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Sleep all gone wrong

(8 Posts)
sharond101 Sun 30-Dec-12 09:43:18

DS 7months was napping thrice daily and sleeping through the night from 8.30/9pm unti 7.30/8am every day.Around ten days ago he started getting very grumpy around 6.30/7pm and on 3 occasions didn't fall asleep until 10.30pm after lots of screaming which is very unlike him. He woke at 5am on these days. We thought he was overtired so have started bedding him earlier, 7.30/8pm and he has gone to sleep much easier but is now waking up in the night and only goes back to sleep if I feed him which is a faff as he is breastfed expressed milk so I have to warm the refrigerated milk down in the kitchen so by that time even the dog is fully awake. The last few days he has resisted his last nap too and so now only naps twice a day (for anything between 10 minute and 1hour 45 minutes.) He has tried to nap at 6.30pm but we thought that too late and so kept him stimulated. So problems are....

1. DS won't go to sleep unless feeding or rocking.
2. DS has started waking in the night again.
3. Do I feed DS when he wakes or try and settle him back down without (tried this twice and was up for 2 hours both times and resorted to feeding him.)
4. How many naps should he have at 7months and how do I help him nap but stil get out and about?
5. What time should I put him to bed?

Yesterday his routine went like this,

8.15am wake
8.45 breakfast
9.30 breastmilk
9.50 nap for 10minutes
12.45 lunch
1.30 milk
1.45 nap for 1hour 15minutes
3.45 snack
4.30 dinner
7.15 breastmilk
7.35 bed
10pm brief wake, small feed
3.50am wake, still not asleep by 5.10am so feed
7.50am wake

I know he should have solid then milk but he has never adjusted to this and wants food then milk.

Tolly81 Sun 30-Dec-12 10:45:32

We're just coming out the other side of a dreadful 7m sleep regression. My dd had three naps but helped to cut her down to two and I did this by keeping her awake a little longer so basically first and second naps tacked onto one another. So try to keep him awake a little longer in the morning then hopefully he'll have one longer late morning/lunchtime nap and another shorter one mid afternoon. A 10 minute nap isn't achieving much for you or him anyway. Worth a try anyway.

sharond101 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:11:34

shameless and desperate bump....

waterrat Mon 31-Dec-12 08:42:00

OP I can offer a little advice as I spoke to a sleep 'expert' - well, a nice HV who had done a course at the Millpond Sleep Clinic - she was very helpful.

At 7 months a baby 'should' (of course all babies individuals but this is a general rough idea) have a nap of at least 45 mins in the morning - mine has a nap at 840 ish - earlier if has woken early.....sometimes later. but always about 45mins/ an hour.

second nap after lunch - or around the middle of the day. I have found this has got later as my DS gets older - often is 1-3 - sometimes earlier 1230 - 2 ish. - he started sleeping longer naps after 6 months never did before, but now regularly does 2 hours in his cot at this point.

I can give one really really good tip that worked for us - stop the milk link to sleep. I know it's a faff to get them to settle - but DS definitely sleeps much better when he has fallen asleep in the cot himself not gone in drowsy/ half asleep from BF.

Have solid then milk - then a break? To make sure not sleepy - then settle in cot, I stay in room , sing/ pat/ tidy up ...

My DS actually goes into bed at half 6 - that's not something I pushed, just naturally started doing that- he is then up at 6/630 - perhaps that nap at half 6 is just bedtime? I find that if he has a nap after 1 in the afternoon ie. ending at 3 - he doesn't need the later nap. But if its earlier he has half hour in buggy at about 4.

and..feeding. well, I think it's very very normal to have one big feed in the night at this age - my DS feeds twice normally - sometimes more, but I am really trying to stop that.

Could you switch to a carton of formula at night? I ebf as well but at this age, once taking food I was relaxed about formula.

Two options. Either feed at night for a week or so to see if it settles and sleep comes back. I know it's hard if they sleep through then stop but two milk feeds in the night doesn't seem that bad, especially if the early one is so small - what about trying to fill up then with a bigger feed and a wake up?

KatAndKit Mon 31-Dec-12 08:59:02

It's a phase. Hopefully it will pass soon. Is he teething? Teething has made what little sleep we were getting here go tits up. Can you give him a carton of ready made formula in the middle of the night so as to avoid having to heat up milk? If not, you can buy a thermal bag to store a refrigerated bottle in for up to six hours - mine is made by Avent.

I would say your baby is short on daytime sleep and possibly overtired as a result. They are all different, but a total nap time of an hour and a half isn't very much. My DS is 8 months and he has about 2.5 to 3 hours sleep on a good day. He sleeps 11-12 hours at night with at least 2 wake ups, usually 3. I think his sleep behaviour is "normal" for his age although I'd love him to stop waking up as soon as I have got in bed and just got warm and snug!

My DS will not nap in a cot in the day. He isn't fond of going in it at night either but that's a different story. I try to fit in errands at the time of day when he is usually getting a bit tired but is not yet grumpy about it. This is the perfect time to take a walk to the shops with the buggy or sling, or go somewhere in the car. Usually I can manage to get the buggy back in the house after a 20 minute walk, he stays asleep in the hallway for another 30-60 minutes while I get stuff done. Doesn't always work, but if I feed him to sleep instead I can't put him down as he wakes straight back up, and I am stuck indoors then. Napping on the move works well.

As for the trying to settle in the night without feeding - if it takes that long I wouldn't bother. you aren't achieving anything being up for 2 hours. You could try offering a drink of water instead but if what you are doing hasn't worked within half an hour maximum, I would always offer milk.

sharond101 Mon 31-Dec-12 09:35:09

Thank you Kit and waterkat. Yesterday he napped for 45 minutes in the morning. We had visitors early afternoon so he wouldn't nap then and eventually slept from 3.45 to 5.15pm. He fought sleep at bedtime and it was 10pm when he went down. Woke at 4.50am, i rocked him until 6am then gave up and fed him. Went back to sleep until 8am and is jumping in his jumperoo now whilst I feel like sleeping.

How do I separate feeding with sleeping?His bottle is usually what puts him off to sleep.

waterrat Mon 31-Dec-12 09:42:46

basically - it's a pain, but you can teach him to settle without the bottle. It will take a couple of weeks - but babies can learn anything! I would start pulling the bottle out earlier - putting him in the cot awake but drowsy. Then put a story in between bottle and cot - same story each time.....that will become a sleep prop - and gradually increase the time between bottle and cot/ sleep.

YOu could rock/ pick up put down / sing/ pat shhh....then you gradually reduce those props as well. It is a bit tedious - yes, the bottle is the easy way - but you will feel good once you know he can settle on his own and feels safe in his cot to fall asleep. Just try - you can always use the bottle if it is proving tough one day - and gradually get there by trial and error.

I agree about night feeds - I wouldn't struggle for 2 hours. But you may find once he can self settle he wakes less - my ds can wake now in the night, roll about, shout a bit, then grab his toys and go back to sleep - he can only do this since learnign to go to sleep.

re. self settle, I dont leave to cry, but a bit of crying while you are with them is normal if trying to teach to settle.

but - in the end, you are mum , dont do anything that doesn't feel right to you and him.

waterrat Mon 31-Dec-12 09:43:53

also - re. naps. that sounds a very late afternoon nap. Could you try shifting it back to about 1? seems he must be awake a long stretch in the day ....once he can settle better on his own you might find it easier to just put in cot and he will ds was a sling/ buggy only sleeper and I managed to get him used to the cot so it can be done.

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