A Unique Sleeping Problem

Alicia - posted on 02/20/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I have a unique sleeping problem with my almost 6 month old son Lucas.

Lucas is napping fairly consistently 3 times a day, and is going to bed between 7:30 and 8PM. We have no trouble getting him to go down to sleep, 99% of the time he does so with out crying, and is asleep within 15 minutes or so. But he does not sleep through the night. He consistently wakes up anywhere from 5 to 7 hours into his night time sleep. I have been getting up to feed him, change his diaper and then put him back down. And again he goes down with no fussing, and generally is asleep within 5 minutes or so. And then sleeps another 5-6 hours. When he wakes up, he is generally super happy, and usually doesn't fuss to eat for 45 minutes to an hour. He's just happy to see Mommy.

In the last month, I have been nursing him 5 times during the day, about a tablespoon of veggies for dinner, and 3 tablespoons of rice cereal before he goes to bed. I have not been giving him a dream feed because it just seems to cut into his long stretch of sleep. and one nursing feed in the middle of the night. At all feeds he nurses really well. And I know he is getting enough, and gaining weight properly (he gained 3lbs in 4 weeks!)

I don't mind getting up in the middle of the night to feed him right now, but I also don't want to have a 10 month old, or 1 year old who still is not sleeping through the night.

I am at a loss as to what to do. Any suggestions to help him sleep through the night? I've considered letting him cry it out, but I'm not sure if that is the way to go.

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Debbie - posted on 03/06/2009

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Wow, it sounds like you're doing well already - 3 good naps in the day and 2 long sleeps at night! At 6 months old, my son was doing only 2 good naps in the day and 1 long sleep at night (9:30pm - 7am). Maybe try dropping the 3rd nap, or bringing forward that dreamfeed that he is taking in the middle of the night?

Ginger - posted on 03/06/2009

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My daughter is almost 5 y/o and still does not sleep through the night every night. When she gets up now its to get in bed with me so I dont actually have to get up with her(I do wake up). I do agree that only putting him down for 2 naps may help. My daughter has not been put down for a nap since about 2 yrs old. Sometimes she goes to sleep on her own, but if made to take a nap she is unbelieveably ill when she wakes. I know you are probably tired of hearing this but, every child is different. My mom always tells me " You have to do what feels right to you as the mommy."

Anne - posted on 03/06/2009

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I can only tell you from my experience that when our daughters were that age they sleep through the night. There were times when they would wake up.  I found that if I added solid food one more time or increased the amount before bedtime this usually helped. It usually happened for our daughters when they started to be more active or were growing. You may want to keep a food and activity journal for a few days (If you can go without a full night s sleep a few more days)keeping track of any major difference in activity. This does not need to be very in depth. Example:  Started rolling over a lot today  or started crawling. I found our girls needed more calories because they were more active. If you do not overly encourage your son to eat more than he wants he will not get too much or too little food to help him.



Anne

Anne - posted on 03/06/2009

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I can only tell you from my experience that when our daughters were that age they sleep through the night. There were times when they would wake up.  I found that if I added solid food one more time or increased the amount before bedtime this usually helped. It usually happened for our daughters when they started to be more active or were growing. You may want to keep a food and activity journal for a few days (If you can go without a full night s sleep a few more days)keeping track of any major difference in activity. This does not need to be very in depth. Example:  Started rolling over a lot today  or started crawling. I found our girls needed more calories because they were more active. If you do not overly encourage your son to eat more than he wants he will not get too much or too little food to help him.



Anne

Christie - posted on 03/04/2009

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I know that it is very frustrating right now that your child is not sleeping the hours that you would sleep as an adult, but I have to agree with some of the other postings, count your blessings! When my first child was a baby, he didn't sleep through the night until well after a year of age. He would get up, we would give him a drink, he would go back to sleep. My advice is to treasure those early morning times, as it sounds like you do, because once they start sleeping all night, you will realize how much you miss getting up with them, seeing their sweet morning smile, and then realizing that you still get to go back to bed (hahaha)!! Seriously, though, my daughter (second child) would go to bed about 8-9 and sleep until 6-7 after just 10-12 weeks of age! Didn't realize how much I liked that early morning feeding time until I lost it with her! But then again, waiting that extra two hours to see that smile was still just as sweet, I just didn't get to go back to bed afterwards!! Good luck!

Brooke - posted on 03/04/2009

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He's 6 months old........very normal to still be waking up in the night. Sounds like you are doing everything great. I would seriosly caution against letting him cry itout. Babies cry for a reason, not to manipulate their parents. A six month old cannot spek and crying is his way of telling you his needs. Think if our Father let us "cry" without meeting us where we are. Praise Him that He lovingly meets us in our weakness. My son did not sleep through the night until 15 months. I know it seems exhausting but it is really only for a season. Enjoy him now, soon enough he will be grown. Cherish your son and let the little stuff go.........

Rachael - posted on 03/04/2009

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I have a 3 and a half year old he has had a sleeping problem cant get him to go to bed at night for like 2 hours after his bedtime and he would wake up and roam around in the night and not sleep in long.A week ago I stopped giving him naps and putting him to bed a little later and he goes to bed perfectly now and sleeps allllll night! I know he's not around your little ones age but maby cut back on one of your little ones naps he may be getting to much sleep in the day not making him want to sleep good at night. I also have 3 other children and my daughter would never sleep in her room at night always mine sence I stopped giving her a nap she has slept so sound at night that she is staying in her own room! I also have a 18 month old who hasn't been sleeping threw the night but sence putting her to bed at a later time too has helped and she dont wake up till 5 for a little drink then goes back to sleep.My 6 year old well he just sleeps lol but I hope your little guy starts sleeping for you at night I know how hard that is! best of luck!

