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Sleep advice needed.
Nearly 6 months.

19 replies to this topic

#1 Kay1

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:28 AM

I have posted in this section a number of times now, sorry for the repeat business. blush.gif

Things are a little better in that we have not had a night of hours of screaming for a while now. But I still need some advice and I think I'm too tired to think of anything sensible myself. blush.gif

At the moment DS3 is sleeping really well during the day - hooray. He is sometimes very easy to settle (I just sit next to the cot) and sometimes hard (20-30mins of rocking his body with my hand or banging on the side of the cot - yeah, I know weird but it works). He has good long naps and wake up happy. original.gif

Nights - he goes to bed at around 7pm with a bit of a bedtime routine beforehand (feed, book, wrap, cuddle/song and into bed). He will almost always cry for at least 30 mins (with me there, rocking, banging, sitting etc). Then he often wakes every 45 mins after that, sometimes will go an hour and a half. I give him a feed and burp him and he goes back to bed (sleepy but not fully asleep). From 11pm he might sleep 3-4 hours and then another feed (so between 1-3am) which he again settles well after. Then he wakes up at 5-5.30am. This is the part that is killing me. I find he will not go back to sleep at this time just with a feed so I have been putting him in bed with me and feeding him hoping he'll go back to sleep. He hardly ever does. He will suck furiously for the entire 1.5 hours until I have to get up. I can't sleep during this but at least I am horizontal. He is perfectly happy as long as I am there with him and feeding him or playing with him.

The problem is I then have to get up and get the other kids ready for school. By this time he's been awake for 2.5 hours and he's miserable. So he pretty much whinges and cries through the morning while I am rushing around and then I finally get him down at 9.15-9.30am after the school drop off. Sometimes he is too overtired by this stage and can't settle.

How can I improve this situation? Ideally I'd love to have him sleep til later, that would allow me to function much better (I find I REALLY need that 5-7am sleep) and he would cope better with the morning. I just can't figure out how to do that.  I don't think keeping him up later is the answer, I've never been able to influence my kids' wake times by changing their bed times. Also he's exhausted by 7pm. I can't let him have a nap before school drop off because it takes me 30 mins to settle him and I don't have time. Plus I'd only have to wake him up again to go to school.

He is on one solid meal a day, he has about 2-3 tablespoons of puree at about 6pm. He also has some fruit/veg etc to suck on. He loves his food and would probably eat more if I let him but I don't want to rush it as my supply can be sensitive.

He seems otherwise well although he hasn't pooed much since being on solids. I have tried prune juice, pears etc but he still hasn't gone in days.

#2 axiomae

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:35 AM

Hi OP,

How old is your LO?

#3 Kay1

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:38 AM

Almost 6 months.

#4 mandala

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:54 AM

This does seem to be my default suggestion, but have you tried an earlier bedtime for him? I know it's a difficult time of day, especially with other kids, but if you could move his bedtime earlier he might not be so overtired when he goes to bed and so will settle a bit more quickly and tend to wake up less.

That would also free you up for an earlier bedtime yourself, to try to catch up a bit more!

Some other ideas: have a look at his total sleep over the day, and how it's split over day and night. Maybe you need shorter day naps?

Try a weekend where he gets his morning nap as soon as he shows tired signs - four hours is a looong time for a 6 month old, and it might be setting him up for overtiredness at the beginning of the day. Maybe if you have two good days you could change his routine a little - even better if you can get a friend to do the school run on the Monday!

I hope something works for you soon!

#5 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:15 AM

This is the thing I hate most about having to do the school drop off, it just doesn't help with bub's sleeping pattern. My bub is 10 months now and up until the school holidays started  he would wake up at around 6am, sometimes earlier and by the time I had to leave at 8.30 he would often be really grumpy, but he would fall asleep in his pram for 45min while I wen to and from school. When I got home from school, he was still asleep and I would park the pram under the house nd stay there with him. Sometime I would catch the train or bus to the shops and he would wake there. I was giving him his lunch early (at around 11 am, give him a BF at around 11.45 and would aim to put him to bed at around 12. He would hen sleep for about 2 1/2 hours when I would haver leave for the school pick up. I would use this sleep time to have a bit of a nap myself. He would often be grumpy by late after noon but was happier if I put him in the high hair while I cooked dinner or put him in his play centre (not sure what it's called but it's similar to those walker thing that the baby sits in but this one isn't a walker, it's round and has things all around it and his sits/stands in the centre). His dinner was at 5pm, husband would bath him just before 6 and he would be ready for a BF at 6.30 and bed at 7.

Would your bub sleep in the car while you are doing the school run, even if you had to have a bit of a drive around.

This above has all gone out of the window because of having different sleeping patterns during school holidays, he was having a 2 - 3 hour sleep at about 8:30/9:00 and another another at around 2pm.

I have now got to try and get him into the school run sleep pattern again.

