Infant sleep

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Lots of questions about wee infant sleep. I've really got nothing except: It's a crapshoot until at least 12 weeks. And it depends on your kid.

You hope it's going in a generally positive direction, of course, but it's sometimes hard to assess what that is. My older one was never much of a day sleeper anyway, and has always needed less sleep than other kids his age at any given age. But he was also always either asleep or awake (no "drowsy but awake" business for him), which may have tainted my perception.

My second was sleeping 7-8 hours in a stretch at night from a few weeks on. (I know. Seriously.) But then he started teething in earnest at 6 weeks and it all went to hell.

Having come out the other end of this twice, here's what I think helped me and has helped others (with "help" meaning got us through with sanity intact) more than anything else:

1. Don't ever (EVAR) compare your child to any other child. Not even your child's identical twin. As it says in the Desiderata, "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter." Totally true with infant sleep.

2. Instead, compare your child's sleep to your child's sleep at some other point in time. Let's assume you're keeping some type of accurate records of wakings or length of time it takes to go down or whatever your particular issue is with that kid. Compare within those records to see how things are going.

3. And don't forget to take development into account. There's not a thing you can do about the 18-month sleep regression (or the 4-month, 9-month, 13-month, or 24-27-month ones, either). So if you're looking at your records, those time periods really don't count as progress or lack of it. Nor does heavy teething, learning to crawl or walk, or any other major disruptions.

4. Once you've got some data, try looking at it another way. Maybe that "late nap" is really your child's body trying to go to sleep earlier than you thought it needed to shut down. If your kid wakes exactly an hour after going down every night, that could be silent reflux. Etc. When in doubt, there's some scientific reason that has nothing to do with your competence.

So, infant sleep. Who's got a story or lament from the age 0 to 12 weeks days?

 

54 thoughts on “Infant sleep”

  1. Ooh, first to post!I always suggest a sling in the first few weeks. It replicates being back inside the womb. The child can hear your heart beat, and enjoys the movement of your body.
    If you do that, you don’t worry so much about waking or sleeping. The child does what he/she is going to do and you can do your life. That is unless the child HATES the sling.
    Best of luck and I agree with Moxie, never, ever compare your child to another child about ANYTHING!

  2. Oh but if my son would sleep now like he did at 12 weeks. I’d do jumping jacks. The cushy days of 1-2 wakeups a night… those TWO nights of his life he slept thru… then we hit 15 weeks and it all fell apart. Dear boy is 10 months today and we are still struggling.I guess to put a positive spin on it: for those of you with newborns who are horrible sleepers, if mine can go from so good to so bad practically overnight, there’s just as good a chance yours can go from horrible to pretty good just as easily.

  3. DEFINITELY don’t compare your child to other children– because if you wind up with a kid like mine, you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong! (Mine’s 2.5 and didn’t start sleeping through the night regularly until just a few months ago.)The only thing I could do was wait it out. I had (have) a kid who needs less sleep than most her age, who could NOT cry it out without screaming until she literally made herself vomit, who woke up multiple times a night every night for the first two years, who required nursing to sleep until she was over 2 and able to understand what I meant when I told her “You’re a big girl now; we don’t do that anymore.”
    Like Moxie has said before, kids just sleep how they sleep. Parents of good sleepers always think it’s because of something they did, but I’m here to tell you: sometimes your kid sleeps like crap and there’s nothing to be done about it. I tried everything, EVERYTHING, and the solution ended up being waiting for her to be ready. She still doesn’t sleep through every night, but sometimes is a vast improvement over never.
    So I guess my only advice is: it will get better on its own, but WHEN is anyone’s guess!
    Shit, that’s not very encouraging.

  4. It is YOUR job to make a good sleep environment for your baby (and what that looks like will vary from child to child). It is THEIR job to sleep. I know it doesn’t make the sleep deprivation any easier, but it is not your job to make your baby go to sleep. It is not your fault if they are not sleeping (assuming all their needs are met, obvs.)

