22 answers

7 Month Old Won't Sleep!

OK, I've always gotten great advice from you ladies, I'm looking for some more!
I'm sleep deprived and losing my mind! My 7 month old girl is not sleeping well at all. About 2 weeks ago, it started getting bad... a typical night lately is going down at 7:30/8pm (after routine of bath, jammies, etc), waking with crying 1/2 hour later, then again at 10:30 up until 12:30, up at 1:30 until 2 (will nurse here, only once a night), up at 4ish, then up for the day around 6am. VERY restless. Was thinking maybe teething, but teething tablets don't help. Thinking maybe was the cold she had, Tylenol doesn't help. Thinking maybe gas, Gripe Water doesn't help.
When I say up for a couple hours at a time, I mean we are bouncing her (on a Bosu ball, she doesn't like to be rocked!) for this time. When she goes down at 7:30, she nurses, then goes to bed easily. During the day for her naps falls asleep great: morning she'll wake after 1/2 hour, afternoon wakes after 1/2 hour, but will usually go back to sleep with a hand on the chest for another 1.5 hours.
We swaddle still, and thought maybe that was the problem... now she will fall asleep without it, but we have to swaddle her after she falls asleep, otherwise she wakes even more frequently. She still flails her arms a lot (very active girl) and wakes herself up if not swaddled. We swaddled our now 2.5 year old until he was about 11 months old, he was great with it, and fine when we stopped. Also, not a big advocate of CIO.
OK, there's my long story - anyone else have similar situations? Did they grow out of it and when?! If I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, might not be so bad. :)
Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hello S.

I really feel for you... I can see she LOVES being with her mommy and hang outbut... I won't say anything else but go and get the no cry sleep solution book ... it is a miracle... and the best thing is ... she doesn't have to cry to sleep through the night... but in the meantime try to take a nap when both are ... it will give you some power for those long nights...

good luck

have you tried a cereal bottle warm before sleep my 3 always slept better when I gave them a hardy bottle before bed.

More Answers

Babies won't grow out of it, you have to teach them to sleep. It is a learned skill. After the age of six months babies can learn to manipulate, before this time they would wake for a reason but now she wakes just to hang out with you and she doesn't know how to put herself to sleep. Talk with your ped. but baby whisperer or Ferber are two of the best and fastest methods. Be warned though nothing will work if you are not consistent.

Happy sleep.

