13 answers

When Baby Is WIDE Awake in the Middle of the Night

Hi, Moms... I really need advice!

Background info: Isa's 7 1/2 months old, and is currently cutting her top four middle teeth, and a tooth on the bottom, as well! She already has her bottom two middle teeth.

For the past two weeks, Isa's had the worst sleep cycle. Every other night, without fail, she wakes up between 2:10 and 4:15am wide-awake, and stays awake for an hour and 1/2 to two hours. She usually wakes up one or two other times to nurse, but immediately falls back asleep after 1-2 minutes. Not at the 2:10 or 4:15am wakeup, though! She wakes herself up bababa-ing, and continues talking. I don't know if it's teething issues waking her up, if it's growing pains, if it's that she's just interested in talking more, or if it's something else.

Any advice?

I've tried nursing, rocking, patting, etc... I don't turn the lights on, I don't talk too much except for shusssh sounds. But it's clear that she's WIDE awake, so I pass her to Josh after 20 minutes or so of trying to get her back to sleep, and he takes her downstairs for an hour or so.

We don't want to set up bad habits, but we don't know if she would really understand yet if we did more "training" techniques (like keeping her upstairs in the dark), and it's clear that she's super-awake.

Also, if it is the teething/growing pains issue... When do I give her Motrin? I don't want to medicate her if it's not necessary, and like I said it's every OTHER night, which is weird. Would I give it to her on the first wake-up so it would last until 6-ish?

Thanks for reading this, and for any words of widsom you might have! I really appreciate your help.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If she is not crying then just let her be. My son wakes up and talk s to his animals and then will put himself back to sleep. Good luck

More Answers

You don't indicate how much sleep she gets during the day, but that may have an effect on how she is sleeping at night. She needs about 14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period (nighttime plus 3 naps). Sleep begets sleep, so if she's not getting enough day sleep, it will affect her night sleep (and not by making her sleepier!!). Nursing and rocking her to sleep will only create a situation where she NEEDS that to fall asleep. By 7 and a half nomths, she should be sleeping through the night without any necessary feedings, so I'm going to play the mean mom and suggest let her cry it out. Establish a night time routine and put her down awake, so she learns to fall asleep on her own. This applies to nap time as well. If she's teething, give her some Tylenol and let her fall asleep on her own. If she does wake up crying from teething, give her more Tylenol (if it's time) and then say "night-night" and let her fall back asleep. Shut her door, shut YOUR door, turn on a sound machine with "white noise" or whatever and let her figure it out. It will bless all of you in the end. Even with a door shut or white noise machine on, believe me you will hear her if she is in distress and REALLY needs you.

I have 3 kids, and the first one I coddled and nursed on demand, rocked to sleep etc. etc. and it was a NIGHTMARE!!! The second and third (now 3 years and 5 years), I scheduled from day one, put them down awake and they are GREAT sleepers ... sleeping through the night by 8 weeks, napping without complaining (like 3 hour naps in the afternoon!). My 5 year old even ASKS for a nap sometimes! The also have a better respect for us as the authority, because we have called the shots from day one. We love them to pieces and that is why we are the ones in charge.

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

If all she's doing is talking to herself, I think you should just leave her alone and let her entertain herself. Same for a little whining...she could soothe herself and eventually fall back asleep. Only go in the room if it's a full cry.

Hello,
My 11 month old daughter is also cutting teeth. First of all I'm over the losing sleep thing it's part of the cycle. I make sure to have a icy cold juice bottle ready for A.M. wakings. I take deep breaths while holding her in my arms. Also, I wash her face with a cool towel being sure to massage the inside of her mouth afterwards. Take a deep breath and try not to become flustered you may try reading to her. Perhaps, lite a candle in the room where she sleeps each nite. Best of luck!

K.:

Babies wake for many reasons we know and probably lots we don't know... teething/ replaying events of the day... often these are phases and they pass....

You are not setting up a "bad habit" - you are teaching her that she is important and that she can gender a response from the world when you and Josh respond to her.

She will outgrow this stage too.

