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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Jill — don’t feel bad about the hand-holding! You do what you gotta do, and if it works for both of you, then you don’t need to feel any guilt at all. Consider this a guilt-free zone! 😉

    As for the sudden night-waking — sounds to me like a regression. Does he normally sleep through the night fine? If so, then treat this as a phase, and be sure not to make any big changes to your normal sleep routines. Offer him comfort when he wakes, but avoid creating any long-term, new habits that you’ll have to break later (like co-sleeping, or rocking him to sleep or something.)

    Does this help? Thanks for commenting, Jill! 🙂

    @ Emily — I am SO sorry about your experience! 🙁 How frustrated you must be feeling. As for giving you specific scheduling/sleep coaching advice, I can’t, since I’m not a trained sleep consultant, and since I don’t know all the details of your situation. I can say that you’re absolutely right that your baby needs to be feeding at night at 6 months of age — I’d imagine she needs at least 1 night feeding, and maybe 2, as you say. So it’s good you realize that, and haven’t fallen victim to that ‘all babies can sleep 10 straight hours without feeding by 4 months’ myth. 😉 As for how to encourage more sleep and less ‘waking for comfort’ during the night – there are lots of options. I’m not sure exactly how CIO would impact the night feeds (again – no sleep consultant background).

    I’m going to throw this out there – if you wanted to try a consultation with us, we do have a money-back guarantee (read about it here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/terms-of-use/). So that may help you to feel more confident about trying this — if you spend the money, then the process will either work (in which case it’s money well-spent!) or it won’t (in which case you can ask for a refund within the first 2 e-mail exchanges, and get all your money back). Not sure if you had seen our refund policy before, which is why I mention it.

    No pressure to buy, of course – just something to think about! 🙂

  2. Mariela Argueta says:

    My 8 month old baby boy had a nit strict schedule but sord off had one, he was an antibiotics for an ear infeccion and not that he’s not taking them anymore he will be up all night until 7 am in the morning. I decided to set up a schedule and a bedtime for him but is still up quite a few hours every night, any advice ladies. What are your schedule and bedtimes routines for 8 month old babies???

  3. Emily says:

    Hi again Emily,
    Thanks again for another detailed response! I have a very distracted little one, so I already try to feed her 3 hourly and she only feeds for a few minutes – but I can certainly try 1 or 2 hourly to see if it makes a difference.
    I do have a question with regards to sleep training… I don’t have anything against the crying methods but I do have a very stubborn little madam who will cry for EVER if we let her! 🙁 We tried the check-and-console method the other week, and she cried for 3 hours, before I eventually fed her. And I know I probably made it ten times worse by giving in and feeding her, but by that point she was actually due a feed anyway! Hmmm. I know the first night is always meant to be the worst, but is 3 hours normal!?
    Anyway, my question is: if I think my baby still needs a night feed (which I think she does, definitely one although she’s still having two because I’m too exhausted to fight her at the second one..!!) – is it possible to use a cry-it-out method, when baby still requires a night feed? Currently she goes down with minimal fuss at 7pm, then wakes and needs soothing at 10pm, then wakes for a feed at about midnight, then again at about 3am, and then wakes at 7am (approximately). So it’s the 3am feed I want to try to cut out – and therefore would need to do cry-it-out at both 10pm and 3am, but NOT at midnight when she does get a feed. Is this not confusing for the baby, if they sometimes cry at night and get fed, and other times not? I wasn’t sure if perhaps we shouldn’t try cry-it-out until she is weaned onto solids properly and I feel she can go without any night feeds…?
    I’ve looked for an answer to this everywhere and can’t seem to find one, so hope you can clarify! 🙂
    I would LOVE to have a sleep consultation package but unfortunately we have already paid for a sleep consultant to spend 3 days and nights with us in our home, and the nights still aren’t fixed, so sadly we are now short of cash AND have less faith in it truly being worthwhile! 🙁
    I feel like my baby is the one who can’t be fixed…! But I know there are thousands of other mums out there who probably feel exactly the same way! xx

  4. Jill says:

    My 21 month old was sleep trained for a bit but then we got off track over the holidays. He falls asleep fairly easy but it involves me holding his hand through the crib for about 30 min. I know, I know…all wrong! But to some degree it served as a bonding time for us and I didn’t mind it. However, now if he wakes in the middle of the night, he can’t go back to sleep on his own. Ugh! Any suggestions on how to break this habit? Thanks in advance.

  5. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Allison – hmmm…tough to say for sure. You’d want to watch his sleep cues closely if you do alter the nap schedule, and watch for overtiredness. I’d lean towards sticking with the regular schedule regardless, just to try and build in more predictability, but again – watch his sleep cues. You may need to change whatever plans you make based on those.

    Hope this helps, Allison! 🙂

  6. Allison says:

    Thanks so much for your reply! That sounds like a good idea. I do nurse but I also top him off afterward with a supplemental bottle due to a low milk supply. I pretty much give the little guy an all you can buffet each day! So my last question is, do I keep the same three nap times each day regardless of when he gets up (5:30 or 6:30) or do I shift the whole day based on how long he has been awake? I struggle with this! I don’t always get away with a two hour awake time. Thanks!

  7. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Joanna – a year of sleep logs! Holy moly — that’s awesome! Such dedication on your part! 🙂 You know, your point is a good one, about him sleeping better when he sleeps better – that’s true. Follows the whole ‘sleep begets sleep’ chain of thinking.

    As for whether or not breastfeeding may be a factor here – I would venture to say that it *might* be. Hard to know for sure, of course, since I don’t know all the details. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should wean now so that he’ll have a more consistent wake-up time – how and when to wean is totally up to you!

