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Thread: Waking 5- 7 times a night - HELP!!!

  1. #1

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    Default Waking 5- 7 times a night - HELP!!!

    I hope someone out there might know what is happening here. Lachlan since birth has been extremely unsettled and constantly waking but he seems to be getting worse, he has gone from three times to 7 times the last few nights! he will have a good feed and then wake an hour later.
    Sometimes as soon as i pick him up he will fall asleep on my shoulder but if i leave him to try to settle himself he will start screaming!
    i just dont know what to do.

    I have started giving him a bottle of formula at night before bedtime. Could this be giving him tummy pains? if so, should i stop altogether or switch to a different one?



    My reason for giving him the formula is that i was going to try to wean him to see if he is more settled. As much as i love to BF, i feel that after almost four months of screaming and not sleeping and belly pains etc. I am willing to do anything even if it means weaning!

  2. #2

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    hi Dee

    Sorry to hear that you are not getting any sleep!

    I am not an expert at ALL however i think if a babe is putting on weight then BF is still the best for him.. Maybe a call to your early child hood nurse might help or tresillian for help using settling techniques..

    sorry i am not much help, just wanting to say Chin Up and that i hope your nights get better..

    xoxo

  3. #3

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    Dee,

    I've been reading the book "the Wonder Weeks' about the big developmental 'leaps' a baby goes through, and one of which is at around 3 months of age. This is the time when their brain develops at such a huge rate, and in the following weeks, he going to go from being a newborn to a baby who will learn to use his hands, recognise faces, roll and giggle. Just in a few weeks! But the downside to that is that this brain development also causes them to become unsettled, clingy and sleep less.

    I am pretty sure that his wakefulness has little to do with BFing, and I suspect that introducing him to a bottle now causing even more unsettling 'change' in his life. Talk to anyone with a 3 month old and they'll tell you their baby has been extra fussy lately, in varying degrees. It'll happen on and off for the first year of their life, them sleeping soundly for 10 hours, then the next night waking every hour! But if you can get your hands on it, 'The Wonder Weeks' makes so much sense of these things, and it'll help you to see through the fussy periods knowing what it is that's going on in your baby's little body that's making him behave that way.

    Good luck hunny, from a fellow mum who woke up to her baby 4 times last night!

  4. #4

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    I just have to say I agree with Sushee... Matilda went through wonder weeks like you wouldn't believe & we comped her and still woke up every 2-3 hours until she was 16 weeks and then every 3 hours until she was 25 weeks. Even when we weaned it made no difference whatsoever.

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    Ned still wakes at least four times a night... and he's one today!

  6. #6

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    I can remember many nights when Elyse would get up almost every hour for no apparent reason. She would not settle herself either - just cry harder and harder. There was nothing that we knew of to do, but endure it. (Sorry) Some will sleep better in a swing, though. You could try that. She eventually outgrew it, but at three now, she still wakes up regularly at night, and needs to be tucked in and settled again. Our second daughter was never that way. We treated them both the same, but one could settle herself, and was easy going, the other couldn't. They have been that way since the minute they were born.
    I can totally sympathize with your struggle. It is not a fun time, and you are no doubt exhausted! I hope it doesn't last too long. (By the way, have you tried chiropractic care for your son? It helped Elyse's general fussiness quite a bit. We took her at 6 weeks. She was still not an easy baby, but it really improved. )
    All the best!

  7. #7
    Kirsty77 Guest

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    From about 6 months Gemma used to wake about 6-10times a night! It was all of a sudden and I beleive from developmental stages. She is only now at the point of sleeping through the night.

  8. #8
    NewmumLou Guest

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    Josh is sleeping through the nite now only sometimes waking up for a feed he goes down at 8 and wakes at 7 the next morning. If you feel formula is the way to go ... your the mother you know best, do it. I use NAN HA1 and Josh is so settled with it, i have also started him on a teaspoon of Farex a day mixed with a teaspoon of fruit and his milk i feed it to him using the spoon, and he is great! Maybe your little one may be hungry? also try wrapping him tight, this always works. I may be wrong, but this works for me, hope it does for you! He may be teething early also?

