My Baby is still not sleeping through the night

User - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My little Emma-Marie has never slept through the night and still wakes up three times a night. I've tried extending feeding times and placing my shirt in her bassinet . I'm not sure how to help her stay asleep. She wakes up, nurses for 10 minutes, and then goes back down. Any thoughts??

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Sarina - posted on 01/08/2010

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what i would do is feed before u go to bed then if emma wakes up then give water in sted or let cry out the first on then secnd one feed smaller u have to train them to sleep all night

Leanne - posted on 01/05/2010

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My daughter was doing the same thing for a while up until she was about 4 1/2 months... I started the ol' water at feed times during the night to see if she was actually hungry or just comfort feeding. So I am told... the rule of thumb is that if they take the water then they ''aren't actually hungry''.(Easy if your baby is happy to take a bottle as well as breastfeeding) So I did this for a while until eventually I replaced water with just a dummy (if your little one takes one that is) then eventually after a week I took the dummy away and although I have to admit we did have to endure a few nights of her waking up once or twice and having to let her cry it out, I knew she wasn't crying for any other reason other than just the habit of ''cry and mummy comes in and gives me something'' so it was hard hearing her cry and not going in but cruel to be kind? She started sleeping through after 3 weeks of slowly taking all these little comforts away from her... It depends how you feel about it really- I was just so so tired and when I realised she was doing it out of comfort and not hunger then I figured as much as I love her, I'd much rather have a full nights sleep so I can be awake and at her every demand during the day than get up every 3 or 4 hours for her to fall asleep after 10 mins of feeding! I have read somewhere as well that it can help if someone else does the night water feeds as they won't be able to smell 'mum' but my other half gets up early for work so I couldn't try that one... Hope this helps...

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Missi - posted on 01/28/2010

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its kind of frustrating when people try to simplify it, like we didn't try ALL of those things already..

Jaime - posted on 01/14/2010

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okay this is what you got to do it works for me what i do is i lay my son on my chest i rock back and forth singing twinkle twinkle little star over and over again i play with his hair with one hand and i pat his back with the other it works(make sure your doing all these movements at the same time) hes fusses for a little in the beginning but if you keep doing it will work in your favor then when he finally falls asleep i wait 10 min when i know hes completly passed out and i gently pick him up and put him in his crib laying on his tummy. my lil man sleeps all through the night since he was 3 weeks old now hes 6 months oh and i find that when i feed him oatmeal or give him a hot bath right before bed he passes right out be sure to use lavender bed time lotion it works everytime.also if ur baby gets up in the middle of the night just put a pacifiyer in his or her mouth and that will keep them to staying asleep. it helps to have a mobil on the crib everytime u put pacifiyer in mouth play the mobil and wala ur baby is fast asleep.now for those of you who have colicy babies what you do is (this might sound a lil strange but it works)you hold your baby while standing up go to a white wall and start doing squat like movements this calms your baby down because he or she will be looking at your shadow and it will keep them occupied hope this works for you guys let me know thanks
jaime

Tonia - posted on 01/09/2010

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i understand exactly!! I'm a mother of four and none of my kids slept through the night untill they were close to a year old. My youngest is 6 mths old, so I've given up hope on ever getting any sleep! Just hang in there!! Have you tried a binki? That helped with my second child, but only delayed for one night time feeding.

Alicia - posted on 01/09/2010

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At our 4 month appt. with our Pediatrician, he said that our son should not need to eat at night anymore. He suggested that we just soothe him back to sleep instead of feeding him. He was still eating 2 times a night and had dropped to the 15th percentile in weight, so we were too nervous to cut those feedings out! He gained a pound in the next month, so we decided to slowly fade out his feedings.

He is on formula and we were typically giving him 6 oz each feeding. He'd pretty much take the whole bottle and go right back to sleep. So we reduced it to 4 oz for about a week, then 2 oz for about 4 days. We noticed that he was still getting up twice a night no matter how much we fed him and he would still fall right to sleep after/while eating regardless of how much we fed him.

So last night we didn't feed him at all. We let him cry it out. It was by far one of the hardest things I've ever had to do! But this morning he was a happy, hungry baby. Ate his bottle and we were off!

