9-mo-old waking all night long — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

9-mo-old waking all night long

I'm okay with G waking up to nurse 1-2, even 3x/night but lately she doesn't sleep more than 1-2 hour stretches and wakes up crying to nurse or be held. She's definitely not hungry each time. IMO she's moving thru her sleep cycles but doesn't know how to transition between them without my help. I don't let her fuss more than a minute or 2 at most, to see if she settles down on her own. She almost never does; rather, she just gets more worked up. Does anyone have any advice on how I can help G to move between sleep cycles better at night? I'm a FTM, work FT and beyond exhausted. Any help is appreciated!

Re: 9-mo-old waking all night long

  • Thanks, ClaryPax! She does take a paci--loves it! I like your idea about putting her down like she goes to bed. Putting her to bed is pretty easy 99% of the time. I feed her downstairs at 7, then put her to bed upstairs with her paci. She talks for a while but eventually nods off. By 9 she's crying for the first time and that's pretty much how the night goes until I get up at 5. Since she's been doing this nonstop pretty much nonstop since I went back to work 6 months ago, I may try letting her fuss a bit longer. I also am thinking about having my husband take a more active role in soothing her at night (he pretty much does nothing). He's also pressuring me to put her in her crib in her own room (she's in her PNP next to me). I'm resisting it because I like her close, esp with how much she gets up but the worse she gets at night, the more I wonder if I should...it's so hard to tell what is right. I guess it's all about trial and error, seeing what works.
  • When did she start/has she started teething?

    My son started teething around 10 months, and we went through exactly what you're describing.  Up every hour or two.  It lasted until the tooth broke through, but then it still took time to work back up to longer sleep stretches.  It repeated with every new tooth.
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  • No teeth yet. She's the gumless wonder. We cannot figure out why some nights are worse than others. Certainly when she's been sick it's worse and we are out of town this week on a family vacay, so it's been awful. I'm assuming it's the strange place. Fortunately she's still super happy all day long. Nighttime is really the only time she's difficult. Sigh.
  • DD is similar.  The only thing that's helped her stay asleep between sleep cycles is time.  (And by time, I mean she's still not sleeping through the night at nearly four and a half years old, but she usually only wakes once.)  For us, cosleeping has been vital.
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  • We have a side-car crib and my 9 month old LO started waking up 4,5,6+ times per night instead of just 1 or none like he's been doing for blissful months and months. My very pro AP dr said I needed 2 nights of decent sleep to stay healthy (I have an autoimmune disease) and that I should go to the guest room, leaving hubby with LO. Well we tried that and no one slept! So now we sleep so hubby is in the middle closest to LO instead of me and LO is back to waking only once or not at all. I guess my smell was waking him?
  • pixieprincsspixieprincss member
    edited October 2014

    To me, waking every 2 hours to nurse at that age is not abnormal from a developmental perspective. For wakings more frequently than that, with our kids it tied to a developmental leap (verbal or physical) or teething and usually passed in a week or two.

    Both of our boys went through waking every 2 hours as the standard--one more than the other. We coped through planned bedsharing and night nursing. Because baby could latch on his own at that age, I didn't have to even fully wake to nurse him. I think that yielded me more sleep overall than if we'd both had to fully wake for me to go across the room or hall. There are books like the No Cry Sleep Solution that have lots of ideas things like this which might be a fit for you. For us, changing our expectations was the right path. Also, we decided that DH would get up early with the kids when they wake up at 5:30/6 and I "sleep in" until 7:30. Getting that last bit in the morning all by myself has made a huge difference.

  • With my DS, I used the method ClaryPax mentioned. 

    Once he was an older baby and past the initial "needs to nurse off and on all through the night" phase, it became easier to tell if he was legitimately hungry or if he had just woken up and couldn't fall asleep again on his own.  I would listen hard to see whether he seemed to be ramping up or winding down.  Sometimes there would be a mix of up and down fussing.  If he switched to hard crying, I went to him.

    If it became clear that he needed help falling back to sleep, I would bring him out to the living room and walk around with him just a bit until he calmed down and snuggled into me -- a clue that he was ready to be tucked back in bed without eating.  Then I'd go through the bedtime routine and put him back in his crib.  This generally worked, although sometimes it took a couple rounds.
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  • Thank you, ladies, for all the great ideas. I think we may work on lessening the night feedings--only doing them when she's clearly hungry--and really start listening to her fussing. If she's ramping up, go to her, otherwise try to self-soothe. For sure DH needs to take a more active role at night.

    Also, we had G's 9-mo appt today and the Dr basically said it's not healthy for her to be waking so often and that she should be in her own room.
  • Great advices here. However, I think that no doctor can decide for @jodifredericksen whether or not they should stop co-sleeping.
  • I totally agree and need to remember mama knows best. It's hard to keep that focus when I feel like no one in my life supports my approach. Family, friends, coworkers --they all think I'm crazy for still having her in my room. My husband is the worst. He basically thinks I'm the reason she doesn't STTN. Thanks for the support.
  • pixieprincsspixieprincss member
    edited October 2014

    If you are interested in different perceptions from what your doctor mentioned here are many study synopses that have been encouraging to me: http://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleepstudies/

    If you just really, really love reading studies <raises hand and admits I am a dork> here are a ton more from one of my heroes: Dr. James McKenna who runs the Mother-Baby Sleep Lab at Notre Dame and has dedicated his career to studying cosleeping: http://cosleeping.nd.edu/articles-and-presentations/articles-and-essays/

    Go and do what is best for your family, of course, but if you decide to approach frequent waking as normal, just know that it is a valid option.


  • it would definitely depend on how old she is. At 6 months, we did cry it out with my oldest. Worked like a charm.. She got it the first night, but naps took about 6 weeks.


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  • DD went through a similar sleep regression around 9m. We used some of the NCSS techniques, but what really worked the best was deciding, with DH, which wakings he would take at night. I knew she still needed to eat once or twice at night, so I would take the first wake up (after her longest sleep stretch), and nurse. Then DH would take any wakings for the next chunk of time (we set that at 4 hours to start, give or take). Then, any time after that, I'd be back "on."

    She did cry at first when DH comforted her, but she got used to it quite quickly, and it meant I got a better chunk of sleep (we also modified this plan as necessary if she couldn't settle for him for whatever reason - some nights it was mama or nothin!). She also started to sleep a bit longer starting around 10m, but I don't know if that was because of something we did, or just a developmental thing.
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