  9. #9

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    Just wanted to add that a lot of times, at this time (3 months), it's not usually hunger that wakes your baby.

    Your BM is enough to sustain him (or formula, if that's what you choose) and if he wakes, it's likely to be comfort fed back to sleep, but not necessarily because he's hungry. And if you really think it looks like it's coz he's hungry, it may be a growth spurt, in which case BFing him as much as he wants is the best thing for him, anyway, so that he gets the nutrients he needs to help him develop. Here is an excellent article on weaning that you may want to read.

    Charlie is exclusively BF (ie he hasn't started solids yet) and he has nights where he sleeps through (like last night 7pm to 6.30am!) and other nights where he wakes every few hours. But I would say that until the last few weeks, when he's had a cold, he was an excellent sleeper. As Mumma of 2 has pointed out, some babies know how to settle themselves, and others don't. And yet others (like my son) swings between being able to put himself back to sleep, and occasionally needing his mum to help him. He's only little, so when he can't go back to sleep, it's natural for him to scream for his mum!

    NewMummaLou's tip of wrapping him tight is a great one!
    Last edited by sushee; September 28th, 2006 at 10:48 AM.

  10. #10

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    It is quite possible the formula is upsetting him, it takes their bodies much longer to digest it and his system would be churning and working harder to do that. Giving your baby a bottle or solids to help them sleep through the night, especially at such a young age is not a good idea. Some people do find it helps with sleeping, but only because of what its doing to their system. As adults things process quickly in a matter of hours, but for babies its much slower. Some babies will try and sleep it off and others will get upset. Breastmilk contains 100% of their nutritional needs until around 6 months. You might also like to read this article. I'd also invest in a copy of 'The Wonder Weeks' which explains the developmental milestones, tells you when they are and the unsettled periods and things you can do to help.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for all your advice,

    The problem is that he has only once gone one night waking once only so i know that he can do it. I know that babies wake through the night and i accept this but he doesnt sleep through the day either, last week i had an episode where he was awake from 5 in the afternoon until 11pm and he was screaming because he was so tired, he just wont relax EVER.I also had a full day where he only slept for four hours (not at once) in a 24 hour period. I read somewhere that babies of this age need around 15 hours of sleep in 24 hours and he is getting no where near this.

    I feel i have tried everything possible, i have hired him a baby hammock, i have worn him in a pouch, i have co - slept with him, i have tried to re- settle him by rocking and patting when he wakes after 40 mins but he just screams. Weaning was my last option, i know that BF is the best for him but if thats whats causing him to be this unsettled then i will just be devastated that i didnt wean him earlier. DF thinks im being selfish by wanting to keep BF. I just dont know what else to do.

    If he was up all day and and waking all night and happy in between then there wouldnt be a problem but he wakes up tired and grumpy and stays that way.

  12. #12

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    Dee,

    does he spit up his milk? Is it like that's he's got a tummy ache or something? Or do you feel like you're not producing enough milk for him? Charlie, until recently, hardly every slept during the day. I got maybe only two 20 min sleeps out of him from the time he woke in the morning to his bedtime at night. It's not uncommon, unfortunately.

    I can feel the pressure you're under, but it may not be the BFing that is making him feel this way, but for many mums, it's the first thing that comes to mind, and unfortunately also one of the things within their power to change. I'd hate for you to wean him onto forumla only to find it hasn't helped. I don't know how switching to formula would resolve the problem unless you think you're not producing enough milk for him?

    Maybe first try to figure out if it's his tummy that makes him unsettled, or is it other factors. If he's quiet when he breastfeeds, don't be afraid to feed him as much as he wants, even if it means him falling asleep on the breast. Many will tell you this is habit forming and not to let your baby do it, but your breastmilk contains hormones that will settle him and make him sleepy. It's why so many babies fall asleep on the boob. Also, if you're happy to, offer him the breast everytime he cries. He may only suck out of comfort, but again, hopefully it will settle him.

    It sounds like you're trying your level best and am getting frustrated that nothing is working. It is frustrating, you poor thing! And don't be afraid to call you CHN either, for some tips if you need it!

