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HELP - My 5 month old won't sleep and I am EXHAUSTED!


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#1 ~mummy~of~one

Posted 20 August 2010 - 11:34 AM

I have a 5 month old baby girl who won't sleep!!!

FOr the first 3 months she was excellent and only woke once or twice a night.
NOW SHE WAKES EVERY HOUR!!!  She will only sleep a maximum of one hour at night or during the day.
She has no problem getting off to sleep by herself but once she wakes she will not resettle.  I have resorted to feeding her (breastfeeding) back to sleep.  She feeds for about 5 minutes, goes back to sleep and then we do it all over again the next hour.  It is really catching up to me.  I don't think she is hungry but she is not on solids.  She sleeps in her cot in a bedroom next to ours.  She does not take a dummy or bottle.  I have tried "ignoring" her cries during the night but she will cry for up to 40 minutes.  THe longest I have been able to leave her cry.

ANY ADVICE WOULD BE VERY APPRECIATED!!!!  I AM DESPERATE!!!

#2 lozoodle

Posted 20 August 2010 - 12:36 PM

Is it possible that she's just waking up cold??
I had similar issues with my DD last winter (she was around 6 months) and then added an extra layer of clothes and an extra layer of bedding and our problems was solved original.gif

I think normally she would wake and resettle as she woudln't fully wake, but when cold she'd be more wide awake and need help to get back to sleep (in our case it was a dummy rather than a feed that would do that)

#3 Guest_J Cat_*

Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:19 PM

Hi, you have my sympathy. My DD started doing this around 3.5 months and now at 5 months things are starting to get better. I tried putting it down to lots of things over that time; teething, hunger, cold, hot, nappy, too dark, too quiet... I could go on! Really, it could be anything (could be a 4 month sleep regression), but ultimately we'll never know so I just did whatever I could to get through it. If feeding back to sleep worked I did that. A few times we brought her into our bed so we could all get some sleep, which worked for us. We only did it a handful of times and it was great. She's now back in her cot, sleeping 7-7(ish, sometimes 6ish!) with one feed around midnight. I know she does wake during the night, sometimes she just needs a bum change or she just settles herself back to sleep.

In the last couple of weeks we have done the following, one or all may be the reason she's sleeping better, or it may be a coincidence and she's just grown out of it!

*Introduced small amounts of solids. Started with about a teaspoon at midday, after no reaction we started giving it at 5pm. She took to it instantly, she's now had cereal, apple, pear, and sweet potato. Now has about a tablespoon - still one meal a day atm at 5pm. (We did this after discussing with our GP and because she was showing all other signs of being ready).
*I'd also try and give more breastfeeds during the day if she wanted it.
*Put a radio in her room, leave it on all night long. It's not really soft either, not blaring, but if it were in our room we probably couldn't sleep!
*Brought her into our bed when she kept waking or wouldn't go back to sleep. Wasn't the first thing we tried every time but the last.
*Less blankets at night. I was worried about her getting cold so was rugging her up, DP suggested removing a couple of layers which may have helped. Makes sense - as they get older they can move around more so can generate a bit more body heat.
* Enouraging more day sleep. ie. resettling after a catnap, I put a lot of things down to overtiredness!

HTH. Good luck, hope you're all getting more sleep soon!

#4 *mylittleprince*

Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:25 PM

I found this resource great with regards to reettling: http://www.tresillian.net/tresillian-tips/...-12-months.html




Have you enquired about a sleep school with your early childhood nurse?

#5 ~mummy~of~one

Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:35 PM

Not to keen on the sleep school as I know that they are generally very for Controlled crying and I have tried that and it doesn't work.  

Plan of attack tonight may be....more feeds during the day...some solids???

see how we go!

#6 Ryn

Posted 22 August 2010 - 02:10 PM

Hi there

We had the same thing happen with our bub at around the 5 month mark. We are cosleeping and breastfeeding so at least I could generally just roll over and give a feed and then go back to sleep but still, it was exhausting!

I bought a book called the "no cry sleep solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. The main change that I've implemented so far is daytime naps at around the same time every day (give or take half an hour), and a much earlier bed time. On average he: wakes up just after 6am, first nap at 8am for around an hour, 2nd nap at 12 noon for around 2 hours (I have to sleep with him to get him to sleep for the whole two hours at the moment), and then a 3rd nap at around 4pm for half an hour to an hour, then the bed time routine starts at 6 or 6:30pm, and he's asleep by around 7pm. I think having a bed time routine & nap time routine is important, and we've also just started to introduce a comforter (which will hopefully replace me having to sleep next to him for the long sleep).

