Why won't he stay asleep??(63 Posts)
This is driving me to despair. DS is 4.5 months and wakes so frequently. During the day he only ever sleeps about 20 mins, if I'm lucky, before waking. At night it's every 40-60 minutes. He is so agitated all the time. It's like he never relaxes. He doesn't sleep on his back, he just flails around and ends up in a right state so he sleeps on his side. Swaddling doesn't work. He has a dummy, it falls out all the time and he wakes. White noise doesn't work. Sling does work but I can't have him on me all the time and obviously this doesn't work at night. Please don't tell me it's the four month regression as he has always been like this, you have to be sleeping to then regress from it. The longest he's ever slept is about 3 hours and that was overnight. He hasn't done that for weeks and weeks now. Please help, I feel like I'm being tortured.
I’m so sorry you’re struggling. The truth is there is nothing wrong with him he is just being a baby. Some are good sleepers from the start, some aren’t. My daughter is like this, she is now 8 months almost 9 and goes through phases of it being a bit better. Best thing you can do is get as much rest as you can. Do you have a cosleeper cot? Would you think about safely cosleeping? Hope it gets better for you soon
Is he breast or formula fed? Does he bring up a lot inbetween feeds? How are his poos? As a mum of two reflux, dairy intolerant DD's I'd say he sounds pretty similar to them from what you're saying. He sounds uncomfortable. Babies shouldn't cry constantly and only sleep for 20 mins at a time. They shouldn't flail about and seem agitated. I feel for you OP as I've been there. We just need to work out why he's so uncomfortable and take steps to fix it for him and you.
DD was like this, I think it was because she was very windy (caused by tongue tie mainly, plus she was prem so underdeveloped digestive system). as mrs says this is not how babies should be (though it is quite common...) and it does sound like something is causing discomfort. Does he seem windy or refluxy?
We do co sleep, I have a co sleeper crib but can't get him in it so he's in the bed with me. He's breastfed. He does bring up some milk between feeds but I wouldn't say it's enough to be reflux. Also, during the night he feeds lying down and goes straight back to sleep so I don't think it can be reflux or he would be very uncomfortable. He doesn't cry all the time, just a lot before going to sleep. I used to be able to cuddle my oldest to sleep, a gentle rock or a feed and he'd be fast asleep. This one, it's just such a battle! It's good he goes back to sleep in the night so easily after he wakes otherwise honestly I would be done in. I just wish he didn't wake so frequently. I'm also sure he's overtired during the day but I can't crack how to get him sleeping longer.
How is his weight gain? As well as reflux and CMPI with DD2 she wasn't gaining weight and so was waking to feed constantly as she was starving. It was worse at night time. Reflux doesn't necessarily mean bringing up loads between feeds either. They can have silent reflux which is when the acid travels up and hurts them but they don't bring anything up. Sometimes they'll bring up small amounts of clear liquid. This is worse when they are laid flat on their backs.
Weight gain is steady, he's just under the 50th percentile and has been since about 4 weeks. He was born 75th but quickly settled into his line.
He does bring up clear liquid randomly but on a good nights he will literally be flat all night, feeding lying down and re settle lying down, waking about every 2 hours. We haven't had a good night in a while, the wake ups are far more frequent but he does tend to remain lying down. That's why I don't think it can be reflux because surely he wouldn't sleep lying down?
Some babies with reflux do sleep fairly well at night (incl lying down) because they are so exhausted from not sleeping all day. However I wouldn't assume reflux unless there are other signs. Sicky, acidic smelling burps or breath for example? Distress during or after feeds?
Argh I'm sorry just wanted to give you some sympathy, my ds didn't like sleep. Usually got 90 minute stints out of him at night but naps would only be 20 mins unless I held him. 3-5 months was the absolute worst. Sorry to say that nothing worked but at about 6 months my body started being able to cope a bit better with the lack of sleep.
At about 18 months he started having long 1-2 hour naps and being able to sleep for 5 hour chunks. At 24 months he still wakes a couple of times.
