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  1. #1
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    Default How long can you reasonably expect a 5.5 month old baby to sleep during the night?

    My DS is 5.5 months old and has been waking 1-2 hourly since the beginning of November. Some nights he doesn't even make a whole hour - eg last week he woke up every 40 minutes. All night.
    It's starting to really get on top of me. I've ordered a copy of the no cry sleep solution and today I have been trying to settling him in his cot with butt pats, stroking his back, and shushing.
    I can't deal with just letting him cry, even listening to what is clearly protest crying and him yelling AT me is awful. I always end up feeding him back to sleep.
    Generally when I decide I need to try resettling him WITHOUT feeding him back to sleep then I can really only stick to it for the first two wake ups. Then it's all too hard and I'm so tired that I can't deal with spending longer settling than he will actually sleep and I cave and feed him. I also find myself getting incredibly frustrated with him and I need to stop and step back, and feeding him calms both of us down.

    He has silent reflux and is on medication. We are about to increase the dose. I'm not really comfortable with stricter sleep training methods because of this, but I really feel like I need to bite the bullet and start trying to settle him without boob more (which should hopefully help with the reflux as well?) but I don't really know what kind of timeframe I should be aiming for. Ie Is resettling anything under 2 hours realistic? Should I aim for 3 hours? Is 4 too long? Do I start out with a smaller gap and then work to stretch it?

  2. #2
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    Could you try settle one wake-up then feed the next wake-up? (So settle, feed, settle, feed... etc) Just see how that goes. Then the 1-2 hourly wake-up might stretch naturally to 2-3 hourly?

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    For a baby with silent reflux, I don't know but at that age, 2/3 of my babies were sleeping for 12-13 hours a night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    For a baby with silent reflux, I don't know but at that age, 2/3 of my babies were sleeping for 12-13 hours a night.
    My 1st was like OP's bub, waking up multiple times at night. I put it down to him relying on me to feed him back to sleep. I was OK with that at the time. I also didn't like hearing him cry. My 2nd is much better and sleeps most nights 7pm - 3 or 5am when she wakes for a feed. I don't feed her to sleep and she has had to cry/grumble a bit simply because I have another child to tend to and can't be there for her 24/7 like I was for my lucky 1st.

    Anyway, just adding this so that OP doesn't feel like something is terribly wrong with her or her bub after reading your post. Yes, there are bubs who can and do sleep for 12 hour stretches (ahhhh bliss!), but there are heaps that don't.
    Last edited by debsch; 30-01-2015 at 21:31.

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    Quote Originally Posted by debsch View Post
    My 1st was like OP's bub, waking up multiple times at night. I put it down to him relying on me to feed him back to sleep. I was OK with that at the time. I also didn't like hearing him cry. My 2nd is much better and sleeps most nights 7pm - 3 or 5am. I don't feed her to sleep and she has had to cry/grumble a bit simply because I have another child to tend to and can't be there for her 24/7 like I was for my lucky 1st.

    Anyway, just adding this so that OP doesn't feel like something is terribly wrong with her or her bub after reading your post.
    my first wasn't fed to sleep but my third was (these are the 2 I mentioned in my previous post) My son didn't sleep through until 18 months.

    If her baby has silent reflux, I wouid guess that is what is making him wake up?

    but I would work on getting baby to sleep when he first goes to bed without boob. I stopped feeding my 2 bf babies to sleep at about 4 months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    my first wasn't fed to sleep but my third was (these are the 2 I mentioned in my previous post) My son didn't sleep through until 18 months.

    If her baby has silent reflux, I wouid guess that is what is making him wake up?

    but I would work on getting baby to sleep when he first goes to bed without boob. I stopped feeding my 2 bf babies to sleep at about 4 months.
    I guess the increased dose of meds might help if it is the reflux that wakes him. Agree with the suggestion of stopping the breast-feeding to sleep though. I bf our 2nd bub before/after dinner and then there's shower and bed so about 20mins between the last bf and bed.

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    DS would sleep up to 6-8 hours at a time for quite some time. Then it all went out the window in November. I do think some of the wake ups are reflux related but I also think some of them are just....habit? He's accustomed to me helping him back to sleep. Christ even if it was just him waking every 3 hours I'd be on board but some night it's just insane and I find myself getting more and more frustrated with him. Which isn't fair to him. I might try the "feed one settle one" thing! Thanks

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    Last night was better, but still lots of wake ups. I was able to settle him twice without boob. The first time was awful, next wake up we fed and then the next tried it again without boob and it was much easier. But then he woke just before 3 and I couldn't resettle him. Although he had been down for 2 hours? I got him calm and relaxed and back in the cot, but he wouldn't go back to sleep and started crying again after a while. After that we fed and then fed the wake up just before 5 as well.
    Will keep trying tonight!

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    My baby has reflux as well so I know what you're going through. Definitely getting the medication right is helpful but I have to say the constant feeding can actually make the reflux worse as well. Do you use a dummy? They are very good for reflux babies. The sucking helps settled their tummy without actually drinking milk. The other thing that helped us was infant gaviscon (in addition to the prescription medication - it's a totally different thing. Speak to your doctor about it first obviously). I give him gaviscon with every night feed. At 5.5 months he was a bit all over the place. Some nights he slept through, sometimes he woke several times. I used to feed twice in the night - once before I went to bed (dream feed) and once around 2-3:30 depending when he woke. Other night wakings I settled him with rocking and a dummy. They began dropping off on their own after I started using the gaviscon. The other thing is elevating the head of the bed. That sometimes helps too - as long as it can be done safely of course.

    I hope some of those ideas will help you.

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    It's so hard to put a time on what is normal at what age. For my babies, all 3 slept through quite early, even my reflux bub! This might go against your parenting philosophy, but I found a routine really helped for my reflux baby. It helped her body find a rhythm for eating, etc. Getting the meds right should help. Do you have any other strategies for managing reflux - eg, elevating the head of the bed quite higher so baby doesn't reflux as easily, holding upright after a feed for 20ish mins, and you can give mylanta or infant gaviscon to relieve reflux symptoms on top of their regular medications (losec, etc). Have you considered co sleeping so bub can feed while you doze? Also, if bub feeds to sleep, is he having a quick 5 min snack feed, and then falling asleep before his tummy is full, and then wakes soon after because he is still hungry and didnt sleep well? I always worked at keeping my babies awake during feeds so that they got a good, full feed - I find if their tummy is full to the top, they don't want to feed until at least a few hours later. Also, if he is feeding to sleep, does he feed & then lay down straight away afterwards? Reflux babies often need some upright time after a feed to let their food settle before they have to lay down.
    Honestly, he probably doesnt NEED the feed every 40 mins or hour or whatever it is for nutrition, but I'm sure he loves the comfort and snuggles he gets from it which is so lovely - but not quite so wonderful when you are exhausted. Another issue for reflux babies can be solids - solids can really aggrevate reflux, so you have to be careful about what you feed them & when. That being said, it can also help to soothe reflux as well, especially things like rice cereal - it's bland and thicker than milk, so won't burn as badly coming back up, and won't come back as easily as milk does (in theory). Good luck, I hope you get some more sleep soon.


 

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