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Thread: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Maryland
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    Default Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Hola Mamas,

    Just sitting here with my 2nd cup of coffee thinking about my 8month olds sleeping habits...I know as Moms we always question if what our children are doing is "normal" and search for some sort of validation!

    I feel like his sleeping behavior IS "normal" for an EBF baby, but i'm wondering if there is anything that I can do to encourage fewer wakings each night...
    I have begun reading the "No Cry Sleep Solution", but i'm not seeing any real "answers"...haha! I just want to be told what to do!

    Here's what our night looks like:
    Nurse to sleep by 7:30pm
    1st waking: 12:30am
    2nd waking: 2:30am
    3rd waking: 4:30am
    Awake for the day: 6:45-7am

    We nurse at each waking and he is back to sleep within 10 minutes, luckily.
    I am not feeling SUPER sleep deprived, or at my wit's end...I'm just wondering if he REALLY is hungry at these wakings or if it's just become habit/comfort. It's pretty much like clock-work when he wakes, so I don't think he's waking from discomfort, temperature etc.

    I have tried a "dream feed" around 10pm when I go to bed, but it didn't change anything, he still woke at 12:30 like usual.

    At 8 months I guess I just "assumed" that 1 waking (maximum 2) would be normal, but 3 seemed excessive.

    As far as milestones, he is crawling, sitting, climbing and has 4 teeth--and his sleeping pattern hasn't changed for, i'd say, the last 2 months at least...Only a few more wakings when top teeth came in.

    What do you say ladies? Sound familar? Sound "normal"? Anything suggestions from experience...?

    Thanks in advance
    Amy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,894

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    What you describe sounds absolutely normal for an 8 month old. Both my kids woke at least that much, and my first daughter woke quite a bit more. Think 6-8 night-wakings until around 10 months! Frequent night-waking can be caused by the new milestones he's mastering (crawling, sitting, starting to pull up to a stand, chewing, etc.), and by teething, and by ear infections, and by growth spurts, and also by habit. The reason I like the "No-Cry" book is that it doesn't offer you a guaranteed solution to night-waking, and that is honest. Any book that claims to have a sleep intervention that works for EVERY baby is selling you a pig in a poke.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    What you describe sounds normal, many wake more often, some less.
    I remember the nights form 6 to 10 months as difficult, and hard, but not actually how often he woke. One time I actually went tot he pediatrician in my despair (whom I like a lot and is a bf / cosleepig supporter) and she assured me it was all normal and would pass - and sure enough it did.

    I never sleep trained, not even a "mild" method, but having closely observed a family that did (using Ferber) I don't think it is a useful choice. It is in my opinion a false claim that there are answers which work for everyone. All those sleep trainers, books etc simply exploit sleep deprived parents who would give anything for it to stop and are delighted that someone offers a "solution". But it actually also works if you do not use someone elses methods, but ride it out and cueing to the child's needs. Their sleep patterns at that age change all the time, a months seems so long but really is not. Also, I really do not think families that sleep train have any less emotional upheaval as a family than we did simply riding it out.
    If you can, go with the flow and tell yourself it will change soon, because it will.
    Looking back, now that he is four yrs old, I literally cannt remember the details except for remember I was very desperate. I was worried this would always be this way but actually it changed / improved before he was one.

    Also, I would add, I see nothing wrong with nursing for comfort during the night (or day for that matter). If you stopped "comfort nursing", you would need an alternative - carrying, rocking, paci, bottle, etc - so why not use something that is handy and works well?
    Last edited by @llli*mammi; March 14th, 2013 at 03:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    177

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Eight months is a pretty hard time for sleep. Developmentally, they're making massive leaps. Cognitive abilities, motor skills, physical growth . . . they're busy little creatures.

    Three-four nightwakings for ten minutes? Count your blessings.
    Mum to DS (04/07)
    EPing for former 28 weeker (03/12)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Your baby is very normal! I have an 8 month old, and you just summed up what my nights are like. My baby usually goes to sleep between 8:30 and 9:00, sleeps until about midnight, and then is up 2-3 more times after that. I thought that maybe my baby was in a habit, but your post made me feel so much better. Also, my baby doesn't like food yet so he is still just getting breastmilk. I figure he needs all that milk at night to re-energize for the next day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    289

