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Baby waking in night but isn't hungry

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Houstonwehaveaproblem, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Hey all
    Am making a gradual shift from pregnancy to here so hi!
    Subject says it all really, LO is 8 and a half weeks old and is exclusively breastfed on demand. He feeds approx every 3 hours (on a good night). He's started waking at 5ish every morning but isn't hungry. He'll have a little feed and then needs to be helped to sleep. He's then very unsettled when put down so I often just let him sleep with us until his approx wake up time of 6.30. I really want to atop him doing this as it often breaks a valuable chunk of sleep!!! What should I do? Cot is next to our bed in our room and if I leave him he starts properly crying. I dont like the idea of controlled crying but it's the only method I've heard of...Any advice appreciated as I'm exhausted!
    Houston x
     
  2. Hey all
    Am making a gradual shift from pregnancy to here so hi!
    Subject says it all really, LO is 8 and a half weeks old and is exclusively breastfed on demand. He feeds approx every 3 hours (on a good night). He's started waking at 5ish every morning but isn't hungry. He'll have a little feed and then needs to be helped to sleep. He's then very unsettled when put down so I often just let him sleep with us until his approx wake up time of 6.30. I really want to atop him doing this as it often breaks a valuable chunk of sleep!!! What should I do? Cot is next to our bed in our room and if I leave him he starts properly crying. I dont like the idea of controlled crying but it's the only method I've heard of...Any advice appreciated as I'm exhausted!
    Houston x
     
  3. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    Hi, sorry I won't be much help as basically I'd just do what you're doing! Or rather, I do what you're doing when baby's unsettled at round about that time - just means we both get more sleep (she's almost 10 months). At eight and a half weeks, he's way too young for controlled crying. He probably just wants to be close to his mum. xx
     
  4. Hi,
    I second what Paradoxicalgirly says. My LO at 7 months wakes on average 3 times for a feed. He is hungry for definitely the first 2 and the last one I'm not too sure. But definitely yours is way too young for controlled crying. Are you sure LO's not hungry? In the early days I remember mine waking and not feeding but sometimes you have to keep putting them on until they feed for some reason. It's as though all of a sudden they realise that they woke cos they were hungry. I'm sure he just wants a bit of comfort as he's so young and everything is still so new to him. I wouldn't worry for now x
     
  5. Hi Houston hope everything is OK and ur enjoying motherhood :) I dont know exactly what controlled crying is as I dont read books but both of mine I put down awake from 7 weeks in the evening without too many problems. That said if your LO is cryng at that time when you put them down then it isnt going to work. At the risk of sounding like my mother its probably just a phase and probably this time next week it will have passed. So for the time being as the others have said you will just have to go with it.
     
  6. spokeydokey

    spokeydokey New commenter

    Hey!
    Does your baby use a dummy? I used to pick my baby up and cuddle him as if I was feeding him (same position, same place, sat in bed) but just gave him his dummy. I held him for 10 minutes and then put him back down in his moses basket. The next night I repeated but held him for 5 minutes and put him down with his dummy. Then a quick cuddle the next night and then he didn't wake up for that feed any more. If he woke he settled with his dummy without needing to be picked up (which it can be argued was a pain in itself, doing numerous dummy runs in the night!)
    I would like to add that I was confident he wasn't hungry and he didn't cry at any point when I put him back down.
    Think this advice came from the Baby Whisperer?
    I have also heard that some people just offer water when the baby wakes because they start to realise if they only get water there's no point in waking up. I didn't do this as I was bf so didn't give him water in the early days any way.
    Good luck xx
     
  7. Cheers for the replies guys. I'm loving motherhood brettgirl, how goes it 2nd time round for you?
    Good idea re checking the hunger level, I think part of the prob is I'm so tired by this wake up I can't be bothered pushing food on him and just want us both to sleep! I'll be a bit more determined tonight :) he used to have a dummy but for the last week or so he won't take it. I'm glad controlled crying is a bad plan as it sounds like a horrible idea to me!! I guess I just need to ride it out. Yawn :) I'm also going to try and reintroduce his dummy so may try that further down the line spokeydokey.
    Will he really still be waking 3 times in the night at 7mths???!!!!

    Thanks. X
     
  8. Great advice here - a dummy is brilliant for settling a baby when they are not hungry. They need to suck. I have posted on here before, and been almost horsewhipped for suggesting that comforting with the breast is a bad idea. I still say it is, it makes the baby dependent on you and you will almost certainly be up several times at 7 months or older if you do that. If LO isn't hungry don't feed him - all mine had a dummy and it stayed in the bedroom, never coming downstairs during the day, so it was associated with sleep time only. I also had spares easy to hand so I didn't have to rummage in the night. They all gave it up at about 11 or 12 months too without any problems. My goal was always a full night's sleep at 12 weeks, which I achieved with all four. If you read the threads on here about sleep problems, the one thing they have in common is people are using the breast as a comfort, rather than for feeding. Your decision though - you have to do what is best for you. Good luck x
     
