Night feeding frustration - advice?

Molly - posted on 12/30/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 7 months old and we still do one night feeding. (For various reasons, we've been fine keeping this one for now. Maybe she'll drop it herself by 10 months or so). I try to keep this meal around 4 AM but for the last month she keeps pulling it earlier and earlier, waking at 3 AM, 2 AM and last night 1:55 AM. We go and give the pacifier and try to soothe without feeding to hold her off until at least 4 AM but she'll whimper and cry for the entire time we make her wait until we finally feed (even up to over an hour). We try to turn off the monitor and sleep to let her work it out but she still is getting poor sleep if we keep this up (not to mention our broken sleep). Any advice on what to do?

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Molly - posted on 01/07/2013

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Just had to follow up this post and say it looks like yes, it was definitely a growth spurt! Baby is now back to roughly 5 AM night feeding. She was definitely hungry and "off" the usual schedule for roughly a week. :) Growth spurts seem tricky because they can happen at different times for each baby and it's usually the last thing I think of.

Mary - posted on 12/30/2012

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Good luck! My daughter usually "slept through" the night by about 4 months; by that, I mean she slept from 8pm until about 4 or 4:30 am. However, she did go through periods where middle of the night parties were the norm. Sadly (for me), she remained an obscenely early riser up until just recently. She just turned 4 in November, and I now consider myself lucky that she usually sleeps until 6am. Up until her 4th birthday, we were always up by 5:30 am at the latest :( I tried everything imaginable to tweak this, but nothing really altered what I had to accept was just her ingrained biorhythms. I just learned the hard way that unless I wanted to be a perpetual zombie, I had to go to bed by nine most nights, or catch a nap when she did.

Dove is absolutely right. The quickest way to get EVERYone back to sleep is get up immediately and feed her, and hope like hell she zonks back out after her belly is full.

Molly - posted on 12/30/2012

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Thank you! I really appreciate this because I had not given enough thought to a growth spurt. I admit that I had begun to distrust her with her sleeping habits. We've had a long drawn out move to a new state and she's not a great sleeper - so this translated to a rocky first six months of sleeping. We finally got her into a good rhythm as we've settled and then this made me feel like she was trying to pick up bad sleep habits again that we did away with. I think you're totally right about this growth spurt. I'm going to try and go with it and hope she'll relax it again when it's over.

Dove - posted on 12/30/2012

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Could be a grow spurt or teething. If you feed her right away you will all get more sleep. She WILL sleep through the night when she is ready to do so...or she might need a little bit of gentle encouragement. My older ones were sleeping through shortly after turning one and I gently night weaned my son at 2.

Mary - posted on 12/30/2012

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Ummm....if she's hungry, feed her. It sucks when they grow through growth spurts, and your routine is thrown off, but there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it. As you've already described, trying to ignore her cries isn't working; If she's hungry, she is not going to stop crying and go back to sleep until you do feed her. Believe it or not, it is perfectly normal for a lot of babies, even at 7 months, to still be waking once or twice a night for a feed.

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