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10 MONTH OLD SLEEP PROBLEMS....PLEASE HELP!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

~~Here we are at almost 10 months and I find myself still holding my son a lot when he falls asleep. He still breastfeeds most of the time to sleep for naps and at nighttime. Once in a while he will fall asleep on his own in the car or when my husband carries him around. But naps have been tricky the last several months. He will fall asleep with me, I will put him down and he either wakes crying right away or he will sleep for 5-10 minutes then wakes crying for me. I feed him some more and he will either go back to sleep with me holding him (if I put him back down he will wake again), or he will stay awake having had a very short nap. And lately he has been either having 2 short naps or only 1 nap a day. Today he napped an hour in the morning, but just would not go down for his afternoon nap. He was so tired but wouldn't sleep. And as bedtime got closer he was so tired but still had a lot of energy and he didn't seem satisfied with the activity he already had, he still wanted to walk and play and do all kinds of things before bed. Took about 2 hours to finally get him to bed! He seems to nap around 10 or 11am each day in the morning, but afternoon is unpredictable (if he naps). That one can be at 3pm, 4pm, even 5pm and that gets close to dinner and bedtime.

 

Night has been tough, he slept through the night at 3 and 4 months old, I was shocked. And he slept so soundly. But from about 5 months on he wakes easily at night and 2-3 times a night. It is pretty exhausting. Each time he wakes and cries at night I breastfeed him back to sleep, DON'T WANT HIM TO CRY IT OUT AT ANYTIME. He seems to wake like clockwork at 1am and 5am every night and sometimes a third time. I'm not sure if he is hungry or if he just breastfeeds for comfort, since he's gotten used to feeding with me to sleep. Once in a while he will wake just once at night but rarely anymore. And he usually goes to bed for the night around 8pm, but at 9 or 10pm some nights. I feel like we just haven't established a schedule and his sleep is chaotic and all over the place.

 

I know he was teething for the last several months, he just got 4 teeth in all at once!! And he might be teething more again now. He's also been crawling and now wanting to walk and just explore and learn so much of the world, seems to be developing so fast. He seems frustrated too during the day lately, not sure if lack of sleep or because he seems like he wants more stimulation, he seems like he can't get enough of learning new things. I just find myself exhausted and getting frustrated easily. I worry that my boy is not getting enough sleep and I'm not getting him on a good regular routine for naps in the afternoon. Any advice would be greatly appreciate!

post #2 of 9

I've seen some people suggest have the dad go in and try to soothe the baby if the baby's EBF'd. If the baby's not hungry, then the dad'll be able to soothe him. If that's not an option, I've also seen people suggest wearing your husband's (or any non-lactating adult's) shirt. Babies can smell milk on you- so even if he isn't waking up from hunger- the smell can make him want it.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yeah, dad has tried to soothe him and I have tried to soothe him as well both in the crib and by picking him up and soothing rather than feeding but to no avail. He wants to feed each time. So I do since he will usually go back to sleep rather quickly. Sometimes it takes quite a while though. That's a great suggestion about wearing dad's shirt, I will try that. Thank you for that idea!

post #4 of 9

Some babies need food through the night even past 1. They sleep for a long time and have a small stomach, even most adults couldn't routinely go 12 hours without food and be happy about it.

 

You could try a dream feed- feeding him right before you go to bed to push when he wakes up with hunger without waking him up. It may get it so he only wakes once.

 

I've seen people suggest trying to push the time back- he always wakes at 1 and 5? Try spending half an hour distracting him, then feed at 1:30, and the idea is that hopefully after a few nights of that, he won't wake up hungry until 1:30 and you may be able to push it to 2:30 and 8 or something so the later wake up is when you want him to be waking up and he's only waking up once over night. I imagine he's on solids- try giving him something heavy (toast and turkey or something) close to bedtime so that his stomach may stay full longer.

 

If you ever use bottles- you could pump some milk and alternate feedings so that you're getting more sleep. If bed sharing is something you're comfortable with, that may be easier if your baby can nurse while you rest or even sleep (I know that for some people, when their baby nurses- they completely wake up and are up for at least the next half hour, so this doesn't always work)

post #5 of 9
It sounds like the teething and crawling and learning new developmental things may be causing some of the disturbance. I have heard babies often have some trouble sleeping when they learn a new skill. You also mentioned that his bedtime changes. Perhaps having a more consistent bedtime would be helpful. Even for adults, having a consistent bedtime and wake time is supposed to be very important. I have heard that from a lot of sleep experts. I don't believe in having rigid schedules for babies, but a routine is important. Good luck!
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeyAC View Post

It sounds like the teething and crawling and learning new developmental things may be causing some of the disturbance. I have heard babies often have some trouble sleeping when they learn a new skill. You also mentioned that his bedtime changes. Perhaps having a more consistent bedtime would be helpful. Even for adults, having a consistent bedtime and wake time is supposed to be very important. I have heard that from a lot of sleep experts. I don't believe in having rigid schedules for babies, but a routine is important. Good luck!

On the bedtime changes- my only question would be whether the bedtime change is a result of the parents (ie. not putting the baby down until 9 or 10) or the baby (ie. parents try to put the baby down for 8, but baby will not fall asleep until 9 or 10).  If it's the parents- I definitely agree to stick to a routine. If it's the baby and the parents are trying to stick to a routine- that can be a really rough situation and you definitely have my sympathy, jmercado. It definitely may just be developmental (too many things going on) if this is a recent thing. The night before a tooth cutting around here is especially bad.

 

If your baby has never been able to stick to a stable bedtime, that may be a sign of a bigger problem, though. Sleep disorders are definitely possible in babies and children. We're in the process of getting in touch with a sleep specialist because our baby seems to have a circadian rhythm disorder.

post #7 of 9

Heh heh, I have a 10 month old who is a terrible sleeper too...kinda always has been though.  When strangers ask if he's sleeping through the night, I laugh hysterically.  But yeah, 10 months is a doozy in the sleep department, between teething and developmental milestones and the tendency to consolidate naps around this age (with varying degrees of success).  I basically had to reinvent the wheel to get this guy to sleep.  On the days when nothing's going right in the sleep department, I put Mr. Fussypants in the carrier (he loves this) and just wear him around until he passes out in there, so at least he sorta gets a nap.  But yeah, I imagine mothers of 10-month old babies everywhere are wondering right now, "What is WITH this baby?" ;)

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the great input and suggestions. Funny we fed him last night a heavy meal of solids, and he ate a lot! And he had a really good feeding with me before sleeping, the biggest one probably ever! Still woke 3-4 times at night! I really think it's the developmental thing as mentioned, he is learning soooo many new things so quickly, trying to walk, process language, all kinds of things. Standing in the crib now is the new exciting thing. Lately he wakes each time at night sitting straight up in the crib or I'll find him standing when I get to him. So probably hasn't had enough fulfillment in practicing those during the day? Or just wants to practice his new skills all the time, even during sleep time? And yes, teething, he seems now to be working on the back teeth, front 4 teeth came in last month. Think these are the much more painful ones poor guy! I don't want to let him cry it out by any means, so sounds like I just need to toughen up and ride it out, and I realize when I move outside of my own frustrations, I'm here to help him, he is brand new to this big world full of new experiences. Sometimes I feel too wrapped up in my own reactions to being tired, hormones going wild (getting back to "normal ;o). I will be there to comfort him as best I can and still find time to care for myself as well….important to maintain that balance. And yes, a more solid routine is in need!! 

post #9 of 9
Sounds good! A helpful phrase I learned from other parents is "This too shall pass."
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