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6 month old 3am wakings

(26 Posts)
teacher123 Thu 08-Nov-12 04:42:03

Hi all, 6 month old DS was getting better at sleeping, but his current new development is to wake at 3.15 on the dot and then just not settle back down. He is still awake an hour and a half later, not crying but talking/shouting and wriggling around. I fed him initially but it's not helping. He self settles at bedtime and at nap time, he learnt to roll over yesterday, and think he's wriggling a lot in his cot. Could this be it? Any tips greatly appreciated. My DH is getting up for work in 20 mins and I've been awake since 3.15. Am going to be a wreck tomorrow.

mummybare Fri 09-Nov-12 09:56:01

It could well be developmental, as you say. Other possibilities might be that his daytime nap needs have shifted and he's undertired, perhaps, or it could have become a habitual waking. Perhaps what started off as a hunger wake somehow morphed into 'playtime'? If that's the case, you could try the 'wake to sleep' technique. I'm on the phone so can't link, but if you have a look on the Baby Whisperer website it's described on there.

What does your nap routine look like? DD is around the same age and has just gone from 3 naps to 2, which caused some disruption to her night sleep for a while but that has now settled down again, so perhaps there's something similar going on with you guys?

Of course it could be due to a growth spurt but if he's not going back down easily it's unlikely to just be hunger.

mummybare Fri 09-Nov-12 09:57:35

P.s. I hope yesterday wasn't too horrific and that he slept through last night and everything I just said is completely redundant! grin

teacher123 Fri 09-Nov-12 20:58:48

Just seen this reply! Funnily enough he did sleep through last night until 5.30am so not sure what changed! We've finally settled into a daytime sleep routine which is roughly as follows:
7am wake up
9.30am nap for 45 mins to an hour
1pm nap for an hour-ish
6pm bedtime

He usually wakes up naturally from his morning nap and I wake him up from his afternoon one. If we're out at lunchtime his afternoon nap is often 2 till 3pm. He usually wakes once or twice overnight for a feed, but occasionally sleeps through till 6am... He doesn't do the 3am thing every night, but maybe 2 or 3 times a week. I might have to make a note of when he wakes to see if any patterns emerge... Who knows...!

mummybare Fri 09-Nov-12 22:26:03

Woohoo! DD slept through last night, funnily enough, for the second night in a row and the third time ever! Our routines are pretty similar too - we probably do an hour more daytime sleep and an hour less at night, but similar timings.

It would be interesting to see if the night wakings coincide with a later or earlier nap maybe. It doesn't sound habitual... Let's hope it was just the rolling thing and he is now totally over it and gearing up for another lovely long night's sleep!

teacher123 Sat 10-Nov-12 05:00:46

He woke up at 1am for a feed and I've been awake ever since sad I get occasional insomnia which has been worse since he was born-but this is the worst night I've ever had. He went straight back to sleep and I've been wide awake for the last four hours. I am going to be an absolute wreck. I think it's the constant thinking 'is he going to wake up?!' Sorry, am just rambling now!

jetstar Sat 10-Nov-12 05:54:09

Oh no, poor you sad I'm awake feeding DD who is 6 months next week. She used to sleep through (10-5) but now wakes at midnight 3 and 6 again - I'm really hoping that starting weaning next week is going to help with this. Are you weaning your DS? If it doesn't work I'm not looking forward to sleep training sad at the moment she's sleeping in with me.
hopefully you have got back to sleep now...

teacher123 Sat 10-Nov-12 06:23:38

Nope still awake sad have written off the night now... Ironically DS is still asleep, after a 5.30 wake up yesterday! Am weaning and it has helped his sleeping, but not mine unfortunately... DH has just got up and is working a 12 hour shift today so it's just me and DS... Was supposed to be going to a big party tonight, but can't see how I'm going to manage it on 3 hours sleep sad. Feeling very sorry for myself!

jetstar Sat 10-Nov-12 07:27:20

Do you have any friends/family nearby who you could see today to help you out/maybe allow you to rest/nap? I haven't really suffered from insomnia much so not sure what to suggest but there are others on here who chat through the night who might be more helpful. Sorry you're having a crap time sad

mummybare Sat 10-Nov-12 07:46:21

Oh teacher how miserable. sad

Again, no advice other than to try and get a nap in somewhere, but lots if sympathy.

