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7pm-7am sleepers..how? Please god tell me how?!

(37 Posts)
Jammers Wed 01-Dec-10 09:34:32

So I know from reading lots of other threads on here that babies who sleep 7-7 are rare, however, it is the holy grail in my opinion. I am interested to hear from people who have babies who do this (or similar, 7.30-7.30, 8-8 etc) and how they achieved it...

At what age did it start?
Did you need to 'encourage' your baby to do it by using sleep training or other methods or did it just happen naturally?

Lots of sleeping through/droppping night feeds threads are confusing as sleeping through the night seems to mean different things to different people (ie 12am-5am for some). I am interested in those 7-7 sleepers (although, really, if my baby was sleeping 7-7 I probably wouldn't be stalking various sleeping threads but would be out and about enjoying boundless energy and verve for life!)

marzipananimal Wed 01-Dec-10 09:45:59

There's a book called 'Baby Secrets' by Jo Tantum which has detailed advice on how to get them to sleep 7-7. I think it's quite good though have only just starting using her methods. You can start right from the beginning though of course it won't happen instantly. I can summarise if you like but you'd be better off with the book if you want to give it a proper go

catwhiskers10 Wed 01-Dec-10 10:17:30

My DD (9 months) sleeps 7-7 (sometimes 7-8) but still wakes 1-2 times a night for feeds.
She just put herself into this routine at around 4 months old. She is gradually starting to sleep better at night the last month or so, so I'm hoping she stops getting up for the night feeds soon, so far we have only had one night when she slept right through.

Indith Wed 01-Dec-10 10:19:59

No idea. My first dropped feeds all by himself without my help and slept 13 hours a night with some blips due to house moves and illness from around 5/6 months.

My second is nearly 2 and still doesn't sleep. She slept all night oce, it was amazing! Generally she wakes 4 times or so. Wish I knew the answer!

aliceinlalaland Wed 01-Dec-10 10:35:03

I think it's possibly just luck of the draw. My two have (generally speaking) been good sleepers and on good nights will sleep 11, 12 sometimes (rarely) 13 hours. I didn't do anything special, no sleep training or anything, just made sure they'd had enough to eat during the day and had a bedtime routine. But I know people who've done all that and still had babies who slept very little. Having said that 9MO DD2 is going through the 9-month sleep regression at the moment and it's a bit of a killer - at times like that I don't think there's much you can do to change things.

aliceinlalaland Wed 01-Dec-10 10:38:50

Oh and re when did it start: with DD1 is started really early (about 2 months) and with DD2 about 4.5 months. There have been plenty of blips with teething/growth spurts/sleep disturbances/illness etc But from that age it hasn't been unusual for them to sleep 11/12 hours.

But just want to emphasise again that if your child isn't a good sleeper I'm absolutely sure it's nothing you're doing/not doing. It's just the way it goes. A very good friend has a DD who just slept really badly til she was over 2. Friend got sick to death of people implying that it was something she had or hadn't done. Her DS (5MO) is a much better sleeper.

BooBooGlass Wed 01-Dec-10 10:41:20

My dd did it al by herself from a very early age. I was a little smug blush and then I got ds. He is 2.6 and only just sleeping through. For him, it was problems with teeth that hampered our efforts, and also his skin. He has had terrribly dry skin all his life, and we've been fobbed off an awful lot by various GPs. Since getting a cream that really works (Epaderm) we slather it on him at night, and he's pretty much guaranteed 12 hours. It's worth seeign itf anything is causing obvious discomfort, the change in him really did happen overnight, and was long overdue

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 01-Dec-10 10:43:38

My boys do it. They are 6 and 4. They have only just started doing it. hmm

scoutliam Wed 01-Dec-10 10:47:47

Pure luck for us I reckon. Dd is 13 months and has doing 12 hours for about 5 months.
Like others she has her nights, teething or if she's cold and then she might demand a feed.

We had a bedtime routine from the day we came out of hospital, bath story etc and I kept the night feeds, when she had, them very very boring .

But honestly it's pure luck.

BirdyBedtime Wed 01-Dec-10 10:48:26

I honestly think in most cases it's just down to the DC. I was a bit 'routine-y' for a while but not strictly. Both DCs have slept all night from 7.30 from a very young age, although DS wakes around 6 (but then gets back to sleep most of the time). This is disrupted however any time there is a cold, tooth, bad dream etc so actually it's sometimes not as good as it sounds when you really think about it.

spidookly Wed 01-Dec-10 10:52:32

Top tip: when you are going out with a man, see how his siblings' children sleep.

If they are 7-7ers, there's a chance your children will get their genes.

Hope this helps, worked for me wink

Sorry, don't mean to be flippant, but I do think luck has an awful lot to do with it.

My two (sorry, they sort of blur together, so not that accurate) started doing 11pm-7am around 8 weeks or so for each of them. Maybe DD2 took a little longer but it was definitely when we were counting her age in weeks.

