Helping a 2-3 month old stay asleep
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rosecam posted:
I'm new to this forum, but could really use some help. My son is not a good sleeper. He wakes every 40-45 minutes during his naps during the day, and at night he wakes every 3 hours even if he's not hungry. (He weighs about 13 lbs and is about 12 weeks old. And he's gained weight faster than average so far.)

Our main concern at this point is getting him to sleep for longer stretches at night. He wakes up, but is not hungry. My husband can soothe him back to sleep, and he'll sleep for hours more, but it takes a long time. It is a lot faster to feed him and put him back to sleep. But we don't know which is better for him at this stage. Or what we can do to help him not wake up in the first place.

He falls asleep just fine after an activity period during the day or after eating at night, and most of the advice I've found on sleep has to do with falling asleep. The problem for him is *staying* asleep, or falling *back* to sleep after waking up mid-nap. We swaddle him, we've tried white noise, temperature is comfortable (and we've experimented with it - it doesn't seem to make a big difference) - we've tried different locations like the swing seat (with the swing turned off), his bassinet, his crib, even my arms. And during the day we have a feed-activity/wake-sleep cycle. (Except that realistically it is feed-activity-sleep-wake-sleep-wake-sleep!) And no matter what, this is the pattern - he wakes up earlier than he should.

Any advice?!
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Amelia_WebMD_Staff responded:
Welcome rosecam!

Congratulations on your precious LO (little one)! I'm sure most of us mamas, if not all, understand what you are going through right now. Here is a great WebMD Newborn Sleep Guide that states, "Keep your expectations realistic. Plan for unpredictable, sporadic sleep for your baby -- and therefore for you -- in the first few months."

Unfortunately, a nice sleep routine probably won't happen until a little later, but the sleep guide will give you great tips and help you to make sure you are on track. If you are ever worried don't hesitate to call your pediatrician about anything. You can never call too much!

Take care of yourself and your sweet son!
Amelia
 
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rosecam replied to Amelia_WebMD_Staff's response:
Amelia, thanks for your response. I'm hoping someone might have some practical tips though. The sleep guide states, "the average infant sleeps around 13 to 16 hours or so". Our baby gets less than 12 hours because of all of his waking, and because it takes so long to get him back to sleep every time. That affects his mood and will probably affect his development.

I've read the Newborn Sleep Guide, the Dr. Spock book, the American Academy of Pediatrics book, Baby Wise, the Baby Whisperer, and the Weisbluth book. But none of those have very practical tips, especially for this age. Our baby is 3 months old now, has already doubled his birth weight (he's 14 lb 8 oz). Our doctor and the nurses I've talked to all say he doesn't need to eat much at night, so that I "shouldn't rush to feed him." But that advice doesn't help to get him back to sleep. No matter what we've tried, he still wakes up every 2 hours at night, and more often during the day, and it takes a long time to get him to sleep or back to sleep. He just can't ever fall back asleep on his own, or with something simple like swaddling and shushing and patting.

If anyone has any tips, please let me know!! Even if it's just ideas on who to talk to or to go to for help. (Our doctor doesn't have practical suggestions...)
 
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lenono97 replied to rosecam's response:
Sorry you are going through this. Hopefully he will grow out of this phase and start sleeping through the night soon. Does he use a paci? The suck relex is comforting for babies. If he doesn't want to eat at night, maybe he just wants to suck? I am a big believer in swaddling, but maybe your son doesn't like to be swaddled? Have you tried not swaddling him at night? I heard someone say not too long ago (probably on this site!) that some babies just are not good sleepers. Good luck!
 
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ami_nix responded:
My son would only sleep about 2-3 hours at a time at night until he was about five months old. Around that time, he started to (miraculously) sleep through the night. He now sleeps straight through from about midnight to 9 or 10am. I know it doesn't feel like it now but, it doesn't last forever
Noah's mom- "When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her son." - Sophia Loren

 
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singemommyof3kids responded:
My daughter is 2 months old and for about 2 weeks now has been sleeping through the night. All I did was once she woke up in the middle of the night I gave her the paci and she would fall right back asleep. She got used to that happening and now just sleeps straight through. We go to bed about 11pm and she'll sleep until 7 or 8
 
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rosecam replied to rosecam's response:
Thanks ladies!

We do give him a pacifier, but it isn't enough to calm him. However I'll keep using it! (For example, last night when he woke at 1:20, I tried to give him a paci, but he was so upset he wouldn't take it unless I held him, bounced him and put the ocean waves sound right next to his ear. It took 50 minutes of all of that combined to get him back to sleep!)

I've experimented with leaving him unswaddled during the day, but I haven't tried it at night. I will try it. And it's nice to hear that there's an end - whenever it might happen.

Please keep the ideas and stories coming - this is really helpful!
 
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RoseLynn02 replied to rosecam's response:
I have 2 DD's and both my girls woke about every 3 hrs or so & gave me a hard time about going back to sleep till about 5 months, but once they reached that stage they started sleeping fine through the night. My oldest DD was in the 90th percentile on her weight until she started walking, so as far as your doctors opinion on your LO's weight, if he think he is fine & healthy then I'd go off that.Trust your parental intuition, that's my opinion. If you think babies weight is fine then go with that. Also, maybe his tummy is upset? That could keep him awake too. Maybe consider a different formula/ diet (depending on formula or breastfed)? My oldest had GERD so I know with her that was part of our problem, but my youngest didn't. My youngest was a premie though, so she had her own set of issues. But if I did feel like maybe they ate too much & didn't burp enough I would just give them a small dose of gas x & sometimes that would help ease their lil' tummies & get them back to sleep. Anyway, that's my experience with it. Hope something there helps & if not well just remember this stage doesn't last forever. Good luck.
 
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Heaven_Lea responded:
have you tired giving him a bath before bedtime. it soothes and relaxes my daughter and she was able to sleep most of the night even at 9 weeks old.