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9month old still waking and feeding every 1-2 hrs through night - oh sleep gurus, please help!

(19 Posts)
Minicooper Mon 18-Aug-08 17:18:48

9mo Lo has never been a great sleeper, but it tends to go in phases. We did gradual retreat about 2 months ago, which worked well to the extent that she now goes into the cot awake and goes to sleep either by herself or with minimal patting - tho have to admit I haven't made it out of the room yet, lol! She's currently in a dreadful phase of waking about every 1.5-2hrs throughout the night - I know its not for food at this age, but I end up putting her on the boob just to quieten her so at least some of the household can get some sleep. How do I stop this? I don't want to keep feedign 3-4 times a night, but also don't have the energy to spend 1.5 hours hanging over the cot while she screams herself to sleep, which is what happens if I don't offer the boob. I did it for 2 weeks, then went back to the boob through exhaustion. What next????

BlueBumedFly Mon 18-Aug-08 20:06:21

I am going to answer this one, light the blue touch paper and stand well back. You are posting on a really touchy subject so if I bounce this one up to the top and it gets bitten then you must not get upset by some of the comments. People will differ, you will have the Controlled Crying people and the Co-Sleepers. The only answer is that you should use the technique that is right for your child. The answer may well just be time.

So, for the record. I am a lucky mum who did one or two nights of CC at 16 weeks for a total of about 10 minutes and my DD just got it. She is a sleeper, she slept 7/7 from then on. I am lucky, next time I may well get a non-sleeper or one like your LO.

Some say to try to give water instead of BF at night to give the LO some comfort of a cuddle but not to keep topping her up with more milk. I remember one of the MNers saying on an old post that if someone brought her a bacon sarnie every 2-3 hours she would gladly wake up and eat it which amused me no end!

The reason being if you give water the LO will end up giving up on waking as it is simply not worth the reward.

Is DD in a sleeping bag or covers? Could anything else be waking her? Did she have colic as a small one? How are her day-sleeps?

Do you have other children that she wakes?

You will either have to put it on hold and keep feeding for another few weeks then trying again with perhaps a bit of CC? Perhaps she is just not ready yet? Some babies wake up lots in the night until they are quite old.

I used to use a baby lavendar spray to make the room all lovely and smelly and always give her the same soft toy. Not rocket science I guess but I was a lucky bunny on this one.

girlsallaround Mon 18-Aug-08 20:15:21

she is probably hungry, feed her a larger dinner (food)

inzidoodle Mon 18-Aug-08 20:16:01

What a great answer bluebummedfly!! I do a variation....sometimes a bit of CC - sometimes a cuddle in bed - I also offered water and found my DD stopped crying for it very quickly. For me it depends on the situation, I can tell by the cry if she is really needing me - sore tummy, teething etc then give lots of cuddles, sing songs sometimes bring her downstairs and let her play about (9months old) then try her back down in 30 minutes. I think go with your gut, dont offer food/cuddles all the time try and judge by the cry/situation. If I do CC I leave her 5minutes or so and can tell if she is getting tired or more upset, I quickly learnt as my DD would sometimes get worse if I went to her so it was better to leave her fall back asleep!!! lots of different ideas - go with your own thoughts. Good luck.

BlueBumedFly Mon 18-Aug-08 20:27:32

Right back at you inzidoodle - good answer! I also know if DD really needs me and react accordingly. People who do not believe in any CC think we leave our babies to scream all night, it is not so, we just act accodingly.

