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Thread: Waking up at night

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    15

    Exclamation Waking up at night

    This is probably not the right place to address this type of a question, but I received help here so many times (for all and every bit of it I am VERY VERY grateful) and I thought I will see if anyone has had the same problem.
    Thus, my 6.5 month old baby keeps waking up at night every 3 hours. It all started when we moved (he was 4 months old then). He used to take 6-7 hour break after bath when he was younger, but now keeps waking up every 3 hours crying and requesting milk. I started him on solids when he was 5 months and a week thinking that that was what he needed (he is a big boy - 90%), but that did not solve the problem. I searched attachment parenting books but did not find anything. I also asked his doctor and was advised to let him cry-it-out, but of course this is something I would never do. He sleeps with us so I tried cuddling, offering a pacifier, singing... nothing helps. He gets his bottle of milk and then driffts back to sleep. I am just worried that he will be used to his bottle at night and will not want to give it up... I also worry that his little tommy does not get any rest. Any suggestions on how I can help him, and us, sleep thru the night?

    As always, thank you!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Waking up at night

    Are you BFing? This is a prime age for teething and increased night wakings to the point of resentment is one of the surest signs. We just increased the night nursings as there is oxcytocin in Breastmilk that helps them with the pain. And there is no issue at all with a 6&1/2 month old eating on demand....

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Waking up at night

    Hi there--

    While I know you're probably anxious to sleep through the night, know that it's VERY NORMAL for a baby to not sleep through the night until beyond the first year! Sleeping through the night is often not an issue of having enough to eat, as much as it's an issue of your LOs unique temperment, and nervous system development.

    Not trying to scare you, but my DS woke up every 3 hours to eat until he was over a year old. Now that he's weaned, I actually sometimes MISS those quiet times.

    Lisa

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    70

    Default Re: Waking up at night

    HI there

    You are not alone. My ds wakes up every 3 to 4 hours every night since about 3 months old and shows no signs of sleeping through. He once did 9 hours so I know he can manage a whole night!

    Why would he do 9 hours and then go back to 3 to 4?

    It is so hard to keep waking like this so my sympathies are with you. A lot of my friends seem to lead far more normal lives and do so much more with their lo's because they get a full nights sleep. I find it very hard to function on little sleep and find I sleep whenever lo does so we hardly ever leave the house, especially now it is winter an the afternoons are so dark.

    Anyway, good luck with it all and hopefully you will get a full nights sleep soon.

    s xx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    436

    Default Re: Waking up at night

    My son used to be a good sleeper up until about 5 months -- he could do 8-9 hours at a stretch. Then something changed -- maybe teething, maybe getting more active, or maybe (as someone told me) because "his brains came in" and he started being able to more actively think about what he wanted and act on it. He started waking every couple of hours or so. We weren't co-sleeping at the time, so I was getting exhausted, falling asleep in the nursing chair. We tried having his dad go in to put him back to sleep, tried giving him water, tried a "mini-cry" of five minutes. Over the months he just got more vociferously insistent that he wanted me -- sometimes not to nurse, just to cuddle, but mostly to nurse. Usually he's quite a daddy's boy, so that was hard on my partner. Finally we gave in and started co-sleeping at 11 months (he goes to bed in his crib and then joins us at his first wakeup after we go to bed). I'm definitely getting more sleep, although perhaps not sleeping quite as comfortably (but anything's bettter than spending half the night in the nursing chair). He's still waking up several times a night -- sometimes more, sometimes less, depedning on who knows what. He's now 12 months, and at some point I'd like to try some of the tips I've read about to get him to nurse less at night (Dr. Sears and Dr. Jay Gordon both have interesting tips, sorry I don't have the links right now). For the time being, I'm just enjoying the sweetness of sleeping with him that I missed out on for all these months. In any case, what you're going through sounds pretty normal. If you want a gentle approach to sleeping better, try Pantley's book (the No-Cry Sleep Solution). I've used a lot of the tips in that book, just to create a good bedtime environment, and I think they have helped, but so far he's still waking.

    Annie

  6. #6
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    Jun 2006
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    470

    Default Re: Waking up at night

    My experience is similar to yours, Gabriel's mom.

    My baby is 6.5 month old too, and also wakes every 2-3 hours! I also tried giving him solids thinking it would help him sleep longer, but it didn't.

    I read some posts by mothers whose children were not sleeping thru the night even at 4-6 years old, and I got frightened. I can't imagine being sleep deprived for so long! As it is, I am already fraying at the edges from lack of sleep.

    So, unlike you, we tried the cry-it-out method for 3 nights in a row, but it only made baby seem more insecure. After that, I couldn't leave him for a moment in his cot without him crying, while before I had been able to give him alone-time for short spells.

    Now we're trying to eliminate one of the night nursing sessions in hopes that it will discourage him from waking at that time. So when he wakes at 2am, instead of nursing, either I or his daddy will cuddle him, pace the floor and rock him till he falls asleep. I don't know if this will help because I realise that he might not be waking just because he wants to feed.

