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6 1/2 month old just wants to be cuddled all night

(19 Posts)
mummysquidge Mon 04-Dec-17 12:58:03

My little boys sleep has really gone to pot this past week or so. He's had a cold so I don't think that helped but is better now but we're still having the sleep issues.
Our current bedtime routine is bath, bottle, book, bottle, bed, bottle. He just will not drink enough of his milk until he's sure he's going to bed but then will pretty much finish his bottle after he's been put down. He'll sleep alright for a couple of hours but then (usually as one of us goes to bed so I think we must be disturbing him despite him being in a different room) will wake up crying until we pick him up and sit down with him when he'll snuggle up to go to sleep... If we pick him up and stay stood up he'll carry on crying, if we try to calm him in his cot he'll just escalate to screaming. He's then almost impossible to put back down... The only way seems to be to wait until he's fast asleep but then he wakes up crying again a bit later as he's not in our arms anymore. This then repeats multiple times through the night.
His naps are also going downhill and he's waking up after half an hour but will go back to sleep in my arms.
There's no sign of any teeth coming through but we did try anbesol at one point last night just in case... It didn't help.
Any advice or thoughts would be massively appreciated!!

Choccyhobnob Mon 04-Dec-17 16:43:00

No help I'm afraid, my DS wanted to be constantly held so in the end I held him for all naps (and got no housework done for 18 months) and in the evening he slept on the sofa next to us in the evening before I brought him up into bed with me where he would still wake every 2 hours. Once he got to about 15 months his sleep got a bit better, moved him into his own room at 18 months (in a bed as he's never slept in a cot) and he started doing 4-5 hour stints then finally at 2 started sleeping through.

Probably doesn't help you as sounds like you're used to not co sleeping but just to let you know there's nothing unusual about a baby just wanting to be cuddled to sleep, it can be a pain in the arse but it won't last forever.

FATEdestiny Mon 04-Dec-17 18:31:24


How much of what you say in your post has been happening long term? And what has just become a problem this week?

It's not clear if you have an inherent issue with sleep hygiene or if it's just that baby is poorly and needs extra TLC, which happens and you can't really avoid.

mummysquidge Mon 04-Dec-17 19:11:27

Cosleepimg isn't really an option for us, there just isn't space for him in the bed. I've brought him into bed with me a couple of mornings after my partner got up which helped one day but didn't today.
The refusing to drink his milk until last thing before going to sleep is a long term issue, everything else is recent but his cold has been gone for a few days and it just seems to be getting worse. I'm struggling on the lack of sleep as it is and I'm going back to work soon so really want to try and nip any problems in the bud.

FATEdestiny Mon 04-Dec-17 19:41:59

With regards to the milk, firstly make sure he is having at least 100% of his recommended volume of milk throughout the day. Many babies need more milk than the amount on the tin, especially if well over the 50th centile line for weight.

That may mean more bottles per day, feeds closer together between 7am and 7pm. Add in solids meals in addition to milk, not instead of.

Once you are sure baby is getting most calories in the daytime, at bedtime do bottle, bath, book, bed. Completely separate bedtime and milk and don't worry if little of that milk is drank. Just offer it before bath and he drinks what he drinks and that's it.

Then develop an in-cot settling method. I'd use a dummy and patting in the cot until asleep. There are loads of alternates, whatever suits you.

Then go into baby as you go you bed, 11pm or whatever, with a bottle. Give a full feed, consider changing nappy if baby needs to be more awake to drink more, wind, reoffer bottle, wind again and put down to settle with a dummy.

From that point I would not feed again until morning, assuming at least 100% or recommended milk is taken know daytime, plus a dream feed. So any wakes between 11pm-7pm, settle with the in-cot settling method you use at bedtime.

mummysquidge Mon 04-Dec-17 19:57:14

He does the refusing milk thing throughout the day - unless he is in his sleeping bag, in his room with white noise on going to bed he just won't drink it unless he's really hungry (like 5 hours since last feed...) and even then fusses lots with it. He just wants to go and play instead. I've tried feeding straight after waking up from a nap or after having some quiet time etc but he just will not take it. He's gaining weight well though (started around 75th centile a couple of weeks after birth, dropped to 50th for a few months but now has gone back up to 75th).

FATEdestiny Mon 04-Dec-17 19:59:55

Are these bottle feeds or breastfeeding feeds?

