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Sleeping through: spontaneous or worked at?!

(23 Posts)
MimisMama Tue 07-Oct-08 14:11:41

My DD didn't sleep well for AGES - I think this was a combination of her personality and our mistakes!

Anyway, my DS is now 6wks old and I'm wondering whether there's anything we should be doing to help him sleep through asap! My sister's son started going from 11pm to 4am from about 6wks and she says that this just happened naturally.

He's a very hungry boy (bottle fed) and at the moment is having at least 4oz about every 2.5hrs though the day and then at around 10pm, 1am, 3am and 6am when he wakes up hungry.

He settles himself very well so I'm hoping when he can take bigger feeds (or we can move him onto 'hungry baby' formula?) he won't wake up as often.

Any thoughts or tips would be appreciated so we don't have the hell of CC with a 2yr old!!

missingtheaction Tue 07-Oct-08 14:22:15

do the opposite of me - mine both woke at night until they were three.

i still think the key thing was that i didn't let them learn how to fall asleep by themselves - always stuck a tit in their mouth when they woke up to quieten them down and get them off to sleep.

'solve your child's sleep problems' is good - explains good principles and you can marvel at other terrible children!

rookiemater Tue 07-Oct-08 19:55:29

TBH what you have described sounds ok for a 6 week old. I would have been envy if DS had only been waking up every 3 hours at that age.

I wouldn't change on to hungry baby formula just yet, its quite heavy for their little tummies and I don't think its going to help. You could maybe check the teat that he is on, if he is taking a long time to drink the milk then maybe move on to the next stage one.

But really I don't think you can expect things to get much better for another couple of weeks at least. Our DS suddenly started sleeping through from 11-7 at about 8 weeks after his last set of injections, and we hadn't done anything to make it happen.

MimisMama Wed 08-Oct-08 09:30:35

Thanks rookiemater and missingtheaction - I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope it will just happen!

Surfermum Wed 08-Oct-08 09:51:46

It was spontaneous in dd's case. I didn't have a bloody clue what I was doing and she just did it, sleeping from 11 till about 7.30 from 5 weeks.

snickersnack Wed 08-Oct-08 09:53:36

Spontaneous. How else do you explain families with children who sleep and children who don't? Sadly neither of mine sleep...or at least didn't as babies. dd is fine now, but she just grew out of night wakings around 1 (though will still wake briefly from time to time at nearly 4). ds is improving, slowly, but not because of anything we've done. Neither of them ever fell asleep on us, or while feeding - just not their style - so we certainly didn't create bad habits. I just think they are not natural sleepers. sad

gegs73 Wed 08-Oct-08 10:10:23

I think some babies naturally sleep through early but some don't and if you want them to at a young age you have to work at it. I think this works for lots of babies but some just are awful sleepers no matter what you do (SIL has one of these still at the age of 6!!)

I don't think you can really do much until they are 6mo and/or eating food imo. Both my DSs were bottle fed from about 4mo so from 6mo I cut down the amount they were having for night time feeds until they stopped waking up for it. DS1 slept really well from then on. DS2 was alot better, but still woke up now and then. We used controlled crying and he is now a great sleeper.

baltimore97 Wed 08-Oct-08 21:45:20

It's the luck of the draw, I think. DD1 slept through at 8 months, with quite a lot of coaxing on our part (i.e. I didn't feed her unless she had gone at least 2.5 hours from previous feed). Even when she stopped feeding in the night, she still often just woke up and cried for 5 mins and then went off to sleep again.

DD2, however, is now 5.5 mths and has been sleeping through for the last 2 weeks. I have done nothing to encourage this. Before this she woke once for a feed. She just gradually moved her night feed later and later until she hit 7am. If only DD1 had been so easy!

HandbagAddiction Wed 08-Oct-08 21:52:01

I second the luck of the draw. I am incredibly fortunate as both my girls have been excellent sleepers and I really don't think I did anything specifically to encourage it - apart from dream feeding perhaps. DD1 was sleeping 11-6 by 8 weeks having had a dream feed at 10:30.

DD2 was even better - sleeping from 8-6 by 6 weeks and completely unwakeable. I remember leing on my bed on several occasions attempting to feed her but she just would not wake up. I then spoke to the HV about it at her 8 week check as I was worried about her weight / was she eating enough and ask what I could do to wake her up, at which point the HV asked why on earth would you want to? fair point!!

Interestingly though both of them were naturally big feeders between the hours of 5 and 8, so they would be really unsettled and just want to feed every hour or so within that period...and then just nothing afterwards. Guess they were all full up!

pointydog Wed 08-Oct-08 21:56:11

worked at for a short while with dd1. Can't remember with dd2.

coochybottom Wed 08-Oct-08 22:01:13

Keep night feeds very quiet and uneventful.Wake,feed,back to bed. Get him used to getting off to sleep without being cuddled etc. I did this with my twins and they both slept thru at 11 weeks. Wasnt told this with my 1st son and he was a nightmare!

PumpkinPatty Wed 08-Oct-08 22:06:35

I think it is a combination of worked at and how good a sleeper your LO is naturally.