P., RLC, IBCLC
Pres. Lactation Support Group, Inc
www.lactationsupportgroup.com

The teething has altered her scheduled. I feel the same way about medication. I did not give it to her. What I did get, and it worked wonders, were teething tablets. Whole Foods and they are homeopathic. I would take a tablet and rub it on her teeth. Sleep would follow. She is awake because she is bothered. Maybe not it full out pain, but bothered. THis is not a schedule issue because it sounds like you already had that figured out. Keep in mind, the restful nights will return when the tooth breaks through. You are doing a great job and get some teething tablets. They are GREAT!

If she is not crying then just let her be. My son wakes up and talk s to his animals and then will put himself back to sleep. Good luck

If she wakes up and isn't crying for the hour then let her be. You are starting a bad habit if you get her up and she only wakes up for a while but entertains herself. You can let her stay in her crib. Even if she whines do not run in there she is alright and if you start getting her up it will be longer and get worse.

If she isn't upset and is just up, leave her alone. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night occasionally and I'm 39. If I just lay there, I'll go back to sleep. Same with her. My middle son slept in the same room as we did and he did the same thing. We just let him be. He'd be asleep about a half hour later. Don't bother her or she'll figure out she has a middle-of-the-night playmate. And what 7 monther wouldn't want that??? Now, if she's upset or in pain, tend to her by giving her whatever your ped recommends and soothing her, but if she just wakes up, leave her alone. She will learn an important lesson--how to put herself back to sleep without disturbing you.

K.,
It sounds as if your daughter is awakening and just talking. If that is the case, perhaps don't go in her room as your presence will stimulate her. If she is crying or upset, that is different. My other advice is not to take her out of her room. That will give her even more stimulus, especially if your husband is turning on lights or the TV, etc. Especially if she is not upset, this might have turned into a play time for her that she is clearly enjoying.

As for the motrin, i would give it at bedtime. I am not sure what your daughter's schedule is, but perhaps at her first waking . . . . but again, if she isn't fussy i wouldn't give her any meds.

I hope that helps.
A.

Have you tried teething tablets? They are homeopathic and are great, I have 3 boys and with my first I used baby orajel He was horrible when he was teething. My last 2 I found the teething tablets and they work great. They have directions for before bed on the bottle also. Let me know if you have tried them or if you need to know where to get them. They melt in the babies mouth.

Hi K.!
As a mother of three, I definitely would give the Motrin I would give it for four-five nights in a row and see what happens. Is she waking up crying? If not, I would not even go into the room. The book "Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child" by DR. Mark Weisbuth is very helpful in reassuring mothers that sleep habits need to be learned and very important for them to learn to get themselves back to sleep unassisted. Hang in there! This is so hard!

For what it's worth, here's what I'd do. First, give some motrin before bedtime (my ped recommended this and it seems to work wonders). You may only need to give her a half-dose to see the effects you want. This helps A LOT when my son is teething.

Second, if she's not crying - or once you've settled her at her awake period, I'd lay her down, tuck her in (even if she seems wide awake), tell her it's time for sleeping. If you have a bedtime song you sing her, sing it again so she knows. Basically, do whatever you would do when putting her to bed at night, kiss her, and leave the room. My son sometimes puts on a big show when I leave but then 2 minutes later he's fast asleep. I would let her fuss up to about 15 minutes (and if she's happily talking to herself just put a pillow over your head and ignore her - just because she's awake doesn't mean you need to be). Then check on her and repeat the bedtime thing. Repeat every 15 minutes as needed - BUT ONLY IF SHE'S ACTUALLY UPSET. Otherwise, let her talk as much as she wants.

She might be staying awake because she's woken up enough to realize that it's mom and dad there and they're much more interesting than going back to sleep. If you leave, that interest is gone.

I would not nurse her if it's not one of her usual "snack" times or that's all she'll want whenever you go into the room. You might try sending your husband in the room to quiet her the first time around - she is definitely not expecting milk from him :)

good luck!

my kids use to wake up in the middle of the night and as long as they are not crying then i would jsut leave them in there cribs and let them go back to sleep on there own. If i were you i wouldnt worry to much about it. If she has been fed and she has an ok diaper then i would just let her stay in crib. If she crys longer then 20 minutes i would go get her but other then that she will be fine.

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