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Sleeping problems - help!

Hi just wondering if anyone has any bright ideas to solve our sleeping problems! My little boy was a good sleeper - going through the night from about 10 weeks. At around 18 weeks he started waking up for a feed in the middle of the night but this coincided with him teething and us having to stay with my in laws for a couple of weeks. I started weaning him at 23 weeks because he was still waking regularly and I thought he must just be hungry. Things have really not improved and are probably getting worse! So at the moment he goes to sleep OK - usually asleep by 730-8pm, but is waking like clockwork at around 11pm for another feed (despite having loads of solids at 5pmish and milk before he goes to bed), and then wakes again around 4am. On top of this we have had a run of nights where he wakes between these times, cries and cries, stops immediately as soon as I pick him up and falls asleep on my shoulder within seconds, but as soon as I put him back in his cot - in fact as soone as he's horizontal(!) he wakes up and starts crying again. Its this last behaviour which I'm really struggling with - he's not obviously hungry, doesn't settle with calpol or teething gel. Friends think its a habit and we have tried leaving him to cry but he just starts sobbing and gets completely hysterical! Its very tiring and he's also tired the next day which is affecting him feeding. I have been dropping breast feeds over the last few weeks so he now has a bottle in the afternoon and if he wakes overnight so have wndered if he's not geting enough breast milk before bed - perhaps supply has dropped off? - but even if he takes a full bottle of 7oz overnight he still doesn't sleep more than a few hours. Sorry long post but any advice would be great x


  • hello

    could it be that he doesnt like laying flat or that hes getting too much food and has tummy ache at night? has he done anything new? at around 4 months babies can start to wake when previously sleeping through due to all the things they are learning,
  • My lo was similar to yours, she started sleeping through the night from about 3 months ish and then after about a month or two she started waking again. I did read that if they wake at the same time then it is habit and to try giving them water instead of milk.

    Mine would also stop crying straight away if I picked her up and then cry again as soon as I put her down. What I started to do was first give her a chance to re-settle herself, if she doesn't then I do shh/pat for a while and not pick her up at all, and most of the time this works but it can take a while. She is 8 months tomorrow and still wakes sometimes, she eats well during the day so I don't feed her if she wakes up anymore as I don't think she needs it, she has a cold at the moment though and I also think she may be teething so she has been a bit more unsettled the last few nights but a dose of calpol and some shh/patting has still worked.

    hope some of that helps
  • Hi thanks for the suggestions. The strange thing is he sleeps flat most of the night so don't think he actually dislikes that position. I have put a blanket over his sleeping bag tonight in case he was cold. Have also wondered about acid reflux as he instantly stops crying when upright but I thought babies grew out of this not got worse! He had a great tea tonight and is absolutely exhausted so just waiting to see if he will wake as usual...
  • hope he slept better last night x
  • Best night we've had for ages but feeling guilty! Asleep by 8pm, he woke at 1am, so much later than usual. Took 5oz milk but then as usual wouldn't let me put him back in the cot. In the end I sat with him and let him cry, kept reassuring him, after about 20-30mins (seemed like hours!) he fell asleep and then slept until 8am! Sort of controlled crying I suppose although he didn't stop crying even when I reassured and patted him! He's full of beans this morning but has a hoarse voice from all the crying so I feel very guilty - trying to reassure myself that its for the best in the long run. Not looking forward to tonight if we have to go through the same! x
  • Hi I havent had experience of this myself but have read about something similiar in the baby whisperer. It sounds like habitual waking. she has some great advice. good luck x
  • Don't feel bad about him crying, as long as you are there with him reassuring him then he doesn't feel abandoned and knows that he is secure. Hope it continues to improve.
  • I remember the whole of month 4 was horrific!!!! No proper sleeping and grumpy, and so was I!!! Suddenly at 5 months he went back to how he had been before. At 8 months now we're sort of having it all again but now we know it's teeth because the next morning there it is!
  • Oh my god I hadn't read your update. I cannot imagine letting a baby cry until they're hoarse the next day!!!! I don't even care if you all criticise me for being upfront, I just think that's blooming shocking, didn't anyone tell you that sleepless nights are part of having a baby. The fact you sat with him was obviously no comfort obviously otherwise he would have been comforted. GGGRRRR!!!!!! Ask yourself how would you feel if hubby sat next to you and didn't hold you as you sobbed yourself to sleep so bad that the next day you had a sore throat? There's your answer.

