why is she so unsettled?!(15 Posts)
My daughter is just five months old. Since she was about two months old, she has slept through the night, 12 hours straight, no bother. She has also always been a great eater. She's a lovely baby, very easy going and happy. We have been very lucky.
She outgrew her Moses basket a couple of weeks ago and so is now being put to sleep in the cot in her own room. I know this is earlier than recommended, and I really don't feel great about it (we put it off as long as possible but couldn't wait any longer) but we don't have another option really. The cot would not fit in our teeny bedroom and I don't think we can even get it out of the nursery without taking it to bits. We have decent camera monitors and we watch her very closely. We also check on her in person very regularly. I'm pretty much not sleeping right now so that I can keep an eye on her (not ideal but I'd never forgive myself if something happened because we moved her too soon).
Anyway, she just isn't settling in the cot the way she was in the basket (in her basket, she could easily put herself to sleep with her dummy and a comforter). She has started waking through the night again for feeds, which she hasnt done for ages, and she tosses and turns a lot through the night, makes a lot of noise. She gets upset if her dummy falls out and one of us will go through and put it back in (in her basket, she wouldnt notice if her dummy fell out). After these wakings it takes ages for her to fall asleep again. I stand beside the cot, hold her hand etc until she starts to drift off, but it doesn't seem to help (I don't think she really minds if I'm there or not). She's got all her snuggy toys and comforters in there (I take all but one out when she finally falls asleep), she has a wee nightlight and we go to her immediately if she gets upset or if she's lying awake for too long.
The weird thing is that she stayed down at my parents' house for a couple of nights last weekend in a travel cot, and was absolutely fine and settled in there!! That was the first time we've left her for a night (necessary wedding) and I'm actually beginning to wonder if that's having an impact on her sleep?! Is she scared we'll leave her again?!
We have started giving her a few spoonfuls of solid food before she goes to bed (she was showing various signs that she was ready for solids, but we're taking it really slowly and just starting with a few spoonfuls of fruit or veg at nights just now). She's taking the food really well (very enthusiastically!) and seems to really like it but it's not preventing the night waking which makes me think that hunger isn't really the problem here. I've been racking my brains trying to think of a reason she's not settling the same way but I can't come up with anything. Her room is warm, the house is quiet.
Is it just too much change? Is there anything I can do to make this easier for her (and for us)?!
Travel cot worked?
Maybe do that. The new cot bed might be too scary? Too new?
Could you out her in the travel cot in your room? You need to get some sleep yourself.
Might be worth trying giving the food in the morning rather than evening in case it's that causing the change. Most of her calories will come from milk.
Does she feel less cossetted in the cot? She might be waking herself up flailing in the more open space. Can you get something like a sleepyhead or poddlepod to put in the cot?
Very jealous otherwise -my 6 month old DS has NEVER slept anything like through the night!
Dd2 currently going through phases of waking up every few nights and will go a few.nights doing 12 hours straight then back to waking every 2 - 3 hours. It's killing me! Worse than when she was a couple of months old. I'm beginning to wonder if it's me as when dh sleeps on her side of bed next to the hammock to do the night feeds she seems to sleep better. So, in the nicest possible way, maybe you're disturbing her by being too available/present at night in a way you weren't before she moved through? I know with my dd if I were to hold her hand etc she would be full of smiles and chatter rather than settle herself. I understand it's easier when they're in the same room to 'ignore' the wee noises to let them self soothe but maybe you could watch from camera a couple of nights to see if that helps. I'm trying not to feed on every wakening too but it I often the only thing to settle dd so (racking my brains to remember if dd1 did this!) Perhaps this is a natural stage of growth requiring more food and a but of a sleep regression stage. Hopefully a brief one!
(Meant to say dd2 also just about 5 months so same age)
At 5 months she could well need a feed in the night and be waking from hunger.
As PPs have said she could be hungry. The fruit/veg may be filling her up so she is taking less milk, but as there are less calories in fruit/veg this may not be sustaining her through the night. I would firstly, move the purée feed to earlier in the day to see if that helps and if in doubt give her a feed. My LO went through periods of not needing/needing night feeds until he was about 9mo so definitely worth a shot. Also, The new foods may also be upsetting her tummy a bit as she gets used to them so this could also be disturbing her, moving the purée feed earlier would allow you to monitor this during the day better.
