Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

My 7 month old always wakes at 6am due to a dirty nappy

Since about 6-6 1/2 months my 7 month has been waking early (6am on the dot) due to dirty nappy. I have got into a pattern now of going in, changing his nappy, giving him milk (I tried just water but he wouldn’t go back to sleep) and putting him back to sleep and he goes back down until 7- 7.10 when he wakes by himself, but this is really getting me down.
His diet is varied homemade food and his naps are fine as well. I have tried all the suggestions of cutting out fruit in the day, adding prunes to breakfast to encourage regular poo, adding more carbohydrates to meals, trying to get him to do a poo before bed. I’ve tried everything but, apart from a few days progress a while ago where I could get him to do a poo before bed, we have had no success. Yesterday I even tried swapping protein round to tea time just to see if that helps and will do so again today but still we had a 6am waking! His room is completely dark. I know there have been suggestions on this site and in the sleep book but nothing seems to be helping, so any ideas are extremely welcome as with a 3 1/2 year old to look after as well, these 6am wakings are affecting the whole house.
He feeds at 6am: 7oz, 8am breakfast: one weetabix with teaspoon of prunes, grated apple, slice of toast, water, 12pm lunch: 7mth jar size homemade vegetable medley, banana, water, 2.30pm: 7oz, 5pm tea: 7 month jar size of homemade nursery kedgeree, rice cake, 6.30pm: 7oz. He takes a variety of protein meals such as: chicken, lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, lentils etc which are all homemade. He weighs 21lbs.

Getting your son’s digestive system to work to a different time may take a little trial and error. He may also need an increase in his overall food intake as he is obviously hungry at 6am taking all his milk then. Although you feel he is waking due to a dirty nappy, he may also be waking through hunger and has a poo on waking. You could try using the prunes at lunchtime rather than at breakfast and see if this makes his system work later the following morning. Is this the only dirty nappy of the day? If so then moving the prunes on may work. If it is not then try cutting then out completely, just giving grated fruit such as apple and pear at breakfast and offering him most of his vegetable intake at lunchtime.
The amount of protein and carbohydrates your son needs at his weight may well be more than that suggested for a baby of his age. Try increasing the amount of protein you offer at his midday meal and make his teas totally carbohydrate based such as jacket potatoes with cheese, pasta with a milk based sauce rather then tomato, pizza pieces if he is able to manage them, couscous or rice with vegetables such as beans and peppers. If your son has eaten a good lunch then teas can begin to be something easy for him to begin to manage mainly as finger food. Offer a rice cake, piece of cheese or small amount of natural yoghurt or fromage frais afterwards to make sure he is really full up.
If you can get his system to work later in the day, and increase the amount of food he has so he is not waking through hunger either, his mornings should begin to get later. Once you are satisfied that neither of these problems are the reason for his waking it may take a few days of sleep training to get him nearer to 7am before waking. Although this may be disruptive to your older child for a while it would be worth doing so both of them sleep longer in the mornings.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

My 7-month-old son wakes early every morning and fights daytime sleep

I used the CLB book for my daughter from 3mths. She followed the routines after a week and is now a contented 2 year old. My son however is not adapting at all as well. He goes down exhausted at 7pm and falls asleep after about 1 minute of grizzling. He sleeps solidly through till 5:30am. He is then up and awake for the day – although not particularly hungry. I have been delaying his morning feed by ten mins each day until I am not feeding him milk until at least 6:30am. His room is in pitch darkness so much so he would not even be able to find toys to amuse himself with – should he want to! I have tried resettling him, controlled crying, cold turkey you name it. I tried each option for at least 2 weeks at a time and to no avail. Consequently it is a struggle to keep him up till 9am. When he goes down he falls into a deep sleep for 20-30mins and then he is up and screaming. He has a great breakfast and lunch with which I give him water so he is well fed and exhausted by 12:30 when he goes in his cot. But by 1:10pm he is up again and screaming. Again I have tried all the approaches and occasionally after an hours screaming he will sleep for another 15-20mins. I do give him a catnap of 20-30mins in the afternoon to catch up but he is still so tired and cranky. I know to get the day right the night would work better or vice versa. The problem is I can’t get either right. I can’t tuck him in because he automatically rolls on to his tummy to sleep – although he is in a sleeping bag. I tried to reinstate the 10pm feed but he was not having any of it – because he is just not at all hungry. Help, I am so tired from all the fighting that he now hates his bed and would never lie there and chat as he sees it as a horrible place to be. It is not the association I want for him.
He feeds at 6.30am: 20 min full breast feed, breakfast: 1 weetabix, with fruit puree, toast. 10am: Snack mashed banana or cracker or stick of cheese with 30mls of water from cup. 11.45pm – Lunch: spaghetti bolognaise, eats quite a large bowl and pureed fruit, 20-30mls diluted juice. 2.30pm: full breast feed of 15mins followed by biscuit or rusk. 3.30: water offered. 5.30pm Tea: mashed vegetable or tomato pasta, fingers of fruit, water offered. 7pm: full breast feed of 20 mins. He weighs 8.1kgs.

