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DS 6 months waking every hour or two from bedtime onwards and won't settle. help going completely mad ...!

(15 Posts)
waterrat Tue 23-Oct-12 07:32:26

I have read that waking before midnight is over tiredness is this correct? ds goes to sleep - self settles - at about 7 - last night he woke at 9, 10, 11 - got him back to sleep by turning the hair dryer on (!) but fed him at midnight - back to sleep but awake 2 hours later and crying. I fed him (too tired to do anything else) spent an hour trying to get him back to sleep / he rolled around his cot quietly = at 330 started crying inconsolably. DP tried carrying him/ cuddling nothing worked - pulled him into bed, quick breastfeed then we put him between us, held his arms to his body in a big cuddle and he fell asleep after wriggling for about 40 minutes - only to be wide awke at about 545. I could handle the early waking - but this night time madness has been going on for 2 months now.

I am going mad with lack of sleep - is letting him cry himself to sleep the only answer? we could hold him/ cuddle him - but should we stop bringing him into our bed/ feeding him so often? some nights I breastfeed him 8/10 times - it is killing me.

Please - looking for answers other than feed/ co sleep as that's what we have been doing and it's making us ill with exhaustion!

ps. he is big baby - 97th percentile....starting to eat food and loving it...

Chelly71 Tue 23-Oct-12 09:46:14

Hello, not sure I have anything practical but I feel your pain. My dd is 6.5 months and I've just been through this from about 4 months onwards. I kept thinking all the moving her about was making this worse ie the picking up, in our bed, back in cot, rocking etc. Also she was rolling and getting stuck which would wake her up. I never got to a tried and tested solution but last week we dared put her in her own room, much fear from me as it is on a diffent floor and no bed for me to co sleep in. Anyway, I don't know if it is this, timing, the fact she is now on 3 solid meals a day, developmental BUT she can now roll back over so no more getting stuck, she still wakes about every 2 or 3 hours but I pick her up, quick feed or cuddle in rocking chair and straight back in cot, out the door and it seems to work. The other night she woke once for a feed and slept until 6.30am, bliss... First solid 4 hours sleep I've had since she was born! If she is wide awake I just sit with her in the chair with her facing away from me and repeat, it is sleep time, and hope! I couldn't leave her crying as she was often distressed because of being stuck but now I can hear her just making noise I do leave her as I know she isn't stuck anymore and she does often settle back. Sorry I have no magic solutions but hopefully things will improve soon and sleep will find you.


LaCiccolina Tue 23-Oct-12 10:01:45

Never ever ever heard story that waking b4 midnight is over tiredness. But everyone has an opinion so I'm sure it's been voiced somewhere. My own is its unfortunately age. My dd was bf for 13mths, inc solids from 6 and she never went a full night through til a year old. By full night I mean 9 approx to 6am. This timing has elongated to 7-730 now at 2.

I do think you could ask a few questions. Is her bed a good size? Could anything in her room be distracting? Light etc? If she's in urs can she move to her own space? This often helps a bit.

Finally try to read ur baby a bit more. He's a good grower, so maybe introduce more food, or a snack during the day. What's ur views on bf? Would u try a bottle? U can't get away from fact that formula fills them for longer sad bf will mean u need to do it more often likely than bottles. u have done extremely well to get to 6 mths, congratulate urself! I'm just saying its ok to try everything if u want to. (Or not)

I'm still behind dds rhythm by about 2wks. It's mostly always my fear of a change that holds the process up even if I'm reasonably sure she's asking me to alter something. Trust ur child a bit. Dd changed something in her bed routine every quarter, either longer, lesser, less feed, less cuddle, wanting own bed to drink milk, time changes. Everything alters all the time.

It's really hard and I hope some of the suggestions in all the replies help.

waterrat Tue 23-Oct-12 10:45:25

ladies -thank you..! those are both really helpful posts..

Chelly - it's really interesting to hear you say that - we are going to put him in his own room soon but like you I've been nervous that it would just make everything more hard work. I completely have the same thoughts about all the nighttime movement - up and down, in our bed, in his cot etc...I can feel while doing it that it must be disruptive and not conducive to long term sleeping well..I will move him into the other room to see what that does. I wouldn't really mind feeding a few times in the night (well..maybe a couple of times..) if he resettled....

