I have a four month old, and I breast feed her. She sleeps about 10-12 hours through the night, but wakes up constantly to feed, and it makes me tired. I try to stay awake during the feedings, to burp her and see if she may want some more, and then put her down in her little bed, next to mine. My back is killing me from lifting-feeding-laying next to her...any advice on how to get her to sleep more without interruptions or do I just have to be patient? Thanks in advance for any tips, mothers!

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Tricia - posted on 06/14/2012

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My son was the same way. He slept about 11 to 12hrs a night but he used to wake up 3 to 4 times during night and I would have to nurse him back to sleep. I realized that he wasn't necessarily hungry each time, but that was the only way he knew to get back to sleep. So at my four month Dr. visit he explained that it was a good time to teach him to self soothe so that when he woke up in the middle of the night he could put himself back to sleep. I'm not going to lie it was really hard at first (for both of us) but he caught on relatively quickly and by the 2nd night he did it! I nursed him to sleep at the beginning of the night and he only woke up 2 times during the night to nurse (about every 6hrs) I have a video monitor and would actually watch him wake up, and then close his eyes and go back to sleep! As tough as it was to go through at first, it honestly saved my life! lol We both get more sleep and things are much better! He is 5months now and usually wakes up once a night.

Jaime - posted on 05/07/2012

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For Katie.
Thank you.
By the way, I put my baby down for naps the minute I see that she becomes grumpy, just like this book I am reading advises (Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child), and am trying to follow a program, or, at least as close to one as I can. She sleeps at night around 8 or 8:30 and gets up around 7:30 or 8. Usually she wakes 2-3 times to feed, sometimes more, sometimes she wakes and is thrilled to hang out (my worst nightmare!). I have found that life is much easier when I can keep the program, things go smoothly. I don't just put her down and leave, though.I rock her in my arms and pace with her pacifier (in a specific way) and sing her a lullaby again and again. Usually it takes 5-20 minutes for her to doze off. But she is getting heavy and I am dreaming about just putting her down, singing a bit, and leaving. Are you able to do that now? I am asking, because I only have one girlfriend with a baby but she and her baby are so much different from us that there's no point in talking to her about these things.....I would love if you would share with me your experience now with the sleep issue. I know that all babies and all moms are different. I am just eager to know how others are doing things out there!

By the way, if you don't have it, I highly recommend this book, it has really been helping me. Without it I would have a lot of crying and fussiness all because she would not be sleeping properly, I didn't know that babies should not go to bed at 11pm....or that the first nap in the morning should be 1-2 hours apon waking, and that if you follow certain guidelines, then things get much easier.It explains the sleeping habits of babies/kids at every age, what to expect, what to reinforce, solutions to problems........anyway, thought I would let you know about it.
Hope this difficult time passes, maybe it already has!
Jaime

Katie - posted on 05/06/2012

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Hi Jamie,

At 4 months my daughter was sleeping a 4 to 5 hour stretch, waking twice a night to eat most of the time, only once on a good night. Her night at that point was about 8.5 or 9 hours long and she was still napping a lot in the day. She only recently started sleeping 10 hour nights and she is 5.5 months old (she still wakes to eat one or twice but she's in bed for 10 hours). She is going through a rough patch right now, I'm up 2 to 4 times a night for the past week but I'm hoping this will pass quickly. I just edited my response to include that unfortunate fact so as to be more honest - remember that everyone has a tendency to exagerate how well their baby sleeps when they're trying to give you advice!

If you attach the crib to your bed be sure to read up on how to do it safely. It is best if the crib mattress is a few inches lower than the parent's mattress so your babe can't roll into you or your loose bedding in the night. Also attach it tightly so that it can't come loose over time and form a dangerous gap.

Good luck! This method worked like a charm for us, hope it's as easy for you!
Katie.

