53 answers

8 Month Old Has Never Slept Through the Night

Okay, this is for all of you out there who have had babies who wake up every thirty minutes to two hours throughout the night. I have read lots of requests from mothers who say their baby used to sleep well and then started waking frequently, but even babies sleeping three or four hours at a time sounds like heaven to me!

My first son who is now four and a half had sleep problems--did not sleep through the night until he was over one and a half years--but my second son is worse. (I thought I was supposed to get an easy one next!) My baby was colicky for the first few months and NEVER slept well, many times only sleeping a few hours within a 24 hour period. I had to start taking him to bed with me and nursing him throughout the night just to get some sleep since I was going CRAZY from sleep deprivation. I have been trying to get him to sleep in his own crib for the past couple months, but he refuses to sleep for very long. I have tried the Baby Whisperer technique by Tracy Hogg, but my baby has crying stamina; I quit that technique after nine hours (yes, nine!)of him crying while I picked him up and put him down (Tracy's method). That was at four months old. I always stay with my baby and try to massage his back, which helps him sleep sometimes (I pull the porta-crib next to my bed at night). I don't like the cry it out method, and besides, it never really worked with my first son. (I do, however, try to let my baby cry himself tired after putting him down while I stay with him. I just don't like abandoning him until he falls asleep.) I'm NOT interested in the No-Cry Sleep Solution book (read tons of reviews by parents online) or the Ferber method. Has anyone tried the Dana Obleman sleep solution or the Baby Sleep Solution by Chris Towland? I've tried the nighttime routine, turning off the lights, oatmeal as the last meal, everything! I can finally get my baby to sleep within a half hour of putting him down (crying some or all of the time), but he will usually only sleep about thirty to ninety minutes at the most before he starts wailing again; and even if I can get him back to sleep without picking him up, he wakes up again soon after (tried this a couple times a night). I've tried leaving him alone to self-soothe but he won't have any of that and ends up crying for another hour or more. So then I end up nursing him in bed with me to get sleep, but he still wakes up several times and I have to switch nursing sides to get him back to sleep. He will not sleep if I just let him lay next to me; he has to nurse. I always think, "He's got to be so tired, he will sleep for hours," but then he wakes up again, sometimes within twenty minutes!

As for naps, he mostly naps for thirty minutes on the nose. Sometimes he will nap for an hour but with no regularity. Whenever he is put down, even when he is totally out, he will wake up. I am currently sleeping in a different room than my husband so the baby's frequent waking and crying doesn't keep him from getting sleep. First, I would like to sleep for more than a couple hours at a time without a baby attached to me, then I would like to go back to my own bed. Any suggestions out there that work from parents who have been there? Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I really love the book called Babywise... they have great suggestions on sleep and eating. It's worth a try and may come in handy continually as it has for me. AM

I have similar problems with my 16 month old. I would love to hear if anything works??
I feel like I haven't slept through the night since before I was pregnant with my 6 yearold!:>

Hello,

I tried a lot of the books, none of them worked. I was no longer functioning as a human so I called Kathy Sinclair at http://www.babysleepsolutionsla.com.

She was wonderful and within a day my son was sleeping WAY better than he ever did. I was in a similar situation as you and I had tried lots of techniques. Kathy is worth every penny.

Good Luck!

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Y.,

To me, this look like a classic case of food intolerance. My baby is intolerant to all dairy proteins and allergic to soy proteins and he was intolerant to eggs until after he was around 1 (he's 19 months now). Before I cut out all dairy and soy out of my diet (including that hidden in other foods), he was up constantly. He was just so uncomfortable he couldn't sleep for any length of time. He also has reflux but treating the reflux without addressing the food intolerance issues did nothing. Once I addressed his food intolerance issues, his reflux was 90% better (we were able to take him off meds when he was 11 months old - he now only has reflux issues when he eats something that upsets him which happens occasionally since he's in daycare).

I basically did an elimination diet. I looked at this info http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/t083301.asp and decided what was most likely the problem based on what I was eating and I eliminated dairy, soy, eggs, chocolate, caffeine, nuts (including peanuts), fish, shellfish, tomatoes and citrus. By the end of the first week he was noticable better and by the end of a month he was like a different baby. It takes about a month for dairy proteins to entirely leave your system. But if you are effectively eliminating the problem, you should see improvement in about a week. If you don't see improvement in about a week, either you aren't successful eliminating the problem (if it is dairy or soy they are hidden in so many foods) or you haven't hit upon the problem yet. If my son wouldn't have improved, I would have added corn (including foods with corn syrup) and gluten (grain) products next. Once your babe is happy and pain free, then you start adding foods back one at a time to see what causes the reaction. I was able to add back everything but dairy, soy and eggs. And now he can also eat eggs. Babies do tend to outgrow food intolerances but it can take them a couple of years depending on how sensitive they are.

From my perspective, colic being "baby in pain and we don't know why so do nothing" is not acceptable. If my baby is in pain, I want to know why and I want to fix it. I think most colic is actually food intolerances. But I found that doctors were no help at all. So I did my research, did my elimination diet and the problem was solved. I now have a healthy, happy baby who sleeps. I figured it was a very low-risk trial. Worse case is that it would be inconvenient for a couple of weeks and do nothing. Best case is that it would be a little inconvenient but my baby would be better and that is what happened. I maintained a completely dairy and soy free diet until he weaned at 18 months but he's still completely dairy and soy free. Any time he gets any dairy or soy he'll be up crying off and on all night long.

Anyway, that was quite a book. If you need more info, my email address is ____@____.com I know the idea of doing an elimination diet is really intimidating so if you want to try it, I'd be happy to tell you what I ate.

Since your baby is old enough for solids, you'll also need to watch what he's eating himself. But that is pretty easy with a young baby. It isn't until you hit the stage 3 foods and the table food that you have to watch for a lot of dairy in
their food.

:-)T.

