Nine month old waking at 5am

(19 Posts)
Hrp86 Sat 21-Nov-20 06:19:50

Our nine month old has started waking earlier and earlier. He is happy chatting in his cot or sucking his thumb when he wakes but we are awake as can hear him and I know he could do with a little extra sleep. His day goes roughly like this:

7am - milk feed
8am - breakfast
9am - nap (an hour if we are lucky)
11.30 - lunch
13.00 - nap (this can range massively. He works best off one and a half to two hours but it's rare that we get that. Yesterday was only 40mins - tried to give him a cat nap later in the afternoon but he wouldn't sleep)
15.00 - milk feed
17.00 - dinner
18.00 - bath
18.30 - milk feed
19.00 - asleep

Please tell me where I'm going wrong? When he naps well it's better but there is no pattern with him. If he naps badly I would let him have a 15 min cat nap later on in the afternoon to get him through to bedtime without being overtired.

OP’s posts: |
alwaysmarmiteontoast Sat 21-Nov-20 08:41:54

My DS is 10 months and had a phase of early wakings at 7 months and at 9 months, it’s a killer isn’t it!?

When he was 7 months I’d still been doing cat naps in the afternoon if his second nap was short, and found that stopping them, and just doing 2 naps with an earlier bedtime if needed helped stop the early wakes (I find if he naps past about 1515 he wake up early.) So with your day yesterday I’d have definitely put him to bed earlier to try and avoid an early wake from over tiredness.

When he was 9 months I cut his morning nap down to about 30mins which has helped a lot; he’s stopped waking up early (I call early anything before 0600.) It also means he’s tired enough to usually do a decent afternoon nap.
Hope that helps.

lampshade50 Sat 21-Nov-20 14:20:47

@alwaysmarmiteontoast it's interesting you mention that shortening the naps helped the bed time sleep. I posted about this the other day as I think my baby girl is heading in the same direction. She's 10 months old and if she sleeps 3 hours a day, spread into two naps- she will wake up at 4 for sure. Whereas I'm finding if I let her nap only around 45 Minutes in the morning and 45 minutes at night, she makes it to 6am. I would love for her to make it to 7 am but it's just not happening. Since the clocks went back too. She only ever sleeps around 9.5 hours in one stretch. Any advice on how to get her to go down for 10-11 hours at night ?

alwaysmarmiteontoast Sat 21-Nov-20 19:40:30

Yes it is isn’t it! I’m not sure of the physiology behind it but shortening the morning nap has helped no end. I don’t shorten his afternoon one though.
Nothing you probably haven’t heard before I’m afraid, just the usual about making sure she isn’t over or under tired when she goes to bed. Does she do the 9.5 hours then wake for a feed or do you get her up for the day? If you just get her up you could treat it as her waking in the night and try to settle her back to sleep again? Maybe think about what she has for dinner. My DS feeds once overnight and usually wakes somewhere between 8-10.5hrs after going to bed, if he’s had a good dinner he tends to sleep for longer. Then he goes to sleep for a bit more after he’s fed.
Sleep is developmental though so maybe she’s just not quite ready to sleep that long yet.

lampshade50 Sun 22-Nov-20 09:41:05

@alwaysmarmiteontoast she used to have a feed and then go back to sleep. That was actually really nice as I would get to sleep until 7 or sometimes even 8. Now the feed thinh doesn't work as consistently. So I often get her up. In terms of her dinner - I find it really hard to get enough food into her and enough milk at the moment. She sometimes only has 200 ml a day and I feel that's not enough. What do you think ? Any advice on my feed schedule, most days it looks a little like this :

Get up at 7 am

Breakfast 7:30 am

Bottle 9:30 am ish 130 ml nap

Lunch 12:30-1pm

Bottle 2:30-3pm ish and nap

Dinner 5-6 pm ish

Bottle 7:30 pm to 8ish and sleep

Finding it really hard to get her to drink more milk or to eat more ? It's weird !

alwaysmarmiteontoast Sun 22-Nov-20 15:08:18

I breastfeed so not exactly sure about formula but when I was researching weaning I read that NHS guidance recommends 6-12 month olds should have around 400-600mls milk per day, with 10-12 month olds generally being at the lower end.
How about offering her a bottle when she wakes up in day the rather than before a nap? Maybe she’s too tired to have a proper feed by then? And then you're still offering milk before food so if she’s really not keen on the food at the moment then she’s at least getting calories and nutrients in from the milk.