Opps, gonna get my head bitten off for that one for sure!!

janx Mon 18-Aug-08 20:57:20

Minicooper - I could have written this about my ds -8.5 months. I am exhausted and can't move him in with dd until he sleeps. I think it is teeth - I am seriously considering going to see a sleep specialist as I have tried everything - let me know how you get on

Minicooper Tue 19-Aug-08 09:54:13

Thabks for your answers, ladies, Bluebumedfly, I've tried leaving her to cry but she works herself up into such a state that she vomits. I know that the experts say that that shouldn't put you off, just clean them up and carry on, but I'm too kind-hearted/ weak for that! She's in a sleeping bag, didn't have colic, but was very hard to settle as a LO - often not going to sleep til after 2am - yawn! She imporved by about 3 months, just waking once, but then deteriorated from 4 months to where we are now. She is my first, so no siblings to disturb, but we're in a terrace, so its next door's kids she disturbs, as well as dh whose job is v stressful at the mo.I've tried giving water instead of milk, patting and shushing instead of milk and cuddling instead of milk (desperate emoticon!!!) but she just screams and screams.

Girlsallround, I agree could be food, but she's now on 3 good meals a day plus milk, so shouldn't be starving!

Inzidoodle, I agree, she will sometimes settle herself - but I never go in straight away, usually let her moan - for up to half an hour sometimes, but then the screaming gets too much and no-one, including her is sleeping!

Sorry if this sounds defeatist, I just feel like there must be something I'm missing! Though it could 'just' be teeth - I had real probs teething and didn't sleep through til I was 3.5!!! Even tho I was one of 4, mum did cc with all of us and I was the only nightmare!

Janx, let me know if you decide on a sleep specialist, I've contemplated this too.

janx Tue 19-Aug-08 14:26:47

I think we are going to try Andrea Grace - she has had quite a few recomendations on here. We did pick up/put down for a week with some success - even moved into the front room so we could take it in turns to settle him. He is now sleeping in our bed which I really don't want. On top of it all my dad has just died and I am really feeling the strain

Minicooper Tue 19-Aug-08 16:44:09

Janx, yes, we like the look of her too - we bought her book and it was worth it as dd is now going into cot awake, even if I'm still in the room, this is huge progress from a LO who would only sleep if swaddled and cuddled. Let me know if you go with her - my biggest concern is that we'll pay someone and then not be strong enough to see their suggestions through - I've just been to the clinic and HV said I just have to 'get tough' as LO doesn't need milk nutritionally at this age. Problem is, I'm not that tough and its not about the milk, its about the wakings! Exhausting!

janx Tue 19-Aug-08 19:05:39

MC - you are certainly further down the line than us. Ds will only sleep if bf to sleep and that includes daytime naps...or he will sleep if in buggy. I am trying the no cry sleep solution with the pantley pull off (makes me laugh that term she has coined). Like you I don't know if I am strong enough - but at the same time I am going insane with tiredness - grieving and sleep deprivation is a lethal combination. Luckily my dd is a fantastic sleeper and has been from 6 months

BlueBumedFly Tue 19-Aug-08 19:46:02

Hello Janx and Minocooper, my heart goes out to you it really does. MC - I don't think you are defeatist at all, I take my hat off to you for still being sane! Also I could not leave a baby that cried until she was sick so please do not think you are giving in, that is heartbreaking.

My friend had a 'sleep doctor', we are in Berkshire but not sure of her name but I could get it for you. Anyhow, she was worried that she would not be strong enough to carry on the routine but she did not have to be as after 4 nights the baby was sorted. They do say 4 to make a habit and 4 to break a habit.

Janx, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad, that is devestating for you. On top of that no sleep you must be going nutty.

My last idea is protein. I was told that you have to give protein at lunch and carbs at dinner. Many people on MN have heard me lamenting on and on about my DD who eats as much at 15 months as she did the day I weaned her at 6 months. No, that would be an exageration, I think she ate more at 6 months. But, I was told when she started to wake at 5am that she had to have this combination. When she eats a meal I always make sure it is in this order and it did work for us.

I would not listen to HV, they told me to take DD off milk at 9 months to make her eat more solids. Hmmmmm, very sound advise I am sure!

