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Newborns and sleeping

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Old 11-29-2006, 02:41 PM   #1
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KeltoKel HB User
Newborns and sleeping

I thought newborns slept a lot!?!?

My son is 3 weeks old and I feel like he just doesn't really nap much during the day. Often he has cat naps - for a half hour or maybe more. It is killing me b/c everyone tells you to "sleep when the baby sleeps." Well, I don't feel like he sleeps much! Today he had a nap for an hour and a half and I was so happy.

At night, he will go for maybe 2 hours in his crib at a time. I feed him and try putting him down again, but he is often restless - moving his arms and legs - and it takes some time for him to fall back to sleep. He will cry and then I go back to rocking him and trying to put him down. Often an hour will go by and he is so tired - but will not fall back to sleep! UGH!

However, if I camp out on the couch with him, he will easily sleep for 3 hours. I assume the warmth of my body makes him sleep longer.

Does anyone else have stories about their newborn not sleeping well? Any advice or tips?

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Old 11-29-2006, 03:00 PM   #2
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sweetea13 HB User
Re: Newborns and sleeping

When my ds was a newborn he didn't sleep much either unless I was holding him. Do you swaddle him? This seemed to help cause often when they are that little there nervous system isn't fully developed and there arms jerk them awake. This helps with keeping him warm too.

Old 11-29-2006, 03:22 PM   #3
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KeltoKel HB User
Re: Newborns and sleeping

Swaddling is hard with my DS b/c of how much of moves his arms and legs around. He kicks the swaddle right out from under him in no time! I try to get a tight swaddle but he always is out of it - and things I have read told me that you should no longer use a blanket if they can kick out of it.

I have a sleep sack but the arms are very big where his hands wouldn't come out of the sleeves. The size is 0-9 months, but the arms are too long for him yet. Perhaps I should use the sack and just let his arms be inside the sack?

Old 11-29-2006, 03:26 PM   #4
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Faythey HB User
Re: Newborns and sleeping

My DS never slept well. When we first took him home he slept 2-3 hours at a time at night, but he wouldnt sleep during the day unless I was holding him and even then it was just for maybe an hour. I started swaddliung him and putting him in his swing at night at about 3 weeks and he started sleeping 4-5 hours at night. He's 4 months now and only takes 2 one-hour naps during the day if I'm lucky.

The only things that helped for me were the swing, his bouncy seat and swaddling. DS didnt sleep in his crib until he was maybe 6 weeks or so.

Edit: Sorry, just read your last post. My DS also started kicking out of his swaddling blankets because he was just too big for them. BUt I bought this blanket called the miracle blanket and it is AMAZING. He's still sleeping in it now and he's doubled it size. This blanket is the ONLY reason I can get any sleep. Just do a google search for Miracle Blanket and it should be the first link. It's a little expensive, but totally worth it.

Last edited by Faythey; 11-29-2006 at 03:28 PM.

Old 11-29-2006, 04:19 PM   #5
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*Stace* HB User
Re: Newborns and sleeping

you could also try a swaddleme blanket...they're only about $10.

Old 11-29-2006, 07:42 PM   #6
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debating HB User
Re: Newborns and sleeping

Originally Posted by KeltoKel

However, if I camp out on the couch with him, he will easily sleep for 3 hours. I assume the warmth of my body makes him sleep longer.
Yep. Your baby slept with you, all snuggled up and comfy, for nine whole months. 3 weeks is not a long time to expect him to sleep well on his own.

Does anyone else have stories about their newborn not sleeping well? Any advice or tips?
Yes, the day I figured out the side lying postition was the day I got good naps. DD is 8.5 months old and we still nap together for 2 hours in the afternoon.

9 months in, 9 months out. And true to that, at almost 9 months old, she is becoming more and more indipendent about sleeping on her own. It's no surprise it took her almost as much time on the outside and she was on the inside to be able to sleep well without me. Plus, this is about the time when object permanence - the ability to remember us when we're not around - kicks in. Now that she knows that I still exist when she can't see she doesn't panick when she wakes and I'm not there. I think it is because of this that is able to put herself back to sleep.

My LLL leader put to me like this. If you fell asleep all snuggled up in bed next to your husband but then woke up alone on the kitchen floor, would you be able to put yourself back to sleep? Probably not. When a baby falls asleep with mommy but wakes up alone in a crib, they may as well wake up on the kitchen floor. It must be scarey to suddenly be all alone!

Old 11-29-2006, 08:08 PM   #7
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BioAdoptMom3 HB User
Re: Newborns and sleeping

When we brought our first two home from the hospital they slept the clock around, waking only for feedings, until they were four and two months old, respectively. However that was in the era of tummy sleep. Babies did sleep "all the time" then for the most part, unless the baby had colic. When we adopted our newborn daughter long after back to sleep began she would never sleep more than an hour at a time at night nor for more than 30 minutes per nap. We had no idea why. One night at the age of six weeks she had a cold and we decided to put her in her carseat to sleep. She was sick but still, she slept six hours straight! From that point on we had her either sleeping in her carseat or on her tummy and we never had another sleep problem with her. Most babies just do not sleep well flat on their backs. If you are too nervous to do the tummy sleeping (the SIDS rates are less than 1 in 1000 for a newborn tummy sleeper and still about 1 in 1500 for a back sleeper) consider using the carseat, the bouncy or the swing for sleep. You could try a swaddling blanket or you could do co-sleeping. The place or position for sleep can make a tremendous difference.


Old 11-29-2006, 08:40 PM   #8
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Infinitum HB User
Re: Newborns and sleeping

I agree with Bioadopt---my DS is 5 months old as of yesterday and has been an exclusive tummy sleeper since he was about 3 weeks old. He never slept well in his back/side, his little arms and legs would swing crazy and startle him awake and he was colicky as well. Not only was he managing to sort of roll over from his back/side to his tummy, we once found him sleeping on his belly one morning---sleeping like a charm. He didn't wake us once during that particular night. That's when we figured that he loved tummy sleeping ONLY. Our pediatrician is old school, graduated from medical school in the 70's and had originally written in our DS's hospital discharge records for DS to sleep on tummy ONLY from day one. We never read what she wrote until a month later when we were organizing DS's medical file at home and realized what was written--Duhhh!!! LOL

I read somewhere that infants die more of aspiration of milk/saliva than SIDS. SIDS incidents are few and far between. Me and my brother were tummy sleepers only. I dunno! Also, DS was able to shift his little head from one side the the other when sleeping on his tummy from 3 weeks old. So I was never worried about him getting stuck in a position with his little head/face where he could possibly suffocate. He had strong neck muscles for his age at that time---so he was able to adjust freely with no issues. It was so cute just sitting watching him give it his all to try and move around at such a young age.

Just try to figure out what works for your babe!

Swaddling works too, but only worked for my DS the first couple of weeks. But somehow he always managed to get out of his swaddle and wake up freakin out and startled.

Last edited by Infinitum; 11-29-2006 at 08:44 PM.

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