Will my baby ever sleep through the night?

(43 Posts)
mookymim Tue 08-Mar-11 18:48:03

Hi everyone, I'm new on here so bear with me if I don't get things quite right
I'm looking for advice and/or reassurance, my DS is 6 months old and just won't sleep through the night, I started weaning him at 21 weeks thinking this might help him sleep (he was also showing signs of being interested) but it hasn't changed anything.

He goes to sleep at 8.00pm wakes at 1am then 3-4am then again at 6.30am at this point he is usually wide awake. It's like having a new born again, I'm getting really down with sleep deprivation, it makes me feel miserable through the day and as a result can't enjoy my little one as I'd like. I feel like I'm a walking zombie. Other mothers talk of how their babies are sleeping through (even at a younger age).

He is still currently still in our room with us, I'm wondering if moving the cot to the nursery would improve things, we plan to do that this weekend. Has anyone else got a newborn 6 month old!

(confused) xx

TooManyPufflesInMyIgloo Tue 08-Mar-11 18:53:17


I don't have any advice on how to get him to sleep through. I can only say that he is not remotely unusual - all the mums whose babies sleep through are talking about it and all the others are keeping quiet.

My third baby started sleeping through (10-7, maybe 5 nights a week, unless he was ill or going through a growth spurt or there was an R in the month) at around 6 months, and I thought he was such a fantastic sleeper, cos dc1 and dc2 didn't manage it until around 2 years old.

Sleep deprivation is the pits. But I found it helped to concentrate on working out how we were all going to survive it, rather than stressing about how I was going to change my baby. Babies tend to change themselves in their own good time.

suwoo Tue 08-Mar-11 18:56:39

My 4 year old and 19 month old don't sleep through the night. Ever.

Some babies don't you know, it's not a given.

picc Tue 08-Mar-11 18:59:28

IME all it'll mean if you move him to another room, is that you'll have to walk further when he wakes up. Sorry!

I feel your pain (DS2 doing similar at the moment... although wakes even more often most nights).

DS1 was a frequent waker too, but now sleeps well, so the answer to the OP is yes he will sleep through at one point... just maybe not for a while....

IMO, some babies just do it later. Won't get into debate about sleep training or whatever... do what's right for you....

I survive by co-sleeping after a couple of wake-ups. Oher people may have other suggestions. But it won't last forever....
(although I have to remind myself of this, too, on particularly bad nights...)

picc Tue 08-Mar-11 19:02:38

X-post with TooMany

I agree: the key to survival is to stopping wondering why, and to just concentrate on how (you'll survive!)

mookymim Tue 08-Mar-11 20:10:36

Thanks for the advice everyone, I guess I do tend to get hung up on the 'why isn't he sleeping' thing but I think it's a kind of anxiety response from lack of sleep, I know lots of women are in the same boat but I feel unable to cope much during the day on so little sleep.

I don't have any family or friends around that can take him for a few hours even. Because he's my first baby I think I'm just constantly worried that I'm doing things wrong. i knew motherhood would be hard but freaking hell I wasn't expecting to be so utterly exhausted and rattled.

But I will survive and look back and laugh I'm sure.

Thanks again. xx

makemineawine Tue 08-Mar-11 20:12:29

I have a 9 month old dd. She goes to sleep at 7pm but always wakes up through the night. On a good day, it can be as late as 5/6 am but on other days (nights) such as last night, it can be as early as 11 pm. Rather than have her get upset and spend time trying to settle her in her cot I just bring her in with us and she snuggles in and falls asleep straightaway. I know it's not everyone's idea of a solution but it works for us and I don't feel sleep deprived (until she starts pulling my hair in her sleep!).

mookymim Tue 08-Mar-11 20:21:07

Thanks, I've tried bringing him into bed with me but he just cries and kicks about, although I do tend to BF him in bed until he falls asleep and then I put him back into his cot, (not ideal I know).

goosey123 Tue 08-Mar-11 20:26:55

Things definitely improved for me when dd2 moved into her own room at about 5 months, probably because I didn't have to respond to her for a few minutes and discovered she did sometimes settle herself back down. And whenever I share with her now (she's 8 months) it surprises me what a distrubed night we have.

Things were also better when weaning kicked in. I'm not sure if this helps, but it might get better!

mememe30 Tue 08-Mar-11 20:27:29

Hi, I'm sure your baby will sleep through the night. It might be soon but it could also be a while yet. As a mother of a 7 year old who has never slept a full night, due to a medical condition I would advise trying to find ways of dealing with how your feeling rather than ways to get baby to sleep.

Rest in the day as much as possible.

