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settling issues - 8 month old

  1. #1
    Daya is offline Registered User
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    settling issues - 8 month old

    Any advice here would be much appreciated.

    We have a beautiful 8 month old, who is not, and has never been, a great sleeper. She's a cheerful and happy little thing in the day and she naps well. Our main problem is that she has such a tough time settling at night, and then wakes quite often and needs help to get back to sleep.

    We will not leave her to cry, but we have worked at getting her used to putting herself to sleep. Before naps and bedtime, we rock her until she is calm, then lay her down. She often fusses a little, and if she really cries out, we go to her and soothe her. At nap times, this works great. Often all it takes is a **** on the head, she looks at us, then turns and closes her eyes. At night however, she tosses and turns and kicks her legs. She just seems unable to calm down properly. Often when she is just starting to calm and lie still, she'll let out a cry and work herself up again.

    We have a repeat of this in the night when she wakes. Sometimes I'm able to feed her back to sleep with little fuss, but if that doesn't work, we go through the whole thing over again.

    We're both getting really tired, and I guess we're just mostly confused and frustrated by knowing that she is able to settle quickly and easily in the day, yet seems unable to do the same at bedtime and in the night.

    I'm hoping some kind soul will have a light bulb moment on my behalf and say 'have you tried.....' and all our problems will be over. :) Unlikely I know, but any advice you can offer will be gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    How much sleep is she getting?

    Could she have too much day time sleep?

    Is her last nap close to her night sleep?

    These are some possible reasons why she doesn't settle well at night. Otherwise you may have to sleep train her at night.

  3. #3
    MommieMid is offline Registered User
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    Daya,
    Your baby sounds like she is a superb little girl. You have done so well.
    Obiwan may have switched on the lightbulb. Her questions are exactly the information that we need to answer your queries.
    Your delightful, happy baby seems to love her sleep and naps during the day, but may be having too many, for too long. Do let us know what her schedule is usually and we can give our ideas.
    Also, I couldn't quite work out whether you are breastfeeding her, if so, what is her breastfeeding pattern? If you are, and she is sleeping a lot during the day, is she missing feeds and then wanting to make up for it at night?
    I had a baby boy who was so busy during the day, he didn't want to breastfeed during the day, but would make up for it all night!

    If your baby is sleeping during the day, ensure that you don't try to catch up on chores, but lie down and sleep at the same time as her, if at all possible. You still have your body to catch up and repair after pregnancy and childbirth, and so take this opportunity. You are so lucky, some mommies are so desperate for their baby to sleep at all during the day, but it does sound like she is a tiny bit topsy turvy.
    If you are formula feeding and adding solids, then tell us what the schedule is, so we can offer some ideas.

    As Obiwan suggested, sleep training, may be your answer. I am not completely opposed to helping a baby learn to sleep at night. One daughter, who was sleep trained at 9 months of age, is the only child of mine who settles to sleep when she is tired and doesn't fight sleep for the love of night-time activity.

  4. #4
    Daya is offline Registered User
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    Thanks so much to you both for replying. Hopefully I can give you some useful information. You're right that we are lucky she sleeps in the day. She used to be a terrible catnapper, so i know what its like to be desperate for the day sleep!

    She's recently gone from three naps to two. The length of these varies. They were quite long (1-2 hours), but now mostly just a little over 1 hour, sometimes one and a half. We stick to a pattern, rather than a routine, so the times vary a bit, but our days usually go something like this:

    Wake up (about 6:30am), breakfast (solids), breast feed, nap (about two and a half hours after she wakes)
    Wake up, breast feed, lunch (solids), breast feed, nap (about three hours after she wakes)
    Wake up (no later than 4:30pm), breast feed, dinner (solids), bath, breast feed, bed (usually 7 to 7:30pm)
    She then usually wakes twice for a feed, once at around 11 or 11:30 and again at about 3:30 or 4
    She sometimes wakes before then too, but we can usually get her back to sleep without feeding.
    I have been struggling with when/how much to breast feed her since she dropped her third nap. I was feeding once each wake time, but that doesn't seem enough now she only has three wake times. I do find though that she often won't take very much and is very distracted by the world around her, but if I only feed her once per cycle, I'm concerned she will be hungry. ???
    Thanks again so much for taking the time to offer suggestions and support. It's very kind of you.

