Sleepless Nights with a 13 Week Old

Updated on July 01, 2008
A.D. asks from Huntington Beach, CA
47 answers

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.
Thanks !!!

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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.
Thanks again.
A.
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.

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H.D.

answers from Reno on

I personally would change and feed her at 3 to get the rest of the morning peaceful. If it works. great grandma H

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V.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello,

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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E.H.

answers from San Diego on

Time to start foods. Banana is easy, mash and serve. Get a Happy Baby Food Grinder and she can have apples, etc. Don't start cereals, grains until a tooth is present, she won't have the natural enzymes present in her saliva to digest these until teeth appear. Or, you may do as mothers have done for ages, chew the food for her and serve it up on a spoon, thereby giving her your enzymes for digestion.
Swaddle looser and looser.
Best Regards, E. H

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son was a HORRIBLE sleeper until he was 10 months old. He never slept more than 3 hours at a time. He also had an issue with being swaddled and liked to sleep on us as well. However, he would fall asleep peacefully in his infant carrier or his bouncy chair even though it didn't last long. We actually started to let him sleep in his infant carrier or the bouncy chair in our room until he was 6 months old. In retrospect I realize that he had alot of gas. If she is that fussy and is mainly comfortable on her side, she may have some gas pains. You may want to try Mylicon and having her sleep in an upright position and just see what happens. I downloaded this chart off babycenter.com that gives sleeping guidelines. It says by 3 months a baby should be getting 10 hours of nighttime sleep,( not necessarily consecutive hours), and 5 hours of daytime sleep that should be divided between 3 naps. Hopefully this helps!

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K.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.
I'm not sure I will be much help my son didn't sleep thru the night till he was 16 months old. But, what I would change if I had to do it over again... I would go back to the old days of rice cereal in the bottle for a fuller tummy for a better night's sleep. My son also hated to be swaddled so he always was is the zipp up footy sleeper's. He had colic SO bad that I also had bought a wedge pillow that he slept on that put his head higher & he slept better that way. I can completely sympathize with you & the no sleep!!!also if she sleeps better hearing your heartbeat they make stuffed animals that have womp/heartbeats that they play & I also used one of those too.
hope this helps some
K. D

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L.A.

answers from San Diego on

Sounds like you are a first-timer? Your daughter is a baby. The vast majority of babies do not sleep through the night nor are they designed to. Babies do not have a "last feeding" of the night. The need food throughout the night. That is the way their systems work. I am a mother of four, and the first one is a real shock to your system, but you will adjust. You must. :0) My firstborn also was a very active baby who rarely napped right from the start. Not what I had been led to believe babies were like. I thought they slept a lot. Not my first! Every baby is different. Respect your daughter for who she is, respect her nightly needs, and try to stop focusing on your lack of sleep. Enjoy her now. She will be grown before you know what hit you. My oldest is 27 now.

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D.T.

answers from San Francisco on

A.,
The amount you pump is not an indication of how much you produce. Babies are more efficient at pulling milk than a pump. Please don't go by what you pump. I can't pump much at all, but I had a lactation consultant come to my home a few times and we weighed my baby before and after nursing on each side to see what he was taking in. He was 3 months old at the time. I could only pump about 1+ ounces per side (depending on the time of day) but he pulled 3.5 ounces and another time he took 4. The more formula you give, the more your milk will drop. It is supply and demand and at 13 weeks you are still building your supply. Try taking fenugreek capsules and Mother's Milk tea to naturally boost your supply. If your daughter is having 6-8 wet diapers in a 24 hour period, she is getting enough!

About her startle reflex- it should go away soon. My baby had a strong one too and hated to be swaddled. I bumpered him in on his side to sleep.
Good Luck,
D.
ps. Adding rice cereal to formula is NOT recommended by the AAP and probably not by your pediatrician either. She is too young for solids and rice is a solid food and should be introduced on a spoon only- not in a bottle. Putting it in her bottle is force feeding and does not prove to make a baby sleep longer. Our babies' health is not worth compromising for our convenience of getting more sleep. She may have more gastric distress and be up more often if you give her solids too young and in that manner. It sounds like she is just making grunting and night time sounds. What if you didn't go to her rescue? Would she get herself back to sleep. We roll over, grunt and fluff a pillow. That may be all she is doing and you are rescuing her too soon.

