10 days old , won't sleep much or stop needing nursing

  • Hi,

    I had a c-section 10 days ago fro my first babyand find it very difficult to take care of our baby and catch on my sleep any time she sleeps, because she doesn't sleep 16-20 hours per day like doctors or written literature says, instead it is much less. she wants to nurse every 1-2 hours throughout the day, each time for 30 minutes. the frequency and duration will go longer as the 24 hour day progresses. we started to dread the nights or early mornings, when she will want to be on nipple for more than an hour (a coplule fo time sI tired 2-5 hours but give up due to sore nipples), and she would not let herself to be put to bassinet, she will wake up in 5 minutes and wants to be hold all the time. I am only half of thetime successfull if I feed her well inthe early part of the day and then not move nad put her to bassines fro her to sleep 1-1h 15 min each time. So my days are like: feed 30 min or longer every 60-120 minutes, put her to sleep after feeding and this get only more unsuccessfull as the day progress. I am advised by lactation consultant to spend 10 min burbing after each feedig which I wasn't doing becaue moving her woudl wake her up and we do that today but she still wants to be held or constanly be on nipple.

    she can sleep for 1 hour or so durgin the day time for each feeding and I can't find time for sleep myslef. Sleep deprivation causes me to lose my milk and it contributes only to the problem. Howcan we sort out this? Is there any shcedule at all fro the first 4-6 weeks? All we are told is to expect to feed every 1-3 hours, but excluding feeding and burbing time, considering that she doesn't go to sleep after half of the feedings per day, there is not enough time for her to sleep that 18 hours per day total, and also for me to sleep.Lact. consultant suggest kangoroo hold on my side on bed but with c-section I can't still lay down on my side.



  • It is best to feed on demand. However, if your milk supply is in good and she is gaining weight, then you could safely go every 2 hours during the day (3 hours at night). It is best to wake her up if she sleeps more than 4 hours at night. After the first month it is okay (if she is thriving) to let her sleep longer at night.

    Nursing for 60-120 minutes is a comfort thing for her. If you can handle it, then it is fine, but if you are worn out, then it is okay to limit it. 30 minutes should be plenty of time to feed her. If your supply is in well, you can start with a different breast at each feeding, let her finish that one before moving to the next, and then rotate for the next feeding.

    I know that a paci is controversial for breastfed babies, but you might give a paci between feedings to give yourself a break. Babies who latch well can normally move between the two with no problems. It might help with her need to suck and allow you to get her on a better schedule by spacing feedings to 2 hours or so instead of every hour.

    Try to comfort her in other ways as well (swadding, rocking, swinging). I hope this helps some!

  • I'll tell you what I did, and hopefully it will help you.  You need to get on a routine, and believe me, it will make things so much easier for you and it will make your baby happy and more relaxed.  Babies are very smart and they learn fast.  Once a baby knows what to expect next, they are much calmer.  I read a book that intruduced a routine called E.A.S.Y., which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your Time.  That is the routine that you follow with your baby.  With the age of your baby, you should probably be on a 2 to 2 1/2 hr routine.  I would try nursing for about 45 mins, and then you do an activity to give the baby some stimulation and get him ready to sleep.  At 10 days old, the activity can be something as simple as changing his diaper and talking to him and swaddling him.  It might only be 15 mins of stimulation, but it is a lot to a new born baby.  You need to watch for signs him getting tired, which should be soon after eating at this age.  Let him sleep until it's time to eat again in 2 to 2 1/2 hrs from the time you started feeding him last.  Wake him up if you need to.  For example: Eat is at 8:00, Activity is at 8:45, Sleep is at around 9:00, then it's your time to relax.  Next Eat would be at 10:00 or 10:30.  I know this seems like a tight schedule, but babies this young cannot eat enough to sustain them for more than a couple hours at a time.  They need to eat often, and that is why they can't sleep for long periods yet.  But it doesn't take long.  It may take him a few days to adjust to this routine, so don't get discouraged if it's hard at first. Your baby doesn't know a routine yet, so this is going to be new. But it will make things easier for both of you in the end.  It's only this hard for the first few weeks, then it starts to get a lot easier - trust me!!! 

