8 months and hard nights - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 02-27-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS was a DREAM sleeper from about 7 weeks until he was 6 months old. He would sleep 9 hours in a stretch.

 

Around 6 months he started waking 1 or 2 times a night to eat, no big deal.

 

In the last 2 weeks he has learned to clap, crawl and pull himself up. And his night sleeping is terrible! I will nurse him to sleep and lay him in his crib. He will sleep for 45 minutes and then wake up screaming. 

 

I am getting over mastitis so I have just been bringing him to bed with me for the whole night. I'm too worn out to get up and nurse him back down, only to get up and hour later and repeat it.

 

So the result is that he's in our bed all night. I don't mind him being in our bed part of the night but all night every night is just too much for me. He flails around a lot. And, the bed is really the only place my husband and I can cuddle and just be by ourselves for awhile. 

 

We have a Cal King but we don't have room for a co-sleeper on the side, otherwise I'd do that.

 

He just seems to have this overwhelming need to be next to me at night. Experienced mamas, will this pass? Does it have to do with all the milestones he's hit in the past few weeks? 

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#2 of 12 Old 02-28-2013, 07:27 AM
 
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Those milestones are tough! Around 9 months when she learned to pull up, DD would wake up quite often and have a hard time going back to sleep. For a while I even laid down on the floor in her (babyproofed) room and let her crawl and play until she was ready for more nursing and hopefully sleep - as much as 3 hours some nights! The crib worked well for us in early infancy but the older she got, the harder it was to put her back in there. I couldn't bring her into our bed due to DH's medical issue so I was stuck going to her. Once she turned 18 months, we bought her a very low double bed. It's the best solution for us because I can lay with her and nurse her to sleep then get up and sleep in my own bed. On bad nights, I simply stay with her and we cosleep. I wish we'd done this much earlier. It would have bought me a lot more sleep. So yes, the sleep disturbance will pass but the talking/walking milestone will soon follow. I would consider simply putting a mattress on the floor to see if this arrangement might help you.
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#3 of 12 Old 02-28-2013, 01:57 PM
 
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Just wanted to say that, from about a month down the road, my experience is that there's hope! My daughter has never been the best sleeper -- ever since that 4-month sleep regression, I could count on one hand the number of times she's slept longer than 5 hours without waking. She starts the night in her crib, then I bring her into our bed, usually at the first waking once we're already in bed. But around 8 or 8 and a half months, those early evening wakings were getting so frequent and so challenging -- we would always find her standing in her crib when we went in, and around 9pm many nights we would rock or nurse her back to sleep as usual, but then she'd be up every 5 or 10 minutes, fussing again, until we finally gave up and got ready for bed ourselves because the only way she'd stay asleep was next to me in our bed. 

 

I definitely think the milestones, and some separation anxiety, were part of the picture. She'd started sleeping on her tummy around 7 months (after she learned to crawl) and her sleep had been getting better. Then it was like her muscle memory was programmed to immediately push up to sitting, then stand up, the moment she hit the slightest night waking. 

 

What seems to have helped us is a real push to focus on comforting her by patting her while she's on her tummy in the crib, rather than taking her out to rock/nurse, if at all possible. It was one of those things where it seemed like she would never go for it -- she'd always ramp up from "I wish I was asleep" fussing to "get me out of this crib, help!" crying, at which point we'd always take her out and do what worked -- rocking or nursing. But then one night my husband got her to go back to sleep just from patting. He figured out that she likes being patted more toward the tail/sitbones part of her butt than the lower back -- a firm, steady, walking pace pat, we think, gives her a similar little rocking sensation to being in her baby carrier, perhaps. 

 

Anyway, it wasn't something that changed overnight -- but probably within about a week of prioritizing patting, he succeeded that first time, and then after maybe another week or two, she now reliably goes back to sleep from patting, unless she's actually hungry. I've been working really hard on the No-Cry method of nursing until she's just sleepy, not all the way asleep, and have now started putting her into her crib very sleepy but sitting up -- she's usually nearly asleep and I help her sprawl onto her tummy and then pat her the rest of the way down. 

