Waking for dummy constantly

(12 Posts)
Bets2801 Sun 25-Oct-20 20:57:37

My daughter (9 months) hasn't slept longer then 2 consecutive hours since she was around 4 months old. 2 hour stints is actually a good night and quite often its every 40min or 1 hour. Any sort of leaving to cry method isn't for me at all and so far its been manageable (although not fun) because we co-sleep and she falls asleep instantly when I pop the dummy back in.

However I just found out Im pregnant and would like to try and improve her sleep before the morning sickness etc begins..again I don't want to leave her to cry but want to try and improve things. I think the main culprit is the dummy as she doesn't insert it herself. She can actually insert it when awake / in the day time but at night she wakes up crying with her eyes closed flapping her arms about and doesn't even try to find it so not sure how that will ever improve.

The strange thing my mum baby-sits quite often she completely self settles with her..I've seen videos so she's not making it up! She wakes once for a feed and then sleeps 5-6 hour legs..she settles without the dummy! I thought it might be breastfeeding so I've knocked the night feeds off and just give her 1 bottle but its made no difference.

If I wasn't pregnant I'd be fine with rolling with it but know I'm going to be shattered on this much sleep. Would taking the dummy away help? I just don't get how she can settle without it at my mums but even with my husband when he does a night shift she wakes very frequently.

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sun 25-Oct-20 22:50:34

This sort of waking frequently is unlikely to be to do with the dummy.

Light sleep like this is usually to do with either over tiredness (not enough daytime sleep), poor sleep hygiene (settling dependency, being moved once asleep and sleep environment) or lack of calories (So solves with a feed, which your OP doesn't suggest is the case).

Bets2801 Mon 26-Oct-20 05:33:57

She is an extremely light sleeper she just never gets into that deep sleep phase that they’re supposed to have in the earlier part of the evening. I’ve heard read lots of posts where people have issues with their babies waking frequently like this after 12 but with my daughter it’s like this from the start. Strangely she always seems totally fine and well rested, very happy and smiley in the day!

She’s actually a pretty good napper and takes two 1.5-2 hour naps. I get the impression the first sleep is her catching up though as she doesn’t last long (2 hours) until the first nap and she’s exhausted. I then follow the 2,3,4 schedule.

I’ve managed to get her to settle in her cot when she first goes down to sleep, I took the side off her big cot in our bedroom and I lay close to her and keep popping dummy back in but don’t sing or rock anymore. I do hold and rock if she won’t resettle in the night though could that be it?

She could be hungry as although she eats tonnes of solids she’s always been a snacker with milk and will never take more than 4oz at a time, I’ve realised this even more as I’m phasing out the breastfeeding. She’s also a huge baby on the 95th centile!

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Smithlets80 Mon 26-Oct-20 05:55:27

Could it possibly be that she is having too much daytime sleep? I used the LittleOnes programme with DD1 and at 9 months, she was having 2.5 hours sleep max (9.30am - 10am and then 12.30pm - 2.30pm). She then slept from 7pm until 7am.

Sipperskipper Mon 26-Oct-20 06:46:23

if the dummy is the issue, we bought sleepytot bunnies for dd1 (velcro paws which hold 4 dummies) & taught her to put them back in herself. Solved the issue for us within a week!

FATEdestiny Mon 26-Oct-20 09:08:42

Sleepytot is a good shout, I'd second that recommendation.

I’ve managed to get her to settle in her cot when she first goes down to sleep,

This suggests you didn't used to? When did you change to get her to sleep in the cot?

Do you settle for naps in the same way?

She’s also a huge baby on the 95th centile!

My DD was 91st centile until 12 months old, so not far off. Just as an FYI, she ate a lot. For example a typical meal (So this was repeated 3 times a day) would go:

- baby food jar, spoon fed. Followed by
- finger food of what I had (e.g. a buttered slice of bread, grated cheese, cucumber slices). Followed by
- A yoghurt, spoon fed. Followed by
- Fruit given as finger food
- brakes of watered down juice

Then she was also having 4-6 bottles per day, as well as massive meals.