1 mom found this helpful

Y. -

I know you have had a lot of responses ... but here is one more. I have 20 month old twin boys that are taking their sweet time when it comes to sleeping through the night. My "poorer" sleeper used to wake 10-12 times a night. Things have gotten better even though we aren't there yet. We are at 2-4 times a night (right now he is sick so we are definitely on the 4 times a night routine). Obviously there is no one solution or we would have all used it by now. When I stopped trying to listen to everyone else, and started listening to my child things started to get better. What I mean is I worked hard to tune into him and learn when I could start soothing by patting his back or saying shh, and when I had to nurse (yes, I am still nursing both my boys). At 8 months old he didn't nap for more than 30 minutes either, but now he naps anywhere from 2 -3 hours. Sometimes he wakes around 1 hour and I nurse him back down. In the last month we have had good luck getting him down in 10-20 minutes (vs. the hour it used to take). If you are still nursing when your little one is around 18 months take a look at Dr. Jay Gordon's sleep article - it really helped me start to night wean which has given some better sleep at night. I know you aren't interest in the No Cry Sleep Solution, but the one thing that I got from it was that this process takes time. It helped look at improvements over a few weeks or a month instead of getting too excited about one good night.

There are a lot of folks in your shoes and I personally think that this means that it is normal for a child to not sleep through the night. Some do and some don't. It's about 50% either way.

Best of luck finding what works FOR YOU.

P.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm so sorry I have no advice for you Y. but know that you are not alone. You have described my situation with my own 8 month old to a tee. Even though he doesn't sleep much he is a very happy go lucky baby and seems to only need as much sleep as he's getting. He is also developmentally right on target. I on the other hand, am going insane! A freind of mine has mentioned that he may be suffering from reflux as he has many of the symptoms. I will be checking into that with my doctor and maybe you might ask about it as well. Good luck to us both!

A Little about me:

I'm a bring my baby to work, attachment parenting, cloth diapering, make my own organic baby food, Dr. Sears worshipping Momma. With a baby on my hip, a guitar on my back and a song in my heart (despite the fact that I've had almost no sleep for the past 8 months).

1 mom found this helpful

The good part about advice is to get opposing sides. We seek out information that agrees with our gut instinct.

The timing of your post is poetic.... My daughter sounds eerily similar to your first. Never once has she slept more than 3 hours.... even when she was ill. We co-slept because the nursing for comfort was so repetitive throughout the night. I accepted my fate with her erratic sleep because her development and health are totally normal. I had to keep reminding myself, if this is the biggest problem I have, then I consider myself lucky.

She JUST turned 18 month olds and slept 7 straight hours for the very first time two nights ago. What changed? She did. The way I see it, when your baby does not understand language and is so limited in capabilities it can’t even control it’s own bowels, how can you justify ignoring the baby? Take the same scenario and think about a senile and incontinent senior citizen. Would you ignore cries for comfort from the elder?

I needed to think about my daughter's situation in this way to withstand a very difficult situation. Believe me, it wasn't fun. I moaned and complained a lot. I was irritable and cranky. But I felt I had to meet her needs first over my own. Adults are capable of understanding the concept of sacrifice. Babies are not.

I waited her out. I had to be patient. I knew once she had simple command of language we could negotiate. Negotiation is the key to harmonious human relationships.... even with little humans. At least you feel like you are being fair when you can explain and you know they understand.

Just last week, I stopped nursing in bed during the day. We started on Friday night to go through the hardest parts over the weekend. Our nursing time was in the "nursing chair" in my room. At night, I went through her room and said night-night to all the animals and toys with her to establish “everyone” in the house goes to sleep. Then I told her boobies go night-night too. We’d nurse one last time in the nursing chair and say “sshhhh , boobies sleeping now”. Then I started using a tiny baby doll for her to hug at night when I expected the cries to come.

Like clock work, she’d stir and wake up and say “nurse, pweas”. I told her no, repeated everyone is sleeping, and reminded her to hug the baby doll. It’s been hard. The first 2 nights of this, I wanted to give in a few times. But her dad would chime in “no nursing” and she responded to his strong voice better than mine. She was persistent, but in reality the longest stretch lasted about 15 minutes. She still woke up at her regular 3 hour intervals but she started falling back to sleep within a minute or so. On the fourth night, I woke up at 4:30 in panic that I hadn’t awakened 1 time throughout the night! I was scared something was wrong with her…. It was too shocking to expect a full night sleep after all this time with interrupted sleep. But there she was, soundly sleeping. The next night? She was up 3 times throughout the night. The return to sleep was so quick though. And this is a process and we’re only 6 days into it. I’d say she’s a fast learner at this rate. :) Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

My girlfriend went through a similar situation and it came down to not getting enough sleep. He's so sleep-deprived, as are you, that he can't get into the proper sleep cycles.

Personally, I weathered the "cry-it-out" method and felt sanity come back within days. I can't recommend any other method because it worked for both of my kids in about two days.

He should be getting about 12-14 hours of sleep a day. My kids do 10 at night and 2 during the day. I'm flexible with their times, but I never let them sleep past 4pm and their latest bedtime is 930pm.

It won't change overnight, but write down a schedule for them and it will eventually happen.
Is your husband able to help? When I needed to stop nursing, at 20 months, my husband took over the night time routine of prayer and songs; I stayed out of the room. It went swimmingly.
Good luck, it will happen

Hi Y.,
My first thought- is your baby is not feeling well. I would guess it's either a food intolerance or a reflux/pyloric valve issue. We went through the same thing, though (bless your heart) we figured it out earlier. In the end- the only thing that really helped was him outgrowing the reflux (11 months), but in the meantime, we were able to get him more hours of sleep in a row by changing my diet to a complete bland meat/veggie/fruit diet (no soy or milk products), found a way to have him sleep almost upright, burped him a lot (harder than I thought you would have to), and zantac. The fact that he "has to nurse" when he lies next to you says to me that his esophagus is burning, and the milk is soothing to him. we found a pacifier helped a little with this- to keep him swallowing without always having to nurse. You could try some of the suggestions you have received, but since this has gone on so long I would really recommend a specialist's opinion (pediatric gastroenterologist is where I would start). It is possible your older child also had this issue. I have heard some people do not actually outgrow it, but it would be best to know. I would not want to use the cio method if your baby is crying in pain. I hope that he outgrows this issue soon and that you all can have a normal sleep cycle again. All the best,
S.