I highly recommend the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth. I adore this book and find myself reading it over and over again. I have tried to adhere to all of his advice and it always works. However, he states that it is perfectly normal for babies to eat 0-2 times a night until they are 9 months old. He says past this age you could begin to develop a night feeding habit. We were going to wait until 9 months to use his extinction method, but after visiting with our own doctor, we started it now at 6 months.

Good luck and happy sleeping - hopefully!

Kara - posted on 01/09/2010

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My baby girl is 6 months and still gets up once or twice during the night. It is perfectly normal for a child to want the comfort of their mother at any time during the night.

Chonty - posted on 01/09/2010

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My daughter does the exact same thing! In the past few weeks she has begun solids, and even this doesn't stop the night feeding...sometime as much as 3 feeds in a night...it gets very tiring...I am still breastfeeding her, and have even tried giving her a bottle, which she didn't take...Maybe this si just something some babies do...growth spurt or just habit?

Shanna - posted on 01/08/2010

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My first son is now 3 and was always a good sleeper....from 2weeks on he was sleeping 6-8 hours a night. Then came our second... Liam has never been a good sleeper. Basically you have two choices, continue to get up with her and let her work it out on her own over time, or try to break her of the habit.
Water bottles (from what I've discussed with my dr) are more than fine for infants at least 6 months of age (since they start solids and juice by this time, water does them no harm no fowl!) I've tried that with my son and he'll do one of two things... guzzle it down because he's thirsty (please note we live in MN in the winter... it's extremely dry here right now) or he spits it right out.
I've given up on trying to break him of it. There are many circumstances why he's not sleeping through the night, main one being he's just not ready!!
I would say talk to your dr and get suggestions from him/her. Every baby is different, and you (and your dr) know what's best for your daughter!!
Good luck!!

Leanne - posted on 01/08/2010

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i have 3 children; my oldest didn't sleep thru the night til he was almost 2!!! my second slept thru the night at about 4 mos and my daughter, now almost 6 mos, still gets up once to nurse throughout the night. every child is so different. have you tried a pacifier? maybe it's just the comfort of sucking that is needed...

Saranna - posted on 01/08/2010

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Lauren Jenkins,



My daughter has the same problem. She isn't a crier, but she has reflux & is VERY gassy. She wakes up 2-3 times a night. If I just leave her to cry when she wakes up, she ends up spitting up out of her nose and mouth. I'm afraid she will choke. She wakes up scared to death when this happens. I can't do the cry it out method. As soon as she passes the gas she goes right back to sleep, but needs help getting it out sometimes. It breaks my heart for her b/c I know it's not just waking out of habit, it's waking out of pain. So many mothers make you feel like a lesser parent b/c my 6 month old doesn't sleep through the night. It's not a race to see who can get their little one to sleep through. I would love more sleep, but her well-being is more important to me. Hang in there. I have a feeling my Lyla will grow out of it too.

Carolyn - posted on 01/08/2010

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Ooops...you have a girl...sorry. After reading all the responses I got it into my head that you had a boy. Poor Emma!:)

Carolyn - posted on 01/08/2010

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First of all, if your baby is not sleeping through the night, this does NOT mean you're doing things wrong. Every baby is different, some are naturally good sleepers and some are not. Mine has generally been quite a good sleeper so I know it's easy for the "good sleeper" parents to act like they know everything but let's be honest here, we're largely just lucky!
Also remember that your little one actually needs his 8 hours even more than you do so figuring out how to give them a good night's sleep is the goal here. And the bonus is that you get a good night as well! If your baby is gaining well then he doesn't physically NEED night feeds so you can cluster feed in the evenings, give an extra feed right before bed, and then try the soother during the night. I hate CIO but we've had to do it a number of times. I just keep reminding myself that it's to HER benefit to learn good sleeping habits. I don't let it go on forever, I go in to her room as many times as I need to sing to her, offer her a soother (she usually hates it), pat her back, rub her feet, turn on quiet music, give her a soft blanket...anything to soothe her. I'd suggest finding what calms and soothes your little one and help them associate it with sleeping. Many kids like white noise, a fan, a humidifier....mine likes the vacuum, silly girl!
Also I've discovered that if she hasn't had good naps during the day, her sleep at night is restless so I guard her nap times with my life. She does best with 2 or 3 naps of 1 to 2 1/2 hours each. I don't let her go over 3 hours so she doesn't confuse day with night. We've also had her on a sleep, eat, wake cycle from the get-go so that she doesn't associate sucking with sleeping.
I found the Baby Whisperer to have a lot of good advice. Gather information and then pick and choose the parts that work for you. Nothing is written in stone, keep trying things, see what works best for you and your little guy.
Good luck. This stage won't last forever!