  5. Along that vein, one of the very things that Dr. Sears wrote that REALLY hit home with me was that it is not your job to make your baby stop crying. It is your job to make sure all her needs are met, to comfort her as best you can, and to let her know she is not alone. But it is not your job to stop the crying.And for anyone who might take Dr. Sears too literally, you will NOT do any psychological damage to your baby by allowing him to cry on his own for 5 minutes while you grab a shower. This comes from the voice of bitter, stinky, dirty experience. New mamas, there is a difference between luxuriating in a bubble bath while your child wails and taking a quick shower or fixing yourself a sandwich. I didn’t get that difference, and I wish someone had told me.

  6. I strongly second Moxie’s recommendation to avoid comparing your baby to other babies. Even siblings. That is just crazy making. I wasted so much energy on that.And here is some encouragement for you: my first was an unbelievably crappy sleeper. Up every two hours when she was really little. I celebrated when she started sleeping 3-4 hours at a stretch. We tried everything short of selling her to a traveling circus to get more sleep. Some things may have helped a little, but who knows.
    Anyway, now she sleeps through the night. Every night. It is so unusual for her to wake me up in the middle of the night that I am likely to go bounding into her sister’s room if she does cry out.
    She started sleeping through the night when she was about 2 years old. I did nothing special to achieve this, beyond finally fully nightweaning and getting her a big girl bed- she never liked her crib. I hadn’t nightweaned earlier because she fought it so hard that we lost even more sleep trying to make it happen. I think she just gave up that last nursing session when she was ready, and then started to sleep through the night. When she was ready.
    Incidentally, my mom says that I finally started sleeping through the night when I was 2.
    I am now hoping that my second child will do the same… although she has always been a better sleeper than her sister was at the same age, so maybe she’ll sleep through a little earlier.

  7. A few words about colic…- A baby who needs to be held almost around the clock. The term “putting them DOWN for a nap” is meaningless to you.
    – At around 3pm, you begin to dread the night ahead. Your baby will engage in persistent, low intensity fussing between 5-11pm.
    -At night, you are lucky if they sleep 3-4 hours. You and your spouse sleep in shifts – the 9-1pm/am, and then the 2-6am. The 2-6am shift sucks worse, because the baby wakes up more often.
    -You cannot sleep when the baby sleeps, because you are too stressed.
    -You take them out at your own peril.
    -There are few gentle, serene moments in a rocking chair. It is a lot of vigorous shushing, patting, and pacing. It is a bitch of a way to lose the baby weight.
    Then, when it passes, you hear phantom crying for several months. You are petrified of disrupting their sleep routine in even a minor way, for fear that they will backslide.
    That’s colic – and I’ve been through it. I’m just fine, but I’m different.I now understand life and people a lot better than I used to – and I’m a psychologist.

  8. The only saving grace of having a crappy sleeper is that, as Moxie says, you won’t really remember it. I spent so much of my second daughter’s first year in the fog of sleep deprivation that my memory of it is foggy too. Which is kind of sad.I always say though that there’s good reason we don’t remember our infanthood. It’s not an easy time, for the babies either.

  9. Hang on, silent reflux WHAT?? My 10-month-old daughter has done that her entire life. We put her to bed, she falls asleep in one of the many ways we’ve used during her life, and exactly 45 minutes later she wakes up and we get to do it all again. I always assumed she just had trouble getting past that first sleep cycle for some reason – it never occurred to me that it might be something else! I’ll have to look into this.Regarding sleep when they’re tiny – oh man, as another poster said above, I’d LOVE it if mine slept the way she did when she was brand new. She did her first six-hour stretch before she was two weeks old, and by six weeks was sleeping 11 hours a night and waking up only once to eat. Then we hit the 4-month sleep regression and everything went off the rails. We recovered just in time to hit the 9-month regression.
    Sleep is such a crapshoot. After reading all the books and overthinking and getting very confused, I finally came to the conclusion that there’s really only so much you can do. You make sure all their needs are met, you rock, you pat, you sing, you walk, you sleep-train, you do whatever you have to do – but in the end, how well they sleep is really up to them. We can definitely help them along, for sure! But in the end it depends entirely on the baby. So don’t, DON’T beat yourself up if yours doesn’t sleep that well. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.