Cuddle your baby and enjoy the time with him. Its not his fault that he can't yet sleep a full night.

Talk to people and be open. I found more people admitted to their children not being great sleepers the more I talked about it.

Take any help you can to enable you to have a nap.

Don't over fill your day. You haven't had enough sleep.

I admit though that when my son was six months old I was in very bad place in my head and not doing anything I suggest and wouldn't even let anybody help.

My daughter slept 10-7 at 9 weeks so my son was a shock.

RitaMorgan Tue 08-Mar-11 20:33:45

Have you tried a dream feed at 11pm? Formula for that feed sometimes helps (sometimes disturbs sleep more though!).

My ds is 7 months and has just started going 8pm-6.30am with a formula dreamfeed at 11pm - at 6.30am I breastfeed him in bed and usually get another hour's sleep that way.

notnowbernard Tue 08-Mar-11 20:35:32

OP - I would kill for your baby's sleep schedule

Mine is 7m, won't go down until gone 9, then wakes every 1-2 hours

Happy days

triskaidekaphile Tue 08-Mar-11 20:36:58

Are you anti sleep training? Many babies respond well and quickly to controlled crying at six months plus.

tryingtoleave Wed 09-Mar-11 01:32:16

He's not sleeping like a newborn - he's sleeping like a 6 month old.

Mine have just started sleeping through more or less regularly. My ds is 4.5 and my dd is 2.

On a more (hopefully) helpful note, does your ds eat a lot in the day? If so you could try not feeding him when he wakes, at least for one of the wakings. Sometimes if they are used to having a feed their tummy will wake them up.

piprabbit Wed 09-Mar-11 01:39:04

Could you try going to bed at 8pm (at the same time as your DS)? Just for a little while.

At least you'd be getting the best part of 5 straight hours sleep - plus the bits and bobs from later in the night.

Might just be enough to keep you going until he falls into a new pattern.

ThePippy Wed 09-Mar-11 09:11:54

With my DD she slowly increased the time between dream feed (11pm) and middle of the night feed, then suddenly it started going backwards and I was pulling my hair out thinking she was never going to go through, then suddenly after probably the worst night yet she just suddenly stopped waking and has never woken in the night (other than through illness) since. We did nothing different on the day/night she started sleeping through, and had made no attempt to reduce her night feeds to get her used to having less. She wasn't on solids at the time and I have to say was pretty rubbish at drinking her milk, partly due to reflux, so had way less than the daily min recommendation on many days (although gained weight fine) so I actually don't think it is anything to do with having enough food and much more to do with the baby being ready.

Hope you get some zzzzz's soon, I coped really badly with sleep deprivation so I know how tough it is.

BertieBotts Wed 09-Mar-11 09:19:18

You could read the no cry sleep solution - it has strategies to help extend your baby's sleeping time (without controlled crying etc) but also some stuff on realistic sleep expectations. Honestly you are not failing because you haven't "managed" to get him to sleep through yet. He will do so when he is ready.

I was really laid back and did nothing and DS slept through from 7 or 8pm to 7am when he was 2 years old. They do get there by themselves eventually!

Firawla Wed 09-Mar-11 09:40:35

I would try him in his own room, it did help with both of mine, although saying that both of them dont always sleep through these days at age 1 and age 2, but they were not too bad as babies

mookymim Wed 09-Mar-11 12:58:29

Hi, all thanks for your reassuring words and advice. My DS had a pretty bad night last night woke up every 2 hours He does manage to sleep for the first 5 hours 8pm -1am, 'Piprabbit' I have tried going to bed at 8.30 but often end up laying awake fretting till midnight!

It is reassuring to hear that I'm not alone though, I guess the problem comes from family members shaking their heads and telling me that he 'should' be sleeping by now, so I'm constantly being made to feel it's something I'm doing wrong.

I'm going to take the advice of trying to just accept that it is just part of DS's development and try to enjoy him as much as I can, he is such a lovely baby boy.

He's moving to his own room at the weekend so fingers crossed.

nenevomito Wed 09-Mar-11 13:03:17

I've discovered there are no magic ways to get this to happen.

DS finally slept through when he was around 18 months and then became an early waker. DD slept through at 6 weeks and gets a good 12 hours every night.