A baby who is going to sleep exhausted at 7pm and sleeping solidly at night is likely to wake early in the morning thus creating a vicious circle. Begin to help him by moving his bedtime forward. Try to get him into his cot by 6.40pm at the latest. This should mean he will settle down to sleep in 15-20mins rather than as soon as he is down. Use a lullaby light or music box to help him associate his cot with settling happily rather than grizzling or screaming as he does by day. If he does not already have a favorite toy to snuggle down with find him something soft and suitable you can settle him with. The problem of early morning waking will not disappear straightaway. It can take up to two weeks of earlier nights and a different nap routine by day for a baby’s sleep cycles to readjust themselves. You already have been consistent and persistent in the ways you have tried and will need to be with this as well.
Until his morning waking becomes later try putting him down for his first daytime nap slightly earlier. He is so tired by 9am he is fighting sleep. Give him a quieter wind-down time at 8.30am and spend 10mins looking out of the window and maybe looking at a book with him before settling him in his cot around 8.45am. Let him sleep for 45mins if he will. This is about one full sleep cycle. If he goes down less exhausted he may well settle for slightly longer.

To prevent your son going down exhausted at 12.30pm, push his lunchtime back to 11.30am. Then offer him 2-3 ozs of milk before settling him at 12.15pm to eliminate the possibility of hunger waking him after 45 mins.

Again, give him a quiet time before settling him down so he becomes happier to go down in his cot when tired. Using the same music and routine of looking through the window and then drawing the blinds, will all help him to form associations with settling and sleep. It is not always easy in a house with two small children but is well worth trying to fit in this 10mins of quiet before settling your son at each of his nap times.
Once he has begun to sleep later in the mornings for at least a week you can begin to move the daytime naps on again. Limit his morning one to 30 mins once he is waking nearer to 7am. Continue to settle him before 7pm. In the next few months your son will be becoming far more active with crawling and pulling himself up on the furniture and will be very tired by the end of he day.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

My 7-month-old son wakes at 6am and is tired before 9am

On a good night my 7-month-old son wakes between 6am and 6.15am. Consequently there is no way I can keep him up till 9am. I can usually drag it out till 8.45 but then he passes out and sleeps for usually 20-30mins. So he is up by 9.10-9.20am. I have adjusted his lunch to 11.30 to get him into bed by 12 noon as he is exhausted; sometimes he even struggles to eat a good lunch. He is then up at 12:45. I have done everything from controlled crying, going in every 5mins quietly, to the Ferber method plus a lot of the advice on your web site but if he goes back to sleep it is usually after an hour of screaming for maybe 10mins of sleep. This, I might add, distresses my two-year-old daughter who returns from pre-school so our house is miserable. I do give him 30mins at 4pm to keep on track and he is asleep by 6.45pm.
How can I adjust the times so that if he is up so early, which I have never managed to conquer, that he may not be so tired and therefore sleep better at lunch time. He cries so much in his cot he hates it now so there is no chance he would gurgle to himself and go back to sleep.
He has 3 full breast feeds a day at 6am, 2.30pm and 6.30pm. He has three main meals a day and 2 snacks in between to keep him going. As we live in the Middle East and it is very hot in the height of the summer he takes 40-50mls of water at 7am, 10am and 5pm and 40mls diluted juice at lunchtime.

Check though all the reasons your son may be waking early in the morning. If you are able to get him to bed by 6.30pm so he does not fall straight away into a deep sleep then he may begin to wake slightly later. When his daytime sleep is better and he wakes later in the morning you can begin very gradually to move his bedtime towards 7pm.
Check that no light or noise is disturbing him at 6am. Also be aware if he is beginning to move around his cot and is either getting twisted in his covers or unable to get back into a comfortable position. Until he is able to roll over well both ways it is better to tuck him in with a cotton sheet lengthways over the cot. Make sure it is well tucked in down the sides. Once he is able to roll well both ways it is better to remove all coverings, dress him a suitable tog rated sleeping bag for your climate and let your son find his own sleeping position. Check he is neither too hot or too cold at this time, both which could be waking him early.
Try not to go in straight away when he first stirs in the morning. Give him at least 15-20mins to see if he will settle back again. This is never easy when you want the rest of the household to sleep on but a few days of controlled crying teaching him how to resettle is worth the short term disturbance. You may have to offer him a drink of water and or a dummy at this time but using these methods should help him learn to settle back to sleep until nearer 7am.
Are you aware of him being really hungry at 6am? As he is totally breast fed he may well not be able to sleep any longer than this from his last feed at 6.30pm. Check that he is receiving a good carbohydrate-based tea. Use potatoes, pasta, rice, cheese, vegetables in some of the combinations suggested in Gina’s weaning book. This will all help him to sleep well at night time.
Whilst he wakes early continue to settle him at 8.30/8.45am as being overtired at this time could be causing him to fight sleep. Offer him a drink of water before he goes down in case he is thirsty. Have you ever tried to give him a small catnap around 10.45/11am to help him get through lunchtime better? Until you can get your son sleeping more on a 7pm to 7am basis you may have to add extra naps to keep him going. He seems to fight each sleep through exhaustion.
Although you are settling him straight after his lunch also offer him water then as some babies do wake through thirst at this time. If you are aware he did not eat well at lunch through tiredness offer him a small top-up feed which can be phased out once his sleeping has improved.
With persistence you will be able to improve your sons’ ability to fall asleep without too much fuss. Watching his diet and also making sure he is not over tired should see an improvement but it could take time.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

