Any advice on getting my six mo. old to sleep through the night?

[deleted account] ( 55 moms have responded )

trying to get my 6mo. old to sleep through the night... any suggestions? She usually goes down at 6:30 or 7pm for a long stretch but more often than not wakes up at 3am for milk. How do I get her away from needing milk in the middle of the night? She has slept through the night for 12 hours straight on rare occassion so I know she's capable! She's just not consistent.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

55 Comments

View replies by

Melissa - posted on 11/17/2008

12

16

1

I am expecting my fourth. I really feel every baby is different. My first born slept through the night at 8 weeks old, this after feeding every 2 hours for the first 8 weeks. the second was a preemie and by the time she was the size of a new born 8 lbs, she was sleeping through the night. she was about 5-6 months old then. My last, the boy, would not sleep through the night for anything. nothing was different from baby one to baby three. They were all breastfed and all started solids around 6 months old...so I do not think formula vs Breast milk or adding cereal really makes a difference. I just think they all develop differently. I also read the no cry sleep book, and although it helped my son go to bed initially, he did not sleep through the night until he was 16-18 months old. Tehy are all just different. I can only pray that this last baby will be more like his/her sisiters and not his/her brother!

anyway, I cna honestly admit, a month after my son started sleeping through the night, a little piece of me missed that few minutes of alone bonding time...don't rush it, enjoy the few minutes. Good luck!

[deleted account]

My pediatrician recommended letting my 2 1/2 month old to cry it out. He said it would take a few nights and then he would figure it out. AND IT WORKED! Within a week my baby was sleeping through the night. I know it's not the popular thing, but my pediatrician said it's a lot easier listening to a 2 month old cry than a 2 year old. He also said it would not physically or emotionally hurt the baby.

Shauna - posted on 11/12/2008

4

10

0

I also got the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Babies" and have not regretted it for a second. I have 3 children each 21 months apart and without this book I would never have made it. I highly recommend it. Even now my 20 month old has 1 nap and goes to sleep at 5:30pm and wakes up at 7am. My 3 1/2 yr old goes to sleep at 6:00pm and my 5 yr old goes to sleep at 7pm. It isn't easy but training them is important.

Aimee - posted on 11/12/2008

9

14

1

The other posts I have read are alot of what I did such as the swaddle and formula in the bottle. If you still breastfeed, but have introduced cereal, try feeding cereal closer to bedtime. If you really do not think it is a physical need, then you just have to break the habit. When she cries at night, go in her room and do whatever you do at bedtime (Say good night, turn on music, etc.) but try not to pick her up (if you do, keep it short). She will cry, but try to let he cry out. Go back in and sooth her with out picking her up every 10-15 minutes. Just keep doing this. Each night will get shorter and shorter. It took my son about 4-5 days, but he got it eventually. It was hard on me, but I know it was a good tool for him that he can soothe himself back to sleep.

Krissy - posted on 11/12/2008

1

18

0

My son will be 17months old next week and he still gets up in the middle of the night. He always has. I could probably count on one hand how many times he slept through the night. He usually goes to sleep around 7-7:30pm and is up like clockwork 6-6:30am. So for those of you whose babies sleep later than that, be thankful. It don't matter if i put him to bed at 9pm he is still up early. I've tried giving him water in his sippy at night, which i put in there before he goes to bed, and sometimes he just gets up takes a poll off of that and right back to sleep. Though not every night is like that. I have also let him cry but hours later, he is still crying. I'm sorry but i need my sleep and my sanity. I believe that every baby is different, it may be a couple months and it may be way more. I keep it really dark in his room, with the fan on med-low and a humidifier running. I guess all i can say is hang in there, and if your baby feels the need to get up in the middle of the night, just think of all the other moms that are probably up to!

Heather - posted on 11/12/2008

11

23

0

I would put my daughter to bed at that age around 8 pm. I gave her a cereal bottle right before she went to bed and what to my surprise she would wake up several times a night. Her doctor told me that she shouldn't have a bottle in the night at this age and to let her cry it out. It was really hard because she would cry forever it seemed. About a month later she was sleeping better. But to this day she will still get up in the night and come to my bed, she will be 4 in a couple of weeks.

[deleted account]

I highly highly recommend the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." The book is written by a doctor and actually cites clear EVIDENCE for what is normal and natural for children (even up to age 5 or so). I loved the book because it was clear and backed up by clear evidence and makes sense. I have read many other books and they usually try to guilt-trip you with no evidence or trumpet what worked for the author. While that might be helpful in anecdotal circumstances, I personally liked seeing what is universally true and necessary for children's sleep.