  10. My daughter is 2 months and I’ve been keeping track of her sleeping/eating since we got home from the hospital. I know, a little nuts, but it makes me feel like I have some sort of control, some sort of organization and sanity in that little notebook.It definitely makes me feel better to look back and see her progress. I bemoan the fact that she’s up twice a night but then I look back and see how far we’ve come!
    But what do you do when she’s fussing/crying at 6am but when you go in, her eyes are closed? I pop the soother back in and she’s sleeping again… for 10 minutes. I do this about 3 more times in the span of 45 minutes and then she finally opens her eyes. What would others do??

  11. Oi, I’m with Amanda, wth is silent reflux??? That was totally my kid, too! In the evening, after being put down “for the night” my baby would wake up crying every 45-60 minutes like clockwork. From about 7 pm to 10 pm I was in nursing him back to sleep! Now he’s 2 and totally over it, but I’m so curious now!

  12. “Let’s assume you’re keeping some type of accurate records of wakings or length of time it takes to go down or whatever your particular issue is with that kid.”I don’t know about anybody else, but you are giving ME way too much credit, Moxie.

  13. YES to sleep being a crapshoot, child-dependent… and loving the quote from the Desiderata. Baby #1 slept through the night at 5 weeks (probably just five-hour stretches, but that’s what I remember and it just lengthened from there). Baby #2 started sleeping through the month at around 104 weeks of age. I KNOW that our parenting wasn’t THAT drastically different!That baby #2 bit doesn’t sound very encouraging, but it wasn’t as bad as I would’ve thought if you’d told me that would be my life when, say, she was five weeks old. It just became a way of life, like midnight potty-breaks when pregnant. Hubs and I alternated getting up with her and it just… worked.
    Off-topic a bit, perhaps, but I did find a strong correlation between the timing of the next pregnancy and when the current baby was sleeping through the night. Anyone else? 🙂

  14. Moxie, I love you, but who on earth remembers age 0-12 weeks?I’ll be It’s Gets Better. Because it did. Starting after age 3 mine went to sleep with a) teeth brushing b) story c) tuck in and then slept all night (although there were fits and starts even here–age 4 was really the final frontier for NO middle of the night wakings….illness/bad dreams notwithstanding).
    It Gets Better. It just isn’t right now.

  15. Ok, so I had never heard of silent reflux until DS2. It’s basically stomach acid coming back up into the esophagus, except instead of causing a spitup episode, the acid comes up partway and goes back down (kinda like heartburn). Makes babies really fussy during and after eating, as the acid is causing pain. Is a result of a weak sphincter muscle between the stomach and esophagus and babies usually grow out if it as their GI tract matures.DS2 was exponentially fussier than DS1 and I just chalked it up as personality at first. Then we thought colic, except he was like this all day. Finally, after much prodding of the ped and some fruitful internetting (it’s a fine line), DS2 is on baby Zantac and he’s a different baby. He’s been on it since 6 weeks and is now 4.5 months. And yet, through it all, he’s been a great night sleeper (usually a 5-6 hr stretch) since about 6 weeks. We expected it to all go to hell at 4 months (like it did for DS1) but it’s been only marginally affected by developmental milestones (rolling, sitting).
    And we didn’t do anything different from DS1, who did not really truly sleep through reliably until 3 (but I attribute that to nursing). In fact, we may
    have tried even less with DS2, who had the added reflux problem. It’s a cruel joke that we don’t get the same baby twice; at least we’d know what to expect.
    I say all this to encourage new parents that the first 12 weeks can take many forms, but we all come out the other side as better, more experienced parents, more comfortable in our role as caregivers.

