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Nearly six months - has forgotten how to settle herself

(5 Posts)
Annner Sat 07-May-05 12:23:22

DD is 25 weeks old, so a shade under six months. Since the age of 11 weeks she had slept well: bath, boob, grobag and bed routine at around 7pm, waking at 0630-0700 with one or two breastfeeds in the night. She always either dozed off on the boob, or in her crib in our bedroom. We could just pop her down, and she would get back to sleep, sometimes after a grunt and a shuffle or two.

During the last week, everything has gone pearshaped. She has started to wake and yell once or twice during the evening before we go to bed. She settles quickly again with reassurance and a good slurp of Daddy's finger, but she never did it before. And now (the worst bit) she has stopped going back to sleep after her feeds. She will doze off, yawn, be very tired, but scream and become very distressed when put in her cot, getting more and more awake. This lasted for three hours on Thursday night, an hour and a half last night. We tried cuddling and calming her before putting her down again, but to no avail.

She has only settled when brought into bed with us. It was as if she wanted the reassurance of warm bodies next to her, even though she has been perfectly happy in her crib up to now.

She has also become very clingy and easily stressed during the day - the baby who used to play happily on her babygym for up to 45 minutes now throws a wobbly and makes her "creaking gate" noise after five minutes or so. She has had the odd meltdown in the pushchair, too, and needed a cuddle to calm down. Surely she is too young for true separation anxiety?

We are baffled by this regression - we have ruled out hunger, dirty nappies, wind and don't think that she is teething (she has the drool but no other signs) Her eczema is better, so we have "given her hands back to her" by removing the socks that stopped her from ripping her head to shreds. We have swopped crib for the travel cot (no room for her real cot in our room) as we wondered whether she was just too big for it, and waking herself up when she bashed her arms and legs on the side. No difference, as she still woke.

We started weaning this week, so by the time her sleep went haywire she was having 35 mls of pureed pear at lunchtime - which was hardly going to cause tummy ache twelve hours later! Could this be affecting her?

Or are we being daft in looking for a reason when babies change their sleep patterns all the time?

Has anyone had any experience of this type of regression or tips on what to do to help her to relearn her settling skills? At the moment we are plouging on with her routine and bringing her into bed with us when it is clear that she is getting more and not less awake. Is she too young to be deviously trying to come in with us every night?


aloha Sat 07-May-05 12:39:44

Definitely too young to be devious!
Teething? Ear infection? Going down with cold? A phase?

Annner Sat 07-May-05 12:59:32

What would be the other signs of an ear infection? She has had a bit of a runny nose at night, but nothing else.

We gave her Calpol last night, but as it was at the same time as we popped her in with us I can't be sure whether she was in pain or not.


highlander Sun 08-May-05 03:30:28

there is a theory that teeth can cause a lot of discomfort before they start to cut through.

DS has been a nightmare since 6 months. I think it's a huge developmental stage, as well as a time that they tend to pick up their first bugs, teeth etc etc. Solids I think can also cause a bit of upset, even when introduced properly!

DS has also been clingy at night and we had him in bed. He still woke up as much and was not easily settled. He's only just started to settle again.

No magic words I'm afraid, just big hugs. Hope it gets better soon!

Annner Sun 08-May-05 21:27:04

Thanks, Highlander - it's reassurance in itself to hear that other babies have done this and righted themselves later on.

It's so difficult when you cannot be sure that a phase is a phase until it is over...

We're working on blacking out the room further (our room is not nearly as dark as it could be) and just going with it for the time being.

Last night she woke for a feed around midnight, we tried once to put her down in the cot, but once she had made it clear that she wasn't up for it, she came straight in with us and we all slept until 0530, making five unbroken hours. Unbroken unless you count the little arms flailing in your eyes, huge farts and diagonal wriggles, that is!

THanks, Annner

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