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16 week old Dummy Addiction???! Please help - Can't cope any more......

(53 Posts)
BritishBeef Thu 17-Jan-08 10:48:39

Sorry for the long post but I'm seriously losing my sanity.
Our DS is 16 weeks old and for the last 4 weeks has been waking more and more through the night. Prior to then, he was nearly sleeping through with no problems.

Right now we are going through absolute hell with him waking on average 20 times a night!!

He has a dummy to go to bed with which sends him off to sleep and he always spits it out once he's asleep. He could always go back off to sleep through the night generally if he woke too. Not any more.

4 weeks ago, when he started to become unsettled, he would wake and we would find that he had got his arms out of his swaddle. He has always been a wriggler and whenever he woke before he had unswaddled himself. So we would re-swaddle him and pop his dummy in and that would be that. This happened more and more frequently, so we bought some diffrent swaddles (on our 5th!) to see if that was the problem. We are now using a Swaddleaze which he has more difficulty getting out of (but still does sometimes). We tried him in a sleeping bag but he would just rub his face to pieces and pull his dummy out and then cry. We have tried half swaddling, one arm only - you name it, we've tried it.

Lately, when he wakes (each and every 20 times a night), he cries and we just have to go in and put his dummy back into his mouth and he goes straight back to sleep only to wake 10/15 minutes later and we do it again.

Now here's the thing. He goes to bed at 7pm and has a dream feed at 10pm. He doesn't wake between. He only starts to wake up constantly through the night after about 1am. So, from 7 - 1am he is settled and asleep.

He sleeps fine during the day.

After reading up on the web, we think he may have a dependency on the dummy. Anyone agee?

The thing that we can't understand is why he wakes all night long when he didn't before? How come it only bothers him after 1am? Does a dummy addiction cause them to wake all the time? If so, why? Do they subconciously realise the dummy has fallen out and it wakes them?

Our health visitors are useless and suggested after saying 'I haven't got a clue' to either drop the 10pm feed or give him hungry baby formula at 10pm (didn't work). He's not hungry as he hasn't had a night feed for some time and was sleeping fine.

What I want to know is:

Does this sound like a dummy dependency thing and has anyone else had the same situation?

What's the best way to tackle it if it is?

We tried him in a sleeping bag without a dummy and giving him a 'blankie' but he just pulled violently at it and screamed.

The sleep deprevation is killing me. My wife's coping a little better (more patience). I have been off work for a long time for Anxiety related illnesses and have finally managed to get my life back on track and I was ready to get back to work but this stress is setting me back and I'm concerned that I will go back to the dark times I did previously.

Any advice appreciated as always.

If it helps, here's our DS's routine:

*Up at 7am - feed
*approx 8.30am nap for 2 hours
*11am - feed
*approx 12.30 nap for 2 hours
*3pm feed
*4pm nap for 50 mins
*6.00pm bath
*6.30pm feed
*7pm bed
*10pm dream feed

goingfor3 Thu 17-Jan-08 10:52:18

My DD would wake up when her dummy fell out, she ended up with a few in bed cot around her head so she could always find one for herself. It didn't really disturb my sleep that much as she was right next to my bed and I could just stick my hand into her ot and find a dummy to out back in her nouth. We didn't give dd2 a dummy though!

clumsymum Thu 17-Jan-08 11:02:54

"He's not hungry as he hasn't had a night feed for some time and was sleeping fine"

Ah, but babies specialise in changing the rules whenever you think you know what you are doing.

Two things I would suggest are maybee making that dream feed a bit later and also consider this...

I found that ds went thru a stage of waking when the house had gone totally dark and quiet. I put a radio in his room, which we switched on VERY quietly (hardly audible at all, I think it was radio 4/world service over night), which helped him to stay settled. Worth a try?

BritishBeef Thu 17-Jan-08 11:46:08

DS is in his own room so that unfortunately isn't an option for us. Also he can't put a dummy in his mouth by himself so that's out too.

BritishBeef Thu 17-Jan-08 11:48:26

We have tried giving the dreamfeed later but he will usually wake up by 11pm if we don't give it before. I may try again though. Will try the radio idea. Thanks.

clumsymum Thu 17-Jan-08 11:49:23

Also, start attaching his dummy to him with a short ribbon. When he's awake and wants his dummy, guide his hand to find it, and help HIM to put it in. He'll learn to find it himself.

juuule Thu 17-Jan-08 11:54:07

He is sleeping for 6hours then between 7 and 1am. That's quite a stretch.
How about dropping the dream feed and letting him wake in his own time. Letting him have a good feed when he wakes, swaddling him tightly (I found that a cotton sheet was best) and see if that helps.

Eviewin Thu 17-Jan-08 11:54:36

Not sure if this would help, but.. with our ds, now 18 weeks, we give him the dummy, and then when he's falling asleep, we take it out - he'll either a) wake up too much and we need to do it again - not often, b) stir a bit but be close enough to sleep to drop off, or c) not wake up at all. Taking the dummy out just before fully going to sleep might mean he doesn't miss it 15 mins later. Obviously all babies are different and he might hate the idea, but it seems to work for us - never had him wake up wanting the dummy.

juuule Thu 17-Jan-08 11:55:59

Clumsymum Do you think he'd be able to find it himself at 16w? I don't think any of mine would have been able to.

clumsymum Thu 17-Jan-08 11:58:01

Juuule, maby not immediately, but it'll help him learn to do it eventually.

