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Nightwaking - how long - Tricks?

559 Views 12 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Messy Nessie
HI all, I am new here... I am a new mother with a three week old son.. now, before I ask this, I KNOW it will be a while before we get sleepful nights, but I am wondering what your experience has been with how long it took for your baby to sleep through the night. What did you do to help make it happen? What was your trick or special touch or thing that you did? How do you handle getting up every few hours? I am a forumla feeding mom (medical reasons stop me from breatfeeding) . I have only had him just aout three weeks and I am exhausted already as is my husband. So, just wondering what I may look forward to... I know all babies are different, but just wondering what maybe the average is... also would like to know what ou did to help make it happen. Thanks!!
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I know you're gonna hate me, but...18 mos. I say this only b/c he's now 19 mos old and I'm SOOOOOOOOOO happy!
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My first dd was 19 months old before sleeping through the night - same time I stopped nursing her at night.

Still working on dd#2 (not going so well at this point). Good luck - it totally varies.
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Hi, I'm fairly new here too, but I'll chime in. This has been a great place for me to come and learn about how babies really behave, not how our culture says they should behave. As far as sleeping through the night, I think that is one of the biggest and most unfortunate myths out there - that your child should be sleeping through the night at any point in the first year or even the second. Here's a link:

Click "articles" then under "by topic" click "sleeping". Lots of good info there on healthy infant sleep. Sounds like you are already realistic about this, but this might provide even more realism, maybe more than you'd like. :LOL

When I first has my dd, I felt like getting her to sleep through was a goal that HAD to be achieved with urgency. I felt this way because people kept asking - not just asking - harping on it (this cultural myth of ours that babies should sleep through).

She slept with us the first 3 weeks and did sleep 5-8 hour stretches, which I now feel wasn't normal and was due perhaps to her fatigue from the birth? I'm not sure. Either way, we then moved her to her crib where she continued to sleep long stretches. Not healthy or normal for an infant, but she never fussed about it. On the occasion that she did wake at night to feed, she would spend the rest of the night in bed with us. Then, at 3 months, she started regular and very unhappy night-waking. At first, I was upset and wondered what was wrong - then I discovered Attachment Parenting and realized this was normal - she had no business alone in a crib down the hall to begin with. (We never let her cry - that was one instinct I felt and followed. My other instincts were a bit off, I can see that now.) We brought her back into our bed and she hasn't slept through the night since. I nurse, so it's easy to get her back to sleep. I barely even wake up usually. She is 14 months. I don't expect her to sleep through and don't plan to even work on it until 18 months or later.

I know you said you had to stop nursing - my heart goes out to you. But, you can do the same with a bottle. Could you bring the baby into the bed with you? You'd get a lot more sleep - I promise. If not in your bed, how about in your room?

Check the link above for research on co-sleeping, in case you have reservations or want to learn more.

I didn't intend to ramble, just to share our experience. Hope I helped a little! I know I needed this "talk" when my dd was 3 weeks old. Stop listening to anyone who asks you about sleep. If anyone tells you their child is sleeping through before a year or talks about sleep training - ignore them - it's not healthy. Night-waking IS healthy and normal.

You are right, it will be a LONG time, but that's OK. That LONG time will pass very quickly. At 14 months, I still feel like I had my dd yesterday. Again, sorry to ramble! (And super-sorry if I sound preachy - I don't mean to at all. just wanted to share and having been there done that, I know I felt much better once I changed my expectations about sleep - my daughter's and my own!)
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My DD is 4. She continues to have spurts of nightwaking. She will sleep through the night some and then wake regularly for a period. Not sure what causes it -- illness, nightmares, developmental changes. She never slept through until about 20 months. My DS is 13 months and still wakes constantly (see the thread about the No-Cry Sleep Solution).

The best advice I have gotten on this topic is to try to find ways to meet your needs while accepting your child's normal sleep patterns. Hire mother's helpers, ask your partner for help, give yourself slack on housework, sleep when the baby sleeps. It's so much easier if sleep is just about sleep and if you aren't angry that you can't do X (laundry, read, go out with your spouse) unless the baby sleeps. Acceptance has made a huge difference for me this time around.

I asked my DDs preschool teacher when kids actually sleep through the night consistently and don't need to be attended to at night unless they are sick. She said 7, which sounds pretty right based on people I know.

Good luck. Enjoy your baby. They grow too fast.

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My little guy is exactly a year older than yours, and I still see him 1-2 times a night. It's the cuddliest time of the day for him!

