6mo wakes every 20-40 minutes

(14 Posts)
Cakeandslippers Sat 09-Jan-21 22:55:06

Any ideas why this could happen? It's been going on since 3.5 months and I've just had enough.

We have a solid bedtime routine in his bedroom and I put him down in his cot but once he's down it never lasts, a couple of times he's dinner 1hr45 as a first stint but normally it's 40 mins max. Tonight he's been up every 15-25 minutes. I'm breastfeeding and haven't had success getting him back down without the boob. Also won't be put down for a nap, he wakes after 5-10 minutes. After about 10/11pm he will only either be held (currently husband stood in his room in the dark) or cosleep (which I'm now off to do till morning), I hate cosleeping, I'm willing to do it as the alternative is currently impossible, but I would just love a couple of hours sleep before I have to bring him in with me.

I didn't think it was possible to be worse than my first, but he's currently winning.

Any thoughts? (I won't do cio and I don't want to night wean yet)

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Scottishskifun Sat 09-Jan-21 22:59:49

It sounds like he is waking after each sleep cycle and hasn't learnt how to go to the next one himself. It's very common also known as the 4 month sleep regression.

He needs to learn with your support its why HV use that unicorn magic saying of put them down drowsy but awake to which most parents roll their eyes at and go yeah right...... But unfortunately it's true.

Try the Sarah Orwell gentle sleep solution book it's not a cry it out method but a support and comfort method.

Cakeandslippers Sat 09-Jan-21 23:14:11

@scottishskifun thank you. I did read that one with my daughter but I don't remember there being anything useful in it at all... what I seem to remember was it basically saying it's all normal and you have to suck it up and it's selfish to want any time / rest for yourself. But my daughter was a horror so it's quite possible I'm remembering it wrongly as nothing I ever read / tried helped with her (she's still not great at 2 but is much better thank goodness!). I feel like I need to do something sooner with this kid as I can't bear another year or two, especially in current times with no help.

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Scottishskifun Sat 09-Jan-21 23:24:24

@Cakeandslippers yes I didn't find it the most useful thing. My son also woke every 45 minutes in the end we roughly followed the Lucy Wolfe Sleep book starting with my husband putting my son to bed, I would feed before bath then my DH would stay and comfort but not pick up unless screaming. First few early wake ups (so less than an hour or so) my DH would comfort back to sleep and I would only BF if every 2-3ish hours. It worked for us but there was a bit of crying but we were always there. Dad does the first few nights of settling to start with.

Also we found he was a rubbish napper during the day as we were leaving it too long so he was massively overtired so we changed it to aim for going down for a nap after 2 hours awake with mornings in the cot. By afternoon ones it was buggy/sling.

It's incredibly tough going and I did get a bit of judgement but my 45 minute waking baby slept in 3 hour blocks after 2 days and by 8 months was 4-5 hour chunks.

Cakeandslippers Sat 09-Jan-21 23:33:26

Thanks @scottishskifun it's all coming back to me, I tried that one too 😂. It had no effect on my daughter but she really is a special case, and she was a lot older, I can't remember but maybe around 16/17 months and she's bright so seemed older and it might've been too late. I must still have the book somewhere so I'll dig it out, worth a go!

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Scottishskifun Sat 09-Jan-21 23:36:56

Good luck!
I generally ignored what it said about feeding to schedule etc as I mostly BF on demand but I just made sure I wasn't feeding to sleep or on every wake up.

TopBants Sat 09-Jan-21 23:40:45

How are day naps? Have you tried using the Huckleberry app? It suggests the best time to put down for a nap- if he's overtired it'll be harder for him to stay asleep (babies are irrational buggers).


Cakeandslippers Sun 10-Jan-21 09:49:53

@TopBants thanks, yes we use huckleberry and it works ok (except the first nap which is always suggested way too early). The problem with naps is he will only nap on me, I try and put him down often but he wakes within 5-10 minutes so some days he's having really short naps, I can't hold him all the time as I have a 2yo and tbh she'll often wake him up if I'm holding him anyway. On other days, when she's out, I will be able to keep hold of him and it doesn't seem to make a difference to his night sleep.

