Author Topic: Habit waking in night  (Read 1627 times)

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Offline ladymugg

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Habit waking in night
« on: June 20, 2016, 21:15:49 pm »
Hi there

First of all, I really want to apologise as I've raised a similar question to this a couple of times on this forum over the past few weeks.  I am not sure I've been asking the right question(s) and also not sure if it was in the right section.  Hoping to remedy this because I believe my problem isn't too difficult but just need to bounce some ideas off some of you lovely ladies! :D

I'm after some answers on my little 11 week old man's waking at 10.30/11 pm.  He has been doing this for about 3 weeks.  He appears starving but I believe it has become a habit wake, as once or twice I've tried to avoid feeding him and he has settled down (I eventually caved and fed him though).  He used to go from 6.30/7.00 pm to around 3/4 am, now he wakes every 4-6 hours eg: 10.30/11.30pm then again at 3.30/4am before finally waking for the day somewhere around 6.30/7 am (depending on when that previous feed was).

How would you get rid of this feed?  I have done a bit of reading on it and am in two minds. 

1) He is old enough to start a dream feed - should I do that by pre-empting the wake up and giving him a DF at around 10pm?  (Although my thought was the purpose of the DF was to try to get that to be their last feed until the morning - ie: he might/probably still wake up at around 4 am).
2) I should get hard and do some resettling and try to remove that feed around that time altogether.

I like DFs, I did one with my now 2 year old, but that really ended up meaning she wouldn't wake at all until 5.30/6.00 am (from memory).  But I feel like if I don't need to start a DF, then I shouldn't.  I'm undecided on this.

I also know that one of the solutions in the book is to check that your baby is getting enough to eat during the day.  He consumes a very high amount of formula (around 1000-1200ml per day) and is a large baby (7.5kg at 11weeks).  So I don't think that this is a problem.  He did used to have two feeds closer together in the late afternoon ie: around between 4-6.30 pm, not 3 hours spaced apart anyway, but now only takes those feeds 3 hours apart (so he might have a bottle at 3/3.30 pm and then again some more before bed... and he often only finishes half that bottle).  So I am not quite sure how to "tank him up" any more.

Last night I gave him an early DF at about 8 pm as he had only had a small bottle and I wanted to see what happened.  He took it all (asleep) and still woke, this time around 12.30 am and then again at 4.30 am.

I would love some thoughts about which way I should try... he was doing a 7-8-9 hour stretch quite early on (from 5 weeks) so to go backwards is a little frustrating, especially given he is a good feeder.

His EASY looks like this btw:

6.30 am WU and E
8.00 am S
8.45/9.30 am WU  (sometimes this is a catnap, sometimes it is a longer sleep of around an hour or 1.5 hours)
9.30 am E
10.30 am S
12.30 pm WU and E
1.30 pm S
3.30 pm E
4.45 pm S
5.30 pm WU and A before BT ritual and bottle started around 6 pm, trying to get finished around BT at 6.30/6.45 pm
night waking and bottles as above


TIA
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 21:21:28 pm by ladymugg »
Mum to DD born April 2014 and DS born April 2016.

Offline Lolly

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Re: Habit waking in night
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2016, 21:48:17 pm »
Quote from: ladymugg link=topic=283262.msg3130099#msg3130099 date=14664573490)
How would you get rid of this feed?  I have done a bit of reading on it and am in two minds. 

1) He is old enough to start a dream feed - should I do that by pre-empting the wake up and giving him a DF at around 10pm?  (Although my thought was the purpose of the DF was to try to get that to be their last feed until the morning - ie: he might/probably still wake up at around 4 am).
2) I should get hard and do some resettling and try to remove that feed around that time altogether.

I'm really sorry, this isn't what you want to hear but at 11 weeks old I wouldn't be getting rid of any feeds yet unless he is refusing the same feed for a few days. He really is too little and given that he is a bigger baby he needs the calories. There is a 3month and 4 month growth spurt yet to come and it's much easier to feed and resettle quickly than try to resettle and then end up feeding anyway after a lot of distress. At this age it's not habit waking, it will be hunger.

