Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Night Waking

Having had a cold two months ago, my baby still has mucus and wakes at night

My son had a cold 2 months ago. Since then he has not slept fully through the night. He wakes up 2-3 times per night, usually suffering from a blocked nose or phlegm in his throat. We have tried Olbas Oil & Karvol, but they seem to have little effect. We have tipped up the head of his cot, to elevate his head and that hasn’t helped. He struggles to settle himself if left, so we have to settle him ourselves. He suffers from infantile eczema but I don’t think the two problems are linked. He sometimes rubs his nose, so I wonder if he has an allergy to something. Up until this time, he followed Gina’s routines well and slept through the night from 10 weeks and 7pm -7am from 4 months. We cannot manage to get through a night now without Alexander waking up.

By day he sleeps from 8.50-9.20am and 1.30-2pm. He is settled by 7.30pm. He eats three meals a day and drinks 18ozs of milk.

Until you have managed to clear your son of any phlegm and mucous he will continue to need you to go into him at night and make him comfortable. Once you have done this then begin to leave him to settle alone using the gradual withdrawal method. This can take a while to be successful, but as you have to deal with his congestion in the night, before you can expect him to settle, it may be a better idea than using controlled crying in the beginning. Look in the Complete Sleep Guide p49 for an explanation of how to go about this.

Use a cold-water humidifier in his room, as dry air can cause babies nostrils to become dried up and blocked. Place the machine in the middle of the room well away from his cot. Try to keep his room cool at night. Use the blinds by day to prevent it becoming too hot in the sunshine. Dress him in a light-weight sleeping bag with a vest underneath to help him not get too hot.

Dried mucus could be the reason for his itching his nose so much, although an allergy should not be ruled out if you see little improvement in his congestion. Eczema and allergies such as hay fever are often connected. If the problem goes on much longer, it may be worth asking for a referral from your Dr to see an allergy specialist.

There are some foods which are rather mucus forming and it may help to avoid them for a while. Citrus fruits and banana’s can be an aggravation to a mucous problem which already exists. Try cutting them out for a while and see if that helps him. You may have heard that excess dairy products also can be a culprit, but it would be best to consult with your doctor before cutting back on these too much. Again a referral to try to sort out his problem could result in having to adjust his diet a little, but this must be done under medical supervision.

Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Night Waking

My nearly 1-year-old still wakes and needs resettling in the night

My daughter was a totally contented baby until solids were introduced. Since then we have had periods of sleeping through the night and periods of regular night time waking. She is a dedicated breast feeder, who from day one rejected a bottle. She initially refused but using the books and case studies (esp. Daniel), I now have a baby who eats well. At 11 months I decided to get tough. Together with my partner I stopped feeding in the night and he settled her back to sleep with cuddles or just by tucking her in and turning on her musical star. I have followed Gina’s advice on stopping breast feeding, cutting out one feed at a time, but my daughter drinks very little milk from her cup. Even hinting at stopping her bedtime breast feed results in hysterical fits. She is now back to waking twice in the night. She is easy to settle but we are exhausted and she is waking up our 2.5 year old who is very difficult to settle. We are second time parents and our daughter has had the right sleep associations from day one. We have tried leaving her for up to 45 minutes but always need to settle her in the end. Even if just to say “shush” and strike her forehead.

She has three good meals a day. In the morning she will take 2-3 ozs of formula from a cup and has a breast feed at bedtime. During the day she will take water or well diluted juice.

Now that you have eliminated the breast feeding in the night, you need to help your daughter learn to settle back to sleep without either yourself or your partner’s help. Up until now she has fallen back to sleep either with a breast feed, or more recently someone coming in to tuck her in and reassure her. She has learnt to associate falling back to sleep in the night with having the comfort of a feed or reassurance of an adult. The best way to unlearn this association is with controlled crying. As her wakings are disturbing her sibling already, it might be an idea to arrange for your 2.5 year old to stay with relatives for a few nights.

Read the details for how controlled crying works in The Complete Sleep Guide p45. Initially you may have to cope with times of crying, but persistence and consistency will work in the end. Rather than leaving her for a long period, then giving her reassurance, this will gradually build up the time she is left to settle herself. At present she has learnt that if she continues to cry for long enough someone will come. Controlled crying builds up the time gradually so she learns how to resettle herself without needing any other associations. As she appears to be a happy and contented baby in all other aspects this should not take too long to take effect.

