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Help! I'm not doing this right. How do I get my 8mo to sleep through the night?

My son is 8 months old and is the only one of my three children to actually sleep in the crib & not co-sleep. The problem is that he needs to nurse until he falls asleep before I can put him down. Then he wakes up every hour or two (or less) to nurse himself back to sleep again. He doesn't know how to self soothe & frankly, I don't know how to teach him. I'm worried aboout his association with eating-sleeping. Does anyone have any advice? I would love if he would at least sleep for four hours, but I don't know how we can achieve that.

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rAbella

Asked by rAbella at 2:41 PM on Dec. 19, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 17 (3,306 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • he's not getting enough to keep him full enough to sleep through the night. breast milk is 88% water.
    momofone725

    Answer by momofone725 at 2:43 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • I've given up on trying to get my son to sleep through the night..I just realized that he will do it when he ready, until then I'm gonna have to be exhausted :0)
    LogansMamma0511

    Answer by LogansMamma0511 at 2:46 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • This has been said time and time again: ALL children are different. Some children take longer to sleep through the night than others. Babies need to eat frequently. Your goal is to feed them when they are hungry, not train them to sleep even when they are hungry. A lack of sleep is part of parenting. I haven't had a full nights sleep in over 4 years but that's part of what I agreed to when I decided to have children.
    You're not doing anything wrong, your baby is doing what's best for him.
    dmdblleb

    Answer by dmdblleb at 2:50 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • If you co-slept with the others, why not this time? Sure beats waking up every couple of hours! My first, who woke every 2 hours as an infant, started stretching out feedings to every 3-4 hours around 14 months. He started STTN at 2. We co-slept, I wouldn't have survived otherwise.

    You can check out "the no-cry sleep solution"... but it honestly did nothing for me. That boy was a different breed and no amount of "key words" or "gentle encouragement" phased him. My advice is to co-sleep until he's matured enough to not need to nurse at night anymore.
    LeanneC

    Answer by LeanneC at 3:33 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • You teach babies to self soothe by soothing them yourself. When they are ready they'll get more independent. Nursing to sleep and during the night does not create a negative association with food, it is not the same a bottle feeding or eating solids for comfort. What you describe is totally normal behavior for an 8 month old! All this baby needs is more time. If you don't want to get up, my best advice is to bring him into bed so that you don't have to!
    maggiemom2000

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 4:03 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • He will figure it out when he's ready. He will not always nurse himself to sleep. I promise. I also did not co sleep. When DS woke up, I went in, nursed him, and he went back to sleep. It's tiring, I know. But he is 2 now and does not need to nurse to go to sleep. Eating dinner doesnt make him sleepy, there are no ill effects except that he now sleeps through the night. Every baby has their own schedule. What you are doing now, soothing him to sleep, is exactly HOW they learn to self sooth. You are mapping that in his brain so that he will someday be able to do it himself. You're doing great and I wouldnt change a thing.
    new_mom808

    Answer by new_mom808 at 9:58 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • Oh, I forgot. We got to a place where we KNEW he COULD sleep thought the night ( He was doing it a few times per week) and this is what we did:
    1. wimpering - did nothing, just listenend
    2. crying - Daddy went in and patted his back, wispered etc.
    3. still crying - daddy picked him up, walked rocked etc.
    4. still crying - I went in with the mama milk.
    This way he was learning other ways to get back to sleep, but we werent letting him cry all night, and werent missing things like growth spurts, where they really do need to eat more often.
    new_mom808

    Answer by new_mom808 at 10:00 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • I"ve been trying to sleeptrain my 7mo and really.............. I just gave up. Now I just try not to Run in his room everytime he makes a noise. I also try NOT nursing him unless he's adamint about getting some boob!! I'm still trying to get my 3 yearold to teach himself to fall alseep. I would co-sleep with both boys if it worked for us. My 3 yo thinks sleeping with mommy means he doesnt HAVE TO GO TO SLEEP. My 7mo thinks he can sleep attached to my boob and I let him..............I don't notice I do it.
    Chantalg12

    Answer by Chantalg12 at 11:16 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • This is so tough. My kids all nursed through the night but they all just grew so fast it's no wonder. I made it to about 6 months before they were sleeing next to me and they actually nursed much less and I could rub their backs to get them back to sleep. Once they were weaned, they slept just fine!
    khedy

    Answer by khedy at 11:31 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • All babies are different, and each baby often differs from week to week. So, for starters, you may not be doing anything wrong at all.

    We did sleep training, but not a rigidly as the books advised. I didn't let her whip herself into a frenzy, and I didn't wait a full 5-10 minutes. Patting her on the back and whispering sweet nothings never once worked. So, each time, I picked her up, helped her stop crying, and executed the bedtime procedure again. And we did this over and over each night. Eventually, her crying would taper off and she'd sleep. And now, at 15 months, she is a great sleeper - in the sense that our bedtime routine is 30 seconds long, and she can put herself to sleep. On the other hand, even now, she wakes every 4 hours on a good night. She is still breastfed because that is what works for us, It's quick, and she's back to sleep. (cont...)
    Airamana

    Answer by Airamana at 11:45 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

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