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Getting Baby to sleep through

(24 Posts)
MummyDK Sun 28-Aug-11 16:02:30

Hello all, I am new to this site but heard such great things I thought I would join. I am mother to a gorgeous 9 month little girl, Sophia and have always struggled with the controlled crying thing (is that just me???) in that I can't leave her to cry. As a consequesnce I have always settled her to sleep on me after milk and then put her to bed sleeping ( I can hear all the tuts as I know this is against all the rules but is simply one of the lovliest things about being a mum) but of course she will always wake 2 to three times and need to be settled each time. To be honest I don't particularily mind getting up for her but can see that this is no good for her, does anyone have any tips on ways to sleep train her that are both kind on mum and baby that dont involve controlled crying, or is that the only way.. Fingers crossed theres help out there?

pacsirta Sun 28-Aug-11 16:50:47

Hi, I totally understand what you mean. I could never listen to my baby cry (now 16 months) for more than a few seconds! So no tuts from me. But I agree with you, as they get older they do learn to wake up for feeds, or more like: when they get into a lighter sleep phase (a few times during the night), instead of just drifting back, they actually wake themselves up as THERE IS SOMETHING TO WAKE UP FOR! Well, this is what helped me: when she wakes, send Daddy in with some water. (I hope he is around, if not, perhaps other relative?) In that way she gets attention from someone who loves her, water if thirsty, but no chance of milk (that she associates with you). If repeated consistantly over a few nights, it should give her the message: carry on sleeping, there is no milk to be gained from waking up.
It actually worked for us, every time, at different ages, usually 2 nights were enough! And hardly any crying. But is she keeps waking up, you have got to be strong and not go in to see her at all those nights (this is the tough bit), go to another room if possible. You can give her all your love and milk in the day, and you (and she) will function better with a full night's sleep behind you!
Good luck!

Flisspaps Sun 28-Aug-11 16:59:17

Also - if you're happy doing this, and DD is happy then don't worry. It won't harm her, you can worry about 'sleep training' later on when she's a bit older. There aren't really any rules to go against on this one smile

pacsirta Sun 28-Aug-11 23:00:27

Also, you should check out this thread on 'Bottle and Breastffeding' section:
Breastfeeding at 12mo +, how many feeds? - quick survey!
You might find it useful!

Octaviapink Mon 29-Aug-11 07:29:33

We did controlled "grumbling" with DD at about 10m and I plan to do it with 9mo DS in a couple of weeks - basically when she woke up during the night I'd give her a cuddle and then sit next to her cot until she fell asleep again. She didn't cry, because I was right there, but she didn't get milk, just company. I was quite happy to chat to her and tell her stories, but the aim was to break the habit of having a feed. After about six nights (during which there was no crying but lots of burbling and rolling around giggling, not much sleep for me) she started sleeping through. And that was that!

worldgonecrazy Mon 29-Aug-11 08:08:42

Waking during the night is normal, so ignore anyone who tells you that babies need to sleep through for development. Babies have a sleep cycle that is shorter than an adults, so they wake more through the night. Are you able to cosleep? That way you wouldn't have to get up to go to her. We started offering water in the night around 12 months. DD would want 2 or 3 drinks at night. At around 18 months this went down to one drink and now she doesn't ask for a drink at night at all. She does still wake up and just reach out to touch us through the night but it's not really disturbed sleep as we are all back to sleep within seconds. Incidentally adults also don't sleep through the night but unless we do something such as go to the loo or rescue the duvet from DH, then we don't remember it, so think we have slept through. Google sleep cycles and it explains it all.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 29-Aug-11 08:14:13

I could never bear to hear mine cry either and in fact I have to disagree when you say " don't particularily mind getting up for her but can see that this is no good for her". It is good for her. When she cries and you respond she learns that you are always there for her no matter what.

As I said before, I could never let mine cry and no they are 2 confident little things. In fact a family friend is quite highly qualified in childcare and commented at an event recently that *your children never look to see where you are Jilted and that's very unusual. Do you know why that is? It's because they know you are always there for them."

If getting up to her is no problem then keep on doing it smile

You may find this link useful too and have you heard of No Cry Sleep Solution?

Don't worry about what you think you should be doing, just do things your own way and enjoy your baby smile

Octaviapink Tue 30-Aug-11 11:53:41

Just popped back to say DS had his first night last night of no feeds between 9.30 and 4.30. He woke as usual at 11.30, went back to sleep after some grumbling and cuddling, woke again about 1 and was awake with me (either cuddling, chatting, singing or lying on the bed) till 2.30. Then slept till the early feed he was allowed at 4.30. No crying, 'controlled' or otherwise, involved anywhere. Another couple of nights of this and I think he won't bother waking up in the middle of the night.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 30-Aug-11 12:29:07

Glad you feel better about that Octavia. For me though I always found it much easier to do a 10 minute feed and then go back to sleep rather than be awake for hours, but then I do like my sleep smile

Octaviapink Tue 30-Aug-11 13:24:08

It's been the unpredictability of it with him that I've found hard to deal with - there have been nights where he's wanted five feeds between 9.30pm and midnight, which is hard to take! He's coming up for 10 months now so I don't think night-weaning will do him any harm.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 30-Aug-11 18:18:43

Octavia have a read of this and this as they may help.

