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6.5 month old waking often and screaming

(10 Posts)
Penguin13 Sun 28-Jun-15 21:35:05

Can anyone help me figure out what is going on with my 6.5 month old DD?

Since around 4 months she has woken at least twice a night to feed (she is BF). So far so normal and even if I missed the days of her going 6, 7 or 8 hours I had accepted that this was what she needed and was lucky in that she would go straight back to sleep after a feed.

About a week ago she started waking around 4 times a night. At first I thought it was a growth spurt as she was quickly calmed by a feed, took a full feed each waking and settled back to sleep. She was also sleeping more in the day having 2 hour naps which whilst not unheard of is unusual for her.

It has now been just over a week of this more frequent waking and in addition the past few days she has been awakening with a really screaming cry, often only an hour or an hour and a half after going to bed (at 7 though sometimes 6.30 if no 3rd nap). I had thought maybe it was painful gas as a couple of times she has seemed to settle after a couple of big farts and she sounds really distressed, as if she is in pain, but most of the time only feeding will do to calm and settle her until the next wake up 2 hours later. It is usually only the first wakeup that is accompanied by this cry.

Do you think she is just hungry or does gas sound a likely culprit? It is a horrible heartbreaking cry and she seems so distressed poor little thing. She has always been quite a farty gassy baby but it has never bothered her to this extent before or if it did a gentle wave motion on her tummy with my hand helped her work it out. I am worried that if it is gas I could actually be making things worse with feeding her.

The other thing I thought could be causing the trouble is having introduced solids. We did so a few weeks ago and she mainly has fruit and veg purees, some finger food (again fruit and veg) and occasionally baby porridge. She was a little sluggish digestion wise in the beginning and cried doing poos and recently had a slight bit of constipation although this was seemingly resolved by offering water regularly and giving her prunes and pears as well as bicycling her legs. I had gradually increased solids to three times a day (whilst being careful not to reduce her milk intake) and was led by DD as to how much she wanted which varies from half a spoonful to a couple of tablespoonsful. I cut the amount of solids back today in case the trouble is her digestive system struggling to adapt.

Any advice gratefully received! Would be nice if I could figure out what to do about the more frequent waking (even if that is actually doing nothing and riding it out) but I would most like to know if anyone has any suggestions as to what could be causing such heart-rending cries and how to resolve what is causing them.

Apologies for the essay I always write loads in order not to leave out any relevant detail!

felkov Mon 29-Jun-15 08:47:26

Hi Penguin I'm sorry that I don't have any advice but I'm in a very similar situation with my DD although she's 10mo. Last week she started waking up at least times at night absolutely screaming and I'm trying to figure out what it is. she's inconsolable until I feed her and its starting to drive me mad so I feel your pain.

hopefully someone who's got some proper advice will be along soon

felkov Mon 29-Jun-15 08:49:22

*at least 4 times

last night was particularly bad, 6 wakeups between 10pm and 6am which is why I'm searching the sleep boards today!

Penguin13 Mon 29-Jun-15 09:55:47

Hi Felkov sorry you're in the same miserable boat. Funnily enough last night was extra bad here too with 6 wakeups!

I'm pretty sure now that at least part of the problem here is constipation and gas. DD passed a hard poo this morning and I'm sure that was causing her discomfort. Trying to be extra vigilant about giving her water now.

Hopefully someone knowledgeable will be along with some advice as I feel like I am blundering around in the dark and meanwhile DD's sleep just gets worse and worse. Feeling particularly despondent this morning as even getting her down for a first nap was a struggle and that is normally a breeze. She woke up early too. If daytime sleep goes to pot as well I might lose my one remaining shred of sanity!

felkov Mon 29-Jun-15 15:09:51

Hang in there. I just keep telling myself everything is a phase and will pass but its so hard when all you want is a decent stretch of sleep.

Penguin13 Mon 29-Jun-15 17:01:32

Thanks for the kind words felkov It's just that recently each subsequent phase is worse than the last so the fact that it is a passing phase doesn't fill me with much hope!

I know I am letting the tiredness get to me and it is making everything seem worse but it seems pretty relentless right now. Neither set of GPs are nearby and DH leaves for work most days before DD gets up and gets home after she goes to bed and because I BF I do 99% of wakings so not much chance of a break.

felkov Mon 29-Jun-15 21:11:08

i know the feeling. I do all night wakings and only usually get an hour a day "off duty" which is spent cooking dinner so not much of a break!

I'm very much a go with the flow type person so just do whatever i can to minimise DD crying, even if it means nursing her half the night. if you can breastfeed lying down you can doze a bit as well sometimes.

Can you get some recovery time at the weekend? i went for a massage and manicure last Saturday and came home feeling like a new woman!

felkov Mon 29-Jun-15 21:17:20

Just re-reading your OP and it struck me your DD has gone onto 3 meals a day pretty quickly. I was only doing 1 meal a day until about 8 months and only just got to 3xday at 10 months. maybe cut back then try a much slower build up and see if that helps her digestion?

The Kellymom website has some good info on slow weaning too

Twistedheartache Mon 29-Jun-15 21:20:31

Hopefully I can encourage you a bit.
My dd was only waking 1 x per night til 5.5 months & sometimes sleeping through.
Then from 5.5 months til last week (just under 8 months) she was waking a lot - at it's worst 6 x between 7 & 11:30 & eating 3 x per night.
Some combination of weaning and taking less milk during the day but not really eating enough, moving into her own room, teething (still waiting) & practising crawling in her sleeping bag really unsettled her.
Fingers crossed she seems to be getting better again now - eating twice in the night but the 2nd so close to morning she's dropping her morning feed so I think she's nearly there.
Fingers crossed tonight's the night for us all

Penguin13 Mon 29-Jun-15 21:55:57

Thanks both. That's a good point about the meals Felkov. I actually cut back to breakfast and lunch today although lunch was a lump of melon to chomp on so minimal amounts actually went in as usual when finger food is involved. I think I allowed myself to be panicked about introducing enough tastes while she was young enough to accept them and this has meant introducing a lot of new foods in quick succession. I'm going to scale back and simplify. If I am honest I may also have wanted to move on with weaning as even though I know it's not a magic bullet a part of my brain has been whispering seductively 'but this COULD be the answer to her waking less. ...' (HA!) She woke again in pain tonight and took 45 mins to settle but just went back to sleep. Ooh I love kellymom. Will def take a look.

Twisted so glad to hear things are going in the right direction for you. Thanks for taking the time to come along and offer some encouragement. Fingers crossed she drops that 2nd feed soon!

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