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Five month old night time wakings - chatting and dummy use

(17 Posts)
Doboopedoo Wed 06-Jan-16 08:14:28

Any advice appreciated! My five month old girl has been waking in the night for the past few weeks - usually about 3/4am, although it was 11 and 3 last night. She's not hungry, in pain, needing a nappy change - she just wants a chat! However after a short period of chatting she'll get grumpy without attention - so I end up sssshing and rubbing her tummy to sleep, as well as giving the dummy, the whole process can take up to an hour.....
I'd also had some issues with giving her a dummy at night, as she was waking hourly for replugging. Using the pick up put down method I've managed to get her to settle happily for the night without it - however she normally gets it at one of these wakings to get her back to sleep. I've tried PUPD at these wakings but it normally results in much screaming and no sleep....

She still has dummy for day naps, which are a bit all over the place - she can only tolerate approx 90 minutes awake and gets very upset when tired (more screaming!) so I just go with whenever she is tired. She's formula fed every four hours so possibly her sleep and feeding schedules don't really complement each other right now. She's also fond of a catnap, is rocked to sleep with dummy and only sleeps on me or in pram when out and about. Basically naps are a whole different problem but I want to sort the night wakings to give me more energy to concentrate on day sleep!!

MooneyWormtailPadfootProngs Wed 06-Jan-16 08:18:06

Mine has started doing this. He's discovered he can roll but then gets upset that he's on his front and calls me to flip him back. Then does it again.

I'll be watching this thread

Doboopedoo Wed 06-Jan-16 08:29:49

Oh god we aren't even at the full rolling stage yet, that won't help!!

I meant to say as well, she's currently in crib beside me so can settle her from there, but hoping to move to own room in next couple of weeks....

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 12:07:22

I have always worked on the basis that if dummy wont settle baby back to sleep then I feed. Not unusual for night feeds to temporarily increase around this age as calorific need increases.

I suspect that lack of daytime napping is a significant reason for your problems at night too. You could do with more consistency in your sleep signals - as in using the same sleep time triggers and actions at bedtime, naptimes and wake ups. Same sleep triggers can also be used to extend naps.

The waking up often in the night is not going to be because of the dummy. Once asleep the dummy has served its purpose and is dropped (as mouth muscles relax). This is normal, dummy is generally in baby's mouth for 5-30 minutes, just until in a deep sleep. If baby is the waking up after an hour, this isn't to do with the dummy it is to do with whatever is causing the baby to wake up.

Personally I find dummies ideal for independent sleeping and so working towards the ideal of 'put baby down fully awake with dummy and they go to sleep until morning'. But it is your prerogative if you choose to offer your baby comfort and security for sleep times in a different way. All babies/children need something to help then feel comforted and secure as a 'sleep trigger' though. If your props and methods are all over the place it is unsurprising that baby finds comfort in none of them.

Doboopedoo Wed 06-Jan-16 15:16:55

Thanks Fate, I was hoping you would come along and comment as have seen you on other threads. However, I'll need to disagree on the dummy at night - it was definetly the cause of wakings where she would wake and whine every hour until reinserted. She definetly sleeps better without it, on the third night of removal she did 7-6 with no whining or wakings. We've been messed up since then with a trip away for 6 days but now back home and hoping to get back to normal.

I would agree that daytime naps are probably an issue-I think I need to work some consistency in there. Any advice? She currently wakes around 6am, formula fed then, 10am, 2pm and then 6pm, going to bed around 630pm ish at night depending on when tired. Her tolerance for being awake is generally 90 minutes but sometimes longer. She often catnaps 30 to 45 minutes twice between feeds, with a break in between- it's like she takes her naps in two stages. We are also out and about most days and the catnaps can suit this, but not great overall I know!

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 17:35:12

30-45 minute naps are fine at this age - although I would be beginning to try to lengthen naps by resettling. Also 90 ish minutes awake time between naps is fine too.

Sounds like you have a decent routine - feed - awake (90m) - sleep (30-45m) - awake (90m) - sleep (30-45m) - repeat. That all looks good so far.

So the key for you is consistent settling methods because at the moment they are all over the place. Pick one method - something that is sustainable long term with a view to progressing to independent sleeping - and stick to it.

If you are going for no dummy, chuck away the dummies and stop using them. If you are going to rock to sleep (I wouldn't recommend) then embrace it and have a plan long term for it. So consciously rock less vigorously or for shorter times so that the reliance gradually reduces over time.

Ideally I would settle baby to sleep in the cot for all sleeps at this age. So for a while you will be tied to the home until sleep is sorted. Use the same settling methods in the same place (cot) at every sleep time. Upon waking always try to get to baby as quick as possible and try to re-settle using the same methods (sleeping on your bed while baby sleeping in cot next to you makes this easy). 5 to 6 months old often marks the beginning of naps being extendable if have a re-settling method.

Pick-up-put-down often is very stimulating. How about settling in the cot instead? Could you sit/lie next to the cot and reach your arm in. Maybe a firm hand on chest. Or patting, stroking, tickling, shushing - whatever it takes. Just stay there as a constant presence reassuring and comforting until asleep. Same ever sleep, same every wake up.

The long term view would be that over time you gradually reduce the amount of reassurance needed. This isn't a quick fix though, baby may need your presence to go to sleep for many months yet, especially if there is no self-soothing with a dummy happening.

