Sleeping at night

Amy - posted on 11/04/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Help! My daughter is 9 months old and will not sleep for more than 3 hours at a time at night. She has 2 naps, 1 in the morning and 1 early afternoon but won't sleep at night.

20 Comments

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Carmel - posted on 11/08/2009

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Hi amy, well i reckon that there are lots of different babies, and lots of different ways of doing things, and you know your baby the best - so this might not help at all but i'll relay my experience - i have an 11 month old boy and he has been one of those 'waking every 3 hours' babies the majority of the time. His room is very close to ours and even with the door shut you can still hear him the moment he cries, so i basically found the easiest thing to do was just get up, cuddle him in the rocking chair, give him a drink of water and pop the dummy back in, then when he was sleepy & calm again pop him back in the cot... to wake and do it all over again a few hours later! i think he got to the stage where he needed me to get him back to sleep, so just this last week, we decided that even for day sleeps i would put him in his cot awake, and hold my hand gently but firmly on him, to make sure he didn't try to stand up and maybe with a little pat, and shooshing noises until he stopped crying, sometimes that took half an hour but after a day that became a lot less, and then during the night i made myself wait 10 minutes before going into his crying, and repeating the process (it wasn't that terrible desperate cry tho, just a winge - still difficult to not rush in to him!) and mostly he only cried for only about 5 mins, then got himself back to sleep. so for the last two nights i haven't got up to him at all, i've heard one little cry, but they only last about 30 seconds, so hopefully it keeps getting better! but going from waking up every 3 hours to pretty much 12 hours straight sleep has to be much better for him! i think he had to learn that he can put himself back to sleep rather than have someone, or something do it for him.

Sharon - posted on 11/07/2009

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Hi, My son is coming up 11 months old and is doing quite well. The following might help: Black out blind in her room so any light coming through the curtain is not waking her, A baby-grow bag- so she's not waking up cold at night. A big feed at bedtime and even a dream-feed at 11pm so she's not waking up hungry.
Check her feeding times (solid food) is not too late and she's waking with a dirty nappy.
If she's not hungry, cold, has a dirty nappy or being woken by the light then she should be ok. Hope this helps

Sharon- Ollies mum.xx

[deleted account]

Quoting Claire:

I had this problem when my daughter got to be about that age. I dropped or dramatically shortened her nap times. It did the trick. I also had to let her cry just a bit before I rushed in. Of course, I never could let her cry more than 10 minutess. Try to shorten the naps a bit. Good luck!


I agree with Claire. This worked for me and my two daughters. I would do one nap mid-morning  and keep them awake the rest of the day until bedtime. Early bedtimes would happen as well which can be nice sometimes. It can lead to a fussy baby at times, and I would never force them to stay awake. If they were so tired that they were inconsolable I would definitely let them sleep. 



I also remember that both my first daughter wouldn't sleep at night because of ear infections, until we found out what it was and then she slept for a good portion of the night.. never fully until she was two though.. So far my second daughter only wakes at night if she has gas pains, is too hot, or needs her diaper changed (after pooing). 



Also there is nothing wrong with letting them cry a little longer and not immediately running in.. Takes patience, persistence, and consistency. Just take cues from your baby. They tell us a lot, we just have to think like them instead of like an adult. 

Megan - posted on 11/07/2009

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Hi, my name is Megan and I have two boys ages 5 1/2 and 1 yr. My 1yr old has slept horribly since birth, so I started letting him sleep in bed w/me a long time ago...I know many parents don't believe in that but I had to get some sleep! My son also has stridor (noisy breathing). It took me several months of nagging the doctors about his breathing concerns and they FINALLY found out he has a larynoglomalcia (narrow airway) and GERD (refulx). He's so miserable most of the time that he can't sit still, even when hes asleep! Most children as they get a little older w/this disorder are diagnosed w/ADHD cause they go through spells of hyperness and sudden tiredness....which is really from SLEEP APNEA, which my son unfortunately has. He's having surgery this month to hopefully fix everything. Good Luck, and God Bless!



