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Author Topic: Getting baby to sleep through the night  (Read 1272 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: August 12, 2012, 12:39:58 AM »

To all of you parents out there, Orthodox and non:  How did you get your baby to sleep through the  night?  What techniques did you try?  How long did it take? My baby is 6 weeks old.  He eats about every 4 hours or so, but his need to feed so regularly should stop soon.  We want to get him on a schedule as soon as possible. Fortunately, my wife will be home with the baby until October 1, though I will be going back to work in 1 week so we want to establish a routine as soon as possible for when both of us have to work and require our sleep.  Let me know what worked for you and what didn't work for you.  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 01:25:59 AM »

I don't have anything terribly innovative, but fwiw here's what I remember from seeing our two pass into the stage of sleeping all night...

- Establishing a set routine helped. We didn't don't put them to bed at 7pm one night and 11pm the next night and 8 pm the next and so forth. We also made sure feedings and playing and such were at specific times, and gave them a wind-down period before bed when we would just sit with them quietly or read a story.

- We kept classical music playing in their room while they slept, not sure if that helped or not.

- Whether we responded to their cries varied. Sometimes the cry indicated that something was just wrong. However, if they were dry, fed, etc., and it was just a plain normal cry then we let them cry themselves to sleep. We felt that if they learnt that crying would always get attention then they'd end up crying every night and it'd be a constant struggle. We also did this because we didn't want them sleeping with us,  but in their own room.

- Not sure if baths helped, but it might have. A play period about a half hour to an hour or more before bed might have helped tire them out, not sure if it did but we tried (at least with our second one).

- As they got older we created situations in which they'd have choices (or just gave them the power to choose), first so that they could get used to making choices, and second so that they would feel like they had some power over their nighttime routine. Choices could range from whether they wanted to read book X or Y, whether they wanted to get baths on "evens" or "odds" (days of the week), whether they wanted to play in their room or in mommy and daddy's room, etc.

Thankfully both our babies were very good and transitioned easily, and rarely gave us problems, at least with regard to crying. Now bodily fluids... ugh...  Cool
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 01:28:45 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 09:15:23 PM »

My son woke up every two hours for the first two months he was home.  My wife and I would take turns all through the night.  I don't know how old your child is but the time mine stayed asleep grew in days as the weeks and months went by.  I don't think it was anything that we did that made any significant difference other than letting him sleep all the time.  I know some parent let their children sleep too much just to avoid the work of caring for them and some just do it because they didn't get any sleep the night before.

In any account, they will grow out of it.  Hang in there.  I have one child about to graduate from college and the other in high school.  Believe it or not, I miss the days of waking up with a baby and holding them.  Cherish the time as much as possible.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 09:16:36 PM by jerry » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 11:44:41 PM »

My son woke up every two hours for the first two months he was home.  My wife and I would take turns all through the night.  I don't know how old your child is but the time mine stayed asleep grew in days as the weeks and months went by.  I don't think it was anything that we did that made any significant difference other than letting him sleep all the time.  I know some parent let their children sleep too much just to avoid the work of caring for them and some just do it because they didn't get any sleep the night before.

In any account, they will grow out of it.  Hang in there.  I have one child about to graduate from college and the other in high school.  Believe it or not, I miss the days of waking up with a baby and holding them.  Cherish the time as much as possible.

Agreeing with Jerry.  Mine tended to grow out of it and back into it as they grew.  IIRC at about 6 weeks they started going a bit longer at night (perhaps 6 hrs), but then a month or two later it was back to 4hrs(at least with some of the kids).   The only "trick" I remember doing was getting them out of my room by the time they were about 4-6weeks old.   And, I may have tried stimulating them a bit more in the evening to try to keep them up a bit longer- but as you've probably figured out by now, trying to get a sleepy newborn to stay awake is like herding cats.   Grin

I have friends, who also have many kids, and they swore by the warm liter bottle method.  The trick (as I heard it) was the fill a liter bottle with warm water and place a shirt worn by mama over the bottle.  Then put the bottle in the crib with baby.  I never tried it, but a friend who had 8 or so kids said it worked great for her kids.
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 09:56:16 AM »


In any account, they will grow out of it.  Hang in there.  I have one child about to graduate from college and the other in high school.  Believe it or not, I miss the days of waking up with a baby and holding them.  Cherish the time as much as possible.

