Tips For Helping My Six Month Old Sleep Though The Night.?

Michelle - posted on 03/25/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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She Is Almost Six Months Old && has Never Slept Though The Night. I Have Been Feeding Her Baby cereal At Night For The Past Three Weeks But That Does Not Help. I Lay Her Down Asleep && Let her Wine Her Self To Sleep && She wakes Up Every Two Hours Still. I Try To Let her Put Her Self Back To Sleep But She Just Gets So Upset && Will Not Go Back To Sleep Unless I Feed Her (breastFeed)

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Renae - posted on 03/28/2010

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Michelle, I have read through all of your comments, and I believe your baby does still need to be fed at night. Some 6mo do still need night feeds, in fact 50% of babies still wake for at least one night feed until 12mo. The medical profession likes to tell us that no baby needs to feed at night after 6mo, but this is a dated view that most psychs and behaviourists disagree with.



With most babies, if you stop feeding them cold turkey at night and put them back to sleep without being fed, will automatically start to take more during the day to compensate. If this is going to work, their intake during the day will increase within 3-4 days. However you have to wait until your baby is eating solid food, or introduce formula as your body would need 3-4 to produce more milk during the day or you will just end up with a very hungry baby. If the day intake does not increase in a week, it is not going to, your baby is not ready. Wait a month or 2 and try again.



You can gradually increase your day supply and your baby's intake by dropping one feed during the night for 3-7 days, then a second feed etc. However be aware that your baby make wake every 30-60 minutes during that feed cycle for a few days when you first drop that first feed.



I am going to recommend a few things.

1. stop the CIO, it is not working and when it doesn't work it can backfire. CIO with cry interpretation has a 97% success rate, but it will not work until the baby is physiologically ready to sleep through without feeding. (please no attacks people, I am not condoning anything I am simply stating facts).

2. Based on what you have said about the crying, your baby still needs to feed at night. While some mums will disagree, any sleep consultant will tell you that cereal does not help babies sleep through the night, because it has very little calories. At best it sits in the babies tummy for the first two hours making them feel a bit fuller, but it has no dramatic effect. Usually when people say it works it is because they started giving it at 4mo when their baby was about to sleep through anyway.

3. Its fine that you stopped swaddling. With babies who need more reassurance sometimes swaddling for too long just creates sleep problems later as you have to stop swaddling one day. For many babies it works up until 6mo, but I think in your case you made the right decision to stop.

4. Your baby is not spoiled. You cannot spoil a baby by attending to its needs. Based on what you have said, your baby is crying for a reason and needs you.



OK so what can you do. Lets get to that.

1. Teach her to fall asleep on her own in a nice way. I recommend you use gradual withdrawal with her. This will ensure that when she IS physiologically ready to sleep through the night, that she will sleep and not continue to wake out of habit.

2. As I believe your baby is still hungry at night, there is not much you can do. If you feel ok about trying some formula at night, then I recommend that as formula takes longer to digest and your baby will feel fuller for a bit longer, but it is not going to make her sleep all night. Also just be sure that she is getting a full breast feed and not falling asleep before she is full. It is also common around this time for mums milk to decline towards the end of the day, so make sure there is enough there for her (I'm sure your supply is fine I just want to make sure it is something you have considered).

3. Once your baby is happy to go to sleep on her own, it is highly likely she will start sleeping at least an 8 hour stretch within the next few months, so hang in there.



This post is already too long so I am going to PM you gradual withdrawal instructions.

Janelle - posted on 03/27/2010

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STTN is a developmental milestone, different babies hit at different times, same as crawling, walking, and talking. Its also technically defined as 5-6hrs at a time, not 10-12. don't give her formula, screw babywise, don't just let her cry. Breastmilk digests in about 90 minutes. She is not waking out of habit, she really does need to eat. @6mos there is a major growth spurt happening, as well as all the developmental stuff that is going on over the next 6mos, babies really do need to eat - especially if she is distracted during the day, she will not nurse quite as well and will need more at night. CIO may seem to work at first, but you have to repeat it all. the. time. teething and growth pains also cause night waking.
check out this link for some great info from dr sears:
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100...
it is perfectly normal for your daughter to be waking to nurse - if she needs to nurse, nurse her. trust me, it won't last forever - she won't still be nursing to sleep in high school. up until two days ago my dd still woke every two hrs to nurse.....only the last couple days has she gone to ~3-4hrs. just remember, this too shall pass. in two years you are gonna wish it were this simple.
links to why you shouldn't CIO
http://forum.kellymom.net/showthread.php...
http://womanuncensored.blogspot.com/2009... - awesome blog post. i cannot say enough about this bit of creative writing.....

