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4.5 months waking every 1hr

(26 Posts)
Frenchfancies Mon 01-Feb-16 09:41:23

My little boy is 4.5months and is waking every 1-1.5hrs for past 5 weeks. I co-sleep ( he won't settle in crib) and breastfeed so always offer him the boob because dont really know what else to do, and he takes it every time so he has about a 10minute feed every hour... When I say every hour I mean from 9pm - 7am. The only time he sleeps longer without waking is in my arms. I know all babies are different and that they are meant to wake frequently but surely he should be having a small stretch of solid sleep? I'm now thinking it's his teeth... But how do you know apart from all signs of usual teething, chewing, drooling,grizzling etc, Can I give him 2.5ml of calpol every night? What if it goes on for another month can you give calpol that regularly? I'm sooooo tired and can't even think straight anymore and just going over and over in my head what it could be - too hot, too Cold, too hungry, not latched right, not enough creamier milk filling him up... I'm going doo-lally!!!! confusedconfused

SpottedLorax Mon 01-Feb-16 11:42:07

I wouldn't give calpol daily - it's great stuff but it is paracetamol and so needs to be given when needed only.
My lo is teething too. Signs are drooling a lot, red cheeks, gnawing anything in sight and general crankiness. If you look on the gum - most likely the front at the bottom, you may see a little swollen lump - that's the tooth bud ready to come through. It can take ages though - our little guy has been teething since Xmas (2.5 months) and is only now at almost 4 months cutting the first one.
You could try a clean damp washcloth - freeze then let it defrost a bit - frozen will burn the gum and give it to them to chew. Or cooled teether toys. Mine prefers my knuckles or clothing smile

At 4 mo they undergo a change in the way they sleep. As newborns they're basically asleep until they need something; from sbout 4mo they start needing to actively go to sleep. I guess our job is to teach them, but it isn't easy!

It is tough. I was up from midnight to 7am with mine last night. flowers

FATEdestiny Mon 01-Feb-16 11:48:46

The Calpol bottle says to not use for longer than 3 days. Medicating as a preventative measure or on the basis that "I think... maybe..." really is not a great habit to get into.

Have you tried a dummy if baby likes to suck?

Also watch daytime feeding and sleeping because these have an effect on the quality of night time sleep. Try ensuring baby is fed very regularly through the daytime as a means to calorie load during the day, so less is needed during the night.

Also watch daytime napping to avoid over tiredness. Ideally baby wants to be awake for no more than an hour and a half between naps. Ideally closer to an hour. So next time baby wakes look at the clock and aim to have him back to sleep 60-80 minutes after waking. Even if it's just a short nap (30-45 min daytime naps are fine), watch awake time so that the naps are regular and frequent.

CityDweller Mon 01-Feb-16 11:58:53

I'm entering this territory with DS (nearly 4 mo) and when DD was this age she did a similar thing - awake hourly for feeds, etc. In my experience with DD you just have to ride it out however you can - I did similarly to you, by co-sleepign and letting DD have constant access to the 24-hour boob buffet. DS has taken a dummy, so sometimes it works to pop that back in, but that will usually only gain me about half an hour before he wakes up, spits it out again and demands a feed.

You could google 4-month-sleep regression for other tips. It's just so common at this age as they are going through massive developmental changes and their sleep patterns change.

I'm hanging on to the fact that DD was through the worst of it by about 5.5/ 6 months and started sleeping through at 8.5 months.

Frenchfancies Fri 05-Feb-16 21:14:24

@FATEdestiny sorry I'm only just coming back on this post now - it's been a bit of a week!

He won't take a dummy, I'm desperate for him too and I try every day! I've tried ehen he's happy - when's he's crying - I've spent about £30 on different brands and been trying him with one since he was about 3wks but he just looks confused at me and pushes it out. sad

On the awake times, do you really think he should be asleep again 60-90mins after waking up? if so I am doing this all wrong! I just have always let him sleep when he wants to - which is generally 3 times a day for about between 20-40 minsl. Sometimes he might have a 1.5hr-2hr sleep about 3pm but he's such a light sleeper and is always waking up. The only time he ever seems in a deep sleep is when I'm holding him. How do I get him back to sleep and how long for at a time?

