View Full Version : Routine = disaster for nighttime sleep!
I've just got my five month old into a regular daytime napping routine: 10am nap (usually for an hour) then 2pm nap (another hour). He has rice cereal around 5pm then a bath and then bedtime around 6pm.
Before I introduced the daytime routine (which he's taken to really well, prolly because it's just being more organised about what he was doing already) he would go to sleep around 6pm and sleep through the night, waking for nighttime feeds at midnight and 4am. Then up for the day around 6am/7am.
Since introducing the daytime routine (Monday) his nighttime sleeping has gone to hell in a handbasket. He wakes roughly every two hours.
He's not screaming when he wakes, just making ga-ga noises. At 2.30am this morning I went to him once, put his dummy in and then left him. By 3am he was asleep. First time he's put himself to sleep like that. I was happy, until he woke at 4.30am.
His daytime feeding pattern hasn't changed. I'm breastfeeding on demand, usually every 3-4 hours.
I used to wish that he would sleep through the night... now I just wish he'd go back to waking just twice.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this has happened? Will it settle down?
I'm pregnant with our second and so don't have a lot of energy to spare (first trimester is something I'd like to sleep through) so if I could get more sleep at night, well, that'd just be peachy.
Don't know if it is much comfort but a while ago there were a number of threads about 5 to 6 month olds who had started to wake a lot during the night (mine included) and all we could conclude was that it was a developmental stage and that we all needed to work out our own methods of dealing with it. Some of us went the controlled crying route while others opted for co-sleeping and breastfeeding to sleep. You have my sympathy for the broken sleep in pregnancy as I have been through it. It probably doesn't have a lot to do with the great day time routine but has more to do with his age.
hope things improve or you find a way around it!
At the moment I'm feeding him to sleep and that's working, sort of. It just seems too big a coincidence that it started around the same time as the daytime napping. Although, he is rolling over like a demon these days, and he's just moments away from crawling. Got his bum in the air and the legs are going, just hasn't figured out how to get traction yet.
Well, I'll persist with the daytime routine because he honestly seems a much happier baby during the day. But jeeze louise, I hope this nighttime routine settles down soon. I can't take much more of the hourly feeding schedule.
I can totally sympathise as my now 9 month old did the same thing around the 5 month mark. As Theresa mentioned there was a thread discussing frequent night wakings for bubs around the 5 month mark but it was a few months back so its no longer there for you to read (unfortunately). I honestly think that it is just coincidence that your bubs nightime routine has gone crazy just when you have sorted out a more structured daytime one. It is more likely to be the age he is now at as that seems to be the age the frequent night waking starts if its going to.
What we summised from the previous thread was that a lot of bubs start waking heaps during the night around the 5 month mark. I have also read that this happens in numerous baby reference books. Nobody seems to know why just that its related to their development at this age :confused: I too was feeding my bub back to sleep 3-5 times a night which in the end became a trap as he then just got in the routine of waking for the feeds. In the end I was so sleep deprived I bought a book entitled Solve your Childs Sleep Problems by Dr Richard Ferber which was recommended to me by a CHN. This basically told me what I already knew which was that the night feeds needed to go as this was now the reason he was waking so regularly. Your bub is still only 5 months old though and this book advises that after 6 months bubs no longer need the night feeds. Anyway to cut a long story short I weaned my bub off the night feeds gradually and was going in and patting him back to sleep. Then I had to break his need for patting which I did by using controlled crying. It only took about a week to sort it all out and he started sleeping through from about 6.30 to 4.00ish when I would give him a feed. This lasted about 2 months and now its not going so great again (teething, relatives staying with us etc), he's now waking twice before his 4.30ish feed but last night I only had to go in and re-tuck him in and then he resettled himself.
Sorry I don't have better news or a quick fix but if he continues waking freqently about all I can suggest is that once he's past 6 months and established on solids you'll need to wean him off his night feeds and then wean him off whatever you used to replace the feeds ie. patting etc.
I've got an appointment with the CHN on Monday and she said she can refer me to Riverton if need be.
It seems he's now refusing to sleep during the day and as I type this (2.15pm) he's in his cot screaming and rolling over. I'll go in again in a minute and settle him down but I'm starting to go crazy here.
He WAS a perfect angel!!
I should have known things were too good to be true.
Breastfeeding through the night is the thing that kept my son waking every 2 hours from when he was born until 11 months, when he was referred to a sleep clinic and now sleeps wonderfully.
I used to kid myself that it was because he was hungry, but I was so tired that I would just get up and feed him as soon as he made the slightest little peep so that I could go back to sleep again.
As soon as I stopped the feeding, it was 2 days before he was sleeping through the night.
