Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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148057 tn?1231430591

6.5 m/o sleep questions!

My DS is 6.5 months.  He NEVER slept through the night until 3 weeks ago.  He slept from about 8 pm until 6 or 7 am.  Ironically this lasted for only two weeks - which was during the time that he cut two teeth.  Now that he cut those two teeth through he is back to his old habit - sleeps for 4 hours and then is up every 2 hours thereafter.  
* He for the most part consistently goes to bed at 8 pm (about once a week he gets a later bedtime if we are gone to a ball game or something).
* He gets a morning nap of about .5 hour or 45 minutes and a 2.5 hour afternoon nap at daycare.  He then also sleeps about 45 minutes to 1 hour in the evening about 2 hours before his bedtime of 8 pm.
* He puts himself to sleep no problem at night.  I nurse him and then lay him in his crib with a paci and he watches the mobile and falls asleep.
* I have let him fuss in his crib for a 1/2 hour and he doesn't go back to sleep.

My DH and I were soooo excited when he started sleeping better and then sleeping through the night, but now that the teeth have popped through we are right back to where we were - getting up 4 to 5 times a night.  I can't take it much more, especially now that I KNOW he can go all night.  Do I need to let him start to CIO?  Or do you think this will not last long and he will go back to sleeping?  Don't get me wrong, I know there will be nights that he won't sleep well - but now it has been one week of **** sleep again.

23 Responses
159354 tn?1286371288
I don't have advice but I know I'll be exactly where you are.

MY son is almost 4 mos and wakes up every hr after his initial 4 hr sleep which is usually from 8:30-12:30midnight....then I put him back down after he nurses and he wakes up every hr between 12:30 and 5a when I get up for work....

It's driving me crazy.

I can't do the CIO method....just can't.  Ever...not even with my 3 yr old....LOL....I have read that sleeping through the night is more about development than hunger....

Hoping to get some answers on this topic myself...Thanks for posting.
Avatar universal
I'm not a pro by any means but, it seems that the baby takes lots of naps.  My problem is that my dd (8months) fights her sleep so sometimes she takes one 45 minute nap a day. I know it's not healthy but, we try to put her down for at least two naps.
Anyway, if it's possible by any means, maybe you can shorten the baby's naps?  
Also, my daughter goes to sleep at around 9-10 pm and sleeps until 7:30-8am.  But she fusses all night. We recently tried to stop feeding her so late because we figured out that it was gas or acid that was making her fuss.  So she gets her last bottle at 7.  I know it sound totally strange but, this is the schedule that she has us on. lol :0)

Good luck.
Avatar universal
Hey girls.  I'm a believer in letting them cry it out.  I have three boys and it was definitely harder with the first one.  They all slept through the night early on--maybe I was just lucky.  I know it's a problem for lots of moms.  It was sooooo hard listening to my first one cry.  However, I was CERTAIN there was nothing wrong with him. . .fed, changed, etc.  Of course I stood outside the door, watched the clock, every minute torture.  :0)  They eventually cried less and less.  You just have to be tough (in a very loving way).

So Mollie, if I were you, knowing that little DS is able to sleep through the night, and weight gain is on track (I'm assuming), I would definitely start the process of letting him cry it out.  It's hard, hard, hard.  Some babies can be persistent.  But as long as you come every time he cries, and he KNOWS you'll come when he cries (you've taught him to expect it), then he'll keep doing it.  He'll probably cry for quite a while the first time, but each time he'll quit sooner.  It might take 4 or 5 nights.  I don't necessarily think deanne11 is wrong either.  Everyone is different.  Some just can't listen to them cry, and I understand that.  Others, like myself prefer to tough it out a few night and get on with my life.  All my boys are happy and healthy, and deanne11's children are probably happy and healthy as well.  Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about the decision you make.  Do what's best for you.  DS will be fine either way.  :0)

Ironically, my own is screaming right now.  Gotta run.  Good luck.
167 tn?1374177417
My son is 6.5 mos also and has slept through the night ONCE ever. We do not let him CIO, I am not a believer of this method. Twice we have tried to let him cry and in about 5 minutes we are almost crying ourselves so we go get him. He sleeps with us most of the night, or in his swing (cradle swing) at the foot of our bed.

