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Why is my 10mo waking every 45 minutes?

(40 Posts)
Lovage Sun 10-Jun-07 10:41:11

I know 45 minutes is a sleep cycle, so clearly he's lost the ability to settle himself back to sleep when he comes out of deep sleep. Or he's sleeping more lightly generally But why, and what the hell can I do about it?!

It's not the whole time, quite. His morning nap has only been for 45 minutes for a while, so I guess that one doesn't matter. He usually has a 2 hr nap in the afternoon but recently he wakes and cries really hard after 45 mins. If you go in and pick him up and generally comfort him he then goes back to sleep quite quickly for another 1 - 1 1/2 hrs (so I suppose that's a patch where he is sleeping a bit longer). At bedtime he often wakes and cries briefly every 45 mins until we go to bed and I bf him again at 10.30ish. Sometimes he needs attention, sometimes he just grizzles a bit or cries for a few seconds, is quiet for a few seconds, cries for a few seconds etc. in which case we don't usually go in to him and he does resettle quite quickly. Again, that's bearable although it means we feel we can't leave him with a babysitter at the moment.

But at night it's really tough. He does generally go through until 1am from that 10.30 feed (big deal!). Then often he cries a bit but settles himself before I've woken up properly. Then basically he carries on waking and crying every 45 mins until about 5.00 when he'll often go to sleep until 6.30 when he wakes for the day. Sometimes he'll settle himself, sometimes his Dad rocking in his arms is enough, sometimes only a bf will do. He doesn't seem to be in pain and is not obviously teething at the moment. Sometimes we've given him Medised in desperation anyway in case he is in pain and that sometimes seems to break the cycle and sometimes it has no effect whatsoever. Sometimes a bf does mean he settles for a few more hours, sometimes it has no effect apart from calming him that time.

He doesn't do this the whole time but probably every other day for the past 10 days and a couple of times a week for the past 6 weeks.

Any ideas, experiences, tips?
I'm getting pretty desperate and wound up here...

nappyaddict Sun 10-Jun-07 19:29:54

could it be cos its much brighter outside. i;ve noticed my ds hasn't been sleeping so well and i think its the fact that it stays lighter longer and also the sun is much brighter so we are off to get black out lining this week.

also could he be hot? we've just put a fan in ds' room and he's sleeping better in the day now.

Lovage Sun 10-Jun-07 21:04:07

Don't think so, alas - he does it in the dead of night as well. And in fact one of the times he will often go a bit longer is between about 5 and 6.30, which is when it's getting light. And I don't think he's too hot - our house is quite cool and he's been doing it whatever the weather. Good suggestions though, thanks!

nappyaddict Sun 10-Jun-07 23:02:47

could he be having bad dreams? unfortunately this isn't anything you can stop.

i don't know if he is too old for this now but we have a sound activated thing that plays white noise if ds cries and it sometimes settles him back off. he also has a little giraffe that is always in his cot so he can find it if he wakes up and it comforts him. i spray it with my perfume so it smells of me.

Lovage Mon 11-Jun-07 10:00:34

I guess bad dreams is a possibility, although he's obviously having an awful lot of them! Where do you get that sort of white noise thing? Might be worth a pop - will try anything apart from leaving him to cry when he's really upset.

He already has a lovey unfortunately (a yellow duck). Well fortuately as it does help him get to sleep but you know what I mean...

Anyone else for any ideas or suggestions?

tryingtoleave Mon 11-Jun-07 12:51:09

Hi Lovage - just thought I'd let you know I have the same problem with my 11 month old (it made me feel a bit better to see your post and know I'm not the only one in this hell). My ds only sleeps for 40 min unless I'm in bed with him (in which case he'll do about 2 hours - still awful). I don't have much advice because it sounds like a different problem - I presume ds is doing it because of separation anxiety and reliance on me being around so our solution has been to try to get him out of the habit of being in my bed. I spent all saturday night awake, going in every 40 minutes and holding his hand till he went back to sleep. Sunday night was a bit better, he slept from 8.30 to 12 and 4 to 8 (in between up every 40 mins till I fed him at 4). I'm waiting to see how tonight goes (I'm in Australia, so it's 9.40 pm now and he's been asleep since 8.26 so I'm hopeful...). Also, I found sleepy music quite helpful just in making him calm enough to be settled in his cot, although it doesn't keep him asleep. I don't know if any of that is any help - but you're not alone.

