Parenting & Family

Parents - Can you share your sleeping advice/experience please

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  • Jan 22nd, 2018 7:00 pm
[OP]
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Jan 3, 2018
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Parents - Can you share your sleeping advice/experience please

Hi, we have two children. The older was a breeze at sleeping. But the younger one who is now 6 and 1/2 months old is much more "dynamic". My question is related to sleeping through the night, and night feedings. My wife is very sleep deprived and is getting depressed.
We started sleep training our baby last month and after a fair bit of crying, he now gets up twice a night: 2am and 5am for feeds. In the day he will only nap 3 x 30 minutes and it is driving my wife crazy as she keeps reading babies need to sleep for 3 hours combined.

My question is:
1. Can you share your experience with sleep training or just handling sleeping, including naps?
2. Does/did your baby sleep 12 hours at a young age? What can we realistically expect?
3. Did you night wean or keep feeding the baby during the night. Our baby is at 90 percentile so no weight concerns from the doctor.

I'd appreciate any insights as the strain is causing some pressure in our household and I want my wife to laugh and smile again freely rather than obsess about the baby sleep so much (she is constantly reading books and sleep training forums)

Thanks,
J
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Jun 8, 2008
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Neither of our kids slept through the night until around 1 year. One of the things my husband did was took over one of the nighttime feedings on occasion - he'd feed him from a bottle. Meanwhile, I had slept in the basement so I'd get one full 6 hour sleep rather than shorter spurts - certainly helped me.
Newbie
Jan 3, 2018
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I have 2 kids. The oldest is 2 (turning 3 in a few months) and my second child is 1 year old. Both did not start sleeping 12 hours until the 1 year mark.
At 6 months old, they were just starting to eat on solids food. Their stomach is still small at that age so naturally they do get up at night for feeds.

Question 1.
I started a sleep time routine. I put them to bed around the same time every day (7:30pm). Also at 6 months, I moved them to their own room so that we can both sleep better without waking each other up. My kids never napped properly during the day.


Question 2.
You can realistically expect them to sleep 12 hours from 11 months of age (based on my experience). Keep in mind that this might change when a child is not feeling well. Introduce new foods in the morning so that possible upset stomachs doesn't interfere with nighttime sleep.

Question 3.
Yes, I continued night feeding until 10 months. At point, they were sleeping around 6 hours plus they were eating more solids.
Children also go through a growth spurt around 6 months and might wake up a lot for a feed.

In summary, you and your wife are doing amazing!! For your baby to only wake up twice at the age of 6 months is proof that the sleep training is working. I think 3 naps during the day is great!! Think positive and be patient, all children are different. Also you want him to wake up and communicate if he is hungry. It will get easier soon.
Jr. Member
Oct 15, 2008
141 posts
46 upvotes
Windsor
As you've found out, every kid is different. Sleep training helps, but what was more beneficial to my SO was me sending her to bed at 8 pm when the kid went down, taking the "late" feeding at (in our case 1 am) and putting the kid down and then my partner had 8 hours of sleep until her day started with the kid at 4 am. Solid foods help, but if you aren't there, you can augment with a heavy formula mix for the last night feeding - or a rice based cereal as the "last" meal. Sometimes they just need something heavier in their stomachs to get through.

It does get better - eventually. Well, it did for our first 2. The 3rd one is a whole different story, but......enjoy the journey and remember you'll have to have your partner's back through the tough stuff too. They will appreciate it for sure.
Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2015
532 posts
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Tsuu T'Ina, AB
Short naps like that are hard - it barely feels like a break at all. And parents need breaks. It’s hard, but try just putting the baby back to bed when they wake up. Do it for two hours if you have to. Then, when it’s “time” for them to wake up, do it even if they just fell asleep. Keep doing this at the same times until you can get two 2hour naps during the day.

At night, it’s possible your baby is in the habit of waking to feed but doesn’t really need it. You can try just putting them back to sleep instead of feeding. This is easier if the dad does it since he doesn’t smell like milk so much. If it was just a habit, three or four nights of this can break it and lead to a glorious 8 hours straight.

Don’t obsess over techniques. Pick a strategy and then stick with it for at least a week. Babies like routines and they need consistency to help them regulate themselves and know what to expect. If you change strategies every couple of days things won’t improve.

Lack of sleep is incredibly stressful. I hope it improves for you.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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Go see a pediatrician. Tell them of your problems. They will then look at your child and (most likely) tell you "That looks like a healthy baby to me. Keep doing what you're doing and it will get better".

The internet is full of people who have horror stories about raising their children. It's also full of people who have their children "fully potty trained" at 6 months of age. Everything has to be taken with a grain of salt, and you have to realize it is not always reflective of the average. It's a great resource - until it becomes your single source of truth.

