Help! nights just getting worse and worse...(18 Posts)
My 6 month old has got worse and worse at sleeping and now we are all exhausted! She used to go down at 7pm and then wake at 1 and 4 for feeds, sleeping until 7am.
Now she goes down at 8ish (but takes about an hour to settle) and wakes up at about 10 crying needing to check we're there. Then she wakes perpetually, as frequently as 11.30, 1, 3, 4, 5 etc... She cries and cries until put in our bed.
She is in cot next to bed, and has two good naps a day (in pram). Any ideas welcome, please!
p.s. She does not feed very frequently in the day, saving it all up for night when she eats every two hours or so. But I can't force her!
Hungry? How is she with her solids?
Or teething/coming down with a bug? Have you given her calprofen at first wake, and does it make a difference?
If she slept relatively well until now I would assume its something physical waking her, rather than a sleep problem per se.
You must be beyond tired
If you post when the naps are/how long, then that might be something to look at as well.
yes, naps at about 10am-11.30 and 2pm-4.
Does eating solids really help them sleep? Have started weaning but not meticulous about giving 3 meals -- usually only has a few bits of banana or equivalent.
Also could it be that she needs more exercise? We spend a lot of the day carrying her in baby carrier.
Last thing is I do drink tea and the odd glass of wine. Do those affect it [hopes not].
I don't think the solids is the issue as much as her feeding every 2 hrs at night. You need to switch that around. Start with an interval you feel comfortable she can achieve- eg 4 hrs , and just do t feed her till then. Then another 4 hrs etc. first 2 nights will be brutal. Then she'll start to adjust. In the day offer milk every 3 hours.
Ime weaning can really screw up feeding and therefore sleeping for a month or two until solids are established. If you're only feeding fruit and rice, that is low calorie, but maybe enough to put her off milk feeds (which is the highest calorie), so waking up at night to make up for the calorie deficit iyswim. Just my theory though, I'm not an expert!
Weaning is tricky, I've always tried to get them onto higher cal stuff (protein filled meaty dinners etc) as soon as poss, but it all depends on your child as to how they take to it and how ready they are for it. If milk intake is dropping off in the day, could you try to give solids with lots of milk in (eg rice/porridge)?
Re exercise - all babies need the opportunity to use their muscles, but it's not like most are running around at 6 months! Provided she's not in a sling all day...
If your own food and drink hasn't affected her before, it probably won't now. And you probably need the wine!
I would start with thinking about what has changed recently, and the solids thing seems most likely to me. I always found the gina ford weaning book quite helpful to give me an idea of where to go with weaning. Doesn't mean I bought into the rest of her theories though!
Naps seem ok to me.
Yes also to addressing the night feeds - once they get into that pattern it can be tricky to get out of it again. And lots of milk at night will have a knock on effect on their appetite in the day. It's a minefield!
Agh! Everything seems so tricky. And the sad thing is she started off such a normal baby. I have been feeding yoghurt, bananas, avocadoes and some pitta bread -- I will read the book and see what else to give. I didn't want to give anything that would be bad for her!
I think weaning has screwed it up. People urged me to do it to get her to sleep better!
She still is a normal baby - this is very normal unfortunately! It will sort out eventually. All food is good for her btw, just steer clear of excess sugar and salt and don't worry about it too much.
ok. Can I ask one more question? DD also has a rash (which goes away under glass) on her neck and torso. Only a slight rash but def. there. A couple of days ago she was ill with a cold/flu and we gave her some calpol... she had a cough/sneeze etc. She seemed to have got better yesterday, but then the rash came up! Do you have any experience of this?
As you can see I am in a bit of a parenting meltdown.
Older babies can get distracted in the day - there are so many things to do that are much more exciting than drinking milk after all!! To encourage more day feeding, try to find the time a couple of times a day to go to a quiet room, draw the curtains, and see if she will feed without distractions.
Is she drooling a lot? Teething can cause a rash which can be prevented by the use of dribble bibs. If not I'd see the doctor about it. If you think teething is keeping her up at night definitely try calpol or nurofen.
6 months is also a time for separation anxiety to begin so perhaps she just needs to be close to you at night. You have my sympathy with that one as I sleep rubbish when I have to co sleep. If you can co-sleep, then that will perhaps make it easier for you in the short term.
The Roseola (sp?) virus is flu-like and has a rash that appears after babe appears to be well again - try googling it for more info? My DS had it at 7 months - quite badly for a couple of days but was fine by the time the rash appeared. His rash was across his chest, little red dots and not itchy.