At least DS shouldn't be too cranky if he's slept well... <clutches at straws>

mummybare Sat 10-Nov-12 08:01:18

On the weaning thing, we started quite early - we've been going a month or so so shoot me . I think it made her worse at first as her digestion sorted itself out and she got used to the new sensations, but it then got better. There's also a growth spurt around 6 months though, so who knows how much of a part weaning played. But she's better now than before we started so there's light at the end of the tunnel, jetstar !

teacher123 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:57:57

Am going over to MIL's house this morning after his first nap (if he doesn't nap it will actually be the end of the world!) I just rang my mum and cried down the phone at her! Have had very stressful few days sorting out work stuff which has been quite emotionally draining. It's all sorted now, but it wouldn't surprise me if the not sleeping was due to that. Thank you for your kind words. DS is currently wriggling around on his playmat and singing at the tweenies! One happy boy smile

teacher123 Sun 11-Nov-12 07:09:48

Thank god I slept last night! And I went to the party! smile i stayed over at the Inlaws house and it's like staying in a hotel, it is much nicer than our house! MIL offered to get up with DS and he slept pretty well considering we weren't at home- he only woke up twice smile

mummybare Sun 11-Nov-12 14:38:28

Aww, well done. smile

I, on the other hand, went out last night and had a few glasses of wine, safe in the knowledge that DD had slept through 3 nights in a row. Of course, at 4am, she woke me to remind me not to count my chickens! grin

They do like to keep us on our toes, don't they?

fififrog Sun 11-Nov-12 17:32:21

Going back to your original issue OP, I would just say if he isn't crying leave him to it. He has to learn you're not going to play at 3am. It will almost certainly b a short phase, we had it for a few night's about the same time.

teacher123 Sun 11-Nov-12 19:36:04

I need to get better at ignoring the thrashing about. But I think my insomnia is because of anxiety about him waking up! Basically until about 5 months he would wake to feed 3,4,5 times a night. And it was hideous, but he would generally feed to sleep and I would stagger back to bed, still half asleep. Now he wakes much less but takes AGES to settle after feeds, he's not crying, just being noisy. But everytime the monitor goes off after his feed as he tells his cuddly rabbit a story, it wakes me up a little bit more. So then I end up completely wide awake and unable to drop back off. And we've just had a completely out of character HOUR of screaming at bedtime. Whichever PP said every day was different was not wrong!

Madallie Sun 11-Nov-12 19:49:47

Teacher123, I've just been reading some of the threads and yours really struck a cord with me. I'm further on than you, dd is 11mo but I know exactly how you feel about the insomnia thing. My dd is now sleeping much better (thankfully and I'm sure until the next phase) but I still suffer from insomnia and am on edge all night and through til morning 'just in case she wakes up'.

I left my anxiety for ages and I tried to ignore it, passed it off as first time mum issues. Well only now am I trying to address it, now that I literally find it impossible to sleep at night or relax.

Have you talked to anyone about how you're feeling?

teacher123 Sun 11-Nov-12 20:05:23

I have episodes where I suffer from quite extreme anxiety and then it will settle down again. I think it's compounded by DH working crazy hours as well. if he sleeps in the spare room, I miss him and I find it even harder to relax and drop off in the middle of the night. But if he's in with me and I'm awake at 4am my brain is saying 'you'll just get woken up at 5, there's no point in falling asleep' so I am my own worst enemy. sad but it's been particularly bad this week due to work factors that I won't go into here, but these are now resolved, so am hoping things will improve... I also get really panicky if something 'goes wrong' like tonight's massive tantrum. I am now convinced that it is all going to he horrendous now and he'll do it again tomorrow etc etc etc. problem is that I don't know how 'normal' these worries are. I assume everyone has this level of anxiety!

Madallie Sun 11-Nov-12 20:19:16

I quite literally could have written your above post! It's exaclty how I feel. My DH also works horrible hours so I spend a lot of evenings and nights until early hours on my own. I sort of developed a phobia at some point of going to bed before he got in for fear of dd waking!! It's so irrational though because I cope just fine if she does wake. I just panic that Like you 'that's it, it's all gone wrong, she missed/had a short nap so she'll wake all night, be up early tomorrow and the next day etc etc and then literally clock watch from whenever I have woken up (usually 2 or 3 ish) waiting for her to wake up!

