Sleep advice for 8 month old. Would love some top tips.

(8 Posts)
britmodgirl Fri 16-Nov-12 19:40:34

Hey all,
I breastfeed and part cosleep with my 8month old as it just felt right for us but am unsure if we have got into bad habits.

At the moment I boob him to sleep at 6pm he sometimes transfers into cot, sometimes not. He will wake for a feed at 9/10pm then sleep until 2/3am He is unsettled from this point on. This is when I usually climb into bed with him and feed him continuously to keep him asleep. He is usually leaping all over me by 4am/5am.

Naps do not happen unless I feed him and lie down with him or he is in the pram or car.

I am due to return to work next year so need to improve his sleep patterns before then or we will both feel very ropey.

I am hoping that one of you will have the secret to 8 hour undisturbed sleep smile

QTPie Fri 16-Nov-12 20:09:59

Hi

If it was right for you, then it was right for you. Yes, it may be "painful" to change, but you can do it.

I would just choose a strategy and "stick with it": you will find it very hard for 2/3 days, but then it will click (most things baby seem to take "3 days" to change - then they are into a new routine...).

It really depends what you are happy with. In your situation, I THINK that I would tackle two things at once first:
- ensuring that he IS settled in his cot EVERY night (if that is what you want).
- resettling without boob at 2/3am: doesn't sound as though he needs the milk then, but is just using you for comfort (which is fine if you don't mind, but not great if it disturbs you).
These - I am guessing - are the two most important things to tackle first (leaving tackling the "feeding to sleep" and regular "dreamfeed" for another day?).

Now you have to be firm, consistent, very strong minded and find another way to settle him. We used to sit on the floor next to the cot and pat/stroke DS's back and/or hold his hand (ok, another crutch, but one that is easier to tackle down the line...). When DS had sleep disturbance - 13 to 19 months (teething) - we put a mattress, duvet and pillow next to his cot and would take it in turns to go and lie there and soothe him (even if he was awake for an hour or two, we were warm and comfortable). Bringing DS into bed with us NEVER worked for us: he always thought it was play time and crawled/jumped all over us sad. I think that the goal is to get them comfortable and secure in their own room - so we always went to DS rather than the other way round.

We also (around 8/9/10) months decided on a minimum "get up" time: for us it was 7am, but some families would maybe choose 6? We would always go in and lie next to DS and shush/hold hands etc until 7am. No food, no drinks, no toys, no books, no out of the cot until 7am. This has worked very well for us - DS is rarely ever up before 7/7.30am.

There are other ways to tackle settling: rocking, "pick up, put down" etc. It is about finding what is right for you and your family.

That is my opinion/advice. I did also Breastfeed (until 11 months), but I was very lucky and DS slept through from 12 weeks (although I did tank him up through the day, so I think that helped).

CatsRule Fri 16-Nov-12 20:18:06

I would love to know the secret too!

My 8 month ds is not a great sleeper either, he really fights it. He was not too bad from about 4-6 months but after weaning at 6 months his sleep has gotten worse.

He used to sleep between 11pm-6am which is like a long lie in but now he gets cranky for a feed at 8pm then 10pm...he finally goes down around 11 pm.

Sometimes he will sleep till 4am, which is now considered great, but most often he will wake around 12 or 1am and I have to cosleep and feed him to sleep several times during the night.

I'm going back to work in a weeks time so I'm not sure how I will cope sleepwise and doing a full days work!

He is bf but I give him a top up bottle before bed too...this doesn't seem to be extending his sleep though.

I will be interested in any advice you get, I'm sorry I don't have any!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 16-Nov-12 20:36:39

Haven't got much time to post but try googling askdrsears 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep.

britmodgirl Fri 16-Nov-12 20:50:33

Hi QTpie thanks for your advice, definately some food for thought, I think we too need to put some basic boundaries in place and stick to them. I think I will move the mattress next to the bed as the next step and do as you guys did. We have nearly cracked the evening cot settle.

Hey catsrule - glad Im not the only one smile I think going back to work looming really puts the pressure on a bit to start getting a better routine, up until now weve been in a sleepy baby bubble.

Hey jilted, I'll google that now, thanks.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 16-Nov-12 21:05:02

Can't do links at the mo sorry but while you are googling have a look at kellymom reverse cycling as a bit of that may be happening here and askdrsears 12 alternatives.

QTPie Fri 16-Nov-12 22:37:52

Good luck.

Sleep disruption is never easy, but the solution is to find something that works for you and your family (and for DH/DP to do his share too - partly so that DS settles for him too and partly to keep you sane wink )

There are all sorts of methods out there: from co-sleeping to CIO and everything on between. We went for the "settle in own room, but being there to provide comfort (but whilst staying as comfortable and rested as possible)". We later (when DS had finished teeth, and was sleeping through the night again) did Supernanny's "Sleep Seperation" techniwue to get us out if hand holding and out of the room whilst he self settled. We have a far too confident and independent toddler to thank for it. So we think that we got the right balance of reassurance, boundaries and timing with our DS and within out tolerance.

Work out what you are comfortable with, be firm, consistent, but reassuring and stick with it (providing you, by instinct, feel that you are moving in the right direction).

cloudhands Sat 17-Nov-12 05:02:03

Hi there, I had the same issue as you, and when I did some research, I learnt that after 6 months, if babies are waking, it's not hunger (for most healthy babies), it's actually because of emotional tension, that is making it hard for the baby to relax and go to sleep.

I co-slept and still do, but you can choose to move your baby to a cot and still follow this method.
What I did was when my daughter woke up, I would hold her instead of feeding her. Sometimes she would fall straight back to sleep, sometimes she would cry a bit, but what helped me, is that I learnt that sometimes crying is not because of a need for hungry or a dummy or anything like that, but actually crying is the way that babies naturally relieve stress and emotional tension, stress hormones like cortisol are flushed out of the body, so it actually makes them relaxed and stress free to sleep!
we actually create wakeful babies, by feeding them back to sleep, rocking them, or giving them a dummy, if we just let them naturally release their tension for a few nights they will usually start sleep through the night prettty quickly, we haven't looked back since we tried this!

there's more info here,
Helping your child sleep

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