  16. Well, I tell my friends that the across-several time zones tropical holiday we had with Moo when she was 11 weeks was great. I had no jet lag because I was so out of sync anyway, she was uber-portable and happy to sleep in a sling for much of the time, no worries about food because she was only breastfed & damn if hanging out with a baby isn’t improved significantly by fruit mocktails, table / room service and brief baby-free moments of lolling on a sun-lounger on a white sandy beach. I would never have done it unless my husbands best friend had scheduled his wedding there, and probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if y’know my baby had slept well – but it ended up ace.So yeah, that’s my take on infant sleep. Do the crazy travelling ~week 12. It’s easier than trying to corral a 13 month old who can run!

  17. The one thing I wish someone had told me was what @wealtheow said about creating a sleeping environment for your kid. I honestly didn’t realize that we had to *help* our baby take naps when she was a newborn. I just figured she’d drop off to sleep whenever, wherever. Uh, not exactly. After a couple of days where she was awake for 8 or 9 hours STRAIGHT and then crying for hours (duh, she was EXHAUSTED), we figured out to put her in our darkened room, with the white noise machine, into her crib or the cosleeper.And like a miracle, she began sleeping 6-7 hour stretches at night soon afterwards. Of course, it took us about 8 weeks to figure this out…

  18. I found using low volume natural sounds or music, enhances my infants sleep cycle tremendously.Also using herbs like lavender in the pillow or besides the bed seems to do some good.

  19. The first 12 weeks were…hell. Thrush, as well as an undiagnosed milk allergy and reflux (we got that diagnosis at 4 and 1/2 months, right in the middle of the sleep regression). E only slept in her swing or our arms. We did it all- swaddling, white noise, Harvey Karp, sleep logs.She’s still not a great sleeper at 21 months. I’ve spent way too many hours beating myself up over it, concocting sleep plans, only to give up at 3 am when after 2 hours it’s clear that she’s not buying rocking instead of nursing. And one of the other posters said it exactly right, the parents whose kids sleep will make you feel like if you just let them cry, it would all be fine. (Tried that too. Gave up after two hours when we were both hysterical).
    As Moxie said, by whatever means necessary, and don’t buy into the “mom”petition. You’ll be happier (though not necessarily more well rested) that way.

  20. Hmm… I agree with PP’s- didn’t know how good I had it when he would fall asleep anytime, in our arms, in the car, in the swing, no matter how much noise there was, etc. Now he has to be in a quiet semi-dark room, well “quiet” is relative- he needs his lullabies on repeat and the white noise machine on full blast. He just turned 7 months. He will only sleep in our arms, in the swing, or in our bed. Even just moving him (while asleep) from our bed to the cosleeper right next to me will cause him to start flailing and kicking and eventually waking himself up. I remember 0-12 weeks only vaguely. Until we started cosleeping I was a complete WRECK from lack of sleep. I do remember that he used to make all kinds of noises while he was sleeping. So I didn’t sleep. Now he’s very quiet and serene while he sleeps.

  21. Pretty OT: I totally get the notion about not comparing your child to other children. But I take that more “in the spirit” than literally. Because, really, comparing myself to others, and my kids to others’ kids, is the only way I know that my feet are on the ground, my kids are basically ok, and the sun will rise again tomorrow. I find that when I stop reaching out and asking about the patterns of other people’s kids, that is when I feel most like I and my entire household are on an island of shitty behavior and unprecedented struggles. “Comparing” my kids to those around me almost always leaves me feeling better – because while there are kids who SEEM to struggle less than mine with issues X Y and Z, if you trust that the parent can be relatively straight with you and you ask about their own struggles, much of their unique crap will be revealed. And it makes me feel so. much. better. And I simply don’t ask if I feel that the parent is still too nervous/self-conscious to give me the truth. Or, I suppose, I still ask, but I try to remember that it didn’t seem like I was getting the whole story.You also have to take each kid’s story as a whole – so, my daughter slept through the night (8 to 5, hallelujah) at 8 weeks, but she and I have been fighting like cats since she was 18mos. My 10mos son has been up every 3 hours since birth but he’ll play on his own for up to an hour at a time if folks are close by. I could compare the two kids just on sleep, but I’d probably end up slitting my throat.
    So I think the wisdom isn’t “don’t compare” but, rather, “don’t compare unless you feel you’ve gotten the real dirt from the parents.” And “compare the big picture, not on specifics.” Or something like that……