Timara - posted on 03/27/2010

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How big was ur baby born??? my daughter was 9pound 4ounces and she did the same thing....i ended up putting her on formula because she was just to hungry and i was tired lol...she has slept through the night from one month old she does 12 hours now at night and 3 naps during the day. i know how that feels to have a baby that wont sleep. breastfeed babys usually dont sleep through the night as i have got advice from my friend she is a neanatal nurse at middlemore, she has helped me through alot of things.....most people and nurses are all for breatfeeding and dont get me wrong i think its the best thing for ant child, but some babys are just more hungry...now my daughter is 6months and she has muesli in the morning and then a bottle and bed then up play then i give her lunch and then bottle and then bed then up play dinner nath bottle and then bed for the night at 8pm and she sleeps til 8am. maybe u could try more food aswel as breastmilk.....

Michelle - posted on 03/27/2010

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i have that same swaddler blanket and i stopped using that at three months cuz i didnt want her to get attached to sleeping like that.

[deleted account]

It sounds like she is simply in the habit of waking to breastfeed...it's not that sh'es actually hungry. I would also recommend the book Becoming Babywise. My son was sleeping through the night at about 8 weeks, and gained weight just fine. It may take some work to break the habit, but she will be just fine. Instead of stopping "cold turkey" you could just nurse her less every night until you're done. It also helps to have Dad go in at night to soothe them instead of you, because then nursing obviously isn't an option! It really is best for the whole family for baby to learn to sleep through the night. Good luck!

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Michelle - posted on 03/28/2010

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thank you for all your information.

i would rather not give her formula so i will try some of your tips.

i have been working with her already to make her eat longer. about two months ago she was a "snacker" and would eat for 5 min every hour or so and i have streched her eating times out to 20 min every three or four hours so maybe i just need to keep her eating even longer than that.

Clarisa - posted on 03/27/2010

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Do you give her tylenol? My son did not sleep through the night ever, and I thought it was b/c he was hungry. Turns out his knees and feet hurt constantly and still do to this day and he is 6yrs old. My doctor said some kids have growing pains, even though they are not a huge growth that it is very uncomfortable for them. To this day I have to give my son tylenol every single night. Plus he was also slowly teething at that age to and I gave him those little white pills in the baby section. I can't think of what they are called but they are dissolvable tablets for teething, ask the pharmacist. I use to hate to think that I was constantly drugging him up on tylenol, but it helps and the doctor said it doesn't hurt him. I also make sure that he ate first, then a warm bath to relax his legs, tylenol then bed. Also if his legs get cold throught he night he will wake up hurting, so he has to stay warm. Just a thought since I was in that same prediciment and still am 6yrs later. Good luck!!

Keshia - posted on 03/27/2010

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i read tips online alot i was afraid if i didnt feed him during the night he would be hungry but its not true so i just gave him a little bit bigger bottle before bed so he would have a full belly also i reado dont change their diaper during the night unless its poopy because it wakes them up even more when you take their diaper off and i know doctors say not to let babies sleep on their belly but that is the only way my son will sleep if he rolls on his back during the night he gets mad until you put him on his bellys hes been sleeping through the night since he was a month old i make sure he stays up as much as possible during the day he has a nap around 11 and then a afternoon nap around 3 and they are only for 1/2 hour to an hour long

Amanda - posted on 03/27/2010

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I think 6 times a night for a 9 month old is ridiculous. That being said, my boys didn't STTN until 10 months and 9 months respectively. At 6 months, it is perfectly normal for them to be getting up at least 1 or 2 times per night. Any more than that, I'd soothe her other ways (rocking, paci, etc.) I would also have your significant other go in during those times so she doesn't smell you.

Michelle - posted on 03/27/2010

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i feed her like every three to four hours. and she eats for like twenty min.

Amanda - posted on 03/27/2010

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i would NOT recommend doing what janelle does because 1) its dangerous and 2) it can create very bad habits, and 3) can end a marriage. I know my husband would not be happy with it. (of course i can not speak for ALL husbands)

i would also recommend babywise. We have used it with our girl. and she has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. I also know a mother who has used that method with her 12 children, and it has worked with all of them.

in summary for that book, i think, is making sure they are getting a FULL feeding when they feed. how often are you feeding her in the day?