Talk to your pediatrician. They hear this all the time from parents - ours even had a paper he printed out for patients for things like when to start solids, what solids to start with and gave us a "prescription" for coffee and netflix if we start sleep training our child (which luckily we didn't need to). Nothing should ease your fears more than a medical professional, who has spent over a decade in school alone and dedicates their entire profession to children, telling you everything is OK.
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Our triplets have been sleeping through the night once they turned six months. They've been *mostly* consistent at this ever since, and are now over 2 yrs old. Since they're triplets, we make sure they all sleep at the same time, meaning we rock them to sleep. We'll rock all three to sleep, then carry them to their cribs. Consistency is everything.
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[OP]
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Jan 3, 2018
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TrevorK wrote:
Jan 7th, 2018 3:11 pm
Go see a pediatrician. Tell them of your problems. They will then look at your child and (most likely) tell you "That looks like a healthy baby to me. Keep doing what you're doing and it will get better".

The internet is full of people who have horror stories about raising their children. It's also full of people who have their children "fully potty trained" at 6 months of age. Everything has to be taken with a grain of salt, and you have to realize it is not always reflective of the average. It's a great resource - until it becomes your single source of truth.

Talk to your pediatrician. They hear this all the time from parents - ours even had a paper he printed out for patients for things like when to start solids, what solids to start with and gave us a "prescription" for coffee and netflix if we start sleep training our child (which luckily we didn't need to). Nothing should ease your fears more than a medical professional, who has spent over a decade in school alone and dedicates their entire profession to children, telling you everything is OK.
Our family doctor says she looks after babies, which is why we went with her during the pregnancy. However, on one of the appointments, when asking her about sleep, she said "that's not a medical question".

I agree with what you are saying - the LO is healthy despite the eye bags :)
[OP]
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Jan 3, 2018
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Thank you everyone for your advice and perspectives. It helps. The baby seems to now sleep 10 hours and wakes up to eat for 1/2 hour and takes another 15-30 minutes to fall back asleep. I guess 6 months is still young and we had always nursed before so it's a big change.

Do parents here think sleep times matter? For example, we would probably do better with a 8-8 schedule but I was told that that is not good for babies?

@titaniumtux - triplets, wow! Kudos and wonderful!
Last edited by titaniumtux on Jan 8th, 2018 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed tag
Newbie
Jan 3, 2018
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We do 7:30 to 7:30. Pick a time that works for you. I know parents that do 6:30 and some that do 9:30. I pick our time based on work and daycare schedule. The important thing is that they get enough sleep.
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2013
755 posts
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Toronto
HI there. We were on the same boat not too long ago. I started sleep training at 5.5mos. Something clicked eventually and I realized he was low sleep needs. I adjusted our routine and voila, he started sleeping through the night and napping looongg! I did stress about his sleep as he was a catnapper (37mins or less). And I barely had time for myself let alone chores so was also having severe baby blues and anxiety.

I suggest reading through the baby whisperer method. There’s also a forum and other experienced parents from all over the world are fabulous in helping you tweak your routine.

Basically, your baby isn’t tired enough or hasn’t learned to transition past the half an hour mark. But at this point, your baby is probably overtired from being sleep deprived. LO will likely have a nice long nap here and there to catch up (mine did about every 4-6w). I’m glad your baby is now STTN. After mine did that (at 7ish months) I was finally able to focus on naps. Like everyone said, every baby is different. Yours is probably starting solids and can therefore sleep longer stretches at night - make sure you feed some protein, fat on top of the carbs at supper, before BT milk feed. Although up to 2 overnight feeds is still normal up to 9 months.

Normal baby circadian rhythm is 7-7 but if 8-8 works best for your family, baby will learn and adjust. Mine is 7am and bedtime around 8pm. He sleeps 10.5-11hrs at night and 3h daytime sleep. We’re down to 2 naps now. We base on awake time as per baby whisperer which is a gentle sleep training method, against CIO method.

Let me know if you have any questions. After months of sleep training and research, I feel like I could be a sleep consultant. Lol
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Jakinthe wrote:
Jan 8th, 2018 3:40 pm
Thank you everyone for your advice and perspectives. It helps. The baby seems to now sleep 10 hours and wakes up to eat for 1/2 hour and takes another 15-30 minutes to fall back asleep. I guess 6 months is still young and we had always nursed before so it's a big change.

Do parents here think sleep times matter? For example, we would probably do better with a 8-8 schedule but I was told that that is not good for babies?

@titaniumtux - triplets, wow! Kudos and wonderful!
We find sleep times do matter - eventually. Our child went to daycare and we needed to make sure that they were eventually shifted so that we could leave the house and drop them off in time to go to work. You don't need to worry about this early on (such as at 6 months) but you need to keep in mind you'll want to slowly shift your child to match your childcare schedule. Our child would go to bed at 7:00-7:30 and get up at 6:15 or so when they started daycare at 12 months.