Lovage Mon 11-Jun-07 13:30:05

Thanks tryintoleave - it is comforting to hear someone else in the same sort of position, isn't it!

I think one of the thing I find so difficult is not having any sense of things getting better. If I could see progress, even tiny improvements, that would make it all more bearable. Or if I thought it was just a passing phase. But it's been going on for nearly 2 months now, so if it is just a phase, it's a very long one!

I can't believe I used to feel hard done by because he was still waking at 2.30 for a feed! Or that before he was born I assumed he'd be sleeping through by 4 months! Good thing I didn't know in advance...

MaeBee Mon 11-Jun-07 19:18:33

im really evangelical about this cos it worked so well for us! but our boy started waking every hour and i knew we had to do something! does your baby go to sleep independently or do you rock/bf him? i used to have to get mine to sleep first and then put him down ever so gently.
then, once he started waking every hour instead of every 2, we had to do something and we didnt want to do controlled crying. we did the babywhisperer stuff, so i did the usual bedtime routine and bf him, but not to sleep, put him down in his cot awake. when he cried i picked him up and comforted him, calmed him but not to sleep. that means you dont have to leave your baby distressed, but also you dont become the only way your baby can get to sleep.
now he sleeps through from 7 til 5.30 only waking once usually (ive stopped feeding him in the night) and not waking at all the last three nights! naps are really erratic still, but its the night that counts for me.
i suggest giving it a go, cos if you need to go in every sleep cycle thats not good for you or your baby. good luck!

nappyaddict Mon 11-Jun-07 23:42:06

white noise cd) ink{ eart_W0QQitemZ200118058668QQihZ010QQcategoryZ98473QQssPageNa meZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItemwe have this

nappyaddict Mon 11-Jun-07 23:43:05


we have this

or you could just get the CD

nappyaddict Mon 11-Jun-07 23:45:33

is co sleeping an option?

is his cot in your room? could you put it right next to your bed with one of the sides down so he feels close to you?

i think putting an item of your clothing in is a good idea. the smell might comfort him.

what happens say if he falls asleep in his pushchair or car. does he still wake up every 45 mins or does the motion keep him asleep?

Ilovebuttons Tue 12-Jun-07 11:34:30

Sorry to butt in on this but I'm having a similar problem, MaeBee - I'd love to try the method you used - can you remember how many times you had to pick up and comfort your little one to start with? Mine starts crying instantly if I put him down awake. How old was yours when you did it? Thanks!

tryingtoleave Tue 12-Jun-07 12:10:17

It's been two months for us too. DS also went from waking at 3.00 (and I was trying to find ways to stop that) to waking 3 times a night (because of teething I think)which is when I started cosleeping. After a week of cosleeping the 40 min thing started. Although cosleeping probably caused the problem for us (although maybe it would have happened anyway) it might help you. Even if the baby wakes every hour it's quite bearable if you are cosleeping. It was the fact that I lost my evenings to settling and resettling that frustrated me. Anyway, he did a bit better again last night - only 4 wakings which once would have sounded awful but is actually a huge improvement. Also, it has become much easier to settle him over the last few nights. I only have to sit in the chair next to him, or sometimes hold his hand for a bit and wait for him to sleep. Before I had to bf or cuddle him. I feel like we've done gw over one night (after all I did go in 10-12 times on saturday night ).

tryingtoleave Tue 12-Jun-07 12:17:46

Btw, I tried to stop bfing to sleep before we did this. I gave it three nights but it just seemed to make ds more agitated and wakeful (he wasn't even making it to 40 mins). I couldn't cope with an hour of watching him bounce around the cot/bursting into tears on top of waking all night so I gave up. How long did it take you before it worked Maebee?

