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7 month old breastfed baby wakes 6-7 times a night

(25 Posts)
omio Mon 19-Sep-11 21:41:54

My 7 month old goes to bed at 7:30 after dinner,bath, pj,book Breastfeed and a song we do this every night and he falls asleep like a dream. However he does not sleep through. I find that he wakes 6-7 times a night from midnight onwards and sometimes before that. Is this normal and what can i do to help him to sleep through the night?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 19-Sep-11 21:44:24

At 7 months and once ds2 was eating 3 good meals a day I just went cold turkey and stopped night feeds (he was having 3 iirc).

It only took 3 or 4 nights for him to start sleeping through.

boredbuthappy Mon 19-Sep-11 21:54:33

my 6.5 month old DS does this as well (waking 6-7 times a night) but he's not even looking for a feed. He eats three good meals a day and had plenty of milk during the day and is still waking up. I'm desperate to get to the bottom of this.

OP, I don't think this is normal by the way.

Daisy1986 Mon 19-Sep-11 22:05:45

My 24 month still does this lol from what Ive read unless you go cold turkey its very common and most people who breast feed for a long time tend to co-sleep when it gets too much for them. You can try offering water instead of milk I would recomend a partner or someone doing this as baby associates you with milk.

They also wake up and feed more when ill/teething/ working on new developments or going through sleep regression. LO sleep cycles are shorter and lighter then ours which is why they wake up so often about 90mins each and this lasts untill they are 4 yrs old so unless they can settle themselves to sleep theyll want a feed

My own philosophy is to just go with the flow my LO still feeds to sleep in her own bed when she wakes if im still up i feed her back to sleep in her own bed if Im in bed when she wakes up she comes in with me. Sometimes I wish I didnt still do it as it is exhausting particularly if she wants to feed alot in the night. However, every single benefit that they talk about being linked to breast feeding I see in my DD and thats what keeps me going.

Hopefully you can figure it out and if not they'll grow out of it soon enough

omio Mon 19-Sep-11 23:58:58

thank you for your advice, however i dont think im ready to stop feeding as i really enjoy it and he will not take a bottle if if its got my milk in it. we already co sleep however im worried he will roll out of bed so i hardly sleep at all.

ilovemountains Tue 20-Sep-11 00:08:42

Don't stop breastfeeding, just stop doing it at night. However if you are co-sleeping that is going to be very difficult.

omio Tue 20-Sep-11 00:12:31

we only co sleep because its easier and i get some sleep this way.

TheBride Tue 20-Sep-11 00:27:30

Ok- well put him in his own room, and then once that's established, just cut out the night feeds. Don't ignore him, but just go and resettle without feeding. It'll take a few nights, but it'll be worth it. He''ll learn to self settle.

Grumpygils Tue 20-Sep-11 00:30:19

It sounds within the range of normal to me, but you must be knackered! If you post this in the breastfeeding section as baby wants to fed 6-7 times a night then you may get an interesting selection of ideas that might help smile.

omio Tue 20-Sep-11 00:36:01

thank u all very much.
Grumpygils : I am knackered,lol. But its not that hes looking for feeds all the time i think he goes for the breast for comfort more than anything

TheBride Tue 20-Sep-11 00:52:12

Omio

What I would say is that if you want to improve the situation, then you can. If you're happy feeding this many times a night, then carry on. It's perfectly fine, but what I'm saying is that don't let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting to cut the night feeds down and get some proper sleep. These threads can bring out quite a lot of "well I'm still co-sleeping and feeding 8 times a night and he's three. I haven't slept more than 2 hours at a time for 8 years." (undercurrent: and you are somehow inadequate if you don't want to do it too) Fine if that's what they want to do, but you can carry on bf without feeding at night (or at least by getting it down to one feed).

You're probably right re comfort. I could definitely tell when DS started feeding for comfort at night and not really needing it- there's a difference between hungry cry and "I want a cuddle" cry. That was when I started gently discouraging the night feeds, so I'd go in, pick him up and cuddle him, then put him back and stay with him till he fell asleep. The first few nights that took about 40 mins and I was so close to "screw it, I'll just feed him". The third night took about 15 mins, and then regular night waking stopped.

My disclaimer is that at this stage he was only having one night feed, so might take a bit longer for you, but actually, one night feed is quite do-able.

frutilla Tue 20-Sep-11 00:58:28

I co-sleep with my 7-month and he does wake 4 or 5 times in the early hours but goes to sleep again after a short feed or reassurance. My other one was like that too, so think it's normal. I use one of those big u-shaped feeding pillows to keep him from rolling...

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 20-Sep-11 10:53:18

Yes, I should have added that I continued to bf him until 12 months, just not at night after 7 months.

It's very much each to their own, but tbh I was fed up of the night feeds and knew that he was getting plenty of milk and food during the day. I think that I felt better about my decision to stop feeding him at night after we'd actually done it. As it was so easy, I knew that he didn't really need them.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

bigkidsdidit Tue 20-Sep-11 11:22:03

Another one coming on to say my DS stopped doing this when I stopped bf at night. Once on three good meals and lots of milk throughout the day, it was clear to me he wasn't hungry at night but needed to feed to get back to sleep. I gradually night weaned - he didn't really notice, just got used to having all his calories over 12 hours not 24- and DH did as many wakeups as possible. Once DS realised milk wasn't coming he slept longer and longer and is now 11 hours straight.