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A.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,
You might try a tighter swaddle. I remember when my daughter (now 19 months old) was just born. The nurses wrapped her so tight, she was like a little burrito. As she got a bit older I found that if I left one arm out of the swaddle she didn't fight it as much. As far as how much sleep she should get at night, my peditrician said 6 hours is considered sleeping throught the night for infants. When ever that 6 hours hits, that's their night time. My daughter had her days and nights mixed up for about 2 weeks, then she figured it out. Oh, the moro reflex, I think that goes away around the 2 month mark, but it could be longer. I hope you get some sleep, any sleep you can.

A. J.

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R.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sorry you are so tired! I know how that is. My baby is 16 weeks and she is sleeping well but i still have a tired day every once in awhile. Its tough. Keep in mind your tiny baby will get bigger and as tired as you are, try to enjoy her!

My little girl sleeps 8 pm till around 7:30 am with one feeding in between... usually at 2:30. There are a few things that are essential to my baby's good night sleep pattern. I highly recommend naps! I thought for a long time that the more tired she would get during the day that she would sleep better at night. Not the case. I like to get her to nap at 9:30 am till about 11. Then a good nap at 2ish and a short one at 6. All the naps happen in a swing, her stroller/car seat or her bouncy vibrating chair. She has yet to nap in her crib. (im working on that) I nurse her every couple hours during the day, usually only takes one boob per feeding. And at 7 pm we will do a "marathon" feed from both breasts for 20 mins each side, burping her in between and after. I rock her and keep her room dark during this hour. The other essential is a sleep saver wedge to help with reflux. This is the only way she enjoyed sleeping in her crib. This is the one i have... http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2585661. I have not swaddled her sense she was 4 weeks old. She hates being constricted. She won't even let me use a sling. If she is having a fussy evening I will play some Johnny Cash in her nursery. That sometimes does the trick!

I know every baby is different but this works for us! Best of luck.

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A.S.

answers from Honolulu on

hi!
have you tried nursing her right when she wakes?
she is probably hungry!!!
check it out...
13 weeks is soooooo little!!!
nurse her
if you aren't nursing maybe just give her a bottle and hold her
this will seem like a distant memory one day... sooner than you realize
she is a baby
just love her
she'll be fine and so will you : )

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M.B.

answers from Reno on

Your daughter is hungry. Breast milk takes about 2-3 hours to digest and 3-4 hours for formula (and sometimes during growth spurts, they eat more). At 13 weeks you should still be feeding her at her night. At 4-6 months you should introduce solids (before that, their digestive systems are not ready for it and higher rates of allergies are associated with introducing solids too early and things like cereal in the bottle etc are linked to childhood obesity) so you shouldn't try introducing them early just to sleep longer.
Your daughter's squirming is an early indicator of hunger, if it gets to crying, it's the LAST indicator that she's hungry. You should be feeding her before she gets to the crying. I know you're tired and if you're breastfeeding, plopping her in the bed with you to nurse (while you fall back asleep) is perfectly fine.
If you start feeding your daughter when she's hungry, she will sleep more and so will you.
If you're trying to follow any of the Ezzo books (Babywise, Growing Kids Gods Way etc) toss them out and talk to your pediatrician, lactation consultant or pastor/priest. You can google any of the books to see that they are not good for the health (emotional and physical) of your child.
Again, I know you're tired and it's appealing to think you can get her to sleep through the night at such a young age but you're only doing that for yourself, not for you daughter and it really will be over before you know it.

As for my own children, my son was formula fed, my daughter breast. Both slept on average at least a total of 14-18 hours a day for the first several months. Both had regular nap times established during the day within the first month and maintained them on development schedule except for times of illness or teething when their sleep changed for a few weeks but it always went back to normal afterwards. During growth spurts or just before they'd hit a major developmental milestone (crawling etc) they'd eat twice as much for a little while also.

Anyhow, I wish you and your daughter good luck and blessings.

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

At 13 weeks old she is still too young to sleep through the night. I have 3 daughters and all 3 were almost a year old before they gave up the middle of the night feeding. My oldest daughter never cried she would wake up around 2:30 and just grunt until I fed her. As soon as she was fed she would fall back asleep and sleep until around 6:00. The younger two cried every time they were hungry so it was easy to know with them. One woke up 3 times a night the other woke up like clock work every 4 hrs.
Have you tried feeding her when she wakes up at night? As far as swaddling goes she will continue to have the startle reflex until she is used to being able to move her limbs around. Being swaddled all the time will only delay that.
My girls stopped around 4 weeks but I only swaddled them when they slept at night for the first two weeks other than that they were free to excercise their arms and legs and get stronger.
Best of luck on your little angel.