1 mom found this helpful

I have an 8 1/2 month old girl. She sleeps from 6:45 pm to between 5 & 7am. She wakes a few time per night, sometimes needing another tuck in & minute of telling her shhh & rub her face & other times she wakes & go back to sleep on her own. Things that work for us:
black out curtains, the room has to be pitch black @ every sleep time. Background noise. We have a bathroom fan on while she sleeps-removed the light bulb attatched. I turn on a heart beat machine when she goes down it plays 45 minutes-its the one from the sleep sheep-I removed it from the doll & it lays in her bed @ her feet. I keep 4 non choking hand held toys in her bed-she plays with then when she wakes. She also has the ocean wonders aquarium instead of a mobile & she turns on the little 'fishies' with music whenever she wants...& every time she wakes up she turns it on, that's how we know she is awake. I also have the thing for the ceiling that does music & a slide show-used very seldom but sometimes in the middle of the night I turn it on if she is awake.
@ her 6 month Dr. apt, the Dr. said all babies should be sleeping or in their crib for 12 hours @ that age on. No feeding neccissary. She was still waking for a feeding in the middle of the night @ that point & I had to exercise the cry it out to get her to forget that feeding. It was 4 nights of her waking, me checking her once retucking, giving her her paci if she didn't have it & then about 30 minutes of crying on her own & bak to sleeo. After 4 nights she never woke for it again & she was just as happy to see me & unaffected as she was when I put her down the night before. I had to accept that that was what was best for her, teaching her that it was sleep time & not feeding time. Sometimes we as parents focus too much on what is hard for us-like the crying but we need to get past that & realize we are either controling them or teaching them how to be or they are controling us. They are not capiable of knowing what is best for them. Sleep is best. She also takes 2 naps in the day. the first 2 1/2 hours after she wakes for 1 1/2 to 2 hours & the 2nd 3 hours after she wakes from the nap & sleeps for an hour to 2. I do the same routine every time so she knows it is time to wind down & go to sleep. Bottle, paci & no more than 15 minutes of rocking & she is usually out in 10. If she is not asleep I put her down awake as long as she is relaxed & she goes to bed on her own. In fact she is getting to the age where I often just need to put her down right after the burp or she will keep herslef awake to be with me. Another thing make she she is eating enough during the day to keep her fed & so she is not waking from hunger. Our current routine is: bottle when wake (I am not breastfeeding any more) an hour later 3 cubes of applesause, then bottle before the 1t nap. After nap oatmeal with prune juice & a bottle before the next nap. After that nap sometimes a bottle or just veggies/dinner @ 5. Since I am beginnging to move to stage 2 food the last few days have been half a bottle of stage 2 earths best rice & lentil plus a cube of squash-her favorite to help her transition. The a bottle before bed. She is is never really hungary since she is being fed so often during the day & therefore she can fast the 12 hours @ night. I hope something here can help you. You need your sleep, take the control back & teach your baby what you expect of her. Good luck! Another thing I stopped swaddling @ 7 months because I felt like she was old enough & needed to stretch out @ night also she will be growing @ night & I didn't want to hinder that-we just stopped one night & it was like nothing had changed to her. (& I was a HUGE advocate of swaddling previous to that she was swaddled more than not from day one of her life-she found SO much comfort in that when she was a newborn but they grow up...Last thing, she is in her own crib in her own room-this is crucial to her sleep. We used to have her in a cosleeper attatched to our bed & @ around 5 months she began waking to any noise or even my precense when I would come to bed. So much to say-I also don't pick her up from her crib after I have put her to bed so any soothing I do she knows she will not be picked up & brought from the room until her sleep period is done. I just lean over & soothe. I found when I would take her from her room or pick her up she would end up wide awake & ready to hang out. I call her my little never ending puzzle, from day one I had to find the right peices to make it work each day as I got to know her & her changing ways & for the most part routine is what is most important but it always take being flexible & learning them @ their different stages.
Mama instincts are great too, sometimes you just know what is best & go with it. Like the swaddling, one day I just decided it wasn;t needed anymore & it was right....

1 mom found this helpful

One baby I cared for the parents were up all night with her.
The second she let out a sound they were in her room with, "Lights, music and action!" They were exhausted and baby slept too much during the day. I suggested to them that they go in her room and check her. Do not pick her up! Pat her so she feels your touch and say it is night time and to go back to sleep. Babies normally wake up 10 times a night but know how to put themselves back to sleep.
When rocking baby or whatever you do for her bedtime routine, put her to bed before she is completely asleep. But do not get her out of bed for "party time." Then she will have the routine of getting up at night. Check her for a dirty diaper, fever, etc. but do not get her up. Have a small night light in her room which may help also and you can see if you need to change her dipaer. At home the baby cried loudly to have her nightly party but she got over it and slept all night. It is important for the baby and for you.
F.

1 mom found this helpful

I would try putting her down around 6-6:30pm. Sounds crazy, but it worked for me. Babies have a natural sleep rythm that is different from ours; if you put them down super early they're more likely to sleep through the night. Also, try not to nurse her to sleep. Maybe nurse her before bath time, and then put her down for sleep when she is still awake. If she knows how to soothe herself to sleep, she will be more likely to be able to go back to sleep if she wakes at night. My last thought is that maybe you should wait 5 minutes (watch the clock) when she wakes at night. Sometimes they sound like they're awake, but they're not really, and if you wait a bit, they'll settle back down. I noticed that with my kids as they hit big milestones - crawling, walking, etc. They'd wake more often at night, but if I waited a few minutes, they would go back down on their own.

