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Baby waking 30 minutes after bedtime

(8 Posts)
PeacefulInTheDeep Thu 02-Jul-20 14:58:37

My DD is 4.5 months old and for a few weeks now has been waking up within 30 about minutes of going to sleep at bedtime.

I settle her for bed the same way I do for naps - patting and shushing until her eyes are closed. Then lower into the crib, with white noise on. She inevitably stirs as I lower her, so I pop the dummy in and within a few minutes she's fast asleep.

The problem is that she always wakes up about 30 minutes later, grizzling and visibly wanting to go back to sleep. I used to be able to pop the dummy in and she'd go back off. Now I have to sit with her for 45 mins or more, with my hand on her chest so she can hold on to my fingers, putting the dummy back in when she knocks it out with her hands or if it drops out before she's asleep enough. Feeding at this wake doesn't seem to make a difference - sometimes she's not interested, and sometimes she'll take a good feed and get drowsy, but still take ages to settle.

I'm now getting quite frustrated as I'm getting no downtime in the evenings, and I'm also worried about creating an over-reliance on the dummy, as I settle her during night wakings the same way too (when she's not hungry) and this will be awful once she's moved out of the bedside crib and into the cot in her own room.

If it makes any difference, she doesn't have any long naps - she'll sleep for 30-40 minutes at a time, including in the pram. If she's in the carrier she'll happily sleep for 1.5-2.5 hours.

Does anyone have any idea what's causing these early evening wakes, and have any suggestions of what we could do differently to help DD sleep better?

OP’s posts: |
MrsIronfoundersson Thu 02-Jul-20 15:12:30

Something to do with her sleep cycle I think? I used to cheat by leaving one of those little beanbag heated pad things on them instead of my hand! (Not heated though) it cheated them slightly into thinking somebody had a hand on them. Might work on your DD?

PeacefulInTheDeep Thu 02-Jul-20 17:23:27

Thanks @MrsIronfoundersson, that's a good idea. I thought about trying this a couple of nights ago but given that she kicks her legs and flaps her arms I'm worried about using anything with any weight that could end up over her face.

I've just got out a small thin comforter toy to try tonight - I'm not sure if it's the weight of my hand or her having something to hold that's helping, so I guess I'll find out.

OP’s posts: |
ZooKeeper19 Thu 02-Jul-20 18:43:41

@PeacefulInTheDeep this I was told is a sign of being overtired. She needs way more daytime sleep than what you described. Daytime naps should be 3.5 hours (3-4 naps) and night time 11-12 hours. Any less the baby is likely overtired and that causes her to wake up after 30 mins.

It also seems to coincide with the 4m regression and that is perhaps also a factor.

I'd focus on the naps, get her to nap longer see if that helps. Perhaps try white noise as well, worked for us but only from about 7-8 months, not before (maybe I should have tried harder....).

GenevaMaybe Thu 02-Jul-20 18:45:12

Yes this is classic overtiredness. What time is her last nap of the day usually?

PeacefulInTheDeep Thu 02-Jul-20 20:59:52

Thank you for the replies @ZooKeeper19 and *@GenevaMaybe*. Interesting that you both say overtired - I've been wondering if this was the case but have no real idea on how to tackle it.

Re white noise - we have Ewan the dream sheep and have used it since she was a few weeks old. It only plays for about 20 minutes but putting it back on to try to tide her over hasn't worked so far.

Any suggestions on how to get her to nap for longer? So far I've tried the following with no success:
- constant white noise
- being next to her in the hope my presence would be reassuring
- dummy back in and hand on chest like I do overnight
- picking up and shushing/patting before setting her down again, just like at the start of the nap
I should probably add that I also have a 2 year old, so am limited on how long I can spend on resettling during the day when I need to supervise him too.

@GenevaMaybe Her last nap starts anywhere between 4 and 5.30, depending on how the rest of the day has gone.

I think maybe we'll try using the carrier to get her a long nap of 1.5 hours+ in the middle of the day every day for a week or two and see if that helps. That way she can still have some naps in the crib, and hopefully we'll see an improvement in bedtime and maybe even in nap duration too.

OP’s posts: |
ZooKeeper19 Thu 02-Jul-20 21:12:44

@PeacefulInTheDeep at 4,5 months they can be awake (including putting to sleep time) for about 90 mins max (recommended time is actually 60-75. So I'd play it by that. My one becomes less tolerable towards the end of the day, so I try to have him ready for bed between 7-8pm (but I remember that at that age it was a lottery and he'd sometimes still be screaming at 11pm so...).

A good downwind helped us, so I started to take him to bed (big bed with is cot next to the big bed) at about 1 hour before his actual bedtime. That way we had cuddles, we played a bit, watched some news (he did not really care what I watched and it made me feel a bit less like a baby-machine). Once he was nice and settled then I started the boob-bed-shusshing. It's not really recommended to boob them to sleep but whatever worked at that stage I was happy with. (Having a second child this sounds a bit like an impossible task but maybe?).

But you are right. His daytime sleep was always quite good (a lot of pram outdoor sleep as I'm out a lot). But until about 4-5 months the falling asleep was a nightmare in the evening for me too, I spent hours carrying him up and down the flat.

Smart people say that the way the baby falls asleep matters but your way seems really good so I think as long as he gets the recommended daytime sleep you should see some improvement soon. What helped me a lot too was him being really very well fed before he went down.

GenevaMaybe Thu 02-Jul-20 21:41:38

Yes I think it’s a good idea to work towards a long nap during the day. Catnaps don’t give your baby a chance to properly rest and so they wind up overtired very easily.

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