As your daughter readily returns to sleep in the night, at present her waking is much more likely due to habit rather than hunger. In the past months when she stirred from a light sleep she fed as it was offered to her, but as she now does settle back without too much trouble hunger can be eliminated as a reason.

It would seem that you are feeding a varied and well balanced diet by day with plenty of cheese, sauces and other calcium rich foods to help her low-ish milk intake. Keep trying her with a cup. Once she reaches her first birthday in a few weeks you may like to consider weaning her onto cows milk. This she may accept more readily than formula.

Sleeping FAQ: 9-12 months – Night Waking

My 11mth daughter has begun to wake at night. I am not really sure why or what I should do to stop it

My daughter has slept through from 10pm untill6.30-7am since 9 weeks old. She then slept well after dropping the 10pm feed. During the day she also slept well although not always for 2.5 or 2 hrs recommended. She had gastro -enteritis in September followed by a bad cold. Her daytime sleep continued to be alright but at night time we had to help her. Since then she wakes erratically in the night, eg 3.30am for 1.5hrs or 11.30pm for 2 hrs. We cannot settle her despite controlled crying, feeding, medicine, water, cuddles etc. Since going to nursery, two months ago, her daytime sleep has not been so good. She will not sleep in the morning and has about an hour at 12.30pm although she has had less and more! She does not show tiredness until too late and she fights sleep. I have looked at all the subjects on the site and in the books and feel that this is a combination of too many subjects for me to make sense of it. I want to try and sort this out before it gets any worse. I can’t understand why she won’t settle in the night on the nights she wakes. She has woken the last 2 nights but before that slept through for a fortnight.

My daughter eats three meals a day. She has a fairly small breakfast taking around 2 dessertspoons of cereal, followed by toast.

She takes about 8-10 tablespoons of a protein meal at lunchtime and the same amount of a vegetarian tea followed by yoghurt or a fruit pudding. At teatime she can be irritable if tired but will eat well in the end. She drinks 8ozs of formula at 6.45pm and is settled at 7pm.

It can be difficult trying to work out why your daughter has begun to wake for a length of time in the night, especially as she has been ill for a while. Eliminating all the reasons may take some trial and error on your part.

Being overtired is often a reason for restless or interrupted sleep. As well as being awake in the night your daughter is waking by 6.30am. Since starting at nursery your daughter’s daytime sleep has lessened quite a bit. She is probably quite mobile now and has the added stimulation of being at nursery four days a week. These two factors mean she is probably falling straight into an exhausted sleep at 7pm. Even if you feel she is not showing signs of being tired earlier, move her bedtime back towards 6.30/6.40pm. She may spend 15 minutes chatting to herself before falling asleep but this preferable to going down exhausted.

On the days when she is not at nursery make sure you build quiet times into her day to make up for dropped morning nap. At this age a baby is constantly moving, pulling up on the furniture, crawling or cruising around. They need short spells when they are resting in between all this activity. You may be able to put her into her cot to play quietly for 15-20 minutes around 9.30am whilst you tidy up nearby. If this is not an option consider going out for a short walk at this time. Again, your daughter will be resting whilst in her buggy or pram. If she does rest during the morning you may be able to push her lunchtime nap on to nearer 1pm. At this age the lunchtime nap may move nearer to 1-3pm which can also help her be less tired by teatime. Moving her nap at nursery may not be an option but try it when she is at home. It may result in her settling longer for this nap.

Again in the afternoon a short walk can give her a much needed rest, especially if she has been up since 1.30pm. On nursery days she will be tired coming home at 5pm and having her tea. Give her an earlier bath which is quiet and calm, to help her be settled in her cot by no later than 6.30pm.

If you feel that her night waking is now a habit left over from her illness you will need to deal with it in a consistent way. If she wakes and chats to herself, showing no signs of distress then leave her to re-settle herself. If she cries when she wakes then go in to her within 10 minutes. If she is standing in her cot lay her back down and use the same few words to her each night, “Lie down. It’s night time, time for sleeping.” Depending how distressed she is you may or may not be able to leave her. If she gets very worked up then it would better to use the method of gradual withdrawal. Gina describes this method in her Complete Sleep Guide, page 49. Reassuring your baby with your voice, but gradually moving away from her cot for longer and longer periods, means she will get used to settling herself again at this time. It will take several nights for this to be effective. You need to be consistent with whatever method you try and stay with it so your daughter does not end up becoming confused. If she needs to learn how to settle herself again it may involve some crying but this can be kept to the minimum if you reassure her with your voice in the same way every time she wakes at night. Make sure your partner knows what words you use so he can deal with the situation in exactly the same way if he goes in to check her.

