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My 7 month old hardly sleeps

(15 Posts)
Binks123 Thu 25-Jun-15 08:00:15

Hi, I would just like some mum to mum advice with my little one :-) He's 7 months old and hardly sleeps - he doesn't sleep during the day and at night he, at best has about 5 hours if that sometimes. I was advised to try the controlled crying and then the disappearing chair, non of which have worked. I realised through doing the controlled crying my boy has a very strong will, so leaving him to cry it out and hope he gives up and goes to sleep is not working (not that I was a fan of that method anyway). I just wondered if any other mums had any different advice or are having the same problem? I would be so greatful :-)

FATEdestiny Thu 25-Jun-15 11:42:06

That sounds like significant sleep deprivation for your baby. Way, way too little sleep.

What do you currently do to get him to sleep? Have you tried a dummy? Rocking? Carseat? Pushchair? What about feeding to the 'milk drunk' point?

Babies need help to get to sleep. They can't do it themselves. Perhaps changing your expectations will help? No baby just lies down and goes to sleep, they need some comfort or help to sooth to sleep.

What's baby's daytime routine like in terms of solids, milk feeds and sleeps?

Binks123 Thu 25-Jun-15 13:58:15

Yes, this is what is worrying me, I've spoken to the HV and she said that he needs to learn to self sooth and I shouldn't pick him up and I shouldn't feed him through the night - I still pick him up, feed him, rock him etc to get him to sleep (as I don't believe in leaving them to cry it out) and he can be sound in my arms but as soon as I put him down he's wide awake!

He has breakfast and dinner solids and I'm now introducing him to lunches plus milk in between. I try to settle him for a nap in the afternoon and he rarely stays asleep after I put him down :-( but I'm hoping this phase will pass when his teething calms down!?

FATEdestiny Thu 25-Jun-15 14:10:58

Is he getting only 5 hours sleep with you feeding in the night and rocking?

Or he gets 5 hours sleep unless you feed in the night and pick him up and rock him?

How many bottles of milk is your DS having over 24 hours?

Have you tried lying him on your bed and going to sleep with him for his daytime naps?

7 months old you want to be aiming for 2 to 4 naps per day and around 4 hours of daytime sleep (plus 11-12 hours at night). Not enough daytime sleep often leads to nighttime issues. Daytime naps are easier to solve.

Binks123 Thu 25-Jun-15 14:18:21

He is breastfed on demand, the 5 hours sleep is with him being fed :-( I try every day to get him to sleep - feeding him, keeping it calm and not loads going on etc. but he can't settle and rolls about. I laid with him for 30 mins and it didn't work. If I knew he was getting abit of sleep during the day I would feel better, but he isn't, he's quite stubborn and doesn't give in to his tiredness

FATEdestiny Thu 25-Jun-15 14:23:15

What about feeding him lying down during, and just leaving him there boob in mouth. It's warm weather, take your top off (sleep on a towel!) and give him free access to boob throughout his sleep.

Could hunger be keeping him awake?

How would you feel about a nighttime and naptime bottle of formula?

Binks123 Thu 25-Jun-15 14:39:45

Yeah I've tried that too, although I think I may try that again he may take better to it now!

I would quite happily try that if it helps him out :-) I know they say breastfed babies find it hard then going onto a bottle ...

Thankyou for your advice by the way, much appreciated :-)

NickyEds Thu 25-Jun-15 14:53:23

Goodness op that sounds so hard. If your baby is only having around 5 hours in 24 he will be chronically sleep deprived (not to mention you!). I'm not sure your hv approach is right. I don't think that you should focus on self settling at all yet. IMHO you should be aiming for any sleep any way, rocking, feeding, dummy, white noise, car/buggy trip etc. Aim for 3 naps a day. You say he rarely stays asleep after you put him down- for now at least I wouldn't put him down- just let him nap on you if it gets him to sleep. What happens at bedtime now? Do you feed him to sleep, he goes 5 hours then is awake or is it in bits and pieces?? Often even ardent nap refusers can't resist the buggy-how about a big feed followed by a loooong walk?