You need some form of sleep trigger - a comforter toy or blankie type of thing? Once older this is a snuggle thing that baby can find and cuddle to in the middle of the night to get back to sleep without you. Establishing a comforter takes attention, snuggle it into baby constantly when sleeping to create the association.

Doboopedoo Wed 06-Jan-16 18:41:14

Thanks very much again Fate. I actually got her down in the cot this afternoon for a nap, so feeling very pleased! Used her usual sleep associations of sleeping bag, key phrases and white noise and after only a minor grump she went out. I do settle with shushing and hand on stomach when she gets whiny, PUPD is only for when she's getting too upset to do anything just to calm back down. It seems to have worked so far with us.

I'm definitely not using rocking for ever, there's been too much of that so far for naps! So going to concentrate on cot for naps and happy to stay with her for resettling. The dummy may have to go, it just needs plugged in too much when she's going to sleep and it seems to wake her when she doesn't have it. I've been including a comfort blanket when she's been sleeping on me during day so hopefully have done some groundwork on that already!

Thanks again smile

MooneyWormtailPadfootProngs Wed 06-Jan-16 18:51:35

So for a while you will be tied to the home until sleep is sorted.

Just to ask do people really not leave the house because their baby is napping?! That sounds unrealistic to me.

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 19:02:45

I avoid leaving the house at naptime. Its not set in stone and will 'tweak' DDs naptimes if necessary, but being at home would be my preference.

I have all day, every day to get 'stuff done' if I need to - what is so urgent that I must go out at an inconvenient time?

What that post makes me think is: Do people really have lives so hectic that they must be out of the house at all times? I have four children. Life is busy with lots going on - but I manage very easily to fit it all in around the children's needs. I am a SAHM, granted.

But really - what's the urgency that it can't wait until baby has woke up?

Nottalotta Wed 06-Jan-16 19:06:03

A question about resettling. DS is 5mo and had always been a short napper, and feeds to sleep then is put down (at night) but only just started being able to put down during the day. If he stirs after 20/30 minutes, and i shush hand on tummy or whatever to resettlement, i would be very very surprised if it worked. He wont take a dummy or be bounced to sleep.

I am aiming for an afternoon or lunchtime (or both.....) nap in the cot.

If he wails and won't resettle, how long would you try for before giving up?

MooneyWormtailPadfootProngs Wed 06-Jan-16 19:06:15

Fate for me personally, I have friends to see, errands to run, events to attend, my life doesn't stop because I have a child. I do everything I did before and I think I'd go mad if not! Mine also doesn't have a routine, sometimes he sleeps more sometimes he doesn't so it's not predictable

I appreciate that doesn't work for everyone

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 19:20:12

So do I Mooney. In fact I do a lot more than I used to when working. I fit most of it in around the children though. I guess a decade of parenting and the fact that I have more than one child creates different necessities.

At times when my older children go for their holiday sleepover with my parents, life is idyllic just me and baby. Everything is so much easier then and I/we are able to do much more as we please.

The joys of just one pre-school child... Enjoy it Mooney

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 19:25:01

For a nap I wouldn't try long to resettle Nottalotta. I know with my DD that if she's not settling back to sleep, well, straight away really, then she's not going to go back to sleep. Certainly within a couple of minutes. So for us when I was extending naps at 5 months old I knew I had to be there instantly or it just wouldn't work.

You know your child best though. I know others have talked about their baby always needing 5 minutes 'grumbling' before they go to sleep so they might allow longer to resettle successfully.

EsmesBees Wed 06-Jan-16 19:26:50

My baby is a complete dummy addict and used to wake to have it popped back in. It got easier around 7 months where she learnt to find it herself. I was also feeding twice in the night at 5 months so it could be hunger waking your little one.

MooneyWormtailPadfootProngs Wed 06-Jan-16 19:27:56

Fate I think with having one you can just make it up as you go whereas you have to be more organised with 4

Doboopedoo Wed 06-Jan-16 20:56:39

Esme, I was hoping to wait until she could find it herself but the night waking is affecting all of us too much!
While I appreciate Fate' suggestion about being housebound to sort out naps, I'm going to try initially just to do naps in the cot while I'm in the house, and if I'm out so be it - she sleeps well in pram anyway normally. I struggle when I'm in the house all day, I go a bit stir crazy and get frustrated, so it's not good for any of us! Different things will work for different people and babies though I'm sure.

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 21:23:00

I appreciate that not leaving the house at all would be mega frustrating. I forget that other people here don't have the tribe of children I do blush

Today I have had my version of a 'staying in doing nothing' day (on the basis that I'm poorly, but you don't actually get a day off as a parent). This staying in day has involved:

8.30-9.00am School run with the pushchair
9.00-9.20am Quick dash to Tesco in the car
3.15-3.30pm Getting to school with pushchair
3.30-3.45pm Collecting 3 children and then chatting at the school gates with Mum friends (since we have all of the Christmas holidays to catch up on) while children play on play equipment
3.45-4.00pm Walking home with pushchair
4.30-5.00pm Mum popped round bringing cake and sympathy (she knows I'm poorly)
6.30-6.45pm 4 children taken in car to drop DC2 off at cubs
7.50-8.10pm Fetch DS3 home from cubs in car

So my staying in and doing nothing day never could involve actually staying in all day. Although today I have stayed in for all of the school day and been mumsnetting done nothing very much. This isn't a typical day.

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