Sleeping at Night

Shelley - posted on 07/30/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My 6 mth old still wakes up at least 3 times throughout the night. I am exclusively breastfeeding and alot of the time, she relies on me to go to sleep. I thought that once babies are 6 mths old, they sleep regular. Frustrating.

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Aleks - posted on 08/01/2010

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I would like to say regarding babies not needing to eat at night after 6months, what about drinking? Like what if the baby is thirsty? I know that I at times wake up because I am thirsty???

Some one, an "expert" has somewhere along the line INVENTED that ALL babies don't need to be fed at night. Um, that just sounds absolutelly ridicoulus to me that one can throw such a blanket approach on all babies. Such total absolute?! Besides, I believe that it is a carry over from when formula feeding was normal, and sure, ff infants probably shouldn't need to feed at night.
By the way, during teething and growth spurts babies like to feed more often and at night too. To increase mothers supply as more will be required when baby bigger. As for teething, it soothes them (remember bmilk has pain relieving properties), and sucking does allivate gum/jaw pain.
We have been suckerd into believing that babies don't need to be fed, where that may not be true. Some do and some don't. It all depends on their feeding patterns and stage they are at, ie, teething, growth. After doing a lot of reading throughout the last 2 years or so on breastfeeding I have come to understand a lot more about it. Including a lot of the myths that are being spread around by "experts", including the "not needing to eat at night". Most new mothers believe all this and perpetuate the myth. Most of these myths are so "absolute" and are told like they are THE RULE! for ALL. You must, otherwise you and your baby are doomed!!! Unfortunatelly, I too as a young mother believed it and suffered (and so did my baby at the time) as a result, sleepless nights, crying, stress, arguments, etc etc.

Oh, and I have also discovered that sometimes babies like to feed more often just before an illness shows up. Almost like a precursor.

I guess I am frustrated at constantly seeing people give others "recommendations" rather than support and understanding, unless of course recommendation has been asked for.

Ok, that is my 10cents worth...

[deleted account]

This is great! I have an almost-9-month-old who still wakes quite frequently to nurse. Sometimes he'll full on nurse; sometimes he'll just soothe himself to sleep. When I went back to work, he started sleeping with us. I found that I got more sleep this way. I always feel like I'm doing something wrong, because this isn't the "norm," and my baby isn't sleeping through the night. But I have faith that one day he will and all will be well. Right now, I'm just doing what it takes with less crying and more sleep for both of us. That involves nursing to sleep and cosleeping :)

Tanya - posted on 08/01/2010

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my son slept through the night at two months and started waking and eating again at 8 months. It baffled me, but when he wakes he eats! I think it might be for comfort, though, as that's when the separation anxiety started, too.

Dorothy - posted on 08/01/2010

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sometimes when babies wake up.. they are not necessarily hungry. babies wake during the night and often will go right back to sleep. we started having my husband go in when our twins woke at night (when they see/smell mom, they think "eat"). daddy was able to resettle (reswaddle, give pacifier) and they would go back to sleep. they started sleeping 8 hours at 14 weeks. it worked for us. took about 4 days and they stopped waking. good luck!

Tammy - posted on 07/31/2010

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Unfortunately a common misconception. Some do, some dont. By the age of 6 months, they dont usually require a feed during the night but do it for comfort instead. My son is bf and started sleeping through the night around 8mo. Dont push it, she will sleep through when she is ready.

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Emily - posted on 08/05/2010

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Thanks heather. I quite like the night time feeds. She really cuddles. I dont mind being tired and i really dont want to let her cry to sleep so hearing that you nursed your babies at night past 6 months makes me feel less guilty and not so alone.

Heather - posted on 08/05/2010

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Maybe try getting her to eat solids? She might be ready for baby food now and it can help her to only wake up once or twice at night to nurse. Some babies wake up a few times a night, and some don't. It's up to you if you want to keep nursing her when she wakes up or not. Both of my kids woke up about every 3 to 4 hours at night to nurse. I didn't mind it, yes, I was tired, but what can you do.

Not all babies sleep all night long at 6 months old. If you want to let her CIO when she wakes up, that's your choice, but I wouldn't. Maybe get your husband to go in the first time that she wakes up to hold her and try to get her back to sleep. Then when she wakes up the second time, go in and nurse her, make sure she nurses a lot, then put her back in her own bed. Then the third time she wakes up, that's up to you what you do, but if you don't nurse her, she might be waking up at 5 or 6am and be awake for the day. So sometimes nursing them that third time can make them sleep longer if you want to sleep in too.

