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  1. #1
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    Default 7 month old irregular waking – time to teach to sleep or wait?

    My DS will be 7 months old at the end of the week and although I don't fully expect him to be 'sleeping through' his irregular waking (ie lack of any pattern whatsoever) has me wandering whether he is actually hungry or is he just waking out of habit/needing comfort etc (he is breastfed).

    I am going back to work full time in a couple of months and don't think I can cope with him waking any more than once a night (I seem to cope fine if he only wakes once, I actually enjoy the midnight cuddle).

    He has slept through once from 7pm until 6am (but that was after jabs so I tend to think that had something to do with it!), several times has only woken once around 11pm (although sometimes its 9pm or 10pm, very irregular), had a quick feed then gone back to sleep until 7am (I put him down awake, but he rolls over and sucks his thumb and is back asleep within seconds).
    Other nights he wakes again 3-4 hours later, I give him a quick breastfeed (put down awake again) then he sleeps through until 7am. Some nights he wakes more than this but there is no apparent pattern, no 2 nights are the same especially consecutive nights. So I go to bed each night wandering what am I going to get!

    He has been put down awake ever since he was 8 weeks old and won't fall asleep any other way, so self settling isn't the issue. He is a thumbsucker and will not take a dummy. He won't be held, cuddled, or pat to sleep whatsoever.

    We have tried leaving him, about once out of every 5 times he will resettle (usually within 2-3mins). Most of the time we give up after about 5-10 mins as he gets so worked up he is screaming hysterically and we just can't cope (he is a particularly loud, high pitched screamer!). We've left him up to half an hour during the night but he just gets worse and worse and I worry if he is in pain etc, then I think just a 5 min feed and he will be back asleep, why put up with all that crying and lack of sleep??

    Oh its so hard to know what to do, especially when there is no pattern I am at loss as to why he is waking. I want to do the right thing but I am so confused as to whether I should be teaching him to sleep at this point. Last night he woke at 8.30pm (unusual), I popped on the lullaby on the monitor (which I can do remotely) and he resettled (the music stops after a few mins). But then he woke at 11pm and I thought may as well feed him rather than be up every 3 hours, and after that he slept through until 6.30am.

    I know music is just placing one sleeping aid with another but I guess I am experimenting to see if he is actually hungry? Is this wrong to try wean him off night feeds with music before we try the teach to sleep thing?

    He has 3 large solid meals a day (plus 4 breastfeeds) so I think he should be getting enough food...

  2. #2
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    When my DD was 9 months old and waking several times a night with a feed the only way to resettle, I had enough.
    So I decided that she could have just one feed a night, so the first time she woke after midnight I would immediately feed her. If she woke before or after that I would pat her until she fell asleep again. I wanted her to get the message that she was not getting out of her cot, but since she had so many overnight feeds I didn't think it was fair to cut them all out at once.
    The first few nights I patted a lot, but only fed once, and then she stopped waking overnight all together. So I don't think she really was hungry.
    Patting for me was a better option that just leaving her to her own devices, and luckily it worked quickly to get her into a better sleep routine.
    HTH

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  4. #3
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    It sounds totally normal. My DS was actually worse than yours at 7 months but he never was put down awake. A fair bit of it is separation anxiety and wanting comfort so IMO CC could be a bad idea. I think the best thing to do is wait and see. DS dropped to two feeds a night at predictable times at around 8 months (so was waking from hunger) and has pretty much improved out of sight on his own. We still have rough nights/weeks but he sleeps through or wakes only once most nights and he is 12mo.

    What happens if you send your DH in if he wakes before midnight, to rock or pat him back to sleep? We started doing this and if DS didn't settle in half an hour or was hysterical i would feed him. It worked well for us.

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    Also I know you're worried about going back to work sleep deprived, I've had shocking nights before and gone to work on 2 hours sleep. It's honestly not as hard as being at home and tired. Work is less emotionally draining and less mundane (nappies etc) so I find adrenaline kicks in and I'm totally fine! Plus I can drink copious coffees in peace.

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    I've done what MH does, sending DH in. It's helped heaps. DS is 10 months and has improved pretty much on his own. He was a terrible terrible sleeper for the longest time.

    MH, I swear everytime I read your posts I think I could have written it. Jonny must somehow copy your son.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using BubHub

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    Jonnysmama I know! I bet IRL they would get along so well! (so would we). They both sound like such cheeky little boys too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cindye View Post
    When my DD was 9 months old and waking several times a night with a feed the only way to resettle, I had enough.
    So I decided that she could have just one feed a night, so the first time she woke after midnight I would immediately feed her. If she woke before or after that I would pat her until she fell asleep again. I wanted her to get the message that she was not getting out of her cot, but since she had so many overnight feeds I didn't think it was fair to cut them all out at once.
    The first few nights I patted a lot, but only fed once, and then she stopped waking overnight all together. So I don't think she really was hungry.
    Patting for me was a better option that just leaving her to her own devices, and luckily it worked quickly to get her into a better sleep routine.
    HTH
    Thanks cindye, this makes sense to me, I had thought about doing something similar but wasn't sure if it was a good idea. I might give that a go for a few nights, although my DS usually wakes before midnight so I might make the cutoff more like 11pm.

    Just wandering though, if your DD ever slept through the midnight feed but woke only at say, 3am, did you feed her then or just pat to sleep? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic Hiss View Post
    What happens if you send your DH in if he wakes before midnight, to rock or pat him back to sleep? We started doing this and if DS didn't settle in half an hour or was hysterical i would feed him. It worked well for us.
    My DH has only tried it once or twice and has very limited patience . I could ask him to try again but he will probably end up picking him up out of frustration or call me in after 2 mins and say he can't stand the crying, can I just feed him? I think it could maybe work if only my DH had a bit more patience, he is a bit all or nothing, would rather leave him cry than go in and try to settle. Which is totally opposite to me! He just feels very helpless if he can't fix a problem. But maybe I ask him to try harder for just a couple of times and if it doesn't work after 10 min agree to come in and take over?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnygirl79 View Post
    Thanks cindye, this makes sense to me, I had thought about doing something similar but wasn't sure if it was a good idea. I might give that a go for a few nights, although my DS usually wakes before midnight so I might make the cutoff more like 11pm.

    Just wandering though, if your DD ever slept through the midnight feed but woke only at say, 3am, did you feed her then or just pat to sleep? Thanks
    The first time she woke after midnight, whether it was 1, 3 or 4 I'd feed her. But she stopped night waking completely in less than a week. It was just those first few nights that were hard.

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    Hi my son is 7 months and is doing exactly the same thing. The last few nights he woke 4-5 times. I put him down asleep but have put him down awake in the day . I don't have any solutions but keen to read any available.


 

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