Good luck, I hope you find a solution!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
I completely agree with Catherine C. Your daughter's bedtime is too late. If one want a child to sleep better, one has to sync bedtime/sleep time with their biological sleep rhythms. Sleeping poorly and outside of their sleep rhythms cause other problems besides nightwaking. An earlier bedtime is essential for good night sleep. Good night sleep results in a well rested child who is better able to nap better because she isn't over-tired. Also give her a few minutes before responding at night and you might be surprised. My daughter would (and still does)cry out and/or fuss at night and isn't even really awake. I have a video monitor so I can see she isn't awake. Teaching her how to fall asleep, and back to sleep, on her own is one of the greatest gifts you can give her. If you would like any info on schedules and routines, email me.
Sincerely,
L.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

Dont feel bad, as you are not alone! My son went through the exact same thing your daugther is now going through. Got a lot of great advise but NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING worked for my situation. But hopefully for you, something does work as it can be frustrating!

My son use to be a great sleeper by 1 month. He slept from 10p till 8a every night. Then at 6 months to the T, he did what your daugther did. At this time he was asleep by 7:30p. He use to fall alseep on his own (always swaddled or he would wake himself up from his active arms or he'd grab his pacifier out of his mouth and wake himself up).

Now he needs assistance to fall asleep for naps and bed time. He would wake up by 10:30p, cry, loose his pacifier. Then again at 11p. Then he'd fall back alseep until 1:30a, then 3:30a then 6:30a. Then finally awake by 7:30a. His naptimes decreased drastically. From 1 1/2hr to now 25/mins if im lucky.

A lot of moms told me teething. NO because he finally got his first tooth at 11 months old! Nightmares/Terros, its possible! Everything I have tired has not worked for him. One mom did suggest putting him down at 6:30p. No possible with my work schedule (i am a nanny and he goes with me) and daily I feed/clean/exercise my horse. So i have to stick to my 8:30p bed time. However, my son does fall asleep for a nap at 5-6p for 1/2hr only. So he gets a late nap sometimes.

Do what works best for your family. Do everything you can. There is a book but I don't recall the name (its for moms who don't do the CIO). But everything in the book, I do. NOTHING has helped. Overtime though, he wakes up later once he is down for bed. But I have yet to get past the 1:30, 3:30, 5:30a crys and restlessness. Sometimes I hear him cry, other times I don't. He isnt swaddled anymore. May consider going back to this to see if it helps.

Even feeding him an 8oz bottle before bed didnt seem to work either. I just have accept the problem and do my best to work with my son and just accept the little sleep i get right now.

Hope for your sake, your daugther comes around!

Good luck!

have you tried a cereal bottle warm before sleep my 3 always slept better when I gave them a hardy bottle before bed.