  22. I just want to say AMEN to number 1 about comparisons!I’ll never forget going to a mommy-baby yoga class when my sleepless sleepless daughter was about 2 months. Yoga is supposed to be about connectedness and peace, right? But oh my, when the mother next to me mentioned her baby was sleeping 7-8 hours a night, I felt all sorts of non-yoga feelings. The envy! The hate! The despair! What was wrong with me? What was wrong with my child? And what was wrong with this well rested woman next to me, who so casually mentioned her sleep filled nights? I wanted bad things to happen to her.
    Not a good moment for me . . .

  23. Like @SarcastiCarrie & @Melba said, the first 12 weeks of each of my 2 children’s lives are an utter fog of forgetfulness now (thankfully), and like @Shannon suggested, um, what records? People keep sleep records? I’m one of those who, even on a good day, can barely manage to floss, let alone do any meaningful record keeping ;)Through the thick haze of sleep-deprived memory, I recall that 6 weeks after each child’s due date was a particularly restless period of time for them, especially around dinner time. That was the first time I’d ever heard about the “witching hour.”
    Like @Cloud said, I also didn’t sleep through the night until age 2. DS seems to have inherited my crappy sleep tendencies, but started sleeping through at about 16 months, but it has never been linear. Now at 3.5, he falls asleep in his own bed and when we wake up in the morning he’s usually there in our bed, but luckily he doesn’t wake us up when he comes in during the night. Our 19-month-old DD, OTOH, has been a textbook sleeper since birth. She hates co-sleeping, and is a tension-decreaser who needs her own space to fall asleep. Our two kids are totally different in their sleep preferences. So yeah, don’t compare anyone – some children, like 15% of them, just won’t match up to society’s expectations about sleep habits. I know that sounds rather obvious, but it is easy to get caught up in false one-size-fits all assumptions you read about in popular sleep books.

  24. I have told new moms not to expect the baby to sleep through the night until age 2. It’s supposed to be encouraging because “Hey, it’s just what babies do, you’re doing fine.” It turns out that is often demoralizing. Who knew?And yes, records. I had something called the B-log (baby log, yo) and it had feedings, sleepings, medicine, bath, food, fun outings, and milestones met. How else do you remember which side was last nursed (and poking them doesn’t work because they’re both EMPTY at the end of a feeding)? I kept a little clipboard right on the table next to my daytime nursing spot and moved it into the room at night. The nighttime entries were the best. Started on the left at 1:17 am, nursed for 9YL minutes and moved to the right and nursed until 6(scribble, pen falling off of paper). In the morning, we did laugh.

  25. Just had to agree with the earlier commenters about comparisons making you crazy. My first was a great sleeper (through the night from about 12 weeks on, with occasional blips for teething or other milestones like pulling to stand…we had a few weeks of pulling to stand and screaming at 3am because she couldn’t figure out how to lie back down!). Our 2nd did not start sleeping through the night until 16 months. Months 6-8 we were like zombies because he was seriously up 5-6 times a night.As a new mom, it’s so easy to hear about babies that are “good sleepers” and think it has something to do with your parenting skills. You’ll make yourself crazy! Every adult is different and so is every baby. Hugs to new parents and the rest of us who are still sleep deprived.
    At 5 years old, my daughter now calls me in for a little chat in the middle of the night….Mom, my arms are hot. Does this night seem long to you? I’d like a little drink. Could I have a flashlight to look at a book now? ARRRGGGHHHH 🙂

