Babies: 0 - 3 Months

6 Week Old Doesn’t Sleep Well

My six week old son has the hardest time getting restful sleep most days. We have a decentish routine generally revolving around his feeding schedule (he is breastfed and also takes pumped bottles- mostly pumping and feeding that way). He eats around every 3-4.5 hours. When I know he is getting sleepy I do everything I can think of - rocking, holding, walking around, keeping him on me to nap, pacifier, etc. sometimes he naps in his bassinet or pack n play without issue after getting to his sleepy state, but often lately he gets extremely fussy after I’ve been trying to put him down for bed or a nap and using a pacifier is the only thing that helps him. But it will fall out of his mouth and wake him up soon after falling asleep OR all he does is suck on it and not sleep.

He’s well fed and always goes to sleep with a clean diaper. He doesn’t like swaddling and turns on his side anyway. His environment for sleeping is always calm and comfortable.
He does still have a pretty strong startle reflex which does often wake him up but not all the time.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m failing him for not knowing how to help him sleep better. Thank you if you’ve read this far and any insight you might have!

Re: 6 Week Old Doesn’t Sleep Well

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    I suppose I've heard rumor of 6 week olds who sleep well, but your baby sounds pretty much like all 6 week olds. They are just learning to live outside the womb. Everything you're doing is great. Also remember what works today might not work tomorrow because babies change so fast and naps at 6 weeks are shorter so don't set expectations about length yet. 
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    6 weeks is a prime time for a growth spurt so this can mess with everything. Also, he needs to eat more often than 4.5 hours during the day. This may be contributing to the sleep problem as he might be hungry. Breast milk is digested fast. Bare minimum is every three hours and to let him go his bigger stretch at night. 
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    To help your baby sleep longer, there are several strategies you can try:

    1. Establish a consistent bedtime routine: Create a soothing routine that signals to your baby that it's time to sleep. This could include activities like a warm bath, reading a book, or singing a lullaby.

    2. Set a conducive sleep environment: Ensure that your baby's sleep environment is comfortable, quiet, and dark. Use a white noise machine or soft music to drown out any disruptive sounds.

    3. Encourage naps during the day: Make sure your baby gets enough daytime sleep as this can help them sleep longer at night. Follow age-appropriate nap schedules and provide a calm and quiet space for daytime naps.

    4. Avoid overstimulation before bedtime: Engage in calm and quiet activities before bedtime to help your baby wind down. Minimize exposure to bright lights, loud noises, and stimulating toys.

    5. Teach self-soothing techniques: Encourage your baby to learn how to fall asleep independently by putting them down drowsy but awake. This helps them develop self-soothing skills and reduces dependency on external factors like rocking or feeding to fall asleep.

    6. Maintain consistent sleep and wake times: Establishing a consistent sleep schedule helps regulate your baby's internal clock, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods.

    7. Monitor your baby's comfort: Ensure that your baby is not too hot or too cold during sleep. Dress them in appropriate sleepwear and use a sleep sack or swaddle if needed.

    8. Be patient and flexible: Remember that every baby is different, and it may take time to find the right sleep routine that works for your little one. Be patient, observe your baby's cues, and be open to adjusting your approach as needed.

    Please note that these suggestions are general guidelines and may not work for every baby. If you have specific concerns about your baby's sleep patterns or if you need personalized advice, it is recommended to consult with a pediatrician or a sleep specialist.
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    I literally went through this (still slightly going on at 8 weeks) and couldn’t understand what was happening at all. These responses have helped me though because I thought I was doing something wrong…
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    Hey there, mama, I totally get how tough this can be. First things first, you're not failing him – you're doing your absolute best, and that's what counts! It sounds like you've got a pretty good routine going with the feeding schedule, which is fantastic. Sometimes, babies can just be fussy sleepers, especially at six weeks. It's a whole new world for them, and they're figuring things out too.

    You've tried all the classic tricks, and that's awesome. The pacifier is a lifesaver for many parents, but I feel you on the falling-out issue. Have you considered a pacifier clip or a lovey that might help him keep it in place? Also, when he's sucking on it but not sleeping, try gently breaking the suction and see if he'll drift off without it.

    And speaking of solutions, one thing that worked wonders for my little one was baby sleep tea from secrets of tea. It's a natural and gentle way to help promote better sleep. Hang in there, mama – you're doing an amazing job, and things will get easier as he grows. 💪😴🍼
    Absolutely DO NOT give your six week old baby tea!!! Babies that age should only have breastmilk or formula. Giving your baby tea could make them dangerously ill. 

    Also, giving a lovey in bed is a SIDS risk, and sleeping with a pacifier clip is a strangulation risk.  This is all dangerous advice
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