FATEdestiny Fri 05-Feb-16 21:46:10

I just have always let him sleep when he wants to - which is generally 3 times a day for about between 20-40 mins

That's no where near enough sleep. Don't beat yourself up about it, loads of new mums dont realise just how much a baby needs to sleep. There is also some sleep physiology to consider.

In the newborn phase sleep is passive, so it is baby's natural state when all needs are met and baby will only wake when a need isn't met (food or nappy usually) and will mostly spend all the rest of the time asleep - like when in utero.

From about 3 or 4 months old sleep matures to become less passive and changes to develop sleep cycles (like adults sleep). Baby now has to work at getting to sleep and work at staying asleep, previously this was passive so required no action to make it happen.

Except baby physically (and emotionally) doesn't have the skills to "work at" getting to sleep - so that becomes the parents job. "Getting baby to sleep" can end up taking up loads of your time.

The key long-term is to accept that you have to help baby get to sleep, but find ways of helping them get to sleep that is sustainable long term and is something you can wean-off using.

The next sleep development that happens (around 5-7 months, give or take) is when baby can start to learn to link sleep cycles in the daytime so that naps start extending. At that point then 3 naps a day become normal, but they are longer 1.5-2h naps. Until then shorter 30-45 minute naps is perfectly usual and normal. The key is to make then frequent. This is where 60-80 min awake time comes in.

Try limiting awake time to 60-80mins and see the effect it has!

Remember to factor in the time it takes you to get baby to sleep. So if it takes you 30 minutes to get the baby to sleep, then it might mean baby waking up, having a feed, a short play and then working at getting him back to sleep just 30 or 40 minutes after waking up, so that he's back to sleep about a hour or so after waking.

Frenchfancies Sat 06-Feb-16 08:22:38

Right ok, well we're moving his cot into our room today to have next to the bed,currently we co-sleep but it's killing me, plus I end up just feeding to send him back to sleep every 1.5-2hrs.

It's just so hard to keep him asleep, in his pram I push him and he goes off.

At night I don't have that so end up just feeding him. I can stand up and sway him to sleep but as soon as I put him down his eyes ping open.

I will try hand on chest patting etc but have done this in past and given up because he gets in self in such a state, when up upset starts coughing/choking nearly bright red.

Do you think the more frequent day time naps will help his night time?

And how do you know all this, just past experience?

Thanks very muchsmilegrin

Frenchfancies Sat 06-Feb-16 08:28:00

Sorry so he naps in his pram in day time I meant and he wakes frequently in that but I can push him back off to sleep and he will go.... After he's woken about 4 times is when he has that longer stretch of an hour unbroken and then in all he might have two hours.

Another thing he does he move is head sideways quite fast when he's waking up like he's trying to get a fly off his head or something, obviously he isn't but that's the type of movement.

Frenchfancies Sat 06-Feb-16 10:24:42

Cathster I'm on this thread to if any of this helps!

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 10:42:02

Regarding the cot - you could consider removing one side off the cot (easily done with an allen key on most cots) and wedging it next to your bed. That makes an extension space that is like co-sleeping, but baby still in the cot. Many a night I would wake up with my head and shoulders in the co-sleeper cot, arms wrapped around baby, but the rest of me in my bed.

Dummy is worth persevering on. Especially so if you have a baby who likes to suck to get to sleep. Those that don't use a dummy, I hear them talking about baby "grumbling" to go to sleep, or "whinging", some call it "talking" - I really think its just crying with a different name (but not on a screaming level maybe). I wouldn't cope with any level of grumbling/crying, especially when baby is trying to relax and go to sleep. So dummy all the way for me.

