Attachment Parenting Help Needed

Tessa - posted on 12/08/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My daughter was sleeping through the night until she turned 6 months old. But during the last six weeks, she wakes up every 1 to 1 1/2 hours at night. Sometimes she wants to be nursed and sometimes she just wants her paci, but it is wearing me out! I thought that her naps during the day might be influencing her sleep at night, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I have been experimenting with shorter naps and longer naps, but she still wakes up all night.

I can not keep getting up all night. I am so exausted. It would break my heart to make her CIO, but I am out of ideas. Please help me!

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My daughter is going through the same thing right now. She's 7 months and it's been going on since about 6 months. Check this link out:

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100...



I found the 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep helpful. Dr. Sears is for attachment parenting so there's no CIO. He also listed some things that I did not think about. We're doing better, but she still has night where she wakes frequently. Hope this helps you!

Renae - posted on 12/08/2009

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It's common for good sleepers to go through a bad phase of night waking starting around 5-6mo. 1-11/2 hourly is common. It usually lasts 1-3 months, so if you can wait it out there is a greater than 60% chance she will go back to sleeping through on her own.

In these instances, the waking usually has nothing to do with day naps and nothing to do with being hungry.

I post a lot about how to do CIO with cry interpretation so that the baby does not become distressed. I absolutely do not advocate control crying, that is very different. But since you are clearly asking for attachment parenting suggestions, I won't even go there. But if you get to your wits end and need an alternative, feel free to contact me.

The usual pattern with good sleepers who start waking at this age is that they are babies who are helped to go to sleep and mum or someone stays with them while they go to sleep. This is the habit you need to break if you want her to sleep through.

The no-cry method that seems to be most commonly used by behaviourists is "gradual withdrawal". It has an 85% success rate and takes around 3 weeks to work. Here is what you do:
Wait until she masters one step before trying the next, usually 2-3 days. Do this at all sleep times, day and night.
1. get her used to being put in the cot awake and pat/jiggle/stroke her until completely asleep
2. once she is used to going to sleep this way, stop patting (or whatever you do) after she closes her eyes but before completely asleep
3. stop patting just after she closes her eyes
4. stop just as she closes her eyes
5. stop just before eyes close
6. stop when getting very sleepy
etc etc etc
gradually stop patting sooner and sooner until you are down to patting for less than 10 min. Then every couple of days reduce the time by 1 min, until you don't have to pat at all and can just put her down and she doesn't cry and goes to sleep by herself.
Especially during the first week she will cry when you stop patting and try to leave. Go back to her, pick her up, calm her down and start all over again. You may have to start over 3 or 4 times.

The other method you can try was invented by Tracey Hogg (UK baby whisperer). It is not something used by behaviourists or accepted as a standard technique, but Tracey's book says it has a high success rate, she calls it "Pick-up / Put-down". There is also a support forum for people using the method on her website.

These are the instructions as best I can remember them. You put baby in her cot awake. She will cry. Pick her up, do not say anything, do not rock, bounce, pat or anything you normally do, just cuddle her close until she completely calms down, then put her back down. She will cry again, pick her up, cuddle, calm her, put her down. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. If you put her down and she doesn't cry, leave the room and see if she goes to sleep. If she cries go back in and continue picking up and putting down. You may have to pick her up over 150 times and it could take a few hours. Each night the number of times you have to pick her up is supposed to halve until you put her down and she goes to sleep without crying so it should take less than a week.

I should mention that some major people in the attachment parenting world do not like Tracey's method and liken it to control crying because the baby gets stressed and cries each time you put her down. I say, try it and judge for yourself. You know what is best for your baby.

You are welcome to PM me about anything I have said. Sorry everyong for long post AGAIN.

Veronica - posted on 12/08/2009

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I wrote a lot but forgot to add... it may be because around 6 months babies get separation anxiety and she is probably just waking up to check to see if mommy is still there. This is also the age where learning explodes so she may be waking to try the things she is learning one last time before bed. It may not be something you can change. Maybe dad can help?

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Tessa - posted on 12/09/2009

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Thanks for all of the suggestions.

We have a wonderful bedtime routine. I start getting her ready for bed @ 7:30. We give her a bath, lotion her down and then read a story together. Then, she goes right to sleep. She is asleep by 8. It is the middle of the night wakings that she is having trouble with.

Last night was better. She only woke for one nursing. I know that babies that are going through major milestones will sometimes wake frequently at night. She officially learned how to crawl yesterday, so I have hopes that she will start sleeping better now.

Veronica - posted on 12/08/2009

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Do you have a sleep routine? I start my 6 month old's routine at 7:30. She gets a fun warm bath where either me or my husband plays with her a lot to tire her out. Then I sing to her while I give her a soothing massage with the same lotion - so she's used to the smell. Then I put on her PJ's, daddy says "night night" And she settles down to eat. She falls asleep eating and I move her to her spot on the bed (we co-sleep, which also makes those early morning feedings easier).We have been doing this whole routine since she was 3 months but I saw her start going to sleep faster and staying asleep longer after just a week of this. She sleeps from then until I go to bed and I feed her again to "top-her-off" and then she sleeps a good 8 hour stretch. After that it's feedings every few hours til morning. But getting a stretch of sleep helps like you wouldn't imagine. Be really careful though with the cry it out method. It has been shown to weaken your response to your baby's cries (which, if you are doing attachment parenting ruins all you've done so far). It also has been proven to make babies trust thier parents less - something I'm guessing you don't want. I often takes about a week to work too. Painful for mom and baby! Try reading Dr. Sears' method of sleep training. I tried it but found it didn't help really. I finally resigned myself to waking for feedings and trying to settle baby to sleep with her paci and pats on the chest and singing. It worked and she seems to have been sleeping just a bit longer these last few days. Good luck! It's a long journey to good sleep, but baby will figure it out sooner than you think.

Paulina - posted on 12/08/2009

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you should give her a bit of chamomille tea not to sweetend though or try giving baby a warm bath then after you dry her give her a llil massage through out her body then feed her and she should fall right asleep that always helps me with my baby and shes only 6 months and something weeks

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