Author Topic: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours  (Read 387 times)

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Offline trishr

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5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« on: March 17, 2017, 21:19:16 pm »
Hello,

I am hoping to get some advice to see if I am on the right track.  My 5 1/2 DD sleeps great and like clockwork, for the most part, during the day.  At night however, she's developed some problems over the last 6 weeks.  These are all due to accidental parenting that i purposely let happen and here is why.  At the beginning of February, DD had been dealing with a cold for about a month that seemed to escalate at the same time her 6 year old sister came down with the flu which escalated into pneumonia. (Hubby had flu at same time as well)  I was due to start back to work in a week and my entire household was crashing.  I felt the baby needed some extra nursing for TLC but also because I thought she might need more fluid to help clear up congestion and DR agreed.  This created a habit of feeding an extra time in the night.  She was now nursing twice instead of once.  She also HATES a pacifier and as you might guess, refuses the bottle.  I have to have my sitter drive her to work for feeds and/or I come home until we can get her cup trained.  Anyway, shortly after returning to work, we discovered her cold had turned into a sinus infection.  Her nose would be so plugged over night that she could not sleep even with all humidifier, etc so I allowed the nursing knowing I would have to work hard to fix later.  It is now later :)

Each night she wakes at 1:20 and 3:00 and wants a snack.  I am trying W2S for the 1:20 feed and then was going to move onto 3:00 feed.  However, when I DF at 11, it often wakes her and always has so I struggle with this part of the routine.  Now, I go in to W2S at 12:20 and am able to get her to stir but she still wakes at 1:20 and it has been 4 or 5 nights.  Last night, and this happened one other time, she woke at 12:20 on her own and also at 1:20 and was completely awake.  Last night I did pu/pd for 2 hours and she finally went back to sleep with no feed.  But she was then up at 3:10, 4:05, and somewhere around 5 am before I got her up at her normal 7 am.  I did feed at 4:05.  Even with last night being an anomaly, the W2S isn't working the way it did with my older daughter.  Do you think it is just going to take longer because of how long this issue has been going on?  Is there any other suggestions or techniques I could implement to help.  I am extremely exhausted and do not know how much stamina I have left in me :)  One last tid-bit.  I am trying to give her more in the day but because she won't take a bottle and I am having to be back at work, I don't have ability to try to get more ounces in her than her little body can hold at a feed.  I also tried to cluster right before trying the w2f and I tried for a few weeks but she still wants to wake at 1:20 and 3:00 regardless.

Thank you for any advice to help get through this transition.

PS, we are starting solids tomorrow (saturday)

Offline trishr

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 06:25:23 am »
Hi there -,any suggestions out there?

Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 01:01:16 am »
Hi trishr,
Sorry that no one has been by yet.

You may remember that the 4 month phase is difficult even without any illness, so I understand everything you did to keep LO comfortable and healthy. We do what we can to survive and you've had quite an ordeal.  I hope oldest DD, hubby any everyone is well now?

I'm going to see if someone else can also stop by with info regarding the amount/frequency of bf and see if that ties in with the NWs. She could be transferring her calories to night, seeking extra time with you since you've returned to work, and/or starting her growth spurt now if she's waking almost hourly at night.

Could you give us a few days of your daily routine in ES format incl. her last few nights of wakes? I"m looking to see when her last feed is before bed (before cluster feeding), her A times and nap lengths, and frequency/timing of bf during the day to rule out any routine related issues. Is she draining both breasts during day feeds? Before her illness, how long was she going between last feed and her night feed?

Before I suggest techniques to cut out the NFs, let's make sure she's good to go in other areas. Btw, I empathize bc my son also refused a pacifier and bottles until almost 7 months (besides the first week of his life when we had to supplement... I had a stat C-section and caused delay in bm coming in... it did and I started to EBF).  When he turned 6 mo, I finally got him to take a bottle after going through several kinds. I started by offering bm, or a teeeny bit of cold water, less than 1 oz total a day, which piqued his interest so he started drinking from the bottle.  Then I added more and more bm, until it was 100% bm.

How did starting the solids go? Normally, we would suggest holding of on starting anything big and new until issues are resolved, but let's see how she's doing and if it helped with the NWs at all.  If the NWs are habitual, which they seem to be, then we'll have to address that separately.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 01:03:18 am by ginger413 »

Offline trishr

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 03:56:15 am »
Thank you so much for your reply!  Hubby is good and oldest daughter ended up with strep throat about a 2 weeks ago after all that other nasty stuff but now seems to be truly on the mend.  It has been a less than ideal 2 months.

Here is my EA schedule:

Wake at 7 am and BF
S 9:20 - 10:50 (babysitter picks her up and walks her to school with my oldest daughter and her children.  DD is then transferred from stroller to bed and has always fallen asleep in stroller prior to returning home.  Gets 15-20 mins of sleep in stroller and most often wakes just for a few mins when transferring into bed.  Every so often will wake longer or not wake at all but this is pretty much how it works most often.)

E: 11:15 (because refuses bottle, has to be driven to me at work.  Sometimes this feeding ends up later since it is tight from wake up, to time she arrives at my work)
S: 12:30 - 2:20 (also often falls asleep on way home for about 10-15 mins so this nap most times works as stated but every now and then she will not stay down longer than 40 mins after getting home and transferring to bed)

E: 3:00 (I come home from work at this point)
S: 4:30-5:30  (often wants to sleep longer)

E: 6:45, then wind down for bed
S: 8:00 with a top off of BFing

DF:  11 and half of time wakes up for or in anticipation of, this feed

S2W 12:20 am (just for the last week)
NW: 1:20am have started putting back to sleep without feed for a week now.  She is fine and not "asking to eat" but wakes and does not sooth herself as she used to if randomly woke up.
NW: 3:00am wants to eat and I typically am feeding her although trying to feed her less time.  This NW/feed the past 2 nights has moved to 4 am.

The above NWs are consistent but sometimes lately is also waking at 2, 4 or 5 before her 7 wake up.

Her day feeds do seem a bit less draining of the breast than normal.  She definitely feeds less time but I was thinking she is more efficient now and my breasts never get big swings in how full they feel like they did with first daughter so it is not always easy to tell how empty they are.  Before she was sick, she was sleeping 5 hours in the night and starting to move towards 6.  She would wake up at DF every time but would go back to sleep until about 2 or 3 am and I would feed and then she would sleep until 7.

As I am writing this I am realizing how disruptive the transitions into her naps are.  Prior to going back to work this baby was clockwork, eating every 4 hours from 7-7 and slept 9-11, 1-3, 5-5:40 and then nights were as just described. I guess I forget how much a small change to us can be huge to their world.  I am not sure there is much I can do about the way her naps are in the morning and until she will take the bottle or sippy cup with assistance, I am also not sure there is much that can be done for the afternoon nap.  At first these didn't seem to have an impact but I am wondering if they did and we are just now seeing the results?

Thank you for the comments you have on the bottle.  We've been trying since about a month old with no luck and the DR kept saying, she will give in, just go back to work.  After 5 straight days of her not giving in, I had to modify my work schedule to what we are doing now. I couldn't let her continue all day without eating, it just didn't feel right in my heart.  My hope is with the solids she will also start to like the cup and we will use that instead of bottle and I can go back to normal schedule as can she.  Once this is all smoothed out I might try your trick of the water with BM.  She wasn't too overjoyed with solids.  She seems extremely offended if you try to put food/bm into her mouth any other way than via breast.  She will now put the cup and spoons in her mouth with great delight but only tolerates food on them for a short time.  I am not pushing it, more of just testing it for now which is why I am not even including it in the EA Schedule.  She doesn't get enough in to count it yet.

We are sticking as close to the routine as possible that was created before I went back to work.  It is our home base when the day starts to go wonky.  This is keeping the day at an A- to B+ most of the time.  I am happy with that and if we can get this night stuff worked out, I will be a very grateful mamma!!

Thank you for your help and I look forward to your thoughts.

Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 16:15:53 pm »
At first these didn't seem to have an impact but I am wondering if they did and we are just now seeing the results?
Possibly or it coincidentally has to do with her routine needing tweaked. For instance...

The A time between Nap 1 and 2 is only 1h40m, so I would definitely extend that to 2 hr or 2h15m since she's almost 6 months. Could you ask your babysitter to keep her up
on the way home?? Slightly louder nursery songs, a new toy, etc... This way, she can be put down at home and also get uninterrupted sleep. If she can go down at 1:00/1:15, then you can feed her closer to her wake up time when you get home at 3:00. This would push her last nap 5, and bed a teeny later like 8:15.


The above NWs are consistent but sometimes lately is also waking at 2, 4 or 5 before her 7 wake up.
What does she do when she wake at these times? Any crying? Alert?

S: 8:00 with a top off of BFing

DF:  11 and half of time wakes up for or in anticipation of, this feed

S2W 12:20 am (just for the last week)
NW: 1:20am have started putting back to sleep without feed for a week now.  She is fine and not "asking to eat" but wakes and does not sooth herself as she used to if randomly woke up.
NW: 3:00am wants to eat and I typically am feeding her although trying to feed her less time.  This NW/feed the past 2 nights has moved to 4 am.
I think you're doing great with helping her get back to sleep without feeding for 12:30, 1:20 NWs.  Personally, I think she can still do with a hearty NF around 3/4am and start thinking about dropping her dream feed. So her eating schedule alone would be:

E 7:00am
E 11:15
E 3:00
E 7:00
E 11:00pm
E 3:00am

Again, I'm going to see if someone can stop by for bf and the df... I'm thinking you can offer more feeds while you're home in the evening, possibly before and after each nap.

I'm sure you've had lengthy discussion with Dr. and others about this, but just in case, here is a link for tips for baby taking bottle:
Breastfed babies and bottles

Offline trishr

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 20:04:47 pm »
So my sitter and I were able to figure out something where I bring the kids to school in the am and now my baby can be put down for her nap at 9 without the disruption.  This should definitely allow for her to stay awake until 1 or 1:15.  We have also added a toy to help keep her awake in the car and today is the first try at that, so we are crossing our fingers!

Yesterday her total nap time was just under 4 hours and she had a great night!  We did the DF at 11 (she was starting to wake for it naturally) and then she woke slightly at 12:30 but put herself right back to sleep and then again at 1:28 but same thing. Fussed a min and put herself right back to sleep.  Then she slept all the way to 4:40!!  I didn't go in right away because I wanted to see what she did.  She wasn't really asking to eat and I thought she might put herself back to sleep.  At 5:00 she decided to holler out for some food and I knew I needed to feed her.  I didn't give her a full feeding so she would still nurse really well at 7.  She was fine with that but was so awake because I let her lay there prior that she didn't go back to sleep until around 6 but then woke at 7:00 for her normal feed and took the same as she always takes.  I am praying for a repeat tonight and moving forward.  If she has worked out the quirks in the middle of the night, and her feeding is at 4 or 5, then I think we can all live with that knowing that she will eventually extend to 6 and then to 7.

When she does wake in the night however, 12, 1, 2 she starts out fussing and I wait for her escalate to full blown, "Come and help me" crying.  There is nothing wrong with her other than she wants me and wants to eat.  I am hoping that the reassurance that I am there and that I will come, has helped her to move on and feel more secure, but that is what she is doing at those sporadic night wakes. 

I really appreciate all your effort to help me!  If there is anyone else who was going to stop by and look at the situation, I would be grateful to them as well.  I am really hopeful last night is the start of new trend and not a one-time situation! 

Offline becj86

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 02:01:40 am »
Hi :)

I'm just going to throw an idea out there for you to consider. If she's 'average'. she'd have an A time of ~2.5hr+ by this age, so it might be worth keeping that first nap around 9:30 and pushing the middle A time more.

Would something like this work:
7 - WU, BF
9:30 - nap
11 - WU, BF @ 11:30ish
1:30 - nap
3 - WU, BF
5:15 - catnap til 6
7/7:30 - asleep for the night

Can the sitter maybe have LO out for a walk/play after her 11:30 feed then drive home ~1:30 so she falls asleep at nap time?

Offline trishr

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2017, 16:56:58 pm »
Hello,

Thank you for your reply.  My DD tends to love to sleep.  Even at night when she wakes unexpectedly she wants to go back to sleep, just is fussing and seems to be asking for me to be with her.  I think that she could extend her awake time but I probably won't jump right to 2.5 hours just yet since it will be a huge gap from where she is now. But I will work towards this over the next couple of weeks extending 15 mins or so every few days.  Right now my sitter is staying strict at 2 hours between naps and is using toys now on the way home to keep her up and then playing right when they get in the house which is working.  Sunday and Monday night were awesome and she started to do her frequent wakes but her put herself back to sleep where I only had to feed at 3:30 Sunday and 4:40 Monday.  Last night however she was fussing again every 2 hours and I had to go in and assist her, when nothing in the day had changed.

Is the thought about spreading out  awake time that it will help her at night?  Or is it to cut out a little day sleep to help at night?  I am open to having her awake more in the day for sure and the schedule you suggested is actually the one we were working toward and will be using the next 3 months.  I was just hoping to get night time squared away before we changed the day but if you think changing the day now, is what will help with these NWs, I am all for it!!  I know what we do in the day affects the night and vice-versa, I just want to make sure what ever I implement is going to stop the frequent night wakings.  Her and I both need interrupted sleep. 

Just one last question moving ahead in time....when she starts sleeping through the night more, let's say from 11-5 or 6, how do I prolong the 5 or 6 wake so she eats at 7?

Thank you so, so much!

Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2017, 21:07:59 pm »
I'm so glad to hear that you worked it out and that the nights are progressing, for the most part.

About how long does she whimper before crying out loud at the random 2 hr wakes.  For us, the 6 month growth spurt did hit hard and he bf more frequently during the day AND woke more times at night.  I know you don't want to undo your progress, but if she starts crying quickly and up at random times AND if you offer her a feed she latches quickly and drinks heartily, it's the growth spurt.  It may or may not land you back at square one, but most likely if she's making progress now she can get to independent sleep quickly.

Here is a link to when to stop feeding:
When can I stop feeding at night?

And here's one for the routine changing around 6 months:
All about the 3-2 transition- 5/6 months

It's tricky for you because I would say to up her oz. during the day, but I know she is refusing the bottle and you are away.  If that's the case and it's out of our control, then please feed your baby at night.  IS (ind. sleep) is not worth letting her go hungry when she needs it.  They certainly grow SO fast and in and out of phases before you can blink.  And no matter what we *think* it is, we can't ever truly know. If only they could tell us, right?

As for the A times during the day... I think if your plan is working right now, keep it until her 2 hr wakes at night subside for 2-3 days (when GS usually subside).  But if she doesn't drink heartily at night and she's still waking every 2 hrs, definitely start pushing the A times toward Becj's suggested routine. In my experience, wakes past 4 hrs where they take a long time to fall back asleep (but not usually crying) is indicative of UT... so needing longer A times. Of course UT can manifest differently in babies, so we have to look at the overall picture.

Dropping that last feed and pushing it to the morning at 7 will depend on a few things... your DD's developmental rate, caloric need, day time feedings, and independent sleep- all combined! From what I noticed, most babies past 6 months do this on their own and gradually... as their sleep cycles consolidate and solid food is introduced. Parents wait a little before going in and notice their lo slept a littler later than usual.  You can try weaning the amount, keeping environment ideal for sleep (as the 4-6am hrs are really light sleep), and any developmentally appropriate sleep support... pd/sleepy cue/hand on back + GW, etc....

Whatever it is, we'll be here to help brainstorm with you. =)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 21:18:38 pm by ginger413 »

Offline *Ali*

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2017, 22:23:12 pm »
I think the advice you have from the previous posters about needing to extend A times is spot on. All the NWs could be due to UT. I also see you mention the suggested routine as something you wanted to use for the next 3 months. That is unlikely to happen so I'd reset your expectations there. Most babies drop the cat nap and move to 2 naps 5-7mo. Whatever happens a baby won't stay on any routine for 3months. Their sleep needs change pretty constantly from 6-12mo so the tweaking is constant 😊 A times increase constantly as a baby's capacity for being awake increases. This will help them to be tired enough to sleep at night. Soon there won't be enough time for a 3rd nap and BT will just move forward a little.

It could also be reverse cycling because of all the time spent away from you in the day. Check this link for more info on that http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/reverse-cycling/

Breastmilk is digested so quickly (1-2hrs) so it's very normal for EBF babies to feed often. I wouldn't withhold feeds if she is waking for them at night.




Offline becj86

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2017, 22:36:46 pm »
Yes, agree with Ali re: UT being the likely cause of the night wakings. A little more A  especially first up in the morning makes a big difference to the early hours of the morning. This is a great example of a time that sorting the day will alkost certainly sort the night without you having to do anything else. Of course if she is hungry, you should feed her but withthe longer A times, you can be more confident the NWs you do get are hunger and not UT and struggling to get back to sleep.

Offline *Ali*

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2017, 22:38:29 pm »
Even if she wakes from UT she probably feels hungry once she's awake so will still want feeding.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 21:59:39 pm by *Ali* »



Offline trishr

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 16:25:11 pm »
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to post and support me with this!  It seems like there is a consensus on awake time and I have been pushing it 15-25 mins each day and we've had good sleep 5 of the last 6 nights.  She still wakes at about 1:30 and stirs but puts herself back to sleep.  I wish for her sake she would sleep through but it doesn't seem to be affecting anything so I can't expect perfection :)  I will continue on the path with this great advice and watch more closely for her development to tell me she is ready for longer wakes.

Again, thank you to all and I am so grateful for the support of this site!

Offline becj86

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2017, 22:25:48 pm »
Glad things are improving :)

Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 1/2 Month Old Waking Habitually and/or Every 2 Hours
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2017, 00:34:51 am »
Good to hear!