Lauren - posted on 01/08/2010

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My son does the same thing because nursing naturally relieves gas pain. He has always been very gassy and will take short naps and wake up 3 times per night when the gas starts building up. When he starts to stir, I will gently roll him on his belly (still sleeping) and softly apply pressure to the sides of his colon. Since he is relaxed, a bunch of gas will be released. Once that happens, I roll him back over and he goes back to sleep without stirring (until the gas builds up again in a few hours). If I can't get any gas out, he will stir until he wakes himself up... then the only thing I can do to calm him down at that point is to nurse. I've accepted this as just something I'm going to have to live with until gas no longer bothers him (he is almost 6 months old now). It could be that he is just gassy from the milk proteins (still breastfed) or that he has a sensitive colon to gas bubbles. Either way, I don't force him to cry it out, because his only way of talking to me is crying, and for my son- he's crying because he's in pain. Anyway, I hope this helps. It seems like the more time passes, the longer stretches of sleep at night- I'm positive he'll grow out of it on his own.

Jessica - posted on 01/08/2010

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Quoting Maggie:

my son is 6 months doing the same thing he just wants the comfort of nursing


theres your problem.



babies are not stupid and kno how to get what they want. you need to try controlled CIO if they are not having full feeds, they obvously dont need them, teach them that waking in the night isnt going to get them anywhere, i might sound mean, but people complain about there babies waking 3 or 4 times, and of course they are going to if you get up to them, pick them up and stick them on your boob for 5 mins and nurse them back to sleep.



my child is fantastic, breast fedfor 6 months now, has been sleeping through since 7 weeks old, doesnt ever wake up. AFTER she started waking at2amand 4am for comfort feeding, i started controlled CIO and it worked within a week.

Stephanie - posted on 01/07/2010

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My dr, said to start weening her off the bottle. Minus a oz every 3 nights, till there is nothing left for her. She only wakes up because she knows there is food. It worked for me, my daughter has been sleeping through the night since she was 6 weeks.

[deleted account]

My baby has the same problem! We're trying to get her to fall asleep without milk--we just started this last night. We're going to just rock her to sleep for the next couple weeks and then start the Ferber method of putting her down and leaving her for increasing amounts of time so she can learn to put herself to sleep.

Sorry I don't have tried and true advice for you since I'm in the same boat. If my way works I'll let you know. Please do the same for me with whatever you try!

-Kristine

Michelle - posted on 01/07/2010

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I know that it's not for everyone, but I'd highly recommend looking into the Ferber method (controlled crying / progressive waiting). Our almost 6 month old daughter has been sleeping through the night for about a month now - but before that she would wake 2 or 3 times a night and need to be fed and rocked back to sleep. Actually, before that, she never once fell asleep without being rocked. Fortunately, once we started Ferber she took to it pretty quickly.

Regardless of whether you end up using the method or not, I recommend getting his book, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. I've read several different sleep books and can say that it was, hands down, the most concise and informative. I've learned so much about sleep patterns in general and feel like I finally understand not only her sleep, but my own as well!

In the book he gives a specific action plan, whereas in other books I didn't feel the 'how' was explained well at all. He also talks about how to eliminate night feedings, especially if they're only comfort feeding to get back to sleep. (One of the methods involves diluting the breast milk or formula with water - maybe that's what was being referred to above?)

Good luck! Sleep issues are so difficult.

Christa - posted on 01/07/2010

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Me either... does your bub take a dummy, i have been giving my little man his dummy when he wakes up and just reassuring him i am there and he seems to go back off, I have only been doing this for about a week but i am hoping in time he will stop waking. Or have you tried wrapping i did stop about 6 weeks ago but when he gets really restless i wrap him for the extra comfort. goodluck.