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M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,
The key to babies sleeping at night is flopping their schedule. I was a postpartum Doula for 3 years and a mom of 3(12yrs,7yrs. and 3yrs.). You need to feed more often during the day. If you are breastfeeding every 3-4 hrs. start to start, then change to every 2-3 hrs. start to start. If on formula and feeding every 3-4 hrs. move it up an hour during the day. The trick is to feed more often during the day and they will go longer at night. Around 5-6 hours between feedings at night is considered sleeping through the night. It does take time. Your baby is not to young to reverse her schedule! And the best trick I can give you is to burp the baby always before you feed her on your knee/lap if possible. Have her sit on your lap and talk her into burping for you. They relax and are more willing to burp if they hear your voice. About the swadling, try swadling her and propping her on her side. They have those wedge things you can buy or go to a gently used store and get one cheap.Make sure she is not able to roll onto her face. She will be fine.If you have a vibrating bouncy seat, you can swadle her and put her in it facing sideways and strap her in on her side, her feet should be coming out one leg hole. Make sure you switch sides so her head doesn't get a flat spot! I think the trick to her is the air in her tummy and you need to get it moving out and fill her up to sleep longer at night.Burp her often during feedings also so she is not falling asleep- waisting your time! It might take some time, a week or so. Just be patient and rest when you can. Her startle will go away later. Take a break from any housework and tackle this first. It will pay off. I hope this helps, good luck. You are doing great!

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

At 13 weeks your baby still needs to be fed a few times a night. When she wakes up, feed her,a nd she'll go back to sleep. It isn't physically possible for a baby to sleep all night until at least 6 months.

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have an 8 month old that still wakes up every 3 hours to be fed. My first one did the same thing. You will start having full nights sleep in about 3 years if your lucky.
ON a better note put her bed at an angle, put something under her mattress that should help with her reflex problem. Try letting her sleep on her stomach don't put a blanket or anything on her.I know they say thats not good for them but if she is able to lift her head up and move it around you will be fine. My kids always slept on there stomachs from the start and I know the doctors say no to it my kids did much better that way.
I hope you have better luck then I do.
Talk about small my 8 month old is only 14lbs now was born 6.5 I give her some formula but mostly breast.
My son on the other hand I did not have a lot of milk at all and I did the same thing you are doing to and I still have the same result with the sleep issue.

C.

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A.F.

answers from Honolulu on

i dont agree with the post saying she is too old to be swaddled. my son is almost 7 and a half months and still needs it occassionally. he has always been a swaddle baby. hes gotten used to falling asleep on his own more lately, but thats his decision. just do as the these girls say, try to keep her lit up during the day, they may not have a day or night per say but it will help you also. if you have a gloomy house, you will feel how tired you are more than if you get out side and move around more. if she gets fussy try rocking her. either by swaddling her and holding her or in a swing or a rocking basinet, depending on what you have of course. if you arent comfortable with co-sleeping try the sleep positioner. my son hated it! but its worked for others and is supposed to be good for the baby too. good luck! and hate to say it also but sleep when she does. its tough but it helps. even if its just 1 hour and she sleeps 3, you get rest and quiet time!

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D.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Check with your doctor to see if she might have reflux. The signs are subtle, but disrupted sleep is among them. It's just like you or I having terrible heartburn, only without the capacity to tell anyone we're in pain. Look for signs like these to tell you if reflux might be a factor:

*Feeds for a short time then falls asleep only to wake again and want another short feed (she's soothing the acidic throat with milk, but when the milk dissipates the acid begins to hurt again).

*Squirmy, fidgety, constantly shifting belly and neck around as much as motor skills will allow (trying to dodge the pain).

*Prefers to sleep on a shoulder or in a stroller/car seat (upright position -- sleeping flat allows more acid up the throat).

If you think reflux may be a factor, try sleeping her propped with a triangle pillow so that she is on her right side -- right side to the mattress, left side in the air.

