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Do babies ever just 'get' sleeping or do they need teaching?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by arcenciel, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Evening all. My son is 24 weeks old now. He goes to bed each night at roughly 7pm but will wake up between 3 to even 7 or 8 times between then and about half 10. He cries and we pick him up, he usually burps or trumps (so I'm guessing it's wind disturbing him) and then goes back down, sometimes straightaway, other times it may take up to 15 minutes. He usually has a bottle at about half 10 and will then sleep soundly for a while. There is no pattern, last night he woke at 1.30 and 4, a fortnight ago he did 3 nights where he went 10ish- 7.30ish. After half 10ish, if he wakens and I feed him he will go straight back down. I only feed him if I think there's a chance he could be hungry, if I'd fed him at 10.30 and he woke at 11.30 then I would just settle him back down. Anyway, I don't really know what to do about the constant waking in the first few hours. Do you think babies will eventually get there in their own time or do they definitely need to be 'trained' (hate saying that, he's not a dog!!) to self settle etc? Sorry, I have rambled, I hope what I'm asking is clear?!
     
  2. Evening all. My son is 24 weeks old now. He goes to bed each night at roughly 7pm but will wake up between 3 to even 7 or 8 times between then and about half 10. He cries and we pick him up, he usually burps or trumps (so I'm guessing it's wind disturbing him) and then goes back down, sometimes straightaway, other times it may take up to 15 minutes. He usually has a bottle at about half 10 and will then sleep soundly for a while. There is no pattern, last night he woke at 1.30 and 4, a fortnight ago he did 3 nights where he went 10ish- 7.30ish. After half 10ish, if he wakens and I feed him he will go straight back down. I only feed him if I think there's a chance he could be hungry, if I'd fed him at 10.30 and he woke at 11.30 then I would just settle him back down. Anyway, I don't really know what to do about the constant waking in the first few hours. Do you think babies will eventually get there in their own time or do they definitely need to be 'trained' (hate saying that, he's not a dog!!) to self settle etc? Sorry, I have rambled, I hope what I'm asking is clear?!
     
  3. kittenjames

    kittenjames New commenter

    Hmmm, a bit of both I reckon. My LO didn't sleep through until 6 months ish and when he woke it was totally random. We didn't do anything differently, I think he was just ready. Although we started doing, Yuk, hate the phrase, 'controlled crying' when he was about 4 months. So if he was whinging, one of us would go and rub his tummy and sh him till he stopped, then leave for 10 mins and repeat if he carried on. If he was really upset we would cuddle him or try and sort the problem. He now settles really well by himself, I don't know if its what we did or he's just learnt to sleep better. Either way I'm grateful and hoping it lasts, he's 7.5 months now.
     
  4. Is he weaned yet? My little one is waking more and more at night so i have started weaning him as i think (and so does the HV) that he is hungry. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will help stop him waking so often, It did with my daughter!
     
  5. My oldest twigged more quickly than my youngest and slept through from 11pm-7am from about 6 weeks old without us doing anything at all. He was a BIG baby, though, and didn't need feeding during the night because he'd eaten his own body weight during the day!
    I do think some children need help with sleeping, but I also think you should take your cue from your baby. You know whether he/she is screaming or crying because they're tired, hungry or cross. If my boys cried because they were tired, we either waited for them to go back to sleep (not easy lying there listening to it) or went in, and did 'shush shush' without making eye contact or picking up. There were certainly no cuddles! If they were in pain, we comforted, cuddled, picked up etc. If hungry, they got fed and then burped before going straight back into the cot. We tried to keep night feeding really boring - no lights on except dim ones, no talking or playing etc. Minimal cuddling (well, sometimes their little faces just made me)!
    If it's wind keeping your baby up, try keeping them up a bit longer to make absolutely certain they're winded properly before putting down to sleep. Or you could try Infacol or gripe water, which definitely helped my second son to burp properly! If the crying in the night is just for company, you need to decide whether or not you're happy to let them work it out for themselves, or go in and resettle. You can be really firm and say "no, I'm not going in" or "I'm not cuddling" or you can find a middle ground and do "shush, pat" where you go in, rub their tummy while saying 'shush' until they're calmer and then leave.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Thanks for your replies! My gut feeling is that we need to start leaving him to cry longer (well whinge maybe, not cry) but it's so hard isn't it?! It's strange, he has about 5 half hour naps during the day and ge goes down for every single one awake. He has a little whinge but then goes to sleep but at night he's different! Back to work in a week so that might make me a bit more resolute! X
     
  7. Oh and he's not weaned. I've started this week but wanting to do baby led now we've got this far.
     
  8. There's more calories in milk than food so weaning probably won't make too much difference! You may even get more wake-ups for a while whilst their digestive system adjusts.

