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5 month old sleep advice needed

(17 Posts)
Mrsmitch1980 Sat 21-Jan-17 10:53:38

Hi all,
Our DS was a good sleeper (only waking 1-2 times a night) before Christmas, but since has caught a cough that won't go away and this has really affected his sleep. On a good night he wakes up every 2-3 hours, we have started a routine of putting him down at 6.30-7 which is when he does his longest stretch of sleep. I know this doesn't sound too bad, but I struggle with broken sleep and am starting to feel it after a month of broken nights. But then at 5am he is wide awake chatting away and impossible to get back to sleep. He is breastfeed and I generally feed him to sleep throughout the night, which I know is wrong but I a so tired I just want to go back to bed and DH struggles to sleep through it all.
I guess my biggest questions are: should I wait till his cough is completely gone before I try to get him to sleep independently? (We have been back to the docs this week and they think it could be reflux related)
Would formula feeding help?
Any tips for helping him sleep a little longer between wake ups and prevent the dreaded 5am chats?
Thank you!

Mrsmitch1980 Sat 21-Jan-17 10:54:38

Ps I am worried about co-sleeping as I am so tired and don't think I could do controlled crying- too much of a wimp!!

FATEdestiny Sat 21-Jan-17 13:39:38

10 hour night time sleep (7pm-5am) would be an expected night length for a baby.10-11h of night is usual until they are into the toddler years and drop to 1 daytime nap. So your 7pm or earlier bedtime is a significant factor here in the early morning.

I would make daytime feeds very frequent to combat night hunger less, say 2 hourly daytime feeds (full feeds).

You don't mention daytime naps but sim for less awake time, more frequent naps and longer naps. Poor daytime sleep leads to worse night time sleep and it spirals.

Mrsmitch1980 Sat 21-Jan-17 15:36:32

Thank you! He is a good regular napper in the morning but the rest of the day depends on where we are and naps are usually on the go, in the car or pram etc. Today I'm trying to put him down every 90 mins to see if it helps, fingers crossed!

HeCantBeSerious Sat 21-Jan-17 15:37:45

He is breastfeed and I generally feed him to sleep throughout the night, which I know is wrong

Why on earth would you think that?

And no, formula won't help.

Mrsmitch1980 Sat 21-Jan-17 16:04:46

sorry, I have read that babies should be encouraged to 'self settle' so when they find themselves in their cot when they wake up they are not surprised? I'm happy to keep feeding him to fall asleep, definitely a more calming way to fall asleep for all of us! Will also stick breastfeeding, thank you!

PostTruthEra Sat 21-Jan-17 16:09:34

Op, are you me?! My 5 month old is a gremlin after midnight. He's not feeding much in the daytime as he gets too distracted, so I think he's taking most of his feeds at night. Dh can't help with nights because of work and the fact that the baby is hungry and needs feeding, which dh (try as he might) can't do.

I have no advice, other than that you need to go to bed at the same time as the baby for a few nights, but all the sympathy in the world. Sleep deprivation is shit, isn't it?!

HeCantBeSerious Sat 21-Jan-17 18:13:55

I'm not sure a 5 month old has the neural capability to self settle.........

Timetogrowup2016 Sat 21-Jan-17 19:46:22

Very helpful hecan't.
How about offering some advice instead of just harsh replies

PostTruthEra Sat 21-Jan-17 20:36:20

Time I don't think that's a harsh reply! It's factual! Most 5months old can't self soothe as their brains haven't developed that ability yet! I'm in a similar situation to the op and I find statements like that way more useful to remind me to have realistic expectations of what babies do.

FATEdestiny Sat 21-Jan-17 20:57:31

Often establishing realistic expectations is the single most helpful piece of advice.

OP - you may be mean independant settling. Children don't develop the emotional capacity to go to sleep without a comforting mechanism until about school age.

Until then, children will always need some form of help to get to sleep. That may be parental settling (feeding to sleep, cosleeping, rocking) or it might be independant settling (dummy, comforter to snuggle, rhythmic self-movements like stroking, patting, tickling)

At 5 months though, a baby will not have the manual dexterity skills to be able to coordinate their movements for independant settling, so even these will still need parental help.

If you are happy to feed to sleep, carry on. Your expectations that babies should need nothing to help them get to sleep is incorrect. But if I'm the longer term you will be wanting independant settling, the earlier you begin to introduce these the better. But they won't be a "Magic Answer". Not yet anyway.

PostTruthEra Sat 21-Jan-17 21:03:41

Fate I've seen you on a few threads lately, and there's something about your tone and the advice you give that reminds me of my fabulous community midwife.

You're not by any chance her, are you?!

Mermaid36 Sat 21-Jan-17 21:10:57

Firstly, feeding to sleep is not wrong or bad. It's what your baby needs from you. He is only 5 months old - that's still little! PP are right - he's too small and doesn't have the capacity to get himself back to sleep.

I read this article only today about 5am wake ups
www.littleones.co/blogs/our-blog/the-problem-with-5-am

Mrsmitch1980 Sat 21-Jan-17 21:13:29

Thank you everyone, trying a slightly later bedtime tonight to see if it helps with the early wake up. And will continue to enjoy my night feedings and cuddles with my beautiful boy 😊, tried to squeeze in a couple of extra feeds today so fingers crossed that helps him sleep for a little longer and I'll be up to bed shortly to join him 😴

FATEdestiny Sat 21-Jan-17 21:19:09

Awww that's really nice PostTruthEra, thank you blush

I'm not a midwife though. Just a mum of four children who each had very different sleeping and feeding habits as babies. I guess I just have a wider breadth of experience than many.

PostTruthEra Sat 21-Jan-17 21:30:30

Good luck, OP. Mine decided he would have a few daytime feeds today, but put up a hell of a fight going to bed. Fingers crossed for a better night for us both.

Fate My midwife has 4 children eyes fate suspiciously.

Mrsmitch1980 Sat 21-Jan-17 21:34:12

Mermaid just read that article and all makes a lot of sense! Thank you

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