Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 22

Thread: How to get your baby to sleep through?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    617

    Default How to get your baby to sleep through?

    At the moment our three-month-old baby wakes up for a feed twice every night. He goes to bed at around 7 pm, wakes up around midnight for the first feed, then again at around 4 am.

    I read in a magazine that a study involving 600 babies showed that if you want the baby to learn to sleep through, you must gradually step down the amount of milk given the baby at night time.
    (Source: the British magazine "Archives of Disease in Childhood". The article is based on a study from London University).
    It says that when a healthy child is three weeks old, the parents should gradually delay the breast- or bottle-feeding when the child wakes up at night. And you should change the nappy before you give the baby milk, so the child stops connecting the wake-up with the pleasure of food. The child then should just fall asleep again.
    Also, according to the article, at bedtime, the sleepy baby should be put to bed quickly without any food or cuddling.
    Now, I am questioning this. I worry that my child is not growing as much as he should, and there is no way I'd want to see him to go through the night hungry.
    On the other hand, of course, I WOULD like to somehow reach that point where he sleeps through.
    Anyone with good advice on this issue?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Beautiful Adelaide!
    Posts
    2,877

    Default

    Hi Deb,

    I am not surprised you are questioning that article: it sounds like strange advice to me personally, and not something I would be happy to try!

    In terms of helping babies sleep through the night, in my experience, you simply have to wait until they are ready. Different babies have different needs in term of feeding, and genuinely need the food, but will manage longer as they grow older.

    In my experience with Olivia and Charlie, I do feel though that a little bit of a bedtime routine helps though, as I am sure it makes them feel comfy & secure at night time. And if they are feeling happy & secure, they may get the point where cosy sleeping is more appealing than feeding!

    Do you have a bedtime routine?

    Have you noticed that your baby can go longer and longer? (ie, the midnight feed: did that used to be originally a 10pm feed that has stretched out?)

    A lot of babies seem to drop a feed quite naturally at around 4 months, so it may be either one of those.

    What methods do you use to settle your baby? I remember when Olivia was 2 months old, she woke for a feed as usual at around 3am, and so I got out of bed to feed her, but I was desparate for the loo, so I gave her hammock a quick bounce whilst I raced off to the loo. And when I came back she was fast asleep again. And so I waited for her to wake again, but she didn't wake again till 7am!! So the bouncing of the hammock (which is one of the things we used to settle her) lulled her back to sleep, so it was as if she wasn't hungry really, just had woken & needed a little help to drift off again. The I realised that she could physically go without the food for 12 hours at a stretch, which makes you realise how quickly they grow up!

    Anyway, HTH,

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    House of the crazy cat ladies...
    Posts
    3,793

    Default

    Hi Deb,
    I think if you are personally questioning the article and the methods used... then you have your answer right there.
    Personally I think 3 weeks is far to young to start reducing the amount of night feeds, and if the baby is breastfed I don't know if there is an applicable age where you should reduce their feeds. I guess when you know that they are feeding for comfort instead of out of hunger... but even then... is it so wrong to comfort a baby in the way that they want?
    I also don't think there is anything wrong with cuddling your baby before he/she goes to bed, as IMO that would help to make them feel more safe, secure and loved.
    Most parents usually cuddle their older kids and give them a goodnight kiss dont they? When I was a kid I know I certainly would have felt insecure and upset if I didn't get my bedtime cuddles... and I'm sure babies would feel the same way.
    As for putting to bed without food... well that just seems silly, because then bubs is going to wake up even sooner than normal and will be hungrier.
    I think the problem is that these 'studies' and articles are trying to make babies more of a convenience for us... they are missing the point that babies are just that - tiny little human beings, and they may need extra food and cuddles during the middle of the night... and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

    I really think you should go with your heart on this one, and do what you think is best for your son and his needs. It sounds like you are already doing a fantastic job.
    Alex will start sleeping through eventually - and it sounds like he is already in a good sleeping routine, and I'm sure he will gradually drop his night feeds when he is ready.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    Deb,

    Thank-you for posting in our new forums! It's very exciting to finally be able to talk about gentle parenting with others.