LaChiccolina - also good advice...I need to really pick apart what is going on as it's not just my own lack of sleep - it is distressing seeing him wake so often , he is so tired he cries as soon as he wakes. I think I will try a bottle of formula.....I have no problem with it although he won't take a bottle ...and I wasn't sure if it was worth perservering. But I think I will....

KEB123 Tue 23-Oct-12 14:13:17

I'm so glad I've read this, was going to put my own post on this morning! Baby son is 5 months on 1st Nov, he has been sleeping in a co-sleeping cot next to me since a few weeks old as he hated the moses basket! He is exclusively breast fed, goes to bed at seven (fed to sleep or almost to sleep), dream feed at 10.30 when we go to bed. Wakes at around 12.30 for feed then it all goes wrong after that. He has slipped back now to waking every two hours from then for a feed. Sometimes only feeds for a couple of minutes then back to sleep, other time a longer feed. He goes straight back to sleep after he's fed so can't complain about that but I could really do with a couple of decent blocks of sleep.

I was considering moving him to his own room but not sure if I will just be up every two hours still feeding him but not in the comfort of my own bed. Also considering some baby rice with breast milk at night to try and fill him up a bit. He is also quite a big baby. Have tried to ring HV today for some advice. I don't really want to give him formula just yet having come this far EBF. Also won't be able to let him CIO, nothing against it just know I can't do itsad

Even if there is no magic answer except time it just helps to know I'm not the only one, sick of FB posts about people's teeny babies sleeping all night!!

PickledLily Tue 23-Oct-12 15:03:25

In the same boat here, in fact was about to post a sleep-deprived plea for help.

We moved DD into her own room at 6m (outgrew the bedside cot) and she was much happier in a bigger space where she could spin 360 and break dance in the small hours and without DH's snoring waking her up. I had the same concerns about getting up in the night and guess what - yes, I am getting up every 2 hours. It's rubbish. However, so far there has been a reason for most wake-ups; either she's starving, she's teething or practicing a new skill (this is the worst because she won't settle), so nothing appropriate for CIO (IMO).

Is your DS teething?

My hair dryer is constantly on too - as soon as i turn it off, DD wakes up. Oh, and I have succumbed to using a dummy to get her off to sleep. I whip it off her once she's out for the count.

When she's not settling well to sleep in the small hours and I feel like flinging her out of the window, I experiment with something different, just a small thing (maybe a different white noise or holding her differently). I figure it can't make things any worse. Hasn't solved the wake ups unfortunately, but it passes the time and I have learnt alot about what winds her up and what calms her down.

Sorry. Probably not much help. If anyone has the miracle cure, I'm all ears...

LaCiccolina Tue 23-Oct-12 15:18:39

U could try iTunes lullabies piped thru an iPod? U can get white noise sounds too if that's better than the hair dryer..?

We did find dds own room at 7mths made a massive difference. I honestly think our turning over in bed disturbed her! Certainly dh likes to rustle his duvet....! I did get up every 2hrs still. Used to b roughly as follows:
8pm down
1100 dream feed (I woke her up)
2am feed
4am fed
6am feed and either up or down for short bit

4am dropped first. 2am next quarter (about 10mths) then at 12mths we dropped the dream feed as it started to wake her up completely. I gave up all bf at about 14mths.

We tried everything we could think of and some works well for a time. The biggest thing was the one thing I had no blooming control over, she just altered as she grew. In the end, now at nearly 2yrs, I'm convinced that's the biggest 'cause'. It's helpful to think about it as dd2 is due jan and its forcing me to remember what it's like. It honestly does improve slowly and steadily. Just feels like eternity at the time sad x

LaCiccolina Tue 23-Oct-12 15:20:42

Buy a comfy chair. Ikea does some great cheap ones. I still use that in dds room now if she wakes...

KEB123 Tue 23-Oct-12 16:07:30

Well I feel better for knowing I'm not the only one now anyway! I think I am going to try him in his own room tonight just in case we are disturbing him. I can't fit a chair in there but could put a sofa cushion on the floor for now. No signs of any teeth here yet, he doesn't wake up crying, that only happens if I deny the boob! Still awaiting HV to call back so will see what she thinks re baby rice. Incidentally the one good night I've had recently was after a long swimming session in the afternoon so maybe once they start moving around a bit they will settle better. Otherwise I keep thinking he won't still be doing this when he's 16, I will just be worrying about him trying to get into other people's beds then....!!

teacher123 Tue 23-Oct-12 18:15:03

Too hot, too cold?

