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


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#26 annie13

Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:26 PM

OP- my 5 month DD is the same. At 3 months she was sleeping through and them bam waking every hour. I am feeling very tired from feeding so often and lack of sleep. Hope you find something that works for you. We are co-sleeping, which I would rather not but was so worn down.


Lucky they are so darn cute!

#27 fairymagic

Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:31 PM

OP I would be trying to slowly introduce her to some solids. I started at around tea time with some rice cereal for all three of my children. If they weren't interested, I would leave it for a few days and try again - always at a similar time.

It may be like a PP suggested - she may be waking cold so try a sleeping bag. If it were me, I would be trying some solids and see how things go - I doubt they could get any worse than what you are going through now your poor thing.

#28 mumaboo

Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:39 PM

Hi mumm of one

sorry you are so tired. I am the same. I hate to say it, but my dd started doing this at the same age, around 5 months, though she was never great before that, maybe up every 2-3 hours prior.  She is now 17 mo and often still up 5 or 6 times a night, with stretches like that of every 45 - 60 mins.  I'm tired too its been a year now. She has had only a few times of being up twice, and more only three times, but they are not often. Four times up isnt uncommon either.  For my dd the ability to reflect has proven that there were a few things that contributed. One was glue ear, which causes pressure in their ears when they lay down.  Whenever she was on Anitbiotics to clear them she slept much much bettter. After she got grommets at 14 mo things did improve, so I would get her ears checked, a gp can look in them and see if she has glue ear easily.  The other thing was teeth. She finally got the last of them last month and has had the best of her nights since then.  That said last few nights she has been up a bit too, and lately is taking up to an hour to go back to sleep.

I feel for you, and really wish there was a magic wand to wave. Hopefully for you, like so many others it is a passing phase. It is good your dd used to sleep better, at least she has proven she can. My dd also self settles no problem, its just she cant stay asleep and at night time even if she doesnt call me she cries out and wakes me anyway, but I still have to get up to her most of the time or she wakes my ds in the next room.

Its painful...

#29 Guest_chntlrose_*

Posted 23 August 2010 - 03:38 PM

QUOTE (lisa_e @ 23/08/2010, 10:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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


Sorry to hijack the OPs thread but I need to answer this.

Actually, yes, lisa_e, it is possible to tell the difference. I hired a sleep consultant when my bub was just over 6 mths old because he was waking hourly by that point. 2 hourly since birth. She taught me to listen to his cries. Now I know when I need to go to him and when I just leave him be to fall asleep in his way. By doing this, I know he's not stressed, he's just going to sleep. I always respond if it's a cry that needs to be responded to.

OP, listen to all advice. Some techniques work for some babies and some don't. You also need to do what you are comfortable doing. Yes, I did let my bub cry but he was over 6 mths old so I won't go into the technique now - it wasn't controlled crying. Feel free to PM me if you are still struggling with sleep when he's over 6 mths old and I'll explain it to you. Until then, try all other techniques and see how they go.

I really hope your bub sleeps for you soon. Sleep deprivation is bad for you & bub & you don't need to feel guilty for needing that sleep.

#30 JinksNewton

Posted 23 August 2010 - 04:00 PM

QUOTE
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.


This is a great suggestion! It's hard for a bit while you're there all the time but it teaches your baby that you are there for them and that the cot is an ok place to be by themselves. I did something like this at 8 or 9 months, albeit with patting and stroking, but I didn't pick up.

I'm another who thinks there is a difference between the cries. Owen still cries out sometimes at night and we are in there like a shot when he does because we know there's a reason. Sometimes he's had a bad dream, sometimes he's teething or has an upset tummy.

The only crying he doesn't do now is the tantrummy shrieking with no tears because it won't get him anywhere. He knows we are there for him (we cosleep when he is ill or scared), he's just ok to put himself back to sleep now because he knows he can. Quite often on the monitor we hear him wake up, play with one of his cot toys for a few minutes, then go to sleep.

All that being said, I think 5 months is pretty young, and the PP who suggested a problem with temperature might be on the money. You might just have to stick it out for a bit longer.