Tried everything with DS and it made not one blind bit of difference.

thebeansmum Wed 09-Mar-11 13:07:29

Oh mookymim you poor thing! I know people will always have a 'we're worse off than you' story, but it doesn't help when it seems there are so many people BETTER off than you! Sleep deprivation is pure hell - that's why it's used as torture! I really think putting him in his own room is worth trying and sticking with, we did with ours on the advice of my brother and his wife. I think if the baby cries, we wake up, but also, in a room with you and your partner the baby may be disturbed by noises we make - snoring, moving around etc. Try to sleep when he does - even if it means going to bed at 8 with him, doesn't exactly give you much adult/tv/quiet meal time I know, but it's not going to last forever (I promise) and it's better than being like a zombie. Lots of love xxx

Pinkjenny Wed 09-Mar-11 13:09:18

My 3.10yo dd has never slept through the night. Ever. Not once. Never.

My 15mo ds has slept through since about 9 weeks.

You have my sympathies. I pray that she grows out of it.

ShowOfHands Wed 09-Mar-11 13:14:08

Oh gosh. Two night wakings for a 6 month old is just so normal. And under a year they go through so many developmental spurts that their sleeping patterns change regularly. As soon as they're working on a new skill (rolling, walking, talking, crawling etc) they can't sleep well. Throw in teething and normal coughs/colds and separation anxiety and it's hardly surprising you get broken nights.

Once you've accepted it's normal and you're not failing at all, it's easier to handle. Promise. If you feel he's waking like a newborn (which really he isn't) then you go right ahead and act like you have a newborn. I always figured it was easier to change what I was doing than change the developmental norms of a baby. So sleep when you want (during the day is fine), don't worry about cramming things into the day, perfect house etc. Take time to rest, eat well and enjoy the baby you have not the one people incorrectly tell you that you should have. It WILL get better but look at you ds. Just look for a minute. He was born tiny, unable to eat, sit, play, smile, laugh etc. Look at him now. That is taking effort and time. I'm not surprised he's restless/hungry in the night. He's changing daily.

GingaNinja Wed 09-Mar-11 13:19:09

Just to repeat what everyone else has said - he'll sleep when he's ready. You are not doing anything wrong. DD has been a variable sleeper (to put it mildly) since Day 1 (she's now 21 months). A good night at the moment is only one waking. Her last 'through' night was 8th January 2011; before then 27th September 2010. Not that I'm counting. Walking seems to have helped fractionally.

As to comments from the family - just try to nod, smile and change the subject, specially if they're not around to actually help/give you a night off. I've had lots of family comments particularly making unfavourable comparisons but then my sister produced 2 teenagers-at-birth - her youngest slept through from 9 days old FFS. Sorry this isn't more help but good luck. There are an awful lot of us in the Twilight Zone!smile

petisa Wed 09-Mar-11 14:01:30

I have a 6mo dd2 who goes down at 8pm, usually wakes at 11pm and 5am and up for the day at 6-7am and I am over the moon about this! However, last night she did wake up at 10pm, 1am, 5am and decided 5.45am was the start of the day, grr!

Dd1 slept 9pm-6am with only one awakening at 11pm from 6 WEEKS and at 4 months was sleeping 8pm-7am. Lucky me!!

tiktok Wed 09-Mar-11 14:09:13

This isn't a sleep/waking problem.

This is a confidence problem - it will help to address the comments of people who undermine you by saying what your baby 'should' be doing in a way that gives you the upper hand, and which demonstrates your understanding of your baby's normal sleeping and waking pattern and your acceptance of this.

It is usually easier to change yourself in this way - 'cos you are an adult and can think logically and decide to change your behaviour - than it is to change your baby

There's a great phrase often suggested on Mumsnet for people who make unwanted comments - you could try it:

Unhelpful relative: Is he still waking up? Honestly, I don't know why you put up with it....he should be going through by now. You'll have to get a grip!

Mooky: Gosh - that sounded a bit rude and critical of me. Did you mean it to come across like that? BabyMooky's perfectly normal, you know!

MigGril Wed 09-Mar-11 14:18:34

I had a DD who was still doing that at 6months, and I now know many other mum's who have had similar experances. It's quit normal and nothing that you are doing wrong.

Tiktok is right it's better to change our thinking on this then to change a baby who's doing something completly normal.

I have a MIL who for months went on at me that DH slept through at 10week's making me feel bad, then one day out of the blue when DD was around 12months and still waking, she said oh SIL was just the same when she was a baby. So other people can be quit selective in what they tell us. Some of the other mum's might not be being completly honist either.

I think you have to bear in mind as well that different people mean such radically different things by "sleeping through" that it's not worth worrying about who is sleeping through and who isn't. For example I'd say mine didn't because she doesn't sleep from her bedtime until my preferred getting up time, whereas other people would describe her as "sleeping through" because she does sleep for a five hour stretch in the course of the night.

emsyj Wed 09-Mar-11 19:38:07

I feel your pain OP. Would agree that this is all very very normal and you may find things improve a lot in another couple of months as solids become more established.