#6 axiomae

Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

I was going to suggest all the same things as KRT - sounds like one overtired little one! Can you try to get him down for a nap after about 2hrs in the morning from when he wakes and have someone else do the school run for a few days? Might give him a chance to 'catch up' and start waking at a better time. I'd also look at total sleep in 24hrs - maybe he needs shorter day naps.

Good luck!

#7 Loz07

Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

PPs have some good suggestions.

Agree maybe look at bedtime, or does he need a late afternoon catnap (finished by 5pm) to see him through to the 7pm bedtime? And total sleep for 24 hours, weekend catch up etc.

Is the room getting light? Birds? Is he cold? Can you put an extra blanket/layer on after the early morning feed?

Also, I hate to suggest thsis, but... Is the wake time fairly consistent? Can you try waking before him for a couple of mornings, and trying to pat/settle him through the wake up for another sleep cycle?


#8 Kay1

Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:53 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. original.gif

The thing is we just came out of 6 weeks of school holidays where he did go down as soon as he got tired (usually about 8.30am). He'd have a nice big sleep then. But he was still waking just as much (or more) at night and just as early in the morning.

Would your bub sleep in the car while you are doing the school run, even if you had to have a bit of a drive around.

He would but we are only in the car for 5 minutes (its only just too far to walk and very hilly) and we only leave at 9am. If I left earlier I'd have to drive around til it was time to drop the bigger kids off. Also I have to go into preschool with DS2 so have to get DS3 out of the car then anyway.

The last couple of days he's had a short nap at 9.15/30 then a big long one at midday. I have to wake him up though at 2.30pm for pick up. This means by 5pm he's really tired and needs another short nap. Its really hard to get him have this one but if he doesn't then he's too tired to eat before bed. If he does have this third nap then he's waking up close to 6pm so an earlier bedtime isn't really feasible. I start at 7 pmish but he's not usually asleep til closer to 8 pm. I think if I made it any later than that he'd be overtired again plus I'd have no time in the evening at all. My older two had very early bedtimes at his age, but they were both rotten daysleepers and needed it. Perhaps I need to skip that third nap and give him solids in the afternoon and try a bedtime of 5.30-6pm? I just fear he'd be up even more....

Is the room getting light? Birds? Is he cold? Can you put an extra blanket/layer on after the early morning feed?

Also, I hate to suggest thsis, but... Is the wake time fairly consistent? Can you try waking before him for a couple of mornings, and trying to pat/settle him through the wake up for another sleep cycle?

Its not light when he wakes and I have blockout blinds on anyway. The birds are very loud when they start but he wakes before they do and has white noise on very loudly in his room. He's not the sort of baby to respond to me patting or settling him through a wake up. Once he's up, he's up. I have tried not feeding him when he wakes and he's not having it. I've been successful a handful of times (if it was literally 30 mins since his last feed) but generally he'll just fuss and carry on til I feed him.

I might look into getting someone to take DS1 to school for me, I can walk DS2 to preschool in the pram and that way I could try to get him to sleep in the pram at 8.30am. I don't think I could get someone to take him every day though.

The only aspect of his sleep I'd really love to change is the early wake up. I mean, I'd love fewer wake ups but its just the 5am start that is making things difficult. Guess its just one of those things I have to live with until he decides to change it. sad.gif

Edited by Kay1, 02 February 2013 - 03:07 PM.

#9 Stoked

Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

OP, I can't help with the naps and such but this:
QUOTE (Kay1 @ 02/02/2013, 08:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Then he often wakes every 45 mins after that, sometimes will go an hour and a half. I give him a feed and burp him and he goes back to bed (sleepy but not fully asleep). From 11pm he might sleep 3-4 hours and then another feed (so between 1-3am) which he again settles well after. Then he wakes up at 5-5.30am. This is the part that is killing me.

sounds very familiar! My now 9 month old had the same nighttime sleeping pattern from about 4 to 7 months. The only difference is that most mornings he'd feed to sleep and sleep for another hour or so after the 5-5.30am feed.

I thought it was just a phase and he'd grow out of it. He didn't. However (!) at the 7 months mark by sheer dumb luck we discovered he has a number of allergies, particularly to cow's milk and eggs (through my milk). Once I went dairy- and egg-free he started sleeping in 3-4 hour blocks and no longer wakes up every single sleeping cycle after going to bed in the evening. The moment I introduce dairy or eggs back into my diet, either deliberately (we tried goat's milk) or accidentally, the old sleep pattern returns again. We're seeing an allergist in May to confirm the diagnosis. Worth a thought?

#10 Kay1

Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

Thanks I have given some thought to allergies and I'm keeping a food diary.

The thing is when he was a bit younger we had quite a few weeks of 9 hour stretches at night. unsure.gif

How did you discover the allergies? Did he have any other symptoms?

I did go dairy free with DS2 as he was extremely unsettled from birth but it didn't help (did it religiously for 4 weeks). He ended up settling down by about 6 months and has no allergies now.

