8 Month Old Not Sleeping Through the Night

Updated on December 02, 2008
S.M. asks from El Mirage, AZ
19 answers

Help! My youngest little princess doesn't sleep well at night. She is up at least 4-5 times either wanting a bottle or because her pasifier fell out. We have tried the bath and quiet time then a big bottle before bed, and we have tried letter her cry herself back to sleep but this girl has some serious stay power, still crying 45 minutes later. Help! There must be some trick out there that I am missing. My husband is starting back working nights in another week and then I will be alone with no help. She was awake for a least an hour last night between 3-4am. I am so tired and would give my right arm for a full nights sleep. Sleep would also help me to be a better, less grumpy Mom. Any suggestions or tricks that works would be great, Thanks!

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V.R.

answers from Albuquerque on

I'm sorry but 8 month old babies.........don't sleep well at night. All I can say is it won't last forever but being a parent is all about patience.

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C.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I am wondering if you have thought of or could afford a night Nanny. There are agencies that specialize in that. I am a Nanny and have looked at agencies that offer that type of service. C.

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D.T.

answers from Phoenix on

babies sleep always changes. they go through growth spurts about every three months and she might just be doing that. please read the following about letting a baby cry it out. it was written by another mama, but has such good info!

Well, I am more of an "information geek" than a "try it out" mom. I think the evidence and studies speak for themselves.
Before I list a very few of them, I want to say that every family must do what works for them and there is no perfect way to raise a child.
I also want to urge every mother to do her own research. Be a critical reader! When reading, be aware of who wrote the information you are reading, what their credentials and motives are, and how the author is viewed by his/her peers. There is great information out there, but there are a lot of really bad books, too. Many written by people with little or no training, education, or experience. Anyone can write a book...
I also believe that a mother who mothers by her gut will usually do what is best. Any information that causes a mother to go against her natural mothering instinct is the wrong information for her. Any regrets that I have come from times when I didn't follow my gut.
Here is some of the research that I find helpful:
The studies on cortisol levels in babies while they are crying alone vs. crying in arms are astounding. The levels of cortisol measured in babies crying alone are high enough to cause damage to brain tissue and permanently alter a child's mental function. Clearly, babies are not meant to be left alone to cry.
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/handout2.asp
http://home.mweb.co.za/to/torngren/bergman-int.html
The research in the fields of sociology, psychology, and anthropology show us that families around the world as far back as history dates have shared a family bed, breastfed on demand for and average of 4 years (still the current world average), and carried babies or strapped them on during their babyhood.
This body of research also tells us that a child who has his needs met by a single care giver (most optimally the mother) is a more independent, confident child than those who spend time fearing that their needs won't be met or those who are forced to be independent before they are ready.
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/lauren_lindsey_porter.html
Be sure and check out the sitations on this and any article your read.
Further, this attachment extends to the later parenting, making it easier to parent the child...
Nils Bergman on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcaMsZrElnE (he has several videos you can watch!)
His book, Hold On To Your Kids is a MUST READ!!!
The Discipline Book by Dr. William Sears
Here is some really compelling research:
Biology gives us a whole body of research on human milk composition which shows us that out of all mammal species, human milk has the lowest amount of fat and protein when compared to other mammal species, here is what that says:
Cache care - These animals must hid their babies and only feed them every 12 hours. They have the highest amount of fat and protien in thier milk. Rabbits, mice
Nest care - These animals have less fat and protien and feed their babies every 4 hours or so. dog, cat
Follow care - These animals have even less fat and protien than cache and nest animals. They feed every 2 hours or so. Zebra, cow, elk.
Carry care - These animals have the lowest amount of fat and protien and feed their infants every 30 to 90 minutes. Primates.
Humans have the lowest amount of fat and protien! What does this say about how our babies should be cared for? How often they should be fed, and what we should expect from them at night?
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct01p178.html
http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/haa/breastfeeding/s...
BTW, new research is now linking colic to babies not being fed often enough and being left alone too often.
http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/whatis03.htm
http://home.mweb.co.za/to/torngren/eng-berg.html
Dr. Sears recommends feeding your baby twice as often and half as much when colic seems to be the trouble. He also recommends holding your baby http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051300.asp
It is interesting to see the societal influences we have here compared to the rest of the world. We want our babies to be convenient, yet their very make up makes that impossible.
Again, mothers must do what their gut tells them and use information to supplement that wisdom. Don't choose sides, choose your child!
Happy Mothering!! Enjoy your babies

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C.D.

answers from Phoenix on

I recommend the Baby Whisperer books. She doesn't believe in crying it out, but also doesn't believe in letting baby "call the shots." I've found these books to be very helpful, with lots of suggestions for how to work with your child to help them learn to get themselves back to sleep. You can find them at the library...especially try "The Baby Whisperer Solves all Your Problems" because it's a troubleshooting-type book. Good luck!!