Anyway, he's gone from waking every 1 to 2 hours to only waking a 2-3 times a night (which I understand is normal for co-sleepers). I'd recommend getting the book & reading through all of her suggestions & implementing whatever works for you!

Oh, the other change was to try and feed him more during the day because at 5 months they're starting to get distracted and forgetting to feed during the day (and making up for it at night).

Good luck!



#7 MightyMummy

Posted 22 August 2010 - 02:14 PM

QUOTE (~mummy~of~one @ 20/08/2010, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
FOr the first 3 months she was excellent and only woke once or twice a night.
NOW SHE WAKES EVERY HOUR!!!  She will only sleep a maximum of one hour at night or during the day.

ANY ADVICE WOULD BE VERY APPRECIATED!!!!  I AM DESPERATE!!!


Welcome to my world. DS did that from birth until 11 months old when I did CIO. Only he never day-napped at all after about 8 weeks.

Afraid you have to suck it up another month or so before you can sleep train - nothing else is likely to work.

#8 twistedmama

Posted 22 August 2010 - 02:16 PM

QUOTE (MightyMummy @ 22/08/2010, 02:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Welcome to my world. DS did that from birth until 11 months old when I did CIO. Only he never day-napped at all after about 8 weeks.

Afraid you have to suck it up another month or so before you can sleep train - nothing else is likely to work.


Ahhhhh the little ray of sunshine in EB world wacko.gif

#9 MightyMummy

Posted 22 August 2010 - 02:24 PM

But its true Twisted. ITs time we stopped torturing new mothers with "try this, oh no it must be this, wait have you stood on your head lately? no its about which way the cot is facing".

There is no medical reason or hunger or cold or pain that most of the babies who do this behave that way. It is simply that they CAN.

If you want to suffer with waking every hour for a year or more then be my guest. For those of us who want more out of life for ourselves and our children... well that's another story.

#10 goldimouse

Posted 22 August 2010 - 02:35 PM

Get you hands on The No Cry Sleep Solution and Sleeping Like a Baby. Both books have tips for gentle settling.

Despite what MightyMummy says - You do have options. original.gif It is not a matter of "let her cry or put up with it". There are ways to encourage your baby to sleep that do not require leaving her in distress.

My DD was similar - she slept well for 5 months and then teething, illness and our mistakes mucked her sleep up. We are now seeing definite progress and she sleeps well.

#11 Unatheowl

Posted 22 August 2010 - 03:02 PM

I like you MightyMummy.  Sometimes the right way to handle a situation is difficult to accept or unpalatable to the parent for thier OWN reasons (guilt/whatever).

If our children have trouble sleeping its up to us as parents to help them through it (at an appropriate age).  Chronically sleep deprived children are ratty, unlikeable, surrounded by negativity and lack the optimum opportunity to develop.

Try all the witchcraft options you like but sometimes the least painful way for everyone is a brief period of crying it out.

#12 Sassenach2

Posted 22 August 2010 - 03:20 PM

I couldn't let a 5 month old baby "cry it out" and I wouldn't be starting solids until 6 months, as solids will compromise your milk supply. Breastmilk is best for bubs at the moment and solids are started at 6 months so that bubs can start to experience different tastes and textures - they do not wodge them up at this age and as I said, it is detrimental to your milk supply.
I would be making sure she is warm enough at night. Is she in a gro-bag? Warming the room with one of those oil-filled or panel heaters on low in her room. Music playing softly in the background. These are all sleep cues and if they fail, you might have to co-sleep for a little while and just let her use you as a dummy whenever she wakes at night. You would get more sleep that way instead of getting up to her every hour.
Perhaps you have tried all these suggestions (and more) and they haven't worked. This may indicate that, like thousands of other parents awake at the same time, you cannot change your baby's in-built sleeping pattern. Take heart that it will change, given time, and it is part of your baby's individuality.

#13 miaandme

Posted 22 August 2010 - 07:28 PM

OP - you poor thing, its hard being a mummy isn't it?