Having slept well since birth my 7.5mth daughter has started to wake early in the morning

Following a cold my daughter is now waking during the night and sobbing for a few minutes before returning to sleep – but she then wakes between 4am and 6am and cries for a period of between 20 – 40 minutes before returning to a fitful sleep. We have recently bought her a larger cot as she was rolling over and hitting herself on the bars and getting very upset during the night. My main concern is the early waking, which is now around 5am – she also wakes with a dirty nappy 90% of the time. Up until the cold she would sleep until 6.45 – 7am every morning, later at weekends if we let her!

She has become very active recently as she can now crawl very well and is pulling herself up on everything. Her daytime naps have changed recently as well. She cut out her afternoon nap about two months ago herself and now has 30 minutes between 9 -10am and another 1 1/2 hours between 12.30pm and 2pm. She sometimes has a short catnap in the afternoon about 4.30 – 5pm if we are in the car or buggy but she is now so tired when it comes to tea and is only having a few spoonfuls of food and some bread followed by a yoghurt. She gets through bathtime happily but gets very irritable when being dressed for bed and fed her last bottle – recently she has only been taking 2oz before she gets so tired and has to be put down at 7pm if not earlier. I have listed below her daily intake and hope you can help me as she has been such a good Gina baby up until now and with me now back at work I can’t deal with 5am starts which then throw out her day!

My daughter feeds at 7am 5/6ozs formula, followed by breakfast; 6 spoonfuls cereal/ muesli with full fat milk and 2 cubes of fruit. Lunch is 6/7 cubes protein recipe from the Weaning book, and 2-3ozs water. 2.30pm 4/5ozs formula, 3pm 2ozs water and 2 small rice cakes or banana slices, 5pm 6 cubes pasta and vegetable or potato and vegetable or vegetable soup recipe. 1 slice of whole meal bread and small yoghurt.
6.30pm 2/3ozs formula. She weighs 19lbs 6ozs.
My daughter sleeps at 9.15-9.45am, 12.30-2pm and 4.30-4.45pm.

It can be very hard to get the right amount of daytime sleep at the right times, to coincide with a baby who is suddenly using up so much more energy and falling asleep exhausted at bedtime. It so often happens that the cycle of exhaustion at bedtime leads to early morning waking which leads to earlier daytime naps.

In order to break this cycle you will need to get your daughter back to sleep in the early morning, what ever this takes you to do. As she is cutting back on her last meal of the day and her bedtime bottle she is possibly waking through hunger as well as her new ability to move around the cot and so disturb herself.

If she is still sleeping on her back comfortably then tuck her in using a light weight sheet or blanket as this will help prevent some of the night time restlessness. If she is sleeping in different positions and waking herself through rolling you may need to pad the edges of her cot with rolled towels tucked securely in all around the edge of the mattress to form a bumper and remove all her coverings so she can move a much as she likes. Make sure she is dressed in a sleeping bag of a suitable tog rating for the time of year. The chill of early morning can often disturb babies who are in a lighter sleep.

Bring her teatime forward to 4.45pm. Unless you think she is really hungry mid-afternoon limit her snack then to one rice cake or one small piece of fruit, preferably not banana. This should help her be less tired and more hungry so more likely to eat a good amount at tea time. Giving her carbohydrate-based meals at tea should fill her up well, but keep an eye on the amount she eats. You may not need to offer her yoghurt at this time as you want her to take a 7-8oz bottle before bed. Move her bath time earlier as well and have her bathed by 6.15pm. After her milk settle her in her cot by 6.30pm. Having an earlier bed time should help her have a time of chatting before she falls asleep. It is much better she takes 15-20mins to settle herself at this time of day and can help her sleep later in the morning. It can take up to two weeks before a baby’s sleep cycles are “reset” so you may not notice any real difference in the wake-up time for the first week, but keep working on it.

When your daughter does wake in the morning offer her a feed with as little light and talking as possible. Change her if she needs this, and then settle her back to sleep. If this means you have to hold her so she sleeps again then do this. You are helping her get used to waking at the later hour. If she also begins to eat a bigger tea and take more milk before bedtime you may find the problem resolves itself and she begins to sleep later in the morning.

As the mornings improve you will be able to move her morning nap on a little, so she is settling at 9.30am. Keep it to 30 minutes. With her increased levels of activity she will still need a good sleep at lunchtime but it needs to slowly move nearer to 1pm which it will do once her morning nap is later.