  13. #13

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    In my experience, if you can get him to have a good couple of day sleeps - four or more hours during the day, the night sleeps will sort themselves out. Sorting out the day sleeps, however, is a challenge.

    When do you bath Lachlan? Perhaps you could try bathing him before his morning sleep. If you could BF him before a bath, then bath him, he might be relaxed enough to get over the "sleep hump". Perhaps some baby massage might help relax him as well.

    What kind of environment is he sleeping in? While I'm sure you realise this, a fairly quiet darkened room is probably the best environment for a baby to get a decent, uninterrupted sleep in (you'd be surprised how many parents I deal with who don't realise that fact, and this it is unreasonable that their baby has trouble sleeping in a brightly-lit room with a television blaring in the background). Are there lots of visitors, or activities going on at home? Or dioes he spend lots of time out and about on the move? If so, it might be helpful to reign things in for a week or two - get your partner or a friend to go out and do the shopping, put a ban on visitors, and focus on creating a calm and quiet environment until sleep problems sort themselves out.

    What is the timing of his BF? Is he falling asleep on the breast? I know we had trouble with our first when she was falling asleep on the breast - some baby sleep experts believe that babies who fall asleep on the breast are less able to settle themselves during wakeful periods because the environment they wake up in (alone on the cot) is different from the one they went to sleep in (cuddled to the breast). However, BFing to sleep Is a cute way to go, and I know my wife was quite sad to give it up. Our little one's sleep did improve afterwards, though.

    Another option to consider is enlisting an ally. Find a friend or family member who doesn't get flustered at the sound of a baby crying and get them in to help out. BF Lachlan, change his nappy, rug him up warm and wrap him up tightly, and let your friend/family member cuddle him quietly in a darkened room. Then, get some well-earned rest yourself. Sometimes babies key into the stress of the person comforting them, and lets face it, who doesn't get stressed when their baby is crying?

    Like the others, I don't think that formula is the answer to this problem - formula is known to create tummy-aches and generally cause more trouble than it solves. BF for a baby that has been exclusively BF until now will provide both a full tummy and emotional comfort that bottle-feeding does not.

    Over-tiredness is a horrible vicious cycle that is extremely hard to break - the more over-tired the bub gets, the less able he is to settle himself, and the more times he spends awake. A final option, as suggested by others on this thread, would be to contact Karitane, Tresillian, or one of the private baby clinics scattered around, and arrange for an in-home assessment or to travel there and room in, where staff can be on hand to provide physical support.

    As you pointed out, a baby this age should be getting around fifteen hours a day of sleep. I find it's best to be guided by the baby, though, than to count the clock - if he is settled and happy and sleeping well on twelve hours of sleep, then that is probably enough; if, on the other hand, he is grizzly, maybe he wants an extra hour or two. Of course, the trick is to work your way up from the 4+ hours of sleep he is getting at the moment.

  14. #14

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    Do you feel that you are picking up his tired signs early enough? When they are crying they are past tired... so you need to find out when he's showing you that he's tired... Another thing you could do is speak to the ABA or a Lactation Consultant - they can come to your house. He is only three months old - he's only tiny! Sometimes they do an all nighter but its not common at this age, according to study, sleeping through for a newborn is 5 hours on average - thats it. They are designed this way, we are lucky if they sleep longer but if they don't it can be harder but they do get dealt with differently. It is hard to find your groove with them but it does happen, relax and surrender to it because even if things get better, there are plenty of stages where it changes and fussy periods where they just dont wan't to sleep for some reason or the other! Check out Pinky McKay's book Sleeping Like a Baby and her other books too - it will give you more reassurance. It's unfair for your hubby to say that you are being selfish to bf your baby - you are not the reason your baby is crying and nor is your milk I would doubt. If you think its the milk, cut back on caffeine and an LC can go through your diet and see if there could be something upsetting bub. Caffeine takes hours to get out their system. So choccy, tea, coffee, coke... citrus can do the same... so many things to consider but try some things before you give up. Call an LC.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  15. #15

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    hey there,

    kelly, i do think im picking up on the tired signs and as soon as he starts to get a bit grizzly i wrap him and put him straight to bed, he seems to go off ok but he will wake about 20mins - 40mins later and wont re -settle, he is clearly still tired but he just screams.

    i too are hesitant to fully wean him and have held off giving him a bottle last night and will do the same tonight and see how we go.

    Michael - i have spent four days at tresillian already and unfortunately they were no help, they basically told me that he was getting wind pains and there is nothing they can do for that and he will grow out of it, not very reassuring i know but i found them to also be very understaffed at the time aswell.
    I am bathing lachlan in the evening, i try to BF then bath him then try to put him to bed but he seems to put up a fight, last night it took us two hours to get him to go to sleep.
    He sleeps in a portable cot in with me at night time and during the day he is in his cot in his own room, both are quiet but my room is quite bright when the sun comes up which might contribute to him not settling very well when day breaks!
    Im hesitant to put him in his cot overnight, its more a convenience thing for me so im not walking to his room, then back to mine, BF, then back to his room for bed so many times in the night!

    I am going to see a paediatrician tomorrow so hopefully he can give him a good looking over to give me some peace of mind that nothing is majorly wrong ( i dont think it is)
    But i would also like him to test for a lactose intolorance aswell. I will let you guys know how i go.

    Thanks for all your support, i really appreciate being able to come on here and get things off my chest and to also be able to work through problems with people that understand!!

  16. #16
    NewmumLou Guest

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    Good luck Dee all will work out eventually. Baby massage did work wonders for me also. Lots of people say BF is the best for your baby, although a stressed out mum who doesnt really feel comfy breastfeeding is not good for your baby either despite facts and figures. So at the end of the day love it is up to you. All the best and let us know how you went.

  17. #17

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    The only other thing I can suggest is to maybe try settling him for a sleep in his cot/cradle before you think he's tired in the day. As Kelly said, recognising tired signs is not something that happens automatically for any parent, it is something that takes time and it is a common stumbling block for many parents who have trouble settling their children. An alternative view is that some babies simply don't do a good job of letting their poor, long-suffering parents KNOW when they're tired! Sometimes, putting them down when they are awake and happy can lead to some success, as it turns out they actually ARE tired but are simply fighting it and staying bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Does Lachlan lie and play happily if he's not being cuddled? If so, when he's been up for a few hours (and has been fed and is dry) put him in his cradle/bot/bassinette while he is happy and let him be. If he starts to cry, try the usual pat on the bottom, aviod talking, avoid eye contact, quiet "shooshing" or repetitive noises, and see if he settles.

    Another thought - does he sleep better on his tummy? May God strike me down for suggesting this, but maybe he might sleep more securely on his tummy. I'd avoid this, though, if he has any risk factors for SIDS or respiratory problems (smokers in the house, a history in one or both parents of severe asthma, other children with serious respiratory problems, or if Lachlan is sick or unwell) and make sure the cot is safe (firm mattress, no pillow, no toys, flat, and Lachlan dressed warmly with light coverings). Molly was a difficult sleeper until we a) moved her into her own cot out of our room, and b) gave in and let her sleep on her tummy.

  18. #18
    Cee_Cee99 Guest

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    Oh Dee, I think of you almost every day. I even asked God to trade just one night with you... Not that Ally's any angle, but she does settle in the hammock. We tied a string to the hammock, so if she wakes during the night we just pull the string and it rocks her back to sleep (without us having to get out of bed). Now she does not wake except for a feed. But, I was in your position for the first 3 week, it is just horrible. Trying to put on a "happy" face each day with a few hours sleep is just impossible some days. I know you have tried everything, and I've nothing else to add except that it will pass. Pinky's new book, Sleeping Like a Baby helped me so much in the first three weeks. Lets you know you are not alone. HUGE HUGS to you darling...
    PS: I tried formular in the second week as I thought Ally was screaming till 11pm each night as she was hungry and I did not have enough milk and it just made her scream for another 4 hours with tummy pain.. For us as you know it was reconginsing the tired signs and the hammock... Your answer will be there, even if it is just time.
    lol
    CC

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