  26. Like @BiteSizeTherapy COLIC hit like a freight train in those first weeks. It was like crossing the Equator or something. Every day. 16.30 to 11.30. Non stop. Then three night-wakings in six hours. And wakeful days.DH was trying to hang on to his job and didn’t come home until halfway at least into the non stop screaming and crying spell that started at 16.30 and then he couldn’t do any part of the night shift.
    Horrendous really. One time I hallucinated with the whole sleep deprivation and saw big fiery letters spelling C O L I C on the wall like Sherman in Gone with the Wind. And like @ BiteSizeTherapy said you can’t sleep when baby sleeps because you’re knotted with tension.
    I remember being in a train one day and she was calm at 4.25. But sure enough, 4.30…..
    Go places at your peril.
    The colic went slowly. But then the nightly screaming fests went on with hours of crying around 3AM. And tantrums, tantrums. Still go places at peril most of the time.
    DD now nearly 3.5. She’s sleeping better, but by no means that much better. My back is not doing so well, herniated disks this year. She’s on the orthopaedic mattress that I need while I am in her small single( twin) bed. If we share the good mattress she kicks and shoves during the night.
    She won’t sleep in her bed. Huge roof raising scenes over that. I’m now reaching the point where my medical need of that mattress beats her need. I’m prepared to put up with the weeks of screaming and no sleep and other protests.Back’s keeping me up anyway.
    This is a good post because it reminds me that actually things have gotten lots better since those first weeks! We can do this.
    I’ve avoided comparisons as much as I can. Parents of good sleepers usually take way too much credit and parents of poor sleepers take way too much blame for what cannot be controlled.

  27. The best advice I heard about sleep books is to read all of them, or read none of them. I imagine I read it on this blog somewhere, actually. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this advice right off the bat, and I spent a few stressed out weeks reading different books and getting very confused and pissed. It ended when my husband threw two of the books across the room because they were giving exactly opposite napping advice. Then we started fantasizing about locking all the book authors in a room and not letting them eat or sleep until they could agree on the best sleep strategy.I agree not comparing is huge. At the same time, I agree that it’s really helpful to hear other people’s stories and to know that you are not alone. This blog helped me with that so much. From googling some of the most random stuff, I can guarantee that whatever your experience is, no matter how random, at least 5 people on Baby Center will have gone through it, and one British mommy blogger will have written a hilarious post about it, and will make you realize that you don’t have to take it that seriously.
    In the spirit of sharing experiences from 0-12 months (we’re now at 20 months), here were our basics. Night time he nursed to sleep and back to sleep, co-slept, and woke up anywhere from every 45 min to 3 hours pretty much the whole first year. Night weaned (but still nurse to sleep and first thing in the morning) at around 18.5 months and now wakes up more like 1 time a night (starts the night alone on his futon, then co-sleeping after a wake up). For naps, he slept on nursing pillow, in moby, in ergo, in car (he was hard to transfer). Started day care at around 10 months and sleeps in pack and play there no problem (that was a huge relief).
    Final thought – you are the expert on your kid, no one else. That said, even as the expert, there may be some things you just can’t “figure out” and that’s ok too.

  28. I don’t remember much from those first days, except that we watched the entire series of Six Feet Under while we also watched DS sleep (or not) in the swinging cradle we had next to the TV.I also remember being paranoid that he wasn’t breathing (or breathing easily enough), which meant that any time I could have been resting, I was being paranoid about his breathing.
    We went whole hog on the ‘Happiest Baby’ 5 S’s – sushing, swaddling, swinging, …can’t even remember the other two. This mostly ended up working for us – especially the vacuum cleaner trick. But then everything went to hell at week 8 and we were definitely in that “witching hour’ zone from about 5pm – 11pm.
    Oh, those were long nights. We’ve got one shot of DH with DS in the baby carrier, while bouncing up and down on an exercise ball, while knitting. DS is screaming his head off. We did a lot of bouncing on the ball until my back couldn’t take it anymore.
    Everyone else has mentioned great things and truths. The only thing I’ll add regarding comparison is to not compare yourself to another parent. I spent a lot of time at the beginning questioning if I was the problem because I just didn’t have the guts/courage/whatever to try ‘x’ approach for better sleep.
    I only found out through our eventual experiences in sleep training (and not) that I did have an inner voice that was guiding me on what was best to do for my kid’s temperament AND mine. Timing, I now think, is everything. Otherwise, it’s do what you can to get the sleep you need.
    At almost 3, DS now sleeps through (well, until 5 at least) most of the time.
    @Wilhelmina, this is brilliant, and bang-on, I think:
    “Parents of good sleepers usually take way too much credit and parents of poor sleepers take way too much blame for what cannot be controlled. “