Have you read: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-step Programme for a Good Night's Sleep by Marc Weissbluth - I found it really good. I have a spare copy if anyone wants to borrow?

janx Tue 19-Aug-08 19:55:33

Thanks BBF - yes I am a woman on the edge. DP and I have never argued some much than in recent months and tiredness is the route of it. My ds eats a hugh amount - that is interesting about protein. I would love to borrow your book - but first offers to MC as it is her thread smile

BlueBumedFly Tue 19-Aug-08 20:05:07

MC do you want the book then send it onto Janx or have you read it already?

For the record DH and I argued all the way through the first year and our DD slept! It is a very stressful period. Got to pop off and put the other DDs to bed (much older!) so will pop back and check if MC wants to do a book round robin.

bgmum Tue 19-Aug-08 20:53:10

Hi MC - you seem to have had lots of sound advice but I thought I'd add my bit as I'm in the same position as you second time round. Nine months seems to be the magic time to tackle this problem and see the success of it.
DD 1 used to fall asleep at the breast and wake up two or three times a night until she was 9 months. We sucessfully tackled CC with her when we were on a weeks hol in a thick walled cottage in Cornwall - I was the comforter but I had the support of hubbie and friend.
DD 2 is much the same but the rod we made for our own backs is bigger - she's still in our room and I if I don't BF her to sleep I pat her to sleep! She does however put herself to sleep in the daytime. At night, tiredness is my only defence. I've decided to tackle DD2 in a two stage attack - mainly for my sanity. I know she's not hungry so I've decided not to feed her at night after her bedtime feed. I'm on night 3 and she's still throwing herself around a bit but is settling into my arms quicker. I then put her into bed (with several attempts) and pat her till sleeping (took about an hour at 3am last night). Every night's got easier. Hubby's off work next week so I'll try CC then. (Should say we've moved into the spare room whilst this is happening - hoping to put both DDs in together when we've cracked it.)
It might help your guilty feelings to consider that her cross/bereft crying is developmental stage - consider how she cries during the day - being put in carseat/highchair/taking keys/phone off her - she's asserting her independence. Also, keep the AA mantra "This too will pass" in your mind and do what you can, when you can.
If your LO vomits every time when left crying for under 15 mins, seek advice. If only once or twice, try to put it out of your mind and have another go.
I'm sure you'll be having better nights by this time next month.

Minicooper Tue 19-Aug-08 22:16:30

Thanks, ladies - and yes, would love to borrow the book too, but Janx, you go for it first - you've got such a lot on your plate at the mo - can't imagine going through bereavement on top of everything else. Let me know how you get on with it though! Anyway, about to crawl off to bed - wish me luck!

BlueBumedFly Wed 20-Aug-08 22:01:35

Hello janx, let me know where to send it... email me at mellie and min at aol dot com

janx Sun 31-Aug-08 18:54:26

Hi minicooper - how is it going? We have turned a corner here and ds is sleeping ...wait for it ...from 6.30/7 to 4/5 smile - that is a hugh improvement for us. After I last posted here we had one bad night - lots of singing and sshing and the next night was better and then he started going for much longer.
Thanks so much for the book bbf - that was very kind of you to send it to me. I have dipped into it and it is v interesting. Do you want to borrow it Minicooper?

Minicooper Sun 31-Aug-08 21:14:37

Hi, Janx, glad to hear you've had a breakthrough! Very up and down here - good night on Friday, but back to being evil last night! Yes, please, I'd love to borrow the book. Could you email me at and I'll give you postage details. Thank you!

NiaWyn Tue 02-Sep-08 19:55:07

Hi, just read, and re-read all your posts and have found them to be very helpful and reasuring. DS is now 10 months and I've reached breaking point. H/V is putting me in touch with a sleep specialist but I'm seriously thinking of going it alone this weekend (starting Thursday) with the CC, gradually building up over the weekend until fingers crossed I get a breakthrough. Minicooper, Janx and BBF any breakthrough for you? In need of a gentle push in the right direction and a bit of reassurance.

Thank you

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