How is weaning going, what is a typical days food like?

mummysquidge Mon 04-Dec-17 20:12:16

Bottle feeds, never been breastfed as he's always been fussy about his milk and wouldn't even try to latch!
He's been having lunch everyday for the past week, had been just finger foods but trying purees with finger foods on his tray out now to try to make sure he's actually getting something into him. Had dinner as well for the first time today. Probably had about 3 ounces of food at lunch and 4/5 at dinner.

Greylilypad Mon 04-Dec-17 20:13:37

I am having similar problem with a nearly 6 month old who used to be settled in cot with dummy. But now wakes and cries unless he gets bf. Think several of those wakings are habit as he doesn't seem to take much.
FateDestiny- how do I know for sure he has fed enough in the day if he is Bf??

NameChange30 Mon 04-Dec-17 20:18:59

My DS is very similar and has been like it since he was about 5 months old (he’s nearly 9 months old now). The only thing that’s different is that he’s breastfed and i just feed him once at bedtime, for as long as he wants to feed. Not sure I would keep offering the bottle repeatedly.

I don’t have a solution to offer as I’m still trying to work it out myself! But the only way I’ve been able to survive is by bedsharing. There isn’t room for three of us in our bed either, so DH sleeps in another room, and we all sleep much better. It’s not ideal but it’s temporary and the only way we can survive at the moment.

DS does start the night in his cot so I’m hoping we can gradually keep him in there longer.

DonkeyPunch88 Mon 04-Dec-17 20:25:50

Could you try him with something thicker like baby porridge or mashed potatoes about 6pm and then follow up with a bottle? I found when mine were waking unsettled but not screaming it was because they were still hungry.

Eringray Tue 05-Dec-17 18:26:25

It seems that you have been giving extra attention on him when he was sick with the cold and now he expects the same. It happens! My DD did the same and still does sometimes being 5. I think this situation will gradually wear off. But it would be good to fill up his tummy with some solids if he is refusing to drink milk, so that he would fall a sleep with a filled tummy. Also try not nap him in the afternoons/evenings, so that he will fall asleep at night.

crazycatlady5 Tue 05-Dec-17 19:19:17

This is really normal, he’s got used to loving cuddles from his parents at bedtime and it helps him feel safe and secure. Sorry no advice as I would suggest co sleeping - or could you take the side off his cot and put it next to your bed?

mummysquidge Wed 06-Dec-17 12:42:05

He's actually been a lot better the past couple of nights and the only thing that's changed is that he's had dinner too so it looks like some of it could have been hunger. He still woke up once and took ages to get back to sleep but was perfectly happy to lie in his cot kicking his legs about. He's not far off starting to crawl so I think he just wants extra practice time!!

bluebellsparklypants Wed 06-Dec-17 23:06:43

Aww sounds like alittle baby that enjoys cuddles and loves that reassurance your near by, my DC was the same napped in a sling and co slept, I got more sleep that way. As they grow their patterns chance you think you've got there with a good routine then they change again not any great advice but if you can go with the flow alittle as it seems to save the stress of 'my baby should be doing this or that' . Good luck with it and enjoy those little cuddles

bluebellsparklypants Wed 06-Dec-17 23:09:23

I think they get excited with the new things they can do and learn during their waking hours it's such rapid growing at this age I think that stops them sleeping as well as they could

Killdora Wed 06-Dec-17 23:11:01

It was the same for us, I was adamant we wouldn’t cosleep. Ended up feeling to wrong to deny dd (and then ds) the cuddles they were after.

So we needed up dragging the mattress onto the floor, sticking a single one next to it and slept like that until dd was four.

It was much nicer than I was expecting 😊

Summerlovin24 Thu 07-Dec-17 07:41:20

My dd did this. Fall asleep on me after a night feed then as soon as she went in cot she'd cry. Took me ages to realise that she wanted to be on her tummy/ face down like she was when she fell asleep. Wasnt me she wanted at all just the position. Midwives said to put them to sleep on back. Turns out i ignored that and my mum said they were told back in the day to put babies to sleep on their front.

NameChange30 Thu 07-Dec-17 08:48:38

Not criticising you at all but just wanted to point out to others reading that the reason midwives recommend putting babies on their back to sleep is to decrease the risk of SIDS. Yes people used to put babies on their fronts but SIDS deaths have decreased since the advice was changed. I believe the overall risk is still low (and there are other factors of course) but it is something to bear in mind.

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