I am a new, first time mum. My bub has just turned 4 weeks old and I am really struggling with the lack of sleep. He doesn’t sleep for longer then 45 mins at a time. He suffers with colic and I am giving him drops for this. I know it’s just a phase and will pass soon. But I need help now. Any suggestions on how to get bub to sleep for longer periods?

Posted anonymously, 28th April 2016

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  • It’s really hard to change a baby sleep cycle – you might do best to try to get someone to come in for an hour or two to give you a chance to sleep longer.


  • The child and youth health nurse was very helpful around this stage. In our state she was able to refer us to a free residential facility where you got help with infants for up to a week, and a chance to sleep while they helped you sort out feeding, settling and other issues. A referral was needed but it might cover your situation (see for example http://www.cyh.com/SubContent.aspx?p=137 there might be something in your state).


  • 45mins is a sleep cycle but I hope he’s sleeping longer overnight otherwise you’ll also have a very overtired bub too. I found feeding bubs too much made the colic worse so I would stick to feeding him every 2hrs or so & used a dummy as babies like to suck to calm themselves. Keeping him upright in a swing helped too. You need sleep so getting your partner to share the load or ask a friend. If you are struggling contact your child maternal health centre for settling techniques & discuss how you are feeling


  • Gripe water and up right on your chest while rocking may help.
    Wishing you well.


  • I am sorry to hear that you are struggling. I am not sure what you have tried but I find Gripe Water helps for my daughter and keeping her upright for a good 20 mins after a feed.


  • When my daughter was a baby she had to sleep in a baby swing for a while in an uprite position. That was for reflux, but it would be worth a try


  • I remember one family with a colicky kid. They put the little girl in the baby carrier and they walked up and down the house to calm her. Taking turns. I can imagine how tiring that can be though.


  • tRY FOR SITTING IM UP IN YOUR ARMS FOR A LITTLE LONGER AND BURPING HIM, MY FIRST HAD REALLY BAD COLLIC, BUT IT TURNS OUT DUE TO THE TIME HE SPENT IN THE SPECIAL CARE NUSERY WITH THE TUBE IN HIS NOSE HE WAS UNABLE TO DIGEST THE AMOUNT OF MILK HE WAS GETTING AND DID HUGE VOMITS WHEN BURBED FOR A LITTLE LONGER THAN NORAML, It took me a little while to realise this… And after afew to many milk showerrs it become clear to me… Burp for a little longer than you think needed.. He was getting to much milk to quickly… Yes he id have a few moew feeds than the normal kid but as he couldnt handled the volume it was easier on us both to have more feeds but less in quanitity….


  • Is it possible for your partner to help out so you don’t have to get up quite as often? (silly question form me as my husband seemed incapable ion this!). For mine, she slept a lot longer if I sat in a rocking chair and let her sleep on my chest (in an upright position). I think it kept her warmer as well as being more comfortable for her. I didn’t sleep, but at least I wasn’t being woken up.

    Things will get better.


  • Hmmmm, I remember the newborn days….well kinda. I know it was hard work. My first had colic too, made life really hard. Movement is supposed to be good. My sister in law used to put her son in a bassinet and sat it on her washing machine when she washed. That calmed him. Mine like the car and pram rides. Some quieter to a vacuum cleaner. I guess you just have to keep trying things until you find something that works for you and your little one. Good luck, you can do it!


  • I’m sorry for you. It must be hard having a colicky baby! Do you have a rocking chair? I’ve heard of parents using one with their child with good results, because it calms the baby down and it helps passing gas too.
    I hope that this period will soon be over!


  • We have a 7 week old in our house so I feel your pain. Our little girl was very small at birth so only had a teeny tummy and needed frequent feedings. I also have a toddler so couldn’t get much sleep during the day to make up for the lack of sleep at night.

    Babies have about a 45 minute sleep cycle and found our little one was also waking after this time had elapsed. What has helped us is to ensure she is warm and that she is wrapped (we use a love to dream swaddle).

    Unfortunately I think the key really is to have patience because it may take some time for your little one to settle into some semblance of a sleep pattern. And as I mention sleep varies from child to child, so it is hard to compare one baby’s sleep habits to another. All I can say is that it will get better! If you are feeling like you need rest try and use any help or resources available to you and it may help to sleep when bub does, even if it is in short bursts.

    Good luck. Youare doing an amazing job!


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