To the outside world (and my rational brain) I know all this sounds crazy. Perfectly healthy, happy baby sleeping and a mum lying wide awake panicking in case she wakes!

I also have a monitor which I think is a mixed blessing, Great particularly for earlier days but now turned me into a paranoid wreck, jumping every time it clicks on! This is often only sighs, or a car outside.

I have come to the realisation that this level of anxiety for this sustained period of time is not normal or healthy. Which is why I now really want to get some help for this.

I hope the rest of your night goes better than the first hour!

teacher123 Sun 11-Nov-12 20:29:01

In a purely selfish way I'm glad it's not just me! But I am like this in other ways too - I worry every time I get in the car that the car won't start, I worry every time I leave the house that I've left the oven, hair straighteners, iron on, I worry the night before I'm going somewhere that what if DS doesn't sleep well in the car then he'll cry and it will be awful etc etc. it's constant. And this doesn't include all the normal matenity leave worries about money, DS, going back to work etc etc. it is exhausting.

Madallie Sun 11-Nov-12 20:44:27

It definitely sounds like you're having a real tough time of it.
I'm lucky to have a great family and dh and of course my most adorable, happy dd (as with your ds).

It really might be worth seeing the doctor. Sometimes it just helps to talk about it to someone other than family.

teacher123 Sun 11-Nov-12 20:55:36

I am thinking about going to see My GP. My mum keeps telling me to! I am lucky in that I adore DS and find the daytimes relatively stress free, I have just got into a real pickle about his sleeping/not sleeping. Which ironically has screwed up MY sleeping... I am also a real catastrophist-convinced each crappy night means that he'll never sleep again. My sensible head also rationalises that it's unrealistic to expect a person (which is what DS is) to be completely consistent. It all boils down to me feeling out of control.

Madallie Sun 11-Nov-12 21:11:26

It's good that you have your mum there. I really hope you have a good night. And yes, we do all have to remember that out LOs are little humans not robots.

I do always wonder why I ever thought a baby would sleep x hours every day and night. Probably those terrible books I read. What adult does that?

Hope you start to feel better soon.

mummybare Sun 11-Nov-12 21:22:19

I don't know if it's of any use, but one technique that works for me when I can't sleep is something I nicked from my pregnancy yoga teacher. Basically, you run through parts of the body starting at the top, in a sort of inner monologue and just draw your attention to them. Be quite specific. I 'hear' it in my yoga teachers voice, so it's in the second person, a bit like this:

The crown of your head, your forehead, the bridge of your nose, your temples, your eyeballs, the muscles around your eyes, your cheeks, your upper lip, your tongue, your lower lip... Etc. etc. Working all through your body. It might stop you thinking about other stuff, and with any luck, drawing your attention to each muscle should help to relax you.

I can totally sympathise too, OP. A lot of what you say rings true. I have historically suffered from insomnia (better since DD) and am a bit of a worrier/control freak (much worse since DD). The trouble is, everything feels ten times worse if you're tired, which makes you worry more and creates a vicious circle. You can break it though, and it sounds like your DS is doing great.

teacher123 Mon 12-Nov-12 08:37:22

Poor DS, I think he had tummy ache, woke again at 10pm absolutely inconsolable, took half an hour to calm him down whilst his tummy groaned and gurgled. Then he had a normal calm feed at 2am, then woke at 6.30, and I crashed out between each feed thank goodness so feel much better today.

I have managed to alter the settings on our monitor as well which I think helped last night. I left our bedroom doors slightly open and then had the monitor on silent, so it beeps if he really cries. That meant that I could hear all his little sleepy noises in my sleep, and then when he cried it beeped on the monitor which woke me up, but I could already hear him crying. I think this was nicer than listening to everything through the monitor which makes me jump awake.

That's good advice from the yoga teacher, will definitely use that!

DH has a couple of days off work now, and then is doing much nicer shifts for the next fortnight, so hopefully I can calm down a bit. He's offered to take DS out this morning so I can go back to bed for a rest.

Thanks for all lovely support, it's hard to explain this in real life!

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