S., Im right there with you. I really feel your pain in so many ways. I have a 3yr son that was the easiest baby in the world. Sleeping in his crib 12 hours at 7 weeks. He still sleeps 10plus a night. Then i thought wow lets have another baby, this is really easy. LOL OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My now 8 month old second son VERY VERY HARD baby! For starters came 5 weeks early at 7 lbs rolled over at 3 months at 4 months we found out he has acid reflex which explained all the yellilng and sceaming in the middle of the night. i mean window shattering crying. I was so lost and put up with it. THe dr put him on meds and night and day. I thought before this was my nightmare and he was colic. Nope has bad heart burn. I was getting up every 30mins-50mins a night since he was born. Plus it took him 30 mins to eat 2oz for the first 3 months. Then by the time i went to bed he was back up YELLING at the top of his lungs 30 mins after i finally got to bed. This would go on for 5plus times a night. Spitting up bad, arching his back and just fussy. He never really slept throught the night untill 7 months. I was doing all the night time work with both kids as my husband travels every week for work and was only home 3 days since the birth. I was out of my mind with maybe 4 interupted hours of sleep a night. HIs naps were sometimes an hour if i was lucky and my older son stopped napping at 2years old. Talk about wanting to jump off a bridge. I just cried a lot. So I finally took him in to see his dr last month. I thought this is nuts and he should be sleeping better by now. I was ready for a padded room. I would look up to the ceiling and ask god, did i do something bad to have this? Begging for one night of sleep. The dr told me last month when I fially took him in that he should have out grown this at 7 months and he agreed. He felt because he doubled weight since 4 motnhs old when he first when on the meds that he needed more medication. So the dr doubled his meds. OMG!!!! OMG!!!! that night he slept 9 hours. I woke up and forgot where i was. However, he is now almost 9 months and still has this issue and we have to see a upper gi dr. But let me tell you. I did everything you are doing and I too thought it was teething and of oourse in his case the combo of heart burn, plus he is almost walking so he is busy. Im starting to get back my old life. PHEW!!! and we are all happier. Sorry this is so long. But maybe you should call your dr and see if there is somnething else going on. I also give him a does of baby motrin at night before bed. Its stronger them tylenol. He is just a happier baby during the day and no more fussying and yelling. My dr agrees babies should be sleeping through the nights by 6 months as they are eating solid foods and should hold them through the night. I also noticed if i don't feed him enough food during the day he will be up at night. Dinner time i load him up. We also fed him a jar of bananas on the last feeding. He is now 9 months 24lbs and will be fully mobile in a few weeks. yikes. At least now Im starting to find my brain so I can keep up with the activities. I don't believe in letting them cry it out. I did with my first son and that workd but he wasn't crying because he was in pain. He wanted attention. My baby you can tell was in pain and i couldn't let him cry it out.

Good luck to you. Its so hard and Im sorry you are going through this. It really wears on you and im a person that needs a lot of sleep or im horrible person if i don't. I finally have harmony. I have a lot of sympathy for mothers in my shoes with a baby in so much pain. I just feel bad not knowing that he was living like this for the first 4 months of his life. breaks my heart. Talk to your dr that is what they are there for.

SAHM/40 with 2 amazing funny little boys. 3yrs going on 10 and 8 months already letting his older brother know he is in charge.

You might want to try www.sleeplady.com (or something close to that). I have heard great things about her and no one walks away unsuccessful. Let's get you and your little one some rest!

Hi S., I have a almost 2yr old and a 4month old. And both of them are very different sleepers, but this method worked for both of them. The trick to getting your baby to sleep through the night is the amount of calories she is getting throughout her day. Don't let her sleep more then an hour at a time for her naps. Make sure that you feed her enough on top of breastfeeding. She should be on stage 2 of baby foods, which means that she should be eating veggie for one feeding and fruit for the other, and of course milk in between. You should be feeding her every 2 to 2 1/2 hours, milk counted as a meal. When you put her down for the night, do not, and I stress do not breastfeed her until the morning when is about 6 or 7am. If she is getting up after you are feeding her this routine, she is just used to it, not because she is hungry. If you go inter her room, don't let her see you, or she will want to get up. Swaddle her, I did with my daughter until she was a good year! If she wants to break out of it, she will. When you go in to comfort her, us a flashlight or like us your cellphone light and don't talk to her. Just shhhh her and pat her for about 5min and then leave the room. repeat this every 10-15min. You will probably have to do this for a few days, but it should get less and less frequent and that should lt you know that you are doing the right things. Let me know if this works, my pediatrician walked me through this and it works wonders.

J.~

Hello S.

I really feel for you... I can see she LOVES being with her mommy and hang outbut... I won't say anything else but go and get the no cry sleep solution book ... it is a miracle... and the best thing is ... she doesn't have to cry to sleep through the night... but in the meantime try to take a nap when both are ... it will give you some power for those long nights...

good luck

hello, this sounds really tough. The book that the other momma recommended but couldn't remember the name of is the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. It is explicitly a no-CIO approach. It helped us a lot. best wishes!