In some respects I agree with MM, sometimes nothing works - no extra blankets, no extra day time feeds will fix the problem.

Babies inherently respond to what we do.  i.e. if we feed them everytime they wake, they will continue to wake to be fed.

I also agree that disturbed sleeps = ratty baby....and distrubed nights for mummy = difficulty in coping for SOME mums....

OP - I don't think one session of letting your baby cry for 40 minutes necessarily means that controlled crying wo't work.  I think you should wait until 6 months and then give some form of it a go....and you need to try it for every sleep for a few days if you can...

At 6 months you can also do parental presence, where basically you are there responding to them with your words, but not patting or putting them to sleep.  Yes, they will probably cry, but probably because you are not feeding them, or picking them up.  BUT, you are there, you haven't deserted them, and you are with them as they learn to self settle.

You have to do what is best for your family....If you can't cope then you need to do something to sort it out.  If you can cope, well then just deal with it.

I have twins - 5 month olds, who wake between 1 and 6 times EACH per night.  I also have 2 other children.  I have followed the same routine that I have for my other children who were both sleeping through the night well and truly by 5 months without controlled crying.  TBH when these two are 6 months I will be using some form of self-settling, and if that means crying well so be it.  We have a stable, loving home, where they get oddles of attention, but if they need to learn to settle (they can't self settle AT ALL) it will probably include crying....

Leaving babies to cry on an ongoing basis doesn't work, however, a few nights of a bit of crying and a baby who sleeps well them onwards seems to me to be a better outcome...

But each to there own.....

Good luck with whatever  you decide..
Michelle

#14 MightyMummy

Posted 22 August 2010 - 08:59 PM

QUOTE (Robbie @ 22/08/2010, 02:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Get you hands on The No Cry Sleep Solution and Sleeping Like a Baby. Both books have tips for gentle settling.

Despite what MightyMummy says - You do have options. original.gif It is not a matter of "let her cry or put up with it". There are ways to encourage your baby to sleep that do not require leaving her in distress.


Robbie you're funny. Do you think I didn't try everything else first? I didn't do CIO until 11 months. I wouldn't recommend it until 6 months at the earliest (but at 5 months she's close to that so its worth at least talking about). I might be too squeamish myself to do CIO until the bub is successfully nightweaned, because otherwise you run the risk of undoing it.

But here, for the record is what I did BEFORE trying CIO:

1. grobag - tick, had always used them, tried both ways for a week at a time to see if this made a difference
2. changed the temp of the room - tick
3. cluster fed in the early evening - tick
4. pickup put down method - tick
5. Elizabeth Bloody Pantley (who personally I wish would tear her own fingernails out so she knows how much her book helped my child who was desperately overtired every morning) tick
6. Every "gentle" method under the sun, from books, playgroups, busybodies, even EB! - tick, tried 'em all=all bunkum.
7. checked for diarrhea, constipation, wind, reflux, dehydration, overstimulation, allergy, intolerance, you name it we checked if it was the issue - tick - none relevant.
8. coslept - yep, tried that. Bub slept no better and I slept worse, much worse. Sex life went to hell too so no fun left to look forward to in the hour between wakings.

You seem to think that CIO was the first thing that popped into my head. Not so. Tried everything. All sh*t. Finally caved and did CIO. Was successful in 2 easy nights and had a year of blissful 12 hour sleeps. Can't recommend it enough.

QUOTE (unatheowl @ 22/08/2010, 03:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If our children have trouble sleeping its up to us as parents to help them through it (at an appropriate age).  Chronically sleep deprived children are ratty, unlikeable, surrounded by negativity and lack the optimum opportunity to develop.

Try all the witchcraft options you like but sometimes the least painful way for everyone is a brief period of crying it out.


Exactly. By all means try other things. Some babies no doubt have one or more of these issues. But many don't have any, they just need to be helped in a way that we project as being less nice. Many of the same people who distinguish babies as NOT like adults (ie saying its normal for a baby to wake a lot etc) are exactly the people who then say babies are IDENTICAL to adults in their mental interpretation of CIO. Makes no sense. BAbies are not adults and they don't reason the way we do, but they DO need more sleep than some of them are naturally capable of.

QUOTE (mollysheepdog @ 22/08/2010, 03:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Take heart that it will change, given time, and it is part of your baby's individuality.