Bets2801 Mon 26-Oct-20 20:10:36

Great I’ll give the sleepytot a go!

@FATEdestiny I used to rock, feed, sing the whole world to sleep! I’ve phased out all except rocking in the middle of the night but no more feeding to sleep and I do the same for naps (with her in the cot). I’ve only stopped a couple of weeks ago so hopefully that could still take effect. However I should add when my husband does the night shift he does rock her and hold her still as she won’t settle with him otherwise.

Good to know with the food! I give her a bowl of something mashed plus some finger food but I’ll add the yoghurt and fruit. She does tend to never seem full..she would just eat and eat so I never know when to stop!

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FATEdestiny Mon 26-Oct-20 20:24:20

It could well be hunger stopping her getting into deep sleep. Have you tried giving her a bottle at 11pm ish to see if that helps?

With regards to only recently stopping rocking - I'd suggest that sometimes being rocked to sleep and sometimes not is making things harder for her. Consistency, total consistency, is really important.

Nefelibata86 Mon 26-Oct-20 20:38:23

@FATEdestiny interested for know more about a change in sleep environment being an issue. Ie is it a problem feeding and holding to sleep in arms and putting down. I can’t envisage any other way. We’re past the point of putting down sleepy but awake

FATEdestiny Mon 26-Oct-20 21:03:06

is it a problem feeding and holding to sleep in arms and putting down

That becomes a really big problem from 4 months onwards (when sleep matures out of the fourth trimester). I would say over 90% of my sleep consultant clients are families who want independant sleep from baby, but never taught their baby to go to sleep in the cot.

Not sure if you were interested to know why? (I don't want to bore anyone...).

Up to 4 ish months baby sleeps in a similar way to in the womb. This is when sleep is passive. So as long as all needs are met, the passive way to be is asleep. It takes no effort for baby to be asleep as long as fed, comforted and comfortable.

By around 4 months, sleep matures and changes to become an active endeavour. It requires work to get to sleep and it takes work to stay asleep, in ways these didn't previously need any effort. Sleep also develops into cycles similar to adult sleep cycles - periods of light sleep and deep sleep with brief semi-concious periods of awareness between sleep cycles.

The purpose of these semi-awake periods between sleep cycles is evolutionary. They are known as 'environment checks' and are as a result of cavemen needing to still be alert to predators and dangers even when asleep.

As an adult your environment check may involve turning over, shifting positions in bed, maybe glancing around without being aware of doing it. You generally just shuffle and go back to sleep for another cycle.

Imagine you went to bed as normal but in the middle of the night went to change positions and realised you were no longer in bed you were now in the back seat of a car. You wouldn't just roll over and go back to sleep. You'd be wide awake, sat up and shouting WTF happened?! very quickly!

This explains why it's important for baby to go to sleep in the cot if they are to sleep there. If they go to sleep in your arms then 45 min later when moving between sleep cycles baby (who is not yet fully understanding basic things like object perminance, let alone anything more complex) semi wakes bit thinks "where's mum? Where am I? What's happening?" So wakes up fully very swiftly.

Going to sleep where baby stays asleep is the central most important thing for good sleep hygiene.

As to how to teach it - that entirely depends on your parenting style. There are dozens of different ways but the purpose of all is basically the same - so baby goes to sleep where they intend to stay asleep.

ToadCandle Sat 31-Oct-20 21:49:33

@FATEdestiny I’ve just stumbled across this thread and found that really interesting!

Nefelibata86 Sun 01-Nov-20 10:30:24

@FATEdestiny thank you so much. Genuinely fascinated to know the science behind it all. I totally missed your message before so thanks also to @ToadCandle for resurrecting. It's given me the motivation to address the issue. Now realise how disturbing it must be for him to wake up like that

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