My DC1 used to do the head flinging side-to-side thing (she was rocked to sleep and had horrendous sleep habits). With her it was an over-tired sign. It was a way for her to try and self-sooth, because whatever I was doing at the time wasn't helping her get to sleep and she was desperate to go to sleep. With hindsight I was over-stimulating her at sleep time. She would have been better still, calm, quiet, reassured and maybe a firm hand of mine on her chest without loads of movement - instead of all the frantic rocking, jiggling, loud white noise and light show star projected I was providing. You live and learn though, I've had three more children since then and learnt from my mistakes.

Frenchfancies Sat 06-Feb-16 12:25:06

Would you recommend pram for day sleeps or his night time cot as an ideal? (Not that he actually goes in his cot but something to work towards!)

And yes we are moving his main cot in our room and taking side off. His little snuzpod crib is bit small now.

Also, feed to sleep or not?

Sorry million questions but I've been drifting around with this for so long with not a clue what to do (people kept just telling me it's a phase/leap/growth spurt etc) so with some direction I'm feeling bit more positive. So thank you thanks

We are currently on our second nap of the day which has so far been 5mins asleep 10 mins awake, 5 mins asleep again but I can see he is really tired.

First nap he had at 9.45 for half an hour.

Small wins eh!

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 13:26:33

Small wins indeed.

If DS is usually extending his naps and they are lasting for 1.5h+ without waking, then I would move naps into the big cot upstairs. However the process of resettling is more difficult in the cot (I find) so if any re-settling is still needed then I would keep in the pram.

I used a bouncy chair, but same premise with a pram. Keep in mind the long-term view of weaning off movement. While you might need to rock the pram to get him to sleep and to resettle if waking up too soon, be mindful of doing it less. Be slightly less vigorous. Rock for less time, rock slower. Its a gradual process of lessening the dependency on the pram moving.

Once baby is sleeping for longer naps without needing a re-settle, I would take that as the time to focus on cot sleeping for all sleeps. Others move to cot sleeping sooner, like now for you, and develop resettling methods if baby wakes early.

Also, feed to sleep or not?

Feeding to sleep isn't ideal. If you have other means of settling (pram rocking, dummy, co-sleeper cuddling) then you shouldn't need to. I used the EASY structure as a means to both separate feeding and sleeping (baby is fed upon waking, not upon going to sleep) and give structure to sleeps and feeds.

EASY is a repeated cycle of things that you do in a certain order. If you pay attention for a while, you start to notice routines that develop. Coming from your baby, not you.

E - Eat - Full feed upon first waking up (notice the time)
A - Activity - This is happy/awake time. Because baby is fully fed you can be sure that the very first sign of a grumble or not being happily awake, then it means baby is tired. No confusion as to why baby is upset
S - Sleep - Notice the time from waking to going to sleep and also how long the sleep is. You can start noticing baby-led patterns and so anticipate awake time and asleep times.
Y - You time while baby sleeps.

When baby wakes up, start again with E-Eat and repeat the whole cycle over and over again all through the day.

Frenchfancies Sat 06-Feb-16 18:42:50

So today

9.45 - 30min nap
11.30 - 1.15hr nap (broken first 30 mins)
2.30 - 25 min nap
4.00pm - 1hr 15 min nap

Well it's a start.

So fate what do you on evening? Do I continue the 60-80min cycle? He usually has a bath at 7 and then try and have him asleep for 8pm holding him before I go to bed at 10pm where I dream feed him in bed with me

Frenchfancies Sat 06-Feb-16 18:43:15

And thanks for the EASY... Will try and digest that this evening!

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 20:56:35

Definitely a decent start.

At 4.5 months old we were carrying on EASY naps downstairs until I went to bed. So bouncy chair naps after 60-80 minutes awake. At any awake time between 7pm-8pm ish we would 'do bedtime' (as in bath and change into night clothes), but baby would come back downstairs for a "nap" without an expectation that this would be part of the nights sleep.

