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7 month old will not sleep in cot anymore

(5 Posts)
PontypandyPioneer Sun 19-Feb-17 13:53:37

Hi, we've had various sleep issues and we're starting to get through them, then for the last month or so a new one has appeared!

My 7 month old used to wake just once a night for milk. For the past month he has gone to sleep at 7ish but like clockwork every night he wakes between 10-10.30pm and will not settle back down unless he comes into my bed. If I try to transfer him back again he wakes and won't settle again.

For the last week he's also wanted milk at about 1am and 5am - he'll sometimes go back into his cot between this. Surely this much milk at night is unnecessary now?!

How can we try to get him back in his cot all night? I don't sleep with him in my bed and with a 2 year old as well, I'm exhausted!

FATEdestiny Sun 19-Feb-17 14:49:54

I'd suggest he'd probs settle quicker and easier with milk at 10.30pm too. The clue is in this bit:

My 7 month old used to... For the past month he...

So since 6 months? Since weaning?

Early weaning is a really tricky time in terms of calorie intake. I am not kidding when I say it's like going back to newborn days when baby spends almost all of their awake time in the day eating. It's really difficult to fit in all if of the milk feeds baby needs, along with 3 solids mealtimes, around daytime naps.

How much milk is baby having, compared to pre-weaning?

See, most early weaning foods are low calorie - fruit, veg, lean meat. Plus portion sizes are often still small in the early weaning months.

The most calorie dense foodstuff baby can have is milk. So when early weaning (6-9 months or so), it's really important to maintain the amount of milk he was having before weaning started. In fact because baby continues to grow and develop new motor skills, more milk may be required per day post-weaning, compared to ore-weaning.

The idea should be that early weaning foods are on top of milk, not instead of. This is the reason night feeds make a reappearance at this age - to allow baby to catch up on missed calories lost through the daytime because low calorie food is replacing milk feeds.

Once portion sizes grow and the child is having a full compliment of all food groups and snacks, that's when good starts replacing milk.

Until then, if you aren't able to fit in milk feeds around mealtimes, they are likely to be needed at night too. This low-level hunger (by that I mean not enough cumulative calories over the whole day, rather than hunger at a specific time) can give rise to light sleeping. Which makes settling to sleep more difficult even when given milk.

PontypandyPioneer Sun 19-Feb-17 19:21:49

Thanks fate. You're very helpful!

Yes we've been weaning since 26 weeks, and doing baby led weaning. Up until a few days ago he was having three meals as well as 6x6/7oz bottles. I did feel like he was eating all day long!

He's dropped a few ounces over the last few days but not a whole bottle.

We've tried giving him a bottle at 10.30 but by the time we've made it (a whole 2 mins in the perfect prep machine!) he's fast asleep in our bed and there until 1am when he has a bottle and 5am when he's decided he wants an extra bottle.

Would that be a reason he's not settling in his own bed? He's just short on calories?

To be honest it was Christmas Eve, so he was 5.5 months when the waking started but with some rocking he'd go back to sleep in his bed. It's only the last month when he's only settled in our bed and refuses his.

FATEdestiny Sun 19-Feb-17 20:33:40

See, in those two minutes it takes you to make a bottle, I would be trying to settle baby in the cot, rather than so quickly giving up on in-cot settling. (Unless you are happy cosleeping)

Then if the in-cot settling wasn't working, I'd feed. That time and extra comfort a full tummy brings often makes settling back to sleep easier.

A 10.30 ish feed may also help with your night feeds. The 1am and 5am feeds might become 10.30, 3am (ish) and then a more reasonable morning feed, say 7am.

PontypandyPioneer Sun 19-Feb-17 21:07:34

I don't really want to co sleep. Ok, I am going to try to re-settle in his cot tonight instead of bringing him into our bed.
Thank you Fate - you are the sleep guru!

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