Mid-sleep cry: Shall I interfere or not?

(11 Posts)
whosthis Fri 01-Feb-13 22:46:06

Hi everyone,

My baby is about 15 weeks now. i don't remember from when he starts to have this mid-sleep cries, i.e. cries bursting out in the middle of sleep. It mainly happens in the middle of the daytime naps (1-2 hrs).

In the beginning, I tries to comfort him back to sleep. But when I just didn't have the hands to do so and he actually could fall back into sleep himself after 1-3 minutes cry/shout. I have been always wondering what exactly causes this kind of cry: colic? reflux? bad dream?

Anyway, I just started training him to sleep in his new cot as well as getting used to a night time routine - 8ish. So we are both new to this experience and I lose track of what I shall do and what I shouldn't. It's not an easy thing to settle him into this new cot and he gets grumpy at most of my attempts. But with pu/pd technique, I sort of managed to put him sleep in his cot for daytime naps a few times and an entire night yesterday. However, when this kind of mid-sleep cries happen again, I am not sure in which way I shall handle it.

On one hand, I don't want him work himself up till he gets to a stage difficult to handle and therefore want to pick him up and comfort him back to sleep; on the other hand, I would like to avoid have him depend on me each time to pick him up and comfort him (imagine it's going to give trouble in the future).

Can any super-intelligent mumsnetter who has similar experience tell me what I shall do?

whosthis Fri 01-Feb-13 22:47:31

Want to add: DS is ff.

teacher123 Sat 02-Feb-13 08:33:33

Since DS went in his own room at about 5mo if he makes a noise I always leave him for at least 2 mins before I go in to see if he settles back off to sleep again. Sometimes he does, sometime he doesn't!

whosthis Sat 02-Feb-13 09:00:43

Thank you, teacher, it is probably a good balance.

I just never managed to understand what caused it. Sometimes after i picked him up, he actually burped. So I imagine it's because the trapped wind?

teacher123 Sat 02-Feb-13 09:22:11

DS quite often does one really loud bloodcurdling shout at about 10.30pm. It is almost invariably just at that moment that my eyes have closed and I'm drifting off to sleep! I now ignore it, I think that we disturb him getting ready for bed and it makes him a bit restless, and it's opportunistic iyswim? DH gets up really early for his shifts sometimes and DS does the same shout out, but then settles off. I read somewhere that in the night you should wait 3 mins before going to going to them (obviously unless they are in real distress) as calling out in their sleep is quite normal. I remember when DS was tiny and in his Moses basket next to me, I'd sometimes pick him up to feed him and he was still fast asleep, but had made a noise in his sleep!

Herrena Sat 02-Feb-13 09:23:23

Both of ours have done the mid-sleep cry thing. DS2 sounds like he's being murdered and then goes straight back off! while the rest of us take half an hour to recover

Teacher's advice is very good smile

RooneyMara Sat 02-Feb-13 09:27:18

I find the mid-sleep cry usually means they can settle again, I assume it's a bad dream caused by a little pain somewhere/ sometimes ds cries briefly in the day, when he's asleep or awake - and he goes very red, like he's doing a poo - and he stops within about 60 seconds.

You'll get the hang of when you need to intervene. When ds makes little cry noises in his sleep I often reach over and just place my hand on his tummy, or say it's alright ds, that sort of thing, without picking him up or waking him - seems to calm him a bit.

Back2Two Sat 02-Feb-13 09:27:29

I think the advice is to leave a few minutes before intervening. Helps them to self settle if you don't jump straight in. Even sometimes you may think they're crying a bit when they wake from a nap and ready for you....leave a while and they may go on to another sleep cycle (apparently 45 mins iirc)

RooneyMara Sat 02-Feb-13 09:30:08

and as you say OP, if they are awake and really crying, then of course you should go to them asap which teaches them not to panic, someone will always come.

I think there can be a difference between the 'about to wake up and need mummy' cry and the 'I'm asleep' cry...with the waking one, they tend to start moving their heads from side to side, or shuffling, or puttingtheir hand to their mouth - signals that they need to be fed etc. So it's good to intercept this one before they properly wake/cry, and just get on with feeding them.

If they stay still, and just make an involuntary sound then they might well stay asleep.

iyswim? It's the moving that indicates they are going to need you.

whosthis Sat 02-Feb-13 09:30:32

teacher thank you! It's very reassuring to hear your experience. The suggestion sounds very convincing! Thanks!

Herrena, what you described actually made me laugh~ grin grin

whosthis Sat 02-Feb-13 09:33:48

Back2Two sleep cycle might be a very valid point.

Thank you, everyone!

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