Why has my 6-month-old started waking at 10pm?
I was hoping you could help, my daughter Keira is 6 months old and I have been following Gina’s routines since she was 4 weeks old. All of a sudden Keira has been waking up at around 10 to 11.30pm. Below you will find her daily routine. If you could help me with this I would be very grateful.
I look forward to your advice.
7am Breast feed 15 min on each side plus two teaspoonfuls of baby porridge and two tablespoons of fruit purée. She doesn’t always want much of her breakfast. She is happy until nap time at 9am. She sleeps in the pram at this nap as I go for a run with her for 30-45 minutes. At 11.30am I breastfeed from one breast (6 to 8 min). She stops after this time and wants her solids, which are 6 cubes of 6 months recipes from Gina’s weaning book e.g., red lentil savoury, minestrone soup etc… then a very short feed from the second breast.
12.15/12.30pm She settles ok, cries for up to 5 minutes sometimes before getting
off to sleep. 50% of the time she sleeps the whole 2 hours and I then need to wake
her. The other 50% of the time she has 40-60 minutes then wakes up and cries.
I have tried to cut the morning nap down to 20 min in the hope she would sleep better at lunch time but she is then too tired to eat etc.. then gets over-tired!
At 2.30pm she is breastfed from one side for 10 to 15 min. At 5pm she has her dinner – 6 tablespoons of the same recipes as above for lunch I’ve just started giving her a tablespoon of fruit after as she is still looking for more.
5.45pm she has a bath. 6.30pm, a breast feed on each side 15 minutes. Some nights she is ready for bed right after the breast feed; on other nights she has a 5 minute roll on the floor then we go to her room while we sit together for 5 minutes and I wait for her to rub her eyes then place her in bed awake.
For the last 3 weeks she has started waking between 10-11.30pm. I have tried to settle her with a cuddle or water but she screams until I offer her the breast. Then she usually will feed from both breasts again for 20-30 minutes in total. She will then sleep for the rest of the night but then not want much milk or breakfast in the morning. This waking happens about 25% of the time.
I am wondering if you are bringing your daughter up on a vegetarian diet as I see no mention of meat or fish being introduced. If you are it is important that she receives enough vegetarian sources of protein and iron. Speak to your health visitor or a dietician if you need some guidance with a vegetarian diet. If you are not following a vegetarian diet then you must begin to introduce animal protein now to fulfil her growing needs and to make sure her iron levels are kept up.
I think the problem of Keira waking again at 10/11pm is hunger. This feed normally needs to continue until protein is well established. As a lot of babies are very sleepy at this time and don’t appear interested in feeding, parents assume they don’t need it any more. Because weaning often doesn’t begin until the fifth month (I am unsure when you began to wean) some babies are just not taking enough calories in the day with their solid food to be able to continue to sleep through. Continue to offer this feed for another two weeks and at the same time increase the amount of solid food she receives by day.
Does Keira finger feed herself with rice cakes or mini sandwiches? These are ideal for her to have with her savoury dish and will give her the carbohydrates she needs at this time. I suggest that you begin to offer Keira some yoghurt or a milky pudding to accompany her fruit at teatime as she seems to be needing more to fill her at this meal.
Look on the site for Gina’s recent long piece about the lunchtime nap as there are lots of tips and advice on how to get this bit of the routine working 100% of the time.