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Thread: Ideas to encourage longer sleeping at night?

  1. #1

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    Question Ideas to encourage longer sleeping at night?

    Hi all,

    Tamsin is waking every 2 hours or so, and after months and months of it, I would *love* a longer stretch of sleep! I don't mind waking a couple of times for a feed, but so often is getting hard. At the start of the night she's sleeping in her cot, but the first time she wakes once I'm in bed, she comes in with us and stays there. The location seems to make no difference to the length of her sleep. She pretty much always feeds to sleep, and often needs a nappy change as well - this gets done first if required.



    So I guess what I'm asking is, does anyone have any suggestions for ways I can gently encourage her to self-settle at night? I am enjoying co-sleeping, but am also happy to move her to her cot if she will sleep better there.

    TIA!

  2. #2

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    8 months is a well known developmental milestone for babies. I always check tickers when people ask about sleep and it's always around the same ages!!! During developmental milestones, babies often sleep less, cry more, are more clingy, feed more and parents often have fantasies of throwing baby out the window LOL

    Remind yourself that it will pass, it's not permanent nor is it a bad habit you have formed. Don't forget Pink McKay's book is coming out July 3rd and it tackles all this stuff - it's gentle focused, but helps you with suggestions for issues such as this. I am really, really enjoying reading it but of course, unfortunately I can't give away her secrets before the book is launched!!
    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.

  3. #3

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    I know 8 months is a common milestone, but this is not a new thing - it's been going on pretty much since she was born. She's slept for 7 hours *once* - it was great - and other than that about 4-5 is her maximum, but in the last 4-5 months it has been no longer than 3 hours. I'll keep a lookout for Pinky's book once it's launched though

  4. #4

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    Awww Fenella. I don't have much help as Matilda woke every 2 hours for the first 4 months and then slowly stretched it out to 3 hours and then around 4 hours by the time she was 7 months. Its exhausting & to be honest she's still not so good on the whole sleeping through the night thing. We still get up once at least. But... I think just knowing you aren't alone is sometimes helpful, and knowing that sometimes we have to develop coping strategies for lack of sleep.

    With Matilda I always lay down with her nap, now that she is at one nap a day. When she had more, I always laid down with the second nap. The first one was for picking up & the second was for resting. I let go of the housework & anything else I "needed" to do and stayed home & rested for at least one hour a day. I had too because I couldn't cope without it and stay sane for Matilda's sake.

    The only other coping strategy I had was have a day off. I would take a half day off when Matilda was younger & just rest. On Saturday's DH would take her to the shops & put her to bed for her first nap so I could rest. Sometimes I wanted to be involved with them in family time & other times I needed to go far away. Its a coping mechanism to refresh, because a worn out tired mummy isn't good for bubs either. I know that Tasmin is breastfed so you feel like you can't be far away for too long, but you can feed & then go for an hour or so, or hop in the bath after a feed so you can have some "me" time.

    Good luck & feel free to vent here!! Its exhausting.

  5. #5

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    It is so exhausting isn't it? Marisa wasn't a great sleeper, unfortunately some do have nice big long sleeps and night and some don't - it's very hard for those of us who have babies who run on little sleep. What does she sleep like during the day?
    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
    angelfish Guest

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    With Milly I am currently trying not breastfeeding every single time she wakes. But she's 12 months, so at 8 months you might not want to restrict Tamsins's breastfeeding... Do you think she's developed a habit of waking 2-hourly for no particular reason? Or is she waking because she's hungry / needs changing? Does she breastfeed long at night, or just a little suck to comfort her back to sleep? Because if she only has little feeds, you could try encouraging her to take a full feed and she might sleep longer. eg, get her up feed one breast, then change nappy to wake her a little, then offer second breast. If you feel she doesn't really need a feed but just has a preference for feeding to sleep, you might try teaching her other ways to get to sleep. Maybe her dad could sometimes put her back down if he's around/willing. Or you could introduce a comfort object as suggested in No Cry Sleep Solution.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for your replies everyone. I think I will keep going as I am for a while, and hope it passes soon... She seems to really feed each time she wakes (which of course contributes to the wet nappies!) so I'd really rather keep feeding her when she wakes. She's not consistent with her day sleeps either; sometimes they're only 20 minutes, other times 2 hours. DH is really helping me a lot though, which is great. As you say Christy, it helps just to know other people get through it!

  8. #8
    MUMMY4LIFE is offline .: ~ Don't regret anything that ever made you smile ~ :.

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    I see that you are located in Adelaide, so you should probably be able to get a copy of this book....SETTLING YOUR BABY a survival guide for parents Birth to 12 months (it also comes on video). It is available at most hospitals and Child and Youth Health Offices. It was my bible with my first child and contains great techniques and ideas on a number of different things, Settling, night time wakers, roll over feeds, routines....Please, Please get a copy, it was my absolute life saver.

  9. #9

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    Update: the last 3 nights, Tamsin has slept for 4-5 hours from around 10 p.m. (then awake for a feed every 1.5 hours or so, but can't have everything). The longer block of sleep is great! So I think I'll just see how it goes for now. Thanks again for all your replies

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