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Old 05-29-2013, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
12,111 posts, read 10,237,116 times
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Yes i know that with a newborn sleep is very hard to come by. My little guy is only 6 days old now and only sleeps when held. Mother and i rotate meaning i sleep while he nurses and she sleeps while he sleeps and i hold him. Needless to say this is causing me to only catch very quick naps here and there and mother is also very exhausted. She cant just sleep eacc time he does because she needs to eat, sleep, walk (c section) and pee a lot.

I have zero problem holding my baby because this is what he wants and needs. I am just worried that we are going on so little sleep that we cannot do this forever. We do have my mom helping but only another week or so. But she helps us get some sleep.

Luckily i get 6 weeks off work so this is somewhat doable for now. But i am somewhat panicked about what we will do when i go back to work. I won't be able to continue staying up all night and holding him while mother sleeps and then only sleep when he feeds.

I have tried putting him in a crib and bassinet but he cries the minute we walk away. And i refuse to let him "cry it out" so i don't want to even debate that. Does anyone have any suggestions for mother and i to help get our little guy to sleep in a crib or bassinet? Or any other suggestions that would allow us some sleep before we lose our minds totally? I know our situation is not unique but I'm hoping for some suggestions. We have tried swaddling and placing into his crib and bassinet but he apparently hates it. It is no surprise since he loves sucking on his fingers and loves sleeping with his arms stretched above his head.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:14 AM
 
11,984 posts, read 9,809,190 times
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Congratulations! I remember this well. It won't be any help for me to tell you that you will look back on this and laugh. Too tired right now! Some things to consider

- Some babies will sleep in swings or vibrating seats.
- Can MOM sleep while he nurses? I know that is not easy at first, and 6 days old is certainly at first! But if she can swing that, that would be huge.

Eventually you may need to do something more permanent. But for now, permanent is the last of your worries. Your wee one is 6 days old. Little by little, you can do things like remain with him by the bassinet and rub his back while he falls asleep. We had a cradle that rocked. We tied a neck tie to it and would rock and sing.

Good luck.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,538 posts, read 4,672,426 times
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Oh, yes, the swing!!! That was a lifesaver for us with our first who wouldn't sleep.

Also, right now nursing is probably not easy because you have to help him latch on and all that. Give it a few weeks and he will be able to do it without much help and mom should be able to sleep through nursing.

So pretty much ditto what somebodynew said. :-)
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,661 posts, read 3,638,622 times
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Congrats on your new little one! It's so hard in the beginning, but by the time six weeks goes by, it will be so much easier. Good for you for not letting your tiny newborn "cry it out." He is crying because it's the only way he can communicate with you. My kids did not ever "cry it out" and are great sleepers now.

Have you tried swaddling him rather tightly? (Obviously not TOO tightly!) A baby in a firm burrito can't flail arms and legs, and it can make him feel much more secure. He only emerged from very tight quarters six days ago, and he can't control his arms and legs yet, so he's startling himself awake all the time if he's not swaddled for sleep.

Aside from that, start the process to get him to understand the difference between night and day. During the day, open the blinds, play music, make household noise as you normally would. When he's up, talk to him, sing while you change his diaper, etc. During the night, though, keep the lights low, and don't talk while you do what needs to be done. Change his diaper without talking, have your wife feed him quietly. Don't turn on the television. Within a couple of weeks, he'll start to get the picture. Not that he'll be sleeping through the night, of course, but he'll start sleeping longer periods at night and will start staying awake a little more during the day.

This will get easier! You'll look back when your baby is 8 or 12 weeks old and say, "man, how did we get through that?" But remember that it does not last forever, even though it feels like forever right now. You're a good dad and you're doing the right thing by meeting his needs. Congrats again!
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:29 AM
 
11,984 posts, read 9,809,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
Congrats on your new little one! It's so hard in the beginning, but by the time six weeks goes by, it will be so much easier. Good for you for not letting your tiny newborn "cry it out." He is crying because it's the only way he can communicate with you. My kids did not ever "cry it out" and are great sleepers now.