I would NOT move your baby's bedtime later. It sounds like she has a lovely sleep schedule as is, other than the wake up which will fade away. I used to put my kids to bed too late and when I moved their bedtimes earlier, they slept better and longer (something I learned from the book).

Good luck sifting through and I hope things go well for you!

Dominique - posted on 11/12/2008

3

10

0

My child slept through at 4 1/2 months. I don's suppose to know your circumstances, but this is what worked for us:



1. Try and keep her awake till 7:30 - I know sometimes its not easy - but the more tired they are the longer they will sleep.

2. Try and give dinner later - I know that sleeping through is a developmental milestone - but it helps if they are fuller.

3. Don't put her down for naps in her cot - she must know that when she goes to the cot it will be until the next morning. She must associate her cot with night sleep.

4. Don't make any noise, light or conversation when you give her a feed during the night. She must know that night is sleep time.



These tips helped for us. Good luck!!!

Joy - posted on 11/12/2008

83

126

8

What I did at this age with my two was I gave them a bowl of cereal mixed with fruit or juice and I didn't put them down till a half an hour to and hour before I went to bed. The cereal is a good filler and don't forget the milk. My children sleep through the night. Hope this helps!

Christa - posted on 11/12/2008

1

0

0

Reading Babywise was the best thing for me. There are a few things in the book that I do not agree with, but the rest of it was a lifesavor! Pick & choose what will work for you. I re-read the book before giving birth to each of my three children to refreash my memory.

Dorothea - posted on 11/12/2008

1

0

0

I am 61 now and raised two lovely daughters who are now 38 and 41, and have a grandaughter age 3. My only advice would be to treasure those moments as long and as much as you can. I was young when I had my children and tended to rush through everything not savoring too many moments. As much as your patience lets you, enjoy it all...

Stacey - posted on 11/12/2008

19

3

1

Im having the same problem with my son. He goes down around 9, is up between 12-1 then 3-4 for another feed, then gets up around 7. Ive been giving him water for the middle feed for the last 3 days. He chucks one hell of a wobbly but... He might hav one or two mouthfuls then gets cranky, so i give him the dummy and put him back into the cot and pat him back to sleep. It usually takes bout half an hour, but it seems to be working. He doesnt get up again until 7 so... Im hopeful.

Coree - posted on 11/11/2008

9

11

1

I too recommend Growing Kids God's Way, or Baby wise. All five of my kiddos have slept through the night by 6-8 weeks old and they are breastfed. My 5 month old right now sleeps from 8pm - 8am. A schedule as well as the concept of "eat - wake - sleep" is the key. Once the baby is awake during the day, begin with their regular feeding, (a full feeding, nursing each side or a bottle). Once the baby is finished, try to not let them fall asleep right away, (you can diaper change if needed), you want to keep them awake for a time, then allow them to fall asleep after this wake period. If you focus on full feedings every 3-4 hours, depending on nursing or bottle fed, as well as retraining them to eat, then have a wake time, then fall asleep, their bodies will naturally be able to sleep through the night, it all works with the baby's metabolism. You are also helping train the baby to fall asleep on their own without a crutch. I hope this helps! You can see results from this as early as 3 - 7 days.

Helene - posted on 11/11/2008

1

0

0

This might sound silly but it really worked, we got an exercise ball, one of the big ones and when my son woke up I bounced him on that for about 10 minutes and he fell right asleep and my legs got into great shape. I'm telling you it works.

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2008

2

0

0

I have four boys....the last 3 I had in 3 years....I was exhuasted. They were all different and they each slept throught the night at different times. By the time #4 was born I was too tired to get up all the time. I knew he was full, dry, and burped and then I'd go back to bed, turn the fan on in our room and fall back to sleep. Letting them cry it out is not torturing them. Maybe moving her bedtime back to 7:30/ 8:00 might help too. Hang in there.

Debbie - posted on 11/11/2008

32

3

4

Wow you have done so well already.

My boy slept for four hour intervals, with four plays, till he was about 18 months well done..lucky you, you have yourself a beautiful sleeping baby!

Lisa - posted on 11/11/2008

2

30

1

Both of my kids were sleeping through the night, or at least 6-8 hour stretches, by 4 months so I really never had to deal with this. I've had many friends who have and from what I hear this is when they would start to had rice cereal to the bedtime feeding.

