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I need help

(15 Posts)
Ficidy Tue 25-Feb-14 08:47:08

My baby boy is 6.5 months old. He has never (bar a couple of times around Christmas when he slept until 6am - this, however, was short-lived!) slept through the night. I'm back at work next week, so I really need to get this sorted out over the next couple of nights.

I've tried crying it out and it works ok for his naps during the day, but I just don't have the willpower to keep it up at night. He starts off by whimpering, which quickly escalates to screams and the only thing that will calm him is a bottle. Last night he woke at 2.45, so I gave him 3oz and he went back to sleep until 5am. He was inconsolable then too, so I gave him the rest of the bottle (7oz altogether). Usually, if I was to give him a bottle during the night, it would be a full bottle, so sometimes he'd have had 2 bottles before getting up at 7.30am (this is included in his ounces for the day though - it's not like he's getting extra ounces). He won't take a soother anymore.

I know he's teething, which obviously isn't going to help matters, but is there anything else I can do (besides crying it out) to help him to sleep through the night? I really need to get on top of this before next Monday or I'll be in an awful way going back to work. Thanks.

MyNameIsKenAdams Tue 25-Feb-14 08:52:29

But he is only six months old? He is still so so little. Sleep training really isnt recommended this young.

Do you have an OH who can pick up some of the night wakings once you are both working?

Ficidy Tue 25-Feb-14 09:09:23

Really? Is it not? When is it recommended? I don't know how I'm going to cope being back at work, if I've been up a lot during the night with him. I have a very demanding job and need to be fully awake for it!

I have a great dh, but unfortunately, we live in a small apartment and my parents will be staying for a few weeks when I go back to work, so my husband, myself and the baby will all be in the same room, so we won't be able to share looking after him at night.

WorkingBling Tue 25-Feb-14 09:14:23

I went back to work when ds was 7 months and he was also a terrible sleeper. But actually, I had a period where I realised he really just was hungry so he would wake at about 3, take a bottle then go happily back to sleep until about 6:30/7. As long as I made sure I was in bed before 11 it meant I for four hours uninterrupted sleep then was up for 20 minutes then got another three.

Some children really do need the night bottles. I have ds one in the night this weekend for the first time in months - he's 2.9 now - and he then slep through until I has to wake him at 7:30! Dh and I are starting to consider reintroducing the dream feed!! grin

PickledLily Tue 25-Feb-14 09:42:43

Take a deep breath - you're not going to like what I say (I didn't when I was in your situation)...

I think you may have to accept that your baby (like the majority of other 6 month olds) is not yet ready to sleep through the night. good info here. Even with a baby sleeping, you need to accept that you will never be 'fully awake' like you were before having a baby.

Having had a non-sleeper who only started sleeping through at 22 months (sorry!) and returning to work in a demanding role, I would say chuck all the "he should be doing xyz" out of the window and do whatever it takes for you all to get some sleep. Feed him, cuddle him, co-sleep, pull cot next to you, get DH to deal with half the night and sleep in another room, or your parents to do the wake ups while you wear earplugs, put parents in the lounge, whatever it takes and works for you... It doesn't matter about what you 'should' be doing. You can always train him later once he has developed further and is better able to cope. Training will be very difficult (and heart-breaking) if he's battling teething/separation anxiety anyway, and 6 months is still very little.

I'm sure you are alreayd, but for teething keep dosing him up on Nurofen as it works much better than Calpol for teeth.

YokoUhOh Tue 25-Feb-14 09:50:35

I'm a teacher (also very demanding job) and co-sleep with 15mo DS, who is addicted to boob. Generally, he does a 5-hour stint in his 3-sided cot next to our bed from 7pm, then is on and off the boob from 12-6. I'm veeerrrry slooooowly working on sleep-training him (Dr Jay Gordon method) but it's not recommended for small babies like yours.

Applebloss Tue 25-Feb-14 10:16:43

I think 6 months is actually a good age to teach your baby how to self-settle. I would offer him a bottle ( in the dark without any noise). at say between 10-11.30pm ('dream feed' or 'roll over feed'). Baby will be half asleep and easy (in theory) to put back to sleep in cot. You or your partner or parents could do this while the others get an early night.

