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Starting to lose the plot! 4 month old suddenly waking repeatedly in the night.

(18 Posts)
forevared Mon 04-Aug-08 13:05:22

We've never had a great night's sleep since ds2 was born but at least we were only having to get up once or twice a night to rock him back to sleep.

The last 8 nights he's woken repeatedly through the night. Last night was the worst of all and we were up with him 7 times. Each time we have to rock him back to sleep as he can't settle himself back to sleep. He used to be able to though! I've tried lying there thinking he'll settle soon, but he just grunts and fusses to himself for about 20 or 30 minutes then starts crying. At which point I get up and go to him. He goes back to sleep within about 10 minutes but will either wake immediately he's put back in the cot or might go up to an hour/hour and a half later.

He's not hungry or in pain, (despite teething at the moment) hot or have a dirty nappy so I'm at a loss to understand what's going on. If I put the night light on he just grins up at me.

I'm getting really sleep deprived again and starting to lose the plot, stupid things are getting me down and feeling tearful quite a lot. So any help or ideas would be wonderful. He sleeps in his own cot but is in our room. The only thing that is changing in his routine is I'm weaning him very slowly onto formula but have been for about 3 weeks now and we didn't have this problem before now. He's only having 2 bottles a day of the stuff. The other 3 feeds are breastmilk.


uberalice Mon 04-Aug-08 13:13:50

Could he have been too cold / warm? DS did this last night and eventually I worked out he was cold, as he was in a a really lightweight sleepsack and the weather has changed here.

forevared Mon 04-Aug-08 13:21:47

Well, during the hot weather we had him in just a vest and a 1 tog sleeping bag and things seemed fine. Now it's getting cooler again I'm putting him back in a long sleeved vest but still with the 1 tog bag. It's been 22 degrees in our room for the last few nights, so I thought that should be enough.

Also he doesn't really like his arms being out of the sleeping bag so we have to tuck them inside. That's a whole other issue and I could write an essay on the problems we've had over this. Suffice to say, that's why we get up (usually) twice in the night having to tuck his arms back in. But these last few nights this doesn't seem to be the problem.

I wondered if this would make him too hot but I've felt his neck, tummy, forehead and back and he doesn't feel too warm and he certainly isn't whinging like he's hot. I feel like I can't see the wood for the trees at the moment.

forevared Thu 07-Aug-08 09:56:55


ready2pop Thu 07-Aug-08 10:15:16

I am having the same problem with my 5 month old. He was sleeping from 7pm to 7am straight until a week ago and now he is waking up pretty much every hour all night.

Again not hungry, not hot or cold, not dirty and no change to routine so I have no idea either.

pudding25 Thu 07-Aug-08 12:27:48

Not sure as dd is only 12 wks but have been reading lots on this site and someone moved their baby into their own room and they slept much better. Their baby had been disturebed lots in the night by them. I have heard this from some friends too. I don't know if that is an option for you or something you would want to try?

forevared Thu 07-Aug-08 13:50:23

pudding, that's what dh says and I'm wondering if he's right. Problem is, ds1 is still in the box room while we decorate his new bedroom. Thought we had 6 months as per SIDS advice so thought there was no rush on the decorating. Better get a move on this weekend methinks!
I've tried reducing his sleep the last couple of days but it's made no difference. Up again every hour last night. I've also tried increasing his feeds in the day and we've started weaning on advice from GP and HV as he's such a big baby. (20lb and in 9-12 month clothes) Will see if anything works.
Good luck to all of you guys aswell cos it's bloody horrible.

ChairmumMiaow Fri 08-Aug-08 20:52:19

I've been having dreadful trouble with my 6 month old DS and we've done various things including moving him to his own room, and he is now sleeping much better. He slept progressively better to about 3.5 months then got worse and worse and worse.

I resisted moving him to his own room as long as possible, and would do so again - I worry about him enough as it is and often stand by the door listening to him snore

One of the books I have been reading says that at 4-5 months babies are able to start to sleep and nap to a routine. (Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child) but it recommends letting your baby cry it out to get them to sleep through. We have done that but I wouldn't have done it when he was younger. I didn't like the way the book was written but it has really helped. (Plus he gives bad breastfeeding advice, so ignore that!)

