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Is this normal?

(2 Posts)
Fleurchamp Thu 07-Jan-16 08:39:38

My 6 month old son will not go to sleep at night.

His bedtime routine starts at 6pm with bottle, bath, cuddle and story. We used to do feed last but he gets terrible wind and so cannot be put down for about half an hour after a feed.

So he is usually ready to be put into his cot at 6.45pm.

I put him into his cot and he moans. He is clearly tired as he rubs his eyes and moves his head from side to side. He looks like he is about to drop off but then he starts crying. I try to soothe him, sing to him, pat him but eventually have to pick him up.

This carries on for 4 or 5 hours.

Eventually I feed him to sleep.

Once he is asleep he can go up to 6 hours.

He is BF with a bottle at bedtime to fill him up. I have just started solids.

During the day he also refuses to nap in his cot - I give him the opportunity to go down in there but give up after 45 mins and put him in his pram where he falls asleep after 10 seconds of rocking! I give up as I would rather he has a nap.

He will only nap for half an hour at a time. Sometimes an hour if I am out walking.

Is this normal behaviour?

FATEdestiny Thu 07-Jan-16 14:27:50

moves his head from side to side

This is a classic I'm exhausted and want to go to sleep self-soothing sign. Your baby definitely sounds very tired, but is clearly having trouble actually getting to sleep.

Needing help in order to get to sleep is completely normal, all babes need help until they learn to go to sleep themselves. Parents develop different ways to help their babies so that what you are describing doesn't happen.

Trying to sooth him in the cot is the right thing to do. Babies need to feel safe and secure to sleep and your presence (gradually reducing over the coming months) helps with that. Things like patting, shushing, stroking, tickling - these are all great. Even just a firm hand (non moving) across babys chest can help give reassurance.

Babies also need to be calm and not stimulated to sleep. It is not unusual that picking up a very tired baby is over-stimulating and makes matters worse. Calm, gentle, consistent soothing in the cot is better. Careful with things like singing (same for light show things or music) because these can be over-stimulating. Quite, dark, calm is best.

Have you tried a dummy? Babies get natural comfort from sucking and so a dummy allows for independent sleeping by giving the baby something safe and clean to suck on and a soothing mechanism.

Some babies also like white noise (the kind of sound an electric fan makes) because this blocks out background noise.

The last thing to bear in mind is that good sleep promotes better sleep. So the more sleep your son gets, the easier he will be to get to sleep and the longer he will stay asleep.

It sounds like your son was over-tired by the time he went to bed (head side to side shaking is a sign of this). He probably needed to be asleep an hour beforehand. Therefore improving the length and frequency of his daytime naps so that he sleeps more in the day may help. At 6 months old I would be hoping for 3-4 hours of daytime sleep (over 2 or 3 naps) and then 11-12h or sleep overnight.

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