Then if/when he wakes later you could attempt to settle him without the bottle. It sounds like he might have sleep-association with bottle. If you know he has had decent amount for the dream feed you won't feel so bad about encouraging him to go back to sleep without bottle (try firm gentle patting on bottom while he is in cot).

Applebloss Tue 25-Feb-14 10:22:53

I can also relate to everything the other posters have said. Don't feel guilty if you need to go back to 'survival mode' ie doing anything to get some sleep. It is very hard coping back at work with a poor sleeper.

Sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to get through the nights so that you can get through the day at work. Good luck - I hope you parents can help you out a bit.

Andcake Tue 25-Feb-14 10:42:41

Survival mode has kept me going back at work. We had to co-sleep - the idea that at 6 mo ds would have taken a bottle and then rolled over to sleep is hilarious - basically he would just stay awake as we had trained him as advised not to go to sleep on the bottle. but all babies are different. CIO never worked either he just becomes more awake if we don't rapidly respond. miss it by a moment and he is UP.
the first night i co-slept he slept through no feeds at all and has not had a feed since we did that at 7 months!
After trying gradual retreat at 12 months he currently he spends half the night in a cot and half in with us. most days at work have been fine.

PickledLily Tue 25-Feb-14 10:53:42

Andcake - your post has got me wondering whether co-sleeping (in bed or in a cot next to the bed) with a bottle fed baby is actually more likely to result in a 'sleep-through' than co-sleeping with a BF baby, not because formula being heavier to digest than BF but because BF babies are like truffle hunters if there's a whiff of milk just a few cm away from their nose? or maybe it was just my little truffle hunter

Andcake Tue 25-Feb-14 17:12:21

Pickledlily that could be the case. I exclusively expressed due to latch problems and it was mad when at about 6.5 months when ds had been waking every hour for weeks one night dp decided to sleep in another room to catch up on sleep at midnight ish I just bought ds in with me and he slept through until 7, we tried the same thing the next night and he basically didn't need a bottle after bedtime. Two days later we took the side off the cot to make a co sleeping side car thing and didn't look back.

we did this

ok he is now a toddler and spends half the night in with us but I think he is going through a sleep regression as he is getting more words.

Most of the working mums I know seem to co-sleep to some extent - I actually think that more working mums may have created a rise in it!

Also it is actually lovely to get that time with ds - even when he was being a tinker and wanting to chat at 4 am this morning I was really glad I was with him.

Good luck with going back to work. Be gentle on yourself. Also read up on safe co sleeping etc maybe try it a night or two with just you and baby. I also think its helped us with the early waking thing - at the weekends when no alarm clock is set he can sleep until 8.30 which is bliss!

Andcake Tue 25-Feb-14 17:14:26

sorry pickled responded to you as though you were OP. - sorry oops - a bit sleep deprived today

Ficidy Thu 27-Feb-14 10:27:08

Thanks everyone. We do co-sleep a little bit, for instance, if he wakes at 5.30/6.00, I take him in with me until we get up. I wouldn't feel comfortable co-sleeping for the whole night (I toss and turn a lot!), so I think I'd wake up more tired. I think I just have to get used to the idea that this is how it's going to be. My worry isn't having to get up with him during the night, it's whether I'll be able to fall back asleep when I know I have to be up shortly afterwards for work. Hmm, time will tell on that one I guess.

I was chatting to a friend yesterday. Her little boy is 10 months and has been sleeping through the night since he was very little. I really felt like I was doing something wrong with my little man. It's just frustrating that some babies do it and others don't!

mrsspagbol Thu 27-Feb-14 10:32:34

Sorry OP but BWAHAAAHAAAHA at "truffle hunter"!!! My dd is one too grin

Applebloss Fri 28-Feb-14 06:41:19

Sorry, I didn't mean they 'rollover to sleep'. 'Rollover feed' is just a term I have heard like 'dream feed'. They have the bottle feed while they are still half asleep - you lift them out give them bottle at about 10.30 pm and put them back into cot where, hopefully, they will settle without too much fuss as they never fully woke up and their tummy is full for the next 6-8 hours. This is the theory anyway....

Disclaimer: Co-sleeping ultimately worked best for us too. Not a fan of CIO.

The reality is that it is tough with a poor sleeper. It is very frustrating and some some people have no idea how hard it is. There really is no magic trick to make a non-sleeper sleep.

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