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What am I doing wrong??

(18 Posts)
Zaurak Tue 22-Mar-16 06:50:11

Ds is 5.5 months. 4 month sleep regression seemed to have ended but now he's getting even worse.

We have bath, cuddles, milk and he goes down awake then self settles fine. Previously he'd do 5 hours then wake 1/2 times for milk. He has some solids during the day.
Now he does maybe 90 minutes max then wants milk. Nothing else will settle him - hours of rocking, patting, pacing - only milk. And he is hungry- he gulps it down.
Now he's just not having any period of proper sleep from about 11pm to the morning ( he's up for the day at five.)

What am I doing wrong? We have routine, he self settles initially. We keep nighttime dark and calm, only murmured 'night night time' type stuff, no stimulating.

I can't cope on tiny snatches of sleep - I was doing ok on 2-3 chunks but this is like total deprivation. sad

He is given 3-4 naps a day depending on how early he woke - I try to keep him up no longer than 90 min, but he fights these - I have to lie with him to get him to sleep then he wakes every 20 mins or so.

It's killing me. Help!

Coconut0il Tue 22-Mar-16 20:54:03

That sound exhausting zaurak. DS2 is 7 months and is currently waking 4/5 times a night. I always feed him back to sleep. Whatever gets him back to sleep the fastest.
No expert advice, but DS2 has only been having 2 naps since about 5 months. Previously I'd make sure he was only up for about 90 minutes but now he's a bit older he has only a morning and afternoon nap. He's normally up at 7, he will nap about 10/11 for an hour, then again at 2/3 for hopefully another hour but sometimes less. He then goes to bed at 7. Nap 1 is always on my lap, nap 2 will either be on my lap, in the car or pushchair.
I'm not sure of sleep recommendations but maybe try stretching out the awake times and dropping a nap? Hopefully it's just a phase.

Sugarplummy84 Wed 23-Mar-16 17:53:12

I'm having the same issue with my 5 month old DD. Interested to see any advice this thread brings!!

tiredybear Wed 23-Mar-16 22:01:45

You're not doing anything wrong, in fact, you seem pretty on it to me.

My DS was like this...i was stuck in sleep deprived hell for months and I tried everything, sure it was something I was doing wrong as, surely, his sleep should be improving as time went on.

I was also assured that once he started solids his sleep would improve...so it nearly drove me insane when it actually got worse. What I now understand is that early solids are nice and filling in their tummy, but not necessarily that calorific (compared to milk) so it's quite normal for them to want more milk when weaning starts.

There's a lot going on in their first year and it makes it hard for some babies to stay asleep. It is REALLY tough but it will get better. Don't blame yourself, save your energy!

I'm now (almost!) on the other side of it, DS is nearly 1 and only wakes once for a feed sometime between 3 and 5. He also now naps without endless rocking etc, for proper amounts of time, like an hour or so, twice a day. Again, I did nothing different, just slowly he started fussing less when it came to nap time, and sleeping for more than 20-30mins.

He just slowly started to sleep better. then had periods when it was way worse, then better and repeat!

I know you want a technique or something to make it better NOW, but hang on in there, you're doing a GREAT job, this (awful awful) phase WILL pass.

Zaurak Thu 24-Mar-16 06:52:25

Thanks. Was discussing it with dh this morning (at 04:50) and he's of the opinion that it'll work itself out in time and we just need to be consistent.
As long as he goes down awake in his cot and gets used to being put back in there and settling he will get it one day ..? Right ..?
sleep deprivation is brutal.

tiredybear Thu 24-Mar-16 09:25:56

yes exactly, try and be consistent and try not to add too many extra sleep props, although if an extra lullaby or a bit of rocking helps, do it.
Sleep deprivation is AWFUL but you WILL get through it.

My DS could self settle at that age, but has had phases where he's needed more help getting to sleep again. I've learnt to just go with it now.

One thing I wish I'd spent more time establishing is some kind of comforter/lovey. He's had 3 in his cot since he was tiny but has never been that bothered. I think it would have really helped when he was 8+months and was getting anxious about being left. Has your DS got one? If not, that would be my advice to help future bad phases. I think if I'd let him hold one whenever he was feeding, he may have attached more to one of them.

BTW 4.50am used to be morning here too! I think our DC are very similar! My DS now always makes it til 6/7am.

Zaurak Sat 26-Mar-16 01:09:25

Longer stretches of wake time aren't working. He just gets tired, grumpy etc.

I HAVE to get him to stop waking constantly. I am suicidal, I cannot cope with no sleep. I cannot cope with him co sleeping and sucking on me all night - it's making me sore and I can't sleep with him doing it.

What can I do? I look online and all they say is that 'baby must go down sleepy but awake.' But he does! He just wakes.up.constantly.

Help sad

ViolaMummy Sun 27-Mar-16 18:01:52

My DS used to wake 6-7 times a night when he was about 6 months old too! I remember a NIGHTMARE week when DH was away and I literally didn't sleep. You don't sound like you are doing anything wrong. It's great that your DS can self-settle. However, self-settling when they wake at night between sleep cycles (which it sounds like your DS is doing) is a much harder skill to learn. DS is 1 year and only just getting the hang of putting himself back to sleep when he wakes at night (babies don't really 'sleep through' - it's a myth! They wake often and need to learn to put themselves back to sleep).