  5. #5
    MommieMid is offline Registered User
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    Daya,
    Your baby sounds perfect! Enjoy this time because although it is demanding to you, she seems to have been in a near perfect pattern. Make sure that you rest when she is resting. This will allow you to cope with her demanding your attention at night.
    I will look into this some more and give it more thought, however in the meantime, I have a couple of suggestions and also more questions.
    My questions are;
    1. If your baby sleeps at around 9am, two and a half hours after she wakes up, how long does she sleep during this nap? You may need to keep this sleep shorter, but in order to decide, let us know the sleep length.
    2. For the afternoon nap, how long is she sleeping?
    3. How long are you breastfeeding her for each feed? Are you feeding from both breasts per feed?
    4. Are your breasts soft or full feeling before a feed?
    5. In the morning, you feed your baby breakfast before you breastfeed, is there a reason for this? Your breasts should feel full when you wake up, so I am surprised that, the first thing you do with her, is not bring her for a breastfeed.
    Because of this, I'm wondering whether you may be not breastfeeding her for long enough or frequent enough. Again, to determine this, I need you to provide more information.
    You may want to switch the breakfast with a breastfeed first, so that her first hungry meal is from you. Afterwards, you can give her breakfast. What does she eat for breaskfast?
    6. Have you ever had mastitis? I need to know your history of any breastfeeding issues that you may have faced.
    7. What are you eating? What is your diet like? At 4.30pm you need to be eating something like a sandwich, in order to keep a good breast supply for the afternoon/ evening.
    8. Can you identify a time in the day when she can take an extra breastfeed? What time of day would this be?
    9. Do you take her out for walks in her stroller? What social activites do you take her to?
    10. You are fabulous and I congratulate you on your breastfeeding. She is a lucky baby and every drop that she gets is pure white 'gold'. She sounds such a good natured baby and I assume that her skin is healthy. She sounds healthy and I assume that she has had no medical problems or that there are no concerns about her health. Is this correct?

    I'm delighted to help, if I can. Write back, please!

  6. #6
    catan is offline Registered User
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    My baby is 7 months old and wakes up frequently at night (every 1.5-2 hours). I nurse her back to sleep. She doesn't always drink milk per se, but falls asleep suckling. I find this is the easiest way to deal with it, because if she wakes up fully, she cries and screams, and it becomes difficult to calm her down.

  7. #7
    2010-NewDad is offline Registered User
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    We had similar issues Daya, at a similar age. We used sleep training which was startlingly effective for us - within 3 nights our baby could fall asleep in a few minutes without being held and a week later she could self-settle when waking up at night.

    The first 2 nights were tough - crying baby, parents trying to soothe her but once she realised she could cry cry cry and wouldn't get picked up she stopped the crying to a large extent. I know this doesn't work with every child, and I was stunned it worked with ours.... think it is worth a try at least - we were prepared to preserve for a week if it didn't work but it turns out 2 days was enough to see a significant change in her behavior.

    We didn't use the full on Ferber method of walking out the room and letting her cry it out for increasingly longer intervals - instead we stayed in the room and calmed her with singing and patting.

    Good luck with whatever you try!

  8. #8
    MommieMid is offline Registered User
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    Catan,
    Does this suit you? I ask because every Mommie is different and this may be the way you wish to care for your baby. I can certainly identify with you and this method of breastfeeding. I have certainly managed to live this this way, for numerous babies. At some point you may get tired of your baby waking every one to two hours during the night. You may wish to regulate her schedule so that you have a more peaceful night.
    Maybe you wish to observe her patterns for a few days and see whether there are any slight adjustments or improvements that can be made in her daytime routine in order to enable her to be more settled at night.
    This is only meant to be a kind thought, and I think that you are fantastic to have some much commitment to breastfeeding and fulfilling the needs of your baby!

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