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8 Month - wakes up after 5 mins and inconsolable night crying(14 Posts)
Hoping to get some advice about my daughter - I’m really worried about her and slightly in despair because we’ve encountered some new problems with her sleep in the last few days that just seem to be getting worse and worse and I can’t seem to do anything to help her.
To give a bit of background Aryana was full term and has been healthy since birth and was breastfed on demand. She now has 3 meals a day and is still breastfed. She has always had night feeds and has never been a great napper. She sleeps in a cot in our room. We make the room dark and use white noise.
We first started getting problems with her nighttime sleep when I started trying to wean her off the night feeds. She was ok while i was reducing the amount of milk but when I tried to not feed at all we just found that nothing settled her and when she finally did fall asleep she would wake again 5/10 minutes later, and this could happen multiple times. We then went on holiday last week and she got a cold and cough so we did end up picking her up to comfort her and sometimes feeding her to sleep because she was so distressed.
I did expect some chaos when we got back home because we didn’t have any kind of routine on holiday but her sleep has never been this bad, even when she was a newborn. At first she started having a wake up at around 3am where she would cry pretty much inconsolably for over an hour before we could get her back to sleep. Yesterday things started to get much worse, she did go down for her naps quite well but they were only 20/30 mins long and even though she was still tired I couldn’t get her back to sleep. Then last night my husband put her to bed and she was properly asleep but then woke up after 5 minutes and was crying, and this carried on for about an hour and a half with both of us trying to shush her, sing to her, leave her for a bit, etc.She would fall asleep for 1-5 minutes but then wake and cry. Once she did fall asleep she then woke up again 3 more times after only about 30min of sleep each time. I did a dream feed at about 10pm and she had 100ml of expressed milk. She then had these long inconsolable crying wake ups again at 1am, 2.45am and 5.15am. At one point we were awake for 2.5 hours and for most of that she was crying.
Today it was the same trying to get her to have her morning nap - she did fall asleep but woke up after five minutes, crying, and I could not put her back to sleep.
I feel like we’ve ruled out the most important needs already - she can’t be hungry every time, her nappies weren’t dirty when we changed them, I dressed her according to the recommended grobag chart for the temperature of the room and I don’t think she could be in pain with teething or anything because she is totally fine during the day, and the one night we gave her calpol for something else it didn’t make any difference to her sleep.
I know there can be a lot going on at this age with sleep regressions and growth spurts and teething and things and I don’t necessarily expect her to sleep through the night but it doesn’t seem right that she should be so upset for so long. She seems really angry in the cot thrashing her arms around and arching her back but i can’t work out what is wrong. Even if we give in and pick her up she calms down a bit but still grizzles. And I just feel that once she’s properly asleep she shouldn’t keep waking up every few minutes? It just seems like something could be wrong.
She seems to be such a happy baby during the day, she gets lots of interaction and stimulation and fresh air and exercise. My husband and i have both done so much research but just feel at a loss as to how to help her at the moment.
I would really appreciate any guidance so I can make sure she is ok
Oh that sounds so hard @bembridgebabe. Do you think she might not know how to self settle? When you say the problems started when waning her off the night feeds do you mean you fed her to sleep?
Thanks for replying @LotusRipple
She used to be able to get herself to sleep if i just stayed in the room but didn't interact with her at all, but now she just cries so much you'd think she'd eventually get worn out and sleep but she doesn't seem to.
I wasn't feeding her to sleep at bedtime or naptime but she would have 1-3 night feeds and she would end up falling asleep, although she would rouse slightly when I moved her back to the cot. Now though she wakes up fully and just starts crying again straight away afterwards.
Our health visitor has advised to keep at least 1 night feed for the moment which i'm happy to do. I'm not even worried so much about me not getting any sleep, I just feel awful that I can't help my daughter feel better!
That does sound tough. Is it possible something could be giving her mild pain that only bothers her at night e.g a food intolerance giving her tummy ache?
If you have ruled out pain I wonder if it could be an attachment issue. I think it is at around 8 months they realise they are a different person to you and start to notice if you are not there. I was told to do lots of games like peepo during the day to make this phase pass quicker.
Another thing I was told to try was to give water at night instead of milk when weaning for a few nights to help the transition.
I hope sleep improves for you both soon. I have a 10 month old and every now and then we have phases like this but they seem to pass.
I bet your daughter just wants to feed and be close to you. Is there any reason why you’re night weaning and she’s in her own room?
My expectations have changed dramatically with baby number 2. I have a nearly 8 mnt old who is still fed in the night and cosleeps most the time. She’s very content and we’re both maxing our sleep time. With number 1 I felt there was an expectation to do things at certain times eg own room etc. It never worked out and caused unnecessary upset.
They’re so small for such a short period of time.
8 months is peak time for separation anxiety.
It’s the 8 month sleep regression. I found this worse than any other stage of sleep. To be honest I would do anything you can to get through it and then start night weaning etc when she’s more settled. You have my sympathy - it’s a really tough stage. Baby sleep isn’t linear - no one tells you this!
Hi @Peony9876 thanks for your reply. Yes I think it must be the attachment thing. Although even with me next to the cot singing/talking and patting her she is still crying good tips though, thank you
Thanks for your reply. She’s in our room with us, it’s just that a few of her wake ups are happening before we’ve gone to bed so we aren’t in the room straightaway when she wakes up.
We principally attempted night weaning because she went through a phase of waking up 6 times a night and the consensus seemed to be that it was because of night feeds and she was a healthy weight so we thought we’d give it a go. Intuitively though I felt like it was a long time to go without food and I just spoke to our health visitor and she agrees, so we are going to keep doing 1 or 2 night feeds.
Like you say trying to follow all the guidelines can be very stressful - sometimes I feel like throwing all the books out and following my intuition, but I always worry I’m not doing the best thing for her! Curse of parenthood I guess (not that it’s a curse, I love her I just wish she wasn’t awake for 2.5 hours at 3am!)
Hopefully this is a phase and will pass soon.
Sounds like the 8 month regression to me. You have my absolute sympathy, it was the hardest by far for us. Harder than newborn. But it will pass. Hold on and it will pass xxx
Thanks @Nightmanagerfan I’m really tempted to do that because I have to see her be so overtired all the time I think maybe I should do whatever it takes to get her some sleep now and just allow this phase to pass! I just worry that creating so-called ‘bad habits’ will make it worse for her in the future. I wish there was clear research on all this!
I just worry that creating so-called ‘bad habits’ will make it worse for her in the future. I wish there was clear research on all this!
You don’t create bad habits by meeting the needs of a young baby. There’s lots of research - Swansea uni did a massive study on what is normal for baby sleep and the myths surrounding it.
I agree - don’t worry about “bad habits”. Your baby is learning so much about the world. By responding to her needs she will be a more attached and secure child.
thanks everyone, feel reassured now