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Any ideas about why 8 month old should suddenly start being wide awake in the middle of the night for hours at a time? won't settle even after feeding. Help!

(4 Posts)
happynappies Mon 26-Oct-09 10:54:01

Any ideas? Have just posted this in behaviour/development as I didn't realise there was a sleep topic, so I'll put it here too. He's bf, and has reflux, and am fairly used to him waking every 3-4 hours during the night. He's doing BLW so I wasn't sure about phasing out night feeds while he's experimenting with food rather than eating big quantities, and with the added issue of the reflux... not sure.

Its only the last week and a half where he has taken to waking at about 1am, and he feeds for 10 minutes, then is wide awake (despite dimmed lights, no interaction etc) and wanted to jump about. I've tried putting him back in his cot, but he just cries and screams, occasionally doses for about an hour, but generally it will be a good 2 and a half hours before he goes back to sleep again. Oh - then he wakes at around 5am for the day.

I've looked up as much as I can on the internet, and have found out that he may be (a) overtired or (b) not tired enough. He does nap a couple of times in the day, but not for particularly long periods (he's a light sleeper and 2 year old dd tends to wake him one way or another). He goes down to sleep at around 7pm, and I haven't yet tried keeping him awake for longer because frankly I'm so exhausted the prospect of him being up for even longer is frightening to contemplate.

Feel like I'm only getting about 3 hours of sleep a night - dd gets woken by ds, and it just goes round and round in a vicious circle. Can't have him in bed with us as he can't feed lying down due to reflux, and spend all day covered in sick, would rather not spend all night too!

Anyone got any experience with this? Any ideas to try? Thank you!

neolara Mon 26-Oct-09 11:16:07

Poor you - sounds horrendus.

Not sure if this is any help, but my ds regularly woke in the night and stayed awake around the time he was learning new physical skills (e.g. crawling, walking, standing). I would find him in his cot awake and almost practising (e.g. rocking backwards and forwards on hands and knees). Could this be what is going on? If it is, the practising didn't last too long (maybe a week or so) until he started on the next skill.

He was also kept awake for long periods of time at around 8 months when his teeth came through. Neurofen was the only thing that knocked him out. But if your ds wants to play, and doesn't look in pain, it probably isn't this.

Sorry, not sure what else to recommend. Although maybe controlled crying might be worth a go. I was advised to do this by my local sleep clinic, but was told to go in every minute (or 30 seconds) if necessary instead of waiting the 5 / 10 / 15 etc mins that you often see recommended. This did work, but only when my ds's teeth stopped hurting him.

MomOrMum Mon 26-Oct-09 20:34:38

This happened to us at the exact same age. We are doing BLW too, but by 8 months my DS was eating a lot of solids (he took to food very quickly and with gusto!). I had always just BF him whenever he woke in the night (sporadic...sometimes once, sometimes twice, sometimes 3 times or much more), but all of a sudden around 8 months it seemed to stop working. It was like he didn't want feeding at night, but didn't know how to go back to sleep without it. We decided to have a go at nightweaning by doing a bottle of EBM and reducing the quantity over a number of nights, and then eventually getting DH to resettle him without feeding. This worked for us.

Though could be teething and/or developmental milestones too, and lots of babies still feed happily at night for much longer than 8 mos, so this may not be the answer for you.

MomOrMum Mon 26-Oct-09 20:42:17

Oh, and the only other thing is that if he regularly wakes at 5 am and doesn't nap much, he could well be overtired with a 7 pm bedtime. When we are in a 5 am wake up cycle, we tend to go with a 6 pm bedtime to make sure he is not too overtired and hyper at bedtime. Not sure if that would work with your toddler around, but worth a try maybe?

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