This. It is just a season.
While I know how tiring it is (or how tiring it is to wake every 2-4 hours for a couple of years), it can be hard to not want to change it. Even though my child is now 3 years old and still sometimes waking once a night (she still sleeps in our bed with us, which makes life generally easier and more pleasant for us), I, too, miss waking up and cuddling the little baby she once was.
Don't be in a rush to drop night time feedings or to stop responding to baby's night time needs.

This may or may not give you some ideas for healthy expectations and nighttime routines.
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/sleeping-with-baby-breastfeeding-night.html
Quote
It is normal for human beings to wake during the night. We each awake several times a night, but don't remember that we have. It is normal for human infants, especially, to wake at night. During their early weeks, they sleep during the day and are awake for periods during the night. It takes about two months for their day-night cycle to regulate itself.

Quote
Common sense tells us that night waking is not a pathological abnormality but a temporary disturbance. It decreases as baby teeth come in and the immune system matures. Here are some ideas that can help:
Accept night waking as normal.
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Don't turn on the light or change diapers when the baby wake at night to nurse.
Don't count how many times you're awake at night.
Don't look at the clock in the middle of the night.
Nap on weekends, or whenever you can get help with the baby.
Carry on.


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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 10:02:01 AM »


In any account, they will grow out of it.  Hang in there.  I have one child about to graduate from college and the other in high school.  Believe it or not, I miss the days of waking up with a baby and holding them.  Cherish the time as much as possible.

This. It is just a season.
While I know how tiring it is (or how tiring it is to wake every 2-4 hours for a couple of years), it can be hard to not want to change it. Even though my child is now 3 years old and still sometimes waking once a night (she still sleeps in our bed with us, which makes life generally easier and more pleasant for us), I, too, miss waking up and cuddling the little baby she once was.
Don't be in a rush to drop night time feedings or to stop responding to baby's night time needs.


Yes, that.  Some of my fondest memories are the 2-3am feedings with one of my little ones and hearing the train rumbling west in distance.
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 11:01:24 AM »

I'm afraid that I can really offer no suggestions. My eldest was terrible for waking frequently during the night and seemed to only ever fall asleep with me (and he seemed to have some sort of inbuilt altimeter that meant he woke up if I sat down!), so I think I spent about six months pacing up and down with a baby on my shoulder for much of every night. Believe me when I say I tried almost everything to get him to sleep and nothing worked - he just grew out of it eventually. My daughter, on the other hand, practically slept straight through from day one. My only conclusion is that some kids just wake frequently and others sleep for longer periods and there's little you can do about it.

James
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 11:21:49 AM »

There seems to be a great variety in how versatile babies are. Some can handle different routines, and variation in routines ok. Some, like ours, need what they need. Our son woke up through the night a lot, it was extremely difficult. We found out that if we put him to bed at the time he needed to go to bed, he slept 11 hr through the night. Even now that he is older, if we try to put him to bed at even 7:30, he will wake up through the night and be up by a little after 4. If we give him what he needs, we all get sleep. Weissbluth is a good resource, taken with a grain of salt where he contradicts himself, and sorting through the bad organization. I hope you have an easy baby though, and don't have to go to the extremes we went through to get sleep. I can tell you though that it is worth it. People think we're crazy for being a slave to our baby's bedtime and not having any fun. But he is so alert, responsive, and happy. When his sleep is thrown off he is miserable, uncooperative, and just looks unwell. It means giving up having a life to be home with him all evening, but we're supposed to sacrifice for them.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 11:22:47 AM by Jonathan » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 02:16:34 PM »

At only 6 weeks old, I don't think it is unreasonable for your baby to wake every 4 hours to eat.  IIRC, babies can require night feeds until up to 8 months of age.  However, it is a very wise idea to start thinking about healthy sleep habits from now in order to prevent sleep problems!  I strongly recommend Weissbluth's, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child".  He explains how to help babies sleep (i.e. limit wakefulness to 1-2 hrs in the first couple of months, early bedtimes, soothing, motionless sleep, etc), and helps you understand important concepts surrounding infant sleep like when babies develop naps, how often you should expect babies to wake during the night, how to solve night waking problems...