He also went from sleeping 8-10 hours straight (and then 2-4 hrs more) at night to waking up very frequently at around 6.5 months. It got better after a couple of weeks but he's not yet settled in to a proper pattern again (well, not one that's lasted for more than a few days!) Food has had little effect really.
DD also had roseola (also known as sixth disease). It's characterised by a spiking fever for 3-5 days with no other symptoms followed by a rash that lasts 1-3 days. Not usually accompanied by cold like symptoms but that might just be a separate virus. Babies often seem unbothered by the roseola fever which is why it often isn't diagnosed until the rash appears- I actually took my DD in for her jabs and the paed said "she has a temperature of 38.8. Didnt you notice?" . In my defense, it was a double appointment with DS who was actually ill, so I was focusing on him.
I dont think it's a weaning thing. It seems that what has happened is that she has developed a really strong sleep association with bf'ing, and now when she wakes she has to bf back to sleep- she cant self-settle at all when she goes from one sleep cycle to another. That means she is taking on a lot of milk at night and isnt hungry in the day. If you cut back the night feeds, that will hopefully turn it around. I had the same issues with DD (8mo) who until 2 weeks ago was waking up pretty much like your DD. I was so exhausted that i was just feeding her back to sleep every time as that got me back to bed fastest. Eventually I just couldn't take it, bit the bullet, and started spacing her night feeds, starting at 4 hrs (instead of feeding her, I'd "hand swaddle her" till she went back to sleep), and 2 weeks later, she's sleeping 7 till 4 or 5am. Give it a go. Nothing to lose.
DS has just turned 6 months and I could have written the same OP - a couple of months ago he was only waking once in the night to be fed, now it is every 2-3 hours.
However, DS is my second child and his older sister was just the same at his age. She is 2 now and generally sleeps very well at night, and always in her own bed. We never did CC/ with holding milk feeds etc with her and eventually she sorted her sleep out by herself, in her own time. Because we never tried to force the issue, we certainly didn't get 'quick results,' but I didn't ever want her to have negative associations with going to bed/ to sleep.
So what Im trying to say, in a long winded way is that if you don't want to force the issue, be reassured that your DC will get there in their own sweet time. I have DS in the bed with me now most nights, so we both get maximum sleep, and I am happy to confidently ignore anyone who tells me that I am 'making a rod for my own back.'
Good luck! In a few months you will have forgotten all about this phase
weaning doesn't screw them up - this is a shit sleep age. You need to transfer - slowly - from milk to food, so of course a tiny bit of banana won't make them sleep better, but you do need to get onto the path towards three meals a day - it's a slow process and from seeing my friends/ my own baby, there is normally a sudden significant change in sleep at around8 months when they are properly on solids. ie. they are eating 3 normal meals a day, then of course they take less milk so wake less at night.
I would never tell someone what to do re. sleep but I will tell you what worked for us - unlike the poster above we did try to reduce night feeds. It's not fun, but the alternative was horrendous, waking every half an hour I was completely destroyed.
so - put to bed, big feed etc, (this whole thing works better when they are on solids as you will feel more confident that they are full) - decide that you will only give a BF /milk feed every four hours or whenever - you choose - baby wakes up at 9/10 pm, you sit next to cot and pat/ sing/shhh back to sleep. If you think you will cave and feed, get your partner to do it. Took 15 mins of this first night for us he fell asleep in cot. keep doing the same until time for the next feed. do the same all night, if you can't cope - then stop! it's a slow process. dont ever do anything you dont feel comfortable with. but remember, a baby can go four hours at that age , they are fine!
the first night we did this our son slept for 7 hours - this had never happened before! he was happier the next day , not overtired, I was so much better. they need to learn to settle without the boob or bottle - it helps them sleep thorugh - it really, really made a big difference for us. Stopping night feeds completely also made a huge difference to his sleep - but that was at 9 months when he was eating food really well.
I repeat - I am not saying this is what you should do before anyone jumps on me and says babies need to feed 2 hourly - whatever works for you. btu if you want better sleep, then I recommend the Millpond Sleep Clinic book.
and btw all food is fine - I recommend the Baby Led Weaning recipe book. Dont bother with the BLW book, just get the recipe book it has all the same info. They can eat anything you eat as long as there is no salt or sugar. More you feed them the better, they will have a wider range of food they are used to.
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