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Have I really screwed up?

(8 Posts)
chugging Fri 31-Mar-17 17:33:43

My baby is 6.5 months old and has just started waking every two hours throughout the night.

She used to sleep about 8 or 9 hours straight through and had done since she was about 2 months old. She used to fall asleep on the breast at bedtime but then would be soothed back to sleep in her cot in the night with a pat and a stroke, until she eventually slept all the way through.

Because she was fine sleeping through, I never worried about letting her fall asleep on the breast.

She would fall asleep in the daytime usually in her pushchair if we were walking, or during a feed. She never seemed to want or need long naps, and like above, I never worried too much because she slept so well during the night.

But now she's waking up so frequently, I just don't know what to do.

Ideally I'd put her down for naps and at bedtime drowsy-but-awake so she re-learns to fall asleep without my breast. However, she just wakes up and is seemingly wide awake (and/or very upset). She also seems to cry hard when she's getting close to sleep, as if she's fighting it. I just can't think of a way to get her in the cot when she's drowsy and tired enough to stay in it.

I've spent the past week trying to get her into a nap routine (I let her sleep on me just for the sake of her getting some good naps in and hopefully a habit of sleeping at those times) but it appears to have had no impact apart from keeping me housebound and miserable.

I'm worried that I've completely screwed everything up by letting things (sleep habits) slide when she was such a good night sleeper.

I'm tired and hormonal and tearful and I don't know what to do.

FATEdestiny Fri 31-Mar-17 20:47:09

Is her waking frequently a new thing? As in the last few days, a week or so. Or is it something thats been going on for a couple of months or more?

If its recent, I'd suggest it's more likely to be illness or pain related. Teething maybe?

chugging Fri 31-Mar-17 21:09:56

The frequent wakings have just been the last fortnight pretty much. I think the week or so before that she began waking but only once or twice per night.

She could be teething- she does do some very angry chomping on things in th daytime.

I don't think she's ill.... she does have issues with her stomach although they seem to have settled recently.

I'll try some ibruprofen before bed to see if that helps at all.

(And Thank You for replying. I saw a lot of your posts while I was searching for answers before starting a thread. You seem to be the wisest sleep guru around!)

FATEdestiny Fri 31-Mar-17 21:38:51

Teething is one of those things you are only certain on after the event. You have a grumpy couple of weeks (culminating in a horrendous couple of days) and suddenly a tooth is cut and it's like a lightbulb: "Ah, that's why she's been so difficult!".

Mine cut teeth at 6 months so if she has no teeth yet, teethibg would be a distinct possibility.

This: "I've spent the past week trying to get her into a nap routine" could also be a factor. It could be that the nap routine isnt suiting her as you thought it would.

Lack of daytime sleep can result in an over tired baby who's then more unsettled at the times she does sleep. What are her daytime naps like at the moment?

(Oh and I forgot to mention. For what it's worth I don't think you have screwed anything up. More sleep is always better than less sleep, so doing whatever gets baby the most sleep is a good thing. If that is feeding to sleep, then don't make sleep harder to come-by by not letting her)

chugging Sat 01-Apr-17 10:18:24

Thank you so much (and your bit in brackets nearly made me cry it was so kind and reassuring)

Her day time naps are

chugging Sat 01-Apr-17 10:57:33

Oops.

I was trying to encourage a morning nap at about 10:30 after breakfast and then another about 2:30 lunch. I chose the times based on what I thought were her natural sleepy times but you're right, they're not working for her. I'm at a loss to know what would work, unless I just stop trying to force the naps and go back to letting her sleep when she's tired even though that often ended up in catnaps whilst feeding....

Last night, I did more of her bedtime routine in the bedroom and spent some time lying on the bed with her looking st her projector and singing lullabies (badly!). I still fed her before she went to sleep but when she woke in the night (in her cot) I was able to soothe her back to sleep without even picking her up. Which is massive progress from the last fortnight.

I also gave her ibruprofen before bed and bonjela once in the night.

FATEdestiny Sat 01-Apr-17 11:16:59

How long are those naps?

6 months is on the young side for 2-nap days. But if they are mamouth long 2 hour plus naps then I can see why you'd only needs 2 naps a day.

It's often easier to keep an eye on awake time, rather than nap length or number of naps per day.

So if naps are less than an hour, I wouldn't expect longer than 90 minutes awake between waking from one nap and going to sleep next time. If the ladt nap was a micro nap (20-30m) then awake time will be less. If it was a long nap then baby may be fine with more like 2h awake time.

For comparison, at 6 months my DD was having 3 naps a day - two 90m naps and a teatime 1h nap. She had 2h awake time between all those.

When she had shorter naps (they were ususlly 40 minutes), she would have about an hour awake between naps. Therefore she she has had lots of naps per day.

She settled into 2-nap days around 8-9 months old, but these were 2 hours in length. 2 nap days lasted right through until she was 22 months.

chugging Sun 02-Apr-17 09:18:39

This makes loads of sense, thank you. The naps could be up to 1-2 hours as long as I held her and let her sleep on me...but I think the fact she needed that much input to stay asleep means I was making them artificially long. And she'd often wake if I shifted position so only have 20-30minutes some days. I can totally see now you've pointed it out that the nap routine just wasn't working for her.

She will nap with less input for 45 minutes so I'm going to stop trying to force her into 2 long naps (I don't even know where I got the idea she should just have 2 long naps from!) and see how she gets on with 3-4 shorter ones. But I'll use the awake time thing as my guide. Thank you so muchflowers

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