First of all you have to realize this is temporary. You are fortunate that you don't have an outside job to go to.
I suggest that during her waking hours (in the daytime) exercise her and wear her out as much as possible. Try to catch a nap when both of your kids are napping in the daytime. A 20 or 30 minute powernap will work wonders and help you survive being awake in the middle of the night. Always before bedtime, give her a warm bath to start the relaxing mode. When you do have to get up with her in the night, keep it as dark as possible so she isn't distracted and wanting to play. Say a quick prayer when you hear her stirring in the middle of the night and ask God to make this a short but sweet midnight meeting ;)
She'll be back to sleeping longer stretches before you know it.

Hi S.:

I am going through the EXACT same thing. It's almost scary how identical your story is to mine. The only difference is I have a 5 mo. old boy. I switched to infant motrin and it has helped a bit more than the teething tablets and Tylenol. It's definitely teething!

I feel your pain. Hang in there as I'm told the first two teeth are the worst.

Hi S.,

I know youve gotten a lot of responses but wanted to add my 2 cents!

My 6 1/2 month old just went through a phase like this. I've found great insight in the book "The Wonder Weeks" that describes the major developmental phases a baby goes through. There is a big phase on relationships (between people, objects, actions) that starts somewhere about week 26 (and can last until week 34). When I read the possible side effects (not sleeping as well amongst other things), it described my babe to a "T." Sadly, it didn't give much insight on how to work with sleeplessness, but at least I knew the reason his sleep pattern had drastically changed. On the bright side, it is starting to pass and he's getting back into his old sleep habits, which are MUCH easier to deal with.

Good luck!

M.

I feel for you. My daughter at around 3 months decided to do the colic routine, which it sounds like your little girl is doing. Great during the day, but when the night hit, she got so fussy. Couldn't soothe her as all. My daughter is now almost 6 years old and that is just a memory. It will end (if that is what it is). It took about 3 months for us. Every child is different but there is hope. I bet there is a Colic support group you could plug into to if you thought that was what it was.
My husband and I just got into a mind set of "here we go and we can do this". Just catch sleep when you can and when you are dealing with her at night try and stay relaxed and keep thinking "I can do this". It is a totally mind set of getting into agreement with it and getting through it. I would caution you on giving any drugs to her. That might just make it worse, aggitate her. You and your husband need to bond together and say, like Bob the Builder, "Yes, we can". If this is Colic. I personally prayed a lot!! You can do this!!!!

My son did the same thing. I took him in and he had an ear infection. Have you had her ears checked?

Hi S.,

My daughter, who will be nine months old on Monday, was so similar, she woke up every two to three hours at night (usually wanting to nurse) up until about a week ago. We also swaddle her (still do) and she has two teeth that didn't seem to cause her too much stress coming in. I did not want to do CIO either. One night recently I was just really tired at her 11:00 wake up and told her that I loved her but I wasn't coming back in and she needed to sleep. She cried for maybe two minutes after I left and managed to get herself back to sleep. She has been sleeping more or less "through" since then. Interestingly enough it also happened right after she learned to crawl. Before she started staying asleep I was really resigned to being a zombie at work for the foreseable future. I don't really know what happened, but I'm really thankful and I guess I just want to say there may in fact be a light at the end of your tunnel and she may simply grow out of it pretty soon.

Hello S., sorry to hear you are sleep deprived but know you're not alone =).
I have a gorgeous now 8mo. old baby boy and our routine is a bit similar(my first baby).
My baby just started with this new routine about 3 weeks ago (before it was worse); He starts getting sleepy around 7ish and I wait for him to get really tired and nurse him at 8pm and he falls asleep, if lucky he'll stay asleep to 9ish then wants to be nurse again, then at 11pm and he'll sleep up to 5am. nurses, then 6am or 7am. nurses and then wakes up at 9am. sharp. then 10 or 11am he wants to be nursed again and takes a nap or 30-45min.
My mom's comments/advice:"he's probably not full enough with my breastmilk and needs more solids/formula".
HERE is what I'm doing now and is helping!
I feed him pretty good: chiken noodle soups with veggies (home made)then a 4oz. bottle or at least until he's full at 7pm. At 8pm. he's full but still put him to bed nursing him but falls asleep pretty quick since he's aleady full. He then wakes up closed to 11pm. and I gave him another 4-6oz. bottle and is knocked out. The first time I tried this, he slept until 9am. the other 2days I nursed him 6am. and falls asleep easily and stays w/me in bed until 9am. Perhaps because those two days he only had 2oz. of formula at 11pm.
And very important!! he doesn't nap much during the day.
So, maybe your little one also needs more solids and perhaps needs to cut down on the daily naps.
Well, hope my long email helps a little.