My DD is now 9.5 months and still wakes. I remember at the 7 month stage I just felt like curling into a little ball and dying I was so tired. I have bf from birth and was alone with DD at night as DH has a long drive to work and I was terrified he would have an accident if he was woken by the baby every 2 hours.

But after 7 months of doing all of the night wakings, I just cracked and ended up taking DD to DH in the spare room in tears at 3am and told him I couldn't cope any more, so he took her for the rest of the night and now has her regularly at weekends so that I can have a proper sleep.

Could you do this? I found that DD was feeding at night because it was there and for comfort, not because she really needed it. If she spends the night with DH (whilst I sleep in the spare room with my earplugs in!) she doesn't cry for milk - he finds that she wakes much less and sleeps later when I am not there. It's obviously a judgment call for you, but if you feel that your DS is getting a decent amount of food and milk during the day, could you sleep in another room with earplugs and let your OH deal with the night wakings? You may find he wakes less if you're not there, as I did with DD.

MrsMiyagi Wed 09-Mar-11 19:56:04

Welcome to MN OP!

I'm particularly glad you're here because you're the only other mum I've ever read on here saying that their baby doesn't like to be in bed with her! grin Mine hates it! Bloomin' ungrateful, aren't they? grin

mookymim My DD was the same. I remember I was so exhausted I would just cry. I also remember that I thought she would never sleep through the night. But then at 7 months she learned how to crawl and her sleeping did improve. Now at 8.5 months she's pushing herself up to standing and wants to be on her feet all day. I encourage this by taking her to soft play to tire herself out. And it really works. As does swimming. Some babies just don't feel the need to sleep but once they're mobile the body overtakes the brain and they're forced to sleep longer. Now my DD goes down at 7pm, wakes for a feed (still!) at about 10pm then that's her until 5.30-6pm. I'm delighted with this as she used to wake up every hour!

Keep the faith - I'm sure his sleeping will improve once he can do more!

bumpertobumper Wed 09-Mar-11 22:32:34

I am in a similar situation and came on MN today hoping to find a thread on this - reading your post and all the replies really helps.
I was spoilt by DS1, he went to bed very easily and only woke once from about 10 weeks (maintained the one wake until 18 months but it was regular and short so fine). Thought it was easy, i was great at this mum lark etc. Hmmm blush

DS2 has never seemed that keen on sleeping - took til 4+ months to establish a normal bedtime. he is now just coming up to 6 months, goes to bed at 7/7.30. then wakes at least twice, usually more until 11ish when i feed him before bed. Then it can be anything from two more wakes and one feed - which i consider a good night to multiple wakings, i lose count and then more feeding and co-sleeping from 4 or 5am (which he is happy with but i never sleep very well, need a bigger bed)until 7ish when DS1 comes in demanding breakfast. He will sometimes be awake for long stretches, wanting to hang out. I always thank my stars that he is not crying when awake.

I am v tired, but find it impossible to sleep during the day or go to bed early so my own fault, always been an owl.
DP is supportive, rolls over in the night and says things like 'what's going on, this is madness' which is annoying, but he does usually take the boys off in the morning until he has to leave for work which gives me another precious hour.

Good to know and remember that sleeping through for all babies is a myth.

the past couple of days DS2 has wanted to go sleep on his side, but then wakes when he rolls on to his back. I have just put him on his front for the first time - that was over an hour ago, after 20-30 min wakings since bed time tonight so seems to be doing the trick.
Any thoughts on whether it is ok to put him on his front at this age?

Anyway, must go to bed... Mooky, will think of you at 3am - we are not alone

emsyj Thu 10-Mar-11 21:25:28

I have been putting DD to sleep on her front for a couple of months now - since she was 7 months. It was like a magical cure for the unsettled evenings, the constant running up and down the stairs just stopped like a light being turned off. I felt guilty about it and I do check her very very often but I think once they are able to turn over themselves the SIDS risk for front sleeping falls away.

Bumper, have you tried wedging DS2 on his side? Sometimes I have put DD to sleep on her side (e.g. when she has had a bad cold) and I have wedged her to stop her rolling onto her back with a rolled-up cot sheet. She is now a confirmed front sleeper though.

bumper - I agree with emsyj - DD started sleeping on her side and front at about 7 months and it has helped so much with her sleeping. She no longer cries out so much during the night. I don't think she ever liked sleeping on her back because she had reflux and lying flat made it worse! I was really worried when she started sleeping that way but I did a bit of research and it's sort of okay for them to sleep that way once they have mastered rolling over I think. And DD is so much happier in her cot now.

