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Frequent wakings and early wake up(18 Posts)
My baby is 7months actual and 5months corrected.
Recently she has started waking 45minutes after bedtime and waking much more often during the night. She also wakes at around 5:45am most days.
Naps are 9am for 40mins-1hr, 12-1:30/1:45 4-4:30 bedtime usually asleep at 7:20, dreamfeed 10pm and then she usually wakes up between 1-2:30am for night feed however she has been waking at 11:30/12 also. She is capable of independently falling asleep (with a dummy) as she does this for all naps, however she usually falls asleep on her bottle at bedtime.
Early bedtime makes things worse as she won't go back to sleep for hours after her night feed and still wakes up 45mins after bedtime. I have also extended her 4pm nap to 45mins which did seem to help the bedtime wakings a bit but still did not address the other night wakings and early rise. Today her naps were very very short and so bedtime was not fun at all and she has already been awake twice.
Please please please can someone help me? We are on week 2 of this now and I'm really struggling physically because of tiredness but also mentally as I am very anxious and feel like I am living and breathing her sleep schedule!
When my DD started doing this at around 7 months I dropped to 2 naps and it helped a lot. She struggled at first so I bought bedtime forward but she adjusted after a week or so.
Also forgot to mention, previously she was taking 3 30-45 minute naps a day but once I dropped to 2 naps she started sleeping longer. Now she does 2 1.5 hour naps.
Thanks so much for your reply. If you don't mind me asking, what is your sleep/nap schedule please? I would t even know where to begin with dropping a nap.
My DS used to wake 45 mins - 1 hour after going to bed. I found bringing bedtime forward slightly helped him fall asleep faster and stay sleeping longer
She is having too many naps during the day. Stretch the morning one to 10 or so & the last to about 2.30/3 ish. Maybe for an hr each or a little longer depending on how tired she is. I used to bring mine for a walk in eve like 6.30ish or so for about 20 mins/half hour before bedtime routine...nice fresh air to help sleep. And a bowl of baby porridge to fill the little belly...not too much, just enough to take some bottle too & sleep soundly. It might also be teeth causing the disruption.
And get to bed yourself early..or join her for a daytime nap if you can...anything that allows you cope with her waking during night or very early start.
What is actual v corrected age?? I must be very out of date...do you mean she was 2 months premature???
@SionnachGlic thanks for your reply. Yes she was 7 weeks premature. We only started weaning 3 weeks ago and have only just started giving her 2 solid feeds just before her bottle. We didn't reduce her milk, although she naturally has after her solids.
She barely makes it to bedtime as it is so I don't think I could keep her awake from 3/3:30.
She seems more settled later in the evening and so we are going to try and skip the dreamfeed tonight so we don't disturb her and hopefully break the overtired cycle.
I hope it goes better for you tonight. Adjust the daytime naps to whatever suits her routine...just try to limit to 2 & for only 1.5 hrs or so. Mine had a wakeful period from about 6am-9am from very tiny so I usually would get him sleeping again by 10-11ish or so...usually out walking in buggy depending on what I had on. Mine loved the buggy & looking around at everything going on so wouldn't sleep much in it unless it actually was his naptime. Down again maybe from 2/2.30 - 3.30/4pm. Dinner was about 5pm. Out for stroll about 6/6.30pm...home, everything quiet after that for wind down bath, supper.. bed! He did wake once in night but unless hungry (which baby porridge before bed time sorted) usually teddy or soother worked so it wasn't a long waking period. Teeth disrupted a bit more...& those nights when I was just exhausted, I let him snuggle in with me for the last stretch til morning. Not so much it was a habit though...just those rougher nights. I hope it goes better over next few days. Do update.
@glummum1988 Our schedule is this:-
6/6:30- wakes up
9:30- first nap (usually until 11)
2:30- second nap (usually until 4)
But my DD is 11 months now but I’ve had a similar routine since 7 months except the second nap was at 1:30/2 and bedtime was 6:30/7 and I’ve slowly adjusted it as she’s able to stay awake a bit longer.
I’ve just seen you’ve only started weaning 3 weeks ago, that also can disrupt nighttime sleep!
7.20pm to 5.45am is 10h25.
The range of "normal" overnight sleep is 10h-12h. So you are within normal, it would be perfectly acceptable for your baby to consider 10h30 a normal night sleep.
This suggests that the reason for early waking is going to bed early.
If you're chasing a 7.30am wake up, you may need a 9pm bedtime. This requires a complete shift in your daytime routines in order to move to a later bedtime.
You're awake times seem out of sync. First awake time is 3h+, then two awake windows of 2-2.5h, then a 3h+ before bed time. It's more usual that awake windows start shorter and get longer through the day, but your first awake window is one of the longest.
I'd suggest that if your morning nap was (temporarily) earlier, it would be longer. So instead of napping 9am-9.40/10am. You may get an 8am-9.40/10am nap if you time it before baby is over tired.