Katie - posted on 05/06/2012

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If you want to keep her in the room with you after she grows out of the bassinet assemble the cot/crib with only 3 sides, tie it to the side of your bed and stretch a flat bed sheet across both mattresses (to make a smooth surface). Move your own furniture into the hallway or other room to make more space if you need to. We did this at 3.5 months to get our girl used to her cot. At 4 months we moved the cot (and her) into her own room with no fuss. We all sleep much better when she's in her own room.

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Liz - posted on 06/09/2012

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Hi you poor thing, how dose she sleep though the day? Is she haveing any solids yet? Try not to sleep her sleep for more than 3 hours though the day, try and wake her to feed then she is getting enough feeds in a 24 hour period, also when she feeds is she getting all the feed in or only a small feed, were she is not getting thefilling part of the milk?

Jaime - posted on 06/06/2012

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Thanks! I do and it does help to have the routine. Also I try to make her fill up on my milk, before putting her to sleep...this helps her sleep from let's say...8pm and not wake up until 11 or 11:30pm for her first night feeding. During bedtime, when I breast feed her she gets fussy and drinks a little and then does this weird gulping thing and cried and then wants more but then does the same thing. I would just give up on feeding her during that hour and give her her pacifier and soothe her to sleep. So if I soothe her enough around her bedtime, she feeds calmer and fills up, then I have a few hours to do other stuff!!! Thanks everyone!

Tia - posted on 06/06/2012

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sleeping with your baby is perfectly fine, & very confortable! but when your babies 4months old they go through a growth spirt. im going through the SAME thing right now its been going on since he was 3months. but the doctor said to just be patient. try bathing your baby right before you go to sleep.

Erin - posted on 05/08/2012

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my son was still waking up at night at 4 months as well.
He was in his own room by then and one night I just let him cry for a couple of minutes and he fell back asleep. He may be waking up from habit not from need. A nurse told me that 12 pounds is the magic number where they are able to sleep through the night. My son was 19 pounds by 4 months.

Rebekah - posted on 05/07/2012

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I love Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child too! My daughter followed the patterns predicted in that book almost 100% and she was sleeping 8-12 hours from about 6 weeks old (with NO feedings). My son, on the other hand, has been a little bit more difficult. At 4 months old he was still waking every 3 hours. Now, at 6 months old, he still wakes at least once a night (after 7-8 hrs), and has nights where he wakes twice a night (after 5hrs).

Jaime - posted on 05/06/2012

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Katy,
What a great idea...!!! I will have to check the crib to see if I can do that, WOW, really good idea, thanks SO MUCH. I hadn't thought of that! At 4 months did you have to get up twice a night to feed your baby? When did she start sleeping through the night?

Jaime - posted on 05/05/2012

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BY THE WAY!!! I called the breast feeding dept at the public hospital where I gave birth. The nurse told me that after I feed her and put her down for the night, if about 3 hours have not passed and she wakes up, then give her the pacifier and she will most likely fall back asleep until she is really hungry. It works!!! I was making the mistake of upon seeing her stir, (slightly waking up in search for her pacifier which fell from her mouth,) I was rushing to lift her and bring her to my bed to feed.....it was not necessary. So now I feed her 2-3 times during the night, and just comfort her if there is any problem like gas pain, for example. Hope this is help to someone else out there!

Jaime - posted on 05/02/2012

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Dear Melissa,

Thank you SO much for your loooong note! It's funny, because we must have read the same material. She has grown out of her swaddle blanket, and now since it's hot and we don't have an AC in our backroom she sleeps with just her little jumper. Everything that you wrote I do as well, and I think the only thing left (besides the fact that it's hot to even think of swaddling) is to have her feed longer during each feeding. My mother-in-law REALLY upset me when she said (three times) "you should be careful because your milk is probably too thin". I could assume that she is too hot, but she would wake up often before it got hot. At one point she was sleeping 5 hour stretches, so that's why I don't get it. And, yes, we do the whole routine, walk with stroller, bath, massage, snuggling in bed. feeding, singing rocking, sleep.......I do appreciate your long letter.....

