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AAArrrgh. 5 month old BF baby waking every 1-2 hours!!

(18 Posts)
EvanMom Tue 20-Jan-04 10:23:14

ds1 is 5 months old and started solids last week. For the past month he has been waking up every 1-2 hours at night (used to be every 4-5) and I am now exhausted. I go to ds1 as soon as he cries as I do not want him to wake up ds2. I remember with ds2 there came a time when I would let him cry himself back to sleep for a few minutes as I suspected that it was not hunger that was waking him.
In your experiences, when should a BF baby who is on solids start sleeping better? I really can't remember how it was with ds2. At what point did you stop offering them the breast at night? He does seem hungry when he wakes so I am reluctant to try and let him cry himself back to sleep for any length of time. ds2 slept from 7pm-7am from 5 months and has done ever since - he is nearly 2.

charlieplus3 Tue 20-Jan-04 10:54:27

hiya, sympathise totally with you. My 18 wk ds doing exactly same till last night when i put him in cot. I lifted him at 10pm for a feed and he lasted till 5.30am. Dont know if fluke as been waking every 2 - 3 hrs for a month. Also have dd of 19mths so dont want to leave to cry like you. However it is recommended to leave them as in controlled crying. But its so easy to give in at 3 in the morning. Apperently your ds is able to sleep through at 5 months so maybe look if he is getting enough milk in the day

bobthebaby Tue 20-Jan-04 18:04:23

I stopped offering the breast when it was refused two nights in a row. The bad news was that was at nearly 11 months. By about 8 months (so he had been on solids for about a month) he started only waking once.

codswallop Tue 20-Jan-04 18:05:33

cold, deffo

ow many blankets has he?

ANGELMOTHER Tue 20-Jan-04 18:17:15

Watching this thread with avid interest as my 4 month old exactly the same. Have gradually been offering more and more formula lately as not sure if my milk is enough anymore........anyway won't hijack thread but must add my dd2 seems to waken a lot at night (Have seen every hour on clock several nights in last week) and often the only thing to put her back asleep is the "Boob", I believe it's pure comfort not hunger.
Can't offer any advice as need some myself

tiktok Tue 20-Jan-04 18:36:37

There's no evidence that solids is linked with sleeping through - in fact the research that's been done shows it makes no difference: Heinig MJ, Nommsen LA, Peerson JM, et al. Intake and growth of breast-fed and formula-fed infants in relation to the timing of introduction of complementary foods: the DARLING study. Acta Paediatr 1993, Dec; 82(12): 999-1006.

Why would solids make any difference anyway, especially to a breastfed baby? Net gain in calorie intake could be negative as solids replace milk before about six months, and they are usually less calorie dense.

The time you stop offering is up to you - many far older babies feed in the night. You can teach a baby not to need it, and to find other ways of getting back to sleep without help, but (in my opinion only!) 5 months is too young to do this.

tiktok Tue 20-Jan-04 18:37:24

Should add that having to attend to a baby who wakes more often than he used to is a real pain, I know!

How about co-sleeping??

AussieSim Tue 20-Jan-04 18:56:00

I remember when I first gave my DS solids he started waking more frequently for a while and my midwife said that breastmilk is fattier than the food I was giving him and therefore more satisfying until he settles down and rejigs his consumption. I would just wait it out and try and sleep when he sleeps, if possible, during the day. At night, if you are not already, you might force him to take two boobs by waking him up if he falls asleep on the first.

Wills Tue 20-Jan-04 20:13:00

Can't offer you a solution but can offer company. dd2 is doing exactly the same thing and like you I've been struggling and I put a thread about it a few days back. Most said that it was comfort and they may be right. I do let her cry but not longer than 5 minutes (although its probably 1 minute but at 4.00 in the morning it feels like 5! ) I haven't found a solution other than me attempting to go to bed earlier so I'm not knackered in the morning. I assume it will stop before 11 months but who knows. Since I will have to return to work before she's one that will probably be the point where I "put my foot down". The frustrating part is that she had been going through the night and has only recently started to wake again. I agree with tiktok's statement about solids except that the paediatrician I went to see (long story!) would strongly disagree. His view was that a contented baby will sleep through the night (tiktok this is one man's view and I hear what you're saying!). Basically I don't know but at least I know there's a lot of us still getting up. Possibly I should come downstairs and sit on Mumsnet whilst she feeds. Its very rare nowadays that I'm given any time at all to log on .

tiktok Tue 20-Jan-04 23:13:17

Wills, the paed should know that no one sleeps through the night. We all (or most of us) may wake several times . But as we mature we gain skills that help us get back to sleep without being fully awake or awake for long. We may not even remember how many times we have woken up. Babies and children who wake may not have learnt yet how to get back to sleep without disturbing someone else. This can be taught - this is basically what sleep programmes do.

