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7mo wide awake at 5am

(13 Posts)
Christelle2207 Thu 13-Mar-14 09:45:08

DS 7months has always been a poor sleeper but is showing signs of improvement - goes to sleep at 7, is woken by us at 11 for a bottle (has over 200ml so we feel not ready to drop this just yet) then going through till 4.30/5 am. At this point we may give him a small feed (plan is to be brave and go cold turkey on this soon) but more often than not he's just awake and playing in his cot, rather noisily so wakes us up, and only cries if he gets into a position he can't easily roll out of. I cuddle and try to get him back to sleep at this point but he's rarely very interested.
Obviously we would really like to encourage him to sleep until 6/7 am. He often does go back to sleep (with my help, never without) for a bit sometime after 6.30/7 which is good, but trying to encourage him back to sleep in between (usually in our bed) is exhausting(just wants to play!) and not very effective. Should I abandon trying to get him back to sleep and leave him to amuse himself in the cot until he gets very upset/tired(very difficult for me to relax as he is so noisy) or persist trying to get him back to sleep as soon as he wakes up? (Not keen on this either as rarely effective ATM)
I'm worried he may end up being a child that always wakes at 5am! Very rarely has more than 10.5 hours' sleep in one night, so clearly doesn't need as much sleep as his friends who sleep 12/13 hours. Not keen to push back his bed time as I am usually even more exhausted than he is come 7pm (is a crap napper too)
Would be grateful for your ideas on this - TIA!

maui50 Thu 13-Mar-14 10:21:54

Christelle, you could be writing about me! 6.5 mo DS is the same - as you say, co-sleeping is no longer guaranteed to work (as it did once upon a time) and he wants to play, not sleep, at that hour. I've tried feeding at that hour rather than keeping him distracted/amused till 6.30 or 7 but he's not interested - will bf for 5 mins and then carry on playing. Also, for us, feeding while awake has never worked in terms of getting him sleepy - he'll still stay awake for 2 hours after.

I'm back to work soon and really need a solution!

Christelle2207 Thu 13-Mar-14 11:29:49

At least it's not just mine. Sorry you have this, I too am back to work soon. I used to bf back to sleep with some success but I dried up about 3 weeks ago, he will take a bottle despite not being particularly hungry but trying to avoid feeding him until he is "properly" up, trouble is I fear that time is becoming 5 am rather than a more sociable hour! One thing that did kind of work this morning (eventually) was putting him between me and dh in the bed and rather than cuddle put a hand on his chest and basically ignore him. Will try that again tomorrow morning....

Christelle2207 Thu 13-Mar-14 11:32:01

Also worried that it's getting more "light" at that hour which is probably discouraging him from sleeping even more. We may be investing in blackout blinds soon!

maui50 Thu 13-Mar-14 12:18:14

We've tried co-sleeping that way as well - with him in between us, with each of us putting a hand over him and with him having a dummy as well in that position. It's mixed results unfortunately. What we ended up doing this morning is me co-sleeping with him in the spare room so DH could get a bit of kip to face the working day, but that didn't work. I eventually fed at 6.30 and he was knackered by 7.30 (usually he lasts longer), so we both went back to bed until about 9. So he kind of got his half hour morning nap that way plus the one extra hour he should've gotten had he woken up at a sensible 6am. But I can't be doing all that when I'm back at work of course.

We have venetian blinds and blackout curtains already, which help with naps during the day (part of our naptime routine is closing the blinds and curtains together; he actually smiles now when we do this as he knows it's time for a nap). But they don't seem to have any effect for this early waking.

We need help!

Firenze2011 Thu 13-Mar-14 13:52:44

Hi Ladies, it seems we're all going through a similar thing! I've also tried in the past to BF her when she wakes (crying) at 5am and then putting her back in her cot but mostly she refuses to go back to sleep and it's like she's ready for the day to start (which I am most definitely NOT and will be going back to work soon)! Am clutching at straws here but it occurred to me that 4-5am is usually when the night is coldest just before dawn so last night as well as having her in her grobag as usual I kept the heating on very low all night, she woke up a couple of times around 3.45 and at 5am but managed to settle herself back to sleep quiet quickly eventually only waking fully at 6.45 and she was much happier than she's been in days, clearly as she's had the right amount of sleep. Today I pushed her morning nap back an hour from 9 to 10am as I've read that can be a factor. I've also been topping her up with extra milk. She's still drinking a good 180ml from her 11pm bottle so am reluctant to drop that just yet. Will let you know how tonight goes!

maui50 Thu 13-Mar-14 14:31:20

Firenze, the heating and extra blanket sounds like it's worth trying - thanks for the tip. The other night, DS slept through till just after 6 (I got out of bed remarking to DH - can't remember the last time we had a post 6am wake up!) and now that I think about it, it was during that very warm spell we had earlier this week. It's gotten a bit colder here at night and during the day now.