MummyDK how are you getting on now?

MummyDK Tue 30-Aug-11 21:16:46

Hello everyone - thank you so much for your advice. I'm giving the water during the night thing a try. Sophia tends to want a cuddle too though - do you think she'll still wake for this even if I wean her off of the milk? It's comforting to gear I'm not the only one who struggles though. I seem to be surrounded by friends who's babies have slept for twelve hours from an early age and who also advocate controlled crying sobfeared that was the only way - I don't want to set Sophia up for
Bad sleep patterns as she grows up but want to help her with these in the kindest ( for both of us) way possible.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 31-Aug-11 08:56:39

Well controlled crying isn't the only way and you're not setting her up for anything bad, in fact I think you are doing everything right. You are parenting your child in a way that feels right for you and not what you think you should be doing and that's exactly what you should be doing.

Have to say though, from my friends who swapped to water in the night or just cuddles I think I got more sleep at that age just be feeding and going back to sleep. Can appreciate though that if it is a problem for you then you will want to stop doing it.

Did you read the links? Have you got someone else who could settle her in the night for you so that she doesn't associate waking with seeing you?

Sleepglorioussleep Wed 31-Aug-11 21:43:36

Have had three dc and done pretty much the same for all three-feed them to sleep and keep doing it til my instincts said they didn't need it. Dd slept through ish at five months, ds at fourteen and dd2 is eight weeks and is sleeping (at the moment-who knows for how long) for up to a nine hour stretch. Dd then went through a long stretch of coming in with us between two and three, but ds just stays in his bed. Dd2 was the trickiest of the tiny newborns-good long teo to three hour stretch actually awake The point of all this? Babies are all hugely varied and what they do now does not necessarily foretell what they'll be like in a year or even a day. Follow your instincts if you can bear it all and that feels better than trying to change a difficult pattern. I slept with dd2 on my chest for weeks and it seems to be what she needed then. But don't be afraid to change things if you need to - sleep deprivation can be horrible

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 01-Sep-11 07:58:24

Lovely post glorious smile

Sleepglorioussleep Thu 01-Sep-11 09:46:48

Thanks! There are lots of things I wish I'd known for dd1 and the biggest two are that sleep is not necessarily a linear path. They can stop sleeping through for lots of reasons and start again. Helps me through the rough bits and to appreciate the good. Also that early sleep patterns don't always predict later on. Could go on... And on...

Octaviapink Thu 01-Sep-11 12:59:12

Have come to the conclusion that DS isn't ready to give up night feeds - even for a seven hour stretch. He's coming down with a cold, which always makes sleep erratic, and of course as he was feeling ill I stopped trying to not-feed him - last night he had eleven feeds between 8.30 (first one I counted as a 'night' feed) and 5.30am (last one). So on we go for a while! Giving it a try in another couple of months.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 01-Sep-11 19:09:49

Octavia if he was feeling ill you did the best thing for him. Hope you have a better night tonight.

Sleepglorioussleep Fri 02-Sep-11 06:48:44

And there you go...dd2 up a lot last night, proving the unpredictability of sleep! Not going to try to look for reasons. Just to make sure I go to bed early!

cafelover Mon 05-Sep-11 14:24:24

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

InmaculadaConcepcion Mon 05-Sep-11 21:32:02

I was still feeding DD back to sleep overnight at 9mo - about 2-3 feeds, which gradually dwindled until she started to sleep through at about 13 months. No tutting here either!


I had to do some sleep-training at 7 months to be able to put her down to sleep in the first place as she wanted to stay latched on all night and with the best will in the world, that was killer for my own sleep and making hers worse too. On the third night, she stopped protesting at being put down at bedtime and the overnight wakings immediately cut from 6 to 2-3.

Then, in the last couple of weeks or so, (DD is now 19 months) I decided I'd had enough of the intermittency of sleep-throughs, especially as the night-wakings were getting longer (2 hours plus) and DD was expecting to come into bed with us and be latched on to me in order to get back to sleep. Rubbish for my sleep, in other words. A couple of nights of DH going into her and gently reassuring her then laying her back down when she woke got her sleeping through much more reliably.

Gradual withdrawal methods of sleep-training take a little longer to work, but if you don't want to leave your LO alone during the process, they're well-worth trying.

I think the main thing is that you are confident and committed to whatever course of action you decide to take and that your OH is also on board. And if you don't mind getting up to give the night comfort feeds, then don't worry! If your LO's getting back to sleep fairly quickly after each waking, it won't be doing them any harm either.
There are no rights or wrongs smile

Joycey29 Tue 06-Sep-11 07:28:23

Hi - jumping slightly on your bandwagon guys but your advice seems spot
I am dc3 and you d think I 'd know but dd2 is now 20 months and wakes atleast once a night at 3 ish.
Am back at work now and need my sleep so want to sort it out....
Has anyone tried the stirring them before they wake - does it work?
I m up for anything! sad

Joycey29 Tue 06-Sep-11 07:29:06

I am dc3 - god I can t even type!!!!blush

InmaculadaConcepcion Tue 06-Sep-11 13:07:59

There was a thread in the sleep section about "wake to sleep" - quite detailed. If you search for it, you should be able to find it.

Good luck!

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