Denny185 Thu 17-Jan-08 12:00:18

If your brave enough you could get rid of the dummy, go through a few horrendous nights but then reduce the long term problems of lost dummy and waking. DD used to wake reg to have dummy returned then back to sleep that lasted til 2 1/2 when it was binned.

lulumama Thu 17-Jan-08 12:01:32

7 pm is early for bed time for a 16 week old

few, if any 16 week olds will go 7pm to 7 am

if he is sleeping 7 pm - 1am then he has the capacity to go for a good stretch, it might be better to put him to bed later, say 9 , then let him wake in the night for a feed when he is ready, and then you might get more sleep

if he slept say 9 - 3 , then had a feed, he might well settle back until 5 or 6 ish

the problem with young babies is they don;t have large stomachs, so need feeding often, and just as you think you have cracked it, they get a cold or a growth spurt or soemthing, and everything changes

try not to be too rigid re the routine, let him guide you ?

Desiderata Thu 17-Jan-08 12:03:02

Maybe the problem is the swaddling, not the dummy?

There's no way my ds could have stood being swaddled at any age. Some babies just don't like it. Just leave him loose, and see how that goes.

clumsymum Thu 17-Jan-08 12:04:49

I agree lulu, looking back I don't think ds was put to bed until about 9 or 10 p.m. at this age, he would wake for a feed at about 2:00 a.m. then happily settle thru until 7.

Eviewin Thu 17-Jan-08 12:06:04

on reflection, would agree with lulumama - could well be hunger. We've gone back to two night feeds at about 15 weeks after a long time of just the one - I thought we had it sorted, but he had other plans!

Pheebe Thu 17-Jan-08 19:06:09

Sounds like he's hungry to me. I would reintroduce a 2am feed and, although every health professional will scream at me for this, consider starting some solids. Just baby rice mixed with his milk couple of spoonfuls morning and evening to start with.

BritishBeef Thu 17-Jan-08 19:09:31

Hi there,
Thanks for all the replies.
There is no way we could stretch him out for any longer than 7pm before putting him to bed. He is very grisly by 5pm and would be a monster any later. I'm sure 7pm is common for his age though, I may be wrong but at our post natal class, all 16 babies there were in bed by 7pm.

We will try giving him an extra feed during the night to see if that helps.

Desiderata Thu 17-Jan-08 19:14:53

And please try him without the swaddling. If he doesn't like to be swaddled, it could be the major cause of his fitful sleeping.

BritishBeef Thu 17-Jan-08 19:16:34

Hi there,
Thanks for all the replies.
There is no way we could stretch him out for any longer than 7pm before putting him to bed. He is very grisly by 5pm and would be a monster any later. I'm sure 7pm is common for his age though, I may be wrong but at our post natal class, all 16 babies there were in bed by 7pm.

We will try giving him an extra feed during the night to see if that helps.

lulumama Thu 17-Jan-08 19:18:31

well, how about bed at 7, then let him wake naturally for a feed? and see how that goes?

re baby rice..... IMO, no. solids introduced to a baby who is not that settled will not neccesarily settle, and milk is far more calorific, filling and nutritious than baby ricce. also, guidelines advise solids not introduced until around 26 weeks. if he is not ready to go the whole night without a feed, then milk should be given ,rather than solids, and hungry baby milk perhaps.

mollythetortoise Thu 17-Jan-08 19:25:11

sounds to me like he is waking and can't get back to sleep without the aid of a dummy. my dd was the same, she really was dummy mad for sleeping. We got her a larger size dummy (think it might have been the 6 month plus one , the TUK make - think you can buy most places - it's design fits the mouth/lips better and is (IMO) less likely to fall or be accidently knocked out). This did reduce the number of times we had to go in to her but we still spent time scrabbling around under her cot in the dark trying to find it. We just put up with it because i refused to leave her crying (the only other alternative i think). As she got older, she could find the dummy herself plus needed it less. Think we weaned it off her totally when she was 2.5. i think once a baby needs a dummy for sleep it is a v hard association to break however i do think dummies can be a godsend.

Desiderata Thu 17-Jan-08 19:29:37

<sighs and gives up>

lulumama Thu 17-Jan-08 19:31:22

why the sigh, desi?

Desiderata Thu 17-Jan-08 19:38:55

Because, lulu, I've suggested twice that the swaddling is perhaps the problem. Some children really don't like it.

lulumama Thu 17-Jan-08 19:41:58

oh i seeeee

you are right, DS loved being swaddled, DD would fight it like mad....

some babies can feel too restricted.

TBH, i would stop comparing my baby to the others from the baby group, who knows if the other parents are being entirely truthful, there is such a thing as competitive parenting...

babies of 16 weeks do not often fit into a nightly routine that does not change.

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