It sounds also like he may have a sleep association i.e. he needs a feed to go back to sleep, even if he does go back in his cot awake after the feed there can still be an association. This is what happened to my DS. What we did was we agreed on the number of night feeds that DS 'needed' - it was 1 or 2 - although some people say they can sleep through with no feeds at 5/6 months. We then decided the earliest that we would feed DS (so, if he went to sleep at 7pm then it would be 10/11pm and then 3pm) and resettled every other wake up. The first 2 nights were dreadful and then it got better.

Some people would say it's best not to feed them at all as they get confused but DS was OK, although he's only started sleeping through in the last month (he's just turned 1). I also thought that he still needed milk at night (he was only on a small amount of solids).

What does he do when he wakes in the night? Does he scream straight away? Or just fuss? I also randomly discovered that DS really HATED being picked up out of his cot to be resettled (unless I was going to feed him). So, for the resettles without milk I just stroked his head/back until he was calmer and then tried leaving the room. If he cried went in and repeated the process until be finally put himself back to sleep.

What is your nap schedule like during the day? How long does he sleep for each nap?

Sorry for the long reply!

DangerMouth Tue 29-Mar-16 09:55:04

I think he's getting too much sleep in the day. 3-4 naps is a lot and he should be able to stay awake longer than 90 minutes. He's tired during the day because he's awake at night?

It's tough l know. Dd2 has spent hours awake during the night for the last week. Knowing it won't last helps but it's very hard to stay sane positive in the middle of the night l know.

She is of course also then grumpy during the day because she's tired! But l have held back giving her any extra nap time as l too am desperate for my sleep back.

Zaurak Tue 29-Mar-16 18:25:48

I don't think he's having too much sleep in the day - he's getting an hour tops when it's all added up. He will only nap for ten mins or so. I always try to resettle but I'm not having much success sad

I want to try to get him to have a couple of decent naps a day with 2-2.5 hours between. But he's up at 5 am, which means he is often asleep about 8am but only briefly. Then again about ten thirty he drops off for ten mins . After lunch I try to get him to have a longer nap but he just won't stay asleep. If I didn't actively take him up to bed and feed him he would be awake all day, easily.
he gets really ratty when tired, so I can't keep him up until he's due a nap by a schedule. I've tried edging out the nap times a bit each day, strict scheduling and going by his signals. He will go to sleep fine but then he's waking after ten/twenty minutes and I don't know why.

When he wakes at night hell sometimes go back down himself but generally not. Usually he wakes and yells, rather than wake/shuffle around. I don't feed every time - if he's been fed say half an hour ago, dh will go up and settle him.

Why is he waking after 10-20 mins?? I'm on my fourth resettle already and it's only 7:3" sad I have a rotten cold and I feel terrible. sad

ViolaMummy Tue 29-Mar-16 20:45:19

I think he just sounds really over tired. 1 hour is not much day time sleep but I know how hard it is when they only short nap. When they are tiny, some babies just like to do short naps (DS used to do 45 minute naps!) but they normally grow out of it around 5-6 months. 10-20 minute naps sound like he may be uncomfortable or really having trouble settling? Where does he sleep during the day? Does he have reflux or anything like that? DS had silent reflux and when he was very small would settle initially, but then wake about 20 minutes in choking sad So, I used to give him day time naps in the sling at least twice a day until he was about 4/5 months and grew out of it. Will your baby sleep in the pram/buggy or the sling for longer? If so, they I'd spend a few days giving him naps wherever you can get him to sleep for a longer stretch, just to get on top of the over tiredness. I know it's a pain and not practical in the long run, but at one point I was giving DS his morning nap in his cot (just literally to give me time to have a shower) and then all other naps would be in the sling!

I know you said he feeds A LOT during the night - as well as a sleep association (they need the milk to get back to sleep) babies with reflux like to feed because it eases the pain for a bit. I'm not saying at all that he has reflux though - but it's something you might like to look into. DS went onto meds for his reflux and it made a big difference. We also had his cot on a slant (propped up by books!). He used to roll downwards a bit but we just pulled him back up in the middle of the night sometimes and it didn't bother him smile

I'm only guessing here, but if he's up at 5am I'd try putting him down for his first nap a lot earlier. You could try after 2 hours and see what happens. He may refuse it, but then you can try later. Or, he may be able to nap longer because he's less tired. I think 2-2.5 hours between naps (you mentioned this) sounds about right but in the morning you are giving him 3 hours and this is (usually) the shortest awake time.

I think if you can try to shorten his awake time between naps, and try the buggy/sling/car (DS hated the car but many people swear by it!) to extend at least 2 naps then you will be giving him more day time sleep and his nights might start to improve because of this. Failing that, you could try giving him a really early bed time. When DS used to do TERRIBLE naps I put him to bed at 5:30pm sometimes and he still woke up the same time the next morning. I used to worry about him waking earlier then usual but he never did! When things were awful with DS I used to say anything was worth a go and sometimes the most random things worked really well!