It's so confusing as half of what I read says sleep breeds sleep and the other half says you need to limit naps to build up sleep pressure!

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moonriver32 Sun 10-Jan-21 13:57:35

@Cakeandslippers We're experiencing the exact same problems here and I feel so overwhelmed with suggestions and options for sleep training that I don't even know where to start plus I'm exhausted. My DS is younger (16 weeks) but the timings and frequency you're describing is exactly what we're having. I also have to hold him for all his naps otherwise he wakes after a few minutes too. He still wakes on me but at least I can jump in and (try to, with varying success) resettle him straight away - if he's sleeping somewhere else by the time I get to him he's already beyond the point of resettling.

I find all the information so contradictory too - for example, I have heard all of the following:

Awake windows at his age should be around 90 mins
Naps of 30-40 minutes are normal
Should be on 3-4 naps at this age
6am is an acceptable time to start the day
First nap shouldn't be too early to avoid it encouraging the early wake ups

How can all of the above be true!? If he woke at 6am, had a 90 min awake window, he'd have to go down for first nap at 7.30am. If he sleeps for 30 mins, surely her then need another nap at 9.30am after another 90 min awake window. Doing this over the course of the day would lead to a lot more than 3 or 4 naps a day!

I feel like none of it makes sense and I'm so tired and just want to cry..

Scottishskifun Sun 10-Jan-21 14:18:19

@moonriver32 I would say 2 hours is more reasonable and anything between 6/7am start.
We aimed for the scheduling but didn't follow it religiously and never set a nap for past 4.30 in the afternoon.
I always aimed for one cot/bed nap all others were varying. Also found a straight dual carriageway section which was very helpful if all else failed.
Do you have a baby sling? The tula or ergo 360 I found were good for day naps as well.

It does get better its just a case of repeating til they learn which feels awful at the time but it does get better. We also found a ollie the owl helped a lot

moonriver32 Sun 10-Jan-21 14:23:32

@Scottishskifun We do, he will sleep on a dog walk so one of our naps during the day is always in the Ergo/Babybjorn carrier while walking.

I find 2 hours to be too long, by this point he's really grumpy and crying especially for that first nap of the day after waking in the morning - I reckon he could go back to sleep an hour after getting up at 6. But it just feels ridiculous to be putting him down for nap 1 of the day when it's still dark outside!

Do you know what I mean though re: how can it be 3-4 naps daily if the naps are only 30 mins a time? There's too many hours to day for that to mathematically work!

TopBants Sun 10-Jan-21 14:25:00

It's so confusing as half of what I read says sleep breeds sleep and the other half says you need to limit naps to build up sleep pressure!

I think one is true of younger babies and one of older babies/toddlers. With my 3 month old, sleep definitely breeds sleep. With my 2.5 year old, we need sleep pressure. I'm not sure when 'sleep breeds sleep' stopped being true for my eldest, but I am certain it was later than six months.

I'd avoid a danger nap though (anytime after 4 p.m.)

Cakeandslippers Sun 10-Jan-21 14:48:51

Thanks, yes I absolutely avoid danger naps (learned that lesson the hard way with number one!). I still find everything very random with my 2yo tbh, nothing we do in the day seems to make a difference to her night sleep, good or bad.... but she has never followed any of the expectations for her age in regards to anything one way or another, she's just very much does her own thing! The baby seems far more typical so I'm hoping one of these approaches might work for him 🤞

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Cakeandslippers Sun 10-Jan-21 14:54:25

@moonriver32 sending virtual hugs, it's hard isn't it. I've never paid any attention to nap gaps / awake windows / number of naps tbh. I think it works for some but not all and it can be really stressful trying to fit your baby into a schedule that just isn't right for them. Neither of mine have adhered to these awake windows, I tried it but when it became apparent it didn't work I stopped worrying about it. Like you, I've found it all varies based on how long (or more usually short!) their naps are. At 16 weeks it's very possible that this may pass soon as it's most likely the 4mo regression and most people I know have found this lasts between a week and a couple of months....we just seem to have got stuck in it! Have you ruled out any physical issues (silent reflux, allergies etc) xx

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