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Waking for slight comfort

(16 Posts)
ohthegoats Fri 03-Jul-15 08:29:05

I have an almost 9 month old who has never been a particularly good sleeper. She's been pretty good for the last month though, only waking at midnight and about 4am for feeding.

Over the last 5 nights though she's been waking up every hour or so for slight comfort - by which I mean a hand on the back or a sssshhhhh.

It might be heat, but her room is cooler than the rest of the house. The other night when it was really hot, I put her in bed next to me and she slept through without doing the annoying comfort waking - which makes me think that it is genuinely about comfort.

She has little interest in a comforter (we've tried various things, right from the beginning), but is there anything else we could try to make her keep sleeping through? Or at least sleeping 5 or 6 hours at some point?

princessvikki Fri 03-Jul-15 15:36:12

it sounds a bit odd but have you tried putting your worn top in her cot with her so she can smell you for comfort.

FATEdestiny Fri 03-Jul-15 22:20:50

Mine is a longer term solution rather than anything that will work quickly, but we are doing form of gradual withdrawal with our DD (9m) who likes her gentle pats for comfort.

When she goes to sleep I used to sit or lie next to her and lay my hand on her until she was asleep, patting if she was unsettled.

I've now got to the point when I put her in the cot, stand next to the cot settling her with a few reassuring pats, rubs or just hand on her back. Then I leave once she is settled, rather than staying until she sleeps.

If she cries I go back and place my hand on her, pat until she is settled and this time remove my hand and stand by the cot for a few minutes shushing if she stirs. Then leave quite quickly.

If she cries again I go back in, hand on chest and settle her. Remove my hand and go to the end of the cot (not next to her) and wait there, shushing if needed. Then leave.

If she stirs again I just stand in the doorway, make sure she can see me and give her the odd shush.

(I should add in all of this that she isn't self-settling - she has a dummy and comforter toy)

The longer term plan is that I'll be able to put her in the cot with her dummy and comforter and just do a single nan-night pat and shush and then leave, without any fuss.

Weaning your DD off the patting and shushing might help her need it less in the night goats. But it will be much more difficult if she has no alternate form of comfort, since babies need to get their comfort from something.

maymow Sat 04-Jul-15 22:39:48

I've just developed exactly the same problem with my nine month old - feeds at 11 and 3, but also has mini wake ups where a hand on the back and quick ditty send her straight back to sleep - but leave me awake!

I'm going to try not putting hand on back, just singing - at least then I wouldn't have to sit up in bed..

maymow Sun 19-Jul-15 07:33:48

ohthegoats how have you been getting on with the frequent wake-ups? DD is getting worse, waking at least every hour, the comfort hand on the back/song works quickly but we're both exhausted...

She settles herself to sleep at the beginning of the night fine but then every wake up after that needs intervention. Trying to encourage the comforter but she couldn't be less interested!

Anyone got ideas??

ohthegoats Sun 19-Jul-15 19:45:20

She's still got no interest in a comforter - I'm just going to google some other options, because the thing she's turned to is rubbing my skin between her fingers. My neck usually, back of my arm, back of hand etc. It HURTS! If I stop her doing it to me, she does it to herself. I don't know what a reasonable alternative might be.

We're also using a dummy a bit, which feels defeatist, but works - and at the moment I just need something to work.

We also bought a Sleepyhead Grand - she's gone back to twice a night waking most of the time. Watching her on the monitor she rolls over in her sleep and hugs the side of the Sleepyhead. We had the Deluxe when she was born though, so obviously the break from 4 - 9 months didn't work for her, now she's back in one she seems happier. £150 though - OUCH.

FATEdestiny Sun 19-Jul-15 22:06:13

Regarding the rubbing skin between her fingers, what about two pieces of material sewn together like a cushion with no stuffing?

My DC2 had a specific thing he did with the ears of his comforter toy. We used to call it "cutting Ted's ear" because he would do a cutting/rubbing action with Ted's ear between he index and middle finger. What he was physically doing is rubbing the two pieces of material (front and back of ear) against each other in his fingers.

