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Baby Whisperer 7 month old - multiple night wakings - Please Help!!

(9 Posts)
milamum Mon 17-Oct-11 10:25:05

Apologies in advance for a long post. I really hope someone might be able to help as I'm at the end of my tether and just don?t know what to do.

I have a 7mo DD who wakes up 5-7 times each night! She has silent reflux which is now managed very well with medication but in the first few months of her life she was in a lot of pain which led to her developing feeding difficulties and for about 3 months (from 2mo to 5mo) she would only feed in sleep (she's BF), which meant that I rocked her to sleep, fed her when she napped on me and fed her to sleep and during the night while she slept. All bad habits I know, but at the time it was the only way I could feed her. Now she's growing out of reflux and I don't need to feed her in sleep any more and I stopped doing it when she was just over 5mo. I put her on 4 hour EASY routine as per The Baby Whisperer book by Tracy Hogg just before she turned 6 months. We used PUPD and shush/pat to teach her to fall asleep in her cot. However, she still doesn't soothe herself to sleep, me or DH have to sit by her cot shushing and sometimes holding a hand on her tummy and have to do this for each of her naps, BT and NWs. We do not pick her up from her cot and don?t PUPD any longer as it tends to upset her even more. She sleeps in a cot in our bedroom, but we plan to move her into her own bedroom in the New Year when she's a bit older.

Here is our EASY schedule that we try to stick to as much as possible.

Wake up - between 6.30am and 7am
Eat - 7am - milk (5oz EBM)
7.30am - solids
Activity - around 2 hours
Sleep - 9am (usually 1h 20mins) but I sometimes have to help her transition between sleep cycles by holding my hand on her tummy, she sometimes wakes up and it can take up to 20mins to re-settle her

Eat - 11am - milk (5oz EBM)
11.30am - solids
Activity - usually around 2h 50mins but sometimes up to 3h 15mins
Sleep - 1pm/1.30pm (between 40mins and 1h 10mins). In order to sleep longer than 40 mins she needs help to transition between sleep cycles as above

Eat - 3pm - milk (5oz EBM)
4pm - solids
Activity - between 2h 50mins and 3 hours
Sleep - 4.45pm/5.20pm (usually 40 mins cat nap). This nap is tricky, she takes ages to fall asleep and sometimes refuses it altogether but is the completely OT by BT even if we bring BT forward. I've tried putting her to sleep earlier but she just takes longer to fall asleep so her A time is then still the same.

Eat - 7pm - milk (5oz EBM)
Activity - between 2 hours 30 mins and 3 hours
Sleep - around 8pm

Dreamfeed - between 10pm and 11pm -breastfeed (c 2oz)
Night Feed - between 2am and 3am - breastfeed (c 2oz)

After going to bed she usually wakes up a couple of times before midnight and then 4-5 times between 12am and 7am. Sometimes she goes back to sleep within a few mins but sometimes it takes up to 1.5 hours to get her back to sleep. This has been going on for more than 4 months (she used to wake up 2- 3 times per night before then which I was very happy with!) and we are exhausted and don't know what to do.

I'd very much appreciate any thoughts/ comments / suggestions that anyone might have.

Thanks very much in advance.

fififrog Mon 17-Oct-11 20:55:37

Sorry nobody has had any ideas yet. My 7mo sleeps a lot less in the day than yours. On a good day she'll have 2x1hr15 but hasn't done this for over 2 weeks and is currently having problems sleeping longer than half an hour for each nap unless in my arms and I rock her back to sleep as she's waking. I'm hoping this is just a phase and she'll do longer naps again soon... I gave up on the late afternoon nap, as it just became too much effort to get her off, but dd's bedtime is about 18.45-19.00 (chosen by herself).

Anyway, why not try gradual withdrawal until you're no longer sitting by her cot as she falls asleep? It might increase her confidence in he ability to drop off? We're just beginning to leave the room to let DD fall asleep on her own and it seems to be going ok. Taking it slower on the naps. It sounds like she is often self-settling so she can do it, though I sympathise as DD often wakes and cries for a minute then goes back to sleep but by then we're awake. However I now know if she doesn't go back to sleep within 5 mins there is something wrong. She still usually wakes 3 times or so, but I only feed her once and we only have a long waking about once a week. 2 mOnths ago it was once a night for the hour+ and generally about 5 wakings

So,sorry not much of a suggestion other than gradual withdrawal, but just wanted to sympathise and hope that improvements in my dd's sleep will give you hope!

fififrog Mon 17-Oct-11 20:58:02

Ps I found even putting a hand on her is too much stimulation!

