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Unsettled early mornings - help please!

(6 Posts)
TeamEponine Sun 01-Feb-15 10:07:30

DD is 4.5 months, and has been a sleep disaster since about 6 weeks. We've been working on this lots and have made some great progress at the beginning of the night.

We have a good bedtime routine in place (bath, story, bottle and cuddles to sleep). She is usually asleep at around 7.30 and I then put her in her Moses basket with a blanket tightly over her. She wakes at about 10.30 for a feed, usually taking about 5oz, and goes back down again nicely. Next waking is usually around 12.30-1.30, when she takes about 2oz.

At this stage she will sometimes go back down again for another two hour stint, but that can be the beginning of the difficult time.

She doesn't actually wake, but she is really unsettled. She thrashes about loads, and the tight blanket helps a little with that. If I just leave her to it she wakes up and I cannot get her to sleep at all, so at this stage she comes in with me. This is usually between 1.30-4.00.

For the rest of the night she kicks and thrashes. I try to give her her dummy and she either spits or pulls it out. Try to feed her, she takes a few sucks and then spits all the milk out again. The only thing that calms her a little is to hold both hands and cuddle her quite firmly, almost like a manual swaddling. She will then calm for 10-20 minutes, and then it starts again. This goes on until she wakes, usually between 6-7 am.

This means I'm usually awake from between 1.30 and 4.00 everyday. I can't take much more.

I'm willing to try almost anything, so would really appreciate any ideas you have to help with the second half of the night. Thanks!

RooTwo Sun 01-Feb-15 10:20:21

How long has she been doing this for? My DD used to go through phases like this at night when she was around this age - massive squirming and unsettledness at night, even in bed with me. I used to hold her very very firmly in bed with me (like you describe, a manual swaddling!) and pat her back and shush very loudly, and she'd usually settle (on me, asleep on my chest). But it sounds like you're doing all that. It does sounds like something must be bothering your daughter. I think with my DD it was often a wind/trying to poo thing that bothered her - definitely tummy gripes of some kind. Does your DD do this at any other times (eg naptimes etc?) or only in second part of the night?

FraterculaArctica Sun 01-Feb-15 10:20:46

We had this as well - it's awful. DS used to spend the whole night jumping about from midnight or 1 am until he was about this age. It doesn't seem to be a common problem.

Some ideas:

1) Can you put her to bed later? If you can shift her bedtime forward to 9.30, her deep sleep will coincide better with your sleep. We did this and it helped a bit.

2) Put her in her own room? If she's not actually waking but just thrashing about, you might be able to sleep through it. At 4.5 months, she's past the peak SIDS risk age. We eventually did this (OK now DS, at 10 months, wakes loads and cries so loud we certainly can't sleep through it, but that's another story...)

3) Could she be in discomfort with teeth? This was definitely a factor with DS... have you tried Calpol or ibuprofen, just to see if it improves?

4) She's very likely to outgrow this soon. Between 4 and 5 months their sleep changes and she'll start sleeping more deeply. DS had pretty much outgrown this by 5 months - then we just had to deal with the endless wakeups (which has also brought us to breaking point) but in some ways less soul-destroying than constantly trying to settle a baby that's actually asleep, just jumping about in his/her sleep.

Hope that's of some help!

TeamEponine Sun 01-Feb-15 10:46:17

It has been going on for about four weeks now. I'm pretty sure she's not teething yet. During the day she sleeps ok, not for too long but she is settled while she is asleep.

We already have shifted her bedtime later! It was around 6.30, so we have pushed it an hour later. I really struggle to keep her going til 7.30, so don't think it will be easy to push it later. When the clocks shift we are going to leave her going to bed that hour later, so not try to change her back to 7.30, if you see what I mean.

I might try her in her own room, but this sounds scary given the advice it not until 6 months.

Sounds like I might just have to wait for it to pass sad

kmini Sun 01-Feb-15 11:55:18

My DS is not sleeping well either, so no advice of great help. Only thought was have you tried her in a sleeping bag? Maybe the swaddling is frustrating her? Sleeping bag might allow her to kick a bit and resettle more easily?

TeamEponine Sun 01-Feb-15 20:12:51

She used to be in a sleeping bag, but she didn't like it. I think she got too hot in it. We are trying her in her own room tonight. See how that goes!

Thanks for the advice and support. I'll report back in the morning...

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