Sorry this is such a long post! Hang on in there as it sounds like you are doing a great job. Babies are just so hard sometimes but it will get better.

Zaurak Tue 29-Mar-16 21:45:13

I don't think he has reflux. I've propped the cot up though, I'll see if that works at all.
He won't sleep for any longer in the pram. He did in winter when it was -25 and we went out for nice long walks, but now it's warmer and he's in the chair not wrapped in the cot thing he is just buzzing with excitement if we go somewhere... He's just a nosey little lad smile the world is too interesting
I will definitely try to put him down earlier in the morning. The last few days over the long weekend dh has been taking him off to play them bringing him back after 90 mins or so so I can sleep. I've fed him and he's dropped off but as usual he's awake quickly :/ that's the problem I think - he's waking way too soon. Why!
Interesting you say he could be uncomfortable ... I wonder with what? He doesn't have any signs of reflux, the temperature is fine (house is 17-18 upstairs and 20 down.) I wonder what it could be?

Rosenwyn Tue 29-Mar-16 22:01:31

If he's waking after 20/30 mins, could it be teething pain? You could try giving cal pol and seeing if it makes any difference? I had this with my DS. It was really bad from about 4 months to 7 months when his first tooth came. One thing that worked for us was once a night sending DH with formula instead of giving a breast feed. DS quite quickly dropped one night feed when he realised he wasn't getting the boob.

ViolaMummy Wed 30-Mar-16 21:54:52

Hmmm - yes it could be teeth! That is horrible for them and it can start before you even see a tooth!

Do you feed him before each nap? Does he feed and then fall asleep? Will he go to sleep on his own during the day, or without you feeding him?

ViolaMummy Wed 30-Mar-16 21:59:26

I only suggested reflux because DS did this when he was tiny and it was the reflux that caused it. But a 20 minute sleep is less than even a sleep cycle so he's not really getting into deep sleep. Something is waking him up before he gets there...you said in your first post that you lie next to him to get him to sleep. Do you then leave him? If he stirs and realises that you are not there any more then he'll wake up! It's a sleep association thing again - they like to go to sleep and then everything to stay the same. If they go to sleep on their own then there's more chance they'll do a decent nap...of course it doesn't always work like this in reality but it's a good start.

Chocolatteaddict1 Wed 30-Mar-16 22:17:40

Try sleep training. The day time naps are key here. A sleep cycle lasts 45 mins at the end of each cycle he should be able to put him self back in another. I had to do this with dd.

I basically stayed in for a week and focused on her sleep. I could of kicked myself for not doing it earlier.

Watch when he goes down, if he is waking after 20 mins - around 10 -15 mins gently
rub his belly, stroke his head. Just enough to disturb him slightly but not fully awake. It should send him back in to another sleep cycle. He should be aiming between 1.5 - two hours full unbroken sleep during the day.

Then when day time sleep is sorted we worked on night time sleep. If baby is not having around 12-13 hours per 24 hours sleep then they are over tired and just cannot sleep.

Dd woke dead on 2:30 everynight so I set my alarm for 2:15, went in and disturbed her a little she carried on sleeping till around five. On night four she slept through till five which I was over the moon with SND we just worked from there. Apparently it's called wake to sleep.

For nine months I didn't have more than four hours sleep and I was a zombie then I down loaded a book called the secrets of the baby whisperer it really worked for us.

You get a fool proof routine of what you should be doing age appropriately with your DC and the signs to watch for before even the yawns come. My dd just didn't know how to keep asleep 🙈

Try it! Nothing gained nothing ventured.

Zaurak Mon 04-Apr-16 04:10:09

I will try the wake to sleep thing...

He just seems to be an incredibly light sleeper. I am too (I have awful sleep issues) so right from the start he's been around noise etc.

As for nighttime sleep, we just aren't at the point where I can set an alarm for when he wakes - he's just not sleeping at all

It's 5am here now. He's been awake for over an hour. He was put down at 6:30, wide awake on cot and fell asleep just fine.

Then he woke at 7, 7:20,8, 9:30, 10 at that point I went to bed and he's been awake on and off since.

He won't take a bottle anymore so dh can't do nights - the only thing that will settle him is a feed.

I can't cope on so little sleep. The only sleep I've had for a couple of weeks now is dh getting up at the crack of dawn and taking him downstairs

The nurses at baby clinic don't seem to give a toss. I'm very close to the edge here :/

macpumpkin1 Tue 05-Apr-16 04:55:10

Hello Lovely,

I think there are lots of things that it could be but I would put money on the fact that he is just hungry. I weaned my daughter at 4 months as she tried to take food off my plate and by 6 months she was on 3 proper meals a day plus snacks, some babies are just hungrier than others. Have you tried giving him a large bowl of baby porridge with a spoon? - If he spits it out just keep trying to spoon it in and maybe mix a mushed up banana through it as most babies love banana.

I never did the whole baby led weaning thing as I never read any of the baby books and used my mum and grandmas for advice. I hope you get some sleep soon x

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