Michelle - posted on 01/07/2010

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Hi Beverly

I have a 27 month old and a 6 month old. My 27 month old only started sleeping through the night some nights when she was 10 months old and most nights when she was 16 months old. She sleeps through every night now. My 6 month old has never slept through the night but this time round am not so hung up about it cos I know that there's so many reasons that cause the wakings. From everything I've learned, all I can advise is the following:

1)Once they are established on 3 solid meals a day that might help things. I only just started solids the other day and it will take time to build my son up to 3 meals a day though.

2)Temperature is a huge waker! This whole overheating business has been taken to the extreme and a lot of babies are way too cold now. Keep in mind we all feel temperatures differently so what is cold/hot for you may not be right for your baby. I have heating and air con in my sons' room. My general rule is the grobag recommendations with an addition:

http://www.grobag.com.au/sizes.aspx

Scroll to bottom of page.

I found both my kids got too cold in these recommendations so I added a layer to the arms. The grobag sleeping bags are sleeveless so I bought other brands in long sleeve thereby adding a layer to the arms.

For example at 24 degrees a baby is supposed to be in a short sleeve bodysuit and 1 tog sleeveless sleeping bag, so I put my baby in either a long sleeve bodysuit and a 1 tog or a short sleeve bodysuit and a long sleeve 1 tog. Sounds hot but take into account that as we sleep overnight our body temperatures drop because we burn less calories/energy because all the food gets digested and we aren't moving. If you don't have a duvet/doona/comforter to regulate your body temperature (as us adults do) and are relying on clothes and sleeping bags (like our babies), what starts off feeling right at 7pm feels very different by 7am cause their body temperatues have dropped over all those hours.

I also never have the room under 21/22 degrees or over 24 degrees. You can put as many layers as you like on a baby but their face and ears and hands etc still get cold in under 21/22 degrees. Over 24 degrees gets too hot.

Also bear in mind that a room heated to 22 degrees feels hotter than a room naturally 24 degrees. And a room cooled to 24 degrees feels colder than a room naturally 24 degrees (chill factor). Particularly a small room.

Put it all to the test one night - dress yourself in the exact equivalent of what your baby is wearing and sleep in their room. If your baby is in a sleeveless sleeping bag then stick your arms out of your blanket. You will see how cold you get overnight!

3)Sleep associations - I do the exact same thing as you. He wakes, I pick him up, I feed him and he goes staright back to sleep. It's a feed to resettle associaiotion. Even if he goes to sleep awake at the start of the night which means he knows how to settle, he may not know how to REsettle and so needs a feed to resettle himself.

Instead of controlled crying or Cry it Out, you could try the following. Find the thing that he likes next best to the feed to resettle. Is it rocking, patting, being held? When he wakes under the 4 hour mark overnight, go in before he gets too upset and calm him using one of the other methods that he best prefers and then put him back down. If he starts crying again, repeat the method until he settles. So for example if he likes rocking to be calmed, rock him until calm, almost asleep but not actually alseep. Then slow down the rocking and leave. If he starts crying again repeat the process again and again until he gives up and goes to sleep. Do this every waking. Then at the 4 hour mark wake him up and feed him (You may need to set your alarm). After a few nights, you may find the spontaneous awakenings reduce until they completely stop and the scheduled awakenings (every 4 hours) are all that are left. Once this happens, then start increasing the time between the scheduled awakenings 15 minutes a night until he sleeps through. So wake him every 4 hour 15 minutes the next night, then 4 and a half hours the next night, then 4 hours 45 minutes etc.

I will only use this method once I have my son established on 3 meals a day and I am certain he's not hungry. He's been fully breastfed until now so of course can't be sure hunger wasn't causing the wakings.

3) Circadian rythms - If your baby is getting too much day sleep or the day sleeps aren't structured well, it will mess up the nights!!! If you can, aim for a short nap in the morning - 45 minutes, a long nap of 1.5 to 2 hours over lunch time (or if you have a 45 minute napper who won't do any longer, then give a 45 minute nap over lunch time and then another one in the arvo). Make sure your baby goes to sleep the same time every night (within the half hour) and has at least 2.5 hours of awake time before bedtime in the evening. Otherwise the nightwakings just increase! You may find that as your baby drops their day sleeps from 3 to 2 to 1, their night sleep just improves more and more.

