My Daughter Dose Not like Sleeping

Updated on October 23, 2009
A.W. asks from Phoenix, AZ
13 answers

my daughter is a month and a half old and she is up all day then wont go to sleep till about 2 or 3AM then she still wakes up every 2-3hours to eat and she only can eat about 3 OZ till she is full. IM SO EXAUSTED! How do I get her to sleep more and could this be a bad thing?

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N.O.

answers from Phoenix on

Hello A.,

I feel for you! That is really hard when you are not getting ANY rest either. What worked really well for my daughter was the 5 S's defined in the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block". Not only did they work for calming her but for putting her to sleep. The 5 S's are: 1) swaddling (wrapping up tight) 2) sucking (pacifier) 3)Shushing (making shushing sounds) 4) Side/stomach position (holding the baby and laying it down on its side or stomach) 5) Swinging (re-creating feeling in womb). I would also try soft lullaby music, classical or jazz music in their room and make sure the room is dark. I would also try to define sleep times by placing your baby in her crib at nap times and bedtime and make the times the same every day. I do not think it is bad, she just has not found her body's natural clock yet. Best of luck and TRY to rest even if you have to have help watch her for a bit so you can get a break. If you are worn down it will only make matters worse.

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J.V.

answers from Phoenix on

Good daytime sleep leads to good nighttime sleep. Here's what I would do. Buy a good wrap, like a gypsymama or a Moby and carry her around during the day in it (or you could get a ring sling like http://www.slingcarrier.com/). You can get things done that you need to do and she can sleep and nap during the day. This will get her used to sleeping during the day and will give you your hands free, while keeping her close, in order to get work done. You can wear her out grocery shopping, etc.... Then, set up a good bedtime routine to help get her sleepy. Play soft music, give her a warm bath, etc.... Make sure you are getting her to bed early. You can't make her sleep, but you can encourage it. I found my babies only slept when they were in bed with me, so I had them sleep in bed with me. We both slept better and I was a happy mom, which is what matters. If you choose to do this, please do it safely, but it can be really effective. As far as eating 3 ounces, this sounds just about right. Hang in there, it WILL get easier. Here are some links to help you:

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100.asp
http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/books/0071381392.php
http://www.parentingweb.com/ap/sleep_health.htm

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C.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

A.,

This is the most frustrating time for you, when you are exhausted and baby won't sleep. I feel for you. It is completely normal for some babies to not sleep, and especially normal to wake every 2-3 hours to eat at this age. 3 oz is a normal amount to eat as well. She is probably going through a growth spurt (which usually happens around this age) which will make her stay awake more to eat. That usually lasts a week or two, then tapers off. By 3 months many babies sleep all night (6 or 8 hours). It does get better, so hang in there!

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R.C.

answers from Phoenix on

A., I understand your frustration because I've been there. I have 2 children and they both were not great sleepers at first. You must realize that at 6-8 weeks babies sleep very short periods of time and MUST eat every 2-3 hours to grow properly. I know you are exhausted, but what you described is very normal for a baby this age. Her sleep patterns will become longer as her body matures (she's not capable of long sleep periods just yet) so life for you will get easier with time. 3oz of formula is also still normal for her age. It will soon increase to 4 oz, but don't rush it. Let her eat how ever much she wants at a time, but don't try to get her to take more. It will not help her to sleep if she eats more or if you add cereal. Babies her age are not able to digest cereal so it can cause an upset stomach. Babies are a lot of work, well worth the effort. Someday you will sleep, just try to be patient and enjoy this stage--it goes by really quickly.
I noticed you also posted a question about letting the baby's Dad take her to Mexico. Please don't be pressured into letting her go. She needs you very much to protect and care for her every need. No one loves a baby like her mother. There's no substitute for you or your loving care. R., Nurse Midwife Mom 2

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N.F.

answers from Albuquerque on

2-3 hours between feedings is normal for her age, I am afraid to say. That won't change for a few months.

A swing (or being held) was the only way my second son would sleep for longer than 20 min. I buckled him into the swing and had him by the bed. He was able to sleep longer after about 4 months. And it sounds like she needs to learn night from day. That takes some time. Stimulate her in the day and keep it dim and relaxing at night.

Hang in there. I have a 13-month old who is just not a sleeper. I am tired to and just tell myself to sleep when he sleeps and this too shall pass.

