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My 5 month old is confusing me!

(6 Posts)
OneWordTwoSyllables Wed 03-Feb-16 02:48:16

Baby will be 5 months in a couple of days. I'm getting confused with what to do re. night time feeds.

At the moment we start bedtime routine at 6:30 and she is asleep between 7:15 and 7:30. While she has 6 or 7oz at a feed in the day, she will only take 3 or 4oz for her last bottle.

She used to wake for a feed between 10 and 11 then again at 2:30. For about 2 weeks she has dropped the 10pm feed. I was giving 4oz at 2:30 but she would get restless at about 4. So now I give 5oz and she sleeps through till 6/6:30.

I'm wondering, should I be doing this or should I be trying to get her to have more earlier? My HV said I should be trying to stop the 2:30 feed but doesn't feel I should wake her at 10...

I hope I've explained this ok...I'm getting more and more in a mess with it the more I think about it. Just to throw more confusion in, on the odd occasion baby will sleep from 7pm - 5am. I thought this was when she had more food in the day but the day before yesterday she drank the most she ever has in the day but was unsettled from 3am - 7am crying and thrashing in her sleep.

I don't know if it makes any difference but she sleeps in the bed with me atm. I've tried desperately to get her into her own bed (co sleeper crib, travel cot and actual cot) but she will wake every 2 hours if she isn't next to me.

Any advice will be so appreciated. I just have absolutely no idea where to go with this!

FATEdestiny Wed 03-Feb-16 10:49:44

In terms of calorific intake in the day and night time - it is rarely an immediate effect. For example the fact that she had loads of milk one day and then doesn't sleep well that same night, this is not significant. However if you maintain higher daytime milk intake long-term, over several weeks, then it can start having an effect on milk needs at night.

I used to aim for feeds every 2 to 2 1/2 hours through the daytime, to ensure some calorie loading through the daytime.

Having said all of that, absolutely basis for saying a 5 month old shouldn't need a night feed - she may well continue to need it.

Also remember that not every wake up is because of hunger. If you can settle baby with a dummy (or other means) instead of feeding, then definitely worth a try.

OneWordTwoSyllables Wed 03-Feb-16 12:38:16

Thank you for your reply FATE. There's lots I didn't realise in there.

I (stupidly) hadn't thought to try settling her without feeding at 2:30. I do it when she stirs at around 4 on the odd night so definitely worth a try.

I wondered as well, is there anything I could be doing to encourage into her own space at night? I have tried warming the crib, something that smells of me, white noise. She has a dummy which works well but she wakes for it a lot through the night when she's on her own. We have a co sleeper so she's right next to me but still doesn't sleep well. It makes me think it's the softer mattress of the bed that helps but I know I won't be able to get a softer one for her crib or cot.

In fairness to her she is making some progress as she has never liked sleeping - I still struggle with her naps in the day. She fights sleep a lot, can be drowsy and calm in my arms but will wake up kicking, smiling and laughing as soon as I put her down. Thankfully that isn't happening at night anymore.

FATEdestiny Wed 03-Feb-16 13:54:24

Good sleep promotes better sleep so the fact that you have mentioned struggling with her naps in the daytime could be adding to her being unsettled at night.

The more a baby sleeps then they easier they are to get to sleep and the more they will stay asleep. The reverse is also true and so poor sleep becomes self-perpetuating.

What's her daytime sleep like? If you are still in the short 30-45 minute catnaps of early months, then you want to try and limit awake time between one nap and the next to around 60-80 minutes. This avoids over tired and ensures naps are frequent. If baby has reached the developmental stage of being able to extend daytime naps to more like 1h-2h, then you want awake times of around 2-3h between naps, with 2 or 3 naps per day.

Regarding nights - you will get some who say put baby into own room, you are waking each other up. I have never bought this. I value my sleep far., far too much and know it is much easier on my own sanity to keep the cot in my room until baby is reliably and consistently sleeping through.

I had a full sized 3-sided cot (normal cot once side removed off the cot, mattress heights matching). This gives much more space to physically cuddle into the cot. I would often wake up to find my head and shoulders in the cot and arms wrapped around baby, with the rest of my body in my bed. The thing was though, rather than co-sleeping, this was teaching baby to sleep in her own space in her own cot and to be settled back to sleep without being picked up.

OneWordTwoSyllables Thu 04-Feb-16 14:27:59

Thank you again* FATE* for taking the time to reply.

At the moment she will nap for 35 or 50 minutes at a time if I leave the room. If I need sleep too and get into bed with her she can go for a couple of hours.

I have been able to pick up on her sleep cues for a while now and it turns out I'm trying to put her down roughly very hour and a half - 2 hours after waking. The problem is sometimes she just will not do it! She screams and screams no matter what I try. She gets more and more tired and upset. It's heartbreaking. It used to be that after a few screams she would fall asleep but she now doesn't do this. She only stops crying if I put her down and give her something to amuse herself with. I know I should persevere with trying to get her down but I can't listen to her cry and scream they way she does.

FATEdestiny Thu 04-Feb-16 14:44:21

Physical sleep cues usually mean over-tired and that baby getting tired at least half an hour ago. It is better to anticipate sleep cues if possible and have baby asleep before they start.

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