If she does not already have a comforter of some kind find a small, soft toy which you tuck in beside her every night. This may reassure her and make it more likely that she is able to settle alone should she wake in the night.

Your daughter’s food and milk intake seem fine for her age which again leads back to overtiredness rather than hunger being the probable reason for this waking. Depending how mobile your baby is at this time she may be waking because of muscle spasms in her legs. If she is cruising around the furniture a great deal, or taking her first steps, she may be disturbed in her sleep. This will pass as she becomes more agile and adept at walking. Again, building quiet times into her day will give her short breaks of rest. It can be difficult to sometimes stop a baby who is determined to keep moving.

Keeping a diary of her food intake, length of daytime naps and general comments as to how she has spent her day, may help you pinpoint the reason why this waking has occurred again after two weeks of your baby sleeping through the night. If the waking is irregular then it could be due to something she has eaten, or what she has done the previous day. Looking for any recurring pattern may help you work out the reason why, although tiredness does appear to be the most likely cause.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Other

My 8.5 month baby won’t settle for naps away from home

My problem is a small one really compared to others, but my 8.5mth old son Ben
is a little angel when he is at home with me, a true Gina baby from day one,
goes to sleep by himself, no help from me, laughing and giggling all day, plays
by himself when I have to do the housework, totally content, loves meeting new
people, etc. My problem arose when I had to go back to work. My mother-in-law kindly offered to look after him for me. As she used to run a creche for 20 yrs I thought this would be fantastic for him, especially as she also looks after Ben’s cousin who is 2yrs. The only problem is he won’t go down for his daytime naps at her house. As soon as she takes him into the bedroom and the travel cot which he sleeps in, he screams and gets very upset. He doesn’t sleep in the same room as his cousin in case he wakes up. She has tried controlled crying but with no change. As soon as she takes him out of the room he is fine though – smiles, wants to play etc. I wrote down in minute detail how I put him to bed (look out of the window with him for 10 mins, talking in whispers, put him in his sleeping bag, draw the blinds, kiss him goodnight, leave the room promptly etc) but he still screams.
The only blessing is that he has always slept through the night twelve/thirteen hrs for me, even with no daytime sleep, but it worries me that he isn’t getting enough sleep with her on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. With me for the rest of the week he is an angel and sticks to Gina’s routine to the letter. I have to go back to full time work soon though and am panicking in case he starts to get ill from lack of sleep or wakes in the night. I have always taken his cot toys, black out blinds, lullaby lights, sleeping bag and sheets (unwashed) so it smells familiar, thinking this might be the problem but to no avail. I have even tried to get him to sleep there myself, thinking it would just take a “mother’s touch”, how wrong was I? She says he seems to sleep better downstairs with them, in the light, in his car seat, but isn’t this creating bad sleeping patterns? Or am I overreacting?
Yours hopefully
Vicky

Until your son becomes more used to being at his grandmother’s house I suggest he sleeps downstairs with her. As he sleeps so well at home, he will not get into bad sleeping habits, he just needs to learn to fall asleep elsewhere. Once he is more used to his carer and her house he will probably accept going up for a nap. At this age babies are very aware of change and who is their main carer. I feel someone with your mother-in–law’s experience will treat his needs sympathetically and try him upstairs in a few weeks’ time.

Perhaps she could allow him short spells of playing in the cot he will sleep in, during the day. If she stays with him and gives him some toys to occupy himself with, he will become used to a new cot. When he is happy playing, she could begin to leave the room for a few minutes and then return. Once he feels familiar with his surroundings and carer he will probably be happier to sleep there. With a familiar toy from home and his sleeping bag, he should be content.

When he is at home with you, possibly at weekends I suggest you sometimes take him out in his stroller at a nap time so he gets used to not always sleeping in his cot in a dark room.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Daytime Sleep

Where should my 7 month baby spend his daytime sleep?

I have a seven-month-old son who has gone into his own room to sleep. It’s not going at all well…! Once an hour he starts crying, so I go in and give him a dummy. If that doesn’t work, I give him a bottle feed while he’s still in the cot. Then, if he still cries, I pick him up, comfort him and breastfeed him, which does the trick in the end. But he keeps waking, some times as soon as I’ve put him sound asleep from my arms into the cot. He has routine day sleeps although I use my night techniques to get him to settle in the afternoon, and he sleeps every day in the sling or pram when we go out. Is there something obvious I’m missing?