Can't remember what age you should stop feeding in the night though - maybe yours is still too little.
The advice I've been given is nighttime feeds should be phased out around six months. He's five months now.
I've spoken to the CHN and made an appointment for Monday. She said it's important to keep up my normal routine so I'll stick to his regular two nightly feeds and the rest of the time will just try and settle him with other methods.
Just this week he's also stopped eating his rice cereal. I tried mashed potato today but that didn't seem to go over too well either. He screws up his face and doesn't open his mouth again after the first couple of bites. Not sure if this is related to the current sleep hell that we're in or purely coincidental. Might try some banana tomorrow - maybe he's got a sweet tooth like his mother!
Anyway, it's 5.50pm and he's just gone off to sleep, relatively without too much fuss. Not sure how long he'll stay asleep for. If past nights are any indication he'll be awake at around 8/8.30pm.
If anyone else has any suggestions, I'm all ears. I think my husband is going to leave me if this continues (kidding, but only just).
don't know that i can be of any help but just wanted to sympathise with you!! my bub is 5 1/2 months and we are also having sleep issues. my MCHN claims it is just a stage that will work itself out around the 6 month mark and when he is established with solids. she also said this is when you can officially ditch night feeds as they don't need them. also, note about solids - from what i can gather the idea is to try each new food for about 10 days before assuming bub doesn't like it - i reckon easier said than done! we were on track with rice cereal in the morning and potatoe and pumpkin at night, ready to introduce a new vegie when he decided solids aren't all they are cracked up to be! now he sometimes gobbles, sometimes spits out or just flat out refuses!?!
i know it is all very frustrating (my hubby is this close to sleeping in the car!!LOL), i wish you luck, sanity and sleep :)
jem and zack(09/02/05)
I can so totally relate to this behaviour. My DS was born on the 1-2-05 and was a little angel when we got him home. Then at around six to eight weeks the devil in him came out and we no longer slept during the day and went from four hourly feeds to when ever he felt like it. My one godsend is that he started to sleep through from about 14 weeks. He would have a bath at 5:30 and then feed and would be in bed sound asleep by 6:30pm. He is now 26 weeks old and has rice cereal in the morning and veggies at night but has decided to start waking again in the middle of the night, most of the time it is just to chat to himself but this keeps me awake anyway. Usually i can just stick the dummy back in and he will go back to sleep by himself other times i am not so lucky. The last three nights he has stayed up till 7 or 8pm and then slept thru til 6:30 and i haven't heard a peep out of him.
Anyway i haven't been much help, just thought i would let you know that you are not the only one.
P.S By the way if you have any tips on getting them to sleep during the day it would be muchly appreciated. I am lucky if i get a 40min catnap out of Luke.
Could be that your baby is now confused about day and night! Waking at night for play instead of day? Also if hes sleeping longer stretches during the day he could be missing out on feeds that usually occured during those times. You could try offering more feeds and see if he continues to wake at night. Another cosideration is that your baby is still adjusting to your new routine. Perhaps stick with it for longer to see improvements. And as they mature they become more aware so it could just be that at night time where he would normally sleep on, something interests him and causes him to alert himself and then need help getting back to sleep. Oh perhaps have him be more active during his awake time as the extra sleep might cause him not to need it at night. If you up his activity then it may also balance out and the nights return to normal? Hope this makes sense.
My son was similar - I started a daytime routine to get him to have proper decent naps and then he didnt sleep so well at night. I just went with the flow as I found out in time it does settle down. Not much help when you need your rest but I just found that stressing about it was worse (at least for me). Hope this helps and good luck with him. Amanda :o
Oh sorry I realised I missed your posts about phasing out nighttime feeds and advice from CHN. For what it’s worth I wouldn’t adopt any of their suggestions. If you baby is hungry then it doesn’t make sense to refuse him. My two cents worth, consider some of the things I suggested as causes in my previous post, and continue to respond to your baby’s cues. I realise it can be terribly frustrating and tiring but your baby needs you on his side and for your patience and love. Please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some personal support. A good reading references are The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and Dr Sears Nightime Parenting. Take care Amanda
I think that it may be a developmental stage since my son who slept for 6-8 hours from 4 months started to wake up an extra time in the night once he was rolling and crawling at 6 months, he is now 8 months and has started to sleep for 8-10 hours in one go before waking for a feed.
I was starting to despair and was considering controlled crying when he started to extend his sleeping times and over the past 3 weeks has slept longer. He is also sleeping much better during the day although only about two 1 hour sleeps.
I think that only you can decide what is best for your baby but if you are not a great fan of controlled crying know that Riverton do push this method of teaching babies to sleep longer.
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