This ensures the stomach is on the high side of her body. While it seems logical to place her with the stomach nearest the mattress, our pediatrician explained that the stomach acts like a pump, pushing contents toward the intestinal tract -- the shape of the stomach being what it is, when the stomach is on the 'mattress side' it has to pump 'upward' to get the contents up and into the intestines. This harder pumping also pushed contents harder toward the throat -- pressure is applied equally to both ends. Naturally, if there's already a problem with reflux, the throat has a diminished capacity to counter that pressure. Placing the baby with her left side up -- right side to the mattress -- puts the intestinal tract slightly below the majority of stomach contents. Gravity does more work, the stomach pumps more gently and there is less pressure placed against the esophagus.

There are medicines available to mix in with breast milk or formula that will help reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. My experience is that they have a vile taste, but the dosage is small and the benefits are well worth the any difficulties in getting Baby to swallow it.

I had three reflux babies, only two of whom had their symptoms recognized from the outset. My daughter, who remained undiagnosed until 8 months old, suffered and cried, fidgeted and squirmed, fussed and bothered, ate until she spat up, dozed then woke up crying wanting more. She could fall asleep on me, but not in her crib. Looking back, the angle in which her body lay when she was on my tummy or shoulder or in the crook of my arm always placed her tummy so that gravity pulled toward the intestines, not the throat. She was trying to escape pain that we didn't know she had. I still feel awful about it.

Keep an eye on a reflux baby throughout life. My son has never grown out of it, one daughter has been fine for six years, the other daughter has done fine for four years, but suddenly went back into severe reflux when she started first grade -- anxiety, poor baby.

Hope this helps. xx

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C.A.

answers from San Diego on

She probably needs another feeding. Don't get frustrated --it's normal for there to be fluctuations in feeding patterns . Also some babies are not nappers , although we wish they were. Some babies only sleep 15 minutes at a time. Most of all I want to say to you - to try to enjoy your baby. If keeping her calm and reassured means keeping her swaddled and close to you try to enjoy it. Infancy goes away very quickly and before you know it this phase will be in the past.

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Are you breast feeding?

I have five kids and was able to get plenty of sleep by sleeping with the baby.

If they startled, their hand felt my body, and most often would not actually wake up.

I never swaddled them, the thought was too confining, a body reflexes, she needs to get used to it. I say she should be way to old to have that done to her at this stage. She cab move her body now,,,allow her :)

The sling works, but your back will be " broke" in a few months, and then what do you do ?

Our current baby, really likes sleeping outdoors during the day, either in the stroller or in a swing ( the kind that swings side to side, versus back and forth.)

Keep her room ( or yours ) cool, heat gets too suffercating at night, My italien friend put her baby son down for a nap this winter in my room, he slept 3 hours..she ahd never experienced that, since then she too sleeps by the open window with him, and the bags under her eyes are gone :)

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L.C.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

i'm a mother of 3 and have dealt with many sleepless nights. first, realize that your baby should not be sleeping through the night yet. that expectation is way too early. my 6 month old still does not sleep through, although is getting closer. are you only feeding her at midnight then not again until 5:30? that is a pretty big spread, maybe if you feed her when she wakes she'll be more likely to have a longer stretch of uninterrupted sleep. i'm a firm believer in nursing for both physical and emotional needs. have you tried having her sleep on her tummy? that often helps with the startling. i know the sleeplessness can be exhausting, but it does end. all these things pass eventually. i would say if your baby sleeps a 7-8 hour stretch, that is "through" the night. most likely, your baby's tummy is still too small to hold enough food to make it that long. and remember, even after she does start going through the night, things change with growth spurts (where she NEEDS to be fed more)and teething, when she'll need more comfort. i hope you can find comfort in knowing you're not alone, thousands of us are up at night with you! and maybe lowering your expectations can be more relaxing.

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B.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! the comforting thought is "This to shall pass" I found that the routine that I had in my last trimester on eating , was the same routine that the baby had for her first 3 months after being born and then it changed to the routine I set for her. It gets better. God bless.

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello A.,
I swaddled my son until he was 8 months. If your baby likes it and can't do without, then just keep doing it. It won't take away from her motor skills. When my son would wake up in the middle of the night I would first try reswaddling him if he came out, and then I would give him a pacifier and that usually would make him fall right back to sleep. My son started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks (I know that's early and a rarity, but it does happen) otherwise try letting her grunt and see if she can just fall back asleep herself. unless she's crying uncontrollably I would let her figure things out on her own a little. Also, the other mom's suggestions about eliminating gas or just feeding her on the first onset of her grunting are also good suggestions. As for naps, I started letting my son take naps during the day on his tummy because I was able to watch him the whole time and check on him. Plus, he slept so much better on his tummy and I didn't need to swaddle. It's up to you on how comfortable you are with that. I thought it helped him a lot because he didn't love tummy time so falling asleep on his tummy got him used to it and made his neck stronger. I hope that helps. Good luck

S.