I don't know if this is even a issue, or what his eating habits are throughout the day, but have you ever thought that maybe he's hungry and that's why he's only okay if he's nursing? I have a 5 month old son who was very colicly up until just about right now. He's always wanted to nurse every 2 hours, and my doctor had convinced me that by nursing him so often, his system never had a chance to rest, and that was giving him the horrible gas. So for three weeks I held him off to nurse every 3 hours to much wailing that we accounted to the colic. And his sleep habits were terrible, up every 1 or 2 hours, with tons of crying. I'd try to sooth him back to sleep without nursing him, but the crying would go for hours, so I would break down and nurse him and he would go to sleep. So after 3 weeks I took him to the doctors for a weigh in, and he hadn't gained an ounce! He had also developed a food insecurity from being starved for 3 weeks. He would cry until he was fed, and then nurse franticly as long as he could until he fell asleep, this is all day and night. Finally I followed my own mothers instinct and I turned into a 24 hour fast food restaurant. All day if he wanted to nurse, he would START to get fussy, I would nurse him before he became frantic. Sometimes every hour I would nurse him. After a month of this he started gaining weight like crazy (Good, healthy weight+length) and he started crying less, laughing more, and sleeping longer! Then I started to pump, and I realized that I could only pump 1 oz from each breast, no matter that I had a $300 pump. So I went to my local health food store and got herbal supplements to boost my milk supply and he only got better! At one point he could sleep from 10 pm to 4 am, and I could pump 3 oz from each breast! And the colic got better too because he wasn't nursing so often at night, so I in turn got more sleep, so my stress level went down, and my milk could let down. Then we went on a trip and I didn't bring my supplements, and I stoped using them after that, and I started him on rice cereal about the same time. Then he started waking up all the time at night again, and I realized that my milk flow was going down again because I was lazy with the Mother's Milk tea and supplements. And he needed more milk now than ever because he was on solids and he needs more liquids to compensate. And yesterday my in-laws took him for 6 hours and when he got home I nursed him and put him to bed and he slept until 5:30 this morning! And I realized that since I built my milk up for hours, he slept longer, because he had enough food. You bet I'm sticking on my supplements now. Also, since I can't pump enough, he gets formula when he's away from me. That's just extra water as I see it. So I don't know if you pump and you know how much you let out, also I don't know if you supplement any other liquid into your son's diet,but maybe he needs water or more milk. Wow, this turned out really long! Anyway, I hope some of it can be any use. Good luck! (Also it could be teething pain, try baby ora-gel.)

Y.,

I know how you feel. Both of mine woke up that often until the age of 2, after they night weaned. I didn't attempt to nightwean before then, mostly because even though they woke often, I didn't have to actually get up or even wake up, eventually they could serve themselves if you know what I mean (-: Is it possible for you to put a mattress on the floor in your room? Nurse him to sleep, get him off then get back in to your bed? W/out you being right next to him, he may not wake as often. Also, if hubby is willing, he could help by rocking/patting/singing him back to sleep. We never tried this with our first but we did with our second when hubby seemed a lot more confident and he was amazing getting our little guy to sleep. It didn't mean that he would sleep through the night but it got him used to another way to fall back to sleep other than nursing. My husband could only do this on occasion since he travels so much but when he did do it, it reallly helped and gave me some extra time to sleep. Looking back, I realize 2 years to most seems like a long time to not have your child sleep through the night, for me, it wasn't that bad, I knew it would eventually pass and now that I have two kids with incredible sleep habits, I feel like it was a success.

I hope you find the answers you are looking for and get the help you need,
M.

I never used babywise for mine..both easy sleepers, but my sister-in-law did use this method for both her kids, and she swears by it.

I believe in not nursing at night at this stage. I recommend letting the baby cry it out..and it will take you up to 2 weeks before you may see results, but eventually..I think you will see results. You will have to stick to it and lose even more sleep while you're at it...but I feel that you will have the results you need. I know some people will not agree with this method, but I believe that it's a way for the baby to learn to self-soothe.

I stopped giving my daughter milk the middle of the night at around 6 months (she used to wake up once around 2 a.m. for a feeding). It took her a week and she was fine. Your son will probably take longer because he is probably not as easy as mine was, but do your best to stick to it and let him cry...

Try picking him up when there are pauses/silence between his cries (so that he doesn't always associate with crying as a way to get held)...and maybe first go to him every 3 minutes and then stretch it out to 5 minutes ...and then longer etc..

I can't say this will work for you, but if you're willing to try anything...then I hope this works.

I'm so sorry you're having a difficult time, Y. and you sound very frustrated. My heart goes out to you. My (now 13 month old) son was like yours. He was very difficult. But his situation was due to a milk allergy which is probably not the problem with yours since he's breastfed!

With my daughter, I learned that, after 6 months, it is not necessary to feed a child in the middle of the night. Their bodies no longer require a feeding every few hours and this should be a time of transition for mother and child. The problem is, your child will never do this if you continue to pick him up and feed him. He doesn't know that he wants to sleep through the night and it is your responsibility to teach him. In fact, picking him up and feeding him is reinforcing the idea that he SHOULD be doing this. In other words, he gets up BECAUSE you keep picking him up and feeding him. So unfortunately, you're teaching him the behavior that is making you frustrated.

I find your adamant stance on the Ferber method rather disconcerting. The purpose of this method is to make the child understand you heard him and are responding to his cries and at the same time, still allowing him to wind down and fall asleep on his own. It's a very simple concept (put the child down and after five minutes of crying, go in and pat him on the back and let him know you're there, then leave. If he's still crying, return after ten minutes, then fifteen, etc, until he falls asleep. This method only takes a few days and you should have a child that sleeps through the night.) and I'm surprised to find that you are "NOT" interested in it.

If the situation is dire and you desperately need a good night's sleep, try it. There certainly is no harm in it but lots to gain (like your sanity!). I mean, not that I think you're insane. Well, you know what I mean.

Good luck with whatever you try. I've been where you are and I know it sucks. Just hang in a little while longer. It won't be forever.

