6mth old constantly awake at night!(10 Posts)
Hi I'm after some advice please, my baby is 6 mths old now & we are both desperate for sleep!
He's never been a good sleeper, so I took him to a cranial osteopath, who said she could feel a blockage in his neck & she says it's now cleared, & that his night time wakings is now a habit. So we've done CIO & he is now quite good at going to bed & staying asleep, til midnight-ish - then after that it all goes tits up again!
He seems to wake every 20-90 mins! He's always done this head shaky thing, & sort of arching his back, but generally fidgeting - constantly!!
I offer dummy and/or milk & that seems to sooth him, & then 20 mins later he's at it again. I've tried ignoring him but he just gets worked up & cries, I've lifted him up to wind him - no wind, although he is quite farty during the night!
He & I are knackered the next day! He generally sleeps ok during the day, sometimes after a struggle he gets to sleep, or if in car seat on school run. But be doesn't sleep for very long during the day either!
He's my 4th child & im at my wits end, I dunno what is up with, but definitely not right as he's now old enough to be sleeping longer!
If anyone can give me advice, that would be much appreciated!
I shall try to be as gentle as possible here, because I mean no offense, but it sounds like your son is lacking in any security during the night.
He's been left alone, screaming when he was too young. I am not against techniques like CIO, they do have their place. But to have done it under 12 months old has, I suspect, made matters far worse.
For a baby to sleep he needs to feel safe, comfortable, comforted and secure.
Your son is (I assume) comfortable and safe. His dummy will be a help to feel comforted, but at 6 months old he cannot put his own dummy in yet. So he cannot access that comfort.
In addition it sounds like he can't feel secure in his cot. He's shouting you to help him feel that sense of security and so you go to him (after a while of him not knowing if you'll come or not) and make him feel comforted and secure by cuddling him and giving dummy. Then you immediately take away that security so he gets upset again (and again will have no understanding of time that he will be left alone).
In your position to solve this I would be completely free and available with all of the time and comfort your son need. Stay with him all of the time ne needs to feel secure. This will take a lot of time and patience to rebuilt his trust in you that you will stay and be there for him.
Then in time (I am talking months and months) you can start to gradually reduce the amount he relies on your reassurance so that he can still feel secure and comforted, knowing you will always come when needed.
I have four children. My youngest is 16 months. You can do this in a kind, gentle and caring way. There is no need whatsoever to just leave him to cry until he eventually gives up exhausted.
He's not alone he sleeps in the cot, with the side off, so we co-sleep, & we only did CIO last week, so it was just getting him to sleep rather than wrestling him to sleep & then waking when I put him down.
So it's defiantly not that as I'm with him all night after midnight, it's when I'm with him he wakes, so I was wondering if it was some kind of silent reflux?!
Could you try cuddling into the cot? Still give him his own space in his cot, but you cuddle right in.
I find a firm hand on baby's chest is useful for reassurance. I bring my head right next to baby, eye to eye. Firm hand on chest to dissuade from wriggling and keep re-inserting dummy as needed. Definitely work on getting him to go from awake to asleep in the cot, rather than needing to be put down once asleep.
Is he mobile yet? Sleep often goes to pot during those months when they learn to crawl, sit and walk.
Yes I've tried all of that, hand on chest, holding his hand all night etc. It's defiantly not an emotional thing. The way he squirms & arches his back & fidgets, he's always done it since birth. I'm just getting exhausted from it now!
It needs a significant amount of consistency though.
For example we started this (cuddling into the cot, firm hand, always being there) from birth and it took until DC4 was 12 months old to reach the point where I could put her down awake and then not hear from her again until morning.
Every child is different. DC2 reached this point by 6 months old and DC3 was the dream baby who could be put down awake (with dummy) at 7 weeks old and I wouldn't hear a peep from him.
So just because my last child (DC3) was sleeping through from very young and the one before not so bad at 6mo - this did not mean that I got to 6 months old with DC4 and decided stuff it - you should be able to sleep through now so I will force her to develop at a rate according to what I think. She wasn't developmentally ready and still needed me. So I stayed and she got there in the end.
By all means see a doctor if you think this is medical.
I know if I had an odd night where I couldn't get to DD quickly when she woke and if she was ever left to cry for a time, that it would take a few days of sleep-process-regression to build back up the trust. I'd know that was the case though and just accept it, but not leave her to cry whenever possible. So your CIO spell last week could be the cause of the recent regression.
My son also seems to have a 'switch' after which he cannot easily sleep, even though he rubs his eyes and cries through tiredness and is not ready to get up. This was 4am and is now 5ish.
Co-sleeping does not help, me sitting propped up holding him does not help. He isn't ready to start the day because if I sit with him on the bed and give him toys he cries with tiredness. It's not hunger or thirst. He likes to be walked around the room while he sucks his thumb - this can go on for hours. Any sitting, semi-reclining or otherwise finding a remotely comfortable position is intolerable to him. At 10 months, it has become intolerable to me too. I'm beyond exhausted.
Now when he wakes, I go to nappy change so I know he's dry and clean. I comfort him until relaxed and sleepy at shoulder, then it's gently back in the cot. There has been a lot of crying, but it is slowly pushing back his wake up time. It's truly awful, but I was dealing with an angry screaming baby anyway, so now I'm dealing with a screamy baby who is figuring out how to sleep longer.
I started by not going back in until he had fallen back to sleep Then woken up again. Now I set a time and stick to it for a few days. When his sleep successfully pushes out, I increase it by a few more minutes. I hate the whole thing, but just cannot cope any more. It's really impossible to understand what it's like to have a baby who just does not follow any pattern but their own until you have one.
One random thing that you might not have considered could be that your baby gets disturbed by others in the room and that's one reason for his wakefulness. My son started sleeping much better (pre 4am) once I put him in his own room.
Thanks Mango, yes I had considered putting him in his own room (with his younger sister) so may try that over the w/e.
Thanks for everyone else's advice, I think some people are missing the point, it's not a recent thing - he has ALWAYS done it, we have just cracked the putting him to bed to sleep routine (yay!) which is now getting easier. It's the constant waking every 20-90 mins, not wanting anything in particular, just squirming for AGES!
Somethings got to give as I'm knackered & so is baby, he's not a fan of napping during the day so he's often miserable through tiredness, yet won't nap during the day/sleep much at night! IFYKWIM
Babies wake regularly through the night. If he's just squirming then leave him to it?
My 8 month old is exactly the same! Wakes up every 2 hours.
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