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Old Jun 30th, 2016, 05:59 AM   1
MemmaJ
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At my wits end - early morning waking, please help?!


My baby boy is about a week off from 8 months old and has never been the best sleeper, despite my efforts (day or night!)
However we used to manage to get him through him through to 6/6.30 in the morning, with a few night wakings where he just wanted his dummy back... Except now (for the last 2 weeks) he has decided he's up and ready for the day at 5am.

At first I worried he was hungry because he has also started refusing most milk feeds (he only ever drinks half his morning 8oz bottle now, and sometimes won't take any of his afternoon bottle, sometimes some of it, and very rarely finishes his bedtime bottle now either).

However if we try and give him a bottle when he wakes at 5am, he really doesn't want it - so it's not hunger (he does have 3 meals a day).

His daytime naps are a nightmare now, he fights it's and cries for ages every time - so I thought maybe he's overtired, and therefore we tried different bedtimes (earlier, later, in between...!). None of which made any difference to the morning waking time.

We've tried leaving him when he wakes, but he will just whinge/moan until someone goes to get him - he never goes back to sleep (he can't self settle anyway).
Tried going in and just giving him his dummy and walking out, but he just spits it out and moans again - so we end up in and out of his bedroom like yoyo's, with the same end result anyway.

We've tried putting him in our bed when he wakes and he will be falling asleep with us, and then it's like he suddenly realised what's happening, and his eyes ping open and he's crying again!

I've just started on a phased return to work and I work shifts, some of which are horrible times (the most recent two being 8pm until 2am), so I'm absolutely shattered and beginning to feel like I just can't cope unless something changes.

There's no noise or anything at that time to wake him up; it could be light but we are moving house next week. We will buy a blackout blind for the new house but there's no point here for the sake of a week, incase it doesn't fit his new window!
It probably doesn't help that he tends to rely on his dummy a bit to get to sleep, so if he wakes we do have to go and put it back in otherwise he can't settle back to sleep whatsoever.

I was reading online this morning when I was at the end of my tether, and I saw a few different people suggesting that the morning nap is moved on to a later time (and potentially for a shorter duration). Has anyone had any success with that..?
I'm trying it today - he usually goes back to sleep around 8.30/9am in the morning but I kept him awake until about 10.30 today (other than a quick 5 minute nap in the car while I did the school run, which I couldn't prevent!). He slept for about 45 minutes and is very whingey now, like he's super tired.

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect miracles and I know it isn't going to work on the first day, but I'm willing to persist and be consistent with anything that might work in the long run!
If anyone has any advice or suggestions I would be so grateful..!



 
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Old Jun 30th, 2016, 06:03 AM   2
Aliop
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We took the dummy away for our 8 month old and he went from waking 4+ times a night and early waking at 4.30/5 to sleeping through 7pm and we woke him at 7am! Amazing! Best thing we ever did was get rid of it



 
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Old Jun 30th, 2016, 06:20 AM   3
MemmaJ
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How did you go about it, did you just go cold turkey..? It scares the hell out of me thinking about doing that as I know he will really cry and not be able to settle to sleep without it I know that won't last forever but the actual process of it terrifies me!



 
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Old Jun 30th, 2016, 11:26 AM   4
jessmke
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I went cold turkey with my DD's pacifier when she turned 6 months olds. Honestly it was fine. The first night she had a tough time falling asleep so I co-slept with her that night, then the next night falling asleep took a bit longer than usual, and after that everything was fine. She has always been good at self settling though, we always put her down awake and she plays a bit and squirms around until she gets comfortable and falls asleep, so I don't think she relied on the pacifier too much. She also never had it during the day unless it was nap time. My DD was really good at putting the pacifier back in her own mouth at night (and could even turn it the right way up if she put it in upside down), so we put 6 pacifiers in her crib at night. But then she would wake up and put one in her mouth, spit it out and find a different one to put in her mouth, spit that one out, repeat repeat repeat until she found the one she was looking for (they are all the same, I don't know what the difference was to her!) but by the time she found the "right" one she would be awake and decide she wanted to eat. Sometimes she would find the "right" one on her first try and go back asleep, but that was rare. Getting rid of the pacifiers has really helped her sleep better.