#31 lisa_e

Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:37 PM

QUOTE (chntlrose @ 23/08/2010, 01:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry to hijack the OPs thread but I need to answer this.

Actually, yes, lisa_e, it is possible to tell the difference. I hired a sleep consultant when my bub was just over 6 mths old because he was waking hourly by that point. 2 hourly since birth. She taught me to listen to his cries. Now I know when I need to go to him and when I just leave him be to fall asleep in his way. By doing this, I know he's not stressed, he's just going to sleep. I always respond if it's a cry that needs to be responded to.


We were talking hormones here. Unless you do cortisol measurements, you're only speculating that the protest cry doesn't indicate stress. And even if that's true for 100 other babies, you still can't know that it's true for your baby.

My bub cries when she's hit the wall and is on the edge of sleep. I know what that sounds like, and I know that if I cuddle her and pat her she'll be asleep in minutes. Her cry doesn't mean "everything's ok, nothing to see here, move along". It means "OH GOD I'M SO TIRED AND IT FEELS REALLY BAD!!!!" By cuddling her, I can tell that it shows her how to relax and let sleep take over. I'd rather teach her that way than leave her feeling uncomfortable until she works it out herself.


#32 Janette 2 girls

Posted 24 August 2010 - 01:41 PM

I agree a lot with MightyMummy's 2nd post and MiaandMe's post. I tried everything with DD2 to stop the catnapping and night wakings which started at 4 months and got worse until she was about 6.5 months. I became obsessed with ensuring her room temperature was correct, I started solids at 4.5 months because people said she might be hungry, I tried putting her to bed earlier because she might be overtired, then when that didn't work at all I tried putting her down later because she might be tired enough for a catnap but not for a proper day sleep. I accepted her night wakings and continued to breastfeed her up to 4 times a night because I thought she'd grow out if it in time but it got worse not better.

Now she sleeps 10.5 hours straight a night and has two 1.5-2 hour sleeps during the day and I attribute this to:
  • accepting the catnapping so I was more relaxed and she started getting one 1+hour nap a day from about 5.5 months
  • around 6-7 months I think she naturally  became more predictable and settled and her catnapping reduced further
  • choosing to resettle rather than breastfeed overnight when she was 6.5 months. Not only did her night sleeps improve vastly, her catnapping disappeared entirely at this time.
So now I have a baby that sleeps 13-14 hours instead of the 12 hours she was doing before and is much happier. But I don't think there was a single thing I could do before she was 6 months old and trying to solve her sleeping issues only made me stressed. From 6-7 months my experience is that they settle down a lot more and become more predictable. You can also do some sleep training at night, which did involve a few nights of crying in our case, though I was in with her for much of it. But some supported sleep training and DD2 getting 13-14 hours of sleep every 24 hours is in my book much better than the status quo which was a sleep deprived baby getting only 12 hours sleep at most in a 24 hour period.  



#33 Guest_chntlrose_*

Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:51 PM

QUOTE (lisa_e @ 23/08/2010, 05:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My bub cries when she's hit the wall and is on the edge of sleep. I know what that sounds like, and I know that if I cuddle her and pat her she'll be asleep in minutes. Her cry doesn't mean "everything's ok, nothing to see here, move along". It means "OH GOD I'M SO TIRED AND IT FEELS REALLY BAD!!!!" By cuddling her, I can tell that it shows her how to relax and let sleep take over. I'd rather teach her that way than leave her feeling uncomfortable until she works it out herself.


But what do you do when cuddling and other things such as rocking, feeding etc... don't work. I can't be in the room when my 10 mth old is going to sleep. He won't go to sleep if I'm there. He always has a 5 - 10 min cry to sleep during the day. It's just what he does.

#34 lisa_e

Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:39 PM

Well I don't know your baby, so I can't really answer that. But I have to wonder how you'll manage if you have to go on a long flight and he won't sleep with people around!

#35 Kid_fucius

Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:52 PM

OP - I agree with the other PPs who have said take a look at the techniques and use the one/ones that feel right for you and your baby. There will never be a consensus on the sleep and crying issue as it's such a contentious one. This is one decision that I personally made with my heart instead of my head and it has worked for us.

I go by the mantra "whatever works for you!"

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