it could be a long night...

(17 Posts)
Sally210577 Mon 17-Feb-14 15:18:55

I thought it was supposed to get better as they got older? As a newborn, my little boy would sleep 6 or7 hours at night before waking. Granted, he went to bed at 10pm and bed time has gotten earlier (now asleep by 7.15) but his night wakings went to twice to three times to four times and last night was 5 times (he's 4 and a half months now) Its my own fault I guess. I was told to breastfeed on demand and so in the beginning, whenever he woke I fed him. Now it seems he wakes out of habit and quite fancies a feed and a cuddle (well who wouldn't?!?) So tonight is it, I can take no more. I plan to feed him when.his.body clock seems to go off at 10.30 and then after that, milk bar is closed until 1.30 (3 hours should be doable for him surely?) And then closed again until 4.30am. Etc Does this sound too harsh? I don't know what else to do. He's been crabby all day today and has never been one for sleeping during the day (4 x 30 mins max) I plan to do gradual retreat as I can't bear to just leave him crying and him not think I care. I know cc or cio works for some but I can't do it. So, if anyone is up in the wee small hours, it would be great to know I'm not alone!! All other ideas are welcome too!! Xx

minipie Mon 17-Feb-14 15:35:26

It does sound like he's got into the habit of using BF to get him into the next sleep cycle. He now thinks that's how to get to sleep or get back to sleep. That would also fit with the 30 min naps. Is he BF to sleep at bedtime and nap time?

So really what he needs is to learn to get back to sleep (ie go into the next sleep cycle) by himself without BFing.

Gradual retreat or shh/pat would probably do this (over several days or longer) but there will still probably be crying involved.

If you want to avoid crying (who doesn't...), you could have a look at the No Cry Sleep Solution - I have not read it myself but seen it recommended on here a LOT. Apparently it includes a method for teaching your child to learn to go to sleep or go back to sleep without being BF.

Best of luck

Sally210577 Mon 17-Feb-14 15:59:00

Actually going to sleep in the first instance isn't a problem. I bf him, put him in his sleeping bag and he goes down awake with little or no crying before he drops off but middle of the night and during the day is a different story. I am so emotional - I just want to know what to do to make it better for us both sad I need a magic wand. I've read too many 'theories' I am just spoooo confused

minipie Mon 17-Feb-14 16:23:59

Hmmm if he can self settle already then there goes my theory... sorry!

It is so horrible not getting sleep, it affects your mood, energy, everything. You have my sympathy.

Many on MN will recommend co sleeping. Have you tried that? It doesn't work for me (DD is wriggly and noisy and I can't sleep with her in my bed) but wondered if it might work for you.

Is he taking much when he feeds at night do you think? Does he feed plenty in the day?

By the way it's not your "fault" for feeding on demand... I think some babies are just like this no matter what you do.

NoisyBrain Mon 17-Feb-14 17:05:19

If he's 4 & a half months then he could well be right in the middle of the 4 month sleep regression. My DS's brilliant sleep went completely tits up at 18 weeks.

Sally210577 Mon 17-Feb-14 19:00:43

Thanks guys.

Minipie - i've never really fancied the co sleeping thing and he does feed more in the earlier feeds of the night, less so the early morning ones. I worry that he'll just getconfused if I feed him at some times and bit others but I can't let him go all out cold turkey!

minipie Mon 17-Feb-14 21:32:35

Yep he's waaay too young for cold turkey.

I'd totally forgotten about the 4 month regression thing, it does fit. you'll find lots of threads on it. Usual advice I think is just to try to live through it however works best and then deal with any bad habits afterwards.... Co sleeping might help as a temporary thing (we still do it as a last resort) even if you don't fancy it longer term.

Sally210577 Mon 17-Feb-14 22:52:19

Well, its 10.30 and he has woken like clockwork. Not really feeding like he needs it though.
How long is regression supposed to last? This is our 3rd unsettled week.

Sally210577 Tue 18-Feb-14 00:42:55

Omg. Just had second wake up (12.20) Left him for a few mins to see if he would settle - nothing so went in, picked him up and sans twinkle twinkle as we do before bed and told him it was sleepy time ans put him down. Crying. Sat by the cot and 5 mins later he was back asleep smile I know it's only a small achievement but it feels huge right now!

Spotsondots Tue 18-Feb-14 04:15:16

Agree this sounds like 4 month regression. My awful sleeper DS woke almost every 90 mins for 3ish long weeks at about 3.5-4 months. I was convinced I'd somehow broken him. He's better now and goes for much longer stretches. Unfortunately not much you can do until its over except be very kind to yourself and rest whenever you can. I found chanting "this too shall pass" and "it's just a phase" over and over like a slightly unhinged madwoman was marginally helpful...!

Glad he settled for you tonight. smile

minipie Tue 18-Feb-14 12:49:28

That's great Sally! Try it again, especially at times you're sure he's not hungry.

Sally210577 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:07:20

We'll see what happens tonight! Last night he fed at 10.30, 2 and 5.30 but milk bar was closed at 12.30 and 4.15!

Sally210577 Wed 19-Feb-14 01:56:06

Note to self...find a less creaky chair to use for gradual retreat!!
What I don't understand is the fact that when he goes to bed he goes down awake, happy (most of the time) and sends himself off to sleep but can't do this when he wakes in the night? Note to self...find a less creaky chair to use for gradual retreat!!
What I don't understand is the fact that when he goes to bed he goes down awake, happy (most of the time) and sends himself off to sleep but can't do this when he wakes in the night?

minipie Wed 19-Feb-14 16:03:29

I don't understand that either tbh! (self settling was a magical cure for us so hoped it would be the key for you too, but clearly not).

It may be because he's very tired at bedtime so is happy to go to sleep, but after a 2 hour sleep he's refreshed and wants to play again (this would fit with a developmental leap - world is so exciting at these times) so is not so happy to drift back off to sleep and needs "persuasion"?

Sally210577 Thu 20-Feb-14 06:07:48

11.30, 2.30 and 5.35 - whoop whoop!! Plus 2 wakings where I didn't even have to go in, he sent himself back to sleep. One very proud mummy smile smile All this and he was suffering with a cold too sad

MrsHY1 Thu 20-Feb-14 12:41:02

Sally you could be describing my DD exactly but she's a bit younger (11 weeks). Self settles for naps and initial bedtime but wakes hungry after 3 hrs and 20 mins exactly grin and then every 2-1.5 hrs thereafter, zzzzz. She's never been a great sleeper by any stretch, but a couple of weeks ago we at least had a 4-5 hr stretch then a couple of 2-3 ones. I think with my DD it's a combination of reverse cycling (genuine hunger as for whatever reason, despite me offering, she's not great at filling herself up during the day) and habit. I'm currently trying to stretch her feeds to at least three hourly through the night and settling with ssh/ pat/dummy the other times but attempted this at 2am (she fed at 1.45am) and it lead to 1.5 hrs of fully awake/angry crying/ deafening crying)- when I put her back on the boob at 3.30 she drained it and promptly fell asleep (until 5am shock). I've got a maternity nurse coming in next week to support me with days (watching feeds) and nights so will pass on anything useful smile

Sally210577 Thu 20-Feb-14 14:04:44

Ah MrsHY1, I feel your pain! I hope the maternity nurse visit provides some light on the situation. I keep being told that this is just a phase. I do worry that the next 'phase ' could be even worse!

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