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B.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Try Wubanub pacifiers (you can find them online). They are basically a pacifier attached to a little stuffed animal, so they sit right next to your daughter's face so it never falls away....Good luck!

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J.E.

answers from Phoenix on

When our little one wasn't sleeping well at night we figured out she was sleeping too much during the day. Try putting her to bed later and always letting her cry at least 10 min. before going into her room. We also run a fan in her room at night, when she hears it turn on she starts rubbing her eyes, like Pavlov's dog. They should be able to go about 6 hrs. without a bottle so when you go in don't feed her just hold her and rock her. Good luck!!!

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T.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I have the same problem with my 9 month old... we tried everything and about a month ago found a routine/solution to the sleeping problem. The only way my daughter will sleep through the night is to feed her a bottle & then her cereal & dinner food, we give her a long warm bath, massage with a lavender bedtime baby lotion, read a book, & put her down. I truely think the bath is the key. If we miss the food or the bath, she wakes up atleast 3 times during the night, but when we follow the routine... sleep is golden! Good luck & I hope you get some rest.

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N.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Hi S M,

Does your baby wake up with gas? If so, it could be the formula that you are using. She also might be eating too much before going to sleep and the body's digestive processes are keeping her up. So, you might try feeding her more prior to bedtime and just a little bottle at bedtime.

Also, has your baby recently had a fall? If so, there might be a problem where the baby's spine is out of alignment. A simple correction can take care of that problem. To find a local chiropractor trained in working with newborns and infants, go to www.icpa4kids.com.

I hope this helps. Feel free to email me back if you have any questions.

N.

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E.G.

answers from Albuquerque on

With my second daughter we had similar problems. I was exhausted as well. When she was about a year old, I could not believe I was still dealing with the problem of her not sleeping through the night and often not wanting to go to sleep. I hit my limit and decided I had to take some action. So with trepidation yet a spark of faith that there had to be a solution I tried to ask around and study it out to find a remedy and get a full night's sleep. What finally helped me was a book call Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child (I think that is the name, it is now on loan to a friend). I liked the book because it was not too hard nor too soft in its advice to get a child to sleep (and a parent, too) through the night. I learned that I didn't have to be too harsh with my daughter and let her cry forever but it gave me courage to let her cry it out.
NOW, I am so grateful that she did. Yes, I had to deal with a few nights and naptimes of crying and wondering if I was doing the right thing. But now she is 18 months old and a much better napper and sleeper than her older sister (with whom we were too soft in our approach). I lay her in her crib, after her bedtime routine and book and prayer, and she oftentimes just cuddles up happily by herself and snuggles into her pillow. I leave the room and she falls asleep and stays asleep (except on rare occasions).
A friend of mine says to buy some earplugs and just let them cry, because to be a good mom to them in the day, you need a good night's sleep at night. Good luck.

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S.L.

answers from Tucson on

You might want to try an all natural herbal combination called Calmazon. It relaxes and soothes the body and nervous system, induces sleep, as well as relieves pain (works great for teething) - feel free to contact me if you want the specific herbs used in the formula or you can check it out on my website: www.shootingstarherbs.amazonherb.net - good luck.

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J.V.

answers from Phoenix on

Unfortunately, there is no magic trick to make kiddos sleep through the night. They do it when they are ready. Have you ever looked at a pacimal? Maybe that would help her keep her pacifier in her mouth (http://ababyconnection.com/index.php?main_page=index&.... If she is wanting a bottle, then she must be hungry. Kids do their growing at night, so it is logical to think she may just need food. If she just wants her pacifier, maybe you can leave a few around her crib and teach her how to find them. I highly recommend The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Panty. My son was waking every hour at night, and it transformed his sleeping without any tears! Here are a few other resources that might help. Good luck!

http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct05p204a.html
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100.asp
http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html
http://www.sleepnet.com/infant3/messages/534.html

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S.S.

answers from Tucson on

There’s some sleep research that says keeping to a clear schedule and helping her create some sleep clues will help. They suggest that you put a child to bed by 7:00-7:30 each night to establish a routine.

BEGIN by starting the bed process about 1 hour before bed. No wild play, dim the lights, have a warm bath, you know the drill. Try adding Gerber Lavender Bedtime bath and 1/4 cup of regular table salt to the bath. The lavender makes baby sleepy and the salt relaxes her muscles.

THEN make sure you put the drowsy- not a sound asleep baby in the crib. No more feeding as part of the bedtime process. The reason for this comes from T. Berry Brazelton, America’s favorite pediatrician and sleep expert. He has found that children assume that when they wake in the middle of the night that everything in their environment will be exactly the same as when they fell asleep. That’s why she won’t go back to sleep, she wants rocking and feeding like when you put her to bed.
So make the process clear, and streamlined and reduce or delete the feeding as “part” of falling asleep. You could feed in another room, just make sure that as her eyelids get heavy the feeding stops, and she is placed in the crib.

