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DD suddenly waking in the night for 2-3 hours

(14 Posts)
iwasagirlinavillage Tue 21-Feb-17 12:54:36

This is happening most nights now. She'll go to bed around 7pm and will usually wake for a feed around 11/12 and then she is awake until 2/3am. Wide awake! I don't turn the light on, I don't talk to her, I do absolutely nothing different to what I did previously but she just will not settle. She co-sleeps for part of the night - either from this waking or the next one. I have no problem with the night feeds, she's still little and it's expected but being awake for that length of time is becoming unbearable. I'm consistently only getting 3 or 4 hours sleep a night.

She is 8 months but 6 months corrected, although she's smaller than a typical 6 month old. She was only recently taken to solids and she's having a small amount of vegetable purée in the evening. Oddly, it seems to have been since she started solids that she's been unsettled, is it possible that it's giving her an energy which she's feeling the need to work off in the middle of the night? Maybe I should try giving her solids at lunch time instead.

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 13:09:39

Oddly, it seems to have been since she started solids that she's been unsettled, is it possible that it's giving her an energy which she's feeling the need to work off in the middle of the night?

The opposite is more likely.

The most calorie dense food stuff baby can have is milk. Most early weaning foods are low calorie - fruit, veg, lean meat. Babies need calories.

So if baby is having 4oz of 'solids' as a replacement of 4oz of milk, baby is getting fewer calories through the day. This low level hunger (ie not enough calories over the whole day, rather than hunger at a specific time) can give rise to unsettled sleep.

It is not unusual that early weaning gives rise to unsettled nights and an increase in night feeds. The ideal is that you maintain the same amount of milk as before weaning. Then solid good is in addition to milk, not instead of. It might even be that with increased motor skills, an early weaning baby needs more milk than a pre-weaned baby. Not less.

iwasagirlinavillage Tue 21-Feb-17 13:31:14

That makes complete sense but she's still feeding just as much as she was. She's bf so I don't know the exact amount she takes but I don't feel there's been any drop in feeds. BUT, it's likely that for her last feed at night she's not taking as much because her stomach is partially full with solid food. She's literally only having 1-2oz of solids at the moment. She had 4oz the other day and threw it all up so we've stripped back and are going slowly. I think maybe I'll move the solids earlier to allow her to get properly hungry by her last feed before bed.

Thank you for your response. It's really helpful information.

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 14:29:52

As you suggested in your op, I'd try moving dinner time to the middle of the day, rather than the evening.

iwasagirlinavillage Wed 22-Feb-17 09:26:23

Last night was different but not really better. Awake for half an hour at 11, awake for an hour at 2 and then awake from 4 til 6. I miss sleep! She's teething too so I know that could be unsettling her sleep but she's not unhappy when she's awake in the night, just thinks it's party time!

CityMole Wed 22-Feb-17 10:23:16

A few possibilities (having just come through similar) that I can suggest from our recent experience. My EBf baby, who had never had a single digestive issue in his life, suddenly suffered from wind and a sore tummy once we started solids. I found he was also sometimes constipated and I had to make sure that as well as keeping up regular BFs, that he also took water. Once he got more used to solids (we also made his main meal lunch and not dinner) his sleeping vastly improved (we also started to cut down on night feds and now he just gets one about 5am-ish).

Another suggestion is developmental leap. THis is my 'go-to' explanation whenever there is nothing else wrong, but quite often if we can't pinpoint what's causing a sleep issue, and I check the wonder weeks app- lo and behold, he is coming into a new leap. If you find in the next week or 2 that your LO has suddenly mastered a new skill such as standing/ cruising round furniture/ clapping hands/ etc, then that is as likely the cause of the recent upset as anything else! there is nothing you can do but comfort them, BE THERE, and know that it will pass.

Scrumptiouscrumpets Wed 22-Feb-17 10:49:01

The most calorie dense food stuff baby can have is milk
This is not correct. It depends on what kind of food you give. Steamed veg has hardly any calories worth mentioning. Pasta with veg and oil, or meat and tomato sauce, can easily have more calories than milk. You can feed solids without causing a calorie deficit, but you need to look carefully at what you are giving.
As for the wake ups - could she be learning a new skill? Could she be napping too late and too long?

FATEdestiny Wed 22-Feb-17 12:06:31

Pasta with veg and oil, or meat and tomato sauce, can easily have more calories than milk

I'm not sure they would, gram for gram (or fluid oz for oz). Of course there are high calorie foods and low calorie foods. But 30ml of baby milk I would say has more calories than 30g of pasta and sauce (or whatever).

Eating a whole portion of a balanced meal should give more calories than a milk feed would. But volume wise, in terms of the total volume/weight of the food compared to the volume of the milk - there will be physically more food needed tgan nilk drank, fir the sane number of calories. That's what I meant by calorie dense.

Solids do, of course, overtake milk as the primary source of calories. It's just unusual for that to happen in early weaning because of small portion sizes and a lack of all food groups in the baby's diet.

iwasagirlinavillage Wed 22-Feb-17 12:13:52

Thank you all for your responses.

At present she is only having vegetables so the calories definitely aren't there. I'll definitely stick with solids earlier I. The day for now to ensure she takes enough milk between solids and bedtime.

She's definitely not napping too much 😩 I don't let her go down for her last nap any later than 4pm.

As for mastering new skills - she has been moving around by pulling herself with her arms for a while but she's just started going on to all fours so she's trying to crawl. She's started standing holding on and she's just started babbling and combining syllables. So definitely a lot going on. That could definitely be it.

CityMole Wed 22-Feb-17 12:18:04

oh GOD, his sleep the fortnight before he started crawling was THE WORST. You have my sympathies darling, Stick in there. x

iwasagirlinavillage Wed 22-Feb-17 12:30:45

It's weird because although she's awake in the middle of the night she's so happy about it! Where she's not crying, whingeing or miserable it doesn't feel completely hellish, just bloody exhausting. It would be okay if it was just her because she does tend to make up for the lost sleep by sleeping in later or having a longer morning nap, but I have an older daughter as well so I have no opportunity to catch up on sleep while she does.

At 4am she was giggling away and repeatedly saying "babamamaba". That's lovely but GO TO SLEEP!

FATEdestiny Wed 22-Feb-17 12:38:00

If she's fine and doesnt need you, could you try ear plugs and leaving ger to it?

iwasagirlinavillage Wed 22-Feb-17 12:45:06

She's usually in our bed after a feed and then she starts climbing all over me. If I put her in to her cot she starts crying and I can't bring myself to do CIO. Maybe I should try putting her back in there though and try pick up and put down just to see if she'll get bored enough to go to sleep. She just seems so wide awake at that time though.

FATEdestiny Wed 22-Feb-17 13:44:32

Yep. I would do gradual withdrawal to get her used to the fact that she needs to stay in her own cot, all night.

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