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An unbiased answer about night-waking... Please! (7 - 9 MO)

(34 Posts)
bvmsmummy Tue 05-Feb-13 12:00:17

So, I have a generally very cheerful, happy to play, enjoying getting into solids, almost ebf (occasional bottle say once a week if I go out), happy to nap three times a day (with a little bit of help e.g. pat on the back, shsh or out in buggy - but sleeps less well then) DS who is coming up for 9 months but was born seven weeks early so is more like 7.5 months developmentally.

TBH he is pretty cool in every way (after a pretty difficult start) but he still wakes minimum four times and sometimes up to nine times a night. He has always been a frequent waker, he sleeps in a co-sleeper cot and I generally bring him in with me around 4 - 6am if he needs it.

He goes to bed easily, has a great routine and goes to sleep in his cot with me just gently stroking his head or even just lieing beside him as he drifts off. I'm not into controlled crying so he has reached this point very gently over time but he is there! He can 'self soothe' I know because I hear him wake and go back to sleep on the monitor.

So my question is - can anyone tell me if this is just normal for some babies or what? I love reading about babies and stuff but I'm not ideological so I have read the Baby Whisperer and I have read Dr Sears and various others in between.

Maybe this is my mistake?

According to one 'side' (Baby Whisperer / My HV) he should certainly be sleeping through and I am perpetuating bad habits for the future and its all my fault and I need to try a harsher method. But according to the other (Dr Sears / La Leche League) its totally normal to wake loads and I shouldn't try to change anything until he is at least one year.

I feel like both sides have an agenda.

Anyone know the FACTS?

Oh and yeah any advice on how to get more sleep sooooo welcome.

Thanks x

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 05-Feb-13 21:44:35

Think it might be worth starting a new thread in the breast and bottle section. There are a few posters on there, like mawbroon and tiktok who know loads more than me. All I know is that it did disturb DS sleep, and for a long time sad

Toast123 Wed 06-Feb-13 08:01:26

Watching with interest. My nine month old is very similar.

Seenenoughtoknow Wed 06-Feb-13 08:16:30

My 17 month old bf baby co sleeping still wakes 4 - 9 times a night...he has a cold at the mo so last night was about 15 times. I know it's not the norm for this age, but I think he wakes and smells the milk, and this prompts him to want a feed.

I did a bf peer supporter course which taught that bf babies only drink until they are full and don't stretch their stomachs, so need feeding more often, whereas formula babies drink the sweet drink given until the bottle is empty, resulting in a stretched stomach, but a fuller feeling for longer which is why they tend to sleep for longer (think Sunday afternoons after that huge dinner!). Remember what you are doing is natural, so what your baby does as a result of natural feeding is natural too. And just thank god for co sleeping!

MoreSnowPlease Wed 06-Feb-13 09:11:15

In case this helps you, because of our suspicions of reflux, last night I fed him in bed and then propped him up on my legs while I lay on my side, so he was almost sitting up while he slept. He did his usual waking (from the noisy neighbours upstairs!) but didn't need to feed back to sleep for 2 hours! I have concluded that he either does have heartburn/reflux and the upright position helped, or he was away from smelling milk and so didn't automatically want it.

However, I didn't sleep any better because of having to stay in the same position!

bvmsmummy Wed 06-Feb-13 13:34:06


Thanks Mumsnet – overwhelmed in a good way by all this support. This truly is way better than any of the books!

Tee2072 Good to hear – thanks for positivity!

JiltedJohnsJulie Doesn’t sound like I should put up with it all – really useful! He gets up around 7:30am, goes down about 7:30 - 8pm and naps were 9am (bout an hr15), 1pm (bout an hour30) and cat nap about 5:30pm. BUT today I got him up at 7am (he was snuggled in with me and pretty much awake anyway) and didn’t go for his first nap until 9:45am and he slept a clean two hours and woke up really refreshed... So we’ll see how the rest of today / night goes.

The moving into his own room thing is on the cards and we have a big-boy-cot on order (eek). I’m nervous about this more because I won’t be able to just put my hand out and touch him but I DO think he may sleep better (we defo wake him sometimes) and I can always go and sleep in his room right smile

And thanks for all the research suggestions – going to get on all that at the weekend.

Mummybare Thanks for that – its good to hear a similar sort of thing and that it probably won’t make too much difference in the long run.

Totally sensible advice on the nap / bed tweaking and that's roughly what I am trying today!

SeriousWispaHabit Really good to hear – keep telling myself just to chill out – bit easier said than done for me but I’m doing my best and its helpful to hear from someone who has been there and relaxed.

BearsLikeMarmalde That is super insightful and helpful – thank you. I am trying two naps (as described above). We keep vaguely attempting the DH soothing in the night thing and then giving up so its good to hear we are not the only ones. For the record DH can put him to bed and naps and he soothes really well with him but he wakes as soon as put down (I guess indicating that he is in fact hungry?). Again thanks for saying how things are now – so great to hear positive stories. Good luck with DC2!

MoreSnowPlease We have very much been there so I totally sympathise – and thanks for saying that we’re doing well, that is so nice to hear! DS does have reflux and has medication (ranitidine) for it. I am currently trying to wean him off that and it doesn’t seem to be getting worse so I don’t think it is that. BUT I do think that maybe the reflux kind of got him into a pattern of really regular waking early on. And its always good to be reminded, Just out of interest does your LO appear to be in pain / uncomfortable when waking? DS doesn't so that's why I ruled out reflux but maybe its just annoying him... hmmm

Are you surviving your sleep deprivation? I know when we were like that I got quite (physically) ill which got me pretty low so I hope you are managing to keep a smile on your face smile And maybe this thread has helped you too?

Lovely that you celebrate the little things - I’m totally stealing that as a plan!

Toast123 Hope its helped!

Seenenoughtoknow Thank you – although it sounds like you still have rough nights its good to hear that its survivable, normal and there are sound bf reasons for it. Thank you!

Thanks again everyone – amazing! x

bvmsmummy Wed 06-Feb-13 13:46:46

Think I may have missed someone as I'm sure someone asked if I was getting him out and about enough but can't seem to see that comment now (I can blame sleep deprivation, yes?). Anyway no is the answer I don't think I am - since he started to nap best at home I've been finding it tricky to get out (live in a fourth floor flat and have no car) but if I can stretch out his time between naps then that should be easier too!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 06-Feb-13 21:14:33

Think that was me. If you read the kellymom studies on normal infant sleep, the first abstract talks about exposure to light and sleep smile

MoreSnowPlease Thu 07-Feb-13 09:42:53

Not sure if he looks in pain, he more seems annoyed, he thrashes about a lot before he cries out but not proper crying just a quick "give me boob I'm really annoyed" lol. However, if I leave him or try to cuddle instead he goes into full blown crying (doesn't cuddle when awake either, still waiting for my first cuddle :-( His eyes remain shut through it all so I think he is uncomfortable and annoyed to be woken which made reflux seem the most likely culprit for us.

Sleep deprivation not great as you know! I have always been a bad sleeper and never STTN either so I think I can cope better than others, maybe I've passed it on to him! I'd also love so much for him to go to sleep without feeding like you've managed, but I think it's a long way off yet!

Hope you find a solution soon!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Feb-13 14:50:29

Well it could be silent reflux but it could be tt, its worth getting them both checked out. Don't leave it in the hope it will just get better, our DS didn't sleep through until the week before his 5 birthday.

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