We worked at it a bit with DD. But she was a good sleeper right from the start (at night anyway). She slept through from about 10 weeks IIRC.

NellyTheElephant Wed 08-Oct-08 22:24:48

I definitely worked at getting mine to sleep through - it paid off, DD1 slept 7pm to 7am ish at 8 weeks and DD2 at 9 weeks. I think I was hugely lucky that my two were good sleepers anyway, but I helped them along a bit. By about 6 / 7 weeks they both followed a similar pattern of 7pm bed, wake at 3am ish, then through to 6.30 ish. It was around then that I started to actively work at it a bit.

I bf so don't know much about hungry baby formula etc - I have heard from friends though that it's not necessarily a good idea as it has a bulking agent to make them feel fuller for longer, but no more actual calories, so unlikely to get them right through the 12 hrs as the full feeling wears off by then whatever you do.

So - if you want to work at it, my general strategy was that once they started to sleep longer periods then when they woke, my first response would be to try and re-settle without feeding. I wouldn't do this for long - just maybe reswaddle then a couple of mins of rocking the moses basket / replace dummy etc. It worked surprisingly often and they'd maybe sleep another hour or so after that, and then I'd feed. Sometimes it was obvious that there was no hope of resettling, in which case I'd just feed straight off. I got a bit of a feel for when it was worth trying and when not. Once they regularly slept 7pm to 5am ish I made a big push - for a few nights running I really focussed on resettling / rocking etc to push through to past 6am and it worked for me.

I don't suppose it works for everyone though, and it's also quite tiring while doing it - if I'd just fed at say 3am when they woke rather than resettling and then feeding at e.g. 4.30am when they next woke I'd only have been up once in the night, but instead I'd be up twice. For me it was worth it to get them sleeping through as quickly as possible, but it's not for everyone.

grumblingirl Thu 09-Oct-08 11:26:51

Definitely luck of the draw. I've worked and worked and worked to get DS2 to sleep and he just won't stay aslepp. DS1 (even though he had sleep apnea)slept quite well from the beginning and is now a snoring log at 5.

aiti72 Thu 09-Oct-08 15:57:10

Oh God, reading this we're going to have big trouble ahead of ussad. To be able to cope with both kids during the day I have co-slept with DD2(3months) since she was born. It's just so ridiculously easy when breastfeeding as she -and I- falls asleep while feedingblush.

Jennyisjustknackered Thu 09-Oct-08 16:00:05

Dd is 17mo and still not sleeping through. Here's hoping!

RhinestoneCowghoul Thu 09-Oct-08 16:07:37

Jenny - it suddenly got better for us just after DS turned 2 (years that is!). I hope you don't have to wait that long

We tried everything, ended up co-sleeping after the first waking just to get some rest. Then suddenly I noticed he wasn't coming into our bed and I was actually going into his room after 7am to say good morning shock. We'd kept plugging away with the consistent bedtime routine, but this doesn't help when they wake in the night!

I think 'good' sleepers are born not made, but then I would say that wouldn't I... wink

Jennyisjustknackered Thu 09-Oct-08 16:10:04

Rhinestone - I am tempted to print that off! That's what we do, co-sleep any time after 9pm. What fun lives we lead, going to bed at 9pm!

claireyBOOOO Thu 09-Oct-08 16:35:35

A bit of both I think- dd didn't sleep through until she was 2! I didn't really do anything to make her, she gradually cut the night wakings down herself until at 1 was waking just once most nights. At 14 months I cut out her middle of the night milk but this backfired badly as for the next few months she just stayed awake moaning and crying from whenever she woke up asking for milk until morning. After a couple of months of this (and heavily pregnant) I gave in and started giving her the milk again.

In the weeks leading up to her second birthday I told her that 2 year olds slept all night and didn't have milk in the night and explained that from her birthday she wasn't going to have it anymore. The night of her birthday she woke up asked for milk a few times but then went back to sleep. She only woke for a few nights after this and just went back to sleep when I said no milk.

So yes, she was 2 before she slept through, and yes I did help things along a bit but there was no crying involved.

belgo Thu 09-Oct-08 16:43:45

Had to work on it with both my dds, dd1 was between the ages of one and two years when she started sleeping through; dd2 was two and a half. They now sleep very well together in their own bedroom.

christywhisty Fri 10-Oct-08 22:52:38

Both mine were spontaneous at about 3 months. They just didn't wake up for a feed one night.

melaflip Sat 11-Oct-08 18:03:52

Hi my bb is 18 weeks just started trying a couple of things to make him sleep better.
not much result jet but I am looking for more advise.

a couple of weeks ago he started waking every 1.5, after going to bed at 7ish .( He was only breastfed then)

Now we started with a bit of solid once a day and one bottle of formula at 7 before bed. He wakes now every 2.5 to 3.5 hours.

It still is reaaly hard work

labebete Sat 11-Oct-08 18:16:06

DS didn't sleep through until he was nearly 2 and then dd was born a few days after he'd cracked it and she only started sleeping through at about year. I have my fingers crossed that things will be better for number 3!

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