Time to start sleep training?

(6 Posts)
DodgyKnees Wed 28-Aug-13 21:43:11

Our 7mo dd hasn't slept well since the beginning of July. Before then, she would quite often sleep from 9pm to 5am, which was fine and bearable.

At the moment, she's in bed by 7.30-8, then wakes up at least once before we go to bed at 10. She'll then wake at about midnight and three, and then typically wake again at about four and not settle back in her cot for more than 45 mins afterwards. It's sometimes as little as 10 minutes. She's awake properly between 5.30 and 7 (sometimes we can settle her again at about 6).

She's bottlefed and sometimes wakes wanting food, sometimes not. We fell into the trap when she was about 4 mo of rocking her to calm her when overtired, which we've stupidly carried on doing. She's now more than 19lb and it's hurting.

We've tried to reduce the amount of milk she's drinking at night by substituting water and diluting her milk, which an HV advised, but she's still waking regardless. The rocking/swaying with her is obviously an issue we need to do something about and somehow teach her to self-settle.

Is this the time to try controlled crying? We live in a flat, so have avoided doing it thusfar. We know something needs to be done, however. I go back to work next week and can't really get by on 5 hours very broken sleep.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 29-Aug-13 09:26:18

Did the waking coincide with the introduction of solids? How much milk is she having in the day? Is she tracking her height and weight centiles?

Have you read 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep. The isis website is full of evidence based information and is a great place to start.

According to these sleep studies only 16% of babies sleep through at 6 months, so while I think you can reduce the night waking it might be difficult to get her in that small number of regular sleepers in a week.

See if you can get hold of Sound Sleep by Sarah Woodhouse. Its full of evidence based information smile

DodgyKnees Thu 29-Aug-13 19:11:43

Certainly she's got worse since we introduced solids when she was nearly six months. She's still having about 4 usually full bottles during the day and she's above the 75th centile for her age. She's getting better with solids, but milk is still very much the major part of her diet.

Thanks for the literature and the links. We're not necessarily expecting her to sleep through, but waking 6-7 times a night and not settling in her cot is a bit excessive, wouldn't you agree?

We're going to try raising one end of her cot tonight - that improved her sleep when she was in her little side-along cot.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 29-Aug-13 19:47:27

Totally agree, waking that many times a night must be totally knackering. Just put in the information on how many babies do actually sleep through as so many people seem to think that everyone else's baby is sleeping through at this age, when in fact its just not the norm.

The fact that she still get her main nutrition from her milk.is great. Think the current advice is to only move to 3 meals a day between8 and 9 months, so you are doing the right thing there.

Is she very tall by any chance? The minimum formula she should be having is 20floz a day but tall babies seem to need more. Could she be waking with hunger? Have you tried a bottle when she wakes early on, at around 10ish?

Know this has been going on for a while and you've probably tried all of this, but some people find swaddling, white noise and putting a tshirt DH has worn in the cot helps. Is she in her own room too? Both of mine slept much better once they were away from us.

If things have worsened since the beginning of weaning, I'd try keeping a food diary and see if you can spot anything that could be making her more unsettled. Do you think she may have CMPI? Have a read of this and see what you think.

DodgyKnees Fri 30-Aug-13 17:01:09

A much better night last night - she woke at 2 and 5.40 (in bed from 8.30-7). She was awake between 2 and 3, though, only settling back when she had food. We raised the end of her cot, put teething gel on a suspicious bit of her gum (it's not in the usual first growing place) and it was a bit cooler in her room.

She's certainly tall for her age, looking at other babies we know. We're giving her a bottle whenever she wakes at the moment, so if it's hunger, she certainly has the chance to satisfy it! Isn't it the right idea for her to have all her food during the day, though? We've been trying to wean her off eating during the night, but that's led to her being up for an hour before resettling in her cot after we've finally given in (like last night). She's having at least 20 oz of milk during the day and probably more.

She hates swaddling - we've tried sleeping bags as well. She has a fan in her room, which makes a decent amount of noise all night. We've tried the t-shirt thing - no tangible result. She is in her own room, but moving her there also happened around the same time as her sleep started getting worse. She doesn't have anything with cow's milk in it.

Sorry - sounds almost defeatist, but this is why we were thinking of sleep training. Not sure what to do now she's had quite a good night - see whether it's the start of better things or go ahead with training her to sleep consistently?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 30-Aug-13 20:50:24

So glad you had a better night. Yes the idea is to get them to take all of their calories in the day, but she's so tiny still. You you offer more milk in the day? Is there any room for a couple more ounces?

Shame the swaddling etc hasn't worked. She does have things with cows milk though surely, isn't the formula made with cows milk? smile

What kind of sleep training were you thinking of? Did you manage to get hold of a copy of Sound Sleep?

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