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Sounds just like my day! You know, honestly, I don't think sleep training makes any sense with breastfeeding. We cosleep and I have no idea how sleep training would work, I think it would just make me exhausted. Right now my baby never makes a peep all night long, just goes back to sleep after nursing like yours. I didn't nurse my first child, but my second baby is exclusively breastfed (she's never even had a bottle). She loves the comfort and obviously getting food...it seems like there is so much more tied to nursing for baby than just getting something to eat. I remember reading a sleep training book with some really awful advice, especially for moms who BF. It said to gradually cut back on the number of minutes your baby eats each night until you're at zero, which sounds to me like you'd just end up with one miserable hungry baby! My baby is so distractable, thank goodness she eats 3 times a night or else I don't know how she'd get her calories in. Night time is a great time to feed in my opinion, especially if baby is more interested in what's going on around them during the day, like mine. She feeds so well at night, always has.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Yes, sounds very normal. My DS was up 6-7 times a night at that age...it was hard. But around 12 months, he started sleeping through the night (some of the time; other times he's up 1-2x) all on his own, with no sleep-training at all. I would just ride it out if I were you. I don't think sleep training really 'works' anyway. Whenever they hit teething, illness, or a new developmental milestone, their sleep gets all messed up again and then you have to 'sleep train' (i.e. ignore your crying baby) all over again. Sounds miserable to me. Plus, think of how the poor baby feels I know I don't like it when somebody ignores me if I'm upset or crying, and I'm a full-grown adult who can take care of myself. Can you imagine how frightening it is for a totally dependent baby to be left alone to cry in the dark, with nobody coming to help? They eventually stop crying, yes, but it's not because they've become more 'independent' or learned to 'self-soothe' or any of that nonsense. They've just come to the sad realization that crying does them no good, because nobody is coming to help them THAT is what you're teaching a baby when you sleep train. Not a lesson I ever wanted to teach. I like sleep as much as the next girl and I can't wait till my 16 month old goes back to sleeping through the night as he was doing until he started getting molars..but not at my baby's expense. I'd rather wake up every night for years on end than teach him that I'm not there if he needs me and leave him feeling abandoned. I'm his Mommy, it's my job to be there when he needs me.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*stonesmom View Post
    Hola Mamas,

    Just sitting here with my 2nd cup of coffee thinking about my 8month olds sleeping habits...I know as Moms we always question if what our children are doing is "normal" and search for some sort of validation!

    I feel like his sleeping behavior IS "normal" for an EBF baby, but i'm wondering if there is anything that I can do to encourage fewer wakings each night...
    I have begun reading the "No Cry Sleep Solution", but i'm not seeing any real "answers"...haha! I just want to be told what to do!

    Here's what our night looks like:
    Nurse to sleep by 7:30pm
    1st waking: 12:30am
    2nd waking: 2:30am
    3rd waking: 4:30am
    Awake for the day: 6:45-7am

    We nurse at each waking and he is back to sleep within 10 minutes, luckily.
    I am not feeling SUPER sleep deprived, or at my wit's end...I'm just wondering if he REALLY is hungry at these wakings or if it's just become habit/comfort. It's pretty much like clock-work when he wakes, so I don't think he's waking from discomfort, temperature etc.

    I have tried a "dream feed" around 10pm when I go to bed, but it didn't change anything, he still woke at 12:30 like usual.

    At 8 months I guess I just "assumed" that 1 waking (maximum 2) would be normal, but 3 seemed excessive.

    As far as milestones, he is crawling, sitting, climbing and has 4 teeth--and his sleeping pattern hasn't changed for, i'd say, the last 2 months at least...Only a few more wakings when top teeth came in.

    What do you say ladies? Sound familar? Sound "normal"? Anything suggestions from experience...?

    Thanks in advance
    Amy
    My DD is 8 months and is EBF by me and bottle fed my expressed milk while I'm at work. Your night sounds pretty much like my night every night
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    159

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Yep. Two months ago my DD was the same way. And actually at 10 mo now we pretty much have the same schedule that you have, sometimes more than that... I know it'll change sometime.
    Since it doesn't really bother me to wake up to nurse, I haven't had the "need" to find a "solution" or sleep train. I just couldn't do it anyway, I can't listen to my baby cry, it breaks my heart every time I just need to get her...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*leemami View Post
    Yep. Two months ago my DD was the same way. And actually at 10 mo now we pretty much have the same schedule that you have, sometimes more than that... I know it'll change sometime.
    Since it doesn't really bother me to wake up to nurse, I haven't had the "need" to find a "solution" or sleep train. I just couldn't do it anyway, I can't listen to my baby cry, it breaks my heart every time I just need to get her...
    For those that can work through it, great, but I'm with you. Except for her stirring in sleep and us waiting a minute to see if she dozes off again, we attend to the cries. I'm so grateful my husband and I are in agreement on this - extremely helpful in avoiding conflict.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

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