    Firstly I would like to say that those two feeds are exactly what Elijah does at almost 12 months old. I'll either get up and feed him, or John will try and cuddle him to sleep and if he doesn't nod off, then he comes in our bed for a feed - and often stays there. He used to be what you would call a 'dream' sleeper - you could put him down when grizzly and he'd nod right off as this is what he liked to do - but since he started teething at four months old, everything has changed. Teething and developmental milestones can do this - result in wakefulness any form of routine going out the window. A great book to read is 'The Wonder Weeks' which tells you when all these milestones are so you can identify they are having one, what you can do to ease that and also prepare for the next etc... awesome book.

    As you'd no doubt guess, gentle parenting is about fully responding to baby's needs - so this is an article that really makes my stomach churn. It's going against what baby needs, in order to acheive convenience, at such a young age too!!! As I have said many a time, society circulates around convenience, it's fast, demanding and we expect more from ourselves and others. However babies have not evolved into little convenience-built packages and I feel it's unfair to make them convenient. Some might say that their young baby needs routine, the sleep will be good for them... but who are they actually talking about it being good for? Mum/dad or baby? Unfortuantely, these are all part of the job description that is motherhood - yes it is hard! But society and perhaps also feminism is also to blame for us not being more involved/connected at a community and family level and truly understanding the full implications of motherhood - once it was all communial, young girls would help mothers with their babies, the load was shared, and now, often a mother hasn't held a baby until she's had her own! So this is going to sound awful but I would love to tell all these people publishing the articles, that if we want convenience, why have babies in the first place? Babies are creatures of survival, not convenience or manipulation!

    Your bub is so little, the best thing I would try and do is surrender to motherhood - surrender to the fact that baby is doing what he needs to do to thrive and if in doubt, put yourself in their shoes. Many parenting experts (which often don't even have children) advocate things like no eye contact at night, minimal contact etc. Yet could you imagine how it would feel if you had gotten cosy with your partner for the night and everytime your eyes met and you wanted to engage, he looked away? Or if you could imagine falling asleep in his lap or his arms and he pulled away and said - 'No sorry - this isn't where you can fall asleep.'

    I believe that allowing babies to experience the joy and warmth of comfort only teaches them to give it in return. My daughter manages so well when anyone is upset, she's straight to comfort them and does an amazing job!

    So to answer your question, your baby will sleep through, when he is ready... it is very normal at his age not to sleep through, as it is until they are 18 months or so - my daughter didn't sleep through until around 2 years (obviously she wouldn't wake in the same was an infant would, crying for a feed!) but now, she sleeps in too!!! She loves her bed and feels completely safe in it and the transition was less stressful than trying to inforce routine with lots of tears, anxiety and stress for all.

    Try and work out an arrangement with your partner - perhaps he can try settling bub first and if this doesn't work, try giving baby a feed then either put him back in his cot or practise safe co-sleeping. I cope better with co-sleeping as it's convenient for baby and mum.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambah
    I guess when you know that they are feeding for comfort instead of out of hunger... but even then... is it so wrong to comfort a baby in the way that they want?
    I read something on another site which a mum had made her 'mantra' which I loved... she said... "If in doubt, get boobie out" LOL! Isn't it great

    There is actually a link somewhere I am trying to find, it's full of information on how nightwaking is actually a very normal phyisological thing for our species.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    2,554

    Default

    I like that mantra Kelly! Its one I live by too.....

    I agree with the others, 3 weeks does seem a little too young to start worrying about night waking.

    Jenna is 6 months old, and she is still waking for a feed at least once a night. We have just started the rollover feed, so we put her down between 7:30 and 8, and then wake her up about 10pm before we go to bed for a topup. She barely wakes up through it. Then we burp her, and put her down.
    This morning is one of the first times I have woken up at 5am with full bb's forever!!! She still woke up a couple of times, but these are just kinks we have to iron out, cause at least she settled without a feed (thus dad can do it..... he he he...)

  7. #7
    Kirsty77 Guest

    Default

    Geez Deb those feed thimes are exactly the same as Gemma's.She has her last feed at 7pm then bath then bed then wakes for a midnight feed, then again at 4am.SOmetimes she has slept right through to the 4am feed or to 2 am.She just wakes then puts herself back to sleep or I might pop the dummy in while I run and heat a bottle and by the time I get back shes asleep again!

    Thanks for starting this new forum Kelly....as a new mum I need all the help I can get!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Hi, thanks for sharing your experiences everyone!

    Hi Lucy - yes we have a bedtime routine. Nappy free time, bath, feed, then bed by 7pm. That seems to be going well as we rarely have any problem putting him into bed, he loves his cot and his teddy and is happy to be there.
    Now you mention it, the 10pm feed has stretched itself now til 12 or so. So in time, as you say, he will get there, when he's ready.

