Severe Sleep Issues

My son is almost six months old, but for the past month he has been crying in his sleep three-four hours after being put to bed. I have tried many things to settle him, like dentinox, calpol, dummy, bottle with water, but have found that milk is the only thing to settle him, but even that doesn't last long. He screams every half an hour or so, and even though he sleeps through this, I cannot, so I have been getting three hours or less sleep a night, and I cannot cope any more. I have PND too, and this severe lack of sleep is making me worse.

Any ideas? I am at my wits end!

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21 Replies

  • I can only sympathise, my little girly is now 17 months and she's never slept a full night, she just wants to snuggle up with me, sounds like he's wanting his mummy, I will say though that he may keep waking up because he's hungry, is he on solids yet? And possibly after being disturbed by milk maybe he is getting a tummy ache and/or is over tired from being woken up, the other thing to think about is, does he actually wake up from crying in his sleep or would he just cry and continue sleeping and eventually be quiet again? I'm wondering if you left him and just watched him to see if he actually wakes up or if its just noise? Does that make sense? Just a couple thoughts but just so you know, you're not alone x

  • He was sleeping from 8pm until 5am before this, which has completely thrown me. I tried leaving him once, but after it woke up everyone in the house, he woke still crying. I am careful in picking him up to feed and wind him, so he doesn't completely wake. I had thought of a tummy ache, but if I didn't give him milk he would cry anyway. I also try him on a dummy, but since rejecting them two months ago, he won't touch them.

    As for solids, he isn't on them yet, but only because he won't swallow them. I try him twice a day, but he will chew it a bit then spit it out.

  • They all start like that though with solids don't they... Are you breast or bottle feeding? X

  • I'm bottle feeding breastmilk and topping up with formula, as he couldn't latch on. I have been trying him on solids for a fortnight now with no success.

  • Wow, that sounds horrible! I'm impressed that you've lasted a month. Have you tried putting him to bed later - say closer to your own bed time eg 9:30pm? If bm settles him I would always try that first- save yourself the pain.

    My 4 month old started sleeping 7-8 hours and has just gone back to 3-4 at night, cries and grizzles too :/ I'm trying a sleeping bag rather than a wrap and trying not to stress too much!

    Maybe your GP could help? hang in there x

  • Cheers. I think that my only reason for survival is the fact that I am stubborn xD

    If he goes to bed later, he wakes at 5am still, and still cries after a few hours. It's almost like he has an internal digital clock -.-'

    My little man gets worse after the first lot of milk, which is odd, but without it he would wake and stay awake for hours :(

    I asked my gp, but he won't do anything.

  • Just a thought but if he's having breast milk have you tried cutting out gluten? I know it's helped me with my littley.... Other than that I can only suggest speaking to your health visitor and keep trying solids til he learns to take it... X

  • I have changed my diet with no success in helping him, and my health visitor is coming over tomorrow, hopefully it helps.

  • As you mentioned milk is the only thing that seems to calm him down could it be an intolerance to the milk formula you're using / feeding him?

    if of course he's breast fed could it be one of the foods you've attempted to feed him in the day time as some children may show good signs of wanting to eat a particular food but then may be allergic to one of the contents / ingredients.

  • I have asked my gp, but he is showing no other intolerance signs so he doesn't think it's that :(

    As for the weaning, we're at the "I will chew it and spit it out stage", but I try him on completely different things each day, with no reoccurring ingredients, so again, it's most likely not that, but thanks anyway.

  • as a side note, are you giving him the breast milk or formula at night? I'm sure you know that one of the perks of formual is that it keeps them fuller for longer! I appreciate that this is probably not the root of the problem but it may give you an extra hour or so of sleep if you use formula for the nighttime feeds. I am mostly breastfeeding my girl but occasionally she has a formula top-up if my boobs are struggling to keep up with a growth spurt. If I give her formula, I always save it until night time because it keeps her settled for an hour or so longer, which makes a big difference. You are being incredibly patient and persistent, especially considering you have PND. I hope it all settles down for you soon. To me it seems that you solve one problem and another arises, but hey we plod along!! xx

  • I give him formula at night, because I don't have enough left in the evening for a full feed (he is on 50oz a day roughly, but he is a very big baby). Sadly, the 8oz that he has at night doesn't seem to keep him sated for very long :(

    Hopefully my hv will give me some help with this tomorrow.

