My 10mo ds has been waking 3+ times a night since he was a newborn. Now this would be normal and I would simply be complaining about a lack of sleep but I don't believe that this particular instance is normal and I'm concerned for his health. He suddenly wakes from sleep sometimes only 10-15 mins into sleep with an instant cry, moan or shriek of discomfort while rubbing his face and/or squirming or fidgeting. Its all so quick and sudden. It doesn't seem to be a waking for hunger. ALso, he's been pulling the back of his own hair too in addition to favoring the right side of his ear when rubbing and waking. Its every night - occasionally there are less wakings but usually at least 2 - 3 a night and often 1-3 wakings during a nap. The Ped says its because I allow him to BF during the night and he's simply waking for more. But this isn't the same as waking for food. Its just not. Its been going on so long without any big changes. Sometimes its more severe and sometimes less but its always there.
At 1st the Peds say it was his eczema - but he does it the same when his rash is good or bad (he only gets its on his face). Then they said its teething. Well, I might be wrong but I didn't know newborns teeth and he's been doing this since I can remember. I cleaned and hydrated his nose thinking it was dry but that didn't make a difference either. I've had his ears check so many times. And I just strongly doubt he's simply waking in this manner to BF. However, he is eventually soothed by BFing but recently, it hasn't been working as well and as quickly as it use to. Also, he's become more aggressive and agitated during his awake time. I didn't experience anything like this with my 1st and I did pretty much the same with her. And I do know each child is different but I just can't let this go... Something just doesn't seem right.
Has anyone had any experiences like this? Any advice, ideas or suggestions?
Sounds like it could be infant reflux which is often caused by food intolerances (like the pp mentioned) Dairy/soy/wheat/gluten/corn are the biggies. I had two reflux babies. Sleep was tough for them. The would wake with a start, sudden and intensely. I knew they were in pain. When they outgrew their reflux they both slept like little angels, so it was not behavioral, they were truly in pain.
Eczema is a clear sign that he has food intolerances, so reflux would not be unlikely. My babies all had eczema, and two of them had reflux. The first may have too, but more mildly than her siblings.
I think reflux/stomach pain would be pretty likely and I'd focus on getting that checked out like you're planning, OP.
I did want to mention that there were periods both my kids had where they'd wake suddenly, very upset from sleep when they wet at night (or right beforehand). Usually lasted a few months (like they were suddenly more aware and bothered by eliminating at nighttime -- could also be related to what foods may have been eaten and were being eliminated as well). Just in case something like that seemed like it could be a factor.
For both my girls, this was around the same ages (just before or around turning 1 y/o, and again around 18mo or so) During these stages, they'd be restlessly BF'ing and would take a long time to calm down again, and sleep agitated if they ever did get back to sleep well. Sometimes, nursing meant they could finally pee and would feel better - sometimes I'd have to get us up and change diapers. If it's easy to tell whether something like this might be happening, or contributing to being so upset, I'd consider it too.
I've heard the same thing about aloe vera juice, but I didn't know about that until my kiddos outgrew their reflux. An elimination diet may help you to determine if certain foods are contributing to the problem. When I was nursing my refluxers I had to avoid dairy, and soy. I probably should have avoided wheat and corn too.
I think you can give him Mylanta, but check with your doctor first. When my kids were sick with reflux lots of moms over at infantreflux dot org were recommending mylanta cherry supreme. I tried it and it did give some relief for a few hours, but it was not a cure. Both of my refluxers ended up on medication. I wish I could have found something natural that would have worked.
You may get some good ideas and newer information over at infantreflux.org They were very helpful when I was struggling with my reflux babies.
Does he eat well during the day? Or is he fussy during and after feedings?