As others have said, you know your baby - if you think he's genuinely hungry, or if he doesn't eat well, keep the night feeds. If it's obviously comfort sucking, gentle night (and only night) weaning might do the trick.

Bet01 Tue 20-Sep-11 13:35:41

Hi OP, my DS (almost 7 months) was the same, maybe slightly worse, from 3 months until a couple of weeks ago. I kept thinking 'right, im definitely going to do something about this' but then not get round to it as I was too knackered. But he started going longer in-between feeding/comfort sucking all on his own. He goes to bed at 7.30 and wakes quite frequently until about 10pm, but then he sleeps until 12.30, then til 4.30, 6.30 and finally 8am. Others may think this sounds terrible but it's so much better than it was.
I guess I'm saying that things are likely to improve with time, even if you don't do anything. It gradually gets better until one day you realise you're not about to sob through utter exhaustion. At least, that's my experience. Bloody hard though, isn't it?!

sc2987 Fri 23-Sep-11 21:41:41

Mine is identical, waking every 1-2 hrs at almost 7 months. I co-sleep and feed her back to sleep. But your problem seems to be more with the falling out of bed part. So get some bolsters to put under the sheet, or a bed guard so you can relax between wakings. I don't try to change what my daughter does, she will grow out of it eventually.

eversoslightlytired Fri 23-Sep-11 23:14:54

My 6.5mo is the same. She is in her own room. BUT the difference is mine is showing no interest whatsoever in food or a bottle. She is also a big girl (on the 91/98th centile line) but only wants to breastfeed!

deviladvocate Fri 23-Sep-11 23:22:01

omio you need a bed rail - i co-slept with all three of mine and having a rail on the outside of the bed ensures that they can't roll out, plus it means you can make use of the whole bed. To be honest your baby is far more likely to gravitate towards you and your boobs than the edge of the bed anyway! We have a babydan one but i saw a lovely white wooden one the other day, will have a search and see if i can see it x

deviladvocate Fri 23-Sep-11 23:25:35

found it - www.amazon.co.uk/BabyDan-Wooden-Bed-Guard-White/dp/B001CRA5QO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316816601&sr=8-1

MustControlFistOfDeath Fri 23-Sep-11 23:26:44

My 10mo DS is growing out of this (thank Christ), I remember at the 6mo mark I was just about losing the will to go on through lack of sleep.

Now he goes to sleep at 7.30 and wakes up at approx 4 hourly intervals. 2 nights ago he slept for 6 hours straight - I would not have believed it possible a few months ago.

It will get better with time.

deviladvocate Fri 23-Sep-11 23:36:32

All three of mine woke at least every 2-3 hours for months and months, it's so desperate when you're in that phase. Happily the youngest one has just in the last 10 days started sleeping through, she's 16 months although for the last few months has only been waking once or twice a night. It will get better and you're giving her such a wonderful start - well done for sticking it out xxx

katesterb Sat 24-Sep-11 07:10:09

Hi, i felt like i was sinking fast until i read this. Mr DS is 5 half months and he gets up frequently in the night. He usually goes down between 7.30 and 9 but almost always wakes up around 20 minutes after i put him down for a feed. He either falls asleep on the breast or rocks to sleep. He doen't do self soothing. He then wakes up around eleven, one, three and if i'm lucky six but usually 4.30. I thought that i was the only one in the world at the moment. I go to a breast feeding group and most of the babies that are around ds age aresleeping through. I would try rocking him back to slepp rather than feeding him but i am so tired it is easier just to feed him. He won't take a bottle or a cup and is on three vege or fruit meals a day currently as he is a big lad. He sleeps in his own cot but often ends up in bed with us as sometimes he won't go down back in his own cot. Sometimes he will wake up an hourish after he has a feed and if i put him into bed with me he just goes back to sleep so i think he just wants a cuddle.

deviladvocate Sat 24-Sep-11 17:32:59

hi katesterb, you're certainly not on your own! i had a similar experience with my first baby in that most of the ante natal friends i made went down the gina route, i felt completely isolated and a bit weird for doing what felt right for us, which included co-sleeping, using a sling and breastfeeding on demand. it wasn't until i found the dr sears website www.askdrsears.com/ that i realised that i wasn't the only one doing this! i stopped trying to force the baby to sleep in the cot (like your baby she would not stay in there for longer than 45 mins) and just nursed her to sleep in our bed; i used a bed rail to ensure she didn't roll out. Afterwards we couldn't figure out why we'd wasted months trying to conform to a norm that didn't work for her! We didn't even attempt to use the cot with our other two. bedtime became a calm, happy time and has continued that way since. granted, they all woke loads in the night but i was there to nurse them back off and they gradually went longer and longer until they didn't need it anymore. still not quite at that point with number three but we're close. trust your instincts, you know your baby better than anyone - if he doesn't like the cot stop beating yourself up and use the bed instead - co-sleeping rocks! I just latch on and go back to sleep. can't do that in a cot grin

roadrunnerbeepbeep Sun 25-Sep-11 22:00:00

OP - haven't read all the posts but it sounds as though your baby is just hungry. What else are you feeding him during the day? Can you up the solids he is getting. If s/he is getting enough calories earlier in the day s/he should sleep a bit better at night.

deviladvocate Thu 29-Sep-11 22:22:42

Hey omio hope you're getting a bit more sleep?

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