 

She still wakes up sometimes before our bedtime, and we still cosleep part of the night -- but the wakings have gotten less frequent, and the best part is that she has also started napping longer consistently. I think a lot of it is just her integrating her new skills, but I think it helped that we were trying to help her learn that she is capable of lying back down and going to sleep in her crib. One thing that I haven't tried yet, but that my mom (an experienced early childhood educator) suggested is working on teaching her to "lie down" during playtime, when she's not tired and won't be crying. She is clearly starting to understand a lot of my words at this point -- knows how to turn on her "light," how to "shake" a toy, etc. -- so I think teaching her to "lie down" could be helpful.

 

I know this is the sort of thing that feels impossible -- the main thing I want to say is that you have my sympathy, and you're not at all alone.

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#4 of 12 Old 03-05-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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I so understand what you have been going through.  My 1st son was the best sleeper... and like you said... would sleep for hours!  Daytime, he would sleep for 3 hour naps and go to bed around 6:30pm and sleep with one or two nurses in bed but that was it!!!

 

When he turned 8 months old, all that changed!  He was up all the time, hard to put down and it was a huge challenge and cross roads for my husband and I to deal with!!!  All the develop that these babes go through affects their sleep!  Every child is different and it will pass, even week by week you may find changes.  But when it is the hardest time, I recommend YOU sleep when you can.  Daytime naps with him, or if he is down well from about 6-8pm... go for a nap then too if you find later in the night gets worse! 

 

Take care of yourself... you will get through this!

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#5 of 12 Old 03-05-2013, 09:21 PM
 
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presentmoment your post is very helpful! DS loves sleeping on his belly but from what I've heard (doctors...) it's dangerous..? Although I usually dont listen to doctors (especially about co-sleeping) I am still scared of tummy-sleeping... But for dh it's the only way he can put him to sleep since he can't nurse him of course, and it works very fast!


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#6 of 12 Old 03-06-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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From what I understand, once they're able to roll themselves from back to tummy/tummy to back with ease, tummy sleeping is not considered particularly dangerous anymore. That said, it took me a while to get comfortable with it -- the first time I went in and found her sleeping on her tummy I swear I was checking every 15 minutes to make sure she was still breathing. But these days I have relaxed about it, because she's so capable of pushing up/sitting up/getting herself out of any position she doesn't want to be in.

 

We did a few other things right around the time we started prioritizing patting: gave her a new lovey (a stuffed monkey that's about as long as her arm) and started using blackout curtains. I think all three are helping somewhat. When I go in to get her after a nap she is often snuggling her monkey or chewing on its tail -- I think maybe it's similar to twiddling my hair, which she also loves to do in our bed. Monkey sits on her lap when we do storytime and then she cuddles it while she nurses before naps and sleep.

 

Though she's sleeping better in her own crib now (usually a 4-5 hour stretch at the beginning of the night), we're now struggling with wakeful nights once she gets into our bed. Some of it was teething (again) but some of it just seems to be practicing her language or something -- she was up for an hour the other night, not fussy, just babbling to herself. We tried so hard to pretend to be asleep and not acknowledge it because we don't want to encourage nighttime play, but my husband and I couldn't help but giggle at a certain point when she was just lying there singing "Ah, baa, dee, daa!" in the cutest little high-pitched voice.

 

So I guess the report from this almost-10-month-old's mama is that it's gotten better, but is still definitely an endless, nightly mystery. I'm just trying to get enough sleep that I can continue to enjoy the ride :)

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#7 of 12 Old 03-07-2013, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I thought I couldn't get any worse but it is! He can be dead asleep in my arms in the rocking chair, I do the "drop the arm" test make sure. I slowly lower him into the crib and the moment he touches the mattress he wakes up! And he won't settle down by himself, if you even leave him in there for 5 minutes he gets super angry - I can tell that he's mad, not distressed. I went back in and talked to him while he was in the crib last night, and he just got mad that I wasn't picking him up. I didn't try for very long though - it was 9:30 by that point and I was so tired and worn out. So I just got him out of the crib. 

 

So, he's been sleeping all night with us. And today he's doing the same thing about nap time - took me 90 minutes to get him down for a nap and then he only slept 40 min.

