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early waking 8 month old - help!

(6 Posts)
hodgepodge Tue 07-Jul-09 19:34:37

If anyone can help I would be hugely grateful - my 8 month old (today!) boy wakes every morning between 0430 and 0530 - he isn't happy and perky so I don't think he's just an early riser - he still seems very tired but it's impossible to get him back to sleep.

He goes down (sometimes happily - others less so) about 6.30/7pm - often a bit later when it's sunny/hot. He only started 'sleeping through' a couple of weeks ago - before that I was boobying him at around 1/2/3 whenever he woke. I am now boobying at 4.30/5 in the hope that he will drop off again but it doesn't seem to be working.

I'm going slightly out of my mind with tiredness as by the time he does eventually get back to sleep (about 7.30) I'm already up and 3 hours into my day...

if anyone can help i will love you forever!!

mumblecrumble Tue 07-Jul-09 19:38:06

Oh poor you. Sounds so hard.

Have you tried adjusting his day so he goes to bed later but rises later?

Mawgan Tue 07-Jul-09 19:59:47

Our son did the same and a sleep counsellor advised us not to go to him until 6.15. This is really hard, but they shouldn't get up earlier than this as it will mean they don't get enough sleep. The problem is that as soon as they see you they will want to get up, so although it's tough, you should try to leave him to settle himself back to sleep. With our ds it only took 3 days and he was sleeping till at least 6.15 if not 6.30. The first few days were hard, but his tears were because he was angry with us for not coming when he cried, rather than because he was upset.

I'm sure I'll get a lot of criticism for this POV, but I'm just going on what worked for us with our son who was the same age as yours is now.

oysterpots Tue 07-Jul-09 20:09:46

If he's waking at more or less the same time every morning, it's habit rather than hunger, or so the theory goes.

You could try the wake-to-sleep technique - go in an hour before he normally wakes, rouse him just enough for his eyes to open and then let him fall back to sleep. Do this for 3 nights. 4th night, leave it and see what happens. Fingers crossed he will sleep longer, if not do it again but this time for 6 nights.

You've got to hold your nerve a bit with this one, and it does seem really counterintuitive, but it's worth a go - it's worked for lots of people. Have a look on the Sleep thread for more stories.

You could also try going in 20 minutes before he normally wakes, and when you hear him begin to move into lighter sleep stroke his back, shush him, whatever normally works to get him to sleep. Again, you'll need to do it a few times, but this is a technique I used successfully to extend my DS's daytime naps from 40 minutes to more like 1.5-2 hours. It's from the No Cry Sleep Solution book - definitely worth getting IMHO.

Good luck

artifarti Tue 07-Jul-09 20:40:51

hodgepodge - I feel your pain! FWIW, I think it's not uncommon for babies to start doing this when they first sleep through but still fairly dreadful. I am currently undergoing it with my 10 mo DS.

Have you got blackout blinds? They do work for a lot of people (not my DS, alas!)

If all else fails, come and join us here for coffee, trying new things and general whinging:

5am is not a good time to get up, oh no.

hodgepodge Wed 08-Jul-09 12:40:26

thank you all - 0430 this morning - boobied in the dark went back down at 0520 (after a LOT of help) - didn't wake up til 7..almost a lie in!!

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