    As you say Kelly, the main thing is he feels loved and cared for. And that love is what gets me up when he cries every night.
    The desire for him to sleep through is something I long for, as I have not had an unbroken night's sleep since he was born. Sleep deprivation is a cruel thing! But with the support and understanding from you out there... it becomes more bearable.
    Thank you everyone for giving me new confidence in continuing the thread I am already following at the moment. That article is in the garbage bin.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,241

    Default

    That is so great Deb! I agree also, sounds like he is going great at 3 months, as he is waking twice and going back to sleep, some poor mums don't get that luxury, they are up all night!

    I know that lack of sleep is frustrating and makes things tough. Try and get your naps in if you can... I know its easier said than done, there is so much to do during the day.

    You are right, we are all here and if you need to laugh/cry/vent for any reason - go right ahead.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    Deb,

    I am soooo glad you threw that article out!!! I know where you are coming from - just as we'd get the odd sleep through from Marisa, Elijah was born, so I know exactly how it feels to be tortured by sleep deprivation!!! But it wont last long - and then you'll be fighting them to get them out of bed The nightwaking may last a few months, a few weeks or maybe a year - but I know one thing, the more stressed I am, the more stressed my babies have been - they pick that up from you I am sure of it.

    As nellbe said - yes there are lots of babies that do wake more than twice a night - Marisa was one of them. I struggled for so long not only with sleep but trying to get her into a routine as well - I did my head in. It just wasn't what she wanted and was against what is natural and normal for her... to see her sleeping so well now is such a wonderful relief and I think a reward for hanging in there. She has NO anxiety with going to bed, it's pleasant thing for her and she asks to go when she is tired. Bedtime is always surrounded with cuddles and kisses and snuggles before sleep. She's a truly delightful little thing and I am so glad she is affectionate because I can't get enough hugs

    This is exactly why I have created these forums - for those who choose to follow baby's needs, and yes, we do have it tougher at times - but I want to encourage those who want to do this to get rid of that resistance and surrender to motherhood - don't fight it - makes it so much easier once you can accept that yes, this is normal, yes I am being a great mother and yes this is what I need to do. Yes it is can be exhausting at times - but that's what motherhood is - and if it means happier, content babies and mummies then what's so bad with that! I found that I was able to deal with the exhaustion more once I let go and when he wakes I always see it as his needs and not his trying to **** me off

    For those times we can't cope or it gets too much, because it happens to all of us, we need a place where we can go and vent and get support and encouragement for choosing this way of being responsive to our babies needs - and not being told we should be putting baby into a routine by those who have chosen to do it that way. We need support for what we choose, not to be confused by being told we should be doing it another way. Not all babes like routine anyway - if they did, by rights Marisa would have been sleeping through from four months - this was when we went to a Mother & Baby Unit for two weeks and they still couldn't help her sleep, despite trying to continue with it when we went home. She didn't want it, she was stressed and would throw up after eating after that and lost a big lot of weight, resulting in more regular MCHN checks. So it really upsets me when someone tells someone else they should be getting their baby into a routine when clearly mum isn't happy, baby isn't happy and attempts at previous routines have failed. It just goes against what would happen naturally. If routine works for you (and some babies thrive on it) then great - it must be wonderful to have that work for them and / or their babies. But just as those doing routine don't like to be knocked - it's not fair to knock those who like to comfort their babies. So why do those who like to comfort keep a low profile? Why aren't they out there in their masses cheering each other on like those doing routines?

    I'm not saying nightly routines are bad - I think having the whole sleeping cues for baby are very important like Lucy mentioned - e.g. the dinner, bath, massage, bed with music thing is great - if baby is showing tired cues than this is a great way to associate bed with that. But what I am talking about are sleep routines and not night routines. Night routines are often effective when you are doing it regularaly so baby knows what is going to happen next. Elijah thrives on it but it doesn't always happen as I get so busy sometimes or something comes up.

    When my babes have had a really bad day and I am having a mummy meltdown, there are times when I have felt that I have needed to put them down in their cot where they are safe and have a big cry - but I always feel better after and I know they are safe.