Stacey - posted on 03/27/2010

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michelle, maybe she doesn't feel secure. i had to use a swaddler called a kiddapotamus. it wraps them up in a fleecy blaket with velcro so they can't "escape".it worked wonders gettin mu lil one sleep through the night. good luck

Janelle - posted on 03/27/2010

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mine - no - but it only takes about 10mins to nurse her back to sleep. we also partly co-sleep, so usually around 3-6am she comes into bed with us, and i sleep while she nurses and sleeps and when she wants to nurse she just latches on - i don't really even wake up.

Michelle - posted on 03/27/2010

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my babygirl will not stop crying when she wakes up unless i feed her like 3 or four times a night. does yours just go back to sleep the other times??

Michelle - posted on 03/27/2010

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I tried the easy method. I did not like the pick up put down method.

&& i have never given her formula. only breast milk and some cereal at night.

when she crys at night she mostly is screaming and just takes a breath inbetween to scream more. she mostly always crys like that even if i have just fed her. so i dont know what she wants some times. just to sleep in my arms i think. she is spoiled.

i started letting her cry her self to sleep like one month ago. and the time it takes her to fall asleep depends some times it would take me two hours to go to sleep and some times one min and shes asleep so idk.

Tracy - posted on 03/27/2010

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I feel you. I have twins. 1 sleeps. While the other wakes about 6-10 x's. Renae, she does the cry, quiet, cry thing. Just wondering what you were thinking. I only nurse her once @ night. bed 8pm. Nurse @ 4am.

Renae - posted on 03/27/2010

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Michelle, if she can cry for 2 hours during the night, any crying method is not going to work, and runs the risk of making her worse.



When you say you tried the baby whisperer, do you mean you tried Pick-up/Put-down or you tried "wake to sleep"? Or are you talking about her EASY method?



How much food/breast milk is your baby getting during the day? Does she sleep longer if you give her a bottle of formula at night?



Can you do something for me and answer me tomorrow.... when she wakes tonight, wait 5 minutes, then start listening to her cries. You are listening for pauses. Usually a hungry baby will cry without pausing. But a baby who is crying for another reason (not a physical need) will have a 3-5 second pause every 30-60 seconds. After 5 minutes of listening you can go in and feed her and get her back to sleep. Let me know what cry she is doing and we can take it from there.



Also how much sleep is she getting overall? With all the waking at night, how many hours out of 24 is she sleeping? When babies are not getting enough sleep at night they can become very "wound up" or "wired" and have difficultly settling into a deep sleep pattern. This then becomes a viscous circle, more tired, causes more waking, causes more tired.



Another thing, when did you start letting her cry to sleep at bedtime? How long does she take to go to sleep and did starting this change her waking at night at all?



Sorry for the 20 questions, but hopefully I can help with a bit more info. :)

Michelle - posted on 03/26/2010

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yeah my mom said me and my sister slept though the night at two months. && the doc. said that six months is not to young to sleep though the night eather. so yeah angie i think that your wrong about that one too sorry

Michelle - posted on 03/26/2010

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I tryed the baby whisperer book method and it worked for a to get her to nap longer but not for the night time.

Michelle - posted on 03/26/2010

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she does not like her pacifier. I try to let her cry but it just gets worse and worse. she will never stop crying for like two hours even if i pick her up or show her im there.... i know i need to crack down on her so she teaches her self to go back to sleep but its hard to hear her cry.

Amber - posted on 03/25/2010

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omg please do not believe that your child is too young to sleep through the night! Talk to your doctors if you need to but a child should be sleeping through the majority of the night atleast when they are that old DEF NOT waking up 6x a night! Good Luck and Im sorry angie you must be awfully exhausted EVERYDAY! good luck to you too

[deleted account]

If your daughter wakes up and wont go back to sleep till you feed her then shes probably hungry. 6 months is still really young to be sleeping through the night. I think you should just feed her when she wakes up. My daughter is almost 9 months old and I nurse her at least 6 times a night.

Carly - posted on 03/25/2010

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I recemond a book called Becoming Babywise. It talks about putting babies on a schedule to get them to sleep through the night. Both my sister and I have followed the schudule they recemond and both our babies have slept through the night since about a month old. (Both breastfed).



Good luck.

Amber - posted on 03/25/2010

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Do you give her a pacifier? If you feed her everytime she wakes up she's goin to continue to wake up and not go back to sleep until she is fed. I suggest you have a rough week.... when she wakes up give her a pacifier, blanket, teddy something comforting and pat her but rub her back whatever you usually do and after that just let her cry. If she crys longer than 30 min go back and do it again. It is really hard. My son is only 2 mths but he sleeps from 8pm to 8am. Im just lucky though. Ive helped raise my sister's two kids who are 1 and 4. They were a little more difficult than my son. Good luck I know its hard to hear them cry!

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