My 7 month old is waking multiple times per night, and it is getting difficult to sustain our current family sleep situation. We all sleep together in our king sized bed. She typically goes down to bed around 7 -8 pm, and wakes every 1-3 hours all night for a quick cuddle, nurse, and back to sleep. What can I do to help her extend her sleep stretches? We have tried a separate sleep space, more frequent day time feedings, and having dad rock her back to sleep at night (major protests!) and find that the most livable situation is all in one bed. The only thing I am not keen to try is cry it out… Any suggestions would be so helpful!
Your baby sounds as though she’s doing wonderfully at nights actually. Many babies wake much more often and take more energy to get back to sleep. It’s not best for a baby this young to go more than a few hours without nursing but hopefully with her right at your side, neither of you lose much sleep over it.
You’ve tried some very reasonable options. You also could try covering your chest well with a few layers so that she doesn’t smell you as much at night or so she gives up over the effort it takes to get in, but she truly is a little young to be trying to extend her sleep stretches beyond 3 hours. Actually, there’s a possibility that her night nursings become more frequent several months from now. For some it peaks around 18 months. When parents are able to share their experiences with others who are finding the same behaviors, they generally accept it more easily as an important part of their parenting and as moments to be treasured; then there are no regrets later. These precious days go by so very quickly.