FATEdestiny Thu 25-Jun-15 14:57:23

I fully agree with any sleep any way

RedToothBrush Thu 25-Jun-15 15:40:45

Have you tried co-sleeping? We've had problems with DS and sleep since four months old. He previously would self settle and had been sleeping through. This was the point when he started to be able to move around and wouldn't keep still and it all went tits up. In the end we resorted to co-sleeping for our sanity. In order to get DS to go to sleep now I have to hold him so he can't wriggle around too much. Keeping his feet still is particularly important. In the evening this can involve a bit of a wrestling match for 20mins or so until he starts to calm down. No eye contact or smiling as that's engaging with him. Its not ideal and has its own problems but DS is sleeping and I doubt he would otherwise as he's just so interested in the world. Once asleep he's fairly good though he does wake up a lot still for feeding. He will settle quickly in my arms. I also find that once he is over tired he becomes a monster who won't sleep at all, so I have to work on it constantly. Its currently quite prohibitive during the day as DS will not sleep without me being next to him, preferably hugging him, but it does pay off at night if he does have the day time naps. I wonder if there is an element of separation anxiety going on with it, as he previously would settle with DH and no longer will and he does seemed to have improved slightly as his daytime separation anxiety has improved slightly.

I don't know if that helps at all, but 90% of the sleep advice I've read seems to involve your child not wanting to move around in their cot constantly at this age or is simply for older children. I've not found anything else remotely useful or seemingly appropriate.

Binks123 Thu 25-Jun-15 16:38:54

NickyEds, I totally agree with you, I think if you have a way to get them asleep and it works e.g feeding them til they fall asleep, why not!? I feed him til he drops off then when he is sound I pop him in his cot and he sleeps for at the most a couple of hours then he wakes and I feed him again but then he's a lot harder to put down and cries everytime I put him down :-( yeah sometimes the walks help and other times he gets frustrated being in the seat and just screams lol -can't win-

Redtoothbrush, Yeah we do co sleep occasionally but he just seems so awake and alert when I'm trying to get him down. I reckon my little one has abit of anxiety separation too!

They go through some stuff for being so small, colic, teething, separation anxiety, not sleeping lol

RedToothBrush Thu 25-Jun-15 16:59:56

DS won't go down early. Its usually pretty late when he does and he's wide awake. It turns into a wrestling match trying to get him to go calm. I just have to hold him, rock him and hope really. Some days its ten minutes. Others its an hour an a half.

I can not put him down during the night once he's woken up, otherwise he wakes even more and then just screams. He does seem to need the constant reassurance at the moment so that's what I'm doing. He also hates waking up and me not being there and this has seemed to make his sleeping on the whole worse as he fights it more.

In a way I'm envious of people who can get their DC to sleep in their cots but DS is doing ok and its working for us at the moment.

Binks123 Thu 25-Jun-15 17:45:04

It seems like we have similar issues! Most of my friends with babies seem to have cracked the sleeping and never had an issue, which makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong, but it helps to hear from people who are going through similar things. Yeah I spose we just have to do what's best and works with our own and not everything other people say necessarily works for others I guess. I'm glad it's working for you atm :-)

RedToothBrush Thu 25-Jun-15 23:21:17

I think one of the best things you can do is actually to stop listening to the HV and just work out what your son responds to best. DS is feed to sleep, rocked to sleep and co-sleeps BECAUSE IT WORKS when nothing else seems to despite trying repeatedly. I don't buy into 'making a rod for your own back' because I don't get how its a rod if the alternatives are working anyway. I figure he'll grow out of 'bad habits' when he's old.

DS seems to have hit certain milestones at different points to other babies. He's ahead on certain things - most notably moving and teething which I do think have made a massive difference to how he develops in other areas - like sleep and weaning. I've found this hard because the advice is out of kilter with this and found that I've had to find my own way as a result. Its not the way that others would recommend. I dunno I find it frustrating and makes me question myself at times. Yet I really don't know what else I could do and its not been for lack of trying.

Binks123 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:52:57

I agree with you, definitely! I don't believe the HVs advice is always right, and pushing one method isn't always right, especially when it makes you doubt yourself and your instinct.

Yeah my little one has recently had 2 teeth come through at the bottom and he has been in a lot of distress because of that so I'm wondering if that could have possibly thrown his sleeping out of balance.

I feel your pain with it as I have tried various things aswell, I hope you manage to find away soon that works for you both

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