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6m old waking 45 mins after bedtime

(35 Posts)
Bhar78 Sun 26-Mar-17 21:09:24

Was wondering if anyone else's baby does this. I put my DD to bed some time between 7-8pm depending on what time her last nap was and how tired she is. We have a bedtime routine and I feed or rock her to sleep. However she always wakes around 45 mins later, needs resettling and then sleeps in three hour cycles, feeding 2-3 times a night. I don't have an issue with the night feeding as she is still very young (6 months) but I have a few evenings out coming up and am hoping to leave her with her dad or a babysitter. Ideally I could put her to bed and she would sleep for a few hours while I am out. She doesn't settle that easily for anyone other than me. Does anyone have any ideas why she might be waking at this time (it's not hunger) and she easily goes three hours later in the night. Should I be putting her down awake and teaching her to self soothe? I feel she is too young for sleep training still. Any advice?

AndIAskMyself Sun 26-Mar-17 21:48:30

Yes, my son used to do this during his 4 month regression. This was because we'd either rocked or fed him to sleep. This was when we made the switch to putting him down in his cot awake and letting him get himself to sleep. I think the theory is that if you don't let them get themselves to sleep, they wake after 1 sleep cycle and become distressed because they aren't where they were when they went to sleep, if that makes sense.

AndIAskMyself Sun 26-Mar-17 21:53:10

And in terms of advice - we didn't have to sleep train it happened quite naturally. I remember being very stressed thinking my son would just NEVER go to sleep by himself. Then one night he refused boob, and bottle and we had no choice but to just put him in the cot, and as if by magic he just went to sleep. So I think really we thought he'd never be able to do it, but we'd just been scared to try it. It didn't work so easily every night, and we had a few weeks of sitting by the cot soothing him to sleep some nights, but eventually it was just second nature, and now we put him in his cot awake and he will always be asleep within 10 minutes. Pretty much without fail.

FATEdestiny Sun 26-Mar-17 21:53:30

It will be to do with being fed/rocked to sleep and the effect this has on sleep cycles.

45 minutes is the typical length of a sleep cycle. Babies (like adults) sleep in cycles with phases of deep sleep and phases of light sleep.

In the light sleeping phase an adult might shuffle in bed, turn over, maybe unconsciously look at the clock, and go back to sleep without actually becoming properly conscious and awake.

Imagine you went to sleep one night and as you move from one sleep cycle and the next you turn over and realise you are no longer in your bed but are now in the back seat of a car. You wouldn't just roll over and go back to sleep. You'd freak out and wake up pretty darn quick.

Same thing is happening here. Baby is going to sleep next to you, in your arms, being held close and then in between sleep cycles realised she in a completely different place. So she wakes and crys.

Later in the night she is probably more tired, so her sleep is deeper and she wakes less frequently than 45 minutes. The 3 hourly wakes would probably lengthen if you resolve this issue too.

So the bottom line will come from teaching her to go from awake to asleep in the cot. Even if it's with you there, she will be much less startled between sleep cycles if she is where she expected to be.

Smashthelookingglass Sun 26-Mar-17 23:01:22

We're having the same problem with 6mo DS. How do you go from rocking/feeding to sleep to putting them down awake? My DS always falls to sleep when feeding at bedtime. I'm at my wits end!

positivity123 Mon 27-Mar-17 08:27:38

Sorry to hijack but when people say to put them down awake can you put them down awake then put a hand on their chest and sush them or is that another prop?

FATEdestiny Mon 27-Mar-17 10:38:58

positivity123 - yes, you can do. It's easier to gradually withdraw the level of patting/shushing/hand on chest that is needed.

Smashthelookingglass - the answer largely depends on how urgent the issue is to resolve and how much crying you will tolerate.

I wouldn't have any crying, so the changes would be very slow and gradual. For example the first step is in matching baby gradually earlier each feed and only rocjibh to sleep. Then reduce the length and ferocity of rocking to wean off that so just cuddling to sleep in your armd. Then I'd go to a cosleeper cot and move cuddling to sleep lying down in the cot. Then gradually withdraw that.

Or if you want to go the more distressing route, just put baby in the cot awake at sleep time and do all of your settling while leaning into the cot, without taking baby out. There'll be l0ads of crying, but quicker outcomes.

Annarose2014 Mon 27-Mar-17 10:44:16

Watching with interest as my 6 month old does this. And then needs about 3 more resettles until about 11pm.

However I have been really trying to put her in drowsy but still rouseable.

Should I literally just plonk her down in the cot wide awake??

