Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

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Diana_stilwell
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Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby Diana_stilwell » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:45 am

Hey everyone.

I need some advice.
My six months old baby still wakes up every two hours or so during the night to have a feed. I'm desperate. He has been doing this since birth and im really tired. He is exclusively breastfed and I'm starting to introduce solids at the moment without any change to this behaviour.
Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Most of my friends babies sleep through the night...

Need your help/advice!

Thank you
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HightreesHouse
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby HightreesHouse » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:42 am

hI there,
the same thing happened to me. both my children were exclusively breast fed and the first slept through the night from six months old. Other friend who had given formula and breast feeding seemed to get their babies sleeping through the night from 16 weeks old or so.

MY second child didn't sleep through the night until a year old and woke up twice a night and had a snack and then went back to sleep. Eventually my back went {apart from my general wellbeing and sanity) and my husband was forced to step in. When the baby woke up he just said firmly that Mama was asleep . After two nights of waking he couldn't be bothered to wake up anymore and slept through the night.

If you have just started weaning it might take a couple of weeks for the solids to kick in and aid sleeping through he night. Your baby is also in the habit of waking up and probably likes a snack to go back to sleep. this will interfere with his appetite as he will have no need of food. don't feed at night.
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jjjc
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby jjjc » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:55 am

Can you afford any help? If so try Clare Hepworth at Small Steps Baby Care (smallstepsbabycare.co.uk). Clare is a really kind sleep trainer and night nanny and will not only give you a night off but will also give you a plan to sleep train your little one (and will do several nights of the hard work for you).

In any event at 6 months they don't need feeding in the night, at least not every few hours so you can knock that on the head immediately.

My children were terrible sleepers - my daughter didn't sleep through the night properly until she was 18 months (a month before my son arrived!) and my son didn't sleep through even once till he was 18 months, and then not routinely until 3 1/4. So I feel your pain. You are probably so desperately tired you can't think straight so getting someone in to help you now is a great idea.

What worked for my daughter in the end was being firm with her - not controlled crying, but making clear this couldn't go on. What worked for my son was time! So we had to find coping strategies - Clare helped hugely with this.

Best of luck.
Last edited by jjjc on Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Muminearlsfield
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby Muminearlsfield » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:12 am

I would say that comparing your baby to your friend's babys is not helpful and really unhealthy for you as well.

I get your frustration. My baby didn't sleep through the night until he was 9-10 months.

We started giving him formula (as well as breast) and each time he would wake up for a drink I would reduce the amount of the bottle each night.

We also tried soothing him with words as opposed to giving him a feed straight away.
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LynseyFuorvito
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby LynseyFuorvito » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:15 am

Hi, I am a Sleep Consultant that would be happy to help you out. Have a look at my website and get in touch if you'd like. I offer a 15 min free initial phone call to have a chat before deciding if you'd like to book with me.
tinysleepers.com
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dudette
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby dudette » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:53 am

Maybe try a big bottle of formula before he goes to sleep. You could try waking him for a dream feed around 11. The best advice I ever got was always burp the baby afterwards - wait for the burp no matter how long it takes, and don’t interact with him at all during night time feeds. Pick him up. Feed him. Burp him. Put him down. Don’t talk to him and avoid eye contact. Good luck!
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SwallowsandAmazons
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby SwallowsandAmazons » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:19 pm

Sleep deprivation is no fun for any mother so feeling your exhaustion. You will hear many ideas about what to do to get your baby to sleep longer but each baby is so different, getting some individualistic support can help you see the wood from the trees. If you do opt for sleep training, then phone a few to see which approach suits your parenting style. Some are very into controlled crying and some look at your baby and really try to work out what is going on in a gentle way. Feeding can also be a big factor in how a baby behaves so seeing a lactation consultant or infant feeding counsellor can really help. I am a Postnatal Doula and infant feeding/breastfeeding counsellor although I no longer live in the area so if you would like to speak to me about different options and ideas for signposting on, you are most welcome.
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Pod
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby Pod » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:59 pm

LynseyFuorvito wrote:Hi, I am a Sleep Consultant that would be happy to help you out. Have a look at my website and get in touch if you'd like. I offer a 15 min free initial phone call to have a chat before deciding if you'd like to book with me.
tinysleepers.com
I can second Lynsey she helped us through a really tricky patch of sleep deprivation, def worth having a chat to her! X
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AbbevilleMummy
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:28 pm

I really feel for you!

Firstly, you are not doing anything wrong, you have been doing the best you can for you and your baby so don’t have any self doubt!

It has more than likely turned into a habit now for your baby and has probably got little to do with hunger. Just the same as when adults get stuck in an annoying sleep pattern. For that reason I would concentrate less on the feeding and more or your routine including during the daytime. What happens during the day in terms of sleep will impact the night time sleeping.

You need to break the cycle/habit but that is so hard to do when you are exhausted and can’t see the wood for the trees. If you can afford it then do contact one of the sleep consultants recommended. If you can’t then try The Baby Whisperer books, I found them so useful with my babies.

Good luck x
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Babber
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby Babber » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:45 pm

Every baby is different but generally speaking, babies wake up often through the night because they are hungry. Breast milk is a relatively thin liquid and if your baby is average size or bigger, then it may not be enough for him. He may also wake up for a comfort suckle, but more likely it is hunger given that you are breastfeeding you so don't know how much he drinks.