Elsabie - posted on 08/04/2010

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My daughter is 2.5 and still does not sleep through the night. Oh well... :)

Emily - posted on 08/04/2010

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Thanks jessie. Ive done control crying before with my toddler when he was 8 months old but the difference was he was a bottle fed baby and had a dummy and my new baby is the oposite. Good job i like a challenge :-)

Jessie - posted on 08/03/2010

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Hahahaha sorry that's not the way it works! my son didnt start to sleep for long periods until 10 months old. and it took him until almost one year old to do it regularly (6-12 hour stretches) He still gets up fussy and I cant get him to sleep again without a boob but I mostly think that is from teething now (almost 13 months now) What you need to do is train her to fall asleep without a boob in her mouth that is the most important thing when they are getting older so they can begin to settle themselves in the night without nursing. hard to do but it can be done (my son and I are proof!) good luck. some day you will get to sleep again, I promise

Emily - posted on 08/03/2010

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My 6 month old also wakes 3 times a nite to feed, i find it relaxing and easy and i have always just let her do it . She pulls off after 15 mins and is asleep and i put her in her cot. Unfortunately today my health visitor told me that as she is now 6 months i should leave her to cry at night to break the habbit. I cant stop feeding her just like that! Should i wait to see if introducing solids over a few months helps or bite the bullet so to speak? Argh, being a mum is soo hard.

Jennifer - posted on 08/03/2010

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I know from my nanny years that all kids are different. Most do sleep through the night by 6 months but some don't for a while. Is she on solids yet?

Meri - posted on 08/03/2010

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I wish they slept through at 6 months!!! My son is a couple weeks shy of a year and is still breastfed, he needs me to go to sleep still. We definitely are working on it, and it's very hard. You have to try a lot of different techniques and tricks before you find one that will work for you and your baby.

Aleks - posted on 08/03/2010

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Actually Jamie Blomme, what your baby is doing IS NORMAL.

Infact, in the great majority of the world, where breastfeeding is practiced to natural duration (ie, child self weans anywhere between 4-6 yo) most babies will feed during the night and feed frequently. This also isn't a problem for most women either as co-sleeping is also the norm. Unfortunatelly, here in the western world we are told this is not normal, are told that we are setting our selves and our babies up for failure - mostly failure to control this young human, which is really sad but I won't go into details regarding parent/child relationships, I have digressed too much..LOL

Back on track...
In fact, what is NOT NORMAL for our species (remember humans are mammals) is to put our little babies in a room away from the mother and told not to wake up, call out for mum, or need to snuggle to her, feel her protective warmth and nourishing milk. We are pack animals and pack animals do not generally sleep alone as that means they are exposed and in danger. We have this hard wired in our brains, though in some it is stronger than in others.
I wish I had learned this earlier but I guess parenting is also a learning experience. One I guess will never end.. :-)

Michelle - posted on 08/02/2010

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I just have to say thank you for asking this question or should I say your comment... My son is gaining on 6 months and he gives me a hard time with sleeping and has to fall asleep on the boob.... LOL I am glad to know that I am not the only one that is having this problem with him sleeping through the night even though I have found that he sleeps well in the swing also!!

Shelley - posted on 08/02/2010

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Thank you. I feel more hopeful. I just thought i was building a bad habit for my LO. Then I realized, she could be going through a teething/ growth spurt stage or something. I'm just going to try to be patient and hang in there.

[deleted account]

Both of the other moms have said alot of what I was going to. One thing I want to add that has helped me tremendously, is when my girls were a few months old and really starting to suck on their fists, I would help them get just their thumb in their mouths, to teach them to self-soothe for those times that they just want to suck.
But breastfeed babies do sometimes need to be fed often thru the night. There are also the EBF babies too that STTN, but I think those are far & few between.
Hang in there!

Aleks - posted on 07/30/2010

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Nope... they don't. Some babies do, others dont. Some babies do and then they revert back to not sleeping regularly.
I understand your frustration as I used to have this with my first born. Currently, I have a 17mth old who still wakes anywhere between 1-4 times a night and needs boob to resettle back to sleep. However, what I learned with my 1st was that co-sleeping helps greatly with lack of sleep. My 17mth almost never wakes up at night and stays awake or is hard to resettle unless she is in some pain, and even then she wants to go back to sleep.
But some babies don't need to have 'boob' and sleep thru, even when they are breastfed.
All babies are different.

Stacey - posted on 07/30/2010

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Each baby is different and the sleeping thing can be really taxing. My first daughter was much the same as yours, my second however is sleeping through at 4 mos. I am doing something different with my 2nd, I nurse her in bed before I go to sleep, then my hubby moves her to the bassinet which is at the foot of our bed. There is a dehumidifier running creating some white noise. If she does happen to wake up, I nurse her laying in bed, it means I don't have to get up and she realizes it isn't time to get up. Also, try to put her down for naps etc while she is still a little awake so she will start to learn to put herself to sleep. This can be a little hard on the head, mine still cries sometimes during the day when I do this but it has helped with night time. It will come, I remember the nights I sat up with my 1st and how tired I was. Good luck!

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