What would you do at 4am? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd used to be a great sleeper. I don't know what happened.

It is 4 am. SHe is totally awake. She's not interested in nursing, she not fussing. She's just awake, and loud. She's "talking" and very physically active. I can't see that trying to force her to sleep will do any good.

We've left the bed to try to let my DH sleep. He's got work tomorrow. She's sitting on her blanket "talking and chewing on her toys. I'm sitting here on the couch really wishing I could go beck to sleep.

Her first tooth just cut through her gum. Is that related somehow?

She used to sleep from midnight to arounf 5 or 6, nurse then sleep till 8:30 or 9. In the last month, she's started going down around 10ish. I've followed her lead there. She's totally unpredictable after that.

What would you do to encourage her to sleep at night. I don't care of she sleeps through the night, I would just like to avoid these alert playful periods at 4am.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#2 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 06:25 AM
 
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It could very well be related to teething...and also because babies cannot tell time!!

My suggestion is hylands teething tablets.Sometimes I would get up with them if they were having a real hard time.If I was super tired....especially with second child, I would doze in and out while baby layed awake next to me babbling and chewing on a toy or cold teether.First child doesn't care if mommy has been up all night...lol.Found out eventually baby will nurse and go back to sleep....

good luck, this too shall pass!!
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#3 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Do you swaddle? If my DS wakes at that time (I should say WHEN he wakes at that time--ha!) we re-wrap him and snuggle...he doesn't fully wake up, eats a bit and falls back asleep with some rocking! And Hylands for teething seems to work for us too, so I second that suggestion! Keeping the room dark and being very "boring" have helped us too, along with white noise for sleepiness. Those 4am wake ups can be rough--even if you don't have to go to work the next day--when they want to play! Good luck!
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#4 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Marari View Post
Do you swaddle? If my DS wakes at that time (I should say WHEN he wakes at that time--ha!) we re-wrap him and snuggle...he doesn't fully wake up, eats a bit and falls back asleep with some rocking! And Hylands for teething seems to work for us too, so I second that suggestion! Keeping the room dark and being very "boring" have helped us too, along with white noise for sleepiness. Those 4am wake ups can be rough--even if you don't have to go to work the next day--when they want to play! Good luck!
Waking at 4am isn't unusual. It's the coming fully awake that's new. She used to fuss a bit, I'd get her from the crib next to our bed and latch her on and we'd both fall back to sleep before she was done.

You know we used to swaddle when she was little bitty, but she was doing fine without it. Maybe we'll start again. We're already doing boring, dim, and white noise.

I'll be checking out the Hylands.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#5 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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if it weren't for you wanting to avoid waking your DH, i'd say to stay in bed, keep lights off and let her stay in bed babbling and chewing on a toy but don't give her the impression that it's time to get up. that's what i always did when DD1 would do this (she was somewhat notorious). i would turn my back and lay quietly. she usually would get bored after a bit and fall back asleep. but even if she didn't, at least we were able to remain in bed so i could keep my eyes closed and sort of sleep
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#6 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
if it weren't for you wanting to avoid waking your DH, i'd say to stay in bed, keep lights off and let her stay in bed babbling and chewing on a toy but don't give her the impression that it's time to get up. that's what i always did when DD1 would do this (she was somewhat notorious). i would turn my back and lay quietly. she usually would get bored after a bit and fall back asleep. but even if she didn't, at least we were able to remain in bed so i could keep my eyes closed and sort of sleep
:

Can your DH get out of bed instead and go sleep on the couch or something? When my DD wakes in the middle of the night, I do everything I can to not give her the impression that we're going to get up and play -- she can lay next to me in bed and be awake, but we don't get up, and usually she falls back to sleep within 15 minutes.

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#7 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
if it weren't for you wanting to avoid waking your DH, i'd say to stay in bed, keep lights off and let her stay in bed babbling and chewing on a toy but don't give her the impression that it's time to get up. that's what i always did when DD1 would do this (she was somewhat notorious). i would turn my back and lay quietly. she usually would get bored after a bit and fall back asleep. but even if she didn't, at least we were able to remain in bed so i could keep my eyes closed and sort of sleep
This is what we've always done. If you can't stay in bed, at the very least, don't turn on the lights and keep things as quiet an uninteresting as possible.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#8 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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I second the swaddle. I actually didn't swaddle dd when she was younger. I just pulled it out when the active behavior started. It really calms her down. Usually if we sit in a dark room and rock her in the swaddle with some white noise she will fall asleep. When she is calm then she will eat.
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#9 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post
if it weren't for you wanting to avoid waking your DH, i'd say to stay in bed, keep lights off and let her stay in bed babbling and chewing on a toy but don't give her the impression that it's time to get up. that's what i always did when DD1 would do this (she was somewhat notorious). i would turn my back and lay quietly. she usually would get bored after a bit and fall back asleep. but even if she didn't, at least we were able to remain in bed so i could keep my eyes closed and sort of sleep
Us too!!! Unless my kiddies were really sick and needed to be up for some reason I never got out of bed for those 'awake' moments!

