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Early wake ups for 6month old

(8 Posts)
Crazycatlady80 Mon 19-Dec-16 05:47:27

I am looking for a little bit of advice for my 6 month old DS. I don't think he is a particularly bad sleeper but compared to some of my smug NCT friends he certainly isn't sleeping as much as he could be.

We have recently tried some sleep training to improve his day naps and this has been a little successful, although these naps are fairly short 30-40mins they have been happening in his cof and he has been going to sleep after only a few mins of protest. He is still on 3 naps a day as they are short or more cat naps if we are out and about in the car.

He is also very good at self settling after his bottle at bed time and mostly goes straight to sleep after any further night feeds.

So he goes to bed at 7pm and then usually wakes at around 11pm for a bottle and then anytime from 2-3ish for another bottle. the problem has arisen that he now wakes at 5am and where as before if this happened he was bf to sleep we have now moved on to formula and need to break this habit. I know he isn't hungry and he is having enough formula.

So how can I either reduce the night feeds ( which I'm to bothered about) but also more importantly try and fix the 5am wake up and get him to go back to sleep without more milk. I have been offering water, sitting beside the cot patting him, giving him a comforter teddy thing. He refuses to take a dummy.

Do i continue the CC crying as this worked well in the day but seems worse at night. Any advice?

Thanks in advance.

FATEdestiny Mon 19-Dec-16 13:19:31

If you have a bottle at 5am, what would happen?

I'd also suggest he's not getting enough daytime sleep. If naps are still short (as is not unusual at this age) they need to be frequent. Awake time of about 60-80 minutes between naps. I wouldn't move to 3-nap days until the first two naps are closer to 90m each.

FATEdestiny Mon 19-Dec-16 13:19:58

gave, not have

FormerlyFrikadela01 Mon 19-Dec-16 13:24:46

You've just described my Ds. Exactly the same night time waking as yours. The 5am wake-up is killing me. He won't go back to sleep at this point so I have to get up.
Ds barely naps during the day. I've desperately tried to get him into naps but he has 20 minutes at most.

Wish I had some advice but I don't. Hopefully someone else will be along with advice I can nick. I need to get this cracked before I go back to work in April, I'm barely coping now, no way I can do it whilst working as well.

Crazycatlady80 Mon 19-Dec-16 16:04:09

Hi Fate. Thanks for the reply. If he had a bottle at 5am he would drink a little but not much so he's not hungry and won't really settle after that.

I totally agree that's he's not having enough day sleep. I'm trying to get him to settle better in his cot to improve this but at the moment it's a miracle if he sleeps longer than 40 mins. Should I just continue with regular short day naps and hope the length improves over time?

Thanks frikadela, hope someone can help you as well. The 5am starts are not fun at all. You really would have thought by now the human race would have invented babies that sleep!!

greatbigwho Mon 19-Dec-16 16:22:16

Some children are just early risers - my 3yo has risen between 5 and 6 since she was about 9mo!

I agree with the previous posters that he needs more day time sleep - it sounds like he's waking up after a sleep cycle, and needs help resettling?

FATEdestiny Mon 19-Dec-16 18:28:22

If he had a bottle at 5am he would drink a little but not much

It's unusual for a baby of this age to turn their nose up at any bottle. I am not suggesting he is waking for hunger by the way. He's probably just in a light sleeping phase that often comes with early mornings.

But the simplest and easiest way to resettle back to sleep at this age is usually get to them quick and fill their tummy. Not that he needs the feed, just that he'll have it and resettle if it's on offer.

So that he wouldn't be very interested and would only have a little bit is very unusual. If its more than a couple of hours since the last feed, usually the only thing that stops a baby taking another feed would be utter exhaustion and over tiredness. So maybe it's the cumulative effect of not enough sleep over 24h that's the problem.

Should I just continue with regular short day naps and hope the length improves over time?

Yes. Always try to resettle when first stirring awake. That's hard to do with cot naps and without a dummy because you don't have an in-situ settling method so easily avaliable. I kept naps in bouncy chair or pushchair until they lengthened - a dummy reinsert and bit of bouncing/jiggling got them through one sleep cycle and into the next without fully waking up from the light sleeping phase.

In the cot and without a dummy, you'll just need to wait until naps lengthen naturally. This will happen eventually even without you working at it, it just takes time. Do try to resettle in-situ when first stirring, but don't worry if it doesn't work most of the time.

While naps are still short, they need to be frequent or baby will be over-tired. You can't force them to be longer by giving less sleep - this will probably have the opposite effect. Wait until they naturally start lengthening and lengthen awake time accordingly.

Crazycatlady80 Mon 19-Dec-16 19:21:29

Thank you for the info. I felt the same with naps and have always walked him in the pram or in the car to sleep and he can manage longer than an hour. So have only just started with the regular day cot naps so I guess it may take some time.

Having spoken to my HV today I think I have been trying to get him to take too much milk- as instructed by the formula packet, however having been EBF until a few weeks ago I think this is way to much for him, especially as he is now on solids, so this may be why he was refusing the bottle at 5am. Will continue with the naps and just hope it improves. Guess I should think myself lucky as he used to be up for hours in the middle of the night

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