PS-Why would we teach our baby that we're not there when he or she cries? That is just cruel. If they cannot feed, clothe, change themselves, why on earth should we expect them to soothe themselves at such a young age. They are only infants for such short time and in my opinion they need to be comforted, soothed and loved as much as possible! They won't always cry at night.
395769 tn?1318453282
My DS is only 8 wks today and he only wakes up about twice to eat between 8pm and 6-7am.  I get to work and he takes about an hour or two nap and then some cat naps during the rest of the day but takes another solid nap around 5pm.  I keep him in bed with me right now it's easiest on both of us I feel so i don't have to wake up and get him and i'm breastfeeding so i hardly have to wake up he doesn't even fuss.  just whimpers i give him the breast and fall right back asleep.  
146191 tn?1236881412
i KNOW how you feel. you can probably look back in the archives on here and find 10+ posts from me asking for some kind of help with my son's sleeping. he was never a good sleeper and his sleep schedule was never the same for more than a few weeks. some nights he was up 3 times, some nights every hour. i noticed specific changes at certain milestones. like when he learned to roll over and kept waking himself up at night bc he couldnt get back over and a good period of time from 4-6 months with 4:30-5:00am wake up calls, bright eyed and bushy tailed (him anyway, not us!) haha. but through all of his changes and difficulties, i remained consistent in what we did before bedtime (routine - dad time, bath, jammies), how i put him to sleep (always with a bottle) and what i did when he cried (always went in there and picked him up). granted, there were some nights when i would go in there and something would be obviously bothering him, diaper, teeth, gas, etc., but most of the time, he was just awake and needed to get back to sleep. i know everyone says not to, but when he got up, i gave him a bottle. it may not be what you are suppose to do, but i work, and you know what? it was the fastest way to get him back to sleep and my butt back in bed. haha. anyway, at about 9/10 months came the independence stage. he wouldnt let me hold him while he drank his bottle anymore. he would squirm out of my arms every night for a week. so that was my cue to lay him down on his own. he goes to sleep on his own now every night with a bottle in the crib. i know thats not "right" either, but it works! so, around that time things got a little easier but he still got up during the night. sometime shortly after his first birthday, he just stopped getting up. i think around the same time we switched to milk, although im not sure that had anything to do with it. he sleeps from 8:00 pm to 6:30/7:00 am. some nights here and there he will give me a little bit of a hard time with going to sleep initially and some nights he will get up at 5:00 or so needing a diaper, but its definately a whole different world! my point is...every baby and every parent is different. you will find what works for you and your little guy, but he may very well just need time. my son realized his independence on his own. and when i look back now to when i was in your shoes, i was NOT patient and i was TIRED, but things do get better and easier with age, i believe. and dont listen to what everyone else has to say about what to do and what not to do. crying it out, picking them up, ferberizing, blah blah blah, do what works for you! good luck. i can surely sympathize with you....
Avatar universal
In reference to jenshim's post, I don't advocate letting a baby cry if they actually NEED something.  However, I believe indulgence begins early.  If all they're wanting is to be held or pacified, then I don't think you're doing yourself or the baby any favors by letting them continue keeping you up at night.  My children are 5, 3, and 16 mo.  They all know that I'll be there for them if they need me.  My first one had trouble gaining weight (because I was having trouble nursing), and I fed him every time he whimpered just trying to put a few ounces on him.  A couple of mine spent many a night in the swing or infant carrier, because that's where they were happiest.  However, when I knew they could sleep through the night. There was no question in my mind that that's what they were going to do.  It wasn't easy, took about 2-4 nights for us, but after those few nights, they slept through the night.  They were just as happy in the morning as they had been when they weren't sleeping through.  No psychological damage from CIO.  The only difference was we were all sleeping through the night.
159354 tn?1286371288
I don't think jenshim's post was meant to say 'shame on those who do CIO' but I know for me and I'll speak personally...I indulge my children when they are babies...I did with my daughter and I am with my son.  I don't mind holding them or getting up with them even in the middle of the night and yes I work full time...

But for me personally...I can't do CIO.  I lost 3 babies and it breaks my heart everyday that I can't hold them.  But for the 2 I have...I hold them and kiss them and love them every second I can.

My DD she slept through the night from 4 weeks on...only to wake up once in the middle of the night between 8p-7a, that was for a feeding and a diaper change...now granted that last until she was a year old but oh well...never had a problem with bedtime when she got older...she is now 3.5 and has been in a 'big girl bed' since she was 21mos, with never a problem at bedtime or in the middle of the night.

