Hey everyone! I'm new here and also a new mum and in desperate need of advice.
Our baby girl is 6 months old but for the last 2 weeks or so her sleeping habits have changed and it's killing us! Up until she was 4 months old, she was sleeping 9 hours a night without waking up. Then for a few weeks she was waking up once in the night. Now she is waking up every single hour between midnight and 6am. She sleeps solid from 7pm to midnight and then it's game over.
And we have tried everything we can think of! She is normally swaddled, but we have tried sleep suits, sleeping bags, swaddled, un-swaddled, co-sleeping, dream feeding, giving her more solids at dinner time plus breastmilk hoping to keep her fuller for longer, putting her to bed later to see if she'll sleep longer ... But nothing is working!! It's been going on for 2 weeks now, and hubby and I are like zombies.
Any advice is truly appreciated!
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25-04-2016 06:37 #1
Please help!! Advice needed...
25-04-2016 08:10 #2
Please help!! Advice needed...
It sounds like the 4 month sleep regression.
Here's a handy article about it....
How does Bub out himself to sleep? Do you rock him or feed him? Generally at this age if you're assisting your baby to go to sleep, when they wake after each sleep cycle they aren't always able to put themselves back to sleep as they don't know how to.
I know you said you've tried a lot of things to fix it, but this could just be exacerbating the issue. The key now is a consistent pattern of activities that lead up to each nap and night sleep so that Bub starts to associate that sequence of events with going to sleep next.
Generally I recommend, go into their room, swaddle them, read a short book, sing a song (even just make one up about sleepy time so they start to associate those words with sleep), put on some white noise, put Bub down and leave them. If they cry, go back in the room to them and sit next to their sleep space and make shuuuuushing noises whilst rubbing him on the tummy or even stroking his hair or his cheek until he's asleep.
Then do that each time he goes to sleep but slowly reduce the rubs and quieten the shushing until you're just standing next to him.
The reason I say to leave him first is to always test if he has learnt to sleep on his own. If he cries, you know he not quite ready and you can do the shushing and rubbing.
It really is all about being consistent so Bub knows what is happening and he's expected to sleep.
I would also keep a journal of when he wakes, when you start to settle him and when he actually falls asleep. You may end up seeing a bit of a pattern. If for example you keep him up for an hour and a half, but always have to spend 1/2 hour getting him to sleep, then perhaps he needs 2 hours awake time instead of 1.5 hours. I've often found if I can get the timing right for my bubs, settling takes less time and they learn to self settle quicker.
Some people are recommended to pat their babies cots above their heads or on their tummies, but most people find it distracts their babies and doesn't work so they give up on the entire settling method thinking it doesn't work, this is why I suggest rubbing or stroking them as its more soothing for them and helps relax them enough to go to sleep.
Of course there are controlled crying and cry it out options but I don't believe personally in CIO and controlled crying really shouldn't be used on babies under 6 months. And of course no everyone is comfortable with that method of settling.
I find the shush rubbing the best method as its not just accepting you have a baby who wakes too often and just putting up with the sleep deprivation as I don't think this is healthy for anyone in the family, but it's also a gentle method where Bub isn't being left alone to cry.
Last edited by A-Squared; 25-04-2016 at 10:27.
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25-04-2016 09:35 #3
Thanks for the reply! I've heard about the sleep regression but was hoping it wasn't that lol. At the moment she has between 1-3 sleeps during the day, lasting anywhere between 30 min to a hour, but sometimes she will sleep for 3 hours in the day just depending on if we have been out and she hasn't had a chance to sleep.
She settles herself pretty well, we hardly every have to go in but the last 2 weeks we have to go in and calm her down, put her dummy back in because she spits it out and cries for it, but we stick to rubbing her belly and shushing her and it works every time. And I always reduce the amount of rubs/shushes as well.
Last night for example, she went to bed at 7.30pm and was asleep by 7.45pm, I gave her a dream feed at 1030pm then she woke up at 1230, 130, 230, 330, 430, 530, and then she was up for the day at 630am. She's already had a 45 minute nap this morning too. But during the night, she absolutely will not calm down until I feed her. We try to get her back off to sleep without feeds sometimes because I don't want her to associate going back to sleep during the night with a feed, but she gets so hysterical that it's the only thing that will stop her crying. And if we do manage to get her to sleep without a feed, she wakes up after 15 minutes and it starts all over again.
Hubby and I are lucky that we work from home and can sleep during the day while taking turns looking after her but the nights are starting to emotionally and physically drain us.
25-04-2016 09:40 #4
You'll probably get conflicting advice on this OP. I think it's a sleep regression and as they're developmental you just need to ride it out. My DS hit everyone and fighting them made it harder. If feeding to sleep works then do it, whatever works to get through it. It's too early imo to worry about habits. It does get better and in my experience it mostly just gets better on its own.
25-04-2016 09:45 #5
Is she teething as well by any chance???
25-04-2016 10:09 #6
I think it's just a stage some babies go through as and a PP mentioned, they grow out of it.
There are various techniques that *may* work but you might also need to prepare yourselves for the fact that they *may not* work and you may need to ride it out.
DD did pretty much exactly what you described at 5 months (waking 6-10 times a night) and it lasted until 9.5 months (when she went back to waking 2-4 times a night).
I hope this hiccup passes soon for you
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25-04-2016 10:30 #7
25-04-2016 10:35 #8
Please help!! Advice needed...
Last edited by A-Squared; 25-04-2016 at 10:37.
25-04-2016 11:33 #9
We live on the Central Coast (NSW) and I don't think it's from being cold as she's so warm and snuggly when I pick her up and her skin isn't cold either.
She is showing signs of teething and has been for quite some time, and she has 10 days left in her current leap (thank god for the wonder weeks app!) so I'm really hoping it's just something to do with that. We follow a bedtime routine every night (bath - feed - sleep, with 15-30 mins in between each one).
She only uses her dummy to fall asleep, so while she is self settling she has the dummy but if she hasn't fallen asleep yet and spits it out she cries for it, otherwise if she falls asleep with it in, she will spit it out after about half an hour and she will sleep without it.
She is due for her needles next week and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that after that, and when her current leap ends that she will go back to sleeping longer and only waking 1-2 times. That I can handle!
25-04-2016 11:34 #10
I'm happy to ride it out but I do want her to sleep better at night!
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