If you have a parent / caregiver staying at home with the child then feel free to set what works for you and your lifestyle.
[OP]
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Jan 3, 2018
321 posts
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Kayceern wrote:
Jan 8th, 2018 9:14 pm
HI there. We were on the same boat not too long ago. I started sleep training at 5.5mos. Something clicked eventually and I realized he was low sleep needs. I adjusted our routine and voila, he started sleeping through the night and napping looongg! I did stress about his sleep as he was a catnapper (37mins or less). And I barely had time for myself let alone chores so was also having severe baby blues and anxiety.

I suggest reading through the baby whisperer method. There’s also a forum and other experienced parents from all over the world are fabulous in helping you tweak your routine.

Basically, your baby isn’t tired enough or hasn’t learned to transition past the half an hour mark. But at this point, your baby is probably overtired from being sleep deprived. LO will likely have a nice long nap here and there to catch up (mine did about every 4-6w). I’m glad your baby is now STTN. After mine did that (at 7ish months) I was finally able to focus on naps. Like everyone said, every baby is different. Yours is probably starting solids and can therefore sleep longer stretches at night - make sure you feed some protein, fat on top of the carbs at supper, before BT milk feed. Although up to 2 overnight feeds is still normal up to 9 months.

Normal baby circadian rhythm is 7-7 but if 8-8 works best for your family, baby will learn and adjust. Mine is 7am and bedtime around 8pm. He sleeps 10.5-11hrs at night and 3h daytime sleep. We’re down to 2 naps now. We base on awake time as per baby whisperer which is a gentle sleep training method, against CIO method.

Let me know if you have any questions. After months of sleep training and research, I feel like I could be a sleep consultant. Lol
YES I would love some input please.

Baby used to sleep OK but always nursed to sleep. Afterwards we learnt that that was a big no no and so sleep trained to stop the habit. He used to sleep on the breast too, and still does try to during the day, or anytime he is really sleepy (it seems to "refresh" him)

After more sleep training, it seems things are actually getting a little worse, even though the baby now sleeps 8-10 hours before waking for a feed.

1. He is ravenous at about 3:30-5am and drinks for half an hour (used to be a few minutes) and then needs another 20 minutes to fall back asleep - so it seems like this actually dents his sleeping quite a bit
2. He then wakes again after 3 hours, ravenous again
3. Now BF every 3 hours - seemingly really hungry each time. Used to go for 4 hours +
4. Always refuses to sleep/nap - well almost always. Cries at each nap and cries for 10 minutes at bedtime, unless someone goes in to sooth and put a comforting hand etc.
5. Sometimes wakes a few times the last few days during the night, just to cry until someone goes in and soothes
6. Is VERY overtired - has huge bags, motion is slower but still refuses to nap

7. I was told that for this age, wake times should be 2 hours then 2.25 hours (nap 2), 2.25 hours (nap 3) and 2.5 hours (bedtime)
But he fights the last nap in particular and cries at the first too - before sleep training, he was pretty good (didn't cry etc) and only fought the last nap.
8. IWehave no idea how to get him out of the overtired cycle, and not sure if we should try feeding him earlier in the night etc.

Basically we are both confused and my wife is frantic and down, which causes me a lot of stress too. Baby is beautiful and cheerful but we so want the baby to be well rested as well so he can thrive to his best. Any advice or tips or perspective would help.
[OP]
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Jan 3, 2018
321 posts
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Operatime wrote:
Jan 7th, 2018 1:30 am
Short naps like that are hard - it barely feels like a break at all. And parents need breaks. It’s hard, but try just putting the baby back to bed when they wake up. Do it for two hours if you have to. Then, when it’s “time” for them to wake up, do it even if they just fell asleep. Keep doing this at the same times until you can get two 2hour naps during the day.

At night, it’s possible your baby is in the habit of waking to feed but doesn’t really need it. You can try just putting them back to sleep instead of feeding. This is easier if the dad does it since he doesn’t smell like milk so much. If it was just a habit, three or four nights of this can break it and lead to a glorious 8 hours straight.

Don’t obsess over techniques. Pick a strategy and then stick with it for at least a week. Babies like routines and they need consistency to help them regulate themselves and know what to expect. If you change strategies every couple of days things won’t improve.

Lack of sleep is incredibly stressful. I hope it improves for you.
We tried something called "crib hour" where you keep the baby in the crib for an hour for naps but the baby cries so much, it's heartbreaking and already cries at night. We feel like bad parents always making him cry. When will this get better? He napped 3 x 30 minutes today and looked exhausted the whole time, yawning and everything but refusing to sleep.

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