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Hi I really need some advice & support.

I am a first time mum with a 7 month DD who at the moment is so up & down with her night time sleep & breastfeeds.

I had all sorts of problems for the first 3 months with breastfeeding her but we seemed to get the hang of it not long after then. She suffered colic for the first 3 months & then went straight into teething - She has five teeth with her 6th coming through now.

From 3 months onward she has been able to self settle herself to sleep after a cuddle & BF. Since she has started to roll & been able to move about more - self settling takes a bit longer & about 3-4 attempts at tucking her back in her cot blankets (as she tends to wriggle all over the cot).

I have always believed in breastfeeding & I want to BF her until she is at leasat 12months old... maybe older.I have always BF on demand & therefore have no set routine or specific time that I feed her.

Of late she has been irritable with teething & really not sleeping well at night. She is a catnapper in the day & only has a few "sleeps" that vary anywhere from 20mins to 45mins & she usually only has about 3 of those. (sometimes I get lucky & she will sleep for 1hour & a half) We usually put her down to bed at night between 7:30 - 8:30 depending on her mood & sleepiness & she is usually awake by about 7-7:30am. She has very rarely ever slept through the night She usually wakes up at least twice in the night for a BF & i always change her at this time too.

Here is where I really need help!!! She is now waking up so much more in the night & is very irritable often crying & being clingy-it is about 4-5 times a night. I am usually the one who gets up to her & I always pick her up give a quick cuddle, change her nappy, then offer her a BF & put her straight back down with her dummy to resettle. She has never had a problem with this before. BUT now she just cries & gets really cranky with me while I am changing her & seems to be so impatient for her BF. I have tried feeding her first then changing her but she is still irritable & doesn't settle back to sleep as well. I have noticed when my DH gets her in the morning 7-7:30am & changes her to bring her in to me for a feed she doesn't at all carry on with him like she does with me.

So can anyone tell me what it is with her waking so much & why she is so irritable towards me? I really need some sleep & I am finding this very hard. Please help?
You are where I was about 1mth ago. The first thing I did was ditch the night time nappy changes, disposables these days can and do last through the night & the nappy change started to 'wake her' alot more than just a feed. If she only has one- two teeth teething may be the issue. Bonjela can work magic and panadol is always in our cupboard to give to our DD if she is really sore & complaining (refusing BF, going on for a few sucks, crying, inconsolable). Also, we increased the amount of food she eats in a day to 3 meals and desert (youghart or custard) & snacks like rusks. Within a fortnight she started to sleep longer at night and during the day. Don't worry, I've been there too & it does get better... eventually.

Thank you for your reply ruffone (I was beginning to think no one would reply)I'm relieved to hear I am not the only one who has gone through this!

Ditching the night time nappy changes might be an idea to try... although I do think I would still do at least one change as with her teething she is getting nappy rash & I'm usually quick to keep her changed & dry but I think maybe not changing her everytime she wakes up is a good idea.

I am really wondering if the waking is to do with teething (I do tend to think it is) but she has been teething since she was 3 months old & she hasn't ever been this bad or this wakeful during night time sleep.

Bonjella used to work a treat & so did panadol but it doesn't seem to make much difference to her now so I am sending DH out to get some baby Nuerofen (sp) on his way home from work as that is supposed to have anti-inflamatory properties, so will try giving that a go.

She is very irritable.. & she is extremely fidgety (sp) while BF - she will not nurse still - she wriggles & is distracted so much. I always also offer her both sides at every BF & when changing sides she is so impatient but then when she is attached again she starts wriggling again. It is sooo frustrating - especially at 11pm 1-2am again at around 3am, 5-5:30am, 6:30am.

All her irritability & fussiness is stressing me out not to mention the lack of sleep - I feel like a zombie going into her room to feed her.

We have introduced solid feeds to her at 4 months but she is not having regular solid feeds at set times. - We are still introducing different types of solids to her one at a time (to watch for allergies)& I usually prepare them for her myself & freeze portions for later. So far we haven't had anything she doesnt like & she seems to eat well.

