3 month old waking every hour at night - help!!

(4 Posts)
SarahIsaac2309 Sat 09-Jan-16 15:16:45

I'm a first time Mum and my little boy is 15 weeks old, and while he has never slept for more than 4 hours, for the past 3 weeks he has been waking up nearly every hour at night. The longest he will go is 2 hours, but on average he wakes every hour and a half. My husband and I are really struggling to cope with the lack of sleep and it's really starting to make me feel down. He is EBF and we are also pretty sure he has a cow's milk protein allergy, so I'm now dairy free (although I have not gone to the extreme of checking every label, and instead I'm cutting out all obvious sources including milk chocolate and cakes). For the first 8 weeks of his life he screamed for hours a day and was displaying reflux symptoms, but since giving up dairy he is really happy and contented during the day. He is still sick quite a lot but has become a 'happy chucker'! It's just the nights that are a big problem. I know he is still very little and I'm not expecting him to sleep through yet, but the number of wakings seems excessive.

I'm feeding him on demand every 2-3 hrs during the day, but every time he wakes at night he screams as if he is starving and won't stop until I feed him. He then nurses for a short period before falling asleep, only to wake an hour later and do the same thing. He also wriggles and thrashes about a lot during his sleep.

He naps regularly during the day (every 2-3 hrs), and we've recently started putting him down for naps sleepy but awake, which is working pretty well, although it works better in the morning and early afternoon than later in the day. I was concerned he was getting a sleep association with feeding to sleep, but surely that can't be the case if he will nap without feeding during the day?? We've also been working on establishing a nighttime routine which also works most of the time - feed, change, cream for his eczema, dress, story and then down to sleep with his dummy. Getting him to sleep doesn't really seem to be the problem, but he won't stay asleep and is often awake an hour later. The amount and length of the feed before bed doesn't seem to make any difference either! The other problem with the routine is that we tend to start it around 9pm with him falling asleep by 10pm. We tried to do it earlier but he would never settle until 10pm which just seemed to be his natural sleeping time. But now that we are having all these sleep issues should we be trying to do the routine earlier? Could he be overtired, and should we persevere with a 7pm routine and just keep going up to soothe him until he sleeps, even if he doesn't seem ready for bed yet?

I don't want to do controlled crying as it isn't for me, and I think he's too young for it anyway. But does anyone have any suggestions about getting him to stay asleep for longer? I've tried cluster feeding at night to fill him up, but he just carried on cluster feeding for the rest of the night! Should I be trying not to feed him when he wakes up, but if so how can I do that when he screams and screams until I feed him? I've also tried to give him Aptimil Pepti 1 formula as a top up but he pulls a face and won't take it, and screams until I breastfeed him. We also reluctantly tried baby gaviscon but that didn't make any difference, and our GP told us not to persevere with it as he isn't really displaying reflux symptoms anymore. We are getting pretty desperate, so any advice would really be appreciated. Could it be wind or some other type of discomfort, or is it a habit and he's just waking for a comfort feed?

StephC1987 Sun 10-Jan-16 11:59:32

Hello,

Can I just say your little boy sounds exactly like my 18 weeks old and I don't know what to do either. So you aren't alone!

He is my second baby, I also have a toddler. I have made sure he can self settle. So like your boy going to sleep isn't the problem it's staying asleep.

We had an awful night last night. He just wakes up making moaning noises and thrashing about so I get him up to feed him and he seems desperate for the boob (even though I'm sure it's a comfort thing) sounds like the 4 month sleep regression for the both of us. My little boy is waking up every 1 - 1.5 hours. My LB is always asleep by 730/8pm and had 2/3 naps in the day. So he is sleeping plenty it's just really broken.

From the experience with my first self settling was the key, as soon as he could do that at 5.5 months he was sleeping through. But it seems I was wrong with this baby hmm

My little boy is such a happy contented baby. He's absolutely no bother, so i just don't get why he won't sleep for longer!

I have been pretty much co-sleeping. He still wakes up the same amount but I'm disturbed by him much less.

I'm going to a BF support group next week so I'm going to ask them and then possibly my HV.

SarahIsaac2309 Sun 10-Jan-16 13:34:53

They do sound really similar, sorry to hear you're not getting any sleep either, and it must be even harder for you with a toddler as well. I've also started taking him into bed for me for some of the night - like your LO he doesn't wake any less but I manage to doze through some of the feeds.

I'm currently expressing as we are going to try bottle feeding him tonight for his 7pm and 10pm feeds to see how much he is actually taking and whether he could be hungry, although like you I think it's a comfort thing rather than real hunger. I've discussed it with my HV a few times already and while she was very sympathetic she didn't really have any suggestions for me. If yours has any I'd really appreciate you letting me know!

I guess it could just be the 4 month sleep regression which has come early, but would it last this long? The other thing on my mind is that it could be related to my diet, as I haven't been checking all labels for cow's milk. Apparently babies with this problem can also have other allergies such as soy and wheat, so could they be affecting his digestion and keeping him awake? I have an appointment with a paediatrician in 2 weeks time so I can discuss that with him, and I guess until then I just need to wait it out. I want to try everything to keep my baby happy, but a full elimination diet sounds so difficult and drastic, especially when I'm this tired and stressed.

Has anyone else tried a full elimination diet and found that it helped with sleep?

kiwiquest Mon 11-Jan-16 00:59:09

DD is cmpi, my experience was getting a diagnosis can be difficult, the refluxy, colicy symptoms are typical of lots of babies as just tiny guts catch up with processing big milk feeds and these symptoms can disappear with time any way. However you know your baby best so trust your instincts and don't be fobbed off. DD was mixed fed and it was the formula which was the problem not bf. Only about 10% cmpi children also react to soy so I wouldn't be too quick to cut anymore out your diet at this stage until you've seen the doctor. I was also told it may take up to 6 weeks from giving up dairy to see an improvement in DD.

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