6 month old night wakings and nursing

Emily - posted on 01/23/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )




My second daughter is about to turn 6 months old. She sleeps 10-12 hours at night MOST of the time without nursing but on some nights she wakes and cannot seem to soothe herself back to sleep. I am afraid that if I nurse her back to sleep I will form a habit since she is getting older. I never had this issue with my first daughter so I was just looking for advice/support/suggestions!



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Carolyn - posted on 01/25/2011




my son has been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks.

One thing i found helpful to prevent hunger wakings was dreamfeeding Logan is now coming up on 8 months, and i dont do it any more unless i feel he shorted a nursing session during the day, or if he nursed a little earlier than usual before bedtime.

I literally just grab him out of his crib and latch him while he sleeps, before i turn in myself. You can also do it with a bottle of expressed milk as well, and just feed her while she is a sleep.

6 months is prime time for a growth spurt as well, and a big one. so she could just be growing and needing those feedings during the night. This is only temporary. Once through the spurt, she should resume sleeping through the night. Our 6 month ish spurt lasted a good while. but then it was business as usual.

If she is waking erratically ( meaning different times each night) then it is most likely hunger. If you find she is waking consistently at the same time, she is most likely forming a habit. if it is habit, try setting your alarm about an hour before she wakes up on her own, and go in and just stir her a little bit disturbing her sleep. It will interupt her habit and after a few nights, break it. worked for me :)

When Logan wakes, i go and try the soother, if that doesnt work, i give him a quick snuggle to soothe and lay him back down. if he seems a little awake, i hit that glorious musical crib toy. if those dont work , then i will offer a feeding.

Just try alternate means of soothing her back to sleep if you dont think hunger is the issue. if you do think its hunger, increase her feeding during the day, or add an oz or 2 to solids, which ever you prefer. You can also tank up before bed time, ( cluster feed) which does wonders for us. Logan nurses, has a good helping of oatmeal and fruit, and then about 4oz in a bottle , all within an hour and a half before bed.

Maryam - posted on 01/24/2011




I also have a 6 month old that sleeps 9/10 hours at night. She wakes up sometimes wanting comfort. I give her a cuddle and she usually goes back to sleep. Sometimes i have to feed her but it doesnt make her wake again asking another night. Is your baby eating solids aswell? My daughter has small breakfast then lunch and dinner now, aswell as lots of breast milk

Sylvia - posted on 01/23/2011




OK, first let me pause to be astonished that you have a 6-month-old who sleeps 10-12 hours EVER. O_O I didn't know babies like that existed outside of books!

Most babies still need to eat during the night at 6 months. Most babies also need to be comforted during the night at some point. This is not a "bad habit"; it's normal baby behaviour. A 6-month-old has no way of understanding why mummy is there when needed during the day, but not at night. It's overwhelmingly likely that if she's waking in the night to nurse, it's because she *needs* to nurse on those nights, either for physical nourishment (didn't nurse enough during the day for some reason, or is going through a growth spurt and needs to eat more often) or for emotional comfort. There's no reason to think you will somehow teach her bad habits if you nurse her back to sleep when she needs that every so often.

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