#11 mandala

Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:16 PM

Hmm, I think your best option would be to try skipping that third nap and going for early dinner, early bed for him. It seems you've tried all the rest!

Around that age was when DS dropped to two naps, and we had a 6pm bedtime for a long while. Dinner was at 5pm and then I'd rush him through a bath and BF for bedtime.

Unless of course you're willing to let him carry on in his cot at 5am? When we went through this in winter it would often take me a while to drag myself out of bed - and one time it took so long he went back to sleep. Alternatively, kick your DH out of bed to deal with DS3 - he'll figure something out original.gif

#12 Stoked

Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

He had mild eczema, was a boobaholic (12-15 feeds a day with up to 6 overnight), and did 3+ poos a day. I was concerned about eczema so I tried the elimination diet instead of applying a yet another steroid cream my paediatrician prescribed. The poos and frequent feeds make sense in hindsight if he had constant tummy upsets from dairy, but I never would have connected the distirbed sleep with allergies if I hadn't seen a marked change after going dairy-free (and a change for the worse every time I had a bit of dairy in my system again, LOL original.gif).

Edited by Stoked, 02 February 2013 - 03:23 PM.

#13 Kay1

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:12 PM

Hmm, I think your best option would be to try skipping that third nap and going for early dinner, early bed for him. It seems you've tried all the rest!

Around that age was when DS dropped to two naps, and we had a 6pm bedtime for a long while. Dinner was at 5pm and then I'd rush him through a bath and BF for bedtime.

Thanks, maybe I'll try this tonight so if its a complete disaster at least I don't have to deal with school tomorrow.

It will be tricky getting his fed and bathed and into bed at that time of day as I need to be feeding the others but I'll give it a go. If he takes his usual 40 mins to settle it may not work though as I can't leave the others to their own devices for so long.

#14 Kay1

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

Stoked - glad you figured all that out. original.gif DS3 is pretty content mostly, he's a great feeder and only really feeds 5-6 times a day. Doesn't show any other signs of allergy at this stage thankfully.

#15 apple80

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

This is probably not helpful, but my baby is a few weeks older than yours (6 1/2 months) and he has been good this week, only waking once at night and he even slept through for the first time ever! He was terrible terrible terrible at night for the few weeks before that 9though napping well during the day), I think they are wonder weeks, so maybe that was it? Just in case it gives you some hope...

I also had trouble with dropping the third nap. He seems fine without it now, but two weeks ago it was a real problem. I skipped it and shifted his bedtime from 7 to 6ish and that did seem to help a lot (changed from hourly wakeups to a few good stretches).

Also not sure if it is coincidence, but I went back to work and so DH settled him at night more for my first few days back. It took longer than I would to get him to sleep, but he wasn't particularly distressed. After a few nights he slept much better.

Good luck! I spend so much time thinking about all of this but not sure if it makes any difference or not !?

#16 xela1974

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

The reason that he does not resettle is because technically he has had a 10hr or so sleep at night!!!!
Add to this the few naps he has during the day and presto - he has probably reached the average hours of sleep needed for his age. ( I am assuming that he has at least, 2-3 more naps during the day of at least 1-2 hrs) If you are unsure, add up all the hours he sleeps in a 24hr cycle and match up against the recommended number of hours a baby his age should be sleeping - I have a feeling that he manages to reach this by 5.30am!!!!

Look, if you want him to wake up later, then you need to put him to bed later. Simple. May be that is why he also fights for the first half hour of bed time???? Perhaps????  However, if you do decide in putting him to bed later, than please do it gradually. Adjusting 10-15 minutes at a maximum each day, until you reach the desired time.

#17 mandala

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

apple80 makes a very good point - there is the 26 week wonder week, which was awful for us. That never helps, either!

#18 Kay1

Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

I think they are wonder weeks, so maybe that was it? Just in case it gives you some hope...

Yes I think so. That's why I haven't 'got tough' with him yet.

#19 Loz07

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

Did he settle earlier/easily tonight?

FC for tomorrow morning

#20 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:57 PM

My bub is a similar age, and I also have schoolies. Our routine is also shot because of school Hols. But basically I try a morning short nap, say 9-10,

Out and about or up until noon ish. Early lunch. And try for a pm nap between 12.30 and three.

The afternoon is long, but I find if I feed him lots between 3-6pm. Lots of drinks and afternoon tea and early dinner,,and a long bath time we usually get through till bedtime.

I feed at about 6.30pm, and he's often asleep by 7 or 7.30. He was waking after an hour or two, but that seems to be dropping off a bit now that I'm encouraging self settling...

Just a rough plan, it doesn't always work out! And he loves his solids and is eating heaps and likes water from a cup, so breastfeeding is certainly dropping off. But I think the upside is he seems to be sleeping better now he is eating more.
I've also been dealing with lots of illness and allergies too, which certainly disrupted his sleep. But that seems to be improving too. (Trying dairy free diet for both of us)

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