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8 month old Sleep Slayer

(4 Posts)
RedLemonade Fri 14-Apr-17 07:11:04

I'm fricking knackered. 8 mo DD is waking 1-2 hourly all through the night.

Last night was typical- 7pm fed to sleepy, then cuddled till asleep, into cot, stirred a little, slept. Woke at 8.30- needed me, BF back to sleep, woke at 10 & 10.30 but drifted off again without intervention after a few intermittent cries, then 11.30, 1.15, 3, 4, 4.20 at which point we co-slept till 6. I fed her at each of those wakes.

She's pretty good for naps- goes around 7.30/8 for an hour, sometimes 2, again around 12 for an hour or so, and then hit and miss for a catnap around 4. I BF her to sleep for the first nap, CM sings her to sleep for the second (has both in her cot) and it's usually sling or buggy for the catnap.

She has never accepted a dummy and has no interest in the poor old teddy that I've been promoting as a comfort object for weeks. I'm her object!

She goes through phases of being more settled, waking only once or twice for a night or two, but then back to usual.

BF at 6am, 8, then I'm at work so it's her weetabix breakfast around 10, then BF at 1pm followed by a bit of banana, egg or bread, BF again at 3 or 4 then dinner at 5 or 6, and BF at bedtime.

Is this amount of waking within normal limits? I know she needs me to sleep and that's fine but I'd kill to get to a stage of even just two wakes a night with a decent spell from bedtime till 12/1/2 or whatever. She's done it on occasion! She is trying to crawl these days and just bursting to get moving and I'm sure that's not helping in terms of a busy little mind.

Not sure what I'm after here. Will I just keeping rolling with it? Should I try some alternatives to BF for some of the wakes? Any advice most welcome. So tired!

FATEdestiny Fri 14-Apr-17 09:02:11

Naps sound great - both in terms of length and timings. So it's not that. I think this is the "problem":

no interest in the poor old teddy that I've been promoting as a comfort object for weeks. I'm her object!

It's not really a problem, if you just accept that's the way it is. Baby needs comfort to sleep and as you realise, yours is not yet accepting independant comfort so realistically you have no other option than being your baby's source of comfort.

There are things you can do though, depending on your energy levels.

You can accept being your babies comforter but expect fewer wake ups. This is going to come by giving the comfort off-breast and in the cot. If you can comfort, reassure and calm baby from awake to asleep in the cot, rather than in your arms, baby will be less freaked out when stirring awake in the night and realising she is no longer in your arms.

A 3-sided side car cot helps with this. By removing one side off the cot and wedging it up to your bed, you can lie next to baby, cuddle and reassure while baby is in the cot. Then extract yourself afterwards.

If not a sidecar cot, you can do similar by bending over the cot and leaning in. A fitm hand on baby's chest/back helps reassure of your presence.

If you don't have the energy or inclination to work on in-cot settling, the same principle will get you more sleep the easier way - cosleeping.

Humans sleep in cycles as an evolutionary left over from caveman times when they might have been attacked and eaten while asleep. So every hour or so humans go through a light sleeping phase. It's called an environment check. It doesn't involve actually waking up, but does involve moving into a semi conscious phase then resetting back to sleep.

In modern day this night might just mean rolling over in bed, glancing at the clock, straight back to sleep. Imagine you went to bed one night, turn over to resettle yourself at 2am and realise you are no longer in bed, are Now in the back seat of a car. You'd freak out. No way you'd just roll over and go back to sleep, you'd be up and fully awake immediately, wondering what the he'll was happening.

Same is happening with babies, this is why it's important your dd goes to sleep where she stays asleep. Otherwise when she goes through a light sleeping phase she'll realise she isnt where she thought she was, freaks out and wakes fully.

One way to deal with this is to teach baby to go from awake to asleep in the cot. Another way is to just accept cosleeping. If baby then goes to slerp sleep next to you and at the light slerpibg phase is still next to you, it will be much easier to try to sooth back to sleep (with firm hand on chest and cuddles) without the light sleeping phase becoming a wake up.

FATEdestiny Fri 14-Apr-17 09:03:29

I should have added, comforter toys ususlly start being bonded with around 12 months old, so keep going with teddy.

RedLemonade Fri 14-Apr-17 12:25:29

Thank you so much FATE. That's very reassuring advice and makes total sense. Although her reliance on me is tiring, it's really very sweet too (and an evolutionary norm it would seem!).

I'll continue to be her comforter but might try in-cot soothing in the coming days. I think I'll just co-sleep for a few nights first to ready myself! And I'll keep going with her teddy.

I really needed a reset of my expectations so thank you very much for thathalo

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