It’s a mystery

December 18, 2009

Piran has always been a great sleeper at night, going to bed with minimum fuss at 6pm each evening, we put him down awake and he puts himself to sleep. Up until he was 16 weeks he would then always have a bottle at 10pm and another at 3am, going straight back down after each bottle then woke around 7am.

The past three weeks however have been a bit different, the 10pm feed has become sometime between 11pm and midnight, and he then sleeps through until I wake him up at 7am. This is all lovely.

However, almost every night, sometime between 9.30 and 10 he wakes up and screams. Real tears, full on wailing. It usually takes 30 minutes to an hour to calm him down.

We took him to the doctor and there is nothing wrong that they can see. We have given calpol before bed, we have given it when he wakes but neither makes any noticiable difference. He is not hungry. One night I tried to let him just cry to see if he would go back to sleep but he just worked himself into a real state.

So, has anyone got any suggestions on how we can deal with this, what we should do? Anyone else had this and found the cause? I just want him to be happy.

Like he is here, looking at his very first snowy morning!


  • Reply The Dotterel December 18, 2009 at 9:40 am

    That's a really lovely picture!

    No idea what the problem you describe might be, although all babies seem to go through similar, inexplicable, phases and they soon pass. If it's not anything physical it might simply be a case of bad dreams. Sorry I can't be of any more help.

  • Reply Coding Mamma (Tasha) December 18, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Does the heating go on or off at that time? Or do the neighbours get home and turn the radio on or something? Sometimes it can be an external factor like that. But as The Dotterel said, it could just be the bad dreams starting.

    I'm finding it difficult to think back to Rosemary's earlier days and am not getting muddled with Eleanor's, but I know there were phases when she would cry inconsolably for no apparent reason. She did it more often, as I recall, on waking after an afternoon nap, rather than in the night, but I may just have blocked out nighttime screams. With her afternoon naps, the only thing we could do was leave her, because cuddling just made her worse. But am pretty sure she was older than Piran then.

    It may well just be a phase that he'll pass over soon, not that that helps you now.

    Sorry not to be more useful!

  • Reply TheMadHouse December 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Love the image.

    I can not help either, other than to say, keep doing what you are doing, lots of cuddles and kisses if and when it happens.

  • Reply Perfectly Happy Mum December 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

    That's such a lovely photo!

    I am not sure what could be the problem but I know that both mine went through the same phase and at around the same age. They were both really good sleepers and suddenly started waking up at odd time during the night. It was a bit later though, sometime past midnight. For both it was the time they started having teeth coming through and a doctor told me that the piercing shriek was probably due to the pain.

    Don't worry too much they go through phases. As long as you keep an eye, you are doing the right thing. Once that phase is over and he starts eating solid he will probably go longer in the morning and suddenly will wake at 5.30 am for no apparent reason. Then they go back to longer lie in… until they become teenagers and you have to kick them in the butt to get them out of bed! 🙂

  • Reply Bec December 18, 2009 at 10:35 am

    It may be that he is going from his light sleep to his deep sleep, the REM ( not the band ) Rapid Eye Movement phase and also dreaming as others have suggested. I remember this with Mo about the same stage, it was also the same time the dream feed started to get earlier. I think both Gina Ford and Tracey Hogg have written about this. We had to just go and sooth Mo back to sleep with cuddles and then 30 mins later all sorted, just roll with it hon ( as much as it sucks it WON't be forever) Try giving more oz in his 6pm bottle, say a whopping 9oz? I used to give Mo a split breast feed at this time eg feed bath feed bed? This helped him go into a deeper sleep.
    It may work ….it may not???!!
    Fingers crossed and keep me posted. xxx

  • Reply Laura McIntyre December 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    4 months is a big time for sleep problems. GOOGLE 4 months sleep regression and see ifyou come across something .

  • Reply cartside December 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    As Laura says, there are certain points in the development where sleep problems are likely to happen. It's to do with growing, either a growth spurt (which can hurt them poor souls) or a new skill being developed – at 16 weeks it would be rolling over? This new mobility can unsettle babies. It could also be teething of course, although in our case it led to wakenings every 30mins to 1 hr, not just once a night.

    Whatever it is, it will be a phase if nothing else is wrong with him. So as TheMadHouse said – keep doing what you are doing. try to settle and hopefully it'll pass really soon.

  • Reply Kelly December 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for all the comments, things have settled slightly over the weekend, and he slept for 8 hours in one go at one point (unfortunately I was awake for half of that!)

  • Reply Notes To Self Plus Two November 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    came by from, i am at the same stage as alice and only now know 4 month sleep regression is a thing
    – thanks xx

  • Leave a Reply