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Thread: 7.5 month old waking screaming at night

  1. #1
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    Default 7.5 month old waking screaming at night

    Cooper has been sleeping through (approx 6.30 pm to 5.00 am) since he was about 4.5 months old. He has gone through periods of night wakings in the past which (I think) coincide with teeth appearing. Anyway it's never been too much of an issue - he would just cry and I'd go in and pat his bum and he'd be asleep again in seconds.

    But for the last week or two he has been waking screaming. Sometimes at 10.00 pm. Other times 1.00 am. We've been trying to re-settle him thinking that he doesn't need a feed / he can't be hungry etc. But no amount of patting will help. It doesn't help that he can now crawl and sit up on his own, so he just sits up in his cot crying which probably wakes him up even more.

    We get him out and give cuddles, pats on the back etc. Both DH and I try. But he often keeps screaming the house down even though we're holding him. He seems really distressed. We've tried Panadol, teething gel etc at times. Sometimes we've spent up to 1 hour trying to re-settle him. After this time I give in and breastfeed him. He then goes back to sleep straight away.

    I've now decided that obviously I should just be feeding him straight away instead of trying to re-settle him. In fact I feel awful that I've been letting him scream (well not "letting" him as in CC but not feeding him quick enough, IYKWIM). I feel like I should have been BFing him quicker instead of trying to re-settle. But at first I just thought, "oh he can't be hungry - he hasn't had a night feed for months".

    I even took him to the GP this morning to rule out ear infections. He's totally healthy. He does have a raspy/husky voice this morning but the GP (and I) think this is probably from him screaming so much. So once again I feel like such a bad mummy.

    I just wish I knew what was wrong. Is he really hungry? Or are the breastfeeds just a comfort thing? Is he having nightmares? Is he teething? Is he waking up and feels scared and lonely? I might buy a night light and see what happens.

    I guess this is just another phase and he'll outgrow it eventually?

    I think now that I've decided to just BF him immediately when I hear him wake up screaming, I feel better and not so stressed. I just have to deal with this.

    Sorry for the long story. I have just been feeling like there is something really wrong with him as he's never been this inconsolable.

    Has anyone else gone through this with babies this age?


  2. #2

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    Sophie has always been a good sleeper, but on the odd occasion she would wake up crying i would simply b/f her and within 10 mins im back in bed. I know this could lead to a dependency thing, but i didnt care that i was up for 15 mins max with her. If she settled and went back to sleep, then we were a happy household. I know shes wasnt hungry either......i dont think she even got much milk once sucking, i think it was more a comfort thing for her.

  3. #3

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    Wow - sounds like our Coopers are not just similar in name!!

    There are a few things different though - just a bit of history - Cooper started to sleep through at 8 weeks (for 12 hours), and I thought - wow, it's a lot easier than I thought!! Then at 4 months, he started to wake maybe 3 tmes in the night, wanting the dummy, and usually would want a feed also. (A nurse said to me, that it is so much harder for Mums when they have babies that sleep through, then start waking up again a few times a night, because they have gotten used to get good sleeps again...I couldn't have agreed more!)

    So I got rid of the dummy a week ago, and he screamed the house down for a day or two, so much that he too got a raspy voice, and I felt just terrible!! It was awful, so I know what you mean. I felt like a horrible mummy too.

    But then things got a lot better, and within a few days, he started to sleep through the night, without having a milk feed he had since about 4 months. I was doing a little bit of the control comforting (ie. letting him work out that he can resettle himself...not screaming and crying til he was so traumatised though!) and sometimes in the night, he too wakes up upset. It's one of those things - you don't want them to be reliant and so dependent on you, because they will then know that you will run to them every time that they wake up. But when he did start to get upset to the point I knew that he wouldn't be able to resettle himself, I also would breastfeed him, and when he was finished, he would be put in his cot, and fall straight to sleep. I also felt bad that I had let him cry and carry on for so long, and wished I had done it sooner. So in the last week, the first 3 nights he slept through, but every one since then, he has woken up once, and I have tried to let him resettle himself, but in the end I have had to breastfeed him.

    I can understand where you are at, because you know that they have been able to resettle themselves before, and you don't know what is going on with them all of a sudden. Part of you fears that you will create a sleep association with the night feeding, but you don't want them to be so distraught.

    Personally, I can't say why he is waking and screaming, but I would try to let him resettle, if that doesn't work, (try to keep it still really dark) go in and pat him, if that doesn't work, pick him up and rock him, and if that doesn't work, perhaps give him a breastfeed. I have been on the phone many times with a nurse in Brisbane the last week and asked if it was now a habit by giving him a feed in the night (when I know that he has had plenty of b/f and 3 large servings of solids in the day). Her comment was that it was fine, if you can't resettle him any other way, then make sure that when he is put back in his cot after a feed, that he is awake, so he can learn to put himself back to sleep. She said if he falls asleep on the breast, that this can make it a sleep association, and may get him waking up wanting the booby to put him back to sleep. My Cooper is like jelly if I feed him in the night, but I still put him in his cot awake so he doesn't become dependent on me for sleep.

    Sorry, I am rambling on but I know what you are going through. I would think, by the sounds of it, that this is a stage that he is going through, and you are doing the right thing. I would ring someone though to make sure it isn't something else though.

    Hope it gets better for you.

  4. #4
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    Thanks everyone.

    Mum2boy - Cooper is awake but drowsy after a night feed so that's okay. Sounds like we have been going through some similar things! How funny. I guess it's just an age related issue.

    But guess what? After my huge post yesterday, he was back to normal last night and slept from 6.30 pm to 5.00 am without a peep! I then put him back to bed after the 5.00 am feed and we both slept a bit more until 6.30 am.

    Fingers crossed he sleeps well again tonight.

  5. #5

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    Lil cooper must have read your post over your shoulder....realising how its affecting mummy. Glad to hear last night went well. THhey keep you on your toes, dont they?

  6. #6
    NewmumLou Guest

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    I find Joshua has done that a few times.... also resulting in teeth..... but sometimes i think it may be a growth spurt!
    Joshua has a 5am feed and he drinks it himself and puts himself back to sleep with it.... maybe try expressing one feed, so you can rest while he is drinking!

  7. #7
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    He slept well again last night ... although it took a fair bit of cuddling and pats to actually get him to sleep in the first place at bed time. But then he slept until 5.00 am without a peep.

    Yay!

    I think the key is to come and rant about it on BB and then bubby will go back to normal again - LOL.

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