Look in Gina’s Complete Sleep Guide page 103 where she explains the importance of moving the daytime sleep onwards.

Getting both her food needs and sleep needs structured will take time, but with persistence you should be able to help her get back to her better waking time and have a baby who is not so exhausted by bedtime.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

Since recovering from illness my son of almost 7 mths continues to wake at 6am

My son is nearly 7 months and is a very CLB except for a recent problem with early morning waking. He was sleeping 7-7 (when I would have to wake him) from 5 months old.
He then developed a nasty tummy bug at 6 months with vomiting and diarrhea and lost 800gr in one week due to only taking water for 3 days (no milk or solids on advice from GP). He is now back to his pre-sickness weight.
During his sickness he was waking during the night and early in the morning due to him being hungry and once he started taking milk and solids again he had a large appetite and I went back to feeding at 10pm to see him through the night.
My plan was to drop the 10pm feed once he was consistently sleeping through until 7 however this has not happened at all since he was sick. He has been waking at 6am for the past week although is usually not crying, just chatting and playing but starts to whinge around 6.45am when I open his door and he then plays until I go to him at 7am.
He does not seem hungry and the room is completely blacked out. The room is around 23 degrees (very high humidity though so it feels warmer) and he wears a short-sleeved jumpsuit (no legs) to bed with a 0.5 tog grobag and a single cotton sheet tucking him in (although he kicks this off in the early morning). He isn’t rolling over onto his tummy in the cot yet so I am persisting with tucking the sheet in. He doesn’t seem cold when I go to him in the morning either.
I am not sure what I am missing – I have searched all your FAQs but can’t seem to pinpoint the problem. I have been wondering whether he needs to drop his pm nap but the few days I have tried this he has been too exhausted to eat his tea and can’t drink his bottle at 6.30pm and is completely exhausted by 6.15pm.
He sleeps well during his morning nap and 6/7 days his lunchtime nap is a success – I usually have to wake him from all naps.
My son feeds at 7am 180mls

11.30am, 1-2cubes of protein, 4-5cubes vegetables, 2 cubes of fruit and 2/3tbsp organic yoghurt.

2.30pm 110mls

5.00pm, 2 cubes of carbohydrate and vegetables using Gina’s recipes, 2 tbsp organic yoghurt

6.30pm 200mls

10pm 110mls

My son naps at 9-9.45am, 12.15-2.15pm and 4.30-4.45pm He settles at 7pm.

During the second part of the first year the daytime needs of your baby begin to change. Failing to respond to these changes can be one of the reasons why your son has started to wake at 6am.

Your son will be able to stay awake longer between naps so you will need to push on his morning nap until he is going down nearer to 9.30am. As your son is at present waking at 6am you may feel he will not be able to wait until this time before having his morning nap. To help him push on put him down 5 minutes later every few days so moving him gradually towards this new nap time. This morning nap should reduce in length until your baby is sleeping for about 30minutes.

By going down later in the morning your son should begin to push on his lunchtime nap until nearer 12.30pm. This will, in turn, mean he wakes slightly later so, once he is ready to drop his afternoon nap, he will be able to do so without becoming exhausted. Many babies do go on needing a very short catnap in the afternoon and will drop it when ready. This is explained on page 103 of The Complete Sleep Guide.

Now that your son may be more active in the day this will mean he falls straight to sleep when you put him down at 7pm, rather than spending 10-15minutes chatting to himself in his cot before settling to sleep. This could be another reason for early morning waking. Try moving his bed time forward to 6.30/6.40pm and see if this means he stays awake for a while. It can take a week or more for you to notice this affecting the time he wakes in the morning but persist with it and see if he resets his body clock to wake nearer to 7am.

Make sure your son is having enough to eat at teatime. The carbohydrate meal given at this time helps a baby sleep well through the night. As your baby recovers after his period of illness you may find his appetite has increased and he can take another cube or so of his savoury meal and still manage to drink his bedtime milk.

Increasing this teatime meal should help you to drop the 10pm feed. If you feel that he is ready to drop it once you have made the changes to his day begin to limit how much you give him at 10pm and see if he continues to sleep through the night. Cut out this feed once he is down to 60mls and still sleeping well for several consecutive days.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

My son of 6.5mths has always struggled with daytime sleep. This now is beginning to affect how he sleeps at night

My son of 6.5mths has always struggled with 45 minute naps. He used to take four 45 minute naps at three months old. At four months old he learned to settle himself back to sleep and would do two 45 minute naps and one nap of 90 minutes. As he got to six months he started being able to stay awake for longer without becoming overtired but, rather than dropping the third nap, he reverted to three 45 minute naps. He seems very grumpy and overtired on this and is quite restless in the first part of the evening, often waking anything between 45 minutes to 2 hours after he has gone to sleep, though he does usually settle himself back to sleep. I don’t believe that the answer is to shorten his morning nap as he can be quite grumpy after that nap and sometimes falls asleep on the breast at the 11 am feed. My son was going 12 hours in the night without a feed from four months old but in the last couple of weeks has started waking anything between 4am and 6am for a feed. He takes a good feed and then takes ten or twenty minutes to go back to sleep.