Fran - posted on 11/11/2008

69

19

2

hi, i'm new to mom's group. i have two boys, a 22 month old and a 7 month old. they both sleep well through the night. about 13 hours each. i have found around 6 months they are starting another growth spurt. the only thing keeping them up at that age is hunger. i give my 7 month old some cereal or veggie to eat about an hour before bedtime and then a bottle before bed. that fills his belly nicely and holds him over until morning. solid food will help keep her full a little longer too if you are breast feeding. and if you are BF don't switch to formula. the only reason formula babies may sleep longer is because we can see how much milk they are getting and they don't get tired from getting the milk out of the breast. hopefully food before bedtime helps. and i never let them cry it out. hope this helps, good luck.

Alyssa - posted on 11/11/2008

2

6

1

I agree with Rebecca. Sleeping through the night is a proven milestone that babies achieve in their own timing. All this information about Ferberizing or using Baby Wise is just another way of toying with nature. Allow her the freedom to develop on her own. Babies are growing at all times and they metabolize food differently than we do. If she's waking in thenight for food then she is probably truly hungry.

[deleted account]

although i found i had to tweak it to fit our needs. but i guess that's like everything you read :)

Ashley - posted on 11/11/2008

1

15

0

Dont force anything- when your baby is ready to give up that time with you she will. I forced everything with my first and it did nothing but cause anxiety. With my second I let her do everything on her own timing. She starting sleeping 12 hr/night after 13 months and I dont regret it. My first still has sleep issues. There is so much growing going on right now, let her need you. They grow up so fast. One day she will not want you around, so take advantage of it now.

Allena - posted on 11/11/2008

7

11

0

Try reading babywise by Ezzo. It helped us with our two girls. They slept through the night by the time they were 2-3 months old. My 1 1/2 y/o sleeps 12 hours @ night with a 2 -3 hour nap in the afternoon. A good schedule of eating, playing and sleeping helps and having a total of 2 naps @ 1.5-2 hrs each per day and a possible an hour catnap in the late afternoon. No more than 5 hours of nap time per day. By 8 months, she won't need that catnap anymore and will have 2 naps @ 2 hrs each. This continues till she's 18-20 months old where the AM nap is dropped and having only one afternoon nap. Also note that she may be teething. Some tylenol or motrin before bedtime may help. We used Gentle Naturals during her nap time. Also, try let her go back to sleep in the middle of the night. She's used to waking up b/c she's getting fed. If she misses this feeding, she will sleep through it. No feeding in the middle of the night will help her go back to sleep. You can also go to this website for more info on sleeping: www.familysleep.com. This helped us on how to slowly eliminate the AM nap. ;)
Btw, it doesn't make a difference on when you get her up in the AM. Our daughter sleeps from 9PM to 9AM. Some books may say to have them wake up at 6AM and go to bed at 6PM. When they're older, you won't be able to bring them out to dinner! So I would suggest to make your own schedule on when you want her to sleep and wake up in the AM. Also, with Babywise, it doesn't matter if you're bottle feeding or formula feeding nor does it matter if you give her cereal. This book helps with metabolism. At night, your metabolism slows down so you don't need to eat. It's the same with your baby. Pick up Babywise I and Babywise II and they go into more details. Hope this helps! And good luck!

Allena - posted on 11/11/2008

7

11

0

Try reading babywise by Ezzo. It helped us with our two girls. They slept through the night by the time they were 2-3 months old. My 1 1/2 y/o sleeps 12 hours @ night with a 2 -3 hour nap in the afternoon. A good schedule of eating, playing and sleeping helps and having a total of 2 naps @ 1.5-2 hrs each per day and a possible an hour catnap in the late afternoon. No more than 5 hours of nap time per day. By 8 months, she won't need that catnap anymore and will have 2 naps @ 2 hrs each. This continues till she's 18-20 months old where the AM nap is dropped and having only one afternoon nap. Also note that she may be teething. Some tylenol or motrin before bedtime may help. We used Gentle Naturals during her nap time. Also, try let her go back to sleep in the middle of the night. She's used to waking up b/c she's getting fed. If she misses this feeding, she will sleep through it. No feeding in the middle of the night will help her go back to sleep. You can also go to this website for more info on sleeping: www.familysleep.com. This helped us on how to slowly eliminate the AM nap. ;)
Btw, it doesn't make a difference on when you get her up in the AM. Our daughter sleeps from 9PM to 9AM. Some books may say to have them wake up at 6AM and go to bed at 6PM. When they're older, you won't be able to bring them out to dinner! So I would suggest to make your own schedule on when you want her to sleep and wake up in the AM. Also, with Babywise, it doesn't matter if you're bottle feeding or formula feeding nor does it matter if you give her cereal. This book helps with metabolism. At night, your metabolism slows down so you don't need to eat. It's the same with your baby. Pick up Babywise I and Babywise II and they go into more details. Hope this helps! And good luck!

