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Thread: why is my 3 month old waking at 4am almost every day?

  1. #1

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    Default why is my 3 month old waking at 4am almost every day?

    My son is 3 months old today. He is on formula (SR26 - AR) for reflux. I try to have him on the following routine which I got the idea from the Tizzie Hall book ' Save our Sleep'.
    7am - wake for bottle with Zantac (reflux medicine)
    9am - down for morning sleep
    11ish - bottle
    1pmish - down for a sleep
    3pmish - bottle with Zantac
    4pmish - bath, singlet, wondersuit, and now sleeping bag and then wrap and cuddle for bed. I usually settle him in the pram so we can walk the dog after dinner. We will always have to wake him for his next feed.
    9pm - bottle
    Midnight - Dream feed and Zantac
    BUT THIS IS WHAT MY PROBLEM IS - he starts crying at around 4am but when I go to him his eyes are closed and he still seems asleep. I put his dummy in and off to sleep he goes. Now that wouldn't worry me but then he drops his dummy and cries to have it back and this can happen every half hour or hour which is terrible for my sleep.

    Question is I don't think he is hungry cause normally the dummy wouldn't satisfy him but do you thin he is hungry and I should give him a bottle? And if so will he still start his day at 7am which is important to me as I need him on a good routine as I will start back at work after Easter.

    I would appreciate any advice that you can give me, as my DH and I are going nuts!


  2. #2

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    he may be going through a growth spurt and want that extra bottle. I dont think feeding him at 4 will change him waking at 7, he just might not drink as much as 7.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Hollye, I called Karatane and they suggested feeding him when he wakes up around 4am. So I will try that tonight, but I wont fuss with him by trying to change his nappy which is usually what I do before every feed as a habit. No harm in trying I guess. I just hope that I can get back to sleep after that. I may need to train myself as well.

  4. #4

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    I agree he is probably going througha growth spurt.I would give him the bottle and see if that is what he really wants.

  5. #5

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    Yes unfortunately the "Save out sleep" doesn't give way for growth spurts, bouts of illness or anything else that can cause baby to be unsettled. Its not considered a gentle method at all. Are you interested in more gentle methods or should I move this to the baby general discussion?

  6. #6

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    IMO you are putting him to bed (doing the nighttime routine) too early. 4pm seems very early to me to be starting the bedtime routine and settling down for the night. 4pm til 4am is 12 hrs so I'm not really surprised that he is waking up then.
    I haven't read or know anything about 'Save our Sleep' but I would probaly be waking him, feeding and having a little play (nothing too stimulating of course) at about 7pm till about 8pm. Dropping the 9pm and midnight feeds for a 10 or 11pm dreamfeed. I would not want to have to stay up until midnight to be doing any feeds (unless it is your DH doing it) you really need to be in bed before that! I would expect to still be feeding a 3month old overnight and that may very well be at 4am! Personally we were still feeding overnight until around 7mths then we had a bad patch from about 8mths until about 9mths and now we are generally sleeping thru at 12mths!
    HTH

  7. #7

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    If you think he needs feeding then feed him. Routines seem like a great idea but often the little ones don't want to go along with the party and are far more settle when their needs are met quickly. You're getting up at midnight for a dream feed which sort of defeats the purpose. Try the dream feed when you go to bed. They don't work for every baby.

    I know you're anxious about how you're going to manage when you go back to work but you will manage. You'll just be used to getting by on less sleep

  8. #8

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    Thanks for comments. Yes I am very interested in a more gentle approach if anyone has any ideas. He woke up at about 3.50am this morning so I fed him and sat him up on my chest for about 10 minutes before putting him back down without his dummy, so far so good.

    But I must admit I would rather give the dream feed a try at around 10-11ish and see how we go from there. Might try that one tomorrow. I guess its trial and error. But its so hard to know what to do when its your first time.

  9. #9

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    Yes puppies it is very hard to know. I know with my first I tried everything, I read all sorts of books and I tried different techniques. But she only slept for 40 minutes at a time, for 24 hours. Its exhausting and tiring but eventually she slept longer and eventually I learned to trust my instincts better and parent by instinct rather than by a book. Once I did that, I was able to relax and get on with things like work and life. Try reading some other books like "Parenting by Heart" by Pinky McKay... just for balancing different parenting books.

  10. #10

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    Another thought - this time of year it tends to get cold around 4am. That could be waking him too. But a growth spurt at 3 months is very common, so I would be trying the feed too.

    I don't change nappies at night (AM hours anyway) unless they're pooey.. so yeah.. just feed without waking him up too much

  11. #11

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    Well I am going to try and do the dream feed at 10.30 as suggested. I last fed him at 3pm and bathed him and he has been asleep since 4pm. I will wake him in a minute for another feed and light play and then give him his dream feed at 10.30ish and see what happens.

    Cross fingers this works.

  12. #12

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    Hey puppies I really hope it works for you.

    One of the best pieces of advice I was given when Flynn was first born was this:

    "Do not expect to get a full nights sleep for the first 12 mths"

    That is not to say that you won't, just don't expect that by such and such an age they will or should be sleeping thru. I think we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves and bub by expecting that they will settle into a lovely routine and sleep thru, unfortunately that is not often the case.