 

It's super exhausting for my DH and I because we don't get any time to ourselves at night to just be together, much less have any sex, lol.

 

I need you all to give me your opinion - at 9 months are they capable of manipulation?? He knows if he cries and screams one of us will be in there. We've operated that way with him since he was a newborn. 

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#8 of 12 Old 03-07-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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He's still so very small. What helped me move my DD to the crib after nursing is to put a blanket under her before we started. Then when she was asleep I'd move her (with the blanket under her to keep her warm). It was the temperature difference/shock that startled her awake: cozy in mommy's arms, then cold crib mattress. The blanket kept her snug and eased the transfer.
I think especially under a year old, babies are communicating a need when they cry. It may be a need for comfort or feeling scared or whatever rather than hunger or physical pain but it's a need nonetheless. I wouldn't look at it as manipulation but communication. Only in the last few weeks did my 23 month old move beyond crying desperately for me at night and accepting "mommy is coming in a minute" briefly. I don't for a minute think she's manipulating me, I think she's a very young child needing comfort. Trust me, during the day I see plenty of tries at getting me to do what she wants so I have a good basis for comparison wink1.gif.
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#9 of 12 Old 03-08-2013, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am reading the "No Cry Sleep Solution". Hoping that will help a bit. I'm not sure how that book is viewed around here but she seems pretty compassionate, anti CIO and very pro-attachment. 

 

It took me nearly 2 hours to get him to sleep last night. He finally passed out due to exhaustion. He still wakes up when I lay him in the crib (I will try the blanket under him idea). I stood over him and talked to him and patted him for 25 minutes last night and watched him FIGHT sleep. It was amazing and sooooo frustrating lol. He finally passed out due to exhaustion and slept about 2 hours in his crib before he woke up and cried for me at which point he came into our bed. He does wake every hour to "nurse" at least comfort nurse.

 

In looking at the charts for his age I don't think he's getting enough sleep. he should be getting 14 hours including naps and I think he's getting more like 11 or 12. From what I'm reading that can just contribute them fighting sleep.

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#10 of 12 Old 03-08-2013, 02:54 PM
 
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I really liked the No-Cry Sleep Solution.  It got us out of our horrible four month sleep regression with my sanity intact and a happy, sleeping baby.  I don't have any experience with the later sleep regressions, so I don't know if her advice would work, but I hope it does for your sake.  Good luck!


Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012.  Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013.
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#11 of 12 Old 03-10-2013, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night I put him down at 8pm. He actually fell asleep in the car on the way home. He woke every hour until 10pm. I was able to resettle him each time and then at 10pm I brought him to bed with us. I believe he only woke up to eat once! At least when I woke up, I had only switched sides once! He slept almost 11 hours! This earlier bedtime thing may be a "duh" to some people but I think it was the missing piece of the puzzle! We shall see how things go from here but I'm encouraged.

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#12 of 12 Old 05-31-2013, 07:24 PM
 
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So how did it go?

 

We are in this situation right now with DS being 8 and a half months. But he's been that way since birth, really. I had an emergency c-section so it was just so easy to co-sleep and nurse him to sleep... But now he CANNOT go to sleep without the breast or bottle (of my BM or formula, we do both). He won't take the pacifier (will actually scream bloody murder if I give it to him, awake or sleepy), won't be rocked to sleep (or will but wake up as soon as put down), doesn't care about toys/lovey... I hate to put him to sleep with a bottle, I don't think it's right (he'll suck on it off and on all night if it's breast milk, otherwise I just offer him the breast every time he wakes up, which is every hour or so!!),

 

I feel like I screwed up his sleep (and ours!) not trying hard enough to get up and walk/rock him, pushing the paci or anything else than the breast! But also we have a small place and there's no door between "the baby's room" (he never slept in it) and ours, so every time I "tried" to pat him, say shhhh, I gave up after 5 mins not wanting to keep dh up when we both know I can bring ds in the bed and he'll be asleep in no time... I should try to read the No Cry Solution since so many tried it...

 

OH and he's really teething right now, he pretty much cried all day today, it was pretty rough trying to keep him happy, distract him from the pain...


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