Half Awake/Half Asleep for hours in the middle of the night - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 03-25-2013, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 12 month old son has sporadically been getting up for 1-2+ hours in the middle of the night for months now. He doesn't want to get up and play -- he just wants to lie in your arms with his eyes half open/half shut.  But he will do it for up to 3 hours without actually falling asleep.

 

He used to do it as early as 3 months old -- at which point we would just nurse and rock for hours.  We have mostly night weaned, however (I don't nurse between 11/12 and 5/6) for many reasons, (one of which is that he was waking up, nursing for 45 mins, then clamping down, and screaming when unlatched, and since it took an additional 30 min plus of rocking/singing to get him back to sleep, I cut out the nursing part, and it actually has worked quite well).

 

He doesn't do it every night.  But we will get several days of it within a week when he's on a streak. Teething tables, baby pain reliever, etc., don't seem to affect it, and he doesn't always seem to be teething when he does it.  It is usually in the late night/early morning (2-4 or 4-6).  Sometimes he does it after waking up every hour earlier.  Sometimes after sleeping soundly for 3 or more hours.

 

He doesn't seem to have a discernible pattern of sleep; he will go down anywhere between 8.30 and 10.00 (working on narrowing that to close to 9ish, made more difficult by the fact that I work several evenings).  He will get up for the day anywhere between 5.30 and 7.30, and take one or two naps for a total of 1.5-3.5 hours during the day.  I've been trying to get him on a better pattern, but he is not cooperative with sleep and never has been a good sleeper!  

 

It is incredibly hard to deal with, and I am trying not to lose my patience!  His daddy and I have been switching off sometimes, but he doesn't sleep any better for my husband.  I don't want to CIO (which everyone is telling me to do), and I actually can't anyway bc of our living situation (we live with other people).  He is also a screamer, not a crier, and upon waking up, goes directly to screaming.  

 

We have tried co-sleeping, and it used to work great, but now that he's more mobile, when lying in bed, he wants to get up and crawl around.  He actually does sleep soundest in his crib -- when he sleeps.

 

I am worried about this becoming an unhealthy pattern, but I don't know what to do to stop it.   I am also concerned about getting by day-to-day -- it is starting to take a toll on my own health -- but I am also confused, bc I don't really believe in sleep training (the Dr. says he will wake up for years if we don't let him cry; but letting him cry for even 5-10 mins gets him so worked up he can't settle). Has anyone dealt with anything like this?  Any ideas for how we could improve it?  Thank you!

 

(ps I've read the no-cry sleep solution, and, unfortunately, in our situation/schedule (which we have arranged so that we don't need to put him in daycare), we cannot implement the full program).

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#2 of 6 Old 03-25-2013, 10:30 AM
 
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My one thought is that he is way overtired and simply can't get to deep sleep sometimes. I would try a radically earlier bedtime, say 7:30 or 8 to see if that helps. That should get him around 10-12 hours or so at night since he seems to be an early riser. A 9pm bedtime would work great if he consistently slept until 8 am but that's not the case.
I found that I had to be very consistent with naps too. Our DD goes down about 4 hours after waking up and if that doesn't happen then night sleep suffers, which makes napping harder, etc.
Hth. It just sounds like he's not resting enough.
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#3 of 6 Old 03-25-2013, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I've been wondering if I should try that.  7-8 hrs of sleep (or less) in the course of a night just doesn't seem right to me.  It doesn't seem physically possible that such a small child needs LESS sleep than I do!

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#4 of 6 Old 03-25-2013, 01:42 PM
 
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If the earlier bedtime doesn't help (I think this is a great suggestion btw!) or help enough, is he getting plenty of cuddle time during the day? I just wondered if maybe part of him waking up to be held at night was not getting that need met fully during the day. Or maybe he just misses you, you said you worked, not sure how much? After a few months of maternity leave, I work FT myself and my DD was very clingy to me after a long day of daycare. I hear you on having a sleep-fighter, my DD was and never napped consistently and took a long time to sleep through the night. I was just happy if she napped at all, never mind a schedule! We also tried cosleeping and same thing with DD, after the really early weeks/months, she slept much better in her crib too.

If you have a screamer/escalator, crying-it-out doesn't work IMO and it is complete BS that you have to cry it out to get a kid to sleep through the night eyesroll.gif

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

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#5 of 6 Old 03-27-2013, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions!

 

We've had two great nights.  Two nights ago, we started going down at 9 (I was going to try 8ish, but he napped from 6.30 to 7.30). It took almost 45 minutes, but he slept through until 4.30!  Went back down after 10 mins, got up to nurse in bed with me at 6,30, slept till 8.

 

Last night (because of work) he didn't go down until about ten, but slept through till 4, went back down in 20 min, got up and rocked at 5.30, and got up at 8ish for the day.  Main difference, is I am being super-vigilant about napping him at the first sign of sleepy-crankiness!

 

On the other hand ... we've had good days here and there, I really really hope this is a new pattern, though!

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#6 of 6 Old 03-29-2013, 12:24 PM
 
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I just want to second the early bedtime. DS is 10 months and we have been struggling with sleep. I also work evenings and was waiting until I got home to put DS to bed. This was resulting in bed times varying between 8 and 10. We bf and it was so important to me to feed him as part of the bedtime routine. But DH and I finally decided that it just was not working for us. So starting last week the bedtime routine starts at 7:45 whether I'm home or not. If I'm home I feed him, if not he gets a bottle and I do an extra pumping. I miss my before bed cuddles if I'm not home, but DS still nurses every few hours at night so I just have to be patient. And it is nice to come home and have a little time to myself or with DH. And our sleep is starting to improve a lot.
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