Being less over tired should then result in less restless sleep. Teaming this with trying to lengthen lunchtime nap, you want to aim for 2h+ sleep over lunchtime. Say starting 12/12.30pm. Then if you're trying to move bedtime later, (temporarily) allow a longer third nap to enable this.
Once waking later, you can then push first nap later (maintaining 2h awake window) and so push 2nd and third naps later, thus going back to restricting and ultimately dropping the third nap. It needs an interim stage to get there though.
@FATEdestiny thanks for your reply. I should have mentioned that I usually do get her back to sleep at 5:45 by cuddling her (definitely not in her cot though so I have to stay awake) and can usually hold off start of the morning until 6:30/7am. To be honest I don't really mind the early wake ups that much, my main problem is the evening and night wake ups.
Last night was a very good one and she actually naturally slept until 7am! Only thing I did differently was not wake her for her dreamfeed at 10, she woke up herself at 11:15 so fed her then. She then woke at 2:30 very briefly but self soothed back to sleep until 3:30 when we fed her again. She then napped 9-10:15 this morning and going to try aim for last nap to finish slightly later as her bedtime routine works best if we start at 6:30 and aim for 7-7:15 sleep time. How much nap time should I aim for?
2 naps of approx 1.5 hrs each stretched for extra 15 mins or so if she is v tired or contented & it won't disrupt the rest of day's sleep pattern. There is no hard & fast rule.. ..shd needs enough that she is not upset & cranky when awake...but not so much in afternoon that she is wide awake at preferred bedtime when you are exhausted. Sounds like last night went great...keep it up.
I'd try 1.5 hrs after her lunch.. maybe 1.30-3pm...somewhere around there. You'll know if she starts fussing how long she can hold out for food/sleep etc...
Ok so bed time went well and she only woke up once at 8:45 which was roughly 1hr hour 20mins after going to sleep. She woke up at 10:30pm, I fed her and put her back down at 11 and she has been awake every half hour since! This is so demoralising. She's currently asleep on my lap as she won't go back in her cot!
This could be hunger.
With my children I has a "10 mins / 1 hour" rule at night.
Every time baby woke I'd keep reinserting dummy without feeding. If baby is asleep within 10 minutes, no feed. If baby was still awake after 10 minutes, I'd feed.
If baby had settled within 10 minutes, but then subsequently wakes within an hour of the last wake up, I'd feed. So if the wake up was 2h after last wake, I'd go back to the 10mins of dummy (above). But if waking 50 minutes from last sleeping then I wouldn't bother with the dummy is just feed.
I would not advocate additional night feeds in the longer term. However if the feed does settle her and you get better nights with the 10min/1h rule - then use this to inform your daytime feeding.
By 8 months I would be giving 3 big portion meals with two courses and all food groups covered. While also maintaining pre-weaning milk levels. That 6-9 month age (I started reducing milk from 9 months) is almost like the newborn days when you spend almost all of your daytime either feeding or sleeping, with little else!
My youngest child was a chunk as a baby, but to give you an idea, this would be a typical 6-9 month lunch:
- 1 jar of savoury baby food, spoon fed.
- Finger food of whatever I was having. An example: slice of bread with a spread (cheese, pate, hummus, peanut butter etc), pile of grated cheese, peeled cucumber or avocado or similar.
- A yoghurt, spoon fed
- Soft fruit given as finger food
Dinner would be the same, but things like cooked vegetables for finger food - whatever we were having.
@FATEdestiny I was wondering whether it was hunger when I was thinking today because she doesn't seem to be drinking anywhere near as much milk as she use to but I have been putting it down to the weaning. How much time would you leave between solids feeds and milk. I have been feeding her a half a pouch of ellie's kitchen and then give her her normal bottle an hour or so later and she's having about 3/4 of her usual amount. She has also been falling asleep on her bottle even though she is around an hour away from her nap! I out this down to the terrible nights we have been having.
Thanks so much for all your help again, you really have been so helpful! Xx
That could well be it. Milk is the most calorie dense substance you can get in baby. Remember that fruit/veg are low calorie. If baby is replacing high calorie milk with low calorie veg, then there will be a significant calorie deficit.
It's not unusual that milk intake increases in the first few months of weaning, definately don't aim to decrease it. Solids should be in addition to milk, not instead of.
As mentioned above, you'll go through a phase where you spend almost all of your time either feeding baby or getting them to sleep. It doesn't last though.
I would seperate and space out milk and meals as much as possible, so maximise both. For example (using your routine in op)
8.45am top up milk (what is left in the bottle from 7am)
11.45am top up milk (what is left in the bottle from 10am)
3.45pm top up milk (what is left in the bottle from 2pm)
Get in the habit of making up bottles that are around 2oz more than she will drink. You can safely give what's left in the bottle within 2 hours, so you can then use the last few ounces as a top up feed just before naps. This helps encourage a deeper sleep but without enough milk to feed to sleep.
Wow that's amazing, thanks so much! Will start this schedule tomorrow and see how I get on. Really appreciate your time! Xx