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For those of you who have/have had 5 month old dts is this normal behaviour?

(11 Posts)
Ewemoo Thu 14-May-09 18:21:24

I have posted on here quite a few times about how difficult my dts are. They are now coming up to 5 months old and quite honestly they are still dreadful. If I can give you a rundown of my normal daily routine maybe you could give me your opinion of whether I'm expecting too much or not:

The dts are usually fed at about 5.30am and are put back in their cots until 8am when I have to get them up to take my dd1 to school. From the moment they are put in their car seats they scream and I mean ear splitting. During the car journey they are not too bad but the moment I stop at a red light or pull up at the school they both start screaming again. They briefly stop while they are in the buggy (still in car seats) but then scream when put back in the car. When we get home they are still screaming and so I usually feed them. This keeps them happy for about half an hour then they start whinging so I put them down at about 11am for a sleep. On a good day they will sleep for 2 hours although this doesn't happen often. Then there is a repeat of the school run in the afternoon and they do the whole screaming thing again. From 4pm till bedtime they generally are not happy and will cry and scream as they see fit.
As you can imagine this is wearing me out but is it normal? Please help I'm at the end of my patience now

anjlix Thu 14-May-09 20:01:57

Ewemoo I have read your past threads and I feel really bad that you are having such a rough time. I will try to help if I can.

Can you tell me what the rough routine for the entire day is? I have a strong suspicion that they are hard to settle babies and are not getting naps at decent intervals. I have 5 month old DTs and here is what they do on a typical day.
7-7.30a ish Awake Fed soon after about 3oz
Grumpy by 9a ish. Nap for 30mins soon after.
Fed at 10.30ish - 7oz
Really grumpy by noon. Nap for 2 hours or so. If any one wakes up after an hour I try to settle her back with a small feed. I find that if they sleep longer at this time they last better in the afternoon otherwise it is a wingy baby hell.
2.30p ish another feed 5-6oz. If they did not sleep long enough before this then they want to nap for about 30-40mins after this feed and another small nap of 15-20mins 2hrs or so before bed time.
4p ish really irritable so nap for 30 mins again.
6p ish feed 8oz. Usually quite hard since they are tired and hungry at the same time. But if they sleep horribly at 4p, it becomes even harder.
7p ish in bed. After that they feed twice in the night at 1a/2a and 5a/6a about 3oz each time.

You have ruled out medical issues I believe. So the only thing left to check if they are not getting enough sleep/feed in the day time. My babies WILL NOT feed when overtired even if they are starving. They cry and go to sleep to wake up 15mins later screaming for food but still tired... So I have to watch out for overtiredness a lot.

I personally dont think it is normal for a baby to cry all the time unless he/she is sick or has some other medical condition. It is IMO quite normal to cry when hungry, tired and sleepy. Some babies are very good at fighting sleep and hence the ear piercing cries that hit your central nervous system.

Hope this helps somewhat...

poorbuthappy Thu 14-May-09 20:10:37

Ewemoo, sorry things aren't getting better for you - for what its worth I agree with Anjlix (our dts are exactly the same age). My dts can only cope 1.5 to 2 hours before going back to sleep, sometimes I end up putting 1 back to bed before the other 1 gets up!

We had a few horrible weeks where the nap thing was not working out in the day and they would scream and scream for more than an hour before finally giving in. This would also result in bedtimes being horrendous as they lost the ability to get themselves to sleep.
However once we identified the issue (along with the fact that they need to be fed slightly earlier than every 4hours so they don't get wound up and scream) things got a lot better.

How much do they weigh now? Also when they go back to bed after the 5.30am feed do they sleep for a good while before the school run?

Also do you have anyone nearby who could sit with them while you do the school run?

