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4am nightmare

(17 Posts)
Sonnet18 Sun 23-Oct-16 05:27:30

Hello! My DD is 8 months old and is wakening at 4am (5am maybe once a week) and will not go back to sleep. She moans for about 20 mins and then descends into screaming. We have tried cc, bringing her in with us (nightmare, she just thinks it's play/crawl time), early bed time/ late bed times...etc...
I work full time and currently 11 weeks pregnant. I really can't cope with this much longer. She sleeps well from 7pm-4am but obviously I cannot go to bed at 7pm as this is when I need to eat, shower, prep for work etc.
She naps well and has a good bedtime routine. I cannot think what we are doing wrong!
She is fully weaned and has plenty to eat so doesn't need a night feed. When we get up she isn't really looking for her breakfast and is happy to play until everything is organised.

I'm at the end of my tether- any helpful suggestions would be welcome! Please no "you're lucky she goes down at 7pm" comments. I know I'm lucky with that so any kind of support/ suggestions would be much welcomed!

challengedvertically Sun 23-Oct-16 08:19:44

I don't really have any advice but I hope this gets better, especially when the clocks change, that must be tough while you're pregnant. The only thing I can think of is that an earlier bedtime seems to result in my little one sleeping later, which sounds weird, but I think when he's not been over tired he sleeps longer and more soundly (he's a bit younger than yours though). I'm sure you've tried all the usual, dimmed lights until morning/no interaction/no talking and all that? Good luck x

Sonnet18 Sun 23-Oct-16 09:41:49

Thanks. Yep, we have a very strict bedtime routine of bath,bottle, bed- all done with dim lighting and minimal talking. She falls asleep at 7 within maybe 2 mins of being in her room so has no problems settling.
How old is your little one?

challengedvertically Sun 23-Oct-16 10:19:10

Mine's only 5 months so quite a way behind yours, but his bed time is 6pm and he sleeps until about 6:30-7 (with a 3am feed). I found that when he was going to bed at 7-7:30, he was ready to start the day about 5am which was less than fun. Hopefully someone with an older baby will have more useful advice for you!

Farmerinthoseclothes Sun 23-Oct-16 10:30:28

We have this exact problem with DS and it's awful. The last two weeks I've been in tears by about 5am...

Going against the grain of the earlier bedtime advice last night he went down at 8.30pm because we were out late and he slept until 6! Not very helpful because an 8.30 bedtime is not really feasible.

The only thing I can suggest is you carry on with not giving attention or any kind of reward for the 4am wake, and take it in turns with your partner.

Congratulations on your pregnancy - I can't even contemplate being back at work or being pregnant again so I am in total awe of you!

Farmerinthoseclothes Sun 23-Oct-16 10:31:33

My DS is also 8 months btw.

Jackiebrambles Sun 23-Oct-16 10:33:14

What happens if you give bottle of milk then? Would she go back to sleep? My little one is 16 months now but if she wakes at 5 I give her her morning milk and she goes back down after it.

Sonnet18 Sun 23-Oct-16 10:38:19

farmer my sympathies to you. It's awful isn't it?! what time did your Ds wake at after the late bedtime? The usual or did he sleep later? My DD is ready for a nap at 7.30am when up so early but apparently this just encourages the early wake and they use it as an extension of bedtime sleeping (if that makes sense) so I kept her awake until 9am today. She slept for her usual 1hour 20mins so it should maybe mean eliminating her half 3pm nap...so maybe will sleep later? I've no idea really!

Farmerinthoseclothes Sun 23-Oct-16 16:34:15

He went down at 8.30 and was very unsettled for the first few hours (he usually is) and then slept through until 6.15 this morning without doing the usual 4am wake up.

Once up he has a long nap about 10, this doesn't vary much whether he is up at 6, 7 or whatever. He then has another nap in the afternoon 3-4. By 7ish he is tired and goes down but is unsettled for a few hours before becoming deeply asleep until about 3/4am.

We always give him milk when he wakes, he likes to fall asleep with the bottle in his mouth, probably a terrible habit but at least it gets him to sleep. He does often seem hungry at 3/4ish and takes a good amount of milk which gets him through until morning (once he eventually settles!). We don't usually lift him or talk to him, we keep it completely dark and just lie him down and put the bottle in his mouth.

