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Sleep - let them be or interfere??!!

(14 Posts)
onebigmumma Wed 01-Aug-07 06:25:43

My daughter is exactly 4 months old…..She goes to bed around seven and we get up at seven. During those twelve hours she wakes up at (around) 10.30, 1.30, 4.30….thats on a good night, sometimes it’s more often.

I have a friend who keeps saying that she should be sleeping through by now….is this true?! I don’t mind – I am happy as long as she is but am aware that we might like a full night’s sleep in the coming months!!!

Should I let her carry on happily (without interfering) or, start trying some sleep tactics??

Any opinions / advice / experiences most welcome!!

TheLadyEvenstar Wed 01-Aug-07 06:35:14


It could be that she has got used to you getting up to her all these times. Do you get up as soon as she cries or wakes? is she waking for a feed or just cuddles? my ds was sleeping through at this age but EVERY child is different. If she is waking for a feed try giving her a bit extra before bed and then water when she wakes, if she has just got used to you going to her she could be comfort feeding and the water will drop some of the wake up times. is she weaned yet? I have to say having had a hungry baby I weaned him very early, not ideal but it worked for rice was a dream come true lol.

No real advice sorry but hope you get it sorted soon xx

usandnosleep Wed 01-Aug-07 06:42:39


It's a tricky one! My DS has always been a terrible sleeper and there were times when it really got me down.
I tried eveything and nothing made a difference, or it did for a couple of nights and then went back again.
Looking back now I realise I should have just been riding it out It's just the way he is/was and what he needed, stategies upset him and me.

Well riding it out is what I did in the end and now at 12 months he is getting better (madly touching all wood in sight>. The improvements started a few weeks ago and last night he slept 8.45pm-5.45am!

What is your instinct? All babies are so different, my DS just needed to know I was there.
I also think I was lucky that I didn't go back to work. If I had I don't know how I would have coped with 2 hourly waking.

I don't think I've really helped you there Biggest advice is to ignore others -NOT ALL BABIES SLEEP THOUGH!!
I used to think I had done something very wrong but now I realise that's not the case at all.

Hope it improves soon
Just think he won't be doing this when he is 8!

Jas Wed 01-Aug-07 06:57:37

She is 4 months old! Let her be. If she is waking up she needs you (whether for feeds or cuddles). If she is still doing it at a year (and she probably won't be) then maybe try and do something.

All my 3 started sleeping through between 6 and 12 months with no interferance at all

When she stops waking you will miss those cosy times with just the two of you having a cuddle together.

Jas Wed 01-Aug-07 06:57:37

She is 4 months old! Let her be. If she is waking up she needs you (whether for feeds or cuddles). If she is still doing it at a year (and she probably won't be) then maybe try and do something.

All my 3 started sleeping through between 6 and 12 months with no interferance at all

When she stops waking you will miss those cosy times with just the two of you having a cuddle together.

ratfly Wed 01-Aug-07 07:45:15

Grrrrrr I do hate it when people set up false expectations. Sleeping through by 4 months?! I know of very few babies that did that 7-7, though some would go 11pm - 6.
Anyway, your dds sleep pattern is the same as my ds was at that age. It does your head in, but when she is ready to sleep longer she will. Meanwhile, why not up the amount she drinks when she wakes?

CarGirl Wed 01-Aug-07 08:03:17

How much does she sleep and when does she feed during the day? All I can suggest is that you make sure that she gets lots of feeds in during the day and not too much sleep. In altering her current daytime routiines you can't rush it - sort of bring feeds earlier by 10 mins until you can fit an extra day feed in altogether. Wake her earlier from naps by 10 mins, try keep her awake 10 mins longer for a week that kind of thing.

My dds all slept through 7-7 very very young, they were big at birth and I did used to wake them during the day to feed them from a couple of days old (never woke them at night!) but by 4 months she is very much in the habit of feeding regularly during the night (day time too?) and settling herself to sleep on a full tummy of milk so that is the habit you are trying to change. It can be done but it will take time.

onebigmumma Wed 01-Aug-07 08:14:05

Thanks everyone

As I expected, a complete mixed reply!!!

This is my first child and, after reading many books, I decided that I would take the 'keep baby happy' approach.....feed on demand etc etc.

It has, so far, worked for me - some might say that this is an incorrect strategy someone said - everyone is different.

I must say that I am slightly envious when I hear people say that their child sleeps through the night.....I have always loved my sleep and (although I am enjoying being a Mum)I would love to have a full ten hours just once in a while!!!

Any other advice ladies????

Pitchounette Wed 01-Aug-07 08:27:55

Message withdrawn

onebigmumma Wed 01-Aug-07 09:11:26

Thank you for your help P....

I am still feeding each time she wakes.....and she is feeding well every time!!

I guess I will just have to see how we get on in the next couple of months....thank goodness I don't have to go to work - wouldn't be any help at all!!

ratfly Wed 01-Aug-07 09:31:25

I think the way of telling if it is habitual waking is if your lo is waking at exactly the same time each night, or not taking a good feed when she wakes. If that is happening, then you might want to think about helping her to self settle - i.e. putting her down awake and shhing and patting her to get her to sleep. We had to do this with ds for his daytime naps, as he would wake and not be able to resettle himself.

Otherwise, bear in mind that 'sleeping through' is officially 5 hours of sleep. I knew people who said their lo was sleeping through, but learned they also kept awake til 11pm!! I preferred to have my evenings free, even if it meant I had disturbed sleep..

Jojay Wed 01-Aug-07 09:31:52

I certainly wouldn't try any form of sleep training at this age, as it is very hard to be 100% confident that they are not hungry.

If I were you, I would feed her regularly during the day - every 3-4 hrs at least - and not let her sleep more than 2 hrs in a row during the day.

I would wake her for a late feed at about 10.30 pm, if she hasn't already, adn do it as a 'dream feed' ie keep it as low key as possible, lights dim etc, so she hardly wakes up.

That will give her the best chance of sleeping through, but if she does still wake in the night after all that, I would just go with it. However, if she wakes less than 3 hours after the last feed, I would try and settle her another way, as she should be able to go that long between feeds.

Keep all night feeds as quiet and low key as possible, and get her back in bed asap.

If she's still waking in the night when she'll well established on solids at about 7 months, then it's probably time to think about sleep training.

In the meantime, I would do everything you can to encourage her to sleep through, but don't force the issue.

Good luck

evenhope Wed 01-Aug-07 09:36:09

My DD is also 4 months old. She won't go to sleep before 11pm and had been sleeping through until 7am. The last couple of nights she's been waking around 4am. Last night she woke at 2ish, 5ish, 6ish. I'm propping my eyelids with matchsticks!

No advice but just to sympathise and to say someone else is going through it!

Razian Wed 01-Aug-07 09:38:11

Oh god ignore people who say babies SHOULD be doing anything - why do people think adults are all individuals but babies are robots?!!

The only thing I would say is that we have never tried any kind of sleep training with ds and he is now 14mo and still wakes EVERY night for milk (he is not well at mo and it is 3 times a night but usu once a night). So there is a chance she will not grow out of it as soon as people are saying she will!!

Regarding sleep I think that if it is not a problem for you then leave it and see what happens. When it becomes a problem then think about ways of changing it. But don't feel you SHOULD be doing anything!

(My take is that up until very recent times babies would have been sleeping with their mum and would have been bfed and would prob just feed off and on all night and that this is prob what is most natural for them)

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