Your son just may be a light sleeper and any little noise may wake him up. My son was that way. Have you tried a white noise machine? I purchased one about 5 or 6 months ago when my son was around 11 months and it has worked wonders. He sleeps great now unless he is sick or something. He goes down between 7:30 and 8:00 and he may wake once but he can usually put himself back to sleep and then he is up between 6:30 and 7:30. Sometimes I have to wake him up in the morning to get him ready for daycare. If you haven't tried a white noise machine I definitely think you should. It will be the best $50 you have spent. Hope this helps! Good luck! I know it can make you crazy but hang in there.

B.

That sucks. Understatement, I know. I have to say first that I would (and did) do exactly what you did- I brought my very very colicy baby to bed with me starting at 6 weeks so that we would both get more sleep, and I don't regret it and will do it again if necessary. However, I didn't have nearly the trouble you seem to be having transitioning her to bed and sleeping through the night! I totally agree with you about not liking cry it out- I do think it works for some kids and that a little crying never hurts, but I don't like the idea of just leaving because I feel it undermines the trust that is supposed to be developing for the first year of a child's life, and some kids (like mine, also) have too much stamina and will just cry and cry and cry.

I really don't know how much advice I can give you, but here is what little I can think of- normally I love the Tracy Hogg method and I would say to stick with it, but 9 hours... that kid is persistant! Have you had him checked for possible medical problems like reflux? That could explain the persistant crying. Also, it sounds to me like you have the awful combination of a chronically tired mommy and a baby who is addicted to falling asleep on the breast. I went through a similar (although much less severe) phase with Izzy when she was about 5 months old. To break it I had to completely alter her schedule so she was NEVER falling asleep while eatting and she cried a lot at night- at one point she was waking up every 30 minutes and I did have to just let her cry because I had exhausted all other options. And, although after the first few nights she did sleep in longer stretches, she cried or fussed every night before bed (regardless of what I did) for the next few months. But I kept on a strict schedule and bedtime routine and (after what felt like forever) she started to fall asleep on her own without crying, and even started asking to be put to bed. And she started sleeping through the night. There are some exceptions, but most 8 month olds are ready to sleep through the night. Go with your gut on this, but if you're ready to wean off of night feedings (AFTER you've gotten a hold on sleeping in general) try offering a bottle of water instead of the breast when he wakes up to feed, or a binky or just rocking. He will resist- he's used to getting fed and for comfort's sake it is what he will want. But be persistant (I know, it's SO hard when you're tired and it's the middle of the night and you just want to go to bed) and give it at LEAST 3 nights before you give up- this is usually all it takes.

However, if you're still struggling you may want to find a sleep coach or something along those lines- someone to come help you out and give you guidance, preferably someone who is willing to stay the night and give you the moral and physical support you need to figure out what's going on and help you fix it. When you look make sure you find one who is in line with you phylisophically (if you don't like cry it out you obviously don't want to pick one who favor's that method). I've never done it, but I doubt it's cheap. However, wouldn't it be worth it just to sleep at night!

Wow, I don't have any advice for you, but my 21-month-old is the same. Has been wakeful since the day she was born. At first I thought there was something wrong, but after ruling just about everything out - she is an extremely happy and healthy (but intense) child - I realized she's just not a "great" sleeper. I have had insomnia all my life. Both my parents have trouble sleeping. It is common in our family. So I just try to do whatever it takes to stay sane and know that she won't be this little forever. I know this isn't the answer you were looking for, just wanted to let you know I've been (and am still) there and give you another perspective.

Will he take a pacifier? My son is currently 10 months old and I took his away at 8 months but that was a huge sleep aid for him while he was younger. Now he has his blanket that he chews on and rubs on his face. I do the cry it out method (sort of). It is hard to stick with it through teething and illnesses so you always end up back at square one. But I find when I go in there it upsets him more.
How about a calm walk around the house before bedtime? My husband does this with our son to calm him down before handing him to me to nurse. I hope you find something that works. I knwo if he will take a pcifier and he wakes in the night you just go in there and plug it back in, better that being up all night. And you could try that until he learns another way to soothe.

1. has he ever taken a pacifier? you could try that to soothe him instead of putting him on your breast and see if he takes it.
2. has he ever been soothed by vibration? i have a 4 month old girl that sleeps in a bassinet next to me at night. this bassinet has a built-in vibrator...press the button and it goes for about 8 minutes. she's getting too big to sleep in this thing much longer and i've been dreading moving her into a crib because she really responds to the vibration....puts her right out. have you ever tried something like that with your son? i just found this "baby soother" type thing...you put the vibrating part under the mattress and the control panel either hangs on the side of the crib or sits on a table near the crib. in addition to making the mattress vibrate, the control panel has a night light & plays music. AND this thing is voice-activated so when she starts to cry, it starts to vibrate. i think it's made by "first years".
3. what does the pediatrician recommend?
4. you might consult a night nurse. they usually take care of brand new babies but you never know, she might have a trick or two up her sleeve.

Aloha Y.,
O.K. I just responded to someone else and can't help myself. I am on a roll now.
My 1st child was one of those. She is now 13 and a little night owl. I don't know if there is a link between baby sleep patterns and the patterns of their sleep when they are older but it seems you have read every book ubder the sun except one. "Baby Wise" by the Etzo's (I hope that is spelled right). Anyway, they come from a very interesting perspective and a Christian stand point. I read and used the ideals with my other 2 children and I don't know if our children are who they are or if the stuff they write in books really works. Anyway, I had a much easier time with the other 2. If your baby is less than a year I would read the book.
One other thing that rang in my mind in reading your plea for help was when my 3rd and last would have one of those nights. Maybe it was because I knew he was my last or maybe my heart just went out to him but I would sacrifice the time to rock him or lay down with him or whatever!
With my first I felt like a milk machine, she could never get enough. By the time I had my 3rd I was set in schedules for all our sake but you can't deny those in need and sometimes it is hard.
I read you are married to a "wonderful man" or maybe you have a family member or good friend or someone who can babysit so you can get what you need from day to day. You also need to take the time to take care of yourself so you can keep up with the daily demands of that baby. Baby will not be that way forever so try to give baby the benefit of the doubt when times are stressfull.
One last thing I want to comment about. Sharing a bed with your baby is not a bad thing. Unless you are worried for baby's safety! You can sleep with baby and baby can find comfort with other warm bodies and Mommy is more redily available. Even my "not so wonderful" husband loves to sleep with the babies and he is a great comfort to them. You need to discern if baby is using you as a pacifier and if that is the case then sleeping that close together may not be the key. If that is the conclusion then you can leave baby sleeping in a safe place with your shirt to snuggle with. Babies love the smell of Mommy and are very comforted by a smoogie like a cloth diaper that has some of Mommy's milk on it to comfort them.
Anyway, God bless you as you work this out.
S.