Ewemoo Fri 15-May-09 22:30:30

Thanks for your replies. Anjlix - yes they are hard to settle and so probably don't get enough sleep in the day. Here is the daily routine:
5.30am feed then put straight back down to sleep. Will sleep off and on till 8am when they are woken to do the school run.
9/9.30am feed then they are in bouncers/play gym until 11am when they have 2 hour nap. Fed again at 1/1.30pm and then in bouncers until school run at 2.55pm.
Afternoons are hellish - sometimes they sleep for half an hour at 4.30pm or otherwise they scream until next feed at 5/5.30pm after which they are put to bed where they will sleep well until 1.30am when they are fed and put down again until 5.30am.

anjlix Sat 16-May-09 13:12:43

Ewemoo Please also post feed amounts for them. This will help me in looking at the whole routine properly. I can see a few things in your routine that can be tweaked. If I read correctly here is what you are doing.

5.30a Feed (how much?)
8a Awake
9/9.30a Feed (how much?)
11a-1p Nap
1.30p Feed (how much?)
4.30p-5p Nap
5p Feed (how much?)
Bed time (When?)
1.30a Feed (how much?)

Here are my suggestions assuming you are doing an 8a-8p day. I don't know your bed time.

5.30a Half Feed

8a Woken up

8.15a Half Feed. Feed them even if they are not very interested. Even a little feed of 2-3oz may help with the irritability during the school run. They will not be very hungry at this time since they were fed twice in the night. Mine have the same problem. I get 3oz down them so they last until their nap.

10a Put them down for a 30mins nap once back from school run. If you have to do a top up feed to lull them into sleep then try that. Being outside is exhausting for little babies. If you put them down before they are overtired then they may settle better.

12p Full Feed. Move the 1p feed forward. Also if they had a nap at 10a then they will last closer to noon or even past it w/o being grumpy. A good feed will ensure a better nap.

12.30p-2.30p Nap. They may wake up before but try to resettle them with half feed if you can. Keep things quiet and draw the curtains so that they room is not too bright. Keep an eye on the temperature. Tuck them if they like that with a thin cotton sheet. You can tuck the sheet under the mattress on 3 sides and then use rolled towels between the cot and mattress to pin them down. I find that mine sleep better tucked in. They always hated being swaddled.

2.30p Half Feed. Feed a little before the school run. I would ideally feed them at 3.30p but your school run would prevent this. So may be try to give half feed before and half after.

4p Half Feed. Give remainder of the feed after school run and lull then into a nap of 15-30mins.

4.30-5p Nap.

6.30p-7p Feed. If you have the energy then try a bath before this feed. Mine always settle well if they have had a bath before bed time.

8p Settle in Bed.

You mentioned that sometimes they don't do a 2hr nap midday. If you are not able to settle them back with a feed then try to lull them into sleep after the 2.30p feed. May be you can do this in the car seat so that you dont have to move them for the school run. Then try to see if they will have a second nap for 30mins or so before the bedtime feed. You must try to have them sleep closer to 3hrs at this age broken down in to 3 naps. Some babies will normally sleep longer at lunchtime and some won't. Yours seem to be able to do a longer nap. So it might work to your favor to establish that so that you can get some downtime.

Thats all I can think of now. Good luck!

Ewemoo Sat 16-May-09 17:05:53

Anjlix - it is difficult to say how much milk they take as it varies but they are offered 8oz each time so is anything up to that amount. As for feeding them at 8.15am that won't work as I need to be out of the house at 8.20am for school run. I usually put them to bed at 6.30pm ish. Do you have any ideas about what formula is best. I'm sure SMA Gold is not suiting them but have tried quite a few others to no effect either. Should I think about weaning?

anjlix Sat 16-May-09 19:03:11

Ewemoo Here are 3 more suggestions

1 ) Can you wake them up at 7/7.30 and do a 7 to 7 routine? This way they will be napping at the morning school run and fed prior to the afternoon run.

7 to 7 might work somewhat like this. This loosely based on Gina Ford's routine which my babies follow. They do not do it perfectly. All times are ish, but the idea is that they are not grumpy all the time, feed decently and there is a certain level of predictability in my day.

