Any advice on getting my 7 month old to sleep longer than 2 hours during the night. He is breastfed, and I am beginning to think he is comfort nursing... I have tried to let him cry a bit, and pumping a bottle before bedtime, however, he still gets up a few times a night

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User - posted on 01/21/2009

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My daughter is almost 4 months old and has been sleeping anywhere from 6-9 hrs through the night since she was 5-6 weeks old. She's recently started waking up around 5:30 for a quick feed but we think she's on the end of a growth spurt. You're on the right track with a bottle before she goes down for the night. I pump for Libby on her last feeding to ensure that she gets a full feeding & also to keep her from nursing to sleep. We mix about 2 ounces of formula in with her bottle. It helps keep her full through the night & introduces a little bit of formula into her diet in case I have milk issues or have to use meds at any point while I’m nursing. The biggest thing for us was simply learning to let her self soothe. At night, when she woke up, instead of running in (my first instinct) to her every time she made a noise or started to cry, we would sit and wait to see if she fell back asleep. I found that 9 times out of 10 she would go back to sleep in 15-20 min. Once she learned to self soothe she woke up less and less. Now, even at nap times I wait to see what she does. And just today, she had fallen asleep then 10 min into her nap, she coughed and started to cry. I looking in on her to make sure she was ok but set a time limit on how long I’d let her cry without actually “tending” to her. I gave her 10 min and sure enough, she fell right back asleep before the 10 min was up. Just keep in mind that your baby needs his sleep just as much as he needs your love and support. If you know he’s eaten a full feeding then sometimes it’s better just to let him work it out himself and go back to sleep. It can take 45 min the first time.. but the more he does, the more comfortable he will be sleeping on his own and the less time it will take each time.

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Erin - posted on 01/21/2009

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I have a 6 month old and she was doing the same thing. She would wake up every 2 hours...sometimes every hour. She was also sleeping in a port-a-crib next to our bed. I moved her to her crib in her room and I really had to just let her cry. The first night was really hard. She woke up several times. Sometimes crying for a half hour. We moved her to her crib about a week and a half ago. Now she sleeps from about 830 pm to about 4 or 5am, nurses and then sleeps to 8 am. I think her sleeping in our room woke her up alot. A few times she has woken up around 10pm or 11pm and I will nurse her if i'm still awake. I hear her make a few cries around 1 am or so but I let her cry for about 5 mins and then she is back to sleep. It is so hard when I hear her crying but the much needed sleep is really helping both of us! She would not take long naps during the day but as soon as I got her to sleep pretty well though the night she seems to be taking 1.5 to 2 hour naps during the day as well.

Brigitte - posted on 01/21/2009

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Go to any online book store and get "On becoming Babywise" you will LOVE this book. It has all the tricks all the answers. It's a cheap super easy to read book. (I don't like to read). It goes for about 6$. There are 3 or 4 different books according to the age. I followed the book and my son slept his nights at a few months while being nursed. The book help me through every new chalenge that came along. It focuses on how to teach your baby to learn how to fall asleep on their own without sleep props (rocking, asleep at breast) I just came from a ten day cruise and my son never missed a nap and I was on the go every day. I put him in the carrier and he slept! He goes to bed at 8:30pm and wakes up at 7:30am...goes for a nap around 9:30-10:00am to wake before noon and one more nap around 2:30pm.

Melissa - posted on 01/21/2009

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are you also giving him any supplement like infant rice cereal? soemtimes they just dont feel full enough and giving them something like infant rice cereal can help them get to sleep and stay asleep longer.



I am glad that i didnt have a problem with my first son going to bed at night- he did always want to be nursed to sleep for his naps though. My first was sleeping through the night at 2months, no problems. i hope my second does the same!



good luck to you!



p.s. if you know that he is not hungry or anything, you may  just need to let him cry himself to sleep a few times for him to get used to going back to sleep on his own.

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I am currently breastfeeding my son and breastfed my daughter.  Neither of them slept thru the night.  I would put them on the toilet to go potty and after that they typically go right back to sleep.  Sometimes they would want to nurse and I just let them.  Eventually, they get older and sleep thru the night.  They need to nurse more sometimes at night if they are not nursing as much during the day, or they are going thru a growth spurt or are sick.  I would just enjoy it; they are only little once!!

Darlene - posted on 01/21/2009

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My son was still in our rm when i stopped the night feeding. I have another son in the next rm he never woke up and i just pretended i was sleeping and he went back on his own

Jennifer - posted on 01/21/2009

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I don't have much advice for you, as my 10-month old does the same thing.  I know I've let him get away with it since Daddy is gone (works third shift) and it is much easier to bring him in bed and let him nurse than let him cry.  I have another question, though, and that is, what do you ladies do if the baby is sleeping in the same room?  I think much of the issue with my baby is that he wakes up and sees me, so it is automatically nursing time.  I have tried to let him cry, but he will do it for hours and it only frustrates me.  And, no, moving him to another room is not an option because I don't want him to wake either of his sisters.

Darlene - posted on 01/21/2009

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My first son i nursed him when ever he wanted to he didn't sleep thru night till he was 16 months when i stopped nursing. My second son i did things differently he is more or less on a sched. the peditrician says at 6 months they no longer need to eat during the night and if they do it is for comfort. When my son was 6 months one night he slept thru and i thought the pedi is right next night up wanting to eat. I waited he whinned and fussed 10 min and went back to sleep. Next night up again same time this time cried 5 min third night he slept thru and has ever since 7p-7a. I have learned it is very important that they self soothe my baby does excellent he is my sleep angel. I still get up in middle of the night but it is for my 3yr old not the baby. He never learned to self soothe... Just try not responding and see what happens... but like we all know you have to be consistent.. Good Luck!!!!!

Serena - posted on 01/21/2009

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Hi,

They go through lots of growth spurts, not just the one you usually hear of at 12 - 14 weeks, its a continuous cycle. I'm currently having the same issue with an 11 month old who usually used to sleep through brilliantly.



I have a few bits of 'advice' that helped me - one is that when they're coming down with a cold or illness they will always want more milk.



The other is to offer a snack instead of dinner, then a dinner later than usual. It wouldn't be unusual for a 7 month old to have dinner at 9pm or later.



Whatever time you give the last meal, it can help them sleep if it is heavy in carbohydrates - porridge, pasta etc.



The other huge factor in my case is wind - bottom end. She wants to comfort feed because she has tummy ache from wind - and personally I don't mind giving that comfort because it can be so painful, I don't have to go to work and that's my full time job as a mum!

Best wishes,

Serena

Morgan - posted on 01/21/2009

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First of all, every baby is different so I could offer my experience but don't let it scare you. My second baby loved to nurse and he would comfort nurse all night. He had a very difficult time sleeping through the night because of that. He was about 11 months old before he was sleeping consistantly through the night. At that point I was weaning him and he was at 1-2 bottles a day. There were many nights that he would cry. He now sleeps through the night great. Sometimes he wakes up but he goes right back to sleep. He's 18 months old now. I think with breastfed babies, they tend to lean on nursing to help them get back to sleep. They need to learn how to put themselves back to sleep. I hope this helps.

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