Seeking recommendations for a night nurse- start date feb 26
My husband and I live in redwood heights neighborhood in Oakland. We have a 2.5 week old who is extremely gassy and refused to sleep anywhere but our chest. She only sleeps if one of us is holding her. She’s uncomfortable and screaming when she is in the bassinet. We are desperate and need help training her to sleep at nights.
Please advise on night nurse services I can use starting immediately. We are extremely sleep deprived.
thank you so very much
Feb 21, 2023
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Hello. You might want to check into whether your daughter has acid reflux. When our daughter was born she hated lying down flat in her bassinet (even when we were still in the hospital after birth). In fact, once when I needed to wake her up I simply laid her in there and she woke up right away! Lying down increases the symptoms. Our daughter's sphincter muscle wasn't developed enough, so acid was going further upward. Once she was diagnosed, we were given a regimen (keeping her sitting upright for 15 minutes after feedings, putting the bassinet in a leaning position at the top so she would be angled downwards when lying down) and medication. Sometimes she also slept in a baby seat that kept her in a more upward position. She had to be on the medication a full year (which was the upper end of their estimate for now long she would need it), but things definitely improved. Good luck!
Oh I feel for you and your little one! You may have already done this but have they ruled out any medical conditions that may be contributing? I hope you find someone soon who can provide some much needed relief so you can get some rest. Hang in there!
Not sure about availability but I recommend Nikole Dennan without reservations. Hope you can get the rest you need soon!
Solidarity! We also had a very challenged sleeper with similar issues (she is now 20 months and things are much better). We used a few different night doulas and would recommend Nikole: https://www.hippiedippydoula.com/about-1 and Denise Macko: https://www.eastbaypostpartum.com/#denise-macko They can let you know an age-appropriate approach for helping you get more sleep. 2.5 weeks is really in the thick of it and too early for classic sleep training (if you go that route), but they can help you troubleshoot things like helping your baby get used to sleeping on their own surface.
Also from one parent of a gassy baby to another - one of our night doulas (not listed here because she has stopped taking clients for now) recommended the Snoo. It was a lifesaver. In addition, the night doula clipped a very light, small pillow to the back of the Snoo, which rested on our daughter's legs at night and which helped keep our daughter's legs from flailing about.* The doula figured out that when our daughter would kick her legs up (and she would kick them into a 90 degree angle with her body at the top of her sleep cycle), this would activate her gas and she would wake up screaming. Without the leg kicking, the gas stayed settled until I got up to nurse her. The doula supervised her with this approach for a number of weeks before we were comfortable trying it on our own, but that along with the Snoo rocking was a game changer for us. At any rate, an experienced doula has seen everything and can figure out something that works for you.
*If you don't know anything about the Snoo, your child clips into it such that they cannot role or spin around in it. Because our daughter was fastened in with the Snoo clips, and the pillow was fastened to the base of the Snoo, there was 0 chance that the pillow would accidentally wind up over our daughter's head. I flag that here, though, because this approach should absolutely not be tried with any other setup.
Just wanted to second the comment about the snoo, and the pillow-on-legs trick. We used safety pins to make sure the pillow didn't move, and she slept much better. The Snoo website also has a suggestion with using a bag of rice for babies who only sleep on people. I don't know if that's recommended anymore since apparently weighted sleep sacks are not, but worth a look. You can rent the Snoo to avoid the giant price tag.