Could you tape cardboard up on the window of the house your currently in to see if that helps? Our DD has a huge window in her room and a blackout blind would be very expensive to get in that size (especially since we didn't know if it would help) so I just taped cardboard onto the window and it does the job beautifully (although doesn't look beautiful, but we live in the country so no one sees our house anyways).

There is also a wonder week at 37 weeks which is apparently notorious for causing sleep disturbances, so if that is what's going on you may just need to ride it out.

I personally wouldn't shorten any of his naps. "Sleep begets sleep" they say, so the better he sleeps during the day the better he will sleep at night. My LO always sleeps best at night if she has had two 1.5 hr naps and one 30 min catnap during the day.



 
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 05:57 AM   5
MemmaJ
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So I took his dummy away yesterday..! First time was for his afternoon nap - had to do half an hour of controlled crying, with me going in ever 5 minutes, and then he fell asleep. Didn't give it to him st bedtime and he went straight to sleep, and same again for his morning nap today. Surely it can't be that easy..?!
He also slept until 6.15 this morning and didn't wake up once in the night!



 
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 12:27 PM   6
jessmke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MemmaJ View Post
So I took his dummy away yesterday..! First time was for his afternoon nap - had to do half an hour of controlled crying, with me going in ever 5 minutes, and then he fell asleep. Didn't give it to him st bedtime and he went straight to sleep, and same again for his morning nap today. Surely it can't be that easy..?!
He also slept until 6.15 this morning and didn't wake up once in the night!
That's fantastic! For us it was way easier than I thought it would be as well.



 
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 15:35 PM   7
MemmaJ
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So his afternoon nap and bedtime were definitely not so 'easy'! I knew I was being smug too soon, haha!
We had an hour of CC at bedtime
Awful, I feel so guilty for it but everyone/everything just keeps saying to persist and it will be fine in the end..!



 
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 17:30 PM   8
Pea123
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My son went through a phase of 5am wakings around 8 months which lasted around 2 weeks. He is now 10 months and has gone back to 6/6:30 wake up (naturally early riser)

Is baby crawling yet? He started crawling not long after the extra early wakings stopped so I think it was developmental and he was waking to practice



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Old Jul 5th, 2016, 16:23 PM   9
MemmaJ
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He is not crawling yet but desperately trying to..!

We are still really struggling... Daytime naps usually consist of him crying for a good while before finally giving in, and then he still doesn't sleep particularly well or for very long.
Bedtime is the worst of all. It goes on for around an hour and nothing works until he is literally so tired that he gives up. We keep going in, and he just wails every time he is put back down or see's us walk out the room. After he finally goes to sleep, for the next couple of hours he seems to sleep really lightly and every little noise wakes him up - so whole thing starts again!

And he's still waking at 5/5.30am!

It's really hard to keep any kind of consistency when his morning wakings (and therefore daytime naps) vary so much, depending on how he is being/how long it takes him to actually go to sleep/how long he sleeps for etc.

I went to the health visitor drop-in clinic today and they really had nothing to say about it

I read that if there's no improvement after a week then you should stop, so I really don't know what to do now



 
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Old Jul 5th, 2016, 18:52 PM   10
jessmke
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What kind of other sleep cues do you give him? If the pacifier was the only cue he had that it was time to sleep then when you take that away he doesn't have anything else to cue him in to nap/bed time. For example when it is nap time I go into DD's room, turn off the lights, put her in her sleep sac while I recite one of her bedtime books (Goodnight Moon), then we turn on her sound machine, and by the time we sit down for a feed about a minute after entering her room she knows it's time to sleep and is already yawning even though she may not have seemed tired at all before going into her room. It's sort of an abbreviated version of her bedtime routine.

Also does he have a lovey? When I took away DD's pacifier I really started to push the lovey which is a blanket/teddy bear thing that she has. I give it to her while we read bedtime stories, and I always squish it in-between us while she nurses. She now likes to pet the blanket or twiddle the bear's ear while she is nursing or when she wakes up at night and is trying to get herself back to sleep. It sometimes helps to have another comfort object as a replace for the pacifier.

Otherwise I don't have much advice as we haven't really done any formal sleep training. I'm not sure how you do it in the first year when so many different things disturb their sleep. I don't see how sleep training can stop them from feeling teething pain at night, or stop them from waking to practice new skills (crawling, etc) or stop many of the other things that cause night wakings. I feel like sleep training only works to train them not to wake just to seek out some cuddles, but I don't understand how it stops all the other reasons for waking.



 
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