Wow Y.,

Sorry for all of the sleeping issues. As far as colicky baby, how old is he? I didn't see you say....if he is on formula, make it with chamomile tea (make a jug) it helps settle their tummy with colic. My youngest had colic & doing this plus gas medicine (phazyme) & a SOY formula made it all go away within a couple of weeks. There was a notable difference within a day or so! We started it when he was a couple of months old, and did it for 3 months - then he no longer needed the tea, but stayed on the SOY formula. When they feel better, they will sleep better is the thought. As far as once the colic is settled, make certain he is FULL at bedtime (rice cereal is gentlest) so that he doesn't wake in the night - or does as little as possible. I hope this helps. The colic solutions are solid. If your son isn't on formula, give him the tea in a bottle/cup instead. Good luck & God Bless!

Okay, this is totally just my advice and my opinion, and I know it's not what you wanna hear... But obviously if there was any other solution, you would have found it out by now right? It seems to me like your baby has you wrapped around his finger. He knows if he cries, Mom will come get him no matter what. I know it's probably hard for you to hear him crying alone in his crib, but is it really going to hurt him? Does he really need to be fed in the middle of the night?? No. In fact, I'd pretty much guarantee that he'd be a much happier baby in general if he didn't eat in the middle of the night, because he'd be a much more rested baby. The only reason he gets up so much is because it's habit, and knows Mom will cater to him. So you gotta break the habit. The fact is, if he is safe and not hurting or sick or something, it will NOT hurt him to cry himself to sleep. It will teach him that you are the mom, and that you are not going to give in because you know this is what's best for him. Even if your son cries for 9 hours straight, he'll eventually sleep. And then the next night, I'd bet anything that the crying wouldn't last nearly as long. And eventually, he'd sleep straight through the night. I am the kind of person who can't function unless I get enough sleep, so I sucked it up to try really hard to get my son to be a good sleeper. It was hard, but I stuck to my guns, and he sleeps 12 hours a night straight every night without fail. If I were you, I'd let him cry himself to sleep... You're NOT hurting him, you're helping him if you do this! Just my two cents =) Good luck with whatever you do, and I hope you find something that works for you!

C.

Y. I know how hard this is...my almost 7 month old has struggled with his sleeping habits too. I exclusively breastfeed (& now he eats some solids) & we've been down this road! I know you said you don't want to do the cry it out.. but I found Richard Ferber's book "Solve your Childs Sleep Problem's" very helpful. The baby is over tired & that's why he's not sleeping well sounds like. Something has got to change before you fall apart or get sick.. I also used Marc Weisbluth's book as a reference called "Happy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child". It had a section on the post-colic & fussy babies.. good luck..hang in there.. is HAS to get easier..

Just know that you are not alone. I read your post at 3a this morning and nearly wept -- we have the exact same baby! We started adopting an abbreviated cry-it-out method a few weeks ago (because my son is as persistent as yours!) and it actually worked for us. I see a teeny, tiny light at the end of the tunnel -- for the past 2 weeks, my 9-month-old has actually slept from 8-2a (instead of 10p, 11p, 12a, 1a), fed once and then from 2a-3:30a or 4a straight. It's a miracle! Really, I think the only cure is time. Good luck to you! To us all!! More ammo to use against them when they're teenagers! (I didn't sleep for 7 years because of you!!!) We actually plan to video one of our sleepless nights to play years from now before he and his date head out to prom. Ha!

You poor thing! I am one of those that actually did the cry it out method with my son. His bedtime was 8:00 p.m. every night and he was fed, bathed, changed and sleepy. The first night, he cried for 1 1/2 hours before falling asleep for the night(we closed our door and put on head phones. The second night, he cried for 30 minutes before sleeping for the night. The third night, he cried for 15 minutes before sleeping for the night. The 4th night, he slept until the next morning. Knowing what his cries sounded like, we knew that he wasn't hungry, or soiled. He was my only child at that point, and I don't know how it would have gone had I needed to try it when my daughter was born.

I know that what works for one, may not work for another. Your son is used to your giving in and being there, so he cries until you'll come in.

My son never took a pacifier, and doesn't "have to" sleep with anything. My daughter started out with a pacifier and when I took that away, she found her thumb. She also sleeps with a blanket and sucks her thumb. Maybe giving your son a pacifier, stuffed toy or blanket would help sooth him back to sleep.

Have you or you Pediatrician ruled out GERD or reflux. Both of my boys had it and raising the head of their beds and giving Zantac helped tons. He doesn't have to spit up a lot to have it, the acid could be coming up and he swallows it down. Nursing helps with the discomfort. Also, will he take a pacifier. My first started sleeping with one at around 7or 8 mo and got to the point he could find it in the middle of the night and pop it back in if he needed to. He used it until around 21 mo and then we got him off by telling him they were broken and having him throw them away, no problems. One last thought from Dr. Harvey Karp author of "Happiest Baby on the Block" Suggests swaddling, even babies as old as your son sometimes, worth a try. I hope this helps. I wish you a speedy resolution and much sleep!

I can't even imagine how tired you must be! My 5 month old is a good sleeper and I am still exhausted from being up once a night for 5 months. I know people mentioned it below...but have you had him checked for reflux? It could be silent reflux if he is not a spitter. Also, does he have any rashes or congestion...could be a food allergy to something you are eating making him uncomfortable. That was the case with my DD who was colicky for the first 10 weeks of her life until we eliminated dairy and soy from my diet and elevated her while sleeping with a positioner to help with the reflux. She is now a great sleeper and a much happier baby. Good luck!