Mom to Ds1 (8 1/2) Ds2 (6) Dd (2 1/2)!!!!
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#10 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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My second daughter did this, but it was always at 1am. She'd be wide awake and just wanting to "hang out".

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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#11 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post
My dd used to be a great sleeper. I don't know what happened.

It is 4 am. SHe is totally awake. She's not interested in nursing, she not fussing. She's just awake, and loud. She's "talking" and very physically active. I can't see that trying to force her to sleep will do any good.

We've left the bed to try to let my DH sleep. He's got work tomorrow. She's sitting on her blanket "talking and chewing on her toys. I'm sitting here on the couch really wishing I could go beck to sleep.

Her first tooth just cut through her gum. Is that related somehow?

She used to sleep from midnight to arounf 5 or 6, nurse then sleep till 8:30 or 9. In the last month, she's started going down around 10ish. I've followed her lead there. She's totally unpredictable after that.

What would you do to encourage her to sleep at night. I don't care of she sleeps through the night, I would just like to avoid these alert playful periods at 4am.
So she's 6 months, right? Is she sitting independantly? Crawling? Pulling up? Starting to "talk"?

All of my kids went through the "early morning party" phase and I thought I would surely die! IME, it always corresponded with them getting ready for a big developmental leap. Could be teething, but usually if teething is involved, there will be fussing, LOL! Just wakeful/happy/party baby who's too cool to sleep generally means "watch, mom! I'm getting ready to master a new skill!"

Not that that makes it any easier the next day....:

If you think she's maybe getting ready to make a leap to some new skill, you could try helping her "practice" it during the day and see if the extra focus during wake time allows her brain to relax a bit more for bedtime. You might also try giving her chamomile tea (or tincture, homeopathy, etc) when she wakes if she's not interested in nursing at that moment.

One other thing you might consider....if she's done this at the same time several nights in a row, her body clock may have gotten into a habit of waking at that time, and it may take something to break the habit. For example, if her sleep rhythm has her just naturally going into a light sleep cycle at 4, and that happens to coincide with something like a train whistle or noisy neighbor, etc., then that could be causing her to fully wake. You might try waking her (not fully, but rousing her a bit) before 4--maybe at 3 or 3:30. Get her up, jostle her enough to rouse her a bit, then nurse her back to sleep. This way, she should be in a deeper sleep cycle at 4 and it may work to break the pattern.

I'd only mess with that as a last resort of desperation....I had it work really well with my second child, but it really backfired with my 3rd and 4th!



Anyway, HTH! sending you good restful sleep vibes!

Sarah, Queen of Hearts, raising a Full House with Michael, King of my Heart!
DS (2/02), DD (3/04), DS (1/06), DD (12/07), and DS (3/10)
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#12 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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keep the lights off so that pysiologically, in terms of melatonin production, she'll think it's still dark and sleeping time.
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#13 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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We used to get out of bed, turn on a little light (the hall) and I would lay on the couch on and doze and he would sit on the floor and play. And then he would fuss and we would go back to bed.

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#14 of 15 Old 09-16-2008, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the ideas. I forgot to swaddle her before nursing her down tonight, but I'm taking a blanket into the bedroom so I can do it if she wakes up.

She does seem to be getting ready to crawl so maybe that's got something to do with it.

I may just see if we can stay in bed if it happens tonight. Maybe DH won't wake up.

Thanks again. Thinking objectively about this has helped. Now I'm going to bed a bit early tonight in the hopes of getting a little extra sleep.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#15 of 15 Old 09-17-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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At 4 am, for my 12-mo/o...if he is quiet whether he is happy or not, I stay in the bed with him, lights off, no talking, or sometimes some shhhhhhing, pretend I am asleep and just make sure he stays quiet and doesn't climb off the bed or hit his head on the wall. (I always nurse him when he first wakes up no matter the time, bc thats what he always wants regardless of what follows).

If he gets loud & is unhappy, I get up with him and take him downstairs so he doesn't wake DH and DS1 (age 2+). I change him, maybe nurse him again, and put him in the Mei Tai and bounce or walk him back to sleep (usually while sitting at the exercise ball at the computer).

If he is too loud but happy, I take him downstairs so he doesn't wake anyone else. I set him down and let him play and I read or use the computer till he wears himself out and comes to me to be put back to sleep.

I have def. had advice about DONT turn on the lights, DONT talk to him, DONT bring him out of the room...*shrug*...but that is just NOT practical while sleeping in a room with 4 people, one of whom is a small child who needs their rest and 1 whom is an adult who has to get up and go to work early in the morning.
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