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need help for 4 month olds sleep!

(10 Posts)
jaylu Sat 18-Dec-04 21:29:39

Can anyone help? For the past week our dd has been sleeping horribly at night. We start the whole bedtime routine at 7pm (massage, bath, bottle feed -about 5 to 6 oz), rock her to sleep and then she's up again 30 mins to an hour later. We spend 30 mins rocking her to sleep and then she's up again and hour later! And this keeps on going. She's in a grobag, the room is warm enough, I don't think she's hungry...I'm not sure why she keeps waking up. She had her last set of jabs last week, so I think this might have triggered something, but I'm not sure. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!!

throckenrobin Sat 18-Dec-04 21:31:39

is she sleeping well during the day ? Make sure she isn't overtired at bedtime - maybe shift it a bit earlier for a little while.

jaylu Sat 18-Dec-04 22:38:43

Hi, thanks for your quick response! yes, she sleeps really well during the day: 30-45 mins in the morning, about 2-3 hours around lunch and sometimes another 30-45 in the afternoon. I don't have set naptimes for her, I more take my cues from her. should i be setting more exact naptimes?

Frizbethereindeer Sat 18-Dec-04 23:31:52

Umm not sure if I can help, but do you think she's on the grow? our dd gets restless when she is? Have you tried getting her to go to sleep without the rocking? thus if she can go to sleep on her own, she will settle again, when she wakes on her own? Do you still feed her during the night? (ie dream feed at 10pmish)?

zsooz Sat 18-Dec-04 23:32:35

Hi Jaylu
I had exactly the same problem but my DS became really dependant on his dummy, he would go to sleep with it, then drop it and wake up. The only thing which would get him to sleep was putting the dummy back in. It took me almost a week but we weaned him off cold turkey. However we still had to cuddle him to sleep. I was adamant that we wouldn't rock him as I couldn't bear the thought of rocking a 22lb baby one day . He would be rather erratic but we have had to do things very slowly in stages and now (fingers crossed he is going through the night again)

I think a big part of it is to do with routine and we tried controlled crying which never used to work but I think he is more settled now into his routine and will almost usually stop crying after about 3-4 minutes.

i know every baby is different but my DS's nap times sounded like yours and I cut out the afternoon nap, trying to make sure we wouldn't have any long car/buggy jouneys at that time just a nice activity to get him to sleep. I wouldn't try cuttin out the afternoon sleep entirely try cutting it back by 10 minutes every day or so and see if that helps.

he now has about 45 minutes during the morning and 1.5/2 hours after lunch.

I really do feel for you as I have ben in the same boat and we TRIED everything (grow bag/extra layer of clothes/heating off/heating on/radio playing lightly in the background/aromatherapy oils) but the best bit of advice I can give you is whatever you decide to try really stick to it and be consistant. So if you normally rock your baby try instead to pat their bum gently instead and keep at it until they don't even need that.It used to take at least 10 minutes of him screaming in my arms before he gave up and realised that the alternative wasn't so bad

Like I said my DS was so bad as soon as he used to feel the cot matress he would scream the house down. These days I guess we've 'trained' (gosh that sounds horrid) him to go to bed awake and he settles himself after a few minutes.
Good Luck!

jaylu Sun 19-Dec-04 19:32:54

Thanks everyone for all your advice, it's been very helpful! I know what you mean about the thought of rocking a 22lb to sleep...I'm worried she'll be 18 and we'll still have to rock her to sleep! Unfortunately she's only settled to sleep by herself about five times ever and there was never any clear pattern as to why she was doing it. I've tried putting her down in her cot when she's drowsy, but she ends up crying and wants to be picked up. I really, really don't want to try CC because I feel she's too young and I think it would break my heart.

Maybe I'll try cutting back on the afternoon nap? Perhaps she's sleeping too close to bedtime and isn't tired enough to sleep through?

zsooz Sun 19-Dec-04 19:59:08

Just do what is right for you. She's your bubbah after all.I was like you and cried at the thought of CC as my DS was quite poorly from a young age (9weeks) with colitis. I had to leave the house while hubby did it. I made him promise to go in after 5 minutes crying, settling him then 6 minutes etc. We were just lucky this last time he was about 5.5 months. I was like you, couldn't leave a really young baby as I thought he could have colic or be frightened. Do what you can manage, you may find that she grows out of it. part of me - sounds crazy- is sad that he can comfort himself as it feels like he doesn't need me anymore , I don't know, never satisfied are we.

highlander Mon 20-Dec-04 19:48:33

babies have sleep cycles that are totally different to that of an adult. They have lot more REM sleep and go through a cycle of light sleep every hour or so. Sounds like your baby is waking up at the light cycle and can't get back to sleep.

this is all explained in Liz Pantley's book (No-Cry Sleep). She recommends 'key words' to signal sleep time (more useful in a toddler) or some form of white noise that a baby can associate with sleep.

It's not a quick one day solution as babies don't develop adult rhythms until they are 2. Maybe worth a try?

jaylu Mon 20-Dec-04 21:09:05

Thanks for the advice, this makes sense! I will def check out the book. By associating white noise with sleep, could that be having a radio play in the background with murmuring voices when it's time for bed? We currently do have music playing in the background, but I'm not sure it's helping. Maybe it's the type of music? The thing that is so frustrating is that this seems to be a recent occurrence. She's never been a particulary good night sleeper, but we were able to get at least 3-4 hours out of her at a stretch....

jaylu Tue 21-Dec-04 22:17:17

Dang, I am at such a loss about all this...not that DD was ever a particularly good sleeper, but when we would start the bedtime routine, she would at least go down for 2 hours. My husband and I can now predict down to the minute when she'll be up (usually 30 mins, if we're lucky 60 mins). I really don't understand at all why she is doing this at night....she can sleep for 2-3 hours during the day, no problem. AAAACK! This is driving me nuts!

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