THEN instead of patting the baby on her back when you place her in the crib, get down on your knees and pat the crib mattress. DO NOT look at the baby, just be there and say, “sleep now”. DO NOT TALK. Being on the floor allows her to feel safe and she doesn't need to jump up to see if you’re still there. Patting the mattress also allows her to be lulled to sleep with the patting movement AS she uses her own resources to fall asleep. Even if she pops up to a sitting position, you do not look at her, you just pat the mattress and say sleep now 1 -2 times. This process allows you to be part of the going-to-sleep-process, without being her go-to-sleep-process. It also saves the family from the need to endure the crying it out.

THEN each night reduce the amount of time, by seconds, that you pat her to sleep, AND each night move your body back a little bit more toward the door.
So sooner rather than later she will use the patting of the mattress as a clue and fall right to sleep.

There is no one right way to do this. Each child is different and each parent is different. And children at this age go through what’s called sleep regressions as they develop, it is really hard. Read all the suggestions and see which ones feel like a good match for you!
Good luck, S. -The Mommie Mentor, www.proactiveparenting.net

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A.H.

answers from Santa Fe on

Hi,
WOW! I had the same problem too. But for us it was the naps during the day that kept her up 3 or four times during the night. At eight months I had my daughter take two naps during the day. One in the morning for as long as she would sleep. One in the afternoon for about the same amount of time. When it cam to the evening we tried to keep her busy, but when she started to get fussy then we would put her to bed about 8 or 9 pm depending on how she felt. It did not matter to us because we went to sleep later than our children did. Just to make sure they all went to sleep fine, without any trouble. Try that and see if that works. Hope this can help.

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S.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I had the same problem with my son....he is 10 months now and we were feeding him until a month ago. We stopped that and that has gottena little better but, if his paci falls out we always have to give it back to him. We are letting him sleep with us now and since doing that he sleeps through the night. It is really nice.

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A.D.

answers from Tucson on

Something I did with my son is to buy extra pacifiers and just leave them in the crib. Eventually he figured out that when he lost the one, he was able to find another one and he went back to sleep on his own. Hang in there! It will get better.

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C.L.

answers from Phoenix on

I had the same problem with my little princess . As hard as it is you are going to have to let her cry it out. Give it four days. Nights one and two will be very hard and night three will be better. If you have tried this and have given in it is going to be especially tough, because they think that they can hold out and you will come. In fact if you ever give in and go the next time will be twice as hard and she will cry just that much longer. As with your other ones this is just your first assertion of being the parent and doing something that is good for them and the family and she doesn't like it. I know that this is really hard, but it is worth it. Good Luck.

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D.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

There is a book called "Babywise" that teaches you how to set feeding schedules that in turn will affect sleeping schedules. It works 100%! I did this routine with my own kids and my son (now 6) slept thru the night at 10 weeks. My daughter (now 2) slept thru the night at 8 weeks. They both are now GREAT sleepers and go to bed without a fuss, by themselves, and in their own beds without help frum us. Good sleeping habits don't just happen. They are taught. Get the book! Your daughter is still young enough for you to get her adjusted to this routine so that she'll start sleeping full nights and you'll get a break! Trust me! It works! Good luck.

L.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi SM -

I know exactly where you are at. My twin boys did not start sleeping through the night until they were 11 months old. We finally starting letting them cry a little, then go in and rock them back and put them down. I know you are exhausted, I had it times 2! But trust me, it will get better. I think it is a phaze they go through. I got really hurt when all my MOMs (mother of multiple) friends would just tell me to let them cry and ignore them. My thought is this - they will outgrow this, and they will only be this small for so long. Hang in there.

A.H.

answers from Phoenix on

The flood gates are opened!! I always laugh a little when a sleep question gets asked because there are so many different ideas/opinions on what is/isn't appropriate to do. The anti-cry moms come in swinging with all their websites and articles and are very convicted in their ideas. I respect everyone's opinions and right to parent how they feel best, but for me, I find that some ideas are not always practical or realistic. I was forced to co-sleep with my 2nd son for about 6 months until I nearly died of exhaustion. (He is now 8 years old and I just had my 4th boy a month ago.) I could not sleep at all when he was in bed with us and by the time he was 10 months old I was a walking zombie...tired, irritable, overwhelmed, and in DESPERATE need of a good nights sleep. Then someone suggested I read the book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. Richard Ferber. It saved my life -- literally. This book is very informative and will educate you on the art of sleeping (because it IS an art!) and how we can help our kids learn to become good sleepers. Like potty training, you can let your kids be in control of when and how they do things, or you can be the parent and TEACH them what to do. Even if you don't want to try out the method that Ferber recommends, you will not regret reading the book. It's chock full of great info and I learned so much by reading it. Good luck!! And after you've considered all the facts and ideas, do what you feel is best. Happy Mothering! -A.

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