Sleep training for a 7.5 month old - which method?(4 Posts)
So I am at my wits end. My 7.5 month old wakes every 2 - 3 hours at night. She eats 3 good meals a day, has a breastmilk feed mid morning along with a snack and I am trying to get her to drink formula for a mid afternoon feed ready for when I go back to work but she's not too keen. She also has a snack mid afternoon too. This is all on the advice of the HV as she was waking every 2 hours from about 3 months.
The food led to better sleep for about a week but now she is back to her old tricks and with a return to work coming up and a very active 3 year old I am beginning to struggle. I go to bed no later than 8.30/9pm and I can't remember the last time DH amd I had any time together.
I have decided that she can't possibly be hungry at all those wakings so think sleep training is in order (I am not a fan but then my sanity needs to be preserved). I've done a bit of reading and CC seems to have the best results but I'm not sure I can leave DD to cry. In my reading I also came across a lot of negative stuff about it too e.g. cortisol levels increasing and a sad poem written from the pov of the baby, which has made me question myself.
So mumsnet I would like to know what method you used, how long it took to work and how you coped if you did CC. My 'fingers crossed it will get better' method is clearly crap!
Have you ruled out reasons for night waking? Mine were like that - they had reflux and food intolerances. Dairy, soya and green veg/onions/citrus were triggers. Even stuff like pineapple cooked in cakes gave my ds a bad night.
You don't have to do cc. You could try settling her without a feed if she's fed within 2 hours? Also make sure she's well winded after each feed.
Sounds to me like she just cannot self-settle so you need her to learn to self settle. Everyone (adults/children/babies) has sleep cycles of about 2 hours, after which we might be slightly disturbed in our sleep, roll over and start another sleep cycle. Your daughter cannot do the 'just turn over and go back to sleep' thing.
You cannot teach her how to do this because you are not inside her body. She has to learn for herself that when she wakes, she does not need to get up, call you, be fed etc. She just has to turn over and go back to sleep.
I am a hard woman when I need to be. But I am the grown up with my children so I do know best, even when it isn't very nice. I did CC with DC1. I didn't need to with my other children since I didn't make the same mistakes again.
So when I did this with DC1 she screamed for about 3 hours then slept then woke and screamed for another three hours and slept the first night. Screamed for half an hour then slept all night second night. Screamed for 10 minutes and slept all night third night. Then it was sorted.
The scare mongering about cortisol levels increasing - you need to take that in context. Studies on stress levels are about prolonged increased levels - so in children who are abused or neglected. Children who constantly spend their life being scared all of the time, for months and years at a time.
A few hours of screaming per night for a few nights (certainly no more than a week) is not what these studies about cortisol levels increasing are about. It's probably a lot less crying than your DD did as a newborn (like all newborns).
We did gradual retreat. It worked, although we have early wakings now which it isn't working for.
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