We do; wake up in the morning + feed
Morning nap
Afternoon nap
Feed before bed

Works for us, with a view to replacing the mid morning and afternoon feed with a snack + drink by the time I go back to work.
In terms of food I’m lucky so far in that my DS does enjoy most things and genuinely seems to be hungry, especially now he’s started crawling. Things that I think have helped though:
Eating together. If my OH is at work I eat my actual dinner, if we’re eating together later I have a little bit of what he’s eating as a snack. If I’m giving him something new he’s much more likely to eat it if he’s watching me eat it too.
Having something on the plate I know he likes and is familiar. Eg. He loves peas so I know if I put some on he’ll at least try some of the rest of it. And I think just a normal plate rather than a compartment plate has helped him become familiar with “meals.”
Eating what we eat (adapting salt/stock to make it baby friendly.) He did used to have pouches sometimes but definitely eats more if a meal had lots of flavour.
Let him feed himself if he wants to (he went through a phase of being really disinterested in meals but it was actually that he wanted to feed himself rather than being spoon fed.)
Plus trying to keep meals lighthearted, chatting/joking etc, I usually have the radio or some music on in the background.

Hope that helps. (And sorry for hijacking a sleep thread with food talk!)

Hrp86 Mon 23-Nov-20 07:15:01

Thank you @alwaysmarmiteontoast and @lampshade50 - we are still having early wake ups here. Yesterday he napped 9-10am and 1pm - 2.10pm (woke crying from the second nap as still tired but couldn't go back to sleep) and went to bed at 7pm or perhaps 10 to but again woke at 5am. I know I'm lucky in many ways as not having to feed him in the night etc but it's just far too early! I don't think he is hungry when he wakes as he is happy waiting until 7am for milk. Hopefully will get better over time.

Regarding food any tips on what to give them for dinner? Running out of ideas and things that would be good to fill him before a big sleep.

I would aim for 3 milk feeds and then you may find she will drink more? We do 7am, 3pm and 6.30pm milk feeds and that seems to work well. Always a huge range of what he drinks at each feed anything from 150ml-240ml depending on his mood/how distracted he is/how hungry he is. He is a BIG boy though so probably needs a lot more that your little girl. Have you tried feeding her milk feeds in a darkened room to help? Or I sometimes show my son a toy or book as he is drinking so he doesn't start trying to get up and crawl around!

OP’s posts: |


lampshade50 Mon 23-Nov-20 09:27:32

@Hrp86 maybe really try shortening both naps to 45 minutes and maximum 1 hour ? I've done this the last few days and the night wakings have stopped. I also put her to bed at 8 pm. If I put her down at 7, she wakes up at 4:30-5 am too. Yesterday she had two 45 minute naps and she woke at 5:30 am today. I put her in bed with us and she slept until 6:45 am. Which is quite good.

I gave her a more substantial dinner yesterday. Protein, carbs and healthy fats.

I think she has exactly the right amount of milk for her age actually. Around 300 to max 400. So I think we are doing OK on that front. I was worrying and thinking she should still have 500, but I think she's older now and it's OK like this. I always tend to feed her in a dark room before a nap or sleep anyway, so I think it's not that. I think she is doing really well with her food and milk intake at the moment and she simply doesn't need more milk as she's full enough on food. I hope it continues like this !

Good luck with the early wakings. Basically it sounds very similar to us at the moment. Try cutting the naps even more, even though if I'm honest- I feel mean and it doesn't feel right to do it.

Hrp86 Mon 23-Nov-20 09:38:16

Thank you @lampshade50 - they certainly like to keep us on our toes don't they? I'm hoping he will just grow out of it 🤣. I don't think lockdown helps as probably not being as stimulated either. The life of lockdown babies!

Definitely sounds like you lo is drinking plenty of milk. I figure they will tell you when they are full or want more. I hope your early rising stops soon too 🤞.

OP’s posts: |
alwaysmarmiteontoast Mon 23-Nov-20 10:09:37

Sorry the early wakings are still happening. Trying an earlier bedtime for a bit really might help? Being awake for nearly 5hrs (like he was yesterday) is a long time for a baby that age so he’s probably going to bed really overtired hence the early wake. I would have said 4hrs max wake time between waking up from second nap and bed, so a 18.10 bedtime. Doesn’t mean baby will necessarily wake any earlier either. If you stick to a 19.00 bedtime the early wakes may not resolve for quite a while until your baby is old enough to handle being up that long.

alwaysmarmiteontoast Mon 23-Nov-20 10:24:48

Oh and terms of dinner, I also just try to include protein, carbs and healthy fats. Curry or chilli always goes down well, as do Cottage/shepherd’s pie, pasta bake, bolognese or some other kind of sauce with pasta. Stew and mash as well. Then some yogurt for pudding.

lampshade50 Mon 23-Nov-20 11:14:55

@alwaysmarmiteontoast sorry to butt in here again haha.

I just don't get it. If I put her to bed earlier - she always also wakes earlier. I have to put her to bed at 8 pm otherwise she will wake at 4. At least from 8 I get until 5:30-6 am. But all advice says they need to go to bed earlier like you say. I also sometimes have her awake for over 4 hours before bed time nowadays but it just doesn't make a difference to when she wakes. Unless I put her to bed closer to 9 pm. Then she wakes super early - 2 or 3 am or even earlier. Maybe like you said before, her body simply isn't ready to sleep much longer than 9 and a half hours. She managed 10 and a half last night but not in one stretch.