If your son has been sleeping in your bedroom for six months and having most of his naps in a sling or in the pram, he is probably feeling slightly abandoned at being put in separate room and a strange bed.

There is an added problem here, though – your son has to be helped to sleep with the aid of the dummy, rocking or feeding. This is the cause of him crying out every hour – as he comes into his light sleep, he is unable to get back to sleep without the same assistance. Both of these problems are very common with babies who have not learned to get to sleep alone in the early days. To solve the problem, he will have to learn to get to sleep on his own, which means going in the cot when he is tired and ready to sleep but not fully asleep. Unfortunately, at his age it will almost be impossible to solve the problem without some degree of crying. I suggest that you ask your health visitor to refer you to a sleep clinic so they can advise you on how to do controlled crying properly. There also several books, including my second book ‘From Contented Baby to Confident Child’ which explain how the controlled crying method works. If done properly, controlled crying should solve the problem within a matter of days. However, it is very important that you have your son checked over by a doctor to ensure that there is no medical reason which would prevent him from being left to cry.

In the meantime I suggest that you get him more used to his cot by putting him in it to play for short spells during his awake time. Start off by sitting on a chair beside the cot and holding both his hands across his chest while he watches his mobile go around. Once he is happy to lie there without getting fretful, let go of one of his hands and give him a small soft toy to hold. Once he is happy holding the toy in one hand, encourage him to hold and play with it with both hands. Continue to remain seated by the cot talking and reassuring him. Then, when he is happy to play with his toy for five minutes, gradually move the chair further and further away from the cot while continuing to talk to him. Eventually you should reach a stage where you can potter around the room while he is playing in the cot. Once he is happy to lie and play for twenty minutes while you are pottering around the room, you should start to leave the room every five minutes for a minute at a time. Gradually build up the time you are out of the room. If you carry out the above procedure for several times a day for a week, it will make controlled crying easier.

My tip is always to get babies used to their cots and to being on their own in them as early as you can – to avoid bigger problems later on.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Daytime Sleep

My 7.5-month-old has started to cut back on her daytime sleep

My daughter has recently started cutting back on her daytime naps and is having about 30 minutes from 9am and an hour from about 12.15. She settles well each time and goes to sleep quickly. There is no reason for her waking that I can see: i.e. no dirty nappy or noise etc. She now has no established afternoon nap although may doze in car or pram at this time. She still sleeps well from 7pm to 7am. There has been no change in her routine but I need her to sleep longer particularly at lunchtime. I have tried controlled crying but she will have a tantrum for over an hour before sometimes settling again for a short time (by which time it is often too late). She eats well at lunch and is well established on protein and no milk at this feed.

Babies in the second half of their first year do begin to cut back on their daytime sleep. They are also able to stay awake for longer than two hours so you need to begin to move her morning nap forward slowly. Another reason for cutting back on sleep can be linked as to how mobile your daughter is. If she is not rolling a lot and spending time on her tummy in preparation for crawling, she just may not be tired in the day to sleep any longer at lunchtime.

Begin to push her morning nap towards 9.30am and let her sleep for half an hour. This should let her get to at least 12.30pm before going down for her lunchtime nap and she may then sleep longer than an hour as she will be tired.

If you have to wake her at 7am every morning you could let her sleep later and cut her morning nap completely, if this is convenient. Some babies are able to do this but will then need to have an earlier lunch at about 11.30am before settling for a long nap at 12.15pm.

Look at her day and how much activity she has. Consider joining swim classes or some kind of baby gymnastics which will help tire her out. Spending plenty of time daily on the floor, especially on her tummy, will help her become more mobile and therefore use up more energy.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Settling/Sleep Associations