Allena - posted on 11/11/2008

7

11

0

Try reading babywise by Ezzo. It helped us with our two girls. They slept through the night by the time they were 2-3 months old. My 1 1/2 y/o sleeps 12 hours @ night with a 2 -3 hour nap in the afternoon. A good schedule of eating, playing and sleeping helps and having a total of 2 naps @ 1.5-2 hrs each per day and a possible an hour catnap in the late afternoon. No more than 5 hours of nap time per day. By 8 months, she won't need that catnap anymore and will have 2 naps @ 2 hrs each. This continues till she's 18-20 months old where the AM nap is dropped and having only one afternoon nap. Also note that she may be teething. Some tylenol or motrin before bedtime may help. We used Gentle Naturals during her nap time. Also, try let her go back to sleep in the middle of the night. She's used to waking up b/c she's getting fed. If she misses this feeding, she will sleep through it. No feeding in the middle of the night will help her go back to sleep. You can also go to this website for more info on sleeping: www.familysleep.com. This helped us on how to slowly eliminate the AM nap. ;)
Btw, it doesn't make a difference on when you get her up in the AM. Our daughter sleeps from 9PM to 9AM. Some books may say to have them wake up at 6AM and go to bed at 6PM. When they're older, you won't be able to bring them out to dinner! So I would suggest to make your own schedule on when you want her to sleep and wake up in the AM. Pick up Babywise I and Babywise II. Hope this helps! And good luck!

Brandyn - posted on 11/11/2008

4

54

0

Unfortunately for your sleep scedule most 6 mth olds still need at least one nightly feeding. Their metabolism is very fast they still need those frequent feedings.

Lauren - posted on 11/11/2008

1

24

0

I swear by the Baby Whisperer's idea of breaking a waking habit. By 6 months old, the waking at 3:00 a.m. could be more out of habit than anything.

If your child is waking regularly at 3:00 a.m. every night, then simply go in her room at 2:00 a.m. and stir her gently. Don't wake her up, just gently touch her back or something similar. Try this for about a week. It always works like a charm for my son.

The thing I always say about it is that you can't lose. Your baby is waking up anyway, so it shouldn't be a huge adjustment to wake up an hour earlier. Plus, if it works, you won't have to keep getting up. Taking control over this is a great thing.

User - posted on 11/11/2008

11

21

0

As someone else mentioned above to feed cereal at night, I agree it helps ALOT!!!

User - posted on 11/11/2008

11

21

0

All 3 of my kids started sleeping thru the night by 6-8 weeks of age. Once I knew they could stay asleep a few times, waking up ended up being more habbit than anything. I would suggest making sure they eat before bed, but always put them in bed while they were still awake so they could know how to fall asleep in bed. If they do wake up give them 10-15 minutes to fall back asleep, pat their back a little and let them know your there and they are ok. Try not to pick her up, I know it can be hard - but hopefully it won't take more than a week if you stick to it!!!!! Good Luck!!!!

Shannon - posted on 11/11/2008

4

25

0

I have started "ferberizing" my 5 month old. I feed him right before bedtime and make sure he has a good clean diaper for the night. I don't put him down until about 9:30, and when he starts to cry, I go into his room, rub his tummy and kiss him goodnight. When I leave, he starts to cry again, so I wait about 15 minutes and go back in and repeat the same process. I do this until he eventually goes to sleep. He is just manipulating me, but soon enough he will learn that bedtime is bedtime. After a few nights of going in every 15 minutes, I gradually work up to only going in once. The trick is to be consistent--don't pick her up when you go in. Just be comforting with a little kiss and a hug and then leave the room. It's hard listening to your little one cry but this has worked for me. My son now sleeps from 9:30-10:00 p.m. to about 6:30-7:00 a.m. Sometimes longer!

User - posted on 11/11/2008

1

5

0

Have you tried feeding her cereal before she goes to bed? You can also try keeping her up a little longer and than feeding her some cereal. Or a cereal bottle.

