Attachment Parenting

8 month old waking constantly in the night

I am not very active on this board, but I lurk all the time. :)

My son is 8 months old and has bed shared since birth. We have gone through ups and downs with the night-wakings, but I am getting to the end of my rope.

He did cut his top teeth a couple weeks ago. I was going with his cues through the process, waking to "nurse" every 1-2 hours through the night, although he probably only actually ate once in the night. The last time he was teething (bottom teeth) he did the same, but then went back to his normal sleeping routine, which was about once a night.

Now, he is up, every night, every hour and a half to two hours. He will fall right back to sleep if I nurse him, but I am getting NO sleep right now. I also work full time and wake up at 5 am, so this is getting difficult. I enjoy co-sleeping, but I am unsure of how to teach him to go back to sleep without nursing first. The kid would stay latched on all night if he could.

Is this possible to do while still in bed with me? I don't know if the "breastaurant" being right there next to him is too much? I am starting to think I need to move him to his room, but he is so used to sleeping with mama, I think it would be pretty upsetting for him. He's never slept in his crib. 

Anyone have experience with partial night weaning while bed sharing? I am hoping this isn't an all or nothing situation. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Re: 8 month old waking constantly in the night

  • We actually moved our baby to his own crib when he was just a few weeks old for this very same reason. He was like an alcoholic trying to sleep next to a bottle of whiskey, just couldn't handle it! :P Since he was so little, the transition was no big deal. You might try putting him in his crib one night. You never know, he might surprise you. A little bit of space might be just what you both need. Or maybe not. I only have one kid and he's only 2.5 months old so I'll be the first to say that I don't know jack! :)

    Good luck. 

  • He may be going through a growth spurt or needing extra snuggles during the night. Hopefully it is just a phase and he'll sleep soundly and longer again soon.

    DS is 19 months and still bedsharing, and he does go through similar phases occasionally. I sleep shirtless, and I try to sleep through him nursing during the night. You could try rubbing his back gently before offering to nurse when he wakes at night, but honestly he's still young enough to legitimately need to nurse several times a night, so he might not go back to sleep without nursing. Ultimately, you will need to try to figure out what his needs are and balance meeting them with getting enough sleep.

    If the only answer seems to be moving him out of your bed, there are plenty of gentle ways of lovingly transitioning him.

    I recommend that you take a look at the book Sweet Dreams: A Pediatrician's Secrets for Baby's Good Night's Sleep, by Paul Fleiss. He discusses what reasonable expectations for baby sleep at each stage are, how babies sleep and brain development during sleep, and strategies for getting baby the best night's sleep gently and lovingly. It's science based and AP friendly. Best of luck!
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  • With DS1 I just wore a sleep bra and a pj top and patted his back to get him back to sleep.  Sometimes I had to get up and rock him back to sleep.  Eventually, he quit waking to eat since the food wasn't being given to him.  With DS2, I have a feeling we'll have a harder time than that when the time comes because he also nurses all night long.  We'll see.  You can try the clothing method though.

     

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  • jecantyjecanty
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    To clarify, I would rather not have to move him out of the bed. I enjoy him being there and having that time to reconnect after work. I am just hoping to get him back to nursing 1-2 times in the night.

    You're right in that it could be a growth spurt or something.  I guess I forgot about those now that they aren't every other week. :)

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  • image jecanty:
    To clarify, I would rather not have to move him out of the bed. I enjoy him being there and having that time to reconnect after work. I am just hoping to get him back to nursing 12 times in the night. You're right in that it could be a growth spurt or something.nbsp; I guess I forgot about those now that they aren't every other week. :


    I know, right! 8 months is prime time for growth spurts, and also milestones that generally coincide with lighter, more restless and broken sleep. Is your DS learning to pull up or starting to try to stand on his own? Or has he reached any new playing, sitting, or crawling milestones? If not, he may be about to. Those pesky but fabulous milestones cause frequent night wakings a too.

    If cosleeping is important to you, you'll get through it! The older he gets the longer he'll sleep, save the growth spurts, new teeth, milestones, and other things that cause phases of frequent night wakings!
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  • Yes, my dd would stay latched 247 if I would let her! Some nights I just need to allow it, if she is teething or sick. Most of the time, though when she stirs and searches in her sleep, I can slip the paci in and she goes happily back to sleep. You can also try to pat their back or rock them in the crook of your arm while laying down, too. Hopefully they will learn quickly that they won't be getting to comfort nurse every hour. GL!
  • How dare you even suggest NOT doing exactly what your child wants or needs during the night. It is so crucial for a small child's demands to be met. I suppose you are one of those people who also pushes his/her child AWAY from him/her by utilizing that age-old instrument of oppression, the baby carriage.
  • We moved DD into her crib in our room, and that is our current arrangement still at 8 months.  She is a super light sleeper, and our bedroom has a nook that is kinda separate from the rest of the room, so that is where her crib is.  I thought she would have a harder time cutting out bedsharing, but she sleeps soo much better.  She does wake every 3-4 hours at night still, but it definitely beats 2 hours.  She nurses and then goes right back to sleep, so I don't feel so deprived.  HTH
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    Sweet potato, avocado, banana, mango, oats, wheat & rice outgrown.
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