I don’t want to start the wrong associations when settling my 6.5-month-old baby

My son has been a good sleeper (with exception to common problems in the lunchtime nap). He has a skin problem which we are seeing a specialist for very soon, but although it is not gone I don’t think it is the cause of the problem. He has just dropped his late afternoon nap (except days like today when he only slept 1 hour at lunch), as sleeping generally seems to have gone out of the window. He feeds at the times stated in book and is not on meat protein yet as I want to keep his diet very basic until I see the dermatologist about his skin. I think that he is teething slightly, but don’t think this is also the cause, as on the days he is ok and not seemingly ill, he is still unsettled at night. He does suffer from heavy mucus in his throat and a cough which can sometimes stop him settling down. Tonight he cried for a while when put to bed at 6.50, he then started to go off and coughed so much he woke himself up but the doctor says nothing is wrong. Tonight I went in every 15 minutes, but he was so hysterical that even when I picked him up he would not calm down. Eventually, I gave him a small amount of Calpol and his dummy to calm him; my previous methods have avoided this, as I don’t want him to get used to me coming in or using something to get him back to sleep in case he gets used to it and starts to look for it at other sleeps. Last night he took 3 oz water at 11pm after crying on and off for 3 hrs but I am sure it is not hunger; he eats well.
I just don’t want to miss something obvious, he sleeps in a 0.5 grobag and on nights like tonight (it is 18 degrees in his room) he is in a short-sleeved vest and long-sleeved body suit as well as his sleeping bag.
At present he feeds at 7am 7-8ozs milk, 11/2 tablespoons of cereal with 2 cubes of apple, 11.30am 4 ozs milk, 3 cubes carrot, 2 cubes parsnip, 1 cube apple and sometimes 1/4 small pot of soya yoghurt, 2.30pm 7 ozs milk, 4pm 2 ozs water, 5pm 2 cubes sweet potato, 2 cubes broccoli, 2 cubes pear/peach, 1/4 yoghurt if still hungry, 6.30pm 7-8ozs milk.
He sleeps from 9-9.45am and 12.30-2.30pm. He is put to bed at 7pm and once finally settled for the night sleeps until 6am.

Although you feel your son is eating well, giving him a tea which has more carbohydrates in it could help him settle better in the evening. Even though you haven’t started meat protein, it would be a good idea to look at Gina’s Weaning Guide at some of the recipes suggested for teatime at six months. Many of these are vegetable-based but have a good carbohydrate content which is needed at this time of the day. As soon as you have seen your dermatologist and been given the go-ahead to introduce meat protein, then begin to replace 2 of his vegetable cubes at lunch with chicken ones. At his age his iron stores will be rapidly dwindling, even though he is on formula. A wider and more varied diet will help balance his nutritional needs.

To help him with his mucous condition, try elevating the top of his cot up onto telephone directories. Your son may find it easier to sleep in a slightly sloping position and the mucus will not tickle the back of his throat so much. Consider using a cold water humidifier if you feel that the air in his room is very dry. This can be another reason for his coughing in the night. Place this in the middle of his room, well away from his cot.

Have plenty of floor time in the afternoon, with rolling and kicking and also try to get outside as well; fresh air will help him sleep better. Have a very quiet bath time and feed him in a darkened room afterwards, so he becomes sleepy before being put down.

As your son is waking early in the morning as well, it may be hard to push his morning nap on towards 9.30am but if you can begin to move it by five minutes every few days and just let him sleep for 1/2 hr until 10am, you may find he will settle better in the evening. He may be a bit irritable for a few days whilst you put this into place but if it helps him to settle better in the evening and wake nearer to 7am, it will be worth it.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Settling/Sleep Associations

At 8.5-months-old my son is taking time to settle because he keeps standing up

My son was never a really good sleeper; I went to him 3/4 times a night from early on. The problem now is that he very active and before I could always put him down and leave the room. Now though, because he can turn over, sit up and get up, he does just that. So I lie him down and he just turns over and cries as he can’t get comfy, then just stands at the end of the bed. This can go on for ages; up to 1/2 hour. I have even started to offer him a dummy which settles him quicker but not immediately.Then he may turn himself over 3/4 times in the night and need to be turned back.
He is also waking so much earlier: 5/5.30am every morning. The worst thing is that at the moment I don’t have the energy to sort it out. Having had a five year old who slept very well this is all news to me!
He naps at 9-9.30am and 12-2pm. He is put to bed at 7pm, waking at 10-10.30pm,1-1.30am, 4.30-4.45am then at 5.10am.