There isn't an age when he is "old enough" for  a DF - some babies will take it from birth, some won't ever take a DF. Yes, absolutely try offering a DF at 10 that will help you get the long stretch of sleep until the next feed. Can your partner do the DF so that you can go to bed earlier and get a decent stretch of sleep before he wakes again?

The purpose of the DF isn't to get from bedtime until morning, it's to get a longer stretch - without the DF he would (and seems to be) waking 3-4 hours after his last feed, with the DF he is sleeping through that feed so you are getting a long stretch until the 4am feed. This is all totally normal and to be expected for his age - you first child may well have done things differently, but they are different children. He is actually doing really well!

Please don't "get hard" and remove this feed (I'm not sure which one you mean - the 4am feed?), this won't be forever and he needs you to respond to his needs and that includes feeding when he asks for it. Remember he is hard wired to get his needs met by crying - if he wakes and cries it's for a reason and the way to ensure he develops into an emotionally healthy child and adult is to be attuned to and respond to his needs :). Sleeping through is more than about food, it's a developmental stage too and your first child may just have been ready earlier.

His routine looks good, sleeping through will come! I know it's hard, but he hasn't regressed, he's changed his eating/ sleeping pattern to meet his growing demands so please, just roll with it for now and get as much sleep as you can, when you can.

Neither of my refluxing babies would be tanked up or take a DF so we just fed when they woke. At 11 weeks it would have been around 11.30/ midnight and again about 4am. The Midnight feed got later and gradually there was only 1 feed between bedtime and morning. I can't remember what we did with DS, but we weaned DD's nightfeed at 8 months when she was established on solids. Most babies drop their night feeds by about 6 months and the DF is weaned about 8 months.

Laura
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 23:51:47 pm by Erin M »


Offline ladymugg

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Re: Habit waking in night
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 01:28:18 am »
Hi Lolly

I want to thank you for sending me such a long and comprehensive reply.  It makes a lot of sense to me.

I am happy to keep going as we are going, I was maybe being a little worried (unnecessarily) about this habit-forming.  I know that it is hard for babies this young to form habits, but since my now 2 year old got into some habit waking which took a good 2-3 weeks of PU/PD to quit when she was around 4-5 months old, I was worried we were heading down this path since he had been sleeping much longer in the night.

It is reassuring to hear your LOs had a similar WU pattern around this age, mostly because I keep hearing everyone is getting longer stretches and we were ourselves for a while.

Interesting your comments around being "old enough" for a DF.  I know what Tracy writes about them starting from whenever and early, but have tended to disagree with this as most common practice seems to say 10-14 weeks is a good time for a DF to start.  We might have to agree to disagree on this one :)  And I am pleased you have corrected me on the purpose of the DF. 

My plan was to try to remove that 10.30 pm feed not the 4 am one, but I think you might be right and should either a) try to do it slightly earlier as a DF, since he seems responsive to sleep-feeding or b) just feed him and get on with life and not worry about it :)

Waking up at 4 am isn't a big issue, he was doing that already anyway and it is only once in the night (especially since most of the time the earlier feed is at around our bedtime so we are still up anyway).  My hubby goes to bed later than me usually (I like to go around 9.30) and was happy to do the DF with our daughter, so I am sure he will do this with our son. 

I guess another overarching concern was that he does drink a large volume, above the "recommended" amount for his age and a paediatrician told me to keep an eye on it given he is above the highest centile for weight for his age... I wasn't fazed by this too much, but the additional feed does maybe ring that alarm bell in terms of adding to his overall volume of feeding.  He is a big baby, not massively chubby but just solid and long.  He doesn't spill when fed and I still have that 3 hour spacing during his day feeds, and I don't think I should be curbing any of his day feeds anyway.

What you have told me in your second to last paragraph is very very reassuring to me :) thank you very much.

PS: I thought I was pretty good on following the BW programme and understanding a lot about my LO but it just goes to show you are always learning and every baby is different :) 
Mum to DD born April 2014 and DS born April 2016.

Offline Shiv52

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Re: Habit waking in night
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 08:32:19 am »
My 11 week old was doing NFs at 11 then 4 then 7 for a few weeks and it was GREAT! Now she wakes pretty much every three hours and from my previous 2 that is much more normal.  With my other two it settled down at 4/5 months.

Hugs! It's so tiring xx