Any advice for 8 month old?(6 Posts)
8 mo dd2 has always been a terrible sleeper, waking every 10-90 mins after 10pm till just 2 week ago when she has started occasionally going for longer eg 3hr stretches. I've worked really hard to help her to sleep better. I don't have the heart for Controlled crying but have been reassuring her with shushing / dummy inserting and previously feeding or picking up, though I try to avoid those now.
We've got to the point where she doesn't need feeding at night (gradually night weaned), though we sometimes give water if we think she is thirsty. She's learning to put her dummy in and this has helped enormously. She spends the vast majority of the night in her own cot and self settles with at dummy at bedtime 30 mins after last feed. She's mix fed milk and fully weaned onot food.
I'm beyond exhausted but very stubborn so think we have achieved a lot since 6 months where she was Co sleeping and feeding 6 or 7 times a night.
I don't want.to Co sleep ideally, though I'm happy for her to come in at 5am.
The reason I need advice is that despite all this she still often wakes every 10 or 20 minuts or is awake for hours at night. In fact she's only had 2 or 3 decent nights in total, and her big sister woke on those grr! She naps for 1.5-2.5hrs total in the day, 3 naps usually, so don't think she's having too many or too few naps. The only thing that settled her last night was literally coming in to bed and lying on my face for an hour, after which she fell asleep about 4am after waking at 2. Dd1 gets up at 5.30 no matter what so I have no option to lie in.
Is there anything I can do to help get a better nights sleep myself? Only a month till I'm back in work where i make important decision's (life or death type stuff). I don't want to bring her into bed as I don't sleep as well.
Will it just get better in time?
What will make this worse (ie if I keep bringing her in bed will this become a habit? I know some people are happy to Co sleep long term but I am not).
Is there anything else I can do to help her?
If anyone has any advice Id be really grateful thank you.
Answering without a magical cure but I have dd who is 9 months and have son who is older and remember this phase. She was waking a lot as you describe until eventually falling into deep sleep c. 2am. Things which helped us...calpol - she wasn't showing massive signs of teething but seemed to have big relief 10-15min after dose so something must have been bothering her. I usually re settle by feeding (argh I know) until 10pm ish then I give up and give dose and that gets her through several hours. Not every night needed, but when she's waking a lot.
Other thing is learning to go to sleep by herself. I was feeding, putting into cot asleep ever...so...gently and if she woke would start the whole routine again. I became exhausted and she knew this was how it was so was waking for me all the time. I got a cot music and lights thing and if I can't put her in asleep easily, I turn in and walk out. Distract myself for 5-6 mins, maybe tiny bit longer whilst she cries and 9 times out of 10 she's rolled over and gone to sleep after having an angry crying hissy fit. This made a massive difference and now she does long chunks of sleep. We were just getting ourselves into a big co dependent exhausting mess. And I had enough of co sleeping too so feel your pain.
Oh and I gave her loads more to eat than I was doing. It all coincided with big increases of movement so think she needed more fuel than I was giving.
This is what I would do:
Get rid of the dummy as it is not helping
Naps : 9-9.45 and 12-2.30
Bottle on waking; breakfast at 8, protein based lunch at 11, milk before nap (boob or sippy cup), bottle at 3, carb based dinner at 5, bottle just before bed.
Put down awake for all naps and wakings. Make sure baby is warm enough.
we have achieved a lot since 6 months where she was Co sleeping and feeding 6 or 7 times a night.
You have, without doubt. But if she was cosleeping and being fed to sleep only two months ago, it's unreasonable to think that comfort mechanism will just vanish.
How about bringing the cot into your room until baby learns to sleep through?
It seems you expected to go from fully parental comforting (feeding to sleep and cosleeping) to fully independant sleeping, without there being a transition period. As you are finding, your daughter needs help to adjust to this change.
if I keep bringing her in bed will this become a habit?
If cosleeping never was a habit then the occassional night, when extra reassurance is needed, won't be a problem. Different matter when cosleeping was a long-term habit and you are trying to break that habit.
Is there anything else I can do to help her?
Make sure she can find the dumny easily in the night, she can't put her own dummy in if she can't find it.
Keep practicing putting it in herself (in playtime put dummy year upwards on the floor, away from her. So she has to move to get it, pick it up, turn it around and over in her hands, figure out the right way around, put it in). She'll be on the cusp of learning these skills. It's a dummy game-changer.
Have more comforters too. Something that smells of you will be useful. An unwashed pillow case from your bed maybe? Or a Muslim square that's been in your bra. Much as it may not be convenient to you, it's you that your daughter wants to feel comforted, so things that remind her of you will at least give a bit of comfort.
Then accept she'll need comfort in the night from you, so make it as easy as possible for you to sleep while being there. So cot in your room rather than you having to get up. Cot within arms reach. Remove clocks from your room so you stop paying attention to the time since last wake up(psychological, but works to feel better rested). Don't count wake ups.
Can DH share the night time responsibilities once you are at work?
Then - adjust your expectations. Night wake ups in the under 1 year old are well within the realms of normal. Some babies will wake frequently. Many babies need parental comfort to learn to sleep deeply - denying it will just give you a light sleeper so ends up being counter productive.
In terms of the practicalities of work. You might need to rethink if of your baby doesn't fit in with your plans.
- Share night responsibilities with dh and both go to bed earlier to catch up on sleep.
- if you have to do the nights, change your routine so you maximise your sleep. Going to bed when baby goes to bed. This will allow you to prioritise being well rested for work.
- if having an evening with baby in bed is of more value to you then sleep, then reassess your priority to do the job you do. Maybe this is the marker for a (temporary) career change?
- Emply help if this is affordable. Night nanny, au pair, cleaner, ironer, cook.
- Use flexible working to change your working hours to fit in with your need to sleep.
Thank you so mucheck for the suggestions, all v helpful. I think feeding more in the day is a good call as she moves a lot and does seem to finish whatever I give her so guess she is burning a lot of energy. I will try putting her comforter down my bra a bit! And see if that helps. I have a mattress by the side of her cot in her room which I sleep in if she's waking more frequently than every hour, hoping it helps her get used to her room. I can sometimes just hold her hand through the cot bars but it's not comfy! I can't go to bed much before 8.30 but will get an early night whenever I can. And now I've stopped feeding dh can share so you're right, that will prob make a big difference. If I could get down to 1-2 wake ups and a quick settle per night I'll be happy for now, don't realistically expect a full sleep through before age 1, but a consistent 1-2 wake ups would be heaven. Thanks for taking time to reply!
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