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K.P.

answers from San Diego on

I recommend reading some of the information about the Circadian Rhythms in Infants on the internet. Taking walks during the day & keeping the room dark in the evening helped ease the "nocturnal" activity. Hang in there, they start to have their sleep pattern & then you can have your sleep pattern.

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T.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.-
I also have a 13 week old. I know exactly what you are feeling. We do not have a "bed time" for her yet as her feeding times fluctuate by the day but after her last feed, between 8-11 p.m. we follow the same ritual with turning the lights down, music on, humidifier on,etc and then swaddler her and lay her down while she is still awake. SHe usually wakes up around 2-3 a.m. for a feed regardless of when we lay her down except for on a few occassions she has slept 8-9 hours straight! It seems to make a difference if she took good solid naps during the day and how often she fed. She occassionally wakes up and grunts at different times but if we give her the pacifier it usually soothes her back to sleep. I don't know if you are giving your baby one. The books I have read say that at this age they "need" 10 hours of sleep at night although it may not be 10 hours straight :) It also says that if your baby weighs more than 11 lbs she does not "need" a feeding during the night it is more for comfort and out of habit. I would suggest trying to sooth her without feeding her but if she is just staying awake for 2.5 hours it may be worth it for all involved to feed her so you all can get some much needed rest!! Good luck! As for swaddling.....it has been a lifesaver!!

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "By three months, most (but not all) infants consistently sleep through the night (seven or eight hours without interruption). If your child does not start sleeping through the night by three months, you may need to give her some encouragement by keeping her awake longer in the afternoon and early evening. Increase the amount of her feeding right before bed as well, so she doesn't wake up too early because she's hungry. If you notice [she] still has Moro reflex after four months, discuss with your pediatrician"

This was taken from the AAP's book- "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child", which you can find at your local library or bookstore.

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C.C.

answers from Reno on

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.

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K.H.

answers from San Diego on

If your little one is still having sleep issues. Check out Lifewave.com/kherihealth (alternative safe healthcare) Do yourself a favor and order a sample of the sleep patch called "silent nights". They work quickly and when your child wakes up, they are completely rested and happy. The website offers a lot of information and parent testamonials. Good luck!

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T.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

My first born did this. She we put her in the boppy in bed. Boppy does not condone this however it was worked best for us for night time and naps. It holds them so they don't have to be swaddled. And it has your scent on it which always is a nice trick. Also for naps my sister and I both put the swing on low and let them nap in that it too holds them snug and lulls them to sleep I used this on nights when a cold was coming on with the humidifier behind it so that they swung through the vapors. Use all this new equipment that your great grandmother never had the opportunity to use. Hee Hee!

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E.L.

answers from Reno on

I co-slept with both of my boys. It made breast feeding eaiser, I didn't have te physically get up and my boys needs were tended to quickly so they didn't 'wake up' all the way. When she wakes up, since sleeping on you is a comfort to her, maybe just put her in your bed with you....???

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O.R.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hello A.,

It looks like you received a lot of wonderful advice from different moms out there... if you are looking for some better sleep in general, you can try Pediatric Tuina (therapeutic massage). We offer it at our office.

If you would like more help on lactation, Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine can help with that. Have you considered any of those? There are acupuncture points to help promote lactation as well as good Herbal formulas. If you have any questions, please do not hesistate to call us:
Rhee's Acupunctur Clinic, ###-###-####.
Best wishes with your newborn,
O. R.

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M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

OOOOOoooooohhhhh... You've gotta help her be able to soothe herself really soon or you are in for YEARS of this type of sleeplessness. First, rule out if she is having food intolerances of any kind. My kids both felt upset when I consumed milk products, and my second didn't like eggs either (or spicy foods). It took a food journal for me to figure this out. Actually, once I did this, I followed the Baby Wise formula (it is a book) and structured her day around EAT-PLAY-SLEEP, never letting her fall asleep at the breast, but after playing for a while, when she is snoozy, putting her down for a nap. Read Baby Wise and you'll understand more. It was pretty easy once they were not gassy (mylecon drops were helpfull, too) and it came pretty naturally. Good luck!!