Ilovebuttons - I found that putting on sleepy music really loudly helped me get ds into cot (or not pick him out of it )without screaming. It would distract him long enough for me to start patting him.

tryingtoleave Tue 12-Jun-07 12:20:47

Just looked at the other music links. Does white noise/womb noise work for older babies? I'm using baby einstein goodnight music. Anyway, that's enough from me - I'm going to bed and hopefully will get some sleep...

Lovage Tue 12-Jun-07 19:05:27

Wow, thanks for all the messages! I didn't look last night and here you all are.

MaeBee - he can sometimes go to sleep independently. At his bedtime he usually does - I bf him before his bath and his dad actually puts him to bed but he usually just brushes his hair, puts his music on and lays him in the cot. Some nights he needs a bit of PU/PD and rocking but I hardly ever bf him again and most nights he settles himself after about 10 minutes of chuntering and maybe grizzling. He sometimes settles himself for naps too. But other times I do bf him cos I'm desperate, especially in the middle of the night. So he can go to sleep independently but sometimes he gets so distressed that it seems like he can't.

Nappyaddict - We're not co-sleeping - we do keep trying but I sleep really badly and I guess he's not used to it. If he's not upset he thinks you lying down next to him is a fantastic game and he tries to eat your head and goes completely hyper! Or if he's crying then he cries even harder because you've laid him down. The only way it might help would be if we got him to sleep in our arms and then laid him down in the bed, then we might be able to soothe him more quickly next time and prevent a full awakening. I think we don't do this because every time we hope this is him back to sleep for a few more hours. Over optimistic fools that we are!

He has a lovey (a duck) which does seem to help. Will try the dirty clothing trick though.

I don't think we've taken him in the car or buggy for more than 45 minutes since this started, so I don't know what happens. He rarely falls asleep in the buggy anyway - too many interesting things to look at.

tryingtoleave - sleep music on really loud seems worth a go!

Thank you all so much. I feel all supported, particuarly good after a terrible day.

nappyaddict Tue 12-Jun-07 23:56:32

is he in his own room or in a cot in your room?

tryingtoleave Wed 13-Jun-07 08:51:17

Oh dear - we had 6 wakes last night (every hour after 1.30)- just when I was hoping things were getting better. Now I'm getting worried that ds is getting dependent on holding my hand to sleep. It's so sad to see him sticking it out through the bars, feeling around, trying to find me...

Ilovebuttons Wed 13-Jun-07 11:09:04

oh poor you tryingtoleave! I really feel for you. Don't you sometimes wonder how you're surviving on so little sleep?! that's so cute and heartbreaking about his hand! surely it's okay to hold it?! I'm too soft though!

Lovage Wed 13-Jun-07 11:22:58

tryingtoleave - It's a good thing they are so cute, as well as so awful... That's a lovely if heartbreaking image of him groping for your hand! I can't remember whether you said he has a lovey? That might be an acceptable substitute for your hand, especially if it smells of you. My DS has a little duck which sometimes helps him get to sleep - he'll hold it in his hands or suck on its beak which I guess is kind of breast shaped...

We had a pretty rubbish night too. DP volunteered to go to him until 3am (despite busy day at work today, the hero!) and we decided to try not bfing him. It was not a success. DS woke at 1, DP got him back to sleep which took 15-20 mins. DS woke up 15 minutes later. Rinse and repeat until 3am when we cracked and I fed him. He then slept for nearly 2 hours before starting to do single loud cries about every half hour until we had to get up at 6.30. We didn't have to go to him, so I suppose it could have been worse, but we still got woken up every 1/2 hr. I know we have to persevere but it's so hard when you're so knackered and you have to go to work the next day.

nappyaddict - he's in his own room and has been since c 4 months. Before that he was in a bedside cot. We could go back to doing that but I'm not at all sure it would help because of me sleeping so lightly when he's there and him getting so overexcited and trying to eat our heads if he sees us lying down!

tryingtoleave Wed 13-Jun-07 12:19:19

I was holding his hand each time last night but it was so hard to detach him and get back to bed. And when I held his hand he just kept waking up every hour. So I'm going to try to sit a bit further away tonight. I gave him a cuddly cow a while ago and I've even tried putting it down my shirt for a bit but he never even looks at it. It might as well not be there. Here's hoping for a better night for us all...