This kind of patronising comment used to drive me up the wall. How long exactly does one get all philosophical about it? I can tell you my patience and stamina were running damn thin at 6 months and thinner at 8 months, 9 months and 10 months. Finally at 11 months I did CIO and slapped myself for not doing it earlier!

#15 Pearlberry

Posted 22 August 2010 - 09:31 PM

I had huge troubles starting at 4 months after having a really easy time prior too. At almost 11 months we got into sleep school and she has been so much better since.

One of the things we had to break was the feeding to sleep (which I wasn't too keen in doing atthe time as it did get her to sleep and o figured that those sleep inducinghormones were in the milk for a reason) but it really did help.

Ido hear people advocate the eat play sleep routine. I didn't try it that young so I cant commentbut worth a try.  One thing that I did pick up is how everything fitstogether. I had tried most of thesuggestions there without success but when we put them all together it worked.

I would start with cluster feeds in the evening, making sure warm, wrapping (yes I thought my daughter hated it too but it wad found to be essential, use a big cot sheet and do it v snug), pat, shush, pick up, put down, try "givng in" for a few days to let your LO catch up on sleep so not overtired, and give them plenty of activity and play when awake to wear them out (yes I know you just want to crash but just push past it for a few days).  I found you can't do a half hearted attempt or try one thing, say it doesn't work and try somethingelse. You have to go in and blitz it.

#16 goldimouse

Posted 22 August 2010 - 09:41 PM

I'm sure you tried MightyMummy. I just don't think you need to consistently tell mothers of young babies that they will eventually give up and use crying methods (something you've done twice in the last couple of days) because some babies DO respond to gentle settling. You don't seem to consider it as an option. I'm sure you would prefer your baby to settle using gentle techniques rather than leaving them to cry - no mother likes hearing her baby in distress.

I will always advise gentle settling FIRST. As I said, there are more than two options.

#17 Abbygirl

Posted 22 August 2010 - 09:57 PM

QUOTE
There is no medical reason or hunger or cold or pain that most of the babies who do this behave that way. It is simply that they CAN
WTF you're saying this like it's a choice that a 5mth old baby has made..? You think that a baby of this age can controll their behaviour?  wacko.gif

Every child is different OP, I was stuck in a similar situation with my DD when she was a bub, and for me the only thing that helped was (like you) feeding her. Basically I was her human dummy.
I actually cried in relief the first time she took the dummy, and things got a bit easier for us after that.

Good luck, hope that things improve for you, sleep deprivation is horrid.

#18 MightyMummy

Posted 22 August 2010 - 10:33 PM

QUOTE (Abbygirl @ 22/08/2010, 09:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WTF you're saying this like it's a choice that a 5mth old baby has made..? You think that a baby of this age can controll their behaviour?


No, but they have no reason for it. They just do it because they can. Because like all humans there is a range of behaviour which is not spurred by a reason, it just happens.

I found it very liberating to discover that actually there WAS NOTHING WRONG with him. He was not cold or sick or overstimulated or allergic and did not have reflux or wind or any of the things suggested. He was just being him.

I think once you accept that you're not going to find the magic solution you can feel much better about sleep training an appropriately aged baby. And btw 5 months is a bit young for that, but not by much.



#19 Abbygirl

Posted 22 August 2010 - 11:01 PM

QUOTE
No, but they have no reason for it. They just do it because they can
What? You just contradicted yourself there! They don't have any concept of 'can' and 'can't'  !

Look, it's great that you found something that worked for your child, 'your child' being the operative words here, because every child is different despite your generalisations. SO what worked for you may not work for others. You do get this don't you? Because your posts in here suggest otherwise...  

QUOTE
I think once you accept that you're not going to find the magic solution you can feel much better about sleep training an appropriately aged baby doing things my way...


#20 MightyMummy

Posted 22 August 2010 - 11:15 PM

Actually I don't think you get the idea of normal distribution being different to acceptable behaviour that a family can live with. But hey not everyone has done statistics.

And no, doing it your way doesn't work for a LOT of people. I know lots in my position. Guilting the parents about doing what needs to be done to get sleep for an appropriately aged baby may make you feel like a bigshot but it isn't nice and it isn't helpful.

And don't kid yourself that's not what you're trying to do. Don't worry about me, I don't feel guilty. Every time I see my kids wake up refreshed and happy each morning I know I did the right thing.