Melissa - posted on 05/02/2012

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Do you swaddle her? I use a swaddle sleeper. Its like a wearable blanket with another piece of cloth that wraps around their arms and velcros to the wearable blanket. It definitely helps with the worry of blankets and suffocation. I have noticed that when his swaddle sleeper is dirty and in the laundry waiting to be cleaned he sleeps worse, wakes up more often. It has been really bad this week, his swaddle sleeper was dirty and so I was swaddling him with blankets but they were lose and he moves so much now, he would cry every time I put him down and wake up about every 2-3 hrs. His swaddle sleeper is now clean and has been sleeping back to normal about a 5-7 hr stretch and will wake to eat and then another 2-3 hr stretch. So swaddling could help greatly if you don't already do so. Also maybe she is still hungry? Maybe she is not feeding long enough? My son just recently started doing this because he is so interested in the world around him and will be so fussy all day long and wake up more often at night because I am thinking that he is done eating, I thought that maybe he is eating faster. So now I make him eat 10 mins on each breast (meaning after he pops off acting like he is satisfied, I latch him back on) he just gets too interested in everything around him that he stops feeding a few times during nursing. Now he is back to his normal sleep pattern and is not so hungry/fussy acting all day. As well as being so tired and your back aching I was going to tell you to lie down while feeding her at night. But I saw in your other post that you already do this. Maybe it is how you are lying down feeding her. I will lay my son next to me right side, for right breast, left side for left breast, and lay my son on his side facing my breast, I will get him latched on at first kind of sitting up on my side and then slide my arm under my son kinda like holding him and slide my body down, sometimes I will slide my arm up under my pillow and use my other arm to hold him, I will always fall asleep while he is eating but when he lets go it always wakes me up and I will switch him to the other side. I hope I am helping, I am just sharing what has helped me. Also, notice how much she feeds during the day. I have read that to get your infant to sleep longer at night, make sure they feed more during the day. My son eats every two hours during the day. Ah! So many things I have read about I could tell you to try and help. (I read a lot! lol) uuummm.. bedtime routine, give bath before bed time, read a book, swaddle, rock and sing? uuuhhhh....make sure she knows the difference between day time and night time. day time is noisy, make sure there are lights, night time is quiet and dark. So she can learn that day time is for being awake and only napping, night time is for sleeping. She shouldn't be napping for more than 4 hrs at a time during the day. Has she always woke up this much at night? Or just recently? She could be going through a growth spurt, or maybe she is just realizing she is separate from momma. Hope I am helping, trying to share all knowledge I know.

Jaime - posted on 04/30/2012

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I wish!!! Unfortunately I can't afford to get all the stuff I want, I sure wish I had one of those!!!!!....she is sleeping in a bassinet that was given to us. She will soon grow out of it. (if she hasn't sort of already ; ( A bigger bed wouldn't fit next to ours, and I am nervous because I am not ready to put her in her own room!!! So we have to find something REALLY affordable, and a transition bed that is small enough to fit in our room but big enough for when she's, oh, probably 5 or 6 months...so that I can put off setting up that big crib that was given to us. Yuck.

Catalina - posted on 04/30/2012

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I understand. Do you have a co-sleeper? When my son was little I was nervous to have him in my bed too so I had the co-sleeper right next to us.

Jaime - posted on 04/30/2012

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As much as I agree with sleeping with baby, I can't rest well when she is next to me because I am so aware of her little presence that I cannot sleep deeply. She is at my feet though. Plus, every time we fall asleep together in bed after she feeds, (laying down) and she is next to me, I have the worst lower back pain....if I kicked my husband out of the bed I could fix things so that we would fit better and not be nervous, but I can't do that......

Catalina - posted on 04/30/2012

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Why don't you keep her in your bed? Have you figured out how to nurse laying down yet?

I sleep topless and my son helps himself throughout the night.

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