Lovage Wed 13-Jun-07 20:02:19

My LO took to his lovey very easily but I've heard people saying that it can help babies to get attached to them if you put it between you when you are bfing or cuddling or some other activity that he likes and is calm and happy for him. You've probably already tried that, but if not it might be worth a pop.

Speaking of heartbreaking images, DP just went up to DS who had woken crying (45 mins bang on the nail from when he went to sleep, of course) and he was sitting up in the middle of the cot, tears pouring down his face, eyes shut and his head bowed. DP just had to lay him down and stroke his head a few times and he went back to sleep.

But this is what I don't understand - he went to sleep tonight absolutely fine, DP laid him in the cot after his bath/hairbrushing etc. we heard him cooing for 5 minutes on the monitor and then he went to sleep. So how come he couldn't settle himself when he came out of that sleep cycle 45 mins later? I feel hard done by cos we've been encouraging him to settle on his own since he was about 4 weeks old and he can often do it. But it still doesn't help with resettling himself.

Lovage Thu 14-Jun-07 08:38:01

Well that was considerably better! He went from 10.30 to about 3 with just the odd whimper (which did wake us up but not for long). Then at 3 he needed a nappy change and was quite unhappy but just as DP was about to hand him to me to feed, I suggested he try the water in a doidy cup which I'd laid out ready and DS had several mouthfuls of that and then could be rocked to calmness. DP laid him in the cot sleepy but not quite asleep and that was that. He gave single cries every now and then from about 5 and woke for the day at 6.30, not even crying with hunger - burbling and cooing although he had a big bf when I went and got him. So I didn't feed him between 10.30 and 6.35! That's the first time ever that's happened if he's woken (there were a few blessed times months and months ago when he slept right through, but to have got him back to sleep without a bf feels like more of an achievement). Still a long way to go before we're getting 8 hrs of uninterrupted sleep, or even 5, but definite progress!

How were your nights, tryingtoleave and ilovebuttons? And anyone else who'd care to join us?

Ilovebuttons Thu 14-Jun-07 09:57:17

Well done on the good night Lovage! 10.30 till 3 is great, and not feeding him all night long is even better! You're very clever for having started the self-settling early. At least he does it sometimes! I am just starting with my 5 month old and haven't had any sucess yet - still having to resort to him falling asleep in my arms, I've only just weened him of breastfeeding to sleep.
My night was like this: Fed at 7ish, 9ish and 11ish to try to get him through the night, he woke at 2ish and I rocked him back to sleep, then he woke at 5ish and I fed him, got him up at 7 (he was awake in his cot) to feed him again and start the day but he wasn't very interested, having eaten 2 hours earlier. I'm trying to stick to feeding him every 4 hours in the day and once at night, though maybe he could have hung on an extra 2 hours and not fed at all in the night? I was scared to try incase he was really hungry...

tryingtoleave Thu 14-Jun-07 12:33:26

That sounds quite good Lovage! We did slightly better last night - he woke 40 minutes after bedtime (8.00) then 1.30, 3.30, 5.30 and 6.30 (when dh took him so I got another hour of sleep). 5 wakes is still quite depressing but I'm trying to tell myself it's an improvement and we've come a long way since saturday. At least, except for the first time, it was more than a sleep cycle so maybe if he can get past that hump he can learn to lengthen his sleep periods again. And I also managed not to feed him all night, so maybe he'll stop being hungry at night soon and sleep longer. Don't know how long that will take though...

On another point, I'm dubious about the link between the way babies go to sleep and staying asleep. I've breastfed ds to sleep ever since it started working and he's had long periods when he's slept through the night or only woken once. Maybe using it to get him back to sleep in the night was more of a problem. Anyway, not being able to move from one sleep cycle to the next is so extreme it must be caused by something else.

Having said that, I put him to bed awake tonight, he went to sleep quite calmly (another improvement) but then he woke up again 40 min later. I think I'll persist with the new routine though - I want to wean over the next few months so I might as well start making changes now when everything is difficult anyway.

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