Some babies are just not sleepers unfortunately (and actually once I accepted that and stopped trying to 'fix' him I felt a whole lot better about it)
Silent reflux? They do t have to be sick with it.
I haven't read the replies but sounds like silent reflux to me. It's when the sick/acid doesn't come out but causes pain. Does he gulp sometimes? My dd sleptuch better once we got the right silent reflux meds for her. She always refused to sleep flat. Have you raised the cot at one end a little?
No gulping or sicky breath. He also is quite settled during feeds and seems satisfied and content immediately after. I can't raise the cot at one end because he sleeps in the bed with me.
I hear what you are saying choccy and I know I most likely just need to accept it for what it is. I think it's just hard when my older son, whilst he was a bad sleeper, would at least nap properly during the day rather than these 15/20 minute sessions. Maybe I'm just expecting too much too soon. It's just so so frustrating when you can spend half hour getting him to sleep for him to be awake within 20 minutes, if that. And also I know he is tired but I can't seem to help.
My dd don't have sticky breath or gulp very noticeably/often. She also took forever to go to sleep and only did mini mini naps.
So what would I do if it is silent reflux? He's breastfed and won't take a bottle, presumably meds have to go into milk?
You'd go to the gp. Mine tried dd on gaviscon first but it didn't work and gave her constipation. She's now (16 months) on ranitidine (given in a small syringe direct from a bottle) and omeperazole (a tablet that needs to be dissolved in water which I then give through 2 calpol syringes). I'll try and find a good link about silent reflux. He may not have it anyway but I think you should check.
This isn't a great link. I remember there being a really great Australian site (I'm English in the U.K.) but can't find it. Info on silent reflux is annoyingly quite hard to find!
My dd doesn't have a lot of the possible symptoms but definitely has it. Also, an interesting indicator can be if they were born with good neck control. Also, some GP's will just dismiss you and say some babies don't sleep well (which is true) or like lying down etc. I remember one particularly patronising telling me I should get some toys for her to play with while lying down.
4 month sleep regression.
His brain is to busy to sleep.
The gaviscon is a pain to give (needs to be dissolved) but I think the gp would probably make you try that one first.
seven thanks for all the info. I'm assuming there can't ever really be a definite way of knowing if he has it?
Titty in the nicest possible way I believe these 'regressions' to be crap, at least they are not relevant here. My first son never followed that pattern and this baby has never slept well. He hasn't regressed. He's always been a terrible sleeper. I just happen to be posting at four months because I'm reaching breaking point.
Feel your pain.....a baby’s sleep cycle is supposed to be about 20 mins long......the fucker is trying to link them together.
Do you use white noise? Does he last longer than 20 mins in car/pram/Bouncer/sling? X
White noise is a bit hit and miss. Need to replace the batteries in Ewan actually...
Pram - no, will occasionally fall asleep in it but mostly screams. And will wake as soon as we stop.
Car - only sleeps in the car if he is at the point of absolute exhaustion. At about 12 weeks old he screamed for a full 50 minute journey. It's not the car seat either because I can get him settled in it before we leave. I think it's a 'you've left me' scream.
Sling - I can usually get about an hour out of him in the sling. I love using it out and about and I'm a big advocate for slinging but I just find it so impractical at home.
And fucker is one of the many names my son goes by, how did you guess user?!
Oh I missed bouncer! He used to reliably fall asleep in it. But wake as soon as we stopped bouncing. He is now too busy flailing his arms and removing his dummy to fall asleep in it.
So my advice (and I’m totally winging it btw) and what worked for us the following-
Played white noise from an app on phone/iPad continuously and ditched Ewan! Super dark room and in his sleep bag. Dummy. Lots of swearing and tears by me after only getting him to sleep in a pram by pounding the streets. One day thought fuck this I’m not going out in the pissing rain so put him in his cot. 3 or 4 days of hell then hey presto!
It does get better. Promise x
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