Bethany - posted on 03/04/2009

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Quoting Jenny:


Babies of 6mths should sleep for 10-12 hrs at night but not if they're are napping 3 times a day.  I would reduce it to 2 naps then in a few months to one nap after lunch.  Josh is now sleeping 2hrs every afternoon and at least 11 hrs each night!!!!





 



Eric (at 8 months) still naps 3 times most days but that's because he has a really hard time staying awake more than 2 hours or so at a time- so he takes 3 naps for a total of about 4-4 1/2 hours total nap time and then sleeps for 11-12 hours at night.  I know that at his age he "should" be going longer in between naps (and sometimes he does just fine) but he is like two completely different kids when he gets lots of sleep!  Just another example of "every baby is different" (don't I wish I had a dollar for everytime I've said or heard that?!?)



 



How are things going? 



 



:~)

Jenny - posted on 03/03/2009

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Hi Alicia,



My heart just breaks for you having a wee man who isn't a great sleeper.  Iv been a mum for almost 22yrs which is the age of my oldest son, the next is almost 17yrs old and then I had alittle surprise son, Josh, who is now 20mths old.  He was born with severe reflux and for the first 4 mths was awake 20hrs a day and only slept for 4 hrs at night due to severe exhaustion.  If Josh napped during the day it would be for aound 15mins.  After he got thickened feeds and medication he no longer sufferd from the symptoms of reflux but had got into the routine of wakening and looking for me to sooth him back to sleep. He wakened 8-9 times every night!!!!  We then introduced a cuddle blanket and used it to comfort him.  He soon looked for it to comfort him in bed at night rather than me.  It sounds short but it was a long hard slog while both me and my hubby worked fulltime!!.  Babies of 6mths should sleep for 10-12 hrs at night but not if they're are napping 3 times a day.  I would reduce it to 2 naps then in a few months to one nap after lunch.  Josh is now sleeping 2hrs every afternoon and at least 11 hrs each night!!!!  Can't believe im telling you that cus it hasn't been easy getting here.  Keep battling......victory is ahead.  God bless 

[deleted account]

I just wanted to add that when my girls were 6 months old they were sleeping 12 hours at night.  That only lasted a month though.  I probably could have gotten them back into it, but for me it was easier just to nurse them the one or two times that they got up.  They slept through on their own again at 14 months when we were weaning.



There is nothing wrong w/ wanting him to sleep through the night.

Bethany - posted on 02/23/2009

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Ok- before I start I'm just going to point out that at my house my son, who started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks didn't sleep through for his whole 6 month so now might not be the best time to try anything. :~) Having said that, here are my suggestions:
Have you tried not feeding him when he wakes up the first time? What happens? Will he settle back down with just a soother and maybe a belly rub from mom? I've heard of mom's gradually feeding less and less until baby realises there's not much point in getting up. (I've also heard that this doesn't work- all babies being different!)

I used the Baby Whisperer's technique of Wake to Sleep when my son started waking up at 10:30pm and 4 am for a while. You just go in about an hour before he usually wakes (you will probably have to set your alarm for a few nights) and gently stir him- just enough that he will move a little but not wake up. For my son walking into the room was enough to make him change positions- but you may need to rub his tummy a little if he's in a deeper sleep. She says that it can take up to three nights- I know it sounds weird but it worked for me (and another mom I know- not to mention all the moms on www.babywhisper.com ). I started with the 10:30pm and actually found once he started sleeping through that one I didn't need to do it at 4am- he stopped that one on his own.

I don't know about whether babies are "designed" to sleep through or not but based on the fact that thousands of them do I don't think you are being unreasonable (or a bad mom) in at least trying. I think it's totally up to the mom's priorities- some moms really like getting up and enjoy the nursing time etc. For me, I know that my son really needs his sleep- on the odd night that he does wake up, even for 1/2 hour or so, I really see a difference in him the next day. The fact that your son goes to sleep so well is a testament to something right that you are doing! That must be such a blessing for you!

I'm sorry this got so long- I just wanted to give you a little encouragement and let you know that it's ok that you think this is a problem and want to do something about it!

Ally - posted on 02/22/2009

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oh my word ..i dont have any idea what the problem here is....sleeping 5-6 hours straight is considered sleeping through the night esp at 6 months! Babies are not designed to sleep through the night...my 11 and a half month old still nurses 2-3 times a night...and once they get a little older yours might sleep less with teething , separation anxiety or whatever else...night time waking is a protective measure in babies to keep keep moms milk supply up and ensure their survival...if your baby is sleeping like you say he is count your blessings...and never ever let your baby cry it out...read the baby sleep book br dr.sears it is wonderful!

[deleted account]

Good luck!  I have an 11 month old and he's only slept 8+ hours 3 times in his entire life.  Most nights lately he's been nursing twice in the middle of the night.  It was 3 times, so I'm actually grateful for the better sleep now!  Last night he slept for 7 hours straight and I was shocked.  As far as advice goes, I have none.  Every baby, child, and family are different.  Just wanted to let you know that a one year old not sleeping through the night is not the end of the world.  It's actually pretty common from what I've heard from other moms.

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