How can I help my baby stay asleep in the evenings? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 08-04-2011, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love some advice...My seven month old wakes up and needs to be nursed back to sleep (in our shared bed) every half hour or hour between the time I put her to bed at 8:30 and when I'm ready to go to sleep at about 11:00.  This is so difficult because I never get any relaxing time away from her, alone or with my husband, to recharge...Is there anything I can do about it?

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#2 of 17 Old 08-06-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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Ds did exactly the same thing at that age.  It might just be something he needs to grow out of.  You can try to make the room as sleep-conducive as possible (really dark, white noise, not too hot or cold, etc).  Something I ended up doing with ds was to nurse him to sleep on my lap in the darkened living room and then, when he was asleep, turn on a movie for me to watch.  At least that way, when he woke up to nurse, I didn't have to leave the room, I could just bring out the boob and continue to watch the movie.  I found that I would be able to tell when he had reached a really deep sleep and then I'd be able to transfer him to our bed and get a little baby-free time.


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#3 of 17 Old 08-08-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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My now 10-month old is exactly the same. He crashes around 6:30, at the same time as his 2.5 year old brother, which is so early that I can have a lovely evening to myself. But he wakes up every 30-45 minutes screaming. It is very easy to soothe him back to sleep, 5 minutes of nursing at the most, usually just two minutes of back-patting will do it. Then he happily sleeps through the night as soon as I come to bed beside him around 10 pm, or earlier when I just give up on running up and down the stairs so often. His room is dark and comfortable with a white noise machine, though I've tried lighter, cooler, no noise, etc etc. He's been like this since 3 mos old so I've had plenty of time to read everything I can about this. In our case, I'm pretty sure it's separation anxiety. I think he wakes up naturally from time to time, as babies normally will, but panics when he realizes that I'm not there. He shows a lot of separation anxiety during the day too and nobody but me will do. I believe that it is the same issue during the day and at night. Perhaps this is the case for your baby as well? From what I've read and other mom's I've talked too, there isn't much you can do other than offer a lot of comfort, co-sleep and do all the good things to create a sense of security at night, don't make any major changes that could heighten the anxiety, and wait it out. Some evenings I wear my baby from 6:30-10 or so as this way he sleeps soundly without waking and I don't have to keep going to him, but this is hard on me in a different way as you can imagine (I wear him much of the day as it is, love it but need a break).

 

Sorry I don't have much advice - just know that you're not alone and here's an avenue to consider. I'll be following your thread to see what others think.


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#4 of 17 Old 08-29-2011, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both so much! I feel so supported and it really helps. Things are getting incrementally better. I've noticed that there are similar questions posted more recently. I'm going to go see what people have to say there too. Again, thank you so much. I was surprised how good it felt to get your responses and realize I'm not alone with this!

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#5 of 17 Old 08-29-2011, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both so much! I feel so supported and it really helps. Things are getting incrementally better. I've noticed that there are similar questions posted more recently. I'm going to go see what people have to say there too. Again, thank you so much. I was surprised how good it felt to get your responses and realize I'm not alone with this!

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#6 of 17 Old 08-30-2011, 12:49 AM
 
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Mine did the same at about that age as well (I can't remember exactly how old she was) and she can now, at 15 months, sometimes give me 2 hours in the evening between feeds.

 

No advice I'm afraid except to go with it if you can and know that it will probably change soon. The thing which makes it easier for me is to read while I feed her. I would get sooooo bored just lying there but I keep a book in the bed and can quite happily lie with her for as long as she needs.


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#7 of 17 Old 09-03-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Sadly, no help here, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone. With DD (4.5 months) it's every 45 minutes, usually with 2-3 wakeups before she's down for the night. It is maddening! I've been wondering if it means we should return to a later bedtime...now she goes to sleep the first time usually between 7:30 and 8:30. The earliest we've ever put her down withOUT subsequent wakeups was 9 p.m., and that was only once or twice, a looong time ago. Sigh. So frustrating. I agree with the PP about it making it so difficult to have any alone time with DH. Right now bedtime feels like a prolonged battle.


Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.

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#8 of 17 Old 09-06-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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My DS grew out of it- I think it was separation anxiety in the starting to crawl phase- I just didn't get up- I lay down with him and read books on my iphone and after a month or so I tried to get up and it was no problem.


"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."

"Cosi e se vi pare."

