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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 07:55 AM   1
susannah14
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Reasons my baby wakes up at 4 am every night screaming? UPDATE, need help! :(


So here are the facts...

From months 2-4 he STTN no wakings.

Starting at 4 months he started to wake crying once or twice and we put him in the swing or gave him his pacifier and he went back to sleep almost instantly.

Starting 6 months I stopped nursing him to sleep for naps and bedtime. He adjusted to this really well and he settles right to sleep at bedtime on his own. He's also done really well with naps lately and he doesn't fuss much, just goes right to sleep. He doesn't use a pacifier anymore.

This all sounds great, right? Well it is, except that after sleeping 6-7 hours with no waking (or at least no waking and crying), he suddenly wakes between 3-4 AM screaming and crying. We wait for him to self-settle and sometimes it takes an hour. But he does eventually go back to sleep.

My question is, why after sleeping so soundly is he suddenly so distressed? I haven't fed him at night in ages, could he be hungry? Cold? Does he just not know how to get back to sleep? (This seems unlikely considering he goes to sleep on his own at bedtime and for naps, but I don't know?)

We've started offering him solids (BLW) but he hasn't really taken much yet, and I'm not convinced this would help him sleep anyhow.

Appreciate any advice I can get!



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:06 AM   2
Bean66
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Without sounding rude if he's waking for an unknown reason crying and screaming why are you leaving him to self settle?

My guess would be separation anxiety. He needs a cuddle and reassurance.

Have you checked to see if he feels cold or offered him food?



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:22 AM   3
Noelle610
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What time does his last nap end and what time does he go down for the night? Sometimes that early morning waking is indicitive of being overtired.

There is also a 6 month growth spurt, have you tried to feed him? I understand not wanting to get back into the habit also, so you may want to try offering more during the day.

Honestly, it could also just be a phase. Babies enter a light sleep cycle in those early morning hours and even "good sleepers" sometimes wake at that time. The screaming may mean he wants to be sleeping, but he's still working on his self-soothing skills.



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:23 AM   4
susannah14
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Originally Posted by Bean66 View Post
Without sounding rude if he's waking for an unknown reason crying and screaming why are you leaving him to self settle?

My guess would be separation anxiety. He needs a cuddle and reassurance.

Have you checked to see if he feels cold or offered him food?
Well, see, I want to move in the direction of him being able to self-settle. We've worked hard on that over the last few weeks and he's made a lot of progress. I'm sure if I give him a boob then he will go to sleep, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's hungry. If he's not hungry, I don't want to fall into that trap. I guess I'm coming here for advice on how to tell if he's truly hungry. We had a doctor appt on Monday and she said he's doing great with his weight gain, for what it's worth.

And no, he doesn't need a cuddle. My presence, trying to comfort him, makes it worse. He's not a cuddly baby, never has been, pushed me away if I try to give him a hug!

I don't want this to turn into a CIO debate. I don't believe in coddling babies at night, rocking to sleep, etc at this age. I'm a working mom and I need him to be able to sleep on his own, which for the most part, he does!

Noelle, are you around? LOL



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:26 AM   5
susannah14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle610 View Post
What time does his last nap end and what time does he go down for the night? Sometimes that early morning waking is indicitive of being overtired.

There is also a 6 month growth spurt, have you tried to feed him? I understand not wanting to get back into the habit also, so you may want to try offering more during the day.

Honestly, it could also just be a phase. Babies enter a light sleep cycle in those early morning hours and even "good sleepers" sometimes wake at that time. The screaming may mean he wants to be sleeping, but he's still working on his self-soothing skills.
THERE YOU ARE!

Last night his last nap was from 7:30-8pm, and I put him to bed at 9 and he fell asleep no problem. He napped 3 hours total all day. I've also been giving him an extra 4 oz bottle of expressed bm after I feed him, right before he goes to sleep, so I would estimate he's got about 8 oz of milk in him right before bed. He gets between 30-34 ounces total a day.

I wonder if it is just a phase, or maybe he's overtired. Perhaps he's not quite done learning to self-settle?

ETA: I forgot to mention that the way he cries is a little interesting. It almost seems like he's fighting his cries. He cries and then quiets down to a whimper and even pauses for a few seconds, then the cries come back. This happens over and over. It seems like he WANTS to not cry but he can't help himself.



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:31 AM   6
Noelle610
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susannah14 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle610 View Post
What time does his last nap end and what time does he go down for the night? Sometimes that early morning waking is indicitive of being overtired.

There is also a 6 month growth spurt, have you tried to feed him? I understand not wanting to get back into the habit also, so you may want to try offering more during the day.

Honestly, it could also just be a phase. Babies enter a light sleep cycle in those early morning hours and even "good sleepers" sometimes wake at that time. The screaming may mean he wants to be sleeping, but he's still working on his self-soothing skills.
THERE YOU ARE!

Last night his last nap was from 7:30-8pm, and I put him to bed at 9 and he fell asleep no problem. He napped 3 hours total all day. I've also been giving him an extra 4 oz bottle of expressed bm after I feed him, right before he goes to sleep, so I would estimate he's got about 8 oz of milk in him right before bed. He gets between 30-34 ounces total a day.