    As for using the wake-to-sleep method – funny you should ask! I wrote an article on that while back. You can find it here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/wake-to-sleep-help-baby-short-naps/ It’s written specifically about naps, but it applies to what you’re talking about, too.

    Hope this helps, Joanna! Thanks for answering my questions, and for keeping the conversation going 🙂 Best of luck to you!

    @ Emily – nope, you’re not alone at all! I can’t tell you how many other moms we’ve worked with who are in similar situations to yours. What you’re experiencing is exhausting and frustrating, but so, so normal 🙂

    As for how to consolidate her eating so that more is happening during the day — that’s a tough one. Have you tried feeding her more frequently during the day, in an effort to get more calories into her? Maybe feed her every hour or two, and see if that helps?

    In terms of how to teach her to sleep better at night – without being your sleep consultant, and knowing all the ins-and-outs of your situation, I can’t make really specific recommendations. I can tell you that there are some techniques you can try that don’t involve crying, or that involve more limited crying – sounds like those might be a good fit for you. You can read about 5 common sleep training methods here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/5-baby-sleep-training-methods-explained/ There are lots of ways to tackle this, honestly – which method is best for you depends a lot on your goals and your timeframe, as well as your little girl’s own temperament and personality.

    If you want help with the sleep training, we’re here for you! We’ve got lots of consultation packages designed to help you break her nighttime associations, and to help her sleep longer and better. You can view those here, if you’d like: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services/

    Hang in there, Emily! The fact that you’re taking the time to read blog articles about baby sleep, and to seek out help from the Baby Sleep Site community, says volumes about what kind of mom you are. 🙂

    Do keep us posted on your progress, and don’t hesitate to reach out for more help, if you need it! We Emilys have to stick together, after all. 😉

  8. Emily says:

    Thank you so much Emily (and also Krystal!) for your responses.
    Firstly, @Krystal – YES – this is EXACTLY what Imogen does – she takes really good, long, proper feeds at night-time, whereas in the daytime she can literally spend a few minutes on each breast and seems satisfied until the next feed, 3-4 hours later. But how on earth do I go about switching this around!? I have tried feeding her in the daytime with no distractions around, no noise, etc, but she just isn’t that interested in the daytime! So I do think at the moment that she is getting more milk from me at night, than in the day, but I’m not sure how to fix this particular problem.
    @Emily, thank you for your detailed suggestions and links! I do think Imogen has a middle-of-the-night sleep association with needing a breastfeed to go back to sleep, although we are working on my husband going in to try to soothe her himself when she first wakes up at night and doesn’t yet need a feed (usually only about 3 hours after she has gone to sleep). But I’m not sure how to fix this? Should I wake her up after her night feed, and put her back in her cot awake? I must admit I am terrified of trying this in case she then screams and cries for a few hours..!! If you think it would only take a few days for her to ‘learn’, though, then I’m willing to give it a go 🙂
    One problem I know I have created is that, if Imogen wakes up e.g. an hour before she is due her next night feed, I will leave her (we go in occasionally based on how her crying sounds) but then if she is still awake and crying an hour later when the feed is then due, I will just feed her… so I know from reading some of Nicole’s other articles that I am in effect teaching her that, if she cries for an hour, then she will get fed. Argh, it’s so difficult!
    Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone with this site 🙂 xx

  9. Joanna says:

    Emily, thank-you for your ideas and questions! I checked my sleep logs (been keeping them pretty hardcore since we did our sleep training almost 1 year ago, when he was 5.5 months) and it’s funny…..he seems to sleep in later in he morning if he had a good, long nap the day before! Actually I have noticed this, that he sleeps better when he sleeps better…. 🙂 But your question of “do you still breastfeed, maybe it’s hunger?” gets me thinking….because yes I do still breastfeed – once at wake-up in the morning and once before teeth brushing before bed. So maybe you are right, it could be hunger. I’ve also wondered if sometimes he wakes early because he’s wanting the snuggle from me, like a pay-off, that would get him to rouse earlier than he normally would if I wasn’t breastfeeding right at wake-up time. In your experience, could breastfeeding be a cause of early wake-ups? (PS – someone mentioned trying wake-to-sleep, say around 4:30am; any experience with that?) Thank-you again, so very much, for your advice!

  10. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Krystal — good point! I think this is not uncommon, that breastfed babies tend to be more focused during nighttime eating. Thanks for reaching out to Emily, and for pointing this out! Love it when moms help moms! 🙂

    @ Peta — I can totally relate! My little 2.5 year old daughter doesn’t nap consistently either – and she hasn’t for a few months now. It’s kind of discouraging, since I work from home and have really come to rely on her going down for a little while in the afternoon, so that I can get work done! I also use that time to do any work-related calls. I’ve made it a rest time for her – she has free run of her room, and can play with toys/read books/etc. I even put her little potty in there, so that she can go to the bathroom if she needs to. I can usually manage to get about an hour (maybe 90 minutes on good days) before she really starts to protest.

    Have you tried this with your daughter? Allowing her to out of her bed and playing quietly in her room? For us, that was key — when I tried to keep my little girl in her bed, she resisted like crazy. When I stopped that and let her have the run of her room, rest time became easier.

    Another idea would be to do 45 minutes of age-appropriate TV at this time in the afternoon. That would give you some time to zone out and rest yourself! TV isn’t ideal, and you’ll want to avoid letting her watch too much, of course. But I’ve been in your shoes, having a toddler and a new baby, and sometimes, you just need to do what works for everyone. Some TV time would keep her occupied, and would give you a chance to doze on the couch.

    Hope these tips help, Peta! You may also be interested in our free toddler guide, if you haven’t downloaded it already (find it here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/toddler-sleep-training-secrets-free-ebook/) Don’t hesitate to reach out again, if you need additional support – we’re here for you!! 🙂

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