At this age I would be expecting that at some point late evening (10-11pm) baby would be waking up and wanting another feed. When that happens, that's when I take baby upstairs with me, and we go to bed at the same time.

In time we found that baby no longer wakes for that late evening feed. When baby was consistently going to sleep at 7-8pm downstairs and not waking at all and I was having to wake her when I went to bed - then we started proper "bedtime". So put baby down in the cot, upstairs at 7-8pm straight after bath and PJs and she stayed asleep. For us that happened between 5 months - 6 months old.

MakemineaGandT Sat 06-Feb-16 20:59:35

Poor have my utmost sympathy as I had this with one of mine.....I ended up so exhausted I just wept constantly - I still look back on it as the most miserable time. In the end I weaned my baby onto formula and then food......and he rapidly slept through..... Good luck!

Unhappyexpat Sat 06-Feb-16 21:41:22

Do you think EASY could be introduced at four months to combat the feed to sleep association?
My ds usually is more EAES!

FATEdestiny Sat 06-Feb-16 21:59:08

EAES works too, if it means routine and structure to your day. You cant realistically expect to stop feeding to sleep unless you have another way of settling baby, so you have to have an alternate ready.

I used to use dummy and bouncing in the bouncy chair to get baby to daytime nap at this age. So if you think that might work (with hard work and persistence), or have another way to get her to sleep, then yes - you could change to EASY to break the feeding to sleep habit.

Unhappyexpat Sat 06-Feb-16 22:20:51

Hmm... I'll see how it goes smile he does nap in the pram so I suppose he's not always sleeping after feeding.

Feeding to sleep isn't a problem for me just now, I just don't want to create problems for the future.

Frenchfancies Sun 07-Feb-16 09:37:04

Makemine I bought some formula yesterday.... Haven't used it yet but on my knees and thought I'd maybe try it for the evening feed. Upsets me though, guess just always wanted him to be ebf, but for it works. If it doesn't I won't keep going with it.

Frenchfancies Sun 07-Feb-16 15:51:00

Fate if I've understood it correctly you feed AFTER they have woken up? But don't they naturally feel sleepy after a feed, like we do, so drift off at that point, would it be a bit odd to fight that?

I actually don't think he would sleep without a feed beforehand and then would probably wake up earlier than he should because he was hungry. He gets fed every 2hrs anyway, that's just his needs.

Or do you mean feed to sleep and after? This is generally what we have to do anyway hmm

FATEdestiny Sun 07-Feb-16 20:13:25

The cornerstone of EASY is that you feed upon waking, not upon going to sleep.

Frenchfancies Mon 08-Feb-16 16:17:32

Ah ok, well I'll see how I get on with the more regular day time naps first - one step at a time probably best! Thanks fate

Frenchfancies Tue 09-Feb-16 21:12:05

I just cannot keep him asleep. He's napping more. But it's soul destroying taking forever to get him to sleep and then 25mins later without fail he's up and at it again. when he eventually he goes it's not like I can think phew he's gone... Because I'm chewing my nails anxious he's about to wake any second be it day time of night time. Whether I rock him to sleep, feed him to sleep he just is constantly waking up and it's driving me insane!! confusedconfusedconfusedconfusedconfused

FATEdestiny Tue 09-Feb-16 21:32:50

Could he not be getting enough calories? I don't mean in the feed immediately before going to sleep, I mean cumulative over 24 hours, or over the week.

The simplest solutions to many issues in the first 6 months is either more milk or more sleep. Or both.

Could you have a week or so of loads more feeding? My DDs milk intake went up by 25% at 4 months old - a massive, massive amount that meant both more frequent feeds and more milk per feed.

Giving one evening formula feed is unlikely to have any great effect on sleep, because it wouldn't have much cumulative effect. You are better off focusing on your supply and feeding at every possible opportunity, as much as possible.

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