View Full Version : 2-week old baby refuses to sleep at night and demands food frequently

01-03-2004, 02:29 PM
HELP - I left a similar message in the feeding section but I think it is relevant here too. Our new DD is 9 days old (and formula fed) - so actually not even 2 weeks, and I'm feeling so frustrated and at my wit's end not knowing what the right thing to do is....She will only eat a little at night, maybe 1/2 ounce at a time, and then after changing her and putting her in the crib, she'll cry for more. I've tried to get her to eat more the first time but she refuses. So the result is I'm up literally all night. During the day she eats pretty normally for her size (6 pounds) and age - about 1 to 2 ounces, sometimes more, every 1.5-3 hours or so. The rest of the time she sleeps although we've been trying to keep her up a bit before bedtime or periodically throughout the day. Then the minute we put her in the crib for the night, she's crying. If it's not food, she usually just wants to be held and easily falls asleep in our arms. But the minute she goes in the crib again, she's crying. My husband keeps pushing to let her sleep with us or to have her fall asleep with me in the glider, since he sees that as an easy fix to getting her (and me) to sleep. I refuse to do either since everyone including our pediatrician says "bad idea" and I'm really worried about her falling or suffocating. I know newborns tend to have day/night reversed but this is ridiculous - I was expecting to get up every 2-3 hours for feedings and honestly feel I could handle that, but now I spend all night either holding her or feeding her.

Any advice or experience with this kind of thing?
Many thanks

01-04-2004, 09:24 PM
I'm not sure why everyone would suggest that it is "bad" to have baby fall asleep in your arms. Your baby is only 9 months old. There is no way you could ever spoil a baby that young or. Babies need to be held, loved, and comforted. Baby spent nine beautiful months lolling around in your warm secure tummy. She went through quite a lot in the birth process and is probably still in shock by her surroundings. Maybe instead you could try an Arm's Reach or Sunggle Nest to have her close by and feeling more secure. I don't have any advice on formula feeding but I know my DS did the same thing at that age. Newborns have very tiny stomachs and therefore need to eat very frequently. DS would eat a little, poop, and then a couple minutes later want to eat again. I fed him round the clock, but it really eases up after a few weeks. Hang in there :)

01-05-2004, 02:25 AM
Hi there -
Thanks for the post; I guess I should clarify what I meant in my previous message. No one has suggested that it was bad to have my DD fall asleep in my arms; what I meant to say was it could be dangerous if I were to fall asleep too - which is what my husband thought I should do. If we were both were to fall asleep in the glider, she could easily fall, and my pediatrician is definitely against co-sleeping. Actually last night I tried swaddling her and putting some "white noise" on in the background, and wow, what a difference. I still have the problem of her not taking enough at any one feeding (I know she can because she takes 2-3 ounces a feeding during the day, but anywhere from 1/2 ounce to an ounce a feeding at night) but at least now she goes to sleep in between the frequent feedings. I guess I was prepared for getting up often to feed her, but not for holding her all night in between feedings so that I couldn't even get a 20-minute rest in. Anyway I'm more hopeful now!


01-05-2004, 10:53 AM

First of all big hugs to you. Those first weeks are just madness and I really don't remember anything except being a walking zombie from sleep deprivation.

From what you've said about your DD only taking in a few ounces when she wakes up at night, sounds like she's not really hungry. Newborn babies have a strong need to suck. Have you tried a pacifier? If your baby can suck on a pacifier she may be able to sleep that way. The only problem is that she may need help after the pacifier slips out.

Good luck. It does get better!

Proud Mommy to Martie 4/6/03

01-06-2004, 03:02 AM
Patti it sounds like your experiencing motherhood! Congratulations! I wouldn't get too excited about it. My DD was very much the same as a newborn. She liked to be up at night more than the day. The only way I got any sleep (other than when DH took his turn) was to hold her in our recliner. Yes, I too was worried about dropping her, but I felt it was safer than having her sleep in bed with us. I seemed to always be semi-aware of what was going on while I was sleeping.

Edited to add:
BTW, at about 2 1/2 months DD began sleeping through the night and is a great sleeper.

Hang in there!

01-14-2007, 03:44 PM
Hi, those first few weeks are rough. The baby cannot see well yet and so touch is the best way they know someone is there and feels secure. We went through a few weeks of propping ourselves up on pillows in bed and holding our son so he would sleep at night. He could go for 3 hours at 2 weeks that way. We thought it might become a habit, but at 5 weeks he would sleep in his crib with just about 15 minutes of fussing/crying.

At this point, you need SLEEP. I say do WHATEVER it takes to get sleep. Damn the pediatrician. You can break habits later. And taking 1/2 oz might just mean your daughter wanted a little snack or suck time. I agree that trying a pacifier might work. When my husband bottle feeds at night, our son eats a lot faster than when he nurses. He gets fussy because he didn't get enough suck time. After eating, my husband will let him suck on a pacifier and it calms him down considerably.

Also, don't forget your baby is still switching day and night. It takes a while for them to sleep longer at night instead of day. Our son recently started to sleep longer at night at 6 weeks, but he reverts every so often.

While I'm sure your pediatrician means well, I think there is really very little you can do to mess up your baby, especially considering there are hundreds of conflicting opinions out there. You have to do what feels right for you. You can always switch pediatricians. ;-)

01-15-2007, 12:44 PM
We proped up DS between us sometimes to help him to sleep at first. That and the swaddle, glad that's working for you. I agree that either she's falling asleep during the feeding before she gets her fill (unlikely unless she has jaundice) or just needs more sucking. A paci can be very useful in this instance. We had DS sleep in a bassinet next to our bed, so it was easy to reach over and put it back in if he needed it. Another possibility is that she could have reflux and doesn't like being laid down right after eating?? That might be something to explore if she has other sx. I hope it gets better soon once she settles a bit.