You've had a lot of responses, so I will share with you what I have learned. Child #2 did not sleep through the night until 14 months and is up with the sun every morning. What finally worked for child #2 is a toy. My Ocean Wonders Aquarium was a godsend. She didn't sleep through the night, but she would get up and play with it throughout the night. My recommendation to you is #1 get that baby in his crib. I've never slept well with my kids in bed with me. You and he will sleep better apart. I know how easy it is to let him nurse while you are laying down. You may need stop that habit. Put him down in his crib, when he cries pick him up and feed him in a chair next to the crib and then return him to the crib. #2 there are crib toys with remote controls now. Buy one that you can activate out of eye-sight. Before you pick him up, start the toy and go back to bed. I wouldn't let him cry for more than 15 minutes-I've found that if it doesn't work within 10-15 minutes its not going to work at all. With my daughter she would immediately stop crying and watch the toy until she fell back asleep. Last of all, talk to your pediatrician. There are a lot of good posts and I think you have a lot to think about and try. I just wanted to share what worked for me.

((hugs))
~N.

Y.,
I feel for you. My baby is 11 months old and has been waking about 6-8 times each night since he was born. He slept for 6 hours straight 3 times only when he was 6 months old. We had temperature problems in this house and now he's teething and I think it's habit now. I am a human pacifier at night and my back is always sore when I wake up! I don't have an answer for you - but - my pediatrician wrote a sleep book and I have implemented a few things that have put my baby on more of a schedule and napping better. First thing is to expose your baby to sunlight when he wakes up. This sets their circadian rhythm. I feed my baby by the kitchen window that gets great direct sunlight. Sometimes I take him outside to watch the cars or go for a stroll to get him exposed to a lot of morning sun. Secondly -exercise. Make sure your baby is allowed to be very active - crawling around during the day. This wears them out. My baby takes his naps at the right times now and sleeps for about 1.5 -2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.
My suggestion for you is to have your baby checked. Does he have acid reflux? I read a story about a 20 yr old kid that had sleep problems his entire life and found out that he had a hole in his esophagus! Make sure there is no physical problem interfering. That's all the advice I can give, as I was up 8 times last night with my baby attached to my breast! You're not alone. It will get better! Hang in there.
D.

Do you swaddle him? Kiddopotamus makes a great swaddler and you can get them at Babies R Us. They have velcro so they can't wiggle out of them. I use the fleece kind so you don't have to worry about blankets. Some babies go to sleep fine but then they wake them selves up with their arm movements before they master all the muscle control to lie still. Also, he is probably over tired. I would start getting him ready for bed early like an hour before bedtime. Give him a bath, feed him and then swaddle him and rock him if you like. Lie him in the crib- next to your bed is fine, or in his room etc - while he is calm and WHILE HE IS STILL AWAKE BUT DROWSY. And let him fall asleep with a pacifier or you standing above him looking on. Sometimes a lullaby CD played softly in the room can cue him that it's bedtime too. My oldest son who is 2 1/2 still sleeps with a lullaby CD - I put it on a continuous repeat and play it all night, it does 2 things, 1 -drowns out noises 2- if he wakes up it is a subconscious que that it is still sleeping time. Also, if he is a light sleeper buying a white noise machine may help, something with a water rushing sound or just white noise. If he wakes during the night, keep him swaddled, feed him and lie him back down. It may take a week but he should get used to the routine and be in a good rhythm.

Hope this helps! Hang in there, getting no sleep with kids has got to be tough. Both my boys are good sleepers but I really think the main reason is the swaddling. My first son woke up every 30 min to 2 hours when I first brought him home until I started swaddling him. The key is a tight wrap - which you might see as uncomfortable - that they can't wiggle out of.

I had a similar experience with my oldest daughter, and the only thing that eventually helped was letting her cry it out. You think 9 hours was over the top? I had that for 3 or 4 nighs in a row, but finally it stopped.

To me, the bigger issue is that your child seems to be unable to self soothe. Currently it's messing with his sleep, but as he get's older this may impact his ability to tolerate frustration etc. I know he's a bit old, but it might be helpful if he developes an attachement to some sort of soothing item - a blanket, stuffed animal etc. These would be a sort of stand in for you. While you might not like to leave him while he's falling asleep, in a way, by standing there, you're perpatrating the problem. It seems to me that you've trained him to know that if he cries mommy comes, so for him, there's no downside to continuing crying. Do what's good for him, and not for you, and leave and let him cry it out. Ear plugs might help with your personal angst over doing this. In the long run, you'll be doing him a favor.

On another note, has you Dr. checked him for sleep apnea?

I would first talk to your pediatrician to rule out anything medical such as ear problems, reflux, teething,etc.

Is there too much light, too little light in the room? What about room temp? White noise machine?

Will he take a pacifier or will he only nurse? Maybe he needs to suck and the paci would help?

Have you tried to kind of modify the supernanny technique?
First, concentrate on one goal at a time -- is it falling asleep on his own or staying asleep?

We first concentrated on my son sleeping through the night and we alternated sleeping on an air mattress on the floor in his room for a while (so we'd at least get a full night sleep every other night!). We'd be there to reassure him and gradually he didn't need us to pick him up, it was just the sound of our voice and he'd go back to sleep.
Then we worked on helping him go to sleep on his own. The technique I used is put him to bed in the crib after rocking while still awake (I don't know if you rock him to sleep or not?We did for a long while, then wanted him to learn to fall asleep on his own). Then sit by the crib, no eye contact. If he cries, you say "it's okay, I'm here", then no more. You are there with him and he knows it. My son never cried with this method believe it or not. I gradually moved further and further out until I was in the hall, then I could just put him down and he'd go to sleep on his own.

Also, I've heard of folks trying melatonin but ask your doctor b/c I don't know what age you can use it.

