angeles on February 11, 2008
A. i feel your frustration. I thought too at a certain point my daughter would start living text book. Ignore all the advice, the theories and just become one with your baby. Sleep is NEVER textbook. Your daughter is simply being herself, looking for her comforts and restfullness. In the meantime your sanity, sleep and health will be compromised. You will come out of this cloud of infancy.
By the by, everything you said you were doing sounds great, keep it up.
S.G. answers from San Diego on February 11, 2008
We had the same problem with our son but it started at 10 weeks. We finally discovered what the source of the problem was.....burping and gas. Usually the burping causes him to fuss and try to get out of the swaddle. He also makes a grunting noise. He used to give us one burp and sleep soundly but now he sometimes has these deeper set burps that take longer to come out. (Being placed on his left side usually makes him stop fussing too.) Gas can also be the culprit for him but gas usually makes him pull his legs up and he bears down with a grunt and then cries alot. For the gas I cradle his legs (just under his knees) with one arm and slowly pull his legs up to his chest (like you're raising his but to whip his backside) and I hold it for 15 seconds. Then I release and rest for 5 seconds before doing it again. If there is gas, usually he grunts with the pressing and by the third try, it all comes out. Good luck.