Since he is exclusively breastfed, you may not want to give him a full bottle of formula, but you need to do something to ensure he is properly fed and thicken up the breast milk before bed. I would buy some powdered formula and add it to a bottle of breast milk and give it to him before bed time. Introducing solids is great but at this point, solids are just a "taste" and his main food is still milk. Solids will definitely help but you need to ensure (a) he is eating enough and (b) that food is substantial. Once you do this and he is still waking up, you can address behavioural issues but I would address the hunger point first since if you start to try and sleep train or whatever now, it won't work as he will be hungry and keep crying out.

I know this from experience as my 6 month boy is a HUNGRY baby. When he was tiny, breastfeeding at night was enough for him but at 3 months, he started a growth spurt and started waking up through the night. I added a bit of formula to a bottle and he was out for the count. Sometimes he would even fall asleep while drinking. I know you want to exclusively breast feed, but for everyone's sanity, perhaps try a bottle of breast milk with some formula before bed. He won't get nipple confusion- both my babies were mixed bottle and breast fed and they switched between them easily. Good luck!
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Sheds
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby Sheds » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:44 pm

Hi Diana_stilwell

No, you are not doing anything wrong, and neither is your little one!

I had an interesting chat with a Health Visitor this week and it may help to share. There appears to be a misconception regarding bottle/breast fed babies and the amount they sleep/quality of parental sleep. A bottle feeding mum has to fully wake up, do the bottle thing, put the baby back to sleep and then get back to sleep themselves. A breast feeding mum wakes to the point of being able to feed the baby, put back to sleep and then the difference is that they slip back into a deeper sleep quicker, as they never fully woke in the first place. So during the day when chatter is about sleep, the bottle feeding mum believes that she has had more sleep, when in truth there may be very little difference, and may even swing the other way!

I am intrigued by the misconception that breast milk needs thickening up! Breast milk changes and adapts to meet the baby so there is no requirement for changing it in any shape or form. It comes in the perfect formula for the baby it is feeding. If the baby is hungry then the baby is hungry, not aware that they are aware of it being night or day, and hence should or shouldn't be feeling hungry - that is an adult concept.

Advising bottle feeding formula to ensure he is 'properly fed' blows my mind! Have we as a society been sucked so far into the marketing machine that we are happy to hand over all common sense?

If you are stuck thinking that you and your little boy are doing things wrong, I promise that you are not. I can hear that you are tired. Do you get any time for yourself? Do you manage some sleep during the day when he is napping? Do you think that you could think differently about your night times? How lovely to have peaceful time with him, cuddles unrestricted by what 'should' be getting done during the daytime. All of us parents go through it. It is all perfectly normal. At some point your little one will sleep through... and you will miss your nocturnal moments!
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norfolkgirl
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby norfolkgirl » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:47 pm

Having just been through a week of bad sleep with our baby I’m really feeling for you.

Heidi who runs the Parent and Baby Coach is supposed to be really great. She is based in SW London anyway, but also does online courses and phone consultations.

I follow her on Instagram and she is full of helpful tips even if you don’t have need for any of her actual courses.

I wish you the best of luck finding something that works for you and your baby. Sometimes it’s small tweaks in routine that can make a huge difference. xx
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sarah1986
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby sarah1986 » Tue Apr 05, 2022 1:13 pm

Hi there,

While I agree with all of the comments so far. My partner and I struggling with sleep deprivation so couldn't tackle the situation with any energy or conviction, and were often ending up arguing ourselves. So our first port of call was to understand and manage sleep deprivation. We got most of our information from the Pareful website, which focusses on the parents mindfulness.

Once we applied a new approach to the tiredness we were able to be more relaxed about our little one not sleeping through. By being more relaxed we were prepared to let him go loner periods without feeds and also little crying. We did this for a week and he has slept through since.
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Gremlin1
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby Gremlin1 » Tue Apr 05, 2022 5:24 pm

I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but 6 months old is still very little and a lot of babies will still wake up at this age. Being very tired is a rite of passage for any parent! Formula and weaning may help a little but mostly it is just time. I strongly don’t think controlled crying is the answer - numerous studies have shown how detrimental this can be to infant neurodevelopment. I know it seems endless, but the night wakings will end one day! 4 children of my own so I can promise you that!
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Coffeeplease
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Re: Help/advice 6month old doesn't sleep through the night

Postby Coffeeplease » Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:34 pm

I know how hard being this exhausted is. My first never slept through & was up at 5/5:30 am every single day. No long naps but catnaps along the day. What a struggle it was especially because people kept telling me it wasn't normal.
Then I read a hundred different things on the subject and discovered it was all very blooming normal. Annoying & tiring, yes, but normal nonetheless. Babies and toddlers wake up for 100 different reasons, not just linked to milk. I just quit trying to guess this all out and just went with the flow. I still wasn't sleeping much but how it helped to change perspective. I relaxed & surfed the wave of tiredness. Yes, there are some tweaks you can do that help - looking at the routine and see how it can be adjusted a bit. But I feel that this idea of sleep training is a myth. Sleep is developmental and will really only come when the child is ready. A bit like walking and everything else. You can give a hand but you won't ever make a child that is not ready walk.

I also started co-sleeping. Bought some bedrails, put baby next to me and suddenly didn't have to do the whole up/down sing and dance every night. That helped a lot.
This may be bad news but my eldest only really slept through the night when she was almost 4. My second, who is almost 4, still doesn't. He wakes up once a night and wants to say hello. So it is not just babies, young children as well.

Some good sources of scientific info on the subject (can't post the links but just Google them):


- The beyond sleeptraining project

- Evolutionaryparenting

- Sarah Ockwell- Smith

Good luck and remember you are not alone in this, if this helps in any way.
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