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M.A.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.!
My daughter is three months and it wasn't until this month that she started sleeping more than 2-3 hours at a time- she is nursing. It IS exhausting- I have had 5 children, and with the fifth I think it is easier, because I know what to expect, but it is also still royally exhausting because I am older, have other kids who STILL wake at night, and a full schedule throughout the day that sort of x's out naps. I believe you said this was your first- I will tell you some things I wish I had known with my first.
Keep the baby out in the room you are in during the day, even if that room is noisy- and make sure it is well lit. More than likely the babe will stay asleep, but mentally it will start to program her to light and dark with her sleep cycles. Also, set an alrm to feed her/him every two-three hours during the day starting at 6-8 am until about 10- 11 pm. Both breasts, or as much of a bottle as she/he will take, and talk and play with the baby when they are alert. At night, if she/he wakes hungry, feed him/her, but keep it dark, try to keep it quiet(not playtime, tv time etc) Start a routine with the baby too, while she/he is still small - it is hard at first to set up- but if you set an alrm on your cell phone to go off when it is time for bathtime, feedings, etc etc. whatever works for you to keep you on track, then use that.:) I haven't felt like I have it some what together until my babies hit about a year old- so give yourself time to rest, learn your body after baby, and what will work for you and your family structure. It takes time- for baby. for us as moms, for our routine. With my fifth- she is three months and I STILL feel like some aspects to having a newborn is overwhelming and new. Basically, find what works for you, and abandon what doesn't. Everything you are experiencing is normal and exhaustion is something that doesn't quite go away completely, and takes time to get used to functioning around.
Feel free to email me @ [email protected]____.com. I went back and read the advice of the other ladies- the baby sling is GREAT- it did make my back sore, but for short periods of time it works wonders for a baby who likes to be close. Also, I cosleep with my babies, and that helps with sleeping through the night- ALL my babies hated sleeping alone- I went from cosleeping til three months, to putting them in their own beds AT three months once they fell asleep, to putting them in their own beds at six months etc. So a lot of great ideas from a lot of experiuenced moms- so much wisdom in one place- I wish I had been as lucky as you in finding this site when I had my first! God bless you!

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D.W.

answers from Phoenix on

When I had sleep related questions in regards to my daughters, I refered to the "Baby whisperer" book (Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau). It helped me every time. There are many tips, the one that helped me the most was to follow the EASY routine.
Eat Activity Sleep & Your time. At that age that was about a 3 hour cycle and if you follow your daughter's queues, you will soon have a routine that will work for all of you.

Good luck!

N.H.

answers from Phoenix on

A., You asked if this could be a bad thing. According to Dr. Luis Rivera, a Diplomat of the Philippine Pediatric Society, Fellow of the Philippine Society of Sleep Medicine and a Pediatric Consultant for Makati Medical Center and Asian Hospital, “Sleep for babies is not just rest for the body. It assists in brain development, proper learning and, to a certain extent, social adjustment. And since our growth hormones are released during sleep, the child is given developmental and growth values as well. Poor sleep can impact growth—they become stunted, or thinner, or smaller, crankier, and they develop slower.”

Babies of this age need 11- 16 hours of sleep each day. I know it can be really frustrating when they do not sleep and sometimes we have to teach them to do this.

I would suggest you are missing her sleepy signs. They are easy to miss if you are not aware of what they could be. Some of the are really sutle.
Please feel free to contact me as I have worked as a Newborn Specialist for 19 years and I know babies.

The baby that does not sleep during the day will not sleep at night or if they do it will be from total exhaustion and not a good restful sleep.

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K.P.

answers from Phoenix on

My babies are 8 weeks and we had a bit of a time getting them to sleep. We visited with some family and noticed every time a particular uncle held them, they would fall asleep. I started wondering what he was "doing" to get them asleep. I noticed that he would hold them snuggly and that he "was a furnace"(he put out some good body heat). So when we went home I put them in warmer blankets/clothes. It has worked out well. When they are tired, I also snuggle/swaddle them when they are having difficulty with falling asleep.
This has helped my little ones out a lot.
Good luck

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L.H.

answers from Phoenix on

It's normal. It gets better after 3-4 months. Sleeping periods increase, daytime sleep decreases. Try napping when baby is napping. I know it is SUPER hard to do. I was never able to do it, myself, but it does save your health and sanity, not to mention milk production, if you are nursing. Good luck. Hang in there. Also, if you are able to take care of the baby all day, you are a hero. You don't need to feel like you have to conquer the world and do tons of stuff. This is the time, when it's ok. to let things go a little, dusting, dishes, etc. Good luck.

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L.M.

answers from Tucson on

I'm afraid this is how babies are...their tummies are about the size of their fists and so they eat frequently, around the clock. They can't go for long periods of time without eating (contrary to popular belief among many). Especially if your child has any breastmilk, as this is digested even faster.
Honestly, at this point, its easier to work with your baby then against your baby...work with their natural rhythms rather then against them. Sleep when she sleeps is one key to getting rest, even lying down if she's occupied with something and just resting can be a real recharger. Of course you're keeping one eye open at this point but it really can help. I really recommend Nighttime Parenting from Dr. Sears....it's a great book.

T.C.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi A.,
Newborns are such a handful, and yes, sleep is definitely important to their brain development.

The best advice I ever got was to see myself as my baby's "guide" on what they *should* do: when to eat, play, and sleep. Now, it meant there were times that, with full tummy and dry diaper, my first baby had to do a little crying on his own to fall asleep. But after a month or so, I realized he *needed* to cry a little to relax. My son would build up all this energy, and as an infant, didn't have any other way to let it go and fall asleep. My second was totally different, he almost never cried when I put him down, but he'd always wake up 10 or 15 minutes into his naps, but after a minute or two, would go right back to sleep (if I stayed out of the nursery!)

Try a simple schedule, with 6 to 9 regular feedings throughout the day (and one or two feedings at night).

Right now, without *direction* your baby has no idea what she wants (she doesn't really not *like* sleep), she's just in need of a routine from you. Babies LOVE routines!

Good luck!
t

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N.W.

answers from Tucson on

I KNOW THIS IS YOUR SECOND BUT !!!!!!!

GET YOUR HANDS ON: THE HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK. SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!

The Dvd is IDEAL to try the techniques immediately and the book goes into more detail! It helps calm your baby and help her to sleep longer!!!

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