This morning he woke up having gotten out of his blanket and twisted 180 degrees in the cot - we've been careful about tucking him in after the dream feed for weeks now, but obviously last night we weren't careful enough. Just one other factor to bear in mind.

Unfortunately we'll be totally out of our routine this weekend as we're away; he'll be in a cot in the same room as us which in the past has been a success as almost as soon as he stirs, we stick a dummy in and he rolls off back to sleep (we do this super quickly in order to keep the noise down as we're in someone else's house; it's not as easy to do at home as his cot is in his own room).

Next week my plan is - if all else fails - to try wake-to-sleep. We'll have a full 11 day stretch before we go away again so maybe that'll work. Although I've put it off this long as it means DH or I getting out of bed at 4.30 in the morning for a potentially fruitless task!

Christelle2207 Thu 13-Mar-14 17:08:22

That is interesting re. Heating - dd bad his best night ever on Sunday night- sleeping until 6- surely that was the warmest night of the year so far?
Extra blanket tonight then!
Maui - what is wake to sleep?

Christelle2207 Thu 13-Mar-14 17:09:39

DS had!

maui50 Fri 14-Mar-14 10:03:31

Hi Christelle. Google wake to sleep; I think there's something here on MN about it as well, albeit a briefer description.

Ok, so we put on an extra blanket last night and he woke at 5.45 which has been the more common wake up time in recent weeks (so maybe I could put the 5am wake up down to coldness rather than habit). I was positively cheery this morning at 5.45! But really he needs to go till 6.30 at least basically we're still more or less in the same position we were yesterday.

Once upon a time, we used to stretch him out from 5.45 till 7am for the feed, as long-term, I know I want the day to start at 7am. Then at some point recently, I got bored of entertaining him till 7, so started feeding at 6.30. And I swear, now at 6.20 he starts to fuss and by 6.28 he's positively shouting. His body clock has definitely attuned now to the 6.30 feed and he really can't wait a second longer. This is why I feel that if I feed any sooner e.g. as soon as he wakes up at 5.45, then his body clock will get attuned to that as well. And if he wakes earlier and earlier and I feed earlier and earlier, it'll just be relentless and back to newborn tactics - even though he has demonstrated he can sleep through till 7.30!

Groan. Maybe I should just give in.

Christelle2207 Fri 14-Mar-14 14:23:24

Well blanket and extra grow bag did not help bere either. Woke as 4.30 whicb is his usual habit and I eventually got up at 5. I did manage to get him down again from 5.20 for another hour or so but then he really was up for the day, sigh....

Ok I now understand wake to sleep I think the theory makes sense just don't think I can stomach waking him up again (difficult enough at 11pm) let alone get myself out of bed voluntarily (kind of). Also he goes through phases of waking up at different times so it would be difficult to know for sure it was working. Would be interested to know how you get on if you're braver!!!

maui50 Tue 18-Mar-14 14:34:26

Ok, so here's an update. We were away over the weekend and DS's cot was in our room, so we could hear everything that was going on with his sleep pattern (the cot was positioned so he couldn't see us). Funnily enough, he went down at 7pm absolutely fine (even better than usual - I left the room and he settled himself, even in a new environment!) and was fine for the dream feed.

Then at 5am, we were woken by thrashing - he was just tossing and turning like mad in the cot while still fast asleep! We had tucked him in really well but as soon as I heard the thrashing, I leaped out of bed and put in a dummy and patted him a little (done super quickly for fear of escalation and waking everyone up as it wasn't our house!). He settled back to sleep until about 6.20 - albeit with a little more thrashing. So that was great - I'm happy with a 6.20 wake time as it leads to a close to 07.00 feed time.

Same thing the next night.

We got home yesterday so last night he settled fine in his own room, in his own cot. My body clock went PING this morning at 5.40, in anticipation of him waking at 5.45! I heard no sounds from his room, but when I crept in, he was tossing and turning - so clearly in a light sleep. I decided to slightly pat him and give him a dummy - not quite getting him out of his sleep cycle as wake-to-sleep would suggest, but attempting to settle him. His eyes were closed the whole time. Crept out again....and the next sound we heard was 6.30! Woo hoo!

Who knows if that's the actual reason he slept for longer? Will try it again tonight and see if it works again!

maui50 Sun 23-Mar-14 16:12:47

I need help! Seriously sleep deprived now and really struggling to get through the day.

After a short hiatus, we're back to early wake-ups again - except now it's getting worse and it's pre-5am rather than 5.45. This morning we tried CC to get him back to sleep - totally ineffective and just led to a hysterical baby and very upset parents.

Am really at my wits' end now. There's GOT be a way to get him to sleep for 1 hour longer? I would now give anything for a 5.45 wake-up and would positively do a jig around the block for 6.30 wake-up. How on earth do your DCs manage 12 hours at night? Is this just going to happen automatically when they reach a certain age?

Also, what happens when the clocks change? Is this likely to affect his sleep patterns in the positive?

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