  • hi he could be teething that really disturbs sleep plus now hes older he probably knows your not there.I breast fed and formula fed as just didnt have enough milk for my big boy always,at first it was ok but did make him colicky sometimes,Have you increased his teat size he may want a size up. Does he sleep with you ? could you move him where he can hear you breathing ?He may be just an anxious baby this is common,mine is a year old and still frets in his sleep half way through the night and then comes in my bed 5 nights out of seven,thats with a dummy and milk at night.I wouldnt worry to much as long as hes gaining weight its just a common phase I have four boys all who wanted to be in mammas bed when babies,they all move out eventually in there own rooms.

  • He is teething, but I use Dentinox teething gel and calpol for that, and he is given infacol for any colic issues, which makes him burp very well. His teat is 3's, and his cot is right next to the bed, so that I can stroke his hair if he becomes disturbed, which used to help him when he was younger.

    I hope that this phase ends soon, it's coming up to four weeks, and seems to be getting worse :(

  • he may be going through a growth spurt so need more milk and sleep so try putting him down earlier bath /feed bed at 7 pm is ideal for a baby this age then take a nap your self if he gets up again at 11dream feed him and if you must bring him in your bed and both try to sleep. Give him lots of cuddles so he feels safe,

  • He really doesn't do well with a 7pm bedtime, which is why we changed it to 8pm three months ago, and if I bring him into my bed, he actually wakes up ten minutes later screaming. I really don't know why :(

  • Hey, just wondering how you're going? I hope things have improved :/ I was thinking maybe you should try giving him the formula during the day and expressing so you can give him bm at night? That might help? Then you might also notice of it's the formula that giving him tummy pains or making him hungry? Or maybe try giving him an extra milk feed during the day? Good luck!

  • Hiya, sorry for the late reply, but until last night it was getting worse. One night he woke 18 times, and I have recently been diagnosed with PND, so haven't been online.

    Things are going well though, turns out that he has approximately eight teeth pushing through at once! Now we know, we're trying new teething solutions, and he is resting better :)

  • wow 8 teeth at once poor thing he must have been in a lot of bother,My son has cut 10 teeth in three months at one year old,I think you did great coping,Whether its tummy ache sleep unrest teething or allergies babies are a worry and a big challenge this is my 4th,so pat your self on the back you did well.Do you get out to sure start or mum and toddlers,it would be great for you both,I take mine out twice a week and its nice change for us both.Raising a baby is no walk in the park so make sure you take care of your own needs too.

  • Hey, no worries at all! sounds like you are going thru a lot. I'm so glad to hear that you hav found the source - poor thing :/

    Take care!

  • When you say crying in his he actually asleep? Do you wake him up to try and soothe him? Have you tried leaving him to see if he settles himself?

    Many factors can affect baby's sleep cycle...growth spurts, illness, teething. My daughter started teething at 4 months. 6 weeks before any teeth actually broke through. My niece started at 3 months!

    Weaning also changes a lot, as your reducing the milk intake to encourage feeding, but babies that don't have enough food in the daytime between 7am-7pm, can wake frequently during the night as they are hungry. (I know that's an annoying thing to say, as i also went through this with my midwife when we were trying to get our daughter to eat more - if you start giving them more milk to feed them up, they wont take the food). We found 2/3 things she really liked and stuck to those for 4 days before introducing another food slowly at 1 mealtime.

    It could also just be a growth spurt.

    Other factors i considered each time we had major issues were:

    Is there a noise occuring around a certain time that's waking them up?

    Is it too hot/cold in the room?

    Have their surroundings changed recently?

    Does your baby suffer from bad reflux?

    IS IT WIND? (I only write that in because many many times when my daughter was going bananas and we couldn't figure out why... it was wind. And after having a good spell, we'd forget about the 'wind problem' until the next time it happened.) She is really difficult to burp and always woke 1/2/3 times in the hours following being put to sleep.

    Also after having some skin reactions recently, we found she was becoming intolerant to her formula, which she'd been on for over 3 months with no problems. I've now started only putting in 5 scoops formula to 210ml water at the nightime feed, to dilute it down at the suggestion of my doctor. This also really helped with the weaning. Keep the same amount of liquid, but reduce the formula, means they are not as full for as long, but satisfy's their thirst. (we did have to then offer her a small night bottle at 10/11pm, to get her through to the morning without waking up hungry. But it seemed to help with the 'stomach ache')

    I hope you find some relief soon and pray that your baby is not suffering from any kind of colic. x

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