FATEdestiny Mon 27-Mar-17 11:28:34

Should I literally just plonk her down in the cot wide awake?

That's what you are aiming for, surely?

How quickly you get to the point where baby goes on the cot wide awake depends on:
- your start point
- how urgent it is to you that baby learns
- if you want to go the gentle route, the crying route or something in between.

Annarose2014 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:47:04

I have a couple sleeper and have been doing lots of putting down awake and lying beside her and patting etc but it doesn't seem to be making much difference.

Perhaps it's just a developmental thing.

Annarose2014 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:47:42

(What I mean is, she drops off easy enough but still has frequent evening wakings)

Tabitha1983 Mon 27-Mar-17 19:33:59

Hi Bhar. My DS is 5 months and does exactly the same too 😞 He wakes 45 mins after initially going to bed and screams and screams despite being offered dummy back/shushing/patting etc 😭 It's getting quite upsetting now as I have no idea why he does it or how to stop it? He goes to sleep initially really easily with his dummy...he's EBF and I feed him in nursery before popping him into the cot but he's fully awake before I give him his dummy and kiss him goodnight- so not 100% sure if the fact you are feeding/rocking baby to sleep is the whole problem (although granted presumably it will help to stop that in the long run?! my DS will now do long stretches at night after the initial unsettled evening- 10pm-2am-6/7am x

Annarose2014 Tue 28-Mar-17 09:22:34

Well last night I decided to really try it properly, so fed her downstairs and then cuddled her in the co sleeper and patted until she went to sleep.

She was asleep within 5 mins as her last nap had been 3 hrs before.....but then she woke up 10 mins later....then 10 mins later.....then 30 mins later.....then 45 mins later......

Then every 90 mins until 7am this morning. sad

So it was an epic fail. I got literally no sleep. It was actually the worst night in about a week. It's like she never got into a deep sleep once all night long!

user1471422867 Tue 28-Mar-17 09:28:46

My DS has always done this, he's 10 months now. He is put in bed wide awake and gets himself to sleep with a comforter and always wakes after 40 minutes without fail. We don't usually have to go in as he re-settles himself. We just expect it now and if we do have to go in to him it's only for a couple of minutes.

Tabitha1983 Tue 28-Mar-17 09:33:40

Same here! Worst night in a while! Went to bed completely awake and settled himself independently with dummy...within 5mins or crying. 45 mins later he woke and it took over an hour of screaming (despite best efforts to comfort) before he passed out again...I say passed out because I wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination call in 'falling asleep' 😭 He then woke 1-2 hourly all night. It's so distressing...don't know about you but I'm 99.9% confident my DS is crying because he wants to be asleep but just can't 'do it'. He has his eyes closed most of the time whilst crying and often refuses boob too so I'm happier he's not hungry. Guess we just hope it's another phase?! X

Bhar78 Tue 28-Mar-17 09:54:49

Hi all, sorry for not replying sooner and thanks for your replies. It's always comforting to know that other people are going through the same things.

I am convinced that sleep is developmental and there is minimal effect from our input. Some of your stories seem to reflect this as your babies can self settle but still want Mummy or Daddy around when they wake.
My first daughter was a completely different story. She was a nightmare to get to sleep, we used to feed and rock her for up an hour (sometimes more) while she got more and more overtired but continued to fight sleep. However, once she was asleep she only woke once in the early hours for a feed and slept through the night consistently from around 7 months. And she had every sleep prop going!

I will try harder with the self soothing and putting down awake to see if it makes any difference. It's difficult at the moment though as my husband works late during the week and I am stressing about the baby crying lots and waking my older daughter and having to prepare dinner at the same time. Feeding to sleep is just too easy!

With regards to babysitters, I think they might just have to deal with the waking up and I need to put my mummy guilt behind me and enjoy myself.

Thanks again for your advice and good luck with settling your little ones x

LillianFullStop Tue 28-Mar-17 17:38:34

Hi bhar78 - we're going through the same with our 5 month old who feeds to sleep only during bedtime (not for naps). I agree it's developmental as she's always been fed to sleep but this waking is new. The first couple of nights we've left her to see if she can self settle herself but it just results in hysterical screaming which takes a while to come down from - seems to undo all the winding down and relaxation of her bedtime routine. End result is a very tired baby and mama!

So last night as soon as she started stirring at the 45min mark I went in to shush and put a hand on her chest before she was able to wake fully - she fell back asleep within a couple of minutes so I'm planning to keep doing that until she grows out of it! Fingers crossed it won't be long.

Perhaps warn your babysitter so they are ready at the 45min mark?