As I want to keep BF I am unsure how to encompass more solid meals into her day - should I have a routine & will it affect my BF? I don't want to lose my milk supply.
Hi, you sound like you are doing a fantastic job with breastfeeding, and congratulations for feeding for this long. My little boy has always woken in the night and I usually settle him back to sleep with the boob, he is now 16mnth old! I know its just comfort. I feed him before a nappychange and keep the lights off, he then has soft music playing, but he has had that from birth. I would totally recomend contacting the Australian Breastfeeding Association, they are fantastic, and have great advice and support to offer, not just on breastfeeding, but general parenting.
Hi, I have no advice but just wanted to let you know that I understand what you are going through. I was always told that they get better with age but as my DD (6 months) learns more he is getting worse. I wake to him every 2 hours (some nights its every 1 hour) and have to re-settle him on the boob. I now have him in my bed as it is easier to attend to him. It was getting dangerous carrying him while I was half asleep. You are doing a great job with the breast feeding. I know how draining it can be. I have been told that they can't be hungry every time they wake at night and to just let my DD cry but that is not something I can do.

All I can advise is to enjoy the good times as they grow so quickly and also look after yourself - well, as much as possible.
[Edited on 17/12/2007]
I think all babies go through a stage of being unsettled and clingy, generally I think if their needs are met consistently they move through this stage easily.
I am a co-sleeper so I always had my son in the bed with me. I found this really great for being able to re settle him at night without having to get up, which meant we both got more sleep and were better rested in the morning.
Oh and well done with the breastfeeding - so encouraging to hear women willing to continue feeding!

Mama to an '04 boy

Thanx for the support girls... The baby nuerofen seemed to work in helping her with her teething pain... & instead of changing her every time she woke up I only changed her one time & that seemed to not wake her up as much... I offered her a BF each time she woke & she settled back down to sleep much more quickly... I am also giving her a bit more regular feeding times for her solids & she is seeming to not wake as often (yay!) Although...

I have to say she is still irritable & clingy... & maybe it is a bit of stage she is going through... & she is still such a squirm when I BF her & impatient...

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help her not wriggle around so much when I BF & how to help her not be so impatient????
The wriggling and being impatient is just a matter of time, unfortunately, this stage will pass!!

All the best. smile

homebirthing mum to three boys!

Hi there.

Ive had this happen with both my girls and with my first i thought it was just a phase and it would pass and she is now 2 and has never slept through the night, she still wakes 1-3 times a night, not for a feed anymore but for comfort!

I stopped breast feeding her and switched to formula at 7 months and this improved the situation a lot but didnt fix it.

Now with my 2nd she is nearly six months and similar things are arising, i have bottle fed this one since she was 2 months so i dont beleive the way you feed has much to do with it.

I have done lots of reading and researching on the net and have realised she is just OVERTIRED! A 7 month old should be having roughly 4 hours sleep a day, ideally consisting of 2 2hour sleeps or there abouts!

I have read the tizzie hall book, Save our sleep and it the best thing, i think every mum should have one! It has routines in it for you to follow for different ages but these may not suit everyone and thats fine but it has the best tips for sleeping problems, especially teaching bubs how to sleep through more than one sleep cycle which is what your little one isnt doing and neither was mine.

My little girl would only ever sleep for 20-45 mins at a time and would only do this a few times a day and wake 2-3 times through the night with no set bedtime and always waking around 4-4.30.
Now after only doing the tizzie hall routines for 5 days, in the last 3 days she has had 1x 1.5 hour sleep, 1x 2 hour sleep and a 40 min nap. i also put her to bed to self settle at 7pm on the dot and she is now only waking once and is sleeping in a little longer until about 5-5.30.

I too think ditch the nappy changes, i put a fresh one just before bed and change it first thing and its fine.
I too keep the lights dim and dont really talk or make too much eye contact with her for the night feeds.

I hope i have helped a little, maybe loan the book from the library to see if its for you, otherwise most book shops sell it and it retails for $33, its been my lifesaver!

Yvonne, Sadie 31/10/05 Jorjah 08/07/07

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