#21 EPZ

Posted 22 August 2010 - 11:39 PM

To mighty mummy...

I did find your post re everything you tried, bring a smile to my face..this is my current baby at 7mnths old.   My first slept beautifully!!

I think OP, the answer lies in what works for YOUR baby.

I would recommend trying each suggestion which sits well with you and see if any of them work.  Each baby has slightly different 'requirements' in terms of what they respond to and what they dont and you can only try.

I so feel for you OP.  My baby didn't sleep at night for the first 3 weeks home from hospital and currently throws in 2 all-nighters each week (that's awke all night) at 7 months old. Most other nights she wakes often.   DH and I look so tied and most days I have 'crying eyes' where I am so tied my eyes wont stop watering.

#22 Abbygirl

Posted 22 August 2010 - 11:40 PM


QUOTE
And no, doing it your way doesn't work for a LOT of people
Where have I said that anyone should do anything my way? If you're referring to my quote of you with the strike through I was actually being sarcastic about YOU  ddoh.gif

...and what have I said to guilt anyone here? I've just said that your way and what's worked for you isn't the only way!

To reiterate...

There is no medical reason or hunger or cold or pain that most of the babies who do this behave that way. It is simply that they CAN
WTF you're saying this like it's a choice that a 5mth old baby has made..? You think that a baby of this age can controll their behaviour?  

Every child is different OP, I was stuck in a similar situation with my DD when she was a bub, and for me the only thing that helped was (like you) feeding her. Basically I was her human dummy.
I actually cried in relief the first time she took the dummy, and things got a bit easier for us after that.

Good luck, hope that things improve for you, sleep deprivation is horrid.


Followed by...

QUOTE
QUOTE
No, but they have no reason for it. They just do it because they can
What? You just contradicted yourself there! They don't have any concept of 'can' and 'can't' !

Look, it's great that you found something that worked for your child, 'your child' being the operative words here, because every child is different despite your generalisations. SO what worked for you may not work for others. You do get this don't you? Because your posts in here suggest otherwise...


QUOTE
I think once you accept that you're not going to find the magic solution you can feel much better about sleep training an appropriately aged baby doing things my way...








Don't twist my words or intentions, it really looks childish and insecure on your part  





#23 lisa_e

Posted 23 August 2010 - 02:02 AM

QUOTE (MightyMummy @ 22/08/2010, 08:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, but they have no reason for it. They just do it because they can. Because like all humans there is a range of behaviour which is not spurred by a reason, it just happens.


The fact that a baby is crying indicates that he has stress hormones like cortisol flooding his body and brain. Yes, like all humans, perhaps babies get stressed out for no good reason. But if you were having a panic attack and everyone you cared about turned their backs and let you cry it out, would that fix the problem?

#24 MightyMummy

Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:48 AM

QUOTE (lisa_e @ 23/08/2010, 02:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The fact that a baby is crying indicates that he has stress hormones like cortisol flooding his body and brain. Yes, like all humans, perhaps babies get stressed out for no good reason. But if you were having a panic attack and everyone you cared about turned their backs and let you cry it out, would that fix the problem?


Not necessarily actually. Cortisol levels and crying don't correlate in babies the same as they do in adults. It works the other way too - babies under real stress (eg during circumcision - NOT starting a debate, just a fact) sometimes DON'T cry but their cortisol levels are skyrocketing. Likewise it is QUITE possible to cry WITHOUT rising cortisol levels. I was actually peripherally involved in a study on cortisol levels in infants...simple mouth swab and you can track it.

Abbygirl - sensitive much?

#25 lisa_e

Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:06 PM

QUOTE (MightyMummy @ 23/08/2010, 05:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...babies under real stress ... sometimes DON'T cry but their cortisol levels are skyrocketing.


Isn't this what controlled crying and cry it out trains them to do? Not respond to stress by crying?

QUOTE
Likewise it is QUITE possible to cry WITHOUT rising cortisol levels.


I'm sure it's possible, but do you think all parents who use controlled crying or cry it out are able to tell the difference between crying with rising cortisol and crying without it? Maybe they should be able to buy some kind of test kit so they can leave their baby crying but swab their mouth from time to time to find out whether the baby is stressed or not quite there yet? Perhaps it's safer just to attend to a crying baby and not take the risk original.gif





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