Maybe that kind of thing would help? I honestly believe these kinds of things just develop though, rather than being encouraged or suggested.

DC3 used to like rubbing short hair against the growth direction. So for DH and my Mum he would rub the back of their heads (both have short hair). With me, he liked to rub my eyebrows (!) He's do this to himself as well.

PS - Dummies definitely are not defeatist. They are the simplest form of gentle parenting.

Twistedheartache Sun 19-Jul-15 22:14:14

I have the same issue & no solutions I'm afraid, I just pick her up or pat her but I held the older ones hand til she was 3 so not the best example to anyone! - she has v bad separation anxiety during the day so assume it's linked to that, but also seems to be that she can't lie down again when she pushes herself up to sitting.

In terms of comforter, does she play with labels? Might give her something to rub like your fingers?

maymow Mon 20-Jul-15 19:35:28

Thank you. I am so tempted by the Sleepyhead Grand... The reviews on Amazon and John Lewis are incredible - in fact a lot of them look suspiciously similar... But at least ohthegoats is a real person recommending!

I suspect this is not helping with self soothing but DD wears a Zipadee-zip, so her hands are covered and she can't claw at me! Google Zipadee-zip UK.

ohthegoats Tue 21-Jul-15 19:17:26

I have bought a comforter with taggies on it - folded over ribbons - think that might work. Similar sort of action.

Plateofcrumbs Tue 21-Jul-15 20:00:37

ohthegoats can they sleep on their tummies in the big sleepyhead? We had the smaller one until DS wanted to roll over and since then he has been a dedicated tummy sleeper.

We have the 'slight waking' problem too - normally just have to trundle out of bed, lay my hand on his back for a minute and trundle back. Obviously beats protracted wake-ups but it is annoying to be so close and yet so far. We are trying gradual retreat style techniques too, which seems to be helping things get very slowly better. Sometimes he can wake up, have a little cry and go back to sleep without us going into his room at all.

Missingcaffeine Tue 21-Jul-15 22:21:30

I have a similar problem with my 10 month old.

He wakes 1-3 times a night and usually settles with me popping in for seconds - just telling him it's all okay, stroking his head once and making sure his dummy is in reach (sometimes he wants it, sometimes he doesn't).

I do worry that it may be the fault of the dummy, but he gets so much comfort from it, I can't bring myself to remove it as I'm sure it would result in too much crying for me to bear.

We have a dummy attached to a toy - which does make it easier for him to find it, but still not easy enough when it's the middle of the night and he has his eyes shut.

ohthegoats Wed 22-Jul-15 09:15:23

PlateofCrumbs - yes they can sleep on their front in the Sleepyhead. We've got a video monitor and during the time of an evening she'll have gone from back to front, legs hanging over the side, sometimes using it as a pillow, but mostly ends up on her side with an arm 'hugging' the side.

ohthegoats Thu 23-Jul-15 09:23:52

OK, since Sunday she's slept 11/11.30 - 5.30/6am every night. The 5.30 wakings are 'up for the day' which is a bit of a shame, but can't moan about the 6 hour sleeps! She's teething at the moment too, so all chance to go nuts and it hasn't happened. She definitely still needs a feed at 11/1.30 though - is drinking 210ml straight down.

Now I've said it 'aloud' we'll probably have a week of shit again, but so far I'm happy with my £150 investment in her sleep my mental health

maymow Thu 23-Jul-15 21:48:10

That's amazing! Six hour stretches ahhh... I've been experimenting with arranging the long bolster from the baby Sleepyhead round her (ie without the mattress bit, just took it apart) and she has been a lot more settled. Waking up loads less. There's definitely something about feeling surrounded - and not bashing into the side of the cot when she rolls over. No way of knowing whether upgrading to the full Sleepyhead will result in further progress without parting with £150!

ohthegoats Fri 24-Jul-15 08:23:14

I know! We tried it on the first night with about 3 sheets over it, and while it wasn't instant magic, it was noticeably better on that night. Theory being that if it had been just as bad we might have been tempted to just send it back.

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