Sudden change in sleep behavior? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 6 Old 08-26-2006, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All,

DS is 5 months, 1 week old. We co-sleep, with a crib sidecarred (although he is usually in with us the whole night). His usual sleep pattern is to go to bed around 8, and sleep fairly well until 6 am or so. He nurses during that time, usually every 2-3 hours. He rarely wakes to nurse, he jsut kinda gets a bit restless and I latch him on then we both go back to sleep. Sometimes he uses the binky at night, but usually not.

His first 2 teeth popped in last week, and the last 3 nights he has wanted to be latched on all night. Seriously- he is nursing almost every hour at night now, and once I think he is done and ready to unlatch, he becomes a bit frantic again, rooting around for my nipple. Usually it wouldn't bother me too much, but we have an ongoing bout with thrush and lately my nipples have been fairly sore.

He does also seem to be breastfeeding more frequently during the day, so I am wondering if this is just part of a normal growth spurt/teething thing, or if I should be doing something differently? DH and I were talking about trying to keep him up later and go to bed with us, in the hopes that he might sleep better/longer.

I have read that at 5-6 months they get fairly well set in their sleeping habits, so this has thrown me off. I also read that they tend to sleep more "through the night" at this age, although since he is still EBF I don't expect that to happen. I suppose when we start solids it might help. We are counting down the days until 6 months!

THanks in advance for any advice!
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#2 of 6 Old 08-26-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ell-Bell

His first 2 teeth popped in last week, and the last 3 nights he has wanted to be latched on all night...nursing almost every hour at night now, and once I think he is done and ready to unlatch, he becomes a bit frantic again, rooting around for my nipple. ...

He does also seem to be breastfeeding more frequently during the day, so I am wondering if this is just part of a normal growth spurt/teething thing...

I have read that at 5-6 months they get fairly well set in their sleeping habits, so this has thrown me off. I also read that they tend to sleep more "through the night" at this age, although since he is still EBF I don't expect that to happen. I suppose when we start solids it might help. We are counting down the days until 6 months!

THanks in advance for any advice!
NO, starting solids will not help! This behavior is not a sign of readiness for solids. Even if he were ready for solids at 6 mos (many babies are not), the amts he would probably take should be so small they wont really fill him up, they will just be a complement to his milk diet.

I can almost guarantee you the behavior is caused by:

developmental milestones disturbing his sleep (crawling, vocalising, joint/muscle-soreness)
teething


The books you read or people you have talked to who say babies "at 5-6 months they get fairly well set in their sleeping habits,"
are probably based on crib-sleeping, artificially fed babies. IME from 20 yrs with LLL, quite the opposite is the case. In fact, some babies get too busy and distractible to nurse well during the day and take a large proportion of their food in at night!

Try Hyland's Teething Tablets for the teething pain. Those teeth coming in can really hurt. All 3 of mine suffered terribly and it really disturbed their sleep. We also used Motrin at times. And we still had nights of walking the floor and barely sleeping.

Read the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and go to kellymom.com for more on sleep habits at this age in bfed babies. Try a LLL mtg for support and info.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-26-2006, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, I wasn't thining of starting solids because of this behavior- just happens to be on my mind as he shows more interest in food, and seems to want to eat. I know about the other symptoms of readiness (sitting up, gag reflex developed, etc.) and we are waiting for all of those before we start solids, and I know it will be a slow process. I guess I wasn't thinking when I typed that.

We have hylands tablets, but unfortunately they seem to be lactose based, and DS is sensitive to jsut about everything I eat, so we don't want to use thise. I did get another brand (Byrons, I thik?) that is water based, so hopefully that will help with the teething.

I do regularly attend LLL meetings and have read Womanly Art... but I guess I need to revisit it! I haven't really looked through it since our breastfeeding issues have gotten resolved. I guess I didn't really utilize the resourced I have before posting this, I was just looking for other mamas to say that the same thing happened when their kids were teething, or around this age, etc. I think you are probably right about the milestone thing... he's been much more vocal, trying to crawl, etc.

It has just been a rough last 3 nights and I was hoping to hear that it would get better! Thanks for your response, I appreciate it!
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#4 of 6 Old 08-26-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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A lot of babies have a really rough time with sleep around 5 or 6 months. Like everything went out the window. I bet that's what's going on. Give it a couple of weeks and it will be a different story.



-Angela
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#5 of 6 Old 08-27-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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Hey Mamas, this is EXACTLY the problem we are having at our house these days as well. I came here to look for info on how it is Bea and I are in bed ten hours a night lately and I feel like I'm getting around six or seven hours of sleep - I am getting her down around 10 p.m. and we are getting up around 10 a.m. and it feels like the crack of dawn because she has nursed and fussed seemingly continually all night. I know she wasn't doing this before - I remember only nursing her two or three times at most, and she would latch on and really eat. No more-

So, my instinct was telling me to wait it out and she'll change, but your comments above, and your experience Ell-Bell, confirm that.

Thank God for MDC. I was not even tempted to ask my other mommy friends because the majority of them would say, put her in her crib (we don't have a crib, we have the same set up as you, Ell-Bell - bed with side car, side car full of pillows and stuffed animals and books and the baby has never been in it ) anyhow- put her in her crib and let her fuss. Even two of my pretty much AP friends have done this lately - not full on CIO of course, but let her fuss and see if she will go back to sleep.

I am such a softy - I won't even do this - I assume if I coddle and spoil my tiny babe to my heart's content she will turn out just fine.

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand, the almost 6 month old babes are not sleeping soundly nights. Good luck to all of us in that boat-
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#6 of 6 Old 08-27-2006, 02:06 PM
 
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I'm not sure where you read that most babies sleep better around that age, I've always read the opposite. That many good sleepers develop sleep issues around 6-9 months. DD sure did! She went from sleeping through the night (8-10 hours) to waking every hour. It lasted a bit longer than a week, then she just went back to normal. She still has nights where she wakes up more (like this past week since she's learning to crawl), but overall her sleep habits pretty much returned to normal. So give him a little time and he might just go right back to his old habits.
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