My son is totally breast fed. He feeds well at 4.30am, 7.30am, short top up feed. 8am 2tsp oatmeal mixed with expressed mil and 2 cubes of fruit puree. 11am one side, 11.15am 2 cubes of vegetables, one cube of sweet potato and one cube of courgette. My son struggles with solids, particularly vegetables; he will then lose patience when he has had this amount. 11.30am second breast offered. 2.30pm breast feed, 5.30pm one breast, 5.45pm 4tsp baby rice mixed with expressed milk and 2 cubes of apple puree. 6.30pm second breast.

My son naps at 9-9.45am, 12-12.45pm, 3.30-4.15pm

To help your son sleep better by day and to help with his early morning waking you need to move on with his weaning. Having previously slept through the night but now taking a full feed at 4.30am your son is showing that his daytime feeds are not being meeting his nutritional needs, so his solids intake must begin to increase.

Over the age of 6 months the iron supplies laid down at birth are beginning to run out. You need to introduce iron rich vegetables into your son’s diet as soon as possible and move on to protein as well to meet all his nutritional needs.

As your son struggles with his solids you will need to restructure how you feed him so protein can be introduced as soon as possible. By this age babies can begin to be fussy about solids if they are filling themselves up with too much milk beforehand. Since your son is taking a large feed at 4.30am he has cut back at 7am and so needs a bigger feed a11am which may be affecting his appetite for solids at this time. Begin to cut down on both the 11am and 2.30pm feeds to encourage him to take more solids.

Until your son is taking more solids at 11am also cut down on his breakfast. Offer him 1tsp of oatmeal with 1 cube of fruit puree. Once your son has dropped his 4.30am feed and then takes a good feed at 7am you should be able to start pushing lunchtime on towards 11.30/45am. If he starts to show signs of being hungry before this, very gradually increase the amount of breakfast again.

At 11am offer him the first breast for a very short feed. You will need to watch how much time he has been taking until now and reduce this considerably. Offer him his solids then the second side. By cutting back hard on his milk before his solids you should see an increase in his intake of solids. Make sure you offer iron rich vegetables such as broccoli as well as a carbohydrate. Once he has increased his solid intake to 4-6cubes he should be taking a very small feed afterwards, lasting only a few minutes.

Protein should now be introduced. Make up some chicken or lentil casserole and replace 2 of his vegetable cubes with two cubes of the protein meal. Increase the protein cubes each day and decrease the vegetable ones until he is taking a complete protein meal. Once he is taking a full protein meal you need to drop the breast feed given at this time. The absorption of iron can be decreased by up to 50% if milk is given at the same time. Offer your son a drink of water or well diluted fruit juice from a beaker once he has eaten his solids.

Keep the 2.30pm feed small so your son will be ready to have a good solid intake at 6pm. If your son is able to wait until 6pm until his next meal this should help him take a good milk feed as well as his solids and so help him settle well in the evening.

Once you have your son taking a full protein meal at 11am you can begin to offer him his rice and fruit at 5pm in preparation for changing this meal over to a carbohydrate rich tea. Then offer him a full breast feed at 6.30pm before settling him for the night. For ideas as to what to give him look at the menu plans in The Contented Book of Weaning

Once your son is feeding better in the day he may well begin to sleep through the night to nearer 7am again. When this happens you may be able to start pushing his morning nap on a little so he goes down nearer to 9.30am. During the second half of the first year, providing your baby is sleeping well at night, this nap does begin to decrease and move later. When this happens and your son is taking a good protein meal at 11.30/11.45am he should settle well for his lunchtime nap around 12.30pm. Once protein is introduced a baby will often settle better for this nap as hunger is unlikely to be waking him.

If he does not sleep a full 2 hours at 12.30pm he may still need a very short cat nap later in the afternoon. Also, as he becomes more active he may well be ready for bed earlier than 7pm. Crawling and pulling himself up on furniture can exhaust a baby. It is better to put him down earlier and let him chat for 15-20 minutes than to keep him up until 7pm when he will fall straight into a deep sleep, which may mean he wakes early in the morning.

Check your son is well tucked in at nap times, especially if he is in a light weight sleeping bag and not yet rolling over. This will help prevent him from stirring himself when in a light sleep, especially at the lunchtime nap.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Early Morning Waking

My 7-month son, who weighs 8.5kgs, sleeps in his cot for all his naps. But sometimes he refuses to settle for his lunchtime nap unless given a dummy, and I always have to give him a dummy for the late afternoon nap.   I am unable to drop this nap as he gets very tired by then, due to him still waking at 5am for a feed.

My 7-month son, who weighs 8.5kgs, sleeps in his cot for all his naps. But sometimes he refuses to settle for his lunchtime nap unless given a dummy, and I always have to give him a dummy for the late afternoon nap.   I am unable to drop, as he gets very tired by then, due to him still waking at 5am for a feed.  How long can I expect to him to go on waking for a feed at 5am, and how do I get him to settle for naps without the dummy?

