Lately my child has had a problem staying asleep. He has been waking multiple times a night and sometimes staying awake for hours just playing, or screaming. I am not quite sure what to do about this problem.
He started sleeping through the night (7-8 hours) at about 4 months old, around the same time I stopped breastfeeding. At about 5 months old he started sleeping 10-12+ hours a night. He did have the occasional wake up during that time, when he was sick or teething, but he usually was soothed and went right back to sleep.
Recently, everything has changed and he wakes up MUCH more often. One night he awoke every 30 minutes for 5 hours. He will cry until I come into his room then he starts laughing and wants to play with me. He has even managed to stay awake anywhere from 1 to 3 hours in the middle of the night playing in his crib and screaming for my attention.
Our nighttime routine has not changed since he was 3 months old. I have given him medicine for his teething gums before bedtime, but it did not solve the problem. I have tried making his room warmer, and cooler, that didn't make a difference either. He goes to bed on a full stomach so I can't imagine he is waking up hungry.
He is very good about falling asleep on his own when he goes down at 9:00. I have found that if I pick him up when he wakes it does much more harm than good. Because, I think that, to him, this means that he doesn't have to go back to sleep, so I soothe him while he lays in his crib. He also gets a bottle (if he is awake longer than an hour) in his crib. If he seems to be in pain from his teeth, I give him teething tablets, Tylenol or Motrin.
I don't really know what else I can do to help my little guy get a good nights sleep. I am not sure if there is an answer out there but I would sure like to find it.