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Sleep problems - swaddle, dummy, waking to play??

(4 Posts)
rosycheeks81 Fri 19-Jun-09 16:25:38

Hi,
I've been feeling very down generally about things with my 16wo DD recently, but I do think it mostly stems from the lack of sleep and increasing problems that we are having in the night. I am sorry this message will be quite long, but I am hoping if I provide enough detail someone will be able to give me some advice. I am very determined to have a plan and stick to it as the broken nights are getting to both me and DP and I'm finding it hard to stay happy and positive during the day. I have had some brilliant lovely replies from MNetters to my other posts so would really appreciate your wisdom on this.

DD is bf apart from a bedtime formula feed. Her bedtime is 7pm and the routine is as follows: 6.15ish first part of feed, 6.30 nappy off play time, 6.45 bath, followed by massage with lullabys, second part of feed, rock and cuddle then bed at around 7. We swaddle her and give her a dummy, lie her down awake and she closes her eyes and goes to sleep.
(NB the swaddle is a recent thing. We were just giving the dummy but she was consistently waking an hour later, we realised she was hitting herself in the face and waking herself up, so started swaddling and the problem stopped)

She'll then sleep anywhere between 10.30 - 1am (seems to really depend on how much she takes before bed, which is anywhere between 3oz and 6oz, no idea why it's so inconsistent). Then it all becomes a big struggle. I'll use last night as an example. She woke at 11.30 for a feed went straight back down. 1am, woke and had broken free of swaddle, reswaddled and put dummy in, straight back to sleep. 2am, woke, reswaddled but was still upset so fed, back to sleep. 2.45, came loose of swaddle, reswaddled. 4am, came loose of swaddle, reswaddled but wouldn't settle. Not hungry, tried to resettle but woke more and more, eventually wide awake. Took her into bed in desperation to get her back to sleep. Worked, but she woke at 5am to be fed. Then wriggled and wriggled despite seeming asleep, then fed again at 6am at which point she was wide awake again. Attempted to put back in cot, she stayed awake talking to herself for a while before crying. Got up at about 6.30.

During the day I swaddle and dummy for naps as well, she settles pretty well and usually goes down for an hour in the morning. I attempt a longer lunchtime nap but quite often she wakes after 45 minutes and won't resettle. Today she woke from nap at 10am, then back down (in pram) at 12. Woke at 12.45 wouldn't resettle despite me continuing to walk around. So got her up, she stayed awake until 2.15 then back down for nap, awake again at 3, then I've just put her back down at 3.50 as she was very grizzly and tired again. I usually do a 4ish-5ish nap then make sure she is awake from 5 until bedtime.

I am trying so hard and I'm so disillusioned by it all - worked really hard to stop feeding her to sleep but it seems I have replaced one crutch with another (i.e. the dummy). Although I'm not sure if it's the dummy or the coming loose of the swaddle that is the problem. We do sometimes have to replace the dummy as she falls asleep but then sometimes not.

So I need advice - do I have to get rid of the dummy, or is it the swaddling that is the problem? Any idea why she is waking up so fully in the middle of the night?

I really don't get on with co-sleeping by the way so need answers that keep her in the cot if possible. She is still in our room though I would like to move her into her own room soon.

Oh, and we did try a dreamfeed and also waking to feed at 11ish, but it didn't make any difference to how long she slept (she'll still wake around 1ish) so we're not doing it at the moment

Thanks in advance and sorry for the length

aboveaveragemum Fri 19-Jun-09 17:39:41

Hi there - sorry to hear you're having a tough time. I've no concrete advice, as my ds was doing exactly the same as yours at that age - ie. one good stretch (though for us a good stretch was 4 hours, he never made it through to 1am!) followed by lots of waking, usually every 1.30-2 hours. He was also swaddled, but no dummy, and would only ever sleep 45 min stretches in the day - I'd have killed for an hour! Now at 9 months he sleeps through. I just wanted to reassure you that you're doing nothing wrong - there's no secret trick that you've missed or anything in particular that you need to do. Except perhaps lower your expectations? When it was really tough I used to go to bed at 7pm just so I could get 3 or 4 hours in before the frequent waking started. It will get better, I promise - she's just tiny, needs to feed frequently and at the moment is only capable of one long-ish stretch, which unfortunately for you is at the beginning of the night...

Ramble over, hope that helps a little bit!

madremia Sat 20-Jun-09 22:51:16

Just a thought but have you tried just swaddling for bedtime and not naptime, I have 14 wo ds and was swaddling day and night, i was having the same problem as you through the night until i read somewhere on the net that you should use different sleep cues so that baby can tell the difference between going down for a nap and going to sleep for the night. I now only swaddle for the evening and not for naps, ds seems to be sleeping for longer periods at night. Still not there completely and get frustrated with him breaking free alot but definately better.

Im not bf now, but realised that ds was ready to increase the amount of feed he has before bed time.

madremia Sat 20-Jun-09 22:54:16

oh forgot to say that he goes down for the night at about 8ish but i always try to give him a feed around midnight, usually a dream feed and that can sometimes see him through til 5am.

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