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Welcome To The Members Area! Forums Baby Sleep Help 7 week old will only contact nap and has trouble sleeping at night due to gas Reply To: 7 week old will only contact nap and has trouble sleeping at night due to gas

  • Emma H

    June 24, 2024 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Lydia,

    It’s great that you’ve already discussed all this with your doctor.

    It sounds like you’re doing a fantastic job despite the challenges, and it’s completely understandable to feel exhausted. It’s also wonderful that your husband is there to help and give you some time to recover from the C-section.

    To help improve your little one’s sleep, here are a few things you can try:

    1. Have a Consistent Wake Time: From around 6-8 weeks of age, your little one’s circadian rhythm starts to influence his sleeping patterns, especially overnight. To support this development, it’s helpful to start waking him up within the same 30-minute window every morning. This signals to his internal clock that it’s time to wake up and helps establish a more consistent bedtime. If you haven’t already, decide on a regular wake-up time for your baby. And when deciding on this time it might be helpful to know that babies are naturally early risers, and waking up between 6-7 am is very normal.

    2. Wake, Feed, Play, Sleep Routine: At this age, your little one should begin to stay awake following daytime feeds. This might not happen with every feed initially, but you should see this pattern developing over time. Once this pattern emerges, you can start adopting the wake, feed, play, and then sleep routine. Following this routine consistently may allow you to lay him down in the crib when he shows tired signs, as his reflux might be less severe since the feed would have occurred more than 20-30 minutes before nap time.

      Additionally, you mentioned that he passes a lot of gas while feeding and may be using feeding as a way to relieve gas. It might be helpful to know that when milk enters his stomach, it triggers the gastro-colic reflex. This reflex causes his colon to contract, moving previously eaten food through the digestive system, which is why babies often poop and pass gas while feeding. By following the wake, feed, play, and sleep routine during the day and feeding him at the start of his wake window, you might notice he is more settled at nap time (so less gassy) and less bothered by his reflux.

    3. Try the settling pyramid for daytime naps: Once he adopts the wake, feed, play, and then sleep routine, try using the settling pyramid to help him fall asleep. By doing this for some naps during the day, you familiarize him with falling asleep in the crib (rather than on you), giving him the opportunity to practice and develop this skill.

    4. Continue following a pre-sleep routine before naps and bedtime: Having a consistent routine that you follow before bedtime and nap time will become a sleep cue which tells your little one it’s time to sleep. It sounds like you already have a consistent bedtime routine which is great. The nap routine could be a shorter version of the bedtime routine.

    5. Be Mindful of Sneaky Naps: At this age, it’s easy to mistake a baby’s tired signs for hunger signs because they can look very similar. When this happens, parents might feed their baby when they wake up, and then, when they show what seem to be hunger signs again shortly after (which are really tired signs), feed them again. During this feeding, the little one might have a very brief sleep. This short nap during feeding can reduce their sleep pressure, the primary driving force for sleep at this stage. As a result, they no longer feel tired and won’t go down for a proper nap.

      To avoid these sneaky naps, try to combine age-appropriate wake windows with your baby’s unique signs and follow the wake, feed, play, and then sleep routine during the day.

    6. Try Moving the Last Feed of the Night Earlier in the Bedtime Routine: As I mentioned earlier, when your little one feeds, his gastro-colic reflex is triggered, which can result in him passing more wind then usual. Additionally, having a feed as the last step of the bedtime routine often means you’ll need to hold him upright for 20-30 minutes to help relieve the reflux. So if possible, try moving the feeding to earlier in the bedtime routine and see if this makes it easier to settle your little one to sleep.

    7. Consider Shifting His Bedtime: If you find yourself needing to rock him for more than 20 minutes to help him fall asleep after completing the bedtime routine, it might indicate that his bedtime isn’t quite right. For the next few days, track the time he actually falls asleep at night. If you notice a consistent time when he falls asleep, consider adjusting his bedtime to match this natural sleep time. For example, if his current bedtime is 9:00 pm but he consistently falls asleep around 9:45 pm, try making 9:45 pm his new bedtime, as this aligns better with his natural sleep pattern.

    Do these tips sound manageable?