Every parent and baby is different...my son is proving to be much much more difficult.  I may change my mind in 4 mos that CIO is the best method for him but at 3.5 mos...I couldn't even begin to imagine it.
167 tn?1374177417
No, I didn't mean any harm. Some children are just different and the CIO method just isn't for me personally. My son is much more high needs than my daughters were. They slept through the night early on. I also am nursing him so it is much easier and less stressful on him and us if he is comforted by the breast and in bed with Mommy and Daddy. He does sleep through most of the night with us, but if he is put in his crib he screams, so why force the issue? Sleep is the main goal here so you do what works best for your family. In our family, co-sleeping and nursing on demand works best to get us the most sleep at this point.
159354 tn?1286371288
Your son sounds exactly like mine.
I need sleep so I do what I can and right now...co sleeping part of the night works.
He's in his cradle next to my side of the bed from 8:3-1am...then between 1am and 5a he's by my side in bed nursing as he wishes....LOL

It's awful sometimes...I think he eats for the entire 4 hrs...sucking away.
This nursing on demand is tough on me...physically and mentally.

I've had a few mommy break downs where I just yelled at my poor daughter...just cause I got so exhausted early on and she never let him sleep...always woke him up to 'see' him.  Her view was unless his eyes were open - she couldn't 'see' him....LOL.

Now doing it this way....I finally am loving being a mom of 2 but early on....I was a mess.
Avatar universal
Hey there...  I am a believer in CIO.....however, you have to take it in stages....first I tried 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, and then longer with age.  For the first 4 months, you should NOT do CIO, because the baby needs to know that you are there for them....however, when they are about 6 months old, they learn that you will come and get them....  My DD, the other night, after sleeping through the night since she was 3 months old, started waking up again, I think it is because she's rolling over now like a previous poster said...

Anyway, one night, she flipped over, cried, so I turned her back, and I layed on the floor until she stopped crying and fell asleep .....it was about 25 minutes....  Also, when she was four months old and was exhausted I just layed her in her crib, she cried for about 20 minutes, but then slept through the night.  If you KNOW they don't need food or a diaper, it's okay to let them fuss!  And, whoever said babies shouldn't have to pacify themsevles, I disagree, they need to learn how to do that....so you have to help them learn.

You use your gut instinct, if their cry is a painful one....check on them, but if they're just fussing and crying, let them cry for awhile.  Deanne11, I have lost two babies due to miscarriage as well, but I want to teach DD how to fall asleep on her own...  I'm not criticizing as everyone needs to do what is best for them...

But Moll Doll.....I think it's okay to let your DS cry a little in is crib and see if he can fall back asleep.  And a note for everyone....the older they are before you try this, the longer the crying spells will last and the harder it will become .....  So, my opinion, under 4-6 months, don't do CIO, 6 months plus, they need to learn how.

Best wishes!!!  :)   (oh, by the way, I just can't do the get up three times a night every night thing anymore....DD woke up at 2:20 two nights ago and I checked on her, but she was okay, so I let her fuss and she fell asleep in 10 minutes.)
167 tn?1374177417
UGH...yeah, Brody goes in the swing in our room until he wakes up for the first time, usually around 2-3. Then nurses most of the rest of the night! The boy LOVES to nurse (: I have my moments where I just can't stand it...days where I KNOW he's just throwing a fit because he would rather be in bed with us, but then he gets his way for now ;) He had some struggles early on too, so that plays into it. You do what works best. Sure, there may be some repercussions later on...but I think there are also some with the CIO method!
Avatar universal
Gosh, you make me feel cold-hearted.  I'm not, really.  I totally understand not letting them cry.  As a matter of fact, with my third one, many times if he would wake up crying, I would just go and hold him--enjoying every minute.  I rarely allowed myself to do that with the other two.  He hardly ever woke up crying though, and I didn't feel like he would make a habit of it.  My first one was attached to his pacifier and couldn't go to sleep without it.  I was getting up several times a night just to stick the thing back in his mouth--so that was really the issue with letting him CIO.  I have to say, once he learned to go to sleep without it. . .what a relief.  It was hard though.  But as you say, everybody's different--I don't think there's a right or wrong here.  So sorry to hear about your losses. I'm sure if I'd had similar experiences, my methods would have been molded differently.  
159354 tn?1286371288
Yeah - every situation is different and trust me before my losses, I was all about CIO method and oh my kids will get spankings, blah blah blah.

I just think losing 3 babies...I changed.  I couldn't help but change.  I'm also a very fearful mother.  I'm so afraid of losing my kids for some reason...I mean almost to the point where I need therapy....LOL.  So losing the 3 babies to m/c didn't help my fears....

The good thing is my daughter was 'ruined' by my fears.  She is very bold and strong.  I've never held her back from growing because I didn't want to let go....She's is growing independently just fine.

To much horrific things out there that can hurt our kids...ya know?  I just want to cherish every second...

I just can't let my little guy cry, but again he's only 3.5 mos old....by 6mos....we'll see.