    I too could do with some suggestions as I am unable to function well on this little sleep.
    Caylen Koen Chew (25/05/06)
    Lost No.2 in Aug 2008 ... Lost No. 3 in May 2009 Hoping for another ... Enjoying No.1



  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Waking up at night

    Hi! Mommies of night-waking babies, I feel your pain! Until a week ago, my 9.5 month-old daughter was up every 1.5-3 hours, except for one blessed week when she was 4.5 months old and slept from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.. While there's no magic formula for solving the night-waking problem, here are a couple of things that helped me: first, we moved our daughter into a crib in her own room. We had been co-sleeping, but she had very sensitive breast-feeding radar and every time she stirred she wasn't happy until she had a mouthful of that nearby breast. (Also, I tended to sleep more lightly and respond very quickly so that my husband wouldn't wake up. Great for him, not so good for me!) The second thing that really helped was breaking the "I nurse-myself-to-sleep" association my daughter had formed by falling asleep on the breast every night from birth on. I had to find that magic point in the nursing cycle where she was drowsy but not asleep, and pop her into bed to fall asleep solo. That way she was more content going back to sleep solo when she woke up in the night.

    Finally, and I know that this strategy isn't for everyone and that I won't win any popularity contests by admitting that I used it, but we had to let our daughter do some crying. She was nine months old and still waking up five-six times a night, and I was starting to lose it, and tip over into being a resentful, angry mommy and wife. So we let our daughter cry herself to sleep, with me sitting next to her crib and crooning to her. The first night it took 30 minutes of her walking around her crib wailing angrily before she lay down and drifted off, breaking my heart with her sad hiccuping. The second night was the same. The third night she cried for ten minutes, and the fourth night not at all. She has been sleeping 6 hours in a row since night one, and I haven't noticed any effect on her personality. She's happy and independent and, if anything, less cranky now that she's getting more uninterrupted hours of sleep. So, in conclusion, I would say that if you've gotten to that desperation point, cry-it-out is not the end of the world for your child, or for you. But it isn't pleasant and I wouldn't recommend it until you've exhausted all your other options!

  8. #8
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    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Waking up at night

    Thank you all...

    As awful as it sounds I certainly feel better knowing there are other moms who are experiencing this awful sleep depravation due to night nursing/feeding... but I am also sorry for all of you and myself...
    Thank you for all the great suggestions. They are sure worth a try...

    You are all the GREATEST mothers in the world!!!!

    Thank you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    436

    Default Re: Waking up at night

    Momma1, your experience is really interesting -- I've been wondering how important it is to NOT nurse all the way to sleep. That's one guideline that almost all of the various sleep experts seem to share -- I just read it on Dr Jay Gordon's site, certainly a fan of AP and co-sleeping. I find that that's the hardest pattern to break. It works so well and is so very very sweet. I'm always happy when my son doesn't fall asleep nursing, then I let him roll around on the bed until his eyes are just closing and I pop him in the crib. But many nights he just goes out like a light and I don't have the heart to pop the nipple out of his mouth when he's still sucking but starting to nod off (as Pantley recommends).

    I do think he sleeps better overall when he doesn't nurse to sleep. But it's so hard for me to let go of. I'm interested what other experiences you have with this -- is not letting your LO nurse to sleep really an essential part of getting them to sleep better?

    Your experience letting your daughter cry with you in the room is very interesting. I hope it lasts! We've tried similar things, maybe without such persistence, and they seem to work for a day maybe and then he goes back to the old pattern. But a week is a good sign -- good luck and keep us posted as to what happens.

    Annie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Waking up at night

    Hi Annie! I know what you mean when you say nursing to sleep is a hard pattern to break. It is so sweet when your LO is nodding off in your arms, and then s/he sleepily slides off the breast and nuzzles to sleep. But I think, in my case at least, I'd have to agree with Pantley- if the baby falls asleep on the breast, she expects to go back to sleep on the breast, and never learns that falling asleep or going back to sleep is something she can do without the breastfeeding crutch. But then, every baby is different. And, like Sears & Sears says, the breastfeeding crutch thing is only a problem if you feel it's a problem!

    My daughter was waking up 8 times a night until I started doing the "Pantley pull-off" method (Unlatching the baby while drowsy and letting her go to sleep solo). We got her down to 5-6 night wakings by using the pull-off and moving her into a crib in another room. Still, waking up five times a night was driving me nuts.

    To get the night wakings down to one or two, we finally had to do the cry-it-out thing. (Admittedly, with me two inches away, cooing softly at her the whole time.) So many people seem to think this approach is child abuse that I was almost afraid to admit that we'd done it. But I was hoping that if I came clean, maybe at least people would talk about it as an approach that is used, and does (sometimes) get results.

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