thread: Waking every hour / half hour at night...

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2004
    South Burnett, QLD

    Waking every hour / half hour at night...

    Hey All! I am at my wits end here!! Hannah has never been the best sleeper, but her sleeping is beyond ridiculous atm. She will sleep for 2 hours, then wake for a feed after going to bed, then she wakes every hour from then...some times even half hourly. She sounds distressed when she wakes, but when I go to her she is all smiles and babbles away happily. When I put her back down again, she is quiet for maybe 10 mins and then starts crying. She can't be hungry that often surely (though often I resort to feeding her just because it shuts her up) - and if it were pain she wouldn't be so chirpy whenever I go to her.... I have tried letting her cry (more because I am incapacitated through sleep deprivation!) but she doesn't stop - I even let her go for an hour before picking her up last night. She doesn't let up at all... I have no idea why she is doing this! It is driving me nuts. All I can do is cry from about 4am onwards until daylight. I feel like such a failure! Why won't she sleep??? She only naps during the day too - despite my best efforts at getting her into a better routine...

    Any ideas?

    For those who have been to sleep school - what's it like? Is it worth going with a baby so young???

  2. #2
    Registered User

    May 2004

    Juliette you are not a failure you are a great mum. You know i am here for you when ever you need to talk.

    I am not able to help you sorry. Sending you lots of

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Jun 2005
    Wonga Park

    You are not a failure. Babies routine changes all the time One minute they are a great sleeper the next month they aren't (such is Mackenzie Rose xx). the best advice my mum gave me was if you're tired, they won't sleep, pop them into bed with you, there is nothing wrong with that. they are babies for such a short time it won't be forever. Mackenzie is 15 months old and has stints where she will sleep thru and other nights where she wakes numerous and we just can't settle her. Hannah is only a few months old and her sleep pattens will change-. Some babies are overtired and then can't sleep. If she did sleep more during the day she may be a better sleeper at night, I don't really know just repeating things I have heard/read. Friends of mine went to sleep school as their sons was a terrible sleeper - they ended up going 3 times and have finally got him sleeping thru and he is nearly 2 years old. They are extremly stricked with his routine so I guess it depends on how far you want to go. Another friend has a 3.5 year old who is just starting to sleep thru and they never went to sleep school, they just battled thru it. It depends on the individual, I know from other mums the wait is often a long one to get into sleep school so if you make an booking and all is going well don't cancel it until the last minute as often the little darlings will revert back just after you give up your spot! (Murphy's Law). Some places offer a day sleep school where you just go for the day and they show you techniques for settling which are often quicker to get into. Do you swadle Hannah? Is she hot or cold? Is she refluxy? (for a want of a better word) as reflux often is worse when they are lying down and maybe she stops crying when you pick her up as it feels better? Have you tried just sitting in the room to soother her and let her try and drift back to sleep? I don't have the answers but understand how you feel. Do what ever you need to do to get thru each day and night. There is no right or wrong here. Contact your MCH nurse as they will also have papers/videos on how to try and settle. Babies often get themselves into a routine despite our best efforts and just as you are getting to know them they change it! You are a great mum and you will get your sleep back - just hang in there. Everything looks 10 times worse when you don't get any sleep. Good luck

  4. #4
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    You poor chook.

    The other girls have given you some great advive to be going on with.

    I haven't experienced what you are going through, although Olivia was a shocker for similar type of non-sleeping from 4pm-10pm from birth to about 4 months).

    My suggestion would be, yes, to go to a sleep school if that helps her get into a better routine for sleeping in general. It may not solve all your problems straight away, and only go if it feels right for you, but like Nikbrad said, some babies who get a lot of sleep in the day then sleep better at night.

    Best of luck, & I hope you get some decent sleep soon........

  5. #5
    Melinda Guest

    Oh Juliette, I totally sympathise!!! Jacob's sleep was very unsettled, which began at around 6.5m of age. Prior to that, he slept beautifully. His sleep is once again better, but it does come and go....some weeks are wonderful, others are feral!

    Have you tried different settling techniques with her? I know that might sound blatantly obvious and you have probably tried everthing available, but sometimes it can take up to an hour to actually be successful with one we found anyway! I know that Jacob prefers to be in a warmer environment to sleep in, although with a touch of eczema, it was not something I had really given consideration to previously. So his room is heated, as well as having his pj's on. If he wakes/has trouble getting off to sleep, we give him a bit of a pat/rock in the cot (we turn him onto his side and have him facing away from us). We do this until he is quiet and sounds relaxed (I try to pay close attention to his breathing) and then leave - whilst he is still awake. Sometimes this will work immediately - other times it has taken us up to an hour to get him to that 'relaxed' point. Other things you could try are some soothing music, wrapping (or unwrapping if she is currently wrapped)....have you got an 'evening' routine for her, e.g. bath, feed, bed etc to try and help her distinguish between her 'big' sleep and her short naps? Also, how long is she napping for during the day? Is she only sleeping for say 30 - 45 minutes? If so, it sounds like she is waking after 1 sleep cycle, which is common. She may still be tired and needing to have a bit more sleep after that, which means settling her (using a settling technique as I mentioned above), again which may take 45 minutes or more!! I know that is a long time, but if you find something that works, it's worth it!