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2008

29

38

2

first, i would try putting her down a little bit later. It will make the stretch that she does sleep coincide a bit more with your sleeping schedule. Second, i know it varies a bit from doc to doc, but i put a small amount of baby cereal in the last bottle my daughter got before bed. As my mom told me, it sticks to your stomach a bit more and leaves you feeling fuller longer. I put just enough to slighly thicken it. you couldn't even tell there was any in teh bottle unless you shook it. My daughter slept for 7 hours straight after i started doing this (about 7 months old)

Karen - posted on 11/11/2008

10

47

0

I guess I am one of the lucky ones. My son started sleeping through the night at 11 weeks. He goes down at 6:30 and is up around 7 am. I have found that if I wrap him in a sleep sack and leave one hand out, he is able to sooth himself back to sleep when he wakes up during the night. Leaving one hand out allows him to find his thumb shortly. I know that I am probably going to regret letting him have his thumb, but that has made the difference in him sleeping all night.

Coleen - posted on 11/11/2008

17

6

6

i think that sleeping for a 7 hour stretch at 6 mos old is pretty good, especially if you nursing. I think if you could push bed time back until 8 or 9 then maybe your wake up call would come at a more conveint time, closer to 5 or 6 am. At 6 mos my kids were both sleeping in about 7-8 hour stretches, i think the 12 hour ones came around 10 months with them taking 2 daytime naps. Does your daugter sleep alot during the daytime?

[deleted account]

I'm not sure if you are breastfeeding or using a bottle, but try feeding her cereal right before she goes to bed. Or adding a little cereal into her bottle, it doesn't take much but it is enough to fill their bellies. Also try keeping her up until about 8 and try to create a routine for her... feed, bath, cuddle and bed or whatever works best for you. This works for both of my kids and I very seldom have to get up in the middle of the night, Just for hugs when Alex falls out of the bed and to give Lena May her soother every once in awhile.

Rachel - posted on 11/11/2008

1

0

0

I really think it just depends on the kid. Both of my kids were strictly breastfed babies and one slept through the night at 2 months and the other at 3 months. What we did was every night we did the same thing. Bath, nurse, and then bed. It was a signal to him it is time. Babies thrive on routine and an early bed time. Hang in there I hope it gets better for you!

Jennifer - posted on 11/11/2008

8

14

0

try to keep her up longer/later than she should be good. also, we used a fan/noise machine for white noise.....it worked for both boys!

Dakota - posted on 11/11/2008

2

10

0

After reading the other responses I just want to say that I did breatfeed my daughter and in the first few months when she did wake for feedings I would never take her out of the swaddle and I would usually feed by laying on my side so she would still be laying down too.

Chau - posted on 11/11/2008

1

0

0

I've heard lots of mom comment on how difficult it was to get their child to sleep through the night. While I'm a first-time mom, I have had TREMENDOUS success with a method from the "Moms on Call Guide to Basic Baby Care." My son has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. He gets a minimum of 8 hours and is now sleeping 12 hours from 8pm to 8am! At first I was skeptical, but I did receive the book from my mother-in-law who raised 7 kids. It's been the best gift to be able to sleep through the night.

Dakota - posted on 11/11/2008

2

10

0

My daughter is now 23 months , but she started sleeping through the night at three months. We swaddled her up until 7 or 8 months and it seemed to solidify sleep time. After her evening meal we would wash up and then wrap her up for bed. We had a great swaddle from Dr. Browns. We got it at Buy Buy Baby in NYC for $30 and it was escape proof for longer than the cheaper ones. It also helps to stop scratches. To this day she sleeps soundly and doesn't roll so much.

Jessi - posted on 11/11/2008

9

50

0

I don't think there's any way to force them to sleep through the night, and most babies vary between 4 and 10 months. They are all different. My son started sleeping through the night at 3 months, and there was nothing I did any different. Good luck though!

Danielle - posted on 11/11/2008

2

15

0

First question, do you breast feed or formula? My son was breast fed and had the same problem. Formula is usually heavier and the child sleeps longer. If she is breast fed unfortunately, she will continue to wake up until she is eating heavier foods, as did my son. You can also keep her awake a little later...that is if she allows you to. But to be honest....sounds like you are pretty lucky, she's sleeping a long time. My son woke up every three hours for the first 1 1/2 years.

Shawnie - posted on 11/11/2008

67

45

20

Try reading the no-cry sleep solution by elizabeth pantley. she has some great solutions for getting babies to sleep allll night. :) that's how i got my DD to sleep through the night after 9 months of frequent night wakings to nurse. most nursing at this age is for comfort, not necessarily nutrition, although that differs from baby to baby. make sure she eats well at dinner if she's on solids so it lasts her through the night. also my dd sometimes still wakes up in the middle of the night and fusses, but if i leave her alone more often than not she settles back down within a couple minutes.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms