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4 month old awake all night

(6 Posts)
tilleuls Wed 17-May-17 10:41:13

Hi! Wondered if anyone can offer any advice...my 4 month old has recently been waking up around 2am, feeds briefly and then won't go back to sleep for at least two hours (last night she was up until 5am!)
She normally feeds to sleep but recently doesn't want to, so I have introduced a dummy and ewan the dream sheep.
She naps quite well during the day, generally three naps of about 45 mins to an hour, and then goes to bed around 7:30pm.
I'd love any advice! I realise this is classic sleep regression territory but I feel like maybe there's something I can do to just get her to go back to sleep.
Thanks x

FATEdestiny Wed 17-May-17 10:54:17

I'd suggest trying to fit more naps in, by reducing awake time between one nap and the next. Aim for 90 minutes awake time from waking from one nap and being asleep the next. It might be less, if baby is grumpy.

Are you doing night feeds or is 2am the first feed since 7.30pm bedtime? If so, try a wake-feed-resettle when you go to bed, 11pm ish. It often helps stop early morning feeds.

Low level hunger can also contribute to restless nights. By this I mean the total calories over the whole 24 hours being on the low side. So reducing the time between daytime feeds can mean more feeds per day. Feed, feed, feed to calorie load during the day.

Getting her to fall asleep in the cot (with dummy and Ewan) is a good sleep habit to develop, instead of feeding to sleep.

tilleuls Wed 17-May-17 18:01:07

Hi FATE,
Thanks for your reply. She only wakes up once in the night to feed (normally) so she goes quite a long time at night...I will try feeding her when I go to bed at 11pm this evening then!
We are having some feeding issues because she is so overtired in the day..she becomes very distressed and doesn't want to feed as just so desperate to feed. I think it's all a bit catch 22 as then obviously she wants to have a mammoth feed at night.
Feel like I have an extremely tired little one on my hands and not sure how much sleep she should really be getting. Over 24 hours she generally gets about 14 hours..

tilleuls Wed 17-May-17 18:02:39

quick question..for the final nap of the day - should that be finishing an hour and a half before bedtime then? She normally has a gap of around two - two and a half hours between last nap and bedtime. Thank you!

FATEdestiny Wed 17-May-17 18:54:12

We are having some feeding issues because she is so overtired in the day..she becomes very distressed and doesn't want to feed as just so desperate to feed.

I understand what you mean.

Have you tried feeding when first waking up, instead of upon waking? This helps because (a) baby is not tired for feed and (b) separating feeding and sleeping is a good long term habit.

A simple structure to your day that ensures regular feeds and sleeps is EASY:
E - eat. Start with a full feed upon waking
A - awake activity. Limit awake time to 60-90 minutes at this age
S - sleep.
Y - you time while baby sleeps.

Wake and then repeat the whole cycle over and over again all day long.

for the final nap of the day - should that be finishing an hour and a half before bedtime then?

It depends on the developmental stage your baby is at, in terms of sleep.

■ Newborn phase -naps are long, awake time short
■ Active sleep regression - naps reduce to one sleep cycle, usually 30-45 minutes.
■ Long naps - naps increase as sleep cycles in daytime naps link. Now longer awake times are needed between longer naps.

An average baby at 4 months would be at the short nap stage, but yours might not be average. You mention 45-1h naps, so it's difficult to say if your baby is linking sleep cycles or not, that is right on the cusp.

If your baby is still sleeping in single-sleep-cycle short naps, then I'd advise following EASY (with limited awake time) from first waking through to bedtime. You could maybe lengthen the last awake time by half an hour if baby is well rested and spied a lot in the day. Otherwards, just be flexible with the time of bedtime as the end of an awake time.

If, however, baby is starting to sleep longer and link sleep cycles, then longer awake times develop with kengthening awake times through the day. So it's not unusual to have a longer awake time before bed. This would be at about 5-9 months old, for your average baby. But as I said, your baby may not be average.

tilleuls Wed 17-May-17 19:37:04

Brilliant, thank you so much FATE that's really helpful!! Lots to think about and put in place!

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