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Very early waking 10 month old - please help!

(13 Posts)
SharkSkinThing Mon 30-May-11 08:31:21

A bit long, sorry, but I'm desperate!

My 10 month old DS has started waking at 4am - and will not go back to sleep. I am finding it very, very difficult to know what to do.

He has never been the best of sleepers - always waking at least three times a night until around 7 months when we switched from BF to FF at night, then at 9 months weaned him off FF at night. We dropped the morning BF a few days ago as he was really, really biting!

The last few weeks he has been sleeping a good nine hours, usually with a squeak around 2am, but popping his dummy in seems to help.

We then had a phase of him waking at 1am and remaining awake for a couple of hours. Not upset, just awake. He would then awake for good at 5am.

I don't know what to do. I leave him for a good half an hour to see if he'll settle, but he doesn't. I'll then check him to make sure he's not in a weird position, and 9 times out of 10 he'll need a nappy change as he'll have done a massive poo.

I'll then put him back down for another 15 minutes, but by then he's clearly awake. Feeding him/bringing him in to our bed makes no difference.

This morning he was awake at 4am, and has only just gone down for a nap.

Is it a phase? How can we encourage him to just do another hour? Or should we just accept that we have a child who wakes at 4am? He eats very, very well, so I don't think it's hunger.

Just as I thought we were seeing the light I feel like we've been handed a new-born again. I also don't want to put him to bed any later (he goes around 7pm, and his routine is perfect, he's clearly ready for bed by then). He has also started napping very well in the day (30 mins morning, 1.5 hours after lunch) - which he never, ever used to do.

Please help. I'm finding it quite upsetting.

sweetuphoria Mon 30-May-11 09:00:00

It could be a phase. Try the 'wake to sleep' method which is where you would gently wake him (e.g blowing in his face) then when he stirs put his dummy in or something to get him back to sleep. You're supposed to do this about an hour before his usual wake up time and this might break the habit.

SharkSkinThing Mon 30-May-11 18:40:42

Thank you, sweet - I've heard of this so will give it go after tonight, if he's still waking at 4am!

We've also shifted his bedtime back by 30 minutes, just to see if that edges him slightly nearer to the 5am zone!

SilveryMoon Mon 30-May-11 18:44:36

Hi shark Both my ds's went thrugh this at similar sges. I just went will it and we got up at 4am.
They did both come out of this phase after a few months.
Now they are up no later than 6:15am, which is fine.

baabaapinksheep Mon 30-May-11 19:09:29

I read somewhere that giving babies fruit late afternoon can often cause them to poo at night, which obviously will stop them from sleeping properly, could it be this?

Also, what time does he go to bed? It might be worth putting him to bed a bit earlier for a few nights in case he is overtired.

SharkSkinThing Mon 30-May-11 20:27:38

Thanks, also, silvery - I'm inclined to try and go with the flow as much as I can but I'm worried he's suffering as a result!

Baabaa - he has fresh fruit and brekkie and a bit at lunch but generally just yogurt for tea. It's a weird one! He is generally in bed asleep by 6.45pm, though tonight he went a wee bit later - was asleep by 7.15pm. I know that an earlier bed should mean a better sleep, but the little tinker napped from 1.15 - 3.30pm today so I figured he could handle being up a little bit later!

Thanks both for your advice. xx

bluesmile10 Tue 31-May-11 16:21:24

Read your post with interest as my 1 yo is a 5 am riser, which sometimes is half 4 ish. We've been told by hv that if this happens, not to let him go back to sleep before 10 am (sometimes easier said than done!) and not let him sleep after 4 pm - then gradually move this to 3 pm. I've posted about this several times and had several good replies - not great ICT wise, so not sure if possible for you to find those threads!!! We were told lots of things about not taking him out of his room until a reasonable time, but he will just cry and cry (well, scream!!) and I find this too difficult to listen to, so we just get up and I have my fingers crossed that he will gradually grow out of it!! He sounds very similar to your little one, has never been a great sleeper!! Good luck, hope it gets better for you

Erac Tue 31-May-11 20:31:34

Maybe blackout blinds? Daylight is starting to come in around 4am these days.

muslimah28 Tue 31-May-11 21:01:44

Agree with erac. We had this problem a couple of weeks ago for a week and it was PAINFUL. I totally sympathise with u. But luckily it was easily resolved in the end with some proper blinds

OnlyMe1971 Tue 31-May-11 21:12:59

Okay our little guy has been doing this since day 1 really. He is now 17 months. Around 2 months ago i was so fed up of day after day waking at 4:30 or if we were lucky, 5am, I decided to cut his morning nap and to stick to it for at least 10 days to see what would happen.
He is literally falling about with tiredness by 10 but I just take him for a walk, or a change of scenery and then give him something to eat at 11 and he's in bed by 12. On a good day he will sleep for 2 hours.
No different the first day and he was in terrible form.
The next day he woke at 5:30.
Day 3 5:50.
Since then he has been waking anytime between 6 and 6:30 and even a few times at 7!!! We just don't know ourselves! I did some research and also came across several reports about the not letting them go back to sleep til at least 11am.

Hopefully you could try something like this with your LO? Try and move the nap time back a bit more each day and put him to bed later?

Hope you get more sleep soon - it's a killer!

skybluepearl Tue 31-May-11 22:38:01

can you use black out curtains to make the room dark enough in this light weather? This makes a huge difference to my kids.

also do any nappy changes etc silently with lights off and just a dim night light. only change nappy if you have to.

can you give him less sleep during day in the hope he will sleep better at night. also make sure that day time naps
don't take place too late in the day.

skybluepearl Tue 31-May-11 22:40:12

maybe try doing the day time nap without a dummy - then after a week or so try night time sleeps without a dummy. can he suck his thumb instead?

SharkSkinThing Wed 01-Jun-11 13:36:51

Some amazing advice, thank you, everyone so much.

Sky We have black out blinds in his room, and he has always been an early (5/5.30am) waker, even in winter!! When the clocks went back I wanted to know who I could write and complain to!

It did occur to me that maybe because BF has just come to a complete end that he was feeling a little bit off his game. A weird thing to think, possibly, but I just can't think of what else is different.

I am also emphatic about deathly silent nappy changes and if I do have to go in to resettle, it's simply with a gentle pat.

Onlyme71 - yes, it's a huge killer, and your advice fits with what I have now tried, which was oddly the one thing I didn't want to do (because I'm gagging for the day to over sometimes!). I have moved his dinner/bath/bed time by half an hour later, and it seems to have worked. Woke at 5am yesterday, 5.30am this morning. He has only just started having a good pm nap so I don't want to disrupt it, as I think he may be close to dropping the am one. But I always have him down by 1pm, and won't let him sleep past 3pm.

I was always a bit nervous about waking him/manipulating his pattern, but i figure, well, he's a bit older, he won't melt down in that way you think newborns might!

As for the dummy - rarely goes down with it, just there when he squeaks at 3am!

Blue, Erac and Muslimah - thank you also for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it.

Let's see if we're about to have a good streak...though I'm now worried that his eating seems to be a bit weird...gawd..there's always something!!


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