Then when they were comfortably on solids and I thought I could drop the 11pm feed (I used to feed them before I went to bed) I would stop offering it. With DD2 (a much, much better eater than fusspot DD1) I think this happened around 7 months. With DD2 maybe 8 months or so, possibly 9?

DD1 had a massive sleep regression/unwell/teething nightmare time around 9 months and woke multiple times a night for feeds, but she went back to her old ways once it had passed.

Things that I think work:

having definite day/night times that are different - when it's "sleeping time" we don't take DDs out of their rooms, we only use dim lights etc.

bedtime routine - bath, feed, bed for DD2; bath, story, bed for DD1 create the expectation of sleep

music/light - dd1 has tapes/CDs, DD2 has a little flashing light lullaby thing she loves

I think it is reasonable to teach your children how to sleep, by giving them as many cues as possible that it is time to sleep. Ideally you should never have to do sleep "training", although I'm not saying I wouldn't if I ever have a child with MY sleep genes.

My parents are so missing out on the revenge they thought they'd have when I had children that kept me awake all night. I was a nightmare. My poor DSis, a wonderful baby who slept well and never caused anyone a second's trouble has 2 terrible sleepers and is exhausted from years of broken sleep. It really isn't fair at all.

BertieBasset Wed 01-Dec-10 10:56:10

I agree that a lot is down to luck. You can provide an optimum sleeping environment for your dc but if they don't want to sleep then there isn't much you can do.

We were lucky with DD. She slept 7 - 7.30 for the first time at 11 weeks, and regularly from 14 weeks. I didn't tell my NCT friends in case they stopped talking to me!

DD was ff from 2 weeks (i mention it only because it can make a difference), and in her own cot and room at 5 weeks. She hated the moses basket and loved the cot. She also liked her own room, and still at 15 moths will quite happily play in her cot. By play I mean shout with hysterical laughter while hurling toys across the floor but you know what I mean.

We used to do bath, bottle and down at 7ish. Would feed her again about 11, we'd try and get to her as a dream feed before she woke up, and then she'd sleep until about 2-3 ish. I dropped the dream feed and she'd sleep from 7 until about 1, and that just got later and later over a few weeks until she slept through.

I also fed on demand during the day, and never varied her routine her night. Like I say she still sleeps well, but needs her routine. If we take her anywhere in the travel cot she goes nuts for example. So I think you have to find what works best for your baby and follow that.

Hope that is some help

Jammers Wed 01-Dec-10 11:35:53

Wow - I'm new to using forums and it never ceases to amaze me how helpful people are on them - thanks all. Luck eh? Not sure whether that's a good thing as it means I am doing nothing wrong or a bad thing as there is nothing I can do to fix it!

Marzipan animal - thanks for the book tip. I already have the Baby Whisperer, GF, Richard Ferber and the No Cry Sleep Solution (just to get a broad spectrum of approaches!) Will this book give me something new?

Spidookly - re keeping DCs in room when it's sleepy time. If they wake at say 5am and refuse to re-settle would you just keep trying until 7 then suddenly change tack and open the curtains and do a jolly "good morning" through gritted teeth?! Sometimes if DS won't re-settle and it is after 5am I am guilty of starting the day just because trying to resettle is so trying.

Jammers Wed 01-Dec-10 11:37:42

And birdybedtime - how do you re-settle DS at 6am?

Sugarmuppet Wed 01-Dec-10 11:40:03

DD went 7-7 from 6 weeks and 6-8.30 from 5 months. Since 6 weeks (she is now 10 months) she has had 3 nights when she has woken for about 10 mins then gone back to sleep. shock

Mum can't understand it because she has the same routine with me and I didn't sleep more than a few hours at a time until I was 2!

Its just your luck imho.

notcitrus Wed 01-Dec-10 11:46:21

Luck.
Ds slept regularly 7-7 from 3 months. Regularly in the sense of regularly every 3-4 weeks he'd do it! grin

By a year he was generally waking a couple times or once, and from 20 months generally sleeping through beautifully. But from 9 months or so he did go back to sleep immediately after a feed so within 10 min we'd be back in bed.

Dn slept through from 6 weeks. I was hugely envious for the next year (ds is 3 months younger). Then dn started yelling at 4am and being a right pain, although he's now sleeping OK again.

I figure a placid baby who wakes, feeds and sleeps again 3x in the night is about the same as a hugely active one who sleeps 7-5 am and then wants to bounce on you, but the latter is deemed to be 'better'.