    [Modified by: dollywotsit on September 19, 2010 09:47 PM]

  • calm down its not like she put ear plugs in and slept she was there comforting him, we had hours of screaming last night whilst being cuddled babies cry!

  • "In the end I sat with him and let him cry"
  • "i kept reassuring him"
  • unless toby is ill - then i leave him too - well i dont leave him, i am stroki ng his hand or head - but i havent picked him up since he was about 4 weeks old. He is a brilliant sleeper and self settler as a result of this.

    He definately knew i was going in to pick him up and used to hear me coming up the stairs and listen for the door to open!!!

    He is a happy beautiful funny and very cheeky little boy

    Life has dictated that i have spent most of maternity leave getting toby ready for when i go back to work. We chose to own our own house, we choose to give toby strong working morals - i cant pick him up every 2 hours when i have to work 50 hours a week to keep the roof over his head.

    Ignore non supportive comments - not helpful on a support forum grrrrr
  • Christ alive! This place is awful at the moment....I'm all for voicing your opinion, but if you don't like what you read, just don't post. Don't belittle the poor woman, she was asking for advice not a dressing down! Jesus!
  • she was there with him!!

    hun I completly understand, my lo was a great sleeper, slept through at 8 weeks and she was like this until 6 months and since then she hasnt slept a night through, she is 11 months this week and she wakes up to 8 times a night, we have tried cc, pupd the suggestions of the HV and in the end is now arranging to have a woman come out and do an intense sleep program, it will take a few weeks but I am willing to try anything now.

    Ignore unhelpful comments because if someone hasnt been through it they dont know what it's like xxx
  • Dollywotsit...there is one thing accepting that babies wake in the night, but it s quite another when the only place they will sleep is on you. I am now in my 8th week of sleeping with Lucas (my gorgeous 19lb baby) ON ME day and night! I know that at some point I will have to just let him cry and just try to comfort him with a stroke or a pat because I am too tired and aching to continue like this. I am not an advocate of controlled crying but I am starting to understand why people decide to try it. Unless you have something constructive to say to help the OP then keep your proverbial mouth shut. Babies do wake st night, but babies also need to learn to self settle. That is not always an easy process as I am learning. I defended you before. I won't again.
  • Hi febmummy, my baby is 6 months and I could honestly have written your original post myself. DD was exactly the same, a really great sleeper and then around 4 months started to wake up again. I think at 4 months she was having a growth spurt and needed fed but then as time went on continued to do it out of habit. Recently she has been waking 3 times a night however on the odd night would sleep thru which made me think it was waking out of habit rather than hunger, and she needed a b/f to get back to sleep as that is what she has always had. The last couple of nights we have been giving her water only and not milk, and whilst we have had a lot of crying and pick up / put down, it seems to be working. It is so hard to hear your baby cry but you know what you are doing is for the best in the long run. I think it's really unfair of dollywotsit to make comments about sleepless nights being part of being a parent. Of course that's the case however febmummy is not doing this to get a good night's sleep for herself, and neither am I with my baby. I don't think it is for the good of the baby to continue to feed out of habit when you know that the baby doesn't need it.
  • Oh my goodness i seem to have caused some upset! Can I just say I hated doing it and desperately wanted to pick him up but I knew he would stop crying immediately and then start again as soon as I put him back down. I was almost in tears myself. I never thought I would want to try controlled crying but I didn't know what else to try. I do think it was behavioural as he was fed, changed, dosed up with calpol and warm. As a further update he slept through from 8pm until 5.15am last night - the longest sleep he has had for weeks - and then slept for another 3 hours after a feed. Don't know if its just coincidence will have to wait and see. Thanks for all your supportive comments - I didn't intend to upset anyone x

    [Modified by: febmummy on September 20, 2010 04:43 PM]

  • thats brilliant - well done - cc is something i was so against but unless you have needed to use it you really cant comment negatively.

    Hope the sleep pattern continues x
  • Hi hun,

    Well done on your lo sleeping longer! I had to do something similar to my dd last week and she now sleeps 7pm-8am most nights image It is hard but it is better in the long run that your lo (and you) is getting a good nights sleep. I think it is more acceptable to do a form of cc at the age our lo's are than a very tiny baby as you have a better idea of why they are crying and can distinguish between distressed crying and whinging.

    Hope it continues to get better and your lo sleeps longer tonight! image

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