How to sleep train properly?(15 Posts)
Sorry I have posted about this before but it's driving me mad
DS is 8 months. He slept through until 2 months ago when he started waking through the night multiple times. It's usually 12pm and roughly 4am.
He can't self settle back to sleep so it ends up in him getting more and more irate until I feed him at which point he instantly goes back to sleep. I take him downstairs, feed and put him back awake and he goes to sleep easily but I don't want to keep doing this twice every night. I am working 10 hour shifts (only twice weekly but still!) and it's killing me being at work that long and waking up in the night too.
During the day he naps twice, one morning one afternoon but never in the cot. I have spent hours with him screaming trying to put him down for a nap but he sleeps within 2 minutes in the bouncy chair, car or in my arms so I gave up with the cot out of desperation during the day.
At night we do bath, quiet time, milk then bed and he is usually asleep 5mins after going down so he can do it but just not in the night itself if he wakes up?
Anyway how do I stop him waking up in the night for milk? I don't want to leave him to cry if I can help it, is there another way?
Someone suggested water but he is furious if I give him water and it results in ww3, should I just keep giving him it in the hope he gives up?
He may be hungry.
How much is he eating during the day?
He eats breakfast, dinner and a small tea with plenty of milk inbetween. He will drink about 10oz before bed at least!
You've said he wakes 'multiple times' but then said 12 and 4. That's not 'multiple' - it's twice, and two night feeds is perfectly reasonable at 8mo. If he's only waking twice and going straight back to sleep, it suggests to me that he definitely still needs them.
Also - why are you taking him downstairs for a feed? Can't you feed him in his room, keeping the lights as low as possible, if on at all?
And cot naps - DS1 never napped in the cot, and DS2 didn't do it until he was well over a year old and his sleeping patterns were more mature. Just let him nap wherever is easiest so poor naps during the day don't interfere with night sleep. What's the problem with napping in a bouncy chair?
I thought he should be sleeping through by now
I take him downstairs as I have a horrendously bad back and can't feed him in the cot or standing up without feeling like it's going to snap. I have to sit straight in order to hold him so do it on the sofa. We keep the lights out and make no noise while feeding him.
There is no problem with napping in a bouncy chair except he seems to wake up frequently at every little noise, I feel like if he was in the cot he would have better sleep but maybe not!
Even feeding him in your bed or get a chair upstairs?
I could easily feed him upstairs, I suppose it's never really been an issue though. I literally make milk, take to sofa in dark, feed, put back to bed where he usually falls straight back to sleep
It's just I would rather he didn't wake up at all!
Twice is pretty normal for an 8m old, they're not fully weaned at that point and he's probably hungry, can your partner do the feeds when you have a long shift the next day?
For perspective - both of mine were on a minimum (but usually way more) of six wake ups a night at eight months old, and I was back working full time. This was extreme, but it was an extreme end of normal - two wake ups is absolutely totally average normal (and something I would have killed and died for). Night wakings are to be expected for the first two years (at least!).
Your baby is fine, but you need to find ways for yourself to maximise rest. You will also find that shifting your expectations is a huge help. Expecting sleeping through, but getting night wakings, leads to frustration. Expecting night wakings, but getting only two or fewer wakings, can only lead to being pleasantly surprised. I think it's obvious which is preferable!
Get a comfortable chair, have pre-made bottles, or bottle making stuff, upstairs, and feed upstairs. You will move around less, be awake for a shorter period and get back to sleep more easily. Can you share one of the feeds with DP if you have one? Go to bed earlier - do not put baby to bed and watch TV. Go to bed yourself, once you've done any necessary chores. Even if you're horizontal and reading a book, you'll get to sleep earlier and get a good block of sleep in before the first waking. 'One hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours of sleep after' is a very good quote I've heard on here. You get your deepest, best quality of sleep in the early part of the night, so focus on getting that in, and you'll wake up feeling a bit better rested.
Can you put him in his bouncy chair in his room to minimise noise and keep it dark? Or does he have to be near you in the bouncy chair? If he has to be near you, this is fine and normal and bear in mind that 40 minutes is one sleep cycle for a baby of his age, so his nap may not necessarily last longer than that. Again if you're expecting a two hour nap, a wake up after 40 minutes is going to seem like 'waking at the slightest noise'. Content yourself with a 40 minute nap, and anything longer will feel like a bonus.
How much milk does he have at night? I'm going to go against the rest of the thread and suggest that you could start gently trying to night wean IF he is well grown with no other health problems.
Also try not having milk as last thing before bed. So milk, story, teeth then bed.
So if has 6oz bottles, just take one feed at a time and cut down by 1oz every other night. He won't notice but it should encourage less night food. It won't stop him waking for other reasons and may help him eat more in the day. (You may end up adding an extra milk feed in the day).
Only other thing is making sure your weaning includes plenty of protein and some carbs. Often Uk weaning is v low calorie with lots of veg!
Thank you to you all!
He usually has 4-5oz when he wakes up, he normally has 6-7oz during the day. He has 3 'meals' but still wants mostly milk which I think is normal?
He has mostly veg, some fruit, yoghurt and some bread. He also usually has the odd baby biscuit or something during the day to keep him busy for half an hour
He has some meat but not nearly as much as veg.
If he is napping in the bouncy chair I have to be in the room or he instantly wakes up. I try and keep quiet but sometimes it's the slightest noise that wakes him. His naps are usually 30-40mins so maybe adequate then!
He def needs more protein - add scrambled egg, omelette, a little cheese, maybe some cooked red lentils into veg if you're mashing? I swore by the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook and still use it all the time. The recipes are varied and interesting and endlessly adaptable for all ages from weaning onwards.
it's the slightest noise that wakes him
That is when white noise becomes really useful.
Quite loud white noise (Hoover, desk fan pointed away, untuned analogue radio, or you can get Whitehouse also or YouTube videos to play). The idea is to block out background noise.
When baby goes to sleep with white noise, then they won't notice every little sound. They physically couldn't hear every little sound because of the volume of the white noise.
My children all have a bedside fan in their room which stays on all night every night, for exactly this purpose.
Join the discussion
Please login first.