Sleep just getting worse and worse(22 Posts)
DD is now seven and a half months. She had got into a blissful (for me) routine of going to bed at 6.30 then sleeping through till 7. That was until her last set of jabs then she suddenly wouldn't settle until around 9pm and would wake 2-3 times per night and only go back to sleep once she'd had some milk (she is combination fed with formula and donated breast milk so it's from a bottle). That continued for a few weeks until the last fortnight where her sleep has progressively got worse and worse. She doesn't settle until late, wakes up about three times before I've gone to bed myself at around 10 (goes back to sleep if I pick her up and rock her at this stage) but during the night she's waking up around every hour and a half and will only go back to sleep if I give her a bottle. I know she's not especially hungry because I've experimented and found it makes no difference to her whether I give her 1oz or 4oz each time. What can I do? I'm single so it's always my turn to get up and the sleep deprivation is starting to really take its toll...
In my experience night time sleep getting worse has to do with day time naps. Probably the jabs timing is a coincidence. Take a look at day time sleeping and make adjustments to see if this improves things. For example no sleep after 3pm was my rule once third nap was dropped. They're all different though so find what works for you. Good luck!
Thanks kippers I hadn't thought about her daytime naps. She normally has a 20 min nap around 10, 45 mins at lunchtime and 20 mins around 4pm. Should I try to do something differently?
Sleep doesn't follow a steady trajectory of improvement, sorry. It's up and down, better and worse for the first couple of years - and beyond. You just have to enjoy the good patches while they last and ride out the bad. My four year old needs comforting in the night after a bad dream from time to time, my two year old is getting his final molars, which is kind of a bear, but far better than the 1-2 hourly wakings they both did until well over a year old. You have babies, you lose sleep. Without being able to see what's going on inside her head (Teething? Developmental leap? Growth spurt?) there is no guaranteed 'fix' other than time and adjusting your expectations. I am living proof that sleep deprivation won't kill you (also did/do all night wakings as I breastfed and DH works away a lot).
Those naps aren't long enough, I think if you can work on those you'll see a nighttime improvement. She is probably overtired. I would aim for around an hour in the morning and then a couple of hours after lunchtime. Does she nap in her cot?
I was wondering if there was some way of getting her out of the habit of needing milk every time if anyone has any suggestions re that?
Bifs she normally sleeps on me in the day. I find she sleeps even less if I put her down in her cot. How do I get her to sleep longer at nap time?
Mine are 8 months and they have a 2 hr nap in the AM and 1 hr in the PM - your naps seem way too low (advice is 3-4 hrs a day). Mine became longer with controlled crying - I know it's not everyone's thing but it did only take 2 days to master.
She should have two to 2.5 hours of awake time at her age. If she wakes up for the day at 7, 10am for a first nap is too late - she's probably over-tired which is why she doesn't sleep as long. Count two hours from when she wakes up, then start looking for an eye-rub, yawn, crankiness and get her asleep ASAP. If napping on you is how she sleeps best, then that is the way to keep her asleep best - fighting her to nap in her cot will only keep them short. A 40min nap is the ideal minimum as that's one sleep cycle. Keep counting 2-2.5 hours from each wake up to work out when naps should be.
I've heard that you can gradually water down the milk in bottles for night feeds and they become less interested (wouldn't be a problem for the donor milk, but there may be an issue with the formula - I'm sure someone can clarify that) but, to be honest, many babies still need night feeds up until a year old. There is some arbitrary figure floating around that 'night feeds are not needed after four months' but that's total bullshit based on zero evidence, IMO.
That's not enough daytime sleeps. If naps are less than an hour, limit awake time (the time between waking from one nap and being asleep next nap) to 90 minutes.
So if she wakes up at 7am, nap at 8.30am. If she then wakes at 9am, asleep again by 10.30am, and so on.
Babies aren't ususlly developmentally ready for 3-nap days until the first two naps of the day are around 90m in length. Until then, when naps are short, keep them frequent.
I'd also suggest baby needs the calories from milk at night. Early weaning is a tricky time in terms of ensuring baby gets enough calories.
How much milk, good and fluids does baby have through the day?
Oh my goodness, there's no way she sleeps as much as that or as frequently! How on earth do I get her to sleep more in the day when she doesn't seem tired? I don't measure how much milk she has so can't answer that I'm afraid, but she has a small bowl of porridge at breakfast, sandwich, cheese, fruit and yoghurt at lunch (only has a few mouthfulls) and a few mouthfuls of whatever I'm having for dinner (mainly plays with/sucks this, not much goes in) - if I had to estimate milk I'd say about 20oz per 24 hours.
I really want to avoid controlled crying, sorry, it's just not for me
if I had to estimate milk I'd say about 20oz per 24 hours
How much was she having pre-weaning, for comparison? Remember that milk is the most calorie dense food stuff you can give baby. Early weaning foods tend to be low calorie - fruit, veg, lean meat. Add to that small portion sized, and you can maybe see why night feeds often make a reappearance. Baby just needs the calories.
How much of that 20oz is at night? The aim would be to give her the full amount during the daytime.
How do you usually get her to sleep? It may be that she is genuinely hungry- i wouldn't say 20oz milk is very much if she's hardly taking any solids. Have you tried trying to fill her up more during the day?
Pre-weaning she only had about 25oz per 24 hours (I always offer frequently, she's just never been a huge eater) and at the moment she has about 6-7 oz at night in total, split up into about four/five very small feeds of 1-2oz. Which is crazy! But is the only thing that gets her back to sleep at the moment. She goes to bed any time between 7.30-9pm and I either rock her to sleep, lie her down on my bed next to me and sing or listen to music or she just drops off while I'm sitting in the living room with her. She doesn't let me put her down in her cot awake, just cries until I pick her up.
For my babies I found daytime naps were often better on the move. 1st and 3rd sound about right but lunchtime should be longer. Baby is waking after a sleep cycle. I'd be tempted to phase in a buggy walk for lunch nap and keep going for 45mins/an hour before parking up (I park in the garden but know it isn't for everyone) - baby might well sleep fir two hours that way. And it's good exercise for you! My Fitbit loves me at the moment - my third baby will only ever catnap on me or sleep in the buggy...
Watching this as I am trying to fix baby's naps just now - all too short!
My son is exactly the same and always has been. He's 7 and a half months now. It's so hard. He's never been a good sleeper at night either. And I've just found out I'm having baby no2 so need to get this sorted before this one arrives!
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