October 2014 Moms

Earlier riser or phase?

So my little one just turned one on October 21 and has never ever been a good sleeper! We are talking up every couple of hours like a newborn for the last year! She has just recently on her own started sleeping a longer stretch at the start of the night which has been amazing... However ... She is now waking up at 4 AM for the day and wanting to be up! I go in there and I'm boring and just pat her back or shhh her and she won't go back to sleep! I've tried rocking her feeding her bringing her into my bed, leaving her (she just cries and screams) and nothing works she wants to be up for the day at four! This is just as tiring as getting up every two hours! I understand that infants have later sleep early in the morning but for him it's a little ridiculous! Is anyone else experiencing this!? She goes down to sleep between 8:30 and 9:00 (as this is the only way my husband and I can get a longer stretch of sleep too) so waking up for o'clock is unacceptable! When she was waking every two hours she would wake for the day at eight...please tell me this is a phase! One tired mommy... :(

Re: Earlier riser or phase?

  • I don't know if I can be of great help here, as my son mostly sleeps through the night - wakes up sometimes for binky but once we give it to him he goes right back to sleep. That said - we started sleep training back when he was 4-5 months old and I think that has played a role. So a few questions - how does your daughter nap? Does she give you at least 2-2 1/2 hours of naps in the day. They say sleep begets sleep and that is true - if she is overtired it can affect nighttime sleep. That said if she is sleeping more than 3 hours in the day - that could be your culprit as we had that problem where our son was napping too much and not wanting to sleep as much at night. So if she's taking extra long naps, you may want to gently wake after 1.25 hours for each nap.  Other things to look at - if she's breast fed - she may be waking because she's hungry and then once she's up, well... so if you might want to try giving a larger dinner at night - providing things like oatmeal or cereal mix or other complex carbs to really fill her tummy before bed. You also may want to consider putting her down earlier - I know you are thinking then she'll wake up even earlier - but its back to that sleep begets sleep - if she's exhausted or overtired by 8:30, that can affect her ability to sleep through the night - so putting her down at say 7:30, may actually help her sleep longer.

    And if none of the above is helpful, it may be time for some gentle cry it out methodology. We did that and what we'd do is get our son to sleepy (we still do - we help him quiet his body with a book and snuggles before naps and bedtime) and then once he's calm and quiet we put him down and he goes right to sleep or even if he takes 20 min, he does so quietly. But when we started we had to go through some fussing - we found that the 20 min rule worked - we'd give him at least 20 min of fussing with some crying and if it didn't stop, go in and pat his back and reassure him that it was okay, and then out again and another 20 min. Eventually he would fall asleep before we got to the 20 min and then one day miraculously the fussing and crying stopped. We have had regresses and stuff but overall it worked. It's hard and it hurt my heart to hear him crying and not go to him, but he now gets really good sleep most of the time and we are all better rested and happier for it.  Not sure if any of this helps, but figured I'd give it a shot. Good luck!

    Lilypie - (urRB)


  • It's a little surprising that she still wakes up every 2 hours at this age. Are you feeding her when she wakes that often?

    I personally think that bedtime is way too late. The later you keep a baby up, the earlier they wake up. Sleep begets sleep. My 13 month old goes to bed between 6:30-7:00. Any later and she's a hot mess.

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  • I don't know if I can be of great help here, as my son mostly sleeps through the night - wakes up sometimes for binky but once we give it to him he goes right back to sleep. That said - we started sleep training back when he was 4-5 months old and I think that has played a role. So a few questions - how does your daughter nap? Does she give you at least 2-2 1/2 hours of naps in the day. They say sleep begets sleep and that is true - if she is overtired it can affect nighttime sleep. That said if she is sleeping more than 3 hours in the day - that could be your culprit as we had that problem where our son was napping too much and not wanting to sleep as much at night. So if she's taking extra long naps, you may want to gently wake after 1.25 hours for each nap.  Other things to look at - if she's breast fed - she may be waking because she's hungry and then once she's up, well... so if you might want to try giving a larger dinner at night - providing things like oatmeal or cereal mix or other complex carbs to really fill her tummy before bed. You also may want to consider putting her down earlier - I know you are thinking then she'll wake up even earlier - but its back to that sleep begets sleep - if she's exhausted or overtired by 8:30, that can affect her ability to sleep through the night - so putting her down at say 7:30, may actually help her sleep longer.