I wonder if it is just a phase, or maybe he's overtired. Perhaps he's not quite done learning to self-settle?
LOL, it's nice to be appreciated

I would eliminate that late last nap. Could daycare put him down maybe around 4pm or 5pm considering your work schedule? That way, you could put him to bed around 7pm/8pm. I don't know if it will help, but I suspect that late nap might be messing with his rhythm a bit. If he was tired at that time he was probably ready for bed.

It really may be a phase. He's probably not quite done learning to self-settle. It can be a slow process. I think you just need to continue being consistent in the way you respond. You know what's best for your baby and you're doing great mama!



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:35 AM   7
susannah14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle610 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by susannah14 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle610 View Post
What time does his last nap end and what time does he go down for the night? Sometimes that early morning waking is indicitive of being overtired.

There is also a 6 month growth spurt, have you tried to feed him? I understand not wanting to get back into the habit also, so you may want to try offering more during the day.

Honestly, it could also just be a phase. Babies enter a light sleep cycle in those early morning hours and even "good sleepers" sometimes wake at that time. The screaming may mean he wants to be sleeping, but he's still working on his self-soothing skills.
THERE YOU ARE!

Last night his last nap was from 7:30-8pm, and I put him to bed at 9 and he fell asleep no problem. He napped 3 hours total all day. I've also been giving him an extra 4 oz bottle of expressed bm after I feed him, right before he goes to sleep, so I would estimate he's got about 8 oz of milk in him right before bed. He gets between 30-34 ounces total a day.

I wonder if it is just a phase, or maybe he's overtired. Perhaps he's not quite done learning to self-settle?
LOL, it's nice to be appreciated

I would eliminate that late last nap. Could daycare put him down maybe around 4pm or 5pm considering your work schedule? That way, you could put him to bed around 7pm/8pm. I don't know if it will help, but I suspect that late nap might be messing with his rhythm a bit.

It really may be a phase. He's probably not quite done learning to self-settle. It can be a slow process. I think you just need to continue being consistent in the way you respond. You know what's best for your baby and you're doing great mama!
Sorry I should have added that he doesn't usually nap that late...I pick him up from daycare at 4:45 and he doesn't usually nap after that. We're slowly trying to get his bedtime earlier...do you think maybe that would help?

I'm going with phase. Thanks for the vote of confidence.



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:36 AM   8
Noelle610
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susannah14 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle610 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by susannah14 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelle610 View Post
What time does his last nap end and what time does he go down for the night? Sometimes that early morning waking is indicitive of being overtired.

There is also a 6 month growth spurt, have you tried to feed him? I understand not wanting to get back into the habit also, so you may want to try offering more during the day.

Honestly, it could also just be a phase. Babies enter a light sleep cycle in those early morning hours and even "good sleepers" sometimes wake at that time. The screaming may mean he wants to be sleeping, but he's still working on his self-soothing skills.
THERE YOU ARE!

Last night his last nap was from 7:30-8pm, and I put him to bed at 9 and he fell asleep no problem. He napped 3 hours total all day. I've also been giving him an extra 4 oz bottle of expressed bm after I feed him, right before he goes to sleep, so I would estimate he's got about 8 oz of milk in him right before bed. He gets between 30-34 ounces total a day.

I wonder if it is just a phase, or maybe he's overtired. Perhaps he's not quite done learning to self-settle?
LOL, it's nice to be appreciated

I would eliminate that late last nap. Could daycare put him down maybe around 4pm or 5pm considering your work schedule? That way, you could put him to bed around 7pm/8pm. I don't know if it will help, but I suspect that late nap might be messing with his rhythm a bit.

It really may be a phase. He's probably not quite done learning to self-settle. It can be a slow process. I think you just need to continue being consistent in the way you respond. You know what's best for your baby and you're doing great mama!
Sorry I should have added that he doesn't usually nap that late...I pick him up from daycare at 4:45 and he doesn't usually nap after that. We're slowly trying to get his bedtime earlier...do you think maybe that would help?

I'm going with phase. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
I do think that might help. I also think it will pass



 
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:37 AM   9
ExcitedFTM
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I wouldn't worry too much... my son does this off and on too. We bedshare so I'm right there for him as soon as he starts to squirm around, and he will still end up screaming for a few minutes. He isnt hungry either. You're doing a great job! Trust your instincts



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Old Apr 12th, 2013, 09:43 AM   10
susannah14
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Update, need help


Yeah it's me again.

Starting a few weeks ago I started thinking "What if he really IS hungry when he wakes up at 4?" So every night I started feeding him when he woke up, usually 4-4:30. Well, this week, he woke up at 3:30, and I fed him. Then 3, and I fed him. Last night he woke up at 1:30 AM crying. This time I thought, "These old habits are coming back! No more feeding!" And I put my hand on his chest and he went to sleep after about 20 minutes and woke up again at 5. I asked my husband to get him a bottle while I showered, and I put him in the bumbo. My husband did NOT feed him because he appeared perfectly content playing with his toys. So he didn't eat until after 6 at daycare

Is he not hungry then? Am I actually doing him and us a disservice by helping him get to sleep when he wakes up?

He goes to bed around 8 PM now, drinks 30-35 ounces a day and just started eating solids, not huge amounts yet. I've tried giving him a big bottle before bed and it does not prolong the time before his wake-up.

I don't know what to do



 
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