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Waking up multiple times in night for dummy

(8 Posts)
cooperbug Fri 12-Jun-15 09:59:09

DS is nearly six months old, we introduced a dummy quite late around 4 months old as were having difficulty settling him for naps and at night. Anyway he took to it well and it definetely helps to settle him.

However the past couple of weeks he has been waking in the night (6 times last night) crying out in his sleep for the dummy to be replaced. He seems to suck on it quite a long time (up to an hour) before spitting it out and either going to sleep or waking back up.

I am not really wanting to get rid of it just yet as it provides him with comfort and we are going on holiday in September and I want him to have it then to help him settle on the plane. However I want to know will this improve or is this what babies who fall asleep with dummies do and wake more frequently in the night to be replaced?

At what age can i expect him to locate it in the cot himself and put it back in?

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Jun-15 10:29:23

Definitely don't get rid of it!

One of two things will be causing this, or both - either light sleeping or the dummy re-insertion phase.

There is always a phase when you have to keep on re-inserting dummy, until the time comes when baby can do this for themselves. There are things you can do to make it easier for baby to re-insert own dummy, most of which are about making sure baby can easily find dummy in the night.

- Have loads of dummies dotted around the cot.
- Use a dummy saver or ribbon sewed onto sleeping bag
- There are dummy holder toys that have dummies attached to arms/legs

As to when you will come out of this phase, it depends on your baby's development and all babies develop at different rates. At some point within the next 6 months or so your DS will learn the pincer grip and be better able to handle and manipulate (turn around) objects with his hands and this is key to being able to sort his own dummy.

The other thing to consider here is light sleeping. A dummy doesn't stay in baby's mouth all night and isn't meant to. Babies take comfort from sucking (like suckling at the nipple) and so do this in order to go to sleep. The sucking action isn't required to stay asleep since once the child is in a deep sleep all of the muscles relax, including those in the mouth/jaw holding the dummy in the mouth. So it is natural and normal that the dummy is finished with and will drop out of baby's mouth once baby is into a deep sleep.

So the question is why is your baby sleeping so lightly that he is waking. This isn't the dummy making his sleep light, it is just that the dummy is being used to get back to sleep when woken (hence him crying for the dummy). So identifying the cause of light sleeping and tackling that will help.

At 6 months old it is not unusual to see an increase in night feeds (just temporarily) while baby needs extra calories but is not yet getting enough from the solids being eaten. I wonder if an extra night feed or two would help with your DSs light sleeping? Milk intake may go up (and certainly should be maintained) at early weaning stages.

cooperbug Fri 12-Jun-15 20:33:26

Thanks for your reply Fatedestiny. He is definetely a light sleeper, has always woken at the slightest noise or distraction, he is usually in deep sleep between 7pm-1am then starts to stir frequently after this. We have a blackout blind but it makes little difference to his nighttime waking.

I'm not sure if he's hungry in the night as initially settles when the dummy is re-inserted and is not fully awake when wakes up, still has eyes closed most of the time when I go in. When he's hungry his cry is different and he wont accept the dummy. We only just started weaning him last week so he is only on a small amount of veg or fruit purée once a day. In terms of milk feeds he has 4 x 8oz bottles throughout the day so I think he is getting enough milk.

sunshineandshowers Fri 12-Jun-15 20:39:37

Try giving him a bottle once in the night. Is he draining all the other bottles. Maybe try 4 or 5 oz at 2am. Fate destiny talks a lot of sense. Did u drop nighttime bottles because he didn't want them or you didn't want him to have them?

EachPeachPearPlum83 Fri 12-Jun-15 20:46:39

My dd (who is now 18months) did this about a similar age, maybe slightly older - nearly broke me! She was waking every few hours for her dummy. DH and I thought about trying to get rid of it, but decided to stick with it.

It lasted a fair while, maybe a month or 2, but once she was able to find her own dummy she started sleeping through. We tried the glow in the dark ones which I think helped.

It was hard while it lasted, but now she can settle herself to sleep and when she up during the night, so we're pleased we stick it out!

Hope it gets better for you soon!

cooperbug Fri 12-Jun-15 22:02:53

Yes he drains his bottles during the day, gulps them down!

We stopped giving his night feed about a month ago as he was waking hungry at 04:30/5am but only taking 3-4 oz of the bottle before falling back to sleep on it so thought be was just feeding for comfort but maybe he still needs just that little bit in the night to tide him over. It was from that point where we started offering the dummy when he woke in the night.

Sounds like from what fate has said with regards to pincer grip it will be a little while before he can manipulate the dummy himself to put back in. At the minute when it falls out he doesn't look for it himself or try to get it back.

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Jun-15 23:16:08

I'd go for a night feed if it was me.

Look at it like this - what is better? One half hour wake up at 1am while you give a night feed and then back to sleep till morning. Or waking up for a couple of minutes and needing you at 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, 6am then getting up at 7am.

So what is easiest for you?

My children have never actually needed to get to the point where they need to re-insert their own dummy in the night. By the time they can physically do that, they are usually sleeping through and not waking up in the night anyway. At that point the dummy is only needed for 10 minutes as they go to sleep and not needed again for the rest of the night - which keeps the dentist happy!

nottheOP Fri 12-Jun-15 23:21:26

Going against the grain... I'd ditch the dummy and I wouldn't restart the night feeds, maybe a dream feed but not the middle of the night. Not all babies drop night feeds when they can.

Dummies are great when they work but it isn't working so get rid. I did and just used for naps until 8 months.

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