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Where do I start to fix my 10 month old's sleep issues?

(10 Posts)
CatSneeze Tue 26-Sep-17 08:57:10

My DS has never been a great sleeper and we've been through lots of issues with sleep since day 1 but after another night of waking hourly things can't go on like this and I just do not know where to start to fix things.

He goes down to bed between 7-7.30pm and wakes up happy and ready to play somewhere between 6am and 7am but during the night he wakes 9 or 10 times (I've been logging it for the last month!). It's often as if he is struggling to get comfy and will scream until he is breastfed. He will not settle for DH and just gets increasingly distressed at any attempt to settle him which isn't breastfeeding. He used to take a dummy but has refused it ever since he had a throat infection back in July. As soon as I feed him he feeds for 10 minutes and settles right back down.

Our biggest issue is that he is just not interested in solid food in the slightest. Still. I offer three meals a day, I've tried purees and finger foods and everything is just rejected. He might suck on a bit of cucumber or he might eat a single Ella's pouch across a day but nothing significant or calorific. He's also VERY active in a day so I am sure he's hungry and all he's getting is breastmilk. Because of this I have not wanted to attempt to night wean as he's definitely not getting enough calories in the daytime so I don't want to leave him distressed and hungry. He's always been a snacker, will breastfeed for 10 mins and then refuse more, day and night. The same goes for solid food, he shows a mild interest for 5 minutes and then clamps his mouth shut and throws everything on the floor. I have tried offering food all day long to increase calorie intake, and I've also tried spacing the feeds out so that he's hungrier and takes more, nothing has worked. I think he has a sensitive stomach, he's always been prone to tummy aches, diarrhoea and terrible gas and we will always have a bad night if he tries a new food too late in the day. He gets bad gas during the night and often wakes up screaming and uncomfortable until he is able to fart and go back to sleep!

During the daytime he has two naps; one at 9-9.30 for approx 1hour 20 mins and then the same again at about 2pm, often in his buggy but will also nap in cot or in the car. If he sleeps in the cot he is always breastfed to sleep which I know is a terrible habit but I'm not sure how to break it, now that he is refusing the dummy he just won't calm down with anything else that I've tried. Two weeks ago he slept for 6 hours straight one night so I know that he can do it, unfortunately that was very much a one off and we're back to hourly wakings. Please help! I'm sure I'm missing something obvious in my sleep deprived fog!

dazzleboo Tue 26-Sep-17 09:06:10

It might be worth getting blood tests or a skin prick test for food allergies. My DS was the same- breast fed, a poor sleeper and refused solids until 13 months. It turned out he was allergic to milk, eggs and nuts. As I was eating them he was getting small amounts from breast feeding which made him unsettled at night and defensive around solid food. Good luck!

crazycatlady5 Tue 26-Sep-17 10:07:51

IMO there is nothing to 'fix' although it is exhausting. Your baby isn't broken smile 10 months can be a rough time for sleep in general - lots of mobility and learning happening. Totally understand the exhaustion as my little one is 8 months and ONCE slept for 5 hours, it's mainly between 1-3 hours - I feel your pain flowers it will pass.

chloechloe Tue 26-Sep-17 10:50:33

Hi catsneeze. Are you me!? Have I, in my sleep-deprived state, written this post under a different name without realising?!?

Pretty much everything you've written applies to my 9mo. I'm exhausted and bad tempered and don't have any answers I'm afraid. I just offer my consolation, and will lurk here to see if somebody comes along with the magic bullet answer. I expect not!

My little girl will go down in her cot with a dummy, possibly again for the first night waking or two. But after that I have to feed her every 1-1.5 hours all through the night to get her back to sleep. Any attempt by DH to settle her results in louder screaming.

riddles26 Tue 26-Sep-17 12:17:44

If you hadn't mentioned about him getting stomach discomfort after tying new foods, I would have said that its normal not to eat much and that food doesn't always click until a bit later but he could be reacting to something in his diet so I second the recommendation for testing for food allergies.

Food didn't really click for my daughter until a couple of weeks ago (she's just over 11 months) and we currently have good and bad days with it. (I blw and have offered pouches in the past but she won't touch a single one)

Saying that, even if he were being breastfed with minimal solids, he doesn't need to feed so many times each night for calories, like you said he is snacking and seeking comfort. It would be reasonable for him to feed no more than 2 times until the solids are established. I'm not an expert on settling methods and would have recommended your husband settle her but as this is not working, I will let someone more experienced than me advise on this. However, you ultimately want to develop a settling method that doesn't involve the breast and use that for every wake until a certain timeframe (e.g. 5 hours) has passed. Then you offer one feed and no more until that time has passed again. This way, baby gets used to the fact that he is getting feeds at set times and has to feed properly at those times rather than snack. You will need to be completely consistent for success.

Do get tested for allergies too

FATEdestiny Tue 26-Sep-17 12:30:01

Your baby is reverse cycling CatSneeze - taking in calories through the night rather than in the daytime. If you have a breastfeeding support group near you they might be able to suggest ways to deal with this from a breastfeeding point of view. Reverse cycling not unusual in response to something (separation from mum, illness, teething) but it's unhealthy as a long term thing since it restricts the development of a healthy, balanced diet. By 12 months baby should be getting most of his calories from food, with milk being important but secondary to a balanced diet of food.

How you deal with reversed cycling from a sleep point of view depends on your parenting style. You are not going to get big stretches of sleep unless baby is night weaned - either fully or partially.

Your baby physically cannot eat a balanced diet of solids if full from taking in such a high proportion of his calories at night. You cannot force-feed a baby. So realistically I think the only way you'll improve his daytime eating is by cutting night feeds. A child can cope with being hungry for a few hours, as in this would be unpleasent but possible. But getting a child who is very full and not hungry to eat is pretty much impossible to do (as well as a really unhealthy concept)

CatSneeze Tue 26-Sep-17 20:04:00

Thank you all so much for your responses, you’ve given me a lot to think about and research further. I will definitely speak with his doctor about the possibility of allergies although as he is so happy and content in the daytime I think (hope!) it may be a case of his gut still getting used to new foods but it’s definitely worth exploring. So now to think about night weaning.. the thought of potentially getting even less sleep while we’re doing it fills me with dread but of course you’re right, no 10 month old can really need to feed hourly. There’s definitely been a lot going on for him over the past few months in terms of development as well as illness, a holiday, people staying with us, so I suppose it’s not surprising he’s unsettled and wanting comfort.

crazycatlady and chloechloe your posts made me smile, it’s so nice to hear that I’m not alone. Misery really does love company! Everywhere I go people are talking about their great sleepers/eaters so it’s good to know I’m not alone! Hope we are all getting lots more sleep very soon.

crazycatlady5 Tue 26-Sep-17 22:30:47

And you too @catsneeze! Great name by the way wink

SingingSeuss Tue 26-Sep-17 22:34:49

Loads of really useful advice here but in the meantime use a dummy, seriously, just to get some sleep flowers

pastabest Tue 26-Sep-17 22:42:09

Perhaps also try a different brand of dummy if he has gone off the one he had.

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