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Seven month old sleep - broken!

(11 Posts)
almmummy Sat 19-Nov-16 07:44:17

So my DS was pretty good at sleeping - never through the night but he'd go down at 1930 and wake every few hours for a feed. He was getting a few good stretches in - seven hours one night - and then suddenly he just started waking loads, screaming out at night and when he woke in the morning, when he used to play happily.

We thought he needed some room to move about so took him out the Sleepyhead but it did not significantly help.

Now he's all over the place! Up nearly every sleep cycle, 1.5 hours, two at most. He can be awake for two hours in the night, falling asleep in our arms but then waking when we put him down.
He had just started self settling a bit at bedtime/after night feeds and for naps but in the main he just fell asleep feeding. Now we are back to rocking to sleep, feeding back to sleep as if we stand by the cot trying to soothe him he screams.

In short - help! Will this pass? Is it teeth? He has not got any yet. Any experience to share would be grand

FATEdestiny Sat 19-Nov-16 14:40:42

I doubt it will pass until you and baby work out a sustainable method to get him to sleep.

Have you tried cosleeping?

Have you tried a dummy?

What about a 3-sided cot (just take one side off) next to your bed so you can sooth and calm him in the cot while lying next to him on your bed? Standing next to the cot isn't really very reassuring for baby, in comparison to lying eye-to-eye next to him.

sianihedgehog Sat 19-Nov-16 14:42:08

Sounds like he's not feeling well. Could well be teeth!

MessyBun247 Sat 19-Nov-16 15:41:32

Has he recently started crawling? Their sleep can go tits up around the time they learn to crawl. They have a lot going on developmentally between 6-12 months so sleep can be very up and down.

If he slept pretty well before this, he prob will again when things settle down.

almmummy Sat 19-Nov-16 16:29:52

Thanks everyone - messy bun,I hope so! He is rolling and straining like mad to reach things but hasn't mastered forward motion yet, which frustrates him. He has no teeth so I think that could be a factor, though Calpol does not seem to help him sleep.

Fatedestiny, it isn't getting to sleep/back to sleep that is the issue, it is the constant waking up, though I see your point that being near might calm him without needing to pick him up. I have wondered about cosleeping, I might try it if we are really worn out one night. I pop a dummy in occasionally but have tried not to have him reliant on them at night and so far they don't keep him asleep.

I'm stressing a bit about the advice about not creating bad habits by picking them up, cuddling back to sleep or feeding back to sleep but it is so hard with a toddler asleep in the next room, you just want to do whatever works to quiet him down and get us some sleep to be able to look after DD in the day.

I've pondered the cry it out stuff but he has such a shrill scream rather than a cry I think he'd injure himself if he cries at length! Honestly, people stare at us in the street thinking he is being tortured if they hear him!

ShatterResistant Sat 19-Nov-16 17:40:37

I sleep trained at that age. I'd just gone back to work, and his sleeping was getting worse, and I had to do something. It worked perfectly and we haven't had a problem since (with him, anyway!) You can PM me if you like.

FATEdestiny Sat 19-Nov-16 19:33:45

I'm stressing a bit about the advice about not creating bad habits...

Honestly? By 7 months old it's too late to be worried about that. If you wanted "good" habits (ie sustainable) then they needed to be in place by now. If they aren't then I honestly would day forget worrying and just focus on surviving best you can and making life as easy as possible without stressing and worrying about it.

There is no magic answer here.

It sounds to me that by being so insistence on independant sleeping and avoiding Rods For Your Own Back, you've ended up making sleep so hard for baby that it's ended up being the cause of The Rod.

Dummy for example. Quick, simple, easy way to help baby get back to sleep with no fuss. But they "don't keep him asleep" you say. They aren't meant to. But what they do is teach babies to link one sleep cycle to the next - buy offering way and to resettle easily before baby actually wakes properly.

Co-sleeping or room sharing (cot next to your bed) is another example why not rushing for independant sleeping can lead to quicker independant sleeping. Being right there to resettle immediately, ideally before you or baby properly wake, teaches baby to link sleep cycles so get better at sleeping for longer. It also gets you much more sleep.

With baby next to you (in sidecar cot or cosleeping) and a dummy, a wake up goes like this: first murmur from baby, reach arm across, locate dummy, reinsert dummy, everyone back to sleep. All done without even opening your eyes or moving from under your duvet. Over time baby learns to link sleep cycles so doesn't wake, so doesn't need dummy reinserts and doesn't need you there in the night.

Compare to the 7 month old with a mum too worried about Rods For Her Back that has baby in own cot, in own room, with no comfort source and hopes they sleep.

But babies need comfort of some form (independant or parental) to sleep. By giving no independant sources of comfort (dummy?), parental comfort is required. So at every wake up baby wakes, cries, wakes properly, parent gets up, walks to another room, rocks/cuddles/feeds back to sleep or just listens to baby cry. Then does it all again a few hours later.

almmummy Sat 19-Nov-16 20:17:49

Thanks FATEdestiny, that is a really refreshing look at the situation. I think the pressure comes from all the experts banging on about self settling from such an early age, whereas bubs always settled on the breast, naptime, bedtime, whenever. All the doomsayers suggest you've screwed sleep for good if you can't chuck them in a cot and let them sort themselves out!

I'll definitely use the dummy tonight - I think what put me off was friends saying they were up and down all night as baby cried when the dummy came out. But hopefully like you say, he'll just associate it with settling into the next sleep cycle.

We do have a bed in his room and I have been sleeping there to get to him quickly - also I can't relax when I can't see him as I expect him to be awake at any second. I just tried the firm hand on his chest in the cot and he screamed but a quick pick up and dummy in and he is asleep.
Fingers crossed and thanks for offering your advice x

FATEdestiny Sat 19-Nov-16 21:31:29

friends saying they were up and down all night as baby cried when the dummy came out.

Once baby is asleep, dummy is meant to come out. As the body relaxed into sleep the jaw and mouth muscles relax and the dummy drops.

If it drops before being asleep, it needs reinserting. When baby wakes, it needs reinserting. Otherwise, it just drops out and sits in the cot waiting until it's next needed

Babies tend to develop the manual dexterity to reinsert own dummy around 8-10 months. You can practice to develop the skill - hand dummy to baby to put in himself, give him dummy the wrong way around so he has to turn it over, put dummy on the floor to be picked up.

Once the manual dexterity is established, you also have to tackle the problem of finding the dummy in the night. I sew a ribbon onto the sleeping bag with a press stud at the end and attach dummy to this. You can get dummy-saver toys where the dummy attached to the legs of soft toys. Or you can go down the 'millions of dummies scattered around' route.

If your friends had expectations that their tiny babies wouldn't need an adult to do dummy reinserts, the only problem there was their unrealistic expectations.

almmummy Sun 20-Nov-16 08:11:07

Thanks for all the advice, we had a good start! The dummy settled him back down a few times, several times without having to pick him up which was great. One time I only picked him up for 30 seconds and popped the dummy in and that was enough to settle him. It did not work at 4am when he is often quite wakeful but overall he was much more settled.

Fingers crossed it will continue, I will definitely keep trying this method. It is a real help as, as I mentioned before, we can't leave him crying as he is such a loud screamer.
Thanks again!

FATEdestiny Sun 20-Nov-16 10:34:54

That's great news!

Give it time and the quicker/easier he settles back to sleep in the cot, the better his sleep quality will become.

Good sleep = better sleep

So a baby getting more sleep is easier to settle to sleep, sleeps more deeply so wakes less often. So sleep quality will become progressively better and better.

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