I would do something now before you get too exhausted to manage any of the solutions that require a lot of patients. Have a look at the No Cry Sleep Solution or the Baby Whisperer for more gentle settling solutions - you've got some time before you're dropping from exhaustion as we were.

You can read about my journey here but please bear in mind that my DS is nearly 2 months older than yours, and I really would stick to the advice about keeping them in your room (DS was already sleeping better even in our room - I'd just move the cot as far from your bed as possible)

ChairmumMiaow Fri 08-Aug-08 20:55:51

Also, I really don't think that early weaning will help. 4 months is a classic growth spurt time, so he may well just be hungrier. Please remember that milk (breastmilk or formula) have more calories than any of the foods you'd be weaning on. I have no idea why your GP and HV would go against weaning guidelines like that.

MadameOvary Fri 08-Aug-08 21:04:15

Its a PITA but sometimes they just need you more. I think of it as "too much going on" syndrome. A bit of wind/overtiredness/teething (but not enough discomfort to make them cry) all combines to keep them awake, and they want you there for comfort.

Sympathy for you, my DD is 18 weeks and every night is different. I had to go away and leave her because she was fussing at the breast so much she bit my nipple. She was flailing all over the place (but not crying) and five minutes later I check on her and she is asleep!

It WILL pass. Honest!

thisisyesterday Fri 08-Aug-08 21:06:49

forevared, 4 months is classic BIG growth spurt time.
he could well be hungry. that's why he is repeatedly waking, because you get him back to sleep, and he is waking again because he's still hungry.

may be worth trying a night feed.

fwiw, I don't think 5 feeds a day is very much for a 4 month old.

ChairmumMiaow Fri 08-Aug-08 21:10:50

I agree about the 5 feeds a day thing. DS still has 4-5 during the day (including first thing and bedtime) as well as 1 or 2 during the night - and more if its hot.

forevared Sat 09-Aug-08 10:37:31

I've been advised by many mums and HV not to re-introduce the night feed. Have also bben told to wean because it's the feeling of fullness he needs not the calories. He already weighs 20lb, puts on 1lb a week and has 40+ oz a day.

Feel really confused!

forevared Sat 09-Aug-08 10:38:44

BTW, can I do the NCSS on a 4 month old. I thought it was older babies?

pudding25 Sat 09-Aug-08 13:44:16

Sorry, don't agree that you have to wait until a baby is 4-5 mths until it can sleep to a routine. Our DD and many friends have DC who nap and sleep to a routine from an early age. It just takes consistency.
NCSS and Baby Whisperer all have gentle methods that can be used from birth.

I know lots of people who have let their babies cry. I personally can't do it for longer than a couple of mins (waste of time anyway as she gets hysterical!) I use a dummy. Don't know if you want to /already use one. DD gets her dummy for naps. Initially, she would doze off, it would fall out and we would have to put it back tons but after a while of doing this, she will let it drop out and carry on sleeping. Sved my life as I didnt have to resort to rocking, letting her cry etc.

thisisyesterday Sat 09-Aug-08 20:01:46

but forevared, your milk is better for him than solids right now.
if he is going through a growth spurt and waking up hungry you can't just not feed him because the HV says not to.
he is still really little, babies sleep goes through many different patterns, and the fact that he was sleeping really well makes me think that once a growth spurt is over he will go back to that.

his weight, weight gain and daily feeds are normal too... please don't feel that you need to put him on solids just because he is a big baby.

Denny185 Sat 09-Aug-08 20:08:46

Hi quite a lot of the April post natal thread are going through this at the moment - so babies are/fast approaching 4 months. Seems to be a consensus that growth spurts are the cause lots have had to re-introduce/increase night feeds temporarily to increase their supply, generally only seems to take a few days to sort out and get back to previous sleeping patterns.

mylittlemonsters Sat 09-Aug-08 20:14:39

You said he is teething - couldn't that combined with a growth spurt be the problem?

Mine is 18 wks and he did the same I have just moved him to his own room as I think dh's snoring was waking him up. Last night he slept through to 6.30pm from his 11am feed.

I also upped my feeds during the day as he seemed hungry and cluster fed.

I do baby whisperer pick up put down as well which works a dream.

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