My 5 month old won't go to sleep!

(20 Posts)
Shantotto Sat 02-Jan-16 23:21:01

My 5 month old just won't go down to sleep at night. Until about 6 weeks ago he came to be with me around 10, and he mostly slept through.

Stared to go to bed earlier and I could BF him to sleep. However he is teething and maybe has sleep regression as I can't feed him to sleep anymore. He'll maybe sleep an hour, then will be up from 7.30 - 8.00pm and will just be wide awake until he finally crashes around 11.

Tonight for example, I BF to sleep by 7pm. 30 mins later he is awake and still is. Rocking, ignoring, boob is doing nothing and he is now crying and rubbing his eyes but just won't sleep!

His naps on the day aren't great either, I've no idea how often he should be napping. I try and take him out in sling or pram to nap which means I pound the streets for hours.

He has an awkward feeding schedule which doesn't help. He is mix fed but his feeds stretched out to about 5 hours between formula bottles which makes timings for bed time and morning awkward as he never seems to be ready for bottle before bed.

It's my first child and me and DP are just at a loss to help the poor thing sleep!

His bedtime routine could use work I guess, we always change and wash him in dimmed light, read a story in bedroom, I would try and BF to sleep, that's it. We only bath few times a week and it seems to really excite him anyway.

He wakes a few times at night but I don't mind this at all. First time he will usually boob back to sleep and second time is when he has a formula bottle.

Be so glad of any advice!

Shantotto Sat 02-Jan-16 23:27:46

Oh and should maybe add when trying to resettle him at night he's ended up next to me becauae as soon as I put him in his side car bot he would wake. However trying to co sleep from the start doesn't help.

When we do give him a bottle, he can be awake for up to an hour as I try to BF him first, make a bottle, keep him upright a bit after, try and let him self settle then he ends up back on my boob to get him to sleep!

Gingernut81 Sun 03-Jan-16 11:27:58

I can't offer any advice but my 15 week old has started doing pretty much the same thing sad

You're not alone!

Lovemybubble15 Sun 03-Jan-16 11:53:47

Mine too! I'm trying to combination feed in day now but my lo goes down for average 3 hours then bf but won't go back into his co sleeper. I end up putting him in bed by me in the crook of my arm where he sleeps but this isn't ideal and I'm constantly waking with a bad back and a dead arm!
He will nap on me in day but I'm starting from tomorrow putting him into his cot to nap although I have no idea how to start as he only goes to sleep by rocking, feeding or in car or buggy.

Shantotto Sun 03-Jan-16 12:08:03

Last night wasn't too bad in the end. Went off about 11.30, woke 3 hours later, 2 hours then had another hour after a breastfeed. Got up with him at 7.30 to attempt to get him up earlier and five him a bottle then a nap. BF him to nap which lasted all of 15 minutes as some foil rustling woke him. So I'm now sheltering under an awning in the park in the pouring rain having been walking the streets for 90 minutes!

Will take him out again later for a nap on hopes he'll sleep better.

Lovemybubble15 Sun 03-Jan-16 13:17:26

My night pretty much sounded like yours. Lo had a nap tho for and hour an a half on me which isn't ideal. Tonight he's going to be before 8!

Lovemybubble15 Sun 03-Jan-16 14:15:19

Terrible grammar - sleep deprivation!

Fleurchamp Sun 03-Jan-16 14:44:09

OP I could have written your post.

I have managed to get DS (5.5 months) to nap in his pram indoors if I rock it and put white noise on. Once he's asleep I stop rocking and usually get an hour out of him.

I do feel your pain but have no advice sad

FATEdestiny Sun 03-Jan-16 15:07:26

A dummy and a very full tummy often works.

How about co-sleeping for naps so that you both get some sleep?

Shantotto Sun 03-Jan-16 15:40:11

He doesn't have a dummy, I feel like I shouldn't give him one but I don't really know why!

Again with the feeding thing - we had awful times bfing so now combo feed but he is mostly formula I suppose. He's not very interested in milk, he has a bottle every 5 hours but would happily go much longer!

I'm so worried about giving him too much that if he has a bottle at say, 5 and I want to try and get him to bed around 7.30, I don't think he'd be interested! Or is over feed. I'm so anxious about his intake. He does a get a wee trickle from me so hopefully that will help him getting to sleep.

I've not tried to co-sleep for naps, when I try doing this to get him back to sleep after a night waking, he just grumbles! I tried to get him to sleep on the evening with him cuddled up to me in bed with the idea of sneaking off once asleep, but he won't go to sleep.

Maybe I'm just not very consistent. Do you think if I crack a couple of good day naps he will be better at night? He is currently on second nap of the day. He had about two hours earlier, 11-1.

Hope this mad ramble makes sense - can you tell it's my first?!

Shantotto Sun 03-Jan-16 15:41:09

I really do need to sleep when he sleeps more though, you're quite right! (Oh for an edit function!)

Shantotto Wed 06-Jan-16 05:50:39

How is sleep going for you guys?

Mine is getting worse. Tonight for example, DS went to sleep at 11.30, woke 3 hours later and is still awake other than about 40/50 mins of snoozing. He's had a bottle, boob, cuddles, head strokes.

Just left him to lie down in his sidecar cot but he just gets upset.

He did nap late but again he's barely slept and didn't nap earlier in the day.

I guess I should try a dummy now? I don't know what to do at all!

I would manage with the night waking if he would go down earlier.

MagicAlwaysLeadsToTrouble Wed 06-Jan-16 05:55:59

Inwould say try and get him to nap better in the day first.

