My DS is nearly 8 months. He wakes up for the day usually between 6 and 6:30 am. But he also routinely wakes up at 5 am. It used to be more like 3:30 or 4, but it's gradually migrated to 5. This is a horrible time, of course, since it's so close to the time we actually get up, so DH and I are trying to brainstorm ideas for how to deal with this waking, and hopefully encourage it to disappear. :-)
He doesn't want to eat at 5 am. He usually only eats once a night now, around 11 or 12, so I know what you're thinking. "He's going 5 to 6 hours without eating, he's hungry at 5 am, feed that kid!" but I'm telling you, he's not waking out of hunger. He'll wake at that time even when I've just fed him at 3:30. He doesn't root around, and if I do try to feed him anyway, he just keeps coming off and squirming around.
It's hard to get him back to sleep at 5 am, even though he's still sleepy. But I don't think he's ready to get up for the day (he falls asleep nursing most nights around 8 or 8:30 pm, so that's a pretty short night's sleep). When you do get him back to sleep, you have to either keep standing up holding him, or gingerly sit down with your back straight and hope he doesn't wake. You can't lean back in the chair or lay in the bed with him, and you certainly can't put him back in his crib. (He sleeps in a crib near our bed, and most of the time is fine being put down.) So I hope you can see why this one night waking is something DH and I would like to work on eliminating.
Any ideas for why he might be waking? Tips for what to do when he wakes at 5 am? Tips for how to gently work on getting him to not wake at this time?
Do you change his diaper? My 4 month old is a very heavy wetter, and often wakes around 5am with a soaked diaper. Once I change her, she starts to settle down more easily.
OB RN, partner to and mama to (2008, 31 weeker) and (2011)
Good idea about diaper changes, because he is sensitive about having a really wet diaper. So we started changing him once a night, at whatever random time he woke up and we remembered to do it, but unfortunately it hasn't changed the early morning wakeup.
Is it a bad idea to set him in his crib to look at this music and light thing that's attached to the side? Sometimes that occupies him for a bit, and then he will go back to sleep, but is that sending the message that it's OK to play at night?
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