ClodiaF Mon 06-May-13 08:44:07

Oh god, my DS (ebf) is exactly the same. 6 1/2 months, started weaning at 22 weeks and still the same 3h night waking pattern he had as a newborn. Worse still, I'm going back to work in a month. I read these posts with interest. Please post to let me know how you get on!

6 months is still very little, so don't give up hope yet! DD was 18 months before she slept through, but she got there in the end.

Eeeeeowwwfftz Mon 06-May-13 08:56:15

We're 18 months further down the line than the OP and have the same pattern of night wakings. If I knew when it was going to end I'd be able to deal with it a lot better.

LovelyWeatherForDucks Mon 06-May-13 08:58:22

I think your baby sounds totally normal for a 6 month old - and could be doing a lot worse! My nearly 7-month old went to sleep at 6.30 last night, woke 2/3 times within the hour, then at 10.30-11.30, then at 2.00 and wouldn't settle in his cot for more than 20 mins until 5am, when he finally went back to sleep for a whole hour. A normal night for us sadly!

The no cry sleep solution book is very useful though, lots of techniques to reduce wake-ups etc (no success for us yet though!)

Debs3013 Mon 06-May-13 09:10:20

You're not alone - my DS is 8 months and he's not sleeping through either. Last night down at 7pm, awake at 11pm for a feed, awake again at 2.30 for just over an hour and then up at 7am. I used to bring him in with me but now the light mornings are here, our bedroom is 'flood lit' from about 5am so it just meant very early mornings (he's got black out blinds), so I've given up on that!
I struggle during the day as he's also a 30 minute napper so no catching up when he naps - just have to go with early nights when it gets too bad.
They'll get there when they're ready - we just have to try and dig in and get through it, nothing lasts for ever. Bloody, bloody hard though!
Oh and I think we're in the majority - I'm sure the sleep through the nighters are the exception (at least that what I tell myself!).

Indith Mon 06-May-13 09:19:11

that's nit a bad sleep pattern really at that age. take a look at Isis online. infant sleep information source. it has stats for number if babies sleeping through at what age. it can be of great comfort,! for myself my eldest slept really well and did 13 hours at 6 months but my 4yo never slept and has gone straight from baby waking to waking for bad dreams, needing a drink and other small child annoyances. one of us has to go up to her most nights. my 15mo is still in my room, mostly my bed as he doesn't sleep well and I'm taking the lazy route grin grin

Purplecatti Mon 06-May-13 11:35:59

Swap your sleep for mine? Im up at 10, midnight, 2, 4 and up at 5. Baby doesn't really nap either.
My lovely hv who saw me at a low ebb last week and saw me fall down the stairs with exhausted clumsiness has referred us for sleep training. I really hope it helps.

And any person making 'helpful' comments at our end gets a snappy 'well your more than welcome to come and take over for a night' they never do!

Do ask your hv about sleep trainers though, not all areas have it but it's worth asking.

CabbageHead Mon 06-May-13 12:53:55

Yes yes no STTN here either until 2weeks before 1st birthday... Didn't do anything different just he finally worked itself out... And I Had come to terms with the fact that eh wld NEVER EVER STTN so I got such a shock! If course it didn't stay like that longer than 2weeks, but majority of the time now he will sleep thru, unless OT, teething, ,idle stones, too hot, too cold, hungry, too much noise outside, roof expanding, birds chirping... Need I go on?.... Sigh

He still fed at night too up until at least 8 months old.. Then it gradually tapered off .. I let him decide that one..

I think moving to own cot, room will help.. I climbed into DS cot other nite cos he has cold thought it might help him settle, of course he loved me being in his cot just got so excited! I've never been able to cosleep with him cos he is too active and love his own space. Even when he was really tiny he was like that hated being confined or found it too stimulating next to me. So annoying cos so much easier to bf that way by cosleeping.

I did learn to bf him or walk him in pram around the neighborhood with my own eyes closed though. (I'm not kidding!) grin

Bumpsadaisie Mon 06-May-13 14:47:52

It really is myth that children as young as yours sleep through the night. In my experience, if you don't do sleep training, they are naturally ready to sleep through somewhere between 18 mths and 2.5 yrs.

He might sleep better in his own room, and at least you will feel you get a little more space from him.

The reality though for most people with young children is that you get very poor sleep until they are really old enough to be independent, say about 3 years.

You will get used to it. And if he is in his own room you will not feel that you are on duty 24/7 quite so much.

We worked out the other night that by the time DS is three, that will equal 5.5 years of poor sleep for us (DD is older). Oh well .... soon they'll be teenagers and they won't get up in the morning!

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