Smudge588 Wed 01-Dec-10 12:10:09

I think its down to luck but my 5 month old does and has done from about 10 weeks. Basically we were lucky as he would cry and cry until 10pm then suddenly tired and go to sleep (always the same time bizzarely). We then put in a bedtime routine around this and gradually moved it forward to 7pm (over a few weeks). He could then recognise it was bedtime and so got sleepy earlier. At first we put him down asleep but then gradually got him more and more awake each time so he could settle himself. He would feed in the night if I got up for him but we found that he would go to sleep if my husband saw to him so we switched and he would only come to me in the night if my husband couldn't settle him. He was a big baby so could go without food quite early. He still does occasionally wake in the night if his teeth hurt or he has cold or something but generally is great. To be honest we never followed a plan - a lot of it was desparation - we only started putting him down awake because we got too tired trying to get him to sleep!

BertieBasset Wed 01-Dec-10 12:13:15

I know you haven't asked me regarding the settling but I'm going to answer anyway grin

I had a 6am cut off as that was (and is) the time I get up for work. Anything before that would resettle. Anything after would sigh deeply and get up.

Usually for dd to nod off beautifully on me about 7 and then scream blue murder when I tried to put her back down.

Ahh, the good old days. I am pregnant with DC2 so it couldn't have been that bad.

marzipananimal Wed 01-Dec-10 13:33:27

I haven't read any other books so don't know if this offers anything new. Sorry that's not very helpful.

The author does claim that all babies can be trained to sleep through and it's not all about luck. Not sure I agree with that though hmm

Mull Wed 01-Dec-10 13:53:03

I think it is luck - my 8mo DS has only ever woken in the night if he is hungry. He just seemed to 'get' night.v.day from the very beginning [not smug, honest!].

We got lulled into a false sense of security when he started going 7-7 from about 3mo to 4.5mo. I think he then got more hungry (more active etc) but we didn't wean until 6mo so he was awake once, sometimes twice, for a feed again.

He has just started going 7-6/6.30 again as we are now well established with 3 meals a day.

So my only tip would be to get as much food (milk or solids) in as possible (I'm not suggesting force feeding grin).

Jammers Wed 01-Dec-10 18:52:11

Thanks marzipan - might buy it anyway but hide it from DH - he's sick of me reading baby books! (Well, sick of having to listen to my latest learning!)

Bertie - happy to hear tips from anyone! What did you do if DD woke at 5am and didn't resettle before 6am? Did you just stop trying to resettle and get her up? I always feel slightly defeated when this happens!

Mull - I'm glad to hear food has made a difference for you. I keep holding onto this as a beacon of hope.

Thanks again for all the other tips and experiences. I foolishly thought before having a DC that once they started sleeping better at 12 weeks ish it would just keep getting better...no one tells you about growth spurts, sleep regression etc! I like to be able to fix problems and am quickly discovering that parenting doesn't work like that...

BertieBasset Wed 01-Dec-10 19:06:49

Yes I would get her up, while weeping quietly grin

mrsmarple Wed 01-Dec-10 19:46:17

I had a what I thought was an insomniac baby. He woke every 1-2 hrs until he was 6 months old. He wouldn't sleep in his cot for any naps (the old car seat/pram combo for naps) and then I had to breastfeed him to sleep. The thought of him going 7-7 was just a joke.

It all got too much and I have to admit that I did controlled crying. It was textbook - the first night he cried for an hour and a quarter, the 2nd was 30 mins, the 3rd 5 mins and then on the 4th night he was laughing and gurgling going into his cot. He sleeps 7-7.

He loves his cot now - amazing!!! (previously he would scream when he realised he was being put in his cot, if he woke up when I took him off the boob). When he is grisly and tired I take him upstairs - he sees his cot, listens to his light box music, and has his bunny and goes to bed, gurgling and smiling (he is now 7 mths).

Our lives are transformed. Everyone has commented on how much happier he is & of course I am much happier.

HOWEVER - I really believe that controlled crying is not for every baby. It worked for us but it was the hardest thing I have ever done and I wouldn't recommend it until you have reached rock bottom.

CrispyTheCrisp Wed 01-Dec-10 19:50:28

I agree with the 'luck' element too. DD1 was 4 weeks prem, tiny and slept 7-7 from about 9 weeks (no dream feeds). DD OTOH was about 17 months <sigh>

We have always used the settling in their room any time before 6am and after that accept that it is not going to happen

Jammers Thu 02-Dec-10 09:37:27

Mrs Marple thanks for sharing your story - I have heard similar ones and think in your circumstances controlled crying is a totally valid approach. Well done on getting some sleep for you and DS! In fact I sometimes wish my DS had a clear sleep association problem as the solution, no matter how hard, is clear cut and seems to work 90% of the time. However, I feel like we are somewhere in the middle - not full blown sleep association issue as will self settle beautifully in the evening but IMO too frequent feeding at night for a 5mo (2-3 times then not hungry in the morning) and some issues with daytime naps. WHen did you wean DS? ie were you confident he didn't need feeding at night at 6mo? I keep thinking about going cold turkey with night feeds but I'm too chicken!!

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