I'm not sure whether we are doing anything right to be honest, but he used to sleep through 12 hours when we did exactly the same and he has just stopped in the last month or so and started doing the 4am wake.

If you can figure out what to do to stop it I would love to know! Good luck, I really hope it's just a phase and they outgrow it soon...

Sonnet18 Sun 23-Oct-16 16:44:32

Well she got up at half 3ish so has dropped her later cat nap today. Going to put her in bed just before seven (she always falls asleep straight away) and see where that takes us.
No night feeding for us- she's fully weaned and gets the right amount of calories throughout the day so don't want to over feed her or go back to the night feeding habit!

Nottalotta Sun 23-Oct-16 18:41:54

What do you mean by fully weaned op? She presumably has milk during the day? A lot of babies still need or want a night feed well beyond 8 months. It might be a really easy solution for you.

Sonnet18 Sun 23-Oct-16 18:55:30

Yes, she has milk during the day. Fully weaned (in my opinion) is having three varied meals a day and a snack plus three bottles. She doesn't need a night feed- that would mean over feeding her (or lessening food during the day to compensate a night feed- not going to happen!) plus she doesn't want milk in the middle of the night as I mentioned in my first post. She is delighted to get up and play in my bed-all crying and moaning is over as soon as we pick her up. She doesn't really look for l food until we give her breakfast (even at that it takes her half an hour to drink 6oz)
So yeah, not a feeding thing...habitual and behavioural. Much harder to break I'm thinking.

Sonnet18 Mon 24-Oct-16 05:58:25

Well, last night was interesting. Sleeping for 6-45pm after having just two naps. One from 9am-10.20am and the last was from around half 2 (she fought if for a while, perhaps overtired) until about 3.20pm. Anyway, she woke at 5.10am and happily played on her own until half 5 when I went in. That hasn't happened for so long. No idea if it's a coincidence or if dropping the cat nap helped but I'm happy! She's still up in my bed with DH playing with her teddies quite happily! Hopefully not a fluke!

FATEdestiny Mon 24-Oct-16 16:42:30

I would consider 5.30 a night time wake up, not morning.

Bizarre insistence that 9mo definately won't need a night feed. Even if it might help.

By 9 months old mine would be in two naps, I'd be expecting 4h ish of daytime sleep and 11-12 at night.

If I was having early mornings I would introduce a temporary (for a couple of months or so) "night time reset" when i go to bed , as a means to extend morning wake up to 7am ish. This would involve a wake up, nappy change, a bottle (other 2 bottles would be given first and last thing in the day), and a resettle to sleep. All done around 10.30pm when I go to bed.

This won't work if you have a baby who is hard to settle to sleep. That's likely to be the main problem here if it's the case.

But nobe of this is relevant if OP is flat refusing any milk overnight...

Sonnet18 Mon 24-Oct-16 17:29:14

An oddly aggressive message here...did you read my original post at all?! I don't think I need to justify why I'm not giving her night feeds...but hey ho...They naturally tailed off and she would maybe take an ounce or so and that would be it from around five to six months. I have offered her milk (despite your comment of my flat refusal) and she took a tiny bit then still decided it was play time.
If you have nothing supportive to say then may I suggest saying nothing?
This thread was designed to support others in this position not make people feel bad.

FATEdestiny Mon 24-Oct-16 17:46:02

If you have nothing supportive to say...

If I was having early mornings I would introduce a temporary (for a couple of months or so) "night time reset" when i go to bed , as a means to extend morning wake up to 7am ish. This would involve a wake up, nappy change, a bottle (other 2 bottles would be given first and last thing in the day), and a resettle to sleep. All done around 10.30pm when I go to bed.

This won't work if you have a baby who is hard to settle to sleep. That's likely to be the main problem here if it's the case.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 24-Oct-16 20:19:55

I would say it was almost certainly because you had that first nap at 7:30am - as you say, that just becomes night sleep. Pushing it to 9am was spot-on, and you seem to have already had a result.

IIRC, 8-9 months is the transition from three naps to two, so if you can keep first nap starting 9am at the earliest, then second nap starting around 1pm, that should consolidate the night sleep a bit more.

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