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Help! 6 mo nightmare sleeper. Parents losing the plot.

(2 Posts)
lauraNB Thu 22-Oct-15 21:58:04

Hello, Please help! Up until 4 weeks ago we had our 6 month old baby in a good routine - but something changed and one night she just started waking in the night. All night. Every 2-3 hours.
She is in a loose routine. We have set mealtimes and a good bedtime/settling down routine and she goes to sleep no problem. But from midnight we have problems.
I wake up hearing her gurgling and babbling, I go in to find her on her front or trying to roll or kicking her cot. She is wide awake and it takes me 2 hours to settle her at a time.
I decided to put her on solids (she was 5 and half months old) in the hope that would help her sleep through, I also started giving her a late night (11pm) feed when she stirred but none of these have helped. She is teething a little but I don't think this is a major contributor.
She refuses to sleep in the day time. Usually I get a couple of 30/40 mins out of her. I try for an hour or so each afternoon but she just won't go - and then when it gets to later (4/5pm) she is tired and grumpy but I cant let her sleep as its bath time at 6pm and bottle/bed at 6.30pm.

Im just at a loss as what to do now. We are both completely exhausted.
Can anyone help or advise us? Cant anyone offer us any tips ??
Thanks so much

mintbiscuit Fri 23-Oct-15 10:11:48

Firstly a change in sleep patterns is normal around 6 months. Sleep will change a lot in the first few years. It goes up and down! Sounds like your dc is working on new skills and sometimes they like to do this at night too!

However reading through your post it looks like your dc might not be getting enough sleep in 24 hr period. Looks like she may only be getting 1hr of day sleep on a good day? Good day sleep helps better night sleep. At 6 months an average sleep pattern would be 11 to 12 hrs night sleep and around 3 to 5 hrs day sleep. If dc is taking short naps I would be aiming for 3 naps over the course of the day and stick with bedtime of 6.30pm. Awake times should be around 2 to 2.5 hrs although from your post it sounds like dc is struggling to go down for naps which sounds like classic overtiredness. You may want to try getting her down for first nap after much shorter time awake. So wind down for nap is occuring 1.5 hrs after being awake with the aim of being asleep by the 2hr mark. Make awake times even shorter if you are still struggling. Naps are harder to get babies to sleep for as there is less drive to sleep for humans in the day time. You may need to help dc get to sleep in the first instance by additional soothing etc. When you have broken overtired cycle you can then help her to settle better on her own (she may do this independently when she is well rested anyway).

Naps may start to lengthen over the coming weeks too. You can then transition to 2 naps when this happens if you feel dc can handle longer awake time in between.

After working on the day sleep you should hopefully see improvement on night sleep.

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