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Breast fed 6-month old waking in the night despite newly introduced controlled crying

(11 Posts)
puttbles Sun 07-Apr-13 15:09:34

Hi all, my baby until 4 months old would breast feed to sleep in bed, have on average 6hrs in his cot, then have 2 lots of 2 hour stretches with feeds in the bed with us.

Then he hit 4 months and kept waking and got very ill so we tried cosleeping which worked really well, and would suckle 2-4x a night, and didn't disturb me, but has made me get back trouble.

Now he's 6 months, I have 2 months before I'm back to work and my back can't take it so have taken a friend's advice and started the controlled crying to put him down at night and day naps.

From day 1 he hasn't spent too long crying before settling, and am confident that is working, although it certainly hasn't got shorter and shorter by day, in fact it can be 5 mins or 20 to settle, it depends.

But it feels like he's waking more in the night now and am not refusing him feeds, he comes into bed for a feed and I put him straight back. The first night I watched him wake up, look around and after 10mins put himself back to sleep-great! But the next night he lay there for 40 mins and ended up crying for me. Each night has felt it's got worse.

Help, need advice as I believe he needed to learn to self settle, but was told that by earning to do this, sleep length improves and aligns reduce.....

alwayslateforwork Sun 07-Apr-13 15:16:58

My bf ds fed every 2 hours 24/7 until he was 10 mos.

He only slept through once I stopped bfing - that isn't advice (I'm not telling you to stop bf) just that some babies do wake all night every night for a long time. It's just what they do. Others sleep through from v early. I think bf babies quite like a feed, and so wake for that experience - not particularly because they are hungry or need a feed. For ds1 it was definitely stopping bf that made him give up being awake all blardy night. Within two days he slept through - but he was 4 mos older as well.

We did cc of a fashion with dd1 - but it was dh really, as I don't have the patience for it and would rather just feed and leave.

6 mos is still quite tiny. None of my three have slept through at that point.

QTPie Sun 07-Apr-13 15:37:13

DS was exclusively BFed.

Very early on I learnt to tell between hungry cries and."whingey, want to go back to sleep cries": I fed the former and we did anything else possible to settle the latter (shushing, patting, rocking, hand-holding, would ignore the "whinge of sleep" (sort of an "eeerr, errrrr, errrrrrrrr")). I did feed DS to sleep at bedtime. He dropped to one night feed from 5 weeks and slept through from 12 weeks, but I did feed him proactively and lots during the day (on waking, 9.30am, 12 noon, 4.30pm, 6.30pm, 8.30pm). He was fed to a schedule.

I may have been very lucky, though, they are all different.

princessx Sun 07-Apr-13 17:10:44

Dd slept through at 4 and 5 mths and was ebf. Her needs changed at 6mths due to weaning and she didn't go back to full nights sleep till 8mths till we got used to eating food.

Babies change so fast and at 6mths her body needed more milk and couldn't get all she needed from food

Rosa Sun 07-Apr-13 17:15:14

Slay me down but have you tried a dummy as it sounds to me as if he is using you for comfort as well as nutrition....?

puttbles Sun 07-Apr-13 19:39:10

He refuses dummies and bottles and now we've come so far without one, certainly don't want it introduced now. I personally dislike seeing dummies used for the sake of it all the time so am a little against the idea myself smile

puttbles Sun 07-Apr-13 19:40:14

Sleep training update: bad night last night, Toby went down fine, no sick, but was up 5x in the night, each time crying for me. Today hence been an hr behind as we woke up shattered an hour late so out of the routine. Nap time he went down excellently but only slept 35 mins and only napped a short bit in pram later on so have put him to be at 7:20 tonight instead of 8.

He's off his food today but despite not having solids, was just sick when being put down. Cleaned him up, put him back down, stayed with him a little longer to reassure him and walked away, still awake, but no crying at all, asleep within the first 5 mins- fabulous, but the sinic in me is still thinking it won't be a great night and is still wondering why we're bothering when cosleeping meant an easy life! Was hoping controlled crying would sort out sleep length, reduce amount of wakes and help naps, feeling a little disappointed to say the least. Any words of wisdom? The self settling is the only thing I can see has improved.

Brownowlahi Sun 07-Apr-13 22:26:01

Are you sure your little one has read the same book you have? Lots of babies wake up still at this age and continue to wake in the night for a while yet. It is not easy, but it is a short time in a babies life that they need you for night time parenting.
My ds never slept for long periods as a baby, would wake frequently through the night etc (we coslept) But by about a year, he was sleeping for longer periods and by 2 was sleeping through pretty reliably. I never did controlled crying, I wouldn't leave another adult to cry, so why would I leave my baby to cry. If co sleeping was working keep doing it. Is there enough room in the bed? Or could being a bit squashed in the bed be contributing to your back problems?
2months is a long time in the life of your baby and his sleep may change naturally before you go back to work. I've found (I have 3 dc, 7,5,2) that good sleep periods come and go, they will all sleep through for a couple of weeks,then one will wake up for a couple of nights, then another will have a bad night, then they will all sleep through again. You won't always be this tired, it will easier.

Misty9 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:50:13

I bf ds (now 19mo) until 15mo and he stopped night feeds at about 12mo of his own accord. However, 6mo was a BIG growth spurt for him - could your LO be having a growth spurt?
If co sleeping was working, is there anyway you can keep doing it? I really struggled to co sleep, also due to back problems, but we had a co-sleeping cot for the first few months which really helped (ds also slept on dh for the first 10wks thankfully!). Could you sidecar a cot to your bed?

Other than that, I'd do what you can to stay sane - nap when baby naps etc- and don't worry too much about two months down the line. Baby's change a lot in a short space of time. This too shall pass...

WreckfestAtTiffanys Sun 07-Apr-13 23:37:12

If the only reason for stopping the co sleeping is your back have you tried a bedside cot? That way they are right next to you but not in your bed.

WillowB Mon 08-Apr-13 19:21:15

DS didn't start sleeping through consistently until he was 8 months. He has a small teddy and a dummy (used only for naps not 'for the sake of it'). Have you thought of introducing some sort of comforter: blanket, soft toy, one of those light projectors or lullaby teddy? Or patting/shushing I know very few babies that self settled cold turkey without any sort of 'prop' to begin with.

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