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Things gone pear-shaped post-illness!

(3 Posts)
EphraimWaite Wed 19-Apr-17 11:12:41

We have, until now, been extremely lucky with DD's sleep. She slept through from 11 weeks (now 7 months), and up until a fortnight ago never missed a night! She had a rotten cold, and we had several nights of waking up several times. I fed her back to sleep, which is how she's always been got off for the night, and hoped it would settle once she was better - but it hasn't quite! Over the past week or so, since the cold got better, she's done I think 3 or 4 nights through, but has woken up the rest, usually only once, between 2 and 4, but last night at 3 then again at 5. I really want to lick this, as we've had a blissful introduction to parenthood, but I'm afraid our good luck has left me pretty clueless as to how to deal with it!

She's always been fed to sleep at night. I'm happy with this. My long term plan was to start gently extending gap between feed and going into cot once she's settled at nursery. I'm not averse to extended breastfeeding and it works for us - or at least, it did, when it was one feed off to sleep and then done. It's not such a good solution if I have to do it through the night - especially when I know she doesn't really need the feed, since she's been going 9-10 hours overnight for so long.

When she wakes, it's often a half-awake whinge, rather than full-on crying. When I've gone in, she's been apparently asleep, but crying out in her sleep. I've tried leaving her, and once or twice she has drifted off - but mostly she wakes herself up after a while. Last night, I tried cuddling her in her cot and she drifted off, but other times I've tried this it seems to have woken her up, and I then eventually had to feed her off. I have tried just cuddling/rocking her to sleep, but it doesn't really work - she's never been got to sleep this way, so I wouldn't really expect it to.

So where do I go from here? I know I need to be consistent, and haven't been so far, but I was hoping that normal service would resume. I'd be happy to keep feeding to sleep if I could fix the night waking, but I have no idea how to do that. I'm not sure if it's possible to fix that and leave the feeding-to-sleep for later, or if I need to fix the feeding-to-sleep in order to get her to settle herself when she wakes at night. (But what is waking her up?!)

She did have a few whinge-wakings in the couple of weeks before the cold, one where I fed her off, one where feeding didn't work, but then she sort of drifted off on her own after I stayed and patted her for a while (which on other occasions hasn't worked), a couple where she's gone off on her own.

My main priority is to fix the night waking. Feeding a baby who sleeps through to sleep is not a problem for me, but I'm open to people's suggestions if they think that that needs tackling in order to fix the other (though please bear in mind it's worked fine for 4.5 months; I know some people have a 'thing' about feeding to sleep, but it's been fine for us for a long time, and this isn't the thing that has changed).

Other relevant information: she's been in her own room from six months, was absolutely fine with the transition for the first three weeks, although the half-wakes started at about the four week mark. We can't have her back in with us for furniture reasons. She's EBF, started weaning but very slow progress. Never had a dummy.

Advice welcome! I've been a bit all over the place and need a consistent strategy so this doesn't turn into an ongoing issue. Apologies for length!

CockerASpanielsZ Thu 20-Apr-17 12:23:07

I would say you have been EXTREMELY lucky so far to have had a bf baby sleep through, most don't. My bf baby never has, we had some long 7-8 hour stints for a couple of (amazing!) weeks at 5 months but mostly he wakes at least 3 times a night at 8 months old. Two night wakings for a breastfed baby really isn't bad at all and is completely normal.
The wakings could be hunger, does she take a full feed? Or could be teething, developmental leap (so brain is whirring constantly and is difficult to turn off) or for comfort. Y

EphraimWaite Thu 20-Apr-17 14:17:11

I know we have! (I suspect this is why I've had few replies...apologies to those who have real problems!) I get that 1 or 2 wake ups is normal - but it's not normal for my unusually good sleeper, so I was hoping there might be some ways to handle the sudden change so we can go back to our blissful ignorance of sleep deprivation.

Developmental leap may be the answer. She's just learned to roll (at 7.5 months...) and has picked up some new syllables. The night feeds have tended to be quick comfort off-to-sleep ones. Will ride it out if there's no obvious steps to take, was just hoping there might be a way to re-establish the usual pattern!

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