HELP!!! 5 month old wakes up hysterical shortly after bedtime - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-17-2013, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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To make a long story super long: I've got a bad sleeper. He's 21 weeks tomorrow and his naps became regularly just 30-45min at 12 weeks. He also wakes up 5+ times a night. I can live with these things. What has me on the verge of tears lately is what happens in the 1.5 or more hours following his bedtime. He falls asleep okay (though I couldn't have said that a couple weeks ago, when he was fighting bedtime every night- no matter how much nursing and swaying and singing), usually while nursing.

But, 30-45 minutes after that (on average) he wakes up hysterical (though hardly awake- eyes usually shut tight), and that's with me not hardly having moved a muscle and him laying in my lap, just where he fell asleep! Sometimes he'll quickly fall back asleep if I pop a boob in his mouth, other times he's inconsolable (and refuses to even nurse) for what seems like ages, maybe 30min. He then proceeds to wake up about every 15 minutes until 11pm or so, when he might actually sleep peacefully for a couple hours. The last 2 nights it has gotten even worse because he's been hysterical at his middle of the night wake-ups too., when he wakes up snuggled up to me. It's exhausting and heartbreaking.

Tonight I tried the only new thing I could think of. When he fell asleep nursing I just left him there, nipple in mouth. No dice. He still woke up whaling after 45 minutes, then again after 5 minutes, then again after about 5 minutes (both times having fallen asleep on the boob). No telling how the rest of the night will go.

Any ideas about what to do? A couple points: 1) he rarely wakes up from naps, which he usually takes in a swing (sometimes in a wrap), upset, 2) he's always held until he falls asleep, 3) he's typically awake for less than 2 hours before bedtime (really never awake for more than that at a time- 2.5hours MAX), and 4) the one thing that will typically console him is if we snap him out of it by standing him up, turning on lights, or something closer to playtime (not bedtime) activity, but then he's awake for a long while - this eats into his overall sleep since his morning wake up time is pretty consistent no matter and he's a crappy napper.

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#2 of 4 Old 01-25-2013, 01:48 PM
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Bumping up for more input.  Does someone have a suggestion?

Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!

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#3 of 4 Old 01-25-2013, 03:34 PM
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I would susect food sensitivities causing tummy trouble. Do you eat dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts? You might try an elimination diet. The fact that he is not comforted at all suggests he is in pain. I don't have experience with reflux but that also might be possible as well. Have you spoke with the doctor? I don't usually discuss sleeping with doctors but I would talk with them about pain issues and the fact that he can't be comforted.

Teething can make them restless and fussy but I wouldn't expect it to happen every night

I hope you get some answers and both of you get some relief.
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#4 of 4 Old 01-26-2013, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm all but certain it's not physical pain - I can snap him out of it by turning on lights and such, but then he thinks it's playtime and we're awake for more than an hour.  And, he's EBF and I've added nothing new to my diet, and this problem is pretty new.  


To give an update: He's not as consistently waking hysterically anymore, but he's still waking twice within an hour of going down and he only settles back to sleep if I nurse him. 


I have not spoken with a doctor about this.

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