  29. There are many methods that can help get your infant to sleep. Important fact for you to remember is that your baby’s sleep habits are more a reflection of your baby’s temperament. Parents wring their hands over infant sleep patterns.

  30. A person can consider jingle of a infant sleeping as a infant sleep help. Babies also have different sleep cycles than adults. it’s best way to put baby to sleep on his back.

  31. Harvey Karp; No Cry Sleep Solution; Healthy Sleep Happy Baby…read ’em all.At the end of the day we realized–you can’t actually MAKE a baby sleep! So, we just tried to set the mood and work from there 🙂
    And, no, our little guy has never been a particularly good sleeper and had colic for a couple of months. Wearing him and bouncing on the exercise ball counted for sleep and rest (even for us for awhile!)

  32. I nearly went out of my mind yesterday because my baby WOULD NOT go down for a nap, no matter how many times I tried. He would look like he had gone off to sleep in my arms and then as soon as I put him down, he woke up again. He did this several times and each time I got more frantic and hysterical, which of course made him hysterical too. How do I stay calm when he goes 3, then 4, then 5, then 6, then 7 hours of being awake before he will finally go off? I can’t put him or myself through that again.

  33. @ Heather, I’d not bother with trying to put him down tbh. That’s totally normal for the first 3 months or so – babies go straight into REM-type active sleep from which it’s easy for them to wake. After 3 months they go straight into a deeper sleep so it’s much easier.A sling saved our sanity. DS would sleep for 30 mins in his Moses basket in the day and for 2+ hours in my arms. Getting him to sleep other than in the sling would routinely take 2 hours +.
    At 3.5 months he started feeding to sleep in the day (hooray!), and he slept ‘through’ the night a couple of times. That’s yet to be repeated (now 17 months) and for most of his life he’s woken more often than he did as a newborn (although he generally goes straight back to sleep). So I’d add to the ‘whatever it does, it’ll change’ experiences.
    DS spent about a year waking 45 mins after bedtime. It wasn’t reflux, but him wanting help to get back off to sleep after he roused from the first sleep cycle (I’ve always fed him to sleep). He continued to do it even when he could get himself back off after subsequent sleep cycles, until that waking (along with all but one of the others) disappeared at about 14 months.

  34. The first 12 weeks were red hot torture. My little girl came out with her days and nights reversed, and a very low need to sleep. She was wide awake and alert from the very minute she was born. When she did sleep, it was always during the daytime.And then the colic hit. BiteSizeTherapy’s experience closely mirrors mine, except that there was never “low-level” fussiness. It was just full-on screaming for hours on end. The pediatrician gave her a clean bill of health and offered me a hug because he, too, had a colicky baby and knew that there’s no cure but time.
    I adopted the motto “By any means necessary” (which I think I picked up here) and I tried EVERYTHING to get some sleep for us all. But from about 2 weeks to about 11 weeks, the baby slept an average of 7 hours of any given 24 hour period, and clearly not in any sizeable chunks. People telling me to “sleep when the baby sleeps” were my pet peeve. A) As BiteSizeTherapy says, you’re too wound up to just fall asleep, and B) the fifteen minutes that I might get to sleep before she woke up again just made me feel worse. Shifts with my husband helped keep us at the bare minimum level of sleep to function most of the time. We started off with 2 hour shifts, then shifted to four hour shifts once she stopped screaming non-stop.
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