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I can't get my 8 month down at night! Help

(25 Posts)
UnderWired Thu 23-Oct-08 19:07:00

Can anyone offer any advice? My eight month DD has never gone through the night (to be expected I think) but she used at least to go down at 7pm or so and then stay asleep till about 10.30pm, then I'd feed her, put her back, then she'd wake up again around 1ish and almost always end up in our bed for the rest of the night, waking up one or two times after that. Now though, if I try to put her down at 7pm, she just screams ... and screams and screams. The last week or so, I've ended up keeping her up till I go to bed at 10ish, and then she sleeps in bed with me.

What can I do? Is this a case for controlled crying? Should I put an end to co-sleeping? Should I stop feeding her at night? I've tried the baby whisperer and it doesn't seem to work, as she doesn't stop crying unless I literally take her out of her room, where she can no longer see her cot! But I KNOW she's tired by 7pm. I don't know what to do next!

ilovemydog Thu 23-Oct-08 19:17:42

Sounds like the 07:30 - 10:00 was a nap...

My 7m old has been going down about 09:00 pm these last few days. I give him a yoghurt, and a feed, and he has been crying for a bit, but goes to sleep. I don't know how long this will last. He wakes up about 3 times through the night.

My DD was the same, and then about a year, she started staying asleep for longer periods of time

K999 Thu 23-Oct-08 19:21:20

It's not for everyone but I have done CC and it has worked.....I started quite early though but have no regrets. smile

thisisyesterday Thu 23-Oct-08 19:24:49

are you sure she's tired?
if so then is she overtired? what are her naps like during the day?

carrotsandpeasifyouplease Thu 23-Oct-08 19:25:00

how much sleep does she get in the day? my nearly 9 month old doesn't get much it could be 3 40 minute naps or two but it only ever adds up to 2 hours, by 6:30 he is absolutely knackered, we give a bath every night cause it really calms him down, give him a bottle then he is usually fighting to be put down in cot. He wakes between 6-7am, i'm not trying to piss you off by saying that he sleeps all night its just that i really think its because he doesn't sleep much in the day and never has. Also he gets a big meal at 5:30 then milk at 7 so he is stuffed to the gills when he goes down.
What time does she wake in the morning, could you post her typical day?

Broms Thu 23-Oct-08 19:34:01

Have you tried giving her a bath at 6.30pm before her milk? - this always made dd so sleepy.

Also she might be getting confused with the co-sleeping and not understanding why she's not in with you at 7pm so I would try and stop it if you can. Easier said than done I know.

UnderWired Thu 23-Oct-08 19:35:15

OK, a normal day is as follows:

7.30am: Wakes up (but when I say she wakes up, she's already woken up usually two or three times before that, had a quick feed and gone back down (in bed with me) so really she's been having milk all night. Is this part of the problem?
8.30am: Breakfast offered, she rarely eats,
9 - 10am: Nap, not longer than 40 minutes
12: Lunch, again, she rarely eats much.
1 - 2pm: Another 40 min nap, or so, often shorter though.
2.30pm: Milk feed.
4 - 4.30pm: Sometimes a nap
5.30pm: Supper, although again, often doesn't have much.
6.30pm: Bath.
7pm: Milk feed
7.15pm: Bed (well, sort of!)

She used to go down for the naps on her own but in the last week I've had to lie down with her. It's all going wrong! She's upstairs screaming her head off now, and I don't know whether to persevere and let her cry or get her up and give up, which I know just perpetuates the message that if she cries she gets to come downstairs again, which is what she wants! It's really hard!

Broms Thu 23-Oct-08 19:36:38

sorry carrots and peas didn't see your suggestion of bath already - apologies for repeating!

