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My 7 1/2 month old will only sleep for 1-2 hours at a time at night...help!!

She wakes up and cries until I come in, I nurse her for 5-10 mins and she falls back to sleep...She doesn't nurse anywhere near this often during the day so I think the nursing is more of a comfort thing than hunger. This has been going on for over a month now...before she was getting up every 3-4 hours which was fine with me, but it's getting out of hand now! I thought maybe it was a growth spurt or teething but I am out of ideas now. She just doesn't like to sleep anymore! Should I buy that Ferber method book??? Any ideas?

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stepmom929

Asked by stepmom929 at 11:36 AM on Jan. 4, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 12 (920 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • IF it is a comfort thing then try a binky. I started useing it with my daughter. She uses it only when her mouth hurts.
    She is teething.
    Mrs.Owen86

    Answer by Mrs.Owen86 at 11:38 AM on Jan. 4, 2010

  • No on Ferber!

    This would be considered nomal behavior for a baby this age that sleeps with her mother. As some babies become mobile they may nurse more at night. They are efficient at nursing and if mom and babe are together the mom may not even wake all the way up or remember how many times the baby nursed at night. Pheromones produced by the mom and babe get them on the same sleep cycles and when the baby wants to nurse the mom is not in deep sleep.

    That's how the baby's brain is hardwired and what has worked for humans throughout time. It's not comfort, it's biology. If you are interested Katherine Dettwyler & James McKenna have done research in these areas.

    However, you want her to sleep through the night in her crib. You could try feeding her a high protein meal before she nurses right before she goes to bed. That way she will be full and her body will be busy digesting throughout the night.
    Gailll

    Answer by Gailll at 11:54 AM on Jan. 4, 2010

  • Don't listen to Gaiil. My son did the EXACT same thing, only difference is that I was unable to Breastfeed but he'd do the same thing with the bottle - he went from 6-7 hours, then 3-4, then 1-2 then he woke every 30 minutes on every single hour for 3 days until I brought him to the doctor, I literally didn't sleep for 3 days and was so worn out and upset and more than that, I was concerned for my son's health because lack of sleep can affect their development. He checked him over and did some tests and said there was nothing medically wrong with him, he recommended Healthy sleep habits, happy child" i don't remember the author but there are SO many methods you can try to get your angel to sleep again, due to the severity of my sons colic til 6 months and how far this had gotten, my choice and his recommendation was to do cold turkey crying i out. I KNEW my son was capable of crying for hours at a time from his colic days...
    maxsmom11807

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:20 PM on Jan. 4, 2010

  • cont'd... I will tell you, I cried outside his door but I knew in my heart, he was not hungry, not cold, just very over tired and wanted to do the Very best for his future deveoplement and I honestly was at my own wits end and being I work outside the home, I HAD to do something... anyway, long story short.. .He was sleeping through the night in 1 week... first night he honestly knocked himself out within an hour..but you have to be strong yourself and never cave or it makes it worse... i made that mistake because some nights it is hard to hear your angel crying so hard... my son is 2 and just got over a bad virus and has started waking up again 2-3 times a night and now it seems even harder for me to do this - but it was SO worth it I can't explain in words how much it saved my sanity... email me if you want to talk more about it
    maxsmom11807

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:23 PM on Jan. 4, 2010

  • The problem IS biological...
    Has the baby gotten better at exploration and is nursing less during the day? If so the baby likely is resverse cycle feeding...gettign nutrition at night that was missed during the day. If that is the case encourage more feeds in the day. Or as Gaill suggested a good meal before bed.

    It could also be theething. As we adults know, when we are feeling miserable night time is the worst because we aren't distracted and are lying down...which makes any of our symptoms ten times worse. It is hard to sleep and wanting comfort is going to be a natural want. So if that is interupting sleep address that issue.

    Ferber is horrid. I understand desperation, but there are other, gentler ways.
    amileegirl

    Answer by amileegirl at 12:56 PM on Jan. 4, 2010

  • Agree with Gail... normal behavior for a 7 month old. They're distracted during the day and making up feedings at night. Could also be teething, or separation anxiety. In any case, she needs you either for food or comfort... leaving her to cry alone won't fill either of these needs.

    Have you tried, or thought about co-sleeping? It saved my sanity both times my sons did this. Just do what you need to do to get enough sleep and she will calm back down eventually.
    LeanneC

    Answer by LeanneC at 1:47 PM on Jan. 4, 2010

  • If she's not nursingthat much during the day she's making up gfor it. She *is* normal.

    Check out Elizabeth Pantley's website for some help...you can google it.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:02 PM on Jan. 4, 2010

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