Please help! My dd is just over 8 wks old and loves to catnap. I used to freak out when my ds catnapped but this time around I am trying to just go with the flow. My problem is that by the evening she is so over tired that she cannot settle down. I mean falling fast asleep and 10 mins later she wakes up screaming and crying. Nothing helps!! Finally at midnight she will pass out. If she wanted to take short naps and was happy that would be one thing, but I start to dread the late afternoon. I know that if she doesn't have a good nap the night is going to be long. What can I do?? There is no way to keep a baby sleeping for a long nap. How can I bypass the freak out session when I know she is super overtired. And why does a newborn get overtired?? If I try everything in my power to get her to sleep and she is tired, why doesn't she just succomb to it?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
8 weeks old is prime colic age. Colic usually runs late afternoon/early evening. Maybe she's not overtired? Is it just the fact that she catnaps and doesn't take a long nap that is making you assume she's overtired?
Are you nursing? Does nursing help with the screaming or help her fall asleep? 8 weeks is also a big growth spurt, and she could be really hungry and needing to nurse a whole lot or cluster feed in the evening.
And, it's rare, but also possible for a baby her age to be teething.
I am assuming she is simply overtired because sometimes she doesn't sleep for 4-6 hours and that seems too long for a newborn. When she really gets riled up she won't even nurse! Thats the crappiest part of it since I always thought nursing was supposed to calm your lo. She will either scream when I try to offer her the breast or will latch on and off for hours getting angry that milks coming...or so I think that is what she is mad about. This is why I am so frustrated because I hate not knowing what she wants. If she was actually eating I would chalk it up to a growth spurt and simply nurse on demand.
I'm sorry mama... that age can be so rough. It's so hard when they have no way of communicating with you what they need.
To me it sounds like something more than just being overtired. It could definitely be colic. Have you tried wearing her during the day when she's on-and-off catnapping? Sometimes the stimulation of being carried as much as possible during the day heads of screaming fits at night. It might also stimulate her into longer naps. A few weeks of nothing much but nursing or being in the sling does wonders for some babies.
Is she nusing fine in the earlier part of the day? Sometimes we mamas either get engorged in the evening and have overactive letdown... OR perhaps your supply is dipping at night (from the stress of the screaming baby!) and she's freaking out when the milk isn't flowing as fast as she's used to.
Hand expressing or pumping for a few minutes will relieve an overactive letdown. Eating oatmeal for dinner, drinking lots of water, and pumping for a few minutes after each nursing session will help build up an evening supply
Can you give her something else to suck on to satisfy her demand to suck (for comfort), but her need not to have the milk? My ds was like that, and for the first 3-4 months, he would suck on dh's pinky to fall asleep. After that I gave him a pacifier. He too would scream when my milk let down. It was very frustrating since he was my first and I'd just assumed that all babies like to nurse to sleep!
How does she sleep best - on you or on her own? (I had one of each.) Ds would wake each time I shifted position, but would take decent naps in his basinette (and later crib). Dd would wake up the instant she felt body heat dissipate. She could nap for hours with body contact.
Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM to T (4/01) and M (5/04)
I do wear her all day...I swear I wear her for about 10 out of the 12 hours we are awake. I also thought babywearing and nursing on demand was the best for baby...making them secure and calm. Sometimes I feel that no matter what I do she is miserable!! She will take a paci after she is nursed and then sleeps tummy to tummy in her wrap or ergo. She refuses a paci at night or during her screaming fits...but she also refuses the breast too in her fury. I am so exhausted!