    And if none of the above is helpful, it may be time for some gentle cry it out methodology. We did that and what we'd do is get our son to sleepy (we still do - we help him quiet his body with a book and snuggles before naps and bedtime) and then once he's calm and quiet we put him down and he goes right to sleep or even if he takes 20 min, he does so quietly. But when we started we had to go through some fussing - we found that the 20 min rule worked - we'd give him at least 20 min of fussing with some crying and if it didn't stop, go in and pat his back and reassure him that it was okay, and then out again and another 20 min. Eventually he would fall asleep before we got to the 20 min and then one day miraculously the fussing and crying stopped. We have had regresses and stuff but overall it worked. It's hard and it hurt my heart to hear him crying and not go to him, but he now gets really good sleep most of the time and we are all better rested and happier for it.  Not sure if any of this helps, but figured I'd give it a shot. Good luck!

    I did this with both of my kids and it worked like a charm. I hear a lot of parents say "Nope, that didn't work for my kid, they keep screaming!" but I think parents give up too quickly and without consistency, nothing will work.
  • She has 2 naps a day 1.5 hours each. She is formula fed now and only takes a bottle at the 4:00 waking. We did sleep training at 4 months and she could fall asleep on her own no problem but it still didn't stop the night wakings. We did sleep training again at nine months and she screamed for 3+ hours she would then vomit in fact she just did that last night as well! I am not going to let my daughter vomit in her crib after crying two hours plus ... It's too hard on all of us. The reason she is up a bit later is it gets us the most sleep possible... Her bedtime use to be 7/7:30 and she would wake more often... Hubby and I weren't even in bed yet and she would be up at least 2x... We've had sleep coaches give up on her saying they don't know what to do or say ... Maybe medical :(
  • I'm sorry Gracieseib - it sounds like you do have a bit of a unique problem. I agree - I would not let my son go 3+ hours and vomit in the crib. Some babies are resistant to sleep training and even the books say you may encounter that.

    Re: the naps - my pediatrician said that really for day time sleep they don't need more than 2 hours. Our son usually goes about 2.5 - we actually started gently waking on afternoon naps to avoid three hours as we were finding he was waking earlier. When we curbed it to 2.5 or less he started sleeping later. Just something to think about, not saying that would work for you.

    Re: bed time - you ultimately have to do what works for your family but our finding was a bed time before 8pm, preferably 7:30pm or earlier inspires more sleep. When we have stuff going on or he gets a later nap than planned and we put him down after 8pm, we almost always get an earlier morning rise. You'd think it would be the opposite, but it isn't.

    If you can, I would give up the 4am feeding - at this age, she doesn't need it and the sooner you train her to realize that, the easier it will be for you. You may also want to give her a bigger dinner of solids (assuming she is doing solids) and closer to bedtime as that may help to keep her full longer.

    Other things I've heard of friends doing is when the baby wakes - go in there and sit with her in her room and stay. Sometimes your presence will be comfort enough to help her fall back to sleep.

    Do you use pacifiers? It is our one crutch. We use binkies at naps and bedtime only, but it helps to comfort him and if he does wake up in the middle of the night, he either finds it himself or we have to just pop in the room, give it back to him and he is back asleep almost instantly.  You could do the same with a stuffed animal or soft toy- something that can help soothe her/amuse her to get her to not scream and want to leave the crib.

    All of this may not work and I'm sorry if I'm not helping - just trying to throw out ideas as I can hear how much you are struggling and know how hard that can be.

    Lilypie - (urRB)


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