My 5 month old (3rd baby) is inconsistent with his timings but only tends to manage about 2 hours awake before he needs to nap.

He has a dummy and it's brilliant. I was against them before this baby, though, like you, couldn't really articulate why, but I'm a total concert now! Give it a go, though he may he too old to take one now? Worth a try though.

Shantotto Wed 06-Jan-16 06:02:47

I've been trying to work on naps but not very consistently! Was easier over last couple of weeks when DP was off and we walked around with him for hours in the day.

Im going to try and get him to sleep every couple of hours then. I think if I can do that through walking or boob so his sleep is better generally then I can work on getting him to cot nap. Maybe!

He's finally asleep now so that's something.

Thanks!

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 11:27:19

Feeding more frequently may help. That and a dummy (they are brilliant - forget the middle-class nose scrunching at the suggestion of a dummy).

You say he is mostly formula fed now, so what size bottles are you making and how often?

Consider the logic of the fact that if baby takes on most of his calories through the daytime, he will need fewer at night. So at 5 months old my DD was being fed every 2-2.5 hours through the daytime. I made 7oz bottles. They were never drained but she would usually take 5-6oz per feed. In 24 hours I would use 7 or 8 bottles - the only one at night being when I went to bed.

I would also work on one nap every 2-2.5h throughout the daytime, as well as one feed. I love the EASY routine to give structure to your day and to sleep/feed patterns. This involves following a repeated, regular 'cycle' throughout the day.

E - Eat - start with a full feed
A - Awake/activity. No more than 2h awake at this age, probably closer to 80 minutes from waking when trying to get baby back to sleep.
S - Sleep. I favour the bouncy chair and dummy. Sit myself on the sofa and foot bounce, bounce, bounce baby into sleep oblivion. Re-inserting dummy as needed. I would generally say 30-45 minutes nap. But months marked the beginning for naps extending for us. So follow baby's lead and try to extend sleep (reinserting dummy and gentle bounces worked for us) as much as possible
Y - You time while baby sleeps.

Then start again with E for Eat and repeat the whole cycle continuously through the day. This offers some predictability and also ensures regular feeds and sleep - even if just smaller feeds and short feeds.

Pay more attention to limiting time awake, rather than time asleep.

Shantotto Wed 06-Jan-16 12:02:32

Thanks for your post. flowers

I'm am currently trying to get him to nap. He'd been awake just over two hours and I've been trying for about half an hour. Trying on boob but he's just chomping away staring wide eyed at the wall!

He has 4 7oz bottles a day, with a 20-30 min BF before bottles. Came up with this plan after many BF support groups and HV meetings! There was concern he wasn't gaining and now they want to make sure he doesn't gain too much! It's been a bit of a nightmare worrying about his intake. He has gone from 9th to 75th and is climbing still.

I was offering every 4 hours, HV told me to judge by when he was hungry - so that could have been a gap of 6-7 hours! So we moved to offering every 5 hours. He sometimes will leave half, sometimes drinks it all. Sorry that was probably too detailed!

I have heard of the easy plan which sounds good. He has a chair that sways side to side that worked great as a newborn but maybe now he needs the power of bounce!

I've been reading about him in cot and me lying next to him for a while to encourage him to drift off but he just grumbled. I need more persistence!

And he fell asleep as I was typing!

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 12:22:54

20-30 minute breastfeed before bottle is fine I'd say. I would just go for feeding (BF&FF) much more frequently. There really should not be any concern about feeding too much or having too much weight gain at this age. No one would suggest limiting or 'dieting' a child even before 2 years old. Certainly not at 5 months old.

A baby will find it's own level. A baby born small may climb the centiles and settle at a higher average because they will always be naturally tall. Equally a baby born big may drop centiles and turn out to be a naturally petite adult.

that could have been a gap of 6-7 hours!

Could you have been missing his hunger signs? Or confusing and misinterpreting tired signs for hunger or hunger signs for tired?

If you didn't feed, would baby be happy, awake and playing independently for the whole of those 6-7 hours? You are doing very well and have nothing to worry about if that is the case!

Shantotto Wed 06-Jan-16 12:34:29

Yeah he was perfectly happy! Playing, maybe having a nap, especially if we were out and about at groups and he was sleeping through the travelling there and back. I'm sure I wasn't missing anything - He just seemed disinterested until you give him some. If he was hungry outside of the 4 7oz I'd give him more. He's probably getting more breastmilk thN we think after the rocky start. Babies - a mystery!

I'm not convinced by the HV though - I'm 6ft so not much of a surprise my small baby is going to shoot up! She was saying they tend to look at weight if they go two centile a above or below birth centile so they want to keep weighing him regularly. He's gaining loads.

I'll work on those more regular naps and see how that goes, maybe giving him the 4 7oz in the day is better than three then one at 4/5 am.

Thanks a lot for the advice! smile

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 12:40:09

If he's happy awake, he also doesn't need more sleep either.

The only time you need to worry about baby getting more sleep is if they are grumpy, tearful, cant be put down - that kind of thing. Similar signs to baby wanting a feed.

If you baby is going through vast 6-7h chunks of the day without getting grotty or having any of these signs, then you are likely worrying about nothing. Just enjoy your baby!

Shantotto Wed 06-Jan-16 14:13:34

Maybe I am! He had 30 mins earlier and was very upset when he woke up and is yawning now. Just had a walk in the sling but he didn't drop off again.

When he's up for hours at night I think he may be overtired so struggles to go back to sleep.

He'd feel better if he went to sleep earlier than 11pm I think!

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