UnderWired Thu 23-Oct-08 19:41:16

Yes, doing bath. If only that made her sleepy! I think the co-sleeping thing is really confusing for her though. I think I'm going to have to stop that and be really consistent with the message that she sleeps in her cot and have a few terrible nights. But she's just getting beside herself now. How many nights will she have to cry like this in order to understand I wonder? It's really horrible! I feel so cruel for having been inconsistent and then letting it get to this!

ohdearwhatamess Thu 23-Oct-08 19:41:19


I'd put her down earlier (6.30/6.45). I find that ds2 (8 months) drops off quickly and with no fuss if put down earlier, but screams and screams if we are nearer 7pm (like tonight).

BloodshotEyeballsintheScarySky Thu 23-Oct-08 19:45:25

God Underwired. She sounds exactly like my 9 mo dd, right down to the relative lack of interest in food. She loves her milk though. DD refuses to go down before 10ish and will not sleep in her cot so she sleeps with me every night. I wish someone could tell me how to get her into the cot because nothing is working.

UnderWired Thu 23-Oct-08 19:45:37

Ohdear, when you say screams and screams ... how long for? And does he eventually go to sleep? Yes, overtired could definitely be the problem and maybe tomorrow I'll try an earlier bedtime.

CapricaSpoox Thu 23-Oct-08 19:53:03

Yes I think consistency is the key at the getting to sleep stage. She needs to develop a sleep association that works for you. I presume you don't want to be co sleeping at all any more? If you do, then that's what you should do, if you don't, she needs new sleep associations. When dd was about 6 mo her sleep association was my breast, I had got rather desperate as we were co-sleeping and she had started waking up every hour in the night just to suck back to sleep, and i confess i did cc, thankfully it worked after 3 days without too much crying, just tired whinging for 10-30 mins for those few days - from day 1 though she was instantly sleeping through till 3am from about 8pm!

However, I'm sure you can do it more gradually if it's too hard, for me it was more upsetting if i was actually in the room with her.

Does she have a comfort object yet, a particular cuddly toy or blanket? It's a transition object to aid a healthy separation from mum.

I think you're bf? if so, try squeezing a bit of breastmilk onto her blanket or sheet so she has a comforting smell there.

Sit with her for a while, low soothing voice and stroking her hair/patting her back etc and then gradually move further away night by night? ("Gradual retreat"). Keep going straight back to her if she gets upset, until she's calmed down enough to fall asleep. Ideally you want her to fall asleep on her own, if you don't want her waking up screaming for you because she's found you've disappeared.

ohdearwhatamess Thu 23-Oct-08 19:53:43

About 5 minutes, probably - feels much longer. I'm not deliberately ignoring him as such, but am usually too distracted by ds1 causing mayhem at the same time to do anything about it (they share a room and go to bed at the same time).

I hate bedtime....

carrotsandpeasifyouplease Thu 23-Oct-08 19:54:25

hmmm her naps are very similar to my ds'. The main difference between the two babies is that mine eats loads of food (poss cause hes a big boy!) so logically yes it would suggest that she is having too much milk but all the advice says that milk should be the main source of nutrition up to a year so its a tough one.
We had a rough patch about a month ago when he was teething, have you got a chair in the room cause we wouldn't ever bring him down into the light I just hug him on the rocker until he goes to sleep again.

And, your baby is actually awake longer than mine so if I were you I would work on getting her to sleep more in the day.

Also for naps I had to hug him to sleep or lie with him until recently and it got to the point where he would only sleep 20 minutes in which case I didnt talk to him just picked him up and tried to rock him back to sleep.

I also tried baby whisperer but we both just gt exhausted and I couldn't carry it through to the end.

A quick rant, nobody told me that babies don't necessarily sleep when they are tired, its the first thing i will tell pregnant women if they ask me in future!

BloodshotEyeballsintheScarySky Thu 23-Oct-08 19:55:20

I know I'm butting in here so I apologise, but how do you do cc if your child screams blue murder the minute you put her in the cot? She stands up and clings to the side, there's no way I could even get her to lie down so that I could stroke her hair and soothe her.

