Sleep! Update Post 17

There comes a time in every young boys life when he has to sleep through the night. Sebastian thinks that time is far far away. I think that time is now. He wakes once or twice every night. Usually twice. He takes a few ounces and goes right back to sleep. I know logically that he shouldn't be hungry but he is tiny so I feel bad not feeding him. He was under the 3%-ile at this 6 month well baby check. I would guess his weight to be around 15 lbs now.

Please off any tips and suggestions of what worked for you. I'm not opposed to crying it out but would like some additional option. Alexander decided early on that sleep was more valuable than food. Thanks!


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel

Last edited by DarkAngel; 07-02-2010 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Update: Post 17
Any baby over 12 pounds is capable of sleeping through the night. I encouraged all of mine to sleep through at a young age, so that I didn't have to use cry-it-out later. Your baby may still be young enough to respond to gentle encouragement, but if you wait much longer, CIO probably becomes the only alternative (other than years of up-all-night, and I don't consider that an acceptable alternative).

My approach has always been to keep babies awake in the evenings, encouraging cluster-feeding to fill the little tummy. My goal was to get the baby to sleep from midnight til 6am. Once they're doing that reliably, I worked backwards to get them to sleep earlier in the evening.

What evening/night-time hours is your baby sleeping now?
Right now, he sleeps from about 7:30 or so until 6:30. We try to do a dream feed somewhere between 10 and midnight. Last night, my husband fed him around 11 and I did again around 1am. The 1 am feed was short and he didn't wake again until morning. He's a good daytime eater and may be going through a growth spurt. He takes a paci and rarely wakes more than twice. Usually around midnight and 4 ish. He drinks super fast and settles. The whole thing takes maybe five minutes.

I know this is our fault. I just don't want to be doing it forever.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
I don't agree with CIO, which is why I have an almost-3-year-old who still wakes several times to nurse most nights, but I think the CIO proponents would say that 6 months is old enough to give it a try. I know the Ferber approach involves letting your baby cry for increasing intervals before going in to him (though, interestingly enough, Dr. Ferber got remarried and now cosleeps with his kids).

If I were in your situation, I'd probably keep him in a crib/bassinet right next to my bed and just deal with the 5 minutes once or twice a night, if that's all it is. But that's me, not you.

Abram at 6 months wakes much less than Solomon does at night, so I'm holding out hope that he'll be a better sleeper in the long run as well.

And it may or may not be your own fault. All babies have different sleep habits and you have no way of knowing how much your parenting has contributed.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Right now, he sleeps from about 7:30 or so until 6:30. We try to do a dream feed somewhere between 10 and midnight. Last night, my husband fed him around 11 and I did again around 1am. The 1 am feed was short and he didn't wake again until morning. He's a good daytime eater and may be going through a growth spurt. He takes a paci and rarely wakes more than twice. Usually around midnight and 4 ish. He drinks super fast and settles. The whole thing takes maybe five minutes.

I know this is our fault. I just don't want to be doing it forever.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel

If *I* were in your shoes, I would probably wake him up around 8:30, and keep him up, feeding him a couple of times, and put him back to bed around 10 or 11pm. After a few nights of that, he may start sleeping through those midnight and 4am feedings.
Can he roll? Would be sleep better on his tummy (I know Callie was rolling by 6 months and on her belly sleeping--once they roll, I let them sleep how they like). I am a HUGE fan of comfort toys. Each of my kids has one and it really helps with Sleep. They get the toy and knows it is bedtime. Try keeping him up later like RCW said (although that backfires sometimes).

I am not sure if this is possible, but when Steven was little and waking in the night to feed I would do the 7pm feed, go to bed, DH would do the 10 and 1 feeds, then I would do the 4 and 8 feeds...we each got decent amount of sleep that way



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Try keeping him up later like RCW said (although that backfires sometimes).
Originally Posted by deezee02


I said to wake him up, not keep him up. It may backfire, but what they are presently doing isn't working anyway, so sometimes a drastic change can help. Since he's still waking up twice each night, he's obviously not ready for a 7:30pm bedtime. I would treat that 7:30 sleep as just a nap, not true nighttime sleep.
Deezee, he can roll. Once we stopped swaddling, he started sleeping all over the bed. We don't have a comfort toy. I will see what happens if I suggest one. He goes to bed with little fuss most nights.

We take turns being responsible for night feeds. My husband does two nights. Then I do two nights. We've found that two good nights of sleep in a row for us is a lot more tolerable than one night on/one night off or splitting the nights like we did with Alexander.