I didn't wean until 6 months but DS had appaling sleep for a while after. Maybe digestion, maybe just the upheaval and maybe he needed milk overnight as the food was replacing some day milk. They need the same milk for a couple of months after starting solids so he just wanted more at night for a while. I'm sure she'll be fine in her room though, don't worry too much about that.
And at your tiny previously sleeping baby, my dd2 has only started sleeping through in the last few weeks at 17 mths
She could be hungry as well or perhaps getting a bit colder in the night without the extra heat generated by two sleeping adults.
Mine both slept well (one wake up per night) from birth to 4/5 mths, then completely changed to 2/3/4 wakes ups. Developmental stuff means it constantly changes
Google the 4 month sleep regression. A little later than 4 months but it sounds like that - and it's apparently quite normal. My dd is almost 4 months and I'm waiting for it to happen!
We did BLW so I may be wrong, but the food before bed was the first thing that jumped out at me, that could be unsettling her overnight (I don't like to sleep after food anyway!). Also, I'm not sure how much of a link there is between starting food and sleeping through.
Our DD had a through the night bottle til about 9 months, as well as 3 during the day and meals, so if she is waking she could well be hungry.
If the travel cot worked then why don't you try using that also? I think you can maybe get better mattresses for them.
Our DD slept through for about 5 weeks from 8 weeks old, then it all changed, and has changed again since then. Lots of things happening with their wee selves.
I remember dd1's sleep getting worse when we weaned. When they're leRning a new skill it also upsets their sleep. Has she recently learned to roll over or anything?
Dd2'a sleep went to pot a few weeks ago for a couple of nights when she learned to roll.
Dd1 stopped night feeds at about 3 months. Dd2 still has two night feeds at almost 5 months so all babies are different. She could well need the feed or even just the comfort from the feed.
Tbh I would get a better mattress for the travel cot and bring her back in with you for a while or you could end up being exhausted. Maybe once weaning is established you could try moving her again.
Thank you everyone for your kind responses. Really helpful, I'm so glad I asked now!!
I've been pondering the replies and tbh I think it has to be the food. The timings match up, it makes sense. So today we gave her a few spoonfuls of parsnip at lunchtime and she will get an 8oz bottle before she goes to bed, no solids. Hopefully that will make a difference!
To be honest if she's hungry through the night I don't mind getting up to feed her, thats just par for the course. The real issue is the unsettledness, the tossing and turning and the taking ages to go back to sleep. I hate the idea of her being worried or frightened (although she doesn't get upset, it's more just awake and shouting out for attention).
I must admit I do like the idea of the travel cot in our room. Would be tight but I think it would fit. My husband is unsure; he worries about her too, but feels that eventually she will need to go into her own room so perhaps, having come this far, we should persevere? I think we'll give her a few more nights, change her feeding schedule and see how we go. Certainly an option if nothing changes. I manage ok with little sleep most of the time and my husband does more than his fair share. She's our first baby and we're just fumbling our way through!!
Her teeth do give her bother through the day but I don't think that's the issue here (although I did consider this). She isn't dribbly or showing the other symptoms of a sore mouth when she's up through the night, she's not upset when she's up, she's quite happy really. She hasn't learned anything new (she's rolling up onto her side but isn't going all the way over yet) but I'm seeing a big difference in her strength - she can sit unsupported for short periods, loves to stand etc. I think her face has changed a little bit too, suddenly. Sounds silly and it's hard to explain but she's looking more like a proper little girl now, rather than a tiny baby (sob).
Sounds like a good plan. Changing one thing at a time is defo the sensible way to go.
I know what you mean about the night feeds. I don't mind my LO getting up for a night feed as she goes right back down but like yours, she's been more unsettled and tossing and turning lately and throwing herself about. Tbh I think it's the four month sleep regression but it's no where near as bad as with dd1 who woke every 45 mins from 11pm -6am every night for four months argh.
I put her in her own room at 4 months for the same reason as you (outgrown Moses) but I think it was much worse running in and out.
This time dd2 has a crib so she's still in with us and it's much easier to settle her as its a co sleeping crib and I have the side down so a quick pat or stroke of her head and she settles.
Join the discussion
Please login first.