I have put an old radio in DS's room that constantly plays static quite loudly, as a cheap DIY white noise device! (it also masks some of the noise our stupid house makes-you'd think from the squeaky floorboards that we lived in a gorgeous Tudor cottage, instead of a 1970s terrace...!)

Own room is good, I turn the monitor down so it's quite quiet at night, then if he snuffles, I don't properly wake up, I read somewhere that you should wait 3 minutes before going in to them when they wake in the night, (unless they are screaming obviously!) and quite often he cries out and by the time I'm awake, he's settled back. When I share a room with him now I have to completely ignore him in the night as if he sees me, he'll start making a racket, whereas if he can't see me then he won't!
We've had periods since he's been in his own room of waking up every 2 hours, which is grim, but I liked having my own room back. I got really sick of having to be silent all the time! At least now I can curse when I get back into bed!

Hope it improves soon, you are not alone!

waterrat Tue 23-Oct-12 18:16:59

there is no harm in trying baby rice - but I should just warn you - so you don't get your hopes up, that DS has been eating food for a couple of weeks now - he has had porridge before bed, also proper meals , really loves his food -and there has been no impact on his sleep. I think it's more likely that when they are on proper meals it will gradually alter their nighttime pattern.

My friend has a baby same age as mine who wakes just as often but is formula fed, so I know that a bottle of formula isn't a magic answer either..

but I think it's fine to try these things.....they may work for somebabies.

the book No Cry Sleep Solution is useful (and kind, unlike other baby training books!) it explains how sleep works and suggests ways to reduce number of breast feeding at night - without claiming to produce a full night sleep.

LaCiccolina - interesting to see that's how long it took to drop feeds, it actually makes me feel better seeing that as I know I need to be realistic....

pickled lily - or anyone - have you tried any form of controlled crying? I can't leave him to cry, but DP wants to do some kind of crying ie. pick up put down ...anyone tried that?

waterrat Tue 23-Oct-12 18:19:16

it just feels so tortuous at 3 am doesn't it....when there is no energy left to do anything but pat them feebly and hope they stop crying or rolling around...

LaCiccolina Sun 28-Oct-12 17:30:25

Well she's only one baby in a million! Sure others did it quicker or slower. I suppose bf being easier to digest I can see why feeds pods need to stay higher for longer.

Waterrat it's been the hardest and loveliest experience, but yup I do agree! Some days feel like that at 3pm tho too... I could never explain to my childless self quite how hard it can be. And she never would have believed me...... ;)

AnnaLiza Sun 28-Oct-12 21:15:48

Hi, I sympathise and I can identify with a lot of your OP.
DS is almost 9 months and we've been co-sleeping and bf since birth. It just went from bad to worse and I've put off taking any steps to reduce the night wakings (every 45 minutes on a bad night and 3 to 4 times on a good night) because I knew that any action on my part would involve:
1. My son crying
2. A lot of hard work on my part
Clearly being vey sleep deprived I couldn't stand the thought of getting up and doing anything different.
However I started having infections and thrush and other worrying signs of illness and recently DS looked so tired. I think it's not fair on him either and it can't be for his own good to carry on like this. I would like him to wake up smiley and refreshed after a night's sleep. So I decided to try cc and this is our second night. It's hard and no-one can tell you if or when to do it. You have to get there yourself and be very determined because it's so tough.
I hope I'll be able to see it through. I'm
dreading tonight though!

OneDayIWillSleepAgain Mon 29-Oct-12 13:21:53

I am no expert but my DS was exactly the same until he took longer naps... So for him, waking regularly every evening (sometimes several times before 11!) is definitely due to overtirednrss. It's like when he'a over tired he can't settle himself at all so at every stirring he's awake.
He was having 2 hours of naps a day now has 3 hours (unfortunately this only happens if he sleeps on me... Argh!) BUT the good news is he now goes down at 7 and doesn't wake ONCE until midnight, feeds then down until morning. Its so much better so although the sleeping on me ( he starts in his cot then when he wakes I rock him off again so sleeps for longer ) its worth it to have evenings back and more rest. So I think it is over tiredness but of course they are all so different. Good luck x

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