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4 month old won't go back to sleep after night feeds!

(6 Posts)
LMonkey Sun 12-Jul-15 00:16:26

My baby girl is 18 weeks and after the initial newborn cluster feeding nightmare she actually slept through the night from about 8.30 - 5ish which was great. However for about the last 7 or so weeks she has been waking for a feed, generally around 3ish but can vary. I don't really mind the feed as I know waking once in the night really isn't bad at all but 90% of the time she will not settle after this feed. She is breast fed and always falls asleep on the breast anyway and will quite happily sleep there for s long as I hold her there. But when I put her down in her cot she at first seems dozey likes she's going to drift back off, but she is kicking her legs in the air and chewing her fingers. However rather than gradually settling herself to sleep she seems to gradually become more awake, and then she will start making this new grunting type sound which she has just discovered she can make and its then that I know that I've had it! This will eventually turn in to a cry.

I always switch her white noise sheep on but this doesn't seem to help. I've tried rocking her (which I wanted to avoid so that she learns to self soothe) but this doesn't help. I do the normal things like keep the room as dark as possible, minimise eye contact etc etc. I've tried doing a dream feed before I go to bed but this didn't seem to make a difference.

A sure fire way of getting some more sleep is to bring her in bed with me and have her on top of me feeding and we both doze back off. We do this every morning anyway so that I can get a couple more hours sleep in but I really feel that doing this from 3 am is just too long ideally as its not the best quality of sleep. I had to do this from 1am the other night and my shoulder ached the next morning too

She really doesn't nap much during the day either - she just has really short cat naps after feeds, unless I take her out in the carrier and she'll sleep for longer, or if we drive somewhere.

Any ideas anyone?

minipie Sun 12-Jul-15 22:46:43

Does she self settle at bedtime or is she fed to sleep then as well?

LMonkey Sun 12-Jul-15 23:55:38

Thanks for replying. She does tend to feed to sleep, I don't really see what I can do about it. Sometimes she does wake up when i put her down and has a little cry and if its a good night she will soon drift off. Sometimes she will wake up completely when I put her in her moses basket. I do leave her for a bit but if she is properly screaming for more than a few minutes despite the white noise being on (and having been fed, burped, changed) then I do get a boob out. I don't know what else to do, I feel its too early for controlled crying.

minipie Mon 13-Jul-15 12:46:18

Realistically if she doesn't settle herself to sleep at bedtime or nap times when she is tired, she's unlikely to be able to settle herself to sleep at 3 or 4am when she's had most of her night's sleep and isn't so tired.

Teaching her to self settle at bedtime is probably the best thing you can do but may be difficult without using controlled crying. you could try gradual retreat, shush pat etc. (In fact I did cc at 17 weeks and it worked very quickly, in one day, but appreciate others may not be comfortable with that).

The only other options I can think of are 1) transfer her very carefully after she's fed to sleep - sure you have tried that though! or 2) try a dream feed at say 11pm and hope she doesn't wake for the 3am feed - never worked for me though....

minipie Mon 13-Jul-15 12:47:50

Sorry, just saw you tried the dream feed already....

LMonkey Tue 14-Jul-15 16:54:20

Thanks, I was just recently reading something about shush pat, I'm not completely clear on how it works but think I'll look further into it and give it a try smile

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