It may have nothing to do with whether the baby is 'content' or not.

Tasha28 Wed 21-Jan-04 10:14:42

I am fairly new to this site but imagine my delight when I read that I am not the only Mum to have a baby that wakes up every 2hrs at night and she is 9mths. She always slept fine until I began weaning her at 4mths. I am sure that it is not hunger that wakes her but she uses her bottle to go toback to sleep. What a lot of sense tiktok's message made about going back to sleep. I know that I shouldn't give her the bottle, but in the middle of the night I just want to go back to sleep.

stripey Wed 21-Jan-04 10:40:38

EvanMom does your ds have any routine re feeding during the day or does he feed on demand? I definitely think it makes a difference. My ds1 had no routine until 4-5 mths and woke a lot during the night. I finally gave in and bought 'The Contented Little Baby' book and it really did help me to structure feeds. GF also has some pretty good weening tips like don't give banana as a first weening food (of course I had because it was so easy). There is good advice about the timing of weening and day time naps etc.

Hope this helps

stripey Wed 21-Jan-04 10:43:26

Sorry spelt weaning wrong - think I am too hung up on potty training (weeing) problems at the moment

EvanMom Wed 21-Jan-04 14:03:57

Thanks all for messages..
codswallop - you might have a point about cold. Little boy does have a cold room as it never seems to get warm with heating full on. I thought he had plenty on, but will check again, thanks.
Tiktok, as for co-sleeping. I always feed him at night lying down in my bed and almost always return him to his cot. On several occasions though I have fallen asleep. Nervous about co-sleeping as a rule.
Stripey - no routine in day with the feeding. Feeds loads. Three smallish meals and naps after breakfast, lunch and occasionally a late afternoon one.
One thing I will say about the little man is that he is fantastic at getting himself off to sleep. I almost always put him down in his cot for sleep/naps wide awake and almost always he is asleep within a couple of minutes (not so with ds1 as he always fell asleep on the breast).
Therefore I am not convinced that he wakes at night and cannot get himself back to sleep.

EvanMom Wed 21-Jan-04 14:29:05

Also meant to add a comment re: Tiktok's comments on calorie intake and breastmilk. I thought it had less to do with calories and more to do with bulk and the time taken to digest. I have just been giving ds2 butternut squash and potatoes (yummy) and it got me thinking. Surely a quantity of potato will take longer to digest than the same/replaced amount of breastmilk, even if their calorific values are roughly the same (say)? A nighttime little tummy full of potato (and of course some milk!) will take longer to 'empty' than a little tummy only full of fore and hind milk, surely???

Agree?? Or have I missed the point!

charlieplus3 Thu 22-Jan-04 16:53:53

DS is sleeping through since transferred to cot and own room. Thought it was fluke at first, but this morn i had to go and wake him up. Have also taken Evans mum advice and swapped his rice & fruit for something a bitmore stable and touch wood seems to be working.

Hope wills is having better time with her DD2. My DD1 is a nightmare for sleeping and im determined not to go throgh it again with DS.

Serves him right keping me awake all those times

AussieSim Thu 22-Jan-04 17:11:14

Coddie - thanks very much. My DS had been waking at 5am instead of 7am since we came home from holidays. I took your advice and put a thicker sleeping bag on him and whadayaknow - 7:10 wake up.

EvanMom Sun 01-Feb-04 20:41:06

Quick update - my 5 month old non-sleeper now sleeps 12 hours straight at night and has done so for the last 5 nights in a row!!! What has changed?

I have to admit to doing two GF suggestions (not a fan at all and sort of still not . Her book is once again stuffed at the back of my cupboard, after all it could be pure coincidence !);
1. LESS NAPS. An hour nap after breakfast and two hours after lunch (instead of 4-5 hours all over the place - he's a sleepy little tigger)
2. Penultimate bf at 4:00 (he normally feeds on and off between 4 and 7. Now we hang on until 7. He doesn't seem bothered, and seems to get a more satisfying feed).

It was like a switch being turned OFF/ON - going from waking every 1-2 to not waking in the night at all. I'm amazed. Long may it last.

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