Self Soothing?

Vicki - posted on 03/12/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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Hi I'm new to this, so please bear with with me...



At the moment my 4month old is going to bed at 7pm till 6am, waking twice in the night. I know she can sleep through as she has done this on several occasions, but I've read that self soothing is the answer to her getting a full night sleep, I give her a bottle upstairs right before she goes down at 7pm, so now she's expecting a bottle when she is waking in the night to get back to sleep. I've tried water and she screams the house down.



I was hoping anyone might have some advice on how to get her off the bottle at 7pm. But if I do that, how long before 7pm does she need her last bottle so she's full enough to sleep?



I am a first time mummy.

Thanks for any help or advice...

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Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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Just try to meet her needs, if she feels she needs a bottle, then likely she does need it!
Babies are completely working off of instinctual needs, they don't even have the capability to manipulate for a while. They have routines they like and feel safe in, and they have strong emotional needs. Most babies need mom to comfort them a few times in the night for the first year or two. It's really best to meet her needs. Emotional needs are just as important as physical needs so don't push her away from some night time cuddling! It's a need.

Valarie - posted on 03/24/2011

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My son has slept through the night since birth. That does not mean we haven't had a couple of 2am or 4am wakings but that is usually cured in 15 minutes of feeding and back to sleep he goes.

There are a lot of factors to consider:
Noise - my son sleeps through just about anything but will have trouble going to sleep at night in the quite so I started putting him to bed about 15mins before I go. I turn on the lamp and radio works great.
Hunger: I always wake my son up about 30 minutes before I go to sleep, change his diaper (helps waking him up) and feed him. I also make sure he has more feedings in the evening.
Bedtime: I don't put my son to bed until I go to bed. He is usually sleeping out in the living room but maybe you are putting your child to bed too early.
Self soothing works but it has to be for the right reasons and with a baby that cannot communicate you never know if you are missing something they need.

Margaret - posted on 03/24/2011

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Many children wake up for various reasons, often due to thirst, discomfort, or feeling cold! Try changing her nappy/diaper, checking that she has not kicked off her nightime bed clothes.
Cutting her night time feed out altogether, may not be a good idea as she may still needs it!
With my children, I would lift them at 10.00pm, to offer them a bottle before I went to bed in order to be able to get a good night's sleep myself.
It is not just food that keeps us awake, besides hunger, it is discomfort, and fear! Teething also is another possibility! Although you cannot see them, the teeth are growing so look for little bumps in her lower and her upper gums
Keep a nightlight on in her bedroom! Waking up in a dark room when she fell asleep with the light on could be all it takes! She may have heard a noise outside that disturbed her sleep!

Tricia - posted on 03/13/2011

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I woke up my babies on my schedule to get them to sleep through the night. I would always give them a bottle right before their bedtime (usually 7 or 8) and then I would wake them up before I went to bed (at 10 or 11) and feed them then. They usually would sleep from that bottle all of the way until at least 7 am. All three of mine slept through the night from the time they were 6 weeks old and I did do self soothing. They were perfectly capable of doing it at that age. Once they are completely sleeping through the night, you will have occasional times when they will wake up because of growth spurts, but they should only last a few days and be pretty far between.

Andrea - posted on 03/13/2011

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Babies unfortunately aren't really ready to self soothe until they are AT LEAST 6 months old, some babies can do it earlier and some not so much. But one of the ways that you can start phasing out the bottle slowly is to not let her go to sleep on it, so take it away before she goes to sleep and then progressively take it away earlier and earlier over the next few months (not weeks, months). We are currently going through the same thing with cuddling to sleep, so we have started putting bubba girl down before she is asleep and patting her butt in the cot, next step for us is going to be to sit and have our hands resting on her butt (so she knows we are there) but not patting until she's asleep, then just sitting by the cot and so on until we can pop her down and walk out and she will got to sleep by herself.

Try reading the No Cry Sleep Solution (available on Amazon.com) which is what we use (we have no affiliation, just tried it and it works for us) to teach our kids to self soothe, takes time but the kids are happy and I'm happy so it's worth it!

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Valarie - posted on 03/26/2011

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I still say don't have such an early bedtime unless you are going to go to bed. You are working on borrowed time if you are not going to bed. It might be best to give less formula in the evening until bedtime and then give a full feeding. Some children do not sleep through the night my middle child was like that and he did not want to go back to sleep even after eating. Another suggestion is not to nap during the day if you can help it. This works for me personally even tho it is tough. I end up even more tired and irritated and can't get to sleep at night. It also give me time to myself.