    So hopefully, this forum can be used to help encourage and support those of us who want to comfort our babies and help keep us on track when we need it - because I know every now and again I go off the rails and question myself, but luckily I have had Pinky to get me back on the rails and flying again. She's made me realise how important it is, to have your own cheersquad, who believe in the things that you do.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Inner West, Sydney
    Posts
    964

    Default

    Thank you so much for this post kelly. I had quite a terrible night last night and was questioning myself this morning. I follow Hendrix's lead but last night DH was away and he woke 3 times. The first i was able to settle him with a dummy, the next i fed him as he was a bit more distressed but the third time at 5 he was in some pain ( i think from the chilly i had yesterday) and he brought me to tears. He eventually settled an hour later and slept for 3 more hours which enabled me to get some more z's. Anyway i almost fell back into the trap of routine! He was sleeping 12 hours for so many weeks that it is hard not to think that there is a simple solution but from your inspiring last post i have regained the strength and confidence to continue the way i have - with lots of love and cuddles.

    P.s i ordered the wonder weeks yesterday.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    857

    Default

    Deb,

    We have been using Gina Ford's routine roughly for Amy and it is working. She was feeding at 7pm, 11pm, 2am, 5am but now she is fed between 6-7pm and then again at 10pm. She has now started to sleep through till 5am or 6am and even went 11 hours between feeds the other night. I think if you were going to cut down the night feeds (as per the article) then the day feeds would have to be increased so the baby has the right amount of milk in 24 hrs.

    As everyone else said, babies are all individuals and will start sleeping through at different times.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    Gemma,

    That's great Gina Ford's routine is working for you. I have two main problems with Gina Ford. One being she has no children and is simply a nanny with no other training, and two being that I don't believe in making a baby wait to be fed - but seems to 'work' for some people. I wonder if she'll change her methods when she has children? Will be interesting to see

    Deb, great to see you bought the Wonder Weeks, written by two Paeds - real sanity saving book. Print out the timeline of the developmental milestones and stick it on your fridge - it's amazing that when your baby gets particularly fussy you can look at the graph and see thay they are actually going through a 'wonder week' and you can see that it will end soon and what you can do to help that particular phase... it's soooo good!!! The girls in my birth class sing it's praises all the time.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BellyBelly

    Deb, great to see you bought the Wonder Weeks, written by two Paeds - real sanity saving book. .
    Kelly,
    That was Heather who bought it. Hi Heather! :wave:

    I'm a bit sceptical about buying a book that is going to tell me when Alex is going through a phase. Because going by his track record of the past 3 months, he's going to be different to the norm anyway. But I am curious about it now, since you have recommended it so highly.

    Quote Originally Posted by BellyBelly
    The nightwaking may last a few months, a few weeks or maybe a year - but I know one thing, the more stressed I am, the more stressed my babies have been - they pick that up from you I am sure of it.
    I find that too - when I'm stressed, he's stressed. He seems to see through the smiles I put on some days! Sensitive little mite.

    Thanks Nelbe for the support!

    Fantastic forum Kelly. As a new mum a long way from home, i am so grateful to be able get to know such a great bunch of informed, diverse, intelligent and lovely mums.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    oOps it was a late night, sorry guys!

    The fussy phases mentioned in the book are not just 'phases' but known developmental milestones - as I mentioned it is written by paeds so they are very experienced in infant development. It is when there are changes in awareness, in the brain, in skills - for example we might call it separation anxiety - this is a milestone as it's baby becoming aware of space - mum has left the room - she could be in China for all baby knows! But she's gone and not in my space. So things like that... it isn't based on heresay and definitely worth it - one of those books where you will relate to completely! I have read it and I love it - it's also really refreshing to know that those times I get frazzled with baby being more unsettled than usual, funnily enough I can go look at my graph and it's another developmental milestone. The graph is amazingly accurate and says it will be pretty much spot on, sometimes give or take a week - but you will be sure they will hit and when

    The only reason I read it was that my birth teacher recommended it so highly - and if she recommends a book, it has to be good after 20 years of being involved with normal physiological birth
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Western Australia
    Posts
    2,300

    Default

    I love these new forums Kelly..they are so fantastic....and can i just say that i love that mantra...lol...its one ive always lived by with my children and its worked like a charm.

    Jo

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    Awww thanks for the positive feedback guys, it's really exciting for me too, like you wouldn't believe! Can't wait to see this section grow and maybe we can even invent out own cool mantras
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Just wanted to report we had a breakthrough here this night. DS slept from his midnight feed through til 7am. !!!! What a miracle. As a result, I got my first 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep for months. Hope he can make a habit of it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •