or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Is this normal or what could it be? (startling awake several times before falling asleep in 8 week old)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is this normal or what could it be? (startling awake several times before falling asleep in 8...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My LO is now 8 weeks old. When he is falling asleep, either with naps or at night, he often startles awake at least 3 times, but not with movement (it happens while swaddled) -- it's like he suddenly gets a yucky look on his face and his eyes pop open. Sometimes he cries a bit, sometimes not. So he finally is looking drowsy, closes his eyes, in REM for about 5 minutes, and then, boom, eyes pop open and yucky look on face. Then, bounce/rock him some more, he starts to get drowsy again, etc. It can happen up to 5-6 times. This means we have to sit with him for about 45 minutes when trying to get him down at night, waiting for him to really go down. It also means that daytime naps are often missed/delayed/abnormal because of the continual waking.


First, I suspected he may have reflux, because when I nurse him laying down, it all comes right back up. I thought it could be silent reflux, and saw him chomping around a couple of times with that yucky/pain look on his face, but honestly, it does not happen every time. Otherwise, he's not a big spitter. If I potty him after nursing (ECing for poop), he often spits up, but since we otherwise always keep him propped after eating, he only rarely spits up. He also doesn't cry when he does spit up. So, doctor has been hesitant to call it reflux. He suggested starting with probiotics first, to see if it was an intestinal imbalance. I managed to get one dose down, and he just seemed to be worse (more crying/fussiness). Then, he wouldn't take the bottle again (would you with that funny taste as a 6 week old?), so I gave up, and didn't want to jinx our use of the bottle in the future!


The nurses suggested it could be something in my diet. I have been dairy free for about 6 weeks, and soy free for about 3 weeks. There have been only a couple of slip ups on the diet. I have not eliminated tomatoes or broccoli, which nurse said could also be culprits. I stopped eating peanuts and beans as of about 3 weeks ago too. Not sure if sudden pain/discomfort is a symptom of food sensitivity?


As I'm writing this, I'm thinking, maybe it's pee??  I read that a lot of times babies pee right after falling asleep. Today, he was in the swing and suddenly started to cry, and I opened his diaper to see he was peeing. I started EC because of a bad diaper rash, and love it for poop, but have not thought seriously about doing it for pee (seems too overwhelming, will be going back to work...). Maybe I should have some more diaper free days, though, and see what happens as he falls asleep? Problem is, this happens when I'm wearing him or he is swaddled, so hard to do an experiment...


Anyway, has anyone noticed anything like this??

post #2 of 11

DD, now 4MO, used to do this when she was about 2MO, and really just recently stopped. Now that I read this, it reminded me about it! I'm not sure exactly when it stopped, but it must have slowly waned.

I always assumed she was dreaming. Sometimes she would pop her eyes open, but I could tell she was still actually asleep- just opening her eyes. Other times, she'd wake up with a start, and cry immediately, and she is not really a crier at all, so I thought maybe bad dream...? I never even considered pee, but this makes sense! She gets very fussy when her CDs are wet, and seems much happier to pee in a sposie (we're P/T CDing since I WOH)


DD too has occasional silent reflux. You can hear her spitting up, in the back of her throat, but she just swallows it down again. (eww.) It's gotten much better as she's gotten older, but it still happens if she rolls to her back while dozing after a nursing session.


I feel your you, and for your DS! it's hard to have broken sleep, and a shame to have such a long routine to get them down!! DD has a small window to go to sleep soundly, and if we miss it, it easily takes an hour to get her to sleep again (like if I move her too soon/too long after she falls asleep nursing, or if she falls asleep on one of us and we try to put her down!)

post #3 of 11

My DD is 11 weeks old and does this too - more so during nap time (and if we can't help her settle back down she'll stay up for another 2 hours). She basically startles awake and begins shrieking/crying (which she doesn't do after a good chunk of sleep) and it always happens with the first 40 minutes of her nap - if I can get her past that she will usually sleep well. My working theory is that she is getting too awake during transitions between stages of sleep - I think night time is better because the bedroom is much darker and so is the rest of the house.


I am also eliminating foods that could possibly be causing problems (dairy, some beans etc.) but I don't know if this might be related to the sleep issues.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm still trying to figure this out! It has been worse the last two days -- the wake ups cause him severe pain and crying. Last night, he was off and on screaming for 2 hours. Each time he started to fall asleep, he would wake with severe pain (apparently), started crying from being almost asleep. I'm starting to think it might be my diet, since it fluctuates in terms of how much it bothers him. I guess I could do the elimination diet, and stop eating nuts, tomatoes, legumes etc. Is this a normal symptom of a food sensitivity?

post #5 of 11

Hey Porcelina- just checking in to see if little DS is doing any better with it? DD has started to do this again, so I was checking back for responses. I think it's a combination of what faeriecurls said- not getting into a deep enough sleep for long enough... and possibly some recurring or increasing reflux.

I can still hear it coming up the back of her throat, though she still isn't much of a spitter.

It seems to happen if she falls asleep without burping after she nurses. if she's awakened (like from DH and I getting ready for bed, last night) it makes her realize that she's in pain maybe...? poor thing. she woke about 4 times last night, crying that escalated to screaming,  nursing sitting up seemed to help her stop freaking out, though it took a few tries to actually get her to latch. poor little girl.

I also started adding dairy back in after being dairy free since she was about 4 weeks, so that could be aggravating her.


Did the elimination diet work for you, porcelina?  i hope you and DS are doing better!


ETA: patting DD's back, rather firmly seemed to help a couple times last night... it dislodged what appeared to be a "stuck" burp" that was causing  pressure in her tummy and forcing it up her throat.  I wonder if DS has a stuck burp? DD sometimes has a hard time burping, though I KNOW she has swallowed air. she is a gulper, and I have fast let-down to boot. she can't win.


also- just because your DS doesnt have it all the time, it could still be reflux, especially with the symps you describe. I bet when he is being held, he's more upright, and then when laid down, he is flat and it aggravates the reflux. I'd get it checked out further.


post #6 of 11
LZP, do you have her upper body elevated when she sleeps? That really helped my Cecilia, who had silent reflux.
post #7 of 11

she sleeps in our bed, so... no. :( I know that's bad. We have a tempurpedic, it weighs about 750000 pounds, and DH is a big guy. honestly, i'm just nervous it would come crashing down one night and fall through the floor!  I've started to sleep with her on my shoulder, so I'm laying on my back, on a pillow, and she is on her left side with her head and shoulders on my shoulder. that gets to be downright painful after a while for me, my arm gets so stiff!

We used to prop her in the boppy to sleep, but I thought that couldnt be good for her back/hips so we stopped... she seems better when she's sleeping on her side or tummy than on her back, so usually even if she starts on her back, she will roll to side or tummy, but it's still not great. the mattress wedge, when she was in the cosleeper for a few weeks (a short lived jaunt!), just made her slide down to the end of the cosleeper...!


any suggestions? I dont mean to hijack porcelina's thread!!

post #8 of 11
Cecilia sleeps in bed with us too. The way I do it is, I have her head and shoulders on my pillow, and my pillow is sort of rolled under my neck so it provides a bit of a change in elevation for her.
post #9 of 11

OK, so I know this sounds sooo silly... but I didnt think she could sleep on my pillow. :duh. she is in our bed, using our covers, etc... and I just didnt think about putting her on my pillow with me. it would be soooo much more comfortable for all of us! I could finally pull my covers back up too!


Do you put Cecelia to bed before you go up to bed? if so, do you put her on your pillow then, too? A still kind of fidgets and moves sideways if we're not there, so I'd be nervous about it when we werent in the room.  do you find it's ok with Cecelia?


thanks so much Cecelia's Mama!

post #10 of 11
She does go down before I am ready for bed, and she generally starts the night in the swing. When I am ready for bed I get her from the swing and we go.

She does sometimes nap in the bed, and when she does, I put her on the pillow and put mine and my husband's body pillows on either side of her to sort of stabilize her.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey LZP,  sorry this has started back up for you! Did re-intro of dairy coincide? Since it can build up in your system, might not necessarily be exactly coinciding. Since she went from not having it to having it again, I would suspect.


My LO is still doing the same thing at around 11 weeks. Still no idea what it is! Chalking it up to just newborn issues? Or, maybe it is the reflux after all.


He has responded to my diet in that he no longer has unexplained crying spells. However, this strange behavior persists!


New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life With a Baby
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Is this normal or what could it be? (startling awake several times before falling asleep in 8 week old)