I do not think you are cold hearted...actually, you sound like a very sweet and a very loving mother/person.  CIO worked for you, that's great...maybe some day I'll grow the balls to do it....LOL  
Avatar universal
You clarified my thoughts so nicely.  Nice to know I'm not alone.  
159354 tn?1286371288
Yeah - I understand that they need to fall asleep on their own but because this is how I did it with my DD and she never has a problem going to sleep on her own now.

She is 3.5 and has been in a big bed since she was 20 mos and never ever gave us trouble about going to sleep....Of course that all started after she was 6 mos old.

I am the mom who nurses her kids to sleep.  I had to with DD until she was 6 mos and I suppose I will with my DS too.

But 6 mos, seemed to be the turn around with DD so I am hoping for the same with DS.
159354 tn?1286371288
Doesn't help that my guy is just getting over RSV...been a back and forth battle for a month now.
We've kept him close with the vaporizer and steam.  Poor kid.
Hopefully, now with him beging recovered...the sleep pattern will get better.
148057 tn?1231430591
Wow - so many of you gave your input, thanks!  I think in my heart I knew this is what everyone would say either CIO or DON'T CIO!  I think I am doing everything the best I can and since he can put himself to sleep at bedtime, I know he should be able to do it in the motn too.  I think that I will just let him fuss in increments like Allie1980 suggested.  I don't think I could listen to a full out cry/scream as my DS can be very all or nothing!  I will let you know how it goes after the weekend!  YIKES!  Wish me luck.
Avatar universal
Yeah, it's a little scary having and raising kids these days.  I'm a super paranoid mom!  I'm definitely not the same mom I was with my first baby.  This last one has been "spoiled" as compared to my other two.  He slept through early on and never really had to go through CIO.  When he did wake up crying on occasion, I was right there--so unlike me.  :0)  My husband would just shake his head and smile.  Sometimes he (the baby that is) just needed to be held.  With two older brothers, "Mommy time" is hard to come by.  I'd put him back down, he'd go to sleep and not fuss again.

All this adult "conversation" has been soooooo nice.  (I'm a stay at home mom :0)  The laundry is calling, and the kids are napping.  Time to get stuff done.  

Hope you've found all the differing opinions helpful, Molldoll.
171768 tn?1324233699
i asked my ped this week about helping dd sleep through the night. he said that there's nothing we can do, since she is only waking to eat. he said that babies digest breast milk much faster than formula, so she probably really needs the feeds she wakes for. and we know she's not waking just for comfort since she gets the breast milk in a bottle and we don't even take her out of her bed for the feed (she sleeps very propped). when he wakes after 4 hours do you feed him or just try to let him settle back to sleep? maybe if you gave him a feed he wouldn't wake up every 2 hours after that point.

we also went through a short phase of about 2 weeks where she slept through the night. that was probably a lull in her growth, and it may be the same for you. our solution works well for us. she goes down between 8 and 9. she wakes herself for a feed between 10 and 11. DH goes to bed late, so he gives her a small dream feed of 2 or 3 oz right before he goes to bed at 1. she sleeps through from 1 to 7. not ideal, but for a baby this age, a 6 hour stretch is considered sleeping through the night.

by the way, it does not sound to me like he is napping too much.
Avatar universal
I did sleep training at 4 months and she has been a great sleeper ever since.  Go to thesleeplady.com.  I took some of what she said and a few others and combined to what I was comfortable with.  It took 4 nights.  I got rid of the swaddle and pacifier all at the same time. (although now she sucks two fingers to soothe) I was soo tired and exhausted...I was NOT a happy mother and she was not a happy baby so in the end it worked for both of us.  I pretty much was awake for the first 2 nights all night...going in there and soothing her by rubbing her back.  By the 3rd night I did not pick her up and the time was longer before going in there.  She learned to soothe herself.  Now at 9 months she still wakes up to cry out for about 30 seconds but is able to put herself back to sleep.  I dont see anything wrong with letting them cry.  She sleeps about 11 hours and has since 5 months.  One of my friends goes in whenever her baby makes a peep-she's so exhausted and it's really starting to effect her marriage-I think she's too tired all the time! Then, I have a friend that still get up with her 2 year olds and she has a newborn!  That just isnt for me!  
Avatar universal
Oh and all the sleep training books say to have an earlier bedtime...My DD goes down at 7.
Avatar universal
Your son is having a nap too close to bedtime. You should try cutting that out and see if that helps! If he's sleeping a lot during the day, he doesn't have a reason to sleep through the night.

Good luck with that!
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