    Try and rest when he rests (easier said than done I know, but you really need to try) don't worry if there are things which need to be done. You will be able to tackle them more easily if you are well rested. Try and get to bed a little earlier too. I'm sure your DH can do the last dream feed or you could alternate nights? It will get easier and he will sleep thru one day.

    Hope you have a good night

  13. #13

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    Thanks girls, well my experiment was a DISASTER! I thought I heard him make a noise at about 2.50am so I woke up and he was sound asleep. I thought well I will fed him anyway. So I did not unwrap him, I just picked him up and gave him the bottle. He was sleeping so I had to jiggle him to suck. Then the bottle went cold so he was fussing so I had to warm it up a bit more. Then he took the rest of the bottle. I sat him up for a bit until he burped and then I put him back in his cot. I went back to bed and about 4.30am he woke up crying as per usual. We decided to let him cry a bit and see what happens. So he had the pauses in his crying so I thought well he should just fall back asleep. But nope an hour later he is still crying and I can't handle it any longer. So I go to him to find him soaked in sweat so I change his nappy which was so full it weighed a tonne. I changed his clothes and his wrap and the cloth nappy that I lay on his sheet where he sleeps (saves changing sheets all the time). I gave him a few drops of Infants Friend to calm him down chucked his dummy in and rocked him back to sleep before putting him back down just now. Then I came straight to the computer to tell you all.

    What am I doing wrong! It seems that my experiment has resolved nothing other than no matter what time his dream feed is or even if I feed him earlier he is still waking up at about 4am. Why is this happening? I am certainly not expecting him to sleep through although DH is. I try to explain to DH that it won't happen for some time and that we do pretty good with him at his age compared to other babies but he is just not that impressed. He does have high expectations of him which is something I have talked about with him but it seems I have not gotten through to him on that point yet.

    Honestly I don't know what to do next. Any other ideas? PLEASE!

  14. #14

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    Hi puppies...the only thing I would suggest is reducing his afternoon nap to a couple of short catnaps, so he is tired for bed at 7pm.

    Also, I think your baby sleeps HEAPS! So I wouldn't be too worried about doing anything wrong...you're obviously doing a lot right! You just need to tweak his routine a little bit...Maybe shorten the afternoon nap to only one sleep cycle and make sure the midday sleep is a long one...

    HTH

  15. #15

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    Oh no!! It would be nice if they came with some instructions wouldn't it?! I don't think you are doing anything wrong...You have a baby and they make their own rules!!!

    I don't particularly have anymore advice. I don't think I would have bothered waking him when he was asleep. I may have tried a dream feed but if he didn't take first up it I wouldn't of continued trying.

    It seems as tho you may just have to get used to the idea of a 4am feed. I wonder what would've happened if you hadn't bothered to feed him at 2.50? IMO a sleep for you from say 10 - 4 is an excellent block and if you can feed him and pop him straight back to sleep you should get at least another 2 hrs. That is not too bad. IMO you could do a lot worse than one feed at 4am.

    GL

  16. #16

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    It can be confusing hey! I personally wouldnt wake JD to feed him if hes sleeping. I am a big believer in babies knowing when they are hungry and letting us know when that it is, which for you would have been the 4am feeds the night before last. I dont like the routines of Tizzie Hall so cant say much there, but have you tried the bath later? We do baths at 6:30-7 where Ruby is in with me and Sammy and after all that splashing around is exhausted and sleeps til 12, has a feed and then sleeps until 5 which is just amazing!

    Jo

  17. #17

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    I am happy with his routine during the day its just that one night wake that seems to have me stumped. My mum had an interesting theory. He has a very sore looking rash, irritation under his armpits and under his chin in the neck fold that is red and inflamed. I think this is due to air not getting in under these skin folds. She thinks that being wrapped with his arms closed may be irritating him enough to disturb his sleep by then. Cause when I did feed him at 4am, when he woke up it didn't make any difference he still cried and cried every time I put his dummy back in. The problem is that if I try to let him sleep without being wrapped he wakes himself up by touching his face or knocking his dummy out. I would love to not have to wrap him every time I need him to sleep.

    Tonight I am going to listen to his cues again. I did not bath him now which I usually do after his afternoon bottle. I will do his bath at his next feed around 7.30 and see what happens then.

    I have an appointment at the Pedi for him in a couple of weeks to check his enlarged kidney so will ask him what he thinks about all this. God its so hard, everyone has their own opinion for I guess what has worked for them, but all I can do is try everything till it works. If he fed at 4am when he wakes up crying and then settled back to sleep till 7am I would be happy but that is still not happening. Something is bothering him. Could he be teething this young? My poor little man, it makes me so sad that he could be uncomfortable even for a minute. I just want to help him. I don't care about anything else right now.

  18. #18

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    It is so hard and you are doing a great job!

    In regards to the rash under his chin and arms. Flynn had this too and I put it down to not being properly dry. I used cornflour baby powder after a bath cos they make it very hard for us mummies to get in there and dry it properly. I love paw paw ointment for any kind of rashes, you could try that too.

    I hope you have a better night tonight. This stage will pass, I promise.

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