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6 mo daughter wakes every hour HELP!

(11 Posts)
Rezimezi Mon 06-Dec-10 17:58:31

My 6 mo Dd wakes hourly at night. Apparently she has a sleep association where my boobs = sleep (In the first 5 months she was very, very difficult and the breast was our only tool to keep her under control, so I let her fall asleep while bfeeding and fed her in bed lying down at night). HUGE mistake, now I know.
The advices I got so far are variations on the cry it out method, which I am not going to do.
I am trying to keep her asleep at night with stroking and rocking, also don't allow falling asleep on the boob anymore and no more feeding in bed. So far no result.
Does anyone have experience and advice I could use? I could cope with three feeds a night, but how do I get there? Every time she wakes, she screams and wakes herself up completely unless I feed her (and she can't be hungry every hour!) and I end up staying up for two hours each time rocking her until she gives up. I am also unsure if I am not creating a new dependency with rocking her to sleep.
Any advice please? I can't take it much longer and in a few months I'll have to go back to work! Thanks in advance.

MarshaBrady Mon 06-Dec-10 18:09:22

Ds had sleep / bfding association too.

Start by changing how she initially falls to sleep.

We first did it by dh walking around with him in his arms.

It was a huge break through the first time he fell asleep without bfding. He would still do that little o shape with his mouth!

Then the harder bit, they need to be happy to lie on their back and fall asleep. There will be a few tears, but you can stay with her, pat and shush and say don't cry, go to sleep don't cry.

Ds is 11 months and finally I can put him in his cot and he will go to sleep! I didn't think it would be possible but you just have to keep improving slightly every day.

Being woken every hour is awful I know.

purplehonesty Mon 06-Dec-10 19:12:44

We had the same problem, it got to the stage where i couldnt life DS and put him in hs cot once he had fallen asleep on boob, he would wake and scream and I'd have to start all over again.
We did the 'good sleep guide' 6-18m which is basically cry it out but a bit nicer. I know you say you don't want to try but its worth thinking about. I said no way am I doing cry it out, I never so much as let him wimper usually so it wasn't easy. BUT....
It took me 3 nights to sort him, the first night he cried on and off for 37 mins (not screaming mind, just shouting and going quiet, then starting again). The 2nd night was 10 mins, the 3rd night 30 seconds then asleep.
I couldn't believe it, it was amazing and he truly wasn't distressed, you go in after 2 mins, then 4 mins, then 8 mins etc etc and say its time to go to sleep, lay them down and leave again. So you are not abandoning them to cry and they know you are there.
Sometimes when he is ill and sleeps with us it takes another 3 nights when he is better for him to get used to going to sleep in his own bed again, but he never cries for more than 2 or 3 mins even then.
Good luck OP

thisisyesterday Mon 06-Dec-10 19:16:11

get yourself a copy of the no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley

we used it with ds2 when he was around 9/10 months old and still waking every 45-90 minutes through the night.
it helped a lot

it isn't a quick fix, but it does work, and there is no crying!

Rezimezi Tue 07-Dec-10 09:23:09

Many thanks for the lovely advice ladies, 37 minutes of screaming sounds eternal (Dd doesn't do a 'bit of crying', she's on full charge usually and I'm not even sure she would stop at 37 minutes) but I'll give all other suggestions a chance. Thank you all, let's hope she'll come to her senses. (we had 4 hrs sleep yesterday btw 8 - 12 and a few 2 hrs stretches. Maybe i's already happening...!) Cheers, R.

applejelly Tue 07-Dec-10 12:42:39

Would you consider using a dummy? This has been working well for my 5.5 month DS for the last couple of weeks - he also used to wake up & start screaming as soon as he was put in his cot after falling asleep on the boob, but now I just pop the dummy in and he sucks for about 1-5 mins and falls asleep happily.

Rezimezi Sat 11-Dec-10 08:24:24

Ohh, I would! But she doesn't take it (she likes chewing on it though...), nor she takes the bottle or anything else than boob. I have tried many times - and failed. Actually, I would like to report that our nights are getting worse: still wakes hourly/two hourly, yesterday she was up btw 11pm - 3am! Both me and my husband are on the edge. Removing the boob before sleep doesn't work - she still associates boob with sleep, unless I do something in btw boob and sleep, in which case she wakes herself up completely and nobody sleeps for three hours. Don't know what to do anymore. Crying seems to be the best option at the moment...

APixieInMyTea Sat 11-Dec-10 08:48:05

My back is killing from doing the suggestion that I'm about to make but it's slowly getting easier meaning I have more time to relax in the evenings therefore helping my back!

My ds is only 12 weeks and starting noticing a pattern where he would only fall asleep on the breast. And like your dd would wake as soon as I put him down. Last week I started making sure he was well fed at bedtime then once he was all washed dressed etc snuggle up and feed him a bit more until he fell asleep. He would inevitably wake up as soon as I moved but instead of putting him back on the breast (like I'd previously been doing) dp and I take I in turns to stand up with his head over our shoulder and bounce/rock, pat his back until he falls asleep. Then we put him down.

At first he would stay down for 20ish minutes then be up every hour ish until he fell asleep properly. The first time he wakes I try feed him again, just in case, then do the whole walking/bouncing, patting thing until he falls asleep again.

The first 3nights we did this every hour, then it slowly got less and he started sleeping more and now when we put him down the first time he stays down for a full 5hours. (this has only been 2 nights but seem to be getting somewhere)

I also found that the better he goes down at bedtime the less he wakes up during the night.

Once we've had a week or so of him going down first time then I will start to put him down just before he falls asleep so he falls asleep in bed not on our shoulder and going to keep going with this, putting him down earlier and earlier.

It's taking time and like I said my back is killing, but he's slowly learning to fall asleep without the boob and no crying involved!

APixieInMyTea Sat 11-Dec-10 08:49:11

Wow, that was a bit of an essay, sorry.

wannabeglam Sat 11-Dec-10 11:55:49

I slept with my DS from 6 months to a year and let him use me as a dummy as it was the only way to get him to sleep.

Did all the sleep training after a year, which culminated in me having to let him cry. But I couldn't do it till he was over a year, and I knew he was 'fine'.

Rezimezi Mon 13-Dec-10 09:19:40

Thanks for the further suggestions. Sorry for keeping it so long, but my problems seem to be shifting now. We are at the following stage: she does fall asleep without the boob now (I have to rock her, then carefully put her down). The first sleep is easy usually 3-4 hrs long (especially if we had a bad night the previous day). Then the time between wakings increases to 2, then 1 hourly. As I said, now I feed her after bath, then a bit of singing, then rocking and she sleeps. BUT, the problem comes later in the night with hourly wakes, basically btw midnight and 5 am, when she isn't that tired anymore. What I need to ask you is the following: I understand that breaking the habit of falling asleep on the boob helps, but what about breaking the habit of WAKING FOR the boob??!! I don't think she wakes to be put back to sleep with boob anymore, but to be simply fed for comfort. We tried not feeding her if she wakes every hour, but rock her back to sleep; the result is three-four hours screaming. Putting her down without rocking her to sleep isn't working either, she cries for hours at end! And nothing soothes her, in the end after 4 houRs I have to give her the boob, which calms her down, then rock her to sleep (easy at this stage, she is so tired of screaming!). I'm really confused, I'd like to understand how this thing works and if I'm right and she wakes for feeds, then what the hell do I do? Or is it enough just to feed her when she wakes and make sure she doesn't fall asleep on the boob and trust that it will improve? And when should I hope for a permanent change? How many more weeks of this....? Any ideas? Thanks for any help - and again, sorry for the long one...sad

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