Hrp86 Mon 23-Nov-20 13:52:21

@alwaysmarmiteontoast what time does your little one go down for a second nap? Do you just do 30mins at 9? Mine was awake at 5am again (stayed in his cot until 6.30) and his first nap at 9 he only managed 30 mins (had started to do an hour at that time more recently) and so I couldn't get him to 1pm for his usual nap
Time as he was exhausted so he was asleep at 12.40. Sitting here knowing he will wake up any moment (ridiculous I know) and then we have hours until bed time. Tempted to try and get him to do a 15 min cat nap later on in the afternoon if he does wake soon just to try and get him back on track with enough sleep. I worry about the earlier bedtime as when we have tried that before (like @lampshade50 says) it was still resulting in the early wake up.

OP’s posts: |
alwaysmarmiteontoast Mon 23-Nov-20 20:54:34

He usually wakes between 0600-0700 and goes down for a morning nap 0915-0930 for usually 30mins, sometimes 40. He’ll go for his afternoon nap 1330-1345. He’s usually up around 1500 but if not I’ll wake him by 1515.
I read lots of stuff about routines and they all focus on getting baby down for a 2hr nap about 1230, which is great for some babies but mine just didn’t go for that and it stressed me out! Those times work for him now and I imagine when he wants to drop the morning one his afternoon nap will come forward to around 1230.
Hope your little one managed a decent afternoon nap; the afternoons are far too long when they don’t, especially with a grumpy baby.

@lampshade50 I’m not sure about the early bed/early wakes I’m afraid! But I think any changes in routine can take up to a couple of weeks to show any results.

Hrp86 Fri 04-Dec-20 18:03:27

@alwaysmarmiteontoast @lampshade50 unfortunately the earlier bedtime hasn't made much difference! Naps are still short and he has such a long awake window from his second nap until bedtime. Poor boy is just so overtired. Not sure how we will ever break it. I think the naps are short because whilst we live in the countryside we are on such a busy village high street and his room is so loud. I have tried napping him in our room but he still doesn't do long naps like he should be doing/like he needs. White noise doesn't do much either. Today he did well for him and had an hour at 9am and then got so tired so was down at 1pm for his second nap but woke at 2.15pm. He is now in the bath but afterwards it will be the daily battle of screaming and overtiredness and then not drinking all his milk.

OP’s posts: |
lampshade50 Fri 04-Dec-20 20:25:26

@Hrp86 oh no I'm sorry 😐 that sucks. I don't know why he just won't nap longer. It could be a phase ? But from 1-2:15 is a long nap I would say. Aren't they supposed to have max 3 hours at this age ? I'm having to wake my girl up from her naps as I find if she naps longer than 1 hour, she will wake up before 6. Whereas if I don't let her nap as much, she sleeps longer. Now is that right ? I don't know. The only other thing I can think of is that his awake windows aren't long enough. But you said he looks super tired so you know best. I hope it improves.

lampshade50 Fri 04-Dec-20 20:30:26

@Hrp86 actually just looking at your day schedule. His awake time seems really short to me. But each baby is different and I genuinely think my baby girl barely even shows she's tired. But she's awake 3 hours between waking up and first nap and then another 3-4 hours between nap 1 and nap 2 and then at least 4 hours between nap two and bedtime. Sometimes she gets cranky if it's longer than 4-5 hours or even longer, but not that often. But I try not to leave more than 4 hours between last nap and bed time if I can, otherwise she is hyper and kicks her legs and won't go to sleep.

Timeturnerplease Fri 04-Dec-20 20:36:18

Sorry to say but mine started waking at 5am around that age and still does at two. She never ever had more than half an hour nap from 3 months old, and now doesn’t nap at all. It doesn’t matter what time she goes to bed, she’s always up at 5am so we now just put her to bed early so she gets enough sleep and we get some peace.

I’m not trying to be the harbinger of doom, it’s just that I tried soooooo many things that never worked and ended up blaming myself somehow. I wish someone had warned me that some babies just don’t cooperate with the norm. Hopefully yours is different!

On the plus side, the overtiredness stopped at about 15 months and she’s been a sunny little thing ever since. Bath, story, milk and bed takes 15 minutes max and she sleeps like a log from 6.30pm.

alwaysmarmiteontoast Wed 09-Dec-20 16:44:42

Sorry to hear you’re still having early wakes! I don’t think I have anything else to suggest I’m afraid, except maybe doing some naps in the pushchair/car if he sleeps well in either, not very appealing weather for it but if it keeps him asleep longer than 30mins then it might help with the over tiredness?
Hopefully it’s a phase.. and if not hopefully he sorts the overtiredness out so he’s at least happier if an early riser.

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