Have you tried swaddling him rather tightly? (Obviously not TOO tightly!) A baby in a firm burrito can't flail arms and legs, and it can make him feel much more secure. He only emerged from very tight quarters six days ago, and he can't control his arms and legs yet, so he's startling himself awake all the time if he's not swaddled for sleep.

Aside from that, start the process to get him to understand the difference between night and day. During the day, open the blinds, play music, make household noise as you normally would. When he's up, talk to him, sing while you change his diaper, etc. During the night, though, keep the lights low, and don't talk while you do what needs to be done. Change his diaper without talking, have your wife feed him quietly. Don't turn on the television. Within a couple of weeks, he'll start to get the picture. Not that he'll be sleeping through the night, of course, but he'll start sleeping longer periods at night and will start staying awake a little more during the day.

This will get easier! You'll look back when your baby is 8 or 12 weeks old and say, "man, how did we get through that?" But remember that it does not last forever, even though it feels like forever right now. You're a good dad and you're doing the right thing by meeting his needs. Congrats again!

This is good advice. The bit where she says "within a couple of weeks" sounds daunting. But this kind of procedure will set the expectation. Then you will only be dealing with real needs for feeding or whatever, not an expectation that Mom and Dad are at beck and call any time of day or night.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:43 AM
 
2,763 posts, read 4,667,647 times
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Welcome to having a newborn. Its normal and will probably take a few months.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 6,101,905 times
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Moderator Cut

OP, I learned how to nurse side-lying, and then was able to sleep while nursing. I co-slept with baby and just had to wake up long enough to latch her on. We both got enough sleep this way. It did take several weeks until baby was big enough to make this process go really smoothly though.

Last edited by Jaded; 05-29-2013 at 10:23 AM.. Reason: Reference was to a deleted post
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
6,478 posts, read 7,733,257 times
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He will learn to sleep without being held soon enough. Do you try placing him in his crib or bassinet after he is asleep? You mentioned he likes sucking on his fingers. I know opinions vary on pacifiers, especially in the early stages of nursing, but perhaps he would like that? One of my kids hated pacifiers. One used one starting at about 1 week or so. He had no problems nursing.

No need to worry yet. I know it's hard to believe right now but he will change a lot in the first month as will his sleep. For now, just hold him close. This time will pass quickly.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:36 AM
 
1,961 posts, read 3,746,962 times
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I have been where you are just recently - I have 6 month old twins and a 2 1/2 year old. The first 6-8 weeks are HARD. But at around 8 weeks it starts to get a lot easier. I co-slept with my kids, and that helps. For the first 6 weeks, I slept on the couch with the babies - it made nursing them easier.

By around 3 months I found with all of my children, things start to settle down and its easier to get some sleep in a little longer stretches. I also found my babies likes sleeping in their bouncers.

Have you tried swaddling? That also worked well with my children.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:46 AM
 
1,058 posts, read 1,781,961 times
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First, Congratulations!

DD was the same - to save our sanity, here is what we found that worked.
I nursed and slept in my recliner for weeks. The other thing we did was we put her baby car seat in the cradle next to our bed. We swaddled her up then snugged her up in the car seat. This worked like a charm and we all got some blissful sleep at the same time. Same DD is now almost 15 and sleeps just fine, anytime and all the time if we let her.

We held both of our kids whenever and as often as they wanted - they are 23 and 14 respectively and are fine functioning young people. Some folks (the nasty poster) just don't get it, I always feel sorry for their children.

When I was pregnant with DS ohhhh about 25 years ago, our church held a baby shower for us and asked each person in the room to give us a piece of advice. One of our elderly ladies said "no matter what anyone says, you cannot spoil a baby, hold them as much as you want for soon they will be walking and will be pushing you away" best advice I ever got!

Good luck and enjoy, my DS just graduated from college and yet, I remember those baby days like they were yesterday. Time really does fly by
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