It would seem that your son has learnt to associate falling asleep with becoming dependant on you to help turn or lie down. He needs to learn how to do this on his own, both when he is put down in the evening and also throughout the night.
Now he is much more mobile and moving around a lot you can begin to let him find his own sleeping position. Babies often cry out at night as they roll around and hit the cot sides but often they are not really awake and will settle themselves again if left. Always leave a few minutes before going in to give him a chance to settle himself.
Place him in a suitable tog sleeping bag for the time of year and remove all his covers so there is no chance of him getting tangled in them.
Practise rolling from front to back and back to front in the daytime. Once he is able to do this confidently both ways leave him to do so in the night rather than going in straight away when you hear him. When he can roll both ways easily he may prefer to sleep on his tummy and because he is able to roll well you should allow him to do so.
When you put him down for his naps place him in the cot standing and teach him how to get down by holding his hands onto the cot spars and showing him how to lower himself down into his preferred sleeping position. Then, if he does not settle straight away he will be able to get down and do so when he is ready. As he is used to you helping him settle to sleep you may need to do some controlled crying with him once you know he is able to get down into a sleeping position alone. Check on him every 10-15 minutes the first night and then begin to lengthen the time by a five minutes or so the second night. Look in the Complete Sleep Guide for a full description of this method.
As your son is waking so early in the morning he is probably tired by 9am. He needs to begin to gradually move this sleep forward towards 9.30am and his lunchtime nap to 12.30/1pm. This will help him be less tired in the evening and more likely to go into his cot chatting or singing for a short while and drifting off, rather than falling asleep exhausted. The common result of this is early waking.
Gradually move his morning nap forward by five minutes every three or four days so he will begin to move his lunchtime nap forward and be going down to sleep later.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Settling/Sleep Associations

There could be many reasons causing my 7.5 month son to wake but now he won’t settle back in the early morning even with his dummy

I don’t really know where to start! I am that confused about what the potential problem could be. I thought I had resolved it one night but I haven’t.
My son has always had a dummy – but not for sleeping. However whenever he awoke during his lunchtime nap he wouldn’t settle unless given it so he has always had it for then and also he was given it for his early morning waking. He has never really slept until 7 am since I dropped the 10 pm feed about 8 weeks ago. It has been more like 6 – 6.30. If he woke in the night he would be able to settle himself back to sleep himself and if he cried for more than 10 minutes I knew something was wrong. However we went to see my MIL in October in Spain and my son shared a room with us. He was quite unsettled whilst there (probably all the people that were there) and so we used the dummy so as not to wake the household up. Then when we got home I had just got him used to not having the dummy at night again when he got a cold. So he was given the dummy during sleep time as it seemed to sooth him. He only got better for a couple of days and then caught another cold and so was given back the dummy. By last week I was tearing my hair out as he was waking up a lot in the night looking for it and so I did a day of controlled crying and no dummy and then he slept from 6.45 pm to 6.30 am. However the next night (last Saturday) my Mum looked after him. When he cried out at 5.00 am she went straight in got him up and put him in bed with her. She did say he was full of mucus and the next night he awoke again at 5.00 am. I left him for 10 minutes but when I did go in he was coughing and spluttering and I got him up for 30 minutes to clear him. When I put him down he started crying so after 10 minutes I gave him his dummy and he slept until 7.15 am.
Since then he has woken up at around 5.00 am and will not go back to sleep – even if he is given the dummy. He also wakes around 11 pm and won’t settle back well – last night my husband gave him his dummy after about 20 minutes of crying. He does not have it at all any other time day or night except sometimes I use it to entice him to feed. He seems to have got used to not having it during the day and when being put down at 7pm. During the lunchtime nap if he wakes up after 10 minutes I get him up rather than giving him the dummy. He does still have a cough and runny nose and the only time he is really coughing badly is early morning. I got a vaporizer which I used last night but it didn’t seem to make much difference.
I have also noticed he screams when I leave the room – he is ok during the day if I leave him playing so I am not sure if it is a separation thing. He never used to cry when I left the room before.
I have given him my tops/cuddly toys etc but he doesn’t seem to be attaching himself to anything.
Also – he does about 4 poos a day – always there is one in his nappy in the morning. You can see below how much he eats – he is a big baby but I am wondering if I am not feeding him the right food or the right amount which is causing him to poo and wake up? For example this morning I heard him stirring for ages before he started crying. At 5.45am I went in after 10 minutes of hard crying and he had done a poo. I changed him with the dimmer light on and then put him back – for him to scream blue murder so I gave him his dummy but every time I left the room it made him worse. He never went back to sleep.
Also – I caught him last night trying to roll onto his tummy. He is tucked in using a 0.5 tog sleeping bag and a blanket as when he wasn’t tucked in he ended up being upside down etc. He wears a baby gro and his room is normally around 23 degrees. Should I try a bigger tog and leave him un tucked – maybe he wants to be on his tummy?
He normally sleeps 2 hours at lunchtime but his waking’s in the night have gone on whether he has slept 45 minutes at lunch or the full two hours so I don’t think it is his day time naps. He never normally sleeps more than 2 .5 hours in the day. He can still go to at least 9.00 am even if he has woken early so I can keep him in the routine.
In terms of food he has been through a couple of fussy eating phases – this week he went off food after my Mum had him for a day – will eat now as long as it is totally pureed smooth.
I just don’t know what to do to resolve the problem – there seems to be that much stuff that could be causing it. My husband thinks we should give him the dummy until he is totally recovered from the cold and then do controlled crying but its not him that has to deal with it all plus another child in the house that now keeps waking up due to the crying!!
I would say in the last 8 weeks he has slept through the night twice.
My son feeds takes 8ozs formula at 7am and 6.30pm. He has 2-5ozs at 3pm. Breakfast: Baby cereal or Ready Brek mixed with 3ozs formula.
Lunch, 12midday: 8 tablespoons of one of the protein recipes from Gina’s book and an adult sized organic yoghurt.
Tea, 5.30pm: 8 tablespoons of a vegetarian meal from Gina’s book with rice cakes, bread sticks or rusk’s and a jar of organic rice pudding. He weighs 24lbs.
He naps at 9.30-10am and 12.30-2.30pm.