    At night, you should continue to follow the 2 to 2 1/2 hr routine, waking up to feed the baby.  By the time your baby is 4 weeks old, you should have moved up to a 3 hr routine, and gradually moving up to 4 hrs by 4 months.  You should also be gradually increasing the length of time you are nursing, or the amount of formula you are feeding your baby.  If your baby is eating completely, but getting hungry before it's time to eat again, then you may need to increase the amount he's eating.  If he's not eating all of it, then extend the length of time between feedings a little bit.  You need to adjust his routine as he grows and gets older.

    One of the biggest benefits of using a routine is that when your baby cries, all you have to do is ask yourself, "What time did he eat last".  That will tell you everything, and will probably answer why he is crying and what he needs.  You learn your baby much quicker this way.  For example: If he ate at 4:00 and now it's 5:00 and you just changed his diaper, I'll guess that he's probably sleepy and that's why he's crying.  You know he can't be hungry, and he's not wet, so your options are that he's either sleepy, or he could have gas or a tummy ache. 

    Here's the good part. By about 6 weeks old, you can start trying to get your baby to sleep through the night.  I followed these tips, and my baby was sleeping 6 hrs by 8 weeks old. By 12 weeks he was sleeping 8-9 hrs.  He's 6 months old now, and he's the easiest baby to put to bed at night. He doesn't cry, doesn't fuss and sleeps until I wake him up in the morning, usually.  Here's a schdeule for a 6 week old for you:

    7:00  (morning) Eat, 7:45 Activity (change diaper, talk, play), 8:15 Sleep - wrap baby and lay down for nap.  8:30 Your Time, 10:00 Eat, 10:45 Activity, 11:15 Sleep, 11:30 Your Time, 1:00 Eat, 1:45 Activity, 2:15 Sleep, 2:30 Your Time, 4:00 Eat,. 4:45 Activity, 5:15 Sleep, 5:30 Your Time...

    Here's where it changes: 6:00 Eat, 6:45 Activity, 7:00 Sleep, 8:00 Eat, then straight back to bed.  Feed last time at 10:00, and try not to wake up. Put right back to bed, and hopefully he will sleep until the morning.  Mine did 6 hrs by 8 weeks old.

    Tip for napping: don't keep picking the baby up if he cries. If you put him down for nap, and he cries and you pick him up, he learns that cry = you picking him up. He's training YOU what to do. Instead, wrap him up tight in a light blanket so he is snug, and lay him down. If he cries, pat his bottom and say Shhh, Shhh softly to him.  Keep trying this.  He will hear you and know you are right there.  Young babies cry because that is their only way of talking to you. The world is new to them, and it's scary. If he knows you are right there with him, he will be comforted and calm down and eventually go to sleep. 

    By about 2 months you can cut out the middle of the night feeding, by 4 months you should cut out one of the stacked feedings at night.  And by 6 months, you can cut out the last feeding at 10:00 at night.  Keep in mind that when you cut out a feeding, that is because your child is eating more at each feeding, and so eats fewer times throughout the day.

    Try these tips, and I promise they will help you.  It might take a little while for your baby to get settled into a routine, but keep trying!  You will be glad you did a month from now when you're able to sleep through the night again!!!

    Good luck!!!!


  • thank you very much.

  • I had the same problem when I was breastfeeding my son. Unfortunately my milk eventually ran out on its own; but I can give you some tips that did help my milk circulation, and my son's situation.

    When you are breastfeeding, you should be pumping when your not feeding. It usually helps when you have a warm shower and massage your chest. It pretty much kicks your milk supply into gear, because an unhappy fed baby will remain uncomfortable. Secondly, try keeping her just in your arms and swaddle free. If you could, lay nude with her (both of you) and it will help not only the feeding but bonding process. Whenever she's on your nipple and begins to fall asleep, gently tap her cheek or graze it to get the suction going again.

    Another large problem with unhappy newborns are they aren't being burped. It's MOST essential that you burp her every 5-10 minutes of feeding. Swaddle her back up, get her warm and cozy and speak to her for a few minutes to help comfort her. Set her in her bassinet and whisper goodnight. Leave the room. If she doesn't stay asleep, try a bath every night, or rocking her rather than just setting her down afterwards. If she whines, give her about 5 minutes and see what happens. My son did the same thing, and sometimes it's their way of sleep talking.