I never thought about sleep with our baby- somehow, I thought sleeping would just come naturally... but then, when our baby was four months old, he started waking as often as every hour during the night and that continued until he was 8 months old.  I thought I was going to lose my mind. I remembered a friend had told me about the Weissbluth book, so I read it and we started sleep training- it worked.  We largely solved our night waking issues with a predictable bedtime routine, an early bedtime (6:30pm for a 22-month-old), and ensuring naps took place. 

I agree with Jonathan: every baby is different, some babies are much more versatile than others.  However, I think getting educated about infant sleep can only help.

Congratulations, and God bless your family Smiley

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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 10:13:21 PM »

I have 5 children.  Oldest 13, youngest 4.  I remember like yesterday each and every one at 6 weeks.

2-3 pinches of baby Gerber rice cereal in the bottle will help a lot (usually next to the baby food in a plastic wrapped box).  Move up to a tablespoon in a week.  NIGHT NIGHT after that.  

Later on (around 8 weeks to 10 weeks) we used a good 1/4 cup in each bottle and all of our children slept very well.  

Rice cereal is your friend.   It's the secret!  You may need to widen the bottle nipple opening just a bit so it won't clog.  

(we started just a tiny pinch after 30 days)


Sweet dreams.  

(Also a side note, please research the dangers of vaccines HEAVILY)

God bless.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 10:56:20 AM »

I wish I could be helpful. We have a son, 18 months, and a daughter, 5 months.

Our son, whenever I put him in his crib and he's not so tired already that he falls asleep instantly, will scream until he vomits. Even if he does go to sleep there then in 1 to 2 hours he's awake again. I try to give him pediasure before bed but half the time he doesn't want it. There was a time where he was sleeping through the night in his crib. Usually we just give up and put him in the bed with us and then he sleeps through the night.

I don't know what's wrong but he throws tantrums whenever I won't give him what he wants and it really upsets me every time. I want to refuse to give in to those tantrums, but my wife gives him something else to keep him happy. Her and her whole family think I'm a bad parent for wanting to let him have his tantrum and not giving him anything to reward his behavior.  Angry Can someone be defiant at 18 months?

Our daughter has always slept through the night as far as I can remember. She takes some short naps during the day, falls asleep usually drinking her bottle and sleeps from 10:30 to 6 or 7  Huh
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 11:05:13 AM »

I wish I could be helpful. We have a son, 18 months, and a daughter, 5 months.

Our son, whenever I put him in his crib and he's not so tired already that he falls asleep instantly, will scream until he vomits. Even if he does go to sleep there then in 1 to 2 hours he's awake again. I try to give him pediasure before bed but half the time he doesn't want it. There was a time where he was sleeping through the night in his crib. Usually we just give up and put him in the bed with us and then he sleeps through the night.

I don't know what's wrong but he throws tantrums whenever I won't give him what he wants and it really upsets me every time. I want to refuse to give in to those tantrums, but my wife gives him something else to keep him happy. Her and her whole family think I'm a bad parent for wanting to let him have his tantrum and not giving him anything to reward his behavior.  Angry Can someone be defiant at 18 months?

Our daughter has always slept through the night as far as I can remember. She takes some short naps during the day, falls asleep usually drinking her bottle and sleeps from 10:30 to 6 or 7  Huh

Yes, they can be very stubborn and manipulative by 18 months. It took us a week of crying for 45-90 min per night before our son got the message and gave up, and since then, unless his sleep is messed up by being sick or something, he goes to sleep without any crying. If he can get attention, he will get attention. Also, a 10:30 bed time is probably way too late for a baby. Some will deal with it fine, others will respond by crying going down, waking up through the night, and waking up early. I really recommend you check out this book: http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-Happy-Child/dp/0449004023

We didn't put our child through cry it out for selfish reasons, but because we want him to be able to sleep well. Holding him and taking 2-3 hr to put him to bed just guarantees he gets the attention he wants, but he's also exhausted because his sleep is delayed by wanting to stay awake to be with us. We make sure we spend lots of time with him and give him lots of attention, but not after bed time so he can be rested, healthy, and learn discipline.