He sometimes fights going down at lunchtime and is only given a dummy if he has not settled after 30 minutes.

He settles at 9am for a nap of 45minutes, but how do I get him to stay awake past 9am?

Feeding details

5.00am: 7ozs formula
7.00am: 8ozs formula, followed by 3 tbsp porridge and pear
10.30am: 5ozs formula, followed by 3 tablespoons chicken/salmon/lamb with vegetables, 1tbsp natural yoghurt, few sips of water
2.30pm: 8ozs formula
5.00pm: 2ozs formula followed by 3 tablespoons baby rice mixed with vegetables
6.30pm: 6ozs formula

Total daily intake: 36ozs formula

My son naps at 9-9.45am, 12-2.00pm and 4.15-5.pm. He settles at 7pm.

Once a baby reaches the age of six months he starts to cut back naturally on the amount of sleep he needs.  We advise that the times of the daytime naps are moved forward and that the length of the morning nap is shortened.  This ensures that the baby reduces his sleep during the day and not in the early hours of the morning.

To help your son adjust to the new times move things forward slowly. Put him down by five minutes later every few mornings until he is used to settling nearer to 9.30am. This nap should be about 30 minutes in length. By napping later in the morning your son should be ready to go down for his lunchtime nap around 12.30pm. The later timing of this nap should help your son manage to get through until bedtime without the late afternoon nap or, if he does need it, that it is a very short nap.

This nap in the afternoon does not always need to be taken in your baby’s cot.  If you take your son out for a walk in his buggy he will probably fall asleep for 15/20 minutes, which should be enough to refresh him so he enjoys his tea and bath time.

As your son settles without his dummy at some of his naps we suspect, from looking at the amounts he is eating, that he is probably not getting enough food, and this could be contributing to him wanting to suck on the dummy at some of the settling times.

Count your son’s 5am feed as his breakfast feed and then, when you get your son up at 7am, you should go straight into giving him his solids.  This will encourage him to increase the amount of solids he takes at this meal and will allow you to push his lunch forward.  He can be offered a 2-3 oz of milk after his breakfast.

Now that your son is taking protein at lunchtime you need to quickly reduce the milk feed at this meal and then eliminate it altogether. You should aim to give him lunch at 11am and cut out the milk feed, replacing it with a drink of cool boiled water from a beaker. This will help him increase the amount of solids he is taking. Although all babies are different, a baby of your son’s age would normally take between 6-8 tablespoons of solids at lunchtime.

To help eliminate your son’s need for his dummy to settle him at his lunchtime nap, you can offer him a couple of ounces of milk to, as long as you do not allow him to fall asleep on the bottle.  Once he is settling well for his nap you can gradually reduce the amount of milk he is taking, and then eventually drop it altogether.

You may find that giving him a small milk feed prior to his nap results in him taking a smaller 2.30pm feed, but this should help increase his appetite for his tea. Now that your son is eating a protein lunch you can begin to offer him a carbohydrate rich tea, using the suggestions to be found in the CLBW book. Offer your son suitable finger food at the beginning of the meal and see if he is able to drop the need for 2ozs formula before he begins to eat his solids. Your son should then increase the amount of solids he takes to nearer 6 tablespoons, providing this does not mean that he cuts back on his bedtime milk. Ideally this should be a full feed of 8ozs.

Your son needs a minimum of 500-600 mls (18-20oz) at his age, ideally divided between three milk feeds.  As long as he gets this amount of milk each day he will be taking enough.  You should find that reducing the amount of milk your son takes enables you to increase the amount of solids he takes and this, in turn, will help him start to sleep to nearer 7am in the morning.

Sleeping FAQ: 4-6 months – Early Morning Waking

Despite everything I do, Luke of 6 mths still wakes early

My son, Luke, is 6 months old and is my first baby. He weighed 7lbs 4oz at birth and now weighs 17lbs. At present, he gains approx 4/5 ozs per week.
I have been following your CLB routines from birth with varying success. My problem is that although Luke settles very well at 7/7.30pm, he wakes at between 6/6.30 every morning, which is too early!! I weaned him at 5 and a half months and so far he’s followed your weaning routines although I started him on the 4 month weaning programme rather than straight in at 5 and a half months, so we’re still yet to introduce protein. Consequently, he’s still having a milk feed of 3/4 ounces at 1130, then lunch at approx 1200. He’s had a bottle of SMA Gold formula at his 10pm feed since he was 3 months and now has a breast feed at 7am, and one at 6.30pm, formula at 1130, 6oz formula at 2.30pm and approx 3oz formula at 10pm.
He sleeps for 45 mins at approx 9am, then between 90 mins and, rarely, 120 mins at lunchtime, then, depending on the lunchtime nap sleeps for about 30 mins between 4 and 5pm. I always put him down for his sleeps while he is still awake and he settles himself down. Unless he is ill, he doesn’t usually wake in the night after 10pm. If he does wake, I (or my husband) go in, check he’s not in a tangle, wet/dirty, then if he’s fine, just leave the room.
I am still feeding him 3ozs of SMA Gold at 10pm because I am too scared that if I drop this feed, he’ll wake even earlier in the morning. However, sometimes it takes almost 10 mins to wake him for this 10pm feed.
In order to get him to sleep until 7/7.30am, I’ve tried putting him to bed later, not feeding him until 7am in the hope that he just “gives up” waking so early, keeping him up until 9am even if he’s woken at 6am, letting him cry and then going in at 7, letting him cry himself back to sleep even if that means him going back to sleep at 7.20am, going in every 10 mins to check him, but none of these things seem to work. He wakes like clockwork at about 6.15 every morning! I seem to be surrounded by people whose babies sleep until 7.30/8.00. I only want him to sleep until 7 – doesn’t seem like too much to ask! What else can I do, or do I just have to accept that he’s one of life’s early risers and adapt my own routine accordingly? Please advise!!