You asked for tricks. From the beginning we kept nighttime night and daytime day. At nighttime, lights are low, and there is no talking--just loving touches and a snack. We have rarely had long stretches of wakefulness in the night. He gets a little smackeral and goes right back to sleep.

Congrats on your little one!
It's going to be some time, probably, before he sleeps through the night. Mine is 2 years next month and only just starting to do so regularly (but it hasn't been an issue for us since she is BF and we cosleep...).

Anyways, it takes about 6 weeks or so for them to settle into any sort of pattern or routine. My DD dropped a night feed at around that time, IIRC, and I got a 4 - 5 hour sleep stretch in there after that, which felt great.

I think formula fed babies will start sleeping for longer stretches sooner, because they don't need to eat as frequently as BF'd babies. So perhaps yours will follow that trend. Really, until he is a couple months old, ANYTHING could happen. There is little reason to suspect he'll wake this often in another few weeks.

I don't know if you are cosleeping, but some babies sleep longer beside a mama than in a crib. Maybe you could keep bottles by the bed so you wouldn't have to get up at night.

My personal feeling is that there is very little we can do to help them sleep through the night, or sleep longer stretches, other than a few gentle nudges. I don't believe in sleep training babies.
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I would try having the baby sleep with you in your bed. I got more sleep that way with both of mine. It's so much work to go get the baby to feed them (regardless of how you're feeding).

Aren't there bottle warmers that you can keep the bottles in at night so it's already ready and you don't have to go make a bottle?
Ok so dont everyone hate me for this..... but i also formula fed my dd, she slept through the night at about 3 1/2 months. i dont remember what i did. She also had acid reflux and was on medication. she slept throught the night for about 4 months then she started to wake up again and now at 15 months she still wakes once a night and now she sleeps with me! I am pretty sure that she started waking b/c i couldnt afford her meds and now she is back on them so we will see if that was it.
as far as bottle tricks, my dd slept in her own room then and i had a bottle and a can of formula in the bathroom at night. So when she woke up i would just make it then.
good luck on the sleeping i hope you have an easy time with it.
We BF and co-sleep and my son, at 25 months, wakes 2 - 3 times a night. Usually he will go back to sleep relatively easily (he asks for milk and I tell him he may have some in the morning), but at least once a week he's upset and it takes a while. He was waking 10-12 times a night (we were exhausted, but lived through it) until we nightweaned him at 21 months, after all but his 2 year molars were in.
My son is almost 4 months old. He now sleeps in his own crib, which I am happy and comfortable with. I am exclusively breastfeeding and waking up to feed him 3-4 times a night. I don't see an end in sight, but I've resigned myself to him needing me like this for now. My friends who bottlefed had babies sleeping through the night after around 3 months. Baby's awake from a nap....we'll talk more later.
What a difficult question to answer
. DS is 3y4m and still wakes occasionally, but he's still in bed with DH and me. For the most part, though, he sleeps through the night. DD is 5mo and almost always sleeps through the night and has for a couple of months now, strange as that is to me. A couple of things about DD...I swaddled her from about 6 weeks old until just about 2 weeks ago. She loved it and slept really long and well. I also let her tummy sleep. DD had a really strong startle reflex and the combination of swaddle and tummy sleeping is what I think made the difference. I know all the AP wisdom that babies aren't meant to sleep through the night at this age, and I agree with it, but DD is happy and healthy and I think she's thriving on getting a TON of sleep. She's also 19 pounds at 5 months, so she's obviously not hurting for not nursing at night (I am, though). DD also doesn't like to be held or bothered when she's asleep, so she sleeps in her crib until she wakes and I bring her into bed with the rest of the family. THAT took some getting used to...
Did I get
T ? If you're looking for strategies and you're comfortable with them, then I would recommend trying swaddling or tummy sleeping (or both). Good luck!
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My DD is 7 months (in a few days) and she is still waking 2-3 times each night. And this just happened in the past few days. Night wakings peaked at about 6 weeks, she began sleeping a 4 hr stretch followed by 2 hr stretches until 3/4 months (when she began teething) and stayed that way until now.

It is hard, cosleeping is a wonderful way to minimize the disturbances (we coslept until recently) and maximize your sleep! I read a suggestion to a bottle-feeding mama on another thread that was great! The poster suggested getting a cooler to keep prepared bottles in for the bedroom along with a bottlewarmer, so you wouldn't even have to get out of bed!

As the mama of a nearly-7 month old, I can tell you that the newborn/infant months go soooooo fast! And before you know it, they are up and crawling and standing and don't want you to hold them anymore
And then, if you are like me, you are wishing you could go back!
: Yes, I do- sleep deprivation, colic and all!!!
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