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7.5 month baby - never sleeps in the evening anymore, serial comfort-nurser etc Help?!

(6 Posts)
kiwilizzie Tue 05-Jul-11 02:29:35

Hi All

Firstly, I'd like to apologise because it seems that I only come here when I am so desperate for help! I am really struggling to get much time to do things like post or read on internet so that's my excuse and I hope as I get more time, I can help other mums more smile

DD2 is 7 1/2 months and at 4 1/2 months stopped sleeping through, usual story etc etc. About 6 months, started sleeping through again but now has stopped after a virus and 11 days in, is getting slowly better but is waking 3-4 times between 11pm-6am.

She is breastfed and has started on solids (really properly since 6 months) so nothing new recently on the diet front. She is a major comfort-nurser and always has been. She has always been fed to sleep in the evening and during the night but then slept through from a v young age up til 4 1/2 months and again from 6m to recently so do believe she is well capable!

She has never settled on an evening and usually can't get her to sleep til about 10pm but this has been pushed back later and later to the point where I just feel taking her up at 7pm, feeding for 30mins only for her to POP awake and start screaming one second after laid down in cot, is pointless. It just isn't working any more although it does work in the night (feeding to sleep, that is)

We are pretty desperate and even recently have started some counselling because we're at each other all the time :/ We are a good strong couple, I think, but it's clear we're at breaking point.

My questions are varied, really.

I wonder whether she is starting to outgrow her feed to sleep association but doesn't know how to self-settle and I need to teach her?

I am wondering why she just won't settle on an evening (fussiest time between 6-10pm) at such an older age or is this common? No one I know has a baby who is still up much past 8pm at this age...?

I read Pantley but it doesn't seem to work for us. She does take a dummy but when she is 'awoken startled' as I lie her down, she won't even consider taking a dummy, it is like I have unleashed a wild beast and she bats my hands away and is clearly in a real state and only can calm down by picking up and taking her downstairs as often she refuses another go at feeding and no matter how long I cuddle her in a chair, it doesn't work, she gets further and further from sleep!

She is so clearly 'over-tired' but fighting it so bad and I just don't know where to go next. I have contacted a lact consultant in Plunket who I saw when she wasn't latching well so hoping to hear back from her soon but I am really hoping to hear even just one person say - same here! As she has gotten older, everyone I know or hear from has solved the evening fussiness / difficulty to settle issues of their young babies and we are going backwards!

I co-slept with her for the first time when she was ill the past 10 days and that was a godsend although it got so bad she wouldn't even settle in bed with me for 2 nights so poor love has had it pretty bad. She is a sensitive wee soul and I do think she is afraid of the dark a bit as she goes down to bed in day with dummy and mobile awake and off to sleep on her own. This is the frustrating part - I think she can self-settle (well, with dummy) but she refuses to or can't once dark and I have no idea why?

flickor Tue 05-Jul-11 08:46:25

My DD is nearly eight months and Bf - she does not go down until 9.30. I asked my bf advisor and she said as long as DD is putting on weight, happy and has lots of wet nappies not to worry what time she goes down. DD also gets overtired so I have started taking her upstairs away from any distractions and feeding her.

A lot of my friends babies are getting up now between 11-6 and they are all about the same age. It could be teething and the heat. DD seems to need a fed to settle her down. Good luck - have you tried the national brestfeeding help line - they are very good

RitaMorgan Tue 05-Jul-11 08:50:11

I got to the point where feeding to sleep was causing more problems than it was solving (as everytime ds woke in the night he needed to be fed back to sleep - every 45 minutes at one point!) and we sort of moved from that towards self-settling quite gently between 5-7 months.

First I started doing the last feed of the day in the living room before ds's bath instead of after - then after his bath DP took him to bed and rocked him to sleep. Gradually instead of rocking him completely to sleep he would rock til he was sleepy then put him down and pat him to sleep. Then he just patted him to sleep with no rocking, then patting him til sleepy and finally some pick-up/put-down to get him dropping off on his own. Basically the aim was to do a little bit less helping each time.

Day time and night time sleep seem to work completely differently for a lot of babies - no idea why! Often a baby who'll self-settle in the day can't at night or vice versa.

Have you tried a night-light in her room? If you start getting her into bed at 7 it's still light outside so that might help that issue.

aswellasyou Tue 05-Jul-11 10:13:48

If it helps, my 9 and a half month old daughter cluster feeds in the evening again, has never self-settled except in her car seat or pushchair, and goes to bed with me at 11 or 12 at night. She only sleeps for 9 or 10 hours at night so if she didn't go to bed with me, I wouldn't get enough sleep and would be exhausted. She wakes anything from twice to seven times at night still too. I cosleep to make life easier and because I like it.
Anyway, I don't have any solutions for you but you're not the only one, I promise!

MigGril Tue 05-Jul-11 13:00:31

My 8month old DS although goes to bed between 7pm and 8pm always wakes up a couple of times in the evening to be fed eventualy seatles around 11ish or when I go to bed with him. Don't really know how offten he wakes during the night as we cosleep.
He can self seatle but does seem hungery at these times and usealy feeds to backto sleep.

Have you tried feeding as much as possible and see what happens?

I feel your pain DS has never slept long in the evening and we haven't been out since he was born. It does put a bit of a strain on things.

kiwilizzie Wed 06-Jul-11 21:07:17

Thanks guys. I'm off to see a state-funded Plunket nurse (who also is a lact consult yay!) this avo. Appreciate your ideas & thoughts. We are in winter here as I'm in New Zealand smile

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