4)Last tip - make sure your baby sleeps in 100% cotton otherwise anything else they will sweat and feel uncomfortable!!! = more wakings. None of those elastane sleepsuits etc.

Anyway, hope some of that helps. 3 wakings isn't too bad. Mty son was waking every hour up until a few weeks ago but then got a sleep specialist in and we did the scheduled awakening thing!

Michelle

Kristin - posted on 01/06/2010

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My son slept from 7pm-7am from 9 weeks until he was about 4 months then just stopped and woke up 1-3 times a night and wont go back to sleep without eating. His pediatrician says its because hes teething so maybe this isnt the time to get her to start. I took him to his 6 month appt yesterday and asked about it and he said to let him cry in his crib and DO NOT pick him up or feed him. Just talk to him and try to soothe him.. I tried last night and after an hour i gave up and fed him but i think ill try again... seems worth it to deal with for a week or two if it helps in the long run. Good Luck, were all going through it im sure!

Leanne - posted on 01/05/2010

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Sorry I should have been a little more specific when I said water feeds. I've heard it from quite a few people, read it in a couple of magazines... I don't know if this is an old method but my little one wasnt actually having full feeds when I was getting up. She would fall asleep after 5mins then wake up have a little bit more, back to sleep after about 10mins. I expressed my milk for night feeds so she was having about 50-60 ml which I think is not far off 2ozs but she didn't need to feed so when I offered the water she wouldn't guzzle it the same as she would milk as not many babies are huge on the taste compared to breastmilk I imagine! She'd have a bit, then go off. Then she'd have a little bit more the next time she woke up, then usually if she got up again she wouldnt want anything. After about a week she was only interested in the first ''feed'' so we're talking about 20ml?? Somthing to quench the thirst then off to sleep again. After about a week and half i took the water away and gave her the dummy instead so we're not talking a long routine of ''water feeds'' as the idea is to stop the feeds all together if they're not needed, but yes you were right to bring that up as I know you're not meant to give them too much water as it can affect the absorbtion of nutrients and so fourth. If you were to try it Beverley perhaps making up a 2oz bottle of cool boiled water so that your little one doesnt have more water than is advised. How old is your little one also?

Rebecca - posted on 01/05/2010

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Quoting Leanne:

My daughter was doing the same thing for a while up until she was about 4 1/2 months... I started the ol' water at feed times during the night to see if she was actually hungry or just comfort feeding. So I am told... the rule of thumb is that if they take the water then they ''aren't actually hungry''.(Easy if your baby is happy to take a bottle as well as breastfeeding) So I did this for a while until eventually I replaced water with just a dummy (if your little one takes one that is) then eventually after a week I took the dummy away and although I have to admit we did have to endure a few nights of her waking up once or twice and having to let her cry it out, I knew she wasn't crying for any other reason other than just the habit of ''cry and mummy comes in and gives me something'' so it was hard hearing her cry and not going in but cruel to be kind? She started sleeping through after 3 weeks of slowly taking all these little comforts away from her... It depends how you feel about it really- I was just so so tired and when I realised she was doing it out of comfort and not hunger then I figured as much as I love her, I'd much rather have a full nights sleep so I can be awake and at her every demand during the day than get up every 3 or 4 hours for her to fall asleep after 10 mins of feeding! I have read somewhere as well that it can help if someone else does the night water feeds as they won't be able to smell 'mum' but my other half gets up early for work so I couldn't try that one... Hope this helps...



I have never heard of a water feed before?? I have been told by my Dr and my kids peds that it is dangerous to give a child under 1 more then 2ozs of water a day. Where did you hear of this method? i'm very curious now:)



Thanks

Rebecca - posted on 01/03/2010

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How old is she? My son is now 2yrs and he never slept through until well into his first year. He still soemtimes gets up during the night but the last month or so he hasn't. My daughter is almsot 6 months and she gets up once during the night and i don't expect her to sleep through until the same age my son did. I nursed my son until 3-4 months and he was up every 2 hours. Even with both my kids on formula they were up through the night so it's a myth if they change they will sleep longer. With that said, remember she is nursed so she does need to nurse more often. Is she given cereal before bed? What is her normal feeding like during the day. Cereal in the morning? lunch and supper? bedtime snack?

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