7/7.30a Feed
9-9.30/9.45a Nap
10.30a Feed
12-2p Nap
2.30p Feed
4.30-5p Nap
6p Feed
7p in bed.

They may still wake up at 1a and 5a for night feed which is what mine do anyways.

2 ) Or may be you put them down for a nap soon after 9.30a feed and wake them up in 30mins. After that try a longer nap from 12.30p-2.30p. If mine were up 3hrs straight, it would not be pretty.

3) Wake them up at 7.45a and offer a small feed. Let them have remainder of the feed after the school run and put them down for a 30mins nap. Then attempt a longer nap around 12.30p.

In any case try putting them down for a nap after 2hrs or so of being awake.

Also check with HV on weaning. I can't really say much since mine were 6 weeks early and I won't be starting before they are 6mos.

Mine are teething now so feeding has become quite hard. I can tell because they feed okay if I apply some teething gel prior to feeding.

I always used Aptamil Stage 1. Never had any problems.

Ewemoo I know this is hard as hell but you must try letting them have naps every 2 to 2.5hrs of being awake even if you have to move bedtime to 7p. The goal is happier babies and saner mom.

Sullwah Mon 18-May-09 15:02:23

I think Anjlix advice is v good. I am a big believer in routine and sleep solving most baby problems

In addition - what about dummies to sooth them in the car. I know its horrid to see babies constantly with a dummy in their gobs but with two - I think they invaluable for the car when they are in rear facing seats and you cant sooth them.

twinmam Tue 19-May-09 10:06:08

Hey Ewemoo. Just checking in to say sorry things are still such a struggle for you. I am struggling to remember back to when my two were 5 months old but I agree with all that is said above about routines. I think our girls were about 5/6 months when they started sleeping through properly but we didn't really start enforcing a 'proper' routine until about 9 months when DD2 started to wake in the night again. I'd never really got my head around daytime naps - I just let them sleep whenever and wherever. We now (at 15 months)have something like a 7-7 routine with 2 daily naps. Obviously your babies are younger and will need more naps but once a good routine was established I found my two to be much happier and to sleep much better at night. Have you tried what Anjlix has suggested above? It seems to make a lot of sense. Also, just to give you a wee bit of hope, I am sure you will find things start to get a lot easier when you wean your DCs and there's not too long to wait now until that happens. I know you've had lots of issues with formula etc and I'm sure when it features less as part of their diet then things will get better. I certainly found that to be the case. Take care.

mel2005 Mon 01-Jun-09 13:54:35

my eldest (now 4) was the same in the car and it stopped when he went into the next stage seat at 9 months. have you tried toys hanging off the seats/chime bells. dummies are also a good idea. i know it sounds bad but if i had the problem again i would be tempted to try one of those in car dvd players if you have one.
my twins are 22 weeks, if it helps their routine is

7-30am to 8am 9oz
between 10-30 and 11am 9oz
between 2-30 and 3pm 9oz
6pm 9oz
10pm 6-9oz

they have been doing this since 10 weeks (but they were 6-8 oz bottles)
i did drop the 10pm feed for a while and they did sleep through but the weight levelled off so i will do the 10pm feed until they are eating good meals. i dont have set naps, i let them nap when they need to in the day and they have been sleeping through the night since 10 weeks.
i have given them some baby rice in the last few days as they are getting very hungry.

the comfort milk has made a big difference to my two, have you tried it? mine spend time when not napping or not on my lap, in the babydan playpen, in the baby swings (used less now) or in the babybjorn bouncers. they spend most of the time if not on a playmat on the main floor (with me) in the playpen which has baby toys to play with (or each others hands to eat) i have a tinylove cot mobile on it which they love.

throckenholt Mon 01-Jun-09 13:58:59

I would try feeding them at a bit before 8am, and then put them to bed as soon as you get back from the school run.

They sound over tired - so I would try and stick to the two hour rule - up for no more than a two hour stretch at a time.

Nappy free time somehow used to calm mine and keep them happy for a while - worth a try - but make sure you put towels down - they are bound to wee.

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