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Argh! Non-sleeping 5-month-old. Sorry, long...

(11 Posts)
catlitterinmyturnups Wed 17-Jul-13 09:05:55

Heeeeeeeeelp, I am sooo tired of this.

I'm sure the heat is a factor, but my ebf 21-week-old son has gone from having around 2 feeds a night (a 'dreamfeed' - although he's not actually asleep, it's always around 10/11pm, and one at 2/3am) to waking every 2 hours after his first feed - and as of last night every hour and 20 mins on the dot. He shares a room with me, and my partner sleeps in the nursery at the mo - we were planning on moving him to his room at 6 months. It's been going on for about a week now and I don't want it to become a permanent fixture...

I have a 3.5-year-old DD as well, and although he's not crying I worry about us disturbing her sleep so try to keep him as quiet as poss by feeding him.

Unfortunately whereas feeding used to be a failsafe way to get him back to sleep, it now isn't always and he thrashes around his cot/our bed and 'talks' to himself/me (i.e. shrieks like a parrot, threatening to wake the whole house).

In the day he self-settles to sleep for naps, and does the same at bedtime, so I know he can do it (although he's been protesting about it for the past few days). He is an avid thumbsucker, which really helps with this.

This is his rough daytime routine:

06.00 - up for day. Won't sleep later than this, but DD is was same so we're used to it. Quite often he's not hungry as has fed loads in night!
07.45-ish - feed (But not to sleep. Has recently upped intake from one boob to both.)
08.00-10.00/10.30-ish - nap in cot
11.45-ish - feed (But not to sleep. Sometimes both boobs.)
12.00-13.30-ish/12.30-14.00-ish - nap in cot
15.30-ish - feed (But not to sleep. Often only one boob.)
15.30-16.15-ish/16.00-16.45-ish - nap in cot
18.00 - bath
18.30 - boob
19.00 - bed

(One way or another, over the course of 3 naps he gets around 4-5 hours' sleep a day.)

I am a big fan of the Wonder Weeks book, but according to that we've just been through a developmental leap and should be in a 'sunny' period now. All the other leaps so far have been spot-on in terms of timings, so don't think it's that. He is very happy in himself during the day, despite being frustrated about not being able to crawl - he's been rolling for a while now and has just cracked sitting unaided.

I feel like we're at a crossroads but I'm not sure what needs changing - or maybe a whole bunch of things need changing!

Should he be staying awake a bit longer? Should he be going to bed for the night not more than 2 hours after waking from his third nap? Does he just need to go into his own room?

I should add, I don't mind feeding him twice a night - but I DO mind feeding him 7 TIMES A NIGHT (last night)... And I am waiting until 26 weeks to wean him. He's on 50th centile so not big, not small.

Anyone got any ideas?

happydaze77 Wed 17-Jul-13 11:25:25

At the risk of sounding very clichéd: it could just be a phase. I say this as we had major sleep probs with dd at 5months. We were rather smugly reflecting on how we'd escaped the infamous 16week sleep regression

On a more constructive note, some suggestions:

He's getting a lot of sleep during the day, esp on his first nap. I had read that a very long am nap can contribute towards early waking. Could you limit it to 90 mins maybe? I think it takes a few days to know whether it's had any effect.

Is he feeding enough during the day? At five months dd was having 8 feeds (7 daytime feeds and one dream feed)

He may be transitioning to 2 naps. A bit early I know but again, dd started this transition at 5 1/2 months. We dealt with it by pushing each nap along slightly and taking her for a walk around 5/6pm to stretch out the final wake time. She would sometime catnap on this walk, sometimes not - either way it chilled her out a bit and killed some time.

I wouldn't extend the first wake time (unless your ds can do this without getting cranky, otherwise it could mess up the whole day for you) as this first awake time is naturally the shortest. (8mth old dd's first awake time is 2 1/2 hrs) But you could try stretching the 2 awake period a bit.

A bit controversial but you could consider weaning slightly before 6 months, although I would try upping the milk feeds first.

Do you have blackout blinds and curtains - makes a massive difference.

Hope some of that is useful.

happydaze77 Wed 17-Jul-13 11:27:40

Sorry, was supposed to read: stretch the 2nd awake period a bit.

catlitterinmyturnups Wed 17-Jul-13 13:28:36

Hi Happydaze, thanks for the response.

Yes, I think 5 months is a bit notorious - DD was an awful sleeper at that age too. I expect I'll have to just ride it out, but I wondered if a pair of fresh eyes could spot anything awry.

I know what you mean about the feeds, and I talked to the HV at our last weigh-in because he usually only wants 6 a day now and my DD was definitely having 8 or 9 at the same age (although she was between 75th and 91st centile). HV said he seems to be getting what he needs as he's following the curve on the weight graph, but actually in the early days he was between the 50th and 75th (on 10-12 feeds a day as they are when they're little) and is now firmly 50th.

This has happened in the last couple of months. At about 4 months he decided he didn't really fancy eating in the day (too nosy) and caught up at night, then that tailed off and it seemed like his appetite was back and I was v relieved. However, he's moved the goalposts again in the last few days and is fussing at the boob. His latest trick is to get let-down going by bobbing on and off and whimpering and then decide not to eat. Argh!!

He had a tongue tie diagnosed at 7 weeks which was snipped the week after and it took him a while to get a decent latch. I just think he's not a great fan of boob and eats purely out of necessity. No loving milky smiles from DS! He just wants to scramble off my lap and play. I have to feed him in a quiet, darkened room when he's really hungry, and even then it's like wrestling an octopus. So not fun, and so different from my DD who I fed until 20 months.

Once this heatwave is passed I'll try cutting his morning nap to 90 mins and extending his second two awake times and see what happens. I have noticed recently that I never spot tired signs any more and he is resisting naps more, so perhaps he is ready. Then we'll see if the third nap becomes redundant.

Yep, have blackout blinds but they don't extend morning wake-up time, just make the room boiling unfort!

noblegiraffe Wed 17-Jul-13 13:32:25

My five month old is also waking every 2 hours in the heat, I expect she is hot, uncomfortable and thirsty. If it has been going on a week, I expect it will get better when the weather cools down.

catlitterinmyturnups Wed 17-Jul-13 13:59:07

Fingers crossed, Noblegiraffe! We are heading to IOW on Sat where it's a bit cooler than here so then we shall see... Although DS not keen on travel cots so could just be fresh hell... :-)

teacher123 Wed 17-Jul-13 18:53:53

Oh my god we're on the IOW now, it is certainly not cool here!

catlitterinmyturnups Wed 17-Jul-13 19:54:44

Teacher123 - oh bum!!

teacher123 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:11:54

DS's room is currently 28 degrees...

catlitterinmyturnups Wed 17-Jul-13 20:24:04

There goes that idea then... :-( Was 34 degrees here today, it's 27 indoors downstairs and hotter upstairs in the bedrooms. Praying for a storm tonight to cool us down a bit! Even tried wetting the curtains in the kids' rooms to help a bit. Open windows and fans doing sod all... Sob.

teacher123 Wed 17-Jul-13 20:25:34

It's just ridiculously hot here... Bring a paddling pool, and any fans that you have!

I am tired. And hot!

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