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#9 of 17 Old 09-07-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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I remember dd sleeping 4 and 5 hour stretches and then at around 6 months it went to if I was lucky 1 or 2 hour stretches. I was at my wits end, so tired. I thought, maybe I should let her cry it out (we co slept), I NEED sleep! But I never did. And I was so grateful, she grew out of it and I was so glad I stayed with her and kept nursing her.

But good luck, I know that sleep deprivation is hard. And every baby is different. 

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#10 of 17 Old 09-08-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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Just the last three nights, we tried putting DD down a little later (asleep around 8:30) and she has not done the wake after 45 minutes thing! However, I think this coincides with her just getting out (knock wood) of a two-week-long four-month regression. It seems like her sleep patterns are really maturing.


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#11 of 17 Old 09-11-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanca78 View Post

Just the last three nights, we tried putting DD down a little later (asleep around 8:30) and she has not done the wake after 45 minutes thing! However, I think this coincides with her just getting out (knock wood) of a two-week-long four-month regression. It seems like her sleep patterns are really maturing.


And never mind--the last two nights we're back where we were. Driving me crazy! Last night she was up at 9:15, 11, 12, 1...

 


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#12 of 17 Old 09-11-2011, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate all your responses. I wonder about doing what flyrabbitfly suggested and just surrendering and reading. If it is a separation anxiety issue, consistently lying there with her could change the pattern. flyrabbitfly changed the pattern in a month. My DD is in the dark. I wonder if it will disrupt her to have the light on....again, thank you all for your support!

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#13 of 17 Old 09-11-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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DS did that and it didn't stop until I stopped nursing him every time he woke during those hours (I'm sure it would have stopped eventually but that's just what stopped it).  That was when he was about a year.  With DD I started that around 6 mos (sent in DH or soothed her back to sleep myself without nursing.  Or at least I tried as hard as I could!).  My baby doesn't seem to do it yet.  


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#14 of 17 Old 09-12-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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So did your DD stop at 6 mo when you stopped nursing her? I've tried a couple times not to nurse her at those times and it usually just seems to make her more upset, though occasionally she will take a pacifier instead.

 

She did better last night--woke up once after 40 min, but then didn't wake up for another two hours after that, and then slept seven hours till morning!

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DS did that and it didn't stop until I stopped nursing him every time he woke during those hours (I'm sure it would have stopped eventually but that's just what stopped it).  That was when he was about a year.  With DD I started that around 6 mos (sent in DH or soothed her back to sleep myself without nursing.  Or at least I tried as hard as I could!).  My baby doesn't seem to do it yet.  



 


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#15 of 17 Old 09-12-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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The frequent feeds may be for comfort and security, non-nutritve, as well as nutritive sucking. Babies naturally feel vulnerable when alone, so making sure mom is there often may be one way to know she is not alone. It's just instinct. It's hard to work against two million years of evolution, when a baby left alone was easy prey for a predator. Nursing on demand also maintains milk supply!

 

During the early months, I would lie down in our family room at night with my son on the floor and nurse him to sleep. My husband and I could watch television on low volume, eat, read, use a laptop. When my son stirred I was right there to tend to his needs. It worked out very well. Once it was time for my husband and I to go to sleep we carried baby to our bed.

 

We usually go to sleep as a family unit, even now that my son is 22 months. He usually goes to bed when we do. There are occasions when he falls asleep earlier but it is a rarity. We have tried it and it just feels unnatural to me and more effort and stress than it's worth. It feels forced so I'll just wait until he is ready.

 

Many people now live in westernized houses, compartmentalized with rooms and baby is often alone. Where as in areas of the world where families share small spaces, even western cities I suppose, where people live in studio apartments, baby can sleep nearby without being alone, separated in another part of the house.  This likey factors into some of the sleep issues faced in the western world that others don't face in various societies and cultures.

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#16 of 17 Old 09-12-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanca78 View Post


So did your DD stop at 6 mo when you stopped nursing her? I've tried a couple times not to nurse her at those times and it usually just seems to make her more upset, though occasionally she will take a pacifier instead.

 

She did better last night--woke up once after 40 min, but then didn't wake up for another two hours after that, and then slept seven hours till morning!



 


yes, that stopped her from waking.  She genuinely didn't have the option of me at all times.  I work a little, started to go to the gym some evenings and the occasional night out with friends.  It wasn't often that I literally wasn't there but it was enough for her to get it.

 


DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#17 of 17 Old 09-12-2011, 07:44 PM
 
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How r things now?

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