Good Luck to you =)
M.
If would also loved to hear any other advices.
THANKS!

Several other people I know have had the same problems with their babies/children. Most of them were eventually diagnosed with acid reflux. They had success with removing certain foods from their kids' diets. (My husband's reflux went away when we found out he was gluten intolerant and removed it from his diet.) Children with acid relux or other stomach probs very often have food allergies or intolerances. Their problems often start when they are on formula or around the time they start eating solids. It makes sense...What we put into our stomachs can make it hurt and burn. For some strange reason, doctors don't address the cause of the reflux. They just give medication to cover up the symptoms. The most common causes of reflux are dairy and wheat or gluten intolerance. Dairy causes the production of mucous which is related to reflux. You might want to do a little searching on the internet. Try "acid reflux dairy gluten wheat" or "reflux dairy mucous" or something like that.

I have know people to ignore the food component of this problem for years only to find later that they could have solved their problems a long time ago by changing their or their kids' diets.

If you want more info on gluten intolerance, feel free to contact me.

Take care!

We use "The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program: Follow Your Child's Natural Sleep Rhythms for Better Nights and Naps" and it has been amazing. You can find it on Amazon.com and I swear by it and so do a lot of other parents. It will help you teach (or re-teach) your little one to fall back to sleep and eventually stay asleep and it's not the CIO method either. It really has worked wonders for myslef as well as everyone that has used it. It's a super easy book to read too as I'm sure the last thing you have the time or energy for is to read some complicated book. Good luck and hang in there. If you do decide to try this book, I'd be curious to hear how it works for you...let me know.

If you continue nursing at night, she'll continue to wake up. She really doesn't need nursing at this point. It doesn't matter when you put her down to sleep. It doesn't have to be super early. If they wake up at 8-8:30 am every morning, you don't need them to put them down really early unless you want them to wake up at 5-6am every morning. I am not a morning person and would rather wake up at 8. I have two girls and we sleep trained both.

Here's a sample schedule:

8-10am - feeding, playtime
10-12 - nap
12-2pm- feeding, playtime
2-4 - nap
4-7:30 to 8- feeding, playtime and one last bottle or nursing at 7 and down for the night at 7:30-8.

Just make sure she doesn't get overtired with too many toys. It may be rough at first, but you'll see she'll sleep more at night and not wake up. I get my info from the babywise book, but found this site helpful as well:

http://www.familysleep.com/4-months-to-8-months.html

Also check out this site for a heat panel in case your baby is cold. I've realized babies wake up in 40 minutes after they've gone to sleep b/c they aren't comfortable....too hot or too cold, gas, or overstimulated (no TV or music with flashing lights - brain fry!).

www.eheat.com - great heaters for babies/kids. We have the panels in our kids' rooms and they also have a temperature gauge (PT300 Plug-in Thermostat (Model # PT300) that keeps the room at a constant temperature. Works great so the room doesn't overheat too. My baby girl has even touched her panel while it was on and didn't even feel the heat! So it doesn't burn your baby when she starts walking around. ;) Really think about getting one of these. Babies who can't retain their heat will wake up frequently and cry if they are cold. So if she's being fed enough (you know she's eaten and nursed enough), no gas, no teething, then it has to be temperature. And you did say you noticed she doesn't wake up as frequently when swaddled. Well, good luck and I hope some of this info will help you!

Take care!

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