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how do I teach my 7 mo to sleep???

(17 Posts)
lesleyella Wed 30-Jul-08 21:42:00

I know, I know, the age old problem. She is a happy, lively little girl but at night she wakes up several times. I dont feed her before 4am but still she wakes up at least once, normally twice before then and needs settling and generally needs me or dh to hold her hand and pat her back to sleep.

What can I do to teach her to settle herself back down. My mil thinks I should leave her to cry but I just dont think I can do that ... and I am not sure it would work anyway. She is perfectly capable of screaming for more than an hour even with one of us in the room. She is VERY VERY determined!

noonki Wed 30-Jul-08 22:12:31

My Ds1 screamed for ever if we were in the room - we eventually (through exhaustion not planning) left him on his own at about 6-7 months and he cried for about 20 mins first night, 10 mins next 5 next and now sleeps through most nights

my sis has never gone for leaving to cry, her four year old still has her up most nights as does her one year old

Kenny10 Thu 31-Jul-08 12:27:41

I am the mother of a 5 month old boy who is a lovely sunny otherwise happy fellow. My problem is with his naps and sleeping in general. if i left him to his own devices he would never take naps and when he does take them they are only 30-40 mins long unless we are out in the car or the buggy. in desperation my partner and i are tying the baby whisperer approach over the last week and it has been very difficult as I feel like im fighting with him every day to get him to nap for such a short time. ive just spent a half hour trying to get him down and im battered, scratched and exhausted. the nights arent great either but if i could get the naps a bit more sorted it would be much easier to cope with. at the end of my tether. needless to say i have no time to catch up on sleep during the day either or have nay time to myself. help!

lesleyella Thu 31-Jul-08 21:08:50

Eek poor you Kenny10. I must admit that for a long time my dd would not go to sleep other than on me. We tackled it by getting her to sleep for the night first ... putting her in her cot and first night she screamed for over an hour but by night three it got much easier. Then I found that the naps gardually fell into place after that over a period of weeks. It is just so hard listening to them scream but you just have to tough it out .. and have a large glass of wine at the ready.

From my own experience DS got better by himself without us doing anything different (and without great screaming traumas) and now at 12 months he takes maybe 5-10 minutes of one of us sitting with him to get him to sleep. Longer if he's unwell/teething, obviously.

I would skip the stressful bit and just go with it for a while.

mammyofET Thu 31-Jul-08 21:28:09

DS never slept through the night until he was 11mo - and we did everything that it said in the books. No rocking to sleep, falling asleep on me, limited daytimes naps, we turned out the lights, left the room etc. etc.

When he started sleeping through we hadn't done anything to change his behaviour he just decided to sleep.

My advice: trust your instints as they are very strong and do what you are comfortable with. Accept that some babies don't sleep as well as the others. Our DS still wakes I would say 3 nights out of 7 with teething, noises etc (he is 22mo).

I feel your pain and know how hard that this can be.

onwardandupward Thu 31-Jul-08 22:03:37

I'd go with the flow.

Children sleep independently when they are ready to. Either you can fight it, or you can find ways of helping them until they are ready to be independent which are also good for you.

Which might include

a mattress on the floor by the cot so you can lie down and sleep while hand-holding

saying sod it and co-sleeping like the rest of us lazy mummies

feeding her when she wakes (if breastfed, I'd be expecting her to want to feed before 4am tbh at that age)

blueshoes Thu 31-Jul-08 22:36:20

I have two of those determined babies, lesley, so I know what you mean. I took the path of least resistance and just co-slept. Dd's sleep improved overnight when I weaned her from the breast at 17 months. The jury is still out on ds ...

blueshoes Thu 31-Jul-08 22:37:48

Just wanted to add that dd is a champion sleeper now.

Agree with onwardandupward that children sleep independently when they are ready and some take more time than others.

Kenny10 Fri 01-Aug-08 11:23:21

thanks lesleyella. yeah can settle him for the night relatively easily now but the naps are wearing me out. because they are so short he is due another one not long after he wakes up from his last one. so i spend a lot of my time watching him for signs of tiredness. he could take 3-5 40 minute naps a day. although if we're out an about its much easier, buggy, car etc. he will go down for two hours then. i'm very happy to breastfeed him to sleep which sometimes works but often doesn't. tried the buggy in the house too but he began screaming in that as well. very happy to go with whats easiest for him but just haven't found that yet. any advice on short naps? maybe we just bear with it and it will get easier with time as you say. btw am i doing this right or should i be starting a new thread for my own question and let this be for your question only? don't know mumsnet etiquette yet? grin

Wade Fri 01-Aug-08 22:16:55

Have you read 'the baby whisperer'? I wasn't happy to leave mine to cry it out but found the 'pick up put down' stuff made perfect sense. It didn't work overnight (dd is very 'spirited'!!) by any stretch but the nights have improved enormously since we did this. I have the book but the website www.babywhisperer.com/babywhisperer.html probably describes this technique.

Wade Fri 01-Aug-08 22:23:02

ps. My post was for lesleyella but Kenny10 -the baby whisperer (PU/PD) really has made a huge difference for me (started when dd was 10 months). Are you doing the shush/pat (presume so for a 5 month old)? Give it a chance - there is no quick fix.

Kenny10 Sat 02-Aug-08 08:37:24

thanks wade. we tried the baby whisperer pu/pd and shush/pat for a week with some success- he is a bit easier to settle in his cot in he evenings but its still a battle and last night failed completely as it took him 90 mins to settle. but you'll always have those nights i suppose. he slept until 4pm though which was great. awake for day at 5.45am but was still very tired. it's really the naps that are the problem, i sense the nights are slowly improving. just wish i could get him to take longer naps while in the house as its really bothering him and me. of course he's really teething now into the mix as well. it never ends.

lulumama Sat 02-Aug-08 08:39:46

i persoanlly would forget about sleep training until at least 12 months old and feed her when she wakes in teh night, a full tummy would surely be better at helping her settle back to sleep?

Babyisaac Sat 02-Aug-08 10:28:49

Hi, we're having the same problem with our 7 month old DS. He's a very high needs baby but does go to bed well at night. However, he wakes at 1.30am and 4.30am for feeds. He also has one at 7am. I'm trying to cut out night feeds to make him hungrier in the day. He won't eat his breakfast cos he's filled up in the night and it's just a vicious circle - not enough food in the day so hungry at night. I tried for the last 2 nights to get him back to sleep without feeding but he's starving. No help I'm afraid but I can empathise sad

lulumama Sat 02-Aug-08 13:40:34

babies have small stomachs.

we are conditioned to think they 'should' sleep through by a certain age.

someone else posted recently that many grown ups keep a drink by the side of their beds, so why would we not give babies a drink i.e milk, if they wake up in the night? babies do have small stomachs which need filling often

a baby who is fed responsively/on demand will settle better than one who is left to cry or not given milk when he/she is hungry IMO and IME

7 months is very young to expect no night feeds

also they do not need 3 meals a day at this age, and milk should take priority over food and always be offered before solids anyway

Jamstar Mon 04-Aug-08 17:14:25

contwerversial!

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