Diana - posted on 03/24/2011

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I would not give up the 7 pm bottle, but give her less and less in the other bottles during the night. if you have started cereal, you might try giving her some around 6ish to help fill her belly, that's what worked with both of my kids. you can also try dream feeding her if she wakes up the same time every night. that is that if she wakes at, say 11, get up at 10:30 and pick her up and give her a bottle while she's sleeping, try not to wake her, then put her back in her crib. I did this with my daughter and because she wasn't waking up, her habit was broken and she was sleeping through the night

I would also look at her nap/sleep schedule too. Both of my kids woke up during the night if they went to bed too late or didn't sleep enough during the day-I know it sounds crazy, but babies need to sleep well or they get overtired and have even more trouble sleeping.

Vicki - posted on 03/24/2011

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heather....she wont drink anymore formula than im giving her shes falling asleep after 4-5oz's

Katie - posted on 03/24/2011

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Um...4 months old, right? Ok...you should expect your baby to be exclusively bottle-fed until about 6 months old, and then even when you start purees of solids, they are still taking their primary nutrition from formula/breast milk. Think of it like this; breast-fed babies aren't typically weaning until they're around 1 year old, (that's with baby-led weaning. Many mothers choose a different way; my personal plan was to start the weaning process when my baby started cutting teeth, for obvious reasons.)
I don't think it's reasonable to expect your 4 month old to be able to take on enough in a single feeding to make it all the way through 11 hours of sleep. Maybe some lucky parents get this, but I daresay they are few, far between, and like I said, LUCKY!!! :D

Liberty - posted on 03/24/2011

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My daughter goes to sleep every night awake with her glowing seahorse she got for xmas. She;s been sleeping through the night since she was 6 weeks old and now she's 9 months.

Heather - posted on 03/24/2011

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My daughter started sleeping thru the night at 7 weeks old and she's 14 months now and still sleeping thru the night, 7pm-7am. Are you giving her enough formula before bed? You may need to increase that...

Jenny - posted on 03/15/2011

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! 4 years no sleep sounds too much to handle, but thats what i've got myself into, too late for me! lol. Its hard work when they're so close in age but i like that im getting the baby part over and done with, would hate to start over in 5 years.

Vicki - posted on 03/15/2011

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oh my god i so wish maisie was 1 of them very rare cases were she was born with all her teeth lol, the teething is such a nightmare so much hard work, she screams and screams i think this is why she hasnt had her last feed shes totally gone off her food gone from 5oz every 3hrs - 2oz every 2hrs during the day which thinking about it could be half the problem at night, i know its not going to last forever but like you say 2 years sounds so far away lol i was hoping for my second child in the next 2 years as my partners said if i want another its gotta be in the next 2years because he thinks hes getting old lol which means if maisie moo is not sleeping through ive no chance of baby number 2 as that would mean 4 years no sleep haha.

Jenny - posted on 03/15/2011

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or she might be extra sleepy? give her some panadol to help her out.

Isabelle at 3 months was the worst. I had to rock her to sleep every night as she was teething. Then about a month later she just started sleeping better again - as in i could just put her down, no rocking required.



I remember at 4 months thinking "if only she was 6 months i would not put up with this and i will let her cry it out so that she learns to sleep through the night." and then 6 months came and i was like "if only she was 9 months old...." now 9 months is here and im like "i cant wait until she's 12 months old then i'll deffinatley not put up with this!"

I just never have the hart to do it. And somehow i've remained sane till here. I really think the first couple months are very hard, but you do adjust better to the lifestyle by about 6 months +



and mine does the exact same thing. never a similar night! At least with my first his would usually always wake at 2am and then at 6am. But she's allways changing like yours. I thought by now she'd deffinatley have stabled but she hassent....:/



I can see how your thinking all of this sounds dreaful that it hasnt changed by 9 months but somehow I'm not as desperate for those wake-free nights as was at 3 months.



It also helps that i can see with my eldest that by 2 (i know this sounds like ages away!!!) he was sleeping through the night every night. So i know that it wont last forever as i feared it would and you do get much more sleep-through-the-night nights by the time she's 12months.

Another thing that keeps me ok with the night wakings is that im about 90% sure this has to do with their stomachs not being able to handle that long night brake and TEETHING! I know that when my little girl has all her baby teeth (Daniel had all of his by 12months) things will improve dramatically. Until then there's always teething that will screw nights up for days on end.