  9. Sadler S.
    Sleep: what is normal at six months?
    Prof Care Mother Child 1994 Aug-Sep;4(6):166-7. In this study, part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC), researchers surveyed the parents of 640 babies. Some of the results:
    • Only 16% slept through the night at six months old -- 84% were not sleeping through the night at 6 months
    • 17% woke more than once per night, ranging from twice to eight times
    • 5% woke once every night
    • 9% woke most nights
    • 50% woke occasionally
    • 16% of six-month-olds had no regular sleeping pattern
     
  10. There are many studies out there and people usually find the statistics they want to back up their own position, that's normal. But data is not the same as information, I would want to ask some questions to gather some more information. How many of the 84% who were not sleeping through were being comforted back to sleep with the breast? Of the 50% that woke occasionally how many were fed back to sleep? What did the sleeping pattern of the 84% look like? How were the 17% that woke a lot in the night being comforted back to sleep? etc etc. It is normal for human beings of all ages to wake in the night, it's how you deal with a baby that wakes is what is important - not how often it happens. If you make a baby dependent on the breast for getting back to sleep, then they will be unable to settle themselves without it. Knowing others are struggling may be comforting, but it doesn't actually help when you are exhausted - the advice to sleep when you're baby sleeps is great when you only have one, but doesn't work when you have a baby, a toddler and one that needs to be at school as well.
     
  11. Hey houston mine woke at 5am this morning and refused to go back to sleep. Seagirl I think 12 hours constant at 12 weeks is very early and tbh that would worry me! Although sometimes people getting up multiple times in the night surprises me when the baby is 6 months my first slept through (as in 7 to 7) at 8 months which I think is reasonable. I dont think a tiny baby waking at 5am can be classed as a sleep problem.
     
  12. HI Houston and congrats! The tiredness is hard isn't it!? Nothing can prepare you for that..:-/ All i want to add is a suggestion that worked for us. A 'dreamfeed'. My LO was breastfed too but took a bottle of EBM from daddy from early on. If you can get your LO to take a bottle from your OH it could be worth trying (or do the dreamfeed yourself?). From about the age your LO is I'd do a breastfeed at 7ish, put baby down to bed, my OH would wake him at 11ish then do the dreamfeed. At first LO would still wake at 5 or 6 but by 3 months was sleeping til 7am. We carried this on until 6 months then he slept through 7 til 7 without any feed and has done since. Now I'm not saying that this would work for ALL babies but it did for mine.
    Hope this is useful and that you get some bigger chunks of sleep soon x
     
  13. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Seagirl I think you have been lucky with your children being good sleepers, mine is the same. We can help them by establishing the difference between night and day, a good bedtime routine from early on, and encouraging them to self settle. My daughter slept 9pm-5am from very early on and always went back down from this feed. She started sleeping 7pm-5am ata 11 weeks and soon was sleeping 7pm-6-7am. She was formula fed from day 4. She very rarely wakes up in the night now (15 months) and always self settles. But, with some babies you can try everything and they still won't sleep.
    When she woke up at night I would give her a dummy and let her self settle, however I wouldn't have left her hungry and crying. I think CC has a place- we used it very briefly for daytime naps as she was a nightmare with this and it worked- at 7 months. You have to do what's right for you. Some babies won't take dummies, some like to be close to mummy all night and are better suited to bedsharing, some just don't sleep very well whatever you do! My next baby could be a tricky sleeper which is why I'm putting it off for a while haha.
     
  14. I think everything depends very much on what sort of baby you have! My LO was always (is still always!) hungry and as such was never a good sleeper, we had broken nights until about 13 months. I would say that self soothing is a big thing, I never gave LO the chance to self soothe, I just whacked her on for a feed every time she woke! We cracked the sleep thing at about 13 months by filling her up with lots of food in the day and then doing controlled crying. It worked very quickly for us, altho I was adamant it wouldn't! I wouldn't try CC below a year, but maybe helping your LO to self soothe wouldn't be a bad idea? Not sure how!
     
  15. Well, I'll add my experience, hope it helps. My LO was a lovely little sleeper from 12 weeks to about 5 months, usually 7 til 7. I very controversially put her in her own room at 3 weeks and she immediately started waking only at 1 and 5. One day she just stopped waking at 1 for her feed. I am sure that because she was not right next to me, I only woke for a real wake up. We also put her down awake and only went in for proper crying not whinging from about 8 weeks. We are lucky that she is a thumb sucker and so self soothing came naturally at about three months as well. However...we still deal with 5 am wake ups by bringing her in bed with us, and we probably always will. And, she slept beautifully to 5 months and then had a regression and another major bad patch at 9 months and 12 months. There's never a simple answer!
     
  16. I never said anything about 12 hours!! Sleeping through was from 10pm - 6am at 12 weeks.
     
  17. I think that is one problem seagirl sleeping through to me is the whole night and I think people often talk at cross purposes as a result.
     
  18. Ladybug I think they all have dodgy patches I think that is normal. People just forget I think. Wormburger uts interedting because I would have thought hungrier babies would sleep through quicker as surely more willing to feed in the day? My friend had a mega hungry (although formula fed) massive boy who slept through (my definition not Seagirl's) from 4 months.
     

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