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6mo night waker. This is what the HV said to do. What do you think?

(10 Posts)
Cbell Thu 30-Jun-11 13:31:20

OK! A quick summary. My DD is 6mo. We have recently started solids (BLW). Can't see any teeth yet but drools quite a bit and wants to put everything in her mouth, however during the day she doesn't seem over fretful or in discomfort.

Sleep: Until about a month ago she was breast fed to sleep. We then broke that pattern by introducing a dummy. Now she will feed, go into cot awake with dummy and SS.

The problem: She wakes about every 1 - 1.30 hours and needs to be resettled. The least this involves is popping her dummy back in, then it's sitting and stroking, breast fed and finally in bed with me. This doesn't happen every night, maybe 2 -3 out of a week. The easiest nights involve us merely popping the dummy back in but we are feeling increasingly stressed/ upset and need to get longer stretches of sleep.

So! She moves between sleep cycles and can't resettle herself without our intervention.

The solution: According to our HV we should
1) Move her into her own room. Less noise for DD and us
2) Take away dummy
3) Teach her to SS by effectively letting her cry.

According to HV we are not to leave her to cry/ call without responding but to keep going back to her, say a bedtime key words, let her be soothed and then leave. The idea is that DD be clear that what she is learning is to go to sleep independently.

I am not sure if I can do this. I find the thought of seeing her distressed hugely upsetting. However, if it would work and would result in longer stretches of sleep I might be convinced.

Does this strategy work? Have you tried it?

Advice/ opinions please.

NinjaChipmunk Thu 30-Jun-11 13:40:17

controlled crying is not for everyone and I certainly couldn't do it. Maybe points 1 and 2 are worth giving a go though? Have you tried the pick up/ put down method? She may well be teething as she is waking frequently. DS certainly went through stages of doing this and really she is still tiny. Hopefully someone will be along shortly with more advice and top tips!

RitaMorgan Thu 30-Jun-11 13:43:32

Controlled crying wasn't for me either. I did pick-up/put-down with success - there is still crying but you aren't leaving the baby to cry.

If she is waking a lot for her dummy I'd consider ditching it.

RitaMorgan Thu 30-Jun-11 13:45:30

She probably needs feeding once or twice in the night still - you might want to decide what times she has feeds (I did 11pm and 3am with ds at a similar age) and then have your DP resettle her at other times as if you go to her she'll expect a breastfeed.

Cbell Thu 30-Jun-11 14:23:16

The HV said....

At six months she no longer needs nights feeds. She has a feed at 7pm before bed. The wakes between 9-10PM I feed back to sleep. Previously she was feeding at 1am and then again at 3am but I am trying with some success to only feed her at 3am. Last night it was 4am.

The HV said to set a time target i.e will feed at 3am and that I could gradually nudge that along until it's a morning feed.

Ninja: you said you tried CC. How long did you try for?
Rita: good idea about getting DH to resettle - him lacking boobs and all

dreamingbohemian Thu 30-Jun-11 14:36:18

I'd try 1 and 2 first and see how it goes.
Maybe give her a soft toy to sleep with, as a transition from the dummy? It's a comfort and she can also chew on it, but could grab it herself.

NinjaChipmunk Thu 30-Jun-11 14:40:15

I think we tried it once after reading a bit about it but poor ds got so wound up we realised it really wasn't for us. Don't take what your HV says as 'The Truth' as all babies are different and develop at different ages and stages. Our method of getting ds to sleep was essentially made up to fit in with us but usually one of us was in his room with him for a bit reading and stuff and then I'd say (like he could actually understand at that point?!) I'm just going to get the washing out of the machine or pair some socks or something and disappear for a few minutes then come back and each night just made it ever so slightly longer before I came back but making sure he knew I was about (sometimes sat with a book in the hall or faffing in the bedroom). It did take a while but eventually worked. As for night wakings? Ds woke up quite a lot mainly as when he learnt to sit up he used to somehow do it in his sleep and then cry but his settling time was less and less as time went on, a pick up a kiss and back in the cot with a night night. The only thing I will say is consistency is the key, whatever you decide to do, stick to it or you will just confuse her.

RitaMorgan Thu 30-Jun-11 14:42:47

At 6 months some need night feeds and some don't - lots of babies still need to feed at night at 9 months+. A breastfed, BLW 6 month old is unlikely to get through the night without a feed imo.

Once my ds was having 3 good meals a day he went down to one feed at 11pm - I prefered doing the feed at 11pm because I could do it then go to bed rather than be disturbed in the night. He had a dreamfeed at 11 and then I fed him again at 6am. At about 8 months we dropped the 11pm feed.

clarejane Thu 30-Jun-11 14:44:57

Since we moved DS into his own room at about 6mos (or rather, DH & I moved into living room and DS took over our bedroom, sigh...) he has been sleeping a lot better. Maybe try that first if possible. I was leaping up at every noise from DS, and I think we got into a bit of a cycle of disturbing each other. A little bit of distance has helped everybody sleep longer. I am still BF'ing once or twice a night but things are improving. Good luck smile

ningyo Thu 30-Jun-11 18:53:16

Our ds definitely slept much better once he was in his own room, so perhaps start with that and see how you go. Did she ever sleep for longer stretches? Our ds started having way more wake-ups around 5 months or so (5 a night, after months of 2 max). Moving him into his own room made a huge difference, as did bedtime keywords. On the night feeds question, I've read in several books that some (not all) breastfed babies continue to physically need a night feed up to around about 9 months. Maybe try the other things first to see if things improve and then you can consider trying cc if all else fails?!

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