    Anecdotally, yep, they do, but some might take weeks, some months and some years. We've not done any sleep training bar some shush-pat in the very early weeks. Our sleep changes from week to week so there didn't seem much point training as it'll no doubt change and involve 'retraining'. Now at 8 months we've had two nights this week where she's done stretches of over 5 hours - and it'd been a very long time since she's done that! She also recently dropped her evening catnap and goes to bed 1-2 hours earlier than she did before. We've not done anything really to bring it about! I guess it depends if the sleep pattern is a problem for your family, but we tend to just roll with it. They won't be sleepless monkeys forever!
     
  9. I agree with bunique that weaning makes no difference and if you are weaning early, as I did, do it for reasons other than sleep. I also agree with another poster who said big babies may sleep better - Sasha drains 9oz bottle before bed, when I breastfed she'd feed hungrily for an hour before putting her down so can only assume it's a similar amount - I just think her stomach can hold more (9 months, 90th percentile, sleeps 6-6 and has done since 4 months bar the odd teething/cold/unwell incidents), so you have to look at each baby as an individual. I babysat a friends baby of the same age recently and put him to bed expecting it all to be the same as with Sasha - nope! My friend does all the same bed routine / feeding things as me but we have different babies and he still wakes at night 3-4 times despite the 'tough love' approach, so she gave up on that and just goes with it.
     
  10. @arcenciel, seeing as this baby doesn't sleep either i think we must just have very clever babies. they are too clever for sleep ;) Agree that weaning makes not a blind bit of difference.
     
  11. it does show how every baby is different. My little boy is 4 months old, over the 98th percentile and weighs just under 20lb, but he is up 4 times a night so i don't think big babies sleep better at all!! I'm not weaning him because i want him to sleep more though, there are lots of other factors i considered before that so please don't think i suggested weaning him just so you could sleep better. I was simply asking a question, weaning did help my first child but i will just see how it goes with my "big" boy.
    I hope he sleeps better for you soon and i hope my one sleeps better soon too!
     
  12. Hi. I think that as long as you're teaching good habits (which I'm sure you are) then they do eventually just get it - our LO did. He was a terrible sleeper - took up to 3 hours to get him to sleep, awake god knows how many times in the night, often awake for a couple of hours,then up at 5 - I've posted on here before as we felt pretty desperate, but definitely didn't want to do controlled crying - it just wasn't for us. When he was 11 months, he just 'got' it and it now takes 10 minutes to put him to bed and he sleeps all night. He's nearly 15 months now.
    I think the thing that really made the difference for us was that we started giving him the chance to fall asleep on his own, so we would put him to bed the second he appeared tired (before we were waiting until he was exhausted in a bid to try to get him to sleep quicker) and leave him as long as he was happy, but would go into him and rock, cuddle etc to sleep as soon as he started to cry. I read an article that likened being able to fall asleep alone to a developmental stage, such as crawling - it really made me realise that all babies will 'get' sleeping at a different age, but that they need to be given the chance. The article basically likened it to a baby never learning to crawl if they're never put on the floor.
    Now, I don't know if your LO goes to sleep on their own, but we found that as soon as he could do that, he was then able to settle himself (most of the time) when he woke in the night. We also stopped giving him milk in the night and would just offer water - we probably did this at about the 6 or 7 month mark.
    Good luck - you will get there and it's possible to do it without using controlled crying, if that's not what you want to do. Everyone has to do what they feel is right and I'm not judging anyone, but I do think that contolled crying tends to be banded about as the only solve all (I even went to the doctors for advice and was told that we needed to try controlled crying), when it doesn't suit everyone and isn't always needed.
    x
     
  13. Thank you! I suppose I'm a little lazy in all walks of life and am hoping he will just get there without too much effort on our part!! He has about 5 half hour daytime naps, all of which he goes down for awake so I'm sure it won't really take long to get him there for his night sleeping. The past few nights he has slept till 7 from about 10 (yay yay yay!) but the time between say 7.30 and 10 he was awake about 4 times. He doesn't come upstairs ever, we don't talk to him and in reality I would say the longest we spend resettling him is probably 15 minutes, it just seems one heck of a lot longer at the time! In black and white he's actually not that bad..! Thanks for the replies! x
     

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