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L.A.

answers from Reno on

I have raised four kids and I am not sure what you are talking about when you say you "swaddle" your child. Does this mean you are wrapping her in the receiving blanket snugglely?

Anyhow as far as the nightly feeding, you might what to add about a tablespoon of rice cereal to her formula which will make her stomach feel full and she will sleep a little longer. Regarding the napping, you might want to get one of those teddy bears that have the sound of the heart beat in them. This is why she likes sleeping on you. With the teddy bear, she won't know it isn't your heart beat she is hearing. Don't know what to tell you about the startle reflex, never had to deal with it but you might want to ask your pediatrician the next time you are in for a check up.
good luck/L.

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B.B.

answers from San Diego on

Hi A.
I understand your frustration. I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 5wk old. W/ our first child I was given a book called "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" by Dr. Weissbluth. My husband and I followed it almost to a "T". He states that sleeping through the nite is 12hrs. And this doesnt happen until about 9months. I highly recomend this book. Our daughter started sleeping from 6:30pm -6 m at around 7 months. It wasnt easy, as you'll read in the book but it was well worth it, she still gets 9-10 hrs a at least 1 nap a day. Hopes this helps.

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J.L.

answers from Honolulu on

Hey our babies are the same age :)! Mine was born December 7th. Anyway, everything you described sounds normal to me. I have slept with my baby in bed with me the whole time and since day one he gets hungry about every 3-4 hours from about 10 pm to 10 am (he is mostly asleep during all that time except for a little play time with daddy around 6am). I barely wake up to feed him (most of the time I just have to position us and then I doze off). Of all the literature I've read I agree with sleeping with your baby the most. It makes baby happy and makes feeding easier, making your job as easy as possible. If she is asleep but you know she will keep squirming/grunting until you feed her (mine does the same thing) try changing her diaper. Even if it's empty it does the trick to wake them enough to eat. As for her not napping. I have read that when a baby doesn't get enough sleep it doesn't necessarily mean that they will make up for it. For example, putting a baby to bed earlier doesn't mean they will get up earlier and petting them to bed later doesn't mean they will sleep in. I have noticed that my baby will either sleep tons during the day or not at all (I think it coincides with growth). I am just speculating, but maybe because she is not getting good sleep at night it is affecting her day sleep? As for your milk have you tried brewer's yeast? I've heard it's amazing for bringing in milk. Have you tried just letting the baby nurse whenever she wants even when there is no milk? As I understand it the milk is supply and demand. Maybe she would "call" in more milk and then your boobs would figure out how much is needed and regulate themselves after awhile. Breastfeeding is complicated. Not getting enough sleep could definitely affect your health/milk too. Your doing a great job!

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T.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

At this age I would say it's very normal to only get 3-5 hours of sleep at a time from a new baby. In my house swaddling was a real help, for the exact reasons you mention, without it they seem to constantly wake up. Some moms are lucky and their newborns sleep longer earlier, but it's not the norm! My 1st slept through the night (12 hours) around 8-9 months and my son did the same at around 5 1/2 months. When I was ready I used a modified ferber method, when they woke, I didn't go in unless they had been crying for 5 minutes and when I did go in - I wouldn't pick them up, instead I spoke gently to them rubbing their backs, then left them on their own after a minute. It only took a week or so before they were both sleeping through the night. The reason I started my youngest earlier, was because he slept through the night from 2AM to 10AM on his own one night when I forgot to turn on the monitor, so I fealt confident that he was ready to sleep through the night.

I know that you are sleep deprived! It will pass. In the meantime, sleep as much as you can during the day while your baby sleeps. I would bring them into bed with me from around 6AM - 10AM, and feed on demand - almost co-sleeping - and I think that kept me sane. Neither of them had any trouble moving into their crib to sleep on their own.

Good Luck!
T.

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J.S.

answers from San Diego on

A.,

My son would wake up at 4 am every day and start grunting and squirming as well - sometimes for 3 hrs. We spoke with at least 4 doctors about this - to which most answered that babies are noisy sleepers. The last doctor we asked told us the answer we were looking for...it was acid reflux!! We raised the head of his mattress (used an pillow from our bed) and started giving him 1/2 teaspoon of cherry Maalox (doctor recommended) during after the last night feeding or as needed to ease the pain. Within a day, the grunting stopped and he was able to sleep better. Hope this helps.