Now the guidelines have changed as regards weaning you can speed things up a little as your baby’s digestive system is more mature than that of a 4 -5 month old.
Your baby’s iron stores will beginning to run low now and although he receives fortified formula at times during the day it is important he begins to receive enough iron through his diet as well to meet his growing needs.
By introducing protein into his diet you may well find that he sleeps for longer at night as his nutritional needs are being met.
Until protein is well established keep waking Luke for his late evening feed. Try waiting until 10.30/10.45pm before waking him and possibly increase the feed to 4ozs. It does often take babies 15 mins or more to really wake, but that is no reason to abandon yet. This slightly later feed could well just push him through to 6.45/7am. Once he has begun to do this constantly for three or four mornings, and he is taking protein in the day you could move it back to earlier if you wish to but do so gradually, waking him five minutes earlier every few days. Then when he is taking three good meals a day stop waking him in the evening and see if he can manage to still get through to 6.45/7am. Sometimes it can take one or two tries over a period of a week or so before his daily intake of food is enough to sustain him through the night.
Have you checked there is no other reason for his early waking? Is his room dark? Is he cold? Does your central heating or boiler fire up just before he wakes? This can often be an overlooked problem, the noise may be enough to stir him as he is in a light sleep.

Sleeping FAQ: 4-6 months – Early Morning Waking

Morning waking is getting earlier for my 5 month old

My daughter is 5 months old, was 6lb 12oz at birth and is now 6.5 kg. In the last month she only gained 300g, but grew 2.5cm and is certainly chubby enough!
I started weaning her 10 days ago (just before she reached 5 months) and I have just started weaning her onto formula at the 11am feed. She has 4 breast feeds per day (she dropped the 10pm at 4 months) and is following your weaning plan (1 cube of apple today for lunch, and will have 3 tsp of baby rice for tea).
I am currently feeding from one side plus 5 minutes on the second breast at 5:40pm, then her solids, then giving her the rest of her breast feed at 6:45pm, plus a top-up of expressed milk (normally around 50ml). She seems to sleep until about 6-6:15am, wake chatting, then cries. I finally go in at around 6:45am, try to settle her by rocking (which doesn’t work as she is flailing her arms about) and then give her one side. She falls asleep on me after about 10 minutes of feeding, which I am happy about as it means her morning sleep is still at 9am. I stir her around 7:10am then give her the second side at 7:30am. Some mornings she only has about 5 minutes, hence I end up expressing the rest for her bedtime bottle.
She sleeps 40-45min in the morning, no more than 2 1/4 hours at lunch (often waking after 1 1/2 hours as she has done today) and has 15 minutes in the afternoon (or up to 25 minutes if lunchtime is less). She still needs the afternoon nap.
I really want her to sleep until 7am but am running out of ideas. Should I go in and try to settle her when she first stirs (sometimes I think going in there makes it worse as she often re-settles herself at other sleeps), or should I continue to let her cry (I go in before 7am as I know I need her to get back to sleep briefly so the rest of the routine doesn’t change for the day)? Or is it likely this won’t change? I have never let her up before 7am and always feed quietly in her room.
Any suggestions would be appreciated as for a few nights a few weeks ago it was 5:30am when she was waking and it took a fair bit of rocking to get her back to sleep (I couldn’t let her cry as we weren’t at home). She sleeps half swaddled, and generally isn’t getting out of her covers.

Although your daughter seemed ready to drop her 10pm feed and sleep through at four months, the reality is that she really needed to continue with it, even if she only took 2-3ozs. As she has only just begun to take solids she still needs 5 milk feeds a day. The average weight gain for a baby of her age is 150g (5oz) per week. Until her solids increase, most of her nutrients come from her milk. Try to put the 10pm feed back. Make sure that she is well awake before offering her a formula feed. This feed should be continued for about another couple of weeks until your daughter is taking a larger amount of solids.

Keep following the weaning plan, introducing new tastes every few days and gradually increasing the amounts.