    As for sleep school, I have been there with Jacob. His sleeping during the day was not good either, and once we got that sorted, he slept better of a night too. It was a matter of re-settling him during the day, and having a definite evening routine. We also use 'sleep triggers' for Jacob - so he knows that when we say "time for sleep, love you" - he knows this means sleep. We have found that being consistent and persistent are the keys for him.

    I don't know if any of this has helped or not, but I do sympathise, and if you want to discuss any of this further, please e-mail me and I can chat to you a bit more about it if you like?

  6. #6
    katanya Guest

    Ahh sleep..constant issue for us too..but weirdly enough Felix used to sleep through at Hannah's age..
    I have to strain to think back but here are my thoughts, when she wakes how much does she feed, have you tried waking her after she falls asleep for a feed and making her feed again (I know seem against the point but if she fillls up perhaps she'll sleep for longer stretches)
    Have you tried the jiggle instead of feeding? I guess you probably have, have you got her next to you in your room? Having Felix in the same room as me is the only way I have been able to sleep at all...otherwise would be getting up all night!
    Some people find great stuff from sleep school, I never thought it was for me, only time Felix has been settled by anyone otther than me or DP was in hospital when he had RSV and was hysterical and wouldn't settlea nurse patted him..he screamed and screamed..did work though and I was able to get to sleep

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    aw Juliette *hugs* We've had a continuous battle for 12 months of sleep issues. We went to sleep school when Matilda was 10 weeks old and it helped me gain confidence in what I was doing. I went to get her out of the routine of feeding every 2 hours and she never slept during the day. So, although I didn't agree with everything they did, I went & listened & came home & decided what I would do. Amazingly Matilda responded really well to the way they did things. I didn't, it wasn't the way I imagined being a mum, but Matilda responded so well we kept it up. Then the next developmental change happened & we had to start all over. But feel free to email me at all if you want!

  8. #8
    Registered User

    May 2004
    Scarborough, QLD

    Poor You! It must be the name coz my little Monster went through a stage a while ago that was similar.

    We went and saw the Plunket nurse (NZ's brilliant MCHN service) and She said to try giving Hannah water instead of milk coz she may have learnt that if she wakes in the nightime it results in a nice warm bottle and lots of cuddles from Mum. The first time I did that the looks she gave me was priceless - "what are you giving me Woman" is a pretty good translation. That worked for a couple of nights and then we were back to waking.

    The second trip to PLunket they recommended either the controlled crying or just letting her cry for up to 3 hours (the preferred method) to teach her not to expect Mum to come in. It was awful, truly the most horrible thing I have done. I spent the 2 hours she spent crying sitting outside her bedroom door feeling like the worst Mum in the world. The next night she cried for 1.5 hours and after that we have had nothing. She wakes in the night but we hear her having a little chat, playing with her bear and then she gets herself back to sleep.

    It was incredibly hard but apparently it is proven to work. I would not have been able to go through with this without my Hubby's support coz I would have crumbled at her first cry!

    Good luck

  9. #9
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    Have you read this thread here? I think it would also be very applicable to Hannah - she's only a little bub and is probably going though the same stage / growth spurt as Astrid's baby.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    In 2015 I went Around The World + Kids!
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  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2004
    South Burnett, QLD

    Thanks everyone for your replies. It's just so crazy around here right now. It's amazing how one tiny little person can turn a whole household upside down!

    I've spoken to my GP, Hannah's Doc, the CHN, and the child health phone line. I rocked up to see my CHN in tears yesterday. I just lost it - no sleep can do that to a person I guess. cut a long story short, everyone has suggested starting her on solids (she's 4 months tomorrow). This is not something I wanted to do before 6 months, but she is a big girl (7.5 kg) and perhaps she's just not satisfied with just breastmilk anymore? Who knows? Everyone has agreed that silent reflux is a possibility too...but I'm not prepared to subject her to all the tests to actually diagnose it just yet. I am considering just trying her on baby gaviscon to see if it makes any difference.

    In any event...the CHN has booked us into Riverton. It will be a 4-6 week wait - but at least I know it will be an option if nothing else works in the mean time.

    I have read sooo many books on babys and sleeping (including Pinky's book "100 ways to calm the crying" - which happens to be my favourite one). But I am just so tired I can barely think straight, and I am so confused about all the conflicting advice out there! All the things that used to work with her, don't seem to work any more...

    Perhaps with more sleep I would have a better handle on things....

  11. #11

    Mar 2004

    you poor thing - it really knocks you sideways when you can't get any sleep doesn't it. Is it possible that your Mum or MIL or a friend could come over for a day and take care of Hannah so you and your DH can have a rest? It sounds like you need a bit of a break so if its possible to get one don't be shy to ask.