My 9 mon old baby still won't sleep at night! What should I do?
Neva - posted on 06/28/2011
It is very common for 9 month olds to wake up in the middle of the night, but it isn't because they are hungry, it is usually because they have been conditioned to do so and they don't know how to put themselves back to sleep withouth nursing. She is also at a developmental stage where she knows that you will come to her when she cries. Before 6 months or so, babies don't have object permanence. When you leave the room they kind of forget that you are there. They recognize you when you come to them and cry because they are hungry, hurt, whatever, but they don't really associate the act of crying with you going to them until they are between 6 and 9 months. At this stage, they develop object permanence and know that you exist even when they don't see you, so they will cry to get you to come. If you feed them whenever you come, they will eat, and will also expect that they need to eat in order to go back to sleep, not because they are hungry. What I would suggest is that when your baby wakes up at night, let her cry for only 10 or 15 minutes, then go to her, lay her back down in her crib and pat her back for a little bit, tell her that its night night time, but don't pick her up or engage in any other kind of talking with her, then when she's settled, leave the room. If she starts crying again, then let her cry for about 10 minutes again, and repeat the process, but don't talk to her at all the next time, just lay her down, pat her a little and leave. The first night this may take a while, but she will eventually see that she can go back to sleep when she wakes at night without having to nurse.
" I let her cry for an hour before I go in her room to feed her."
Seriously?! I could understand 10 minutes, but I sure hope you are exagerating when yo usay 1 hour! That's cruel to a baby and selfish on your part.
Your baby might be going through a growth spurt. That means feed her more. She might be scared and simply wants her Mommy for comfort. That's a mother's job: comfort your child. Hell, I can;t get my 6 year old to stay in his bed either becasue he wants to be comfroted in order to sleep! So big deal-he snuggles in between mommy & daddy for comfort. We all need a good night's sleep. But with a baby, it sounds like you are denying her what she wants: her basic needs to be met in the form of food, comfort, touch.
Katherine - posted on 06/28/2011
Yep, what Carrie said. When my daughters were 9mo they would wake 4-5 times a night to feed. It's not uncommon at all.
An infant at nine months of age has achieved two developmental milestones which may interfere with independent sleep:
First, babies have developed object permanence by now. If you take a pen and hide it under a piece of paper, a four-month-old thinks you have made it disappear! A nine-month-old knows to lift up the paper and find the pen underneath. Similarly, a nine-month-old who sees you leave the room during your bedtime routine knows that you are somewhere behind that door. And she knows that there are things that she can do to get you back in the room. Crying is an infant tried-and-true mode of attack.
Second, infants at nine months of age are often going through a major stage of separation anxiety. Infants can be quite clingy and need lots of reassurance at this age. Many a parent has complained that going to the bathroom without his or her baby glued to the hip is impossible. The intense separation fear that can bubble up at bedtime, then, is understandable.
Read this, it tells you the milestones for a 9mo.
Carrie - posted on 06/28/2011
it may just be she needs to eat. sleeping through the night is only technically considered 6 hours my son just recently started sleeping from 9pm to 9am and he's 11 months. Sometimes they are just hungry little people who need the caloires to grow.
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