Is my hubby right?(13 Posts)
After talking with my DH last night about our DD (6.5mo) 'sleep issues' I am wondering if he is right?
Will our daughter begin to SS/ sleep through the night/ stop BF independently, if we are simply patient and give her enough time?
I would love to hear from folks who found that their child did begin sleeping well after a difficult start without too much intervention.
Or is this wishful thinking....
A lot of people- me included- believe that sleep is developmental. I no more believe you can force a baby to self settle and sleep through than you can force them to walk or talk.
DD found her way all by herself.
You can encourage though, make good sleep associations, nudge them in subtle ways but the actual skill of good, healthy sleep? I let it happen naturally.
Yes, she will eventually figure out the sleep thing and, done gently, have no negative sleep associations. My daughter actually asks to go to bed now and has been taking herself upstairs since about 16/17 months.
I'm with the yes crowd. DS was still waking once - at around 4/5am - when he was 6.5 months. I've never really thought of it as a difficult start because he has always re-settled well after feeds, give or take the odd occasion. It was just that i kept getting told that 'my LO is sleeping through at 4 weeks' that i thought i was doing something wrong and needed to think about 'night weaning'. He got there all on his own (11 hour stretch) at about 7.5 months, when he was on 3 solid meals per day plus milk feeds. It just clicked into place one day and that was it. He's just a baby who still needed the night feeds because he likes his food and had a genuine need for it. Some babies get there sooner, some later. You'll be hard pushed to find an adult who is waking 3 times per night to raid the fridge, so the good news is that all babies get there - in their own time!
I think it depends on the baby. DS slept through the night (i.e. 11 hours) without my help at 3 months, then went through sleep regression at 4.5 mths and woke at least once a night until he was 7 mths. Then all by himself went back to sleeping 7 to 7 after that (was FF at that stage). DD completely different - at 6 mths, never slept longer than a 3-4 hour stretch (neither did her tired mummy) and would wake to feed 3-5 times a night or rather needed bottle to get herself back to sleep. I could tell she didn't really need the milk as she is FF now so I could see how much she was having. I honestly think she would have kept doing that indefinitely. So I decided to wean her off all but 1 night feed after 6 months. It has helped tremendously and now she is waking up just once a night to feed, and settles herself back to sleep most of the time, and is much happier and more rested in the daytime (and naps better). Then again, could be just a coincidence and she was developmentally ready now.
Hi, I love your hubby's attitude, I thought the thread was going to be something sterner! - the answer is yes, if you are of the nature to give it enough time to pan out naturally (which I think is the best way...) - but in my experience that means going easy until well into the first year (I got a bit sterner at 1 year with sleeping through at 15.5 months but glad I did it this way - they are not little for very long, don't fret it
Thank you for your replies. It is quite refreshing to here that if we are patient our DD may learn to sleep better without us embarking on any drastic measures.
We are going to being night weaning in the next week. She currently feeds around 11pm, 3am and 5.30am. The plan is to try and nudge the 3am feed out but I actually think she BF better at night due to lack of distractions. We thought we might introduce a bottle (at night only)...any suggestions as to whether this might work?
Also she currently uses a dummy to SS herself off to sleep at night. Do you think this could be a problem?
Sorry to ask so many questions we are just wondering what battles are worth fighting.
I think, though don't quote me on it that if you do use a dummy you should keep using it until a certain age. I don't know what that age is, it might be 6 months or might be a year. Maybe start a thread but I'm sure there was research to suggest that it reduces the risk of SIDS if you leave the dummy in until a certain age. Probably something to do with the sucking reflex but I'm guessing.
In terms of a bottle, there's not harm in it but I found that dd bf much better at night- no distractions as you say- and with bf making up the bulk of calories until they're 12 months, I was happy to demand feed until then. But it's a decision you make to suit the whole family. I wasn't going back to work for example and was happy cosleeping so it was more manageable than it might have been iyswim.
My DS was a pretty terrible sleeper at 6.5mo. He got a bit better (e.g. would at least start the night in his cot) and then started sleeping through at about 10 months. However this only lasted 2 months and he then started waking frequently again, and sleeping with us all night. He never self-settled.
We just did CC at 14mo, which I think he was developmentally ready for as it took two nights, one of around an hours crying and two wake ups, one of 10 minutes crying and one wake up. He is now self-settling with no aids. Which is great because he now weights 10kg and rocking him for at least 30 mins was doing my back in!
So I guess my experience is that yes, they may get there themselves, but they also may go back to the waking later, for whatever reason!
Good luck with the night weaning.
I would say yes. DS was waking every 1-3 hours at 6 months and had been since 4 months. He has suddenly started pretty much sleeping through (8pm-5am, then bf/doze until 6:30/7) at 10 months with very little intervention from us. All we've done recently is settle him in the cot rather than feed/rock to sleep, but he'd started doing longer stretches even before that. We had tried all sorts of sleep training bar full-on CC - including night weaning - at 6 months and used a sleep consultant, and nothing had worked. I don't think he was developmentally ready then.
He has always been v sensitive to developmental leaps/sleep regressions, so am fully expecting it to all go tits up again soon
Yes, she will definitely learn to sleep by herself given time - the question is how long I suppose, and I don't think there are any hard and fast answers to this. I also think that you can teach a baby to sleep better: there are situations where it's just not tenable to carry on the way things are (exhausted mum, exhausted baby, etc...) and you're not being a bad mum just for wanting some uninterrupted sleep! I am guessing that if you're BF then you're doing the lion's share of the night wakings? It's totally up to you of course - if you're happy to wait it out, then go for it: she'll get better on her own eventually, but there are definitely things you can try to improve things and it needn't involve crying.
First thing to address might be hunger - if she's taking big feeds during the night and is very distractable during the day she might actually need those night feeds. How is she getting along with solid foods? One thing to check is the calorie content of any weaning foods - many of them are bulky but actually not very calorific (especially fruit and veg purees with no protein or fat in them).
There's a good book called The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elisabeth Pantley: has lots of ideas for improving your baby's sleep gently.
Re the dummy - if she can't yet find and replace it herself then it could well be the problem. Quite possibly she's developed the totally natural association between sucking and going to sleep. When she stirs, and the dummy's not there any more, panic, waaaaaaaaaaaaah! Again, the Pantley book has ideas for weaning off suck-to-sleep habits.
Yes from me too. DD started sleeping through at about 9 months. Although we had a dreadful time for the 6 weeks before that.
Now she's a year old we're working on getting her to self settle.
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