It would certainly seem that one of several reasons could be causing your son to wake. Thinking through them all and taking a general look at his routine and overall day may help you.

Until he is completely clear of cold and mucous he may well wake in the early hours through coughing and general discomfort. The temperature of his room does seem quite warm for night time. 23 degrees would be considered fairly warm by day; at night it would better to get this down to nearer 18 degrees if you are able to do so. A dry, warm room will cause him to cough and become more congested. Try putting a bowl of water on the radiator to humidify the air a little. Dry air will dry out nasal passages and cause coughing. You could place a few drops of Olbas oil in the water. Cold mist humidifiers are now available through some nursery suppliers and can help children who suffer from night coughs. Elevate the head of his cot using telephone directories or other large books. This will help drain the mucous away from his nose and throat. Vaporizers are best placed under the cot so the vapors released encircle the sleeping area. Another way to help his congestion is to split open a Karvol capsule and sprinkle the contents onto a muslin. Tie this securely to the bars of his cot, preferably above his head.

If his colds seem to continue or run into each other it would be sensible to have him checked over by your doctor.

As your son has begun to try to roll over, put him in a higher tog rated sleeping bag and remove the covers from him. Providing he is able to roll well both ways, he should now be allowed to find his own sleeping position.

Separation anxiety does often begin around this age. Even if you feel he is happy about being left in a room in the daytime he may feel differently in the dark. He has reached the stage of development where he understands that you can go away from him and yet he has no means to follow you yet. This can be a difficult time with a baby. Deal with it as sensitively as you can. During the day play lots of games of peek-a-boo and hiding behind chairs and doors, as this all helps to reinforce the idea to him that although you disappear you will also reappear again.

The amount of food your son is eating seems about in line with his weight. Make sure his tea is really carbohydrate rich so serve things such as pasta bakes, jacket potatoes with cheese or vegetable toppings and vegetable risottos. All these should help to fill him up well. It is hard to see that any one thing is triggering the fact that he poos four times a day. Using potato, rice and pasta as the base for his tea could help him, as these starchy carbohydrates can help the digestive system to slow down a little and maybe prevent the early morning dirty nappy.

The one thing which is noticeable from your notes is that he hasn’t properly slept through the night since dropping the 10pm bottle. Although you may feel that you are back tracking a little it would be worth offering him milk at 5am if he continues to wake at this time. If he takes quite a feed, settles back to sleep and is happy to eat a good breakfast later then hunger is the cause of this early waking. If you give him milk at 5am, count that as his first bottle of the day. Although his overall milk intake is good, some babies at this age do seem unable to take in quite enough solid foods to meet their needs properly. Increase the amount he eats at lunch and tea if you feel he wants more.

As he appears to have got into the habit of waking at this early hour you do need to do whatever it takes to get him back to sleep again so that he is sleeping until nearer 7am. This may mean holding him in the dark so he sleeps again, if he finds it difficult to settle alone with his dummy.

