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seven month old waking 3x a night- teeth? hunger? comfort?

(4 Posts)
rasberryjam Sun 12-Jun-11 19:49:39

First post on here so apologies if it is like many others and far too long. Have read through a few threads with interest but still feeling insure of what might help my seventh month old sleep better. He has always woken in the night for feeds (fully BF) but three weeks ago (started solids around then too) began to sleep better only waking twice a night, once around 10.30/11 (dream feed?) and then around 2/3 am for a good feed. He has always woken at seven am (bedtime at 6.30 pm ish... self settles really well after a b/f). This I can deal with! But in the last week he has started waking at five am ish. I have tried to black out curtains, late bedtime (now at 6.45 pm feed 7 pm sleep) and water. First couple of nights I patted his tummy, shushed him and he went back to sleep after a little while (in the cot right next to me). But as the week has gone on he has been crying for longer and longer. I have tried to cuddle him some nights (doesn't help) or just leave him leave him and he has settled after maybe 30 mins crying but sometimes not all... crying on and off until six/seven when I feel I might as well feed him and get him up.
The crying is horrible of course but I don't want to go back to 3x feeds a night. Last night my hubby was finding the crying very difficult and after looking at his watch said 'why not feed him its neatly 6.30?' which I did only to realise that hubby had misread the time, was in fact 5.30! After a little feed ds went back to sleep and woke at 7 but would not take his usual morning feed. So now Im feeling like I have given the wrong signals by feeding at 5.30... ?

This morning realised that ds has cut his first tooth so it is possible that this week it may have all been due to teething but why is it happening at the same time every morning? If he wakes at any other time in the night he often manages to go back to sleep very quickly without feeding or me comforting him. But never at 5 am

So I guess I am wondering:

-is it just teething? Should I give anything for it? If the tooth has already come out can I expect him NOT to be in pain anymore?
-Is 2x feeds a night reasonable for a FBF baby (he is also on three small meals a day, eats everything up, no problems with wind)
-do dream feeds work? I have done this on and off but sometimes if I leave him at 1o.30/11 he goes back to sleep very quickly but would then wake around 1/2 for a feed.
-after feeding him at 5.30 last night can I go back to letting him cry it out?

He is a very happy baby and has showed no issues with teething in the day or anything else for that matter. But I need more sleep, Im so grouchy and my eight year old is getting a grumpy mummy... not much fun for her.

Any ideas much appreciated!

harverina Sun 12-Jun-11 22:31:41

Hi! I went through similar problems with my DD on and off. My DD is EBF (of course she gets solids too!) and is now 14 months, but I remember the changing sleep patterns well. There is a good thread with lots of good ideas...

...lots of good advice on there from Angeldog, especially nearer the start of the thread.

There can be many reasons why a baby starts wakening when they didnt before - weaning can be unsettling. When we started weaning my DD went through a very bad sleep phase aroung 6/7months. It could be teething/tummy issues/too hot/too cold/dirty nappy...all the usual things, but it could just be hunger due to a growth spurt.

My DH and I tried controlled crying but we couldnt do it. We also tried the shush/pat and pick up/put down. In the end we gave up - we realised that when my DD went through periods of waking it was because she genuinly needed to be breastfed, either for nutrition or comfort. I know not everyone will agree and we were frequently told to let her cry it out. Now, at 14 months my DD is a fantastic sleeper and has been for a while. We did go through a very bad period around 9/10 months, but I put this down to the 9 month sleep regression and growth spurt and after trying various sleep training techniques, gave up and just fed on demand. I found it easier just to feed my DD and get her to go back to sleep.

One technique that I did find to be fantastic was the pantley pull off method - we had some problems with it but overall it really helped us to break the suck to sleep cycle. After using it for just a few days we saw a real difference in my DD's sleep. If you google it you will get some good articles about it.

If you suspect teething you could try a teething gel or a teething powder.

Dreamfeeds work for some people but they didnt for us - my DD was so sleepy she didnt feed at all!

Re: how many feeds a EBF baby has during the night - my DD usually had one feed per night during quite good periods...We could cope with this. During bad times my DD had 2 or 3 feeds but she was up for hours at a time! My DD slept through for periods from 8 weeks, but then we went through periods where she started to waken again due to teething and growth spurts. If you were to ask this question in the feeding board you would get a huge variety of answers - some people are up 4-5 times feeding, others dont do any night feeds at 7 months.

Sorry Im not sure how much this will help! I just wanted to reassure you that you are not alone...and its so much harder when friends tell you that theur baby is sleeping through (or to just give a bottle!)

Newbabynewmum Mon 13-Jun-11 01:16:03

My DD is formula fed but at 8mo has slept through the night twice! Also for around 2months now she has been waking at 5am.

I've tried everything! I've just come to accept that she's an early riser and I can't do anything about it! I find that it's ok because it's light and summery so I don't mind getting up too much - you just get used to it!

Sorry if this doesn't help - I just wanted u to know ur not alone! I know my DD will eventually sleep through so I'm leaving her to it mostly- I don't really want to try any techniques or anything. I figure she'll get there in the end!

And re the early waking - I can't make her be a more laid back baby who sleeps until 10am so I just embrace it! See it that we make the most of our days!

rasberryjam Mon 13-Jun-11 07:15:20

thanks haverina and newbabynewmum... great advice. Amazingly ds went back to normal last night waking at 10.30 and 2.30 for a feed and then awake at six with no crying! Left him to babble til 6.30 and then fed him. So perhaps it was the teething. So feeling more rested this morning although totally understand what you are both saying, some babies are affected by stuff at night others not so much, mine does so guess I just have to deal with it and be thankful that he is so lovely and easy at all other times! (easy enough to say this when you have had an okayish night of course!)

The only things I did differently last night was later bedtime (nearly 7 pm feed) and made the husband sleep downstairs (!) to see if it helped because hubby often goes to bed much later after dream feed and moves around a lot at night, getting up to go to loo etc... (perhaps disturbing ds's sleep?).... I think I sleep like a corpse!

Will know now to try teething pain relief if ds wakes up really crying again... feeling a bit guilty that I didn't realise at the time it was his teeth. But at least we've made it through the first tooth!

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