Sorry for hijack blush

CapricaSpoox Thu 23-Oct-08 20:22:05

oh god that must be hard bloodshot. When dd started doing that I was so relieved that I had done cc earlier on. I'm not really sure what the answer is, sorry. I do know that once I had cut out the bedtime bfs (the last feed to go) i was rocking her singing "Ten green bottles" (or as many as needed till she was sleepy enough to put down!). Got so sick of that song!!! The older she got the less bottles there were. grin

But, of course by then she was already happily falling asleep by herself, my job was just to soothe her enough to make her sleepy- give her that night-night association iykwim. But maybe try starting some sort of routine like that if you don't already have one?

TheGabster Thu 23-Oct-08 21:37:50

OK, first off, poor you!

Seems to me you have to get her to sleep more in the day to try and get her night sleep more relaxed - I know that's a PITA thing to say because its a vicious circle, I have a similar a problem!

But the other thing is the food. And here I have an idea.

I'm not an expert and I don't know if its a bad idea or not, I'm just another mum, it was just an idea ...

You want her to eat more during the day, so she will cut down on night feeds, right? This might sound a bit mad, because you want to up her day feeds, but have you tried restricting/cutting back a bit on her 2.30pm milk feed? Not permanently, just to try and break the cycle. This might make her take more at tea-time, which could mean less night feeding. Then she might take more breakfast etc...

Good luck

TheGabster Thu 23-Oct-08 21:39:28

Oooh, and meant to say, have you read The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly? Has loads of suggestions to help with excessive night feeding and co-sleeping etc.

Pollyanna Thu 23-Oct-08 21:55:58

this sounds just like my 6.5 mo ds whose sleep is getting worse. He also has 2 40 minute naps during the day. He has just gone to bed even though he was awake from his last nap at 2 this afternoon. He has bf all evening, and last night woke 3 times for a feed. He probably had only 10 hours sleep in a 24 hour period which can't be right.

Unlike your dd he does eat loads of food.

I think that the problem with my ds is that he has forgotten how to fall asleep on his own. He used to suck his thumb but seems to have stopped doing this.

Personally I'm not a fan of cc, and wouldn't do any version of this before 12months anyway, but it seems to me that I need to get my ds to learn how to put himself to sleep. I'm not quite sure how to do this! For the time being I thought that I will just feed him at night (as it is 15 minutes of feeding rather than hours of crying) but think I will make a concerted effort to put him to sleep awake during the day. (easier said than done as I am usually doing school runs when he falls asleep in the pushchair).

ches Fri 24-Oct-08 02:33:14

Is she about to start crawling/pulling up/etc.? It completely messes up their sleep. Teething too.

UnderWired Fri 24-Oct-08 09:24:40

Morning everybody! Thanks for all your suggestions! Well, I think DD is officially ruling the roost here right now! She eventually went to sleep in our bed when I lay down with her, about 10pm.

Bloodshot - seems like we're experiencing the same thing. I am totally confused about CC because there is nothing controlled about my DD's crying. She screams and screams, and can keep it up for three hours before she's sick, then if she does sleep, it's twenty minutes of twitchiness because she's so wound up. I'm not quite sure how to teach her to get to sleep on her own, although weirdly she's not too bad at going down for her morning nap in her cot.

Carrots - so true about the sleep/tired connection. I think that would be useful advice!

I think she is going to crawl soon and she had two teeth through last week and a cold and I think everything went a bit wrong then.

Anyway, I'm going to buy that book, and in the meantime, aim for more sleep in the day any way we can get it in case she is overtired (and maybe earlier bed time), and cut back a bit on milk feeds in the day to try to encourage more solids! And report back! If I can keep my eyes open!

Pollyanna Fri 24-Oct-08 12:53:29

my ds woke again at midnight last night (2 hours after going to bed grrrr), but I was so tired I didn't get him straight away - I was a bit out of it (on lack of sleep I should say, nothing else) and he went back to sleep until 5.30am smile

ches Sat 25-Oct-08 03:53:12

More solids will not help an 8 month old. They need the fat and easily digested calories from the milk. Solids come out the way they went in mostly at that age. If anything, MORE milk.

TheGabster Tue 28-Oct-08 08:39:29

Underwired - hows it going?

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