How to get rid of 5am feed(4 Posts)
Had some good advice on this board in the past and thought I'd see if anyone can help me crack DS's early feed problem.
DS is one in a couple of weeks. His sleep has had its ups and downs like any baby but overall from speaking to all my friends I'd say he's one of the better sleepers. He dropped his night feeds very young but would wake early for a bottle at 5/5.30am. Back when he was 4/5 months old I thought this was brilliant but now he's almost one and I'm back to work I'm rather fed up of it.
I don't consider DS to be one of the classic early waking cases because after his bottle and a nappy change he always goes back to sleep. Left to his own devices this is usually until 7.30/7.45 but now I'm back at work I have to wake him on weekdays at 7.
I don't think he is waking from hunger. He eats like a champ during the day. Nursery are amazed at how much food he puts away. He also drinks a full 7oz bottle before bed (there was a phase where he didn't drink much of it, but usually he drinks the whole thing). So I think it's just a long ingrained habit and I need to know how to break it.
He isn't using the bottle to fall back to sleep - he sleeps through from 7pm and self settles at bedtime and for any rare night time wake ups with his dummy and a comforter.
I've tried just giving him his dummy when he wakes at 5 but he will lie in his cot and shout (not cry but just make a lot of noise) until he gets a bottle. I usually give in after about 30 minutes because I'm desperate to get back to sleep myself for those last precious minutes before my alarm goes off on work days. So do I just need to be really firm and stop giving him the bottle? Or should I try and gradually push it back from 5/5.30 to 6, then 6.15 etc? Should I offer him water instead?
Any advice gratefully received.
I expect his body has just learned to be hungry at that time. I would make the bottle late gradually by 15 minutes every few days until it's at 7.
Thanks. So when he wakes earlier I should just not give it to him until 5.30 say and then once he gets used to that move it to 5.45 etc? This morning he woke at 5.15 and I didn't give him the bottle until 6 but he lay in his cot moaning/shouting that whole time, keeping us all awake! I guess it will take a while and I'll need to be firm in my mind about what the "not before" time is.
I would introduce a feed and nappy change when you go to bed. So say 10.30pm, or whatever time you go to bed.
The idea is that this is a "reset" for his night. I would actively wake him. Change his nappy to make sure he's alert. Then feed.
It means that by early morning he is a little more comfortable in his nappy and a little less hungry/thirsty.
It may take a couple of weeks to become established, so give it chance. Then if it works and he stops waking so early, play around with occassional nights without the 'reset'.
So wake him every night for a feed and nappy change, but for a single day in the week don't do the wake. He may wake early, he may not. But go back to the bedtime reset the next day. Gradually make the nights without the bedtime reset feed more frequent, and nights with the bedtime reset feed less frequent. So that you can gradually drop it, once it has established the change in body clock routine.
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