Good luck. My son was adopted at 5 months and it took 10 months before he slept through the night, so I sympathize!

i didn't even read your whole post but wanted to say - my son didn't sleep thru the night until he was 3!!! i had him sleeping with me even...and still he woke up briefly a few times a night!!! i considered it a good night when i only wioke up once ; )
this is what people told me...enjoy it!!! so soon they won't need us anymore...take every second, even in the middle of the night, to soak up their sweetness and unconditional love and need!!! it helps a little ; )
good luck!

I highly recommend the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Weisbluth. The book will help you with nap time sleep which results in better night time sleep. The book also covers common sleep problems and how to fix them. It was extremely helpful for me.

good luck

You said he was collicky--could he have reflux? Have you talked to your pediatrician? Seems like this sleep patter is well out of the range of normal. My daughter had BAD reflux and sleep was a challenge. She rarely napped for long during the day unless I was holding her upright, and night sleep was really only a good thing on her belly and with the hardcore medication. Being in a horizontal position just killed her. So maybe ask your ped. Just because he wants to nurse a lot doesn't mean it's not reflux--sounds like that is just a soothing method for him.

Hi Y.!
My first son was very touchy when he came to falling asleep, and still is. What worked for us was swaddling him and giving him a pacifier. I know that it sounds very weird to swaddle an 8 month old but we did until he was 9 months old(the Dr. from the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" said that he has known of babies up to a year being swaddled and that it helps prolong sleep from a couple of hours to 6-8.). The flailing of his arms was waking him up. Then we would take one arm out at a time. Once he had control over his arms he slept without being wrapped up. The receiving blankets sold at the store were too small for my son, so we had a friend make a larger one from a piece of flannel material from store. God's blessings!

Hey Y., I can't imagine going for 8 months and still being a functioning person, so you have go to be one amazing lady. I am having some sleep troubles with my baby and I had the 3-day sleep solution recommended to me. There is a DVD you can buy or you can try to consult with the Dr. Davis Erhler. She is a Doula. I haven't bought it but it seems pretty awesome and has a money back guarantee. The website is 3daysleepsolution.com

Good luck and God bless you!

Hi there,
Sounds like you have really tough nights. My 21 month old sleeps with me as well. She started out sleeping in her crib then at about 8 months when she got sick I brought her to bed with me. My daughter sleeps with a pacifier in her mouth and sleeps through the night now. So I think that if your doctor says that your baby is well maybe you can introduce a pacifier. See if it helps. God Bless

your letter made me smile :) It reminded me of how my 15 and 1/2 year old soon to be 16 this month NEVER slept through the night untill maybe last year. :) I have no advise just cherish those moments you feel like you want to throw them through the window (but dont ;) ) They are gone so fast. Good luck

this may be an obvious one but, are you still swaddling him? there are a few products that work for me,the swaddler by kiddopotimus , the happy tummy (strap-on heat pad for colickyness and the sleepywrap, which you wrap around yourself and baby goes inside right next to you. i put my son in the wrap and he passes out w/in 15 minutes b/c it feels just like the womb to them... i can get decent naps sittting in the recliner and i dont have to worry about rolling over on him! and as for a paci, try soothies, my baby wnt take anything else and alot of hospitals use them!

Not sure if you can still swaddle at that age, but it has worked wonders for us. We got the Happiest Baby on the Block video and it was a life saver, but I don't know how late you can start the method, worth checking into. I would also try a pacifier, maybe he is not nursing so much as sucking. I nurse my little girl at night if I am having trouble putting her down and when she is almost asleep I swap out with a pacifier. Works like a charm. If she wakes up at all at night I rock her bassinet and put her paci back in if it is out and she usually settles back to sleep. I wish you the best of luck I know how frustrating lack of sleep can be. Oh and I am not sure how you feel about formula, but my little ones last meal I mix half and half and I am not sure if it was that or her age, but she started sleeping through the night. I think it takes their bodies more time to break it down, but if you really need sleep you can try it. I was against it, but when my little one started sleeping 8 to 9 hours a night I became kinda hooked! I nurse and pump all day, but at night I supplement half and half and she has been fine with it. Good luck mama!

Hi there,
I really feel for you since I went almost through the same thing and I am still there. I tried different things but my baby boy always woke up through the night. I am just writing you to just tell you you are not alone and even though I might not have the advice to make him sleep through the night, I advise you to be patient and to hang in there. Time will pass and eventually you little one will gain more sleep as times progresses. My boy is now 15 months old and he still wakes up at least 2 times through the night. I gave up on finding ways to make him sleep through the night because I was making myself feel miserable out of frustration. Not until he was 1 year old, he did not nap but 30-45 minutes. Not even an hour on day time. I did not have time to do much for myself. Not until recently, he, slow slow has started to nap finally for 1 hour and even 2 hours on day time. That is an advance!

So, I decided to go with the flow. And believe me, as for us, moms, we will get used to waking up as well, eventually.

Hang in there. It will pass and get better, believe me.

Susana

I know you're not interested in the Ferber method, but it worked for us. My daughter never slept through the night until I tried his method when she was 8mos. It's a lot more "compassionate" than I thought. It turned out that my nursing her back to sleep her was training her body to wake up. I started by letting her cry for 2-3min before soothing her i.e. rubbing her back, and as the night went on waited 5min, then 8, 12- whatever I felt I could handle. After three nights she was sleeping through the night. She was a whole new kid, and even her attitude during the day improved. She's now two and the only times she's ever had a setback was when she was sick. But even then it only took a night or two to get her back on track. Good Luck!

I honestly have no suggestions, after 4 kids and nearly 13 years of what you are talking about, I can only offer my prayers and condolences. Sleep deprivation is a way of life for me and I have gotten used to it. I hope you find something that works, just know that you arent alone. Some of us are blessed with needier, more challenging sleepers. God will get you thru this, stay strong!

I have similar problems with my 16 month old. I would love to hear if anything works??
I feel like I haven't slept through the night since before I was pregnant with my 6 yearold!:>

I've always tried to wear my kids out during the day so they'll sleep better at night. I take them outside in the sunshine and let them crawl everywhere. I encourage lots of physical play, and it helps my kids sleep longer at night.