Vicki - posted on 03/15/2011

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wow 9months and not sleeping through was hoping by then maisie was defo sleeping through haha she was an amazing little sleeper till i put her in the cot at about 3months now she just changes her feeding routines every single night is different and i think thats the hardest thing i could deal with the 2-3 wakes if it was the same every night but shes changing all the time, she has ALWAYS gone down with a feed at 7pm never settled without her last feed but 2night she would not have her last feed so god only knows what 2night has got in store for us and to top it all off she got her 16wk jabs in the morning so i already know tomorrows going to be very very bad lol :)

Jenny - posted on 03/15/2011

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i know what you mean Vicki. my little girl was a pretty decent new born sleeper. but had her days and nights mixed up. during the day she would have 4 hour long naps. and then about at 2months she had two or three nights where she slept from 10pm-6.30am and i was like What? she CAN do that! and then from then it was a struggle getting her to do that ever again! lol. she's now 9 months and has never slept through the night.
But its got easier in other ways. when she was younger i used to have to work at getting her back to sleep when she woke at night where as now i just give her a bottle of milk, and 3 mins later its done and she's back asleep. That change has been just enough for me to feel like i am getting enough sleep and no longer need that little power nap during the day :)

Vicki - posted on 03/15/2011

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i have to admit jenny when my daughter has slept through on the very odd occastions i have had to get up a few times to give her the dummy she has never slept right through un-aided, i now realize i am prob expecting to mush off my little one but when exhustion kicks in and i know she can go all night (sometimes) without a feed when i am sooooo tired i want her to just do it again for just one night so i can catch up on sleep as she wont really sleep in the day either just gets to much sometimes lol :)

Jenny - posted on 03/15/2011

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@ Kristen - how did you manage to do this?! Did they just sleep on their own through the night or did you have to help them do that. And if so what did you do? I have such a hard time believing people when they say their baby slept through the night since 2months or something as early as that. Both my babies did not sleep through the night as babies. There must be something some mothers are doing differently to get different results. Its not normal for babies to sleep through the night at such a young age. Even at 6months the statistics say that 80% of babies are still not sleeping through the night.

Would you mind sharing your detailed advice on how it worked out?

Kristen - posted on 03/14/2011

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My twins are 8 months old now and they get there last bottle at about 645 and they sleep from 7 till almost 8am. They have been doing this since about 3-4 months old. But every kid is different my older daughter had her bottle at 730 and slept through the night till about 7am from the time she was 7 weeks old.

Tameka - posted on 03/14/2011

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Babies are designed to wake frequently. Their tummies are about the size of their fist so it empties quickly. At that age a bottle is needed for food not for comfort. At around one year then it switches to comfort. At 4 months pretty much every baby will protest about being given anything but their usual milk (breast or formula). If you keep your normal routine going you will see over the months that your daughter's sleep pattern will change drastically. For the better and the worse.

I'd be happy the night she is sleeping through. For the nights she isn't then its extra cuddles for you!!

Deepti - posted on 03/14/2011

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she is so young and yet so cooperative.as she wakes only twice all through the night. but she needs milk to sustain.. and should be given whenever she demands as 12 hr is a long period for such a small baby!!

Vicki - posted on 03/13/2011

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Thanks for your advice Tricia i will give that ago 2night, im exhusted shes had yet ANOTHER bad night im willing to try anything, i think she is very capable of sleeping from 11pm till 7am as she has gone 7pm till 4am i just need to switch her long sleep from the beginning of the night to when ive gone to bed, thanks again :)

Vicki - posted on 03/13/2011

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Thanks for all your advice..... Maisie proberly is just going to have to find her own routine and im sure she will let me know when shes settled with one.... I will look that website up aswell Michelle it looks interesting thank you :)

Michelle - posted on 03/13/2011

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Hi Vicki i also have a new born nearlly 3mths old he was waking alot through the night and i would pick him up everytime i heard him & feed him but i came across some info on google that was explaining how babies will seem to wake up but are not always fully awake needing a feed which i found interesting if you google getting baby to sleep through the night you will come across it..so now i feed him up just before bed sit with him for about 10 to 15 mins talking to him letting him settle then wrap him for bed..then if he stirrs in the night i will wait a few minutes see if he stops maybe even put his dummy in and if he goes to sleep then he obviously isnt hungry but if he cries and doesnt settle i know he needs a feed this has helped me alot he now sleeps from say 8.30 - 9 wakes around 3.30 - 4 oclock then sleeps till 7. This works well for him & he is a nice big healthy boy lol
Like the other mums have said there will be many changes when growth spurts happen & so forth so if your baby is screaming she is obviously hungry & needing a feed....you will work it out & always go with your gut...mum always knows best!

Alicia - posted on 03/12/2011

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i agree completely with sara. she will need the food more often some nights and not others. my daughter was sleeping 12 hours a night by 3 months old. not waking up at all. then from month 5-7 she was waking 4 times a night. 8 months old she was down to only waking once. then 9 months her first 2 little teeth popped in and she was waking at least twice a night. then 10 months she was sleeping all the way thru the night again. growing, teething, everything can play into this. just be patient and she will sleep all night again soon!! :)

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She's still pretty young and will go through growth spurts. She may still need to eat during the night on most nights. Also, sleep habits will change frequently in the first couple of years due to teething, illness, growth spurts, developmental milestones, etc. The way she's sleeping now may not be how she sleeps next month. I wouldn't be pushing her to sleep through the night until she's ready.

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