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.