If you are aware that he is falling straight to sleep at 7pm when put down, move his bedtime to around 6.30/6.40pm. A baby of this age begins to use up more energy once he is rolling and trying to crawl. If he falls straight into a deep sleep he is more likely to wake early in the morning when he comes into his last cycle of light sleep. An earlier bedtime allows him to chat to himself for 15-20minutes before settling down. There may not be any immediate, noticeable effect in the time that he wakes in the morning. It can take up to two weeks of early bedtimes for his body clock to fully readjust itself. Once he is regularly sleeping to nearer 7am you can begin to move his bedtime gradually back towards 7pm.

Once he is well again decide if you want to get rid of his dummy completely. Going “cold turkey “is the only way to do this effectively. It may mean some controlled crying until he learns to settle properly by himself. Keep trying with comfort toys and blankets. It can take a while for an attachment to take place. Muslin squares and small blankets, especially with bound edges of satin ribbon, are often chosen in preference to toys.

Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Settling/Sleep Associations

Since a recent illness my 8.5mth daughter has started to wake several times in the evenings and takes a while to settle

For a week my 8.5mth daughter was very sick with urine track infection. Loss of appetite, fever for five days, vomiting though nose and mouth, convulsing when temperature spiked. At her worst, she spent almost three solid days in my arms. After 10 days her appetite returned, she no longer had a fever and her urine sample was all clear. Since then she wakes 1 to 3 times during the time slot 8.30pm-10.30pm, cries, is not hungry, doesn’t need a nappy change but I have to resettle her back to sleep. Sometimes this can take up to 30minutes in which she cries almost the whole time. After the 10.30pm wake up she will then sleep until we wake her at 7am in the morning. Her room temperature is constant, there is no light coming into her room and no strange noises.

What is causing her wake up? How can we stop it? Up until she got sick she was like clock work, going to sleep at 7pm and would not wake up unless it was like 4am, never before has she woken before 10.30pm.

My daughter takes 6ozs formula at 7.30am followed by ½ weetabix, 1oz formula, 2 tablespoons of fruit.
10.30am ½ oz water, 11.45am 8-10 tablespoons of protein meal, 2 tablespoons yoghurt and 1 tablespoon banana.
3.00pm, 2-4ozs formula.
5.00pm, 8-10 tablespoons of a carbohydrate meal, 3 tablespoons yoghurt, ¼ piece of bread and butter with spread
6.30pm, 6ozs formula. She weighs 10kilos [22lbs]

My daughter naps at 9-9.45am and 12.30-2.00pm.

It can take a while for a baby to get back into her old routine after being ill. As your daughter spent a lot of time being held by you when she was so unwell she may have come to associate this with settling back to sleep when she stirs in the evenings.

When your daughter first stirs, leave her about 10minutes to see if she will re settle herself, then go in and reassure her with your voice. Leave the room again for a short period of time, unless she is very upset, and go in once more to reassure her. As you are trying to break the association your daughter has developed, of being held by you with settling back to sleep, try not to take her from her cot. You may have to use the gradual withdrawal method if she does get very worked up when she wakes. This is described on page 49 in The Complete Sleep Guide. The method involves the parent moving further and further away from the cot so the baby learns to settle back to sleep alone but does not get too distraught because she has been left on her own.

Now that she is 8.5mths and you are waking her at 7am, begin to move on your daughter´s daytime naps and see if this stops her waking in the evenings. There are two ways you can structure the daytime sleep of a baby of this age. Gina explains this fully in the Complete Sleep Guide, Chapter 4, and also in The Contented Little Baby Book, page 180 and page 186.

The morning nap begins to both decrease and move on in the second part of the first year. Since you are waking your daughter at 7am you may like to leave her to sleep on at this time so she then will not need a morning nap at all. Having cut this nap right out due to a later morning start you may find your daughter is not able to get through to 12.30pm for her lunchtime nap, or does not eat well at lunchtime through tiredness. If this is so, then try bringing her lunchtime forward to 11.30am and putting her down at 12.15pm. She may sleep a full two hours.

If you decide to continue to wake your daughter at 7am then begin to push the morning nap on and shorten it. Move it forward by 5minutes every other day, until she is going down at 9.30am, and make it 20-30 minutes in length. This should have the effect of pushing on the lunchtime nap to nearer 1pm and your daughter may then sleep until 2.30/3pm.

Since being ill your daughter may be very tired when going down at 7pm. If you are aware of this put her to bed around 6.40/6.45pm and see if she chats for a short while before settling herself to sleep. Once she begins to sleep through in the evenings gradually move her bedtime back to 7pm.