Tabitha1983 Tue 28-Mar-17 18:02:39

I agree....seems really odd to me because DD1 fed to sleep every night until she was nearly a year old! And yes....she slept through the night from very young! DS2 can now self settle with I thought the feeding to sleep was the issue but he still wakes after 1st 2 sleep cycles guaranteed and then wakes all night long too sometimes 😂
Although I have to say teaching him to settle with dummy as opposed to feeding has significant helped with night weaning....I've gone from needing to feed him back to sleep hourly to only feeding him at 10pm, 2am (ish) and 6am (ish). All other wakes DH can settle baba with dummy 👍😬

FATEdestiny Tue 28-Mar-17 18:58:54

Well last night I decided to really try it properly, so fed her downstairs and then cuddled her in the co sleeper and patted until she went to sleep.... epic fail

You speak like it's some sort of magic wand: "You were cuddled to sleep in the cot properly for the first time so, arbracadaba, hey presto, no more waking up as of tonight"

It just doesn't work like that. I am afriad you're being naive there.

The aim, when baby is truly self-comforting, is the put in the cot wide awake, say nan night, leave stage. At that point, regardless how much of a light sleeper baby is, he/she should be able to go back to sleep on own.

Not being fed to sleep is the start of a long process in getting there. Not feeding to sleep is not The Answer in itself, it's just the beginning of the process.

Bhar78 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:01:29

Wow FATE, that's a bit harsh. I don't see anywhere in Annarose's post that she expected it to work in one night. I think she is probably feeling crap enough today after a bad night without you having a go at her.

FATEdestiny Tue 28-Mar-17 20:45:55


I can do harsh, that wasn't it. I read her "epic fail" post and replied. She didn't fail, epically or otherwise, as she suggested. As I pointed out, with an explanation of why.

Are you feeling especially sensitive on the matter, for any reason Bhar78? 'Cos there is zero intent for harshness there.

AndIAskMyself Wed 29-Mar-17 07:07:24

FATE, I think you don't realise sometimes when your posts sound condescending or harsh. You have some absolutely fantastic sound and sensible advice, but I don't think you sometimes realise that the delivery can sometimes be brutal.

If you are someone who is struggling to get a child to sleep you might naturally be more sensitive, it's just what sleep deprivation does! And I often don't think the tone is helpful. Because no one has THE ANSWER. We're all doing our best with the knowledge we have.

I think in this instance you gave your advice, someone tried it and they didn't find it easy. You need to do one of two things: 1) just leave it and let the poster navigate the issue themselves with the advice given already on the thread, or 2) just say something like 'in my experience it does take a while'

Because in the end your advice does only come from YOUR EXPERIENCE, and while you might have a number of children for whom your methods have worked, they may not work for everyone.

But that said, FATE I do know you give wonderful advice that has changed the lives of quite a few Mumsnetters, and I'm not at all trying to downplay that.

FATEdestiny Wed 29-Mar-17 08:17:07

Wait one minute. Let's look at the sum total of my posts to Annarose here.

(And I am sorry you are getting caught up in this personal attack Annarose2014. Because you have done nothing wrong in any of this so please don't think anything is aimed at you)

Annarose: "Watching with interest... Should I literally just plonk her down in the cot wide awake??"

Me: I answered. Very reasonable if you read back. Explained that that's what you are aiming for but how quickly you get to that point depends on various factors.

Annarose: Used a cosleeper, been trying to put baby down awake. Last night I completely seperate feeding and sleeping. It was an epic fail.

Me: In direct relation to my previous post to Annarose, I explained that it takes longer than 1 night and that she has made progress towards that, by not feeding to sleep.

I have no problem at all with people publically discounting or disagreeing with stuff I post. So if you have something to say in relation to my post, make it about my content. If it is me you don't like, report to mumsnet or keep quiet.

Your opinions on me are none of my business

Your opinions on me are none if ANYONE's business but your own. So keep them to yourself

LapinR0se Wed 29-Mar-17 08:27:02

FATE I honestly think you need to step away from the sleep boards for a bit as you are getting very dogmatic and it's not helpful.

Annarose2014 Wed 29-Mar-17 09:32:36

It's ok guys, I was familiar with FATE and know her posting style. The important thing is to never treat another person's opinion as gospel regardless of their style.

Last night I re-read The No Cry Sleep solution and feel it's more helpful. I applied some of its principals and we had a much better night.

The issue with waking 45 mins after going to sleep still happened, but she went promptly back to sleep until 11 and her first feed and I could hear Elizabeth Pantley in my head saying "Is it a serious problem? No? Then stop stressing!"

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