I also would begin to put your daughter into a lightweight sleeping bag, rather than half swaddling her. If you leave it much longer she may be less willing to sleep in it. Use a sheet or lightweight blanket lengthways to tuck her in with and continue to use rolled up towels down the cot sides to keep the sheet or blanket well secured.

If the lunchtime sleep still is causing problems then begin to cut back on the morning nap to 30 minutes. I realise she may be tired in the mornings from her early waking so cut the nap by a few minutes every few days. Once she sleeps longer at lunch your daughter will cut back on her afternoon nap.

If your daughter continues to wake early, settle her with a drink of water after leaving her 10 minutes to see if she can settle alone.

Sleeping FAQ: 4-6 months – Early Morning Waking

5-month-old Finn’s day is starting too early

Finn wakes between 5 and 5.30am, cries and will not settle back to sleep. He has 8oz of formula milk but still remains grumpy from tiredness. He cries and will not settle on his own after this feed unless rocked back to sleep. But he is able to settle himself at night – he is put down awake and goes to sleep within minutes. Once he is back to sleep in the morning, he wakes between 6.20am and 7.30am in a good mood. We manage to keep him awak until 9am but he starts getting grumpy at about 8.30am. It is becoming increasingly difficult to settle him for this sleep, although he acts very tired, and he only sleeps for 20-30 minutes. He wakes in a good mood, usually jumps around in a bouncer or has a kick around on a mat until 10-10.30am, then has 6-7oz of milk and vegetables for lunch. He settles to sleep at 11.30-11.50am for his lunchtime nap which usually starts in his pushchair due to the trip to nursery to pick up his older brother, but he wakes after 40-50 minutes screaming and will not settle. He stays awake and needs constant carrying to prevent him from screaming until the 2-2.30pm feed, when he takes 6-7oz. He then settles for a nap at 3pm-ish for 40-90 minutes – I wake him up if he sleeps past 4.30pm. Between 4.30 and 5pm he has a few teaspoons of fruit/veg which he has now because he is shattered by 6pm and could not be interested at this time. He has his milk feed of 7-8oz at 6.30pm and then settles reasonably easily. We wake him at 10.30pm for a final feed of 4-7oz. Finn is five months old, 21lb and is fed SMA lactose-free milk. When he slept well at the appropriate times as advised in your book, he was very contented and we would love to have our happy baby back.

Finn’s day is all starting rather early which is a possible reason for him not settling to a longer sleep in the middle of the day. It is not easy to fit a second baby in with a toddler, especially with naptimes coinciding with school pick-ups. But with a little juggling, it should be possible for Finn to become more settled.
When he wakes at 5/5.30am, try to settle him with a smaller feed of 3-4oz and then give him another 4-5oz at 7/7.30am. Some babies are reluctant to go back to sleep at 5.30am. Treat this feed as any in the night, using the least light possible to feed him by and not changing him unless totally neccesary. Make sure his room is dark, and no light is coming in around the top of the curtains. Towels rolled up and pushed in any gaps are effective, as are blackout linings velcroed to the window frames. With mornings becoming lighter, early waking can become a problem.
Check he is well-tucked-in with a cotton sheet over a lightweight sleeping bag as his Moro reflex could still be strong enough to wake him in the early hours. Try to make 7/7.30am his daytime start, opening the curtains and getting him up to have a feed. Getting Finn washed and dressed by 8am should help him stay awake to nearer 9am. His first nap of the day needs to be no longer than 45 mins. As he had a top-up at 7.30am, he should be able to get to nearer 11am before his next feed. Now Finn is having solids, this feed will gradually move towards midday and become his lunch, so try to get him nearer to 11am before offering it to him. If you feel he is always hungry long before that, consider introducing cereal at breakfast. Look in The Complete Weaning Guide to see amounts.
The effect of having this feed later should be that he is ready for a longer nap, as hunger could well have been the cause of his waking and crying until 2pm. Trying to get Finn to sleep longer in the middle of the day is not easy if you have to collect his brother. As he settles in his pushchair, consider letting him stay in it once home. Put the pushchair into a quiet corner downstairs, possibly a room where you can shut the door but still be able to hear him. Some mothers find drapeing a blanket over the puschair helps their baby sleep longer at this time.
As Finn was fed at 11am he should be able to wait until 2.30pm for a feed.
Getting Finn to have a longer sleep in the middle of the day will help him enjoy the afternoon more and possibly only need a short catnap before 5pm. Sleeping for as long as 90 minutes at this time in the day is another reason why he is waking so early in the morning.
Try splitting his solids and milk at 5/6pm, this often works with babies who are tired but also waking early in the morning. Offer him about 4-5 ozs of milk at 5.30pm, followed by his baby rice and fruit puree. Wait until 6.30pm before bathing him and then give him another 4-5oz before settling him. As he gets older and less tired at 6pm, transfer all his soilds to 5pm and then offer him a full milk feed after his bath.
Once Finn is taking his feeds and solids at better spaced intervals it should help with his sleeping and nap times. Keep trying to work towards getting him onto the timings in the CLB routines as these are the keys to a more settled baby.