Megan French

Amanda - posted on 11/06/2009

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I'm fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom, but I know what you mean. My daughter still wakes up at least once during the night if she's been over stimulated that day. She was waking up more often just a few months ago. She sleeps in her own room, and has since she was about 7 mo. old. When she was younger I would change her regardless of how wet or dry her diaper felt to me, (some babies are much more sensitive to even slightly damp diapers than others), and offer her a bottle while rocking with her. When I was sure she had gone back to sleep, I put her back in her bed. Make sure she is even slightly aware you're placing her back in the bed so she does wake up scared. Other times, even now, I'll put her in the bed with us. Sometimes she just wants to hear my heartbeat or smell my sent. As long as it's not an every night habit, don't be affraid to let her sleep with you. I'm a first time mom, and though I have my mom with us, I primarily go on instinct. As you can tell there's alot of different opinions from everyone. I advise you to go with your gut, with what feels comfortable for you. Every baby is different, it takes time to find what works with yours. My instinct hasn't steered me wrong with my daughter. Good luck.

Sara - posted on 11/06/2009

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What time does she go to sleep? As crazy as this may sound, we had problems with our son for a little while (who is now one and sleeps through the night, although likes to get up early!) our doctor told us to put him to bed earlier. And as far as the naps go, in my experience, cutting them out or making them shorter just makes for a crankier, fussier baby during the day. I have heard, time and time again, good sleep leads to more good sleep. Don't cut out naps because you think she won't wake up at night. I also agree with the mom who posted about not going to her unless she truly is upset. our son will often wake up and "talk to himself" for 20 - 30 minutes happily, then go back to sleep. I hope this helps, as we are in the same situation with no family around and were in need of sleep ourselves. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 11/06/2009

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i had this problem also, my daughter is 10 months and still gets up but what my doc told me is that she is only getting up because she wants you. so you have to ignore her and she will learn to sooth herself back to sleep. its frustrating but it does work.

Sue - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hi there i totally sympathise with u my son is now one year old and only started to sleep through at 9 months we had a nightmare with him and were both totally exhausted and cross!! We brought him to a homeopath at four and half months which helped but it wasnt until we decided to change his bedtime routine. We were feeding him and holding him until he drifted off but decided to put him into his cot awake and see if he would go asleep himself it took three nights but we havent looked back. I really recommend you try this it can take up to ten nights to work and i know its hard to listen to them cry but you and your partner need your time at night too... good luck

Kristi - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hi Amy - 9 months old is a time when your baby is learning lots of new skills that she probably wants to practice. My daughters both went through phases as babies and toddlers where they would wake up once or twice during the night to "practice" their crawling or play. Both of my girls were exclusively breastfed and we held off on introducing solids as well after learning that it is a myth that they help babies sleep through the night and can contribute to allergies when introduced too early. While we tried bassinets and cribs in the room near our bed with both kids, they both eventually ended up sleeping with us because everyone ended up getting the most sleep this way. Western societies are pretty much the only dopes that still covet the whole idea that babies should sleep away from their parents, and it's pretty much consumerism (not safety) that drives that whole theory. You didn't mention whether or not you are breastfeeding your baby, but if you are, you already know that it's normal and common for them to wake - even at nine months - for a feed or a snuggle. You mentioned in your earlier posts that she doesn't seem hungry. Why don't you try putting her down in her cot at the beginning and getting your solid sleep then. When she wakes, bring her to bed with you and cuddle down for the rest of the night. Babies just want to be near you. To save the getting up part on your end, try bringing her cot (not sure if that is a crib or co-sleeper type crib) close to your bed and just rolling her in with you when she stirs. She may also be getting to the point where you can phase her into just one nap a day. That happened with both my girls at around 10-11 months. They started taking one really long nap during the mid-day. Don't fall for that "let her cry it out" business. It is scientifically founded that this method is harmful to the baby. Babies that cry for you and are not responded to will learn that they cannot depend on you. Extended crying lets out stress hormones called cortisol that can be detrimental to your baby's development. Sleep training is a load of you-know-what. Go with the flow and remember this is a short time frame in her whole life. You'll be okay! There are lots of great articles on babies needing to be near their parents at night in La Leche League's "New Beginnings" magazine and wonderful articles in "Mothering" magazine, including a recent one called "Who Wants to Sleep Alone?". You'll find you and your daughter are not alone! Don't fall victim to well-meaning advice from people who tell you to ignore your instincts. Good luck.