naturalbaby Mon 17-Oct-11 21:12:40

my 8 month old has 30mins at 9am and 2 1/2hrs at 12 or 12:30 latest. the afternoon nap just throws the whole bedtime and night time routine out so it's better to have a longer nap at lunctime to see him through to bedtime, and put him to bed a bit earlier if he's really tired. he went through a phase a few weeks ago of waking up loads at night and not settling, he's always had a dummy and is fed on demand but nothing was working. he's just started settling better again and is now just waking once but we're still doing a nightfeed!

i have tried all sorts with him and my older 2, including cc around this age with ds1 when at my wits end and desperate. i sat with them holding hands, stroking their head for hours and hours and hours, but if you're doing that it is very hard and takes a long time to stop. you either do gradual withdrawal or just stop and don't do it. i use a comforter and lullaby music that they all had since tiny babies when trying to teach them to self settle.

you need to decide what you want to do and how you want to do it. do you want to do cc, gradual withdrawal, or whatever it takes to get her to sleep for the next few months? make a plan, write it down then stick to it for every nap and bedtime, every day. you have to start with the 1st nap of the day then by bedtime they have an idea of what's going on. if you're helping her transition between sleep cycles during the day then she'll expect you to do it at night! if you don't want to do it at night then you have to stop doing it during the day.

milamum Tue 18-Oct-11 21:45:00

Thank you for your responses, it's good to know that others who've been in similar situation have been seeing improvements. We'll be trying to teach her to fall asleep on her own. I'm not a fan of cc or cio so will try PUPD again and then gradual withdrawal but if that doesn't work we may need to do cc as I can't take this much longer, the sleep deprivation is very hard! Last night she woke up at 2.30am and then at 3.30am and I couldn't settle her until 5.30am. Had to resort to PUPD (had to do it for about 40 mins) but she then slept till 7.50am which is a first for her as she's usually up before 7am.

2ddornot2dd Tue 18-Oct-11 21:57:49

I think three naps a day might be a little too much, but as I understand it you don't want her waking up as much at night, you are not actually bothered about how long she sleeps at night.

Is she crying when she wakes up - have you read the bit about mantra cries, where you listen to see if she is crying louder/more urgently. With DD2 I listen for the first three cries and see if it is escalating. If I can't tell the difference I leave it another few cries. If she is really crying then I pick her up. I didn't get that to start with with DD1, and when I read it again it really changed things for me.

Mantra cries can be quite loud, but baby isn't getting distressed if it is just a mantra cry, and if it's not you are picking her up, so you aren't leaving her to cry it out.

I have to say though that I didn't start with either child until they were in their own room, so it took a minute to get out of bed and get there anyway.

Also instead of gradual withdrawal you can try singing, she will know that you are there and thinking of her, without actually having to put your hand in the cot.

I think the other advise you have had is sound.

Good Luck

PS both mine go to sleep on their own and do 12 hours (aged 15months and 3 now), and are the envy of all my friends. I have gone baby whisperer later than you, but never, ever left them to cry.

milamum Wed 19-Oct-11 09:52:31

Thank you, 2ddornot2dd! You may be right that it's time to transition her to two naps, but I'm not sure how as her am activity is too brief at the moment. It's like a vicious circle, brief naps, OT, multiple night wakings and then off we go again the next day as she's OT in the morning due to broken night sleep!! We had another long waking last night, from 1.20am until 3.30am, weird thing was, she would settle herself and would look like she fell asleep but then start crying again after 1- 2 mins, and this happened several times during the 2 hours she was awake, so she did self-settle, but for some reason couldn't fall asleep properly. I did do PUPD for part of that time when she was crying hard but tried to identify mantra cries and leave her to sort herself out during those. She then woke up again at 5.45am but self -settled in a couple of minutes and then slept till 7.40am which is great as I managed to get some extra sleep but has thrown out schedule off a little for the day so naps are going to be tricky, bedtime God knows when and I'm dreading tonight in case we get another long night waking again, don't know how many of those I can handle! sad

RaisingMrC Thu 20-Oct-11 12:18:44

HI Milamum - I wondered if you'd considered teething? My DS does that falling asleep then waking thing when he is teething and in pain...or if he has a blocked nose! Baby nurofen seems to work well for getting rid of the pain.

milamum Thu 20-Oct-11 15:25:40

hi RaisingMrC, you maybe on to something, she's had her first tooth 2.5 weeks ago so maybe the second bottom one is coming through. I've been working really hard over the last 2 days with gradual withdrawal to get her to fall asleep independently and I think we've had some success. I put her in the cot and sit on the bed out of her line of sight, she knows I'm there but can't see me and I only sush or sing quietly if her crying starts escalating and only touch if she's crying hard. However, last night again we had the same, she woke up a couple of times after midnight, and then after her 5am waking wasn't able to settle, kept falling asleep and waking up every 10-20 mins and so I had to give up and get her up for the day at 6.30am. So not sure what's going on, really hope it is teething cos then there's light at the end of the tunnel! Well, until the next one.... smile

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