My heart goes out to you. You poor sleep-deprived mama! I wanted to respond to your question about Dana Obleman's Sleep Sense. I bought it during my second child's second month of life when I could not get him to sleep for any length of time during the day. I used the Babywise method with both of my babies. If you have ever heard of it (it all seems to be negative stuff coming from the mainstream) I found Dana Obleman's methods very comparable with what I was already doing with Babywise, she just gets into a lot more specific details about sleeping.
I'm not sure exactly what the "cry-it-out" method is, but I don't really like the term for what I did, because I never abandoned my babies to cry. If they needed sleep and they were fighting it, I let them cry for about 10-15 minutes, then I would check on them. It never usually took more than half an hour (maybe 45 min) total, and once they got the hang of the routine, they stopped crying altogether and went to bed happily. Even one minute of crying was agonizing for me, but I felt that getting to sleep on their own was the best thing for my babies. Dana has some variations on your participation in helping them get to sleep on their own, there may be something that you are comfortable with.
I know you have tried so many things without success, have you checked with your Doctor? Just in case there could be some kind of health issue making it difficult to sleep. If that is not the case, I can recommend Dana Obleman's Sleep solution if that sounds like something that you might be able to do, based on my brief description. If you would like any more details about it, I would be happy to provide that to you before you let go of $50 (or whatever it costs) for something that you don't want to use. I also bought the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. I only read a few pages of it (his writing style was irritating to me and hard to follow) but I have heard it helped some people. I would be happy to give you my book if you're within driving distance (I'm in north county coastal San Diego).
One last thought - it sounds like the way he is nursing in the middle of the night, he may just be using you as a pacifier. You might offer him a pacifier, though I don't know if an 8 month old would have any interest if he has never used one. Just a thought...

Try babywise. my kids both sleep great and they are babywise babies.

You didn't mention if he is a back sleeper or a belly sleeper. Try diffrent positions. Try your shirt from that day as a blanket so he smells you or is comforted that he has something of yours. Have you tried a pacifier at sleep time.
I'm wondering if you are not putting out enough milk and he's hungry. Have you tried a bottle instead, and have you tried cereals and food yet. If all else fails try some night time medicine or motrine. Or is there a grandparent or aunt or friend that can come over and deal with him for a few nights and go home and sleep. This way maybe he'll not want them and learn to sleep longer or all through the night because he can't have you. If this works then start letting dad be the one to put him down at night. Go from one directly to him, on a weekend that he can deal with this one or 2 nights. So that the baby gets use to dad now being the one. If it is that he is hungry maybe he'll start eating more when he knows this is bed time. Once he sleeps through the night, keep things the same. Don't feed him anymore at night. Good Luck to you I hope you get some sleep soon. J.

You poor thing! What a nightmare! I don't have any great advice, but I would make sure your baby has been seen by a GI doc for REFLUX, it could be that he has it (even if he doesn't spit up), and that this is interferring with his sleep....Have you ever tried raising the head of his crib? I would demand your doctor allow you to have him checked for it, it could be as simple as that, and with meds he would be better, also it could be some kind of food allergy....Have you ever given him formula? You may want to try it - Nutrmigen (although very expensive)is hypoallergenic (sp?) and could work wonders if he has some kind of food allergies-....GOOD LUCK and hang in there!!!

Girlfriend you must be so exhausted. This is the hardest job you will ever have. Just try to rest as much as you can. Don't try to get all those little chores done at naptime, you HAVE to get enough rest (even if its not sleep) in order to keep your 'happy disposition.' I think its important that you cut yourself some slack here. Plan (or unplan) the rest of your activities with the understanding that you are going through a really difficult time. But it will get better. Does he crawl around and pull up yet? Maybe encourage more activity.

I was in your shoes 2 months ago! My beautiful daughter is now 10 months. Sleepeasy Solution by Jill Spivac. I think her website is sleepyplanet.com I promise it will work. My daughter was waking up every 1 - 2 hours all night! Now she sleeps from 7pm to 6am.

Y., I have been using the baby whisperer method. pick up/put down DID NOT work for my DD. the method has to be personality appropriate and with a spirited LO, it doesnt work, and many people say it doesnt work for kids younger than 6 MO. too stimulating and upsetting. anyhow, reassurance through shushing and a hand on DD does. usually, my voice comforting her works best as she sometimes doesnt want to be touched.

i think w/ that method, you start with daytime sleep then work on night time. i refused ferber and after sticking with a routine my daughter sleeps better (not perfect yet - she's a little over 7 MO and just started solids...another sleep disturber!) we also co-slept and i got my DD into her crib by putting her co-sleeper sheet and mattress in the crib for familiarity.

is he teething? does he have reflux? an equilibrium issue that puts pressure on the ears? the short naps are probably due to overtiredness. DD had those until i had her on a good routine.

i feel for you. i know you said you had tried Hogg's method, but i would check out the forum at babywhisperer.com. TONS of ideas and support from fellow moms dealing or who have successfully dealt with this. it really helped me. good luck!

I can't recommend this enough to all you moms. 3 day sleep solution will change your life. Go to www.3daysleep.com - Your baby will sleep great and so will you. I threw out all the books I had (except Babywise by Gary Ezzo) and my 14 month old sleeps 12hrs/night (since he was 4 1/2 months). I consulted with Davis Erhler (Infant/child sleep expert, PPD) but she does have a video I also bought for $39.95. MONEY WELL WORTH SPENT!!
Good luck!! :)

Hello,

I tried a lot of the books, none of them worked. I was no longer functioning as a human so I called Kathy Sinclair at http://www.babysleepsolutionsla.com.

She was wonderful and within a day my son was sleeping WAY better than he ever did. I was in a similar situation as you and I had tried lots of techniques. Kathy is worth every penny.

Good Luck!

My cousin had this problem with all of her babies. Turned out that there was a food allergy. She would eatg soy and it would go through to her breast milk.
I would find one of those homeopathy doctors and get tested for allergies. It is supposed to be painless for both you and baby if you do it through a homeopathy dr.
She does not eat soy products any more and all of her babies are doing fine and sleeping through the night.
T.

I really love the book called Babywise... they have great suggestions on sleep and eating. It's worth a try and may come in handy continually as it has for me. AM

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