J.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

A.,
At 13 weeks, she should be eating every 3 - 4 hours still. Five - 6 hours without eating is a long time for such a wee one. Babies don't have a "night" or a "day". Your best bet is to sleep when she is even during the day. If she startles, keep swadling. It makes her feel safe and secure. She may appear to be frustrated from being swaddled, but os probably just hungry. Some babies don't sleep all "night" until 18 months or older. The wondeful thing about babies is that they do tell you what they need.

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J.M.

answers from San Diego on

I would also suggest looking into co-sleeping as this has been a life-saver for us. At first we tried swaddling too, but our daughter also got frustrated and would pull her hands out of the blanket. A mother of 9 told me to keep trying different things as not all babies like to be swaddled. After trying co-sleeping our 8 week old daughter has been pretty good over all about sleeping through the night. When I hear her start to make sucking/grunting noises I can just roll over and feed her without getting out of bed and waking her up completely. Most of the time she never really wakes up, just kind of eats while sleeping. The other suggestion about wearing your baby in a wrap or sling during the day is a great one too. My daughter won't sleep if she's not on me either. When I put her in the wrap she goes to sleep almost immediately and my hands are free to do whatever I need to do. From what others tell me, nothing is permanent with the little ones, so whatever is driving you crazy now will probably change pretty soon.

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S.G.

answers from San Diego on

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.
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D.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

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.

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C.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

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.

C. S
Mother of two boys now aged 17 and 20

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

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.

M.

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C.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.-

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.

Good luck!

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K.Y.

answers from Los Angeles on

The grunting is telling you that she's hungry. Sleeping through the night is considered 6 hours. Some babies can do this early, others may take until 6 months. Each child is individual. The trick is to respond to her waking before she starts crying, then it will be much easier to get her back to sleep. I swaddle my 10-week old son using the Swaddle Me blanket (you can get them at Babies R Us or online). I like it because it is easy to get their legs out to change them without unwrapping the swaddle. You can also wrap with one arm out. Our routine is when he wakes, I take him to the nursery (he sleeps in an Arms Reach at my bedside) and nurse him on one side, then I change his diaper and burp him. He then goes to the other side to nurse. When he's finished I burp him and he goes back into his bassinet swaddled. We put my son down to sleep at night between 8-9pm. He wakes about 11pm, then usually sleeps until 3-4am, then wakes again between 6-7am. My husband gives him the 11pm feeding in a bottle so I can have a longer sleep period. As far as soothing is concerned, my son LOVES music. I had a CD of music that is specifically for calming babies and this can send him off to dreamland is one or two songs. Also, if I sing to him (albeit not very well but he's no music critic!) that will calm him as I rock or walk him. Mine won't take a pacifier, so the music has been a godsend. I know you're getting a lot of advice which is quite varied. I'd really recommend that you talk with your pediatrician about feeding and sleeping routines, as well as soothing strategies. I know that mine has been a terrific help on these issues and will give you good information about what is developmentally appropriate for your baby at this age. Best wishes!

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R.L.

answers from Redding on

I would try feeding her when she starts grunting--it may be an early hunger cue.

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A.T.

answers from San Diego on

Hi A.,

Sorry about the sleepless nights, you'll never quite get used to them but somehow you'll make it work. =) Have you tried letting her go potty (google elimination communication) and then re-swaddling? Also during the day, if you wear her in a baby carrier or sling I bet she'll be happier and you'll get a lot more done. Make sure you keep the house bright during the day so that she gets her internal clock set to recognize the difference between day and night - don't turn on a lot of lights or play with her at night as well. Try not to get frustrated, lay down with her during the day to nap or rest as often as you can. Your rest and health and happiness is far more important than cleaning or anything else that you think needs doing. Look into attachment parenting for some gentle answers that may help (including night nursing and co-sleeping)... much love to you and your little one, A.

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E.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

hi mama, it is completely physically impossible for a baby that age to not need to eat at that time of night. if you will nurse her when she starts to squirm she will probably go right back to sleep for another 3 hrs. also, sleepless nights are easily cured by sleeping with your baby. neither of you wake all the way up. there are very safe ways to sleep with a baby, and the wonderful bond is priceless. check out mothering magazine's articles at mothering.com

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