RCW, I tried the wake up after a bit of sleep thing and it went awfully. It resulted in screaming on his part until I took him back to his room where he promptly resettled. I will see if I can convince him to stay awake just a bit longer. Even to 8pm may make a difference.

Pixie, he can't sleep in our room. He started sleeping better once we moved him out.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
What happens if you don't do the "dream feed"?

Why do you do that anyway?
If we don't do it, he wakes up anyway wanting to eat. I have no idea why we started doing it. I guess it was to try to head off him waking up. You would think we would have stopped once we realized that it didn't make a difference but we haven't.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
When Ben was 9 month sold he was still waking up once a night to eat. I started sending my husband (without food) in instead of me, and after only a couple of nights he decided it was not worth waking up if there were no boobs. I did do CIO with him at bedtime when he was 5 months because nothing else worked. You might try trying to soothe him without feeding him when he wakes, or giving him water, or if you give him bottles gradually giving him less and less milk/formula.
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Have you tried some techniques that go along with CIO like instead of bottle just rub his back for a certain amount of time, etc. It's not so much CIO but teaching him how to self soothe without the sucking.

I have a very similar approach to sleeping/schedules as RCW and think it's not too much to ask to have a baby sleeping through the night.
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Have you tried some techniques that go along with CIO like instead of bottle just rub his back for a certain amount of time, etc. It's not so much CIO but teaching him how to self soothe without the sucking.
Originally Posted by Jess the Mess
I also think CIO implies cry it out ALONE, and letting the baby cry a little while you or hubby are with him trying to offer comfort in other ways can be a happy(er) medium. Even if you have to pick him up and walk with him to get him back to sleep, eventually he will learn that he doesn't get the bottle when he wakes and will hopefully start to sleep through.

Also, in The No Cry Sleep Solution, the author suggests what she calls "the Pantley Pull-Off" (her last name is Pantley) for breastfeeding but I bet you could use it for bottlefeeding too. Once his sucking slows down, but before he falls asleep, gently break his latch and take the bottle away. If he cries, you can give it back and repeat as needed until he drifts off without it, which should very gradually teach him to fall asleep without sucking.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Jess, I have tried to soothe him without the bottle but not been very consistent with it.

Geeky, tonight is my husband's night to wake with him. I think I will try the water bottles tomorrow night.

Thanks, ladies, for sharing so many options with us.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
I don't have any advice really, because I am struggling with a similar situation with Liam. He is just over 7 months. He doesn't nap well, in addition to not sleeping well at night. He gets up 2-3 times, typically, more if he is teething. He hasn't responded to any kind of sleep training. He wants a person, especially his Mommy. So, I feel for you.
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A baby sleeping for 5-6 hours straight is generally considered "sleeping through the night", so if you can just get rid of the 4 am feeding you are there, anything more is just a bonus We are finally settling into a pattern at 9 months, but it's tricky because my husband works second shift, so DS likes to stay awake to see him come home at 11:30. We finally have a pattern that is technically STTN, from about 1am to 7am or so, then sleep-nursing a few times until 11, when he's up for good.

Good luck, I hope you are able to find something that works for you! One thing that has majorly helped us with bedtime is to start a routine like the No Cry Sleep Solution suggests, something like brushing teeth, reading a story, nursing to sleep (that tends to be our routine). Even if it doesn't put him right out, if I just lay there in the dark with him, he will generally fall asleep when he's tired of rolling around talking.
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Update: Last night and the night before last, he slept straight through without a peep. He goes down around 7:30 and wakes around 6:30. I don't know if it is a fluke, but it gives me hope. Fingers crossed!


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
i found that letting nature take it's course worked best for my son. if he was hungry, he got fed, even if logic dictated that he just ate. How could he be hungry now? Feed him. If he's not hungry he won't eat what's offered. That eliminated the torture of CIO.

We also did co-sleeping until he felt comfortable enough to fall asleep in his own crib and refused to sleep in my bed.

My son is 9 mos and sleeps anywhere between 8 - 15 hours a night...every single night. Even while teething. And constipated. And congested. And diarrhea. et al. (not all at once...holy buckets!)

I wonder if you are putting your son to bed when he wants to sleep or when you want him to sleep. Try keeping him up a little longer, or doing some physical activity with him during the day. I know when my son has had a "workout" (tummy time, rolling, car riding) throughout the day, he really hits the zzzzz hard at night.

Personally, I think CIO is bullsh*t! Just plain torture for the baby. If you listen to your baby's needs instead trying some "technique" that wasn't designed for your baby's personality, you might meet with success. Good luck!
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