While we're accused of abusing our son when we take him home for a nap after Liturgy instead of taking him to lunch, and putting him to bed at  7 instead of taking him out to "socialize", when we do it our way he is well rested, happy, well behaved, attentive, thoughtful... And when he is "shown more love" by being kept up till 9 or missing a nap to spend more time with him, he is hyper, can't focus, miserable, crying, and just generally terribly behaved and unhappy.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 11:09:23 AM by Jonathan » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 11:20:04 AM »

My son woke up every two hours for the first two months he was home.  My wife and I would take turns all through the night.  I don't know how old your child is but the time mine stayed asleep grew in days as the weeks and months went by.  I don't think it was anything that we did that made any significant difference other than letting him sleep all the time.  I know some parent let their children sleep too much just to avoid the work of caring for them and some just do it because they didn't get any sleep the night before.

In any account, they will grow out of it.  Hang in there.  I have one child about to graduate from college and the other in high school.  Believe it or not, I miss the days of waking up with a baby and holding them.  Cherish the time as much as possible.
I was just thinking how I miss holding my sons. Now that they are almost my height, a little more difficult.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 01:25:22 PM »

We just had our fourth last Monday. They started sleeping through the night somewhere between 2 and 5 months, depending on the child.


EDIT: ...and then I notice OP was from August.
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 01:28:00 PM »

I would say "congrats"... but I have a feeling you'll need more prayers than well wishes for a while  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 01:49:16 PM »

I would say "congrats"... but I have a feeling you'll need more prayers than well wishes for a while  Grin

 Grin  Thanks
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2012, 08:21:22 PM »

We just had our fourth last Monday.

Congratulations!  Grin
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2012, 09:06:41 PM »

We just had our fourth last Monday.

Congratulations!  Grin

Thank you, Biro!
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2012, 04:44:49 AM »

Our 10 month old boy still doesn't sleep all the way through the night. He sleeps in his bed for about 4-5 hours and then wakes up. Mom picks him out of bed, plops him into our's and he wakes up one to two more times a night. AAAARGH!

I really believe that if we spent more time after he woke up, rocking him back to sleep, he would go back into his bed but we're just too tired from both working all day to do it. I hope he will just grow out of it. The worst thing I dread is that he'll become too attached to sleeping with us.

Good luck!

Every kid is different. We have 3 and the first one slept a full 7 hrs from 2 weeks after we had her.
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2012, 06:40:10 AM »

I seem to be seeing a pattern emerge in this thread. In general, it seems like if you really want to have your child sleep through the night you need to have a daughter. Unfortunately that's not so easy to arrange.

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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2012, 05:07:05 PM »

I seem to be seeing a pattern emerge in this thread. In general, it seems like if you really want to have your child sleep through the night you need to have a daughter. Unfortunately that's not so easy to arrange.

James

50/50 are still pretty good odds. If it were a girl you got and a boy you wanted, while they're still young (or so I've heard), you can blow hard in their mouth and hold their noses until the dinky  pops out like a turkey thermometer!  Grin

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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2012, 05:49:30 PM »

None of our kids slept thru the night until they were over the age of 1. We co-sleep, so it is merely an issue of "roll over and latch them on, then fall back asleep."
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2012, 06:10:02 PM »

None of our kids slept thru the night until they were over the age of 1. We co-sleep, so it is merely an issue of "roll over and latch them on, then fall back asleep."

:nodding
That was the least painful for everyone in my family, too. More sleep for me because I wasn't getting out of bed, and better rest for baby because she didn't have to fully wake up- she was able to nurse while she went back to sleep.
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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2012, 06:39:44 PM »

A baby will sleep thru the night when their central nervous system is mature enough to do so, not any sooner. No matter what people say; cereal in the bottle isn't a magical answer. If a baby is ready for solids, there are better things to eat. If they aren't ready for solids, it can be damaging to their digestive system to introduce solids too early.
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