Tasha - posted on 11/06/2009

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Quoting Amy:



Quoting Rits:

Does she wake up to eat





She is not hungry and is not in pain. We find her on all fours in her cot and also running her dummy across the slats in the cot.






If she isn't in any danger, just let her be.  She also could just be more of a night person.  I had a co-worker whose daughter was just that, from the moment they brought her home from the hospital (she is 40 years old now) until this day she doesn't go to bed until 2 am and wakes up around 10 am.



I would venture to guess that she is lonely, not sleepy so she just wants company.  I would try shortening or removing a nap to see if that makes her better able to sleep at night.  I am also not found of baby monitors.  We found that if our child really needed us, he could cry loud enough for us to hear (assuming that your rooms aren't at opposite ends of the house) and all the other crying/wimpering/babbling was just him amusing himself.

Tisha - posted on 11/05/2009

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My oldest did the same thing! I hated it, because just as I drifted off to sleep, he was waking up. So, what I did is took away the afternoon nap, (yes this is hard on momand about 8 pm I made him a bowl of cereal and food, and fed him. Then it was a warm bath and rubbed him with the lavendar night time lotion. Then I held him and cuddled for a bit, then it was bed time. When he woke up 4 hrs later, I changed his bottom and gave him a bottle (he often refused) and then put him back in his crib. Its going to be mom that needs to tell her that it is nap time, not play time. As long as shes dry and fed, and not sick- then she just needs to understand naptime is not play time :)

Kimberly - posted on 11/05/2009

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Not to scsare you but we were wondering the same thing with our little sister...she is now 4 and was still doing it till a freak accident made us realize why she wasn't...make sure she don't have sleep apnea...check her breathing at night and be sure shes not quitting in her sleep for small periods at a time!!!

Jodi - posted on 11/04/2009

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Amy, is she waking up and just playing? Not crying out for you? In that case, why go to her at all? She may go back to sleep on her own when she is ready. My daughter used to do this sometimes. I just turned down the monitor (I still had it on, but only so I'd hear her if she started crying loudly), and rolled over and went back to sleep.



Also, another thought, perhaps she is ready for you to cut back to a single day sleep now, instead of 2 naps?

Meaghan - posted on 11/04/2009

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My fiance and I have been very persistant and letting our son soothe himself. Although i have felt very guilty about just letting our son cry it has proven to work! Good luck!!

Carolyn - posted on 11/04/2009

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How do you put her to sleep? Do you feed her to sleep for night time or her naptime?

Also - how much formula does she drink through the day? What about solids..when does she eat her last solid meal during the day?



I am asking you all this because I went through this with my son - he was getting up every 2-3 hours..no family around and I was losing my mind. I finally hired a sleep consultant from California, and now he sleeps through the night..only getting up once to eat. Changed my life!! Was the best money I ever spent. So I understand what you are going through. Hope I can help..

Amy - posted on 11/04/2009

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Quoting Janette:

She could be waking up for lots of reasons, pain, hunger, just attention. Do you feed her everytime she wakes up? have you tried letting her cry for a while? Has she been waking up every 3 hours since birth? we have lots of trouble with my 7 month old as well, and he has silent reflux which is worse when laying down at night, so it wakes him up alot. I understand your frustration and need for sleep!



When she was born she needed phototherapy for jaundice and was feeding every four hours then. We find her sitting up in her cot or crawling around in her cot. We don't feed her when she wakes up. We have tried all the settling tips going round and we are both in need of sleep and have no family near us.



 

Claire - posted on 11/04/2009

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I had this problem when my daughter got to be about that age. I dropped or dramatically shortened her nap times. It did the trick. I also had to let her cry just a bit before I rushed in. Of course, I never could let her cry more than 10 minutess. Try to shorten the naps a bit. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 11/04/2009

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Quoting Rits:

Does she wake up to eat


She is not hungry and is not in pain. We find her on all fours in her cot and also running her dummy across the slats in the cot.

Janette - posted on 11/04/2009

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She could be waking up for lots of reasons, pain, hunger, just attention. Do you feed her everytime she wakes up? have you tried letting her cry for a while? Has she been waking up every 3 hours since birth? we have lots of trouble with my 7 month old as well, and he has silent reflux which is worse when laying down at night, so it wakes him up alot. I understand your frustration and need for sleep!

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